Social Marketing is The Great Equalizer

I enjoy social marketing for many reasons.  My favorite aspect is that I now have friends that I interact with all over the country and the world.  I also enjoy the fact that social feels like an even playing field for the diligent entrepreneur.  As you noticed, I used the word “diligent,” not “well capitalized.”  That is why I see social marketing as a place where an unknown can become a known on a nominal budget. 

I spent a nominal amount of money marketing ONO, almost none through traditional channels.  Yet ONO has become a best seller and I am booking great speaking gigs as we speak. I also knew nothing of the online social marketing world before I began, and I paid very little to learn.  That is why I see social marketing as the Great Equalizer.  You can get a lot done with just good ol’ will and determination over time.  I dig stuff like that.

I love when I am put into a entrepreneurial situation where if I just work harder and smarter than most, I will be successful.  If you find yourself early in this learning process, just keep your eye on the prize—know where you are heading and engage in conversations.  Read your head off so you don’t have to bang it against the wall due to misinformation.  There is a ton of super high quality information available online.  Just make sure it is from a trusted source. If you are asking yourself who to trust, then get out there and start talking with folks you trust and ask questions.  

Social marketing is here to stay but it is a constant ebb and flow.  It is a baby in the marketing world and we are all still figuring it out.  If your planning on aligning with someone or hiring their services, make sure they have proof sources of what they have “sold.” If it’s only social marking advice that they have been successful at selling, buyer beware.  It’s worth attending a beginners course or buying a starting package to speed the initial learning curve. 

The key to social marketing is to be social.  Start there, and what works will show up as you socialize.  Don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking social marketing is a place to go for the pitch at every opportunity.  I suggest you read other posts I have written on twitter as to how to engage relationships on twitter.  Good luck.  Assume a humble rock star status in your own mind and you will have a chance to be one in social marketing, capitalized or not. 

Tim Tebow’s Higher Purpose in Life

Tim Tebow will go down in history as one of the greatest college football players to ever play the game. Tebow is getting ready to head into his senior season as the quarterback of the University of Florida Gators with two national championship rings and a Heisman trophy under his belt. He is living every 21-year-old guy’s dream, but Tim Tebow is not your typical 21-year-old. Like I talk about in ONO, the first step in living the ONO lifestyle is developing your higher purpose. Tim Tebow has clearly defined his higher purpose in life, and it has nothing to do with the sport of football.

Read this section of a recent ESPN article by Ivan Maisel and you will understand why Tim Tebow’s goal is to be an all-star human being, not an all-star football player.

“…Great players can be found at the intersection of Talent and Passion. But that is an incomplete address for the Florida quarterback. He has what few 21-year-old athletes possess. He has what few 21-year-old anythings possess. Tebow has perspective.

"He's a vicious competitor, OK?" Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said. "But yet his compassion is endless. How many times have you seen that?"

Through his family's evangelism, Tebow has seen the Third World. Through his own outreach, he speaks at prisons in Central Florida. He visits local hospitals.

"I think more so than playing football and being a competitor and trying to win," Tebow said, "compassion and love for helping people is so much more important than any of those other qualities can ever amount to being."

"Compassion" is not a word often heard in football, unless it's the fourth quarter and Florida is pummeling Charleston Southern. It is not a trait the sport prizes. Tebow has all the traits football prizes: toughness, competitiveness, desire. None of them is first on his list.

"Just helping, being someone who, when someone needs something, you're there for them; if it's a teammate, if it's a Make-a-Wish kid, if it's someone in the hospital," Tebow said. "And not just someone who does it here and there, now and then. That's my life. That's what I want it to be. When I'm done playing football, my life isn't over."

One of a quarterback's greatest talents is the ability to see the whole field. A month before he turns 22, a month before practice begins for his final college football season, Tebow sounded as if he is able to see the whole field -- in uniform or out. "I think a good way of explaining it is football is what I do but it's not who I am," he said. "So many people get caught up in 'This is who I am. I'm a football player.' No, that's what I do. I play football and I love playing football. … I'm so much more outside of that.

"I don't want to be labeled as a football player. I want to be labeled as someone who, when someone needed something, or when someone asked me to do something, I was there for them. I was there to support them. I wanted to help them genuinely, not because it looked good or not because someone was going to write about it, but because I genuinely cared about helping someone else."

All of which led to the question: If Tebow had never played football, what would be his normal life?

"I don't really think about normal," Tebow said. "I think normal is something I never wanted to be."

There was never any danger of that. No danger at all.

Gear Your Financial Life to Support Your Personal Life

Many people are finding themselves in a forced transition in terms of their financial lives.  Millions of folks have lost their jobs or businesses and are on the hunt for the next solution. Across the board, people have taken a hit in their net worth which has hurt capital, and on top of that, the ability to get a loan is more difficult than ever. 

My intent in writing this post is to encourage you, as you look for the solution, to do so from the best perspective. To gain this perspective, you have to begin at the end. Ask yourself what it is that you want and seek out or build a business or venture that will give that to you. “What you want” is a bucket of worms by itself, so let’s focus on what that really is.

So let’s start at the end, and I literally mean the end of your life. Think about what would be read about you at your funeral? Would it be, “Sam, was a wealthy man who didn’t have time for the people he loved,” or will it be, “Sally always kept her family first as she built her business?” In ONO, I suggest you write your own eulogy. Ask yourself what you would want said about you when you die, and then build a entrepreneurial venture that will enable a financial lifestyle that will make your eulogy a reality. 

Be careful though, an entrepreneurial endeavor can take on it’s own life and you will be the one responsible to keep it in check. If you let it take over, it will gobble up all of your time, leaving none for the greater things in life. Life is truly about the greater things, and as an entrepreneur, you have the choice on how you prioritize your life and how you spend your time.

In Honor of America's Birthday

This is a little long, but very worth the time. Here is the story of how the Star Spangled Banner came to be. It truly is something that every American should hear and be proud of. Parents, get your family together and listen to this amazing story.

Finally, a Safe and Easy Way to Teach a Child How to Ride a Bike

I had been struggling to teach my oldest son, Jaken, how to ride a bike.  I tried several approaches throughout the learning process.  We started off with the traditional route of raising the training wheels off the ground so he would have to learn how to balance on his own.  However, all he did is lean at an angle so that one training wheel was touching the ground at all times.  Next, we went with the old "dad running behind while holding the seat approach.  This just led to him feeling scared and not being willing to try again for a while.  He was feeling discouraged and so was I. 

My wife told me about a friend of hers who had used a “push bike” to teach her children to ride so we decided to give it a go.  A push bike is simply a frame, handlebars, a seat, and two wheels.  You take the two most complex parts about riding a bike out of the equation, the pedals and the breaks.  I took Jaken’s old, small, training wheel bike and took the pedals off.  I say “took them off,” but after trying to get into the pedal assembly and seeing how hard it was to dismantle, I just hacked the pedals off at the base with a  saw.  It was a five dollar yard sale bike anyway. 

Next, I showed Jaken the principal of what he was trying to do--which was to learn how to balance on two wheels.  I told him that he needed to get going fast enough so that he could pull up his feet and glide.  His brakes and training wheels were now the bottom of his shoes, which he thought was cool.  The whole idea is to let them get a sense of the balance while in total control.  After a total of about two hours on the push bike, Jaken asked if he could try his big boy bike.  I gave him one little push and he was off never to return to the world of “assisted riding.” 

I just wish I would have known about this solution earlier.  I believe Jaken would’ve easy been riding by the age of four, or even earlier had we known.  Our friend’s children rode two wheel bikes at age three using the push bike technique. 

Good luck and have faith.  We tried everything before this to no avail.  It worked and worked great.