Tag Archives: Television

10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training from Admiral William H. McRaven

By Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.


University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven

Watch his speech above or directly on YouTube,

An inspiring and powerful 20-minute commencement speech by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014.

Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech is perhaps one of the best commencement speeches I have ever heard. It is on point and offers some fantastic life and business lessons.

Below are excerpts from his amazing speech.

10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training

1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”

2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
“You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.”

3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
“SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.”

4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
“Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.”

“For failing the uniform inspection, the student [in Basic SEAL training] had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand. The effect was known as a ‘sugar cookie.’ You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day — cold, wet and sandy.”

“There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. . . Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.”

5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
“Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events — long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics — something designed to test your mettle. Every event had standards — times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list, and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to a ‘circus.’ A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.”

“Life is filled with circuses. You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.”

6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
“There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.”

8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
“At the darkest moment of the mission is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.”

9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
“If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.”

10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
“In SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”


“Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.”

“It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.”

“Changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.”

Written By: Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.
Leadership Advisor & Talent Development Consultant


University of Texas at Austin – Adm. McRaven Urges Graduates to Find Courage to Change the World


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Has Your Marketing Message Changed with the Times?


People have changed in dramatic ways over the past five years, and businesses should take that into consideration this holiday season, says one public relations expert.

“As people’s values change, so do their shopping habits. To market effectively, businesses should be aware of how their prospective customers have changed,” says Marsha Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations ( in Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Shoppers are fussier, and while recessionary budget concerns are one reason for that, thrift is not the only value affecting consumer choices, Friedman says.
“Some stem from personal issues. Take me, for instance. As I grow older, I view many more material things as clutter. I want to get rid of the junk in my life and focus on important things,” she says.
Friedman is a baby boomer – a group that makes up 26 percent of the U.S. population.
“I’m sure I’m not the only person experiencing a change in how I view material goods, what’s ‘clutter’ and what’s meaningful,” she says.
Other changing values have arisen from global concerns, such as the world’s reliance on oil, growing environmental issues, and whether goods were manufactured here or abroad, she says.
Businesses that want to cash in on holiday shopping can set themselves apart with a message that appeals to their audience’s changing values,” Friedman says.
Here are her tips for developing a new marketing approach that’s in sync with the times:
• Identify what makes your product appealing to customers’ values. If your homemade soaps are produced right here in the U.S.A., brag about it! In a recent poll, 90 percent of us rated “keeping jobs in America” as the No. 1 step the government can take to help us economically. Many shoppers have friends or family members who are unemployed or underemployed; that makes for a greater appreciation of businesses that create jobs here at home. Your “made in America” label is valuable! Does your packaging use recycled materials – or is it recyclable? There are now 69 percent of us recycling, according to a National Geographic poll. Does your manufacturing process use a renewable energy source? More than half of us think it’s more important to develop alternative sources of energy than to find more oil.
• Become an expert. You can gain valuable media exposure for your company or product by positioning yourself (or your spokesman) as an industry expert with useful information to share. For instance, if you’re highlighting the fact that your product is made in America because you to help put Americans to work, offer them suggestions based on your experience. What are skills employers value? What are the biggest mistakes applicants make during interviews?
• Which channels will be best for getting your message out? Where does your audience get its news and entertainment? Are they using social media? Reading the newspaper? Listening to radio or watching TV? Or a mix of all four? On social media, you can share your expertise by offering useful information and links to resources, and engaging in conversations. Print is a great medium for providing consumer tips, as is TV, which is also perfect if your message has a visual component. Talk radio shows look for debate and information that solves problems. On social media, you can build a following of fans who help spread your message, while mentions in (or appearances on) traditional media will give you the implied endorsement of journalists and talk show hosts.
• Choose a messenger who’s accessible. If you’re the CEO and the person best qualified to be interviewed by journalists and show hosts, you may be the perfect spokesperson. But if you’re so busy you can’t drop what you’re doing to respond to interview requests, you will lose valuable media opportunities. Your messenger should be a person who is well-versed on the chosen area of expertise – and available at the drop of a hat.
If your message hasn’t changed with the times, Friedman says, now is a good time to think about your company or product in a new light.
“If you look at it from the shoppers’ perspective, you may just see something that appeals to consumers’ changing values,” she says. “Turn that into a message that resonates with potential customers and you may just have your best holiday ever.
About Marsha Friedman
Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (, a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself: The 3-Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST.


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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Screw Technology, Give me a Horse and a Dog!

That was my dads philosophy, and it did pretty well for him.  He was the son of a Chicago industrialist brought up on a Montana cattle ranch, and preferred spending his summers as a fire spotter for the forest service to the hustle and bustle of the big city.  An accomplished chemist with his own business, he was still more comfortable in a pair of button fly Levis than one of his three piece brooks brothers suits.

Recently my wife decided that we needed a blue ray player to stream our Netflix movies.  Im not quite sure why the little red envelopes we get in the mail twice a week aren’t good enough, but it might have something to do with the scratched ones we get every now and then that we can’t watch.  I prefer sports and with our Comcast deluxe pimp package I get just about every channel and game there is.

I decided to order an LG entry level player($89) for her Christmas present.  Getting around to hooking it up I noticed that it is a hardwire only version.  I ask tech support at LG what to do, and they tell me to get a router.  I asked Comcast what to do and they told me the same.  I told the girl at Radio Shack exactly what I needed and she sold me a router for another $84.  Coming home I tried to set all of this up and although there was internet connectivity at my desk, and my computer recognized the router, it kept saying “no internet connectivity.”  Being an internet marketer, and social media buff, I knew it was not anything to do with my internet setup.  This is where the real fun begins.

I called Comcast because they are my internet provider, and TV cable provider.  One might assume that they could help me with this issue.  Being that the router I bought was at their suggestion (if I understood the barely intelligible tech support non-english speaking person) and I was not familiar with setup steps.  After explaining that I was following their direction to several other not native English speakers, it was related that my issue would require being transferred to the “extended tech support service” that was offered by Xfinity.  This is now a half hour into my third call. Xfinity has a menu stating that if you wish to discuss a plan with a sales person press 2….  I did not wish a sales person so I did not and my call was dropped after a half hours wait.  On the next call it was obvious that the sales person was the only route available, so #2 was pressed.  The line was answered by an obviously bored but seemingly intelligent person that actually was able to communicate in the language of the country that I was calling from. That seemed nice so I explained again (for the fifth time) what it was that I was trying to get accomplished.  She understood and assured me that if I bought a service plan from them a tech support specialist would get on my computer and effortlessly correct all of my mistakes miraculously rendering my blue ray television stream operational.

After one minute the little badger was making noises like they had misunderstood my requirement and could not really help me, but he kept asking questions and extending his time like he was attempting to justify charging me for his time.  After a half hour of bull, he had me out in the livingroom looking at screens and configurations, the wonderful line I have on my iPhone from ATT went dead and I lost him.

Having left him my phone number (God forbid the spam calls I will be getting now) I waited for his callback.  AT&T was not cooperating and it was 3 minutes before I got a signal back at my home (near downtown of a major city).  I called back and finally got an older gentleman who had some actual knowledge of the technology and to whom English was his native language.  He listened for about 30 seconds and said “you can’t do that.”  So after 8 phone calls, one router, one service contract and Blue Ray that  wont work, I’m back to square one.  I get to spend the whole next day trying to get all of my money back.

Moving forward, I noticed on my Netgear swag that they have a “Wireless solution tho make your tv a smart one.  Wanting still to get my wife her movies, I order the damn thing only to read the reviews and find out it doesn’t have a great reputation on for linking to Net.flix.  On further review, it also doesnt have an interface that will hook up to my older (6 whole years) television.  Now I get to try to cancel or return that freeking thing too.

I am now ready to yank the freeking home entertainment center out of the living room and replace it with a fire circle.  We have room for a few granite boulders and some sand, and I can take the furniture out and replace it with larger granite boulders to sit on.  Id have to cut a large vent in the ceiling, which might be problematic during the rainstorms we apparently are not going to have this year, but what the heck.

How did we ever manage to entertain ourselves without constant input from electronic devices.  Did we actually have to talk with each other rather than texting across the table?  When I went camping with my kids for some 20 years we often didn’t even bring a boom box.  What happened to sitting around the dinner table with the family and talking? Being an internet marketer and social media “expert”  I spend 9 hours a day staring into this freeking screen, but when my girls are over we talk for a couple of hours and they are off to the next spot to text from.

Give me a horse and a dog.


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Is Your Business Too Reliant On Social Media?


There is a fine line between integrating social media as part of an overall marketing strategy and relying completely on it to market a business. Just because social media is the so-called “next big thing”, it doesn’t mean that it can be a business-savior.

The following are some reasons why relying on social media along won’t guarantee marketing success.

News Sharing

Sharing company and product news and information solely via information will limit the people who may see it. In additional to sharing news, new products, and other developments, other marketing outlets that should be utilized include:

  • Press Releases
  • News Section on the Website or Blog
  • Radio and TV
  • Mailing List

Campaigns & Coupons

Marketing and promotional campaigns are great to grow a social media audience (including Twitter followers and Facebook likes), via giveaways, contests, and awareness promotions. However, any marketing efforts should be spread evenly among all marketing channels.

For instance, if a business is trying to grow their social media presence and is going to give away a laptop computer to a random Facebook fan.

Besides promoting the giveaway on their Facebook page, they should also mention the giveaway on their website, in their store, on their products, in employee email signatures, and anywhere else current and perspective customers may see it. This helps drive traffic and engagement by moving customers from one marketing medium to another.

Not Considering Demographics

When it comes down to it, social media is going to reach a certain demographic — people who use social media. For some companies, this may be ideal. But for a company that markets to all age groups or even a specific age group, this may not be the best way to market a business.

Even though some of the fastest growing age and gender demographics aren’t tech-savvy people in their 20s and 30s, this doesn’t mean that everyone is using social media, and businesses should marketing their brand and products accordingly.

Implementing social media as a piece of the entire marketing pie (with the “pie” being the budget or time and effort) is the only way to not only reach the demographic that uses Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, but to also potentially reach customers who don’t even know what Twitter is.

Cross-Promotion With Other Mediums

As mentioned above, cross-promoting social media with other marketing mediums can help make it an effective piece of the pie.

Besides promoting social media giveaways via other marketing mediums, implementing an overall brand strategy that doesn’t make social media stand out, but rather makes it fit in, is what works.

A good example of this is the way that Bravo (the TV channel) shows custom Twitter hashtags at the bottom of each of their main shows or events.

For instance, The Real Housewives of New Jersey may have the hashtag of #RHONJ.

The hashtag runs alongside other promotions of upcoming shows that run at the bottom of the screen, seamlessly adding it to Bravo’s total marketing of their television shows.

Bravo isn’t making a big deal about how they have a presence on Twitter.

They are recognizing that using Twitter to discuss what is on TV is now part of their viewership’s lives, and they are making it easy for fans to connect and discuss the show, together.

This is what integrating social media in other types of marketing and media is all about.

Whether a company is coming up with a marketing plan for a TV show or a new line of body wash, the underlying efforts of seamlessly integrating social media instead of focusing on it as the only way a company can have a marketing presence is what is important.

Yes, social media has changed the way we communicate; however we are all still speaking the same language (with occasional # symbols thrown in).


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From a Guitar-Pop Concert to a Thought: America is not just the Business World—Expand!

Indeed, like what Moz has been singing in his concerts these days, America is not the world. Although the song’s lyrics are far from what I want to point out, the crooner successfully sent a more beautiful thought through his rolling r’s, lisped s’s, and whimsical yodels. And as a vigilant spectator of economics and business trends, I never see any bias in his words, but rather I them as apolitical and an eye-opener.

America is not just the world. Maybe the critically acclaimed Brit singer was correct when he wrote these words in his studio; I am not sure about it, but I know where he is coming from—especially when I heard him sing it live in a concert ground surrounded by tall skyscrapers that housed the world’s most renowned financial institutions.

America is not the World, the business side, my point of view

It is only natural for us Americans to focus on our target market as we start our business. We rely on what is available and existing around us. We start from our friends and colleagues and make them our initial customers, then move on to our neighbors, and expand a bit to their relatives and friends. We then get a feel of the whole process and finally settle for a fixed daily promotional routine, which we find as a perfect time to stop and call it a regular business flow. We call this stage contentment, the point of labeling our business as “stable”. But in my own point of view, to be contended this early is a business illness.

Another illness is that we always think there is nothing greener than the pastures of our homeland and ignore all the possibilities outside it—even the neighboring southern regions of Mexico or Canada. The grandeur of our country blinds us from seeing the world outside, as if there is no other county, no other “real” market and financial possibility than America. The truth is, some of us are just too scared to branch out, too apathetic to expand, and unfortunately, too terrified to dream.

Perhaps you will say this thought is only for international companies and big businesses or for those who have the money to finance a wider business campaign. In fact, what is the purpose of aiming for an international promotion if your business is just a 35 sq. meter diner along a working class Long Island Boulevard? Or what is the point of overdoing your social networking ads on Twitter and Facebook if you are just an online businessman who wants an extra income for your weekend hobbies? Is it reasonable to dream that big if you are plainly contended with where you are right now? The answer is simple: expansion, or to dream big, is only for those who have desire to follow and achieve it. Fortunately, as a marketing speaker for ten years, I have sensed and seen scores of Americans who are dreamers, who are not satisfied with their four-cornered rented business areas.

Let us accept it. Some Americans are only business owners and not business-minded. Well, it is not an issue of race or anything; it is just my observation. We think of having a business as a profession, a job, an escape route to joblessness or to our former low-paying profession, but not as a way and part of life.

Fortunately, although some Americans think that way, most do not. I have been hearing countless success stories of Americans who became CEOs regardless of their humble beginnings—from a street sweeper to a remote control car parts manufacturer in Canada, from a typical college student in New Orleans to an Internet Marketing head in India, from a tired hamburger kiosk owner in Des Moines to a major Quesadilla wrapper supplier in Central Mexico. All these success stories may sound surreal and saying that I have met them personally would not make it more believable either. Yet there is one thing that makes these stories similar to each other (and makes them believable as well): they all started online, through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs that others have ignored and used for entertainment and leisure.

The advent of social media sites, especially social networking sites that have simplified the lives of humans, has given Americans a clear path to expand their businesses outside the vicinity of their physical stores. Today, this over-availability of social networking sites is changing the dynamics of local businesses, for a lot of them today have strong followings and customers outside their localities, state, and countries.

And certainly, I am sure that Moz is 100% correct when he sang America is not just the world.

Your author Warner likes to write about technology related topics. He works with Endless Rise who provides SEO Reseller Packages and White Label SEO services exclusively to resellers.


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Dr. Mike is a Free-kin Rock Star

Congratulations Dr. Mike for a Job Well Done

Days like this don’t happen often enough in this business.  One of my clients published his first website today, and I was actually around to push the button when he went live.

I met Dr. Mike years ago.  We were both in the same church band; in fact we were both bass players in the same church band.  We rotated Sundays and it worked out well as there was another church requiring my services every other weekend.  There was never a feeling of competition, and although we didn’t see each other all that often our relationship was friendly and we became “friends” on FaceBook and LinkedIn.  After a few years the church and I were going in different directions musically, and philosophically.  My Buddhist girlfriend (now wife) was tolerant of some of the egregious language of the Evangelical Christian  Church (everybody is OK as long as they think exactly the way we do…) but not enthusiastic over spending our Sundays driving a half hour each direction to do so.  They had found yet another bass player so we just drifted off.

Mike started Chiropractic school with a vengeance, and kissed his wife goodbye for a couple of years to become a slave to the classrooms and studies.  After the rigorous course, and several panic attacks during exams, Mike was ready to hang up his shingle and announce his practice (again on FaceBook and LinkedIn) and I began to follow him.  Oh the joys of social media, being re-connected with old friends.

Forgetting that age had crept up on me my back went out while engaged in some construction activity that should probably have been left for a man half my age.  It took a few days for me to become convinced that it was not somehow going to miraculously work itself out, and would indeed require the intervention of a skilled practitioner.  It was so bad that walking was almost out of the question, and ice and heat were required to merely sit in front of a football game on television.

Remembering our association, and the current status of Dr. Mike the Chiropractor, it was easy to recall my pleasant experiences with the service and call upon his expertise to alleviate my current condition.  The only negative memory of Chiropractic being that my health plan sucks, and it can be a bit expensive out of pocket.  This minor setback was alleviated after my first visit with our agreement to barter his services for mine as an internet marketing consultant.  As it turns out, so was my back pain.  In a matter of 3 weeks it was loose and relatively painless and the mobility returned to the point that noon 2 mile hikes were back in the picture.

Every visit to his office was accompanied by an hour or so of marketing discussions.  We went over Facebook, Youtube, Hotmail, Blogs,, Markets, Websites, Products, WordPress, Linkedin, youtube videos, and general integration into social media.

The past few visits he has come up to the office and we really got down with our website provider and started to create.  His work is as outstanding on the site is it is at his practice.  It is truly satisfying to have a client listen and take the advice that one works so hard to provide.  At the suggestion of one of my associates, I have for some time, really not encouraged any of my clients to do any of their own work; it simply usually doesn’t get done.

Even with a newborn first child at home, Dr. Mike has written some 20 technical blogs revolving around healthcare and Chiropractic medicine.  It was with great pride that this humble internet marketer was able to watch the birth of  Well done Dr. Mike!


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Songify This: Winning – a Song by Charlie Sheen


Help our videos get some love from famous people who don’t understand the internet! Vote for Bed Intruder Song for the 2011 Comedy Awards: TOUR! …we’re going on tour with some of our youtube heroes –


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