Monthly Archives: March 2010

I’m a Bad Gamer

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Everyone has their thing, they collect butterflies, they skateboard or surf, or in my case I play video games.  Well, I used to play video games until I decided to be an Entrepreneur.  Stupid stupid Matthew.  The whole point, I thought, was you start a business and then you have all this free time to do the things you want to do, like in my case, play video games.

Again.  Stupid stupid Matthew.

I’ve been stupid busy lately.  I mean, that’s the point right?  I’ve been the starving artist, as they say, and I’ve been doing really well but lately I can honestly say I’ve quadrupled really well and I barely know how to keep up with it all.  I’m on a high, but a lot of the Matthew activities have had to go by the wayside while the spice flows and the work gets done.

And the spice MUST flow.

I’ve got a meeting with Michelle Poteet from Reclaim Order on Wednesday.  We have a lot to cover.  Michelle is the professional organizer that I turned to after graduating Sanera Camp.  Besides being a great friend Michelle can take my ADD self and teach me some organizational habits that really keep me from going off the deep end.

The good news keeps coming in lately, and it feels like if I announce to the world “I want to do more of X” then opportunities pertaining to the illustrious X start to appear.  I don’t know if I sold my soul to the devil in my sleep or what, but I’ve been very blessed (or cursed) lately with things generally growing very steadily.

Well, the casualty is my gaming.  Video games have been put away in favor of progress reports and that third mockup for X Y Z site with all the cool new stock images plugged in.  I think a week or two ago I said to a friend “I am going to play Final Fantasy XIII tonight!” with much certainty.  Needless to say by the time 9pm rolled around I was just too tired to spit, let alone play an intensive RPG like Final Fantasy.

I hardly recognize myself, and that is definitely a good thing, BUT there are reluctant parts of myself clinging to dear life to the liberties I had when times were easier.  Oh crap, am I growing up?  But… I don’t want to grow up!

The Toys’R’Us Giraffe made me a deal, I don’t have to grow up, are you saying cartoon Giraffe’s can’t be trusted?

At least I still refuse to wear a tie (or learn how to tie one).

That’s something right?

Good vs. Remarkable

I can’t get over how much Seth Godin’s Purple Cow has changed the way I look at business.  It has been a couple of months since I read the book and I still have trouble explaining to people exactly what it means to be a purple cow.  Sometimes people do it, and they’re not even aware that they’re doing it, they just think it’s good customer service, others shoot for the wrong things and wonder why it’s not working.

It’s rare that you read a book that puts so many things into perspective, and I can’t really explain to you what it means to be a purple cow in a single blog post (nor should I) so my recommendation is of course, read the dang book!

My favorite Coffee Shop, the Olmos Perk on McCullough, is a purple cow.  Some people describe it as a little piece of Austin in San San Antonio.  Long before I moved to Olmos PARK I spent a lot of time at the Olmos PERK.  The Perk uses Twitter to stay involved with their customers, posting photos of the baristas working each day so you feel like you already know who will be serving you before you arrive.

I was a customer of theirs when they weren’t using Twitter and I’ve watched it go from irrelevant to the business to now half of the staff having their own Twitter accounts and people coming in because “I heard about you on Twitter!”

The Olmos Perk is remarkable.  Now stop for a moment and think about that word, what does remarkable mean?  Is remarkable good?  Sure, but more than just saying “excellent” you’re saying “remarkable” which means it’s so good, it’s worth talking about.  It is worthy of remark.

Are you worthy of remark?  What could you do with your web site to be remarkable?  What could you do with your marketing to stand out?  In a market full of the same old black cow, what can you do to be the one purple cow of whom people will take notice?

They say Seth Godin has the #1 Marketing Blog in the world, and given the wisdom he shares in Purple Cow I’m not at all surprised.  Have you read Purple Cow yet?  Are you remarkable, or just good?

Can you tell the difference?

Note – I first learned about the Purple Cow from @AliciaSanera who recommends it as important reading for her Business Building Boot Camp called Sanera Camp.  If you want to learn how to stand out, take it from someone who attended and graduated, Sanera Camp will change your life.

Growing Pains, Part 2

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Social Media is a pain in the ass.  Writing a blog, posting actually RELEVANT stuff to your Twitter page, getting fans to care about your Facebook page.  These are all important things!  The problem is, you wind up doing them for a while, they generate some buzz for you, your business grows and you lose the free time you had being without clients, to keep all that crap updated.

Hire a Ghost Tweeter you say?  Don’t mind if I do!

Just kidding.  I’ve been neglecting my blog a lot lately, and I think it comes from that perfectionist paralysis monkey on my back.  Sometimes it’s hard to publish ANYTHING for fear of it not being a hit with my massive (read 34) subscriber base.

I need to get over it, need to get back on the horse, or back on the tweet, as it were.  There is so much going on, we’ve been busier than we’ve ever been and I know I owe that to our social media efforts.  One of the things I’m working on right now is getting approval from our clients to start sharing their success here on the blog.

That can be a tough sell at times because you don’t want to share too much of what you’re doing in your marketing plans, if that gets out to the wrong people then by essentially bragging you’re helping the competition.  On the other hand, screw em!  Knowing what you’re doing is only part of the equation, and without knowing how to counter it there isn’t much gained by learning what would have been obvious sooner or later anyway.

So yea, working on that as what is a blog if not the rantings of an overshare.

Hard Wood Floors

On the personal front, I’ve moved from my home in Alamo Ranch to a new place in Olmos Park.  I love Alamo Ranch and there are a ton of great shops and resources there in town BUT it is just so far from everywhere I go on a daily basis.  The Olmos Perk on McCollough for example, is a good forty minutes from Alamo Ranch.  Now I’m within walking distance of the Perk and only ten minutes from downtown San Antonio.

Hardwood floors are fantastic, and as someone who spends a lot of time in his home office, it is just so important to be comfortable in that space.  Big beautiful windows surround my home office and I couldn’t be happier.

Plenty of good news lately, some that I can talk about, some that unfortunately I am sworn not to mention, BUT I’m back on the horse here in the blog and returned to the focus of making SEO approachable to business owners of any experience level.

Stay tuned!

The Enthusiasm Virus

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I’m a nut.  I can’t lie about that, you’ll figure it out sooner or later.  The strangest things excite me.  Spent the evening at Sea World San Antonio Thursday night previewing their new “Azul” event that debuted today.  I felt like a kid in a candy store running around taking pictures.  I was very enthusiastic, very excited to have been invited to the preview, very happy to be there.

Sea World

But we’re supposed to play it cool. Every time anyone has ever said they liked my enthusiasm, I’ve had that feeling that what they meant was that I was a hyper idiot.  Is enthusiasm synonymous with a lack of etiquette?

I’m tired of THEM telling US that we have to be something we’re not to be successful.  If I show my glee at Dolphins jumping out of the water into the sky, does that diminish my business edge?

Hell no!

I was at a meeting not long ago and someone referenced my enthusiasm towards a project.  I frowned because I’d heard that before, it meant they were excited that I was going to be so easy to sign on.  I’m not a cool cat by a long shot, I’m a man of many words and often a man with a stupid grin on his face, but I still know my value and I don’t settle.

People who underestimate me because of my enthusiasm are in for a rude awakening.  I’m a geek, sure, but in the immortal words of Susan Boyle “that’s just one side of me!”  I refuse to be ashamed of my enthusiasm.

Let your geek flags fly!  Get excited with me!  Catch the enthusiasm virus!

What is RSS? Syndication made Simple

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Mike Flores (or @pplusd on Twitter) asked “What is RSS?”

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and has become one of the easiest ways to subscribe to content on the web.  If you’re like me you travel to hundreds of web pages a day and you can’t organize your bookmarks to save your life, and you really want to keep track of what certain people share.

Enter RSS, or better yet, enter a Subscription Service for Bloggers.

RSS is a way of subscribing to a site through a reader like Outlook or Mac's Mail.

RSS is a way of subscribing to a site through a reader like Outlook or Mac's Mail.

There are a lot of ways to subscribe to an RSS feed.  Most RSS feed’s pop up your default RSS viewer, which I have set to Mac’s Mail program and you PC users can also setup for Outlook as well.  Once you’ve subscribed to the RSS feed you’ll get a new message in that inbox every time that web site posts an update.  I use RSS to follow blogs, and stay on top of the SEO news across sites like Search Engine Land and SEOmoz.

To subscribe to an RSS feed, just find the little orange square that looks like a wifi symbol.  Click on that and it will add the URL for that sites’ RSS feed to your reader of choice.  There are a lot of RSS readers out there so experiment some and find the one that works for you.

Most blogging software packages include an RSS service.  I use and recommend WordPress because RSS is really easy to use.  You can even subscribe to the Image Freedom Blog via RSS by clicking on the little man who looks like he’s sitting on the toilet under my photo.  Yea, I really ought to replace that. =)

For more info than you’d ever want to know about RSS check out the Wikipedia Entry.