Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness

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Videos and why they should be on your website – 31 DoBA – Day 8

Today is day 8 of the 31 Days of Blog Awesomeness.  If you’ve made it through this many posts you deserve a change of pace.  I spiced it up today and today’s 31 DoBA is coming to you via video.

Video is an amazing way to spice up your website. Spice it up!

Read 31 DoBA day 1

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How To Set Up A Website – Volume 3 – 31DoBA Day 7

Now that you’ve set up your host, installed wordpress, added a theme and customized the site settings a bit it’s time to add some plugins.  There are a LOT of plugins to chose from and there’s no way I can cover them all but here are a few that I find myself installing every time I set up a new site.

Step 1. Download my recommended Plugin pack here.

Step 2. Unzip the file (or use winrar which is free)

Step 3. Login to your website through WordPress admin login screen.

Step 4. About 7 options down on the left is the Plugins menu.  Click Add New.

Step 5.  Click Add New

Step 6. Click Upload and then browse for the folder where you unzipped the Plugins.

Step 7. Upload the first one, then activate it.

Step 8. Rinse and repeat with the rest of them.

My Most Used Plugins – In Alphabetical Order

1. all-in-one-seo-pack – This plugin enhances your websites ability to be discovered by search engines.  When posting a blog post you fill in a custom Title, Description and Key Words to help boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

2. Bookmarkify – One of two bookmark Plugins I switch between.  Allows readers to bookmark or share your site/post easily.

3. Contact-form-7 – This is a great plugin for adding a contact form to your site.  I use mine on this site, you can see it here.

4. exclude-pages – I love this plugin since it is so easy to use and does it’s job perfectly.  It adds a small box that you can uncheck when creating a new page so that the page won’t appear in the sitemap or menus.  I use this all the time for landing pages or other ‘hidden’ pages.

5. google-sitemap-generator – This creates a sitemap for Google so that your site will have more results in a search query and be easier for Google to list the different parts of your site in search results.

6. like-button-plugin-for-wordpress – A very simple like button that allows readers to like your post or site on Facebook at the click of a button.  The reader never leaves your site. You can put it at the top or bottom of posts.

7. sexybookmarks – This is the other bookmark plugin I use and is the one currently running on this site.  You can chose between fun little sayings, or plain but it’s got a nice feel to it and works well for allowing readers to share your site.

8. tweetmeme – Similar to the like-button above this allows people to Tweet your post or site on Twitter without leaving your site.  Currently I’m running the like button, tweetmeme and sexybookmarks all together.

There are many more Plugins I recommend depending on the type of site you are running.  I’ll go through an easy to use e-commerce plugin where you can turn an ordinary WordPress site into a rockin’ online store.

How To Set Up A Website – Volume 1
How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2

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Thoughts on Success – 31 DoBA Day 6

The dawn of a new year brings with it the setting of resolutions and thinking about goals.  Most of these goals and resolutions are centered around two things; losing and getting.  We want to lose weight, clutter and attitude.  We want to get health, wealth and wisdom.  Somewhere during the year we usually end up getting more weight, buying more clutter and being a [email protected]$*.  Last year I met some amazing people that gave me some great advice.  One of them was Seth Godin (who is coming to Orange County in March, buy your ticket here today as they sell out fast).  Seth talked about why our current efforts for success are often met with disappointment, especially in the wealth category.

Many people will say, ‘I have chosen (Insert your chosen occupation/business here), how can I succeed?

We should instead say, ‘I want to succeed, what should I do?’

At the beginning of 2009 I found myself owning and running a struggling Real Estate and mortgage company.  The markets had settled but the crash had left me worn out and frustrated.  I kept thinking of new ways to breath life into the business and get things going again.  Finally, I realized that I was asking the wrong questions.  I sat back and asked myself ‘I want to succeed, what should I do?’ and to my surprise the answer was to leave the career I had built over the past 8 years and close my company.

In 2010 I closed my last real estate transaction and am officially ‘retired’ from the industry.  I am not at the pinnacle of my success goals yet, but I finally am making progress up the right trail.  On the last of the 31 DoBA I will share with you some of the projects I’ve been working on along my new path.

Every New Years Day my family and I go down to the beach and meet up with friends to enjoy the day and watch the first sunset of the year.  This year when we got to the beach the tide was lower than I can ever remember seeing it.  My wife I and took the kids out on the rocky tide pools of Laguna Beach and saw countless sea stars, sea urchins, mussels, crabs and all sorts of ocean animal life.  I took the picture below and was reminded of another thing Seth Godin said,

“Just because the tide is out doesn’t mean there is any less water in the ocean.”

The opportunities we need to be successful are out there.  Are you on the right path?

Read 31 DoBA day 1
Read 31 DoBA day 2
Read 31 DoBA day 3
Read 31 DoBA day 4
Read 31 DoBA day 5

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Google Voice – 31 DoBA – Day 5

I am a big fan of the many wonderful services Google likes to let me use for free.  Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps (with free navigation on my phone), Google Apps, etc.  If you aren’t using Google Voice yet you are either missing out on some great features or paying too much for them.

Features that I love and why they are awesome

1 – One number rings to all of your phones.  My Google Voice number rings to my desk, cell and google chat.
2 – Switch live call from one line to another.  Say I’m at my desk and need to leave, with the push of a button I can move the call to my cell and head out the door.
3 – Call screening.  Does this have to be explained?  When you answer the call it announces who the caller is and then gives you the option to answer or send to voicemail.  Even after sending them to voicemail you can press * and connect to the live call.  You can turn of call screening for any number.  Turn it off for family.
4 – Pick your own number.  The last 4 digits of my number spell boat.  But in a more practical way this could help if you live in California but all of your family is in New York.  Getting a local New York area code could save some dough on Aunt Lula’s land line bill.
5 – Voicemail transcription.  The voicemails are transcribed and can be emailed or sent to you via text.
6 – Custom voicemail greetings.  Want your co-workers to hear a different greeting than your college buddy?  Set up a group and create different rules for them including greetings, which phones ring, available hours, etc.
7 – Call widgets.  Want people to be able to contact you but don’t want to give them your number?  Put a call widget like the one below on your site or blog.
8 – Cheap international calling.  Want to call China?  It’s only $0.02 per minute.
9 – Text from your computer.  You can text from your dashboard, which I love since I’m not a huge fan of typing out texts on my phone.
10 – Voicemail forwarding.  Did you get a funny message and want to share it?  Just forward it on and they can read the transcription and listen to it from their computer.

Google voice is great.  There are a ton more tips and tricks on how to get it set up and things you can do.  My understanding is that it’s open to join now, but if you need an invite just let me know and I can send you one.


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Email Excess Elimination – 31 DoBA – Part 4

It is vain to do with more what can be done with less. – William of Occam

This is one tip that I am still working on but since I believe it is so important I’m willing to share it with you before I’ve perfected it myself.  I blogged about eliminating excess a while back (http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2010/05/eliminating-excess/) but in this post I want to talk less about physical clutter and more about the digital clutter that steals our time.

Digital Clutter Thief #1 – Email

How many hours a day do you spend ‘doing’ email?  How many times a day does your phone buzz, chime, ring or otherwise alert you that you have a new email?  Here are my rules for fighting back this vicious time thief .

Check your email, don’t let it check you!

Unless you are a doctor and you are on call you probably don’t have anything so urgent that it can’t wait until you sit down at your desk and to actually read and respond to emails.   So, right now, turn off the email push function for your email to phone app.

Set up 2, 3 or 4 times per day when you open, read and respond to email.

Email has become the great productivity paralyzer.  When I first started doing this I was amazed at how I could get through 10-15 emails in the same amount of time I used to respond to 1 or 2.  The thing was but clustering the activity together I opened up time to be creative and productive.

Tell Facebook to keep out of your email!

There is no reason in the world that you need an email to tell you somebody wrote on your wall, tagged you in a picture, commented on your post, etc.  You will be notified of these things when you log in to facebook the next time.  The only exception I have is that if somebody sends me a message in facebook it comes to my email since it is often an email-like message.

Filter, Filter, Filter!

I use gmail and I don’t know why anybody uses anything else.  I plan to cover gmail tips in a later 31DoBA post but this much you can do in most email clients.  Set up filters for family, work, urgent, ads and any other recurring group you receive emails from.  By setting up filters you can read work emails during work time, family emails during family time and even have urgent emails sent to an email account that you allow to push to your phone.

These may not be earth shattering concepts but don’t let the simplicity fool you.  If you’re productivity doesn’t improve after applying these rules then I’ll eat a bug*.

Read 31 DoBA day 1
Read 31 DoBA day 2
Read 31 DoBA day 3

*disclaimer – I will NOT eat a bug.

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What Would You Do If You Didn’t Have to Think About Money? – 31 DoBA – Day 3

I asked this question on Facebook the other day and had some great answers.  I had some lousy ones too, but let’s not focus on those.

First of all, I want you to really think about this question.  What would you do if you did not have to think about money?  Let’s just say that your boss calls you in to his office and says, “(your name here), we’ve decided that you’ve done such a good job on (project X) that we’d like to give you the next year off and concurrently give you a 200% raise.”  Now, we know this is fake because no boss I have ever had uses the word ‘concurrently’.  What would you do with your time for the next year?  Travel? Bake? Learn something new?  Leave a comment and let me know what it would be.  Here are some of the answers from facebook:

  1. Travel around the world volunteering
  2. Relax and enjoy life ! Imagine wouldn’t that be awsome if u didn’t have to worry about your car payment mortgage etc…
  3. Start a charity or a non-profit and volunteer. Always continue learning new things.
  4. spend it
  5. Heli ski
  6. Play with my Grandbabies more!
  7. Pretty much what I do now. But with my husband around more to do it with.
  8. Open a book store or a fine art gallery or both. Buy some property and renovate them myself. Learn carpentry or pottery. Start bee keeping. Visit the pandas. Learn to swim, and paint and go to french lessons. Oh and do ballroom dancing with hubby. But have a morgage to pay- so these are all dreams.
  9. I dont think about money.
  10. Adopt!
  11. Travel the world…….
  12. Stay home with my baby. I pray for it every day…sometimes 2 or 3…even 4 times a day. I’m not exaggerating.

Now, and I want you to put on your optimism cap, what if you could make this a reality without needing your boss to give you the go ahead?  One of the most influential books I read in 2010 was The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.   I’ve written a few posts about how things I’ve done as a result.  You can read them here.

Ferriss talks about creating a Muse.  A small company that is set up to provide worry free and low management income.  Over the course of the 31DoBA project I will share with you how you can do this too.  You should order the book and read it right now though.  I’ve never read a more practical book on how to change your financial situation that actually includes step by step instructions.

There is a lot yet to come on 31DoBA and I feel like we haven’t gotten into any meaty ‘how-to’ type stuff yet, but we will.  I promise.  I just felt it was important to get into a good mindset of optimism before we get into more technical stuff.

Originally posted at  http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2011/01/what-would-you-do-if-you-didnt-have-to-think-about-money

Read 31 DoBA day 1
Read 31 DoBA day 2

If you found this interesting, please Like, Tweet or otherwise share it with others.

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Tell Me Who Your Friends Are – 31 DoBA – Day 2

“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”

The words hit me like a bag full of Idaho potatoes falling off of a pick up truck.  I was in High School and was sitting at a leadership conference with a couple of hundred ‘future leaders of America’ or whatever the tag line was for the conference that day.  I was lucky enough to have been in the Associated Student Body (ASB, Student Government… whatever they call it where you are from) and one of the perks was getting out of class to go and socialize with teens from other schools.  I remember a lot of these pep rally type motivational speakers that ran the school circuit.  There was ‘Mr. Chocolate’ the gangster that turned his life around and morphed in front of our eyes from a saggy pants, head band and big shirt wearing gang banger to a yuppie.  There was the guy that could rip through a phone book, who even taught one of our classmates to rip through a small white pages too.  Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell even made an appearance at my school.

I remember a lot of the people that came and spoke.  So, why talk about this guy?  I don’t remember his name or what his shtick was.  I remember a few other bits of his speech about stereotypes and such but this is the quote that hit me.  So what?  Why am I sharing it with you now?

I’ve read it a few times, and you can google for some sources if you’d like, that your income will be very close the the average of the 5 people who you are the closest with. Is it an exact science, no.  But I’ll bet it’s a pretty fair assessment unless you’re an outlier.

“It costs nothing to ask wise advise from a good friend…” – Bansir from The Richest Man of Babylon

You wouldn’t go to your Dentist for advise about a curious mole and you wouldn’t go to your CPA for advice on the proper way to raise  orchids.  You shouldn’t seek advice on how to succeed from those whom you don’t view as successful.  Success is a lose term because it all depends on your paradigm but if you make $30,000 and want to make $90,000 it doesn’t make much sense to take the advise of the guy making $45,000.  Find a mentor, or 5, and glean, glean, glean.

In High School I didn’t have bad friends but the main group of guys I was hanging out with weren’t guys I wanted to be like.  I didn’t drink or party and they did.  I sought out friends that had interests more in line with mine and who were more like what I wanted to be.

I’m not telling you to call up your 5 closest family members and friends and drop a Trump style ‘You’re Fired’ on them.  What I am saying is that although Bansir is right that it costs nothing up front to ask the advice of a friend, bad advice can end up costing you a lot of time and money.

Chose your mentors wisely.

Originally posted at http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2011/01/tell-me-who-your-friends-are/

Read 31 DoBA – Day 1

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31 Days of Blog Awesomeness – Part 1

Let’s Do This!

Last week I made a faux big announcement.  In the post I mentioned that I was going to blog each day in January and asked for insights on what I could share with readers of this blog.  For post #1 of the 31 Days of Blog Awesomeness I am going lay a small foundation for the rest of the month and then share with you a great way to reflect on this past year and prepare for 2011.

Readers of this blog and also comments on facebook had the following requests:

  1. PARTHA Says:  I really want to know how you started your own venture as an entrepreneur. What I am looking for a step by step guide to start up and own a new business.
  2. Ashley Says: Work-Life Balance…how do you mix work and family?
  3. Viwe Xozwa Says: Share with me what are some of the best ways to rid of work stress
  4. Sandy Says: How to take my new business to the next level (How to set up an online store and get into specialty retail stores)
  5. Mike Says:  Speed reading
  6. Lisa Says :SEO, effective uses of Facebook, blogging, favorite wordpress plug-ins, google adsense, best uses of twitter if you’re not a froyo shop, followers (quality vs quantity), custom WP themes, outsourcing, creating alliances with other blogs, and linkbuilding.

Luckily Lisa came in and saved the day with a lot of ideas, otherwise this would end up being the 5 days of Blog Okness.  I am going to cover all of these topics (and more, of course) during the 31 DoBA (like my new acronym?) and I’m excited to share.  I love setting up online retail stores, and they can be done in a couple of hours and look fantastic!

Disclaimer – I am not the worlds best at any of these subjects and will constantly be gleaning from other sources and turning to niche pros.  I will add in my personal experiences and the many mistakes I’ve made over the past years in business so that you can skip the pain and jump right to the valuable lessons.

31 DoBA – Day 1

A few years ago a childhood friend of mine, Deyl Kearin, shared a document on his blog that he had created to help him reflect on the past year and prepare for the coming one.  I’ve done it every year since and have loved the results.  Yesterday I took some time to read through my business journal (more on that later) and reflect on 2010 and then completed this two page worksheet.  I was so pleased with how 2010 ended up, especially after a particularly rough 2008 and 2009, and I am very excited about the 2011 that I want to create.

You can access the document here.

Wrap up

Thank you in advance for being a part of this journey with me.  And please leave a comment if there is anything you’d like me to cover.  Please share the posts with anybody that you think can help and click like below to share on facebook.

Originally found at http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2011/01/31-days-of-blog-awesomeness-part-1

To read the Big Announcement go here: http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2010/12/the-big-announcement/#comments

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