Category Archives for "Michael Hyatt"

Book Review: Platform by Michael Hyatt

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt provides a step-by-step guide for getting people to listen to what you have to say.  This book has been on my “To Read List” for sometime.  I’m glad a finally got the chance to read Platform, and it will be a part of my library that I go back to again and again.

In Platform, Michael Hyatt writes over 50 chapters that will help readers get noticed in today’s social media driven world.  Each of these chapters which reads like a blog post can stand alone but when put together provide a comprehensive look at growing your platform.  As a fellow blogger, Michael Hyatt’s story and advice relate pretty well to my own platform.  Even if you’re not a blogger, Hyatt’s knowledge can be applied to those who are creating a podcast, a book, a blog, or anything else that involves your voice.

Platform has definitely left me with lots to think about, and it’s an essential reference for bloggers, authors, and speakers.  I’d recommend Platform to anyone who wants to get noticed in this noisy world.

How could establishing and growing your platform help you to get heard?  What do you have to share that is worth being heard?  What’s your platform?  What would a platform make possible for you?

Announcing June Giveaway Winners

Last week, I announced that I would be giving away two prizes to lucky winners.  The winners were selected randomly, but their chances increased based on interaction on the blog and other social media platforms.  This was the first time, I’ve tried something quite like this, and I’m happy to say that the results were promising.  I added several new subscribers to the blog and new fans of the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook Fan Page.  There were also new commenters on the blog this week, and The Stretched Blog received several plugs this week via Twitter.  Overall, the blog experienced the third highest week of traffic since the beginning of the year.  I will definitely be trying this type of giveaway again.

Okay, I’ve delayed long enough.  Here are the winners of this month’s giveaway:

Winner of Platform by Michael Hyatt:  Mark Sullens

(Mark entered by being a fan of the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook Fan Page.)

Winner of Love Does by Bob Goff:  Tim McNatt

(Tim entered by being a subscriber of The Stretched Blog.)

I’ll be reaching out to the winners this week via e-mail to confirm mailing addresses.  Thanks to everyone for entering this month’s giveaway!

 What would you like to see me giveaway next month?  What other giveaways should The Stretched Community check out?

Giveaway: Platform & Love Does

This month, I’m trying something new – a giveaway!  I’ll give away Platform by Michael Hyatt to one lucky winner, and I’ll give away Love Does by Bob Goff to a second lucky winner.  Both of these books were recently released and are on my “to-read” list.  You can increase your chances of winning by taking the following actions:

(1) Subscribe to the Stretched blog.  On the right side of the main page, there’s an easy place for you to enter your e-mail, so you get Stretched delivered to your e-mail everyday.  I’ll give you 5 points for this task.  (If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll automatically get 5 points!)  I won’t share your e-mail with anyone else.

(2) ‘Like’ the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook Fan Page.  I’ll give you 3 points for this task.  (If you already like Jon Stolpe Stretched, you’ll automatically get 3 points!)

(3)  Post a link to this blog on Twitter.  In order to get credit for this task, you must include my twitter handle in your tweet – @jonstolpe.  I’ll give you 2 points for this task.  I’ll throw in 2 points each day that you tweet this between now and the end of the contest.

(4)  Leave a comment on this post.  Finally, I’ll give you 2 more points if you leave a comment on this post.  The best comments will answer one of these questions.  What is something that you have won in the past?  What do you think I should give away next month?  What is on your “to-read” list?

You have one week to enter this contest.  I will announce the winners next week.


Slow Down

Yesterday, in four or five conversations with different people the subject of busyness came up. The conversations went something like this:

My friend: “Hey, how are you?”

Me: “Okay, how about yourself.”

My friend: “Good, but I’ve been real busy lately.”

Me: “I hear you. I’ve been busy lately as well. It seems like I’m running from one thing to the next.”

Seriously, this conversation with minor variations was repeated several times yesterday. Why do we allow ourselves to become so busy. Do we like being busy, or do we just like the opportunity to tell others that we’re busy? In all our running around, are we making progress towards something that really matters, or are we just trying to keep up with the neighbors?

Staying busy for the sake of being busy is pointless. And even if our activities result in something good, we still need to analyze our list of activities. Are we participating in activities that match up with our gifts and passions? Are we leaving any space in our schedules for rest and reflection? Are we truly making the most of our opportunities – especially when we’re being pulled in a million different activities?

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve read a couple of blog posts and listened to a podcast or two that deal with this topic. Michael Hyatt talked about the importance of calendar triage in his blog in the past week. The FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey Podcast talked about the importance of simplifying our lives in an interview with Dr. Meg Meeker.

These are challenging messages to hear in this culture – especially in the Northeast where everyone seems so ME focused.  So how can we change this?  Here are four simple ideas that could make a huge difference in our journey to take control of our schedules:

1.  Write it down.  Take time at the beginning of each month and at the beginning of each week to write down and review the calendar.  Seeing it in front of you on a calendar will quickly show you if there are any gaps in your calendar for rest and refreshment.

2.  Prioritize and prune.  As you list out your activities and commitments, consider prioritizing them.  You may want to use a number system to assign a priority to each item on your calendar.  Going to church is a top priority in our house, so it gets a 1.  Other things might be a lower priority, so we can assign them a 2 or a 3.  As you review your calendar, consider giving up one of the lower priority activities.

3.  Schedule time for rest, refreshment, and reflection.  Seriously, block off time on your calendar.  Give this a top priority.  Don’t let something else come along and take its place.  This is something we’re still working on at home.  We have tried to make Monday night open for our date night.  This has worked most of the time; however, I must confess that the past couple of weeks we’ve let other things come in the way of this.

4.  Practice sabbath.  I was talking with my good friend, Michael Shaw, yesterday about this very subject.  Michael, who is Jewish, holds the sabbath (sun-down Friday night to sun-down Saturday night) sacred.  He literally shuts down each week during this time.  God’s command for a sabbath was not just meant for us to focus on Him, I believe it was designed to create a regular rhythm of rest in our lives.  It’s important that we find ways to practice the sabbath.

What is one thing that you need to trim off your calendar or schedule this month?  What other suggestions do you have for slowing down?

3 Thumbs Up! May 5th, 2012 (Cinco de Mayo)

Time for this week’s 3 Thumbs Up! Stretched blog post. Each week, I feature three things that get a thumbs up. Similar to last week, this week’s post highlights an iPad application, a podcast, and a blog.

Thumbs Up Number 1: WordPress application for iPad. This may not sound very exciting, but I have totally appreciated this application. For three of this week’s Stretched posts, I have been able to write most of the posts on my iPad. This has saved me time later on. While I still go back to the PC to clean up the post, I like having the ability to draft my posts through the iPad. In fact, today’s post was initially written on the iPad using the WordPress application last night.

Thumbs Up Number 2: This Is Your Life podcast by Michael Hyatt. I featured this podcast several weeks ago when it first launched. Since then Michael Hyatt has released ten great episodes about living and leading more intentionally. Each episode which typically runs for 30 minutes is packed with ideas that can be immediately applied to life. This week’s episode was about finding ways to shave 10 hours off your work week. Check out this podcast by clicking here.

Thumbs Up Number 3: I Love Skippack blog by Michael Shaw. Michael blogs about a town just up the road from me. Each post highlights a particular business or aspect of Skippack, PA, and the posts are sprinkled with Michael’s personal stories and passion for the town he loves. Michael and I met through the Internet,and we’ve actually had the chance to meet on several occasions for lunch or over a drink. I love the conversations we have about our faiths and about our passion for blogging. Whether you live near Skippack or not, you should check out I Love Skippack and become a regular reader. Leave a comment on the blog, and tell Michael that I sent you.

So there you have it. This week’s 3 Thumbs Up! Now, it’s your turn. What’s going on in your world that deserves a thumbs up this week?

Resource Review: This Is Your Life Podcast

I’m a big fan of podcasts.

I listen to them in the car.  I listen to them on the treadmill.  I listen to them when I’m taking a walk.  And I listen to them while I’m running.

Here are a few of the podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis:  The Dave Ramsey Show Podcast, EntreLeadership Podcast, Daily Audio Bible Podcast, FamilyLife Today Podcast, and The RELEVANT Podcast.  I enjoy each of these podcasts as they keep me entertained and informed.  Podcasts are a great way to keep your brain growing.

Podcasting is definitely an up and coming form of communication.  There are new podcasts popping up every day.

Recently, a blogging friend of mine started his own podcast, and I think it’s worth sharing here.  Last month, Michael Hyatt launched his own podcast called This Is Your Life.  In his podcast, Michael offers practical advice for blogging, leading, and living.  So far, he has released three “issues” of This Is Your Life, and I have listened to each of them a few times.  With each listen I’ve absorbed new ideas for my own blog, my own leadership, and my own life.

So if you’re looking for a great podcast or if you need something to listen to for your next 30 minute car ride, I’d definitely recommend downloading This Is Your Life.

What podcast do you recommend?