Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


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


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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The Big Announcement

This isn’t it.  But this is a precursor to the big announcement, and it can still be fun.

Introducing the 31 days of Blog Awesomeness!

31 days of blog awesomeness

Each day in January I will have a blog post on something that you, my wonderful readers, want to learn more about.  If you don’t ask or share with me what you want to hear I’ll just post something that I think is cool.  It will be more fun if you give me the topics.  Do you want to learn more about facebook fan pages? Facebook adverstising?  Setting up a website? Motivation? Manufacturing? Hypnosis? Training your dog? If I don’t know the answer off hand (I have zero dog training experience) I’ll research it or bring in an expert to help.

Leave a comment here on this post (If you’re reading this on facebook or elsewhere visit http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2010/12/the-big-announcement/ to leave a comment) with what you’d like to learn more about and I’ll see if I can’t work it into the lineup.


Retreat To Move Forward

What now?

After reading about the new movie 127 Hours on a popular movie blog I started thinking about the future.  More accurately I started to thing about the present.  If you’re not familiar with the movie it is the story (based on the real deal) of a hiker who gets his arm trapped beneath a boulder in the bottom of a crevasse where nobody knows where to find him, or that he is even there.   The hiker, Aron Ralston, spent 127 grueling hours trapped in what he thought would be his grave.  He saved himself by cutting off his own arm with a dull pocket knife and walking out to freedom.

I watched Ralston talk about this on Jay Leno December 3rd and what I found was most interesting was his talk of how he felt when he realized he’d solved the ‘riddle’ of how to escape… by cutting off he own hand!  When he realized he could use leverage and break his own bones to get free rather than cut through them with a knife he said it was a feeling of ‘ecstasy’.  Do you feel that way when you solve a problem?

In some ways, not at all as literal as Ralston, we all deal with our own rocks and hard places every day.  We get stuck in tough situations and have to find our own way out.  This past week I escaped a couple of my own boulders and it is liberating.  The challenge is that for the past 18 months these were a couple of big boulders I thought about every day.  But, now I’m free.  So now what?

For me it’s time to retreat in order to move forward.  I’m going back over old notes and ideas and evaluating current projects from new angles.  I’m excited about some of the projects I’m working on and I’m focusing on the steps that can be done today to make those projects more successful.

What rocks are you currently stuck under?  How can you escape them?  Now what?

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Dreamhost Coupon Codes

If you’ve read my tutorials on how to set up your own website (Vol 1 and Vol 2) you know that I use Dreamhost for a lot of my website hosting.  If you’re looking at signing up with Dreamhost here are some cool coupon codes that Dreamhost just sent me.   Update on 2/19/2011 the two codes crossed out have been redeemed.

Coupon Codes:


… you will get all these super special advantages not available any other way:

* If you choose our one-year plan, they’ll get $15 off!
* If you choose our two-year plan, they’ll get $100 off!

(Each code is good for only ONE sweet DreamHostering referral!)

Enter the 12-digit code in the “Promo Code” field when they sign up at:


This isn’t a big deal if you’re not looking for this service, but if you are it’s like an extra $100 you can spend on google adwords.  Woot!

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USC’s Shark Tank

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC had a new venture seed capital competition this year.  Last night some classmates and I attended the finals and the awards ceremony.  Twelve entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to the five judges.  There were a lot more than twelve hopefuls originally but through some preliminary rounds these were the finalists.  In the end six of the budding entrepreneurs left with giant checks.   Three with $5,000 and three with $12,500.

The whole event of listening to the pitches, talking with the presenters and judges and eating the buffet (well, the buffet was just a bonus) was invigorating.   Sometimes I get tired and worn out.  I love being an entrepreneur and the who process of idea to testing to design to launch is a thrill.  But it can be tiring, especially when some ideas go all Matthew McConaughey and fail to launch.  Being there with all so many people that were at different stages of the process but all excited about the journey was just what I needed.  The wind is back and my sails are hoisted.

Lloyd Greif Logo

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Judge our own strength

I read a lot of great books this year, a few of them I read on my phone.  Whenever something struck me I would take a screen shot of the quote.  I was going through pics on my old phone and came across this gem.

The quote is from Robinson Crusoe.  At one point while stranded on the island Crusoe cuts down a large tree and then carves it out into a good sized boat.  The entire ordeal takes Crusoe a considerable amount of time and energy.  Crusoe stays motivated through the work with the hope that the boat will carry him away to freedom.  After finishing the boat Crusoe realizes that he’s built it too far away from water and, try though he may, the boat is destined to be landlocked.

For those who seek to complete a project, launch a business or complete a goal it is always good to begin with the end in mind.  Sometimes we have to go at it alone, like Crusoe, and it’s really important to know our strengths and weaknesses.  Luckily we aren’t stranded on an uninhabited island when we endeavor on a new venture.  We can build a team, learn from a mentor or otherwise ask for help.

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They Say You Make Your Own Luck…

but I can’t help but think that the hands of fate were involved with this beautiful lady married me.

Follow her makeover journey with the fabulous Mama Kat as photographed by the uber talented Kamee June.  A very big thank you to Kitch by Kat for sharing your gift with my wife. You’re a rock star and don’t even know it.

Originally posted at http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2010/10/make-your-own-luck/

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Web Exposure

I’ve been thinking a lot about transparency and privacy in the world of an entrepreneur recently.  Really, the concern is present for anybody seeking to have a good reputation in business.  A few of my classmates went to a presentation the other day on personal branding and I asked them what their main takeaway was.  Most of them answered with some variation that you should not create an alternate personality online but you should be yourself and tell the story about what makes you unique.

How often do you google (or Bing if you work for Microsoft) your name?

It may feel vain to search your own name but you can rest assured that prospective employers are doing so.  They’re probably checking facebook, youtube and twitter as well.  When I was hiring people at my last company I was amazed at how much people left ‘public’ when applying for a job.

If you have specific questions about how you can grow your web exposure please leave a comment and I’ll do a blog post in response (or if it’s an easy one I’ll just reply in the comment thread).  How can I help you today?
Originally found on http://blog.tylerjorgenson.com/2010/10/web-exposure/

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Finding Yoda

In January of this year I read The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.  The book came into my life at a time when I was making some big decisions and has been influential and inspiring.  After each chapter the author challenges the reader to take action.  One challenge is called ‘Finding Yoda’ and the reader is supposed to track down a big player in their industry and ask them a question or two.  If possible to reader should also ask for permission to follow up via email.  This was one of the few exercises in the book that I didn’t do immediately.  It’s taken me a while to actually do it, although I did place a couple phone calls.

Turns out it may be easier to meet some people in person.  The pics below show me meeting three of my Yodas.  Picture one is with Meg Whitman, two is with THE Seth Godin and three is with Chris Brogan.

Meeting Seth was by far the most influential encounter I have had this year.  His direct questioning of my current projects and passions caught me off guard and forced me to think about where I was and where I wanted to be.  His main advice was to pick one project and work on it full force rather than split up your time over many projects.  Set a date and ship, you can always do a version 2.0 later.  Seth responded to an email I sent him and is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.

Meg Whitman was nice and earthy.  I found her taller than expected but grounded.  We discussed business in California and the need to make the State business friendly so we can keep industry growing and job creation possible.

Chris Brogan was a bit of a surprise.  I didn’t know a ton about him other than following @ChrisBrogan on Twitter.  He discussed business in the modern age with an amazing style of humor, candor and intellect that I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered before.  One major tip that I got from Chris was that your blog posts are a legacy that keeps working after you’ve done the typing.  He had a fancy analogy about commerce, jokes and exchange but the meat of it is that if your posts solve one persons problem there are most likely other people that have that problem and it can help them too.  Next time you get an email from somebody asking for advice in your field answer it in the form of a blog post and then send the person the link.  It’s like you’re messing with Karma because you’re putting all this good information out there and you know it’s going to come back to you someday.

I leave you with a quote from one of Godin’s recent posts titled Heroes and mentors:

“Like a custom made suit, a mentor is a fine thing to have if you can find or afford it. But for the rest of us, heroes will have to do.”

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Speedreading – Update

In January I posted that I planned to read a lot this year so I figured that an update is required.

Books read:

The Four Hour Work Week

This is without a doubt the book with the most influence on my life this year. I have read the original edition once, the expanded update three times and listened to the audio book at least three times. I strongly recommend this book for anybody looking to live a little more and stress a little less.

Atlas Shrugged

Can somebody please explain why these books haven’t found their way into my life sooner?  Sure, it’s over a thousand pages but this book is amazing.  To many it seems prophetic since it was written in 1957 but mirrors the issues of our times so well.  This book motivates me and inspires me more than any other novel I’ve read.  My main takeaway is to take personal responsibility and to not make excuses.  A movie by the same name is currently in production.  Who is John Galt?

Good to Great
I really enjoyed the first few parts of the book and then it sort of died off for me.  I guess it went great to good.  My main takeaway was in making sure you have the right people on your team.  The concept of ‘first who, then what’ is something I consider whenever approached about a business opportunity.

The Purple Cow
This is one of Seth Godin’s 12 best sellers.  Each one that I’ve read is good but I enjoyed this one for reminding me that you have to do something different if you expect the market to notice your product or service.

This is Godin’s most recent, and possibly last traditional, book.  I had the pleasure of meeting Godin in Orange County and the advice he gave me when we spoke altered the course of my business and I am eternally grateful.  You can read more here about the concepts of the book Linchpin.

Robinson Crusoe
I started to read some classics and found a lot of great wisdom buried in their stories.  This book is about self discovery, survival, loyalty and determination.  It’s a classic for a reason.

Pride and Prejudice
Yes, I even read a Jane Austin book.  Pride and Prejudice was a great book.  For me it’s about being yourself and allowing others to be themselves as well.  It’s handle on the topics of pride and the prejudicial judgment is what makes this a must read classic.

Treasure Island
I read this just after I took a sailing class and so my increased sailing vocabulary added to my enjoyment of this book.  This was a quick and easy read but I enjoyed the journey.

There are a few other books that I’ve read portions of, even most of, but that I don’t feel need a summary.  Think & Grow Rich, Crush It, and a few select sections of my finance, stats, accounting and marketing textbooks.

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Why I Became a Trojan

Since I’m self employed and have no plans to go back to corporate America or work for ‘the man’ ever again people seem to think that I would not have a need for an MBA.  Maybe they are right.  It would be easy for me to study the subjects covered in an MBA program on my own or with private tutors and for much less than what a University charges for tuition these days.  For me the education was the last of the 3 reasons I chose to get an MBA from USC.

Why I chose to get an MBA from USC:

1. The USC Family (Network)
2. The Credential
3. The Education

The Family

A couple of weekends ago I walked around Balboa Island with my wife and kids.  The weather was a bit chilly so I donned my USC sweatshirt that my wife had just bought me (isn’t she great!).  As we walked around the island it was like I was a celebrity.  I was stopped no less than 7 times within a couple of hours just so people could talk to me about USC.  I’ve never been a part of something like this but it was great to have an immediate connection to fellow Trojans.

Shortly after we got our USC emails and access to the alumni network I scoured the database looking for interesting alums that would be good for me to connect with.  There were a few CEO’s of local, but large, companies that had the experience and success I was looking for.  I reached out to them via email and received a response within hours.  I don’t think that would have happened had we not shared the USC bond.

The Credential

Although I plan on remaining self employed having solid credentials is never a bad thing.  The path before me is still unknown and bolstering up a resume is wise.  More than just being employable the MBA credential is important to me because as I do consulting and other business endeavors it adds credibility to my clients.  I am self employed but I still rely on other people to get paid.

The Education

When I first signed up this was pretty far down the list.  Now that the program is underway I am actually excited about learning.  The professors have been amazing and my classmates are top notch.  I get to learn from and with some of the brightest minds around and I’m loving it.

The thing that finally helped me chose to do the MBA was putting the choice to the ‘Rocking Chair Test’.  The test works like this: Imagine yourself at some far off future date relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch of your home.  You’re retired and enjoying the relaxation of this stage of life.  Sitting in the chair would your future self regret having done or not done the thing you are considering?

For me I knew that I would never regret getting an MBA from USC.  I also knew that if I didn’t do it I would always wonder ‘what if’?  That was it, it passed the rocking chair test and I applied.  Now, if you don’t mind I have some statistics questions to review.

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How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2

I got a lot of really good responses to my last post on how to set up a website.  It included the basics of getting your host and securing a domain name.  Now that you have your host and own a domain let’s set up a professional looking website in less than 5 minutes.

Step 1. Log in to your Dreamhost account

Hopefully you remember your password.  Just login and you should be at the ‘Let’s Get Started!’ page with the toolbox and main menu on the left side.

Step 2. Install WordPress

WordPress is my website builder of choice because it is fully customizable and has a very big support network.  There are countless plugins that can make your WordPress site do anything you’d like.  I use it for eCommerce, blogs (like this one you are reading), real estate and more.  It’s a bit robust if you’re just building a splash page or 2 page test site, so I’ll cover site’s like Weebly in a different post.

1. In the Toolbox Click ‘One-Click Installs’
2. Click on ‘Install new website software – Advanced mode
3. A list of icons pop up, select WordPress and
4. Below the icons is an ‘Install to:’ option.  Select your site from the drop down menu and leave the part after the / blank.
5. Click ‘Install it for me now!’

Dreamhost will now install the latest version of WordPress to your site for you.  If you did everything right you will receive an email from Dreamhost in the next few minutes with the title “Success installing WordPress on your site!”

Step 3. Create a WordPress Admin account

1. Click on the link in your Success email that should look like this:  http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/install.php
2. At the welcome screen add a Site Title (This is the ‘name’ of your site and can be changed later)
3.  Leave the Username as ‘admin’
4. Create a strong password that you can remember.
5. Enter your main free email account (so you can access password resets from anywhere).
6. Click on ‘Install WordPress’

If done right you will now be at a Success! screen.  Look how good you’re doing!

7.  Click ‘Log In’ and log in with your username and password you just created.

Step 4. Customize Your Site in Your Dashboard

1.  Click  ‘Settings’ in the left panel.  Usually the last option
2. Select ‘General’ in the sub menu
3. Change the Tagline.  By default it says ‘Just another WordPress site.  That’s not cool.  Be cool.
4. Change your time zone
5. Click ‘Save Changes’
6. Click ‘Permalinks’ in the left sub menu
7. Chose either ‘Day and Name’ or ‘Month and Name’ if this is going to be a blog.  This is much better for search engines and looks much better than having just a post number at the end of your URL for each post.
8. Click ‘Save Changes’
9. Click ‘Comments’ in the left Menu about half way up.  Delete the ‘Hi, this is a comment.’ comment by hovering over it and selecting ‘Trash’.
10. Select ‘Posts’ towards the top of the left menu and then ‘Posts’ again in the sub menu.  Delete the ‘Hello World’ post
by hovering over it and selecting ‘Trash’.

You’ve now cleaned up your site so you can make it yours.  Your site is actually already live but we want to make it pretty.  It’s time to pick a theme.

Step 5. Chose and Install a Custom WordPress Theme

1. Click ‘Appearance’ in the left menu
2. Click ‘Themes’ in the sub menu
3. There are about 42 themes  installed for you already.  There are thousands more online, but you should be able to find one here that will fit your needs while you get started.  Browse the available themes and when you find one you like click ‘activate’.

That’s it, you’ve now updated and completely changed the look of your site in three easy clicks.

Step 6.  Add content

If you’re moving blogspot/blogger blog then this is easy.  You can simply import all of your previous posts and comments.

1. Select ‘Tools’ in the left menu
2. Select ‘Import’ from the sub menu
3. Blogger is the first option (log in to your google account in a different window first) Click ‘Blogger’
4. Click ‘Authorize’
5. Click ‘Grant Access’
6. Select which blog to import and click the magic button ‘Import’.
7. Since Blogger and WordPress have different usernames, select the one on WordPress that you want to line up with your blogger account and click ‘Save Changes’.  At this point your blog will import itself.

Step 7. Add/Edit Pages

WordPress starts you off with an ‘About’ page.  I usually leave this page but edit it to actually be about the website I’m building.

1. Click ‘Pages’ from the left menu
2. Click ‘Pages’ from the sub menu
3. Hover over ‘About’ and click edit
4. Edit the content to be all about you or your site (add photos with the Upload/Insert option at the top)
5. Click ‘Update’ over on the right

Congratulations.  You have now entered the real world where you can run with the big dogs.  No more will your name be post scripted with some giant corporate entities greedy tagline.  You’re free and you’re ready to rule the world.

In Volume 3 we’ll add my must have plugins for WordPress and customize your site a bit more with a widget or two.  Isn’t this fun!?

Click here to go back to How To Set Up A Website – Volume 1

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How To Set Up A Website – Volume 1

So, you’ve decided that you don’t want to rely on a blogspot domain or some other free service.  You want to roll deep and go big like the pros.  Good for you.  Here’s a step by step guide on how to set up your host and buy your first domain.

Getting your website host and domain.


Host – This is where the files, pictures, and actual website content is stored and accessed when people go to your website on their computer.  Sort of a digital warehouse where items are stored.

Domain – Also known as your URL or Uniform Resource Locater this is the website address that people will type in their browser to visit your site.  They cost about $10 per year for a .com domain, are as cheap as 89 cents for a .info domain and up to $45 for a .tv domain.  .com is the best and most used.

Step 1. Sign up for a hosting service

I use Dreamhost and am very happy with them.  It’s $97 per year for as many domains as you can store.  Click http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?248559 and enter coupon code tylerjorgenson and you’ll get $17 off.  If you use the Dreamhost coupon codes provided here I get credit and am able to help you should you get stuck.  Please use coupon code tylerjorgenson

Step 2. Buy a domain

If you’ve already determined your domain name then you need to buy it right away so it doesn’t get purchased by somebody else.  If you are still brainstorming use sites like www.makewords.com or www.godaddy.com to brainstorm but do not buy the domain there.  It is much easier if you buy it through your dreamhost account.

1. Log in to your Dreamhost account
2. Click ‘Domains’ in the left toolbar
3. Click ‘Registrations’
4. Type your desired domain into the ‘Domain to Register’ box and click ‘Check Availability’
5. On the registration page select ‘Use DreamHost’s free WHOIS privacy service‘, fill out the info and click continue
6. Select # of years, click continue (Note: Search engines take this into account when ranking your site.  More years registered gets better results)
7. Enter Credit Card info and click continue
8. Congratulations – you now own a domain.

Step 3. Add your domain to your host

It will take a few minutes for this to show up since the registration is taking place behind the scenes.  Go get a slurpee and come back to your dreamhost control panel in about an hour.

1. Log in to your Dreamhost account
2. Click ‘Domains’ in the left toolbar
3. Click ‘Manage Domains’
4. Your domain should appear under ‘Registered domains without hosting’ , click ‘Add Hosting’
5. Leave everything as is, fill in the visual captcha and click ‘fully host this domain now’

Wham Bam! You have a domain and a host.  In our next series we’ll give you a few more action items to get a website actually set up.

Click here for How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2

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Digital Nomad

Tim Ferriss shared a post from the blog Free Pursuits.  It was simply 50 photos from around the world designed to inspire the viewer to become a Digital Nomad.  I’ve been longing to travel more with my family.  If my wife would get on board I’d pack up the whole clan and travel the world for the next year or so.  But after 7 years of wedded bliss I’ve learned to pick my battles and settled on a two week road trip around the Western United States.  We had a blast… but now I want more.

I turned the pics from the blog into a video with some music.  It’s nothing fancy, I’m not a video editor by any means, but it’s a nice way to enjoy the pictures and let your mind run free wandering about the world without that pesky interruption of having to scroll down on a web page.

Here’s my hypothetical for today’s post.

You’ve just been granted 45 days paid leave from work and you have to leave the country since the local Cheese Makers Union is about to riot the Gouda factory.  You’ve got the money to travel, so budget isn’t an issue and your passport is up to date.  What country(ies) would you visit?

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Quiet Time

Yesterday morning I had a conversation with a group of young men about the power of our thoughts.  As an exercise I gave them the ‘homework’ assignment to pay attention to how they felt when they listened to different types of music.  They were supposed to pay attention to emotions and physical changes more than just whether or not they liked the music.

Later that afternoon my wife thought it would be a good idea to pile all the kids on the couch for quiet time.  She turned on a movie… Hannah Montana.  I wasn’t overly excited.  My wife was out cold pretty quickly with our 3 month old so I was left to maintain quiet time order with the other 3.  It worked out ok, and I had a chance to do my homework.

Most of the music in the movie is pretty bubble gum country pop but not as bad as I like to pretend.  One song affected me in a motivating and uplifting manner.  The Climb.  Video and lyrics are below but it’s about the general concept that life is a journey and not a destination.  Sometimes we’re so focused on where we want to be that we lose focus on the beauty all around us.  We just returned from a long drive (Southern California – Las Vegas, NV – Provo, UT – Capitola, CA – Southern California) and I was pretty worried about the longest leg of our journey from Utah through the Nevada high desert back into California as I heard it was a barren wasteland.  I did the drive once as a kid but slept the whole way.  I ended up really loving the drive and found great beauty in the different climates we drove through.  The song and the drive combined to remind me that a lot of life is about perspective.

The Climb lyrics
Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

‘Cause there’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa