[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode # 5 – Marcus Mohalland

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode # 5 – Marcus Mohalland, Co-Author, Silly Nomads


The nature of literacy in a digital world has changed.

Here’s a story:

I went to the New York Library last year and looked at a Gutenberg Bible. The Bible was clearly a book. You could tell just by looking at it.

The fact that I could tell it was a book is the beginning of understanding the nature and depth of literacy. The fact is, the Internet is changing the nature of literacy and my guest today, Marcus Mohalland has some things to say about that.

He’s using children’s books, connections to the education system, and his unique life story to impact how children get literate and remain so, in a world of screens, and options for distraction.

The nature of books we understand. When I went and looked at the Bible, I understood exactly how to read it, comprehend it, and how to disseminate information contained in it to others.

But we are at the beginning of the digital revolution right now.

What will we be saying in 700 years while standing at a virtual display in a virtual New York City Library, while staring at a mobile phone with Internet access from 2017?

Marcus and his co-author Jan are looking to maintain and grow the fundamentals of understanding that literacy is based on, through re-establishing the fundamentals of reading and comprehension with a generation whose attention spans might be waning.

Check out Silly Nomads for your children (or the children of people you know) and connect with Jan and Marcus in all the ways that you can below:

Silly Nomads Twitter: https://twitter.com/NomadsSilly

Marcus Mohalland on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcus.mohalland

Marcus Mohalland LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcusmohalland/

Silly Nomads Book Website: http://mohallandlewisllc.com/home

Silly Nomads Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillynomads

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode # 4 – Nasha Taylor

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode # 4 – Nasha Taylor, Community Connector, Networker, Cultural Strategist, Media Savvy Engager, and Entrepreneur

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Five, Episode #4 - Nasha Taylor


Connection is currency.

Connection is the currency that matters in the 21st century.

There is a network leap from Google to the “real” world is the only type of value that will matter for the 21st century.

Welcome to the show! This is Earbud_U Season Five, Episode #4!

Our guest today, Nasha Taylor, has a brain that works, as she says, “like a Wi-Fi router.”

She is a teacher, a role model, a connector, and is “work” to providing service to all in all the ways that matter.

Talking about circuitous journeys can help us discover how to connect with others in the ways that matter, help us ask and answer the right questions, and gain the courage to seek and implement the right solutions to our most pressing problems.

Helping people feel safe through change is the point of all of this, and Nasha is going to talk about all of this today on the show!

Connect with Nasha in all the ways that you can below:

Nasha’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/NashaTaylor

Nasha’s FB: https://www.facebook.com/nasha.taylor

Nasha’s LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nashataylor/

Nasha’s Coffe Business: http://nashataylor.myorganogold.com

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 8 – Jaimee Dorris, Web Personality, Creative, Entrepreneur

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 8 – Jaimee Dorris, Web Personality, Creative, Entrepreneur



Living out loud in the American South.

Incongruity. Building for the future. Making a plan and executing. Pivoting into something else. Building a brand that lasts.

Our guest today, Jaimee Dorris, wants everybody on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to know her name. And she’ll get there. By building a stage, one audience member at a time.

The idea of “build it and they will come” is as old as—well—advertising itself.  But it doesn’t happen overnight. And that’s where the personality of an entrepreneur really has to kick in. To double-down, not on failure, but on success. And to turn seeming “dead-ends” into profitable streets that link engaged audience members to a much larger story.

This is not a political podcast, and you all don’t really care about what my personal political positions are, but…

In light of recent electoral events in United States, this interview stands as both a beacon of hope for those who are looking for hope and it stands as a refutation of realities for others.

And in a political world where it appears that the fundamentals under girding the process were changed…well…fundamentally this year, our interview is a reminder that all has not quite changed just yet.

What has happened is that, as my grandmother would say, things have become sharpened— that is, further revealed—and in that process of revelation, we must all look at ourselves closer than we ever have before.

We must examine our motives, our thoughts, our inner drives, and our outer limits, in order to build the best, most worthy, selves that we can in this challenging—and changing—new world.

That revelation should bring us all the hope we need.

Alright. Well that’s it…. Let’s get into it!

Connect with Jaimee in all the ways you can below:

Website (Home of the MS Congeniality Show!): http://www.jaimeedorris.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrsjaimeed

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHxKWvXbQeWaTyKMZjHBbKw

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimee-dorris-63064914

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrsjaimeed

[Advice] Entrepreneurs Disrupted

We are at the end of about a ten to fifteen-year cycle of entrepreneurship being sexy. And now is a good time for disruption.

This is evidenced by current exits, acquisitions, and even the folding of companies. And while some VC dollars are drying up a little bit in traditional geographic locations, other dollars are moving to non-traditional geographic locations.

Like Pittsburgh.

Or Cleveland.

In those places though, where the culture of Silicon Valley (“fail fast, fail hard”) has yet to completely penetrate, two distinct phenomena are going to bump up against each other over the next few years. And this friction will occur even as breathless articles—and blog posts—will be written about the death of entrepreneurship in the major media, political, and social centers of the United States.

The first phenomena will be the mismatch between a traditional VCs perception of what the culture of investment should be, and the perception of culture in places geographically, (and culturally as well as ideologically) removed from that culture of investment. There have been a few businesses built like this in the Midwest (Basecamp, formerly 37 Signals, comes to mind) but there will be more friction in the coming years.

The second phenomena will be the mismatch between a “small business” mentality, and a “entrepreneurs” mentality. This will manifest in all kinds of ways, including work ethic, employee education level, and other localized influences. Many of these are unquestioned and “in the air” in Silicon Valley, and the mismatch is already acute outside of Silicon Valley.

Both of these mismatches can be overcome, managed, or eliminated completely through the effects of numerous, gossamer like transactions, but they all represent disruption.

That is, disruption for both the end of entrepreneurship being “sexy”, and the beginning of something else, even greater taking root in unexpected places.

[Strategy] How to be the Nicky Barnes of Negotiation

The savvy entrepreneur in an ever changing business environment, should take a page from the book of entrepreneurs in other spaces. Particularly, that least savvy of all spaces, drug dealing.

Now, I am not advocating for drug-dealing, illicit drug use, or engaging in illegal activity.

Far from it.

What I am advocating for is looking at the techniques, practices, tips and trick that individuals who engage in the selling and distribution of illegal drugs use to negotiate in an ever changing, unpredictable market, filled with unpredictable, ever changing, personalities and people.

The business environment for illegal drugs is highly fluid, the market for drugs is inelastic, and the demand curve for illegal drugs is only trending upward (and has been for the last thirty or so years). From these three factors alone, we can also conclude that there is a lot of competition in the market for illicit drugs, thus there are competitors in the market that might be tempted to negotiate with each other with violence rather than with words.

Which is where the power of negotiation as a method of persuasion comes in.

In a situation where drugs are being dealt, contrary to popular opinion, the first move is not to get a weapon and being shooting—that’s actually the last move. The first move is to talk.

Particularly as a person moves up higher and higher in the ranks of the entrepreneurial, drug-dealing world, talk matters more than violence (of any kind), which is why “foot soldiers” in gangs engaged in drug dealing tend to have arrest records far longer and more extensive than the arrest records of the “big fish.”

Because, much like the CEO of a modern corporation (or a start-up founder) the higher you go in an organization, the less impetus there is for immediate resolution, and the more impetus there is for the tools and techniques of persuasion.

From Nicky Barnes to Frank Lucas and even to Pablo Escobar, negotiation was used first, and then when that didn’t work, methods of persuasion became more direct—and more violent.

But what does all of this have to do with the modern entrepreneur, trying to move units of their latest, greatest mobile phone app? There are a few tips to remember:

Entrepreneurs like a good argument: With the market, with their partners, with their competition, and even with their employees. However, remember that argumentation breaks down into three areas: arguments designed to persuade, arguments, design to advocate, and arguments designed to provide proof of a point. An argument will almost always lead to some issues that negotiation will have to work through.

Entrepreneurs need to remember that negotiation is about trust, reciprocation, commitment, and consistency. Even in the world of drug dealing, (remember, inelastic, highly competitive markets) there has to be a system of trust based in reciprocation (“I do for you, you do for me”) commitment, and consistency, or else every person will be for themselves. Coalitions, agreements, and mutual understandings come about through effective negotiation.

Entrepreneurs are sometimes less interested in persuasion than they are in being “right” or “winning” the argument or the negotiation. Persuasion is about watching language, active listening, rephrasing and paraphrasing, and having an active, engaged memory. In order to engage effectively and persuasively, remember that no negotiation scenario (whether around drugs or mobile phone apps or even a peace building process) is “pure.” There are always emotions, triggers, and other elements that each party brings to the negotiation table that have to be addressed at the negotiation table. When those issues and concerns are ignored, dismissed, or otherwise not acknowledged, resentment and bitterness begin to grow in the heart of the aggrieved party.

Negotiation is a method of persuasion that every entrepreneur should value, no matter what empire (or “dent” in the universe) they are seeking to make.

HIT Piece 06.07.2016

Tips, tricks, and hacks are everywhere across the Internet. As a matter of fact, I was informed of this by another professional recently.

Listicles are popular because they don’t take much time to digest, they appear to satisfy an immediate need, and they are about a short-term “pop” versus a long-term commitment to changing something that might not work.

It seems though, that the trend toward distilling, “dumbing down,” and demystifying is actually really starting to ramp up in the advice, opinion, “best practices,” coaching spaces of the Internet. As lifestyle entrepreneurs have to get more real as the glut in advice means chasing fewer dollars and more pennies they are going to have to decide to either push more listicles (a safe bet) or to advance into telling the truth (a risky bet).

Making a decision to create products that are built on taking apart assumptions, philosophies, “sacred cows,” and conventional wisdom, is a difficult decision because there’s a risk that the person doing it won’t be liked, hired, or referred to. Making such a decision requires a genuine, calculation examination of personal risk tolerance and stating out loud, and unequivocally, what you can afford to lose.  Making such a decision means abandoning the mass audience, the mass attention, and the mass awareness, and choosing, instead, to talk only to the true fans, who need to hear what must be said.

There is a choice to be made to no longer engage in listicles, hacks, one-sheets, “silver bullets” and situational advice, and to instead go deep into the heart of what matters with people; to go on a collaborative, uncomfortable, and scary journey, not focused on the past, but aimed at the future.

The decision to do this, and the courage to act on such a decision is a linchpin act. It is an act that makes a person invaluable, because Truth is scarce, but the courage to say the Truth is even scarcer, and the courage to say the Truth, and to stand by it through whatever consequences, is rarer still.

I am on the journey to making some decisions, as I hew closer and closer to the Truth. Are you interested in going on this journey?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

HIT Piece 3.15.2016

There are two kinds of motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is driven by what you feel on the inside. Much of intrinsic motivation comes from emotions and reasoning. Motivation to accomplish tasks that touches on emotions and reasoning comes in the form of feedback, in a 360 degree fashion. The impact of that feedback creates intrinsic motivation, or it erodes intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is driven by a carrot and stick approach from the outside. Much of extrinsic motivation comes from other people attempting to provide feedback, provide coaching, and to provide encouragement and recognition. Extrinsic motivation is about the impact that other people can have on you and your internal motivation.

Both kinds of motivations are about outcomes, feedback, and meaning and mattering. Both kinds of motivation have motivation behind them and the psychology of motivation is extensive and deep.

For me, however, I’m all in for the intrinsic motivation. Don’t get me wrong: I like pats on the back, “good job” statements, thank yous, and other forms of intrinsic recognition. I’m also all in for the extrinsic motivation. Don’t get me wrong: Money helps pay the bills and move the project along. I like getting swag as much as the next person.

But at the end of the day, my internal motor runs on fuel from Within, rather than on fuel from the World.

Every entrepreneur has to decide what fuel they are running on.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

HIT Piece 2.2.2016

Changes are natural. As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to roll with them and adapt to them without losing your mind, your equanimity, or your focus on the end goal.

That’s hard, because with each change, the end goal shifts from being a long-term goal, to being a short-term need.

With each change, the entrepreneur’s perspective changes and shifts as well, and sometimes, the weight of those changes can force the entrepreneur into a mental, emotional, and even financial, dip.

Powering through the dip—and making it to the other side—without losing your equanimity, your mind, or your focus on the end goal, is the only work of the entrepreneur that matters.

The reason many investors, money men, banks, and governments, tend to ignore or overlook the lifestyle entrepreneurs (such as consultants, trainers, and others) is that yes, they don’t create scalable models, but, those entrepreneurs tend to quit in the middle of dip leaving behind debt.

I’m not quitting. And hopefully, neither are you…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

HIT Piece 10.27.2015

There are not many ways to grow (or scale) past merely being a solo entrepreneur, freelancer, or consultant.

  • You can “productize” a process (see Brian Casel’s approach for more about this), or you can develop a product that you can sell repeatedly, such as a workshop, or even a seminar.
  • You can begin to charge more for developing a process or a product for a client (Seth Godin promotes this approach), but that only generates more revenues, which conflates the illusion of growth with the presence of revenues.
  • You can take on larger and larger clients, with larger and larger contracts, which give the illusion of running a business, but is really just expensive freelance labor. And when the project (no matter its size) is over, then you have to let the people you hired go. Or try to get an equal size, or bigger, contract for the next go around.
  • You can also develop a software product, funded through business revenues, that supports a piece of a business process and then sell that solution to other solo entrepreneurs, freelancers and consultants.
  • You can produce white papers, blog content, e-books, audio content (podcasts, audio white papers, etc.), or even self-publish a book and put it out through Amazon. And then you can create more workshops and content around that.

But at some point, the solo entrepreneur, freelancer or consultant must hire other people to grow and must begin generating significant profits to support other people’s livelihoods, or else what you do remains as confining as the employment you left to start your project. Inspirational speakers from Zig Ziglar to Tony Robbins have made the leap. So have many others.

It’s a hard jump.

The hard part to solve with what I do, the way that I do it, through Human Services Consulting and Training is there are three elements for me to consider before growing to be large enough to potentially hire another person to do the work I do now:

Business philosophy – I want to hire somebody who is ethical and who will have such an ethical compass that they will be able to spot problems before even I see them. Not cautious, just prudent.

Personal philosophy – I want to hire somebody who has a strong, positive, moral core: The question “What will you do so that we can make a profit together?” has to be answered in a moral fashion, rather than just a financial one. After all, when (not if) an immoral choice has consequences, the name on the front door is mine. Not theirs.

Societal philosophy – I want to hire somebody who can believe, exemplify and live, the societal philosophy that’s on the back of all of my business cards “Helping YOU ethically attain PEACE in your life.” This is a societal call for peace through self-awareness first, and everything else second.

Even without these three considerations, scaling would be hard. Which is why so many solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, and consultants stay singular, stay small, and are frustrated by the level of impact they have in their niche—and outside of it.

I’m not frustrated. And I’m not in a hurry. I’m out here walking around, looking around for someone.

See: [Genesis 18:23-33] for a living example of this conundrum.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] Ok…So Ad Blocking is Here…

Ok…so ad blocking is here….

From browsers to mobile hardware, the drive is on (whether from the creators of ad blocking software or just from us all talking about it now) to empower consumers of content to block advertising they don’t want to see via software based means. This advertising, small and large web publishers argue, is part of a fundamental principle of mass media, going back at least a century. The principle comes down to a deal, which—like many deals—can be renegotiated and changed to reflect shifting values and principles:

We (web publishers) create content without charging you for the creation of that content, and in exchange you (the content consumer) give us attention and we charge a third party, the advertiser, to put ads in front of, and around, our content.

This same deal drove the development and growth of platforms, such as television, radio and newspapers, and the development and growth of content on those platforms, for the last 100 years.

But, the Internet was supposed to be a different content delivery platform.


Apparently not.

Now, consumers—instead of just choosing to ignore interruptive ads like they always have (and because measuring audience engagement is difficult (but not impossible) there are more intrusive, interruptive ads, not less)—content consumers are choosing to block everything.

Seth Godin wrote with hope fifteen years ago about permission marketing. Cory Doctorow writes with abandon about the anarchy of the web. But both of those writers and thinkers assume a fundamental point about most content, whether it’s on the internet, on the radio, on television, or in a magazine or newspaper, that must be written down and repeated out loud:

Most content on any platform isn’t good enough, interesting enough, relevant enough or entertaining enough, to act as the glue binding the audience of content consumers to the content creators in a “revenue for value” exchange based relationship.

This is why there are millions and millions of cat and baby videos on Youtube, but only a few breakout “stars.” This is why Vogue magazine (or Burberry on Instagram) will be fine with ¾ of their magazine content (or their social distribution feed) being ad space, but Mother Jones or The National Review might just wither and die with ad blockers. This is the reason there are 152 million blogs on the Internet, publishing 1.3 million pieces of content a day, but no blogger has risen to dominance on the web in 15 years.

Thus advertising.

There are a few ways out of this bind, but before we get to that, the question of “What kind of internet do we want to have?” must be answered. We (and we are including ourselves in this group as a content consumers) have not answered this question in any kind of meaningful way. Content consumers have to be a part of the conversation before the endpoint of plopping and advertisement in front of our eyes is reached. Content consumers (to build trust and get their permission) have to be engaged in the building, creating and disseminating of a product from start to finish—or not at all.

The first way out of this bind is by crowdsourcing content development. There are some sites on the web that do this well; there are many more that do it badly, or not at all. Crowdsourcing journalism, entertainment, and other forms of content may lead to less ad blocking—and higher revenue—rather than more by content consumers who feel emotionally invested in the product.

The second way out of this of this bind is by creating more subscription-based platforms. For subscriptions to work, there must be a consideration (and a careful one at that) by the web publisher about what kind of content is being created. Long tail philosophy should be ruling with brand-based content, but many are still stuck in the 1950’s. By the way, this is the only way that data gathering, analytics and implementation based on the data is useful as a tool for content creators and publishers, as well as the incorporation of micropayments via cryptocurrencies. Don’t believe me? Ok. What’s in your Netflix queue right now? And have you paid for a reSnap recently?

The third way out of this of this bind is by rethinking distribution systems. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Google and Apple are going to war with each other to decide who controls the ad space of the mobile phone screen and the app walled garden. This war has to be fought (I guess) but thinking of these platforms less as content delivery systems, and more as content broadcast systems, would free many creators from the false choice of “Do I or don’t I put an ad in front of my content?” Email and RSS feeds circumvent broadcast systems and go directly to the audience content creators want. This is also the reason that creators on Meerkat and Periscope who are live streaming events (and their lives) are going to have trouble monetizing their content if the platform ever has to respond to the vicissitudes of Wall Street shareholders.

The fourth way out of this bind is by rethinking all the assumptions underpinning the web. The Internet has moved over the last 25 to 30 years, from being a niche communication channel to a worldwide, glorified telecommunications delivery system. What if the Internet shifted from being a global mass bullhorn, to being an individualized, personalized content delivery system? Mobile phone, tablet and app development is pushing the Internet in the direction of this development, but frankly, not far enough. Which is where blockchain technology really comes to the forefront.

The fifth way out of this bind is for content creators to make conscious choices—and stick to them—about how and where to monetize their content with ads. We are not naïve enough to think that advertising will disappear; there were ads broadcasting the services of prostitutes painted on the walls of buildings in Pompeii and Ancient Rome. However, when everyone can publish (but not everyone will publish) everyone has the choice to run a Google ad (or not) in front of specific content, they produce. We run ads in front of The Earbud_U Podcast, but not on the HSCT #Communication Blog, for a reason.

Ad blocking will not be the end of Internet publishing, nor will it serve as the death knell for advertising on the Internet. By defaulting to the opposite of these five alternatives to advertising on the Internet, many content creators will wither away, and die, on the web.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/