JFS Curb Appeal Event – Helping Seniors in San Diego

I volunteered for a JFS Emerging Leaders event where we helped a woman named Angel, who had broken both of her arms to clean her house and to tidy her back and front yard. Watch the video to hear more about her story.

JFS Feeding America San Diego

I was lucky enough to have had my camera at the JFS San Diego Feeding America volunteer event. I was able to ask a few questions of Ashley Harrington about their mission and purpose for the JFS Emerging Leaders program. This is what she shared.

Feeding American San Diego – JFS from Brad Slavin

Kane Miller – SocialAdr.com – 4 Hour Work Week Interview

The 4 Hour Work Week book has influenced thousands of people to create better lives. One of the ways that people who want to create better lives come together is via in persons meetings.

By facilitating these meetings and growing based on the common experience we all become better people. Join us for our group and attend our virtual meeting and conference calls.

San Diego Four Hour Work Week Meetup Group. We have multiple methods of connecting to remote member – those who are living the dream.

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Linkedin – Apply with Linkedin Button

The apply with Linkedin Button has been released which allows businesses to accept job applications from users via their Linkedin profiles. The small button is just a peek at the way that I think Linkedin is going to leverage their business network database to benefit their user base. The service is available here – https://developer.linkedin.com/apply

If you have ever searched for a job you will understand the beauty and elegance of this simple button – rather than filling out possibly hundreds of job applications, sending resumes via email and trying to fit yourself into the employers mold – applicants can now apply at the click of a button.

Sure, I can see the downside – when applying for a job becomes to easy, just a click of a button perhaps the quality of the applicants go down. But from the other perspective, you get access to a host of information about the applicant that you would not have had ordinarily.

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Agile User Story Cards for Keynote / Powerpoint

As a non-programmer I was struggling to find a way to build user stories. So I created this quick keynote template.  Please be aware that I have only watched some Youtube videos on the subject and I am not an expert.  Any suggestions on this template would be appreciated.






Swiffer WetJet modification with Sugru

The swiffer wetjet is a great product to clean your floor but one you run out of fluid you are beholden to their proprietary cartridge for a refill.   This is the perfect kitchen adaptation of Razorblade Economics and I needed to find a way out of the cycle, $8.00 per cartridge gets to be a little expensive especially because it is only about $.40 worth of actual cleaning solution. Never mind the cost, think of the sustainability and recycling issues associated with having to discard a plastic container ever few weeks just to keep the floors clean.

So I pulled out my cordless drill and a bit that was large enough for a small funnel that I have and started to investigate how to drill and fill the cartridge.   Opening it was easy, but what I found out is that if you don’t seal the hole fully it just leaks and empties the contents everywhere – it needs to be airtight.   What do do in this situation?

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Sugru – Smart Hacks Super Pack

Today I received my Sugru Smart Hacks Super Pack from the UK.

For those of you who don’t know about Sugru you can find http://www.sugru.com and on Facebook at http://facebook.sugru.com.  Sugru is a silicone rubber that molds and sticks permanently. Subaru is designed to meet help you modify hack enhance or otherwise improve upon products or processes in your daily life. Think of it like silly putty except it gets hard after just a few hours.

The smart hacks super pack, contains 12 5g sachets of Sugru in black blue green and orange. They claim that it will bond to aluminum steel and ceramic glass would leather some fabrics and plastic. I can’t wait to see what “activities” I can get up to with this awesome product.

You should check out YouTube for videos related to Sugru –  people have done some pretty amazing things. I think one of my favorite is the iPhone 4 protector where this guy puts pieces of Subaru around the edges of his iPhone so that when he lays it down it doesn’t scratch the glass surface or the outback of his phone. I hope to be this creative in my usage of super.


Let me know if you’ve had success with Sugru,  or if you want any more information about this awesome product.

Standing Desk Experiment

Using a standing desk to supercharge your life.   You may not be familiar with the concept of a standing desk, but they have been around for hundreds of years.  Some of the greatest thinkers of our time have expounded their benefits.  After hearing Eben Pagan talk about his standing desk I had to give it a try.

My standing desk design is a modification of the Amazon.com door desk concept but with longer legs!  Attached is a video outlining the benefits of a standing desk and some pictures of the construction, ergonomics and the configuration of a standing desk.

We now use these exclusively at the office and they have been a huge boost to productivity and to mental clarity.


I hope you find this helpful.

Undercover Boss, an Amazing TV Show

Undercover Boss just shook my cage. I have been following the 4 Hour Work Week low information for over 4 years now.  I own a TV but I don’t have cable so it keeps things simple – every now and then I log onto Hulu and watch the shows I remember liking from back when I was watching TV.  Every now and and then I hear about a show from a friend that they tell me I need to watch.  Mind you, it has been a while since someone makes a great recommendation.  The show is Undercover Boss on ABC, I watched five episodes on TV.com

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Why are there so many singles in their 30’s

Why are there so many people in their 30’s who are single?

I have been following a process for 30 minutes each day that help me keep up with my network and stay in contact with people, this is both for my professional network and as a way to stay in contact with family and friends that I lost touch with.  You can read about the process in my post about keeping your network warm.   One of those personal letters was to my aunt.   She and I have been exchanging emails for a few weeks now.  I just found out that she had major surgery and no one in this side of the family even knew about it.

In one of my updates about my life I sent her an email about my relationships.

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Fear of Getting Fired

I am about 45 minutes into the Movie Up in the Air oh-man what a heartbreaking movie thus far.  The part that was the most disturbing was the part where people are asking what they should be doing that day after they have been fired.  They are devastated by the news that the company that they are invested in, the company that they have worked so hard for is letting them go.

Maybe the reason that this was so powerful is that in my short career I have fired 27 people.  Most of them were “for cause” – but the actual reasons escape me right now.   Just how valid were the reasons for letting them in the big picture?

I have never been on the receiving end of a firing but it does not mean that I did not worry about it.  Part of the reason that I quit my last job was the innate fear in the back of my head that I was going to get fired, not for performance – quite the contrary but because the job was well done and no longer needed.

It is one of the biggest fears that I have…not being useful or needed.  I never want to be in the position that what I do is not valuable or needed; this is why I own my own business.   Part of me believes that as long as clients keep getting value and that I add benefit to our relationship – while we adjust and chance to the business climate.

Is there truth to the statement that “Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it’s because they sat there that they were able to do it.”  But it is heartbreaking to see it even if on the screen, I am now about an hour and forty five minutes into the movie where he realizes that his world has just come crashing down.   There is a part of not knowing what you want in life that adds to the question of safety and security.

Family fixes all.

There is a big difference…

between thinking about doing something and doing something that you have been thinking about.

A Rose by any other Name

Dear Brad of brad-slavin.com

Sorry for the confusion and the upsurge in traffic. I hope the redesign goes well.



Lots of Youtube Email in the Inbox…

youtube inbox

Now that’s a lot of mail in the inbox… Last count 1740 video comments, almost 400 additional contacts. Not bad.

Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo

Last night on our way to a birthday party at the Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar – Lisa and I stopped in at The Shops at Mission Viejo mall to kill some time. Traffic from San Diego was a little hectic so I figured that some time spend doing some retail therapy might do some good.

As we walked into the mall I was confronted with the early signs of Christmas and while the prospect of walking the mall with “deck the halls” at my back brought a grimace to my face but the little kids running by the well lit displays made me remember what the holidays are all about.

Walking down the main corridor of the mall I saw a huge white banner that read “Microsoft Store – Now Open”. I guess I have been disconnected from the platform for quite a while because I did not even realize that Microsoft had store but I have heard so many great things about Windows 7 I just had to check it out. I half expected the store to be a bland uninspiring cheap knockoff of an Apple Store, but WOW was I in for a surprise.

From the moment you first step through the door you can feel it, something is special, something is electric in the air. So many smiling faces, so many people engaged and fully committed to the experience and NO I am not just taking about the employees the nearly sixty shoppers in the store were having a riveting experience interacting with what is clearly the future.

Words really can’t do the experience justice so here are some videos that I created on my new Kodak ZI8 in 1080p mode.

Project Natal is the next level of user interaction with a computer. I had not even heard about it, I guess like so many other things Microsoft it looks to be game and life changing.

We have all seen the previews of the interactive table but I actually had the chance to “interact” with it. The table uses 3D bar codes to determine what object has been laid down. I tried taking a picture of the bar code with my phone and displaying the picture to see if I could clone it, but no luck there.

Mid way through our visit the entire store broke out into song. Now I have seen this gimmick before at Coldstone Creamery and I know how they have been criticized in the media for it, but here it did not seem forced nor contrived, I would honestly say that this was the staff letting go, having some fun and not taking the brand all to seriously.

I was absolutely floored by this experience, Microsoft has made a bold move to capture new market share. I ordered a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate edition – I have been a hard core Mac person for the past five years, I completely bypassed the Windows Vista experience but something is telling me that I am at a precipice looking directly into the future. Oh, and I just canceled my order for the 27inch iMac quad, I need a little time to think it over.
Its easy to see that Microsoft primarily is a software company committed to changing the world through technical innovation and that Apple is a hardware company that is changing the world through design innovations. They need each other to push the limits of their own visions.

Top Online Marketing Resources and Websites

A quick list of some of my favorite marketing resources,

Marketingsherpa.com – One of the top research firms that track with is and is not working in all aspects of marketing. Well known for their charts of the week and whitepapers, their work is often cited by other top marketers.
marketingpilgrim.com – Stay current with the latest in online marketing news and developments.
Marketingprofs.com – Excellent marketing tools and advice for the marketing professional. Very timely and action oriented information that can be applied immediately to improve your success.
Quantcast.com – Especially their Media Planner tool, because you want to make the right media buying decisions based on vertical, demographics etc
Google Alerts – because you want to track what people are saying about your brand
pipl.com – A great way to do homework on prospects or clients.
ppchero.com – Learn potent pay-per-click strategies and tactics.
trendistic.com – Discover trends on Twitter.
Google Insight – With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties
sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/ – Seth is one of the cornerstone conversation creators for the Marketing world. He is a best selling author and trend setting in the marketing world.
web-strategist.com/blog/ – Jeremiah Owyang is a Web Strategist. I will not go so far as to call him a futurist but he is on the cusp of emerging communications including social media and the impact to the individual and to society.
kaushik.net/avinash/ – Avinash Kaushik has built the seminal site on web analytics and understanding the intention buried in the data.
marketingcharts.com – Chats and data for markers in Web and Excel format.
econsultancy.com – Home of Rebecca Lieb – an accomplished and potent author of SEO books. The site provides expert advice on improving digital marketing and e-commerce.
webinknow.com– Online marketing and PR, an excellent resource where David Meerman Scott asks some of the most provocative questions in marketing today.
thefuturebuzz.com – Adam Singer talks about spreading buzz online for whatever you are doing.

Initial Meeting Confirmation Email

    Whenever we set an appointment with our client over the phone, it is a good idea to follow up your conversation with an email outlining your objectives. The folks at The Whetstone Group, sales training San Diego have created this template to ensure that the message is clear and your goals and purpose are outlined.


    Thank you for your time on the phone today.

    To confirm, we are meeting on (day of week), (day) at (time) for (minutes).

    The purpose of the meeting it (state concisely the purpose of the meeting).

    I would like to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. (   )
  2. (   )
  3. (   )
    I understand that also attending the meeting from your company will be (name and title). Accompanying me will be (name and title).

    At the end of the meeting we should have exchanged enough information to be able to determine if it makes sense for us to continue our dialogue, and, if so, to decide what are next step should be. If it is apparent that there is not a fit, we can close the file.

    If these objectives are not consistent with your expectations, please let me know.

    I look forward to seeing you on (date and time)

This simple format for writing a followup email for a meeting will go along way in establishing trust and credibility with your clients.

Positive Online Reviews:
A simple template to send to your clients

Chasing down positive review for your business can be daunting.   Here is a quick template that I put together to ask for a positive online review using one or more of the common online review services like Google or Yelp.

Here is the background on why having online reviews of your business is important, not only for credibility but also for search engines optimization. I urge all of my clients with local businesses to use these online review services.

The Internet has come full circle, where once you could find anything you wanted in any part of the world, now the major search engines have placed a specific focus on connecting local businesses to local customers. Google and Yahoo have their maps integration but all of the major search engines are prioritizing local results above some of the most notable national brands.  The challenge now is to rise above the local clutter of businesses in your area and do the things that have been proven to work in enhancing your local business listing.

One of the most critical aspects of local search optimization is having honest reviews of your business from your past and existing clients.  One of the easiest ways to to this is simply to ask. You will never get anything if you don’t ask for it, and when you do here is a quick email template that you can use to help insure that if you gave excellent service that your customer will provide you with an excellent review.


Dear John,

It has been a while since we have spoken but I wanted to reach out to you and ask you a favor I am trying to expand my business and I have chosen to grow my practice by leveraging the Internet, I would like to ask you to positively review my services and the experience that you had with our firm on Google and Yelp/etc.

A typical review takes about 5 minutes to complete, and it mentions when we did business, your opinion of our services and perhaps it mentioned if you would consider referring me to a friend or doing business with us again in the future should the need arise. Online reviews are read by prospective clients and business partners and I am confident that the service that we provided to you would warrant a positive review.

However, if you feel that you would not be able to provide a positive review of your experience please stop what your are doing, and pick up the phone right now and call me at 111-222-3333 or responding to this email right now.  I pride myself on providing excellent customer service and if for any reason you don’t feel that this was evident in your situation please let me know.

You can review my business at:

Link to google business listing
Link to Yelp Listing

Once again it just takes a few minutes, but your positive words can really help me grow my practice.  If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Thank you,

Business Owners Name


Pretty straightforward – if you want an online review of your business.  Ask for it. But make sure that you use the term “positive review” so that you have a much higher likelihood of getting a great review.  And if the person is unwilling to give you a positive review hopefully they will give you a call and let you know how you can make it right by them.

Facebook FML

I just had my first Facebook FML – I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I went to high school with Rachel.

Why is there a perfect picture of Joe Wilson shouting?

I read a really interesting article that did make me say – Huh! Why is that.

I like most Americans watched the Obama speech and the outburst was anything other than expected.  Its something that has never happened in the hundreds of years of the Congress so why was there a “perfect photograph” of the moment?   The outburst was just a second, how exactly did this picture get created? Was it a lucky moment or perhaps something more sinister?

You Lie! – Joe Wilson Read it for yourself.