More life advice – What to do when your life feels planned for you.

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The last time someone reached out for tips on life, and I shared it, the personal thank-you messages that I got were overwhelming. The other day I got a pretty heavy letter from Dubai. I am sharing the letter, and my response, in hopes that it will help others out. Feel free to share this post.

The Letter:

Hello… I hope very much that you can read this, as at the moment I’m in a bit of a pathetic dilemma. I would firstly like to admit that I am not a devoted fan to your blog, so I understand if you want to allocate your time answering somebody who is. But from what I have seen, you seem to be living life with the care-free attitude that I so desperately need right now. Maybe if the good samaritan within you is glowing and time allows, you can help me…

Soo, a bit about me… 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…

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“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 »

Introducing Ori’s Stories

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I am a natural story teller.. it’s “my thing”- so… I’ve decided to start telling you some of my stories. Many of these have nothing to do with couch surfing, although, everything I’ve done in my life has lead me to where I am today.

Hit play, sit back, enjoy, and of course, leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

How to extract your video from a stream of videos

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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.

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 »

Must watch presentation

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This guy is amazing. He’s also dead now. This presentation is a must watch!

Get your Skype superpowers

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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 »

Rebecca Black bad — transformation of the web.

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Rebecca Black and Ice Cube star in FridayOne of my couches / buddies Jason Moffatt just did an epic thing.  Despite being a surfer, and loving La Jolla, he moved to LA to participate more in comedy.  Originally he took the comedy bootcamp just ’cause he wanted to… thought it might make a good blog post (We’ve all done crazy things for that reason, right?).  Well, doing things on a whim often leads to amazing things.

Jason  is funny, and fearless, and smart (He has experience in selling magic tricks at bars, he was a PI, he is a marketer and copywriter… many of these things combined let him be confident, and know how to read people, and know what to say…. plus he has more street smart than most people I know– and that’s a lot of people), so he was a natural at this. Here is his first show!

I was lucky enough to get to be there in person to show support for a friend. There’s not much better than being able to show support for your friends in their big dreams. Jason is also the only other person I’ve ever met who’s taken shrooms and gone to a stripper club (his experience sounded way more painful than mine).

Anyways….not only was he funny, but his marketing superpowers are able to help these comedians– Louie Anderson and Kyle Cease. Jason has been out to Vegas a few times since to hang with Louie. How cool is that?

So… as I started this post with, Jason gave up the peace, quiet, and beauty of La Jolla to go to LA to work on comedy with Kyle Cease. I know he’s going to crush it!

The other day Jmo posts “Check out this spoof that we just filmed for Rebecca Black’s Music Video, Friday” –And he posted this video.

Ok… cute… funny…. but I didn’t see the original, so… I googled it, and here’s what I found…. Good luck watching the whole thing- *shiver*

I couldn’t watch the whole thing.. But heck, I’m not her demographic, right? I think it’s intended for teenagers. This girl is in 8th grade after all.
Well, at the time of writing this blog post (Saturday the 19th, 11AM CST), she is approaching 22 million views! Read the rest of this entry »

Alternative Presentations that Kick serious Ass!

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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!

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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.

If you are congested, this is a miracle.

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“You sound like shit!”  This was the first thing that 2 clients told me within the last 3 days.  My older brother just asked me to call back, because he couldn’t understand what I was saying. Yes, I am sick. It is rare, but it happens.

I suspect that it is an allergy to the Cedar Trees in Austin… Check it out, there’s an entire site dedicated to hating Cedars!  They have lots of facts… Austin, Texas voted the 2nd allergy capital in the USA by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The upside is that I get to use one of my all-time favorite bad puns.. You think it’s funny, but it’s snot!  I say this every time I’m on the phone with someone, and I have to blow my nose. Hooray for silver linings, right?

But, I have been coughing up a storm, and my head felt as if someone shoved a balloon up my nose, into the brain cavity, and then inflated it…. my sinuses were so clogged, my eyes were blood shot.  I could not concentrate on anything, and I was constantly tired… it’s as if someone had just turned on the Tired Switch, and left it on.  I would sleep, wake up, and go right back to sleep.  Not cool!

My friend Isabella Jones had sent me her Betti Pot right before I went to Costa Rica, but Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year 2011!

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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!

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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 :)

Thanksgiving and such

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This is my last post from America this year.  This afternoon I take the Greyhound from Austin to Dallas, then I fly to Costa Rica (Got a nifty blog post about how that came up) at 5am. I’ve spent most of this month sleeping on a dog bed, although Bentley the St. Bernard didn’t always want to snuggle.

That dog bed is so comfortable. I started sleeping on it as a joke, because I was protesting the amount of time it took to inflate and deflate Craig’s air mattress, then I realized it’s really comfy, there’s nothing to set up or clean up, and Bentley makes a great pillow anyways.

I’m writing my “Thanksgiving and stuff” blog a few days after Thanksgiving, because I am grateful every day.  I’ve got a great family (regardless of how much we annoy each other after a few days.  You know what they say “Family and garbage.. they both start to stink after a few days.” :)  ), I’m traveling, I’ve met the most amazing people, I work on projects that engage me intellectually, I 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:

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

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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.

Blog World Export (BWE10) 2010 – A call for couches

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the cover of Scott Stratten's BookI am going to mingle in Vegas, and I intentionally haven’t gotten a couch yet!  Check this out:

My buddy Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) is having some parties at Blog World to celebrate his new book.  Since the author’s photo is one that I took, and Read the rest of this entry »

Change your people, change your life

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Change is good, they say.  I agree.  Toll ways are a bitch without it.  I still get perplexed when I see Parking Meters without credit card (or cell phone) usage. It is a good piece of bullshit to promise people when you’re running for office. But the change I’m talking about is initially hard, and these days my life is all about it.

You see, there’s a chapter in my book called “Ditching Heavy Baggage” — and it’s about how in order to keep living my passion (traveling, meeting new people, learning all I can, finding mentors, having a blast, taking great photos, having adventures, changing peoples’ lives) I had to get rid of people that were weighing me down (hence the baggage metaphor… get it?  I travel, and it’s extra weight).

I’ve heard – and then had proven through experience- that you are the sum average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Read the rest of this entry »

Remember “Seven Minutes In Heaven”? This is WAY better…

adventure, business, design, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, photography, video 21 Comments »

tes

So what is it exactly that you do?

That is the question I get asked most often.  Not because it is standard, but because people look at my odd business card, and find out that I’ve been couchsurfing for over 3.5 years.  ”And you make money by couchsurfing?”

I have not really shared what exactly I do, until now! Read on! You may be surprised how I can help you, the people I have helped and how I have helped them, and WHY I am sharing this with you now! (In that order) Read the rest of this entry »

No Catch – Just thanks

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Daniela Perez - South Florida Glamour Model

This post is about what just happened with one of my models… but keep reading, ’cause it also explains some neat marketing stuff.

What does it say about the world we live in, when you do something nice for a friend, but they have a hard time trusting that there’s no catch?

I’ve been off the grid.  I’m supposed to be working on my book, but the people I’m spending time with have inspired me back to the business side of things. I’m a closet workaholic!

See that image below?  That’s what I’m working on.

A series of Photoshop and Photography DVDs.  I’ll post more about those very soon, this post is about Daniela. Read the rest of this entry »

I am Siddhartha! Not your average book review!

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A picture of Siddhartha's friend

I’m  warning you in advance, this is not your mother’s book review (takes me a tiny bit to get warmed up)! It has a lot of really personal stuff from my life as I reflect on the book, and is discussed in my fun (and language filled) manner.

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse is a book that does not fit in my normal reading list. As with all things in my life, this too has a fascinating story and reflection.

It all started with Jaime. Read the rest of this entry »