I Ran In the 20th Annual Lupus 5K

Jun. 16

Just over a week ago, Nicole and I participated in the 20th Annual 5K Run and Walk For Lupus. Benefiting the Lupus Foundation of Northern California, this great event made an impact on those in need. It was our honor to participate in this particular event for the third time! Here’s a fun photo of PPC Ian after completing the 5K race:

PPC Ian Lupus 5K Run

Each year, the Lupus 5K is held West Valley College in Saratoga, CA. I particularly enjoy this event because of the beautiful setting, in the foothills of Saratoga. It’s a great course with rolling hills and plenty of nature/scenery.

For those who have been following me for a while, you may know that I’m into running quite a bit these days. I’m not a particularly fast runner, but I’m great with long distance and consistency. It’s such a great way to get in shape, clear your mind, and have some time to think. I have found that my running has increased my overall focus and energy. It’s amazing the business and life insights that hit you while running!

It’s equally fun to leverage running as a way to rally behind an important cause. These events are so much fun because they always bring together a top-notch community of winners. Busy professional who’s also looking to stay in shape and give back? Definitely consider some local charity runs this summer! Just remember to stay hydrated and practice.

Image in this post © PPCIan.com

London and Paris, A Vacation To Remember

Jun. 08

Recently, Nicole and I visited London and Paris, truly a journey to remember. I’m so lucky. My amazing wife had a special business opportunity in London, and I just had to tag along. We turned our journey into business and pleasure by extending our time in London, and also visiting Paris. Today, I want to take a moment to share my story and takeaways from this journey. In a nutshell, I loved it, and cannot wait to go back! in fact, this trip re-ignited my passion for travel and changed my travel outlook.

Ian and Nicole Lopuch In London

I’m going to divide this blog post into three sections:

  1. Our Time in London Before Adobe Summit (pleasure/holiday)
  2. Adobe Summit EMEA (business)
  3. Our Time in Paris After Adobe Summit (pleasure/holiday)

Also, you will find pictures throughout the post with a lot of them at the end. Thanks for reading!

Our Time In London

Let me start by saying I can take no credit for this trip. Nicole is the travel/Europe expert between the two of us. She booked everything, and crafted a vacation to remember. I am truly a lucky husband, I hit the jackpot! My half of the bargain: I’m taking us to Hawaii this summer.

Some highlights:

Barbacoa London

When we first arrived at London Heathrow, we took the Paddington Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station. I truly love the trains and public transportation in Europe, and thought the Paddington Express was first class. At Paddington Station, we picked up some neat Paddington Bear stuff. Paddington Bear is the coolest!

We then took a taxi to our hotel, Marriott Grosvenor Square. All I can say is, "Wow!" Definitely the nicest Marriott I have ever stayed in, and one of the nicest hotels overall that I have experienced. The location, amenities, culture, and overall vibe earns Marriott Grosvenor Square 5 stars in my book! Here’s the crazy thing: Everyone kept telling me, "Don’t expect the same amenities/luxuries in Europe as you’re accustomed to in the US." On this trip, the amenities exceeded my wildest expectations, thanks to Nicole booking everything top notch!

My favorite part of the overall trip was these first few "free days" in London. I learned that London is home to more billionaires than any other city in the world. I can certainly see why! We walked around Hyde Park, we went shopping at Harrods, we saw the Michael Jackson Thriller Live show, we went on a double decker bus, we shopped like crazy! As a lifelong Michael Jackson fan, the Thriller Show at Piccadilly Circus was especially fun. A group of amazing performers celebrated the life, legacy, and spirit of Michael Jackson. With so many fun shows to choose from, I hope to return soon to see another.

It’s not only about the big things, however. The small things made London special too. I’m talking about having Pret A Manger at every corner (We love you, Pret, please come to San Francisco), delighting in our daily dose of Costa Coffee, enjoying the language (English in the UK is so neat), admiring the architecture, and enjoying the people. I really enjoy gardening and respect a lush, beautiful garden. We experienced many of these in London. All of that rain (which I personally miss in the midst of our California drought) produces some truly lush gardens.

Adobe Summit EMEA

After a few wonderful days in Central London, we grabbed a taxi to Adobe Summit EMEA. This year’s Summit was at the London ExCeL Center, located near the Docklands. An interesting fact: This year’s EMEA Summit was larger than last year’s Utah Summit. Adobe, you rule!

Adobe Summit EMEA Ian and Nicole

While Nicole was working, I had the pleasure of working too. I attended Summit and learned so much about the Adobe Marketing Cloud. I’ve been fortunate to experience some truly memorable and impactful conferences lately. Everything about Adobe Summit was first class.

More than anything, I enjoyed the people, both the presenters and the Adobe employees. The global perspective had an impact on me. I especially enjoyed hearing brands such as L’OCCITANE, Danone, and Accor present. I was so impressed with the Danone presentation that I actually purchased shares in Danone upon arriving home. (Full Disclosure: Long DANOY.) These companies truly have their eyes set on the future. I was equally impressed with the hospitality and general kind nature of Adobe’s EMEA team. I met with at least five Adobe employees 1:1 and learned so much.

The last night of Summit, we went back to Central London for dinner at Barbacoa, a recommendation from one of Nicole’s colleagues who lives in London. There are no ovens at Barbacoa, everything is prepared via a wood-burning fire. I experienced the best steak of my life. The setting was second to none with amazing views of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Our Time In Paris

Eiffel Tower

After Summit, we took the Eurostar train from London to Paris. I couldn’t believe it: Nearly 200 miles per hour, first class treatment via luxurious seats and a delightful meal on the train, and we’re in another country in less than two hours! Europe has it all figured out when it comes to transportation!

In Paris, Nicole booked us at K+K Hotel Cayre on St. Germain street. We had a top floor corner suite with views of the Eiffel Tower from our balcony. K+K went above and beyond. It’s a boutique hotel so you get a truly personalized level of service. The kind people at the front desk greet you by name, the breakfast buffet is amazing, the rooms cannot be matched. I give K+K my absolute top recommendation.

K+K Cayre Paris

K+K is also all about location. We walked to the Louvre, and saw the Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo. We walked to The Eiffel Tower and enjoyed a Smarties ice cream cone in the park while gazing up at the Tower. We walked to local French cafes and enjoyed watching people walk by.

We also enjoyed a river cruise/tour on the Seine River and shopping on the Champs Elysees. So much amazing architecture and culture in Paris, a truly remarkable city.

So there you have it: Europe vacation 2014. I brought a lot of Europe home with me: The culture, the friendships, the passion for walking and being fit/healthy, the overall global perspective. There is so much out there, and I truly cannot wait to visit again. We had an amazing vacation, and I’d truly recommend that anyone considering making the trip goes for it! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the photos below.

More Cool Pictures From Our Trip

Marriott Grosvenor Square

London Red Phone Booth

Thriller Live London

Adobe Summit PPC Ian

Adobe Summit EMEA 2014

Disclaimer: Not a licensed investment advisor. This is not investment advice. Just for entertainment purposes.
Full Disclosure: Long DANOY

All images in this post © PPCIan.com

3Q Digital: My Guest Post & Their Amazing Billboard

Apr. 20

It’s the weekend! I hope you’re enjoying the nice spring weather and taking it easy. As Customer Acquisition professionals, we work so incredibly hard. It’s time to take it a little easy. That said, our market never closes. It’s just like Wall Street with no closing bell. I always enjoy catching up on reading during the weekends. Whether it’s one of my favorite personal finance blogs or the latest digital marketing whitepaper, the weekend offers a great time to learn and expand my knowledge.

Another one of my favorite weekend activities: Giving back. Whether it’s donating money to charity, running in a charity 5k, writing an informative blog post, or simply helping someone out, it’s all about giving back. The more you give, the more you get. And, it’s just the right thing to do.

Today, I wanted to share some fun weekend reading with you, my recent guest post on the 3Q Digital Blog about Great Ways Digital Marketers Can Give Back. We’re fortunate in the world of digital marketing. We’re in a position to truly help others, both in our industry and across the world. Check out some unique ways in which you can give back as a digital marketer.

Thanks for reading, and I want to leave you with one of the coolest pictures ever. Below is 3Q’s billboard on 101 right here in Silicon Valley. 3Q Digital is the Bay Area’s digital marketing agency. As a Customer Acquisition professional, I’m obsessed with both online and offline marketing. As such, I’m particularly intrigued by 3Q’s billboard strategy.

3Q Digital Billboard

Image of 3Q Digital Billboard © 3Q Digital (3QDigital.com)

You Can’t Always Do It Alone, Your Team Is Strength

Mar. 09

Think you can do it all alone? Anyone who’s been in business for a while understands that this is impossible. As you navigate business and life, you’ll face challenges. Especially in a fast-paced corporate career, hurdles will present themselves. I enjoy the hurdles because they help me grow, build character, and are often exciting puzzles worth solving. However, what happens when things get truly challenging, seemingly impossible in nature? Look to your team for support. The best teams support each and every member of the team, the best teams offer each member of the team strength.

Support

I wrote a post a while back called The Values-Driven People Manager. That post was all about creating a great team environment and building your leadership skills. Today’s post is meant to be a continuation of that one, but a little broader in scope.

The lesson is simple: Everyone will face challenges. It doesn’t matter if you are the leader of the team, and hold a high title. It does not matter if this is your first job. It does not matter if you have been working 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years. Challenges present themselves.

The secondary lesson is also simple: Every single person on the team offers incredible value, ideas, and strength. The best ideas will come from anyone on the team.

Whenever a challenge presents itself to me, I tackle it with great strength, attitude, persistence, agility, and creativity. After all, challenges offer the ability to learn and grow, and they can be fun. However, what if a challenge becomes overwhelming? Don’t hesitate to tap into your team. Build a culture of helping others, especially those on your immediate team. Treat each team member like family. Think you don’t have the strength to overcome a challenge? You do, especially through your team. Share your challenge. Band together. Find creative solutions. Support each other. There is true strength in numbers, friendship, and collaboration. You would be surprised how much power and strength the team has collectively, it’s almost infinite.

(Of course, I’m assuming here you’re on a great team, one that wants to support each other. I navigate towards those types of teams, and hire those types of team members. If you do not find yourself in that type of environment, you will first need to either create or find that special team-oriented environment.)

My advice today is for everyone on the team. While I happen to be blessed as the team leader, I too face challenges. I know I’ve built a truly amazing team when I’m able to call up various members of the team to acquire the strength to overcome challenges. It makes me proud and honored to be part of that kind of team. The team is much greater and more powerful than any single person. Approach challenges as a team, and you will never fail. Most importantly, don’t feel discouraged. Recognize that you always have a great team that’s ready to support you along the way.

Image of Support © iStockPhoto – VCTStyle

Great Ways To Exercise During The Workweek

Feb. 04

I have a lot of goals this year (check out my 2014 goals). Goal 8, one of my favorites, is working out at least 4x per week. As a busy professional, I find that my personal free time is less and less as each year passes. As such, it’s sometimes a challenge to find time to exercise. This year, I’m going to have to get a little clever. Below are some tips on how I plan to exercise throughout the workweek in 2014.

Jogging 1 Mile

  • A while back, I wrote a post about Taking Advantage of Surges In Energy. When I wrote this post, I was mainly thinking about getting work done, and taking advantage of bursts of energy for hyper-focus. This year, I hope to do the same for workouts. If I’m feeling particularly energetic, I’m going to try to do a quick workout. It will be all about quick, intense exercise.
  • Certain days, I plan to bring my running gear to work, going for quick runs either during lunch or after work. Depending on the day, the office I’m heading to, and my overall schedule, my commute can be either be long or short. On those variable days where I expect a longer commute, by the time I get home, I’m sometimes too tired to exercise (driving in traffic can drain your energy). My solution? I’m going to run before getting in the car to drive home. That way, I can truly relax once I get home.
  • I’ve been conducting 1:1s with my team while walking around the neighborhood. Walking is super great exercise. This is a fun way to brainstorm, while making sure my team and I get some fresh air during the workday.
  • I’m looking forward to hiking with my wife on weekends. Check out my recent video blog post about Taking A Hike.
  • I’ll strive to get in some quick pushups or situps whenever I can. Strength training is just as important as cardio. Even if I don’t have a ton of time, I can do a few reps here and there, throughout the week.

Exercise is important. It keeps your mind clear and focused. It increases your longevity and health. It’s all about keeping perspective. Do you have any clever ways to integrate workouts into your busy work schedule?

Image of Jogging 1 Mile © iStockPhoto – jpimages