Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield and the Power of Unplugged

An Unplugged Mind is an Open Mind.

I don’t unplug very often.

Whether that’s healthy or not, it’s true.

I check my email way too much…

I check my Twitter @replies way too much…

I check Facebook and Google+ and Blog Comments way too much…

I’m always plugged in.

I check on my phone and on my computer at home and my computer at work…

I’m always plugged in.

I check on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… and Friday… and Saturday… and even Sunday.

I’m always plugged in.

Blogging Becoming Work

Over the last few months I’ve been producing some of my best content.  I’ve found my Voice.  I’m focused on Awesome and Value and You and when I’m not thinking about selling insurance my mind is laser focused on creating content for this blog.

I’m a happy blogger or at least I thought I was.

Lately it’s starting to feel like work…

Work I love… Work I want to do… Work I’m willing to lose sleep over… But work.

I don’t want my blogging to be work.

I want my blog to be Inspiration and Value and Relationships and Success and Being Awesome.

This is Content Warfare!

I didn’t have writers block…

I didn’t lack for content ideas…

I wasn’t struggling with traffic…

I wasn’t having design issues…

My problem was simple and solvable.

I hadn’t unplugged for over a year.

A year…

A year…

I hadn’t unplugged for over a year…

Ryan Hanley Unplugged

I returned from vacation two days ago… I had been unplugged for all five days I was away.  No Internet… No cell phone… No text message… No Facebook…


Ryan Hanley Unplugged…

It was freaking AMAZING…

Just my wickedly lovely wife,  my kindle, a frozen adult beverage and the soothing sound of rolling Caribbean waves kissing white sand beaches.

Heaven on earth.

No phone calls… No voicemails… No emails… No Facebook updates… No comments to reply to…


I literally felt my body and mind unwind.

I felt it.

The Noise

I read a lot of blogs.  I have over 40 blogs in my Google RSS reader and I probably receive another ten or so by email and that’s not counting the blogs that I run into through social media shares and blog commentors…

At a certain point the good intention of consuming the content of thought-leaders just becomes noise.

Now we should be focusing on which social network?

What’s that new SEO technique?

How should I tweak my blog design?

What’s the name of that new must have plugin?

It’s noise.

It’s awesome important content that very talented people spent good time creating…

…but stuffed together, it’s noise.

An Unplugged Open Mind

Being that I don’t unplug very often, I decided to fill my unplugged open mind with the thoughts and ideas of two men I respect and admire and two books I’ve had on my wishlist for a long time.

Poke the Box by Seth Godin

Poke the Box by Seth Godin

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

I read them in that order as well, Poke the Box then The War of Art, completely by coincidence but I’m so glad I did.

The best part of being unplugged is a completely open mind…

At a rock concert, the message contained within these two books would be powerful, but on a beach, unplugged, able to focus completely on the words…

Well in that arena the ideas can change you as a person.

Seth Godin & Steven Pressfield on my Kindle

So like I said I started with Poke the Box… Being a huge Seth Godin fan (as so many are) I knew I was in for a treat but I didn’t realize quite how timely or provocative a piece of work I had chosen for my current situation in life.

Poke the Box is about Starting.

It’s about initiating… It’s about the hardest part of being success in any venture, let alone Online.

The first step.

With the different things I’m trying to do in my life I needed the “Stop Planning” kick-in-the-ass…

I highlighted 28 passages from Poke the Box on my kindle… Below are my five favorite:

Powerful stuff…

By the time I’d finished Poke the Box my brain was spinning and an insatiable desire for more had taken it’s grip upon me… Then came The War of Art.

The War of Art is about Overcoming Resistance. 

Resistance is the equal and opposite force to starting.

Resistance is what keeps us from integrating content marketing into our small business.

Resistance is what whispers in our ear that no one cares about our blog.

Resistance is why we “Work only on referrals…”

Resistance is the fear that lives inside us all helping us to NOT become what we were meant to be.

Was I created to sell insurance policies or help revolutionize the way an industry tells their story of value online?

Pressfield is epic and my unplugged mind was every bit tapped into his stream of consciousness

This is what I took from The War of Art:

More answers… more questions.

The Rub

I know this post isn’t a How-to or List of Steps to move your Online business forward…

I wanted to show you that I struggle too.

We all struggle…

…and we all struggle with the same things.

For what it’s worth and for as much as you’re personally able, I encourage you to unplug, clear your mind and focus on taking the first step towards the success you desire.

I think that Poke the Box by Seth Godin and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield are great guides and will be well worth any time you spend reading them.

But the power is in being unplugged.

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley

SPEAK YOUR MIND: What will be your first step? How do you unplug? Where do you turn for inspiration?