Friday, December 17, 2010

Farmville? Really?

I gotta tell you, I just don't get it! But the fact remains that 80 million...yes, that's 80 Million people are playing this silly game!

Click Here for Top Secret Guide!

At first, it's a fun little time waster....you start out with a bit of coin and you begin small and earn money to get bigger...it's a lot of fun, but the catch is you have to harvest in a timely manner or your crops go to waste....and there's the hook! Soon, you are pulling into an internet cafe while on vacation to harvest the virtual strawberries before they go bad!

My wife and I played this when it was originally called "Farmtown" and I gotta tell you, it was addictive! We would have to agree to harvest each other's crops and she would get upset if I didn't let her because she wasn't around when the crops were ready! LOL!

Ever a proponent of never doing things half-way, I just happened across this little guide full of secrets of how to be great at this game. I am blogging it just for some Christmas fun.

Enjoy!

Click Here for Top Secret Guide!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have you Seen the Flip Camera?

I have a confession to make. It's hard to admit it, but I need to just be honest and let everyone know this.

I am a gadget guy.

I was recently in the Toronto Airport on my way to another consulting gig, when I was picked to have my backpack invaded..ahem!...inspected. This young lady went through every pocket, crease and crevice...of the bag...and as she pulled out my camera, I-pod Touch, Livescribe Pen, Blackberry Storm, Portable external hard drive, Kindle, trackball mouse, and all of the connecting wires to go with all of these, she looked at me and, deadly serious now, said: You sure do have a lot of gadgets!"

Guilty!

But the coolest gadget in the bag was the newest addition: A Flip HD Video camera. Someone once said "Do one thing and do it better than anyone else." That's exactly what Cisco did with this puppy. It only takes HD video and you press one button to turn it on, one to start the video taking and the same button to stop it. It has a built in USB connection arm that springs out with a touch and plugs into your computer.

The on-board software loads up to your PC and you can download the video you have taken and capture stills, produce web-ready content with titles and music in seconds! Simply an elegant solution to doing what most people want to do today with their videos, especially for the web. And all in about a 4" by 2" by 1" package

Very cool gadget!

Now...how can I put this to good use?!?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Think You Can? Vash Young Did!


I am reading some good information about creating wealth and I ran across this article from Dr. Joe Vitale I thought I would share. Enjoy!

ATTRACT $175,000 TODAY
by: Dr. Joe Vitale

In 1931 Vash Young inherited a fortune. This was during the Great Depression in the USA when much of the country lost jobs, savings, hopes, dreams, and more. Young was so grateful for his inherited fortune that he spent his entire life sharing it.

Last week I inherited his fortune.

It was strange, unexpected, and yet incredible.

I didn’t know Young before last week, though I had heard of his fortune.

I never imagined he would pass it on to me.

I’m grateful for it, of course.

Who wouldn’t be?

And I’m now going to share that fortune with you.

Let me explain.

A friend of mine in the Miracles Coaching program told me about an old book he found that he thought I might like. But he couldn’t recall the title or author. He was obviously moved by the book. I’m a bookaholic, so I was interested, even without all the details. I asked him to send me the book’s info when he came across it. I didn’t think any more about it. But last week my friend sent me a package. Inside was the mysterious book. The title is A Fortune to Share. The author was Vash Young. I had never heard of the book or the author. Since I was busy with projects...and already had fifteen books to read either on my iPad or my desk, I just put the book aside. It would have to wait.


But the book wouldn’t wait.

Something about it called me to it. Maybe because the book was from 1931 and looked like a lost gem in self-help and self-improvement; maybe because I love success literature and this title seemed like it was from that category; maybe because I hoped the author had been a friend of a man I wrote about from that era, Bruce Barton, in my book The Seven Lost Secrets of Success; maybe because the author put a spell on the book. I don’t know. But before I knew it, everything else got pushed aside and I started reading A Fortune to Share.

Within minutes, I was captivated.


The book is written in the first person, with the author talking to me about his fortune and how it changed his life. The old Young of poverty and reckless living was gone; the new Young was now so rich that even the Great Depression couldn’t touch him.

His mission became the life-long quest to share his fortune with others.

I was riveted.

Young explained that you own a factory. Most of the time you make junk in that factory. As a result, no one buys from you. No wonder you were broke and struggling. No wonder life looked bleak. Your factory wasn’t producing what anyone wanted.

He went on to explain that the same factory could make gold.

Gold?

How?

In your mind.

In your mind!

As it turns out, the fortune Young inherited was the gold inside himself: his ability to control his thoughts, beliefs, moods, and attitude. He could let the factory of his mind create a life that was miserable, or he could take charge of that factory and get it producing new thoughts, beliefs, moods and attitude that he and others would want.

He inherited a mental fortune.

As long as Young accepted his fortune and shared it, everything he wanted would come his way, and without trying to make it happen.


Young literally did attract a financial fortune (he sold over $80,000,000 in life insurance) due to his discovery and his sharing. He went from a life of go-getting to a life of go-giving. (He later wrote a book titled The Go-Giver.) The more he gave, the more he attracted. His mission truly became one of sharing the mental fortune inside himself to awaken your own understanding that you have a mental fortune inside you, too.


While it’s easy to wish that Young’s fortune was all cash and he shared it by writing checks (which he often did, just not to you or me), what he actually gave us is something far more valuable: he pointed out you have a cash-making machine in your head.

In short, we attract “junk” when we think from selfishness and fear; we attract “gold” when we think and act with love. A Fortune to Share contains much more information, and many wonderful stories. It’s a hypnotic read. Breezy. Easy. Fast. It also delivers some unforgettable wisdom, such as:


“Any experience can be transformed into something of value.”

“Prosperity can not be built on fear!”

For a long time, Young would hold “Trouble Day” every Saturday. He would let anyone walk into his office, dump their troubles on him, and then Young would do his best to help the troubled soul with his philosophy, and often with money. In talking to an unemployed man one day, Young tells him, “You haven’t been unemployed all these months, you have been working for the wrong boss. You have been working for failure, discouragement, fear and worry and the sad part of it is that there has been no salary for your labors. You seem to be destitute, but I am going to tell you how to become rich overnight. I want you to deposit the following thoughts in your mental bank tonight: ‘I am not afraid – I am a success, not a failure – I have an inexhaustible supply of courage, energy, confidence and perseverance.’”

Young helps the man out with a suit of clothes and a little money, and reminds him to draw on his new mental bank account when he needs it.

Within a week, the man has a job he loves.

Young’s first book was so sincere, helpful and timely that it became a national bestseller. He followed it with several others (which I have yet to read but eagerly await), including The Go-Giver, Be Kind to Yourself, and Let’s Start Over Again. All were bestsellers. All were booster rockets for a weary country suffering during the Great Depression of the 1930s. When Young was in his seventies in 1959, he wrote a final book summing up his philosophy of life, called Fortunes For All.


I found Fortunes For All and read it. Loved it, too. On the cover the publisher says, “Let Vash Young show you that your mind is worth $175,000 or more!”

How can your mind bring you $175,000?

Here’s the secret:

Young explains that instead of asking, “How can we have more?” we should ask, “How can we be more?”

He then invites you to try an experiment:

“Go off by yourself with a pad and pencil and write out your own ticket for a happy and successful life. By that I mean put down all of the things you would like to have or be.” He adds, “After imagining every wish has been granted, then go one step further. Start in being the ideal person you think you would be if you had everything your way.”

Young’s philosophy of fortune basically said that once you began to be that happy, successful person now, then you would naturally attract all you wanted from the being. Sounds a whole lot like step four in my book, The Attractor Factor, and step five in my book Attract Money Now, where I suggest you “Nevillize” a goal to help bring it into reality. In other words, feel what it would be like to already have the thing you want or be the person you long to be. Feel it now.

But Young is also wanting you to be something greater than a satisfied person. He wants you to embody the traits of — dare I say it — God.
Decades ago in Houston I gave a talk where I encouraged people to think like God. I said God wouldn’t think in terms of lack and limitation. Why should you?
But Young wants you to act like God, meaning live love, compassion, forgiveness and all the other positive, enlightened states that a God would have.

Be God.

Young was a great believer in taking action, too.

A chapter on selling in Fortunes For All proves that he sold such a staggering amount of life insurance by focusing on giving, thinking of others over himself, and following his being principle. But he also took non-stop action. Even when Young was on jury duty for three weeks, he still held the sales record for the month. How? He kept taking action.

All of this is so inspiring and powerful that I wish Vash Young was still alive so I could thank him in person. But I’ve inherited his fortune. And I’m sharing it with you. I’m hoping you will now share it with others, too.


Take control of your mind and you can live a life of magic and miracles — a life of good fortune.

It’s Vash Young’s inheritance.

It’s my inheritance.

And now it’s yours.

What do you think, anyway?

What is your factory producing?

Who’s the boss of your own mind?

Who are you being?

Enjoy your new fortune.


Dr. Joe Vitale is famous for creating Hypnotic Writing and Miracles Coaching, but he’s also written 53 books (such as The Attractor Factor), appeared in 13 movies (such as the hit The Secret), and has bestselling audios (such as The Secret to Attracting Money) and more.
His main website is http://www.joevitale.com/. Read his book Attract Money Now for free at http://www.attractmoneynow.com/

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Overwhelmed


So...after the fog cleared this morning, I was thinking about Army's loss yesterday. The image above, text added by me, said it very well to me!

Better luck next year, Army....please?!?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Go Army! Beat Navy!

Oh yeah! It's on!

I have attended a few of these...especially as a Cadet from 83 to 86...and once in Baltimore, long after graduation.

Those were special years, remembered fondly on this day every year when two great groups of young men get together and continue the Army-Navy tradition

For those who have served and are serving, God bless you and your families.

To my 1987 Classmates....GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flying the Un-friendly Skies of United


Yes...I know it is an old cartoon, but the "bankruptcy" continues...in the moral arena. Here is an encounter I had while flying the "Un-Friendly Skies" of United Airlines:



Delays, lost luggage, off-shore customer service for that lost luggage, more delays, apathy, frustration, did I mention delays?...additional charges for everything from your darn suitcase to a few inches of leg-room (thanks United!) In fact, as I write this on a united flight from Calgary to Chicago, I actually saw a flight attendant keep a fellow from moving up to a totally empty exit row because he was sitting in the back of the plane and United Airlines now considers the exit row a Privilege to be paid for!?! “To the back of the bus (plane) with you, young man who may be able to help all of our passengers in an emergency! You didn’t pay us $32 for that seat!” (quick note: I was seated in an exit row seat that I didn’t pay for when I watched this exchange. I was informed by the agent when I requested the seat, with a nod and a wink, that “I’m not gonna charge you, but these are supposed to be $32 each.” I thanked him and made a mental note about it)….this is what flying has degenerated into.

I fly on 8-12 different airplanes every month. I, unfortunately, must fly the most reasonable airfare proffered by my company’s travel agent. As such, I often do not have a choice of airlines. Because I often have to go through Chicago, yup, you guessed it, I have to fly United Airlines.


Didn’t they used to call themselves the “Friendly Skies?” Nothing could be further from the truth. I must admit, many of the flight attendants and counter agents I encounter are pleasant enough. They also at times express their frustration at the ineptitude of their employer. Are the executives at United so daft as to not know they are the laughing stock of all the major airlines?


Really? Are they that blind?


Have you seen the show “Undercover Boss?” Here’s a suggestion for the CEO of United: Contact the producers and beg to be permitted to be on the show. Spend a week in your employee’s shoes…live their frustrations and see the impact your procedures and money-grubbing policies are having on them and the customers you are supposed to serve. Then go back and do something about it. What a leadership position that would put you in in the airline industry! What ground-breaking, employee and customer focused ideas you could develop that would make people actually PREFER to fly your airline.


Of course, I have no confidence anything like this will ever happen. United’s executives just doesn’t care what I think or what you think. They only care about getting theirs by taking yours.
Leadership requires service and sacrifice, even in business. Only leadership can make things better and create “win-win” policies and procedures that benefit both the customer and the business.


Are there any leaders at United Airlines?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Airline that Gets it

So how many of my readers fly a lot? I can honestly tell you that over the last two years, I have spent more time in the air than most. I am, after all, a road-warrior. And my road usually leads to and from Western Canada...and I live in Western New York! Yeah...it's about 2400 miles one-way as the Raven flies (I say Raven as they are more common than Crows in Western Canada...and a hell of a lot bigger!)

In all my travels, I have experienced good and bad, but mostly good because I usually fly on an airline that gets it. An airline that usually understands that Customer Service means they should take care of their customer's needs. An airline that has invested in making the travel experience a pleasurable one. Air Canada.

In this day and age of airlines combining and getting bigger (Untied and Continental, for example), the customer is more and more treated like a necessary evil..."If it weren't for these damn passengers, this flying stuff would be kinda fun!" United has actually compressed the seats in the back of the plane so that they can charge you $39 one-way for 5" more leg room in the front of the plane. I even witnessed a stewardess (yeah, I know, they prefer "Flight Attendant," but I care about that exactly as much as they appear to care about me on United), tell a young man he could not move up to an EMPTY exit row because he did not pay the $39 premium. (A-hem! Hey missy, we might need that fella to open the door!) I actually will be posting another post all about that encounter

But on Air Canada, they get it. They know why they are in business...because hard-working people pay good money to get from point A to Point B quickly and with their luggage actually getting there when they do! They understand that if you are a road-warrior, you like a little more comfort on all of those flights and they try to do the best they can to ensure you are comforted. They understand that when you go to their frequent flyer lounge, Maple Leaf Lounges they call them, you would like to pampered a little. And they do it in style. Free booze, free food that is actually worth eating, and a nice quiet environment with no hassle.

I don't know of another airline that takes such good care of their passengers...their customers.

Thanks, Air Canada, for being a leader...an example for other airlines to follow.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WARNING!: Results not typical


Ever seen that disclaimer? "WARNING!: Results not typical" Of course, it is usually in much smaller print... As I scouted the images today that I thought might fit today's thoughts, I saw many that depicted weight loss, wrinkle creams, vitamin claims, all manner of self-help and self-improvement items...and then I saw the old poster above.

Pretty cool, eh? It was attached to another blog:http://bit.ly/fqjWFL . Thank you,Roni!

What intrigues me is that despite the disclaimer, people plunk down millions of dollars, $19.95 + shipping and handling at a time, for every manner of external item that might make us smarter, thinner, healthier, less wrinkly-er...but what about the internal? What about our spirits...our heart...our drive to be something more than we are?

I know that I struggle every day to stay motivated...to try to live up to my personal mission statement (which, as always, I will share with you if you need help, or will help you to write yours...just ask). I think for most of us, the struggle is real and we are all coping in very unique and personal ways.

I need to re-focus my energies on trying things that fit for me, regardless of who says it can or can't be done. I counsel you to keep pushing forward towards what you know is right...those things, behaviours, beliefs, challenges, that you know will make a difference in your life.

Our biggest struggles always seem to be in front of us. Take a look back at your accomplishments from time to time and remember what it took to achieve everything that you have today. I know that I must go back and revisit the goals that I have accomplished and establish new ones. Like me, I suspect many of you are blessed with many, many, blessings that you often take for granted...until they are jeopardized in some way. Don't wait until you are about to lose something, or someone, important to show your appreciation.

Do it today. And keep trying, regardless of the label.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Always Important Things to Learn

Great image, right? That sense of wonder at learning something so new your jaw drops. Think back to when you were that small, or when your children were (are?) that small and the brain was an open book... What amazing things we have learned. So much has changed since we were so small. The pace of technology has advanced more in our lifetime (we 45+ year-olds) than probably any other period in time. Wow!

How often are you learning? Have you thought about it?

I believe you have to be self-aware enough to know that every day is an opportunity to learn. Almost every encounter we have with others is an opportunity to learn something new. It may not always be a good lesson, but even a bad lesson teaches us something.

I have recently been reading a lot about Internet Marketing in an attempt to understand what it is about and how I might use the lessons learned there to create what Tim Ferriss calls "Freedom of Time and Place." He is the first person to put it all together in my mind. He has given me not just the destination, but the road map of how to get there.

I will begin sharing those lessons here and hopefully you can come along for the ride.

Hopefully, it will be something you learn that changes your life.

Cheers!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Words (and picutres!) are Important


Here's a gem I picked up this morning by Jerry Bader.

Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design and marketing firm that specializes in Web-video Marketing Campaigns and Video Websites. Visit www.mrpwebmedia.com/ads, http://www.136words.com/ and http://www.sonicpersonality.com/. Contact at info@mrpwebmedia.com

How to Deliver a Marketing Message On Your Website

Here's a question for you? What do you need to be successful? What will it take for you to climb out of that deep, dark, dungeon of despair and mediocrity? What are you willing to do to be the best you can be?

Look around. Things are nuts, the economy stinks, politicians are goofy, people are addicted to cell phones, businesses are obsessed with Twitter and Google and Facebook; everything is made in China, and it's all CRAP! You're lucky if anything you purchase works the way its suppose to and God help you if you complain. You'll spend hours on the phone with some clown who doesn't know, doesn't care, and doesn't get paid to really help you. They are the purveyors of frustration and creators of cynicism. Athletes pretentiously thank God for their base hits and million dollar contracts, and we watch in astonishment. Trust me, God doesn't give a damn about who wins the next NASCAR race, or that you get an even bigger flat screen plasma for your birthday. He's got bigger fish to fry like global warming, child starvation, and deadly pandemics. You're on your own fella. So get use to it.

So what's a poor entrepreneur to do? Follow the big boys as if they were The Enlightened Ones. Right, how's that worked out so far? Do you really want to go down the same road as GM or Lehman Brothers? Nobody is going to bail your ass out of trouble; you can count on that.
People have stopped thinking. We educate our kids to be engineers and technicians, but they don't understand the world, they don't understand people. Unable to get into med school or law they become Web entrepreneurs because they think it's an easy way to make a buck. You don't ever have to see or hear from customers, they're not people they're just digital ghosts with bank cards. Well maybe that's the problem. Maybe that lack of communication skill is what's wrong? So how do you communicate, how do you serve your public, how do you become a success?

Do you really want to know, or do you want to keep doing the same thing with the same results you've been doing? Maybe it's good enough for you, but good enough isn't good enough anymore. Now you have to excel, now you have to be different to stand out. Now you have to be better, or at least as best as you can be. And all it takes is a fundamental understanding of how to communicate.

Are you ready to take the leap? Are you ready to communicate your message so people say, "I want that!" Don't get me wrong. There's no mystery, no secret, no great panacea for success. It's just a question of learning how and what to communicate, and that my friend is the why of it all.

Words Have Meaning

That's right, words have meaning. Even in an era where language has been bastardized by text message lingo and meaningless business palaver dumped on us by consultants...even today, words have meaning if you know what to say and how to say it.

Sure, sure, people are busy, I get that, but you know what frustrates them more than anything, it's when companies waste their time with bland, meaningless platitudes. People crave information. They demand to know more, be more, and achieve more. The potential is limitless. Are you filling that demand with meaningful, memorable content? Words are the foundation of persuasion. Words have meaning.

Language Defines The Conversation

If you want to be the market leader you have to control the conversation and you do that with the language you use. If you can control the words you can dominate the market. The words you use make a difference. Use the right words in the right way, and you'll own the conversation, and put your competitors at a distinct disadvantage.

The Republican Party in the USA has controlled the political discourse for some time thanks to political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz. Luntz is the architect of the Republican Party's language policy. It's Luntz who was responsible for turning "inheritance tax" into "death tax," "global warming" into "climate change," and "eavesdropping" into "electronic intercepts." Control the words and you control the conversation no matter what side of the political fence you sit on.

People respond emotionally to the words used. The right language can spark an argument or an agreement; it can generate an order or a rejection. Words can move you. Move you to action. And that's what marketing is all about.

Voice Provides Clarity

Words aren't much good if nobody hears them. Writing has to speak with a voice, an attitude, a point-of-view, and it has to be heard - out loud. The sound of the human voice delivers more meaning, more nuance, more depth of emotion and excitement than any other communication tool at your disposal. The proper use of tone, cadence, rhythm and phrasing creates something special, something more than just clever prose; it creates an experience and defines a brand.

Sound is by far the most complicated of communication tools and at the same time the most ignored and misunderstood. The wrong voice, the wrong music, and the wrong sound effects will kill any chance you have of delivering an effective marketing message.

Personality Makes the Connection

Even the best words won't work if they aren't delivered properly. Creating a distinct identity demands a superior performance, one that delivers personality. Personality is the means by which you connect with your audience. After all, if you don't connect, nothing you say will be heard. Combine the right sound with the right words and the right personality, and you're on your way to getting where you want to be.

Putting It All Together

There's a reason we recommend video as the best way to convey your marketing message to your Web audience. Video can deliver your words, it can control the conversation, it can establish your brand, and it can present your message in the most meaningful, memorable manner if you do it right. You may have a great message, but if it's not delivered effectively, you are turning over your primary asset to your competitors.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Leadership is hard

I had a good wake up call recently.

I didn't like it at first, but I am now very glad it happened.

You see, as I sit and "pontificate" here a bit on leadership, it usually keeps me on my game. What I realized recently that by turning my back on this intellectual sharpening stone, called my blog, I have lost some of my focus on the right way to lead...lost focus on my responsibilities as a leader.

As is sometimes the case, this was brought to my attention by a colleague who has responsibility for me in my current role. I hesitate to call him my boss, as he really isn't, but for you, dear reader, he probably best fits in that role. He called me an told me I was "not building a cohesive team and was being too confrontational in my approach."

Huh?!? Me?!? Leadership blogger and student/teacher of Leadership?!? No Way!

Ever had that kind of response to criticism of your performance? Yes, that was a rhetorical question...

Once I got past defensive and took a good long look in the mirror, I then reviewed some of my correspondence and re-thought through my past interactions and guess what? He was right. I had become too focused in Quadrant 1 (Urgent and Important) and lost focus on Quadrant 2 (Not Urgent and Important).

So....I sat down with my team and apologized for my behaviour and had a good dialogue around what I needed to do to get the team back on track. I got wise counsel from my team mates about what they needed from me and how we should revise how we were working together. It was enlightening, uplifting, and put us back on track. And we did it together.

Lesson learned and focus regained. It's not a crime to make mistakes. It is a crime to do nothing to correct them.

And here's a link that you might find inspiring...I did.

http://www.wimp.com/sweetinspiration/