Day 8 and 9 (revisited 2013 – so this is journal for Day 8)

Since this is still Monday and I didn’t miss Monday this time around. I am sharing with you what I did over the weekend. I did continue organizing on Saturday and on Sunday like a good son I spent the afternoon having dinner with my mother, father and brother and celebrated my Mother on Mothers Day by calling her in the morning and wishing her a happy Mothers Day and spending time with her while also writing a special blog asking What Have you Done for your Mother Lately? The weekend is the time to catch up, celebrate life, explore adventures and spend time with family. But in order for you to gain a life extraordinary you have to do things that are extraordinary. So what does Extraordinary mean to you? states:


[ik-strawr-dn-er-ee, ek-struh-awr-]  


1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established: extraordinary costs.

2. exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable: extraordinary speed;an extraordinary man.

But I believe that extraordinary is simply doing something that is beyond usual for you, beyond ordinary for you, and is exceptional in character to you or noteworthy to your life. So yes there are extraordinary people in this world, but your life can be extraordinary as well if it is beyond usual for what you do.

Just thought I would make sure you knew that your life can be extraordinary if you live your life outside of the Comfort Zone. 
0008tLes Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.
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(Original Post – Posted on October 12, 2011)

Day 8 & 9 The Weekend! Prioritize for the Next Week!

So I am combining Day 8 & 9 as it was the weekend. October 8 & 9 Since I missed Monday all together. I figure I’d give you a 2 for 1 day article.

Day 8 (Saturday) Rest and time with family. Also Saturday is a good day to organize your office, re-visit your goals, and do something fun with your wife and kids if this is applicable. Otherwise if you are single go out and have fun!

Day 9 (Sunday) I found the best explanation of Sunday and something for you to remember for the week.

Sunday is also a good day for reflection, rest and quiet. At the end of the day it is a great time to get prepared for Monday.

  1. Make a list of contacts to make.
  2. Make a list of people to follow-up with.
  3. Get prepared for the upcoming week.
Special Note:  How to Prepare A Prioritized Weekly Action List
Step 1. Identify high priority goals in the Weekly Action List.
  1. Of my long-range and intermediate, high priority goals, which should I work on this week?
  2. What projects will give the highest return for time invested?
  3. What projects will be the greatest threat to my survival or that of my company if I don’t do them?
  4. What projects does the boss or you consider most vital?
  5. Which items in my previous Weekly Action List should I work on this week? (What to carry over)?
  6. What do my goals and unifying principles suggest?
  7. What has not been considered that will help yield long-term significant results vs. short-term satisfaction.
-Adapted from Time Power, Charles Hobbs
Thanks for joining me on this 30 day journey! I look forward to hearing your results and sharing mine at the end of the 30 days.

My Toughest Challenge Accomplished! Tough Mudder

So this past Saturday I ran a 12 mile, 24 obstacle course called the Tough Mudder. If you are a friend of mine on Facebook or a Social Media Connection you have seen some of the pictures of our event. So I have been traveling non stop for the past three weeks and this was the finale of my 3 week travels. I started in North Carolina facilitating an Elite Consulting Course for NetApp then spoke at a Sales Conference in Vegas to 100 sales people, managers and operations for Peak Campus Companies. Flew back in town, Atlanta, and then woke up and drove to Society Hill, SC to participate in the Tough Mudder with the High Achievers Muddervation team. I tell you all this not to impress you but to show you that you can do anything you put your mind to. I went from NO EXERCISE 20 weeks ago to exercising every week including doing a month of Operation Boot Camp.

The Tough Mudder Pledge:






I have been amazed at what I have accomplished in the past 20 weeks. I have done more business, I am in the best shape of my life, and I feel great overall. When I was on the course it was a great experience to see everyone helping each other. It did not matter your age, fitness or lack their of, everyone helped everyone through the challenges, with encouragement, support and even lending a hand through the mud, dirt and water. People who had never met before that day, and didn’t even know each other’s name, all were helping each other get through this challenge. I thought to myself, and then said it aloud to friends and family, that if life worked that way everyone would definitely be better off.

Everyone was working together to complete the same goal. To finish the challenge. If we helped out everyone to finish the challenge of life, life would be better for all.

There wasn’t anyone just asking to be carried to the finish line, and everyone in the challenge was muddy, dirty, and tired with some skinned knees and injuries along the way. Just something to think about the next time you say you can’t or you wish someone would do it for you.

I’ll end with another great quote from the Tough Mudder:


I don’t know what your “In Here” is; maybe work, maybe circumstance, maybe marriage, maybe LIFE. But the next time you are looking to Quit, remember the Tough Mudder Quote! And remember that you need a team around you to complete the challenge regardless of what that challenge is.

So if you are wondering where I have been and what I have been up to since my last blog from Brazil in September now you know. My company has been invited to  Istanbul, Turkey at the end of November for CeBIT. Life is Good!

Next blog on “Email is Dead”


Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.

Day 11: Visualization

So on Day 11, October 11, I wasn’t feeling that great. I literally did not feel like doing anything, but I realized that I was still on the 30 day journey so I was wondering what I could possibly do to move me forward in continuing to live a life outside the “Comfort Zone”. I also realized that this journey needs to continue even when I am not feeling well. So what I ended up doing was “Visualization”

Wikipedia states that Creative Visualization is the technique of using one’s imagination to visualize specific behaviors or events occurring in one’s life. Advocates suggest creating a detailed schema of what one desires and then visualizing it over and over again with all of the senses (i.e., what do you see? what do you feel? what do you hear? what does it smell like?). For example, in sports a golfer may visualize the ‘perfect’ stroke over and over again to mentally train muscle memory.

There is now scientific proof that brain wave training is a valid tool for mental and physical re-programming. Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler was a pioneer brain/mind researcher who was among the first to prove this under hard science.

…we actually create our reality with our thoughts — and not the other way around. Researchers around the world agree that our thoughts have a very real physical reality — and actually causes things to happen in the physical world. We now know from quantum physics, for example, that subatomic particles will physically manifest IF there is someone there to observe them.

Remember being taught as a child that ‘seeing is believing?’ In other words — that you need to physically see something with your own eyes in order to believe it is real?

Well that old belief is today being replaced with a new, science-based belief that: ‘Before you can see it, you have to believe it.’ This viewpoint sees the act of achieving success as the result of FIRST creating a vivid, clear future vision of your desired reality. The belief is now: ‘what you see, is what you’ll be.’   – Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler

So all this scientific information is saying is that “if you can see it then you can be it” (Yes I know that is a song). The problem is most of us don’t do this on a regular basis.

Thoughts if powerful enough, are accepted by our subconscious mind, which then changes our mindset accordingly, as well as our habits and actions, and this brings us into contact with new people, situations and circumstances. –Remez Sasson

Concise Guidelines for Creative Visualization:

  1. Define your goal.
  2. Think, meditate and listen to your intuition to ascertain that you really desire to attain this goal.
  3. Ascertain that only good will result from your visualization, for you and for others.
  4. Sit alone in a quiet place, where you will not be disturbed.
  5. Relax your body.
  6. Breathe rhythmically and deeply several times.
  7. Visualize a clear and detailed image of what you desire to accomplish.
  8. Use in your imagination all the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.
  9. Add desire and feelings into your mental image.
  10. Visualize at least twice a day, about 10 minutes each time.
  11. Persevere with your visualization, day after day, with, patience, hope and faith.
  12. Stay positive, thinking positive thoughts, feeling positive feelings and using positive words.
  13. During the day, when negative thoughts and doubts arise, replace them with positive thoughts. As each negative thought enters your mind, immediately substitute it with a positive thought.
  14. Keep an open mind, so that you recognize opportunities and take advantage of them.
– Remez Sasson

Les Adkins is the CEO of  Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

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Do You Have a Strong Social Media Consultant?

When it comes to Social Media do you have the right consultant? Seems like you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who claims to do “Social Media”. Do you have someone who listens and more importantly will champion your social media strategy and not implement their own? We went over the first 5 signs you’ve got a strong SM (Social Media) Consultant or Agency previously. How to Pick a Strong Social Media Consultant.

Sorry in advance for the length of this blog it’s longggggg.

The next 10 Signs You’ve Got a Strong SM Consultant or Agency 

 ” 6. Understands that Radian6 and other monitoring tools are vastly superior tracking tools in comparison to Technorati (which really isn’t an indicator of much these days as technology keeps improving and tools keep getting better).”  

I do agree that in order to create a powerful Social Media Strategy you need to have a strong monitoring tool for Social Media, there is also Vocus and several others on the market now. It’s what you do with the information you receive and how you interact with those mentioning you by name or asking for help.

“7. Will tell you that there is no magic bullet for determining social media ROI and that you need to go further to accurately monitor, measure and determine the effectiveness of social media.” (example Katie Delahaye Paine’s Book “Measure what Matters”)

Nuff said!

“8. Understands that social media is an important part of the larger word of mouth marketing principles. “(example: The Digital Influence Mapping Project)

After looking at the example I highly recommend taking some time to fully read it. Personally I believe that social media should be integrated into an organization from a holistic perspective meaning that it is used for all communication. Marketing and word of mouth marketing is just one component. Work with someone who has partners to integrate social media fully into an organizational strategy.

“9. Others cite this person/agency’s work” (example: Social Media Case Studies SUPERLIST)

Also look at their LinkedIn recommendations and ask around at your networking events for who people would recommend. This is a new enough industry that the “so-called” leaders are changing daily and new ones, that are good, are taking their place.

“10. Realizes that search engine optimization represents an absolutely crucial part of social media. (example: Top Rank’s Lee Odden)”

SEO is changing on a regular basis based on different algorithm’s being written. Companies like Vayu Media who understand SEO and keep updated on the latest changes plus a strong SM Consultant who can help incorporate that into an overall strategy is vital. Beware those who use the words SEO and Social Media as equal.

“11. Understands that social media expands beyond search engine optimization tactics that lead to Diggs, Stumbles (StumbleUpon) and link baiting (example: Key Relevance’s Li Evans)”

See above statement regarding SEO.

“12. Integrates brick and mortar events with social media activity” (example: Voce’s Josh Hallett)

Make sure that the SM consultant understands the value of brick and mortar events in association with social media. Face 2 Face is an important aspect of connecting through Social Media.

“13. Has and continues to work on notable social media projects (example: Andy Sernovitz)

Agree! There is a lot of new talent out there that is just starting so they may not have as much experience as some others but if they meet the majority of the above they are probably worth working with.

“14. Understands that conversations are the starting place and not the end game. And though ROI is critical, knows that without conversation you’re not going anywhere (example: Paul Chaney)”

They have to believe in the conversation, that is dialogue back and forth, both good and bad, and how to deal with and react to both.

“15. Understands that social networking and conversation is more than collecting followers and subscribers (example: Mack Collier)”

You’ll notice some of these examples go all the way back to 2008, but the information is still relevant and vital.

Well sorry for the lengthy blog. I hope this is helping with your decision to hire an agency or consultant. See you soon!

Les Adkins –  Orange SMS CEO Social Media Strategist, speaker, consultant, author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn

Social Media Gurus Really Do Exist.

Continuing on with our “5 Lies of Social Media Marketing” from “The Daily Dose” by Mikal E. Belicove.

Number 3: I love this one by the way and all my colleagues and I discuss this quite often.

The answer to the question, Do Social Media Gurus Really Exist is “NO ,they don’t. Here’s my advice when you run across someone positioning himself or herself as a ‘social media guru’ or expert” (Remember an expert is a drip under pressure) “Run for the exit. Everybody working in this field is practicing on the job training. Just because they’ve written a book like I have or spoken in public about the do’s and don’ts of social media, doesn’t mean they know your business and how to conceptualize and manage campaigns that hit upon your business related goals.” Belicove

I love this, absolutely love this. I tell this to people all the time. I personally have been introduced as a social media “guru” and “expert” and I always begin by stating that there is no such thing. This new way to communicate is changing so rapidly that no one can know everything about social media even those of us in the industry. So I agree if someone claims to be an expert run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction.

Today I was at an appointment and we were discussing this topic and although I have said it in the past I need to repeat it here. If a company that has a platform is touting that they know social media (and they may do a great job) at the end of the day they are trying to sell you their platform. There now, I’ve made every technology company who is selling a social media platform mad at me. Happy? The things I do for you!

I totally agree that the company, or so-called guru, does not know your business and social media has to come from within. When I speak to, or work with, companies the goal is to develop an internal team that learns to use social media in a strategic way for the organization. I or one of my consultants acts as a catalyst to build that team around until they can strategically do the process themselves.

There is a methodology we use called POST

P eople

O bjective

S trategy

T echnology

This methodology was created by Forrester Research and can be found in the book “Groundswell” by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

You’ll notice that Technology is last and People are first. Only you can decide who your people and objectives organizationally are. We can help you with creating a strategy but you need to implement that strategy consistently from within.

So remember you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who claims to “do social media”, (wasn’t that way when I first started) but if they claim to be an expert RUN…….Les Adkins – CEO Orange SMS

2011 The Secret of a Social Media Strategy!

So you have been bombarded with articles and offers on how to get your Social Media Strategy up and running in the new year. I even got an offer on LinkedIn the other day offering to give me a Social Media Marketing Campaign for $1.00. A “Social Media Kickstart Plan”. Everyone is looking for ways to market Social Media and companies are trying to still figure out how to make Social Media work for their organization.
I have also seen several articles lately on how Social Media is no longer a hobby for corporations, it has to become part of their culture.
When I started talking to people about Social Media there weren’t many people out there who understood this new way of doing business and how to make it work. Even some of my clients failed to do the right things to make Social Media work for their business. (I’ll accept some of the blame, but people wanted marketing campaigns not social media campaigns and yes there is a difference)
So how do you decide who to listen to. Especially now in 2011 when it seems that everyone is talking about  and discussing Social Media. How to make it work for you and your business. How to make money using Social Media, How to…. the list goes on and on.
Well back from my recent training trip to Australia where I traveled the country side training people on Whole Brain Thinking and New Business Development as well as discussing Social Media I came to a realization. The issue is behavior. How do you incorporate something into your culture that has never existed before? The things you are doing now are working minimally so why do you need to radically change what you are doing to incorporate Social Media?
The secret is the 30 and above group and the 30 and under group. If you haven’t heard this term you will. We will discuss in great detail over the next few weeks but for now let me tell you the basis of the secret.
The 30 and above are still using traditional methods successfully and they are trying to incorporate the new Social Media tools and connectivity into their traditional ways of doing business. The 30 and under, for the most part, are utilizing Social Media in their everyday lives. From connecting with friends, to finding jobs, to doing business. They (and again I am generalizing, but it seems to follow what I have experienced and witnessed both here and in Australia) use Social Media in every aspect of their lives and they are figuring out ways to make it work for them.
If you can go back and remember how it was when you first were learning to drive; you needed to remember everything from turning on the car to pulling into traffic to getting comfortable parallel parking. Now you get in a car and everything is natural. Until you have to go to another country and drive on the wrong side of the road to what you are used to.
This is what I discovered in Australia and realized that Social Media is the same way. For those over 30 it is like driving on the wrong side of the road. For those under 30 they don’t know any different.
So what does this all mean?
In the Social Media world there are companies that are using Social Media in a very traditional marketing way and companies that are using Social Media in  a very “Social Media” way – building trust, connecting with customers and employees,  and offering advice without the explicit act of selling their service.
What is missing?
A company that can help organizations transition from the original way of doing business to the new way of doing business that is more than what is currently defined by “Social Media”.
Orange SMS is launching a new program that will help corporations transition from the traditional way of doing business to the new way of doing business. It has more to do with “Whole Brain Thinking” “New Business Development” and “Building Trust with Social Media”.  Parts of this program have already seen success with an international client and we are looking for more clients to pilot this brand new program that will finally connect the over 30 and under 30 crowd into a successful organization, sales team, and business.
In the coming weeks we will discuss this new program in more detail and our staff will be out discussing it with businesses and individuals. This new programs launch title is 1/11/11/11. It will help you take your organization to the next level by starting with one concept and then duplicating it through your entire organization.
We look forward to being your transition partner and truly helping you succeed in business in 2011.
Les Adkins CEO of Orange SMS