SEO Networking Lunch With AdLift

Jul. 12

I wrote a post a while back about my Lunch With Top SEO Agency AdLift. I’m a huge fan of tradition in networking. It’s important to build friendships with the best-of-the-best, and AdLift is just that. Our tradition: Networking lunches at Chef Chu’s in Los Altos. (Side note: Looking for an SEO agency? I highly recommend contacting AdLift today.)

PPC Ian AdLift Lunch

Networking With Johnny From AdLift At Chef Chu’s

I originally met Prashant Puri (CEO & Co-Founder) and Johnny Shami (VP, Business Development) at Search Insider Summit. I was immediately impressed and have stayed in close contact with these guys ever since. They are true experts in SEO (search engine optimization), based here in Silicon Valley.

Last week, Johnny and I went to Chef Chu’s in Los Altos, a tradition for our PPC Ian : AdLift networking lunches. I’m a big fan of Chef Chu’s, some of the best Chinese food around, with a truly healthy and fresh perspective. I ordered the cashew chicken lunch special, and will be going back again very soon (it’s delicious and healthy).

Do you work long hours? Are you busy? Prashant, Johnny, and I are for sure. Prashant is busy traveling the globe, growing AdLift’s business at warp speed. Johnny and I worked for weeks (actually months) trying to find a date that would work. I think we had to reschedule at least 5 times. However, we made it happen! (It’s all about determination and not giving up, especially when it comes to something as important as networking.) I cannot say enough about the power of important friendships with the best-of-the-best in digital marketing (or your profession of choice). It’s all about the people.

My career advice for the week: Build out your network and make these types of lunches happen! See how you can add value. Help your friends out as much as possible, and make a positive impact. It’s all about building great friendships and seeing how you can add value! I have personally built my career with a friendship and service-oriented perspective. I am amazed every single day at the opportunities that come my way thanks to hard work, giving back, and collaborating with great people.

Image from SEO Lunch © PPCIan.com

Tips For Brainstorming At Work

Jul. 01

When brainstorming ideas for business and life on my own, I often enjoy Taking A Hike (or a run for that matter). What about brainstorming as a team at work? What are the best ways to approach a collaborative group brainstorming session at your job? Today, I wanted to share a few insights and tips:

Lightbulb

  1. Approach your brainstorm with a positive, collaborative mindset. All ideas are valid. All ideas are worth consideration. Even if you don’t like a particular idea, please be open and encouraging to your teammates.
  2. Bring plenty of sticky notes and pens. Brainstorming is so much easier when everyone can write down their ideas and then stick them on the wall.
  3. Think outside the box. Bring crazy, big ideas. No idea is too large. Big ideas get the team thinking, even if they are not immediately possible.
  4. Start off the brainstorm with a fun, team activity. For example, go around the table and share your favorite music artist and how their music relates to your company. Anything that gets the team thinking in new ways is valuable. Brainstorming requires unique, new ways of thinking.
  5. Consider involving a variety of contributors from teams across your company, and partners too. The more diverse the viewpoints at the table, the greater opportunity for big ideas.
  6. Be incredibly careful with your words. Do not say anything that could remotely be considered as negative or putting an idea down. Brainstorms thrive in a supportive environment.
  7. Arrive on-time with an energetic attitude. Get a good night’s sleep before the brainstorm, and arrive on a full stomach. Consider bringing snacks too, for the entire team. Brainstorms require energy.
  8. Prepare for the brainstorm. Do a little brainstorming on your own before the big event. Also, prepare background materials that may be of help to the group. That said, also think in the moment and don’t be closed to new ideas. The best ideas come in a team environment.
  9. Be considerate of everyone at the table. Try not to be the only one contributing ideas. Don’t overpower the discussion. That said, make sure you are heard too, and don’t be afraid to speak up. The best brainstorms are all about equality and fairness to everyone in the group.
  10. Take really great notes. Take photos of the board and collaborative notes. Don’t let any of the the great ideas go to waste.

Image of Lightbulbs Brainstorm © iStockPhoto – hjalmeida

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

What’s Going On In The World of PPC Ian?

Jun. 04

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here on PPC Ian. I’m so incredibly excited to be blogging again. I wanted to take a moment to share some exciting updates so you know what’s going on in the world of PPC Ian. Also, I wanted to share some recent thoughts on life and business. First, a cool picture, from my recent London/Paris vacation:

Ian Lopuch In London

Let’s start with some fun updates. Why haven’t I been blogging as much?

  • My wife, Nicole, and I recently traveled to London and Paris. Nicole had business in London so I made sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and tag along. Above, you can see a cool picture of PPC Ian in London! I plan on doing an entire post about our journeys in Europe. We had the time of our lives, and experienced so much amazing culture. My London/Paris post is going to be a long one, reminiscent of some of my old Hawaii posts. (Side note: We visited Hawaii last summer, and I never blogged about it. So bummed out that I never wrote about that vacation, I’m going to make sure to blog about London/Paris soon.)
  • While in London, I attended Adobe Summit EMEA, one of the best digital marketing conferences I have ever experienced. There have been a lot of these lately. (Check out my post about AdWords Performance Forum 2014.)
  • I’ve been running, a lot. I’m slowly but surely getting back into great shape. My strategy of running right after work before I ever head home has been working wonders. I’m putting my tips about Great Ways To Exercise During The Workday into action, and even have a 5k run coming up soon. I’m a huge believer that exercise and a healthy lifestyle lifts one’s overall well-being.
  • I have been given a tremendous amount of responsibility at work. I do not think I have ever worked so hard in my entire career. It’s simply amazing, and I’m honored to be in such a fortunate and exciting position. My hard work is truly paying off. This has given me a little less time for other endeavors, such as updating this blog, but I’m determined to make just a little time for myself each and every day, and take my efficiency and productivity to a whole new level. With less time and more responsibility comes the need to work with great speed.

With my recent European travels and responsibility at work, many exciting thoughts and theories have been running through my mind. Here are some of my high level thoughts and priorities:

  • There is so much cool stuff out there. It had been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to visit London and Paris. This vacation truly opened my eyes, and re-ignited my passion for travel. I’m looking forward to future opportunities to travel to exciting places.
  • Work time and personal time is a blur. I’m basically working days, nights, and weekends. Fortunately, I do what I love, leading an amazing team of professionals and helping others (through the practice of Customer Acquisition Marketing). That said, it’s easy to get bogged down in the work and forget about yourself. I’m consciously trying to set time aside to exercise, write, and get personal stuff done. Modern-day tech jobs are very different than traditional employment. I’m extending a very flexible work environment to myself and my team, understanding that personal stuff needs to be blended in throughout the day during breaks. I’m looking at things more as a continuum as compared to work time vs. personal time.
  • When you’re really busy, don’t forget about the people. I have personally caught myself from time-to-time keeping conversations very short/frank to optimize time. I’m all about time-optimization and productivity. However, people are the one place where you do not want to cut corners. It’s all about relationships and people. For that reason, and because I love helping others, I’m trying to be more productive while maintaining my high level of priority on the friendships and partnerships that truly matter.
  • It’s ok to say “no”, you can’t do everything. Focus in on the people and opportunities that matter the most. Say “no” to the rest. Invest where you are doing good and/or where you will see returns in the future.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here at PPC Ian, so I truly appreciate all of you who are still reading and hanging around! Your support means so much, and I’m wishing you all the best.

Image of Ian Lopuch in London © PPCIan.com