Interview with JK Allen
This killer interview is with JK Allen, the creative genius behind The Hustlers notebook. This was a great interview and I want to thank JK for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. Be sure to visit his blog and check him out on Twitter.
What made you get into blogging?
I got into blogging to utilize this platform as a way to share some of my life experiences – in hopes to be of value to others. Prior to starting my own blog, I was oblivious to anything about blogging. This being the case I had a slow start; which ended up being perfect for me because I was able to take my time and learn the ropes.
To you, what does it mean to be a hustler?
Being a hustler is about taking personal accountability for the results one is after in life. It’s not about hoping for luck; it’s about manufacturing luck. It’s a matter of being a predator over success; not it’s pray. Hustler’s don’t sit around and wait for success to find us, we go out and get it.
The reason this methodology isn’t very appealing to some is because it’s all action based. It’s all about taking ownership. With this type of approach, the blame is all on you. And to be honest, sometimes that’s hard to stomach. It’s hard to admit that you’re the culprit of your own poor results. It’s much easier to blame it on something or someone else.
But a hustler knows that she reaps what she sows.
How have you used the hustlers mind set in your professional life?
Well, it’s the foundation of how I think about things. I’m very responsible and take complete ownership in my responsibilities. That immediately puts me in a league amongst a small population. While many sit around complaining and exhausting their energy while trying to figure out how to do the minimum, I try to do as much as I can in as short amount of time as I can do it.
Being a hustler is all about being personally accountable. So on a professional level, I honor my work like it’s my own. I approach my work as an employee, as an entrepreneur approaches her business – taking complete ownership. This mindset has gotten me incredible results.
In today’s social media society, it’s important as ever to market (or brand) yourself. You talk about self branding extensively in your blog, how have you been able to market yourself and what tips would you give someone who wants to market themselves?
When it comes to personal branding, I think that it’s some times confused. Some tend to think that it’s about displaying themselves in the light that they think others want to see them…and I think that’s a terrible approach. Personal branding, at its best, is when you are able to showcase who you are, from the imperfections to the most glaring strengths. It’s the dynamic of one’s total personality that makes them truly unique.
When marketing yourself it’s imperative to remember that all people are imperfect so they unfairly make judgments on you. In my situations, these judgments lead to inaccurate misconceptions. Knowing this, it’s important to pay attention to the way you carry yourself (dress, speak, conversation, etc.)
In your “Being the standard and creating a lasting impression” blog post, you explain your experience with a former client (job). How exactly did you go about creating that impression or did it just happen as a result of doing what you needed to do to be successful?
It’s my mission to not only be a part of the bunch…but to lead it and help others along the way. Doing so has proved to be the best way (for me) to advance professionally. I seek to be the person that creates the basis of judgement for others without being cunning. Strategically, this just makes sense all over the board.
To me, The Hustler’s Notebook is a success based on the amount of engagements on and the value of your content. When you first started your blog, did you expect to have so many people engage your content?
Well, yes and no. I say yes only because when I started blogging I didn’t really realize what blogging was. I thought I would write something and people would read it (engage). Little did I know that you needed an audience…which isn’t easy to acquire. I thought the audience automatically appeared…but it didn’t!
I’m very honored that so many people take the time to interact at my blog. I take it as a testament to being honest and being myself. I don’t put on a show to look good or bad – I just write from the heart as much as I can, and try to avoid writing from my mind as much as I can. My mind tends to want to sound smart and witty. My heart knows my purpose and keeps me grounded and focused on writing with the mission to be of value to others.
In terms of what you blog about, what have you found to be key successes in 1) creating a lasting impression in the blogosphere, and 2) making your content engageable?
For me, creating a lasting impression in the blogosphere comes down to being unique. The blogosphere is a big space filled with a lot of the same stuff. Not saying it’s all bad – but a lot of it is the same. I don’t know if it’s just the way I read some things; but sometimes I feel like the same messages are being said over and over and over, with the same tone and standpoint. I think when one is willing to just be who they are; unique (everyone is), then they standout a little more than others because it’s not the norm in the blogosphere.
I think engageable content is a matter of writing from a perspective of experience. When you write from the angle naturally, credibility is established because you are sharing your personal experience on the subject. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to be an expert or have a positive or popular outlook on something. Simply sharing how you feel – good, bad or ugly – makes people want to engage so they can share how they feel.
One more thing I’d like to mention is allowing content to come to you, instead of forcing it. One way to do this is to throw out blog posting schedules and write from a place of inspiration, rather than a place scheduled obligation. This of course has everything to do with the purpose and niche of one’s blog.
If you had to give 1 ultimate tip to someone just entering their professional life, what would it be?
My tip would be to keep in mind that you own your own results. Knowing this hopefully keeps you motivated; motivated to work as hard as you can with the intention of earning as much as you can or maximizing whatever it is that you work for.
There you have it, another great interview. I learned a lot in such a short time period, how about you?