CONVOSPARK BLOG

Confessions of a Semi-Intelligent Person and the Power of Awareness, Heuristics and Leadership

Monday, October 1st, 2012

 

Have you ever heard that us human beings only use 10% of our brains?  Well that statement is actually  untrue…it’s an urban myth, and the very existence of the myth points to out our collective mental laziness.  Until a few weeks ago I actually believed the statement was true which might tell you something (yes I have a degree in psychology).  Ok, so now that we know that us humans have the capacity to use much more of our brains then most people believe, why don’t we?

Great question, however maybe I should be speaking for myself when pointing to underutilization of the brain since this is a confession.  So…

I confess…I’m not the smartest.

I am consciously aware that I often shy away from entering great depths of critical thinking since it requires an excruciating amount of energy, when in a discussion with a ridiculously smart person, I often find myself a point or two behind, and you don’t even want to hear about my SAT scores (down with standardized tests!!).

Even after acknowledging the limits of my mental abilities, I will tell you that it does not limit me in my all-around performance.  There are methods and principles that can help people maximize their performance without being cognitively gifted.  Just like the 5’10 former star quarterback Doug Flutie did (average height for a QB is the NFL is 6’3), we can create leverage to make our shortcomings advantages.

Here are a few ways I have overcome an intelligence deficient:

Awareness

I have found awareness to be far more important that intelligence in almost all circumstances.  Awareness to me is the balance between head and heart.  It means growing yourself beyond the knowledge you obtain, and cultivating a strong spiritual core.  It requires one to live with a healthy dose of skepticism while maintaining love and empathy.

The benefits of being an “aware” human being are infinite.  The primary benefit however is that aware people live a higher quality of life than others.  They have a better understanding of self and therefore are more happy and effective.  They have a better ability to connect authentically with people and situations.

Grow your awareness by slowing down, meditating, testing assumptions you have about life, and by spending time with incredible individuals.

Aware people are magnetic, they attract the people and situations to produce the best results.

Heuristics and Hacks

You don’t have to be exceptionally smart to create leverage, you simply have to be clever (or follow the practices of someone clever).  Creating systematic shortcuts when it comes to personal development, skill learning or work can help you maximize results while positioning yourself for sustainable input.

Personally, I use simple hacks to help myself make more quality decisions faster, and keep myself accountable.  For example, I have developed a list of core values that govern my thoughts (I wish all of them), actions, and long term goals.  Qualifying opportunities is turnkey when you have developed a strong set of governing values.  Anything that does not fall in-line with my values either gets dismissed or is not prioritized.

Another great practice is to create routine in areas you typically would not structure.  For example, when it came to diet, I generally would get hungry, acknowledge  my hunger, think about what type of food I feel like and what’s convenient at the moment, and after some intrapersonal deliberation I would go to a restaurant to eat (9 times out of 10 Mexican food).  Now, thanks to my wonderful girlfriend, it’s a much different story.  Our meals are prepared at the beginning of week, with a daily schedule posted.  This has led to: less mental strain allowing me to save decision making for more important issues, less time waited, and most importantly, an extremely healthy diet.

For more clever and practical methods for developing a personal operating  system, take a look at this Tim Ferriss interview where he discusses some interesting hacks for producing results.

Humble Leadership (soft skills)

I have a firm belief that leadership is the foundation that your effectiveness depends on.  Your ability to hold yourself accountable to your own results while empowering others to do the same  lays the ground work for being effective.

The great thing about leadership is that it’s not reserved for the brilliant; anybody can be a leader at any given moment.  Once again, it starts with developing a set of core values and having your actions align with those values.  This is integrity, not just doing what you say, but also doing what you believe in.  Leaders need to have the highest level of integrity.

Why does leadership make a person effective, and often more effective than one dimensional intellectuals?  Because good leaders move people.  They lead with passion and intent which drives people to do the same.  Intelligence often lives in a vacuum while leadership is scalable.

——

From the very beginning of our lives, we are conditional to believe that intelligence is the end all be all.  That belief is as shallow as intelligence often is.  Human beings, consume a level depth that no other living being that we know of do.  To be the best people we can be, we must dive as deep into ourselves as possible and make all the “goodness” rise to the top.

Never adopt the fallacious notion that you are not good enough, as that could not be further than the truth.

As Einstein once stated: “Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

 

 

The Next Chapter: Massive Change with Change.org

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The last two and a half years of my life started with one bizarre interaction.  An older gentleman walked into the office I was working at at the time and sat down across from me, a desk creating about 7 feet of distance between the two of us.  He reached into a manila folder pulled out a piece of paper.  He slid the paper across the desk, it appeared to be some type of flow chart that this man said was “the future”.  We talked about a crazy idea, putting a sales and marketing tool in the hands of the service providers of local businesses.  Giving servers, bartenders and baristas an opportunity to make more money, learn how to market themselves and most importantly, be empowered.

This conversation stuck with me for a long time after the meeting was over.  So much so, that I dedicated the next two and a half years of my life to executing this crazy idea that we call JoynIn.  The older gentleman (also the Founder) became a mentor and friend, we raised over a half a million dollars, we built a team that at one point was 10 people strong, and built a pretty freaking cool product.

A few months ago I hit wall.  I just couldn’t do the work with the same type of enthusiasm and pace as I was known for.  Something was different, and it was me.  It was my heart telling me that what I was doing was not right for me.  It was telling me that full and complete alignment with my life’s purpose was more important now than ever.  That validating my worth as an entrepreneur by building a successful startup was not important.

So a month I ago, I decided to leave JoynIn to write the next chapter.

Before “writing” it, I took time to think, feel and evaluate my values, skills, passions and vision.  A decompression process along with an intense personal audit gave me incredible clarity not just with my career, but with the values that guide my life.  I will make sure to outline the process in a future post.

A somewhat discouraging realization came when I discovered there were very few companies and organizations that really fit interest and impact profile I was looking for.  This was also illuminating, recognizing how embryonic the social change/ tech sector truly is.  Resisting my entrepreneurial tendency to build from here, I instead took the most non-scalable approach to the job search ever.  I built a short list, presented to key players at each company and started to interview.

Never going through a real job search process before I found it to be eye opening.  I found that most interviews are conversations, that you need to sell creatively from the jump, that high growth companies sometimes don’t even know how they got there, and to follow the most passionate people.

So after all this…where am I?

I am beyond excited to announce that I will be the Director of Channel Sales at Change.org, a company that is transforming how individuals and organizations spark massive social change.

What led to the decision?  Many factors, the main one simply being it was THE choice.  When I talk about complete alignment of purpose and passion, this is it.

It goes far beyond my own personal wants being met.  There is no other company that exists in this time and space that can create radical global shifts at the level Change can and potentially help shift collective human consciousness.

Sitting down with the CEO Ben Ratray for 30 minutes made that insanely clear.  That in the here and now, this is it.

A focused pivot

As I pivot in life, I naturally pivot in…blog.  Of course I will be chronicling my life experiences and repositioning those experiences so they can be of value to you.  I will also be taking a deep dive into the social change space, social business, leadership and other related fields.  This blog will be a dynamic resource for social entrepreneurs that define themselves by the social impact they create and for those who are looking to define themselves in similar ways.

Thanks for reading.  Hope you enjoy and then act!

 

Photo Credit: B Rosen

The Mastermind Retreat (A Few Days Like Thoreau)

Thursday, January 12th, 2012
I have some incredible friends… Truly incredible, inspiring, change the world type friends. Last Thursday three of these friends and I traveled up to the remote woods of Napa to get away from the fast paced life of the valley and SF for a few days.  However, it was less about pressing the “reset button” and more about charging up the console for 2012. We called our four day retreat a “Mastermind Retreat”.  The purpose: to create a platform for shared wisdom, knowledge and to have us all come out in planned action mode, working to accomplish our goals and mission for the year.  Sounds valuable and virtuous right?  Well…with a group of guys in their mid-twenties and no sight of anyone else for a few days you get some behavior that is far from valuable and virtuous.  No need to elaborate.  Still, the actions and results are worth elaborating on…

Thursday Night

A large cardboard box that has been converted into a bookshelf dumps out about 20 books that are cornerstones of business, self-development, spirituality and more.  As a group that has been firmly dedicated to self growth for a long time, we dive right in to accessing the titles, reading the intros and smelling the pages (don’t act like you never did that before your Kindle).

We relax around the cabin coffee table and openly discuss what we’re looking to get out of the weekend.  One thing is consistent, we all stated in some form that we are looking to create unprecedented results in our lives and a solid framework that will lead us to those results. Kyle passes out a work book that was created by Seth Godin and Zig Ziglar  that’s called “Pick Four“.  This will be our tool book for creating results in our work over the next three months. Soon after it’s off to bed…

Friday

In the Napa woods…it’s hard not to wake up early.  I get up, walk around the property to take in the views and take deep breaths of pine soaked air. After a little reading and solo time we get together at the dining room table at the cabin to start brainstorming our goals for this year.  Recently I have been a bit resistant to setting hard goals for a few reasons.  First off, much of the time they’re too linear, they don’t allow room to discover new possibilities or to iterate.  Second, if you work top down off a big dream, it’s often too hard to create small incremental progress.  If you can’t break a large dream into little goals, you set your self up for failure and to be disempowered.  However, this time I was dedicated to discussing what I felt works and doesn’t…and even more open to adopting a new system for track results. With that all aired out…we listed out all our high level goals…dreams.  I surprised myself as I found I wasn’t dreaming big enough…point taken.  From there our job was to filter those goals based on the feasibility of getting it done in 3 months and the importance to you and your overall mission.  And the there were 11.  Next step, write down “why” you chose that goal.  The impact achieving the goal can have on you and others (a super super important part of the exercise).  Lastly…break the list down to the top 4 and make each goal super specific and results oriented.  Before fully commiting to those 4 we all decided to sleep on it…but it was only 2pm at that point so we went down “into town” at that point. While in town: the most freakishly astounding display of synchronized flying by over a thousand black birds–no joke (D-Man…get the video up!). We went back up the hill and had an awesome dinner with the guys, my dad and step mom.  We switched out the wine for coffee and decided to pull and all night “hack sesh”.  Kyle was writing a new book he’s working on, Derek got strategic with ConvoSpark, Cam when off to bed early and I started working on some Be Social Change work that I have been wanting to work on for the past few weeks. An “all nighter” ended up being a strong session until 2am (I swear Napa is in a different timezone).

Saturday

Never felt so fresh after 5.5 hours of sleep. After pacing around the property for a while I decided to post up at the bottom of the hill to meditate.  Since I had set a goal to meditate consistently, there was no better place or time to dive deeper into myself.  For a moment my mind was still, I felt the profound power of silence and when I finished the session I felt more alive than I have in some time…like woah. On the theme of “wholeness”, you know…mind, body spirit, it was time to give the body a little love.  Well…maybe love isn’t the right word.  Trainer Derek put Kyle and I through an intense MMA inspired work out.  We were not fully functional after. After regrouping a bit, it was time to fully commit to our detailed goals.  We gathered around the table…took out our notes books, and on the signature page, put the pen to the paper (Kyle wanted to do the good old fashion way, mark it in blood).  Here’s what I committed to:

  1. 275 drop-ins on JoynIn by April 1st
  2. Release the Be Social Change MVP
  3. 100 sales (more details on that later :) )
  4. Meditate 60 out of the 90 days.

After the signing, we ended up reading some more, having breakout discussions, then went into town.  It was time to enter back into the world of beer, YouTube and unproductive chatter (you know…the norm).  We ended up going to an awesome South American restaurant, drank a few beers and watch Drew Brees be a bad bad man to the Lions secondary.

Back up at the cabin we took a detour from our work and watched 10 too many Chael Sonnen (best of Chael) and Fula videos (best of Flula).  We then moved to a semi productive mode by playing a game of Apples to Apples with a “pitch your card” twist…people got buzzed, it got heated, we all became better sales people. …ya I know what you’re thinking…”this is not how Thoreau lived at Walden Pond”…ya we know.

Sunday

Last day…woke up (a bit later)…meditated…connected with the guys. Sunday was all about being pragmatic and action oriented.  We went one by one discussing an individuals needs, roadblocks and ideas when it came to there four goals.  We pulled from out wide range of skilled and experiences to help fortify each other’s plans.  We know from experience than when a simple yet actionable plan is not laid out…it’s easy to stray away from that goal due to inertia alone.  We spent a good four hours diving deep into each goal, highlighting weaknesses, discussing strategies and ultimately making each goal a living entity. It was then time to say goodbye to our very own Walden Pond.  We all took time to reflect on our short yet transformative time in the Napa Woods by walking, reading and finding other ways to go deeper into the present moment.

What I Took Home With Me

You know that post vacation feeling?  You come back home bronzed and relaxed to a world polar opposite of the one you came from.  This trip was not like that…it was not a vacation…it was a retreat.  It helped us dive back into our world of chaos more powerfully than before.   To take the chaos…look at it as art, yet approach it scientifically. I came back to my new apartment that I share with my girlfriend excited for new possibilities.  I came back with map that will help guide me towards my destination…everyday I take out my machete and start blazing the trail that is beginning to look clearer and clearer. It’s important to regroup, refresh and reestablish yourself.  I would suggest everyone finds there own way to create their own retreat.  A time and place where you can work off an clean canvas and organize your palette.

Startup Launches — World Change Movements — Crazy Book Campaigns…with visions of Machu Picchu

Monday, August 8th, 2011

When you title blog post like this, you run the risk of being construed as a pretentious self-important braggart.  At this point…so what!!…I’m tired, excited and eager to share!

Over the past two months I (in collaboration with many incredible people) have:

  1. Released the first version of JoynIn in the Bay Area for private testing (much more to come over soon)
  2. Worked to build the Be Social Change movement (much much more to come very soon)
  3. Helped launch a incredibly powerful and empowering book campaign with Jake Sasseville and team.
  4. Went all out home workout style!
  5. And woke up an hour earlier than normal (on most days)…eekkk

All being done in rapid sprint mode as a  trip to South America has been hovering in the background like the pleasant but often noticeable chirping of  an early morning bird.  My girlfriend Catherine and I have been planning this trip for months and TODAY will be strapping on our oversized travel backpacks and be catching a plane to Brazil!

The intensity of these past months coupled with the visions of Machu Picchu has tested me on many levels from: commitment to my work, relationships, mental dexterity, leadership, confidence in my abilities and flat our ability to execute.  In the face of all the chaos I have surprised myself in maintained a calm core (although it may have not always shown out the outside).  No pats on the back for that…instead a simple take away realization that I will make sure to keep with me as we go on our month long excursion and step back into work when I get back:

Your Life is Your Life

Nothing in your life is not your life.  You cannot say that work is work…or that a vacation is vacation … everything in life encompasses YOUR LIFE.

What is the significance in this obvious and almost intellectually insulating truism?  The significance is that when we act and live as if every moment, regardless of what we’re doing, is part of our life…we make sure to LIVE it.  You don’t wait for life to start happening or for you to finish something.  You just live…you are present.

Despite the challenges that arose over the past two months I can honestly say that this was very much an incredibly fulfilling chapter in my life.  I was present as I pressed forward with self imposed deadlines, Skype meetings, and challenging situations.  I never really said…”why can’t I be in South America already” (ok…maybe a few times).

I will be there soon enough…and I will make sure I smell the roses :)

So….in the past two months…

  • I sprinted
  • We hit major milestones
  • and now Cath and I are off to South America…

See you in September!!

Intentionally Foul: How Jake Sasseville Changed How I Create My Reality

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

About three months back I got a Facebook message from a guy named Jake Sasseville that read:

hey — zach hurst tells me i need to know you? true?

I wrote back:

“Need”…tough to say :). But I’m sure it would be great if we knew eachother!

Heard you’re going to be in SF. Feel free to shoot me a call before you come here or while you’re here. I’m in the social media/ startup space which Zach told me you’re interested in.

Hope to meet soon.

At that point all I knew about Jake was the little that a mutual contact of ours (Zach Hurst) told me about him.  If I remember correctly, Zach felt that Jake was a guy that I needed to meet and he was moving to San Francisco.  Sounded like all other San Francisco transplants to me.  Even with that tiny bit of cynicism I am always about meeting new and interesting people and Zach is a guy I inherently trust, respect and he’s always helping me out!

Diving a little deeper into Jake’s Facebook profile the first thing that stuck out, naturally, was his outrageously fluffy hair.  Second was that he is the host a late night series called “Late Night Republic“.  Intrigued by the hair, his show and his seemingly innate audacity that came through his Facebook message we set a time to meet and that was that!

A week or so later we were all set up to get some coffee at one of my favorite places of earth and my frequent remote work office Philz Coffee by the ballpark in San Francisco.  Jake was late…but telling from the text messages he was shooting off as he was running from the Bart to the coffee shop it wasn’t typical for him to be late (he basically shot me off a play by play of his sidewalk trot as he was approaching Philz).  When he finally got there he was sweaty, apologetic and full of life.  We greeted each other with hugs and Jake greeted me some interesting speech patterns that I quickly got used to.  He was like not one I ever met: he looked crazy and composed at the same time, he had the energy of a 5 year old, and most importantly he cut through all the bullshit.  I could tell he was a very REAL person in the first minute of getting to know him.

Quickly diving into discussions about spirituality, entrepreneurship, friends and his TV show (which I thought was only a web serise before I met him…it actually airs on over 50 million households across America) I felt like I knew Jake for years.  Our meeting made me realize two simple things about Jake:

1. He was going to be a good friend.

2. He knew how to make S#!t happen!

The friendship would flow naturally I knew that; but I knew I would have to dig a bit deeper if I was going to figure out how he accomplished so much at such a young age.  His stories were those of a vagabond, movie star and slightly manic person mixed into one.  The stories were incredible…but even more incredible was that I could see that he was living that life right then and there…NOW.

The second time we met up after a meeting I had in San Francisco.  This time we shared our philosophies and methods in greater depth.  Then we honed in on one specific topic.  In essence the conversation was about how we created our reality.  I shared my thoughts on how our realities our often limited by the identity we create for ourseves.  That those identities (who we are to the world) govern what we create and how far we can go.  Jake then took it to a whole new level…he started to talk about how he can create anything…literally ANYTHING.

He began to talk about the power of intention.  How he used to set goals but found them to be counter productive.  ”You set a goal you loose track of peripheral opportunities…you don’t hit your goal your’re discouraged.”

I agreed emphatically.

He said he instead creates intentions.

Go on…

Before he takes on a task or objective he thinks about what his intention is behind it.  Why does he want to obtain what he is looking to obtain?  He works to feel this on the level of the soul.  He then imagines what it would feel like to have it.  Really feel the joy, abundance and creativity that emboides that possibility.

So if Jake wanted to buy a private island he would create the experience for himself before he even owned it.  He would envision the process of negotiating on the deal.  He would create the experience of walking through the island for the first time and roughing it in a hammock made of bamboo.  He would feel the emotions of owning and island and sharing it with others.  He would own that experience already…now it would just be up to him to execute it in the real world.

This concept stuck with me…

I needed to create my intentions and be extremely intentional about it!  I have started to know exactly what I want out of every situation and just simply take the steps to get there.  I now work on feeling what it will be like to fulfill on those intentions and the impact it can have on the world.

We can create our custom realities.  Work off a blank canvas…understand your intention behind what you will create…and start to paint!!

How A 10 Year Old Inspired Everyone!

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Photo Credit: Our Covers

My girlfriend Catherine helps run an after school program in San Jose called Alma Verde.  The kids range from 5 to 12 which makes for some interesting dynamics between young and older kids.  One of the products of those dynamics are their strong opinions and inquisitive nature.  This naturally makes from great after work storytelling from Cath…

However last week’s story trumps all.  The Alma team ran a simple activity about the reuse of wasteful packaging…in this case gum was passed out to see if the kids can think of innovative ways to reuse the packaging.  This exercise was taken to a level no one anticipated as a 10 year old boy named Jorge spoke from his heart…about gum.  Yes a simple consumer product like gum fueled a fire under Jorge as he exclaimed his concerns he has for this earth and called everyone to action…check out the second hand synopsis below:

Disclaimer: I did not witness this …first hand, so I appologize in advance to Jorge and the Alma team for not doing the event justice.  From what I can judge, no text can embody the events of that day :)

Group:  Everyone passing around the gum packages.  Jorge abruptly stands in front of the entire group.

Jorge: “Why do we need gum?  Why do we spend our precious resources on producing such a pointless product?  Do we need gum to survive…no?  Why do we create something that does not add value to our lives or the earth?

How can we continue to degrade our earth for our simple pleasures?  Gum goes into the ground and adds to the waste of this earth…don’t get me started about the manufacturing and packaging.  We can’t continue to degrade our earth any longer!  We chew gum for what?  So we chew away and  have fresh breath?  Well mother earth is suffering for it!

We must remember…we are simply members of this earth…we don’t own it.

Thank You…”

Group: Cheeerrrrssss loader than I can imagine!

Jorge: “Lets write the President!”

Group: “Yayyyyhhhhh!!!”

A 10 year old boy has inspired his peers, his care providers, myself and hopefully you!  No constraints in his talk and his actions…there is no doubt he will do what it takes to make the world a better place…while bringing others along with him.

If Jorge is a reflection of the future of this world…I think we might actually be able to create a world that works :)

Thank you Jorge!!!!

How to Enjoy Life When You Run a Marketing Agency

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

hand-thumbs-up

There is a reason why I haven’t posted on my blog in over a month…

It’s not because I wanted to finish my blogging career covering the Old Spice guy.

It’s not because I haven’t had anything to say.

It’s because my team and I have been work hard to reach a sustainable point of business with ConvoSpark and provide our clients the best service possible.  Therefore, I have unfortunetly been in “workaholic” mode for the past few months.

Running an agency can be challenging and demanding of time and energy.  Agency works has been synonymous with scotch drinking executives that work 15 hour days and go home to their mistresses (think Mad Men).  However, I have not adopted this outdated notion and work-style.  Instead, I consciously think of the “how” when I am working…as long as that “how” is leading me towards results for my clients, learning for me and happiness I know the “how” is right on.

I believe savvy entrepreneurs find time saving ways to gain leverage and avoid this migraine producing work style.  However, I also believe that when an entreprneur is working towards reaching a defined destination..they need to maximize their effort.  And sometimes maximizing effort literally means pushing effort to the maximum (especially when running a service based company).

Being in this state of “maximized effort” for about two months, I can see it isn’t that bad.

Pursuing a destination does not have to be correlated with relentless grim determination (and Scotch drinking).  You can actually choose to enjoy the work you do…all 14 hours of work if necessary.  It takes endurance, the right mental approach and some mind slowing outlets.  Here are some methods and principles I have been going by that have made the past two months enjoyable and fulfilling.

Watch the trees

Find ways to slow down the mind.  My girlfriend’s mom sent me a quote today that read:

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s ahead of us that we sometimes forget to take the time to enjoy where we are.” -Calvin & Hobbs

Ain’t that the truth!  Running an agency can make you insane; constantly thinking about what you have to do…and what you have done…that sometimes it’s tough to get the mind to slow and just take on the task at hand.  What I have learned is that the best results (for you and your clients) come when you have intense focus on one item at a time.

Remember, sometimes it takes taking a step away from the laptop and smart phone to slow the mind a bit.  I prefer cereal at 7:30 while looking outside at the trees.  Nothing works better for me :)

Have great clients

As an owner or team member of an agency, you are only a portion of the equation.  The client typically plays a large roll in all major projects. Therefore, you better make sure to be working with some awesome people.

It is ok to discriminate a bit.  If a client is overly demanding for the sake of being demanding…they’re not worth your time.  Your mental health and your other clients will suffer because of that one client.

With this being said two things are very important.  One, you get a good understanding for your client, their needs and the details of their project pre-sale.  This way you can qualify the client and they can qualify your company as well.  Maybe the project is not worth the investment in terms of the time you will give and the money they will provide.  Maybe the client wants to work far outside your processes which will over extend you and your team.  Maybe you don’t like the client and they don’t like you (100k can’t get me to work with someone I don’t like).  Two, it’s is of the utmost importance to set expectations.  Give clients a look into your operations and how you will be handling their project.  Set specific deliverables and meeting times, making your company professional and minimizing the constant back and forth that can waist everyone’s time.

Embrace cosmic laughter

Work can gets crazy at times.  Servers can crash, a feature may not be working, designs might be all wrong…it happens.  Best thing you can do is laugh it off…like really laugh hard!  Recognize that the universe is still in motion and that the situation can be addressed.  Sometimes it take a little laughter to recognize those truths.

Measure Progress

I never have been good at treading water.  I prefer to be swimming forward (I really prefer to be on land).  Stagnation is never good for a business…and results are never as good if they aren’t measured.  By making sure to gage progress you are moving forward towards gaining momentum.  You will subconsciously be moving towards bettering your progress and hitting the goals you set.  Incremental success is paramount in obtaining fulfillment in work.

We make sure to measure our client’s and team success frequently.  This keeps moral up since we feel like we’re working with purpose.  We are also trying to get better at celebrating our successes that are well deserved.

I would love to hear what you think…any tips…thought…or specific tree locations…let me know.

Better Than an Energy Drink

Monday, June 21st, 2010

For the past couple weeks I have been traveling, building business, ideating…all requiring alot of mental and physical energy.

Realizing that coffee is a short term fix for eye droopiness…I found a high powered recharge over the weekend.

At GenJuice San Francisco I was able to connect and collaborate with an incredible group of passionate innovators who loved to help others and share ideas.  Emerging yourself in an environment like that does something for your mind, body and soul.  You feel the positive wave of possibilities and can’t help but to ride it.

Getting together with amazing people that empower others is my new energy source of choice.

Introducing ConvoSpark: A Social Media Agency

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

convospark logo

Last week I declared that I have made the full fledged nose dive into self-employment.  This week it’s time to reveal the company behind the entrepreneur (at least more extensively).

I have been fortunate enough to partner up with some amazing business people and friends to create ConvoSpark; a social media agency that focuses on creating social technology that engages and sparks conversations about our clients’ companies.  What exactly does all that marketingy copy mean?  It means that if you have a conversation that needs to be started with a group of people, we help you craft your message, customize an application that will carry your message and execute a strategy to spark a conversation with the right groups.  We leverage platforms that consumers socialize on like Facebook, Twitter, iPhone and the Android to help build out polished social media presences. To sum it up, we bridge the gap between our client’s current digital properties with their future social properties.

We have already been fortunate enough to work with some Fortune 500 brands and some ultra creative agencies.  We look forward to building relationships with many more to come.

If we can help you or anyone else you know, you can drop us a line and schedule a free initial consultation.

Thank you to everyone for your unyielding support with the building of ConvoSpark.  Don’t you worry, you will get your fair share of updates along the way.

You can follow ConvoSpark on both Twitter (@ConvoSpark) and Facebook .

A Journey of Uncertainty is Certain

Friday, April 9th, 2010

jumping off

Last Wednesday:  I Left my job at a social media agency.

Today:  I write my own paychecks (assuming that I can)

And I feel more alive then ever.

There is something thrilling about uncertainty.  Ask my two partners at ConvoSpark and myself about it.  We are now moving full force into a dualistic world of well known work (social media marketing) followed by the unknown self-employment arena.  An uncertain future is sparking an invigorating present.

Not knowing if I can pay rent or buy food makes me hustle harder, conjure up some deep seeded creative juices and value my clients more.   Sometimes you have to make yourself uncomfortable to grow…and now is the time break through the threshold.

Becoming a full time entrepreneur is a whole different ball game than the part time gig.  Of course, entrepreneurship is a state of mind therefore being a full timer doesn’t entitle you to a state of superiority.  However, it does pose a whole new set of circumstances that you have to take into account.

Making a living

You know when people ask you “How do you make a living?”.  Typically, you reluctantly give them a templated version of your day to day.  Nowadays, I can literally say: “anything”.  To most that may sound snarky or overtly existential…however, today, I do “anything” I can (within the confines of the law and the positioning of our business) to make a living.  It’s kinda fun to respond to that question by saying…”anything I want”.

More time=Different time management

When you are an entrepreneur that works a 9 to 5 you also have a 8 to 1. It takes incredible discipline, preparation, task management and delegation to make that schedule work effectively.  When you jump ship and start working full time on your own business you automatically assume that you’re freed up time will lead to greater productivity.  That usually is the case, but for me it took a while.  It took schedule adjustments and equally focusing on a “work life balance” (I live more of a homogeneous model).  Most importantly…focusing on what is most important.

The supporters, the envious and the non-believers

In the minds of many spectators, your entrepreneurial efforts will go from “aww that’s cute” to “what’s this guy got up his sleeve”.  You should be prepared to handle all types of commentary.  Some are going to love what you do and will do anything to support you, others will want to be in the position you’re in and some will think you’re doomed to fail.  You’re mom’s going to want to make sure you can eat from month to month.  Your dad will want to know if you’re making the right career decision.  It’s always of the utmost importance to surround yourself with positive people that believe in your cause but will give you the harsh realities when needed.

Well everybody…here’s to ramen noodle and 14 hours days (I am being a bit dramatic).  Really…here’s to freedom of choice, possibilities and making good things happen.

Check out ConvoSpark.com to see a bit more about what I am doing.

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