Eben Pagan’s Blog

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.)

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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!

The Price of Truth

Posted in Truth by ebenpagan on December 27, 2008

I’m sitting with two of my closest friends right now, and we’ve just had a very enlightening conversation.

During the conversation, my friend Nathan Otto said:

“If you know the price of truth, you’ve already paid it. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

It turns out that this short, profound phrase was the result of a 14-hour conversation between Nathan and his AMAZING partner Amber Lupton… about the source of meaning.

You might want to write that one down on a Post-It Note, and stick it on your computer monitor… then read it a few times a day for the next month or so. I’m going to be thinking about it a lot.

Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you think…

SKYNET Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized, Weirdness by ebenpagan on December 21, 2008

First robot to walk like a human:

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan/biped-robot-walks-with-human-grace

Robots that figure out how to lie:

http://gizmodo.com/346029/scientists-invent-robots-that-lie-real-bender-closer-than-ever

Scientists extract visual images DIRECTLY from the brain:

http://www.pinktentacle.com/2008/12/scientists-extract-images-directly-from-brain/

60% of Roomba owners have given their robots NAMES:

http://www.fool.com/investing/high-growth/2006/01/25/new-years-2016-i-robot-investor.aspx

IBM simulates a rat brain:

http://seedmagazine.com/news/2008/03/out_of_the_blue.php

An interesting quote from this last one: “After years of hard work, they were finally able to watch their make-believe brain develop, synapse by synapse. The microchips were turning themselves into a mind.”

A Conversation I’ll Never Forget…

Posted in Uncategorized by ebenpagan on December 18, 2008

Last night, I had dinner with a man that affected me deeply.

His name is Getachew (pronounced “geh-tah-cho”).

Getachew is the department manager of an irrigation and water supply organization in Ethiopia. He oversees the building of wells for people who have no clean water.

I met Getachew through my friend Scott Harrison. You might remember Scott from my “Online Birthday Party” webinar – where we raised money to build wells in Africa.

I flew out to New York to attend Scott’s charity:water ball this week. As part of the ball, Scott flew Getachew from Ethiopia to speak at the ball, and share his story.

Here’s what I learned from Getachew…

The most important thing I learned is that it’s not easy for me to realize the REALITY of the life circumstances of another person – especially if I don’t have any frame of reference for those circumstances – or any similar experience of my own to relate to. I need to talk to a human who can explain it, or I need to see it with my own eyes.

Getachew grew up in Ethiopia as a typical son of a typical family. They had several cows, and a few sheep. This was the extent of their “worldly wealth”… so to speak.

While he was a child, Getachew slept on a bed that was made by building a mud and stone “bed” platform, then covering it with a cow skin or sheep skin. All of the children in a family sleep in the same bed, and share one blanket to sleep with.

Every day, he would wake up, and eat his single daily meal (as is typical for an Ethiopian, according to Getachew). This meal consists of one piece of bread. Getachew showed me the size of this bread meal with his hands.

Circular. Maybe ten inches across, and one inch thick.

These are typically made by the mother of the Ethiopian family. First, she takes wheat that has been donated by the government or by a foreign government (frequently the U.S., from what Getachew told me), and she grinds it by hand between a rough rock and a smooth rock. The ground wheat falls into a container on the floor. She then takes the ground wheat, and mixes it with a little water, to create a dough. No other ingredients than wheat and water. She kneads the mixture for about an hour by hand. Then, she shapes the “cakes” of bread, and bakes them on a traditional clay surface over a fire.

Getachew told me the story of being a teen-ager, and walking 50 kilometers each way to his school (where he would stay for the school week, by staying with friends). He walked this distance barefoot both ways weekly. He said the sharp rocks on the foot paths in Ethiopia would cut his feet. But there was no choice, so he made due.

When he would leave for school for the week, he would take 6-7 pieces of bread with him, in a bag over his shoulder. This was his food for the week.

By the 2nd or 3rd day, the bread would be so dried out that it would often be impossible to chew or bite into. So he would break off a piece, and dunk it into water, and eat it that way. Sometimes, it was so dried out that he would break it into little pieces – a powder of sorts – and then just mix it with water in a sort of soup, and eat it that way.

Things are different for Getachew now. He has a beautiful daughter and a wonderful wife… and a great job.

He is the manager of the water and irrigation facility in his area. He manages 150 people, and earns $500 per month as his salary. Before this, he was a “technician” – meaning that he actually built and worked on the wells and irrigation systems in Ethiopia. For 18 years, as a technician, he made in the neighborhood of $250 per month.

What struck me most about Getachew was, interestingly enough, NONE of what I’ve just told you.

What struck me most was his ATTITUDE.

The conversation I had with him was over dinner. In a beautiful New York apartment.

We were eating a catered meal that a talented chef created on the spot, just for the occasion.

We were drinking expensive wine.

We were surrounded by opulence and wealth.

Getachew wasn’t bitter. He didn’t point fingers at anyone, and say “you’re bad because you’re living this way.” He sat, ate, and enjoyed the company of the people who brought him to the U.S.A.

I told Getachew the story of how I “gave up my birthday” to build wells in Africa a couple of weeks earlier, and he said something that was fascinating to me.

He told me that I would be happy later in life.

He said “There’s nothing wrong with money and success. But if you help others with some of your success, you’ll grow old and be happy.”

It was clear that he didn’t feel that he, or anyone else, was “entitled” to anything. He was giving me advice based on what would make MY life better in the long run.

Of course, he also mentioned that people who buy dinners for a hundred bucks don’t realize that they could literally change the lives of a hundred living humans – by providing those hundred people FRESH WATER FOR A YEAR with the hundred dollars. But he never spoke in a way that sounded naive or unrealistically idealistic.

Getachew “gets it.”

Viktoria, Scott Harrison’s fiance (who also does the beautiful design work for charity:water) told me the story of what Getachew said when he first saw the buildings of New York upon his arrival. She said that he looked at them in admiration, and immediately began looking at the foundations, admiring the structures and ingenuity of the architects who could design a foundation to hold such a huge structure. This was, of course, his first visit to America.

As Getachew told me one story after another… of how his family members each wore the same single article of clothing for six months (until worn out)… of washing the garment every 2-3 months… of not washing his body every day like we do here in the U.S… of herding a dozen cows and sheep all day with a small stick as a way of life… of how his shorts had the seat worn out, so when he walked or ran he felt embarrassed from the exposure… he ALWAYS smiled with a deep, genuine smile.

Zero resentment. Zero anger. Zero entitlement.

I was crying within 5 minutes of starting my conversation with Getachew, and I appreciate him for it. I feel like I’m starting to wake up from a dream, but the waking up isn’t the most pleasant thing I’ve experienced. More to come… I hope.

Here’s something interesting: Getachew told me that his people in Ethiopia have a common “viewpoint” about why they live the way they do, relative to others in the world. They believe that God has chosen this life for them, and that they must accept God’s will for their lives. They don’t even have the IDEA that they could do something to change their life circumstances. They live in a “complete” world. And it has become not only the physical reality for them, but also the emotional, mental, and spiritual reality.

So what did I learn?

I learned that I’m AFRAID TO ASK people like Getachew what their lives are like. And I learned that when I do ask, others are more than glad to share, give perspective, and help me get insight.

I learned that my idea of how other people see the U.S.A. and how they see people like me is ENTIRELY fabricated, and based on nothing other than my imagination and ideas that were put in my mind by others.

I learned that I’m going to ask other people about their experiences, and to seek out people who have had VERY different experiences in life to share with me.

One final thought:

I walked out of the dinner party with Scott and Viktoria – just to get a few more minutes of face-time with them.

As we walked down the cold streets of New York, just the three of us, the conversation turned back to the work at hand.

Finding more donors for charity:water.

Building another page on their website.

Appointments and schedules.

Real life.

Right now, as you read this, Scott and Viktoria are working on raising money and they’re building wells. Getachew is back in Ethiopia… overseeing the building of new wells for people who walk hours each way to carry polluted drinking water back to their families.

And I’m realizing just how fortunate I am that I was born in America. And I’m realizing that I like helping Scott, Viktoria, and Getachew build wells for the people in Africa who need clean water.

NOTE: If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch my “birthday webinar” – you can see it HERE:

My “Online Birthday Party” Replay

[Follow me for free on Twitter HERE.]

The Best Book You’ve Never Heard Of…

Posted in Good Books, Uncategorized by ebenpagan on December 7, 2008

My biggest “find” in the last year or so is this book:

The Seven Mysteries Of Life

I consider this book to be the ultimate introduction to, and integration of, everything important about life and existence. Guy Murchie invested something like 15 years of his life writing this book – and then another entire YEAR illustrating it.

I honestly think it would be valuable for every person to read this book as they enter adulthood, and then review it at least once per year from them on. It’s that important.

Do you realize that every person you meet is… at MOST… your 50th cousin?

Did you know that sex evolved before death?

Would it surprise you to learn that there are at least 32 different senses that exist (not just the 5 that we commonly think of as “the” senses)?

Has anyone ever mentioned to you that the content of your thinking shapes the process of your thinking?

How about this: There are insects so small that they don’t feel gravity. In fact, to them, flying through air molecules feels like swimming would feel to us. To the smallest, flying most likely seems like DIGGING.

Finally: Even though the Earth “feels” smooth and motionless, we’re moving at 1/4 mile per second as the Earth rotates on its axis… 18 1/2 miles per second as the Earth travels around the sun… and 150 miles per second as our solar system orbits the galaxy.

This book will greatly assist in helping you “wake up.”

An integration of science, philosophy and art. Beautiful in its form, and impactful in its message. A deep book… but one that anyone will immediately be able to understand and appreciate.

Read it!

You can get it HERE.

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SKYNET

Posted in Weirdness by ebenpagan on December 3, 2008

FIRST, go to this page and watch the video:

Big Dog Robot

Then watch this:

Self-Reassembling Robot

Then read this and watch the video:

Wireless Robot With Rat Brain

Next, read this and watch the video:

Direct Brain Control Of Humanoid Robot

And finally, read this:

First Man-Made Genome, Synthetic Life Is Next

My simple question: Don’t any of these people go to the movies? Maybe they all need to get together and watch The Terminator, then The Matrix… back-to-back.

Please comment below.

[Follow me for free on Twitter HERE.]

My “Online Birthday Party” Replay

Posted in Uncategorized by ebenpagan on December 3, 2008
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What I Want For My Birthday

Posted in Uncategorized by ebenpagan on December 2, 2008

My birthday is this coming Friday.

And I’ve decided to do something a little UNUSUAL for my birthday this year: I’m GIVING IT UP!

Here’s what’s happening…

Week before last, I met an amazing person who is doing something very important to help the world. He has figured out how to help groups of people in Africa to build wells for themselves and get at the fresh water that’s right under their feet. As you probably know, something like a billion people have to drink dirty, contaminated water every single day.

So this year, instead of getting birthday presents, what I’d like instead is for you to join a special webinar that I’m hosting on Tuesday at 11 AM Pacific / 2 PM Eastern – where my new friend Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity:Water is going to show you some of the work he’s doing to help families and children in Africa to get clean drinking water.

If you’re interested in how business and charity can work together, then you’re in for a treat. This presentation will teach you a lot about execution, marketing, and persuasion. And it will teach you how to help others in a way that WORKS. Seriously, you’re going to learn a LOT on this webinar.

As you well know, I’ve never done something like this before. So you can trust me when I tell you that this is VERY important and very special. When you join the webinar, you’re going to learn a lot… and you’re going to have a chance to contribute to something that’s really making a difference.

So instead of getting me something for my birthday, please join this webinar – which is a gift I would REALLY appreciate. This webinar is going to be my birthday party!

If you want to attend, all you have to do is sign up here (it’s free):

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/643946414

Please make sure you register NOW, because I’ve invited about 110,000 people – and we can only hold 1,000 total on the webinar.

Talk to you Tuesday at 11 AM Pacific / 2 PM EST. Email me if you have questions…

E.

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