Facebook Bankruptcy Template

10 Comments

The following is an e-mail I received from Paul Colligan, which inspired me to finally take the leap and get Facebook under control. To tame the beast and use it, instead of having it use me. I hope you find it useful, or at least entertaining.

Paul, if you mind me putting this up, please do let me know.

Short version:

Moving to a “Fan Page” model at Facebook to make more sense of things. Would love you as a “Fan” here –

http://budurl.com/paulfanpage

Long version:

It’s not you, it’s me …

REALLY

When I joined Facebook, I didn’t think it all the way through.

And now I have to do something drastic …

(and it’s going to take a couple of weeks)

By mixing business and personal in the same account, here on Facebook. I was no good to anybody. Here’s a few highlights:

* Personal friends and family who weren’t interested in my business found themselves with lots of marketing messages. I’m amazed at anyone who ’stayed a friend” – but that’s another note all together.

* Business partners, associates, etc., got a bunch of confusing personal updates when they were trying to get work done. So much for “Market to Message Match.”

* I couldn’t “use” Facebook like a normal person (with 4000+ “friends”) and here I am trying to figure out what Facebook means and how normal people use it …

So, here’s what I’ve done about it:

* I’ve asked my assistant to unfriend EVERYBODY in Facebook and send them this note. The best man in my wedding is on this list – so please don’t feel offended.

(I did figure I wouldn’t unfriend Heidi – too many implications there)

* I’ve sent you all this note.

* I plan on “refriending” my friends and engaging in active business dialog at the “page” discussed below – I think it will turn out to be the best of both worlds.

You have three options:

Option 1-
I’ve set up a “page” at Facebook where I’ll be focussing on the “Business” and “New Media” side of Paul. You can see it here (please click to become a “Fan”). It should be a fun place to meet up and chat.

http://budurl.com/paulfanpage

To encourage others to become a Fan, I’m hosting a special Webinar on Facebook for free where I’ll walk through every stop of this process and share what I’ve learned along the way.

Details will be emailed to everyone who has “fanned” me on that page through a Facebook update.

This will be the most appropriate action for most of you.

Here’s the link one more time –

http://budurl.com/paulfanpage

Option 2 -
If we really are friends (i.e., you know my kid’s names) feel free to friend me again on Facebook – I’ll respond shortly.

Also know that I’ll be seeking to replenish my friends list very soon anyway, and I’ll eventually find everyone again – but feel free to speed up the process.

Option 3 -
I’m sure this move will offend a few. Please understand it is certainly a drastic move – but one I needed to take.

Didn’t mean to offend – sorry if I did.

+++

Yup, wacky …

This social media stuff is fascinating. I look forward to (and, I’ll be honest, equally as much) using Facebook like “everyone else” and sharing with those interested what I learned along the way.

Thanks for understanding.

Paul

For those interested in seeing my 2nd-round Facebook attempt, which has worked like clockwork and turned out to be both more fun and more useful, take a glance at Tim Ferriss 2.0.

If you own a business or brand, the analytics alone are worth the effort of setting it up as a complement to your existing profile.

Use your tools. Don’t let them use you.

10 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Preventing Email Bankruptcy: From 1920's Postcards to Video Confessions

14 Comments

Auto-response from Gary Vaynerchuk:

Subject line: Thanks for the email — click the link

Hey, here’s a link that will explain everything!
http://tv.winelibrary.com/garyvs-inbox

Before the economic recession hits us like a Pamplona bull, we will have long entered an digital recession characterized by lower per-hour output from digital workers and a higher incidence of problems like “e-mail bankruptcy.”

This Chapter 7 of personal productivity is a failure point where the user — physically incapable of responding to the number of unread inbox items — deletes all messages and sends an e-mail to all contacts asking them to resend anything still relevant.

Last Saturday’s front page article in the New York Times, “Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast,” [Tech tip: Use BugMeNot to get throw-away usernames and passwords] highlights the measurable extremes of information overload and how the same tools that helped create the problems seldom fix them… Read More

14 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Conversation with Pete Cashmore of Mashable.com

96 Comments

I had a fun conversation with the smart and well-dressed Pete Cashmore of Mashable after speaking at the SF MusicTech Summit, where I was interviewed by Derek Sivers of CDBaby fame.

Pete and I discussed/answered:

1. What is the single most important thing that CEOs can do to conquer information overload?
2. The value of heirarchical thinking as a CEO or manager
3. Next plans for Tim Ferriss? (Forewarning: I’m evasive)

Have a great weekend!

Attention Aussies: I’m off to Sydney for about 10 days, so let me know if you’d be interested in doing a meet up with readers and having a few pints ;)


Bonus video for those left out of my tweets this evening.

96 Comments / Leave a comment or question

The Best (and Worst?) Autoresponders of 2007

89 Comments


Reflecting or deleting e-mail can be an art form. (Photo: marinegirl)

An increasingly popular approach for escaping the inbox is the routine use of e-mail autoresponders.

Love it or hate it, reflecting or deleting e-mail can be an art form.

I’ve collected some of my favorite autoresponders of 2007 from Gmail and included them below.

The styles range from polite and hat-in-hand to direct and full-frontal, and include examples from both employees and business owners… Read More

89 Comments / Leave a comment or question

The Holy Grail: How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again

149 Comments

What if you never had to check e-mail again?

If you could hire someone else to be spend countless hours in your inbox instead of you?

This isn’t pure fantasy. For the last 12 months, I’ve experimented with removing myself from the inbox entirely by training other people to behave like me. Not to imitate me, but to think like me.

Here’s the upshot: I get more than 1,000 e-mail a day from various accounts. Rather than spending 6-8 hours per day checking e-mail, which I used to do, I can skip reading e-mail altogether for days or even weeks at a time… all with 4-10 minutes a night… Read More

149 Comments / Leave a comment or question

E-mail-Free Fridays and How to Save Your Weekend

58 Comments

First, the 4-minute mile couldn’t be broken. Then, men couldn’t land on the moon. Now, most have accepted e-mail as the permanent bane of their working existences.

But not all of us.

The following came to me via the prodigal Cameron Johnson, originally in USA Today. Below it are my recommendations for making this weekend one to remember:

SAN FRANCISCO — Overwhelmed by e-mail? Some professionals are fighting back by declaring e-mail-free Fridays — or by deleting their entire in-box.

Today about 150 engineers at chipmaker Intel (INTC) will kick off “Zero E-mail Fridays.” E-mail isn’t forbidden, but everyone is encouraged to phone or meet face-to-face. The goal is more direct, free-flowing communication and better exchange of ideas, Intel principal engineer Nathan Zeldes says in a company blog post.

E-mail-free Fridays already are the norm at cell carrier U.S. Cellular (UZG) and at order-processing company PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services in Alpharetta, Ga.

Prominent techies are tackling the problem individually by declaring “e-mail bankruptcy” — deleting or archiving an entire in-box and starting over. Among them: prominent tech bloggers Jeff Nolan, Michael Arrington and Vanessa Fox, and venture capitalist Fred Wilson.

E-mail overload is caused by the sheer volume of messages zipping around the globe. Each day, about 39.7 billion person-to-person e-mails, 17.1 billion automated alerts, and 40.5 billion pieces of spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) are sent worldwide, researcher IDC says. White-collar workers often receive 140 messages a day, executive coach Marsha Egan says.

E-mail can be a useful communication tool, and people who write a lot of it are more likely to receive it, IDC (IDC) tech analyst Mark Levitt says. But it can quickly get out of hand.

“I didn’t even have time to figure out where to start,” says Edward O’Connor, a Web developer from San Diego who declared e-mail bankruptcy two weeks ago. O’Connor had about 750 messages dating back three years, almost all of which needed a reply. “I was completely overwhelmed,” he says.

Egan says even the busiest e-mailers can, with care, keep control of their in-boxes. Her tips:

•Don’t use e-mail to avoid unpleasant tasks. “I couldn’t believe people who had never talked to each other but worked in the same office,” says Scott Dockter, CEO of PBD. Dockter started e-mail-free Fridays about a year-and-a-half ago. Since then, the number of messages his 400 employees send has dropped by about 75%.

•Don’t constantly check for new messages. It can take four minutes to refocus on work after checking an e-mail, Egan says. Jay Ellison, chief operating officer of U.S. Cellular, estimates that his 7,000 employees spend about 1½ hours a day on their in-boxes. E-mail-free Fridays give them more time to solve customers’ problems, he says.

•Respond to important messages first — even if they’re difficult. Less-pressing issues can wait until a free moment, Egan says.

###

So, how to save your weekend from e-mail or — worse still — the mediocrity of “what should I do?” and having it end before it starts?

I’m just as lazy as the rest of the world about weekend planning, so here’s the trick: I asked people to describe dream “dates” in detail in the second-to-last post. Now, in the comments, you have beautifully detailed itineraries for having an unforgettable 24 hours in dozens of cities and states, including:

Las Vegas
Honolulu
Utah
New York City
Washington, D.C.
Chicago
Los Angeles
Toronto, Canada
Boston
Atlanta
Munich, Germany
Seattle, Washington
Perth, Australia
Sydney, Australia
Jerusalem
New Orleans
Portland, Oregon
Missouri
Namibia
Jerusalem
Sedona, Arizona
Sydney, Australia
Cambria, California
Raleigh, North Carolina
Malaysia
Esfahan, Iran

Here’s the challenge: using the comments as samples, create at least one day this weekend that is truly amazing and put it in the comments here.

The reader whose description I like the most will get at least 36 copies of the 1st printing of The 4-Hour Workweek as early X-mas presents. First-edition manuscripts have sold for more than $1,500 on eBay, so these are nice stocking stuffers :)

Photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, and such are not required, but some evidence will help prove the experience wasn’t just your imagination.

So, make haste — plan now and play hard!

[P.S. The winners of the dream date competition are mthorley, malia, AF, donovan, andrewrogers, ryanmcknight, macewen, and adam (seattle date). Please check your inboxes for further instructions.]

58 Comments / Leave a comment or question

The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen (and Weapons of Mass Distraction)

187 Comments

menup1.jpg
The menu in the Slovak Republic: full-contact video below.

Long time no see! I just landed back in CA from a long overdue mini-retirement through London, Scotland, Sardinia, Slovak Republic, Austria, Amsterdam, and Japan.

Some unpleasant surprises awaited me when I checked in on the evil e-mail inbox. Why? I let them happen.

I always do.

Here are just a few of the goodies that awaited me this time:

-One of our fulfillment companies has been shut-down due to the president’s death, causing a 20%+ loss in monthly orders and requiring an emergency shift of all web design and order processing.

-Missed radio and magazine appearances and upset would-be interviewers.

-More than a dozen lost joint-venture partnership opportunities.

It’s not that I go out of my way to irritate people — not at all — but I recognize one critical fact: oftentimes, in order to do the big things, you have to let the small bad things happen. This is a skill we want to cultivate.

What did I get in exchange for temporarily putting on blinders and taking a few glancing blows?

-I followed the Rugby World Cup in Europe and was able to watch the New Zealand All Blacks live, a dream I’ve had for the last 5 years.

-I was able to shoot every gun I’ve ever dreamed of firing since brainwashing myself with Commando. Bless the Slovak Republic and their paramilitaries (video at the end of this post).

-I was able to film a television series pilot in Japan, a lifelong dream and the most fun I’ve had in months, if not years.

-I met with my Japanese publisher, Seishisha (Tel: 03-5574-8511) and had media interviews in Tokyo, where the 4HWW is now #1 in several of the largest chains.
covert1.jpg

-I took a complete 10-day media fast and felt like I’d had a two-year vacation from computers.

-I attended the Tokyo International Film Festival and hung out with one of my heroes, the producer of the Planet Earth television series.

Once you realize that you can turn off the noise without the world ending, you’re liberated in a way that few people ever know.

Just remember: if you don’t have attention, you don’t have time. Did I have time to check e-mail and voicemail? Sure. It might take 10 minutes. Did I have the attention to risk fishing for crises in those 10 minutes? Not at all.

As tempting as it is to “just check e-mail for one minute,” I didn’t do it. I know from experience that any problem found in the inbox will linger on the brain for hours or days after you shut-down the computer, rendering “free time” useless with preoccupation. It’s the worst of states, where you experience neither relaxation nor productivity. Be focused on work or focused on something else, never in-between.

Time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time.

Here are a few questions that can help you put on the productivity blinders and put things in perspective. Even when you’re not traveling the world, develop the habit of letting small bad things happen. If you don’t, you’ll never find time for the life-changing big things, whether important tasks or true peak experiences. If you do force the time but puncture it with distractions, you won’t have the attention to appreciate it.

-What is the one goal, if completed, that could change everything?

-What is the most urgent thing right now that you feel you “must” or “should” do?

-Can you let the urgent “fail” — even for a day — to get to the next milestone with your potential lifechanging tasks?

-What’s been on your “to-do” list the longest? Start it first thing in the morning and don’t allow interruptions or lunch until you finish.

Will “bad” things happen? Small problems will crop up, yes. A few people will complain and quickly get over it. BUT, the bigger picture items you complete will let you see these for what they are–minutiae and repairable hiccups.

Make this trade a habit. Let the small bad things happen and make the big good things happen.

[This post kicked up some strong comments! If you'd like to see my responses, just search for "###" in the comments.]

Most Popular and Related Posts:

How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise
From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks
Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep
How to Travel the World with 10 Pounds or Less (Plus: How to Negotiate Convertibles and Luxury Treehouses)
How to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again
How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour

###

Odds and Ends:

-Here is another signed original 4HWW manuscript with the bonus stories that didn’t make it into the published version! Perhaps you saw recently that a 1st-printing Harry Potter fetches more than $40K. 4HWW is no Harry Potter yet, but unedited manuscripts are a rarer item. The Ebay auction is here, and you have 72 hours. The last one sold for $1,525 and there were 8 copies available. Now there are only 6 left. The total winning bid will be donated to this school in Nepal, where your name will appear on a plaque on the door. If you would like to skip the auction, just PayPal $2,000 for however many copies you want (max of 5) to timothy-at-brainquicken.com. The total will also be donated to education. If someone beats you to the punch, I’ll refund you.

-For those interested, I’m featured on pg. 67 of this month’s Men’s Fitness. Nothing fitness-related, just 4HWW stuff.

-I did a fun interview on .SAP INFO, where I talk about all things quantifiable.


Weapons of Mass Distraction: boys love guns. I’m sorry, but that’s how we are wired, especially at $80 for a full Soviet arsenal, complete with anti-tank machine gun. Don’t worry, I’m just a target shooter. No strapping guns to my bed just yet.

187 Comments / Leave a comment or question