Graduates: The Danger of Playing it Safe

What are you going to do with your one and only life?

You get one shot. It’s gonna fly by…just ask your parents.

How you decide to spend your life starts today. And, every day. I implore you to make a life, not just a living.

Truth is, your work takes up most of your time. Thus, you’ll need to ask yourself, “Am I excited about my day ahead? Do my gifts and passions line up with what I’m producing?”

If not, stop. Not necessarily cold turkey, but start planning an exit and find or create a new endeavor.

You might disappoint or worry your parents. Others may roll their eyes. But, this is YOUR life, not theirs.

The regrets of the aged are opportunities missed, ventures not attempted. Your mistakes and failures? You won’t even remember them. Trust me.

Go create your future and never (ever!) play it safe. (139 words)

Facebook Did What?!

1 in every 7 people on the planet used Facebook yesterday. Did you?

It marks the first time in its history that more than 1 billion people were using the site in a single day.

Facebook has come a long way since 2004 when starting out, essentially, as an online directory for Harvard’s students.

I utilize many social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. (Feel free to follow me on any of these channels…I promise to follow back.)

For pleasure, Instagram is my favorite. For business, whether promoting an idea, blog post or event, Facebook is clearly the best arrow in my quiver. And, it’s not even close.

If you are a small business owner, blogger, teacher, entrepreneur or anyone trying to reach the largest and most engaged possible audience, you need to consider using Facebook. Now.

Don’t just take my word for it. Take the world’s. (139 words)

P.S. – If you need help setting up a Facebook business page or just need a little advice or encouragement, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Podcasts: A New Way to Grow

I used to listen to talk radio for hours while driving in my car.

I used to put on headphones and sing along to my favorite songs while mowing, running or chilling on the deck.

Not anymore.

Because life flies by, I’ve decided to maximize my time by listening to people who help me grow.

Podcasting is hot, and I can hear why. The best and brightest minds and hearts offer up insights and encouragement to anyone, anywhere, anytime…for free. In fact, I’m currently attending a course, “How to Start a Startup”, through Stanford University (regardless of my SAT score) at no cost. The experience has been incredibly valuable.

The messages from these podcasts give fuel to regular people like you and me to do more than we could ever imagine on our own. I like that. (139 words)

Here are a few podcasts that inspire and challenge me to think broader, love bigger and live better:

Pat Flynn podcast (best online business advice around, startup stories)

John Lee Dumas (interviews leading entrepreneurs EVERY day, amazing)

James Altucher podcast (writer, investor who keeps it real in business and life)

Brian Houston podcast (senior pastor of Hillsong Church, faith and leadership)

Chris Brogan podcast (helping humanize and grow your biz, connect so well)

Gary Vaynerchuk podcast (media rock star, investor and marketing guru)

Amy Porterfield podcast (social media strategist, she’s the real deal)

Tim Ferriss podcast (author of “The 4-Day Workweek”, investor, crazy smart)

(Podcast Primer: How to Subscribe to a Podcast on Your Phone & Computer)

* I want to give a shout out to Jamieson Webking, a good friend of mine who turned me on to podcasting. He will be launching his very own podcast shortly, and will get that out to you, as well!

What Others Don’t See

 

You astound me with your ability to see things that I don’t. Perspectives I’ve never had, ideas that are foreign to me. You are able to unearth beauty in seemingly mundane places and recognize possibilities in people I routinely pass by.

You are uniquely gifted and wired for such a time as this. So, now what?

A favorite movie scene from “Begin Again” portrays how Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label executive, discovers Gretta (Keira Knightley), an aspiring singer/songwriter, performing in a small tavern and is captured by her raw talent. He sees and hears something in her that nobody else does.

(before continuing, turn up your volume and watch this powerful scene: A Step You Can’t Take Back)

You have abilities like this. And, there are Grettas in your life right now who need someone to draw hidden life and potential out of them.

That someone is you. Take action. The reward trumps the risk…every single time. (138 words)

A Different Drum

One of my goals with leaderbird is to highlight individuals who had an idea, put a plan together and brought it to the marketplace. Landon Oldenburger (LOV) and Dave Yankowiak (Lift Development) have been featured on the ShowBiz page and I offer up another fascinating success story today that I think you’ll enjoy and be inspired by.

I sat down with Keith Anderson, the dreamer and founder of Risen Drums, and he pulled no punches in sharing a behind the scenes look at the juice and soul that moves Risen Drums up the charts. (note: ShowBiz posts are longer than 140 words 🙂 )

When your feet hit the floor in the morning, what’s the first thing on your mind?

Some days, it’s business. Did I forget this?  Did I get that done?  What do I have to do today?

What are you most passionate about?

We use the word passion in my family constantly. “Passion runs the world” and I want to chase my passions every day…and I do. Here’s my list:

  • Jesus
  • My family
  • Drums
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Relationships

And from day to day, that order of importance changes, but that’s the list.

What scares you most about running your own business?

Paying the bills. Will it work? I am the CEO and the janitor at the same time.

Greatest benefit in running your own company?

It’s my decisions and my time that will make this work. I love that. I would call myself an artist. So in a sense, my business is my art, I get to create it. What are we gonna push, what are we gonna let slide, what are we gonna market harder…I love that. I really love that.

Greatest challenge in running your own business?

It’s all on me. That’s some pressure. Final decision is always mine. That I love, and that I hate at the same time.

What was the original source of inspiration for you to start Risen Drums?

Passion.  Passion is the source, drums are in me. So I just dove in and a hobby turned into a job.

What sets Risen Drums apart in this industry?

Customization and relationship. Everything we do is one at a time and very specific. That custom aspect is what has set us apart, and allows us to do this as a passion. It’s always one at a time, and creating…not an assembly line.

What “aha” moment(s) have you had over the years running a business?

I want to chase dreams. I want to be about relationships. What I mean by that is that I don’t have a boss to ask for holidays off. And, if what’s important today is to go visit a friend, then that can be the importance of the day. That freedom is really great. At the same time, I need to be self-motivated, there is no boss telling me what to do today. So, if I slack, things are gonna fall behind.

If you could hire one person, what would she/he do to help you out?

I would clone myself, and hire myself to double what I do.

What’s on the horizon for RD?

We are pushing on some new products , some new ideas, but mostly just taking care of our clients well. The theory of Risen Drums is pretty simple, and it goes something like this: If I really take care of everybody playing Risen Drums, they will love this product, and they will tell others about it. That’s a good a good way to live. And it happens to be a genius marketing plan at the same time.

Best advice for anyone hoping to start their own business?

Why not go for it? It might not work? But, it might? And what if it did, wouldn’t that be worth it? I say yes.

What are you…

Reading: A book called ‘Bloodline’. It’s the story of John Turnipseed. He started the first organized gang in Minneapolis, and was a bad dude. Then he found Jesus, and now leads others out of gangs in Minneapolis.

Watching: The Newsroom

Listening to: Taylor Swift.

Eating: Chipotle

How do you balance business, family and personal time?

My wife is super supportive of Risen Drums. That’s the only way this works, because sometimes I go back to work in the evenings, and sometimes I have to miss an event. But, other days I skip work to have a family day. In the end, she sees that this is my passion, and that it’s worth supporting.

Would you encourage your children to start their own company?

For sure. There is some stress in this, sure. But, again, ‘passion runs the world’, so chase what you are passionate about. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start your own company , but if it does, then you have to do it.

If you weren’t running this business, what would you be doing?

Coaching baseball.  Or, maybe golfing.

Parting shot?

Ok, here’s the thing. When I listed my passions…money was not one of them. The reason to start my own business isn’t to make piles of money. But maybe it can be. If you list your passions, and one of them is money, then you can build any business as long as it’s successful. With that, if you list your passions and one of them happens to be higher on the list than money? Well, maybe that’s the business you should run after.

In my world, drums and relationships are way above money on a list of passions. So, my business revolves around those things. It doesn’t mean I don’t make money…or can’t make it. But it does mean that money is not the goal…which influences the decisions we make each day. That’s my 2 cents.

We’ll take it. Thanks, Keith. If you or someone you know is a drummer and would like to check out Risen Drums, you can get all the info you need and more at http://risendrums.com/.

If you didn’t get a chance to read Wednesday’s flyby, you can do so HERE: Small Ball for Business