Here’s to PBandJterm

The world keeps turning. It is spinning 1000 miles per hour, yet we don’t feel it. Instead, we have different sense of time passing quickly; perhaps it’s all on our head. But does that make it any less real? The past three weeks of “PBandJterm” have flown by faster than the world turns, even though that only takes 24 hours. Paradoxes everywhere.

We started off the week with a visit from Lindenwood’s social media guru, Ryan Griffin. He gave us the rundown on how he handles all of Lindenwood’s social media pages. This included how Lindenwood monitors athletes on twitter, how he treats people on Facebook, and more. I had Ryan previously in my Applied Public Relations class, where he sometimes filled in. The most interesting thing about Ryan was his own endeavor, NutSocial. We had the pleasure of seeing Pickle the crack addict squirrel (look just under his eyes, seriously). Seeing Ryan slowly, but surely practicing his social media skills for himself was encouraging.

One of the better parts of the week (and all of PBandJterm) was chatting with Tara Joyce of ElasticMind. She was very personable, polite, and

Tara Joyce's Elastic mind

Tara Joyce’s Elastic mind

knowledgable. She even followed me back on twitter. I definitely plan on scouring her website and paying attention to what she had to say. We used Google+ Hangout to chat with her, and I was impressed by that before. I had experienced a bit of the hangout previously, but only watched a political debate between people on YouTube. Using the software left a favorable impression.

One of the things that was hammered into our impressionable minds was the importance of an authentic About Me page. Tara Joyce and Jill spoke of it over and over again. Accordingly, the last week or so of class, we also updated our About me pages. I still need to tweak mine (we all evolve and grow), but it’s welcoming and unique at the moment.

Niches are a Nitch, if you catch my drift

Writing about my niche became one of the larger battles of PBandJterm. The assignment itself was not so difficult, but it was provoking. If I’m trying to write about my future, I want to write about my future, and not just say something that will make Jill happy. Though I think my niche blog did. After toiling in my brain (before the very computer I write on now), I finally just decided to write about the Primal lifestyle. It is something I am interested in, know some about, and also am in the transition to living.

The niche Prezi we had to make for our final day in class was tougher. With the idea that I am a story-teller, I wanted to tell a story or two (or three). Not just any story, but an epic one. After brainstorming and jotting notes for literally hours (Both Tuesday and Wednesday nights), I decided to the story about Antarctic explorers. It did connect back, in someway, to my niche blog, but I plan on writing a blog and making a presentation about Willpower later on (if you read the epic story above, you’ll understand why). Instead, I made a more-or-less basic Prezi and it turned out like this:

Travel as My Niche

Travel as My Niche

The Prezi turned out all right. I made some last-minute alterations before I spoke, and I surprisingly came up with more interesting stuff to say than I thought. Perhaps I was a bit doubtful because I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning constructing it (I didn’t give up on the other idea until 2:30).

Of course, I didn’t mention out frield trip to Switch, guided by the welcoming Andrew Mullins and the talented Jessica Leitch of City in a Jar fame. I was throughly impressed by the size, scope, and manner of Switch. The people there were laid back, but definitely passionate about what they were doing. Plus, like I said, the place was huge. The Q&A with Andrew was worth listening to. Also, Jessica gave us plenty of good tips and providing me with some much-needed inspirations. I’ll be following her blog with interest- she seems to be going places.

In the end, I got a lot out of this week, I wasn’t late for anything, and as for the whole class, I loved it. It was one of the best classes I have taken at Lindenwood, in terms of enjoyment and in what I have learned. It helped prove to me that most classes, especially in the communication field, should be short, focused, and intensive. It’s practice that makes perfect, and it’s better not to spread it out over a whole semester. In preparation for this final blog, I looked up “toasting.” Here’s one to our class:

Here’s to Personal branding

content curation, and a small bit of bit of frustration

Now raise your glasses to the good times

to tweeters, bloggers, and elastic minds.

to building proof, having a Hoot,

Oh PBandJterm, we’ll miss your milk.

Your Inner Grok

You stand beneath starry skies, roaming over nature’s sprawling vistas in search of food, a place to sleep, and opportunity to live life. Perhaps you’ve never done that, but everyone has an inner caveman. Lets call this hunter-gatherer being Grok, a sort of Everyman representation of the proverbial “caveman.” Grok likes to live life to the fullest, when he (or she) isn’t fending off the elements or saber-tooth tigers. And he’s in you. In your DNA. Mark Sisson, writer of Mark’s Daily Apple, wants you to realize this, and remember who you are.

Mark Sisson is the neanderthal behind The Primal Blueprint, which, according Mark, is “a set of principles to live by.” The Primal Blueprint isn’t about the latest fad diet (paleo-ish or not) or get-in-shape-quick scheme. It is truly a way of life. Living primally is getting in touch with your Inner Grok.  So what does it mean to be Primal?

Nutrition

Marks Daily Appe Site- Remember, Play is important to fitness

The Primal Blueprint calls for a unique “diet”- as in the standard way of eating for life, not a quick 90 day diet to lose weight you gain right back.” The diet is inspired by what your ancestors (like Grok) would have available to them. What does this means? If you get down to it, no grains. More Fat.

As in saturated fat. This means bacon, beef, olive oil, coconut butter, etc. Why not grains? Because they’re not good for you. Grok was kickin’ mammoth and taking names far before the Agricultural Revolution (but that isn’t the reason why you should listen to me).

Of course, it means fruits and vegetables (and nuts).  If you really need starches, sweet Potatoes/yams are the way to go. But that wheat Asiago bagel you love so much from Panera? Nope.

Making a case that red meat is actually good for you is difficult with on a post of this size, but I’ll add some caveats. When it comes to eating meat, grass-fed beef (or whatever) is much better for you than anything that is grain-fed. Also, over the summer I ate lots of bacon, and it actually helped with my weight.

Fitness

A feasible lifestyle that you can maintain for the rest of your life. That’s part of what living primally is all about. Thus, your fitness regime shouldn’t be killing ya for weeks and weeks (or months, or years) on end. WWGD? What would Grok Do? He sure went hunting a lot. He hauled meat to camp. H climbed and chased game. Grok lived an active lifestyle. But what can you do in the 21st century?

Instead of taking down mammoths, we can do some lifting. Fitness would be best, however, if it was centered around Functionality (another idea that Mark Sisson harps on). Using artificial weights is better than nothing, but you know what’s better? Lifting heavy things around the yard. Pick up a log. Or a boulder. Or a bucket of water. For all you hunters out there, a deer carcass may be in order.

You should Play. Set up a game of ultimate frisbee. Having fun is important to fitness and your well-being. What else? Get more sleep. Install programs like F.Lux onto your computer, so the blue light from you screen (which resembles sunlight) turns warmer, so it doesn’t trick your brain that it’s still daylight outside.

Most of this stuff is likely new to you. It can seem far-fetched, misguided, or just plain crazy. Saturated Fats are good for you? Cavemen? You may feel that way. My focus in this humble blog was introducing you to the Primal Blueprint, but anything Paleo is going in the right direction. I haven’t fully made the transition to the anything paleo/Primal. I am at a school that makes a bit impossible to eat constant amounts of grass-fed (or even grain-fed) meat. I do well on the weekends, and during the weeks I do eat a lot of salad. But the primal way is about more than diet, it’s a lifestyle. So, look into it.

You may find you have been missing your healthier, and happier, Primal self for all along.

Whoever has Ears, Let Him Hear.

There is a saying in my family that we are responsible for what we hear. This sentiment has been heard outside of my familial conversations yet it is a somewhat common thing for a parent or relative in my family to say. This week, I have heard many things, and now I am responsible.

One of the more intensive topics PBandJterm covered was our individual LinkedIn pages. Two excellent guest speakers treated the class to their expertise in all things LinkedIn: Nick Gilham of A Branded You,  and Josh B Turner of Linked University.

Take a moment and just dance with Josh Turner. 

Besides the feedback that Josh Turner gave me on individual LinkedIn profile, they provided a lot of basic LinkedIn Tips. I learned how to add videos to my profile, and the importance of filling out the Skills & Expertise section of your profile. This acts as a sort of recommendation, in addition to actual recommendations you can get from your connections on LinkedIn. So far all I have added are Blogging and Video Production. There will be more to come!

The fun didn’t stop there. I braved the murky, confusing waters of twitter and valiantly made Lists. This actually proved to be genius, and  helped me understand the usefulness of twitter even more than I learned last week. By following certain lists, you don’t have to follow individuals, just lists. Aaahh, how fantastic. We also set up our RSS feeds. This was a first time for me, but with the help of Google Reader, it was easy to set up. I get the feeling that my new addiction has arrived.

Then the class had to make a HootSuite account. The good news was that I already had one. I had sparingly used it since I created it for a certain class with a certain Jill Falk in the Fall semester of 2010. The bad news is that I barely remembered anything. Yet my woes were short-lived. I soon added various social networks, and my tumblr blog to my HootSuite, so I have a ‘Control Center” on one screen on my laptop. It ’twas spiffy.

The rest of the week had its highs and lows. The low was probably when I showed up late to class where guest speaker Derek Mabie was speaking. It was a class I had wanted to show up, and I did what I rarely do and slept in that day. However, I still got a lot out of the class. He said several things I really enjoyed.

“Build Proof, not a Resume.”

Thank you, Mr. Mabie, for concisely saying what I had been thinking in recent days. I keep hearing from highly successfully entrepreneurs that they don’t care about resumes, they care about accomplishments. The extra drive, the ability to think outside of the box, the willingness to take the risk; these are all qualities I am trying to build in myself, and it seems that people like Derek Mabie would be looking for them as well.

Slightly inspired after the class, and a bit miffed that I was not punctual, I looked up several things that had to do with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. I actually found a free “guide” that I had discovered before, but had forgotten about. It is from SEOMoz.com, a website that Derek Mabie highly praised. “The Free Beginner’s Guide to SEO” has so far proved helpful to my understanding of SEO and how it works. I’ll be reading it over the weekend.

Another interesting website was alerted too over the week was HabitRPG. It turns your life into a Role-Playing Game (RPG) by giving you rewards or punishments, depending on what you did or did not accomplish during the week. I plan to set up my own goals over the weekend as well. Doh, I may get some negative points for procrastination.

The next, and sadly, final, week of PBandJterm is going to be quite interesting. I’m going to try to outdo the Twitter Queens Jennifer, Lauren and Jessica with more of my ingenious tweets. I want to scour the internet, add more relevant sits to my RSS reader, and become more proficient in tumblr. By Sunday night my header should be done for this wordpress blog, so we can all talk about how beautiful it is over the week. One thing I like to do is listen; I learn a lot from my classmates. I’ ve  started to read their blogs, and I’m going to try to read all of their entries over the weekend.

This week was full of information. It was definitely a lot to absorb at one time. Yet I have heard. I’ve even taken some of it to heart. Thus, I am responsible for my future; if I effectively utilize what I have learned this week (such as LinkedIn or the importance of being punctual), or if I let it fall by the wayside, getting choked up by the distractions in my life. Let us hope that I have sown in good soil.

A time for everything

A warm bear seemed to be embracing the universe. I hibernated, an after waking from a rather interesting dream, I started about my room. Was it really my room? It was so dark. Where was my phone? Man, it must be really early if my alarm hadn’t gone off yet…

Oh. It is going to be one of those days.

There a time for everything. A time to get up and go to class can be important if you’re trying to have a good personal brand or a decent GPA. So far my personal brand isn’t doing bad and my GPA is doing relatively well. Today, I did something wrong. So what am I going to do now?

Perhaps you’re rolling your eyes or shrugging your shoulders. Being (very) late to class isn’t that big of a deal. Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I even agree with you. However, we’d both be wrong. If you commit to something, do it. So if you committed to being in a class (that you like, and with a guest speaker, nonetheless), then show up.

I talk a lot about honesty/integrity on this blog. So in all honesty I’m a bit sad that I slept in like a rock and missed a large chunk of class. But what am I going to do about it? Well, I’m going to stay positive. I failed, but now I’ll succeed. I’ll write some slightly over-dramatic blog post about it.

Perhaps it would be a little cheesy. But as the greatest fiction butler constantly reminded Bruce Wayne: “Why do we fall, sir? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

So I missed an important speaker who I may have wanted to hire me someday. But guess what? I’m still here, and I’m wide awake now.

#Hallelujah – The Week in Review I

It was a New Year. The last of the ice was melting away, revealing the old soggy earth beneath its fading grip. Slowly, the world began to wake. Men and women shuffled about their business, some nursing head pains, all burdened with added girth, from the weeks of festivities previous. The Linden trees stood silently as the structures they guarded began to ebb and flow with the people they housed. On that particular morning, I found myself in a dungeon in Spellmann. I had yet to break my fast. Yet in a dark room, some lady spoke a singular phrase that made my stomach churn. Bird language at this hour?

The word tweet still doesn’t sit well with me, unless you are talking about birds. The idea that my twitter account  is necessary for my personal brand is understandable, but a bit painful as well. Tweet Tweet. Oh boy.

That being said, this is probably the best J-Term class I have taken. Just ignore all the talk about soggy earth and dark dungeons. While some of it may seem like “busy work,” it is actually just consistent practice and becoming familiar with new things. Any class with an allusion to Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches has my vote (#PBandJterm all the way).

WordPress and Consistency

One of the more important things I did in class this week, in my mind, is start to use this good ol’ blog on a consistent basis. I have used WordPress in the past at a slightly different URL, but after a week of this class, I feel much more motivated to continue on my own, to keep carving my personal brand into something that represents who I am.

In addition to WordPress, PBandJterm also forced me to do something about my LinkedIn account (it’s still a work in progress, so no link for ya). Now I have synopsis, and some updated information on there, in addition to joining different groups and making some more LinkedIn connections.

Twitter

Despite my earlier griping, the uses of twitter slowly began to dawn on me. By following certain individuals, figuring how who follows them, deciding who may be interested in my twitter feed, following those people, and finally talking about what they may be interested in that I know about; that’s one way to gain more exposure for my brand. Twitter seems great for shout-outs, and definitely a more appropriate place for hashtags then it’s cousin, Facebook.

Other Things

There were many subjects discussed/taught this past week in class. Some of the most significant bits I already knew, though knowing is not the same as doing.

Everything we do online is going to continue forever, unless we have some apocalypse from Cormac McCarthy’s dreams.  With this in mind, doing things with intention is essential to anyone who wants to have an effective personal brand. Professor Falk talked about this on several occasions. Are we forming our online personal brand just through daily living, or are we consciously building it, molding it, guiding it to become something more? It could be assumed that many want to guide their branding ship, but are adrift at sea. And no one wants to be that guy.

Don’t be that guy. Take the time to consciously build your brand (Photo via Despair.com)

My own ship was mostly fit to sail, but lacked an itinerary. This class is helping me patch up the hull and prepare for another voyage. I’ll try to stop with the marine analogies before we all get cabin fever. This class has forced me to face some hard questions. What do I want people to see? Am I about telling stories? Then I should tell my stories. Am I building my brand with intention, or am I far to careless? I had mixed feelings about the answers. During the week, I found a blog from the Harvard Business Review called “The Future of You,” by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

It contained some valuable insights. It said the future involved the three things: Self-BrandingEntrepreneurship, and Hyperconnectivity.

Our class is all about self-branding and hyperconnectivity, but I believe the entrepreneurial mindset (and will) is just as important. The Doctor put it well when he said: “Entrepreneurship is about adding value to society by disrupting it and improving the order of things: it is turning the present into the past by creating a better future.

As for next week, I will continue to add a unique perspective to class discussion. I consume a wide variety of content on a regular basis- philosophy, health, politics, techie stuff, and more. I will endeavor to tell more stories, and to make more connections with my classmates.

No one knows what will happen in the future, but having a developed personal online brand, an eternal legacy, is definitely not a negative option. After this week, I can emerge from Spellmann’s dungeon with a bit of swagger in my step, because the seeds I am now sowing will bring in quite a significant harvest in my future. Even the word “tweet” stopped bothering me. I cannot think of a better twitter hashtag for that besides #Hallelujah.

 

Genesis I

What is on the internet is eternal. Pictures from that crazy party, the heart-warming baby photos, the embarrassing, inspiring, the mundane, the whining status posts, the frivolous tweets: everything endures. Unless Jesus ends the internet on Judgement Day (which would make an awesome meme), it will stay like this beyond the end of time. It’s a scary thought I had pondered before the PB&J class watched the video with Gary Vaynerchuk. He reminded me of this when he said “Legacy is greater than Currency.” I am at the dusk of my college experience, but what is my legacy? What “brand” do am I setting down to portray my life for all of eternity? That is where “my starting point” begins.

My face makes Google Image Search more handsome several times over.

My face makes Google Image Search more handsome several times over.

I decided to ask the Oracle of many answers (aka Google). My facebook profile was at the top of the list. Some guy name Seth Landon York who describes himself as an outdoorsman was the first link on twitter- he seemed like a snazzy guy. Next, I did an image search and saw many past versions of myself grace the screen. I was only slightly surprised (I have done this before) by the results.

There is nothing I would change, besides deleting one or two of the pointless ones, if I could. If I was given God-like power of the internet, I’d wipe any trace of me off of it, but that’s a different story.

The results of searches like this in my future would naturally change, once I advance more into my “dream career.” My dream career would be a self-sufficient entrepreneur. Lots of people want be a billionaire, but for me to do some the stuff I would like to do (and I’m not talking fast cars, large mansions and a few yachts) then it’s a place I want to be. I know better than to make being a billionaire the goal above all goals, but with hard work, luck, and avoiding the wrath of the status quo at the top, you can get that far. But I digress.

Traveling is sort of my passion. At the present date, I have been to Scotland  Wales, Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Guatemala, Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique, Lithuania  and last, but not least, Turkey. I also went to the Island of Patmos Seth Lion(Greece), where it is said that John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelation. So that is a total of 12 nations, excluding various airports, the United States, and Texas.

The dream career would include the ability to travel more or less how I wish. To do this, I need a fluid business/way of earning income, in addition to having a substantial amount of it. I look to people like Richard Branson, founder of anything Virgin, and Simon Black of SovereignMan.com whom I met last summer. In order to get to this state of being I need to build my eternal legacy. I have been gifted with the ability to write well, in addition to some moderate social skills, decent looks, and good background. Blogging is one of the best ways I can mold my online brand. Facebook is all well and good, but something more is required (perhaps even “vlogs” on youtube and regularly produced content there).

The best part of this equation is that I like to write. In the past I ranted on facebook about a variety of subjects, but I have always liked to write in a “larger” format, such as wordpress. I grew up writing stories for fun (I knew Microsoft Word 97 like nobody’s business . However, it takes time to write, and when I write it takes some emotional willpower. Perhaps it is like working out, but in recent days my writing muscles have atrophied.

As I have grown up, I discovered that not only did I like to write, but people like to read what I wrote. It’s a nice place to be in. Whether I’m writing about politics, philosophy, comedy, life, etc, I usually get a positive response. People like to ask me questions about politics, because I always have a different (and most of the time, correct) perspective on things. Interestingly, I am also someone to talk to about relationships and troubles. I find myself as sort of a counselor.  I can only attribute this to  bit of wisdom rubbing off from my parents and the important mentors in my life. Miraculous, I know.

My “confidence level” seems to be in healthy condition, though I get a bit too nervous when speaking to a large group of people. This usually depends on my mood, but is mostly attributed to the fact that in recent days, I am out of practice. However, I have little difficulty singing to the entire Evans Commons, so there is that.

Album cover, anyone?

Album cover, anyone?

So I sing, I talk, I counsel, but the two things I am good at, and I think are the most key, are these:
I Listen.
I tell stories.
This is a topic worthy of a whole other blog, let alone the end of a blog post, but I will say this: telling stories is what everything is about. Everything. Call me a mystic, but from the moment of conception to damnation (or redemption), we are all part of a story. Our lives consist of individual stories mingling with each other to form one giant story. Telling stories (or sagas) is a hallmark of any culture, because it connects to humans at a very primal level. Perhaps it sprang from cavemen around the campfire, when they weren’t fending off saber-tooth tigers or picking their teeth free from mammoth meat. I believe there’s a movie about that considers this. Whether we are texting, talking, listening, or simply being, we are participating in a story. Your story is what makes your legacy; your story is your part in a metaphorical Book of Time.

Perhaps there has been too much epic Celtic and Nordic fiction consumed by this author, so before I begin to chant and dance around a large bonfire,  I will end with this: No matter where my “starting point” is, I want to participate in my story, discover my own legacy, and pursue my dreams, which involves both a flexible lifestyle and unique career. In order to get here, I am going to keep telling stories, and I am going to keep listening.