AXS CEO Troy McClain Gives Tips on How To Produce High Volume Content

I recently had a sit down with AXS CEO Troy McClain at his office in Boise Idaho. This dynamic leader, philanthropist, motivational speaker and business consultant shared some insights into just how he produces so much content and copy.jmttolw2

Troy says:

Over the years, people have asked me how I have been able to produce so many articles and major events in such a short period of time. In a recent interview on KTVB, they referred to my office and lifestyle as going 100 miles an hour.  We know how to burst out of the starting gate and make things happen. Our team has mastered the power of execution.

You might think that such a method must cause a lot of “mistakes.” I don’t believe in that word. However, sometimes we take a more difficult path. The next time we’ll take a less difficult path. Our outcomes are always good. Each has inherent value that is passed on to the next phase in the journey.

While we take massive and immediate action, this is not suggesting impulsiveness, poor planning or rash decisions. Troy said.

He shared an article by Brian Tracy, which offers great suggestions to find balance: “8 Task Management Tips To Stop Procrastinating And Get More Done.” Here are some of his words on the topic:

Get Things Done By Thinking On Paper:  List every step of the job in advance. Break the job down into its constituent parts before you begin. Simply writing out every detail and thoroughly preparing in advance will help you to stop procrastinating.

Come Fully Prepared: When you sit down to work or to begin a task, make sure that you have everything on hand so that you won’t have to get up or move until the task is done. Being fully prepared is a powerful motivator for staying with the task until it is finished.

“Salami Slice’’ The Task: Just as you would never try to eat a whole loaf of salami at once, don’t try to take on all of a job from the start. Sometimes the best way to stop procrastinating and complete a major job is to take a small slice and complete just that piece, just as you would take a single slice of salami and eat it.

Act now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Acquire a Chief Aim, focus on it, and use the Law of Attraction.  It’s the secret that Napoleon Hill shared in The Law of Success.  Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein … every super successful person in history has utilized such techniques.  

Robert Plant Testifies About Writing “Stairway to Heaven”: “Jimmy Page and I Sat by the Fire”

This article from Guitar World has some fascinating and profound implications for copyrights, law suits and intellectual property. It is the kind of scenario that every content creator should be aware of.

EXCERPT:  Robert Plant …800px-Led_Zeppelin_2007 took the stand Tuesday, June 21, at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Los Angeles, becoming the last surviving member of Led Zeppelin to testify in the trial to determine whether the band plagiarized the 1968 Spirit song “Taurus.”

… Plant recalled for the court how he and Page had worked on “Stairway to Heaven” at Headley Grange, a former poorhouse in Hampshire, England where the band rehearsed and recorded some of their early tracks. His testimony provided a glimpse into the early stages of the song, when Page first played for him its opening passage, a descending arpeggiated chromatic line that the plaintiff, Michael Skidmore, believes is copied from “Taurus.”

“One evening, Jimmy Page and I sat by the fire going over bits and pieces,” Plant said, explaining that he would go off alone to his room with a notepad to develop the melody and lyrics. He testified that he had been working on a couplet of “the natural, old, almost unspoken” culture of the Welsh countryside. “It seemed like a good fit for the song,” he said.


PHOTO: A reunited Led Zeppelin in December 2007 at The O2 in London for the Ahmet Ertegün tribute show. From left to right: John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page. On drums is Jason Bonham, the son of the deceased John Bonham.   CREDIT: By p_a_h from United Kingdom –, CC BY 2.0,


Examining Your Heart’s Desires: What Do You Really and Truly Want?

maryI absolutely love this article by Dr. Mary Pritchard, my colleague at Boise State University. While this classic piece is written for women it has profound lessons for anyone who seeks empowerment. – Michael

Mary writes:

I work with both private clients and clients in my group coaching programs on the topic of clearing out blocks so you can manifest your heart’s desires. One of the biggest struggles I see women in my tribe going through isn’t the manifestation itself: it’s figuring out what they want to manifest in the first place and believing they are worthy enough to have it.
When I first start private coaching with a client, I often ask: What do you want in your [insert area of life we are working on: romantic relationships, career, spirituality, creativity, etc.]. The most frequent response? Silence. Followed by an awkward: “I don’t really know, no one has ever asked me that question before.”
Ladies, let’s get something clear: you are allowed to have desires. You are allowed to have what you want in life. If you feel you to need to ask for permission, let me go ahead and give it to you.
I give you permission to ask for what you want and need in life and to receive it.

I get that this may be a scary thought for you. It took me 40 years to realize I needn’t ask for anyone’s permission to get my needs met. You see, I used to believe that if I longed for something or wanted something to be different in my life I was just being selfish or impractical. It never occurred to me that I might: 1) deserve to have my heart’s desires, and 2) be able to manifest them myself.
If you are struggling with the concept of manifestation, let’s start at the beginning.
The first step in manifesting your heart’s desire is figuring out what you want.

How do you do that? Let’s take your career as an example (but you can modify and apply these questions to any area of your life). Ask yourself:
How would I describe this area of my life to someone I just met?
What do I like about it?
What do I not like about it?
What do I wish was different about it?
What have I tried to address this issue or problem solve around the things I don’t like?
If I could throw it all away and start over tomorrow, what would I keep? Why?
What would I toss? Why?
What do I most enjoy doing (as it pertains to this aspect of your life)?
What do I least enjoy doing?
How much time do I spend on the tasks I enjoy?
What about the tasks I don’t enjoy? How much do they occupy my day?
My dream (no holds barred – dream big) around this area of my life is: _________?
So what do I really and truly want here?
Once you have your answers, take some time to reflect. What are your ahas about this area of your life? Is there something you can quickly and easily change to make things better? Are there things you can ultimately change, but may take a little longer and require a game plan? What steps can you take today, tomorrow, and the next day to create the change you desire? It’s time to make a plan because you deserve to have all of your heart’s desires.

5 Reasons Product Videos Will Increase Sales

by Michael Strickland

Recommended Reading

Sales increased by 216% after adding an introductory video, in a recent case study.

Further, a blog entry of shopify summarizes why sales videos are so effective:

1. Google Likes Video: Research shows that Google structures its search results to prioritize sites with video. Furthermore, because Google displays “blended search” results (a mix of video, image, news, maps, and other mediums in addition to regular search results), if you optimize your videos properly they’ll have a better chance of ranking well. Here are 2 easy ways to get your video to rank higher in Google:

YouTube is owned by Google, so it’s no surprise that most videos that rank well are hosted on YouTube. Host your video on YouTube and embed it on your site. For extra points, put your video on a page that has relevant keyword-rich text.
Use keywords in your video filename, title, description, and tags.

Here are some other tidbits from this great article:

2. People Share Video

Studies show that people are more likely to share videos over boring old text pages. Here at Shopify we’ve noticed that the videos we share on our company Facebook page often garner more attention than regular text posts. People are more inclined to click on a video thumbnail than something with no visual or multimedia element. To sweeten the deal, when people “like” or “share” a video link on Facebook, it automatically pops up on their wall for all to see. Bonus! Lastly, YouTube makes it really easy for other people to embed your video on their site.

Read the full story HERE.

Want a great sales video? Check with The Viewfinder LLC at

ViewFinder LLC

PHOTO CREDIT: Video Marketing: How To Produce Viral Films And Leverage Facebook, YouTube, Instagram And Twitter To Build A Massive Audience (Content Strategy, Video Marketing, Viral Marketing)


Writing About Motocross: Text and Video Covering AMSOIL Arenacross

by Michael Strickland

The competition has been exceptional to start AMSOIL Arenacross’ Race to the Championship, and after two rounds the most intense racing of the entire 2016 season has seen several title hopefuls make their presence known. That is why I was delighted when a friend of mine ask me to help her shoot video at the AMSOIL Arenacross Series coming Friday  4/22/16 at 7pm and Sat 4/23/16 at 5pm and 7pm to the For8c1fa7b6f6d29fc9fffefb9dcef59ec8d Idaho Center.

It occurred to me that the action of motocross would be a great topic to write about for my various platforms.

BUY TICKETS: AMSOIL Arenacross Tickets –‎

The supercross stars of tomorrow can be found today in the AMSOIL Arenacross Series, which attracts the best up-and-coming riders in the world, all set to prove they can make it to the top tier of the sport. Staged in intimate arena settings, arenacross tracks are among the tightest in the world, filled with difficult challenges, amazing airtime, intense speed and all the close-contact racing audiences expect.

The return of AMSOIL Arenacross to one of the country’s most scenic landscapes comes on the heels of a historic period for the sport, which recently hosted its first ever race at an outdoor venue. The Salinas Sports Complex on California’s central coast had the potential to be one of the most exciting races in AMSOIL Arenacross history and it didn’t disappoint, as weekend rains provided wet conditions that resulted in a battle of survival. The rider who made the least amount of mistakes was sure to emerge with a victory and when all was said and done TiLUBE/TUF Racing Honda’s Ben Lamay walked away with his first career overall victory in AMSOIL Arenacross.

While Lamay enjoyed the spoils of victory, Blose left Salinas with a smile on his face as well. The Race to the Championship leader ended up in a tie with Lamay for the overall win, but settled for second after a tiebreaker. As a result, he added to his lead in the championship standings and brings the momentum of his near-perfect start to the playoff into Tacoma. Blose has two overall wins and one runner-up finish in three Race to the Championship races and looks comfortable sitting atop the standings with the red number plate.

While Blose left Salinas with even more confidence, his Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki teammate Gavin Faith was left wondering what could have been. The top seed in the Race to the Championship has paced Blose every step of the way in the playoff and in Salinas it was clear that Faith was the rider to beat. After a win in the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge and a dominant ride to victory in the first Arenacross Class Main Event, Faith was comfortably out front in the final Main Event and looked to be on his way to a clean sweep of racing. A win in both Main Events would have given Faith the edge to move back atop the Race to the Championship standings, but a mistake late in the second Main Event put him on the ground and relegated him to a fifth-place result. His resiliency to soldier on after the crash allowed him to secure third overall, but in the big picture of the title fight Faith lost an additional point to his teammate.

The Team Babbitt’s duo has been exceptional to this point in the Race to the Championship and their consistency has been the key to establishing a little separation in the points. However, with Lamay’s big win, the strong efforts from his TUF Racing teammate Jace Owen, and the rock solid style of Jacob Hayes, any hiccup by Blose or Faith could open the door for one of these riders to close the gap. Thanks to its sprawling floor space, the Tacoma Dome will present a slightly larger, more unique track layout for the Race to the Championship competitors, which should result in another night of intense and unpredictable competition.

For the third consecutive race, the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class welcomed a first-time winner in Salinas. While many of his main rivals for the win encountered trouble in the wet conditions, DrivenMX/MEPMX KTM’s Jared Lesher focused on executing consistent laps and keeping his bike on two wheels. That focus and determination carried the up and coming rider from Georgia to the first win of his career. While Lesher savored his breakthrough achievement, points leader and TZR/Woodstock KTM’s rider Cody VanBuskirk added a little more distance to his competitors in the championship standings. Despite missing out on a podium result for the first time in five races, VanBuskirk’s still finished ahead of his challengers and now has a three-point lead over Team DirtBike Mike/KTM Sports Center of Little Rock KTM’s Ben Nelko, who finished sixth. Shawnee Motor Company/Justified Cultures KTM’s Cheyenne Harmon, who sits third in the championship standings, finished right behind VanBuskirk in fifth and sits 10 points out of the lead. Read more at

I am excited to write and help shoot this tremendous action!

Ticket Phone: (208) 442-3232
Price: $10-$35

Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet and other tips for writing fiction

by Michael Strickland

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. Stephen King

Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article. — Melissa Donovan.

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” — Neil Gaiman

“Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution.” — Michael Moorcock

Recommended Reading

“Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.” — Zadie Smith

Recommended Reading: Creative Writing – From Think To Ink: Learn How To Unleash Your Creative Self and Discover Why You Don’t Need 1000 Writing Prompts To Blast Away Your Writer’s Block and Improve Your Writing Skills by Simeon Lindstrom

“Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.” — Jonathan Franzen

“Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear).” — Diana Athill

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov

“Listen to the criticisms and preferences of your trusted ‘first readers.'” — Rose Tremain

“Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.” — Jonathan Franzen

“Don’t panic. Midway through writing a novel, I have regularly experienced moments of bowel-curdling terror, as I contemplate the drivel on the screen before me and see beyond it, in quick succession, the derisive reviews, the friends’ embarrassment, the failing career, the dwindling income, the repossessed house, the divorce . . . Working doggedly on through crises like these, however, has always got me there in the end. Leaving the desk for a while can help. Talking the problem through can help me recall what I was trying to achieve before I got stuck. Going for a long walk almost always gets me thinking about my manuscript in a slightly new way. And if all else fails, there’s prayer. St Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers, has often helped me out in a crisis. If you want to spread your net more widely, you could try appealing to Calliope, the muse of epic poetry, too.” — Sarah Waters

“In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.” — Rose Tremain

“Always carry a note-book. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” — Will Self

“It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.” — Jonathan Franzen

“The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply.” — Will Self

“Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!” — Joyce Carol Oates

“The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.” — Jonathan Franzen

“Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.” — Elmore Leonard

“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” — Neil Gaiman

“You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished.” — Will Self

“The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’” — Helen Simpson

“My first rule was given to me by TH White, author of The Sword in the Stone and other Arthurian fantasies and was: Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else from Bunyan to Byatt.” —Michael Moorcock

“Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.” — Zadie Smith