Buying a Product Because of Instagram

Flavor God Seasonings

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Instagram and most likely have an account. If not Instagram is a simple way to take a share photos, and add some cool filters to along the way. It is a social network as well so you can follow users and see what photos they are sharing.

I have been on Instagram for a good while now and I follow a good amount of people. It is always fun to find new and interesting people to follow. Since I am pretty big into cooking and eating well I follow quite a few different healthy living and cooking profiles. I started to noticed many of these profiles that I followed were talking about Flavor God Seasonings and posting photos of some awesome food they have made using the seasonings.

Well it turns out Flavor God had their own Instagram account so I went and checked it out. There were some pretty awesome photos of food on there like you see below.

Flavor God Seasonings

There was quite a lot of information on their Instagram page and on each post. They also do a great job showcasing people who are using their product. There is a great way to “keep the conversation going” about your product. Another great thing they do is list recipes using their product so you can try them.

So after seeing awesome food for about a week I went over to the Flavor God website and ordered the seasonings. They arrived about a week later and I love them! I use them on pretty much everything I cook and they have really helped me with my meal prep as well.

For those wondering Flavor God seasonings are low in salt, contain no MSG, use all natural spices, are gluten free and follow the paleo diet. Also shipping is free in the US!

Anyways I would have never heard of this product if it was not for Instagram. Again if you think social media is not important to your company you are behind the times. Instagram is completely free to use and is a great marketing tool you can use for your company. All you have to do is put in the time to do it.

Have you found a product or service on Instagram? Let me know in the comments!

Actually Living Life…

livinglife

If you may have noticed I have not blogged for about a month. So what have I been up to? Well plain and simple I have been living life and loving every second of it! I posted a status update on Facebook about how my life has seemed like a movie lately. Below is that post…

“The last 3 weeks of my life seem like a movie almost. And not just the good times that you see on Instagram or Facebook, but work and my personal life as well. I think the big change for me was to let the negative people in my life go and live for now. Negative people have so much to complain about and are never happy. No one wants to be around that. Do you know how lucky you are? How blessed you are to have great family and friends? To have a job and a roof over your head? I think it is the little things like this that we take for granted. You should wake up each day with a smile on your face and be happy with what you do have rather than harp on what you don’t. Living for now means if you want to do something go do it. That means go on an unexpected vacation, take a day off from work and hang out with friends, have a party, etc. Don’t make excuses and worry about every last detail. If it is important to you and will make you happy, just do it and correct course along the way. At the end of the day life is too short to be anything but happy…I am truly blessed to have such an amazing group of friends that bring out this euphoric positive energy that’s contagious!”

Let me touch on a few things that I said here. The first is to let go of negative people. You can’t expect to live a positive life if you are surrounding yourself with negative people. Let them go and see the difference that it brings you.

Appreciate the little thing and be thankful for what you have. While I may not be making a million dollars a year I am extremely blessed to have my own company that pays my bills, my amazing friends and more. Each day I realize things could be a whole lot worse for me.

Live for now. So many times I have told friends no or just stayed in. Over the past month I have said yes to so many things and had a great time. As I said in my previous post having amazing times with friends can really help improve productivity. If something is important to you just go do it, stop making excuses not to.

With all of that said the past month or so has been some of the best times of my life. I am definitely appreciating things and people more too. I am not sure why I did not have this outlook on life much sooner. I think that for many of us we get in auto-pilot mode and just let things go and put things off, many times until it is too late.

I recently found this amazing video which sort of sums it all up.

There are so many amazing things in that video, but I think the point I’m trying to make and what I was thinking when I wrote that Facebook post is that life is too short to be anything but happy. So if you are not happy go out and do things that make you happy, leave the negative behind and actually live life.

Work Hard, Play Hard & More

work-hard-play-hard

Well this past Memorial Day weekend was one of the best weekends of my life. I spent each day with great friends and had an all around good time. After all the fun was over I did feel a little down, but the next day I was extremely energized to work and get a lot done. This got me thinking about something Tim Ferriss said in the Four Hour Work Week about how he suggested one month of travel for every two months of work.

While not everyone can travel for a month his point was that you need relaxation and good times to keep you motivated and to keep you going. There have been times where all I have done is work with no social life and I was just miserable. I found it very hard to get motivated each day. As soon as I started going out more and enjoying life this all changed. I knew that I could continue to travel, have amazing times with friends and much more if I got more work done and made more money.

Many of people have told me, “you party too much” or “you go out a lot”. If these people could see the results that having great times has on my work I don’t think that they would say those things to me. For example this past week after Memorial Day I triple the traffic on ThinkComputers and put out twice as much content as the previous week. This of course led to more money.

Why do you think that so many successful people are traveling or partying? It is because one they have the means to and two it shows them what hard work can bring them. Have you ever been on an amazing trip? Or had an amazing night with friends? What if you could do that over and over again? That is why so many people I know have the work hard, play hard mentality. Life is too short to sit at home watching TV or doing things that don’t excite you.

If you are feeling some type of void, feeling unmotivated, or just down why not plan a trip or a night out with friends. It is amazing how good times with friends can really effect your work and outlook on everything.

Here is a little recap video of my Memorial Day weekend that my friend made. I’m not sure if you are going to want to watch it at work though!

Staying at Revel in Atlantic City

Revel Chapter 11

As I said in my Time To Reset post I have been traveling over the past month. It is a great way to clear your mind and I always love exploring and going to new places. I had never been at Atlantic City before this year, but I actually really enjoy it. It is like Vegas with a beach! This last time I was in Atlantic City I stayed at the newest hotel in town, Revel.

Revel is ultra-modern and really reminds me of Vdara in Las Vegas because if you didn’t want to you could never see the casino part of the property. I’ve always hated coming down from my room in Vegas hotels and the first thing I hear is the annoying sound of the slot machines. I stayed in an Ocean Room with a king size bed, actually all of the normal rooms have an ocean view.

Revel Atlantic City

The first thing that I noticed about the room was it was much larger than other rooms that I have stayed in at other hotels. The bed was huge and there were actually two large chairs by the window that you could just relax in and watch the amazing view of the ocean.

Revel Atlantic City

Another thing that surprised me was how large the bathroom was. Unlike most bathrooms you actually had two sinks so more than one person could get ready at once. The shower is a huge walk-in shower that even had a place where you could sit down. The only thing that it was missing was a rain shower head.

revel2 revel3 revel4

The room was outfitted with a large flat screen TV, which you could do everything on from order food and drinks to check the weather and of course watch TV. While Revel says they have free WiFi you are charged at $7 resort fee if you use it.

Revel also houses HQ Nightclub and HQ Beach Club. I was able to make it out to see Sultan and Ned Shepard at HQ Nightclub and wow was it a great show. The club is extremely big too, much like many Vegas clubs. Unfortunately HQ Beach Club was not open when I was there, but I will definitely be back before the end of summer to check it out. Revel has been bringing headlining DJs to HQ recently, which makes it the perfect destination if you are into EDM music.

HQ Nightclub

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to check out any of the restaurants in Revel, but I will be back soon!

If you are planning a trip to Atlantic City definitely consider Revel. The rooms are awesome, the view is great, you don’t have to even go into the Casino if you don’t want to and the clubs are some of the best in AC. Being that Revel is newest hotel in AC it is a little more expensive to stay there. Prices per night during the week range from $150 – $200, but on the weekend they go up to $400 – $500. Also also a quick tip, Revel has automated check-in kiosks in the lobby, use those to avoid the long check-in line!

Interview: Michael Kwan

Michael Kwan

I’ve been friends with Michael or Kwanye as many of us call him for quite sometime. We actually met in person on one of my trips to Las Vegas for CES. Since then we have enjoyed many good times together. I’ve seen him make a business out of his love for writing and he’s been able to do some pretty cool things along the way.

Who do you work for or what websites do you run?
I’m an independent professional freelance writer, working primarily on web-based projects. In addition to my own blog, Beyond the Rhetoric, I also write for a number of sites for my clients, including MEGATechNews, John Chow dot Com, Deskcovery, Smartlife Blog, LoveToKnow, and Blogging Tips, among others.

What is your official job title?
I haven’t really assigned myself an official title at Michael Kwan Freelance Writing Services. You can call me a freelance writer, owner/operator, founder and CEO or whatever else. I do hold certain titles on my clients’ sites, though. For instance, I’m the Managing Editor of MEGATechNews.

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
Growing up, I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to do. I thought about careers in architecture, accounting, psychology and even cartooning. That being said, I’ve always been enamored by the power of the written word and what started as a hobby was happily parlayed into a full-time career where I am my own boss.

Could you give me a run-down of your typical day?
Most days begin with checking the email that I received overnight, seeing if there are any actions that require my immediate attention. After grabbing a bite to eat, I’ll head to the home office to start working. This may include updating my own blog, checking submissions from writers that I manage for other sites and checking social media. After the main administrative duties are addressed, I’ll start working on the articles in my queue. This could involve research, writing, editing, photo-taking, or all of the above. Each day is a little different, which I appreciate.

What would you say the hardest thing about your job is?
Dealing with the natural ebb and flow of the workload can be a challenge. Some days, it feels like I have way too much to do and it all needs to be done right now. Other days can feel much slower, instigating a sense of guilt that I’m not working hard enough. Overcoming that self-doubt while simultaneously avoiding burnout is a very delicate balance.

The best thing about your job?
Flexibility, in all sense of the word. I’m never completely free and pre-planning should always be done, but I do have the relative freedom to set my own schedule, choose where I want to work, and select the work that I want to do. By having greater control and flexibility over my time, location and chosen projects, I am better able to adapt to life’s surprises.

One thing that your job has enabled you to do?
I’d hate to echo something that Bob has already said, but travel is definitely a big one. Because of the work that I do as a technology writer, I’ve been able to attend trade events and conventions in Las Vegas, Taipei, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and more. Further still, because I can practically work from anywhere I have a solid Internet connection, I’ve been able to travel the world for leisure — Australia, France and Japan are some of the bigger highlights — while still being able to maintain my business.

How has social media impacted what you do?
It has provided a very powerful tool for keeping in touch with existing colleagues and clients, as well as a means to form new connections. Like many people, I have a hard time remembering names, so keeping someone on my Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn serves as an excellent reminder.

What tools do you use that make your job easier?
HootSuite is fantastic for handling multiple Twitter accounts and WordPress is what my clients and I use to power most of our websites. I’ve been using Google Keep and Google Tasks to track items on my to-do list. Google Drive is great for collaboration too.

One piece of advice for someone who wants to do what you do?
Buy my book! In all seriousness, I do outline a lot of the key lessons that I learned along the way in Beyond the Margins, so I recommend it to anyone considering any sort of freelance career. Just know that being your own boss can be a lot more work than being someone else’s employee, but it’s all worth it.

Where can people see what you are up to?
I’m all over social media. You can find the corresponding links to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram and the rest of it through MichaelKwan.com. As mentioned, my Beyond the Rhetoric blog is a good place to follow me too (subscribe to the RSS feed!), as I update that six times a week.