Tag Archives: Welborn Media

Episode 81: Twitter and Relationship Building | John Sparks, Owner of Online ImageWorks

John Sparks talks Twitter and building relationships online in this episode of the Defining Success Podcast.John Sparks owns his own social media company, an internet marketing business where he helps businesses expand their reach online: Online Image Works. One of the things he prides himself on is his experience on Twitter and how he’s been able to use Twitter to build a massive following and build some word-of-mouth marketing. In this interview he has some great tips and advice on using Twitter.

John Sparks is the Owner and CEO of Online ImageWorks. He has a passion for helping others learn about social media and technology and has become known as a nationally recognized social media coach.

Zeb’s Take – Twitter and Building Relationships Online

It was a blast talking with John. It’s always great to talk with someone in the same space as I am. We were talking about Twitter. I love the examples he gave and how he was able to help people out with Twitter. One of the things that he said that I thought was interesting was strategically stalking people with excellence in a good way. He mentioned it a couple of times. It’s something he uses to build a Twitter following and get people to engage and interact with him on Twitter and it could be used on other social media channels as well.

What he does is, if there is a person he wants to go after (he used the example of Oprah) he will do a little research and find out who is really connected to that person. Then he reaches out to those people, works to build a relationship, a genuine relationship, and potentially get that opportunity to meet the person you’re trying to go after.

I’ve never used Twitter in that sense, but it’s not a bad idea. On LinkedIn they do have that function sort of built in to their system. One of the cool things LinkedIn does is show your connections and how you are connected to them. For example, if I wanted to target golf course general managers, I could search for that and in the results it will show my connections. 1st Degree Connections are people that I’m already connected with. 2nd Degree Connections are people who are connected to someone that I know. If that is the case, I can ask for an introduction from the person I know who is connected with the person I’m trying to get a hold of.

LinkedIn is great for that, but I really like how John is using that same idea and strategy for Twitter. That has been working well for him. He’s been able to build up quite the following. He’s one of the top Tweeters in Dallas, which is very cool.

It was a great interview. I hope you learned a lot about using twitter and social media. Thanks to John for the great interview.

Go out there and find your success.

Find out more about John Sparks or Online ImageWorks

Visit OnlineImageWorks.com, which is his website hub.
John can also be found on all the social media platforms at /iamJohnSparks (ex. facebook.com/iamJohnSparks, twitter.com/iamJohSparks and at gplus.to/iamJohnSparks)Online ImageWorks

Quotes

  • “It’s building those relationships online and then taking them offline.”
  • “You can have anything that you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
  • “People reach out to people who reach out.”
  • “Make sure when you’re messaging people that your intentions are coming across as being good natured.”

sparks

More From the Interview

John has a media background working at television stations across the country. He was a newscast writer for broadcast journalism. Then ventured into the business world, then into education and finally was able to bring all that together when he started his business Online ImageWorks.

Social media, and the whole idea of people being able to access things when they want to and to interact was really exciting to John. The idea of using his background and skills to help people use these tools properly convinced him to start his own company.

Among other things John works on SEO, conducting social media campaigns, websites, design and coaching. It’s important to make sure people’s name looks good out there online. Coaching, how to use social media; sharing the idea that people reach out to people who reach out and that it’s a powerful tool if it’s used correctly.

Twitter
Twitter is John’s favorite social media platform. The area where we can have instant communication is interesting.

Businesses can use twitter to engage customers and as a listening tool.

John says businesses should use social media for several reasons. Social media increases your visibility. It shows people that you have something of value that you are offering in the market. It gives your business the chance to show what makes you different from everybody else. It can help you stand out in the crowd. And, it’s a great relationship builder; everyone wants to feel like they are welcome, special and appreciated. It’s building those relationships online and then taking them offline. It’s a great stepping stone for the offline conversations that happen later on for businesses to convert customers into possible clients down the line.

John sees so many companies that put up a twitter logo or pinterest logo and then you go there and there’s nothing there. There is nobody managing it. John’s advice for those companies is that if you’re not using the tools then get rid of the links.

What’s one trick or piece of advice that the average person may not know about social media and how to use it effectively?
Strategically stalking people in excellence in a good way.

The people that they are most socially influenced by on Twitter are the people at the very bottom of their friends list. Those are the people that instantly came to their mind when they first joined Twitter.

Oprah, just for an example, follows about let’s say 230 people. So if you can interact with and build a relationship with one of those people on Twitter. Then you could potentially get an introduction from that person. Thinking about LinkedIn and their 1st 2nd and 3rd connections, look through her list, look through their lists, look for Oprah’s 3rd connections. Look towards the bottom of the list and pick out the ones that do not have the verified account, the blue checkmark. Those people are probably going to be easier to connect with.

John says a lot of cool things have happened over the last 2 years owning Online ImageWorks. Just having the opportunity to work with some of these people and watching their businesses grow. John says seeing these Twitter accounts grow to a point where they’re getting verified on Twitter and build a following by thousands, and it’s not just about the number of the followers, but about the quality of the followers you have.

Mistakes
In conversations with people on twitter you have to be really careful how you talk with people so you don’t offend them. Twitter has the reputation of being light and fluffy. Where people don’t hear your voice, they don’t know your voice, they don’t know your true intentions. So make sure when you’re messaging people that your intentions are coming across as being good natured.

How did you get where you are?
Going out there and basically, I wanted to be a social media influencer. I’m soon to be on the Forbes and Huffington Post list of top 50 social media influencers. Going through and doing my research and finding out, okay if this is what I want to be who are the people that are on that list right now, and who is following those people, and how can I get some of those people to come follow me. And what can I add of value to get those people to follow me.

Advice
I would say finding those people that are in your industry that you’re interested in. And making a list of those people. And then going out and seeing who’s following those people. Provide good content and follow those individuals and see if you can engage with those people and follow them as well.

On Twitter, you just have to get out there and do it. Get out there follow people, engage, you’re going to make some mistakes, it’s gonna happen; mentioning people incorrectly, retweeting incorrectly… but you just gotta do it.

Define Success
John recommends the book, See You at the Top.
You can have anything that you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. That’s what success is about.

You have to have that positive mindset and take every positive thought captive. Turn those negative thoughts into thoughts of being successful. Even in your darkest moment. If not, you’re going to get sidetracked.

That positive self talk that’s so critical when starting a business and being successful on social media. John prides himself on his positive uplifting tweets — It’s amazing how many people go out there and will retweet those over and over again.

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Episode 79: Social Media and ROI | Brian Basilico owner of B2b Interactive Marketing

Brian Basilico, owner of B2B Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is the owner of his own social media company. One of the things we talked about was return on investment, and looking at ROI when you are using social media and actually for many things you are probably doing.

B2B Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is the owner of B2B Interactive Marketing. B2b Interactive Marketing combines audio, video, interactive, web, communications, and advertising, with branding and marketing experience of almost 30 years in the communications industry.

 

Zeb’s Take – Social Media and ROI

It was a blast talking with Brian about social media and all the different things that he’s doing. We had some great back and forth while talking about social media marketing.

The thing I want to expand on is the return on Investment or ROI of social media, which I think is very important for business owners understand when they are getting into the social media space. Social Media and ROI. People will ask me, “Should every business use social media?” My response is always yes. I honestly think every single business should use social media. Having said that, I don’t always think paying for someone to run a social media presence is the best investment of your money. Timewise, yes you should use social media, use it as much as you can. But sometimes the cost doesn’t make sense for the returns that you’re getting from the social media usage.

It is important to analyze time versus money and how you’re going to spend that using social media. Sometimes people think it’s a just one-stop-shop; it’s not, it’s a long term goal. If your goal in a business is to grow as large as you possibly can then social media is a no-brainer. Hire people to do it and realize that it’s an investment. If you are looking to use social media to make instant sales to cover the cost of what you’re paying for the social media, especially in the first few months, you’re going to be disappointed. With social media, you’re putting in the time, money and resources now for gains down the road.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Brian Basilico and B2B Interactive Marketing

Go to his business website: B2B-IM.com and the website for his book: NotAboutU.com

Quotes

  • “It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”
  • “I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”
  • “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.”
  • “Marketing is a participation sport, it’s not like advertising where you pass it off to somebody.”
  • “The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.”
  • “Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens.”
  • “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”
  • “The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.”

brian-wm

More From the Interview

Growing up Brian was a musician. At 18 years of age he started a recording studio in his Dad’s basement. He had to learn to promote himself. At first, he used a word processor to print out articles, cut and paste them together into a newsletter that he would take to a copy shop and print and put together his newsletters. Since then he’s been a video editor and producer, he owned a commercial recording studio (produced jingles, radio programs and commercials), and online marketing.

“It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”

He says, the funny thing about marketing is marketing has never changed. It is always about people, knowing who the audience is and how they want to be communicated to. The thing that has changed is the technology and tools. You have to learn to adapt over the years.

Not too long no one knew what the smartphone was and now it’s updated every day.

“I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”

The smartest and most profitable people learn how to adapt to where their audience is. If you want to reach a 20 year old you need to text them. If you’re talking to 70 year olds, you still need to put out a print newsletter. You have to know where your audience is and you have to learn to adapt to get your message there. The message and the content has always been the same. It’s always been really good content and great articles. But, you have to know the channels where you can connect with them.

Branding
Branding is part logo, part image and part message. You need to know who your audience and know what your audience is looking for. An example Brian shared was for a company that made ferrules, a small part on a golf club. Once an industry staple, this company had lost a lot of their customers to cheaper overseas competition. Their business model was to sell high quality at a low price to the largest golf manufacturers. While doing research Brian spoke with someone who builds clubs for professional golfers around the world. This person agreed that this company made the highest quality part and it never broke, whereas the competitor’s part did break. He mentioned that fixing that one part cost $150 each time the repair needed to be made. He said I don’t care what I have to pay for that thing I want that ferrule. Now she manufactures custom versions of this and what sells she used to sell for $0.07 for $1.50. She learned that the marketplace had changed, without her noticing it. We completely reinvented her business.

Success Story
Brian shares his success story with a fortune 100 company that was making a $1k a month in online sales, Brian convinced them to put in a true ecommerce system on their site. By creating a very familiar interface for their ecommerce their online sales skyrocketed to $25k in sales a month.

What I see a lot of people doing wrong in marketing is throwing a lot of good money at bad. You have to consider social media and ROI. “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.” People don’t understand the concept of using marketing as an investment and how to measure their return on investment so they do get ripped off.

“The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.” If you reward people for promoting you to your friends and give them something relatively inexpensive, you’re winning.

Brian’s Book
It’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World by Brian BasilicoIt’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World is Brian’s book. It is a why-to book about social media. It takes you through a whole journey of marketing. There are chapters on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all that other stuff. It doesn’t tell you how to do things, it tells you why it’s important and who is there. The whole purpose of the book is getting you to understand the concept of what social media marketing means. From there, there’s lots of other opportunities to learn how to use it.

The title is from Brian’s experience at a conference. One of the other presenters encouraged people to use a hashtag, #bacon. She got 20 new followers. After that Brian started posting pictures of bacon and #bacon and breakfast with bacon online. Brian got an incredible response. What he came to find out was that the two most shared things on the internet were kittens and bacon. The whole concept is that social media marketing is not able sales and about you, and bacon is about creating a brand that is memorable and something that people will search out.

Advice for New Businesses
Go out and network. Go out and meet people. Find people you can have a 1-on-1 conversation with ask them about their experiences and their life. From there, ask them for referrals, for whatever you need. connect with them and then ask them for advice. Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens. Getting good proper referrals is the best way to get the best return on investment of quality. Look for good consultants and people who really have your best interests in mind and are not just trying to take your money. Then go learn as much as you possibly can, take online classes, community college classes, buy books, research; invest in yourself and in your own knowledge.

Success
Success for is seeing his clients blossom and make money. The biggest success that Brian gets is when they recommend him to somebody else. From a personal standpoint, it is making a difference in a way that changes people’s lives. I don’t care whether it’s through my business, or donating my time. “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”

I’ve reinvented myself so many times, I’m very successful and always working harder to be better. The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.

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Episode 63: Being Obsessed with Your Business with Zeb Welborn

To be a success you must be obsessed with being successful.  There are hundreds of people out there who do the same things you do and the only way to be better than them is to be obsessed with your business. 

Tamika Newhouse is a famous author in her own right.  At a young age, Tamika became a single mother and even though her situation was not ideal, she found a way to persevere.  She has written numerous books and started her own publishing company.  To become a success she needed to be obsessed with her business.  Day in and day out she learned to write better and to connect with influential people in the process who helped her along her path to become a successful author.

Being Obsessed with Your Business Tamika Newhouse Zeb Welborn
Tamika Newhouse

I feel I have become obsessed with my business, Welborn Media.  From the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to bed, I am continually thinking of ways to make my business better.  Whether it be learning a new technique, reaching out to new business contacts or doing the work of my business.  I’m constantly thinking, “How can I be of service to more people.”  And it has become an obsession.

In an interview I had with TJ Hale, host of the Shark Tank Podcast, we talked about our goals.   From our conversation, I came to the conclusion that in order to become obsessed with your business that you needed to develop a very clear purpose for your business.  It’s easier to become obsessed with your business if you are working to become a person of significance.  

The definition of obsession is the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

When you think of Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Barrack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and others like them, you’ll understand the sacrifices you must make to become successful.  These people are absolutely obsessed with what they do.  So, if you want to be successful, think of the career you’re in and think to yourself can you become obsessed with it?  Can you work in it day in and day out?  If you can answer yes than you’ve found yourself a new business or a new career.

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Episode 61: Develop a Business Mind with Zeb Welborn

Develop a Business Mind Ashley Majeski The Ashley's Reality Roundup

Ashley Majeski

In my discussion with Ashley Majeski from The Ashley’s Reality Roundup, she explained how she first started writing about reality television and how much she enjoyed it.  She received encouragement from her family and friends, who loved her writing and suggested she do more of it.  She saw that as an opportunity to start her business.  She needed to develop a business mind.

Sometimes, doing what you love is not enough. Sometimes, you have to apply business principles to the things you love in order to turn your passion into a career.  I love being an entrepreneur because figuring out ways to build a better business, ultimately gives me the opportunity to help more people.  If you find yourself doing something you love, but you haven’t made a career out of it, you might need help to develop a business mind.

My wife, Cindy is very talented artistically.  She creates great pieces of artwork and truly enjoys the process of creating new art, but she can never do something she loves as often as she would want because she needs to focus on paying the bills.  But, if she would develop a business mind, she could do the thing she loves must and have a happy, fulfilling career.

A good friend of mine, Richie absolutely loves music.  I’ve never seen someone more passionate about a topic.  He even created a CD for a friend of mine for his bachelor party where the entire CD was personalized for his friend.  To do something like that . . . you have to love music.  He’s also extremely talented, but he hasn’t figured out a way to turn his passion into a career.  He is working on it though which I give him props for.  He just needs help developing his business mind.

Even if you do something you don’t love, but you’re good at, you can still create passive income from it.  My sister Lacey is very talented when it comes to website design, but early on she discovered that she didn’t enjoy it very much.  It was great that she discovered website design was not the career for her, but she still could have made more money from her unique website design skill.  She could have hired staff and trained them on website design skills and referred business their way, since people have come to respect her website design skills.

My Dad, Larry Welborn is the epitome of success.  In junior high school he knew he wanted to become a journalist and worked to get himself involved in a career he loved.  For 43 years my Dad worked for the Orange County Register and most of his time was spent in the courthouse as the court reporter for the Register.  He loved his job and was great at it.  He developed a business mind early on by connecting with the right people who could help him get the career of his dreams.  Once he found himself in his career he also began helping others who shared his same passion.

Larry Welborn Develop a Business Mind Orange County Register

Larry Welborn

I found something I love to do with Welborn Media.  Helping small business owners get more business through social media is the most rewarding thing I feel I could be doing with my time.  So many opportunities have come about because I developed my business mind to work to sell my goods and services so that I can grow my business and help more businesses thrives.  But, it hasn’t been easy.  Once I began to develop a business mind I really started to evolve as a business and it’s growing.  Even though my business mind isn’t fully developed, I’m working on it every day to try and develop new business and create more opportunities to help others.

Ashley figured out how to make money from something she loved.  She knew she couldn’t just keep writing for the fun of it, so she developed her business mind and created opportunities for herself to make a living from her writing.  The happiest and most successful entrepreneurs are those who have figured out how to make money from the things they love to do most.  Our economic system is geared to give us the opportunity to help people with our passions.

Develop a business mind in order to make a difference.

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Episode 55: An Entrepreneurial Mindset by Zeb Welborn

In Episode 55 of the Defining Success Podcast we revisit the episode we did with Charlotte Clary of Ice Chips Candy and share what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Entrepreneurs continually take risks and fail but are able to sustain themselves while working to find businesses or products that help make them successful.  The best entrepreneurs fail and fail often, but they always learn from their mistakes and work hard to make better business decisions and implement systems that will help them become more successful.

We analyze the difference between being an entrepreneur and an employee in an article titled, Do You Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset or an Employee Mindset on the Welborn Media website.

Listen to Episode 55 of the Defining Success Podcast to learn what it takes to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Charlotte Clary and Beverly Vines-Haines with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran

Charlotte Clary and Beverly Vines-Haines

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Bunkers Paradise Charity Golf Tournament at San Dimas Canyon Golf Course

Bunkers Paradise held their first annual Bunkers Paradise Charity Golf Tournament for the Special Olympics of Southern California at San Dimas Canyon Golf Course on Sunday, October 13.

For a first year tournament, Bunkers Paradise had close to 50 golfers playing for the Special Olympics of Southern California, including two previous guests of the Defining Success Podcast, Ken Lee (Episode 9) and Kate Hughes (Episode 26).

Ken Lee is the Editor-in-Chief of Bunkers Paradise and worked with San Dimas Canyon Golf Course to help put on the event.  Welborn Media and 19th Hole Media are currently working with San Dimas Canyon Golf Course on their social media presence.  Check out the San Dimas Canyon Facebook page to see how we can help build and grow the online presence of any golf course. Kenny Donovan Zeb Welborn Mike Quiroz Gary Christman Surprisingly enough, with the help of Gary Christman, Kenny Donovan and Mike Quiroz, the Welborn Media and 19th Hole Media ended up shooting a 14-under par to tie for the lead at the tournament and each of us won brand new Cleveland XL Drivers thanks to the folks at Bunkers Paradise.

Kate Hughes was in attendance as a contributor to Bunkers Paradise and an advocate of the Special Olympics and golf.  All in all, the tournament was a great success and we were happy to be a part of it!  Even happier that we ended up winning the first ever Bunkers Paradise Charity Golf Tournament!

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New Client! Greenskeeper.org Facebook Page

We’re very excited to announce that we were recently hired by Greenskeeper.org to help manage the Greenskeeper.org Facebook page.

John Hakim from Greenskeeper.org on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn Know Before You Go

Greenskeeper.org

After appearing as a guest on the Defining Success Podcast, Johnny and I have become great friends and are even working on a book together on how golf courses can use the Internet to reach more golfers and encourage more golfers to play at their golf course more often.

Johnny is the owner of Greenskeeper.org, a website made for golfers with an almost unlimited amount of features that golfers can use to enhance their enjoyment of the game.  Golfers can post scores, review golf courses, learn of golf course conditions and interact with others in the Greenskeeper.org community.

The members who use the site regularly refer to themselves as GKers and even have regular golf outings where GKers can interact, get to know each other and play some golf.  As a lover of golf and promoter of the game, I am extremely excited to be working with Johnny to help more people interact in the GK community, reach more golfers and give golfers a better experience when they do decide to get out and play.

Johnny Hakim | How to Make Your Customers Become a Part of Your Business | Greenskeeper.org

Johnny Hakim

Many of you may remember Johnny Hakim as our guest in the 35th episode of the Defining Success Podcast.  His episode was titled, Episode 35: Making Your Customers a Part of Your Business | Johnny Hakim from Greenskeeper.org where he talked about how he’s been able to build a community around Greenskeeper.org and get more members active and involved in the GK Community.

We’re really excited to be managing the Greenskeeper.org Facebook page and encourage all of you to visit the page, like it, and interact with other GKers.

If you have any questions about how we can help you reach more customers, encourage customers to buy more and build a strong online presence for your business, please visit Welborn Media or contact me by email – Zeb@WelbornMedia.com

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Episode 25: Build Your Reputation with Online Recommendations | Beau Hodson from Transparent Mortgage

Beau Hodson

Beau Hodson

Teaser:

Beau Hodson has been in the mortgage industry and has seen many ups and downs and has been able to whether the storm.  He started Transparent Mortgage and has implemented strategies designed to increase his reputation online.  He’s been able to get customers to give him positive reviews on Yelp, TrustLink, Google Places, Facebook and various other review sites to show that he was a well-respected mortgage professional who can help you achieve your dream of financing a home or helping you during the re-financing process.

Recap:

Beau Hodson has been the mortgage profession for more than 10 years and is the founder and Senior Mortgage Adviser at Transparent Mortgage.  He has earned degrees in finanec and business and has a diverse background as a financial adviser and mortgage professional.  He has worked for Luxury Mortgage, Bank of America and Impac Funding.

Transparent Mortgage

Transparent Mortgage

Beau fell into the mortgage industry when he graduated college.  At the time he graduated college it was a perfect time in the mortgage industry and things were booming.  It’s a completely different experience today in the mortgage industry than it was pre-housing market crash.  Beau spent his first two years auditing closed loans and became a mortgage broker after a couple of years.  Nowadays it’s about being a professional.

In this case, Beau thinks of the client to see what’s best for them and providing them the information to make the right decision and then there is a lot of execution involved and at at the start it’s about getting to know a client and doing what is best for them.  Beau is self employed and runs his own business so he has a lot more flexibility to work for the customer.

Beau had to make a lot of changes to make him more successful.  It was hard for Beau to learn how to do things in the current economic environment.  Sometimes Beau questioned his commitment to change, but he eventually decided that he wanted to adapt, stay in the industry and thrive.

In the fall of 2011, Beau had had a tough year and he had to decide whether he was going to give it up or do it his own way.  And now, he’s happy he decided to start Transparent Mortgage and stay in the mortgage industry.

The mortgage loan process is complicated, but Beau really helps to educate his customers about the process.  He then works to get loans for the customer and do what’s best for the customer.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Beau had a lot of time to think about what was missing and what was needed in the mortgage process.  Beau thinks what people wants the most in the mortgage industry is transparency.  Beau likes to give real straight information to his customers.  He also felt the need to give his customers the opportunity to be updated on the process of the transaction.  Beau makes sure that he communicates properly with his clients to make sure they know what is going on with their loan.

When Beau started Transparent Mortgage he realized that there weren’t a lot of reviews online and Beau wanted to lead the industry in online recommendations as an independent mortgage broker.  He doesn’t know any customers that operate based on reviews and he wanted people to go online and see what people are saying about him for themselves.

Beau said it’s been a process getting online recommendations.  Beau learned early on that when he began asking for people to give him reviews online it helped make him a better business owner for his customers.  He then began thinking of ways he could improve his business to make his customers happier.

A lot of problems arise in any business and clients understand that, but it’s the way you communicate those problems to your customers that will determine whether they leave you happy or not.

Beau has learned a lot as a business owner.  One of Beau’s biggest problems was spending too much time setting up his website, his logo and he spent too much time working on the website and the logo and the more you do, it doesn’t really improve your business.  He thinks he would have spent a lot less time making his website perfect and would have just made it good so that he could have focused on his business.

Beau advises anyone looking to buy a home to do your due diligence and to get pre-qualified.  Buying homes is very competitive in today’s climate.  There’s an inventory shortage and more and more people are buying homes.  It’s still very difficult to qualify for a mortgage.  The only way you can get into a home is to get pre-approved for a loan.

Beau says the forecast is good in the mortgage industry and more people appear to be putting their houses for sale.  He is nervous about the economy, but he thinks houses are good right now and he feels housing prices will be stable and doesn’t see the mortgage process getting easier anytime soon.  People can buy houses now, but they have to do the work to get them done.

Engaging Discussions:

  • Do you plan on buying or selling a home?
  • How important do you think online reviews are?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Transparent Mortgage – “Transparent Mortgage is a new vision of a mortgage company built upon a commitment to raise the industry standards for client care, open access to information, and social and ethical responsibility. It is our belief that the best way to achieve this is through transparency. A true and real commitment to transparency in the mortgage industry today is both a bold and unprecedented course of action.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is effort and being engaged in your work on a day-to-day basis . . . and you have to enjoy it.”
  • “If you’re not prepared and pre-approved you might miss out on getting your house.”
  • “When we work with people we like and people who like us we’re happier for it.”
  • “You learn that the client understands that there are things that are beyond your control.”
  • “I think a lot of people are afraid to ask for reviews.”
  • “When you make the commitment to a customer and you’re expecting a review you start thinking about the transaction differently.”
  • “If the client calls me and asks me what’s going on, it’s too late.”

Special Requests:

Beau Hodson and Zeb Welborn

Beau Hodson and Zeb Welborn

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Episode #16: Taking Action on Your Great Idea | Steve Pennington from Complete Cambodia

Steve Pennington came to us around nine months ago and I knew right away he was a man on a mission. His passion shined through in the way he talked about his new project. In just nine short months Steve built a website for his cause and traveled to Cambodia on two seperate occasions to help bring aid and remove landmines in Cambodia that were left over from the Vietnam War.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Steve Pennington from Complete Cambodia

Steve Pennington from Complete Cambodia

Recap:

Steve Pennington is the founder of Complete Cambodia, an activist organization committed to creating a dialogue and raising funds to support landmine relief efforts in Cambodia putting an end to the continued casualties of the Vietnam War.

Steve has been an L.A. city firefighter for 12 years.  He’s active in volunteering with the Best Day Foundation where they take special needs kids out to the beach.  He’s also been a cadet post advisor, being a mentor to kids from 13 to 21.

One day Steve was running on a treadmill watching a television show with a bunch of guys who were doing crazy pranks and eating foods and he saw them blow something up and something about that visual stayed with him.  Steve went online and researched landmines in Cambodia and what he found amazed him.  Rather than just reading about it, he decided to do something and he decided to take action.

The first thing Steve wanted to do was to create awareness for the cause by sharing what he’s learned.  Through friends Steve came to us and we developed his Complete Cambodia website.  Once the website was built he knew that he had to actually go to Cambodia to have the kind of impact that he wanted to make.

The first trip Steve made to Cambodia was eye-opening.  He spoke to the Mine Advisory Group which is actively removing mines in countries all over the globe and they invited Steve to join them.  From the second he landed in Cambodia, he felt at peace and he knew it was a place that he needed to be.  Everyone seemed friendly, happy and they loved everyone.

Complete Cambodia

Complete Cambodia

Steve plans to head back to Cambodia this May and early June.  He’s going to be helping to build schools and helping projects through their organization.

Steve has been in the mine fields in Cambodia when demining teams have found cluster munitions which were detonated in front of him.  At some point, Steve hopes to be a paramedic to the demining team when he makes a trip to Cambodia.

Most of the mines that are in Cambodia came from the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian genocide, the Vietnamese would dig up old mines and place them in Cambodia, but most of the mines and explosives come from bombings at the hands of the United States during the Vietnam War.

The first thing Steve did was called Presents for Presence and he took 216 bags of goods to this village which contained little things to brighten up the day of those who received them.

Steve was given the opportunity to speak in front of one of these villages and he told them what he wanted to do in Cambodia.  He told them that people from California cared enough to help them remove the mines.  The village chief came to him and, in tears, told Steve how meaningful it was that Steve had come to help them with their problems.

Landmine Removal in Cambodia

Landmine Removal in Cambodia

One of the greatest moments Steve had was meeting Aki Ra, the mine ninja, CNN’s top 100 heroes, who has been demining in Cambodia for decades.  Steve says he was demining with a pair of plyers, sandals and a stick when he first started.

Through Steve’s visit the first time he met Aki Ra and Bill Morris in L.A. and he’s become Steve’s hero.  He funds an orphanage for landmine victims.  They have a landmine museum.  He still goes out for 26 day employments, still demining and Steve thinks he’s demined close to 50,000 mines by himself.

Through this process Steve has learned quite a bit about himself, the most important being that he knows that he can do anything.  He had no idea what was in store for him when he first started his adventure, but the doors opened up once he made the decision to achieve something special.

We can create the lives for ourselves that we want.  Opportunities will present themselves.  If you can examine your own life and determine what’s important to you then it will be easier for your passion to present itself to you.

You may have no idea how you’re going to accomplish anything. But if you’re passionate about something you’re going to have an influence on people. People just want to help if you give them the opportunity to do so.  Just striking up conversations about your goals and your missions, you never know who will be there to help you.

Each time that Steve has a conversation with someone he learns something that he can apply to Complete Cambodia and his efforts over there.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What are you doing to change the world?
  • What is your passion?
  • Are you willing to help Complete Cambodia?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Complete Cambodia – “Complete Cambodia is an activist organization committed to creating a dialogue and raising funds to support landmine relief efforts in Cambodia putting an end to the continued casualties of the Vietnam War.  Complete Cambodia Goals: Generate awareness about this forgotten problem in a country that is still impacted by our war; Support humanitarian programs that positively impact Cambodian communities most affected and the families of landmine victims; Raise funds to support and accelerate Cambodia’s demining efforts with new, advanced technologies. 
  • Best Day Foundation – “Best Day is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (Tax-ID: 26-2223078) based in Santa Cruz, CA. The organization helps kids with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun-filled adventure activities including surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow-tubing and more. Best Day is run by an experienced team and supported by generous sponsors who help keep the programs free for all. Our Best Day chapters make a big impact in their communities.”
  • Mine Advisory Group – “Humanitarian Mine Action is not just about landmines. In many current and former conflict zones unexploded bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades still pose a risk of detonation. These dangerious weapons still threaten community safety decades after they were dropped. Most importantly, MAG works closely with affected men, women, and children – finding out what their priorities are and developing a response that best helps them to rebuild their lives after conflict.”
  • Welborn Media – We helped design the website for Complete Cambodia.  We encourage you to check it out and let us now what you think.

Success Quotes:

  • “You’re a successful person when you’re doing what you love.”
  • “Be open to anything.”
  • “If you have an idea, move on it.”
  • “Can you imagine a world where people actually acted on pure ideas?”
  • “If people were taking action on pure ideas, this would be a completely different world.”
  • “How many amazing things could have happened in this world already if we would have just taken a chance.”
  • “I can do anything.”
  • “There are still 3 to 5 million bombs left in the ground in Cambodia.”
  • “It’s a significant experience to see them detonate a cluster bomb.”
  • “Even under the circumstances for a group of people that could understandably complain about their circumstances . . . they don’t.”
  • “Complete Cambodia is founded on the support of others.”
  • “I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew I was going to do something.”

Special Requests:

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Episode #7 – Listen and Be a Great Teacher | Vic Braden from VicBraden.com

Teaser: Vic Braden is one of the most famous tennis coaches of all time and has written over five books on the subject. As tennis legend, Jack Kramer, once said, “One Vic Braden is worth a lot of champions in helping the sport. The [John] McEnroes, [Bjorn] Borgs, [Jimmy] Connors, they’ve been great. But I don’t think any one of them has created the interest in the sport Vic has.” Be sure to listen to the story of Vic Braden when he lost to Bobby Riggs while he was tied to an elephant.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Vic Braden

Vic Braden

Recap: 

One of the things Vic enjoyed most about playing tennis was that it gave him an opportunity early on to travel to different places.

Being a good coach is being a good listener and knowing what you’re teaching.   Most coaches talk to much and listen to little.

Vic has been involved in so many things and one of the things he’s most proud of is teaching blind children how to hit a tennis ball and Vic would call out a number and these children were able to play tennis.  Vic loves working with special needs children.

Vic’s biggest concern was that he cared very little about money and didn’t save much because he was too busy helping others.

One thing that Vic thought helped him the most was being a licensed psychologist and the skills he learned as a psychologist has helped him to become a great coach. You need to study how the brain works and why concentration levels vary.  A person would have to be willing to do a lot of research.

Students can find answers to anything they want and when parents have a problem with their computer now a days they ask their 8 year old student to fix it.  Vic recently began putting students who showed interest in tennis and they taught them how to be tennis coaches.  Not only do these young children teach better than most coaches, but their game begins to develop stronger because they are paying attention to detail.

Vic would like you to share his story with others.  He started junior medical ambassadors as doctors are training students about the danger of diabetes and obesity and they teach classrooms about the those dangers and Vic will be making a movie of it that will be available to schools across the way.

If you’re interested in helping Vic Braden to help fund his programs to help students across the United States please visit VicBraden.com and share this podcast episode with your family and friends.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What is the best way for students to learn?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • VicBraden.com – “I feel lucky to have played a small part in the sports world. Looking for creative ways to help people play their chosen sport better, and sooner, has provided me with plenty of excitement and new knowledge. Though I still feel we’re in the “Stone Ages” on many fronts, that will change because there are so many fine researchers generating new projects. In addition, there is evidence that the many disciplines involved in understanding sport are beginning to cooperate on a much higher level….”
  • Vic Braden Books – Vic Braden has written over five books on coaching tennis and continues to be an advocate for the game and the youth who play it.
  • Welborn Media

Success Quotes

  • “I’ve never seen a little elephant who liked playing tennis . . . He would move with Bobby as though he played doubles with Bobby all his life.” – Vic Braden
  • “I have never played an elephant.” – Anita Bryant
  • “Success is when you’re happy with what you’re doing and happy with the results.” – Vic Braden

Special Requests

Vic Braden

Vic Braden

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Episode #6: Blog Writing to Learn | Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Erin Klein discusses how she uses blog writing to make her a better educator, to continue her learning, to share her learning with others and to communicate with other leading educators and education professionals. Pay attention to how Erin has used her blog to make positive change in her community and her classroom.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Recap:

Erin Klein has been a classroom teacher and has developed her own blog which has been successful in its own right.

Erin has taught 1st grade, junior high school and now 2nd grade and she loves it.  She used a website for her classroom highlighting her students work and her website became so successful in her school that she got recognition by her district.  And then was asked to give presentations to other teachers and she began to blog as a resource sharing site to share her students work and share resources with other teachers.

As a teacher, Erin feels that the blog helps her become a better teacher and gives her an opportunity to share, get feedback, and offers an opportunity for self reflection.  She knows that maintaining her blog has helped her become a better teacher and by sharing she has helped other teachers become better.

A recent activity Erin Klein did in her classroom that she shared with others is  “If Our Characters Had Instagram,” where students are encouraged to act as if they were a character and then encouraged to think of what types of pictures they would take and share on Instagram which has taken off and teachers all over the world have been downloading her If Our Characters Had Instagram lesson plan.

Erin uses Twitter and Facebook to connect with educators.  She loves using Twitter more so than Facebook because, to her, Twitter is more of a professional outlet.  She loves the ability Twitter gives her to connect with different types of educators all over the globe.

Blog writing is important for Erin because she uses it to share resources and reflect on what she’s doing in the classroom and it also gives her a way to connect with the parents as to what’s going on in the classroom.

One thing Erin didn’t expect when she began blogging is the amount of businesses that would contact her asking her to use their product in her classroom.   Some products she’s recently used in her classroom is the Sifteo Cubes and the Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen, which she says her students love.

Erin would like to see a lot more student choice in the classroom, more teacher-driven content, more creativity, more student voice, more projects, more top-level blooms taxonomy, more mobile and technology apps (used less by particular district approved apps).  Ideally, she would like to put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.  Putting teachers in a more facilitative role and putting the learning into students’ hands.

Learning is a priority to Erin as she’s always looking for opporunities to learn and grow.  She encourages teachers to ask administrators for things and don’t take no as a final answer.  If she feels something is in the best interest of her students then she wants to ask why and that new teachers are so often told no and that that kills the creative process.  Erin does recommend being professional, but still challenging administrators to accomplish goals that she feels would be in the best interest of her students.

Erin equates success and happiness to each other.  Monetary value doesn’t mean success.  Many people she knows who some people would deem successful are often very unhappy.  She thinks if people are happy doing something they love, regardless of money than they are successful.

Engaging Discussion Question(s):

  • Where do you see the future of education going?
  • Where would you like to see education going in the years to come?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Kleinspiration – “Erin Klein the technology chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association, a national A Plus Workshop Presenter, SMART Technologies Exemplary Educator, Really Good Stuff Monthly Blogger, Edutopia Guest Blogger, Edudemic Guest Blogger and Magazine Contributor, National Writing Project member, and award-winning EduTech Blogger.Klein has most recently appeared in the Scholastic Instructor Magazine and co-authored Amazing Grades with experts from 13 countries around the world.”
  • If Our Characters Had Instagram – A lesson plan designed by Erin Klein which can be used in classrooms from Kindergarten to High School – If a character/historical figure had Instagram, what kinds of pictures would they take?
  • Sifteo Cubes – “Sifteo Cubes are a magical new interactive game system built on the timeless play patterns of legos, building blocks, and domino tiles.”
  • Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen – “Record everything you hear, say, write and draw. Wirelessly sync notes and audio to your personal Evernote® account where you can replay, organize, search and share your interactive notes any time and anywhere.”
  • The Tutoring Solution’s Share Your Passion Scholarship – The Share Your Passion Essay Contest is open to all High School students. For students to be eligible for one of their scholarships they had to write an essay from the prompt:  “What are you passionate about? Why are you passionate about it? How do you plan on using your passion to help others?”
  • Welborn Media
  • #EdChat – Join the Discussion on Twitter.

Success Quotes:

  • “Put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.” – Erin Klein

Special Requets:

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Episode #2: Explore Your Options | Kim Nelson of Daisy Cakes

Kim Nelson is the owner of I Love Daisy Cakes. She cooks and mails some of the most delicious cakes all over the country. She appeared on Shark Tank and struck a great deal with Barbara Corcoran and has never looked back. Learn how she was able to take sales from 2,000 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2012.

Thank you for coming to the Defining Success Podcast website.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast in iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909.  Hope you enjoy the show!

White Chocolate Mint Cake by Daisy Cakes.

White Chocolate Mint Cake by Daisy Cakes.

Recap:

Kim Nelson knew early on that baking was her “God-given talent.”  She started at an early age and made some wise business decisions on her way to her appearance on Shark Tank at the end of 2010.

While in the Shark Tank, Kim asked for $50,000 for 20% of her business and struck a deal with Barbara Corcoran for exactly what she asked for.

She’s worked hard to build her business and took her cake sales from 2,000 in 2010 to more than 25,000 in 2012.

Her biggest mistake in business was not looking into all available options when it came to shipping her cakes across the United States.  She recently switched shipping options and has found it much more convenient for her business.

She advocates people pursuing their passions and advices those interested in baking to go for it.

Her cakes have appeared on the Nate Berkus show and with Anderson Cooper and has been creating opportunities with celebrities because her cakes taste so good.

Kim Nelson from Daisy Cakes

Kim Nelson from Daisy Cakes

Takeaway:  Explore Your Options

Many business owners are very good at taking action to accomplish particular goals, but sometimes it’s very important to consider all your options before making business decisions.

In Kim’s case, she had been paying more than twice as much for shipping going from $45 per shipment to $20 per shipment just by switching shipping companies.  This change in value will help grow her business as she will be able to sell more for less, reaching more customers and making more customers happy.

Taking action is a good trait to have, but learn to explore all your options when making important business decisions and you will be rewarded for doing so.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What is your “God-given talent”?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • I Love Daisy Cakes – Some of the greatest hand-made cakes you’ll ever have.  Her cakes have sold everywhere thanks to an appearance and Shark Tank and their wonderful recommendations.
  • Shark Tank – The Shark Tank appears on ABC every Friday night.  The sharks are entrpreneurs who invest in companies who pitch their product to the “Sharks.”
  • Welborn Media” – When it comes to website design in Southern California, be sure to explore your options.

Quote of the Episode:

“To make people happy with what makes me happy.” – Kim Nelson

Special Requests:

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Episode 1 – An Introduction to the Defining Success Podcast by Zeb Welborn

Welcome to the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn. The Defining Success Podcast will be an interview style podcast, but for this episode, learn about Zeb Welborn, the man behind the podcast.

Recap:

This is the introductory episode for The Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn.  My goal with the introductory podcast was to introduce myself to future listeners. . . (aka YOU!)

In 2007, I thought I had become a success.  I achieved everything I wanted to when I was younger, I found a career, got married and bought my first house.  Just two years later I found myself divorced, jobless and living at my parents.

After some time, I found a job tutoring one student in Norco, CA.  I found tutoring to be so fulfilling that I decided to make a business out of it, while at the same time my sister, Lacey was learning to design websites.  She helped design the website for The Tutoring Solution and we never looked back.

Tutoring to me became very fulfilling as I was charged with helping to motivate students who seemed to lack motivation.  In the process of helping students achieve their goals, I became much more aware of my own belief systems and began changing my habits which helped me become more and more successful.

A year after starting the tutoring business, Lacey and I started a new business venture, Welborn Social Media.  An interesting fact, the mother of Nick, the first parent who hired me for tutoring was also the owner of Scrapbook Expo who became our first client.

Lacey and I loved working with business owners, because business owners were some of the most passionate people I have come across . . . and even more so with successful business owners.

It has become my mission to help business owners become successful because I’ve found that business owners are, more often than not, passionate individuals.  They are passionate because they feel they are providing a valuable service to others.  This passion and service to others has made them happier as a result.

As a student, I performed adequately in school.  Mostly A’s and B’s with a few C’s thrown in for good measure, but I mostly just floated through life with no clear direction or purpose.  Becoming a business owner has helped me develop a clearly defined purpose and I am happier as a result.

I want to share that happiness with others.  I want to encourage people who are passionate about something to pursue their dreams.  The road will not be easy, but if it is something you truly desire than nothing can stop you but yourself.

Thank you for listening to the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn.  If you are passionate, and excited about what you do, please let me know how I can help you.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Define Success . . . Are You Successful?  Why or Why Not?
  • How Are You Sabotaging Your Success?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • The Tutoring Solution – A Fond Farewell from Zeb Welborn – Zeb Welborn passes the reigns of The Tutoring Solution into the very capable hands of Cynthia De La Torre
  • Welborn Media – The Story of Welborn Social Media – The first blog post of Welborn Social Media
  • Scrapbook Expo – Welcome Scrapbookers! – Because of our strong relationship with Scrapbook Expo we’ve been able to work with numerous local and national scrapbooking companies.
  • Mike Jiminez – If you’d like more information on podcasting or podcasting equipment, Mike Jiminez is an excellent resource.  You can email him at slightreturn@gmail.com

Quote of the Episode:

“Looking forward to better things to come.”

Special Requests:

  • Please download, review and subscribe to the Defining Success Podcast on iTunes.
  • Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
  • If you are a business owner who wants to unleash the power of the Internet please visit the Welborn Media website.
  • Sign Up for the Defining Success Podcast Newsletter to keep you updated on new episodes, upcoming guests and exciting opportunities.

Special Thank You’s:

  • Mike Jiminez – Thank you for conducting our podcasts and for getting us started.  We’re excited to be working with you for the duration of the podcast.
  • Richard McKinnon – Thank you for adding the intro music to our podcasts.  Thanks for using our services at Welborn Media for your acoustic ceiling removal business, System 1.  And thanks for being a great friend.
  • Brian Roberts – Thank you for the amazing introductory skills you’ve lended to the Defining Success Podcast if anyone out there needs voice work for anything I encourage you to contact Brain.  Brian is also the owner of In-Store Radio which creates a customized radio station for any retail shopping environment.  Please visit In-Store Radio for more information about Brian Roberts.
  • Jennifer Davis – Thank you for hiring me to tutor you son and for hiring my sister and I to jump start our businesses.  Thank you for your guidance and support.  And thank you for being a great friend.
  • Nick Cianflocco – Thank you for the work you put into becoming a better person.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you.  And thank you for teaching me as much, or more than I taught you.
  • Cindy De La Torre – Thank you for being the most amazing woman a guy could ask for.
  • Lacey Welborn – Thank you for being awesome!
  • Rocky Welborn – Thank you for being a good brother.
  • Annie & Larry Welborn (aka Mom & Dad) – Thank you for being there for your oldest son when he needed you most.
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