Team Hoyt – I Can (Inspirational Video)

This video is amazing. Whenever you think you have it harder then most, remember it could be worst. Be thankful for the blessings you have and seek to help those that are less fortunate. We are all strong in our own way – How will you show your strength?

Mr. Rogers Remix – PBS Digital Studios

Fred Rogers (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) entertained and captured the mind of children for over 30 years. He is best known for encouraging curiosity and politeness. John D. Boswell and PBS Digital Studios recently released this remix of the legendary man.

The powerful messages have survived the test of time. Dream big, be curious, seek discovery, find what you love and chase it. Whether Rogers was a Marine sniper or not (highly debated), he left the world a better place. We could use a few more role models like Mr. Rogers.

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You Have Been Approaching It All Wrong – Start With Why

I have been on a reading binge lately. One book has really stood out – Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek. This is a book that allows you to incorporate the lessons into everything you do. While Sinek focuses on business and entrepreneurship, anyone could apply the principles to their daily life.

Ever wondered why some companies are able to be so successful while others lose their way? Or why certain individuals seem to be very charismatic and great leaders? The answer usually lies in their approach and perspective. Instead of worrying about HOW or WHAT they do, these individuals and businesses are concerned with WHY they do them. I found this to be a very profound idea when explained.

The book uses great real world examples of companies such as Apple, Coke, Costco, Walmart, etc. Usually these analysis’ are one sided but not this book. Sinek looks at individuals/businesses that use his approach and ones that don’t. His writing style is very easy to understand and keeps you interested.

Some people will think the book is a bit repetitive but I found that approach to be just what I needed. Telling me once or twice is nice but telling me 10 or 12 times ensures that I will learn it. Maybe he wrote the book with me in mind…who knows! I highly suggest you grab the book and take a look. You can purchase it here.

Here is the video from Sinek’s TED talk that will give you an idea of what he discusses in the book. If you are intrigued, the book is even better!

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Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow’s Amazing Video

Michael Lazerow just secured himself as a legend. This video is simply amazing. Congratulations to all the people at Buddy Media. Their leader is authentic and it shows. Sit back, enjoy the video and adopt this perspective in your life.

TeamVinnyV and Cancer’s Worst Nightmare

I was approached by a good friend with the request that I write about what was happening at Monroe-Woodbury High School in his hometown. My initial reaction was “I don’t write based on solicitations.” Then I read the story and got the facts. Every so often I run across stories or causes that I think need to be shared with others. Each one of us will face trials and tribulations in our lifetime. The more people that can rally around us, the easier the fight. Vinny Vespa is that person right now.

Vinny is a 14 year old kid from New York who had the world at his feet two weeks ago. A 9th grader, wrestling on Varsity, on his way to represent the state of New York at the National Championships in North Dakota this July. For a kid who had been wrestling his entire life he wanted nothing but to be a champion.

After clinching his spot on the state team, Vinny went to the doctor to find out why he had been getting short of breath all season. The answer was the worst case scenario. Vinny is believed to have Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. Think about that….a kid who dominated all season on the wrestling mat (31-8 record) did it with stage 4 cancer and only 50% of his normal breathing capacity.

Usually stories like this end with an athlete who moves out of the limelight and begins the battle to merely survive. Vinny appears to have a different idea in mind. According to his supporters Vinny is “cancer’s worst nightmare.” Everything said about him speaks to his character and determination. This kid isn’t worried about surviving, he still wants that national championship.

Think he is going to battle alone? Forget it, that’s where Team VinnyV comes in. Within 48 hours of creating a Twitter account (@teamVinnyV) he had over 1,220 followers. He should break 2,000 today. His family and friends have gotten T-shirts made and organized fundraising events. This 14 year old has served as an inspiration to his community due to his persistence and never die attitude. While both Section IX Wrestling and New York Wrestling News have covered the story, TeamVinnyV would like to get national coverage. We can help them do that.

Please tweet at or about TeamVinnyV. Share this blog post or the other stories. Tell people about Vinny. Buy a t-shirt. Hound ESPN and Sportscenter until they can’t ignore TeamVinnyV anymore. These stories need to be shared. Vinny needs any help you can give him….are you game?

Quitting is not an option (Inspirational)

This footage has been around for almost 20 years. I rarely share where I get my motivation from but this is too good not to share. I have watched it hundreds of times, many of which I needed motivation to continue with something I was doing. This particular video does a great job explaining the situation and what Derek was able to accomplish.

Never give up. Keep going. Success in your endeavors is right around the corner.

21 Ways of Self-Reliance

Miyamoto Musashi is widely considered to be the greatest samurai warrior, if not the greatest warrior of all time. He fought hundreds of battles to the death, never losing a single one. After he wrote his famous “The Book of Five Rings,” he wrote down his “21 Ways of Self-Reliance.” Below are the 21 points that he lived his life by:
  1. Do not stubbornly rebel against the ways of the world.
  2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
  3. Do not rely upon any half-hearted feelings.
  4. Think lightly of yourself and think deeply of the world.
  5. Remain detached from desire.
  6. Do not regret what you have done.
  7. Never be jealous of others.
  8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
  9. Abandon resentment and complaint.
  10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of love.
  11. Disregard your personal preferences.
  12. Accept your dwelling and living conditions.
  13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
  14. Do not hoard ancient treasures intended for future generations.
  15. Do not mindlessly follow the ways of the world.
  16. Do not become obsessed with weapons or fighting.
  17. Do not run from death.
  18. Do not accumulate goods and riches for your old age.
  19. Respect the gods, without relying on their help.
  20. You can abandon your own body, but never let go of your honor.
  21. Never depart from the way of strategy.

It is easy to see why a man who lived his life through these principles was so accomplished. How do you stack up to these principles? Do you follow any of them?

How Bill Gates Is Using His Common Sense to Save The World

This was the cover story back in November 2011 for Forbes magazine. I came across it again today and had a different reaction after reading it a second time. Bill Gates, like many great business minds, thrives on accomplishing what others tell him is not possible. With a goal like “reducing the death rate by 80% from preventable diseases”, you have to be pretty strong willed.

What struck me in this article as different this time, was Gates’ ability to take a very emotional cause (saving lives) and turn it into pure business formulas. I am not suggesting that Gates has no emotional tie to this cause, but when he speaks about it, he refers to it as if it was a business deal. Where can we get the cheapest vaccines (product)? How can we be most efficient?

This approach has helped Bill and Melinda Gates make more of an impact on world health then either of them could have ever imagined. They have saved hundreds of thousands of lives by implementing some simple business strategies….and having a few billion dollars doesn’t hurt either!

What aspects of your life could you apply business strategies to become more efficient? How can you be more philanthropic within your means? Share your ideas and thoughts below!

Viral Marketing: Get the word out….Fast!

<div style=”width:425px” id=”__ss_9274190″> <strong style=”display:block;margin:12px 0 4px”><a href=”; title=”The Science behind Viral marketing” target=”_blank”>The Science behind Viral marketing</a></strong> <div style=”padding:5px 0 12px”> View more <a href=”; target=”_blank”>presentations</a> from <a href=”; target=”_blank”>David Skok</a> </div> </div>

I ran across this slideshow on viral marketing. These techniques are proven over and over again to be effective. With the explosion of social media, APIs, and content sharing, there is no reason why you can’t get the word out about your product or service!

What viral marketing techniques have you used in the past? Were they effective? Share your experiences below!

What Political Attack Ads Can Teach About Guerilla Marketing Techniques

This photo has been circulating the internet for a few days and I think it can teach entrepreneurs some pretty interesting things about marketing regardless of political views. First lets look at the actual photo. On the left, Mitt Romney is sitting in a chair on an airport tarmac getting his shoe wanded for security purposes. On the right, Barack Obama is walking past a janitor and “pounds it” (the modern, cool handshake). Both of these photos are put together to offer the viewer a contrast about the individuals, their beliefs, and ability to lead our country.

Why is this important to entrepreneurs? This is a fantastic job of implementing proven guerilla advertising and marketing techniques. Here are three effective aspects at play:

Use of public perception: The first aspect is the use of priorly held perceptions about each individual. People commonly think Romney is a rich, white man, while Obama is seen as an African-American who is “a man of the people.” This photo plays on those feelings by trying to make people think that Romney is receiving a shoe shine, while Obama is spending time with the everyday person. Right or wrong, these perceptions will persevere and are very powerful.

Use of powerful images: This “ad” uses two photos that are extremely powerful when you first look at them. It counts on the fact that the viewer will not look very hard at either one of them. They will not question them, but they will be in awe of their initial reaction to such powerful images. I must admit that at first glance, I thought Romney was getting a shoe shine as well. Shock and awe is a tactic that can create great results.

Viral Sharing/Exposure: You have heard that “any exposure is better than no exposure.” In this case, as long as people are talking, debating, or arguing over this ad, it is seen as effective. Create emotional responses from people and you will be more likely to get your desired results. Also, the viral sharing aspect is important because someone is much more likely to find an ad effective if it is attached to their friends in social media, rather than a generic ad. The more you can make something viral, the more eyes will see it, which ultimately increases effective exposure.

In the end, this ad accomplishes its goal through very simple means. Get people to solidify their thoughts on political candidates with two very simple photos. Context and delivery are important and affect the effectiveness of a campaign. This guerilla tactics not only work in politics, but in business as well!

Are there any other political ads that have similar traits? What other aspects do you see with this particular ad that could be used in business marketing?