My way of changing the world – take 1

adventure, announcements, business, Get to know Ori, good deeds, Inspiration, News 47 Comments »

My way of changing the worldConsidering that my reputation is one of being helpful, you’d never know that as a kid I was a shoplifter, a vandal, I blew frogs up with fireworks, and I was a jerk to many people – even my parents.

Good becomes bad, bad becomes good… where I used to cause trouble, I now work on helping. Whether it’s cheering up the sad, bringing families together, giving lectures to raise funds for the sick, making websites to raise a few thousand for a young poodle that needs an expensive surgery…. I now bat for the good guys.

I’ll remind you that good and evil are only opinions—history decides who the good guys are… and the ones whom the world consider to be bad, always consider themselves to be good. Thus, the guys who flew planes into the Twin Towers, they considered themselves to be freedom fighters.

We choose what’s right and wrong in our eyes. I’ll come back to that in a second.

You see, good and bad aren’t the only priorities that have shifted in my life.

For 6 years I have couch surfed (traveled around, based on who’s couch I’m crashing on next), and my priorities were meeting new people, and having adventures.

Traveling for 6 years can rack up a large tab.

I’m going to tell you how I paid for it, as you can do the same if you choose. More importantly though was that this journey has absolutely transformed my life- and I’ll discuss that too.

At first my parents contributed gas money. Then, after a year, they realized that this is not just a phase, and they withdrew their assistance. They wanted me to settle down and get a job (and get active in making some grand kids for them), but my travels were too much fun, and I was not going to quit.

I have not told this story to many people, it’s very personal, and I’m a bit twitchy to share it… but recently my best friends have busted me on not being intimate with anybody in my life… so here’s me pouring my secrets, so you can have an appreciation of the magnitude of things when I get to my point—and trust me, there is a point. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear blog…. we need to catch up.

adventure, announcements, business, Couches, Get to know Ori, good deeds, humor, Information, Interviews, party, rant 3 Comments »

Long night tonight? It’s about to be – I am feeling pretty inspired… and since I’m just putting this creative energy to use by being snarkee on Facebook.Telling you what all’s new– ’cause it’s some serious stuff- not just new stickers on my laptop (Though, I do have a few of those too!).

At productivity workshops, you sometimes see the video about the big rocks… Here, found one:

(I can’t believe that while trying to talk about productivity, I just spent as much time as I did to find this friggin video! Sheesh!) -

Big rocks first?  (Take a deep breath- have a seat – this is a bombshell)-

I’m renting a place.

Yeah… you heard correctly, Read the rest of this entry »

How to know what to do with your life…

business, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, opinion, rant 23 Comments »

“Hey I just wanted to ask you how you knew what you wanted to do with your life? I am a 24 year old female and have no idea what I want to do career wise. I am intelligent but don’t know what I am really good at and get frustrated easily working for other people. I have tried MLM and IM and really love it but haven’t made any money so get demotivated very quickly. I am confused.com so just wanted to know if you have any tips on how to change the path I am taking.”

I thought the reply was something that anyone can benefit from, regardless of age or occupation, so I’m posting it on my blog.  I suggest you share this- someone will appreciate it.

It’s a patented multi-step process that took me years to perfect, but I’ll share it with you, ’cause you seem cool.

Step 1: Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking in and installing a store

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I saw this the other day-

Silly, right? Crappy acting, and the concept– “Yeah… like someone’s going to break into my house and set up a computer store in my living room just so I can pick out which one I want. Are they going to clean up afterwards?”

But I thought I realized I had to share it, because the concept is NOT that ridiculous! In fact, it’s important for your business.

No, I don’t mean you should get a Windows 7 PC, it’s not about that at all.

There are three sides to this: Read the rest of this entry »

READING The Epic Tale of One Way Ticket to Maui

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This is me reading out loud the way I got to Hawaii… and all the crazy stories that happened along the way. Thought I’d see how people like having it read for them.

Click the play button, or download it to your mp3 player of choice.
[wpaudio url="http://couchsurfingori.com/wp-content/uploads/movies/05-25-201-The-Epic-Tale-of-One-way-ticket-to-maui.mp3" text="Reading of The Epic Tale of 1 Way Ticket to Maui"]

The Epic Tale of One Way Ticket to Maui

adventure, business, Couches, events, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, photography, product review, travel 3 Comments »

Had to hit the beach within minutes of getting to Maui, with Craig Allen, and Terra Ganem“What are you doing for the next 2 months?”

“Seriously?  I hardly  know what I’m doing next week.”

“Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been thinking about that business idea you mentioned the other month… a lot… and you’re working Terra’s website anyways– why don’t I buy you a 1 way ticket, come stay with us, and if you want to get back, you have to finish the project, and get some sales!”

“Well, damn! For story-telling purposes alone, I have to say yes!”

And thus, I agreed to come visit Craig Allen and Terra Rose Ganem in Hawaii….  Read the rest of this entry »

Hell Run can go to Hell

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hellrun.com-Leaping over FireI love serendipity – So many insane stories of it lately, that I can barely keep up.  Running in the HellRun.com Hell Run obstacle race was one of those things…..

One minute I’m being reminded that I said I’d run in an obstacle race, and have not taken any action on it (i.e. flaked out), and 2 hours later, I get a text out of the blue asking if I can run in an obstacle race to cover for my friend who already bought the ticket.

Yup.  I love serendipity.

What I don’t love however, is people not delivering on their promises. And Hell Run certainly did not do that!

You see, on their website, they have photos of people covered in mud… yet nobody got anything more than their ankles muddy… and even that was weak.

I’ll tell you the things they did, but when I get to the last one, you’ll see why I bothered to  write this post! Read the rest of this entry »

How to extract your video from a stream of videos

business, events, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials, video No Comments »

The other day I spoke at the 140Conf in Des Moines. Here’s my presentation:

The thing is that the organizer doesn’t have the footage for the event for another week… and when she does get it, she’ll have to slice it up, and then upload it… Having worked with other events, I know that she’s probably going to get hammered with requests for “Can I get my video so I can put it on my public speaker page?”

Since I’m a fan of the 140Conf and everything they do (Google Jeff Pulver – the dude is amazing!), I made a tutorial on how to cut your individual clip out of the live-stream, so you can have it and use it right now… that’s where the above clip came from. You can also use this method to record a live-stream (this particular example is using a playback… but you can use this for a one-time event.. like you would use a VCR / DVR).

So, here’s the stream: http://www.livestream.com/dsmamplifiedevents

And here’s my tutorial:

Now.. just a side note– this stream was donated by the company… You should consider if the event you are capturing from is copyrighted… so.. just watch out with that.

I’ll give you $100 for your help – very time sensitive

announcements, business, good deeds 1 Comment »

Hey, Ori here (From Austin again – Dallas tomorrow, Des Moines Friday), and I need your help.

I’m not ashamed to ask for help, and I’m sure you’ll see the irony here….

MakeWordpressEasy is a product that shows you how to make powerful websites that look like a million dollars, are highly functional, and easy for you to update…. without having to know how to code, or what the heck HTML stands for.
It’s a course for entrepreneurs– how to get it done now, without having to do wait on other people, or learn all this fancy stuff.
Now, my trouble….  You know how Mac Evangelists keep saying that Macs don’t crash? Well… in standard over achiever fashion, I have proven these people wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Read the rest of this entry »

Being held prisoner, and how I escaped!

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Network Solutions was holding me captive

Have you ever been held against your will? Your only choices being to keep suffering, or to walk away from what you’ve worked hard for? Sometimes, if we want another solution – the one that works for you – you have to do what it takes. My troubles began over a decade ago…

The year was 1996, many people did not know what this “Internet” thing is (we were still in Web 1.0 then) . A 19 year old Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Iowa!

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Last time I was in Iowa, I spent a month with cage fighters, causing all sorts of trouble. This time (May 9th) I am going for a reason that I’m even more passionate about… speaking at the 140Conf.

While I speak at conferences, seminars, schools, and even lunches, one of my favorite events is the 140Conf. Perhaps I am just utterly fascinated by the founder, Jeff Pulver (A coFounder of Vonage, and the guy who went to fight for us regular people, so that Telecoms can’t charge us for calls made over VOIP), who is just so multi-faceted, and so caring.

The 140conf is an event with the slogan “Characters Wanted” — the format is Read the rest of this entry »

Get your Skype superpowers

business, Information, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials No Comments »

Skype is one badass application. If you don’t have it… get it, now. Out of the box it lets you text chat, send SMS (text) messages, send files, call other Skype users, call phones, send files, and it even has fun hidden smilies to amaze your friends with (my favorites are (Y)(finger) and (mooning) ).

However,  there’s more to using Skype than just being able to give your friends the finger while sending them a file (the file sending is pretty great, because it will resume files if you get disconnected, etc). Skype is a powerhouse of productivity… especially with a little help. Read the rest of this entry »

Alternative Presentations that Kick serious Ass!

business, design, Information, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials, video 2 Comments »

My own techniques for creating presentations that stand out from the competition and get the clients’ attention every ttie… which turns into more sales, so you can have more time to do the work and enjoy life, rather than trying to sell more.

Originally I recorded it for my consulting clients only… but screw it.. I want EVERYONE to have more sales and more fun! So… enjoy, take action, and share the wealth! Read the rest of this entry »

I mean Business!

announcements, business, Get to know Ori, Information 2 Comments »

I know I’ve been off the grid (‘cept all those silly jokes on Facebook)- so here’s what’s up:

I’ve been in South Florida now for almost 3 weeks. I’ve only left the house to go jogging daily (I have missed 2 days), and two times to go out to dinner with my folks.  Other than that, I have been in front of my computer day and night.

Over the last month, I’ve gotten my LLC, Merchant Account, Business Banking Account (got majorly disappointed with Bank of America, for the second time, so am never doing business with them again), Online Shopping Cart, and have set up numerous business relationships and creating a few products.

You see, I love helping people build and grow their businesses.  I’ve been doing this for ages, by providing people with high-end photography, videography, motion graphics, websites, marketing strategies and implementation, and even product design and creation.  I’m thrilled that I can help… But…. I can’t help enough people to feel like I’m making a difference when I’m doing it one on one.

Coming in April is my Big Ideas Workshops….Everyone spends their money and time on getting and learning the latest tool or tactic… but they don’t actually have a great idea to use it with.  People are running their businesses, but missing major opportunities.  So, I will be working with 20 people per weekend teaching high-end creative ideation, as well as doing many hotseats, so everyone gets to walk away with their own big idea:  a new product, or additional direction with their current product or service,the challenges you can expect to face, the resources you’ll need to charge through those challenges, and the tools to make sure that these ideas work with your market, as compared to just being nice ideas.

This week I am releasing a product that fills a major gap. It is a course on how to easily set up your own website, and fire that overpriced web designer that’s been holding your site hostage. Many people buy courses that tell them “ok.. just set up a WordPress site, and then do this this and this” — they don’t tell you how to customize it, or how to brand it.. I’m going step by step, and showing you exactly what to do, and… how to do it without having to know any of that geek-code… you don’t need CSS and HTML and PHP… although, I do teach that in case you do want it.

Ideas On Retainer, originally my coaching site, which I was adding a paid newsletter to, was getting great response… but as I said earlier in this post, I just don’t think I’m helping enough people if I put the information behind a wall.  I will be publishing those business articles on this site.  Ideas On Retainer will go back to being my coaching site.

So.. that’s some of what you can look forward to.

Sorry if I’ve been off the grid,

Ori

Tomorrow is Working Naked Day, how will you celebrate?

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a girl working naked at her computer

Will you be working naked? (photo from fhmonline)

I’m not making this up! February 1st is Working Naked Day, and I am celebrating! If you aren’t, perhaps you should!  Let me tell you about the holiday.

Working Naked means Stripping yourself of the bonds of corporate World. Shedding that structure of the workplace.

Working Naked means working on your own terms, in what ever clothes you want, on your own schedule.  Basically, welcome to the world of being a home-based entrepreneur.

February 1st is a day kind of like Thanksgiving, but without the Turkey.  It’s a day of gratitude for those that have shed their workplace like a corporate suit.  It is a day to appreciate all the things you can do that you wouldn’t be able to if you were at a job.

For example- you can go to a theme park without having to wait in major lines, as you would if you went on a weekend.  You can go to the beach, or the park and read a book, because you control your own schedule.  You can bring your laptop and work by the lake, because no one says that you have to be in the office in order to be productive.  You can make sure to spend time with your family, or significant people.  You should definitely wear something comfortable- pajamas? boxers? nothing?

So, if you are a home based entrepreneur, then you should make sure to do something to celebrate your freedom, and you should also contact your friends that are working their corporate jobs, and remind them that they too can work naked… all it takes is a dream, and some hard work.

In this day and age of abundance, people are starting to seek passion and meaning, rather than just a place to pay the bills.  If you’re going to spend all your time working… you might as well be absolutely enthralled in what you do, and pursue your passion on your own term. You might as well work naked.

Grumble- Radio Shack misrepresentation.

business, rant No Comments »

I run I travel, I jam my ear phones all sorts of places (did that sound wrong?)… bottom line, I have a frequent problem with ear phones shorting out at the base. First the volume drops on one side, but if I pinch or twist the cable then it works.  Then one ear bud completely stops working, then the other. After a while, unless I have the earphones twisted a certain way, I can’t hear them at all.  I’m used to it.  I go through many pairs.

So, when I went to “The Shack” (That’s how they brand themselves now… the ads say “the shack” and they pick the phone up “Thanks for calling The Shack”) in Santa Monica while couchsurfing with the awesome Espree a few months ago, I bought the cheapest replacements I could find, at $14.99, after having just killed a pair of Skull Candy earphones — a brand that brand on someone’s recommendation that they would be more durable… but… bleh, they died like the rest. The salesperson did a great job upselling me on the replacement plan.

He said that I could just walk into any radio shack, no box, no receipt, and get it exchanged.  Well, I thought I’d try that today, ’cause sure enough my new pair has been dying.  Here’s how it went down (as if the title didn’t give it away):

The very helpful sales rep gave me a brochure, and said Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year 2011!

adventure, announcements, business, Get to know Ori, humor, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, travel, video 2 Comments »

Happy New Year from Couch Surfing Ori - Ori Bengal

Who writes their happy new year post on January 7th?  I do! I’m on Tico Time ? Yeah… things in Costa Rica are pretty relaxed.  But.. it’s my last day! I leave today at 1PM, and I wanted to start my new year of blogging from another country. This blog post is very important to me.

Last year I started of writing about that new year’s resolutions are bullshit. I still think that.  Most people don’t even last 1 week! I do have a few declarations to make to you and the universe, but before I get into those, let me tell you something I’m really proud about.

January 1st was the anniversary of my Couchsurfing journeys starting!  I started on New Year’s day on 2007, which means I am now in my 5th year of couchsurfing! That’s also the reason that I wanted to send my blog post from here in Costa Rica… because that’s been a goal of mine which I finally accomplished: to couchsurf in another country.  I’ve been here for 5 weeks now on seven different beds.

As a kid I wanted Read the rest of this entry »

Ideas On Retainer is coming!

adventure, announcements, business, design, events, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials 1 Comment »

The Ideas On Retainer logo - a lightbulb over glowing designy stuffI’ve conquered a lot of fears, and grown my comfort zone. I’ve studied thousands of hours on so many topics, and met with so many different people. I suppose you could call it my life’s work.

Now I am going to have to deal with the fears that I’ve let push me over to not committing. Check out Ideas On Retainer– coming January 1, 2011 after the hangover wears off.

I even like my new logo that I designed :)

Costa Rica Birthday Surprise

adventure, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, Interviews, party, photography, travel, video 1 Comment »

Celebrating 34 with friend and Patron

The brakes don’t work!  We were gliding forward, and I was certain that this is it…. I was going to run over my 1st person ever! Why were they riding their bicycle right there?  It was a good 34 years of being free.

To start off, I don’t know what my birthday surprise is, so don’t let the title fool you. It’s the night before we leave Tamarindo, and I’m in a writy mood (apparently, Writy is not a word, but it’s how I feel– so… screw you red-underliny thing (underliny is also not a word)). I have a funny story, and a good life lesson. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday to me– in Costa Rica.

adventure, announcements, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, party, photography, slideshow, travel, video 14 Comments »

I got my wish.  I’m couchsurfing in another country.  I have the most amazing friends I could have imagined, and even though most aren’t here with me, I feel that I am totally loved.  So, now I’m 34 — here’s the latest from Costa Rica.

1st, since you’re curious as to how I’m celebrating, I am going to learn to surf waves, not just couches.  I would’ve done it sooner, but I injured my foot when jogging barefoot on the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

A day that you will never forget – The Beatles on Itunes

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Apple's itunes announcement on its homepage

Apple thinks you are a tool

Apple is the king of marketing and creating hype.  Their technology has changed the world.  Their style has made technology simple, and pretty.  And now, they think that we are all fools. Me personally, I am waiting for the youtube itunes video of the person who came up with this latest scheme getting executed by firing squad.

Yesterday had all the tech sites wondering what Apple will announce today, as their home page announced with poor grammar that “Tomorrow is just another day.  That you’ll never forget.”  I gotta admit, with all that they’ve done, I too was curious what their announcement will  be.  What will they have people lining up around the block for this time?

Apparently, all the hype was to announce that the Beatles are now on iTunes.  Seriously?  That’s it?  That is worth shutting down the Apple home page for?

For those who were not aware of it Read the rest of this entry »

Pretzel Crisps – Incredible use of social media.

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Ori Bengal holding up the Pretzel Crisps gift bag.

Check out my Pretzel Crisps Gift Bag

Many people see a marketing technique, and use it in a spammy way. I bash my clients when they use spammy methods, and I help them come up with more engaging methods. Here is some wonderful use of Social Media by Pretzel Crisps.  Just watch the video, it explains it all:

Actually doing something

business, good deeds, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, rant 4 Comments »
dolphins getting slaughtered in japan

dolphins getting slaughtered in japan

23,000 Dolphins get slaughtered each year.  I wrote about this when I saw The Cove. But while writing and “getting the word out” is a good start, is that enough?

In this day and age, we get flooded with causes– and we have more opportunities than ever to help.  But, what do we do about it?  ”I posted a link to the Youtube video on my Facebook Wall!” is not really a huge investment, and probably isn’t going to get all that much accomplished.  Yet, that’s the extent of what most of us do.

I’m no activist.  I tweeted and facebooked about “The Cove” – which is how I had found out about this horrendous activity of dolphin slaughter.  I even blogged about it.  I know, I know… giant contributor to the cause, right?  Well,  Tim Burns (the brother of one of my insanely awesome couches, Rob Burns) watched the same movie… but instead of writing a blog, he really did something. He dropped everything and Read the rest of this entry »

My 140Conf Smalltown Presentation- Putting your small town on the map while having some fun.

business, Couches, events, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials, video 6 Comments »

I was asked to speak at Jeff Pulver’s 140conf again.  This one was the first of his Smalltown series, helping people in small towns leverage the real-time web

I enjoy public speaking, and I like Jeff and what he’s doing, so I agreed, and then had to figure out what to present on.  I titled it Putting your small town on the map while having some fun”  -  the absolute best part was after the event when dozens of people from various small towns thanked me for helping them.  They said it inspired them, it gave them solid ideas, it was fun, it was really helpful.

That’s who I wrote this for, so… that meant a lot.  Anyways- enjoy the presentation, and leave a comment with your thoughts… I’d love to know what you thought of it. If you like it, share it.