10,000 Steps

Post Author: Mic Johnson

Wow, what a great night’s sleep. I love it when that happens. I love feeling refreshed in the morning knowing I got some quality REM sleep the night before. Heck, I didn’t even hear our dog Hinrich get up on the bed and smash himself in between me and Missy. It’s always hilarious when he pushes on us with his paws, as if it’s his bed and he just lets us sleep in it. Oh well, I’m not feeling particularly motivated or inspired, but I guess it’s time to get out of bed and head to the gym.

After nearly 8 years of doing this 4-5 times a week, I really thought it would get easier…that I would learn to love it. If I’m honest with myself, I really can’t believe I’m still doing it. 8 years of working out 4-5 times a week. And I haven’t lost a pound. It’s easy to see why most people give up. It’s hard work. It takes commitment. You have to do it when you don’t feel like doing it. I just keep reminding myself that I know it’s good for me. I feel better when I work out. I sleep better. I feel healthier. It gives me time to think…time to clear my head. And when I got my annual physical last year, my doctor told me “You’re the healthiest overweight patient I have”, so there’s that. Yeah, all of those things keep me going.

Sylvester Powell Community CenterAh, there she is…the Sylvester Powell Community Center. This has almost become a second home for me after all of these years. Walking in now, putting my finger in the little fingerprint scanner thingy to check me in. That’s pretty cool technology. I wish it took off 20 pounds every time I did it.

Walking up the stairs now as my hour+ long workout awaits. What am I going to do today? Weights? Cardio? A mixture of both? You know, I think I’m going to do something different. I keep hearing about how you’re supposed to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. 

Man, I wonder if I EVER get 10,000 steps in a day? I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Heck, I bet I go days where I don’t even get 2,000 steps in a day. Ok, that settles it. I’m going to walk 10,000 steps today around the elevated track at Sylvester Powell. This will be fun. Something different. In a weird way, I’m kind of excited about it.

Time to count my steps. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7….ok, walking around half of the track is 100 steps, so walking around the whole thing is 200 steps. That means I have 50 laps ahead of me. That doesn’t sound too bad. In fact, I just finished my 5th lap…look at me, 1000 steps in already…only 9,000 steps to go!

I have a lot of time to think as I walk around this track, seeing the same things and people over and over again. I need to write a blog post today. What am I going to write? Stop it, Mic. Worry about that later. Use this time to free your mind. Now I’m thinking about my buddy and his mom, who are both having health issues. I say a few quick prayers for them as I make another lap.

15 laps in now. 35 to go. Wow, 35 seems like a lot. This is going a little slower than I thought it would. Maybe I should abandon this 10,000 steps deal and go lift some weights to break up the monotony of the walk? No Mic, stick to the plan. You’re going to get those 10,000 steps in today. Keep going. Ok, ok, I will. Still trying to think about what I’m going to write about for my blog post today. I don’t feel like writing about LinkedIn, or web development, or blogging. There you go again. Worry about it later Mic. Why are you thinking about your blog post while you’re at the gym?

10000 Steps35 laps in now. Man, this really seems like it’s taking forever, but I’m getting closer to my goal of 50 laps. It’s funny what happens as I walk around this oval track time and time again. I see the little old lady who seems like she’s about 4 feet tall. She’s here every single day. I love her commitment. I’ll say hi to her as I walk past at a quicker pace.

Oh, and there’s a guy I haven’t seen before, shooting hoops below me. He’s probably in his mid-50’s. Now it looks like he’s doing some basketball drills like he’s trying out for the NBA. Maybe he plays in a rec league? Swish. Nice shot, buddy.

Hey, there’s Mike. He’s here every single day, wearing the same gray shirt and black shorts. He talks to me for a bit about the Royals and what a bummer that Alex Rios broke his finger. I agree and then Mike gets off the track to go “have my morning cup of coffee.”

Approaching my 45th lap now, feeling good and my pace is picking up as I know the end is near. Oh, there’s my friend Arly. I see him here almost every day. He’s got to be about 80 years old and he understandably walks at a much slower pace. I don’t really want to slow down because I’m so close to the 50th lap. Oh well, I’ll get there eventually and I love talking to Arly. I’m guessing it can be pretty lonely at his age to come to the gym and walk in circles. He asks how I’m doing and we exchange some small talk. He tells me his wife has been battling an illness for years. I can tell there’s more to the story, but I don’t want to pry. It was good chatting with him, but I need to pick up my pace and get done with this workout.

As I approach the end, my 50th lap, I joke with myself and see an imaginary finish line with people congratulating me. Good job, Mic. You stuck with it. You tried something different. You fought through the boredom of going in circles. You said hello and shared some idle chatter with some people. You got your heart rate up. You may have a blister forming on your foot. Your legs and feet hurt a little bit. But that’s ok, you did it. You got your 10,000 steps in today. The rest of the day is gravy. Ok, time to write that blog post. What am I going to write about?

Whatever it is, I hope it inspires people.

3 LinkedIn Profile Spring Cleaning Tips

Post Author: Mic Johnson

I love Spring. Optimism is in the air. The buds are starting to appear on the trees. Flowers are blooming. The grass is greening up. Kids are out playing. People (and dogs as you can see from my buddy Hinrich below) are thrilled to be able to get outside and get some exercise. And of course our American League Champion Kansas City Royals are getting ready for Opening Day at the K!

Spring is also a great time for cleaning…closets, garages, storage rooms, and more. We all need to get rid of the physical and emotional baggage from winter and start preparing for a season full of warmer weather.

So with so much optimism in the air, I wanted to share 3 LinkedIn Profile Spring Cleaning Tips to help take your profile to the next level:

LinkedIn1. Upload A New Photo
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn photo? If it’s been more than a year, either get a professional photo taken or have someone take a picture of you with their smartphone. It’s as simple as that.

2. Personalize Your Professional Headline
Your professional headline (which appears just to the right of your photo) doesn’t just have to have your job title. Attorney. Sales Manager. Accountant. CEO. Those are just titles. Humanize your professional headline with some personality and things that make you are who you are. Take a look at mine and Jason’s to get ideas.

3. Write (or review) Your Summary
I often look someone up on LinkedIn and am let down when I see that they never took the time to write a Summary. A well written Summary is your opportunity to “welcome” people to your LinkedIn profile and share your professional story with them. It’s also completely fine (and encouraged) to include a little bit about your passions and interests outside of work. Again, it’s about humanizing your profile and making sure it educates visitors to your profile about your personal and professional journey.

I hope these tips have been helpful. Have a wonderful Spring!




I’m Selling Common Sense.

Post Author: Mic Johnson

I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out something that has driven me crazy ever since I started working with Blue Gurus 5+ years ago.

Over the years we’ve had way too many sales calls to count where we explain the 3 things we do for clients…Blogging, On-site WordPress Web Development, and LinkedIn Training.

They always understand it. They always agree with it. They always admit that they know they should be doing it. And then they do….nothing.

I often tell people “I feel like I’m selling common sense.”  Here’s why:

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The Book of Mormon – A Networking Event?!?!

Hello friends!  It’s time for another post from Jason.

book-of-mormonRecently, I went to see the Broadway musical “Book of Mormon” at the Music Hall in downtown Kansas City. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, it’s a play created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park. Yes, it’s vulgar and profane.  And really funny. In 2011, this play won 9 Tony awards including best musical.

One of my best friends, David Carey, invited me to go see it with a group of his friends.  I didn’t really know what to expect other than I would need to go into the experience prepared to not take it seriously. That’s in line with most of the content that Stone and Parker create. They usually push things well past the line of acceptable language and topic. But I knew it would be entertaining… South Park is a guilty pleasure of mine.

I really enjoyed the show. The performances were outstanding. The music was excellent (even though the words made me cringe at times.) In my experience, there are usually a couple of people with amazing voices and a decent supporting cast. I was inspired by the fact that at least a dozen of the cast members had rock star voices.

And Then I Was Really Surprised…

At intermission, I saw a TON of friends that we do business with:  Doug Hubler and Jerry Meinert with Apex Business AdvisorsJason Moxness with Alterra BankJanine Akers with DataFile Technologies. I couldn’t believe that intermission had turned into some kind of strange networking event!

It was fun to share the experience with even more people I know and trust. And it was another great reminder that no matter where you go or what you’re doing, there is usually someone you know who will see you doing it.

Did you get a chance to go see the show?  Let me know!

David Carey, and Jason and Paige Moxness stayed with me after the show to get a picture with some of the cast members.

book-of-mormon-david-web book-of-mormon-moxness-web

A New Batch Of #micnuggets

Post author: Mic Johnson

Over the years I’ve found that my mind and creative levels are at their highest right when I wake up. Not too surprising, I suppose, because the power of a good night’s rest is well documented.

Such was the case recently as I laid in bed one Sunday morning thinking about the types of advice I’ve been giving people (and of course applying in my own life) over the years. I started documenting these years ago and call them #micnuggets. I literally have a 17 page Word document full of #micnuggets that I hope to eventually turn into a book one day.

So here are some of the #micnuggets that popped into my head that one Sunday morning. Enjoy.

micnuggetsTake risks.

Trust your instincts.

Voraciously pursue happiness.

Don’t settle.

Surround yourself with awesome people.

Helping others is addicting.

Find someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself.

Corporate job security and loyalty, for most people, is a myth.

You don’t realize how stiff career headwinds can be until you’re in a career with the wind at your back.

People are drawn to enthusiasm and optimism.

You don’t have to do it like everyone else does.

Do what you say you’re going to do…every time.

Once you figure it out, help other people figure it out.

Never stop dreaming… that’s where every reality starts.

Regularly brainstorm with yourself and with others…sometimes all it takes is one good idea.

Fear is part of the process of moving forward.

It isn’t failure if you learned from it.

You impact more peoples’ lives than you’ll ever know. Act accordingly.

Be the one that lets other people know that they aren’t crazy.

Walk in the light of your own authenticity and others will be drawn to you.

Always believe in your ability to figure it out.

It’s called the road less traveled by for a reason.

micnuggets2Every day you’re lucky enough to wake up, you have a choice to be awesome.

There are few things better than inspiring someone to make a positive change in their life.

Saying I’m sorry is one of the bravest things you can do.

Tell people how you feel. Being honest is better than the alternative.

Fill your life with people you love doing things you love doing.

Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.

Be organized… it’s better than the alternative.

Make a regular, conscious effort to reduce stress in your life.

Take vacations.

The only critic that matters is you.

Any time spent on regret or envy is wasted time.

It doesn’t have to always be one way or another… sometimes it’s both.

You can learn a lot about life if you pay attention at funerals.

Stop procrastinating. Start doing.

You can always convince yourself it’s not the right time. The hardest part is having the courage to take the leap. Don’t be the person left standing on the high dive at the end of your life.

Slow down.

Don’t run away from your emotions. Things you put in the closet always end up falling on you.

Find mentors. Be a mentor.

Be a giver. Avoid the takers.

Stop beating yourself up. Life throws enough punches.

As always, thanks so much for reading.  Let us know if you have question or topic you’d like us to consider for a future blog post.

Top 5 Things on Jason’s Mind – February 19th, 2015

Author: Jason Terry

Okay friends. I had a hard time writing about a single topic this week, so I am going to do another “Top 5 Things on My Mind” post.  I hope one of these gets you thinking, makes you laugh or helps you take action.

1) Companies are spending money on marketing and training again.  That’s a good thing.

DollarsWe’ve noticed a jump in requests for new websites and LinkedIn training over the past quarter.  Almost double the normal volume.  Thank you to all of you that have sent opportunities our way!

I think that our type of business is an early indicator to where the economy is moving.  The services we offer tie directly to the sales and marketing efforts of the companies we help.  When companies start spend money on those efforts, it usually means the economy is in growth mode.

I’ve talked to quite a few companies lately about this trend and many are seeing the same thing.  More activity than normal.  Are you seeing that in your business?  I hope so!

2) One space or two after a period?

Completely random, I know.. but this has been on my mind for two weeks for some reason.  I stumbled onto an article that opened my eyes to the ongoing debate about how many spaces should be after a period.  One, or two?  I was taught two spaces in typing class in grade school. And there are a lot of people loudly claiming there should only be one space.

I think the most interesting perspective on the argument is that people might be able to tell you are over 40 if you double space.  Dang, that’s me.  I double spaced my sentences up to this point in my blog post.  Ugh.  What do you think?  Do you use one or two spaces?

Do a google search on “one or two spaces” and enjoy reading 70 million results. Read more

The Power Of Awesome

Post Author: Mic Johnson

I wrote a blog post in January 2014 called “The #1 Secret To Get Real ROI From Blogging.” In that article I talk about all of the ROI that came from meeting my friend Carol Bush, who I’d never met or even heard of until May 2013, when she sent me an email with the subject line “We Need Help.”

This is a story about the power of quality relationships…which is how smart business is done, friendships are made, and AWESOME happens. Carol had been reading the Blue Gurus blog for over a year before she ever reached out to ask for help. Since then our relationship has blossomed and the “ROI” for both of us has been more than we ever could have imagined. Carol has become a brand advocate for Blue Gurus…and vice versa.

Recently Jason emailed Carol thanking her for a referral. Shortly after Carol responded back to both of us with the email below. It’s an amazing feeling when someone pours their heart and enthusiasm out in a way that is so genuine and enthusiastic that you just can’t help but smile.

I wanted to share Carol’s email with our readers. I’m hopeful that it will inspire you…to reach out to someone…to try something new…to get outside of your comfort zone…to be someone who enthusiastically helps others. If you do, and you do it consistently, you too will feel….

The Power of Awesome.
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To Do List

To Do ListPost author: Mic Johnson

1. Be thankful for waking up.

2. Help someone who isn’t expecting it.

3. Laugh.

4. Hug at least 5 people.

5. Reach out to someone you haven’t seen or talked to in awhile.

6. Smile at every person you make eye contact with.

7. Finish one thing you’ve been putting off for awhile.

8. Spend 5 minutes alone in silence taking deep breaths.

9. See how you feel at the end of the day.

10. Get a good night’s rest. You earned it.


Defining “Old School”

Post author: Mic Johnson

In my November 2014 blog post 3 Business Trends (I’m Thrilled About) That Are Coming Soon, one of the trends I talked about was “The Death of Old School Cultures.”

Not long after the post was published and shared with our social networks, I received an email from our friend and client Mike Chamberlain.

Mike told me he shared my blog post with a LinkedIn Group he’s in and someone in the group responded to the post saying:

“I’d love to know what the author was referring to as ‘old school’…”

R.I.P. Old School

R.I.P. Old School

I thought about it for a bit and realized that it was a great point. I routinely use the term “old school” when talking to people about many of the corporate cultures I’ve seen, been a part of, and heard about from others.

And when I use the phrase, most people nod their head in a “Yep, I know exactly what you’re talking about” kind of way.

It honestly never occurred to me that it needed defining. Now I’m sure that some people think that when they hear the term “old school”, that it references a person’s age.

And there’s no denying that, at least in my experience, many people that currently fall into this category are in the generations ahead of me and many of them are in positions of leadership.

But this isn’t about calling out a generation. The reality is many of us have a blend of generational characteristics. In fact, I often call myself a “Gen X’er with Y Tendencies” because many of the things that Millennials want in business (a voice, flexibility, technology, wanting to be a part of something bigger than themselves, etc.) are all things I wanted when I worked in corporate years ago.

But I never found it. And Generation X wasn’t a big enough group to make widespread, fundamental and seismic shifts in how organizations were run and how business was done. So many Gen X’ers just adapted, traded in their voice for “security” and benefits, and did pretty much what the Boomers before them did.

That won’t be, and isn’t, the case with Gen Y. By their sheer size, they will (and already are) change the way business is done…and will start forcing old school cultures to fundamentally change…or die.

Let me be clear: When I talk about “old school”, I’m not talking about age. I’m talking about outdated corporate cultures, mindsets, and yes, people, that have gone unchallenged for far too long. They are champions of the status quo. And they need to go.

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Mic Celebrates 5 Years and We Adopted El Centro!

Hi guys!  It’s Jason with our first blog post in 2015.  Happy New Year!

Mic Celebrates 5 Years With Blue Gurus!

I thought it would be appropriate to let you know that Mic is celebrating his 5th year as a Blue Guru this month.  Wow, it’s weird even writing that.  It doesn’t feel like it’s been almost 6 years since I started the company.  Crazy.

Please join me in congratulating Mic on sticking around this long and putting up with me these past 5 years.  :)

I really like Top Ten lists, so here’s my Top Ten list of why I love working with Mic Johnson:

  1. Mic Johnson 2014 He’s really, really funny.  He’s got a quick wit and he just makes me laugh.  Often.
  2. He’s helped me to see the value of balance and not scheduling myself with too much work in a given week.  That’s had a big positive impact on my personal life.
  3. He has no problem challenging me.  We actually enjoy the back and forth and the end result is always better.
  4. He’s been married a lot longer than me and offers good advice when I’m fighting battles with Trista that I shouldn’t.  It’s helped me to be a better husband.
  5. He’s helped me to better appreciate the value of what we do for companies.  And to price our services appropriately.
  6. He’s humble.  Even though he usually says that after talking about how awesome he is.
  7. He’s patient.  He handles adversity so well and keeps things from escalating.
  8. He’s organized.  Less clutter = less stress and Mic is a master at that.
  9. He’s got a big heart.  He cares deeply about friends, family and clients.  If anyone cares TOO much, it’s Mic Johnson.
  10. He’s willing to listen, learn and adjust.  And you can’t buy that.  It’s so rare.

Mic means a lot to me, and I really appreciate that we get to work together helping people!

Blue Gurus Adopts El Centro

We adopt a not for profit every month or so.  We spend a couple of hours giving our best to help organizations use web and social more effectively.

ElCentroLogoThis week, we adopted El Centro.  El Centro’s mission is “To strengthen communities and improve lives of Latinos and others through educational, social, and economic opportunities.”  We learned a lot about their organization and really enjoyed working with Clayton and Irene.  By the end of our time together, I felt like they had a good game plan for moving forward with their blogging and LinkedIn strategy to help their organization grow in 2015.  And it felt great.  They really appreciated our time and our advice and were excited to get going!

As always, thanks so much for reading.  Let us know if you have a LinkedIn, Blogging or WordPress question that we can cover in a future blog post.