The 5 Ways and How To Ask

Say what you need, please.

Asking is difficult for me.

I take pride in doing things on my own. As a result, I often either reinvent the wheel or miss out on opportunities.

Learning how to ask, wherever you are in an organization or community, is powerful because it both tells someone what you need and allows someone to help you.  They feel connected to you, and you, in turn, feel connected to the work you are doing. 

Human beings are social animals.

Below is an exercise that will help you with getting used to asking.

Weekly Exercise:

  • Write down five questions you want to ask someone (a boss, co-worker, significant other).
  • Pick three of them.
  • Choose a day on the calendar that week and ask away.

This exercise goes further than the superficial, allows you to pick what is contextually important, it digs into your thinking, and most importantly, it allows you to ritualize asking the asking of questions.

The normal result is often that people are often on your side and what to help you succeed.

Don’t miss out.

@GaryVee Led Me To Snapchat and I Realized Something

My natural inclination was to stay away for social media

For most of my life, I thought social media apps were time sinks (or wastes of time), where when I engaged, I felt like I didn’t connect with my greatest moments. Even worse, the social media stuff was boring.

If you look at my Instagram before 2016, it’s horrific. There is a ton of emptiness, and the pictures that do exist are a horrible snap shot of my life. It is a mix of me trying “artistic” shots and wondering why the app existed – and then it becomes nothing.

If you looked at my other social media outlets, it’s more of the same. There is no consistency, there is no story. In fact, instead of me reaching out and trying to connect, most of my posts are me being someone I am not.

Another part of the Dayjob

A photo posted by Adam Thomas (@thehonorableat) on


What does this even mean?

Changes…Changes…

In 2014, I read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, and I got introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk. At first, I thought, what a loud brash guy, but he was a Jets fan.

 I thought I understood the book, but it took almost a year for it to snap into focus.

What I didn’t see is that social is about connection. The apps don’t exist to show off my life, they are there to allow connection at scale.

But I still didn’t get this yet. It took some time, and I had to get obsessed.

So what did I do

Of course I went all in, signed up for his YouTube, and got into his other keynotes, mining for information.

I heard him talking about Snapchat, and raving about it. So like most people, I went ahead and gave it a spin.

I found it boring.

I realized the boring came because most people are awful at it.

All sunshine and rainbows

People use “the snap” for things that are better suited for other networks.

I don’t think Snapchat is for that. The value add that comes from Snapchat is impromptu connection.

It is connection, through the randomness of life. It is learning through doing. Snapchat wins for the content creator because it gives us a view on what you do, honestly, in bite sized chunks. The shortness of the snap, the chance that you might miss it, having double opt ins, all mean that you have to want the material, and you have to digest it.

This is the greatest move in gaining attention in the moment.

The best people I see using the service do so in a candid way. You put a piece of yourself out there, and it opens the door for honest conversation. It’s why when you answer a snap, you find the conversation going in a million places.  You get more from adding and getting than you do from subtracting and synthesising.

So, if you want a service that builds on you talking about your day, about connecting with important work, about getting to know people, Snapchat is your deal. It is a place for real insight.

Find me there , @thehonorableAT, and be ready for a message. I love interacting, and talking back 🙂

Life As Usual Video Blog #8 – New Years Resolution

Every week I do a video blog (of VLOG). This week I talked about New Years Resolution.

When I started this,  I was very scared of putting myself on video, so I got the courage and put myself in the arena, killing a lot of bad self talk.This gives me the chance to work on my communication skills, start a new medium, and experiment!

Once a week, after I have thought about them, I will give them a day here on the blog.

These aren’t just promotion posts (although they are, please watch and share :-) ) I want to take the time to break them down and try to clarify what I want to communicate and the tactical things I learned through doing.

If you enjoyed the video, and if you want to get on the ride, please,subscribe to the YouTube channel, and join the Facebook page where they post every Sunday night.

What I Wanted To Communicate About New Years Resolution

Resolutions are tough to deal with because they usually are a binary proposition, meaning that it’s an easy way to avoid them, so I prescribe something different for 2016

  • Big Themes – A strategic look at your year. What are some of the big themes or traits that you want to improve. The bigger the better, they should cover a lot of ground.
  • Small Milestones – These are the tactical things to tackle. Attach them to the themes. “Going to sleep earlier” is something that attached to a theme of “get healthier”.  Themes don’t change but milestones do.

What I Learned Doing This Video

  • Getting easier to talk in controlled bursts. The first few videos had some odd breaks, but now I’m getting used to talking “within the margins”
  • Cutting the before video after felt a lot better.

If you enjoyed the video, and if you want to get on the ride, please, subscribe to the YouTube Channel, and join the Facebook page where they post every Sunday night.

My Wallet and My Fears

No wallet lessons:

  • It is easy to go on a tangent when you have options. If I have no money and no options, I go directly to the place where I need to go. If it isn’t in the plan there is no reason.
    • Takeaway: Plan out my day and don’t leave an escape route.
  • If something feels remotely difficult, I try to escape mentally by buying something. I don’t think about these things after I buy them.
    • Takeaway: If I want to buy something, think about it for a while. Take a second every month to look at my purchases, be aware of the things I don’t use and spend.

Publicising lessons:

  • It is hard work. I couldn’t jut wing it. Doing it properly took some time. There are tools to help this process.
    • Takeaway: Dedicate time to it like I do with this blog. I can’t wing something like that and expect results. I can use tools like Buffer to get results.
  • Fear is at the heart of not doing anything when it comes to making things public. Being scared is part of the game, and it comes in many forms.
    • Takeaway: Make taking things public a part of my routine. Not just with twitter, but with Facebook, Instagram, and a mailing list.

No Wallet and You Need To See This

[bctt tweet=”Two should do, and I feel very nervous. Good sign. “]

Some risks I am looking at this week.

  • No Wallet – I spend money on things I don’t need to. I think this is something all of us are guilty of. One thing I learned last week is that taking something away makes it easier to follow through because – well, its forced So below three to-dos.
    • I will take my wallet out of my pocket and leave it on my bed.
    • I will take an exact amount of money for the purchases I need to make  with 20 dollars slack (this will be 20 for the week, so anything I spend comes out of that 20)
    • Forced to use my calendar, no surprises – I can’t afford it.
  • Publicizing – I don’t push this blog. What happens if I push this. Will people hate it? Will people love it? Will people not care (which is what scares me most of all). I won’t know unless I do it.
    • Email List – I have emails, time to start sending a product out.
    • Syndication – Sending out articles for guest posting!
    • Social Channels – Invest in using services like buffer to post on my social media network

Two should do, and I feel very nervous. Good sign.

Communication is Key

Communication is key.

Yet it is something that I struggle with.

There is something about communication that is a struggle with me. It has effected me in everything that I do – comedy, work, life and I really want to put an end to it.

Lack of communication skills is the start of a cycle that creates an environment of distrust and ends with me self sabotaging to the point where I think the world is fighting against me – when in reality in fear, I have made a mistake and haven’t put in the time to build a relationship with those who want with me.

I am going to try to open the bridges and see what floods in.

Impostor Syndrome

Internally, self promotion feels like a scam.

Our self esteem comes into play for this. Self Impostor syndrom seems to run rampant.

How do they think I am ______ don’t they know I am only me?

We then look at others that are at our level – or around us and see them doing it. We take the impostor syndrome and use that inward anger outward.

”________ is such a phony – always on Facebook and Twitter acting like they are successful”

The problem is that with that you cast away your own successes. No one is going to treat you like a professional if you don’t treat your self like one.

In short – “keeping it real” is a great way to keep yourself in a cubicle.

Further Reading

Impostor Syndrome