Tag Archives: ben young

Trying something new… KiwiNation

November 2nd, 2010

I’m very fortunate to be able to meet, chat to and hang out with some very cool people.

And I’m forever thinking these are stories which need to be told, not by me but straight from the horses mouth.

So at the start of the year Glenn Williams (Radio host on Kiwi FM) sat down and invited people into the studio to sit down and have a chat with them.  We’ve called it KiwiNation, conversations with inspirational New Zealanders.

First up we have a couple of kiwis, Craig & Linda Martin, who produce an award winning podcast IndieTravelPodcast, travel and world and pay their way with the podcast and their website.  If you like what they’re doing, support them, as they really are doing something very cool.

Over the next four weeks another three shows will be released, so keep an eye out.

So what's been happening?!?

September 19th, 2010

Had a few emails recently asking that exact question, so I thought best to publish one post and get everyone up to speed.

  • Unfortunately I’ve recently been hacked, so some of my websites (bwagy.tv, bwagy.com, thebestideasarefree.com & this blog) have intermittent issues – please excuse interruption to these.  We’re still figuring out how to stop them.
  • I’m still doing The Best Ideas are Free radio segment during RadioWammo on KiwiFM (thanks Glenn!), these are added to a YouTube playlist which you can watch at www.bwagy.tv
  • Young & Shand is growing very well, we are adding team members (yay!) – you can keep up to date with the goings on over at the Young & Shand Blog (and main site).  We also have put together a digital strategy workbook if you’re keen to have a play.
  • My wedding is getting very close (less than two months now) so yay! Very excited, we have close to everything sorted (mostly thanks to Esther who has organised most/all of it). But just forewarning this will mean some downtime on the blog late November/early December.
  • Following that, it also means my next book has had to be pushed back from Q4 this year to early next year.  Please stay tuned, it’s definitely a step up from the last one and we now have a very refined publishing system (so I can publish more frequently).
  • Oh and also we’ve been doing a This Week in Digital Marketing podcast (very cool) check it out over here, please subscribe and add to the conversation.
  • I am going to do more interviews with business people passing through New Zealand – so if you know of anyone (and can help) let me know and I’ll see if we can organise it.  It’s truckloads of fun and you guys of course get the content.

Thanks a lot guys, appreciate everyone for reading,


A remarkable hour that I got to spend with Jack Daly

August 3rd, 2010

Now I know many of you (including me) would probably hesitant to engage with someone that calls them a sales coach, however Jack Daly is the real deal, he was Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and has built half a dozen (from scratch) national businesses in the US.

On a recent visit to New Zealand (yay!) I was lucky enough (thanks to the Results.com!) to sit down with him and talk business.  Of which I am really grateful for (thanks guys!).

I’ve shared the YouTube videos below, they’re absolute gold, and gold for everyone.

In effect we’re all in sales, we need people on our side (in personal & professional modes) to help us get going from community work to business, if you have the time please have a listen I’m sure you’ll either get value out of it today if not in the future.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


Thanks again to Results.com & Jack Daly for giving up his precious (and very expensive) time – legends.

Yay, our new podcast finally sees the light: This Week in Digital Marketing #1

August 1st, 2010

I’ve been long organising (and justifying the time) to invest in a podcast for Young & Shand, we’ve finally got it going with This Week in Digital Marketing #1: We can’t help but talk about Facebook.

I’d love your feedback, so give it a watch (and yes iTunes/MP3 versions are on the way) and let me know what you think.

This Week in Digital Marketing #1: We can’t help but talk about Facebook from Ben Young on Vimeo.

A twist on the 12 Hour Startup: The $100 Business

January 12th, 2010

I had the opportunity to finally meet Chris Guillebeau in person last night.

(He wrote a testimonial for The Best Ideas are Free).

Nevertheless I thought it was long overdue a mention of his post on the $100 Business Case – definitely worth a read, bookmark and subscription to his blog.

As Chris points out (and the 12 Hour Startup does) it’s all about just taking that first step, giving it a shot, then following your feet.

Welcome to 2010 – Year of Opportunity

January 10th, 2010

I’ve had a great start to the year, some time off in Auckland and back home in Queenstown.  It’s been (and still is a beautiful summer).  Here’s a shot from our picnic we had yesterday in St Heliers.

Picnic at St Heliers lookout

2009 was a year of turmoil (good & bad) but significant change.  2010 marks the year (and decade) to capitalise on these opportunities and I see many people already doing that.  I’ve had a bit of a discussion on the two main trends I see this year in Marketing – watch my first radio show of the year below:

Update: (working youtube link)


I wish you all the best, you can look forward to my second book later this year (taking time off next month to wrap it up), title still in progress.  Also some changes to the blog, international speaking (I might need your help there!) and a few other surprises.  To a remarkable year!


Merry Christmas!

December 22nd, 2009

I just want to wish a Merry Christmas to you all 🙂

Whatever, wherever you celebrate I hope you have a well deserved break.

I am definitely looking forward to a break – some great time to unwind.

Also I just want to thank you all for your readership, engagement and participation.  I am humbled by how much the blog has grown this year.

A couple of months back we hit the million mark and now (it’s getting hard to measure) up to 350,000 people around the world engage with my content each month.

Building up from scratch in May 2008 that is tremendous effort (blows my mind).

So thank you again.

Enjoy the break, have some great downtime with your friends/family (I sure will) and I will catch you on the 4th.



I am taking time off in February to write my second book and I need your help.  I need some case studies of ordinary products that have had some remarkable ideas which have transformed their product or industry.  If you have any (or can point me in the right direction) email me [email protected] – will give you attribution.

What ever happened to Pay What You Want?

December 17th, 2009

Some of you will remember my Pay What You Want Marketing experiment at the start of the year – I have done a bit of a detox over at the NZHerald.  Give it a read (there will be a bwagy blog about it in the near future) and be keen on your thoughts.

What would you think is the best industry for a pay what you want model?

Bit of housekeeping

October 29th, 2009

Just a few updates;

  • I will be MC and a guest speaker at W2W (Wellington to the World) 09 coming up November 17th.  You can register here.  Other speakers include New Zealands own Richard MacManus founder of ReadWriteWeb and John Watt New Zealand Young Scientist of the year.  We will give a couple of copies of my book away on the day – also videos will be up on YouTube post event.
  • bwagy blogging club gets started Monday.  Last chance to sign up here.
  • I have changed blog email delivery from Feedburner to Feedblitz.  If you’d like to change or get the blog in your email simply visit this post and sign up on the top right (in the blue box).  It’s the easiest way to get the blog.

And that’s all folks, have a great weekend 🙂

From living a nightmare to living the dream

October 21st, 2009

The title of this post is simply, from living a nightmare to living the dream, you see I now live the lifestyle that I dreamed of for many years.  At the start of this year I was pondering what’s next? What’s next that is so crazy I can’t comprehend?

It was in answering this question, I wrote down everything I wish I could have told myself at 14, starting on this journey.

These universal lessons provide greater insight that you first realise, have a read, print out, reread.  They are just as applicable in business as your personal life.

So what makes these so powerful? These are the learnings that took me from a very rough childhood, whereby I sought to escape and break the cycle I saw around me, to the person I am today.  Those that can appreciate it will realise what a change (and transformation) it is to make that jump.  That’s why I want to share it, so others may learn.

Straight from my mind to yours (unedited) notes & errings on how to live the dream.

  1. Define the dream, where do you want to go? what do you want to do?
  2. Extend the dream, what is so radical you CANT comprehend it? you cannot even comprehend that happening.  This is you BHAG, big hairy audacious goal.  Do not settle for something that is achievable.  If you miss it, you’ll be average.  And that’s boring.
  3. Your #1 criteria has to be fun.  If you are always doing something fun (and thats relative) you will push through the dips to succeed.
  4. Read The Dip by Seth Godin.  A swift kick when you need it.  Reread every 3 months.
  5. Tip from Tom Peters, meet crazy people, stop wasting time people who nod at everything you say, meet randoms who challenge you.  You will learn much more that way.
  6. Throw yourself in the deep end, what is the absolute worst that could happen? Once for me that was I would be homeless.  More often than not it can’t be that bad for you.  Jump in, you’ll learn to swim.
  7. Work yourself dead tired, then push through that barrier, it’s when your tired, you gain clarity and push aside your normal barriers.
  8. Apply #7 in exercise, pick an exercise, running, swimming, skipping, and push yourself everytime.  Kill that voice that says to quit.  You will have huge breakthroughs by doing this.
  9. Exercise, excercise, exercise.  You gain clarity, de-stress, keep fit.  Helps you focus on what’s important.
  10. Sleep on the big things.  Forget the pressure for ‘instant’ decision making.  Chill out.  Sometimes you need to remove yourself to find your gut feeling.
  11. Trust your gut.  Your gut sums up the best that you know at this point in time.  It is actually linked to your subconscious.  Trust it, listen, you will get more adept at this.
  12. Set yearly, quarterly and monthly goals.  Always be looking forwards, am on I track? what needs to get done, do these distractions help with that.
  13. Chill out.  Spend time with those that you love, your family, your friends.  Remind yourself of who is most important to you, are you giving them the attention they (and you) deserve?
  14. Review & Reflect.  Take some time out each week where the sole purpose is to review & reflect on the week and plan the next one.
  15. Reward yourself for the small wins.  Take some time out as well to reward yourself for the small wins, they are just as important as the big ones.  Hint: a number of small wins equates to a big one.
  16. Fail lots.  If your not failing, your not risking, and if your not risking your not moving ahead.  If you already know all the answers today why aren’t you at your dream? Chances are you still have some learning to do.
  17. Stand on the shoulders of giants, get some advisors, mentors, research, read.  Someone else has already had your problems before, seek the answers out.
  18. Spend YOU time.  Too often we get lost in txting, phone, facebook, work.  Have some you time no cell phone, nothing, enjoy a good book, indulge in a treat, take a walk.  Time alone is vitally important.
  19. If you are not comfortable with yourself as a person, fix it, enough said, you cannot be successful till you are comfortable with yourself and what you do.  Hint: this journey will help with this.
  20. Passion.  What are you passionate about? What really drives you? What gets you excited and out of the bed in the morning? Follow your passions.  You will likely fall into your dreams.
  21. Be You.  Stop trying to be someone else, that is NO FUN! and it’s boring.  Warning: you may lose some friends! But the friends you garner who respect you for you are much more valuable.
  22. Hang out with successful people.  Success rubs off.
  23. Challenge yourself, keep learning, keep yourself grounded.  Honestly you never want to get up yourself, once your at that place it’s hard to come back.
  24. Give stuff away! Learn to appreciate what you do by just giving it away free every now and again.
  25. Give something back, help out by volunteering, help that struggling company your friend started, ring up an fellow entrepreneur remind them how well they are doing.
  26. START A BLOG! Your objective is to help people in <insert industry passion here>, the art of writing something intelligent each and every day will make you smarter.
  27. Expose yourself.  Be bold about your goals.  For as much flak as you will get, people will admire and respect you for that.
  28. Take things slowly.  Stop rushing.  Enjoy the coffee in the morning, the paper, time with the kids.  You only live once so stop rushing about.
  29. Inspire yourself, indulge in the arts, learn a new hobby.
  30. Read biographies! Learn how others have succeeded.  You will find yourself finding infinite learnings in reading others.
  31. You are always wrong! always.  But you may be less wrong than your competitor.
  32. Write your autobiography, how would you like it to read? write your obituary.  This will remind you of the journey you are walking.
  33. Take the baby steps.  Big goals don’t happen overnight, they are the culmination of taking little steps each and every day.
  34. Scare yourself! Is what you doing making you nervous, butterflies in the stomach? If not, seek out the butterflies.
  35. Share your success! When you achieve a goal, let your friends know, celebrate with them.  Others love to hear of your successes.
  36. Commit yourself.  Tell everyone all your goals and how you want to achieve them, how they can help (maybe?), or what you expect them to do.
  37. Setup red flags.  Ask someone who you respect (and know will) to tell you straight when you fuck up.  We all do it.
  38. Listen.  Listen to the red flags, your peers, your enemies, they are all relevant.
  39. Expose yourself to polar opposite industries, are you a dentist? check out road workers? You will find you learn more about your industry than staying with the same old.
  40. Destroy something.  Know something is holding you back, destroy it, dominate it.
  41. Talk.  Talk at events, to your peers, talk online.  Talk in venues where your held accountable.  (Hint: you will not find the benefit till you do so).
  42. Keep a diary, a notepad, log your days, you will get so busy you forget what happened 3 weeks ago, date it, take it everywhere with you.
  43. Stop watching tv.  Tv is an indulgence, you can waste 3 hours in front of it, you could be 3 hours closer to your goal, or spent that time taking your wife out for an evening walk.
  44. Network.  Network.  Network.  Meet people in your industry who share the same passion, there is nothing more rewarding that being reminded you are on the right path.  Plus a great way to get free coffees!
  45. Never ask for a meeting, ask to buy someone lunch or coffee, more engaging and much more relaxed.
  46. Remind yourself of the dream constantly, what is the end goal? how far are you? do you keep a poster of that sports car on your bathroom door (or somewhere you will see it a number of times throughout the day).
  47. Inspire yourself with quotes, I have the ‘inspiration’ wall in my bedroom, on the closet are post it notes with quotes that inspire me, so i read them or at least realise their existence everyday.  Post its are great as they fall down every few months, so i need to replace them with new quotes.
  48. Keep healthy, the most important part of success is you, so look after yourself.  Garbage in, garbage out, give yourself the right inputs.
  49. De clutter, like destroy something, are physical items cluttering your life? get rid of them, gives you mental clarity.
  50. Be a kid! Go play with your kids, go play on the beach, bounce on the trampoline… it’s just fun.
  51. Turn negativity around to motivate you, if your out there enough for someone to criticise you must be on the right track.
  52. Be patient, impatience is killing success, be patient, take small steps every day you will get there, my biggest goals take years to come about, but they do come about, versus others who have given up on five other goals.
  53. Persevere. “perseverance is genius”.  who do you remember that gave up when things got tough? no one.  enough said.
  54. Be made of rubber.  When things go bad (and they will) remind yourself that your made of rubber no matter how hard you get dropped you bounce back and bounce back fast.
  55. Be loved.  Chase a girl, a guy, cherish those you love.
  56. Learn to value your time, stop wasting it on senseless or time wasting activities, each and every day is a day closer to living the dream, only if you want it to be.
  57. Remember it all starts with you.  It always has.  No matter your belief, if you do not take action it will not happen.
  58. TAKE ACTION!!!!! You always regret what you didn’t do vs what you did do.
  59. Listen to music, especially whilst in deep focus, (unless your dyslexic) music helps occupy half your brain so the other can focus on what needs to be done.
  60. Use whiteboards! Write up grand strategic plans, wipe them out, start again.  When you have the freedom to reinvent you will.
  61. Do less, it is easy to keep yourself busy, it is much harder to spend less time and achieve more.
  62. Focus.  Focus on what is important, what adds value, what leverages your time.
  63. Write! Write down what you want to do, how your doing it, your learnings, your thoughts, detail them, the act of doing this (like blogging) is going to accelerate your learning and progress than you ever thought possible.
  64. Be lucky! Luck comes to those that turn up.  If you don’t turn up and keep turning up how can you get lucky?
  65. Learn to be objective, on everything, religion, political views, relationships, when you can fundamentally understand and relate to both sides of the argument you are immediately more astute than both parties.
  66. Question all assumptions.  Always.
  67. Any doubts you have on yourself, get rid of them, more often than not others only see these doubts because you realise and accept they exist.  You are awesome.  You will dominate.
  68. Change your language, become more enthusiastic, use words like awesome, dominate, success, perseverance, wow
  69. Smile.  The act of smiling makes you happier.  Smile at strangers.  You’ll be surprised who might say hi back.
  70. At a conference? Talk to the person who is standing alone, they will appreciate the effort and you never know who you are going to talk to.  If they are boring, escape by saying you’d better catch up with your friends.
  71. Maximise value of your time, if you can help for 3 hours with a conference and then attend vs 20 hours work to pay for the conference, do the former.  Remember value isn’t always about direct dollars.  I helped with registrations once to get into a $800 conference.  Best investment of my time.
  72. Be honest.  Do I really need to explain this one?
  73. Respect the young guys, you never know who your brushing off, it may just be the next Steve Jobs, believe me he will remember you but not in a good way.
  74. Be a mentor.  Mentor someone else who is where you were 3 years ago, this process helps you identify what you are good at, what you did, and is surprisingly helpful.
  75. Stay up all night till the morning, do crazy stuff you used to do but somehow stopped.  This will inspire you.
  76. Stay on track, if your not working towards your goals, jump tracks.
  77. Adjust your context, move to a nicer part of town (rent if necessary), have lunch where successful people eat, attend the same events, being in the right places gives you leverage you can never have expected.
  78. Ask for help when you need it.  Stop being arrogant, you can not do it all yourself, ask for help, chances are there are many people more than happy to help.
  79. Break any addiction you have! Cigarettes, booze, they’re not helping anyone, especially you.
  80. Share the love, when you get recognised for your success, share the love amongst those that helped you get there.
  81. It’s the journey just as much as the destination which will shape you.  Remember this above all.

That’s it! If you could share by emailing on, retweeting, stumbling or digging that would be insanely awesome and I’d appreciate it.

Caution, I'm now on the radio

October 4th, 2009

The past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of partaking in the RadioWammo show on KiwiFM.

It’s been a lot of fun and we are going to to continue doing it.  But I just wanted to let you know you can:

  • Listen on the radio (if in NZ). Visit KiwiFM for the local frequency.
  • You can watch via ustream (available globally).
  • You can even listen online (available globally).
  • Then afterwards it goes up on YouTube – so here’s a playlist where you can get the latest ones.

Tune in 0910 NZT (watch my twitter Monday mornings).

Once we have the time I will organise a centralised website to collate all the media so you can subscribe in one place – but please listen, love to hear your comments.

I have embedded the past three weeks below:

Ben Young on TEDx & Unconferencing 5-10-09 Radio Wammo Show, Kiwi FM


Ben Young on Tipping Buses drivers & Free Broadband 28-9-09 Radio Wammo Show, Kiwi FM


Ben Young Ideas Primer 21-9-09 Radio Wammo Show, Kiwi FM
Ben Young Ideas Primer 21-9-09 Radio Wammo Show, Kiwi FM

Ben Young Ideas Primer 21-9-09 Radio Wammo Show, Kiwi FM


The Free Stuff

September 14th, 2009

For the new readers (and old) just wanted to remind you what else you can get from me:

You can read the blog each and everyday for free (it is my absolute pleasure to do so). (remember to check the archives in the bottom left menu, there are now over 300 posts!)

You can also check out some manifestos that I have put together in the past for free as well.

Heck you can even read my first book online for free.

Check out all of the above, the marketing manifesto is a must read and of course the book draws everything together.

However what I do charge for is my physical book, if you like the rest, check it out.  I don’t need to sell you on the benefits of reading a book but the key thing is it makes it real – once you hold it in your hand the ideas take a different shape.

How I am tipping the book model

August 17th, 2009

TheBestIdeasareFree.com is now live – so as a bit of an update I wanted to fill my readers in on how it got to this point, where it’s going, and if you want to help how you can.

Last year, mid november, I started putting together the 63 best ideas from the blog.  Through the next 7 months or so I went through 11 or so revisions, finally wrapping up in June.  Now it’s finally ready.

Tipping the traditional book model upside down
It hasn’t been the usual process – I have tipped a few things.

1) Firstly I wrote my book based off the blog, this allowed me to find the ideas that resonated with you guys the most but also forced me to take my conversational style into book form.

2) The book contains 63 easily digestible ideas to chew on, you can open it up on any page and give it a read.  You can pick up an idea within 30 seconds and run with it.

3) I don’t pander to the reader.  Instead of compromising and explaining every little detail I respect your intelligence if you don’t understand something you can look it up. (Not that it is overly technical, non tech/web savvy people enjoy it just as much).

4) Business Books typically contain a few ideas, or at the other extreme 100, instead I have 63 – why? It’s my lucky number.  (You will also note there were 63 limited signed pre-orders).

5) Even further, I have made the book free, you can read the book online for free right now. (Absolutely no region restrictions, anyone, anywhere can read it).

Clearly of course, my hope is that you enjoy it and will want to pick up a copy.  If you can’t do that, spreading the word is a great way to help.

6) There are also a series of videos (authors typically hide from the camera), detailing more information about the book, the themes, the journey and more…

So head along check it out TheBestIdeasareFree.com.

Already read it?
If you have already read the book, it would awesome if you could:

  • Share a review on Amazon (help others get to know about it)
  • Write a blog post or tweet about it
  • Retweet this post (or thebestideasarefree.com)
  • Tell your friends! Ideas are better shared.

Or simply email me with your feedback.

Thanks guys, I really cannot ever express my gratitude for the support shown by many of you. – Ben

The Best Ideas are Free is available for limited pre-order

July 6th, 2009

Emails have gone out to those that opted-in and now I’m just letting you know.

There are only 63 signed and numbered pre-order copies available so you need to get in quick (they will go fast).

I have put together a bit of a video below:


For more info visit TheBestIdeasareFree.com to call dibs and ensure you get your copy.

(Update 3rd Aug 09: The book is now out, you can click the book cover to the left in the sidebar to get a copy off Amazon or visit www.thebestideasarefree.com thanks – Ben).

Where's Ben?

April 30th, 2009

As most of you do not visit the blog and get it via RSS or Email (which is great, thanks for your subscriptions)  I thought I would let you know where I am and where I’m not.

Where I am:

  • Twitter – At @bwagy
  • Facebook Fan Page – (why? I keep my main facebook for personal use, so if you want to friend me on facebook fan page the way to go).
  • LinkedIn

These are the three ways to friend me up and keep in touch.  Email is always preferred but these platforms are the other avenues you can stay in the loop.

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
- Or maybe email this to a friend
- Or subscribe to get blog updates