February 19

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.
Hollywood Bowl 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:
Hollywood Bowl Closing in Portland

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 on.

Category: Random Thoughts
December 11

Personal Challenges

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” – H. Stanley Judd

failedThis quote has been said in various ways by about every damn motivational person in existence. I’m not even sure if this quote was originally said by H. Stanley Judd. [Confession: I don't even know who he is. I had to Google him to make sure he wasn't a Nazi sympathizer or anything.]

The point is that you do learn from failure… if you’re open minded. Too many people look at failure as the end. That may be true, if you’re a quitter. I look at failure as a result from my efforts and as feedback on how I could do better next time. Why did I fail? What could I have done to prevent said failure? … and so on.

You have to at least fucking try…

You can’t call your failure a successful learning experience if you never began to try.

A book I read this year, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, opened up my eyes to the fact that we often get in the way of our own success. He calls it resistance, but it is more often called procrastination and self sabotage.

When we take on a challenge, task, or project, we often immediately try to find a way or a reason as to why it won’t work. We do this to psych ourselves out from ever beginning the actual work. If we never start, we can’t fail… right? We can just ho-hum our way through lives always saying, “I wish…” “If only…” “____ is so lucky”.

The only way wishes can come true, hurdles can be overcame, and luck happens is if you do the damn work.

You have to start somewhere…

Can you just decide tomorrow that you’re going to run a marathon? Sure.

Can you just run a marathon tomorrow with no training or experience? Probably not.

Before you run 26.2 miles, you have to know what it’s like to run a mile first.

The same way we tackle challenges is the same way we train for a marathon… baby steps.
[I have no idea why I'm using the marathon example. I'm never running a marathon. You bank on that.]

Anyways…

The easiest way to accomplish something big is if you break it down into smaller wins. Learning discipline, commitment, and dedication to finishing something is what achieving your goals is really all about. It really doesn’t matter what the goal is. As long as you develop good habits, they will carry forward into all areas of your life.

At this moment, I really don’t have a grand vision or a goal to set out and achieve. Sure I have a bunch of smaller, non-descript goals: “grow my business” “travel more” “get healthy”, but I really don’t know what those look like in specific terms. Once I do though, I better be prepared to go all out. Basically I have to train myself to make my goals my bitch and tackle them ferociously.

I’ve been training for success…

I know it sounds stupid, but stay with me…
The Failure Games App
For the past couple of months, I’ve been taking on personal challenges to sharpen my determination and will power. I was inspired by The Failure Games and decided to take their daily challenges a step further. On Facebook, I’ve been announcing a weekly challenge that I’m giving myself (sometimes given to me by friends). Beginning on Mondays, for 7 days, I accepted and completed each challenge. A few of my weekly challenges so far have been:

  • Read a new book
  • Give up Facebook
  • Learn three new recipes
  • Give away one cluttering possession each day
  • Run a mile in the morning (got the flu in the process)
  • I’ve even given up all social media for a week (that was enlightening, more to come about that).

The goal for each of these tasks was to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone. What on the surface seemed like a short term goal actually have turned into long term changes in my life. I no longer drink energy drinks, I now like cooking, and I’ve grown a healthy hatred for the Internet ;-)

If you want to be a success at anything, you have to be humble, aspect that you might fail, and be ready to learn from each mistake you make (heh, that rhymes). If you’ve read on this far, congrats! You must really be a true friend of mine… or a stalker. In either case, I want to challenge you to make a simple change in your life.

Remember, it’s all about little wins.

Get out there, and do something meaningful.

Your future self will thank you.

What small change are you

going to take on for the next 7 days?

State your goal as a comment below and I’ll personally check in to see if you kicked some ass this week.

Category: Random Thoughts
September 11

United We Stood…

Freedom Tower during my quick trip to NYC

A few days before 9/11/01, I made the decision to quit my stable job in my small hometown to move to the big city selling high end electronics on commission.

It was a risky decision, but I needed a shake up in my world.

When I turned on the news this morning 12 years ago, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with this country.

All I knew is that WE were being attacked and what people use to determine the health of our economy (the stock market) was frozen to prevent a global economic meltdown.

For a brief moment I thought:

What am I doing?

People aren’t going to spend money in a time of crisis on a 50 inch television.

I’m safer in a smaller town, why would I want to live my life worried that I could be living in the next terrorist target.

In just one short month I had planned to live in a new city and work at a new job (two huge life changes). Trying to start a new life while we are on the verge of a war was a little unsettling to say the least.

Fortunately I wasn’t starting that new life alone. I had a wonderful support system built into my girlfriend at the time (note: we’re still friends).

That was the last time I doubted my move. I knew that as a country we wouldn’t let this attack bring us down. Sure life was taking a new path that was unknown to my generation, but I had faith that we would rebound.

Freedom Tower during my quick trip to NYC
…and rebound we did!

I look back now and I’m able to say that through tragedy,
we can learn a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a nation.

I learned to not make rash decisions based on heightened emotions.
I could have easily given into fear and said to Jenny, “let’s stay in Grants Pass.” I’m glad I didn’t. While I may not be richer financially, my life is richer in experiences. Experiences I would have definitely not had in Grants Pass, OR.

Fill your life with experiences because physical things can disappear.
In the blink of an eye your things and loved ones can be gone. We shouldn’t find happiness in acquiring the latest consumer electronics and crappy knick knacks to fill our homes with. It’s just artificial happiness that we are seeking through these things because we won’t address the difficult question of what truly makes us happy. We should be filling our lives full of memories. In the end, experiences can’t be take away. Even after the moment is gone, the experiences you acquire can still live on through memories.

I would hope as a nation that we learned the same lessons, but the verdict is still out on that one. I’m concerned with our obsession with pop culture, social media, and they latest gadgets. These distractions take us away from what’s truly important: Life and the loved ones we keep close.

While we were never the same after 9/11, we did regroup and life resumed back to as normal as it could. Unfortunately we have given into terror by placing certain practices into play in the name of security. I don’t believe there will ever be a time again when we can relax as a nation.

When people say, “Never Forget.” The truth is that they have forgotten. They forgot that for once as a nation we stood UNITED. Lives were lost that day trying to save the lives of others. People were selfless and weren’t concerned with petty differences or gossip and people weren’t bragging about what kind of car they drove.

Yet we have fallen back into our old, selfish ways. 

We’re more concerned with the latest iPhone, Internet memes, and twerking. Yes… twerking.

My hope for us as a nation is to remember that feeling of unity after the tragedy.
When people helped each other first and themselves second.
It shouldn’t take a tragedy to remember that feeling.

Through unity, we are truly secure.

Category: Random Thoughts
June 11

Hulu FTW!

Hulu Social Media Win

Today’s “Social Media Win of the Day” comes from Online Video Service, Hulu. The following is something that took place recently on Facebook and I was fortunate enough to witness it happen. Here is the post that started it all:

Hulu Social Media Win

First off, I love this post! It’s edgy, directs people to their website and capitalizes off the popularity of The Ellen Show.

Hulu could have easily ruined the joke by turning into “PR Defense Mode” and explaining the “typo,” but instead they stood strong behind their post with a follow-up joke. In the end, Hulu’s smart fans come to the rescue. Hopefully teaching future commenters to actually READ the whole post before weighing in. What am I saying? We live in a world of SO MUCH INFORMATION that all people have time to do is skim… no one reads anything completely anymore, do they?

In closing… Good job, Hulu! Thank you for standing strong to your brand and defending a solid post with even more humor!

You’ve read this far? Congratulations! Leave me a comment so I know to thank you for taking the time out of your day to induldge in my random social media thought.

Category: Marketing
July 24

Success: From the Outside Looking In

success

I’m developing an idea for a project that I’m working on about the traits of successful people. I know “success” is a relative term. I’m not talking about the level of success a person has, but what does it take to get to their own personal level of success.

Here is the idea that I’m developing.
Your feedback is sought after and greatly appreciated:

The more I pay attention to life, the more I notice that “successful” people are strong in 3 categories (If I had to categorize it)

Those three strengths are:

1. The Art of Communication

Successful people know how to communicate with their team (let’s face it, we can’t go at life alone). They also know how to communicate with those outside their camps. Business is social in nature, we will encounter other “people” in this world that we have to do business with. Due to “people” being such a general term, we have to develop a strong foundation in effective communication no matter who your audience is. Those who can clearly set objectives, share the steps to accomplish their goals and constructively provide feedback will accomplish more in their lifetime.

2. Organization

All systems need a scaleable plan of action. HOW TOs are why wikis became so popular. Some organizations rely on manuals. The military’s “every thing has a place and everything is in it’s place” is one popular method. All of these bring a sense of order to the execution of the plan. I think it’s important to have organization in your organization so you team knows how to act when you’re not there or dead in the battlefield. Even if you’re a soloprenuer, being organized will save you tons of time.

3. Time Management

Speaking of time… how we choose to spend our time determines success. There are only a finite number of hours in a week. Multiple obligations pulling us in a million directions quickly eat up those hours. Our families deserve our time for the fact of allowing us the space to venture out on the path to see what’s down it. Like I said, there are a million distracters. It’s how many of them we allow in that will take our precious resource of time. Time is the only resource that we can’t gain back. It takes a lot of sucking it up and doing the shitty things we don’t want to face while ignoring the things in life that are more instant pleasure. Delaying instant gratification will allow us focus, so that we can have a better life in the long term. I think this is the hardest one for most people to take and it’s the one I struggle with the most. It ties into the other two tools the most as well.

So after getting this thought out, I had a fourth trait brought to my attention that I agree with:

4. Healthy Optimism

Negativity breeds repulsion. The last thing people need to hear while on the path to achieving a goal is detractors. They might argue that they are only trying to prevent their loved ones from getting hurt if they don’t achieve their goal. Also to be noted is optimism from the successful person’s POV. Have confidence in your future success and don’t let doubt bring your down.

This is just a scratch on the surface of my idea. These are the (now) 4 tools (or skill sets) that I am trying to develop based on my observations of other people who I have determined have their shit together. Are they* successful? That’s a subjective measure I think we can all agree on. Are they* the most equipped to handle life? That’s what I’m trying to determine…

Am I off base? What are your thoughts?

* the term “They” is being used in a collective form. I didn’t have one particular person is in mind. Not all of the people I’ve observed have all of these traits, but they’re close.

July 19

Announcing: derekWwyatt.com v2.0

dWwlogo

It’s been a while since I’ve given my personal website any thought. I’ve been so busy trying to keep up with a weekly blog over at CAKE – Consulting and Knowledge Exchange, that I have to beat myself into submission just to personally blog once a month. However, given my recent change in employment, I’ve been reflecting back on what’s important for my “personal brand.” A strong inherent belief I carry is to not conform to the standards of others.
In the past I’ve been advised to not share my religious, political or otherwise polarizing views publicly. While I understand and respect that stance, I’m not about to hide who I am and I don’t expect anyone else to either. My views are only “offensive” if you don’t believe the same thing. However, I don’t think it’s fair to judge someone as an overall person based on a couple of beliefs. Sometimes the worst people on earth go around and masquerade as the charitable and giving types.

BESIDES… What is “Offensive” anyways?

People who easily get offended take life too seriously. You mean to tell me with all of the war, famine, and poverty consuming this earth, you’re going to put a halt to your day just to address a few words? I think people who are offended easily have their priorities in life wrong. I feel bad for them, actually. They live in fear. Afraid that the world just might the perfect utopia they pretend it is.

While I am not going to be all “in your face” with my views, I’m not going to muffle my opinions when asked. I’m not afraid to create a little friction when the subject at hand is something I’m passionate about. I welcome the opportunity to learn from others, just as long as they are open to hearing what I have to say. I want to make my point clear: you can be passionate about something without getting offended when something doesn’t align with your views. I don’t judge people because they are different than myself or hold a different lifestyle. I also don’t falsely raise myself on a higher pedestal than other people either. At one point, I may have played along with that mindset due to the need to support my family. I apologize to anyone who I may have alienated. I did what I had to do to survive. Things have changed now! I feel like a new person while regaining a little bit of my old self.

So what the hell does that little rant have to do with my personal branding?

After going through my entire online presence, I realized that there was very little “me” out there. Also, there is very little content out there that embodies what I am capable of and the work I have accomplished. So my plan is to take derekWwyatt.com (the blog that you’re currently on) and morph it into more of a portfolio website featuring the work I have done, the work I am capable of, the opportunity to connect with me for consulting work, and my usual “personal” blogs.

I ran this idea by someone and their first question was the obvious one, “What if your blog posts offend someone and they don’t want to do business with you?” First: I’m not going to get too outrageous with my blog posts, so people shouldn’t worry. Second: If they do find something I say so offensive that they don’t want to do business with me, they can take a hike! I’ve learned that I would rather make a tad bit less money and enjoy the people I do business with than work with a bunch of miserable fucks!

I hope you check back at future iterations of this site and provide feedback. Even though I consider myself an Online Marketing Strategist, even marketers can use a marketer.

Doctors don’t operate on themselves, do they? :-)

May 11

RIP #FF

I’m going out on a limb here and saying that the old twitter hashtag for “Follow Friday” (#FF) is officially dead.

Early on in Twitter’s existence it meant something for people to recommend you on Friday. Follow Friday meant you were among their favorite people to follow on Twitter and everyone should know it. It was beneficial because then users were still trying to find out who to follow that was of any quality.

NOW the only things I see #FF being used for are:

  • Meaningless lists of users (super lazy twitter users, just list their followers in alphabetical order using an automation tool) There is absolutely no reason to follow these people.
  • Other Twitter users list you in the same list every week regardless if you’re still following them or not. What meaning does that carry? Gee thanks for the thought (or lack thereof). It’s just a ploy so gullible people Retweet it and boost that person’s “Klout” (I’ll save my rant on Klout for another time).

Follow Friday used to have meaning. People used to do it with purpose. The best example I’ve seen is listing ten people every week with a specific reason why those people should be followed. The problem with that is there are only so many people you can list before you either repeat people or just give up.

I tried to take that concept a step further and focus on one person in a weekly #FF Blog Post. I quickly fell off that gimmick. C’mon with as infrequently as I blog, did anyone seriously think I could keep that up?

I am officially declaring Follow Friday (#FF) dead. If you happen to stumble upon someone on Twitter that deserves a shout out, don’t wait for Friday to let your followers know. Just tell the world how awesome they are!

Category: Marketing
April 30

Focus… It’s Not That Easy

I keep to-do lists, use project management calendars, write out notes, use Evernote, label my emails according to subject and star them in order of importance. I know what needs to be done, but sometimes it’s still hard to focus.

I’m becoming aware of my productivity “black holes” and the results aren’t too promising. I’ve reduced the amount of television that I’m watching. I use to do nothing but watch TV in my free time, but now I only watch what I have recorded on my TiVo. That only equates to about 2-3hrs a night and most of the time I have a second screen in front of me (phone or laptop) trying to get my list of things to do, accomplished.

A large drain on my time is spent sitting on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, I can’t give those up as easily as I can reduce television consumption. The bulk of my income is dependent on scanning what’s happening online and responding to it. A bigger chunk of it is coming up with online content for clients. I might be surfing along, see something completely unrelated and chase after that for 5-10 minutes. Each little spurt of distraction can add up. I end up spending longer online which results in even more distractions… it’s a vicious cycle.

Regaining productivity is a slow process for me, but I’m finding little ways here and there to regain life and get shit done. A lot of it for me is to be aware of what I’m doing and ask myself, “Is this going to benefit me and my career in some way?” If the answer is no, I quickly get back on task.

My mind is a constant dialogue of thoughts. I’ve greatly increased my thought process and creativity through floating and Alpha Brain. I’ve even fallen off track with that lately. Perhaps my focus will be restored with a nice long session in a float tank. I definitely need to get back in the gym, that was a great release for me.

Am I alone in this issue? What are some of your methods for staying on task?

Category: Random Thoughts