3 Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

8pm Warriors, Attention Era, Family, Giving, Goals, Loneliness 14 Comments »

What to get the entrepreneur in your life?

For my birthday (which is today) or Christmas, loving family and friends sometimes ask what they should “get” me.  Last year, I asked for support in digging a well for a village in Africa.  This year I’m asking for something closer to home.

I get to work with some of the most talented video artists on the planet.  There are even more waiting eagerly in the wings, demo reels in hand.  It’s my job to keep them busy and it’s never easy.

For my birthday, I’m asking my friends and family for their help.

Below are three ways you can help me and other entrepreneurs chase their dreams:

Aaron at Milwaukee Art Museum

 

1) Seek to understand their chase

 

Just like it’s nice to understand that a farmer needs rain or an athlete needs to win, entrepreneurs appreciate being understood too.

Leadership can be lonely.

Many of them are risking their retirement, friendships, and health to follow their dreams.  If you care about them, join them on the journey.  Follow their business on Facebook.  Subscribe to their blog.  Have discussions with them more than once a year on their birthday.

(Personal note:  this is my life goal if you want to understand what drives me every day)

 

2) Share their story

 

In the Attention Era, even well funded marketing campaigns get lost in the shuffle. Small business owners don’t have a prayer without help from their family, friends, and happy customers.

If you see a friend of yours doing remarkable stuff, share it.  We all lose when we let great work go unnoticed.

(Personal note:  for my friends looking to help, it will make my day if you share one of our videos with your network)

 

3) Refer people to them

 

In the “old days”, it would have been unheard of to travel to another town’s general store if your own town had what you needed.  We have to stick together and referrals are one way to do it.

Since I don’t sell to consumers, I personally don’t ask my friends or family to buy our video production services.  However, I do love when my friends tell their marketing friends about me.

Many people prefer to buy from people they know and trust.  Help your friends know and trust your other friends.

  • Make introductions
  • Write Linkedin recommendations
  • Encourage people to shop locally

 

The entrepreneur in your life doesn’t need more sweaters, ties, or birthday cards.

They need you…to care more…not just on their birthday.

Give a great gift tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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The Flip Side of Muting Tweets

Family, Marketing, Social Media 22 Comments »

Jonathon Brewer is a genius social media marketer and true 8pm Warrior. I also consider him a friend and fellow Milwaukee neighbor.

However, I have to respectfully disagree with his recent post about muting tweets through the Tweetbot app or Tweetdeck filters.  He is dealing with a difficult dilemma that I’ve struggled with (mute tweets or miss them), but I think he’s muting some of the most important tweets ever made.

"Proud new father of Frederick Aaron Biebert" Would have been the muted birth announcement on Twitter and Facebook via Instagram

Here’s my thinking.

There are six networks that aspiring 8pm Warriors should use regularly:

Plus a couple more sites I highly recommend:

The world of Social Media is getting very very complex and it seems there are new networks sprouting up every month (i.e. Vine, Chirp, Chirpify, Conversations, Flayvr, Medium, Pheed, Thumb, and more).

My solution?

 

Use sites simultaneously in real-time.  If I want to announce my new baby is born, I snap a picture on Instagram and it posts to Twitter and Facebook.  If I upload my latest Attention Era Media creation to YouTube, I have it share to Twitter and Google+ at the same time.

Even though Linkedin isn’t very interactive (yet), I don’t want a stale profile.  I keep it fresh by posting discussions there and have them start discussions on Twitter at the same time.

By doing this, I can start conversations with my friends without having to go to every network I use and posting the same thing again and again and again.

This plan makes social media doable and successful for me.

The problem when you mute all tweets from Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Tumblr and others is that you’re muting real thoughts from real people.  For me that’s a big loss.

Even if I save some time, knowing that I’m missing birth announcements or funny stuff from my friends just creates a bigger issue.

Brew is a great guy (follow him here) and I’m happy that his feed is less cluttered.  However, he’s muting some of the most exciting moments in my life and the deep conversations started around pictures, videos, and locations.

That is the flip side of muting tweets with Tweetbot or Tweetdeck filters.

Which way do you lean?  Mute some or miss some?

Have a great night!

Aaron @Biebert

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Trailblazing is Lonely Work

Family, Loneliness 13 Comments »

Chasing dreams and pushing limits is not without sacrifice.

When you choose to do things that no one has done before, you’ll often find no one next to you while doing it. That’s the nature of trailblazing.

8pm Warriors will have lonesome nights.

Unfortunately, I have no clever solution to this problem. I see fellow 8pm Warriors suffering and I thought I would put this out there for you to discuss.

What can be done? Can anything be done? Is there a limit before someone burns out?

Personally, I enjoy connecting with other 8pm Warriors who are up and at ‘em at night when I’m chasing my life goal by myself. Luckily I also have a supportive spouse and that helps too. Finding a life partner was my first mission.

Others adopt pets, Skype a ton, or bring a Google+ hangout with them all over the house.

What do you recommend?

Let’s battle loneliness tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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It Doesn’t Get Easier

Bravery, Business Opportunities, Changing Times, Family, Motivation 13 Comments »

My 87 year-old grandfather wept openly today after my grandmother (his wife of 60 years) was admitted into hospice care.  This is her last week on earth.

“I guess we won’t be playing cards tonight,” he sadly remarked before heading home alone. I shed tears also.  What a sad situation.

It doesn’t seem like life gets easier with age.

As I get older, I seem to lose more people and see more clearly what I’m actually losing. Time goes faster.  My body regenerates slower.

This isn’t getting easier.

Many young people think life will get easier when they get older, make more money, have more experience, know more people, etc.

Not true.

Life only gets harder.

So what’s anyone waiting for? Experience is overrated.  We need more people doing what they love, helping those they love.  Now.

There’s no time like tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Don’t Just Prepare Yourself to Make Important Decisions in Life

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Business Opportunities, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Teamwork 16 Comments »

Life is full of important decisions we need to make.

“Should I get married?”  ”Should I start a business?”  ”Should we have a baby?”

Just when you think you’re done with the tough decisions, they get tougher.

“Should I get divorced?”  ”Should I close my business?”  ”Should we pull the plug?”

Last month, a friend of mine had her pregnant sister (Emily) rushed to the hospital. Major problems.  Heart stopped.  Coma.

Now this:

__________

Dear friends,

This is Emily. I am overwhelmed looking at all the posts saying you are praying for me and my family. Thank you so much. I am very blessed! I have been at home for four weeks now with around-the-clock supervision–gaining strength, and able to see this screen! :)

It feels strange to share this on facebook, but I want to give you an update so you can pray specifically if you wish…:

Two weeks ago, I had a 20-week ultrasound. The doctor told Andy and me that our baby will not live. The doctor further said that continuing the pregnancy is a huge risk to my life, so she recommended terminating the pregnancy. Our baby’s heart is still beating.

Last Thursday, we had another ultrasound which showed more fluid in the head than the previous ultrasound – not a good sign. However, the doctor seemed less urgent about ending the pregnancy at that appointment. We had my family with us to hear the details themselves and to be with us in case we had to make a decision then.

We have been praying and thinking and talking with each other and with our pastors and family and friends. Our current plan is to watch my health closely and to again have another ultrasound this week and see if baby’s health continues to go down or not.

Prayers for wisdom, patience, and peace of mind would be very much appreciated.

Love,
Emily (and Andy)

P.S. We are open to your thoughts and advice too.

____________

Some life decisions are too difficult to make alone.

Everything we’ve learned up to this point in our lives will not be enough. When faced with the really difficult decisions in life, we can’t trust ourselves.

We are weak.  We are blinded.  We need more…

We need others.

 

If you have big plans for your life, be prepared.  However, you’ll need more than education, experience, guts, or money.

You’ll need your fellow warriors by your side.

Don’t prepare yourself to make the important decisions in life.  Prepare your network. They’re the ones you’ll need.

Begin the preparations tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Warning: Social Media is Killing Real Communication (and Relationships)

Changing Times, Failure, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Social Media 24 Comments »

I remember the good old days when people called friends on their birthdays or hung out.

Now they post a message on their wall, shoot them an email, or leave a voicemail if they have time.  I’ve watched people text each other from across the room and once found out about my nephew’s baptism via Facebook pictures.  It was 20 minutes away. No society should have families randomly discovering important family events.

If this keeps up, our society is in real trouble.

Social media is cheap communication.


The problem with communicating primarily through social media channels is that it’s primarily deferred communication (more here).

No one actually knows if it’s being seen, and increasingly, it’s not. People are overwhelmed with the number of emails, updates, tweets, pins, messages, videos and other stuff flying their way.

Yet, so many times I hear from friends (especially the younger generations) asking me if I saw their latest update on Facebook.

Nope.  I didn’t.

Study after study I see shows that young people overwhelmingly prefer deferred communication to live conversation. It’s easier.

I believe there are three types of communication:

  1. Concurrent Communication  (Instant feedback)
  2. Deferred Communication (Focused, but delayed and distant)
  3. Broadcast Communication  (Maybe you’ll see or hear it)

How can you truly know someone or build a lasting bond without seeing their smile, hearing their tone changes, or getting instant feedback during your discussion?

The problem is that concurrent communication is so much harder than deferred or broadcast communication.  It requires scheduling. Social media channels make it easy to feel like your communicating with others.

We’re not.

We’re faking it and it’s tearing apart traditional relationships.  Especially among young people. As we get overwhelmed by deferred communication, stuff is missed.  Divisions are formed.

When “friends” aren’t seeing our updates, people feel lonely.  I’m seeing more suicides from very “social” people and the average number of close friends per person has fallen from four to two.

Something must change.

 

We need to develop real connections with our social media contacts.  We need to invest in human relationships.  It’s time we meet our fellow Warriors.

With that call to action in mind, I’m going to do something about my concerns.  I may disconnect from immediate family members on Facebook so we actually have to talk. Communication between families and friends should be deeper. The same goes for clients and partners.

Also, in the coming months I’m going to host several free live events so we can all meetup.

I just got back from the East Coast, but hopefully you can meet me at one of these remaining events.  It’s worth the investment of time.

For the good of our society and as an example to young people, let’s bring our online relationships offline and our family members and friends back where need to be:  in front of us, talking, laughing, crying, or smiling.

Social media is only a start.

Let’s find a way to build or rebuild personal relationships tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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When You Have Someone’s Attention: Don’t Waste It!

Attention Era, Changing Times, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media, Time 6 Comments »

A couple quick thoughts at the end of the week.

Humans are no longer limited by a lack of information.  We’ve never had more Wikipedia articles, Google search results, emails, updates, and every other way we get information when we need it.

We even have Siri or other artificial intelligence like Big Blue to do the work for us.

Information is not the problem.

 

We are now limited by the amount of attention we have available.

When you earn someone’s attention, you shouldn’t waste it.  It’s precious!

 

Does your page respect people’s time?

  • Do you dominate Facebook with a ton of trivial posts?  We only have so much time and you’re wasting it.  We will unfollow or hide you.
  • Why are our comments awaiting moderation on your blog? You have a spam filter.
  • Are you deleting Facebook comments that are unfavorable to your brand?  You are asking for trouble.  Comments will go somewhere.
  • We won’t do business with you if you ignore questions or comments on your page.

 

Why are your customers waiting?

  • I spent 3 hours on the phone with AT&T yesterday.  Now I’m switching to Verizon.
  • My favorite grocery store has no parking.  I now have a new favorite.
  • Sam’s Club always has 10 people in every line.  I’m not renewing my membership.

 

How are you one on one?

  • Are you constantly checking your phone?
  • Are you dragging the conversation down by spend too much time on meaningless stuff?
  • Are you actually listening?
  • Do you spam your contacts with unnecessary emails or other deferred communication?
  • Do you say stuff just for the sake of saying it?

 

For the sake of humanity, we must stop.

 

The developed world is out of time.  Relationships are suffering.  People are overwhelmed.

If you want to keep people’s attention in the Attention Era, you must respect it.

It starts by not wasting it.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Types of Human Communication

Attention Era, Changing Times, Failure, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Marketing, Social Media 16 Comments »

Are we truly communicating? Are you engaging people?

Humans are not at their best when sending and receiving messages that are either delayed or blindly broadcast into “the stream”, desperately hoping someone will see it.

It is inefficient, impersonal, and too easy to lose, ignore, or forget in an Attention Era where each day means more new signals.

It will kill our society.

How are you doing business?  How are you leading people?

Here are three ways we can choose to communicate.  As the list progresses, communication degrades and becomes less effective.

 

Concurrent Communication

  • Personal Meeting
  • Skype / FaceTime / Google Hangout
  • Phone
  • Instant Message Conversation

 

Deferred Communication

  • Personal YouTube message
  • Voicemail
  • Text Message
  • Email
  • Facebook Message
  • Social Mentions (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Comment
  • Twitter DM
  • Mail
  • Telegraph

 

Broadcast Communication

  • Bullhorn yelling on corner
  • Sandwich boards
  • TV Commercial / Online Video Ad
  • YouTube Video
  • Radio
  • Pins on Pinterest
  • Billboards
  • Twitter Update
  • Facebook Update
  • Social Check-ins
  • Smoke Signals

 

If people are really your people, you need to talk.  Real friends don’t spend years trading delayed snippets of communication with each other.

Communication is more than words. True engagement is harder than you think.

Engage in real communication tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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