PreneurCast is a business podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
It’s the end of the year (almost) and in this episode Pete and Dom discuss their 2011 Awards. Categories include: Books, Software, Hardware, Podcasts, Training Courses, Services and Blogs.
Pete and Dom discusses about the things that influenced them the most this year
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2011 Awards – The Shitweasels
Pete Williams: There’s only a few more sleeps until Santa Claus, I’m excited.
Dom Goucher: I don’t hear that much these days, you know?
Pete: I’m excited. Santa is coming to town.
Dom: Do you still do presents and stuff, or do you just like buy yourself things?
Pete: Well, we’re doing Christmas this year, which is ridiculous because the conversation was, “We’re getting married in two months, let’s not spend money on Christmas presents. But I did get you a couple of small things. Ahh. No presents means no presents.”
Dom: That always happens. We say that every year, “We’ll buy things for the family, but we’ll not spend on each other.” And then at the 11th hour, one of us will say, “Well, I’ve kind of got you a little something.” And then the other goes running around last minute shopping to get something and it just escalates.
Pete: Yes, that was me this afternoon after lunch with Ed, Rob, Danny, Jen and the crew.
Dom: Look at you schmoozing with the Melbourne crew.
Pete: That’s it. I just thought I’d drop in some frame control, well, it’s not frame control… I don’t know.
Dom: That’s just blatant namedropping.
Pete: Oh, OK.
Dom: Let’s not give it any posh name, that was just namedropping.
Pete: We had a good lunch. A very nice lunch to round the year out, which was great. And then spent the afternoon trying to find presents. I’m done, I’m all good.
Pete: Speaking of presents and gifts and good stuff, today we are chatting about the best of 2011.
Dom: OK, you did this on your blog last year. In fact, I produced the video for you.
Pete: You did. It was, I think, one of the earliest things we worked on maybe.
Dom: It was. It was one of the very first things we did. And you very creatively came up with the name, The Shitweasels.
Pete: Which doesn’t really fit when you’re talking about the best of the best. The name, the connotations, The Shitweasels doesn’t really go well with it. I think we should continue calling it The Shitweasels.
Dom: I like it, I like it. It’s in the vein of using a fluorescent poster on your retail store to attract attention. It stands out, it’s a bit of a pattern interrupt for people. So yeah, The Shitweasels.
Pete: The title fits better with the Friday Night SportsCenter Top 10 worst of the week, but in fact they’re the best of the year. We should probably give some context to ‘shitweasels’ shouldn’t we? Set the back story as to why we’re calling it The Shitweasels?
Dom: Yeah, it might help.
Pete: Someone who, surprisingly, we haven’t talked about at all on this podcast this year I think, have we?
Dom: You’re right. I bring them up very regularly in our 7 Levers Mastermind. But no, we haven’t really focused on them this year.
Pete: I know the guys over at I Love Marketing, which is another fantastic podcast (which may get mentioned later on in the show), speak quite a bit about this gentleman. They had a whole podcast about him. The gentleman is Gary Halbert, who is one of the godfathers, if you will, of direct marketing. He was around, quite a big part bit of the direct marketing heyday, in the real, physical direct-mail time.
He was one of the very first, and by far the most influential information marketers, in the direct-response space. He had a very colorful way of explaining things, and discussing concepts, and talking to clients. A term he often used was ‘shitweasels.’ He used in a loving way and also in a non-loving way. It was just term that he coined that seems to have stuck with him for years because we just love Gary so much.
Last year I decided to just name them The Shitweasels. I thought about ‘The Halberts,’ in terms of how most of the awards named after a person. But it didn’t have the right ring to it, so I thought I’d take it one more extension further and then call it The Shitweasels. Drum roll. The 2011 Shitweasels, brought to you by PreneurCast.
Dom: I think we do need a little giggle in the background instead of a drum roll.
Pete: Basically what we’re going to do today is run through some categories and discus the winner. We did talk before the episode about doing the ‘nominations go to,’ but then we thought we’d probably draw the podcast out way too long. Obviously, we talked about a lot of different things on the show. Considering that things we have dropped in the show and on the blog, and also in Noise Reduction, the weekly newsletter that’s produced over at noise.re – if anyone’s interested. Consider those our nominees, and today is purely the award-winners. Let’s start with the first category shall we Dom?
Dom: Am I the official reader of the category?
Pete: I can, you can. We can mix it up. I’ll go first.
Pete: Book of the Year. Obviously, we talked a lot about books. We spoke the entire episode last week about books and continually talk about books. What’s your Book of the Year, young fellow?
Dom: I’m going to put this one forward. One, you may be shocked and then you may also not be surprised. I’m going to put Pitch Anything as my personal Book of the Year.
Pete: I thought you were going to say The E-Myth.
Dom: I know you were, I knew you were going to say that. The thing is, for me, and we talked about this in the book episode, Pitch Anything has added the most to my business and the way I’m going to move forward with my business. I spent the year or longer working through The E-Myth and sticking to that as a set of policies and basis for my business.
But Pitch Anything has taken it to the next level; it’s given me a strategy for when I discuss things with clients and people in general looking for joint ventures, all that kind of stuff. And that is what is going to change my business in 2012.
Pete: I’m going to drop a little bit of bomb for you here; I don’t think you even know about when it comes to a Pitch Anything structure. Oren Klaff, the author of Pitch Anything and I and couple of his team are jumping on a call tomorrow morning to discuss some Pitch Anything framework tools, so to speak.
Pete: So there should be some cool stuff for you next year, and for our listeners and other people too. Obviously, not much more to say; but we have a planning session tomorrow for some cool stuff.
Pete: Sorry, I cut you off there. Built to Sell, no, damn it. Pitch Anything, go.
Dom: I say my Book of the Year is Pitch Anything. I know many people have talked about Pitch Anything; Ed Dale calls it ‘Book of the Decade.’ It’s done something very specific and personal for me, so that is why that one. So you let yours out of the bag, but let’s try it again. Pete, what’s your Book of the Year?
Pete: Built to Sell.
Dom: John Warrillow’s book.
Pete: Yes, John Warrillow. I’ve done an interview with him as well, which we have yet to publish. I really have to put that up on the blog. But Built to Sell, I think, is a fantastic book in the same vein of The E-Myth in terms of the way it talks about looking at your business and building your business. It applies to so many entrepreneurs who start out being a solo-preneur, who start out building a business that is growing for a long a period of time with them being the sole person.
For example, in the telco business, that was pretty much started from a hardware perspective, installing phone systems, not as a solo-preneur because I still don’t know how to install a phone system. But so many people, and the example John uses throughout the book is a graphic designer. In those types of businesses, the person starts off just being them. The business is them, that’s all it is. And as they grow, they kind of just grow organically without any real structure around that.
Built to Sell is all about teaching and discovering that you need a structure in place, and that structure should be a structure that you could sell. So you build a business to sell it. There’s a lot of great lessons in that book for our listeners and a lot of people when it comes to actually growing your business and making sure that you grow it in a way that you can sell it.
Now, you don’t have to sell the business; but at least the business is going to operate without you and that means you will get, what most likely is the goal of your business, some freedom and residual income or passive income. So many people build their business and it doesn’t allow for that. They are interacting with their client and them being the hub. So I think Built to Sell is a fantastic book, a very, very easy-to-read book that was pre-released this year that talks and teaches that.
Dom: I do agree with you, I really enjoyed Built to Sell. But to me, it was a bit like The E-Myth-plus for me, for what I got from it.
Pete: That is an absolutely fair statement, I agree with that. It’s a slightly reworked version of The E-Myth that resonated with a lot of people.
Dom: I do think that the example he uses with a graphic designer is a bit easier for some people to grasp. And he does work that through; it’s a very readable book. OK, shall we move on?
Pete: For sure, absolutely.
Dom: Next category is Software or App of the Year.
Pete: I’ve got an Honorable Mention and a Winner. So my Honorable Mention is actually due to you, it is Evernote. Obviously, we did an episode only about three or four weeks ago, all about note-taking. When Evernote first came out, I kind of have to play with it and thought, yeah, it was kind of cool. I spoke about it on that particular episode and I couldn’t really fit it into my workflow. But based on what you spoke about in our discussion through that episode, I really fell back in love with Evernote and have made it a big part of my workflow.
I know a few people such as Ed Dale, who we speak about a lot on the podcast, is a big fan of Evernote as well. That’s enough for my Honorable Mention. Realistically, I think the killer platform or application of the year is Dropbox. I think their service, which you’ll almost call a software application or probably not, but it’s a service that fits into all this. So I would say, in my opinion, it’s a phenomenal service which allows you to easily sync your folders in your files across multiple devices and multiple team members.
That has been a huge plus for my business and my workflow. There are dedicated folders set up now that when I drop something in there, team members know exactly what to do with that and they can take it and run with it without me having to do anything. It can just go through a little funnel automatically. Dropbox is a software as a service or an SaaS, that’s what it really is, it’s the winner for me in that category.
Dom: Cool. I have an Honorable Mention. Obviously, Evernote was my idea. It’s great, it’s wonderful. But my Honorable Mention is actually an iPad app and it is Zite. Zite is a news discovery program. If you are somebody who likes to keep up-to-date with things that are happening in your industry, or just seeking topics that you are interested in, I don’t know what type of person you are, Zite is phenomenal.
You fire up Zite, and you have to configure it a little bit and give it some guidance about what to go find you, and it goes and finds you news stories from various blogs and popular sites and random ones as well. Then you can tell it if you like what it found and it learns and gives you more.
Pete: So it is Pandora for news, is that fair?
Dom: Yeah, that’s a very good way of putting it. So that is my Honorable Mention, I won’t go into it too much because you are either into it or you’re not. I have to say that Software of the Year has got to be Dropbox. I could run my business without Dropbox, but it certainly touches every single part of my business and a lot of my personal productivity stuff as well. It was very strange, I thought that because I used to be in graphic design and print production years ago. In one of my previous clients, I remember the problem we used to have was getting a job file between us and the client, us and the print shop.
Problems like, “Oh, no, this PDF is too big. I can’t e-mail it. What am I going to do?” kind of really silly problem that today we just laugh about. Now we just drag it into a folder on our desktop and whatever, and that folder automatically synchronizes into ‘the cloud’ and then back down to whoever is connected to that folder at the other end. Even last night I was discussing this with a new client, a potential workflow, and I asked them if they used Dropbox. They said no, they don’t use Dropbox. They use this other service.
“It’s great, we send the file up and then we get our link and then we will email you the link.” I just thought, “No, I’m sure it does work for you, but literally you want to send me a file, you don’t have to think about it. You literally drag that file into that Dropbox folder and when it’s finished uploading and downloading, it’s on my machine.” There is nothing smoother or cleaner; and the use, it’s everywhere. I’m with you on that one, Dropbox. It’s got to be App of the Year, Software Service of the Year, definitely.
Pete: I have to say Flipboard on the iPad is my Fun Consumption App of the Year, if we had a subcategory here. I’ve been really enjoying Flipboard here again lately, so it has been a cool way to consume my Google Reader, my Facebook and Twitter feeds, and things like that. It’s a pretty cool app to play with.
Dom: I’m still dancing around Flipboard at the moment. I’m with Flipboard like you were with Evernote. You know it’s there and you know it’s going to be cool if you get around to it, but I’m just not 100% with it at the moment.
Pete: Fair enough. So, third category of The Shitweasels is Tech Hardware of the Year.
Dom: And you are asking me what mine is?
Pete: Do you have one?
Dom: I do, I have an Honorable Mention, I almost want to do two, I really do.
Pete: Alright. We can do two, it’s our show.
Dom: What was going to be my Honorable Mention was actually your winner for last year. It’s my iPad. I have an iPad 1. I’m not modern, I’m not up-to-date. But I tell you what, early on this year, my partner was traveling and she said, “Can I borrow your iPad? Can I take it with me to watch movies and things?” I said, “Sure, sweetheart. No problem.” And I loaded it up with films and off she went.
I took her to the plane and I got home that night and I think I lasted about 48 hours. I have a friend who lives nearby and I rang him up and I begged him to let me borrow his iPad. Without a word of a lie, that was how long I lasted without my iPad.
Pete: How do you find working with somebody else’s iPad? Because obviously, the apps and settings and everything like that would be different. How did you get back into your workflow?
Dom: Guess what? I used Dropbox. Because a lot of my workflows are based upon files that live in Dropbox. And also, the rest of it, I tend to not use hardwired applications. The only thing I struggled with on that was OmniFocus, which caused me a little bit of a blip. But other than that, a lot of the stuff I do is web-based anyway. It’s just the ubiquitous nature, it’s always there. If I want to take a note in iThoughtsHD, my mind mapping, bang, it’s there.
If I want to take an audio note, it’s there. If I want to look in Evernote, it’s there. So yes, I had to change a lot of the user account details on it to get to those things. But a lot of the services I use have web interfaces as well, so it didn’t cripple me to not be able to do it. So that’s my Honorable Mention, possibly elevated to a joint winner. The other one is my Livescribe pen.
Pete: You know what? I don’t think I used mine at all this year, I’m terrible. It’s in my desk here, not recently though.
Dom: It’s a weird little device. Again, I didn’t use it for a long time. In fact, at one point one of them failed on me and I sent it back and never replaced it. I replaced it this year.
Pete: With the Pulse or the first gen?
Dom: The new one, the Pulse, the big boy’s edition. And, it’s great because you don’t have to use it; there are so many different ways to use it. I actually use it as an audio dictation note-taking device because it is just a pen that records audio. So I can carry it with me anywhere. I don’t have to have extra hardware, nothing clever to fire it up and record a note to myself. I’ve been using it because I’ve been teaching a lot this year and I’m a big diagrammer.
I’m a big visual person, I explain by drawing and whatever. I do have ways of drawing diagrams. But when I’m live, when I start talking to somebody, I love to draw. I love to draw arrows and circles and things like that. The Livescribe pen was made for that. I literally sit there with my pad and I draw this thing for these people. And what’s left, by the way, might look like a bombsite. It might look like a dyslexic spider with a squint run across the page, but it’s actually a digital document without me having done any more work.
The audio track is available. I can save it as a PDF that they can click on. So it’s like, “What did he say when he drew that arrow?” And they click on it, and it plays back the audio. The feedback I’ve got from those interactions where I’ve been able to give that training to somebody as a composite, both a live kind of lecture and a reviewable bit of content, is amazing. It really, really changed the way I do things in that context. So that’s my vote, Livescribe.
Pete: Fantastic. I’ve got two as well. Funnily enough, they came in combination. It’s my Doxie Scanner and my Eye-Fi Card. Doxie Scanner is a little tiny document scanner from GetDoxie.com and it is an awesome little device. It simply takes A4 sheets of paper or smaller and scans them, which is nothing overly sexy about that, but it is really cool and really easy to use. It also comes with its own built-in battery and memory card, so you can actually scan it anywhere and come back to your computer and sync it up later.
It’s kind of handy because you don’t have to have all the cables with you and that all the time. Also, if you buy the extra add-on, is an Eye-Fi Card. What an Eye-Fi Card is, is a normal sort of SD card, like a normal digital camera memory card. So you have the ability to plug in any SD card to the back of this Doxie Scanner for additional hard drive space. The Eye-Fi Card is an SD card with Wi-Fi enabled in it. What you can actually do, is as soon as you scan stuff when set up the card, you can make it automatically send that file to Evernote through Wi-Fi.
Completely cable-less, which is just awesome. So, not only can you sync it up back to your computer through Wi-Fi, but you can scan photos and they can go straight to your Flickr account. You can scan documents that can go straight to your Evernote account. You can basically scan stuff and get it on your computer without having any cables. The cards are actually marketed towards digital cameras. So you can take photos from a digital camera and have them automatically sync to the cloud, so to speak.
There are some other really great ideas, one of which unfortunately I couldn’t convince Fleur to let me do is, imagine at a wedding, you have three or four digital cameras lying around at the reception with these Wi-Fi cards in there and a big TV screen connected to a big internet connection. So as soon as people take photos, they’re automatically, instantly fired across to a folder which has a slideshow running on it. It should be pretty cool.
Dom: Yeah. But knowing some of your friends, I can see why she didn’t want to do that.
Pete: True, true that. I found that just a handy piece of tech, but the Eye-Fi Card completely blew my mind at how cool that is to be able to have stuff happen and then automatically sync to the cloud and sync with Evernote. That’s something that’s been very, very cool that I’ve been using a lot.
With Evernote now, and as we spoke about that you convinced me to do in our note-taking episode, is I can just scan all my receipts, invoices, and contracts, and discussion points, just synch it to Evernote, and it becomes searchable automatically. Evernote has a service that goes and scans your photos and all your documents to make them searchable. That’s my Tech of the Year.
Dom: Cool. I’m getting that thing again where you are out-geeking me.
Pete: Shouldn’t happen, should not be allowed to happen.
Dom: It should not be allowed to happen. We’ll see what we can do to just bring that back about.
Pete: That’s your goal for 2012.
Dom: Out-geek Pete. No, because now you’ve not got an Ironman as a challenge, you will pick something else like out-geeking me and then I will stand a chance.
Pete: So, next category, your turn.
Dom: The next category is something close to our heart, Podcast of the Year.
Pete: Yes, for me I Love Marketing I think is a podcast that’s very underrated in the iTunes Store, particularly. If you did listen to one of their earlier episodes, the content was amazing, the audio was terrible. They have since changed that and the quality of their recording is crisp, clean and clear. So, I suggest that if you haven’t gotten on their bandwagon, to definitely jump back on it; or if you did get off the bandwagon, jump back on the bandwagon.
So yes, Dean and Joe speak about a lot of different things in the direct-response space and growing your business through marketing. It’s obviously a very marketing-oriented podcast unlike us who talk about all things entrepreneurial and productivity-based. They are very much about marketing, both offline and online. It is a fantastic podcast, they definitely know their stuff.
Dom: I completely agree. Their podcast, I’ve listened to for a long time, and I completely agree also, their audio was awful. They have improved it quite a lot. It got to a point where I almost did just write them a note and say, “Hey guys, come on.” It’s awesome as a marketing podcast. Just to get back at you with that whole you’re out-geeking me thing, I’m going to go completely off the reservation.
I really enjoy listening to the Mac Power Users podcast. It has its own problems because it can go on for over an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. They talk about the most geeky stuff going, they really do. When they do their specials, it’s off the charts. I spent an hour and a half with my note-taking, my mind mapping application listening avidly to this, typing away thinking, “This is amazing.” Obviously, if you’re not a Mac user, you are out of luck with that one. But they focus on everything we are into.
They focus on workflow, optimization, productivity applications and how to get the best out of your Mac. These are real people, they guys amazingly, the guys that run the Mac Power Users podcast are lawyers. They have day jobs and they just do this for fun and they invite all these really cool people on and talk about productivity applications and talk about how people use their Macs to the max. So I’m going with that, I’m going with the Mac Power Users just for the geek cred there.
Pete: I’m a big fan. I don’t devour all of their episodes because some of them, as you said, get too granular for me. But the workflow stuff I really enjoy, the episode that talk about workflow and that sort of stuff. A lot of them talk about really geeky, keyboard shortcuts to the nth degree that even goes over my head. But I definitely love the stuff that those guys do.
Dom: Next nomination is…
Pete: Is it me or is it you?
Dom: I just did Podcast of the Year, dude.
Pete: Course of the Year.
Dom: I’ve got kind of a membership. It’s a course of sorts, but it’s kind of a membership too. Is that OK?
Pete: That’s fine. This is all about Educational Product of the Year. Let’s give it a broader term.
Dom: OK. I’m going to talk about something that’s been around for a long time, it’s something I’ve been a member of since basically my first forays into Internet marketing. When I first started, when I was first a member of this, I’ll be honest with you, a lot of it went over my head. We talk a lot about Ed Dale and we talk a lot about The Challenge, the free Internet marketing training course that Ed puts together with his team.
One member of that team that we basically don’t talk about very much is a very quiet, unassuming chap who lives in Manchester in the UK, a guy by the name of Dan Raine, who I know you know very well. Dan is kind of the brains behind a membership site, a learning resource called The Immediate Edge. It’s just the most amazing resource for the theoretical and technical Internet-based online marketing that I’ve ever come across.
They cover absolutely every possible topic, but they cover it because Dan is some kind of savant. He’s a genius-grade operator. The man’s amazing. How he fits his brain in that head, I will never know. And the guys that work for him as well – shout out to Jon and Innes, who I both met last year. Fantastic guys, amazing people who do amazing work for Dan and put their own content into The Immediate Edge. These guys cover absolutely everything.
They’ve gone down into the depths of hell to build an iPhone or Android app, and really properly coming into it in a way that people can actually do, normal humans can do, not just me and you. It’s just such an amazing resource, and they carry on year after year, putting stuff in there. It’s not a specific focused course on a particular topic, but they have little blueprints and courses and focus things throughout the year that they run month by month. So they get my vote, definitely, The Immediate Edge.
Pete: Very cool. My source, funnily enough, is not from this year either. It’s been an interesting year in the information marketing space, particularly in the Internet marketing information space. Last year my Shitweasel went to Video Boss, Andy Jenkins’ product. I thought that was a fantastic course on online video creation and marketing. It was just so in-depth, it was amazing. This year, there’s been a bit of a lack of really high-quality volume in that sort of space.
It’s been a bit of a shift in the space, a lot of people re-launching stuff, releasing version 3.2 and all that other sort of stuff. I don’t think there’s anything new that came out that has really blown my mind this year. But I do have to say, a product or course I only came across this year that I think I’ve actually devoured three times now, the audio version, is Dan Kennedy’s Influential Writing.
It’s a recording of a workshop he did, a high-end workshop he did for some of his members. Then, it was, like Gary Halbert, one of the first people in the information-marketing space from a teaching perspective and is, again, the godfather as well. His Influential Writing course is, funnily enough, not about writing. There’s very little in the audios where he talks about how to construct a sales letter or anything like that.
The actual stuff, from what I got from the course, is he spends a lot of time talking about understanding your market, segmenting your market, understanding your client base, building a relationship and how to deal with that before you put pen to paper. Obviously, the structure’s there to then write the sales letter, he does go into that, but it’s an amazing resource just about understanding what your clients, your prospects, and your community needs, wants, requires and how to communicate with them effectively, and fundamentally influence and lead them in a marketing sense.
So you can apply this to influence your community through a video, through audio, or through writing, which is what the underlying tone of the course is. But I thought it was a fantastic program. I think six audio CDs and three PDF workbooks with transcripts, workbook notes, swipe file and that sort of stuff. That was the course that I came across this year that made me go back and revisit it three times.
Dom: Dan Kennedy is one of those old-school guys. A bit like Gary Halbert, started years and years ago doing it the hard way and has worked through to the online. All of those things are old-school skills which are always still applicable. It’s always worth going back and looking at this stuff.
Pete: Absolutely, because human psychology doesn’t change, just the tools you use do. But you can go through courses like Influential Writing, which we’ll put a link to over at PreneurMedia.tv in the show notes there. We’ll put a link to all of the products and all of this stuff that we speak about in today’s episode.
Dom: Next up, we have Service of the Year.
Pete: Service of the Year for me is Shoeboxed. It’s a service that has been a fantastic resource for me, although I don’t delve into it on a regular basis. It has been a fantastic service that continues to expand their offering. Basically, for those who don’t know what it is, you subscribe for a monthly fee and they will send you a big blue envelope on a regular basis. And in there, you can stuff your receipt; you can now stuff invoices, business cards and any other documents you want, and they will go off and scan and categorize that information for you automatically.
It was originally designed to purely handle your receipt from an accounting, bookkeeping and tax perspective. You can just dump all of your receipts into the envelope, they will scan them and then categorize them based on the type of store you went to. Based on a bit of user experience and crowdsourcing in terms of tagging and things like that, they will go and file and categorize all your receipts electronically.
So if you need them for tax services or anything like that, you can give access to your account to your accounting or bookkeeping team, or you can just download and export the files as well. They have expanded it down to business cards, so they will scan your business cards for you and automatically create an address book indexes so you can then just download those indexes into your own Gmail address book or anything like that, which is very cool.
And now they take any document you sent. They will scan and save it for you. It is an alternative to the Doxie Scanner I talked about earlier, but it’s a great way to go paperless and still have access to your stuff on the cloud too. It’s been phenomenal service for me, I highly recommend it.
Dom: They do a really cool thing – they kind of crowdsource the categorization as well, don’t they?
Pete: Yes. Basically, what they do, you might have a store that you purchase from, a supermarket, hypothetically, which is a receipt sitting on my desk right now. What will happen is, if other people tag that as shopping for groceries, then they will automatically tag it in your account as a grocery expense too. So it’s using the members to help categorize stuff.
As they build up their database of more stores and more users, it helps them categorize files automatically for you, which is really cool. I think it’s all human-verified too, which is even more amazing. They scan it, but they still get humans to verify it and make sure that it matches what the scanner picked up in terms of tax details and things like that.
Dom: Awesome. For me, I’m going to go back to something we recently talked about, even though this is Service of the Year, I’m going to talk about this and it is Read It For Me because you and I consume massive amounts of information. You are forever recommending books to me and you can’t listen to anything, or follow anybody in our space without them recommending the next big thing book-wise. There’s a lot of information to consume and we’ve reviewed Read It For Me recently, so I won’t go over it too much.
It’s basically a book-summarization service. You subscribe, and every month, they summarize the books. It’s like book summarization on steroids because the material they produce is phenomenal. They produce a video, a PDF and a worksheet, and it’s a complete learning system that follows a pattern. So go back and listen to the podcast on that if you haven’t already
Because that has changed me; and going forward into 2012, that’s going to increase the amount of business and marketing and that kind of information that I can review. I will still get the book if I still feel I need to get the detail out of it; but what it does is give me a high-level overview, like having a reading group or somebody else has read the book and tells you what it’s all about but in a useful way. It’s a great filter and well worth investing in if you’re a big consumer of that type of information.
Pete: Absolutely. And you can get that over at ReadItFor.Me/PreneurCast. I actually had a chat with Steve this morning for about half an hour, he’s the brains behind that service. They’ve got some really cool stuff coming down the pipe for next year. So you were saying it will help you get through a lot of books; from what I heard this morning is going to help you get through a lot more books every month, if you read between the lines.
Dom: OK. Wink, wink.
Pete: It’s some very cool stuff and also cool stuff for people who sign up through ReadItFor.Me/PreneurCast who listen to PreneurCast. We’ll get to track you guys and give you some pretty good stuff for the New Year as well. So if you do, check it out and enjoy it. Shoot and email through to our support desk, it’s [email protected]. We’d love to hear your feedback about the service.
I’m kind of checking in with Steve quite regularly to give input, and obviously, the input of our community to help them grow the service. I think it’s been fantastic. That’s definitely a service I would have to put up there as well, as Service of the Year. It’s quite possible next year’s Shitweasel will go to Read It For Me when Steve implements all the stuff that’s coming down the pipe.
Dom: Cool. Next category…
Pete: Is the Best Blog or Website of the Year. What’s on your list there?
Dom: Again, oldie but goodie. I’ve got a couple. I’ve got a super uber geek one and I’ve got a marketing/business one. This year, I’ve enjoyed two completely different blogs and the first one is Seth Godin’s blog. I have Seth feeding into one of my feed readers on the iPad, and he has got into the habit of publishing very short pieces, like readable in 30 seconds or a minute, but they are very thought-inspiring, deep things that he talks about.
Pretty high-level, but it’s very quick. It stops and makes you think, and you start to think about your business or how you’re doing work, whatever you’re doing. It can change from day to day, how I do things, and give me a little bit of the steer, a little bit of that direction, so I’m enjoying it. It’s a bit of an inspirational thing as well. I’m enjoying that. The other one is marco.org. I forget the guy’s name – I apologize if it’s wrong, it’s Marco Arment, I believe.
I will probably go back in and edit it out when I’ve got it right. Marco is the developer of Instapaper. His blog is uber geeky on the one hand; he talks about all kinds of stuff that’s just off the scale of geekiness, but at the same time, he also talks about business and the software industry, the app development. He’s a big Apple guy. It’s kind of a huge smorgasbord of different topics, but he is a big thinker.
He has opinions on what’s going on with things like patent problems that were happening earlier in the year. He’s got good perspective on the whole business thing and what’s going on out there. I just find it interesting to see that mix in one place. It’s not my must-read, read-it-every-day, first-thing-in-the-morning-type of thing; but as an enjoyable thing to read, I’m right into that one.
Pete: Very cool. I’ve got a couple. I wasn’t going to include this, but just to spite everybody that I had lunch with today who gave me a lot of stick for mentioning my own book in last week’s episode of my top five business books, I’m going to actually put one of my favorite websites this year is one of my own websites, noise.re, which is the home of Noise Reduction.
I actually go back to that quite regularly, it’s a bit of an open bookmarking service for me to a certain extent. So, to spite everyone at lunch today, I’ll put that one in there. Another Shitweasel for this year goes to a website I visit or visits me through the wonderful world of Google Reader and RSS feeds on a daily basis, and actually helps fuel Noise Reduction: MakeUseOf.com.
It’s a really cool blog that basically just talks about apps and services as they come out, and gives them a quick little review and overview. It’s a way I keep my finger on the pulse. I’m kind of giving away the Colonel’s secret spices here, it’s one of the many RSS feeds that I subscribe to that keeps me at the forefront of apps and tools and services that I often recommend as part of Noise Reduction.
Dom: I love them. I don’t have their feed, I get their stuff as an email.
Pete: Very cool. Also, I’ve got to say MacSparky, who’s one of the co-hosts of the podcast you gave your Shitweasel to earlier, and it’s a good one for Mac tools, workflows, productivity and stuff like that. Also, I gave my award last year to Tim Ferriss’ blog, The 4-Hour Workweek blog ; and I have to say, that still spins out some awesome content.
He doesn’t post a lot. But when he does post, it’s very thoughtful and very in-depth, and it is a good little read. It makes you think about life and stuff in a slightly different way that only Tim can make us do. So big props to Tim and his blog, it’s a fantastic read on a regular basis.
Dom: Cool. That is my awards for the year. I want to add one.
Pete: OK, fire away.
Dom: Those ones we talked about, we’ve kind of pre-thought these ones through. Last year you did Person of the Year and I have two.
Pete: I should actually say really quickly that I’m actually prepared for one. If I think about it, for me personally, and this is a very intrinsic award nomination goes to the same person as last year. I had James as my first pick last year and he was my Ironman coach this year; and I have to say, I could not have done that race in the time I did it in and recovered so well and enjoyed it so much without his coaching and support and all of that.
He is, for me the reigning person, personally. From a marketing perspective, I want to hear yours too. I don’t want to think of somebody on the fly, I’m sure I’ll insult someone by not mentioning them.
Dom: I have two, and these two people, awhile back I talked about in a slightly offhand manner about Thanksgiving and making sure that you say thank you. And you’ve just done that; James has helped you and I don’t doubt for one second from all the various names that you’ve called your trainers in the past for the amount of effort they put into making you stay on track and keep up with your training that James has been awesome for you.
But, I want to make sure that I say thank you this year. Two people have made a big difference to my year this year, and they’re actually both on your side of the fence. The first one of those is your key outsourcer, Flo, who has really demonstrated to me the value of having a fully trained, fully supported outsourcer available to pick up all those little jobs that just need doing but you tend to not get around to them. Some of the bigger ones need doing that you might actually not want to learn how to do.
Pete: She has been phenomenal for me and our whole team, so yes, I couldn’t agree more with that one.
Dom: So I want to put a big official thank you out to Flo, not just for what she does for the business, for helping me while I work on the projects with you, but just as I said, for showing me really how you can work very well with an outsourcer as long as you train them, back them up, and give them the resources and support. A lot of people have problems with their outsourcers.
And you and I have talked about it before. Usually, if you have a have a problem with an outsourcer, it’s you not them. But that’s a topic for an entire other podcast. And my other Person of the Year is you.
Pete: Get off it…
Dom: This year, you have been a mentor. We haven’t talked about mentoring this year and…
Pete: We’ll definitely do an episode next year.
Dom: We will. When you and I started working together on this podcast, it was, “Hey Dom, I want to do a podcast.” I was, “Hey Pete, let’s do a podcast. It’s really cool. I can do the technical stuff and you can do the talking and it will be really cool.” But throughout the year we have worked together, I have learned completely, unofficially it wasn’t intentional, we haven’t had a formal arrangement, but I have learned so much from you and you have given me so much of your time and supported my business and my growth that I just wanted to say thank you.
Pete: I couldn’t have done this year without you as well, mate. You’ve been a great co-host, a great ‘media put-togetherer’.
Dom: I’m going to have a business card with that on it.
Pete: No, mate, thank you as well. It’s been a fantastic year. It’s been a lot of fun, this podcast has been. It’s been really cool. I’ve really enjoyed doing it with you and doing it for the community out there as well. So we’ll definitely continue next year. I appreciate that one, mate. I should also obviously include you as my Person of the Year. As I said, literally, this year wouldn’t have happened without you helping produce all the content and all the stuff that’s being put out to the Preneur Community and the few other projects that people probably wouldn’t know about for obvious reasons.
One person that did come to mind that I’ll mention as well is Dave Jenyns, who’s a really good buddy of mine who moved into my offices, moved his team to part of our building this year, which is super cool, as did Mike Rhodes, who’s a PPC expert. They both moved their teams into our office this year. I’m actually trying to build a cool, little community in our office. There’s actually some more space. We’re going to try and get a few other people to move in.
Unfortunately, Jen Sheahan has really embraced the outsourcing world that she has and has no other team members actually work in an office with her, so she can’t take up any space. We’re trying to convince some other people to move into our office on a regular basis and build a really cool little permanent mastermind group in Melbourne, which would be the Melbourne Marketing Mastermind. But Dave has been really cool partner on a number different projects with me on a regular basis. I have some big plans with him next year.
I think he’s an epitome of implementation; particularly, in the video space. He’s doing some really cool stuff and produces a lot of video content. Big props out to Davey J for what he’s done this year. He’s had huge growth in creating a business. I’ve known him for awhile and he’s always been a very successful internet marketer and things like that, but I think this year he’s taken, from what I’ve seen since he’s in our building I’ve been able to see that a lot more, I see him every day; but I think he has had huge growth in a business perspective and also from producing a lot of very cool content for his community as well. Big props to him.
Dom: Yeah, that guy is off the chart as an implementer. If you want to follow somebody and implement and get it done, that guy really follows the JFDI methodology. That’s definitely Dave Jenyns. Although Pete, you just can’t nominate somebody for this just because they let you play with their big camera.
Pete: Big camera, yes, he does have some cool tech that I’m allowed to play around in our permanently set-up video studio, which is really cool to have.
Dom: I’m very jealous.
Pete: I want to mention one more really quick Shitweasel that I gave out last year, I’ll mention again this year. I had Documentary of the Year as one of my awards last year and I mentioned Comedian, which is an awesome documentary that Jerry Seinfeld produced and made about his re-entry into the world of stand-up after his TV show. He went back and actually built up a comedy routine and the documentary follows him going through that process of writing and performing a new comedy set.
And it’s very reassuring and encouraging to see how much hard work and hardship he had to go through to actually produce something a second time around. Obviously, he was a huge success in the stand-up world, a huge success in the TV comedy world, and literally, he could have just put on a show at Madison Square Garden, walked out one day, told a couple of crappy jokes and would have sold out the venue.
But, he really wanted to make sure he produced something good and went through a lot of hard work, late nights, random stand-up gigs to get his groove back. He was struggling. He went through a lot of personal growth doing that, and this documentary covers that. So, I think for entrepreneurs who have highs and lows as you are producing something of quality for your customers, be it a service or a product, I think it’s worth a watch. That’s my Documentary of the Year as well.
Dom: Nice one. That’s something you recommended to me. I want to watch that because years ago I watched a similar thing that Lily Tomlin did, which was fascinating just to see it. As you say, they could just sit back, they could put up a poster saying ‘Seinfeld Tonight,’ and people would buy it; they’d sit there and laugh even if the jokes were crap. But he put a lot of effort into that, you talked to me about it before. Yeah, I can see why you recommend that one.
Pete: So, that’s it, guys. That is our best of 2011, our Shitweasels awards of this year. I hope everyone’s enjoyed today’s episode. We’ve got one more before the year is out. We will do a big of a precursor or a prelude to next week’s show. This podcast has grown so much. We have such a huge audience now, we’re stepping into Oprah’s shoes because we can. We are that big.
We’re having Pete and Dom’s Favorite Things next week in honor of Oprah, the Big O, who had Oprah’s Favorite Things episode where she just gave away things that she liked or things that sponsored paid her to like. You can read that as you will. But for us, it is actually step we actually like and we are going to be giving away some stuff to you guys, to the listeners. Without you, we would just be talking to microphones by ourselves.
And we would probably still do that anyway, but it’s good to have emails come through after every episode and the feedback. What we will be doing next week is giving away a bunch of that stuff, some of the books we spoke about today, some audiobooks, some physical books, some other online services, and some really cool stuff to listeners. There’s going to be a little bit of a hurdle you’ll have to jump, a hurdle that will help us but won’t cost you anything, just a little time investment.
You’ll be able to go in the draw to win some really cool stuff that’s Pete and Dom’s favorite stuff. So be sure to check out next week’s episode. The competition will be running for the entire month of January because Christmas and other holiday festivities and all that sort of stuff, people might not be listening to this live. So the contest will be open for three or four weeks. Make sure you check it out because it is a good chance to chat with us and actually get some cool goodies, we’re playing Santa Claus.
Dom: And just in case you think you won’t need anything extra, we’re also going to give you a bit of a look forward to 2012 and the types of things we are going to be working on next year.
Pete: So, we will see you all next week for the final edition of 2011 for PreneurCast. Thank you very much. PreneurMedia.tv is where you can play with us online, get all the links and the show notes. Follow myself @preneur on Twitter, and Dom…
Dom: @dgoucher still.
Pete: Still haven’t changed that? OK guys, see you all next week.
Built to Sell – John Warillow
Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff
I Love Marketing
Mac Power Users
Dan Kennedy’s Influential Writing
Immediate Edge (there’s a $1 trial right now!!)
Comedian – Jerry Seinfeld
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