Look Up, Be Bold, Go Together – 3 Thoughts for 2013

Bravery, Changing Times, Failure, Goals, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Motivation 9 Comments »

It’s the new year and I have three thoughts on my mind.  Thought I would share them with my fellow 8pm Warriors.

1) Focus on the positive stuff.

Yes, the economy has been bad.  Some places around the world, it’s still bad.

However, there are still opportunities everywhere if we take the time to look for them.  Focus on the bad things will only blind us from seeing the amazing people, places, and opportunities that surround us.

For every dark muddy mess on the ground, there is a beautiful sunrise if we just look up.

Keep your chin up.

2) Don’t be afraid to do great things. Don’t settle.

Just because nobody is doing it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either.  Don’t be afraid to be the first.

Stop writing, thinking, talking, and working like everyone else.  There’s a better way if we’re not afraid to be the first.

Yes, you may be wrong. But following behind others your whole life will always be wrong.

Nobody changed the world by copying others.

3) Don’t do it alone.

Amazing work is too hard to do alone.

You will fall…and when you do, you’ll need someone to help pick you up.

If you’re isolated and nobody “gets it”, don’t hesitate to use the power of social media and the internet.  You’re not alone, even if you want to be.

Let me know if you need help, feedback, ideas, encouragement.

8pm Warriors need to stick together.

 

A couple weeks ago, I got this shot of an old man walking on the ocean in Vancouver. He was alone.

In 2013, my goal is to do big, crazy, bold things. I’m going to walk across the ocean if I have to…but I’m not going to do it alone.

Thanks for a great 2012 and I look forward to getting to know you better in 2013.

Have a great year,

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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Why They Call Us Warriors

8pm Warriors, Bravery, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness 12 Comments »

We’re in a war.

If you’ve ever tried to do something truly amazing, you know what I’m talking about.

Bad news. Sad news.

Back stabbing. Front stabbing.

Doubters. Pouters.

Liars.

Every time you try something truly special, you will find someone to doubt you.  Every time you make it to the top, someone’s ready to knock you down.

Your heart will get broken.  You will get tired.

It’s no wonder so many people choose to stick to their 9-5 job and forego the risk and pain of doing something special with their life.

But you are different.

You get up.   You want more.  You don’t settle.

You are a warrior.

Be proud of that 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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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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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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The Secret Way Leaders Make People Disappear

Attention Era, Failure, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Social Media 17 Comments »

Many leaders are finding themselves developing a new skill set.

They’ve become magicians.

Like the movie “The Prestige”, they’ve become very good at making people disappear. In some cases, they don’t even know how they’re doing it and are confused when it happens.

Even though it’s against the strict “Magicians Code”, I’m going to let you in on the secret.  Maybe you can learn something from it.

It’s really easy to make people disappear.

 

Just ignore them!

  • Clients getting annoying? Ignore their needs.
  • Talented team members monopolizing your schedule? Close your door and don’t return emails.
  • Friends or family taking up too much time? Stop talking to them.
  • Annoyed with pesky investors? Don’t share information with them.

It works for social media connections, mentors, and significant others too.  Almost everything will disappear eventually if you ignore it long enough.

That’s probably not something you should ignore.

Have a good night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Death by iPhone

Failure, Giving, Goals, Loneliness 22 Comments »

“Aaron Biebert took his own life this morning.”

I was writing an email on my iPhone and forgot to open the garage door before warming up my truck.  No one would have thought it was an accident. It sure makes me think.

Three thoughts on this one:

1)  Are people accidently killing themselves because they are focused on their mobile devices?

 

The other day I left the gas stove burner on for 7 hours.  I sometimes write emails while driving.  I’ve charged my iPad while using it in the Jacuzzi tub.  A bus almost hit me when I walked into the street without looking up from my phone.

Am I going to kill myself one of these times?

Is anyone going to believe it was an accident?

Today, the garage filled up with fumes and I got dizzy.  I opened the doors before passing out.  Next time I might not be so lucky.

2)  Don’t make the same mistake!

 

It’s cold out and I see so many other folks addicted to their smartphones.  I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake.

The life of an 8pm Warrior can be crazy, hectic, and consuming.  We’re like autopilot sleepwalkers sometimes:  exhausted, overwhelmed, and distracted.  We don’t need to add dead to the list.

Maybe we all need to wake up a bit.

3)  Are we telling people who we truly are?

 

When I told others about my brush with death, my wife and a close friend both said they would assume I killed myself.  Yes, 2010 wasn’t a great year for my business and I still ache from it, but I never thought people would make that mistake.  It makes me wonder if my personal goals I discuss here on the blog are taken seriously.  Do I sound like someone who would kill themself?  Do I seem fake or delusional?  Maybe I’m not telling people who I really am.  Are you?

I’m not sure.

All I know is if someone finds me dead, I only want them to ask:  A) Who killed him! or B) How did this accident happen?

Suicide isn’t an option.  My death won’t make anyone’s life better, but my life will. The same goes for your life.

We’ve got families that need us, talents that can help others, differences that can be made.  Some folks might believe their life will never be the same after a major failure. It might be true.  That might end up being a good thing.

If we change our focus from ourselves to the lives of others, we find a new meaning for our lives.

We might find a new legacy to leave.

For any of my fellow warriors out there who have considered suicide, I want you to personally email me at Support@8pmWarrior.com so we can talk.  I’ve been in the dumps too.  I’ve felt worthless.  I’ve wondered about my future.  I’ve discovered that life really isn’t about me at all.  It’s too risky to bet it all on yourself.  That’s why I’m now focused on the lives of others.  I invite you to join me.

My death won’t prompt candle light vigils around the world or make newspaper headlines.  However, as long as I’m living I can still make a difference to someone. Until that changes, I will never take my own life.  Never.

Neither should you.

Have an extrospective night,

Aaron@Biebert

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