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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Give Nearly the Ultimate Gift

Family, Giving, Leadership Thoughts, Time 8 Comments »

Giving one’s life for another is the ultimate gift.  Right?

However, that sort of sacrifice isn’t a gift often requested or needed in a modern society.  So what’s the next best alternative?

Giving someone a piece of your life.

Ask the adult children of many ultra-successful 8pm Warriors what they really wanted for Christmas while growing up.  It won’t be another pony or sports car.

Does your kid really need 15 more toys?  Does your spouse need another shirt?  Do your team members really need golf balls or trinkets with your company logo?

Are they even gifts if they’re not wanted or needed?

What do most people truly want from their parents, spouses, children, leaders, or mentors?

Time.

Attention.

Some of your Life.

 

Basically, they want the stuff you can’t buy, fake, or transfer.

Next time you’re wondering what to get the “person who has everything”, try giving them a piece of your life.  Give them an extra amount of your precious time.  Even a smallest amount is appreciated.

To all of you who have taken a piece of your life this past year and given it to me in the form of feedback, ideas, or sharing my posts:

Thank you for nearly the ultimate gift!

 

I am thankful for your time.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Aaron@Biebert

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Don’t Be the Lonely Veterans of a One Soldier War

8pm Warriors, Family, Loneliness 16 Comments »

Picture yourself sitting on your porch when you’re 70.

Are you sitting alone?

Will anyone care what you did tonight?  Last night?  Last year?

Will you?

One of my biggest fears is that as enter the twilight of my life, I will feel overwhelming sorrow that no one around me cares about my war stories from these “8pm Warrior missions” I fight every night.

I doubt I’m the only one.

You and I put our heart and soul into what we do.  I see it every day.

However, if we don’t include enough other people in our adventures, we risk being that old guy or gal sitting on the porch telling stories to people who don’t remember, don’t know, or don’t care.

We risk loneliness when we become so lost in a personal war with it’s private battles, that we let everything and everyone slip away.

It’s Christmas Eve.

 

Go spend time with family.  It’s nights like these when you fill up your future porch with more than your colleagues, partners, and clients.  Let others see your battles. Share your world with the people you want on your porch when you’re older.

We sit up every night working, reading, writing, thinking, and dreaming.  However, if we don’t share our life and involve others, we’re destined to be the lonely veterans of a one soldier war.

Picture your porch.  Then fill it up.

8pm Warriors don’t have to do it alone.

Have a Merry Christmas,

Aaron@Biebert

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