Following Your Passion: Summer Strings Adventure Camp

Carrie Young is the mastermind behind the Summer Strings Adventure Camp in Layton, Utah (just north of Salt Lake City).  I love how she combines her passions and allows others to benefit. This looks like a wonderful fit for someone interested in music, youth, etc.

She says she wants people to know:

  1. The summer camp is for any child with 1 year experience, up to high school, and
  2. The concert is a free concert open to families with children of all ages to the community that is interactive, full of costumes, well known music, and fun activities for the kids, and
  3. There is a year round program for anyone interested in taking classes, being in a beginning orchestra, or wanting to be in a more advanced tour group not restricted by age and very affordable!

This website tells more about the camp, and has pictures from past years: Summer Strings Adventure Camp

This website shows the program objectives for the Orchestra Adventures: Orchestra Adventures

What are YOU passionate about?  Is it something that other people want (for themselves, or their loved ones)?  Can you appropriately put a value on it, and give the customer a terrific experience?

It looks like Carrie is doing a great job with this!

Can Inventors Make Money?

I’m pretty behind on my Shark Tank, so I missed this one… but the article is good:

Making money as an inventor isn’t easy, experts say

I LOVE the ingenuity and creativeness that these inventors/entrepreneurs show!

This line doesn’t surprise me:

“Less than 3 percent of those who get patents make any money with them,”

I’m guessing most people are so mentally exhausted by the time they go through the patent process, or they are out of money after paying lawyers, that they don’t know what to do next or they can’t afford it (time/energy).  But hey, I got a patent!!

There is some great stuff in this article… check it out :)


26+30 Tips To Become A Better Public (Professional) Speaker

Speaking is a great way to make money (if they pay you, or you can sell your “stuff”), or to get new prospects and clients.  It’s a great way to establish your brand and knowledge, and get more interest in you and your company.

Michael Port is a guy I’ve been following for years… he does a lot of training and one of his trainees shared his (her?) notes on being a better speaker: 26 Public Speaking Tips from an Actor & Professional Speaker.  Having done hundreds of presentations and having been to National Speakers Association meetings (as an attendee and a speaker), I get what all of these notes mean.  Even if you think you understand them, let me say, there is a lot of meaning in each one.  These take time, preparation and forethought.

UPDATE: right after I posted this, I got an email from Michael with a link to 30 more tips.

I want to only comment on the first point:

  1. The speech starts with your bio before you walk on stage. Bio should be over the top powerful and impressive. Then open with something sincere and self-effacing to disarm the audience.

The most important thing I’ve learned about the bio, and what Michael says in that point, is that YOU have to write your own bio. Don’t let the person who is going to introduce you write it. If you want it to be over the top powerful and impressive, and open the right way, trust no one but yourself to create that experience.

The Evolution of Blogging (and, blogging as a business)

In 51 Alternatives I talk about blogging as a viable business / revenue stream.  Single Dad Laughing is a blog by a guy (Dan) who says he makes his entire living from his blog.  In a blog post from yesterday he makes a plea to help him essentially stay relevant (and continue to bring in revenue).

Before I go into his post, which talks about a significant change in the way things work, I want to bring up a different evolutionary change that hugely impacted blogging, but I don’t really hear anyone talking about it.

Evolution 1:

When I started blogging in 2006 I was anxious to get comments.  Comments validated my thoughts, and to a point, validated me as a blogger/person.  I know, that is kind of pathetic, but to many bloggers, comments were the reason they posted.

Social networking came along and I continued to blog.  However, something intriguing happened.  People would talk about my blog posts on social networks, and not leave many comments.  Some posts that would have gotten a dozen comments got none.  I had to shift my thinking lest my ego might become irreparably harmed!

As people spent more time on Facebook and Twitter, they would essentially take the “conversation” from the blog to other places.  The saddest thing about that is those parts of the conversation are forever lost.  In other words, their immediate audience, for that day or two, would see their great comment/input, but that was in.  And then, as if a gentle wind came through, their comments were lost forever.

I think we still haven’t recovered from that, and most bloggers who care are responding more in those temporary repositories just to keep the conversation flowing a bit.

Now, on to Single Dad Laughing…

Evolution 2:

This evolution is kind of scarier than the first one, but there is nothing new about it.

If you have kept up with Google, and how Google could make a change that makes websites irrelevant, and causes businesses to go out of business (because their websites aren’t found anymore), you’ll know what Dan is talking about.

The same way Google impacts who sees a website, Facebook recently made a huge change.  In Dan’s post he says:

“[Facebook] drastically changed the algorithm (yet again), and made it harder and harder for people with pages like mine to drive traffic through Facebook (which is where 90% of my traffic comes from). It is now showing my links to (maybe) 20% of the people it was before the algorithm change, and unless I pay big bucks to have my posts show up in people’s feeds, there’s not much I can do about it.”

Wow… he has, through Facebook, less than 20% of the original reach?  That is crazy. One change by Facebook and he is essentially run out of business.

Read Dan’s entire post for a fix to this (it’s not going to be easy, or quick), and also what has happened to content overall with the big sites like buzzfeed, which seemed to come out of nowhere but practically owns the market.

So, comments/conversation and community have dispersed to a bunch of different places, and one site (like Google or Facebook) can cause you to lose all of your traffic…. what does that mean for blogging now and in the future?

By the way, at the end of the 51 Alternatives book is a concept about business evolution that blew me away when I realized it.

Using Pinterest as a Marketing Tool

andreea_ayers_headshotI got an email from Andreea Ayers, founder of Launch Grow Joy, with a infographic about what you could do on Pinterest as an entrepreneur.  While she specifies things you would do if you are in the Pinterest popular topics (Baby/kids, fashion, food, health/fitness, travel – isn’t that what Pinterest is all about?), she also breaks down 15 ideas for the marketing / small biz industry (not really one industry), and 52 ideas for every entrepreneur.

Great info! Here’s her link. I’m not going to embed the file here because it is too big… but check it out on her page :)