Servibration IV: Help Me Celebrate My Birthday by Allowing Me to Serve You

birthday cake lots of candlesToday is my birthday – number 41. Woohoo!  OK, I’ll be honest the number kind of makes me cringe.

Several family members have asked me what I’d like for my birthday.  It’s a tough question because I don’t lack anything.  I am remarkably blessed with a loving wife, 3 amazing children, lots of friends, work that is both challenging and meaningful, and most importantly I have hope and a future thanks to the amazing grace of God.

I think the best gift anyone could give me would be the opportunity to serve them, to make a difference.  It would really make this day meaningful for me.  So…

Help me celebrate my birthday by giving me the opportunity to serve you

  • How can I serve you today?
  • What question can I answer for you?
  • What favor can I do for you?
  • What can I give to you?
  • What can I do to make this day better or brighter for you?

If you’re looking for ideas and examples, here’s a look back at Servibration IServibration II, & Servibration III.

I suppose there’s one other thing you could do: share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so I have  the opportunity to help even more people.  Thanks!

54 Responses to “Servibration IV: Help Me Celebrate My Birthday by Allowing Me to Serve You”

  1. Paul, This is one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever seen! But it’s tough to think of something you can do for me. Since my website is new (only a week old), would love your thoughts on what’s working and how I could improve it.

    • Sure Michael, thanks for the opportunity.

      First of all, way to go in getting started! You’ve got your site/blog up. You’ve got the important static pages there (about, services, recommendations). You’ve started blogging on a regular basis. You’ve got the social media buttons at the bottom of each post. Excellent!

      I also like that you’ve got an editorial schedule – Tuesdays: Into the Edit, Thursdays: how to improve your writing, Saturday: misc. Consistency is key to building an audience & starting off great.

      I love, love, LOVE the Into the Edit idea! Lots of people talk about writing (which is fine) but showing people real world examples is tremendous!

      The only suggestions I have are:

      1) Personally, I don’t care of header of your site. The yellow, red & brown stripes are kind of boring & look dated in my opinion.

      2) See if you can change the Tweet button at the bottom of each post so it includes your Twitter username instead of @Wordpress.

      3) In terms of content, just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re off to an excellent start!

      I hope that helps.

    • Happy Birthday!!! What a great idea. In a world full of me we can show leadership by offering to serve on what is often considered “our day.” This idea has been a great service to me already. Can’t wait to pass it on to my family and friends.

  2. First off Happy B’Day. Brilliant idea this. Loving this. Might be an inspiration to many. Just good work you are doing.

    I am just gonna play here saying how about giving a mega eave giveaway to all those commenting here 😉 😉 say 10k eaves … lol

    You’re good as you are right now. Much appreciated. Cheers

  3. You can not be worried about your age for me today. Besides 87 is old, so you’ve got a long way to go. Celebrate your birthday and have fun with it like your kids probably will.

  4. Happy birthday! I appreciate your outlook on life. May the next 41 years be just as magical.

  5. Happy birthday. Congratulations on the idea!

  6. Roger Anderson (roger@curbyscloset) May 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I work with the youth of our church, and I always try to give them opportunities to serve. No one who does for others can contemplate leaving this world because they do not matter. When they serve, they learn that they do matter.

  7. Happy Birthday Paul. What a wonderful celebration. It took me a while to think of what I would ask of you as I too am feeling very blessed these days. I have recently got my focus back on my blog. I would love it if you could share it.

    My blog’s purpose is to help raise awareness about child sexual abuse and how to survive as a positive, loving person. My story as well as my philosophy of forgiveness and resiliency are tools that I hope will help others.

    Enjoy your birthday and may you have many, many, many more. 🙂

    • Thanks Teresa. I tweeted about your blog. May God continue to bless and restore you as only He can as you seek to bless and restore others who have experienced abuse.

  8. Happy Birthday! Your birthday request fits nicely with my latest project, which I’d appreciate ‘likes’.

    I am running for State Representative in Connecticut. One of the most important aspects of my campaign is to get people more civically involved.

    Please, consider liking the campaign page on Facebook

    Also, if you know of events or activities around Woodbridge, Derby or Orange, CT that I can encourage my supporters to get involved with, let me know.

  9. Happy Birthday, Paul.

    You’re so young.


    I really like the blog advice you gave to Michael at the top here.
    What can you do for me? Smile randomly at someone you encounter today, someone you wouldn’t normally smile at.
    And thanks for the nifty mission!
    Paul Ewing, a.k.a. QUASIDOGO or The [digital] Wizard of AZ, digital photography, that is.

  10. Hello Paul,

    Happy Birthday!

    What a great idea! There is something you can do for me.

    I am over a year into an extensive job search. A lot is going well; interviews, good feedback, etc., nevertheless I haven’t been able to land a job. I know everything will work out but at this point I am exhausted.

    If you could add me to a prayer list or remember my in your thoughts and prayers, that would be great. Not necessarily for a job but for strength while I go through this difficult time.

    Thanks for asking,


    • Sure Donna. I just stopped to pray for you now. God will provide the right job at the right time, and he will give you the strength to persevere until then.

      What kind of job are you looking for and in what location?

  11. Happy Birthday, Paul! 41 is sort of hard because it reinforces 40. On the plus side, by 42 it is old hat. (And as I’m approaching 53, 41 is downright young!)

    If you have any ideas on how I can improve my EA performance, I’d be grateful. But have already learned much from you!

    Lynn O’Connell aka @omdirect and @lynndeanne

    • Hi Lynn, my suggestion would be not to worry about EAv but to focus on your own blogging and social media. As you build your audience and engagement on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc your EAv dividend and share price will take care of itself.

      When it comes to your social media, I encourage you to make it more personal. People don’t connect with businesses, they connect with people. Make sure your pic and bio are at the bottom of every blog post. Give your opinion and analysis. Show your personality! That’s my advice. 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday, Paul!
    It is a terrific way to celebrate the Birthday, you came up with. You are doing a lot for EA community on the daily basis and sharing your thoughts and ideas with us.
    There is nothing I can ask more for, except maybe, a small piece of the gorgeous cake I see up on the page to everybody.

  13. Just be happy & Full of Joy!

  14. Thanks, Paul! I thought that was how EAv worked, but still feeling my way through.

    Definitely struggle with the personal vs business stuff. I’m not the primary “face” of the company, but my partner doesn’t have time/inclination to drive the social media. I think that’s been my main hesitation about putting myself forward more. But, I know you’re right… we tell our association clients the same thing. Another case of shoemaker’s children going barefoot!

    Really appreciate that you are sharing your time and insight on your birthday. Hope you decide to celebrate all weekend.

    • Lynn, just one more thought… if you are the one doing the communication then YOU are the face of the company even if your partner is the leader of the organization.

  15. Happy birthday Paul!
    If you have time, I would like to ask the same thing as Michael at the top – would you have time to visit my website and let me have any feedback you think would be helpful?
    That would be marvellous – I would be very grateful!

    • Hi Laura, I took a look at and I see a lot of good things there.

      – The purpose of the site is right at the top of the homepage.
      – You’re blogging consistently.
      – The blog posts are well written and include not just facts but also analysis and opinion.
      – You’ve done a nice including graphics and video in blog posts.
      – It’s integrated well with social media, links to follow on FB & Twitter are prominent and buttons to share blog posts are at the bottom of every post.
      – The articles seem like a useful resource.

      It seems like the blog is the most active part of the site, so you might consider featuring it even more prominently on the homepage.

      Beyond that, if you haven’t surveyed your visitors recently, I would recommend you do that. Ask them what they like most about the site, what they would change, what would help them grow in their faith and serve their local churches more effectively.

  16. Thanks, Paul — that is a valuable insight. Everyone in our field knows my partner because he is the “outside” guy, while I run things behind the scenes. But, you’re absolutely right that I am the face online. That gives me a lot to think about this weekend!

    • If your partner is the “outside” guy and already has the reputation and relationships, then another option would be for you do what you’re doing now, run it by him to do any edits, and then you post under his name. Either way though, the important thing is that people can connect with a person rather than a faceless logo. 🙂

      Have a good weekend.

  17. Happy birthday youngster….

    Why don’t you tell us which bit of the bible you choose to read on this special day?

    • I didn’t choose to read anything special today. I’ve been reading through the Psalms and this morning read Psalm 119:97-128 which includes verse 105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

  18. Paul,

    Great post! To answer your question, “What can I do to make this day better or brighter for you?”

    You can take the rest of the day off for yourself brotha, have a great weekend, and a Happy Birthday…

  19. “Happy Birthday” Paul. Just have yourself a great birthday and be grateful, Peace

  20. Hi Paul,
    Happy Birthday! Cheers from Vienna – Heinz

  21. Happy Birthday Paul! Great Birthday treat. Enjoy your day & have a great weekend

  22. Many Happy Returns of the Day Paul 😀 you deserve a treat enjoy and much love for family and loved one!

  23. Hi Paul,

    First, to echo everyone else on your great idea for celebrating your birthday, thanks for the offer to serve us.

    I recently connected with you on Twitter a month or so ago and was impressed that you engaged with me right away and continue to do so consistently. That really stands out. Your unique birthday idea certainly does too.

    Here’s a way that could help me and might even drive additional traffic to your site as well: It’s been very insightful to read your suggestions to others about how to make their own sites better. I’d love to see you do a case study “site of the week”–an analysis, even an “extreme media make over,” etc. You could have a contest to choose the weekly “winner.” It would be incredibly helpful to hear and see what you suggested to make things better as social media strategies evolve.

    I speak some 200 times a year but am playing a bit of catch up with the social media revolution so a case study, etc. would be very helpful to those of us who are building our online platform. Just my $0.02!

    God bless you, brother,

    Bill Dyment

    • Paul,

      I think choosing a site each week to share with us would give us some really useful links, give them some useful publicity, and you an easy article to write!

    • Hi Bill, I like the ideas of doing “extreme media make overs” and publishing case studies.

      The big challenge is that great communication involves two critical elements: 1) creating good original content on a consistent basis, and 2) building relationships. I can make recommendations, and I can even makeover a website to integrate it with a blog and social media, but each individual/organization must create their own original content and build their own relationships.

      Too often people who get free recommendations and a free makeover don’t do anything with them and therefore don’t get any results. (I suppose that’s a case study in and of itself. 😉 )

      I would love to hear any creative ideas you might have to improve on this. Maybe there’s some incentive involved or maybe a better selection process.


      • Building on that idea — what if it was some kind of interactive series? Just brainstorming:

        — limit to individual bloggers/business people.
        — Make the first 4-8 weekly posts on general things most people can do to improve, with one key takeaway each week.
        — Invite people to report on what they’ve done after reading post
        — After a month or so, either ask for volunteers for first case study or pick from people who have posted their actions. Make it a requirement that they have already demonstrated that they are listening and committed to change by taking action based on previous blog posts.
        — Then, use their site/social media as an example for the next 4-6 weeks. In other words, each week give them specific feedback on one topic. They execute, you use for next blog post. And so on.

        That way, instead of solving a problem for them, you show them how to do it and guide along the way. Others can learn from the process and you don’t take on the time commitment of doing it all yourself. In other words, don’t give out the fish, teach how to fish.

  24. Hi Paul,
    I’m a little late to the party, so Happy Belated Birthday.

    What a great way to celebrate by offering to serve others. It seems to me that you already serve everyone all year long with everything you do.

    What you can do for me is just be happy and enjoy all the blessings in your life.

  25. Hi Paul…

    Sorry I’m late to the party also. I shared your post with my Facebook friends.

    You probably know that you were one of my first investors, but did you know that I got my first insights into how to play EA from your blog. Thank you.

    And Happy Birthday!

    ~~Yordie Sands

  26. Great idea Paul.

    Happy birthday to you.

    Kind regards, Erik

  27. What a remarkable idea to take the opportunity of your birthday as a chance to recognize someone else. Well, I definitely need prayer for my trip to Costa Rica this fall. I have some funds already and others are unconfirmed. Even so, there are still a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up before I depart for this abroad internship, which begins September 1. Nothing is impossible for God. I’m just so overwhelmed by my problem some times and I wonder if I’m going to make ends meet for this trip and even after I graduate in December.

  28. Just an awesome post! Happy belated birthday;)

  29. A little late but happy belated birthday. I hope you enjoyed it =)

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