Ron Passfield has been one of the lensmasters that I have learned from since I have been on Squidoo. I decided it was time to ask him a few questions about his Squidoo experience to see what has made him successful. Thank you, Ron for your time and answers.
What brought you to Squidoo?
I was first introduced to Squidoo by Dr. Mani and created my first lens to promote his Children Heart Foundation. Dr. Mani is a heart surgeon who has focused on raising funds for heart surgery for children in India with chronic heart defects. He now devotes himself full time to the Foundation and his Internet Infopreneur Business.
If you had to describe Squidoo to a new member now, how would it be different from what you would have said when you joined?
When I joined, I would have said Squidoo is a multimedia platform for building websites about anything that you have an interest in, or a passion for – an easy and supportive means for sharing your knowledge.
Now I would stress the wonderful friendships made possible through the supportive Squidoo community and the opportunity that Squidoo provides to discover your creativity and realize your potential online. Squidoo opens up the possibility to engage in lifelong learning and growth.
If you could boil down everything that you have learned over the years from being a Squidoo member, what would you say is the most important thing that you have taken away from Squidoo?
Wow, that question is a big ask. I think I could summarize it by saying that you create connections and build your recognition through transparency – by sharing yourself, being real and offering warm, supportive and genuine comments for the wonderful work created by others.
What effect has Squidoo had on your personal and/or professional life?
Personally, Squidoo has stimulated my learning and interest and helped me to create an extended personal network online. Professionally, Squidoo has helped me to build my confidence and profile online, establish Joint Venture Partnerships and leverage my leadership influence into other networks, such as RedGage. It has reinforced for me the truth that the more you know, the more you realize what there is to learn. Isaac Newton is reported as saying something like this, “In my lifetime, I studied a few pebbles on the beach very closely, but before me lay the whole ocean of my ignorance.” You just have to scan a few quality Squidoo lenses to realize how true his words are.
Which lens that you have written is your favorite and why?
The lens I created today would have to be my favorite. It’s my “Wizard of Oz” lens in which I relate the Yellow Brick Road to the journey that people take when completing my SquidooRoo Program – a 6 month training program in social media marketing. As I developed the Program, I came to realize that it is as much about self-realization as it is about the mechanics and tools of social media marketing.
I have wanted to build this lens for some considerable time, but couldn’t find a way into it. It’s not my best designed lens, but it is my most meaningful as it operates at three levels.
On the first level, if you just skim the lens and look at the images, you experience a simplistic account of the story of the Wizard of Oz.
On the second level, if you read the main modules, you are taken along The Yellow Brick Road with The Scarecrow, The Tinman and The Lion – confronting the self-limiting beliefs that we all experience when engaged in content creation (“I don’t have a brain”), social networking (“I don’t have a heart”) or promotion (“I don’t have courage”).
On the third level, if you read beyond the Guest Module, you come to see how The Yellow Brick Road analogy has been a part of my professional life as a management and organizational consultant for over 25 years. At this deeper level, the lens integrates what I am doing now with what I have been doing in my professional life – using action learning to help people and organizations to be the best they can be.
So after that long introduction, here’s the lens:
Which lens that has been written by someone else is your favorite and why?
Frankster’s lens on Polar Bears has to be an enduring favorite of mine. I value the extensive research that has gone into it, the total commitment to a cause and the quality of the presentation. There are so many great lenses, but I keep coming back to this lens as one that really moved me (and highlighted my ignorance of the topic):
Do you have any lensmasters that have served as mentors for you?
My earliest mentor was BobTheTeacher, aka Bob Jenkins. Bob created a Membership Program, Squidoo Secrets, which I joined and continue to promote. At one stage, I even became a moderator of his forum. But I learn daily from other lensmasters and my Joint Venture Partners, Squidster and Chef Keem. Anne, Achim and I have been holding weekly Skype meetings, thanks to Squidoo. We have been joined by two other potential partners in Germany. So now we have a weekly international Skype conference covering Australia, the US and Germany – all because of Squidoo.
What type of professional training do you think someone needs to be successful on Squidoo?
Squidoo enables you to be successful whatever your goals – to earn money, to raise awareness, to build a brand or promote a cause or charity. I think it pays to study the achievements of someone who has used Squidoo successfully to accomplish the kind of goal you are pursuing – one strategy does not fit all goals. Then engage in the pursuit of learning from others – the resources on Squidoo are endless. For example, you can learn about HTML and CSS from mentor lensmasters as I have done and you can always find great models for different designs. Creativity on Squidoo is contagious if you keep your mind and eyes open.
How do you use Squidoo in your work now?
In one sense, I use Squidoo as the Hub of my marketing activity. So my other online activities – blogging, social networking and promotions – tend to radiate out from Squidoo. I use Squidoo to promote my own social media training program, affiliate products and services, a number of charities and my offline, human resource consultancy business, Merit Solutions Australia (which has a new WordPress-based website designed by Squidster, Anne Corcino, through her web design business, seopraxis.com). When I create a Squidoo lens, it gets indexed by Google within a few hours, sometimes quicker than that, so I am very motivated to keep building lenses and participate in the Squidoo community.
Do you have anything else to say to Squidlog members?
I would have to class myself as one of the serious users of Squidoo. Because I have a full-time job as a management consultant which takes me all over the State of Queensland, I do not have time to engage in Quests and the like. I do enjoy, however, getting to know people – via Squidoo and the other social networks – and building relationships with them. You get a deeper appreciation of the richness of our Squidoo lensmasters when you see them in a professional context (on LinkedIn), as an author (on HubPages), as a living vibrant person (on Facebook) and a photographer and commentator (on Redgage and Flickr).
Image credit: Meiya Omuni