Eben Pagan’s Blog

Great Quotes: Words That Help Us Wake Up

Posted in Communication, Success by ebenpagan on February 10, 2009

I spent some time with a friend today, and he mentioned a wonderful quote from Mark Twain. Here it is…

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Beautiful.

A great quote can be a lifetime of experience summed up into one line. Great quotes are possibly the most valuable gifts we receive from those who have come before us… from those who have walked the path.

If you’re in the right frame of mind, a powerful quote can help you WAKE UP for a moment. A great quote can instantly transform your view of yourself – and your view of reality.

So what’s the most profound quote you’ve heard? Do you have a favorite?

Let’s create a great collection to share.

In the comments below, leave YOUR favorite and most valuable quotes (with sources, of course!)…

[You can follow me for free on Twitter HERE.]

Master Your MasterMind

Posted in Business, Communication, Psychology, Success by ebenpagan on January 9, 2009

Possibly the most important and profound action you can take to create change, transformation and success in your life is to build and participate in a “MasterMind.”

What is a MasterMind, you ask?

A MasterMind is a group of people who have common interests and goals, who get together on a regular basis to support each other in growth and development toward actualizing those interests and goals. It’s a dedicated group of people who share at least some values, perspectives and objectives in common, who understand that the power of the “group mind” is exponentially more powerful than the sum of the individual minds from which the group is composed.

The first person I know of that explicitly described the concept in detail is Napoleon Hill (in his book “Think And Grow Rich”).

Hill said that no individual can achieve great power with out a MasterMind. My experience (and the experience of every powerful person I know) confirms this idea.

To me, one of the most “magical” powers of the MasterMind is that it affects you on a subconscious level… without you having to “do” anything.

We humans are programmed by everything that happens around us. We tend to be MOST programmed by what we see, hear, and experience others doing.

Not what we read, not what we think, not what we feel. We’re influenced by the OTHERS around us. We literally become those that we surround ourselves with.

Want to know how much a person makes per year? Find their five closest friends and average their incomes. That’s the answer.

Want to know how healthy a person is? Find their five closest friends and average their health.

Want to know what a person’s aspirations are?

You get the picture.

So how does one create a MasterMind group, and how does one make sure that they’re doing it “right”?

Here are a few pointers, based on my experience:

  1. Make sure most of the people in the MasterMind are FAR beyond you. At least 3-5 years down the road you’re trying to travel. 5-10 years is even better. This isn’t a non-profit organization or a charity event, so don’t treat it like one. You’re in this to GROW. (All the while knowing that if you grow to your full potential, you’ll be able to do much more effective charity work later in your life.)
  2. If you do allow others who are behind you on the road to success in your chosen area, make sure that they have MASSIVE POTENTIAL. You’d better be feeling in your gut that they’re a super-star, and it’s only a matter of time before they pass you.
  3. Meet regularly in person. If you are located in different geographic locations, it’s fine to meet by phone often. But get together live, in-person regularly.
  4. It’s great to have a few different MasterMinds for different parts of your life. A physical-health based MasterMind can be just as valuable to you personally as a financial MasterMind. Again, just make sure that the members are beyond you.
  5. Make sure that the people you invite to the MasterMind can add massive value to the OTHER MEMBERS. Remember, you’re inviting people who are beyond you. They’re going to get a lot more value from the group and the other members than they are from you. Carefully select members who will get value from each other. Keep yourself out of the equation mentally.
  6. Be the “hassle remover” for the group. Handle the schedule. Handle the details. Do the annoying administrative stuff that noone else wants to do. You be the one to set up the teleconference bridge meeting line, or the meeting space reservations. You be the one to walk next door and tell the neighbors to be quiet because they’re disturbing your meeting. You be the one to go out and get more drinks for the group because everyone is thirsty.
  7. Remember, the value to you isn’t the tangible things you’re going to get. Don’t focus on material gain. What you’re going to get is the personal GROWTH that comes from being around evolved beings. Let the others have the perks and material rewards of the group. You sit back like the “dumb fox” and allow your mind to receive the higher-level transmissions that are coming from the others around you.

Here are some questions I got when I Twittered about creating a MasterMind, with my answers (I tried to answer many of the questions I got above, but here are a few that will help fill this out a bit):

Q: How do you build or “fill up” your group?

A: Start with one or two people that you think would be great “anchor” members of the group – people you might know or have some influence with. Once you get them, tell other members that you’re inviting about these anchors – and connect up the benefit of MasterMinding with those anchors. Again, keep yourself out of the equation. Use the power of each individual you attract to attract others. Be patient. Wait until you have a good core group before starting. Don’t just let people in because you’re in a hurry.

Q: How do you conduct the meetings?

A: A good starting format would be to create a group with 6 members. Meet weekly for 60-90 minutes on the phone or in person. Each week, ONE of the members is the “focus” of the meeting. Start off by having that member share: 1) Their biggest challenge, 2) Their biggest opportunity. Next, the other 5 members of the group brainstorm to help that person reduce or eliminate their biggest challeng, and take advantage of their biggest opportunity. You, as the “organizer” or faciliatator, makes sure that no-one hogs the mic, that everyone is heard, etc. Key here is all 6 minds focused on ONE person’s situation, challenge and opportunity.

Q: How do you keep your MasterMind members motivated and involved in the group?

A: If you have to motivate and involve them, then you’ve probably chosen the wrong members. Let them go, move on, and find members who are self-motivated – and who have a natural bent toward contributing and being involved. Trying to change people who don’t want to be changed is hard, unrewarding work. There are enough super-stars in the world that you’ll have no trouble finding them to be in your MasterMind.

In the “final analysis” there’s nothing more important to your growth in life than having intentional MasterMinds – and there’s no skill more valuable than the ability to create MasterMinds, facilitate them, and nurture them.

For more on the topic, I highly recommend Napoleon Hill’s book “Think And Grow Rich” – and get the newly-published “Original Version”. It has many important elements that were removed from later versions. (This is the one to get: Think And Grow Rich – Restored And Revised)

Now do everyone a favor, and leave your best ideas for creating, building, and facilitating a MasterMind below in the comments. Please don’t just write “good post” or “I like that”… instead, add some value and contribute to this conversation with an insight, a practice, or a resource that we can all use to create, bu9ild, and faciliate our MasterMinds. Thank you!

[You can also follow me for free on Twitter HERE.]

How To Become Wealthy RIGHT NOW

Posted in Success, Uncategorized by ebenpagan on January 3, 2009

In our modern culture and society, we’re making a mistake that is costing us… well… everything.

In the past, wealth was about things like land, gold, food, and money.

Today, wealth is about education, enjoyment of life, quality of time and relationships with friends, cultural experience, personal development, fulfillment, contribution… and is COMPLETELY intangible and unmeasurable (in the traditional sense).

But the bizarre and almost mystical thing about these new forms of wealth – that makes them COMPLETELY different from monetary or “physical” wealth – is this:

When you give these new forms of wealth away, you still have them.

Think about that for a minute.

Let me say it again:

When you give them away, you STILL HAVE THEM.

You can give them away all day long, and not lose anything.

But that’s just the beginning…

The next question is: “How do we GET MORE ‘New Wealth’ – and truly become wealthy?”

The answer is so simple, and so counter-intuitive that almost every single person misses it almost completely.

The answer is to GIVE these new forms of wealth to as many others as possible.

Not only do you not LOSE these new forms of wealth when you give them away, you actually get more of them by giving them away.

This happens in 2 ways:

  1. When you give New Wealth away, you get AS you give. You also build the capacity within yourself to give even more. And ultimately, you experience or FEEL even more AS you give them away.
  2. When you give New Wealth away, you help others develop the capacity to give New Wealth, and they give some of their New Wealth to YOU.

For example, when you teach another human being how to do something, you learn it better. That person will then go off and use what they’ve learned from you, develop their own “style” or approach, blaze their own trail, then come back and teach you a new distinction that will help you go to the next level on your own path.

When you love another person pro-actively, you build the capacity to love in yourself. You create more love to give. As they experience and receive love, they develop their own capacity to love others – and they give love to you spontaneously.

When you contribute to another person, to a group, or to the world… you participate in the evolution of our culture, our species, and our planet. As the entire culture evolves, we all evolve. As our species evolves, we all evolve. As our planet evolves, we all evolve. You gain. The people you love gain. Everyone gains.

Most of the significant problems that we face as individual people, collectively as a species, and as a planet, come down to each of living in an old paradigm of “getting” and of “selfishness”… mistakenly believing that resources and wealth are scarce. We consume them without regard for the impact that this consumption is having on our health and our planet. We turn a blind eye to the impact that we’re having individually.

We’re literally living in the past, when the most valuable resources were things like food, land, and posessions.

That time is gone. A new time is here.

It’s here NOW.

The people who are on the “cutting edge” of evolution, education, contribution, health, relationships, etc. don’t care if you drive a fancy car, wear a fancy watch, or wear brand-name clothes. In fact, they’re suspicious if you DO “consume conspicuously.”

Living a life to get more material goods, show off so others will give you approval, own more stuff, etc. is a waste.

Living life to contribute more education, growth experiences, friendship, love, and evolution to others and to the planet is where it’s at.

In the final analysis, you have an opportunity to do something that most of the other people who have lived before us did not have the awareness or opportunity to do.

You have the opportunity to become wealthy RIGHT NOW. In this very instant. Immediately.

All you have to do is start giving your New Wealth away with consciousness and intention.

Here are a few action steps for you:

  1. Teach something to another person in a way that helps them grow on their path.
  2. Give someone an experience that will help them evolve.
  3. Introduce two people that could help each other – without expectation.
  4. Love another person unconditionally.
  5. Contribute to a group or cause that is working to change the world.

The single most powerful business and marketing lesson I’ve learned is something that I call “Move The Free Line.” It involves giving away a massive amount of value to potential customers – for free. This results in them trusting you, telling others, and getting a “sample” experience that helps them make the decision to buy from you and your company.

It’s just the beginning.

In the long-run, we will all become incredibly wealthy when we learn how to give Modern Wealth away consciously and consistently as a WAY OF LIFE.

Have a fantastic year, and do something to make yourself and the people around you wealthy TODAY.

Leave me a comment below to let me know your thoughts…

[Follow me for free on Twitter HERE.]

The Best Way To Market With Social Media?

Posted in Business, Communication, Success by ebenpagan on December 30, 2008

OK, there were SO many great ideas here… it wasn’t easy to choose. I wound up choosing THREE winners, instead of just one. Winners below will get a full set of my “business training” products, and are invited to one of my live programs as my guest (total value: around $10,000). Thank you VERY much to everyone for your contributions. I’m going to re-write this post, and tune it up to make it a great resource for others who want to learn how to get started with Social Media…

WINNERS:

Alex Taylor: Great creative use of the “Ultimate Scenario” technique, the story… and just plain fun to read!

Laura Roeder: Wonderful step-by-step primer for getting started and marketing with Social Media. Nice work!

Kevin DaSilva: Nice primer for using and COMBINING Social Media tools to promote and market!

Thanks again for contributing!

(If you’re reading this now and have more ideas to contribute below, feel free… it will help others.)

***********************************************

What’s the BEST way to market with Social Media?

To celebrate my first month on Twitter (reaching 4,000 followers in first 30 days), and my first month blogging consistently, I’d like to see if we can use the “Power Of The MasterMind” to learn together.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

I’m going to GIVE AWAY a set of all of my business training programs, plus a ticket to one of my live business trainings (the value of this package is about $10,000) – to the person who posts the BEST entry teaching how to market with Social Media… in the comments below.

The idea here is to generate a fantastic resource that EVERYONE can use. I would love it if I could direct people to read this post and the comments long into the future – to get a good “Social Marketing Primer.”

As “Brain Food” I’ll list some questions you might want to answer in your “entry” below…

  • What is Social Media, anyway… and why does it matter?
  • What’s the “essence” of Social Media, that’s different from other forms of media and communication in the past?
  • How should I get started with Social Media?
  • What are the top 10 Social Media websites?
  • What’s the best way to grow a “swarm” or a crowd of followers on a particular Social Media website?
  • What’s the most effective technique you’ve used to grow your business using Social Media?
  • How can someone turn a big list of followers in to MONEY using Social Media?
  • Can you describe a “case study” with details, numbers, and references – about how you’ve made money with Social Media?
  • Where can a person find other great online resources that cover marketing with Social Media?

Now, this fun little project is going to draw quite a few entries. No question. In order to keep things INTERESTING, I’m going to set a few quick rules…

>The Rules:

1) You must write something INTERESTING. No one-liners that say “get on twitter” or “friend me.” I’m not even going to APPROVE comment entries that aren’t thoughtful, valuable, and interesting.

2) No “negative marketing” or “name trading” suggestions (or other “hustles”). In other words, don’t recommend that someone create a YouTube video titled “Eben Pagan Sucks?!” – and then optimize the SEO value of the page. Lame.

3) I’m going to choose the winner. I’m judge, jury, and all-powerful arbiter of this contest. I realize that we could really have some fun and let everyone vote on the entries, but this is more about collaborating to create massive value FAST. I’ll choose the winner by the end of the week (in other words, start writing NOW). I’ll also Tweet the name of the winner on Twitter, of course!

So get to it, and post a comment below teaching your best Social Media marketing insights and strategies. You just might win ten thousand bucks worth of my best business training stuff!

[Follow me free on Twitter here: Twitter.com/EbenPagan]

All Stressed Out, Nowhere To Go

Posted in Psychology, Success by ebenpagan on December 28, 2008

I’m considering creating a video training program to help others reduce or eliminate stress from various parts of their lives. It seems that many people experience too much stress, but they have nowhere to go for answers about how to eliminate it. I’d like to fix that.

From what I’ve learned in my own research over the years, stress is the “main culprit” behind such diverse robbers of life as:

  • Weight gain
  • Sickness
  • Depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Fear and pessimism
  • Lack of focus and productivity
  • Career and business failure

…and a host of other issues.

The way I’m thinking of it right now, over-exposure to “negative stress” manifests itself in our 3 “human realms” – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

  • Physical stress manifests as tension
  • Emotional stress manifests as anxiety
  • Mental stress manifests as worry

Over the past several years, I’ve consciously worked to find the roots of these various types of stress manifestations, and to create solutions and preventative measure. I’m talking about everything from meditation and conscious muscle relaxation… to positive self-talk and emotional dissociation exercises… and everything in between. I’ve solved a lot of my own issues with stress, and helped others with many of their issues as well.

Right now, I’m most interested in creating education and training programs that will have the highest impact on the most people, and this just seems to be an area where a lot of people are in need right now. The combination of “attention fragmentation” that’s resulting from the modern business/connected environment plus an overall mood of uncertainty is dialing up the stress levels of people everywhere.

So basically I’m trying to figure out if this would be a project that’s worth investing my time and attention in.

Do me a favor: Leave me a comment below, and let me know your thoughts about this. Right now, I’m thinking about creating a 30-90 day video training program (similar to my Wake Up Productive time management/productivity training)… specifically focused on helping others to reduce or eliminate various types of negative stress in their lives (and possibly INCREASE the “positive” types of stress while they’re at it) – to create maximum success, focus, calm, joy, and overall fulfillment with life.

The program would be for everyone, but it would probably have a focus on the “success” aspect of life – as most of us want to reduce stress, anxiety, tension, worry etc. in order to ACHIEVE something.

What do you think? Would you invest in a program like this one? What do you think the right PRICE would be for it?

Do you have any recommendations of books, audio programs or videos I should reference to add to my own experience? Any tips of your own? Any key thinkers in this area I might not know about?

Go wild in the comments – I appreciate it!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Posted in Business, Good Books, Psychology, Success by ebenpagan on December 2, 2008

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” – and it was a good read. Very valuable. Major takeaways are:

  1. Initial conditions matter. Think Chaos Theory. Complex systems that evolve over time (which humans are, and groups of humans are) can be very sensitive to initial conditions. For humans, influential initial conditions can be other people, key training, early advantages, access to tools and resources, etc.
  2. Practice matters. 10,000 hours seems to be the magic “inflection point” that results in “genius.”
  3. Culture matters. What’s acceptable in your culture can influence your thinking and behavior in major ways.

My action steps after reading this book:

  1. Pay more attention to the first experiences that customers, partners, and team members have with our business, our team members, and our products. Better induction processes, better training, and better relationship-building leads to bigger success.
  2. Teach and coach others to practice their craft more often, and for longer. Essentially all of the key successes in my life came after YEARS of focused practice. Encourage practice consistently with others.
  3. Work on our business’ culture. It just happens that I interviewed Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) a few days ago, and most of his focus is on their company culture. This book helped me understand more of the nuances of the importance of aligning and consciously creating culture.

Part of my personal approach to life and success over the past several years is to surround myself with people that “are” what I want to become, and it will happen almost automatically. This book helped me to realize just how important it is to “take control” of your “influences” if you want to direct your own success.

Overall, it’s a good book. Read it:

Outliers: The Story of Success