Many of the ideas in this post are based, in addition to my own experience, off the writings of Tim Ferris and Michael Elsberg – to whom I’m eternally grateful.
There is a murmur of disenchantment in many people’s attitudes towards college degrees. I say a murmur, because there doesn’t seem to be a larger percentage of people who are choosing not to attend at all; but amongst current students and recent grads there is a general air of disgruntlement (I like that word!) with the current educational system.
There are several major issues with the state of the collegiate educational system:
The following document is not entirely true, yet not entirely false either. Overall, it should be observed as a METAFOR, like the lamp of the same name that hangs above our heads and illuminates our path through our life / living room.
The Loss Prevention Protocols (first draft)
It recently came to our attention that we have been incurring tremendous losses in the form of illegal shoplifting from our international stores. Even in Canada. But not in Sweden, of course.
IKEA looks upon all forms of shoplifting with the utmost severity. This is true regardless of whether someone is trying to sneak out a single pair of SAVVORY salt and pepper shakers in their back pocket, or an entire REJÜVINATION bedroom set through the express checkout lane.
To this end, we have created a euphemistically correct job position called Loss Prevention Managers. These individuals should survey, both in person and through closed circuit cameras, the crowds who frequent our IKEA stores. When done in person, the Loss Prevention Manager should maintain a low profile, appearing smiling and carefree on the outside while vigilant like a coiled spring on the inside. Their IKEA-issue, KABBOOM sawed-off shotguns should be kept out of sight at all times.
I always say, the best kind of contents to win is the kind you don't mean to enter.
For example, my sister once tagged someone's picture with a contest entry hashtag (where all you have to do to enter is add a certain hashtag to your post), who ended up winning 66 chocolate bars.
The process if content marketing is remarkably simple and yet counterintuitive.
It is the process of writing blog posts and articles that tell others what you do so they can do it themselves. If you are a graphic artist, you tell them how to create graphics. If you are a lawyer, you tell them about law. If you are a plumber, you teach people how to plumb (the depths of their souls?).
How does this make sense?
Won’t this ruin your business? Won’t people learn everything there is to know from you, and then do it themselves?
The short answer, is no. And the explanation that follows is also a general response to people who are afraid that others will steal their ideas and therefore don’t tell them to anyone.
Why won’t teaching others about your knowledge hurt your business?
Because we both know that your success, your career, what you bring to every meeting with a client, is not just knowledge.
Your personality, your skills, your creativity, your experience. A lot more than just your knowledge is condensed between your ears and expressed through your fingers.
Yes, knowledge is a booming industry, which is why content marketing is such a booming topic in today’s marketing world. People are looking for solutions to their problems, and your well-written and informative blog posts can be the ones that solve those problems.
There will be some people that will take what they need from you and move on.
But there will be many others for whom your post will do exactly what it’s supposed to do: connect the reader to you, establish you as an expert, and help them realize that you could provide them with a much better solution than they can provide for themselves.
In today’s day and age, it is impossible for one person to do everything themselves. Everyone picks one specific niches and specializes in them. And the society as a whole trades off – you teach a doctor inbound marketing, and he cures your ingrown toenail (hint: one process is a lot less painful than the other).
So by all means, keep sharing your knowledge with the world. You will be giving to others, establishing your credibility, and in the long run will benefit from delighted, grateful clients who recognize that you can do your job much better than they can.
Even after you tell them how you do it.
The Jerusalem Ambassadors is a program created by Itzik Yarkoni of BOMAH, in conjunction with Hebrew University and the Jerusalem Municipality, to help students from the Rothberg international school share Jerusalem's story with their friends back home.
As part of the program, I taught the participants effective blogging and inbound marketing techniques, resulting in blog posts from Australians, Mexicans, and even some in Chinese!
It's the idea that counts...
It can be overwhelming to a newcomer to the practice of meditation to make sense of all the different methods and practices out there. There seem to be so many different kinds of meditation, many of which with funny names added to them like “vipassana” or “chakra”, that it can be hard to know where to start.
In reality though, meditation can be grouped into three broad categories, which can help make sense of all the different options out there; it is these three options that I hope to explore in this post. Firstly though, for the sake of this discussion let’s define meditation as “the process of focusing intently on something”.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
As a photographer, you probably work as a freelancer, and are therefore contantly preoccupied with bringing potential clients to your site. Your site, after all, is you main way of establishing your professionalism and creativity, winning over the confidence of your potential customers, and growing your business.
Here are five easy ways that you can use to increase the traffic to your site.
The trending style of marketing today is called “inbound marketing”, where you make yourself valuable and interesting enough to your clients that they come to you, as opposed to traditional methods like google advertising that pushed yourself in front of other people.
The key approach is to create content that “delights your customer”, to quote Hubspot, who have a great online course on the subject. Put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask yourself “What do they care about most? How can I help alleviate their pain or give them pleasure?”
Then create that kind of content for them.
Creating helpful content for people accomplishes three things:
“Listen Cupid,” said Sir Steve, intrigued. “Could I borrow your shotgun for a day? I need to shoot my wife.”
You know of course (since I am assuming that you are either reading these stories in order, or you have a basic knowledge of the dynamics of fairy tales. If neither of these assumptions are true, this is not my problem, and I suggest you contact your local folklore expert for assistance), that Sir Steve and Lady Sqwiblette lived happily ever after, which of course means they lived happily married ever after.
But what you did not know until now, was that that almost did not happen, and at one point their marriage was in dire risk of dissolving. The point of conflict which almost lead to such a disastrous state of affairs (disastrous, because divorce would have lead to the end of this series, not to mention that the extreme rarity of divorce in fairy tales would have meant the almost certain excommunication of Sir Steve from fairy tale society.), was Sir Steve’s most un-gallant tendency to forget to lift the latrine seat when he attended to his bodily functions, which lead to all the predictable and expected results that such inaction would produce.
Many years ago, there lived a wise emperor, who decreed that all stories told about him should begin with the words “Many years ago, there lived a wise emperor”; which shows what a blithering idiot he really was. This emperor desired to have new suit made for him, and managed to get bamboozled by the one single con-artist in the entire land who told him that he would make him clothes that only wise men could see.
Being a blithering idiot, the king believed him, and seeing that he could not see the clothes himself, he decided to make pretend that he did see them, neglecting the fact that all the dumb people of the nation would surely see parts of him he would rather they didn’t.
And so it was that he put on his invisible clothes and paraded his very-visible self through the streets as all the dumb people made pretend that they couldn’t see anything, until one little boy who couldn’t have been more then six or seven years old, opened his big mouth and ruined it for everybody by saying “Hey! The emperor doesn’t have any clothes”. The emperor turned a delicate shade of fire-engine red, sentenced the boy to death, and then lived happily every after.
In the year 2011, Gore-Tex, the largest manufacturer of strange textiles and dental floss, discovered that they had discovered every type of textile known to man; they had expanded their horizons as far as humanity could reach, and the only thing they hadn’t discovered yet was Nothing. This too, they promptly set out to find, and in short order had developed a commercially viable prototype of Nothing, an extremely durable material that was also very light and airy, which they promptly trademarked.
Israeli talk show host Guy Pines aired our Miley Cyrus on his parody video on his TV show on the eve of Passover.
Even if you don't speak Hebrew, you can still make out "Kneidalach"- the Yiddish word for Matzah Ball, "Shtreimel"- the "fur hat" on the man's head, and "Lego"- because apparently Guy is not familiar with playmobile.
(excuse the NSFW preview thumbnail)
Pines also speculates that the man is crying because of all the crumbs. Another victory for mindless fun!
If you missed our original video, here it is:
“You are a Nazi,” explained Shlomi Shabab gently to the soldier standing next to him. “And I hate you. The Nazis killed millions of Jews, and you do exactly the same thing by standing on the border of this country and preventing Jews from getting killed.”
Shlomi Shabab’s logic was irrefutable, and had been honed through years of intensive Talmudic study and coffee drinking, so the soldier next to him remained speechless. Or was it shock?
“I know someone whose uncle’s cousin went to the army. He personally told his brother-in-law that the army has strip shows every night with military prostitutes. He also said that they routinely feed the soldiers pork.” he adds angrily, adding that “that was back in 1952 so I can’t even imagine how bad it is nowadays.”
Meanwhile, in a gold-plated office not far away, finance minister Yari Lapid was conceiving of additional ways to steal from the rich and give to the poor. And by rich I mean anybody in Israel who has a job, and by poor I mean Yair Lapid.
In a shocking press conference today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed his previously unknown attitudes towards women. “I believe that women are great, and I personally for one, would not have been here today without women.” He said, adding, “Women are really the cat’s meow”.
Netanyahu’s remarks are a response to the controversial topic that has swept through the country, of the so called “banishing of women” or “veneration of women” depending on how you read the non-vowelized Hebrew. The topic has been raging through the country, but no one has been sure what the press and politician’s view on topic is.
This ambiguity was clarified today when Netanyahu, responding to accusations that no one has levied against him, declared that swapping Gilad Schalit had nothing to do with gender. “We would have got him out of there just as quickly if he was a woman,” said Netanayhu. “In fact, we would have gotten him, I mean her, out quicker. And then we would have asked her to sing.”
This last statement refers to the fact that recently officer cadets had been banished from their course “due to a lack of musical appreciation, especially in the soprano area,” said an official speaking on condition of publicity. “And as we all know this is a critical shortcoming in the line of fire”. When asked to confirm this statement, military spokeswoman Miri Avnit-Kumkum responded “la la la, lalala, bum bum da bum bum bum,” And added that “mee mee mee la mee.”
Speaking at the 5th annual Israeli turnip grower’s convention, Netanyahu informed the attendees that “women are our future, and should be allowed to roam around whenever they want wearing whatever they want (or don’t want).” With a dreamy look on his face he added, “It’s been a while since I last had an affair”.
Netanyahu received a standing ovation for his speech and appeared particularly proud of himself. When called upon for an encore, Netanyahu came back on stage and added “Women totally rock.” Responding to the PM’s statement, MK Tzipi Livni said “I am a woman. So I know what I am talking about. And I am talking about women. Women just have to be women. Could you please pass the women, I mean salt?” She added, “A woman should be allowed to sit wherever she wants on the bus. In fact, I think the driver’s seat looks kind of appealing.”
Public opinion on the subject has been divided. “I think it’s sickening, the way they spat on that girl,” said pizza delivery man Itzik Hatavooly. “It makes want to walk up to a Charedi child and punch him in the face.” “Why can’t we just get along?” he lamented, jabbing his elbow into the person in line before him.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, stands Menachem Steinburgsky, self-appointed spokesman for the ‘The Sikrikim’ (the vandals; or crickets, depending on your reading of non-vowelized Hebrew). “When girls go to school wearing jean skirts, I feel like I’m in the holocaust all over again,” said 32 year old Steinburgsky. “It’s bad enough I have to wear striped outfits all day without having Zionist Nazis arrest me for beating up a video store owner”.
National-Religious Rabbi, Nachum Ben-Zahav said, “This all just so sad.” “Not listening to women sing causes tremendous hatred and a divide amongst the people. It tears apart at the fabric of our nation. It’s why the messiah hasn’t come yet. I don’t want to go into politics or get involved, but I think it’s wrong.” “What we need today is senseless love,” he added, hugging a lamppost.
“Hey,” said Netanyahu. “It’s been a couple of minutes since I said something on the subject. Did I mention that some of my best friends are women?”
Execution is what separates the men from the boys.
The ability to implement ideas, to put them into action, is what will set you apart. Seth Godin writes extensively on the value of actually “shipping”, pushing out your content in front of real life people who will actually consume it. I couldn’t agree more.
Here’s a personal example of me implementing this value. When the Miley Cyrus Wreaking Ball video came out, I really wanted to join the ranks of thousands of other people making parodies of the video.
With no budget and little know-how, two friends and I set about making a parody of our own, which had to be done in miniature because of technical constraints. We spent an afternoon filming, two weeks learning to edit it, and $5 on Fiverr for someone to sing the song. Here is the result, in all its glory:
First of all, what is guerrilla marketing?
Guerilla marketing refers to marketing campaigns that use unconventional tactics to create awareness about your product.
It was originally conceived of by small business owners who didn’t have the means to produce expensive, conventional campaigns. By finding creative alternatives that created “buzz” and went “viral” they were able to leverage their small budget to gain significant reach and exposure.
Ironically, Guerilla marketing has since been adopted by the world’s biggest brands, who create elaborate stunts that still earn them many more viewers by dollar than a conventional ad campaign would.
To bring you up to speed, here are some of my favorite examples of great guerrilla marketing stunts, each with millions of views.
Why do we procrastinate?
This is probably one of the most discussed topics in the self-help literature, and when I say literature, I mean online blog posts. There are endless articles on techniques, strategies, and the reasons behind why we procrastinate.
But I’d like to share a really simple, powerful insight that I learned from my life coach many days ago.
It all comes down to must vs. have to.
People used to think the world of art was flat.
You had a spectrum running from really good to really bad, and if you went too far you just fell of the edge. Kablooy. Splash. There be dragons.
This may have always been a silly myth. Or, just like with the real world we live on, the situation may have changed at some point.
Either way, the world of art is currently round.
If you are like me, then you like systems and think visually.
Also, if you are like me, than you know how hard it is to keep track of all the different steps, ideas, and facets of your project if you hold everything in your head.
I am obsessed with life hacks.
To this end, I frequently read lifehacker and the works of Tim Ferris to learn how I can get more out of less. I have learned that many setbacks and difficulties are a result of flawed mindsets, for which I found life coaching and therapy to be the most beneficial. However, there are specific ideas and practices that I have personally found make a big difference in my day.
1. 80/20 principle – I learned this principle, developed by Vilfredo Pareto, in Tim Ferris’ book The 4 Hour Work Week. This principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. The same is true about your weaknesses – 80% of your headaches come from 20% of your problems.
Once you realize this, you can take stock of the various aspects of your life. What activities do you enjoy most? Which of your activities have resulted in the most results? Can you do more of them? Conversely, what aspects of your life are causing you the most grief? Can you cut back on them?
For example, I realized that I really enjoyed creative writing, and am good at it, which means I get it done really quickly. So 80% of my satisfaction comes from 20% of my work, because I get it done quickest. I have therefore resolved to increase the amount of time I spend writing each day.
At first I thought it was a scam.
Joseph from Zoopah contacted me through LinkedIn telling me I’d won a computer in an ad contest I had applied to. I barely remembered entering, and I had never heard of Joseph, so I was sure that the next step would be for me to pay just $29.99 for shipping and handling, after which I’d never hear from him again.
But Joseph prompted me to check my other inbox, the one belonging to the email I give out when I don’t feel like getting spammed. Lo, there was an email from a week ago telling me I won.
If this was a scam, it was an elaborate one, which certainly warranted a donation of $29.99. But the request for money never came, just a mailing address, and before I knew it I was the proud owner of a Lenovo C440 all-in-one touchscreen PC.
How did I win this computer? And what life lessons did I learn from my experience?
If you are reading this, chances are you are at least interested in the topic of personal growth. I commend you, as it happens to be a passion of mine.
But there are many people out there who are not interested in this topic. And as I’m sure you can resonate with me, many of those are the people that need to grow the most.
I often say that self-awareness and a desire to grow are all you need in life to succeed. But we all know people who are so stuck that no amount of external pressure, discussion, or suggestion seems to have any impact at all.
So it seems that the world can be divided between those who have an affinity for personal growth, and those that don’t. And as these two groups progress through their lives, the divide between their levels of refinement, development, and growth grows wider and wider, as one group progresses and the other lags behind.
I am writing this not because I have a solution, but to share my frustration over a problem.
The one takeaway I can glean from this observation is humility. Yes, it is very satisfying to have other people come to me to help them develop themselves. But I must remember that the person who willingly books an appointment with me is part of the minority who is interested in growing on their own accord. And that type of person will grow one way or another, if not with me than with someone else.
So I must always remember that I am just a tool, a hopefully helpful stepping stone for someone who is already on a journey.
I am still searching for ways to inspire those not looking for inspiration, the motivate those who don’t realize they are not motivated. I welcome suggestions in the comments below.
To schedule your free full-length guided mediation session through Skype, simply contact me.
Meditation has multiple benefits, some of which we’ve already discussed. However, when we think of meditation, we often think of a monk on a hilltop in the middle of Nowhereville, Tibet.
There are two issues with this. Firstly, most of us don’t live in Nowheresville, Tibet, yet we still deserve to benefit from the pleasure of meditation. Second, meditation can contribute greatly to real world living and real life problems like dealing more effectively with traffic jams, screaming children, or annoying bosses.
But meditation and real-life interactions seem like a contradiction, no?
It is of course more challenging to be conscious and self-aware in a supermarket than it is in a meadow, but it’s still possible. Here are three tips to help you reach a state of continuous Zen.
Today is the day, the day that you love,
Your birthday is here, oh flubadubdub!
Here at your workplace we want to fill you with cheer
And want to wish you the happiest birthdayest wish of the year
It is with immeasurable joy and unbridled glee
That we send this happifull, glorious message to thee
But we feel the need to stress just one little thought
You still work for us, and we don’t pay you for naught
You must still do your job, I’ll just make myself clear
Exactly like every other day of the year
Don’t get any wise thoughts
Like leaving early and such
And if you don’t mind staying later
We’d appreciate that much
Today is your birthday, you told us already
But that doesn’t mean you can be all snooty and heady.
So just lower your head and carrying on typing
Please do all your work with no complaining or griping
That blog post you’re editing won’t just revise itself
And that proposal is due for Mr. Monybags Wealth
There are 500 emails in your inbox to check
And 42 invoices to file, oh heck!
Today is your birthday, but don’t let your head swell
Everyone around you’s got a birthday as well
So although it’s your birthday, please carry right on
With your heart full of joy, ‘case we wrote you this song
Your loving HR department
Have you ever eaten a cookie and lost or misplaced the other half? It’s a terrible feeling.
Here’s what happens (this is scientifically proven, science just hasn’t figured it out yet). When you pull the cookie out of the cookie jar / barista’s hand, your mind calculate how much cookie is soon going to be inside your stomach.
“Ah,” it says. “There’s approximately 6 bites of cookie (BOC) right there.”
And although your brain is very bad at estimating almost everything else, it is really good at estimating BOC units. Like, insanely good. Leave it to man to have a really sophisticated system that is incredibly useless.
It then gears your tongue up for the job: “tongue!”
Would you like me to write for you?
Other sites I have contributed to:
(click logos to view posts)