Looking for a Good Book? Here’s What My Friends Recommend

Looking for a Good Book? Here’s What My Friends Recommend

We all have that one book we recommend to other people. If you don’t, you need to read more! Reading is something that has never been easy for me. Where it takes someone 30 seconds to read an average page, it’ll take me 60. Even if I sit down to read a book, I can only stand 20-30 pages before I mentally get fatigued. It doesn’t help that I like to pause and reflect about what I read after every chapter. I’ve always been determined to improve my reading skills… PLUS, I love learning, so I decided to improve my reading speed and comprehension by reading more often. In the interest of reducing the amount of “things” in my apartment, I’ve moved my reading on to the Kindle App for iPad. I’ve actually grown to love reading from my Kindle App because I can highlight my favorite quotes, facts, and passages and easily search back through them. It makes the whole “reflection” process much more efficient. In the past, I’ve primarily received my book recommendations from other entrepreneurs and by listening to podcasts. Looking for exposure to new things, I decided to turn to my friends and social media connections to see what they recommend. Here are the books that were recommended, but I already read them: These recommendations I haven’t read yet, but I’m planning on it: These recommendations I’m not sold on. I’ll eventually read them, maybe: Based on what I have read and the recommendations above, here is what I recommend people interested in personal growth and business should read: (In no particular order, but if...

Going on an Information Diet for Sanity & Productivity

I’m going on a diet… An information diet. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m always listening to podcasts, reading a book on marketing or startups, and scouring through hundreds of articles daily in my feedly reader. Well… that has to stop! A while ago I went on a social media fast and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Studies are showing that frequently scanning for little dopamine hits by looking for validation is not a healthy practice. Similar to my reduction of social media usage, I’m cutting down on my sources of information. One of the recent things I heard from Tim Ferriss really stuck with me: “Focus on ‘Just in Time’ information instead of ‘Just in Case’ information.” That was pretty much what I needed to hear to start examining what information I was consuming. So far I have gone from over 20 podcasts down to 10 podcasts. Even at that number, I’m being more selective on what episodes I download and listen to. I’m focused on reading only one book at a time instead of dividing my attention between 2-3 books. It was taking me 2-3 times longer to finish one book. Information started to blur. Remember those hundreds of websites I’d have in my RSS reader? Well, it’s down to only 17 blogs. Much like podcasts, I’m still being selective about what I read. My interest in heavily weighed on the quality of the title of the post. One thing I realized is that I’m a slow reader which is why I’d rather consume a podcast or audiobook over reading. The blogs, books, and...
Opinionated Marketer: Bullshit Web Design Services

Opinionated Marketer: Bullshit Web Design Services

Through my monthly meet up group I’ve met a lot of beginning, first-time entrepreneurs. While we gather once a month to talk about the hurdles they’re facing in starting a business, I make it known that I’m available by email after the event if they find themselves doubting a decision or need a second opinion. The other day, I received an email from someone needing to get a website built. Not wanting to hassle with a long and expensive process of getting a website built, they considered the Ad below and asked for my opinion of the service provider: The Internet Has Changed Since 1994 I used to build starter websites for small businesses and I was completely transparent about the entire process. I even went as far as outlining the website creation process so they can attempt it themselves before sinking a couple of grand on a website for a business that isn’t proven yet. This advertising “website design company” set off every bullshit alarm I had and then some. The sad part is, they’ve been in business since 1994 probably using tactics like this, which means it is probably still fooling people into doing business with them. This isn’t an isolated case, just search Craigslist for website developers and you’ll see that this example is actually the norm. I can’t fault people for trying to make a living or even a little side cash, but at least work on your pitch, stay up to date on industry knowledge, and be transparent. Here are a few of the red flags that stood out… “We have been designing websites since 1994. Yes, 1994 when it was called “The World...
Brand Building vs. Brand Bonding and How Companies Can Finally Get SOCIAL Using Periscope & Meerkat!

Brand Building vs. Brand Bonding and How Companies Can Finally Get SOCIAL Using Periscope & Meerkat!

When marketers get ahold of a platform they ruin it… 1/3 of the average 30 minute TV show is commercials Radio became so cluttered with Ads that Sirius/XM emerged as an alternative Even Facebook is fighting back to prevent marketer overload by throttling reach Traditionally in marketing, companies have justified reaching out to people, jumping into their online conversations in an attempt to connect with them, by calling it “brand building.” In most cases, traditional methods of marketing don’t foster a deep personal connection. Brands have been left saying, “Let me PUSH myself in front of you!” While there are best practices to build a loyal audience on social media, too many companies would rather skip ahead and try to go straight for the sale. Thankfully with newer platforms emerging like Live Streaming apps, Periscope & Meerkat, they are encouraging users to say, “Hey everyone! I’m here, let’s talk.” In the past people talked about how social media was about engagement. NOW, Periscope and Meerkat are platforms that actually provide a personal connection, creating TRUE social engagement. This is called “brand bonding” (a way to bond with your fans). The best part of these newer platforms? It’s difficult to overexpose yourself at scale. Most brands have a few recognizable faces or characters. I feel the only authentic way for fans to truly connect with a brand, is for those “recognizable faces” to be on the live broadcast. This means marketing agencies can’t schedule a bunch of bland content on behalf of their clients. Fewer messages means each message will hold a higher value to the viewer. This is true especially when personal interactions takes place. I’ve noticed that the best results on platforms like Periscope...
How I Use Uber vs. Lyft (and others) to Get the Best Ride

How I Use Uber vs. Lyft (and others) to Get the Best Ride

[NOTE: The following is just a theory. I’ve tested in out in two different cities for about a dozen rides. I’ve also chatted with drivers from both companies to gain further insights. If you are new to Uber or Lyft, you can start off your account with a $20 credit by signing up using these promo codes for UBER: derekw742ue & Lyft: DEREK410221. I get a $20 credit as well… so we both win! You’ll want to sign up for both, I’ll explain why in this post] What is Uber & Lyft Quick background… Uber and Lyft are the two leading companies in the ride share economy. Basically drivers use their personal vehicles as a taxi service where people can order a car to pick them up using the respective apps and drop get dropped off at desired locations like airports, hotels, etc. It’s a great way for people to make extra money. In some cases, better money than their day jobs. These two companies have troubles expanding into new markets because the local governments often have regulations over the taxi industry (for safety purposes). Their concern is that if anyone can call themselves a taxi, then the streets will be littered with Taxis and people will be getting into unsafe cars driven by drivers with sketchy backgrounds. My town of Portland is one of those towns that heavily regulate. While I was in Costa Rica (more on that trip in another post), Portland granted Uber & Lyft three months to prove they won’t crumble our city. It wasn’t until I went to a marketing conference in Denver that I actually...
I REALLY should start updating this blog…

I REALLY should start updating this blog…

In some ways, this blog is an embarrassment. I’m a digital marketer, I understand the importance of blogging to build a brand (even a personal brand). Yet I can’t bring myself to blog. I can barely blog for business let alone for personal expression. I’m actually writing this an hour before I’m going to attempt to sleep for a few hours and then wake up to head to the airport so I can attend the Authority Rainmaker Conference in Denver. It’s a conference about blogging and other various digital marketing activities. The best part… Henry Rollins is the closing keynote! Perhaps I’ll get inspired to blog… Check back in a month, if you don’t see another update, you’ll know the answer. Until next...
Allow Me to Introduce You to My Deep Dark Past

Allow Me to Introduce You to My Deep Dark Past

I Came From the Evil World of Wal-Mart My first non-fast food job as an adult was working in the Photo Center at my local Wal-Mart in Grants Pass, Oregon. There isn’t (or wasn’t) much of an industry in Grants Pass. Basically in 1998, Grants Pass was known as the pit stop between Medford and Roseburg (it might still be known as that). It also was the first job that didn’t start me out at minimum wage. I started at $0.25 above minimum wage. The only type of work I knew was the hands-on, ditch digging, weed whacking, chicken frying job that was often associated with low wages. I’ve been working since I was 11. My first job was doing yard work for $5/hr for a friend of my mom. It was great comic book and basketball card money. When I entered the world of Wal-Mart, I kept that same work ethic. I dove into the dirtiest parts of my department and did the work that no one else wanted to do. The work that people DID want to do, I did better. It wasn’t long before I was promoted at Wal-Mart… and it was even less time before I was promoted from that promotion. At the pinnacle of my career I was touring around to different stores and helping other managers and their crews be better at their jobs. I grew into a comfortable salary that I was miserable at. Why was I miserable? Because everyone else was miserable. Misery is contagious is you don’t cover your eyes and ears long enough. The people who were the most miserable...

When Enough Isn’t Enough

“Good enough never is.” – Debbi Fields If you have a goal, something you want, and you have tried and never reached that goal… When do you quit? I suppose it depends on a number of circumstances. For the sake of argument, let’s assume deep down inside you are capable of achieving the goal, but your approach has been wrong. Chatting with a friend the other day about a problem they were having and I suggested that they take a step back and approach the issue by doing more legwork. Their response… “I have done enough. I shouldn’t have to do more.” They felt taking a step back on a path towards a bigger goal was admitting somehow that what they have done up to this point was sub par work. To me it sounded like a sense of entitlement and a fear to do real, hard work (a recipe for continued failure). When goal setting, too many people keep an eye on the end game and not how to play the game. When something isn’t enough, I approach it from an opposite standpoint. For example… Pretend you have been job searching and you aren’t getting results, what do you do? Keep applying to everything online, hoping that one day you get hired… or… Do you ask the businesses that turned you down how you can be more competitive and go work your ass off to reach that level? Even if it means working more time at an entry level position… even if that entry level position is an unpaid internship. Most failed job applications come from a lack of...
Happy “Let Go Day” to Me!

Happy “Let Go Day” to Me!

Let Go Day –A rally cry for everyone who wishes to break free, do work they love, and live life on their own terms. First coined by Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income), people all over the world are regaining control of their destiny. The day that you finally break free is known as your “Let Go Day.” Sometimes we sit on the brink of something great and we just need that ONE push to actually move forward with it. Most people never receive that “push,” but to those who do and look at it from the right perspective, it is a moment that can change a life. Little did I know that 6/29/2012 was the day that would spark some major changes in my life. Call it “getting future endeavored” … call it a “contract dispute” … call it “being fired” … Call it whatever you want, but the fact is I didn’t have a steady income after that day. Thankfully I saw this coming. For the six months prior to 6/29/2012, I was building CAKEpdx. I was able to build more income on the side than I was making working for my former employer. So when this day came, I didn’t panic too much. The only thing I didn’t see coming was what was going to happen after that… [Let’s skip ALL of the personal happenings during this time and just stick to business] I felt the pressure by friends and family to go out and find a conventional job. I acknowledged their concerns, but I was enjoying my new freedom. FINALLY… I got to decided what I wore to...

This is Some “Bowl” Shit

The Hollywood Bowl in Portland, Oregon was my first memory of Portland… before I even knew what Portland was. My Dad was an avid bowler and competed on a regular basis and once a year would travel to Portland (from Southern Oregon) to bowl in a big competition. This is all I know… I have some trophies from those tournaments, but I don’t know much more than that. What I do remember is being a little kid (4-6 ish) wondering around the Hollywood Bowl. I was told to stay inside, but like every kid… I didn’t listen. I took my wrestling toys outside to play in their rock fountain. Fast Forward to my adult hood I was driving down Halsey and drove past that same rock fountain that I remember playing in as a kid on my dad’s bowling trips. I damn near stopped in the middle of the road. I can’t believe it was the same fountain I remember playing in. I had no idea it was the Hollywood Bowl in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t even know the Hollywood Bowl existed, but I started going there when I wanted to bowl. Jump to… February 18, 2014 … The Hollywood Bowl posted this on Facebook: More on this story can be found on The Willamette Week. I’m going to have to plan a night of bowling before they close forever. While another Portland landmark will cease to be, my first Portland memory will live...