That’s Remarkable

Remarkable is what you make it

I just got a Facebook notification that my friend Ara Gureghian is having a birthday this week.  Nothing remarkable in that, right?  I think he’s 64.  Two years older than I am.

Well, let me tell you a little about friend Ara and Spirit, his doggie.  They don’t own a house.  They don’t own a car.  They travel about the US in a vintage BMW motorcycle with a side car (where Spirit rides).  Have been doing so for a number of years now, at least 8.  Warmed by the sun and washed by the rain.  That’s remarkable, right?

Well, pretty remarkable, I admit.  But that isn’t the rest of the story…

The Vagabond Lifestyle

Ara isn’t a rich man (at least not money rich, he is wealthy beyond all counting in some ways).  He came to a crisis point in his life some years ago, and decided he needed to go see.  He quit his job as an executive chef, went to the pound and found Spirit, bought the Beemer and headed out.  And stayed out.  That’s remarkable.

Well, but wait.  After a time the money that he’d had from the sale of his house was running low, so he decided to sell some photographs that he’d taken on the ride.  To who?  And how?  So he fired up his laptop, and started marketing his photographs.  He became an internet marketer, because he had to.  And he learned how to market his photos and himself.  By himself, while living in a tent.

Diversification is Key

Also turns out he could cook a little.  (Remember the executive chef part above??)  And it occurred to him that maybe others would like to know some of the secrets he had learned over the years for cooking without refrigeration.  Sold a few recipes and cookbooks, too.  Remarkable.

The last time I saw Ara was at a huge off road production where he was giving classes on how to cook and survive without refrigeration.  For pay.  Honda provided him with a 4×4 and a trailer to haul the bike.  He uses it today when he has to go to a show or other sponsored event.

He’s done all this by branding himself, and being himself.  He learned internet marketing to the extreme, and all of this done while living in a tent on the road.  Always the road.

What holds YOU back?

So what was it you were saying that is holding you back?  Lack of money?  House is too noisy?  Dog needs to be walked?  What?

Just do it like you needed to do it.  That’s remarkable.

I’m just sayin’

Want to know more about one of the coolest people that I have ever met?  Ara’s website is:  http://theoasisofmysoul.com/  It’s spectacular.  The posts and photographs are first rate!

 

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The Currency of Thank You

Thank You!

Those two small words hold great power, especially for anyone in business, on line or off.

Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a best seller (The Thank You Economy) about the power of those two small words.  It’s a very good read, and full of ideas that will improve your business, no matter what business that is.

When Thank You is Appropriate

Thank You is appropriate in almost any situation.  Let’s say you sell someone a cup of coffee, thank you is a perfect way to close the transaction.  Say someone refills your cup of coffee, thank you for service rendered is always appropriate.

What if someone points out a spelling or grammar error in your latest blog post?  Or if someone gives you a tip or hint online?  Retweets you?  Mentions your business on Facebook or a blog?  Thank You is particularly welcome in these situations, because most won’t thank you.

When Thank You is NOT Appropriate:

Never.  Thank you is always appropriate.

The Payoff

You know there has to be a payoff, right?  Else why would anyone take the time to thank another?  (Except for the courtesy that some of us learned under the lash of autocratic parents).

There is a payoff for you and your business, and it can manifest itself in various ways.  Just making a customer smile should be payment enough, but it can lead to a customer becoming a raving fan who tweets and promotes your product.  It can lead to repeat business (the very best kind).  It can (and does) lead to increased self esteem.  I always feel better when I say Thank You.

So, if thank you is such a powerful tool, why doesn’t everybody say it and use it and mean it?  There IS the question of the day.  What can possibly be lost for thanking another?  I know of nothing.

Hint:

If you are too busy to say “thank you” every time someone does something for you, you have too much stuff going on in your life.  Dump some.  It will make you and everybody around you much happier!

I thank you sincerely for taking the time out of your busy life to read my blog post today.

I’m just sayin’

 

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Fear of Failure

Five Reasons Why I Fear Failure

There is no doubt about it, fear of failure can paralyze me as surely as anything.  I can sometimes stare a possible success right in the eye and refuse to pull the trigger on it.  Fear of failure is the only culprit.  Why?

1:  Fear of loss.  I don’t have all that much, but I definitely don’t want to lose it.  None of it.  I worked hard for it, I want to keep it.  Well, maybe I didn’t work all that hard, but it’s still mine.

2:  Fear of making waves.  The boat is really running along pretty well, I don’t want to take a chance on tipping over or making waves.  Is it really running all that well?  Will a course change really hurt?

3:  Fear of being wierd.  I really don’t want to be all that different, really.  I just sort of want to blend in and go with the flow.  Really?  Exactly what in my past gives any indication that I might ‘fit in’ or ‘go with the flow’.

4:  Fear of ‘here we go again’.  I have some failures in my past, several fit into the ‘Epic’ category.  I just don’t want to be remembered as ‘that guy who couldn’t get it right’.  But, really, what is one more?

5:  Fear of ridicule:  I don’t want people to make fun of me and my history.  Yes, I’ve failed in the past, but I’ve had some successes, too.  But I am sure that they only remember the failures.  Really?  What makes me think that I am important enough for anybody to remember me and my life?

So you see, I have my reasons.  That they look a lot like excuses is beside the point, they are reasons.  I’d be a fool to even try again.

Remember the Mantra

I have a question I ask myself often enough that it has become a mantra for my life.  “What is the worst thing that can happen?”

Really?  Well, I could lose some stuff.  They have more stuff in the stuff store if I really need to replace it.  I could make waves, or be perceived as weird.  Maybe it’s time to embrace my weirdness and get on with it.  And at my age and stage in life, what is one more success or failure?  Just another part of me.  And get this, 115,000 people in Yuma don’t even know my name, let alone what I have done.

What is the Worst Thing?

I can learn something new, even if everything else goes South.  How bad can that be?

I’m just sayin’

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GAS Writing

Sonia Simone says GAS

Sonia Simone, co-founder and general Goddess over at Copyblogger was the featured writer for the weekly blog ‘How ___________ Writes’ by Kelton Reid at Copyblogger.  The article is right here, you can read it for yourself.

Her answer to the question “What Makes a Writer Great” includes the technical term G.A.S. “Give a Shit”.  I believe she is onto something.

Words you Write

If you don’t GAS about the words you are writing, you are just writing words.  I know that I don’t always hit a homer every time I write, but it’s not because I don’t care about the words, because I do.  I realize that I don’t always follow the rules of grammar, but there is usually a reason for that when I do (not).

Your Audience

If I don’t GAS about my readers, I just don’t GAS.  I truly write to express something that I think is important to my friends (both of them).  I write to make your life different and maybe better. Whether it is mistakes made, or success achieved, I want you to know that it is doable.  I care, therefore I write.

Your Topic

For me, this goes with out saying, but if you don’t GAS about your topic, you might as well be advertising shoes on the bargain table at the local WalMart.  Shure, the may look real good, and they might be enormously comfortable, but who really cares??  And NOBODY will give a rip in two weeks!   I just plain can’t write about stuff that I don’t care about.  The words just won’t come out of my fingers…

Your Business

So far, this has been all about writing, but I think the principle carries over to your business.  If you are just where you are to make money, if you don’t GAS about your business, it’ll never last.  Every business that has any sort of longevity and success will have an owner with GAS.  Guaranteed.

Your Life

If you don’t GAS, who will??  It’s that simple.

And in the End

GAS.  It’s the most important thing you will do today or tomorrow!

I’m just sayin’

 

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Parts and Particles

Parts and Particles of Posts

This is going to be sort of a fragmented post, I fear.  I have parts and particles swarming my head, and I have to sweep them out to make room for the other stuff.

Part A:

My partner, my friend, my I can say whatever is on my mind friend, Sunny Suggs wrote a very nice piece about me in her blog today.  Wonderful, right?  Well, I don’t take direct and public praise very well…never have.  So I don’t know quite how to respond to it.  In fact, I have no idea.  I was really hoping that writing this would give me the answer that I seek.  I guess I could just mumble Thank You and let it go at that…Doesn’t seem adequate.

Part B:  Insert into part A

The TimTech Epic Badge Hunt goes well, as does our website/blog that is dedicated to the hunt.  It has been a real treat for me to watch Sunny do her thing, and do it fast.  I had no clue just how capable she is.  I’m am essentially a plodder.  I just keep slugging along until I get to the end, while Sunny can make really cool stuff happen really quick.  Pretty good ham and eggs combination, I think.  It’s sure been good for me.

Particle 1

Seth Godin published his 5000th blog post yesterday.  I don’t know if you have any concept of how difficult that number would be to obtain, but I do.  If I keep going on my present schedule, I would get to that number sometime in 2028.  It’s not happening.

Particle 2:  Looks like particle 1

I tried to articulate how much I like Mr. Godin’s writing and why.  There are several reasons, but the biggest for me is that he makes me think.  Everyday.  Every single day.  Even on a day when he is not right at the pinnacle of his craft he is still mighty good.  And a threat to take it out of the park daily, and back to back to back to…

So I suggest Seth Godin’s blog in the highest possible terms.  It’s a daily asset, no matter what business you are in…I sit here wishing I could make it sound better, to really express how I feel.  But it’s like trying to describe an Opera to a completely deaf person.  I just can’t do it justice.

And in the End

If you stuck with me all the way to the end, Thank You.  I don’t think this is a particularly good bit of writing, but it was what I had to write to get to the good stuff underneath.

I’m just sayin’

 

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BT Awards Winners

And The Winners Are

These awards are completely subjective, and represent my opinion only.

New Face:

Janelle Pineau:  Janelle is tough and resilient.  I think she’s going to be a star in this industry.

Not so New Face:

TE Division:  Eric Goettman.  Wildly creative, wacky sense of humor, tireless, relentless.  The absolute real deal.

Open Division:  Marian Gurowicz.  Look around.  You’ll see Marian.  Great video ads, great logo and personal branding, great webinar presentations.

New Traffic Exchange:

TERL (Traffic Exchange Racing League)  Robert Arnold has it going.  A smooth and polished site with a unique twist.

Traffic Exchange:

Team Division (more than one):  Traffic Swirl, John Bell.  Another relentless innovator in the business, John does everything well.  Tough competition just seems to make him better.

Solo Division:  Social Surf 4 U, Barry Langdon.  Another tough division, and Barry has distinguished himself in it.  He makes his own mods that make his site very pleasant.

Best ReMade TE:  Ninja Surf, The Legacy Team.  Completely turned around a listless TE, making it a vibrant and pleasant place to surf and advertise!

Best New Mailer:

List Viral, Matt Baker.  The first non TimTech site on the proprietary Core script is a runaway hit.  Just a great new mailer.

Best Mailer:

List Nerds, TimTech.  LN qualified in the ‘New Division’ less than 6 months old, and is the new standard in the industry.  A mailer done absolutely right!

Best New Product:

Sweeva Tips, Sunny Suggs.  Sunny has just crushed the market lately, and this may be her best.  EVERYTHING you need to know about Sweeva!

Best Market Related Product:

Click Track Profit, TimTech.  The industry standard just keeps getting better.  3 years old, bigger and better than ever, a terrific product.

They they are the winners of the coveted BT Awards.  If you put serious pressure on me, I’ll email you a ‘suitable for framing’ certificate.  When I get around to it.

I’m just sayin’

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