Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Man in My Mirror

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Blog posting by Erick Pettersen of People Connect

For years, Michael Jackson mesmerized millions, the media praised and punished him, and prisoners in Thailand posted videos of choreographed dances to his songs. Just as Elvis Presley affected music in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, Jackson affected music in the 80’s, 90’s, and beginning of the 20th century.

On the evening of Michael Jackson’s death, on a news special, a friend of his talked about his various plastic surgeries. He said he did not know why Jackson underwent them; though, he theorized that perhaps Jackson began to see his father’s face when he looked at himself in the mirror. In his song, “Man in the Mirror,” Jackson determined to make a change in the world, starting with “The Man in the Mirror.”

To many, Jackson appeared as a monster who slept in oxygen chambers, adopted a pet chimpanzee, enjoyed the company of children, and acted in multiple other ways the media, courts, and countless individuals scrutinized. In the midst of the mounting world of criticism and cynicism, Jackson brought his music to the world and remained true to his mission: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.”

Today, I am going to begin to change the world, and I am going to start with the man in the mirror. So many times, when I leave my house, I make sure I look the part. When I encounter colleagues and acquaintances, or when I am introduced to people, I smile and shake their hands. I appear confident, and I am confident. While I try to always remain true to myself, my principles, and my goals, sometimes, when I look at the man in the mirror, the face that looks back at me reveals tired and weary scars of appearing beautiful to society. Most of the time, I am proud of the man in the mirror, but not always.

I would like to imagine that in Jackson’s last days, he stood in front of his mirror—a person no different than you or I—and took pride that he had remained beautiful to himself, even if it meant appearing monstrous to the world.

If ever you are hungry, and I do not feed you—if ever you are homeless, and I do not shelter you—if ever you are lonely, and I do not comfort you—please stand up, approach me, and say “Perhaps you should look more closely at the man in the mirror, before you look away from me.”

I encourage you to listen to Man in the Mirror.

Stay Beautiful,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Art of Forgiveness

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Blog posting by Erick Pettersen of People Connect

Currently, I am working on a novel I call a psychological-memoir. The storyline will be that of a psychological thriller; however, it will carry elements of my life. The theme will be that of personal and social forgiveness, rather than being a religious theme.

The idea came to me after I heard someone say that sometimes what holds us back from achieving our full potential is the bitterness we hold onto. We allow that bitterness to grow inside of us and pervade our lives. After a while, we grow accustomed to the bitterness, and it begins to affect those around us.

In my book, the protagonist (Michael) goes back to ask for forgiveness from someone from his past. He comes to believe he can only overcome the guilt that plagues his life by seeking out the person he offended and asking for her forgiveness. At the same time, Rebecca, who has come to live with the effects of this heinous sin committed against her, goes on her own journey to try to erase the memories of her past. The story is about each person’s search for forgiveness, whether we need to ask for forgiveness from someone or we need to forgive.

Forgiveness is an issue I believe we all need to deal with at one level or another, whether with another person or people group. It is an issue that holds many of us back from becoming the best we can be, connecting with those around us, and achieving our dreams. Today, if you want to connect with someone, in your personal or professional life, but you just can’t seem to, consider that maybe un-forgiveness keeps you from making those connections.

One last thought. Forgiveness does not require forgetfulness; it only asks you to let go and move forward into a better you.

Keep connecting,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seeing Needs

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Blog posting by Erick Pettersen of People Connect

For those of us who grew up with cartoons like G.I Joe and Duck Tales, we forever have mantras such as “And knowing is half the battle!” and “Work smarter, not harderer!” stuck in our heads. By now, many of you know that I am the guy who runs SEOBridges.com, and I have connected with many of you via Facebook or Twitter. A week after I launched my site, I am on the top of Google’s list, but I need to keep gaining knowledge in order to stay there.

Right now, I am gathering addresses of potential clients here in the San Diego area. After I gather all 560 or so of those address, I will research several of those companies. It doesn’t make sense to research an entire population, when a sample will do the job. Then, I will provide services to meet the needs of those companies. After that, I will send out letters of introduction to those companies. Yes, actual letters.

It’s important to slow down and take the time to development relationships with people. I have come to understand that people care what you know, as well as who you know, but they also care that you know their needs.

When I get ready to send out those letters of introduction, I will take the time, as best I can, to find out those companies’ needs. Running a business is about developing relationships, seeing needs, and letting your clients know you care about their well being.

Until next week,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's in a name?

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Blog posting by Erick Pettersen of People Connect

About a month ago, I came to the painful conclusion that I was fighting an uphill battle by offering to write SEO content, yet offering it on erickpettersen.com.  I chose to name my site erickpettersen.com for two reasons.  The first was that I consider myself a man of many talents and the other was that I wanted to get my name out there before I got my product out there.  Now, that I have chosen which of my many talents I feel is the most financially lucrative, as well as I feel I have gotten my name out there, it is time for me to start marketing the service I offer.

So, yesterday I launch my new site (http://www.seobridges.com), which features a slightly new design and different services than before.  I chose this name because for the last few months the saying, “Building social bridges one word at a time” has appeared on almost every page of my site.  So, when I checked Godaddy and saw that that name was available, I snatched it up.  Then, for the next month, which has been for about the last month, I redesigned my site.

After a month of hard work, the work is not yet over.  The work is never over.  For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, we know that the work is never over.  Yet, for us, it’s almost like the ultimate chess game of the mind. 

When I lived in Boston I adopted the motto, “the approach is everything,” and that attitude landed me a pretty decent job in the hospitality industry.  When I started looking for a job, I had little money, but I knew if I didn’t look the part no one would take me seriously.  And if nothing else, I knew I wouldn’t take me seriously.  So, I shelled out some big bucks for a new suit and a nice pair of shoes.  I think I wore them three or four times, but that fourth time was the golden ticket.

During my tenure with that company, which required me to act ac liaison between our clients and other businesses, a client asked me why I chose to use a certain business over others.  (I can’t tell you much because they might be listening; though, the company was Circles, for those of you who might know of them).  Anyhow, I told my client that I chose that business for two reasons: when I looked at their website, it was very professionally done; and when I called and told them of the reason for my call, they were very polite and answered all of my questions.  In their case, the approach was everything.  The next day, my client called me back, after I had put her in contact with the business and she said she was very pleased that I had chosen them.

So, I am not wearing a suit.  I haven’t worn a suit for more than 6 months.  I dress nice when I go out, but a suite would be overkill.  The approach is everything.  Now that I’ve gotten my name out there, it’s time to start getting my business out there.  Erickpettersen.com was my way of introducing myself to the San Diego community.  Now that I feel I have done that, it’s time for the service I offer to take the lead.  In that sense, introducing myself, and now introducing my services is the approach. 

Check out my services.  I offer various packages and specials, especially for non-profits organizations; and you can hire me on Agentspayingforward.com.  In the future, I hope to offer my services as Green SEO content, but first I need to focus on what’s right in front of me.

Keep connecting,



Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rufus Runs 4 Rescue - Sunday June 7th

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My dog Winston was a Golden Retriever, and, even after 4 years, I still miss the old guy: he was a great companion. Some time ago I read about a group called Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue here in the Sacramento area, and learned about a woman who was rescuing abused and abandoned Golden Retrievers. I was astounded that anybody could abuse a Golden - it was just unfathomable.
Like all the charities on Agentspayingforward.com and ACNpayingForward.com, Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue is a great organization that needs help. One of the tragedies of the housing crisis and the economic problem is the abandonment of pets - including Golden Retrievers.
Jody Jones runs Homeward Bound, and she works tirelessly to help Golden Retrievers that did nothing more than get victimized by despicable people, or a poor situation. This Sunday, June 7th, Homeward Bound is having the Rufus Runs 4 Rescue. It's a great organization, and a great cause: please help.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Qualities of Leadership

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Blog posting by Erick Pettersen of People Connect.

This last weekend, a national audience viewed a great example of how not to connect.  At the end one of the greatest upsets in sports history, the leader of that team left the game without shaking the hands of the players on the other team.  The day after that event, that player faced accusations of his unsportsmanlike like conduct, excused his behavior rather than accepting responsibility.  In the same way that a player or coach walking off of a court without shaking the hands of their opponents shows something about their character, any business person who does not conduct him/herself in a team like manner reveals something about their character.

I played high school baseball, and my coach told us that we practice like we play.   Everyday we dressed in full uniform and practiced like we played.  Over a three year period (I transferred my sr. yr.) we went 29-1 during the regular seasons.  I believe ‘presentation is everything,’ and I surround myself with people who also follow that principle.

It is important that you practice like you play; though, it’s just important that you surround yourself with others who also practice like they play.  First, always dress in full uniform.  Everyday, I wake at 5, take a shower, get dressed, grab a cup of coffee, and read.  Everyday, I make sure I’m working in a clean room with a made bed.  I work at home, and my clients don’t care what I or my room looks like.  They only care that I get the job done.  The environment we create for ourselves begins at home.

Whether you are self-employed, an employer, or a co-worker, the people on your team are part of your environment just as much as your daily routine.  The clients you attract is evidenced by the team you create, and the team you create is evidenced by how you conduct yourself in all situations.   

Since that sports upset this past weekend, Sports analyst have begun to question the future of that one player and that team.  I suspect that like other teams that have experienced major upsets, how that one player conducts himself in the months and years to come will determine the future of that organization.  In the same way, if you are a leader of any type of organization,  how you conduct yourself in all circumstances will determine the future of your organization.


Until next week, Keep connecting.  And come join the growing list of people on People Connect and AgentsPayingForward.





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