Thoughts Are Not Actions!

“I should have dinner with her.”

“I really ought to spend time on that.”

“I must stop doing this.”

It seems like our society has never had more thoughts and less action.  Instead of action, let’s tweet our thoughts or Facebook poke our loved ones.  Right?

Here’s one fellow 8pm Warrior’s brilliant thoughts:

“The reason I think life gets harder as we get older is that we get used to thinking that a thought is an action.  We lose spontaneity.

When we were little we had a thought and ran out and did it. But we learned to sit still and be careful.  

But when you learn to be careful about some things, you become careful about most things, even important things.”

Betsy Cross on the “It Doesn’t Get Easier” post

 

Don’t wait until someone dies for a visitation.

Don’t wait for the perfect time to do what you love.

Don’t wait.

Do something crazy tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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It Doesn’t Get Easier

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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8 Thoughts for Graduating Warriors

Every year I write up a commencement address for new graduates.  This year my alma mater (Wisconsin Lutheran College) asked me to share some thoughts with the warriors graduating this weekend.

Someday I’ll actually give one of these speeches live.

1) Be the Best

You are competing with one billion people in China, another billion in India, and half a billion people in North America.  If you’re average, then you’ll also be poor, miserable, or replaced.  Pure and simple.

To be in demand with this economy, you must be the best at what you do.

It doesn’t matter how you get there. Experience, training, luck, internships, whatever…just be the best.

 

2) Be Yourself When You Grow Up

Role models are great. Teachers are wonderful. However, when it’s time to pick a path in life, the person you need to be is looking at you in the mirror.

There are a couple reasons why you should be you and not someone else.

1)  You’re the best in the world at it.  (see #1)
2)  Being someone else is hard work and you’ll never be good at it.
3)  It wastes a lot of time otherwise.  Everyone with half a brain knows you’re trying to be someone else.
4)  It makes you unique.  You have talents/skills/knowledge that nobody else has. When you be yourself, those unique qualities shine through.

While parents, friends, and others may challenge you to follow someone else’s path, you must resist. Follow your heart. Do what you love.

Be you.

 

3) People First

The world revolves around people.  You won’t be hired by your iPhone.  You won’t be promoted by the laptop you use.  Your car won’t be giving you a raise.

I always hear “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  That is wrong.

In a hyper-connected world, it’s not who you know, but who you’ve helped. Everyone “knows” everybody, but everybody remembers when someone helps them.

Help as many people as you can.

 

4) Mean It

If you don’t really care about people, they will know.  You’d be better off working with machines or basket weaving.

If you choose to work with people, you need to mean it.  No faking.

If you want to help someone, roll up your sleeves and do it.

 

5) Run or Stay

When you find yourself connected to bad people, run.  They will ruin you.

If you find yourself surrounded by great people, stay.  They will help you grow.

If you want to fail miserably in anything, walk.

Losers walk.

 

6) Don’t Spend Much Time Watching

It’s fashionable to dedicate large amounts of time to watching celebs and popular “experts” to see what they’re doing.  It’s also stupid.

Learning is a good thing, but watching isn’t doing.  Groupies are losers.

Winners do.  Leaders lead.

Followers just watch.

 

7) Don’t Waste Anyone’s Time

In the Attention Era, wasting someone’s time is not only rude, but ineffective as well.

Don’t ask if you don’t care.  Don’t talk if you don’t have anything valuable to say.

Don’t be boring.

 

8) Push Until It Hurts

When it hurts, you’ll know you’re doing it right.

If you care about people, they will hurt you.  If you dedicated yourself to something, it will fail you.  Get ready to cry.

The key is not to fear the pain you might feel, but to fear a path that doesn’t cost anything.  All great things cost something.

You get what you pay for.

 

Graduation isn’t the end.  It’s the beginning.

Let’s get it started tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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There is so much I don’t know…

Some days I feel like I’ve got it all figured out.

I know what I need to do.  When I need to do it.  How it should be done.  Sometimes I even think I know what others should do.

Other days, I remember the truth…I honestly don’t know that much.

What I do know, I will use.  When I use what I know, I will learn new things.

What I learn, I will share.

 

If you share too, we’ll all learn more quickly.  It’s the power of team.  The power of social media; of “us” versus “me.”

It’s the power of our 8pm Warrior community.

Share something tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Why @GaryVee Should Not Stop Tweeting at His Groupies

Gary Vaynerchuk and I had a long discussion last night about responding to people on social media.  Click here to see the conversations. Gary makes some great points, but it got a bit heated at times.

It’s all Jeff Bullas’ fault.  (Jeff, I’m just kidding)

If you prefer my leadership posts, this one might not be for you.  It’s a bunch of social media theory related to a brilliant guy who has a following of around one million people on Twitter. It will apply to anyone using social media who is crunched for time.

Let’s get started.

Why should Gary Vaynerchuk NOT stop tweeting at his groupies?

 

The better question is, “who cares?”  It’s none of my business.

Gary likes it and they like it.

It’s a win-win.

 

Gary sells more books, gains more followers.  The groupies love the little tweets back.

Everybody seems happy.

Who the heck am I to question that?

My only reservation is that this is just one example of how social media is killing real communication.  I think it’s a relevant topic for any leaders that are strapped for time, even if they don’t have that many people following them.

He thinks he’s caring by responding the best he can (I would agree), but I can see how he would feel trapped into a world of meaningless activity.  My main thought for Gary was that maybe he should publicly announce a step back from responding to 70% of tweets and focus on building more quality relationships.

Three reasons why:

1) Quality over quantity


I’m having a hard time seeing how hundreds of ultra quick twitter responses is worth much to the non-groupies out there. Gary can tweet at least 10 times per minute. Are connections being made?  Would we even know who we’re tweeting at? Honestly, I sometimes find myself doing the quick responses, thank you’s, etc and I only have 8,500 connections.  I don’t feel good about that when it happens.

Rather, I’d say pick a couple people each day, get to know them a bit, and have deeper conversations that lead somewhere.  You can’t please everyone.

Otherwise, it’s like walking through a busy town of people who all know you and all you do is nod, smile, shake hands, wink, and say hi.  More like a politician than a normal person.

2) Reputation


If you build a reputation on responding to people and valuing them, then you have to do that.  However, when I first reached out to Gary a long time ago, I didn’t get responses and it was irritating because he wrote in his book “Crush It” (highly recommended) that he would respond to anyone who tweeted or emailed him.

Because of his brand promise, I felt like he was being fake for not responding to me.  I like building relationships, not chasing stars around like a groupie.  Successful people don’t enjoy feeling like groupies.  Therefore, it will limit the type of following that he will have.  I don’t follow celebs back because I know they can’t engage.  I don’t see Gary as being any different.

When building relationships, it’s key to under-promise and over-produce.  This seems like another good example.

3) Time


It may not seem like much, but a couple words to 1000+ people a day takes up a TON of time.  I can see why he’s not able to respond to everyone.  It probably doesn’t help that Gary and I spent 4 hours chatting on Twitter last night.

Since we’re both business leaders, we have to consider the opportunity cost of random chatter on Twitter with people we won’t remember.  Our conversation was enlightening, fun, and a bit entertaining (especially the haters below), but I wonder if the same benefits apply when tweeting back the quick smiley face, three word phrase, or “thanks” to a couple hundred people per day.  Probably not.

I’m all for responding to everyone who talks to me.  I think it’s rude otherwise.  (Yes, sometimes I’m rude and don’t respond)

However, Gary has almost 1,000,000 followers just on Twitter.  Gary is a fellow 8pm Warrior, but regardless of how hard he works, how little he sleeps, or how fast he types, he still has 1440 minutes in each day…just like you and I.

At some point you run out of time.

You also run out of brainpower.

I believe Gary is a brilliant guy.  However, no amount of passion and effort will lead to quality relationships with 1000’s of people.

We’re not wired that way.

 

Most scientists say that we have the ability to maintain relationships with about 300 people, max.  Everyone else is in one ear and out the other.

Sound like a worthwhile relationship?  I can’t see how.

That’s why I don’t follow celebs, weblebrities, pro athletes, etc.  That’s why I wasn’t following Gary until today.  They are literally incapable of carrying on meaningful relationships online with most new folks like me.

They’re overwhelmed, sold out of attention, and don’t have time to respond. Classic example of Attention Era challenges.  I was shocked when Gary responded, and he’s known for trying his best.  People like Jeff Bullas and others who have 100,000+ followers usually don’t respond at all and I don’t blame them either.

Each person only has so many minutes in  a day.  I’d rather have them enjoy fulfilling relationships rather than spending every minute of free time sending winks, haha’s, lol’s, etc.

That’s just my humble opinion.  What’s yours?

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The Problem with Yellow Pages

If you’re paying money for Yellow Pages ads, but not investing in new media…you have a problem.

The same goes for newspapers, direct mail, and so many other forms of media that half of the country doesn’t even know exists.

Watch how these two young men treat the Yellow Pages. It’s an alien.

Makes me feel old.

I remember having classes in school on how to use the Yellow Pages. Now it’s a joke.

The average person pulls out their phone and searches for a business using the internet. Younger generations have never used the Yellow Pages, rarely read the newspaper, and hardly open their mail.

The world has changed. Those who haven’t, now have a major problem.

Spread the word. The Yellow Pages are dead. What’s next?

Learn something new each night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Leaders Can Save Lives

I believe that bad leadership can kill people.  Leaders can also save lives…when they want to.

Last month a Princess Cruises ship passed by a stranded fishing boat floating 130 miles off the Caribbean coast.  The boat had three dehydrated young men in it.

The next day two of them died.

 

Passengers alerted crew about the boat.  A crew member confirmed the sighting.  The bridge was called.  The leader could have saved lives.

Yet, the ship kept on going.

 

The captain claims he thought the men were waving to thank him for avoiding them.  I’m calling BS.

I’m also calling on everyone to never forget that our society depends on all of us valuing human life.

The passengers who reported the boat, the crew that called it in, and the Princess Cruises captain all slept while two young men died that night.

If you can lift someone up.  Lift them.

If you can save someone’s life.  Do it.

Let’s care for strangers tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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

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:

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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.

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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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