Social Media – What I crave


I have come to realize that for me Social Media is about developing the community I crave. I have spent the past Year and a few months acting out an action plan, but without a very specific strategy for developing what I want to develop. The Community I crave. So I am no beginning to do that – to define my entire strategy on several levels – What I have to offer, what I am looking to gain or learn about from others, and generally what are my topics of interest. So I am writing a piece – it’s detailed and I am thinking of calling it my “White Paper” but I am not 100% sure if that is fitting. I am also looking to frankly monetize the time I put in on the web because it is an extraordinary amount of time, so I will probably sell this for all of $2.00 for those who are interested in reading it. In the meantime I am in the process of defining my strategy according to the following outline (the details will be included in the paper):

What is My strategy / what do I want?

What can I offer people?

What am I looking for from people/

What are my topics of interest?

Then where do I find the people who meet the criteria set forth above, (ie the people who want what I am offering, and the people who are offering what I want)?

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Welcome to another day in my life!

Which way are you going today?

Another day, another morning. Looks like I woke up at 4am again. That’s a good start. Soon I’m off to the gym. I love these days. I love going to the gym, it feels so good. My wife says it already looks like I am losing weight. Hopefully she’s right. Last night an old friend pinged me on Facebook. Looking back on the conversation I realize something. People come to me when they need an “uplift”. This is good. It’s a powerful compliment. In turn I get one. I like that. I love the idea that I can help people simply by listening to them (or typing with them as the case might be).

So far this has been an amazing and powerful week for me. Thank you G-d for that! I saw a good, good friend on Monday night and those who are with me on Facebook could trace our steps as I checked in to the places we visited in Downtown Burbank using Foursquare (www.foursquare.com). Yesterday I’ve already written about and today is off to a great start as I am off to the gym yet again. I’m realizing more and more that I do not have to worry about how things will work out. I just have to show up and G-d, The universe, The Sunlight of the Spirit, or what ever name you wan to give it will take care of the rest. When I worry it’s a lack of faith in that process and it’s like tying the hands of the Universe and preventing it from doing what it does. How many times have we all worked for or with a control freak? That’s what they do – they are so busy trying to control us instead of letting us do our thing that they practically tie our hands up and make it impossible for us to just do what we do. I’ve had just such an experience this year with a client I recently let go of. I was tired of having my hands tied. If you hire me to do something let me do it. So I need to learn to stop doing that with The Universe. I need to let the universe do it’s thing and not worry about the “cursed hows” as Mike Dooley of www.tut.com puts it. I just have to do the footwork and show up. I also have to stop thinking in terms of how much money I want in the bank and think one step further into what I really want. I want the security that comes with having a pile of money in the back so I can focus on helping people. So that is what I have to ask for – the security that I need in order to be able to focus on helping people. Then the Universe will decide whether it is money or something else I need in order to get me where I need to be.

Good Night World

While it has been a genuine pleasure serving clients, friends, family tweeters, facebookers and more, I am afraid I must retire to the confines of my home for the remainder of the evening. It was a good day. I woke up with my wife and 3 dogs, Xena, Ralphy, and Hercules next to me. In the middle of the night, Xena climbed up on the bed, traipsed up the bed right up the middle until she found herself in the same place as my pillow. At this point she plopped herself down and laid with her head resting on my pillow along side me just like a person. It’s true she is my “real” wife. I call her my furry wife.

Needless to say it was a pleasant night last night all cuddled up with everyone and that lead to a pleasant experience waking up this morning. We got a late start. I took care of some administrative things and had to stop to have a tire replaced. There was a huge bubble on it. By this time my wife noticed the treads were all pretty badly worn, so I sort of knew I was going to have to replace all 4 tires. I did have to replace all 4 tires. Thank G-d I can afford to! I remember when I couldn’t – when this would have destroyed me or I would have had to put it on a credit card. No credit card was used today.

On to a client. This is my newest client and I really like them! Nice people and in my favorite business – Property Management. I love setting companies up in QuickBooks, especially property management because it is challenging to do, but once you have it all set up, it works so nicely! I can get the custom fields set up so that you can actually run a complete rent roll and it looks just like what you get from any other property management company. I love when a client really appreciates what I can do for them, and these guys seem to.

Next I came home and met with a good friend and client. Paul P. We are bartering. One week I help him with his accounting and budget / forecasts, and the next week he is helping me with my first official E-Workbook – Real Estate Accounting with QuickBooks. Paul teaches you how to teach others and he’s GREAT!

So all in all every experience today was a pleasant one. Yes, even spending the money on my tires, because I am grateful I could afford it.

Thank you G-d for the experience today. It was a great one!!

Good Night!

This is what you should know if you are about to become my friend

 

The first thing you should know about me is that once you are a friend – a TRUE friend, I will always be there for you whenever you need me. Sometimes I may need you to grab me by the chin and point my eyes in your direction, but rest assured once you make it clear to me that you need me to drop what I am doing to help you, I will drop whatever I am doing and I will go to any lengths for you.

When I was a kid I watched someone punch my older brother in the eye. These guys were 2-3 years older than me and that’s a big difference in elementary school. It took 3-4 of my brother’s friends to hold me back when I tried to go after the one who hit my brother. My friends are all my brothers and sisters and I will always go to any length to help and protect you.

I will love you unconditionally. I will not judge you. Even if you do something wrong, I will still love you. I might tell you that I would rather you didn’t do something wrong because as someone who cares about you I do not want to see you get into trouble, but I will not turn my back on you.

I will definitely fall short sometimes. I will make mistakes and I will not pay as much attention to you as I should. As I mentioned above, all that you ever need to do is tell me that you really need me to pay attention and I’ll come running.

There will be times I will come to you and lean on you for help. Some of those times you will not be able to give me what I need. I may be disappointed in the situation, but never in you as a person.

I will always do what I can, where I can, when I can to bring you together with other friends of mine because I believe strongly that the best way we can help one another is to help expand our respective universes. Here’s an example. Last night I had dinner with a friend of mine. He invited another one of his friends. As we were talking it became apparent that he was friendly with someone high up in a company that I happen to know a long time friend of mine wants to work at. I mentioned this to him and he immediately offered that I should put her in touch with him and he will see what he can do. Imagine if I can not only help my friend find a job, but at the exact company she told me about a month ago she was dying to get a job at?! If I can put this together that is worth so much more to me than any amount of money – just knowing that I could do that for someone.

Any time you come to me with negative thoughts, I will almost always try and turn them around into positive ones. I am not ignoring you or discounting either your feelings or your experience. I am merely trying to bring you onto the necessary frequency to deal with all troubles. A positive frequency is much more powerful than a negative one and is also always where you will find the solutions to every single problem. Even when it comes to grieving over the loss of someone close, think about how you want people to respond when you go – I know I want people to always remember and cherish the good times and the gift that we have all had by having one another in each other’s lives.

God bless, and if no one else told you , let me be the one to tell you that I really love you today!

 

Step 3 – Delegating and Accepting Help

As a small business owner it is tempting to lean towards doing it all ourselves. We’ve all hired people to perform certain tasks only to find they don’t do it with the same passion that we have. There’s a reason for this – when they do it, they do it for us, when we do it we do it for ourselves. I can attest to this – when I worked for someone else I was not as excited about what I was doing. I did it for a paycheck. When I am doing it for myself there’s much more to it than just money – we are developing our “baby”. It’s much more personal. So what is the answer? The generic answer is to give the employees incentive to make it much more personal. I’m not suggesting to make every employee a shareholder. But here are a few ideas:

  • Think of your employees as partners – they will feel this coming from you and they will feel better about what they are doing just based on you treating them differently.
  • Think of your employees as students – too many managers and “bosses” act as if the employees should do what they are told simply because they are being paid to do so. That doesn’t work – they can go to a lot of places to simply get paid to do something. What makes you stand apart from other employers? What makes you someone I will want to work for as opposed to someone I currently have to work for until I can find something better? If instead of “managing” my employees I “teach” them, the whole tone and approach changes. Now they really appreciate what I am doing for them (it’s a model of being of service to my own employees). Now my employees are motivated to help me, because I am actually helping them. Now I can accept their help because they will be motivated to offer it to me. The paycheck is a by-product of what they are doing – not the purpose. I help them grow and they help me grow – that is the “real” purpose of the relationship. Anybody who is in it just for the paycheck will not fit in and they will move on.
  • Review and teach – when you find that an employee has made a mistake it can be frustrating. Especially since you might think that it means they weren’t listening. It may also mean that they were so nervous about making sure they did it right that their concentration was off. It could also mean that they have other things in their lives besides you that could mitigate their concentration level. In my opinion at this point it is best not to show frustration but instead teach them to do it right the next time and encourage them to ask questions. Even if they think they “should” know. Think of their questions as a reflection of their desire to do the job well – accordingly this should be encouraged – not met with frustration.
  • Let Go – If you give an employee a task you have to give them an opportunity to do the job and show you that they can do it with confidence. If we micro-manage them it comes across as our lack of faith in them. This has the opposite impact from what we want – it makes them feel bad about what they are doing instead of feeling GREAT about what they are doing. Let them make mistakes – they will learn much better that way no matter how good you are at explaining things.

So how can I apply this in my personal life? Easily – we are talking about relationships here. When I can start thinking of my employees as partners helping me to grow my business I can now start thinking of friends and family as partners helping me grow as a person. So this means that I want to set out in every relationship and find out what people’s goals are and then help them achieve those goals. In turn they will be encouraged to help me achieve mine.

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A State Of Nerd: Planning 2010 – follow up webinar scheduled

I am scheduling a follow up webinar on Saturday Feb 6 from 1pm – 2:30 pm. Several people e-mailed indicating they wanted to attend but couldn’t because of the time. Also during this one I spent more time than planned on my internet marketing strategy, so on the Feb 6 one I will make sure I talk more about the tools I use to get and stay organized. You can download and watch the recording of the recent one here.

Download and pass along a PDF brochure here

State Of Nerd – Getting Ready for 2010

I’m gearing up for the webinar on Mon Jan 4, 2009 from 10am – 11:30 am Pacific Time. [New date added: Sat Feb. 6th from 1pm – 2:30 pm] This is a really exciting time in my life. My mentors are admitting to me that they are interested in my advice. With a mentor it usually goes the other way around, but when it comes full circle like this it means I am growing. The playing field between me and the people I most look up to is evening out. I don’t expect it will ever shift the other way. I would never want it to and I am not that superficial or presumptuous. Yesterday I was asked by a mentor what I am doing to stay on schedule. This is coming from the exact person who this past year was most instrumental in helping me to get focused.

Ideas, ideas, ideas

If you’re like me then you have a ton of ideas floating around in your mind. All kinds of things and they’re all exciting and you want to start working on all of them right away. I have lost entire days to fleeting thoughts that lead to the creation of great content almost in hopes that I was going to launch this idea in one day and this was going to be a grand slam. Then when I post links and blogs posts and tweets and updates on LinkedIn and Plaxo reality sets in. Any good idea is going to require some time, thought, planning, and a methodical approach. As my friend Jim from Pace University pointed out to me this year you want to take simple, measurable steps. He suggests a big dry erase board.

I’ve seen and heard this method before, but being a computer geek I have a “computerized” version of this. I use Microsoft One Note, an electronic notebook to keep a lot of my information organized.

  • I have a to-do list page.
  • In there I have sections.
  • One area is for things that need to be done in the immediate future.
  • Another area is for ideas.
  • Then I have a section for call-backs and other (e-mail) direct follow-ups with individuals.

I make sure I look at this at the beginning of each day before I start. These items need to be transferred into my calendar so that I actually plan very specifically when they get done.

More on this during the live webinar.

Saving Money

This year I spent some time doing some research on what people out there suggest as far as money saving tips. Most of what I found I felt was either impractical (ie it works for people who have money, but doesn’t help the person who’s struggling – who needs this kind of thing the most) so I wrote up some of my own and posted them in my blog.

Productivity

I also watched some videos from Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 hour work week. I haven’t read the books yet, but I plan to. Based on the short videos I got a few ideas. He’s right, we are addicted to information and we are overwhelmed and overloaded with it. First I cut my e-mail check back to every 30 minutes (from every 5 minutes). Then I cut it back to 2 hours. Now I am starting to simply keep outlook closed and only open it 2-3 times per day. If necessary you can set up an auto-responder as Tim suggests let people know that you will be checking e-mail intermittently and that if someone needs to reach you immediately they can call your cell.

I like the idea of encouraging people to call my cell phone – it gives me a live selling opportunity to everyone who calls. I learned a long time ago to think of every phone call as a selling opportunity. Encourage people to call and I encourage more opportunities for me to sell them on my services. I will also weed out the BS calls in the process. Family and personal friends aside of course I really do not want to spend my time on people who aren’t interested in what I have to offer.

More on this during the live webinar.

Efficiency

I got a call from a guy earlier this year offering to sell me printing equipment. The real workhorse type printers meant for large volume printing. He was shocked when I told him I had no need – especially given what I do. I went on to explain that I and most of my clients were practically paperless – that a big part of what we do is leverage technology to run more efficiently – paper kills trees and in most cases is a waste of money. I don’t get the messages in some people’s e-mails about not printing the e-mails. It’s E-mail, it’s not supposed to be printed. Going back to MS One Note, you can send your e-mails to one note as a new page and make notes there. As far as I am concerned anyone who prints an e-mail should be banned from working in an office ever again!! I’m kidding of course but you get my point. What a waste! If you’re printing an e-mail you are not using the technology that is available which means you are creating inefficiencies. Bad inefficiency creator! By the time I was finished telling this guy about being paperless and using technology to be more efficient I had him asking me about my services – turns out he had a side business he wanted to talk to me about. He hasn’t become a client yet and maybe never will, but that seed is planted. At some point somewhere along the way he is going to be talking to someone and he is going to remember me and maybe even refer someone to me. More on this during the live webinar.

Look for the referral sources, not the prospective clients

Another thing I learned this year is to focus on developing referral sources. My marketing efforts in the past had always been focused on getting the clients. This has obviously served me well – I have a well established business which has been around for about 7 years. So I am already one of the 20% that makes it passed 5 years. Then this year it was suggested to me that if I network with people who share similar clientele then they can become a repeated referral source. So the same effort pays off over and over again. NOW THAT’S EFFICIENT! I LOVE THAT!! This is what I have been doing with Twitter – cultivating the potential referral sources. More on this during the live webinar.

How’s that calendar working for you?

I use MS One Note and I’ve mentioned that I transfer the items from my to do lists to the calendar. This is how I set aside the time to make sure these things get done. This was an area I really needed to take to the next level. As I expanded my web presence – there was the QuickBooks Blog, Excel blog, YouTube, Facebook (w/Fan Page), twitter, & LinkedIn. My mentor told me to spend ½ hour per day. That wasn’t enough to keep up with it all. The free webcasts take at least an hour/week. Ultimately I had to put some generic structure in place so that my daily and weekly appointments could work within the framework of this structure. So I laid it all out. From the time I get up to the time I go to sleep each day. I balanced out billable time with business development. Then I had to make a point of recognizing that this is meant to be a guide, not the bible! I now use 2 overlapping calendars in MS Outlook. I will explain how this works in the webinar. One calendar is for all of my appointments and reminders. The other calendar is called my “marketing” calendar, but perhaps a better name would be “Business Development”. This has turned out to be an incredibly effective way of keeping the two areas separate but integrated – if that makes any sense. I think it does. More on this during the live webinar.

Let’s bring it back home – what about all those ideas?

So I was able to at least define the times during which I would be working on the blogs and/or social networks. I was even able to provide anywhere from 1-3 hours for it on any given day. This seemed to allow for me to get something meaningful done while also allowing me the flexibility of blowing it off if I wanted to take some downtime one day/evening. What I saw next was what lead me to my latest genius idea! I was spending this time on all of these different projects, moving from one to the next from one week to the next and then realizing that there was a project I had committed to work on weeks ago and started to but hadn’t touched it since. With all of these ideas in the pipeline I was getting a lot done on a few things, but mostly only a little done on a lot of things. In one of my daily motivators this year I spoke about how multi-tasking is an illusion. Last week I came up with the solution. It combines Jim’s idea with my idea and forms a new variation on the theme. In the course of my ADD-like creation of blogs on WordPress I had accumulated about 15 blogs most of which I had not touched and each of which representing a new idea I did at some point want to implement in the form of a blog. I took one that I was not yet using and who’s initial purpose had been replaced with a Ning Network that I created and re-purposed the blog. It’s now called Nerd’s Projects. This is not a blog I ever plan to promote or invite people to participate in. On the other hand if people to that’s fine. I’ve provided the link for you to see it. What I realized is that the blog software – particularly wordpress allows for a really nice platform for organizing notes and ideas. You can use pages, categories, and tags to cross index and cross reference ideas. So I re-purposed this blog to allow me to identify the “Current Project” and then list all the others that I have come up with and made a start of working on. I’ve made this blog my home page on my browser so that every time I open my browser I am reminded of which project I am working to complete now. Now when I come to those times in my schedule that I have set aside to work on a “Project” this is the only one I work on until it is complete. Then I will categorize it as “Completed” and move on to the next one.

I will be covering all of this in terms of step by step “how to” apply this in my live webinar series beginning on Monday Jan 4th, 2010 from 10am – 11:30am.

I will also be scheduling times on Saturdays. ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC.

Networking for Success

All it takes is a little acknowledgement! I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into places (clients) and people will walk by without even acknowledging me. Not so much as a hello, is somebody helping you? I am amazed at this. Such a simple thing to do that requires ‘0’ effort and yet what it can bring back to you is immeasurable. So here’s an example of the positive side of that – what happens when we DO acknowledge someone. I am sitting here at a client’s and they have guests. The first one came in and I said hello, and she politely responded. Then her husband walks in. So I get up to go heat up my lunch in the microwave and the gentleman is standing there looking at some paperwork. Again I offered my greetings. He responded. In both cases I don’t think these guys would have said hello first. Next thing I know he says “So you’re the QuickBooks expert I hear..” So if I never said anything he probably would have been too shy to speak up. Instead I have a new client / project to work on in the near future. All it takes is a simple, polite, hello!! Why can’t more people do this?

Surroundings – Why I Started My Own Business

Everybody wants to make more money but not everybody wants to start their own business. We start a business because we want the freedom and we’re willing to take the risk. The freedom enables us to choose exactly whom we work and surroudn ourselves with. That’s why I started Nerd Enterprises, Inc. 

www.youre-a-miracle.com
http://tinyurl.com/nerd-community
See the next posting below on “Surroundings” for my notes on this.

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