How Chris Brogan and Julien Smith Tweeted Me: The Power of Connectivity

On Thursday, I wrote a post called Awkward Moments Experiment“ to prove that awkwardness isn’t so bad. I posted that I’d start on the day my classes begin, which is Sept. 19.

I had a few re-tweets from some of my readers who counted themselves in and liked the experiment.

Then something very subtle happened.

Sarah wrote this tweet to me.

She commented that my post was quite like Julien’s latest post on Guts. Fortunately, the two posts were published on the same day and ended up relating well to one another.

A few hours later, Julien re-tweeted my post because of Sarah’s tweet that @mentioned both of us.

It made me smile to know that he liked the post enough to re-tweet it. It also gave me a few more followers.

The following day (Friday), Chris Brogan also re-tweeted my twitter username based on Julien’s recommendation.

In one minute, 25 new people followed me. I gained many new followers from that simple tweet.

Unknowingly, she ended up connecting me to more than 50 new followers in a day, the New York Times Bestselling authors of Trust Agents (not an affiliate link), and that feeling that evades all of us at times: an elated mood.

It still makes me happy looking back on what happened.

It’s a perfect example of how anyone (big or small, A-lister or someone just starting) can make a greater impact than they imagine.

Something as small as tweeting someone else’s work could create a huge impact. All of those things happened because Sarah gave one minute of her time to give that simple tweet.

That’s why it’s so powerful to connect and share ideas with others. Even if you only connect with one person, that one person could create a chain reaction that spreads to so many other people.

Please share this idea, so others learn how powerful they truly are. All they need to do is share ideas and connect with one another.

Awkward Moments Experiment

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
Brian Tracy

I’ve decided to create this to help me take more risks because my final year of college is looming.

I’ll create situations everyday for 30 days where two things happen:
1. I’m feeling extremely awkward.
2. It benefits the other person or group.

I’m tired of avoiding “perceived danger.” I have to let the training wheels go. I’m down to one year, so the pressure is on.

It’s a distant cousin of Rejection Therapy.
The major difference is that I don’t have to ask for anything.

Some examples:
1. Giving hi-fives to random people.
2. Going to a party, even if I don’t talk much. (I tend to avoid them, so that’s awkward.)
3. Wearing my shirt backwards the whole day.

The starting date is:
Sept 19.

Who’s with me?

In the comments below:
-Give me some ideas (reminder: It’s a University Campus)
-Tell me if you want to participate in this too or wish me luck.
-Anything else that’s in your awesome mind.

25 Bloggers I Thanked (The Thank You Experiment)

Originally called “The Thank You Project 2011” by Jacob. I appreciate his support for encouraging me to do my own thank you experiment.

The original rules:
-Thank someone everyday.
-Don’t take longer than 10 minutes each day to write the message to them.
-Keep it under 5 sentences and don’t ask for anything or any favor in return.

I’ll write about the 30 people (25 of them bloggers) and why I thanked them in order to prove that they make a collective difference to me and everyone else they touch.

1. Jacob (@Jacobsokol) for the whole project idea. It was funny to send him the first one for irony.

2. Niall (@Ndoherty13) because he helped me with the Random Acts of Courage and was one of the first people to talk to me on Twitter when I was getting started. Much of his work helped me open up and be more transparent on my own blog. Also, pissing off zombies is a fun thing to do.

3. Jana (@Jinuit) because we had that amazing 10-minute conversation on letting go.

4. Rhina (@Rhinaju) because she’s been one of my biggest supporters. We’ve e-mailed one another for a couple of months now back and forth trading ideas. It’s proof that e-mail isn’t so bad after all, if you put it to good use. Check out her awesome blog, Giltclover. It has genius written all over it.

5. Patricia (@Monthadventure) because she helped me get the courage to publish that Painful Secret post. I wrote a rough draft for her and she helped me get a grasp of what I needed to talk about in the final. Check out her site, Monthly Adventure, because she has a monthly experiment every month to live extraordinarily.

6. Benjamin (@Benjaminspall) because he helped me get more ideas. One of his posts, (“Our Only Real Currency”) really hit me because of how important the time vs. money issue really is.

7. Tessa (@TeeZeng) because we had a skype chat where I ended up getting closer to my vision. The talk helped me see the core reason why I wanted to break down as many social barriers as possible. If there’s a core passion behind what you’re doing, then you’re definitely more encouraged to do it. She could also help you with your vision.

8. Sebastian (@SebastMarsh) because he got me started with my own self-hosted blog. He told me all of the great benefits that a self-hosted blog would have. He also writes in a way that creates a winning attitude, which is why I back-link to quite a bit of his work.
-I also had to thank him again because he made one of my posts go viral.

9. Michelle (@Pushing_Beauty) because she took the offer for me to interview her in an e-mail. Her portfolio is quite awesome so you should check her out. The full interview will be posted in the near future. Check out her work here.

10. Mark (@Markosul) because of the Nausea post he wrote. It gave me a realistic idea of writing for the sake of writing and doing what I do because I feel like it. Whether success comes or not doesn’t really matter.

11. Mars Dorian (@Marsdorian) for his branding site. It is legendary. His tips on branding are extremely useful.

12. Jason Comely (@JasonComely) because he’s the creator of Rejection Therapy. I had to thank him because he enabled me to see the world with more opportunity. Without that game, I’m not here writing today.

13. Benny (@BennyHsu) because he’s one of the best new bloggers out there. He shares his own personal stories at Get Busy Living in a way that makes you capture what he felt. It really resonates. Then he delivers on self-improvement tips to help you with your mindset as well.

14. Fabian (@FabianKruse) because he helped me with his “Yes-policy” (saying Yes to anything within his power) by suggesting experiments to me. Look here if you want to live an interesting life!

15. Anthony (@ManVsClock) for good twitter chats. Sometimes it’s something as simple as that. Also, his website is a ticking countdown towards his adventures.

16. Stella (@StellaSzeto) because her post on letting go inspired me to write about the idea of shallowness. You can’t settle for the good enough person or good enough anything, so you need to let go of the “good enough”. You have to demand the best fit for you, which is different from perfection.

17. Jk (@Jkthehuster) because he wrote a post around the same time as Stella that talked about how looks matter. It was more about giving your best foot forward and having a great appearance to present to others but I could relate that back to that shallow post.

18. Cordelia [Kelly] (@Cordeliacallsit) because she’s supported me from day one. I also wanted to thank her for the genius idea of quits that she created.

19. Vlad (@Vladdolezal) because of his polyamory post. It opened me up to the idea and learn his reasons for living that lifestyle. (I’m open to anything at the moment. I don’t want to set things into stone obviously.)

20. Stephen (@Deepexistence) for his post about getting rejected by this girl that his parents met at Olive Garden. It’s an interesting post that I could resonate with and I wonder why she rejected him. It doesn’t add up really. However, that’s rejection. If you’re willing to not see it as personal, it’ll bring you a long way.

21. Takuin (@Takuin) for writing an amazing e-book. He also did his own 28-day fasting with loose reflections.

22. Ollie (@Olliesaunders) because he made logical points to someone who doubted my blog’s intent when I went viral. He made a sound rebuttal to his remarks.

23. Greg (@100cups) for the awesome idea of getting coffee/tea with 100 strangers. I will definitely be doing this as well, although the set number isn’t in place.

24. Jason (@JasonShen) for helping me out a ton with his insights on Rejection Therapy. I link to his stuff a lot because it resonates greatly.

25. Stacey (@mylifestylemax) because of her recent post about how being alone doesn’t directly mean being lonely.

26. My mother because she’s helped me and supported me all my life. Without her, I’m not here typing this right now.

27. My cousin because we talk a lot about anything, especially hockey. (Yes, there are hockey fans here!)

28-29. A couple of my real life friends that have always been there for me. However, they’re away from the area currently because they went to universities outside of the area. (California is vast.)

30. You. I want to thank you, the reader, for giving me the time of day by reading my posts. To celebrate you, share anything you’re thankful for or thankful to in the comments below!

On a random note: This was my 100th post!

[Disclosure: Nothing given to me. I linked to everyone’s page because I like them and their work.]
[Note: Let me know if there are any errors, dead-links, etc.]
If you like my work, I hope you subscribe to my blog and check those other people out!

Want Productivity? Meet @Sarahkpeck for Coffee

This post is inspired by Greg. He is in the process of meeting 100 strangers for tea. I decided that I’d try to do the same because, as Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.”

He fully supported my decision to embark on meeting people this way as well, so I send much appreciation his way. I’ll write them in present-tense to make you feel like you were there. I’ll also number these meetings based on chronological order in the best of tab.

July 27th, 2011. 1:59PM.

I take a BART ride from the East Bay to San Francisco. As the train nears the city, I can’t help but notice the gradual increase of humans that populate the train that I’m in. After the 5 minute spaceship-like tunnel that connects Oakland to San Francisco (train-wise, whereas the Bay Bridge does the job car-wise), I can’t help but notice all the tourists, homegrown people, hipsters, street musicians, businessmen, and hobos. It fascinates me that we’re all under the one commonality called humanity, yet we have so much variation.

I exit the station: Montgomery St.

I ride the escalator into the heart of the SOMA district of San Francisco, where I am welcomed by the sun and strangers walking all around me.

As I walk along the streets, I see many people waiting for the bus to arrive. The bus hums along about a block away in the distance. I notice a few people behind me trying to make it before the bus arrives. Once the bus comes, they run into the entrance of the bus and disappear like the others. The bus zooms along.

I see many tourists walking along the streets with their families, having a fun time. I see locals walking around without minding the crosswalks. I see people texting on their phones while walking on the sidewalk. The sun shines upon all of them.

I notice how close I am to SFMOMA, the San Francisco version of the Museum of Modern Art. I’ve had so many memories in that funky building that spans five floors wide. I’ve seen different videos, different masterpieces, different works of art, with different people each time. It gives me a certain calm.

Finally, I end up on 3rd St. and Mission St., which is the street I’m supposed to meet Sarah.

I end up passing Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, and entered right into The Grove, which is a local coffee and tea house. It amazes me how equal the crowd density is in all three of the locations.


I’m 15 minutes early. I head back to Starbucks to get a drink since I have a gift card.

The cashier kindly asks me, “Ready here sir.” I tell him, “Just a small iced coffee.”
I give him the gift card and see that $3.20 is remaining on the balance once the transaction is finished.

Three coffee houses all battling for customers. A quiet battle that goes on daily.

As the clock strikes 2:25, Sarah texts me and says she’s just arrived at one of the tables at The Grove.

I enter the house-like entrance and see her sitting at one of the tables on the left.

(How the Grove looks like inside.)

I sit down and say hello.

I decide to start with the fact on her about page has a goal where she wants to walk, bike, or run every street in San Francisco. It’s funny because I have the same goal. We both agree it’s something we have to do eventually but it isn’t on the top of our lists.

She said it best: “Even if I accomplished that goal, it wouldn’t make a huge difference. It would be nice to do but isn’t in my top priority.” I concur.

Then I asked her about the novel that she was starting to write. She stated that she’s writing a novel that will be completed at the end of August. It’ll be about her amazing talents of open water swimming. (She swam around SF bay as well!)

She also says that her tone and voice will be comparable to how she writes on her tumblr.

Then she asks about what I do.

I tell her that I connect with people because it’s such an adrenaline rush to learn about what other amazing people are doing. I also tell her that I volunteer at a medical recycling center where they send out medical supplies to third world countries. (I’ll write about that soon.)

I also say that my blog was originally about trying to get rejected each day to face my fears. I also tell her about the other experiments I do (limiting Facebook, thanking someone everyday, etc.)

Then she tells me how she had a meeting before our meetup and how she’ll have another meeting after we meet up at 4pm. She tells me that all she needs is a couple of minutes between each different meetup in order to adjust herself. She speaks extremely quickly at this point. (It’s the beautiful case of extreme productivity and the power of Diet Cola.)

We need to have that productivity because we’re fortunate enough to be born in a first world country. In order to uphold that fortune, we shouldn’t take our resources for granted. We need to make something amazing out of the opportunity.

She goes back to talking about the novel. She wants to write 50,000 words by the end of August. She tells me that she holds the pace by writing around 3,000 words a week from the beginning of May. (That’s around 428 words a day, which is very reasonable if you think about it in that way.)

Finally, she shares that she’ll have to say no to the next time that I (or any of her other friends for that matter) want to hang out with her because she wants to finish all of the things that’s on her list of things to do. These next few months will be quite busy for her.


She needs to get to her meeting and I need to get going as well. We both say “nice meeting you” and I tell her that I’ll say no to her too (as a joke).

As I walk out the door, I realize that she emits an aura of productivity that can make anyone motivated.

Check her other work out at It Starts With.

[Disclosure: nothing exchanged except awesome ideas.]

On Happiness

Each person has their own interpretation of happiness.

In the comments below, what makes you happy? It could be as short as one word or as long as an essay.

I’ll share my definition of happiness whenever I wake up today.

*To motivate you to comment, I’ll attempt to use one or two replies in an upcoming post.