What the Heck is an 8pm Warrior?

I didn’t come up with the idea*.  I’m not the first 8pm Warrior and definitely not the only one.

It is a fascinating tribe and I enjoy learning about what drives leaders to work while others play, chase dreams while others sleep, and push on when others quit.

You are an 8pm Warrior

My fellow 8pm Warriors are some of the best people I know.

How do you find one?  Since I write this blog in the evenings (and you’re reading it), the easiest place to find an 8pm Warrior is by looking in the mirror.

However, it doesn’t have to be a lonely path.  If you’re up this evening learning, growing, pushing, and planning, you are definitely not alone.

When looking for other 8pm Warriors, you’ll probably know one when you meet one. However, I thought it would be fun to have a guide.  Just in case you can’t tell, I wrote this blog post for 12most.com about common traits to look for.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

I wrote it with you in mind.

12 Most Common Characteristics of 8pm Warrior Leaders

Let me know what you think in the comment section.  Did I miss one?  List one too many?  What should be #13?

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert

*An 8pm Warrior is someone who uses the evening or early morning hours to work on a project they love. This includes, but is not limited to leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, artists, writers, or any other person who is passionate about their work and doesn’t confine themselves to a 9 to 5 schedule.

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Warrior of the Week: Andrew Syiek

Meet Andrew Syiek, founder of 0260mkg.com and this week’s 8PM Warrior of the week.

Andrew shares my belief that many 8PM Warriors are motivated by an intense desire to succeed.  It’s what drives us to keep going when others rest.

Deep into the quiet night and early morning, we journey into our dreams and ambitions as the motors of our minds continue to whir.  We use the extra time to read, write, think, communicate, collaborate, strategize, and plan.

An 8PM Warrior aims to acquire more personal strength and knowledge to increase effectiveness, provide positive impact, influence colleagues, win clients, and help achieve higher goals; all the while finding better, faster, and smarter solutions.

Andrew is a true 8pm Warrior and someone you will find right there with you along the journey, giving generously and being gracious with his time.

His Background

Time spent and lessons learned in various industries throughout his 25 year career have taught him many valuable lessons.  I asked him to share his thoughts with the group today.

Andrew credits his early career experience at Eastern Airlines as providing a firm foundation in the fundamentals of customer appreciation.

“An important component of my creed is that first and foremost, one must be responsive to the customer’s need, pure and simple.  The minute you delude yourself into thinking it’s about you, failure lurks right around the corner.”

A stint as an international speaker with Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD) helped Syiek develop team building skills and an intense appreciation for both corporate social responsibility and the non-profit sector.  He believes in synergy and that together “We” equal more than the sum of our parts.

In later roles as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Syiek set vision and strategy while developing corporate sponsorships, building corporate partnerships, managing financial metrics, reducing costs and increasing revenues.

His Thoughts

“Every day we open our eyes is cause for celebration and optimism. When you enjoy excellent health, intense energy, full faculties or if you love and are loved by others; the first thing to feel is gratitude.”

Andrew believes that life is best when considered an adventure from which every day provides a springboard for self-improvement as well as an opportunity to improve the lives of others.  Although goals are necessary and important; climbing the steps and scoping views along the way is equally as beneficial as savoring the scene from the top of the tower.

Syiek is also is of the mindset that problems are best viewed as challenges, because problems oftentimes are associated with passive apathy, but challenges are considered surmountable.

A life well lived is a life complete with diversity of perspective and experience. Each new experience provides a valuable new ability that will help you be stronger, smarter and quicker and each new aptitude provides greater available capacity for the next phase of one’s career.

His Latest Project

Today, Syiek is principal of 0260mkg.com. The primary mission of 0260mkg is to provide individuals, non-profit organizations and corporations with a full spectrum of a-la-carte marketing communications services.

0260mkg.com offers comprehensive marketing programs, promotion coordination, photography and digital media connectivity to insure growth, increase visibility and promote brand awareness for start-up, small and medium sized businesses.

You can connect with Andrew on Twitter @0260mkg or visit 0260mkg.com for more details and to get to know how this 8PM Warrior can help you.

Connect with Andrew Syiek

The Missing Ingredient?

  • Do you need to be picked up when you fall?
  • Could you ever use feedback?
  • Will you ever need help?

If you answer “Yes” to any of these, then maybe we can help each other.

When I started the 8pm Warrior blog back in December, I explained that I was motivated to create a community of people that had big dreams, pushed their personal limits, and loved their work.  So far, I have failed.

Despite having hundreds of readers some days, we still have work to do if we’re going to build something that is helpful, supportive, and worthwhile.  The missing ingredient?

You!

I’ll keep at it, but I need your feedback on how we can make this work.  Maybe I need to do less talking, and more asking?  Do I post too late?  I honestly would like your feedback.

Possibly, some folks don’t realize how great it can be…how it can help us all go further?

Here are just two examples of successful community groups I’d like to recreate for people like us:

Look at how they ask for help, answer questions, like and share among the group.  There is no limit to how they’ll help each other.  It’s awesome!

Where will 8pm Warriors meet?

Here, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

You’re the missing ingredient!  Post a question, comment, talk, share, grow.  Let’s help each other.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The Last Blog: “It’s time to go!”

It’s official.  I’m dying.

In some ways I’m still in denial and don’t talk about it nearly enough.  I’ve known for a while, but like many 8pm Warriors, I’ve been too busy chasing dreams to stop and share the important stuff before I leave this world.  Too busy to share what I was really about…what makes me tick.

I want to share the deep stuff.

Today was potentially my last birthday and this blog may be my last, so now is a good time to open up.  For those seeking a community of 8pm Warriors, you may relate to this post.

It’s time to go!

My first memory ever was playing with plastic Native American figures and green Army guys in the front seat of the U-Haul my father was driving from Milwaukee to Livingston, Montana.

My mother and sister were in the Subaru wagon behind us, and the only thing I remember besides the toys was the feeling of excitement.

We were going somewhere!

If today was my last day and I only had a few words left, I would urge my children, friends, and family members to please go somewhere!

Do something.  Act on your beliefs.  Don’t just wait, hope, or wonder.  Follow your dreams!

It’s time.

For me “going somewhere” is my first memory and hopefully it will be my last one too.  There’s something special about going somewhere.

Where should you go?

Start at the beginning.

For me, little did I know that those plastic warriors would stay with me the rest of my life.  My father later gave me the nickname “Warrior” and I played college football for the Warriors too.

I was definitely a warrior.

My closest friends, family, and colleagues know that my warrior passion is not usually directed at someone or something, but rather for someone or something that I believe in.  I love strategy.  I love motivation.  I love my fellow warriors.

“In the spring…the time when kings go off to war”

– 1 Chronicles 20:1

Spring is my favorite season.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed the stories of ancient leaders and heroes who led teams of people against evil.  Fiction or non, there was something inspiring about working together to do something truly amazing or unlikely.

Those stories continue to inspire me.

Naturally, leadership was the direction I pursued and if I couldn’t find the right team or organization to lead, I started a new one.  I now spend my time in marketing or executive leadership positions, using that love of storytelling and inspiration to rally my team members to accomplish feats they never thought possible.

It’s been a wonderful career and so today I ask you to consider your inspirations.

Where do you want to go?

I’m running out of time, and so are you.  We’re all dying.

Seize the day.

Have a moving night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Note:  I’m not aware of any specific terminal illness I may have, just that we are all dying.  Instead, I wanted to try a blogging twist on the traditional “Last Lecture” idea (academia).  Consider writing your “Last Blog”, it’s liberating.  A couple years back, I read the book “The Last Lecture” and determined that one should seize the day and share now, rather than when it’s too late.

Here’s more about that book:

http://www.thelastlecture.com/aboutbk.htm

I’m 90% Failure

I like to be up-front with my colleagues that 9 out of 10 ideas I come up with are bad ones.

However, sometimes it seems like I’m trying to get through the first nine as fast as possible.  While many people (not my fellow 8pm Warriors) might give up after one or two failures, I’ve got plans for something special.  I’m holding out for magic #10 every time, no matter how painful it gets.

That’s means a lot of failure.

I didn’t always think of myself as a 90% failure, but after looking at my past it’s quite clear. With all the running, pushing, and leaping I’ve done over the years, there’s been a LOT of gut-wrenching, aching, painful failures to get to #10.

You probably know the feeling I’m talking about…

However, as the oldest son of a Lutheran minister with eight kids, I had no other choice if I wanted to be successful in business leadership without waiting forever.  No one was going to do it for me.

I had to pay for college, take loans for almost everything I needed to start out, and never had any seed money or venture capital from family (they were all poor or thought I was crazy).

On top of that, we were lacking strong business mentors in my family.  I was the product of 2 generations of pastors and 4 generations of farmers.  Nothing wrong with those professions, it’s just that I had another calling, another passion.  However, it meant less support and fewer cheerleaders along the way.

I’ll bet I’m not alone.

These days, many of us are having a hard time with failure.  Take heart.  If you want to be different, blaze trails, make magic, then you’re bound to fail at some point.  Sooner or later we all fail along the path to great things.  The key is not quitting.

Ignore the naysayers.  Ignore the “I told you so” folks.

Keep going!

It’s easy for the spectators in life to watch us fall down on the road of life.  It’s easy for them to privately laugh, snicker, and feel good about themselves from the comfort of their simple life.  They will call us failures, “Pie in the Sky” dreamers, and tell us to get our heads out of the clouds.

I don’t care.

We will reach the end.  We will get to #10.  It just might hurt a bit and we must accept the fact that we might be 90% failures.

This blog is about that journey, about those who walk the same path towards their destiny.

Join me.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Recipe for an 8pm Relationship

People like to criticize 8pm Warriors for working too hard, too much, too late.  When their relationships go down, they inevitably blame the breakup or divorce on the fact that he or she “worked too much.”  This is irritating.

Have you ever heard of a farmer’s wife leaving the farmer because he worked too much?

Probably not.

Even though most farmers are true 8pm Warriors (some have to milk cows at 8pm and 4am), you won’t hear these common phrases from the farmer’s spouse:

  • “He isn’t spending enough time with me”
  • “All he seems to do is work”
  • “He only cares about his business”

In fact,  it seems downright ludicrous…doesn’t it?

Why is that?

It’s because everyone knows the type of schedule a farmer has, including Mrs. Farmer (or future Mrs. Farmer).  Accurate expectations are set early.

Also Mrs. Farmer is included in the business operations and understands the impact of Mr. Farmer’s work.  She’s not just sitting at home wondering what Mr. Farmer is doing and why.

I believe that everyone needs to feel included (8pm Warrior spouses are no exception).  That’s why I wrote the “Picture Your Porch” piece on Christmas Eve.

As a group we seem to have relationship problems.

I’m no therapist, however I really believe that we can do a better job of setting expectations early in relationships so that we build a meaningful bond based on understanding and inclusion.  It’s important to include our loved ones in our business so that they understand WHY we do things, not just THAT we do them.

Otherwise you should picture an empty porch when you’re old and gray.

Have a family night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Related thoughts about 8pm Families

Warrior of the Week: Robert Caruso

Meet Robert Caruso, a social media thought leader and the Founder/CEO of Social Resolve LLC and BundlePost.com.

He is a frequent blogger and social media consultant to numerous agencies and companies.  With three patents on internet technologies and another recently filed, Robert is a startup veteran and a true 8pm Warrior.

Over the time I’ve known Robert, I’ve been amazed at his knowledge and passionate pursuit of his goals.  With the launch of his latest venture at the end of the month, I asked Robert to be this week’s 8pm Warrior of the Week.  When we talked, I asked him to share his goals, his action plan, ways our community can help, and any advice he has for other 8pm Warriors.

Here’s what he said:

Aspirations:

I am passionate about internet related technology and how it connects with social media.  Like most of us who risk everything to create something great, I do appreciate the potential rewards that go with it.  However, my ultimate goals are to inspire and lead the social media movement and use my success to help care for orphans and widows all over the world.

When I am not working 18 hr days on my latest startup venture, my time is consumed with my children.  I look forward to more world travel with them and being the best dad I can be.

Action Plan:

Right now, I have a single focus, BundlePost.  As a serial entrepreneur, this is not my first barbeque. The tech world has change a great deal since the 90’s and having a solid business model, defendable technology, a huge market (and potential revenue) is the norm, not the exception anymore.  So I’m putting a lot of time and effort into the front, and it is paying off.

On February 28, we will be launching Bundle Post technology to the world.  The system was designed to dramatically reduce the human resource back office requirements of managing social media programs.  The technology not only allows users to database thousands of social media content posts (either theirs or their clients), but also automates the searching, reviewing, scheduling and posting of content that is interesting to your audience.

We created Bundle Post due to a gap in technology that exists between management technology (like HootSuite) and back-office functions like content management and preparation.  Most are spending 80% of their time doing non-social functions and only 20% engaging and building relationships.  If social media is to move ahead, I believe that this has to change!

I think Bundle Post will lead that change.

Ways to Help Robert:

Right now, we are very fortunate to be at the place where investment, development and operations are well in hand.  However, the biggest thing we could use help with is publicity.  Your tweets, Facebook posts, or reblogs about this game changing technology we are bringing to market would be highly appreciated.

Advice:

Here are some tips I would give to other 8pm Warriors working on startups:

  • Do one thing and do it very well.
  • Find holes in the market that need filling and find a way to fill them.
  • Don’t chase investment money with an unproven idea.  Prove it first and get revenue flowing quickly.
  • Control the vision and the company early on by keeping your team small.
  • Don’t take advice from people who haven’t done it.
  • Do whatever it takes to make it happen!

If you have any questions for Robert, post them as a comment here on the blog or on the 8pm Warriors Facebook Forum.

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We’ll be featuring his material all week on the 8pm Warrior twitter feed and facebook forum.  However, here are some other ways to connect with Robert:

Twitter:  @fondalo and @BundlePost

About.me:  About.me/robertcaruso

Blog:  BundlePost.Wordpress.com

Company:  BundlePost.com

Why Walk the Boulevard of Broken Dreams?

After “The Lonely Life” topic posted earlier this week, it was interesting to see the response.  After all, who really wants to walk the lonely “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”?

I do.

I guess so does the band Green Day, business owner Jim Sadlovsky, and blogger James Holloway.

But why?

It’s because committed entrepreneurs know that despite the risks of broken dreams, it’s hard to be remarkably successful in any venture by taking the safe path and the crowded road.

Unfortunately that doesn’t give much comfort to those looking to start a new venture for the first time.  My advice?  Be prepared for some pain.  Be prepared to go it alone if no one believes in you.

8pm Warriors, this could be our official Anthem…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWNRUVMboq4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWNRUVMboq4

“Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I’m the only one and I walk alone

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert