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pebblestorm-heart-sketch-whole-smallWhat a fun week and launch on Tuesday!  It was just plain fun, both to create and share it, and because it resonated with people.

Here are some stats about the launch webinar (thank you again Yanik Silver!)…

…..Registrants for the March 17 PebbleStorm webinar: 1300
…..Number of people who joined live on it: 350
…..Players in the PebbleStorm “Come Play With Me” game: 15 (sold out)
…..Amount of money spent on marketing: $0
…..Receiving messages like these: “Thanks for making the world more of the place I want to live”,  “Discovering you and your work through Yanik has been a real turning point for me and I will forever be grateful to both of you“, and “It was fabulous and I’m buzzing with all the possibilities“: PRICELESS

So why should you care?  Because my mission is to help you do exactly this! I’m practicing my own principles, then distilling them for you so that you can join me.

Priceless Gratification

What does ‘make money through enjoyment’ mean?  It means you can create a business that makes you money, and has a big, positive impact on people’s lives and the world (in fact, the better/bigger the impact, the better the buiness will do).

Personally, here’s an example of priceless gratification from Sarah Levinson, who wrote “You know what happened after listening to this webinar?

  1. I was able to sleep better
  2. I began to feel much happier about my life in general, and about my original goals for work and my purpose in life.
  3. The next day at work I applied the principle of enjoyment. IT WORKED!” [Aaron: I’ll post her example in a separate post on applying enjoyment]

And I make money from this, too?  Yay!! 

Slides (you can click through them, no audio):

Webinar replay with audio

(Sound quality improves at minute 20)

For a long time, when people asked “how do I get started with you and PebbleStorm?”, I didn’t have an answer!  As part of the launch, I created a page that summarizes how people can do something with PebbleStorm:

[UPDATE 6/28/09 By the way, the best link to find out how to get started with PebbleStorm is now]

Interested in online self-study courses? I had requests from people who can’t join now, but would at least like to sign up for the game but as a self-study version, in which you can go through the game and courses on your own.  I’m not sure when I’ll create it, but it will be in months, not weeks or years.  If you’d like to be a beta player to help me test it before public release, write me at aaron at pebblestorm dot com.


No one can do it alone, and I have my own support groups of people who are enormous, no, GINORMOUS helps in shaping PebbleStorm. First, thank you Yanik Silver, who catalyzed this launch, shared his wisdom in shaping it, and invited his own audience (the bulk of the 1300 registrants came from Yanik).

A bunch of my friends sat on the phone or in my house for hours (which, by the way, was really fun, like a “work party”!) so we could create this together: Onna Young ( and Leaps And Bounds), Kim Santy (Soul Shui), Hong-Anh Ha, and Scott Krajca (Wide Awake Media Group).

Several others shared extremely thoughtful feedback on the slides & program, like George Kao, Tiffany Hamilton and Erin-Marie Driscoll, or other kinds of last-minute support or practicing opportunities: Marni Battista, Danielle Townshend, Neil Patel and family o’ course!

I’m equally as grateful to everyone else who shared thoughts, attended the webinar, asked questions on it, and sent emails and Facebook comments afterwards.

Thank you for all the support, which will help all of us bring fun and play into work!

Aaron Ross

P.S. -You can easily find me/my info on Facebook, or connect through…

  1. Subscribe to the PebbleStorm Blog by Email
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On the webinar, one of the questions was “what books would you recommend?”  Of course, there are so many good books out there, but if I could only recommend three to my readers here, they’d be (in no particular order):


The 4-Hour Workweek

This book can help shake up your persepective on work!  You’re programmed to view work a certain way (aka 9-to-5), and Tim Ferriss challenges all kinds of work and life assumptions here in the book.

It’s well written, and you may not look at work the same way again.

Tim has a great blog at

The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works

seven-day-weekendI LOVE this book – even more than the 4-Hour Workweek (sorry Tim!)  This company’s amazing – an example of how values like trust, commitment, enjoyment and freedom can create an amazing culture and $300 millino company.  Work doesn’t have to be ‘work’!

Even if you don’t want to recreate this kind of culture (which is an extreme form of self-determinism), it has a lot of great nuggets that any business owner could use as ideas in improving their own business.  Here’s a taste of how things are different at Semco:

  • Employees determine their own working hours
  • Employees hire their bosses
  • All employees rate their bosses twice a year and all ratings are published
  • HR has been almost abolished, because leaders need to be able to treat their employees right themselves
  • Employees choose their own salaries / comp structures
  • ALL meetings are voluntary and open to everyone
  • The Board meetings are open to everyone, and include employee representation

Excerpt / Chapter One on FastCompany

CEOFlow (though it’s early) will be a roadmap to the Seven Day Weekend.

UPDATE: AAAAGH!  It looks like this book is out of print!?!  Look around on Amazon for it…there are various versions, paperback, Kindle, etc., that aren’t $50+…do some digging.  But get it!  If you can’t, his prior book is almost as good: Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace

The Four Agreements 4-agreements

This is one of those rare books that people buy extra copies of just to have on hand to give to people.  The day/day after I read The Four Agreements, I looked at people and the world a different way.  In order to really create the 4-Hour Workweek or Seven Day Weekend, it helps to have the right attitudes when dealing with yourself and others. The Four Agreements is a short, well written book that helps you get a better understanding of, well, life. Read it!

I think most people will need a certain amount of life experience in order to be ready to really connect with this book, so if you’ve read it before and didn’t love it – try it again every few years.


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Special Webinar Replay Added Below

pebblestorm-heart-sketch-whole-smallIf you love your work, it’s no longer “work”, right?…

“Here’s an Uncommon Way to Discover Your ‘Unique Genius’ – Combining What You Love with Real Satisfaction and Financial Independence

Enjoy More…Make More…Get More Out of Life!

Dear Internet Friend,

A few months ago, my friend Tim Ferriss (Yep, the author of the “4-Hour Workweek”) introduced me to a guy named Aaron Ross. He thought we ‘shared some of the same DNA’.

And it certainly makes sense…

You might have seen my personal “Maverick Manifesto” of ‘make more, have more fun and give more back’. Aaron’s notion is combining enjoyment, meaning and making money.

As I got to know Aaron more and more – I realized he’s got a real unique take on the entire notion of creating “true” wealth beyond simply what’s in your bank account.

If this sounds intriguing to you (and it should) take a quick peek on what Aaron and I will discuss on this free webinar:

  1. How to make more money, more quickly, more easily through “Enjoyment” (The concept of “do what you enjoy” – or at least enjoy what you do – is simple enough … but it’s amazing how many people just don’t “get it” at the level Aaron does!)
  2. Why now is undeniably the BEST time to rethink your career plans. (Yes, even in a so-called “recession”.)
  3. I mentioned The 4-Hour Workweek earlierPebbleStorm is a roadmap on how to get there! Best part… you don’t have to turn your life upside-down to achieve it. Part-time beginnings lead to full-time enjoyment, which leads to a lifetime of riches and fulfillment! PebbleStorm supports and encourages anyone in their creation of any dream business
  4. The truth about Passive Income… find out how Aaron used only 20 easy hours of prep to start a $2000 per month autopilot income stream… and only takes one hour a month to maintain it now!
  5. How letting go of just two negative emotions – impatience & guilt – lets you unleash extra energy for your business, and allows for more rapid recharging of your batteries when you need it!
  6. Discovering your ‘Unique Genius’ (Each of us has a particular talent that resonates within us … and with the world around us … and it can help bring the world of your dreams to you!)
  7. The importance of bringing fun into your work … how it helped create a billion-dollar company … and how you can benefit from the same strategy.

Plus, we’ll cover the ‘Five Steps of Aaron’s PebbleStorm’ concept (Reflect, Play, Attract, Package, and Receive … are the all-important keys to making money through Enjoyment!)


* * *

About Aaron Ross

“I think you should have more fun with work, not just because it’ll make you more successful, but also just because you can! Often what gets in the way of people making real money is their obsession with making money. OK, here’s the bio…”

Aaron Ross is the founder of PebbleStorm/CEOFlow, which help people and companies make and grow money through enjoyment. He is also the cofounder of, a nonprofit with USC, UCLA and Caltech created to “get more companies funded in Greater Los Angeles”.

Before PebbleStorm, Aaron Ross was an EIR (Entrepreneur-in-Residence) at Alloy Ventures, a venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. Before that, at he created a revolutionary Cold Calling 2.0 inside sales team that has sourced $100 million in recurring revenue. He also spent a year in the acquisitions and investments team of Aaron was CEO of LeaseExchange (now, an online equipment leasing marketplace. As an entrepreneur, he has been in Time, Businessweek and The Red Herring. Prior to LeaseExchange, Aaron worked at Pandesic, an Intel/SAP joint venture, did M&A at the investment bank Robertson Stephens, and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Civil Engineering.

Aaron is also the cofounder of DataSalad (”Fresh B2B Marketing Data”) and and on the advisory boards of Clickability, 4INFO, ConnectAndSell, MYNDNet, Personiva, AfterCollege, ExpertCEO and Flywheel Ventures. His B2B sales blog is He is an Ironman triathlete, graduate of the Boulder Outdoor Survival School and volunteer mentor at SCORE, “Counselors to America’s Small Business”.

“And yet I’m not ADD, hate multi-tasking (though I like having multiple projects), rarely feel busy or stressed, and I spent last December living in Buenos Aires. The secret? Living by PebbleStorm’s principles, which I’m now distilling to share with you all. Doing all this isn’t much fun alone…the more people who can make money through enjoyment, the better!”

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overloaded-africaOverdoing enjoyment

You know when you’re so busy that you lose track of time and days?  And not in a good way, but in a mentally overloaded way?  Because that’s how my head’s been the past several days/week, because my main businesses and projects (PebbleStorm, CEOFlow, DataSalad, and are all gelling right now, in great ways, and need real attention. Which, because there’s a traffic jam of goodness, is becoming a pain in my azz.

For example, Yanik Silver’s hosting my first PebbleStorm webinar (“Here’s an Uncommon Way to Discover Your ‘Unique Genius’ – Combining What You Love with Real Satisfaction and Financial Independence”) in two weeks, on March 17 (register here).  I’m also holding CEOFlow events in both Southern and Northern California, organizing a event, and will also be updating the content on, among other things…

March is going to be a month of overload, a big ol’ bite of the apple.

Extremes of any kind aren’t sustainable

The thing is, I love all these businesses and the people I’m doing them with!  Yet things go wrong when we go to extremes, even with enjoyment, and get outside of our sustainable pace.  I feel like a glutton at the dessert bar, stuffed from eating too much, but unable to stop…

So of course rather than meditate, play Wii, go for a walk or a motorcycle ride, I decide to do a blog post about all this and add some gas to the fire!  Yep I’m laughing at myself.  Ah, what I won’t do for my readers 🙂

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it

The first inspirations for PebbleStorm came to me back in July/August 2007, when I was at the VC firm Alloy Ventures in Palo Alto, CA (I will do a dedicated blog post on the ‘origins of PebbleStorm’ sometime).   After doing about three months of research into the b2b lead generation space, I had 10-12 ideas for projects or businesses that I wanted to do.  They all seemed so interesting to me that I didn’t want to have to pick just one.  I mean, if you had 10 children, could you choose just one you wanted to keep, and then leave the rest behind?

I got my bunch of businesses

Trust me, I am not complaining.  This is a great problem to have, and I love all this stuff – again, so much so that sometimes I can’t stop, even when I should.  One of my habits, which I’ve gotten MUCH better at since starting PebbleStorm, is overdoing things and going to extremes.  Sort of like when I ran myself into a hyponatremia coma in a triathlon in 2001.

Of course, that pattern is also what led to me creating PebbleStorm (“I want to work on what I want, when I want, with whom I want, from where I want”), which is a seriously extreme way of thinking about work, in its own way!

80% patience, 20% bursts

As much as I counsel patience, babysteps, taking things slowly and more patience, it does make sense to regularly turn on the juice and burst for a few hours (fun!), days (ok) or weeks (yuck).  Patience gives you the clarity of exactly what you need or want to get done; bursting gets it done very quickly.  You gotta know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em, and how to balance the two modes.  I burst for 1-4 hours at a time, and preferably with one of my business partners.  I’ll break longer bursts into 1-hour chunks with their own goals.

sprinters-relayWhat I mean by “burst”

When I use the term burst, I don’t mean just working on random stuff for a few hours. I mean sitting down with a very specific goal (launch a website, draft a webinar, publish a blog post, draft and send an event invitation…), for a defined time period (1 hour, 2 hours…), shutting out distractions, and getting it DONE. For example, I might budget an hour to publish a blog post, or two to revise a Sales Success Kit document – and the time limit keeps me focused on getting it done.  

This is really the first time since starting PebbleStorm that I have a good reason to burst for a few weeks/a month.  I’m not sure if this will lead to changes in my ongoing routines or not, but I’ll pay attention to it.

The burst that created a profitable business in four hours:

Here’s an example of how I burst: a couple of weeks ago, Onna Young (CEO of and I created a profitable product and business/website in about four hours, after doing some basic preparation and goal-setting.  We had fun with it, and made it into a game: “How can we create a site and sellable product in just four hours?”  In that time, we created the ebook, Success Kit and website

(Well, technically we lost, since it took us 4 hours and 15 minutes.  But don’t tell anyone.)

It wasn’t magic, just the application of PebbleStorm’s principles and PebbleStorm’s 5 Stages.  I’ll discuss it some more in the March 17 PebbleStorm webinar.

On the personal front…meditation, exercise, a home in Santa Monica

Meditation: It’s been about three months since I attended a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat (“A lifetime happiness and focus enhancer: Vipassana meditation”).  I’ve been meditating about every 2 out of 3 days – sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for 30 minutes.  It’s a bit of mental calm.  I’m still playing with my practice, but I’m feeling like 30 minutes most mornings, and 10-15 at night, is where I’m heading to over the coming months.

Exercise: I’ve noticed how exercise affects my mood positively that day, even many hours after the workout.  If I don’t exercise, I’m not as centered (not that anyone else would notice). Normally even I wouldn’t notice, because I’m good-natured in general, but I’ve been paying attention to this. I’m really enjoying both Yoga and mat pilates.

I just moved to Santa Monica: I finally found a great place to rent in Santa Monica (video) as a home, after 2.5 years of bouncing around Northern and Southern California communities!  (I was doing the taster’s menu approach in order to figure out exactly where I wanted to land long-term.)

It’ll be fun organizing some PebbleStorm groups here in the coming months.  A core part of PebbleStorm includes connecting fellow PebbleStormers, and creating a network of trusted people that can work together very easily.  Santa Monica’s ground zero for the core group now.

I’ll continue to visit the SF Bay area about once a month, to see family, friends, clients and to host the CEOFlow sessions.

How much do I want to proof this before publishing?

Not much.  Time to hit “publish”, eat something and rest my brain…I have more bursting to do tomorrow!  Although I joked in the beginning about making the overload worse by blogging, sharing is fun, and one of my core enjoyments (as it is with many people).

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