Not Taught: How To Be Wildly Successful In The 21st Centry

Not Taught: How To Be Wildly Successful In The 21st Centry

The advent of digital connectivity and social media have changed the world in unimaginable ways. Cultural norms, business practices, social interactions, and the rules to success have all drastically shifted and been reformed to fit the information age; the challenge is that few are talking about how to thrive in world where change is the only constant.

On December 22nd 2015, Fanatics Media CEO Mark Fidelman sought to help remedy this issue by sitting down via with Jim Keenan, the author of the book “Not Taught: What It Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody’s Teaching You”. The two powerhouse business pros helped spread the message about how to succeed in today’s world. Check out their wonderfully rich conversation in its entirety below:

Jim Keenan is the CEO of A Sales Guy Inc., a sales consultation company dead-set on helping organizations achieve their goals. Jim is also a Forbes columnist and a social juggernaut. Throughout his twenty year career in sales, Keenan has earned major accolades and awards including recognition as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing People by Top Sales World Magazine in 2012 and 2013 as well as one of the Top 30 Social Sellers in the World.

Check out some of the greatest moments from Jim and Mark’s conversation:

Question #1: Why Did You Write This Book?


“We transitioned from the industrial age to the information age and anytime you have a major societal shift like that the rules to participating, functioning, and playing in that new world change from the old world.”

Jim’s book came into being when a friend asked him to speak to a class at University of Denver about what to expect after graduation. This question forced him to examine the business world the graduates were heading into and he realized just how much it had changed. In turn, he also recognized that most college grads were not being taught about this massive changes the work world had recently taken on. So he felt compelled to spread the good word.


Do you think universities are teaching Millennials all these new rules for this information age?


While he has not extensively researched every schools’ practices and curriculum, he gave a firm no to the question. He has simply not found any social programs, branding programs, reach programs, or related materials based today’s modern business tactics.

Question #2: What Makes You Qualified To Be The One To Write This Book?


He felt qualified because he lived it. Jim originally started a blog in 2009 about sales because his career had moved so incredibly fast; in just three years he went from selling $500 memberships to a chamber to running a $300 million business. But when it came to competing with his peers for jobs, he still could not hang due to his colleague’s possessing many years more experience.

Because of this Jim started blogging about the trials and tribulations of running and growing a sales team. He figured by doing this, if he ever needed a job again he could put the word out through his blog and find one in a flash. Then he started to gain tens of thousands of readers per month, many of whom reached out to him for assistance. And so a consultant was born.

Question #3: Do You See a Potential Issue with More People Gaining Popularity Online and the Digital Space Getting Too Noisy? How Will We Rise Above that Noise?


“It’s going to get noisy in your space, but it’s still not that noisy so get out and own your space.”

Jim understands that the digital noise ahead is inevitable, however, that point is irrelevant. What matters is that people get out there, carve out their niche, and get found online. While this may become difficult, “Crowded or not, you have to fight in this space because the alternative is death.”


How do people learn to become interesting to compete in this space?


“What’s most important is your ability to educate, to teach, to challenge, to inspire. You don’t need to be some giant personality to do that. What you need to do is be an expert.”

He reflected that personality is the not most important factor to success, but the ability to provide people with stellar material is. In the age of information people want to learn, so no matter your niche, if you begin to teach people and show them how great you are at your craft, others will begin to follow.

Question #4: How Do You Create Reach So That Others Can Find and Follow You?


“Give and create content. The rest will take care of itself.”

Your first step to building reach is to create content. While many believe you need a website to build reach, Jim disagreed by saying, “You don’t need a website but you need a web presence.” That can be a full-blown website or simply just social media accounts through Facebook, Blab, or whatever else; the most important part is that your presence be dynamic. This creates a portal for people to revisit and constantly gain new information. Additionally, people must have a “give attitude” and share materials from other influencers in their space. Through this distribution of content and sharing of others, people will find you little by little and reach will come as a natural byproduct.


How do you determine what channels people should be building their reach on?


I don’t think the medium matters as much as your ability to leverage that medium and crush it for you.”

Most all major platforms have enormous audiences so the platform does not matter as much as your particular skill set. Start by asking yourself, “What are you best prepared to leverage?” If you are articulate and good-looking, go with YouTube or Blab. If you have a great voice but feel uncomfortable in front of a camera, do a podcast. If you have an affinity for the written word, start a blog. Assess your skills and determine what method suits you best.


How long does it take to build reach?


“It takes forever and that’s what’s interesting to me about the 21st century. This is not something you start and say ‘Oh look, I’ve got it’ and you end it.”

People need to be on various social channels and never stop sharing; the moment the content flow stops is the moment people drift into irrelevance. Two keys elements of this are consistency and frequency. As Jim put it, “Consistency builds the audience over time. Frequency accelerates it.”

Question #5: What Examples of Converting Reach into Dollars Can You Share?


In his book, Jim references Chris Brogan, who started his blog in 1999; he is now one of the most well-known social media small business celebrities on the planet. Jim also mention that he references Mark Fidelman himself. Jim shared that, “The idea is, ‘do you provide valuable information that helps people do their job better or get whatever it is out of life that you’re saying you can help with?’” Through creating reach individuals create a better path to success because, “Reach is influence.”


How do you know that you are heading in the right direction when building reach?


He simply started tracking the amount of visitors to his blog; while these numbers do not necessarily translate to engagement, if the numbers were going up (which they were), the trend is going in the right direction.

The next step was tracking Twitter mentions; were people tweeting him and tracking his RSS feed? The last piece to the puzzle was seeing if he was gaining access to influencers. If he did have access to some of these individuals that meant that his reach was becoming more substantial.

Question #6: What Are the Top 3 Things People Will Learn From Reading Your Book?


The first thing is that too many people have a reinforced idea of what it takes to be successful; this paradigm is now irrelevant and the book will help people to understand how the world has changed and how to leverage it to succeed.

The second thing is for personal development. If you seek to get better at whatever you do, this book will help you improve.

The last reason why Jim want people to read his book is, “Because I told you so. Because you want to be at the cool kids’ table.”

So many more incredible insights about today’s business world, social media, and how you can leverage both can be gained from checking out the full replay.

Think you’re ready to build up your social clout and break through the digital noise? Give us a call at 760-262-4252 or send an email to and we can help you do exactly that.

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