Cards

It’s in the Cards!

I’ve been playing cards since I was a kid. The game in my house was hearts. I also have a friend, Aaron Trotter, who has been sketching the world’s cities (starting with Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon) and turning the sketches into decks of cards. You can find Aaron every weekend at the Portland Saturday Market.

https://www.illustratedplayingcards.com/

At last year’s World Domination Summit I met Jan Keck from Toronto who has created a deck called Ask Deep Questions. Jan is an interesting guy who is trying to help people break their small talk diets. His use of the cards has opened my eyes and mind to a new tool for parties; family reunions; ice breakers at events; and just a way to go deeper with another person quickly. Science actually shows that people who have deeper conversations are happier. Jan has taken the cards to another level through a Facebook group called the Ask Deep Questions Movement. This has become a hangout spot for those who believe in Jan’s mission and for the sharing of tangential resources.

Jan Keck Ask Deep Questions

Jan has also shown me how to run a successful Kickstarter – he had a team of people that he was building as the Kickstarter ran – and he’s also a wiz at using social media and his camera to capture what he’s up to.  His activity mostly takes place in person in Toronto, but he’s also developing tools to teach people his ideas online, as well.

Then, there’s Erin Hickok’s Cards for Connection. I learned about Erin’s work about 2 weeks ago and already I’ve learned a ton about what her decks are about. Erin has been sharing her decks with people all over the country and world for the past 5 years and she’s probably been transformed by the experience. I took part in an online Zoom session with 4 others where we answered questions together – the way this process allows people to share stories; get to know one another; and go deeper – is pretty remarkable.

Cards for Connection https://www.cardsforconnection.com/

Erin also has a Facebook group called Core Connectors which is where people who have been attracted to her work have gathered.  It’s also where some of the online games have happened as well as some interviewing she’s doing. This week she’s having Jan Keck on as a guest and I imagine they will have a very fun conversation! They also share a birthday! Take a look!

Last, but definitely not least, is my friend and local Portlander, Marc Polansky’s game The Higher Thought Cannabis Game. This game is also a series of questions – but they’re designed for taking the group on a journey to answers which build upon one another. It’s a little hard to describe, but it’s worthwhile, for sure. I’ve played the game about 4 times with groups of 4-11 people, and each time has been memorable and interesting.  Here’s a copy of their recent newsletter which comes out weekly and is worth signing up for. Here’s a short video that was made for the SPLIFF Film Festival.


Where are these cards taking me? I’m not positive yet, but I have to say they have led to some new, fun relationships and more of a desire to go deeper quicker with people. I think everyone’s lives can be improved through the use of deeper questions and time together with others to ponder them. I’m always open to feedback or suggestions. Do you know of another deck that I should check out?  And, give something in this post a try and let me know what you experience. Thanks!

Game on! Albert

https://higherthoughtcannabisgame.com/

Public Speaking

Public Speaking @ the PABA Chamber in Portland 9.9.15

PABA

I’m excited to being speaking on how to get started with email marketing on September 9th before the PABA (Portland Area Business Association) Chamber in Portland, Oregon’s September Luncheon. It’s at the Hotel Rose. I’ve been using on-line marketing tools for 8 years now, and the longer I do, the more I’m convinced that email marketing, using Constant Contact, is a good place to put one’s resources.  When I first started teaching Facebook classes out of my living room, social media was all the rage. People were excited to use the free tool to invite one another to like pages – and there was a fair bit of usefulness to the process.

As Facebook has gone public the usefulness of having a fan page/business page has plummeted. I talk about this in a recent report I wrote in June tracking these trends. Since then, nothing has changed. If you’re not willing to invest time and money into advertising on social media I wouldn’t bother spending a lot of repeated time on it.  Sure, post pictures or videos now and then – some of your fans will see them. But, when you’re looking to actually reach your audience, you’d better be thinking about your email list – building it and using it effectively. And that’s where my topic for tomorrow comes in.

At 43% ROI (Return on Investment), there is nothing like putting your resources into email marketing. Nothing. Not now, not 6 months ago, and my guess is not for a long time to come. So – if you’d like to make a real impact, contact me and let me help you get started down the right path. Put away your Instagram and your Pinterest – unless you’re an ace with these. Pocket the Twitter and Facebook for now – and get behind your email marketing plan. Learn how to build your lists, segment them and reach out to your clients/customers on a regular basis. If you don’t see a change in your bottom line, I’ll be very surprised.  And, if I can help you in any way, please let me know! Have a great end of Summer, beginning of Fall!

Sincerely,

Albert Kaufman
Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Certified Solution Provider
Portland, Oregon
Try Constant Contact Free for 60 Days

All You Wanted to Know about Facebook But Were Afraid To Ask

Hi there,

Yes, it’s The Eleven, a little early, but I have something exciting that I want you to know about. Besides my new effort to Do Something Today to Right the World!

Facebook. Huh. What is it good for. Absolutely … many things 🙂  Do you wonder what to do while you’re there, perhaps? You might have questions about how to use your fan/business page to best advantage. You might be wondering what the best ways are to stay connected to those who you are closest to. In general, it would be great to know how to navigate Facebook so that you waste less time and get more out of the time you do spend there. Right?

Enter Albert Kaufman, also known as the Facebook Guru. Yes, I’ve spent more time than your average human both teaching about and using Facebook. And I have tips and tricks to share that will make your experience more streamlined and interesting. I’m offering a low-cost webinar on Monday 2.9.15 at 11am PST. Come join me on-line and learn a few of my moves.  I also have a free in-person class on 2.12 – featuring my friend, Tshombe Brown. We’re both huge fans of the Portland Fruit Tree Projectand I’m sure this class will be scintillating! Forward this to a friend you know who could use a hand with their on-line marketing, please.

Red

In other news – I’ve been having fun learning about terrariums from a new friend down the street, Gregg Harris of Roosevelt’s Terrariums. I’ve started making my own.

I’ve been noticing the new public art along Division Street and elsewhere around Portland. It seems like there’s been a slew of new sculpture and murals in my neighborhood, recently. I’m also working to remove billboards.
And then there’s the on-going – ecstatic dancing – oh, I got to sing and play guitar outside around a campfire during the full-moon the other night, that was incredible! And, I’m continuing my love affair with NextDoor.com – a great way to get connected to your neighbors :)Pictured on the right is Marcia Wiley – the maker of Wileyware on a recent visit to Stumptownlandia!

That’s all for today. I hope life is treating you well and that it’s full of love, hope, visions, friends, dreams, good health, great food and happiness!

All you need is love,

Albert

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Opening Our Minds to Feedback!

Ready for Opening?

We all hear various types of input about ourselves all day long and all our lives long.  It comes in various forms: criticism, complements, advice, warnings, kidding, hints, etc.  And, many of us give these out like party favors to our friends and family. I finally realized something earlier this Summer when I tried to get my Relative 1 to wear some new shoes.  I had suggested in a variety of ways that his life would improve if he changed his shoes.  I sent him websites, I told him why I like my shoes and how they make walking more enjoyable, etc.  Nada.  I have run into the same response as I’ve tried to encourage my Relative 2 to feed her kids differently – a big NO sign has been written in the sky as in “don’t tell me how to feed my kids, I got it”.  I’m dating one of the best nutritionists in the world and over the course of years I’ve learned more about food and diet than I did in my previous decades of life.  But trying to encourage my relatives to change their behaviors has been unsuccessful to say the least.  So, I had a realization that if a person is not ready to hear feedback in some form, they’re not going to be able to take the information in – whether it’s useful or not, a big wall goes up, and the information is batted back like a baseball sent into the bleachers!

So, the idea I want to share with you is this. Rather than have this experience, how do we all open our minds to be able to hear what is useful that is coming our way?  Rather than deflect, how do we open up our receptors wider when compliments, criticism, feedback of some sort is coming towards us?  Because sometimes there are hidden gems in the dust.  Anytime someone tries to tell us something about ourselves it should be looked at as a gift.  And, interestingly, we often have trouble receiving physical gifts, as well.  My 11 years of attending Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert, and participating in the gifting economy there have taught me a lot about how to give and receive gifts with grace.  And, perhaps there’s a tie-in there, I’m not sure yet.

It seems to me that what’s key here is teaching one another and practicing how to open our minds and our awareness to the messages we’re receiving.  Opening up and letting in.  Breathing in the message, taking it in.  And before we can hear that we need to be doing something differently, or that our toenails need clipping, we have to have our minds open to feedback in general.

So, I want to work with people at this meta-level of receiving information easily.  Does this practice sound like something you’ve heard of before?  Is there already a theory out there that’s been developed that sounds like this?  I’m asking because if not it seems like something that we’d all do well to learn, and learn quickly.  And, if there is something out there like this (and thanks to Susan Cerf for sharing her version of this with me, and article which I’m encouraging her to write…) I’d love to know more about it.

Some have suggested to me that instead of saying “no” to a person’s feedback we can ask “why?”.  And, instead of me telling you that your shoes need tying, I might ask you “are your untied shoes causing a problem for you?”  And, that’s possibly a short-term solution.  But our ability to open our minds to every type of message that’s coming towards us and  figuring out what’s useful and integrating it seems key to me.

Thanks for listening, and I’m ready for your feedback.

11.11.11 – I added a continuation to this idea to my e-letter, The Eleven.  Further comments welcome.

I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately.  Partly because I live in a very rich community environment (many of us refer to it as the Portland bubble) which benefits me greatly, and partly because of how the world is turning these days, I thought I’d share some lessons learned along the way regarding community building.

more 11.11

I think one aspect of community that’s important to its success is communication. The ability of community members (you and me) to be able to hear feedback, accept/hear what’s useful in the information and act/move on it is key. The better we get at giving and receiving feedback to one another the better our relationships will be and the faster we’ll mature. To me, feedback shows that someone cares about someone else. Our society does not really do feedback very well – and because of that, we all generally don’t take to it very well.  In an article I wrote a while back I wrote about how we need to get better at opening our minds.  I think it’s worth a read. (the comments are also very good)

Since then I’ve had some further thoughts about feedback. Here’s a way to handle feedback that gets your hackles up – to be able to more easily parse what’s useful and what’s not within the information.  Imagine that when you give a person feedback (positive or negative) that you are speaking to the 20 million other people who do things that way. That’s a way for both the giver and receiver to depersonalize the experience some so that the triggering of old hurts does not automatically happen.  example: passenger says to driver: “you’re following the car in front of you too closely, please slow down you’re making me uncomfortable”.  So, the driver in this case is like 20 million other drivers who do this thus making 20 million passengers uncomfortable. That said, the driver can either decide to acknowledge the issue, ignore it, or tease out what they feel is useful without taking the criticism of their driving personally. And it goes the other way, too.

When you are the recipient of feedback, imagine that you are one of 20 million people hear it.  Example: Someone compliments your work on a particular issue. Well, they’re complimenting 20 million people who’ve decided to take actions on that or some other issue – you’re in good company.

How does this help build community? Well, it’s one facet in our getting better and better at getting in close with each other and helping one another mature!  And, according to a good friend and amazing therapist, much of her work is about helping people mature because “when they’ve matured, they no longer need therapy”.

So, here’s to improving our communication skills and learning to give and receive feedback well. Of course this is just one area in the communication area and is just one part of building strong communities. These topics are a lot of what I right about so, stick around and perhaps something will appeal to you enough to try it out.  Let me know how it goes!

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