Tag Archive for Platform

Spend a Day in My Shoes, Sort Of

Lately, when people have asked how I have been doing, instead of falling into a familiar rut and answering mindlessly, “OK” or “fine,” I have been finding myself pausing, reflecting for a moment and telling them, “I am doing great. I have a blessed life.”

Bobby Warren Wendi Warren Mary Taylor Josh Krajcik

Some of the components that make up Bobby Warren’s life, from the top, left: Being a member of Parkview Christian Church; getting to interview people like Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor as a reporter at The Daily Record; shooting video for newspaper website; being the husband of Wendi Warren; enjoying wonderful pets like Madison; playing in Parkview’s praise band with people like Steve Hanna; and hanging out with Josh Krajcik before a concert with The Daily Record’s Lydia Gehring.

And, I do have a wonderful life. If you look at the collage above, you will see just a small sample of the things that make up my life, like church, getting to interview people like Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor or shoot video for a Josh Krajcik interview; spend my life with my wonderful wife, Wendi Warren; enjoy our pets like Madison; and play in Parkview’s praise band with the likes of Steve Hanna.

Here is a typical day for me:

  1. Wake up and ease into my day. I might check to see who’s beating me on Words with Friends; log into Google+, Facebook, Twitter; check out my previous day’s stats on this blog; look to see if me or my wife, Wendi, sold any more books (see here and here); and see if there have been any sales through my Amazon affiliate links.
  2. Once awake, talk with Wendi before she leaves for work. This, of course, happens if I actually get out of bed before she heads to work.
  3. Read the Bible and pray. I have been reading Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai and Zechariah because I teach a Sunday School class, and we have been focusing on this period in Israel’s history.
  4. Get ready and head to work. My full-time job is working as a reporter for The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio. I get to meet a lot of interesting people, and I really enjoy what I do.
  5. Come home and eat. Self-explanatory.
  6. Engage in various activities. Depending upon the day of the week or month, I might be covering a night event or meeting for the newspaper; I might be in a men’s ministry meeting; I might be watching TV, performing magic somewhere or practicing with the praise team (I play bass); I might be writing, editing or laying out a book; checking and rechecking my social networks and Words with Friends; hanging out with Wendi; reading a book; working on a Sunday School lesson; or writing a blog.

My life is hectic, but not really stressful. I hope you have enjoyed a day in my shoes, sort of. I have a great wife who makes me better and supports my endeavors. I am truly blessed. What about you?

How do You Generate Ideas? Here is One Possible Way

Welcome to Episode No. 1 of the Zest for Life podcast. We are trying out something new on The Z Section blog today. Are you curious about where ideas come from? Who isn’t.

Electric Generation

In the podcast I offer one simple suggestion for generating ideas: Unclutter your life so you can think in new ways. Give it a listen; it will only take a couple of minutes.

Kindle Fire HD 7 Continues to Score Big Here

It’s been nearly seven weeks since I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7, and I am liking it more and more everyday. For good reason.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I remember reading on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how preferred the iPad Mini over the original, larger version, saying the Mini was what the iPad should have been from the start.

Having never owned an iPad, I cannot make the same statement, but I can say this: The Kindle Fire HD 7 is what netbooks should have been all along. When my wife’s laptop became old, outdated and slow, I wanted to get her a new one. However, there was something attractive about the netbooks. At the time, I did not fully understand what they were; I just thought they were slightly smaller laptops.

Well, in a sense, they are. Netbooks are smaller than laptops. And, netbooks kind of look like laptops. But, what we discovered is a netbook is not really a laptop. A laptop is for computing, and a netbook is mainly designed to surf the Internet.

My Kindle Fire HD does just that. It surfs the web, it feasts on Amazon.com content, it plays games and it even contributes to some productivity. After I first purchased the tablet, I carried it with me sometimes. Now, unless I know I am going to be totally tied to my desk at the newspaper, it comes with me.

Why I Carry My Kindle Fire HD All the Time:

  • It turns my vehicle into a mobile university: This is the No. 1 reason why it is with me most of the time. By owning a Kindle device, I can turn on Amazon’s text-to-speech function and listen to books while I drive. I just finished reading/listening to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (which turned out to be better than I initially envisioned). Whether I am in the Jeep five minutes or 35 minutes, I like having the option of listening to a book.
  • It keeps me up-to-date with my blog: I have a WordPress app that allows me to edit or create posts, check my site stats or do anything else I need to with my blog, as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • I keep my teaching notes on it: I teach an adult Sunday School class at Parkview Christian Church, and I send all of my notes to my Kindle device. I have a study Bible loaded on the Kindle, and I keep my notes for Sunday School on it.
  • I can capture thoughts using Catch app: When you start blogging, you realize how important it is to get your ideas down. With Catch Notes, I can do that. The free app allows you to write notes, record audio notes, take photos, set up reminders and create checklists. I used it the other day to jot some ideas down for future blog posts and a future book.
  • I can move my online reading offline: With Pocket, another free app, I can be reading something on the web and save it to read later. The app works across all sorts of devices. I can be reading something on the web at home, save it to Pocket, and when I sync my Kindle Fire HD, I will get a nice, readable version of the web page. It is important to sync Pocket’s content while you have Wi-Fi access. This is immensely helpful when researching. I have been using it to aid me in writing a book for mindreaders. It is invaluable.
  • I can keep up-to-date with all of my social networks: Again, as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection.

If you would like to purchase your own Kindle Fire HD, check out my affiliate link by clicking here. I recommend the 32 GB version because once you buy it, there is no expanding it. Might as well get the extra storage space.

The Kindle Fire HD  7 has been a great fit for me, but let me caution you by saying I made the purchase because I was an Amazon Prime member. It made sense to have a device geared toward watching the movies, TV shows and videos available for free to Prime members, getting the shipping discount from Amazon and the ability to borrow one book a month from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If you are looking for more of a computing tablet, then perhaps the iPad, iPad Mini or Google Nexus 7 are better options for you.

For me, it was the Kindle. You can see other reasons why by clicking here.

What Do You Say, When You Don’t Know What to Say?

Traffic to The Z Section was higher than normal early Wednesday. I had no clue as to why. Could it be I wrote such a stellar blog post? Maybe.

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But it turned out that was not the case. I noticed that I was getting some referrals from Michael Hyatt’s blog about Intentional Leadership (check out his wonderful blog here … and subscribe to it!).

I figuratively scratched my head and wondered why I was getting traffic from Hyatt’s blog, but I was busy with other stuff, so I kept moving. Every time I checked on my site stats (and I can get OCD about them as I try to build a platform), the number kept increasing at a higher than normal pace at a higher than normal clip. (At 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, I was just three page views away from previous best. Update: I was just one page view away from my best at the end of the day.)

Finally, late in the afternoon, I checked out the referral link from Hyatt’s blog, and lo, and behold, but what do my wondering eyes discover: He posted his latest “This is Your Life” podcast about changing your story and changing your life. He had solicited questions from his blog readers, and my question about how faith played into that was selected along with six others.

Read more

@MichaelHyatt Will Inspire You to Blog (and Stay at It) in This Video

MichaelHyattPixlr

I don’t know Michael Hyatt, but he has been kind to reply to some of my comments on his blog (www.michaelhyatt.com) and respond to some of my tweets. I am a big fan of his. His blogs, podcasts and videos have inspired and influenced me more than he will ever know. So, when he announced his latest secret project here, I had to see what it was all about.

I hope you will follow the links and check out what he is up to. I started watching the first video, which you can view below, and I was absolutely inspired to stick with blogging.

One of the things he said was very encouraging, and it reminds me of a story I once heard about a rabbi being asked when the best day to repent was. In the video, Hyatt says the best time to start building a platform was eight years ago, and the second best time is today. (As for the rabbi, he was asked when the best day to repent was. He told the man, “The day before you die.” The man told the rabbi he did not know when he was going to die. “Then, the second best day to repent is today.”)

What I found so encouraging about the video is how Hyatt explains that his platform was not built in a day. In some respects, it languished for years, even though it was steadily expanding. His book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Busy World, provides the tools to start building your platform today and helps you to avoid some of the challenges he faced.

To hear about his blog’s modest growth and how he essentially drew a line in the sand and committed to blogging is refreshing to hear. If you are not blogging today, you probably will by then end of the day. You can watch his video below, and I also encourage you to check out his new project using the link above.

Additionally, as way of disclosure, I am an Amazon affiliate and will make a small commission if you buy Hyatt’s book via the link above.

To Facebook or Not to Facebook: Do You Even Need to Ask

KloutI am reading a book about getting your message out, and while I have not actually read the part where the author talks about not liking Facebook, I have seen others write about his position in reviews posted about the book.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I think think it can be too intrusive, and I think the company has not always been too concerned about privacy among its users.

However, I have been on Twitter longer than Facebook, and I just don\’t have the reach with my tweets as I do with my status updates. Like it or not, my Facebook interaction is the driver of my Klout score.

This, however, is a double-edged sword. Look at how Dan Zarrella described the two audiences:

If you are looking to sell something, then how likely are you to entice people you know to make a decision? Jesus said no prophet is accepted in his hometown. Do your friends view you as someone who has something to say or who is trustworthy? Regrettably, sometimes it is easier to close a deal with strangers.

As for me, I will continue to remain active on Facebook. As you can see by my Klout score, it garners a lot of attention and responses. I am building a platform to last, and I am not trying to complete it today.