Albert Adventures

Introducing Albert Adventures.

I like adventures. Friends have often remarked that hanging out with me and wandering Portland (or Black Rock City) is fun because of the various twists and turns things take. No adventure is the same. There is not a point A and a point B. You may meet new people and make new friends.  You’ll come away with stories and memories.

Do you have friends or family members in town who have some free time and are curious to see the sites with a unique guide?

Contact me @ albert@albertideation.com and let me know your time frame and let’s see what magic we can make happen!

Price negotiable. Kid friendly – NO Pets.

Albert Kaufman December 2016 Working Together

Snow Days!

Scooterville Snowlandia

Scooterville Snowlandia

We’ve been snowed in in Portland, Oregon for the last 5 days. It’s really something. I’ve lived here for 15 years and, as far as I can recall, I’ve never seen the City so socked in. I’ve been wishing to come up with a system to award people for keeping their cars parked.  More stars the longer you go without driving. The roads and sidewalks are pretty icy and slippery – it’s really something.

On my end, it’s allowed me for some much-needed and enjoyed downtime to just be with me. I’ve been reading an interesting book – The Happiness Project; working on my email marketing world; taking short walks to visit with neighbors; I got to see David Bromberg play at the Alladin Theater – and I spent a lot of time chilling and doing house projects. I’ve really been appreciating the sun. It’s been shining steadily for the past 2 days and right now the light is streaming into our living room – and bouncing off of various fun sparkly things I’ve set up to capture the light and reflect and refract it.

The moon has also been delightful. Full – shining.  I walked home after having dinner with Gregg Harris of Roosevelt’s Terrariums last night – and got to see her in her fullness shining down on me. We have a Spotify account which has led to all sorts of new music – such as this version of Winter Wonderland by David Grisman and friends.

That’s all, I just wanted to share some of what I’m up to – been feeling pulled to share some of what’s on my mind, lately – and The Eleven, just comes out once a month :). My friend, Brock Noyes, shared this with his e-list yesterday and I thought it profound.

From Brock: “In the last year of so I have been teaching a class at Breitenbush called Meditation-Experience 5 Traditions.  I been on the path of Meditation for an entire adult lifetime, and it would take time to count all the ones that I have seriously practiced..  In this class I sort of randomly choose 5 different modalities and we explore them for about 12 minutes each.  Amazingly, the class is FUN (not something I ever associated with meditation) and what I have re-discovered is that each tradition has a slightly different feel, and I will choose different ones at different times depending on where I am at…at that moment.  Sometimes I am working on stress, sometimes on chi, sometimes on mystery.  There is that adage from the book The Artist’s Way that we are closest to the creator when we create, so I have unbound myself from the structure of a specific form, create my own practice and I have found it brings a sense of play into the process which is quite different from the stern protocol  that “I am going to get enlightened.”  (good luck with that…my opinion is that is the first thing to let go of)  In this way meditation can be playful rather than stern.  I love that simple line from the country western legend Merle Haggard; “I’m into happy, I ain’t into sad.
Recently I was sent a link to a visiting Tibetan Lama in Potland and in scrolling through U-Tube I karmically came across a talk by my Tibetan Teacher Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.  I studied with him in the Himalayas and make the half truth joke that the only less gifted students than me were the ones that did not show up.  I was so excited to see what he had to say and  his primary message was “Relax.”  It was not memorizing prayer, its was not a protocol of enlightenment, it was simply RELAX.  When I checked in with this message it was simple but extraordinarily profound.  It illuminated when I checked in with my body in mediation I was still holding reservoirs of stress, partly from the tragic loss of my wife to breast cancer in December, and partly from other karma.  I re-oriented  my mediation practice AND my yoga practice to feel into how relaxed I could be in each  posture.  Not how perfect the pose was but how deeply I could surrender into relaxing in the pose and the breath..  I took this same message into my sitting practice, and what I have found is that it laid the ground work for being much more relaxed outside of my various practices. It translated into life.
We all live in this electronic world of visual stimulation and stress and trauma, and now we live in the world of Mr. Trump.  So the simple message here in your practice is checking in with your body.  Are your truly relaxed and can you make that the focus of your practice relaxation until it gets somatically ingrained?
The process of creating a community of conscious creativity (for lack of better words) at our new “compound” in NE Portland has been halted by the passing of my wife in a heroic fight against breast cancer.  She died in December.  Incredible loss for all of us who knew her,  I am headed to points south for a month to try to assimilate, integrate, and reboot my life. And we will be exploring classes and synergistic evolution starting sometime in March here in Portland and periodically at Breitenbush  I hope you can join us.
Leaving you with the  the message from Chuang Tzu from 4th Century BC China when we westerners were living like dogs in caves.
Those who heaven helps we call the sons (and daughters) of heaven.  They do not do this by learning.  They do not do this by working it.  They do not reason this by using reason.  To let understanding stop at what can be understood is a high attainment.
RELAX.
Brock can be reached @ brocknoyes@gmail.com & http://brocknoyes.com/

Spring 2016 – Saving Time – Use Facebook Less

Spring Cleaning: How to use Facebook less.

Happy Spring. Like many, I find myself using Facebook at lot of time when I have other things to do.  My simple hack is to have Facebook open on one browser and the rest of my productivity tools (Hello, WordPress) open on another. This has led to using Facebook a whole lot less. Many of us learned to use Facebook for marketing our businesses back when it was free and reach was a real thing. Now that you have to pay to play, and even that is an unreliable indicator of any kind of usefulness, that which Facebook is useful for has shifted. I still do think that Facebook is useful – especially for networking and keeping in touch with others. Organizing things also goes pretty well – groups, events – still are great ways to gather people for a cause.  Try putting Facebook in it’s own browser and having the rest of your world happening on another and see what you think – I’d love to hear your thoughts down below.

In other news, it was quite a weekend. I attended the first ever Cultivation Classic.

Cultivation Classic

Spring into Cultivation Classic

According to Jeremy Plumb, one of the organizers: “This competition welcomes growers who can demonstrate a commitment to organic production methods, moving toward a regenerative approach,” said Jeremy Plumb, owner of Newcleus Nurseries and Farma dispensary in Portland. “This competition regards the quality of the process used, as well as the quality of the product.

I learned a ton. I met great people. My Congressman, Earl Blumenauer was there. I’m still tickled by how incredible the event was – really great speakers; good food; people dedicated to organic; good music. I can’t wait till the next one.  Here’s info about the winning strains

Then, there’s global warming. You just can’t escape it.  We just had the warmest April in Portland’s history. I still believe the answer is lessening the number of people on the planet, gradually.  I can’t believe how little the topic of human population growth in regards to climate change is discussed. I had a talk with a friend this past weekend who was arguing that US populatin growth is just fine. We’re the fastest growing population of any developed country and our consumption levels are over the top – so, hello warmest month ever, we’ve been expecting you.

I’ve been inspired, lately, to make more content and to share more of my thinking with the world. So, that’s what this is about. Thanks to Tim Ferris and Seth Godin and Michael Katz, some of the people who put out great content on a regular basis. I hope to fit into this tradition 🙂  I used to write a whole lot more – my newsletters used to be little tomes and as the trend has changed to shorter format, so have I.

That’s it for today. Have a great Spring! I hope life is treating you well. Feel free to leave comments below and to share this post on the social network of your choice!

AlbertCultivation Classic

More pictures of the event here.

What’s happening in the world of email marketing

email marketing report June 4th 2015

As I prepare for my next live class on email marketing, I thought I’d share some of what I’m seeing these days in the field. I’ve been using Constant Contact for the past 8 years to send out a monthly e-letter called The Eleven. Originally, this went out to friends and family, and then, eventually, as I got more involved in teaching email marketing, I developed a few lists for people who came to my classes who have shown interest in learning more about marketing practices.  Along the way I became a Constant Contact authorized local expert – offering regular classes on email marketing, event marketing and social media in the Pacific Northwest. By now I’ve probably spoken to about 1,000 people and my list has grown.  Here are some of the changes I’ve seen recently in the marketing world.

First of all, email is not dead, far from it. The more media attention I see social media getting, the more I’m convinced that if you actually want to succeed in reaching people in an easy and affordable manner – you want to be building an email list of interested people.  I hear people constantly talking about building a Twitter following; an Instagram following; or getting more “likes” on their Facebook fan pages. If you’re able to pay for advertising on one or more of these platforms – then, great – you may have a chance to build up your e-mail list.  But, honestly? Unless you either have some amazing content (beautiful photos; fantastic articles; or you’re suddenly in the media limelight for some reason and something you do is going viral) I wouldn’t put that much energy into social media. I tend to think of a fan page as a good Yellow Pages ad. There it sits – if someone searches for your business they can find you. Fantastic! And then they can come to your website, or join your email list or call you. Great!  But when you post something on social media these days and you get 0.01% reach to the people who are your fans or followers – it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

A peer asked me yesterday whether one of my fan pages, Email Marketing Guru – actually led to any new business?  I said that it used to, but even with some targeted advertising, I don’t think it’s doing me much good.  It looks good – yes, it gives me some sort of credibility that I have over 1,500 fans on a couple fan pages.  That and $1 will buy me a cup of coffee.  If one searches on “Email Marketing Portland” my fan page comes up 3rd on Google. OK, that’s probably worth something.  But honestly, I think being able to send an email out to people who have expressed interest in what I do is so much more powerful that I really shouldn’t be spending as much time on social media as I do.

In terms of email marketing, things are shifting, too. Emails are going to mobile-friendly formats. If you’re doing email marketing and you haven’t moved to a mobile-friendly template, that’s the #1 thing I’d recommend doing. Now.  Word has it that 65% of people are reading their emails (your emails!) on their mobile devices.  So, learn about mobile-friendly templates and move to one ASAP. Second, the formats for newsletters are shrinking.  I’m seeing more and more newsletters that are a banner, a couple sentences, a call to action, and that’s it.  Because these do well on phones. Because peoples’ attention spans are shrinking. So, if you haven’t tried doing a very short newsletter yet, give it a try and see what happens with your open rates and click-through rates (which are way more important, because responses to your call to action is what really counts, right?).

Thanks for reading, I think that’s a good start.  My recommendation? Stop worrying about social media and put more time into getting a robust email marketing program up and running, or strengthening what you’re already doing. If your website doesn’t have an email list sign-up form, get one. And, if you need any assistance with this, let me know. This is what I love to do – check out my Managed Care Program for an idea of the service and encouragement I offer.

Here to help.

Sincerely,

Albert Kaufman

PS – if you’d like a 2-month risk-free Constant Contact trial – click here. That’s what I use. It’s easy and worth every penny.

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