I Almost Did

I almost used this as a venting post for my thoughts then realized, what is the purpose and who would care? Everyone has a bad day and this blog isn’t about exploiting it. To be honest, I am not even having a bad day, but my mind is leading me down the road of upset over nothing. I rather use that towards creativity and networking. This thinking made me dig deep into my sub-conscious to find out why I am writing at all and to ask the simple question, why use social media?

It is all about being a creative thought leader who uses his network to execute.

After I read this a few times I realized how much it fell into my mission / tag statement which says “Creatively – Executing – Ideas”. For a few days I thought about my response for why to use social media and still kept with the same idea, it is a way to execute ideas through the network created. Sure, you can see it as a way to market your company, find new employees, become a leader, and/or become a famous individual but all of these things all fall into the realm of networking.

It’s a simple answer for a simple person like me. I truly realized that if we see social media in this way we would represent ourselves, our businesses, our markets a million times better because we would want to reach person not to be simply a number but someone who will help out.

Each individual you meet on the social networking world will be able to help you in one way or another. So, for me it is all about being a creative thought leader who uses his network to execute. Welcome to my life!

Branding for Launch

The long trail of a to do list fills up my whiteboards. Writing ideas, business ventures, networking availability, things to learn, and ideas to execute. Plus, on top of that finding time to do nothing (which is a true exercise for me). With that being said, I recently had a “clear the fog” moment and sat down to find my five projects.

Yes, the number five on the list has a few subcategories that comes in and goes out on a regular basis. None the less, this list will become the way I govern my time on a regular basis.

My full time priority in life is my wife and family. There is no getting around that in any way, shape, or form. So, why do I share this list with you and explain it a little bit? Well, before I limited myself to five projects at a time, I would have upwards of 10-15 which doesn’t allow excellence.

To grab the best out of yourself there needs to be some order to the insanity. No, I am not saying to go out and write a to-do list for your to-do lists. I am merely pointing out that to do things with excellence there needs to be an order.

For me to launch Random Rental fully, I needed to make sure I was branded on my new website as an entrepreneur who executes ideas. I Needed to make sure that site looked decently appealing before I could start seeking out angel investors.

An investor wants order and smart risk takers to be heading up ideas. Being the creative type makes it difficult to pull of the ordered lifestyle though it is a true necessity. For any entrepreneur it all begins with you. Getting money starts with investors believing not just in your idea, but you as a person. And, when you know what your priorities are, you are better off at organizing your life and to be a true brand.

Brand yourself so that you can brand what you do. People will always find themselves back to who and what. Just make sure that picture of you is what you want them to see. Brand yourself for the launch of your career, business, and your life.

Be Nice – It Helps

I don’t know what it is about people who are in airports but there is a constant angry vibe that I’ve seen. This past year I’ve flown over 30 round trips and still can’t believe the lack of kindness in the airports. Believe me, I am not saying that I was a perfect passanger. But when a flight is overbooked, a child is screaming, the security checkpoint line is long, and a line of people trying to find out what is going on, many people have a reason to just mentally snap. And yet, if you are generous with how you treat people, most individuals will be generous back.

A few weekends past, my wife and I had the opportunity to fly to Newark for a wedding. It wasn’t your average run of the mill wedding instead it was sensational. I wasn’t even in the wedding and yet had the opportunity to wear a tux. But, that was a side note. After the wedding was finished Aletheia and I went back to the hotel and packed for our flight the following morning.

Low and behold, after we got to the airport we found that the flight was overbooked. For me, this means adventure but to many others, including my wife, it meant a negative change of plans. I watched the interactions of a father who was irate reaming out the women who was trying to help him while his own kids cried. The father finally walked away expressing his disgust and I was the lucky guest after him. I went up, smiled, and asked if my wife and I could be volunteers (vouchers were going to be given out). Low and behold, they took us.

My wife and I were put on the next flight out, in an hour, with $400 dollars of vouchers each with a free lunch. But the women at the counter took it the next step and advised us that the other flight may be overbooked as well. With this pre knowledge Aletheia and I figured out if we would take advantage of this situation too. No, we weren’t under a time crunch to get back to Indiana but we also had a goal of getting vouchers and being simply nice.

It could be a good faith gesture but after we grabbed our lunch we heard over the speaker some words we were waiting to hear “The flight to Indianapolis is overbooked and we need two volunteers.” I quickly jumped up and went to the desk again. And in this moment the ‘reward’ was $500 voucher each.

But yet, we were still stuck and I decided to ask an interesting question. Was there any way that we could fly to Boston that afternoon and return to Indianapolis from there? The women looked at me, a moment passed, and said something that made me write this. She shared, “You are a nice guy so let me see what I can do.”

Thirty minutes later she had landed us a flight out to Boston, a hotel room at the Marriott overlooking downtown Boston, free vouchers for dinner and breakfast, and an encouraging word.

The funny part about this was the fact that we were nice and got what we asked for instead of them offering a ‘taxi.’ We flew to Boston, had a surprising little vacation with a dinner at the oldest Italian Restaurant in the North End of Boston, $1,800 in flight vouchers with no black out dates, and a reason to truly smile.

I personally understand that not everyone can do this and there are time crunches and ‘not so great benefits’. I personally have been in them continually and watched my father go through them. But at the same time when we treat people with respect, they truly try to help and move forward the situation in a generous way. Being nice encourages others to be helpful and kind back.

The three pointers to take are simple: smile, kindly ask, and say thank you during the process (even in the moments they aren’t working nicely with you). These things can make the world of differences in your service, travel, business, and networking ability.

Mile Hike

I never thought that I would be able to say to my future children that I walked a mile in the rain, cold, and snow. And yet, I will be able to share that face and that I walked up hill both ways.

But this day wasn’t in the rain, cold, or snow… The walk simply consisted of me racing three people I had never met with the greatness of competition pushing us through the cold, leaves, and the intersections that said “Don’t Walk”. The three of us should of gone into a full out run at the speed we were walking. Our clothes flew in the air as the wind hit us.

The black-coated women kept passing the red backpacked man and I. But every moment that we got to an intersection he and I would get through with no scratches, to the other side of the cross walk, take a breath, and see the black-coated women creeping up on us.

Competition seemed to be reining us all into a race that wasn’t even there. The three of us strived “to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others who are trying to do the same,” (Apple Dictionary).

In some manner, without an original goal, we all were competing for the same goal during the entire mile hike. I started questioning the reasoning and purpose behind this and finally asked myself a question. “What is good competition?”

Everyplace has competition from your work force, school, sports team, and family. There seems to be a goal for every individual to be superior even if it is superior at failing. The problem is when we take the competition to a different level that involves risk and devastation.

Risk and devastation keep us as competing individuals on our toes but at the same time we need to be wise with how we handle circumstances. One reason that I didn’t take a job at Booz Allen was for the mere reason that I felt a high level of risk and competition. It seemed that the only way to go up in the company was if the individual in the cubical next to you failed.

I did not go to work at Booz so I have only my own perception, not what might be truly happening but needless to say, there are thousands of companies that use this idea of risk and competition as their force behind getting good work. Is that qualified as good business? Is the mile hike that I took a wise use of my energy for a competition that was unsaid?

The point that I received from this little speed walk laid the foundation of my understanding concerning competition. If I am willing to walk quickly down the side walk to win the race against the black-coated women, I will want to watch out that I don’t do the same for my fellow team members.

I may not be the most competitive individual when it comes to these things but my nature made me competitive in this moment, and losing wasn’t my end goal though it did occor.

Clear the Fog

Many mornings, as I go over into DC I notice the amount of fog still above the water. But for some reason, the fog frankly caught my eye and I started brainstorming ideas. Lets be honest, all of us know that I can’t take a big breath and blow the fog away but I kept my mind going and tried to find a solution.

To my demise, I realized that I hadn’t just fogged up my own mind with this idea. I want to practice ‘brainstorming’ on a daily basis but the mere fact remains, I am only human. I need to stay focused on the ideas ahead of me. Personally, I keep my ideas to a maximum of five. It is the limit that I can handle and trying to come up with new ideas on a regular basis means I need to use discernment and not let them fog my way.

  1. Where is the fog coming from?
  2. Is it important enough to allow it to fog my original means?
  3. What can I do to rid myself of the fog?
  4. How can I simplify?

Short, sweet, and simple… Things come and go and we need to make sure that we don’t let these quick lasting situations and/or ideas fog our true mission in life. Push the fog out and remember the simple fact, you are only human!

Brainstorming

I was sick over the past weekend and it hasn’t been getting any better. My cough seems to roughen, my lungs seem to fail, and my heart keeps racing. What a joyous situation to have going on in this moment. But why do I share that?

This ‘episode’ has happened to me three times this past year and my wife and I have realized that the way to fix it (medications) has become a short-term fix. So, we have decided to look into homeopathic ideas for breathing / asthma.

Great, great, great… Another personal blog post. You could complain but there is one large thing that stuck out about this scenario, we brainstormed ideas, more ideas, and even more ideas to see what we had on the platter to chose from.

I am sure that I will write more specifically about brainstorming but the thing is, people can practice it in every moment of every day. All we need to do is give every idea a chance because it might be the great idea and/or the best inspiration if we let it. To simplify the world around us, here is the way I begin:

  1. Find the Problem – Sickness
  2. Label the Outcome You Want – Healthiness
  3. Write / Walk / Write – Medicines / Homeopathic / Exercise
  4. Chose & Try – Medicines don’t work (problem) / Trying Homeopathic
  5. Allow Failure
  6. Find Solutions & Ideas

These are six steps to a million ideas and solutions. The truth is, many of the ideas you and I come up with wont work but you won’t know unless you try (even this idea wont work unless you try the theory out).

When someone usually labels a problem there are a million solutions that a team will come up with and for the most part, everyone thinks that it is their idea or the highway. The problem is that we need to capture every idea since everyone has their own expertise and pull these common themes and successful ideas together.

After the problem has been stated and the outcome has been found. The only way to go after this outcome is to write as many ideas down as I can, go for a walk with another person who has the same mindset, come back and write again. I will do this over and over again till I come up with something I semi like. The final solution/idea usually takes the form of a few of the unsatisfying ideas I didn’t care fore earlier on.

That’s where the ‘chose and try’ strategy comes to play. We have to choose what we are going to try and go after it full heartedly and without any reservation. And always remember, it is okay to fail. Allowing failure is sometimes the best advice I was ever given but a hard one to come by.

My goal, and hopefully not to my failure, in life is to creatively execute ideas and I know for a fact that I will have a thousand failed ideas before one successful. But sooner then later we will find solutions and new ideas that will manifest in a great way. I like my odds, do you like yours?

Network Now

The idea of ‘network now’ has been a little thing that I keep in my back pocket but something that I love getting involved with. The basic thought lays on the fact that everyone in every moment is able to network and meet one new person.

Do I do this? Not even close… But it is something that I try to implement on a regular basis so that I know the right people. The whole point of this post isn’t the fact that we should simply network but instead it is the idea that technology is starting to inhibit us from networking while we travel.

Let’s be specific here since we know and believe that the social media realm has furthered networking and communication in huge ways. But, as I travel on daily basis I keep realizing that I use technology as an escape from what is around me. This ‘escape’ is obviously an inhibiting aspect in being able to network now.

As I sat on the metro, I saw two individuals and decide which one would I more like to speak with if I were to immediately take an action forward and meet someone new. One of the men had a cell phone and seemed to be writing/reading. On the other hand, the second individual had a book. Which one seemed more open to conversation? For me it ended on the individual with no technology out.

Simply put, if I needed something and wanted to ask a question, I would be more inclined to chat with the book reader over the cell phone reader. A little harsh but I hope you see the point. For me, wanting to network now involves being ready at any moment. In some ways even looking ready:

  • Smile on the face
  • Engaging eyes
  • And keeping the technology aside
  • Simply Network

All in all, we need to be productive and a lot of times a cell phone helps us do this but if we want to simply network, we need to be ready for a conversation at any moment with anyone. And, having my computer out is inhibiting me from doing that, cheers!

Everyone Will Help

Day after day I see people push and shove, run/cut off others, and get upset with someone who is holding up the line, even if they have a reason. But sometimes, just sometimes, you see that one individual who is willing to help.

A few days ago I got my first “Transit Link Card” which entails the Train, Metro, and Dash (all of which I take for my commute). I realized quickly how much of a money saver this TL Card would be. Though using this at first wasn’t easy and definitely came with a few headaches.

After jumping on a bus late and a few people annoyed with me for stopping the bus to get on I showed my TL Card and the bus driver said “No, that doesn’t work on the Dash.”

To my surprise and financial loss I almost became agitated at his response. If you know something about the bus ‘rules’ you’ll understand that the bus can’t move unless you’ve paid. And, technically I hadn’t paid.

As I stood there and the driver looked at the TL Card closely, I felt the blood pumping to my body with aggravation. And, the driver flowed with agitation in the same moment. Yet I tried to calm myself down and ask for a little help.

I don’t know about you but I had already planned out my attack if he said no. I thought out ever comeback, conversation, and statement prior to his first remark. I then simply asked “Would you mind helping me out, this is suppose to work, I thought?”

He immediately looked at me and said to take a seat and he would call while we drove. His response was a surprise, my ‘worry’ of what I thought would have been said had gone away, and he called his supervisor and found out the card worked for the Dash.

Our conversation didn’t end there. As you know, I love to network and meet as many individuals as I can. The bus driver just helped me and made my day a little nicer with a smile plus a great conversation. The quick synopsis is this: A lot of people will help if we are willing to ask.

Interested & Researching

In one random moment, I decided that I would take a little bit of time on the metro to write. Well, I didn’t think that I would get the views / time from people but the results are quite surprising, to be honest. I can’t believe that some of the posts have upwards of 50 views and that Google Analytics is putting people at 10-15 minutes on the site.

That sounds like boasting, so to the point of this quick thought. I realized that I needed to give ‘information’ and ‘valuable’ information to those who read this. I have followers on Twitter because I have a focus and idea that I constantly write about (Creatively – Executing – Ideas) and that style and simplicity needs to be brought to here as well.

I decided to do some research since this realm is of interest. In the process I found a nice and simple website that pointed out the ten things to make your blog great. Here is the list but I do recommend hitting up the site for a more in-depth look.

  • Stay on topic
  • Be informative
  • Old news is not news
  • Adhere to a schedule
  • Clarity and simplicity
  • Keyword-rich
  • Quantity matters
  • Frequency
  • Spell checking and proof-reading
  • RSS Feeds

Click Here for Article: masternewmedia.org/news/2005/04/26/how_to_write_a_successful.htm

There is no solve all mathematical equation to get a blog to work and yet it is an interesting start to my research. I’ve been watching blogs like Planet5D / PhilipBloom / Etc for their insight and to see how they grew. I have slowly noticed that research and learning are things I enjoy understanding. And, that’s why you are reading this short, unedited little research analysis that I found.  The process is one that takes a lot of time and effort. You can see this by looking at some blogs about photography, business, entrepreneurship, and the list goes on and on. These sites moved up in ‘rank’ by keeping to a process that their readers wanted.

Finally, one process that I should keep to lays on the foundation that I should be advertising every part of my network. Take a moment and check out my Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and join with me in conversation. My next goal is to find out how to make a little extra money off of this idea and the rest of my entrepreneurial ideas.

Will I Make It

Timing is a dimension that boggles most peoples mind. Lets be honest, time goes on if you want it to or not. It isn’t a relative ‘thing’ that stops and starts compared to what you or anyone/anything is doing. So why do we worry so much if we can’t control it?

Think back to post most Change of Plans. I am not by any means saying that we need to start slacking off on being timely individuals but when things happen and Murphy’s Law takes place on our commute, let it happen. When your baby is born an hour earlier then expected enjoy that it will be over early then you thought.

No, I’ve never experienced having a baby or understand much about it but the point remains the same… We can’t control time, or at least I can’t and I realized this as I was having a conversation with a coworker as I was leaving work at Carney.

We were walking out from the front doors of our building when we both saw the bus. For a quick moment I thought that I would run for it and try to get on, but then I had a ‘brilliant’ comment. “I can’t control time, so why rush it”. He and I both chatted about this briefly before I realized the deepness and pressure release from living a life like this.

As I walked, the bus slowed down and picked up some other individuals and hit the red light. We kept walking and I got to the next bus stop and got on without any rush. I wasn’t going to ‘waste’ my time so I rode it but I also knew I couldn’t control the bus so my frustration/rush flew by.

I then came to a nice and quick realization, I will make my 5:34 train to home and meet my wife for a beautiful dinner. Perfection, without the worry that I could of missed it all. And if I had, I couldn’t of done anything about it and would have had to deal with Changed Plans.

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