I have a confession.
I am always about two steps behind the rest of the world.
People are wearing skinny jeans? It took me two years before I even bought my first pair. iPhones are all the rage? I didn't even have a phone with internet access until the iPhone 4 was released. Every one is using Uber? I still say things are "uber exciting" and "uber cool". (Please note, this is not a reflection of Ziyak. I'm just a little old fashioned when it comes to some things. Some people call it stubborn. I call it timeless.)
I'm not even sure when I heard of Uber for the first time, but at some point (probably in the last year), my brain connected that Uber was a way for people to get rides using an app. I, honestly, thought it was a way to carpool with someone else. But apparently, Uber has been around since 2009 (and I am way, way behind). I'd like to add, I'm the only person in our office who has never used Uber. I have never downloaded the app. Not because I haven't needed it, but because I was stuck in 2008 still hailing cabs and waiting until I got a clean cab where the driver hadn't smoked in it in the past hour. I think back to how long my husband and I waited for cabs to show up at our hotel in Chicago, or I think of the ride that felt more like a roller coaster because the taxi needed new shocks... and I can't help but sigh... wishing I had known that there was an app out there that would let me book the ride, view my driver, and know exactly how long it was going to be until they could be at the hotel lobby. Ah... Uber. Where have you been? (Apparently everywhere, but I haven't been with the times.)
This past weekend, Josh, Brian, and Evan all used Uber for completely different reasons. Brian had an Uber ride to get from his home in Kansas to downtown Kansas City and back again the next morning (Don't ask what he was doing out all night. Remember, this guy is hipster and plays in two bands. Not bad for a dad who lives in the suburbs.) Evan used Uber for a ride from the LaGuardia airport to somewhere (He didn't tell me where, but he did mention the UN was meeting in NYC last weekend, so I think he may have some undercover identity I don't know about.) And Josh used Uber for a ride to and from work last Thursday and Friday. All three of them used Uber at different times, in two different cities, and for many different reasons. And you know what? They all had amazing rides in cars that were clean and smelled nice and they got to their destinations completely safe and without any hassle.
They all got to talking with their Uber drivers and almost every one of them had another job they did on the side. One was a pharmacy tech, one was a technology recruiter and one was an administrative assistant. All of those are full times jobs, and they all work part-time with Uber to make some extra cash.
"Where are you going with this?"
Come on, you should know by now that I'm getting there. Sheesh, calm yourself.
Picture this: Evan is standing outside of the airport in New York City, he hops in a newer and clean Toyota Camry and meets his Uber driver who then confirms Evan's final destination. They make small talk while the driver (we'll call him Steve), asks Evan why he's in The Big Apple for the weekend. Evan says that he's celebrating his brother's engagement and visiting his family, but then asks if there's anything interesting going on in NYC that weekend.
Most drivers would have a pretty decent idea of what's happening, but is there any way "Steve" will know exactly what Evan likes to do? Will he really know everything that happening while Evan's in town? Not. A. Chance.
So, instead of "Steve" trying to list off all of the crazy things happening in NYC that day and guessing what Evan really likes... he tells him about Ziyak. (We're also pretending Evan isn't the VP of Ziyak. Stay with me, folks.) Evan hasn't downloaded Ziyak yet, but is so intrigued by everything "Steve" just told him, that he quickly downloads Ziyak and misses his brother's engagement party because he's so excited about the "Dress Like a Turtle" Fair and the "Pilates in Times Square" event!
And "Steve"? Well, he just recruited a faithful user of Ziyak and a potential Ninja. He smiles to himself with pleasure and thinks, "All in a day's work."
One of Josh's Uber drivers, Alfred, shared that he gives around 27 rides every day. If he works every day, that's around 189 rides every week. That is a lot of people that Alfred is meeting every day. So let's imagine Alfred is a Ninja and he recruits just FIVE (Only FIVE!!) people every week. In one month alone, he has 20 Ninjas underneath him, and he is making even more money than he already is with Uber! He isn't even doing any extra work! And let's say Alfred also gives a ride to THREE (Only THREE!!) people each week who get their businesses to advertise with Ziyak. In one month, he has 12 businesses that he is making money off of. If Alfred also gets his other Uber-driver coworkers to be Ninjas, he is making even more money off of them. The possibilities for Alfred are literally endless.
In reality, Alfred hasn't become a Ninja (yet)... but "Steve" did! After Evan got in his Uber car last weekend, he told his driver all about Ziyak and "Steve" is now one of our Ninjas and he's excited to get even more Uber drivers signed up to become Ninjas!
So, where did I go with all of this? I went a few places.
1. If you are currently a Ziyak Ninja, you should probably try to recruit your next Uber driver, because you could make some really good money off of them.
2. If you're an Uber driver, you probably should sign up to be a Ninja, because, obviously, you're going to make some really good money by doing absolutely nothing more than you're doing now.
3. If you don't use Uber for rides yet, you probably should. Not only are they fast, clean, and convenient, but they're about to be some of the best Ninjas we've ever had.
For the first time in my life, I feel like I might just be a few steps ahead of the rest of the world. Not only do I get a behind the scenes look at an incredible app that is about to blow up the app industry, but I get to teach Uber drivers something.
*And she smiles to herself with pleasure and thinks, "All in a day's work."*
Uniqueness makes the world go round. I tell myself that when I see someone wearing a Pikachu costume with fuzzy, yellow boots that stop at their knees (or start at their knees? Either way, we're talking about yellow Pomeranians adorning people's legs). I tell myself that when someone thinks that a quiche-puree sounds good on Chopped. Uniqueness. People are just unique.
And that is what makes this world one special place to live in.
We are full of uniqueness here at Ziyak. And what better way to share that uniqueness than share the most intimate part of our lives? Our bags. And our desks. So today, we are playing a game of...
What's in her bag?!?
And another game we call..
What's on his desk?!?
Since, really, men's' laptop bags are pretty boring and girls desks can be pretty boring, we had to mix it up a bit.
So, for our first game...
What's in her bag?!?
ASHLEY: Her bag might be the most boring and random picture you'll see today. While most of her purse was full of old receipts and trash, these are the things that matter to her. I will note, that Ashley pretty much always has a doughnut of some sort sitting on her desk, and apparently, in her purse as well. What a good employee, carrying around her business cards with her.
KENDRA: That's me! When you're a mom and half of your bag is actually baby stuff, you tend to only carry around the important things. Like nine membership cards (four of them being for Starbucks), three different types of lip color, and a bandaid. Oh look! I'm a good employee, too. Repping Ziyak wherever I go!
What's on his desk?!?
RANDY: What good boss doesn't have a book on his desk? Or motivational fortunes from our favorite Chinese restaurant a few businesses down. We also don't believe in Kleenex in this office, hence the roll of toilet paper. He might just beat Ashley for the most boring picture. But he's clean, folks. At least he's clean.
EVAN: Now Evan's desk is something to laugh at, I didn't even include the case of tinted contact lenses or his other book in the picture. First, I'd like to note that he is out of town Until Monday and he has a travel mug with a tea bag still in it, sitting on his desk. Also, ladies, he has a $25 off card to Bed Bath and Beyond and tape measure sitting on his desk. He's single, FYI. A lighter, for someone who doesn't smoke, a book about his brand new camera (that is really for Ziyak, but he's become a little obsessed and is looking like your average tourist in NYC this weekend. Proof to the right.)
JOSH: More proof that we don't believe in Kleenex over here. TP on Josh's desk, since he's a newbie in Kansas City and hasn't quite adjusted to allergy season here. (Heck, I haven't either and I've lived here for almost 13 years.) My favorite touch, though, is his Kool-Aid. He also wouldn't let me include his dental floss in the picture, but tooth be told, he has extremely clean teeth, considering he keeps his floss on his desk. Nice.
BRIAN: He may be one of the oldest employees in the office, but his desk probably looks the most hipster. He also is clearly a loving dad, considering he actually has pictures of his family on his desk. Half of us in the office are parents, and he's the only one with pictures of his family on his desk. Overachiever. And yes, that is a succulent. Ashley and I have a couple on our desks (mine are somehow dying), and while I'd like to say that's how hipster this office is, we actually bought them as part of a fundraiser for Westside Housing Organization - an incredible organization that we sponsor here in Kansas City. Also, three cups. Three. You can guess who gets up to go to the restroom the most, he beats me, and I'm pregnant.
Well, hopefully you've learned a little more about how unique this office is. Maybe we aren't as funky as some people, but you haven't spent a day with us, yet, so you really can't fully judge.
Happy Friday, friends. May your day be full of happiness and ice cream.
Randy and Evan are both big readers, and they encourage all of us to read, as well. Evan reads every night for an hour or two to clear his head and work on his self-improvement. (I, personally, watch a few episodes of Chopped and eat a bowl of cereal, but to each their own.)
Fall is just around the corner, and with that comes cozy days of hot chocolate and apple cider in a big comfy chair while reading a thick, worn book. And we are here to give you your Autumn Reading List. These books will keep you busy in your spare time, motivated, and you'll feel very accomplished after reading any of these. Guaranteed.
Not only are we giving you an amazing reading list... but a list of books that will change the way you work, the way you interact with other people, and the way you feel about yourself!
by Dean Koontz
This is one of Josh's favorite books, "Because," he says, "The villain in Intensity is a good one. I appreciate a well thought out bad guy." The good thing about any mystery novel is that they make you think, imagine, and try to process two steps ahead of the character. If you're into murder mystery novels that end a little differently than one might imagine, this book might just be for you.
Awaken the Giant Within
by Tony Robbins
Ashley isn’t a big reader, but, thanks to the immense amount of books hanging around our office, she is reading this book in her spare time. Evan is in the middle of reading it as well. This book is about building personal development and confidence. In this book, you learn how to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical, and financial stability.
by Rhonda Byrne
Randy dubs this book as the most important book he has ever read. This is a self-help book that is “based on the law of attraction and claims that positive thinking can create life-changing results such as increased happiness, health, and wealth.” It is also based on a film that shares the same name. Clearly, Randy has used tools he learned in this book!
One Perfect Pitch
by Marie Perruchet
This is another “office book” that we have lying around the office. Randy states that this book has taught him skills that he needed to be able to pitch Ziyak to potential investors. So whatever you may need to pitch, this may just be the perfect book for you!
The Power Paradox
by Dacher Keltner
Evan is in the middle of reading this book and is pretty excited about what he’s learning from it so far. It talks about turning traditional wisdom upside down by looking at power in a whole new way, and the book teaches you to become selfless with the power you show.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
Brian (the Newb in the office) is another reader and highly suggests this book. “Yes, very corny and maybe a little dated. [I] read it on a lark when I was about 30 years old. My biggest take-aways: Remember people’s name, be nice, make people feel important – and mean it!” I will say, in the few weeks I’ve known Brian, he has remembered my name every day and has been as nice as a Canadian on Christmas. So, clearly this book has been good to him.
Hope is Not a Strategy
by Rick Page
This book helped turn Brian’s thinking in terms of the complex sale. Instead of focusing on what his company does well, he learned to look at sales from the customer’s point of view. How does his solution help the customer? This book also taught him to find out everything he could about a particular situation so he wasn’t guessing – or hoping – that he would win the deal.
The Traveler’s Gift
by Andy Andrews
This book is a combination of self-help and fiction, mixed with non-fictional characters. Typically a book like this wouldn’t be up my ally, but this book is one I recommend for everyone to read. I was forced to read this book my senior year of high school, but I was so intrigued that I couldn’t put the book down and read it all in two days. If you want a book that will impact you, motivate you, and share lessons that you will remember years down the road, but you still want a book with a story line, this book couldn’t be more perfect for you.
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
My grandpa sent this book to my husband to read, as he was dealing with a lot of high-stress situations at work. But, after several conversations with my husband, I decided to read this book as well. He hadn’t only learned how to handle conversations with his co-workers and boss in a better and more efficient way, but our conversations were more efficient and smooth. This book teaches how the quality of our conversations control the quality of our lives. Worth the read for anyone who carries on a conversation… oh wait, that’s you. Read it.
And there you go, folks. Nine books that you need to read this fall. Nine books that have influenced this Ziyak team greatly, and we promise will influence you as well!
Good luck, and let us know when you finish your first book off our list!
Our Ziyak office is filled with some amazing people, if I do say so myself. But, just like every human being, we all once had to wear diapers and bibs, we wet our pants and our beds, we colored on things we weren't supposed to. We've all made mistakes, we've all grown, and somehow, whatever we've done, we have all ended up working together every single day. And that is something pretty spectacular.
But for now, let's pay some homage to the people we once were, whether that was 20 years ago or two years ago.
Many people have little finicky things that began when we were just itty bitties. For example, my shoes always have to be equally tight on either side. I would tie and retie and retie my laces until they felt the same on both sides.
Ashley? She had to pick the lint out of her toes. I'm going to venture to guess that she still spends her evenings picking out the sock fuzzies from in between her piggies.
Randy began getting a little finicky when he was a young chap, too. His was a little more unusual... And comes in the form of sprinkles. 83 of them to be exact. Yep, 83. Every single cookie had to have 83 sprinkles exactly. His attention to detail has clearly proved to bring him success. Maybe not as much in the baking department, but success in many other things.
Like many kids, we also dressed up on occasion, from Halloween to school performances...
Now brace yourself for the cuteness that comes in the form of these family pictures.
I am the CU-UTE blondie in the picture on the left and Evan is the one in the striped dress in the picture on the right. Just kidding. But really, could our families get any cuter with our generous nod to the 90s and early 00's?
I mean, really. We've had some pretty fun days over here.
Happy Throwback Thursday, friends.
May your memories be crystal clear and fun today!!
Today's featured Ninja is Merry Ohler! Merry is a wife, mama, and my family's favorite photographer. She has been an amazing addition to our Ninja team and we are so glad to have her!!
Think you might make an incredible Ninja, too? Or just want a really awesome Ninja card to call your own? You can always check out our Ninja Page for more information!
We are excited to announce our first featured Ninja of the week... Tiffany Finn of Las Vegas, Nevada! This makes me excited because Las Vegas is a city near and dear to my heart. Not because I honeymooned there or had a bachelorette party there, but because I was born in Las Vegas, as was the majority of my family. It is exciting having a team member reaching people in an incredible city! But if you know anything about Vegas, you know it is a GIANT CITY! So, if we have any amazing people out there in that grand ol' city who think they'd make a great Ninja... well we can use you!
We also need to do some catch up from last week's featured Ninjas.
First, Ian Bounds of Los Angeles, California!
And lastly... your's truly.
Happy Tuesday, world. Four more days to conquer the week and two more amazing Ninjas to feature!
What says Friday like ice cream when there are only 14 days left in the summer? So today, we're talking ice cream. Because we can. And because when is ice cream never a good idea?
Let's talk about ice cream for a second before we dive into the rich creaminess that is just a couple inches from Heaven itself.
We have hard ice cream, soft ice cream, french ice cream, frozen custard, gelato, sherbet, frozen yogurt. Ice cream comes in cups, cones, waffle cones, on a stick or in a tube.
Ice cream comes in every kind of flavor you can imagine. Just when I think I've seen it all, some chefs have to cook with bacon ice cream on Chopped. Seriously. Bacon ice cream. I seriously can't decide if it would be amazing or flat out nasty. Hot dog ice cream? That's a thing... invented in Arizona. Bless Arizona's heart. Missouri, on the other hand, holds responsibility for the ice cream cone (you're welcome, World). The ice cream cone was invented in 1904 in St. Louis during the World's Fair. But we can thank California for making most of the ice cream in the United States. In 2013 they made 121 million gallons of this delectable treat.
I'm dying right now. Literally dying. (Shoot. I've got to stop with these Ted Mosby moments.) The fact that I'm staring at this ice cream but I can't actually shove my face in this right now is killing me.
In my decision to talk ice cream today, that got the rest of our Ziyak team talking about their favorite (and least favorite) ice cream flavors.
Randy loves rocky road. Actually, to quote him directly "I want to eat rocky road in a waffle cone while riding in a convertible Lamborghini and listening to "Purple Lamborghini" as loud as it will blast."
He's so original. (Also, I'd just like to note that the only people I know who like Rocky Road, were born in the 70s.) He hates chocolate chip cookie dough. I think that's the eighth deadly sin, honestly.
But don't worry, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is one of my favorites, and Josh's favorite, and a part of Evan's favorite.
Evan's real favorite is Peanut Butter ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough on top from Yogurtini. He likes it with all of the toppings, too, but who doesn't? So that doesn't actually count.
There are so many different places to get ice cream. Cold Stone, gas stations, self-serve froyo places, restaurants, McDonalds, even ice cream trucks! Ice cream trucks, though, are a little sketchy. Someone needs to invent an ice cream truck that doesn't look scary. Or a coffee truck. Why is there no coffee truck? I promise you that if a truck playing some Adele and a big "Coffee" sign came down my street, I'd be chasing it along with every other mom on my block.
But since we're supposed to be talking about ice cream, let's talk coffee ice cream for a minute. Or even better, coffee gelato. The smooth amazingness that is gelato mixed with the best flavor on this planet: coffee. Gelato ice cream trucks. I digress.
So go out today and get yourself a big huge bowl (or cone or cup or bar) of your favorite ice cream. Or try something new, like hot dog or garlic flavored ice cream. But enjoy the start of your beautiful weekend with something cold, something delectable, something that will make your weekend amazing. I guarantee it.
The accomplishment of an aim or a purpose; the attainment of popularity or profit; the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.
We all want to be successful at something. A successful business person, parent, or student; success with our finances, our marriage, our friendships. Hey, I just want to be successful at Apples to Apples!
Randy and Evan are two pretty successful dudes. They've accomplished a lot in their little lives. From creating apps to running businesses to just plain running, I'd say they have some pretty good advice to give on how to be successful.
Randy, the man with the shiny head, the one with the amazing dreams, and best of all...President of Ziyak. He is an opportunist by nature and can spot a winner from a mile away. He's overseen large sales forces in the Solar and Auto industry but overall, specializes in start-ups. Randy moved to Kansas City a few years ago when he noticed there was a lack of competition in the Renewable Energy sector here. He built SunSmart Technologies from the ground up and was recognized as the 87th largest Solar Contractor in the US within its first year of business (Considering there are more than 500 Solar Contractors in the US, that's a pretty big deal!). After selling his interests in that business, he came across an amazing opportunity in the App industry. His buddy, Evan, had found a hole that needed to be filled in the bulk trucking industry, and then rainbows started shining and angels started singing as Evan and Randy joined forces for the very first time.
Before Evan, Ziyak's fearless VP, even graduated high school he had already started a business called Holwick Detail (a car detailing business). Evan played tennis in college and attended UMKC's Business School. He managed KAW Services, a trucking company based in Liberty, Missouri, for three years. While there, he managed the tank cleaning division, schedules, accounting, customer service, and ISO tanks. It was working for KAW that he realized the trucking industry was still stuck in somewhat of the dark ages. So, when the angels began their chorus in 2014, it was as Randy and Evan created something called "EasyFleet", which also happen to be their first mobile app. The goal was to bring the trucking industry into the technological age. Million dollar trucking companies were still running on carbon paper, so thanks to Randy and Evan and their amazing minds, our beloved truckers can easily keep track of when their trucks are cleaned and where to get them cleaned, since that has to be done each time they're used.
Like I said, very successful. And very intelligent! It is amazing getting to work with these minds every day. Their brains run at 100 miles per hour almost all day. And then they actually run! Randy and Evan completed their first triathlon just a few months ago and are getting ready to compete in their next one on September 11th!
So, here are ten tips on how to be successful from two men you are killing it in the success business.
It seems so simple. Choosing to wake up every day and be the most successful you that you can possibly be, isn't always easy, but it is absolutely possible! So, today I'm going to choose to be a successful mom and employee. It can start off as simple as that. What are you going to be successful at today?
It is casual Friday here in the office. But casual Friday is almost every day around here. Today's casual Friday means we casually discuss what we're going to get from the Chinese restaurant next door, or casually throw the ball for Molly to run and catch (Molly is a dog, not an employee, just to clarify), or casually listen to the Zach Brown Band and try to type to the beat of the music.
What isn't so casual is our discussions of what will be in our amazing Ninja boxes going out to our amazing Ninjas in the near future. We can't casually discuss amazing videos we plan on producing or hilarious posts we plan on posting. No, there's no casual there, there's no mediocre or lazy days. When you get this team brainstorming, eyes light up, hands start clapping and fingers snapping and sometimes, I swear, you can see a lightbulb visibly appear above our heads.
We are so passionate about Ziyak, we literally sweat exuberance. Well, not literally. Figuratively. Dang it. I just pulled a Ted Mosby.
As we prepare to interview someone to join our sales team, Evan suggests I start acting crazy so we can see if this prospect can handle crazy. But Randy quickly points out that he's about to walk into an office filled with Chinese food, country music jamming, and a dog that is about to place a ball in his lap every 17.2 seconds, unless you have a bad arm, then it might be more like 5.2 seconds. That's probably crazy enough for the most guys.
Casual Friday does not equal casual thinking over here. But it equals casual attire, casual chatting, and casual entertainment. Because it doesn't take much to entertain us.
Happy Friday, folks. May your weekend be ever in your favor.
PS: First Fridaying in Kansas City this weekend? Look for us down there! We'll be sporting our new, and amazing, Ziyak t-shirts.
At Ziyak, we are excited to help connect people to cities all over the country. From finding the best places to eat, to exploring the best events in town, for the old in spirit and young at heart, Ziyak is for everyone.
Kendra is an Executive Assistant at Ziyak. She loves to share her humor and share her passions with anyone who will take the time to read what she writes.