Three Books And A Beanbag That Doesn’t Smell Funny

By Yaro Starak
36 Comments

In the interview I did with Robb Sutton he talked about the $10,000+ worth of freebies he’s received thanks to blogging.

While I haven’t been that active pursuing free product thanks to the exposure this blog grants me, I do get things in the mail from time to time. In the spirit of saying thanks for the freebies, here are short reviews of three books I received that you may find interesting and a not quite as expected gift of a beanbag that I’ve been putting to good use.

The Sumolounge Omni Chair

Sumolounge Omni ChairWhen Andrew Milligan emailed me and told me that his company Sumolounge were entering Australia and whether I would, as a high profile Australian blogger, like to try out one of his beanbags, I was initially torn about what to do.

I wanted the beanbag. My house, still being quite new, is sparse for furniture and having recently won a 40in Sony Bravia LCD TV in an affiliate competition I needed (err, desired) something to sit on to watch it. I was also very curious to know what made the sumolounge beanbags different from your everyday run-of-the-mill beanbag, which I had grown up with and known as grungy and smelly bags, often spewing forth little white foam balls.

The problem, as I saw it, was how to justify taking a free beanbag given I would have to find a way to tie it into the topic of my blog so I could repay the favor of the freebie with some exposure for Andrew and his company.

In the end the justification was easy (in my mind at least). I study a lot of information products, including DVDs about Internet marketing and personal development and it’s important you have a good seat to sit on while you absorb this information. So yes, that’s the connection between the Sumolounge Omni beanbag I’ve been sitting on for a few months and why I am now talking about it in a blog post.

Seriously though, the Omni beanbag surprised me. If you’ve never experienced one of these things in real life, then you won’t understand the difference.

The Omni Sumolounge Beanbag is, as stated on the website, “Urban Lounge Gear”. Clever marketing yes, but it’s also relevant because the beanbag is made of much sturdier stuff than your oldschool beanbag.

When I first sat on my Omni chair my initial reaction wasn’t good. It didn’t feel the same as beanbags I had known as a child. It was scratchy and plastic.

Now that I’ve used the Omni for a while, I’m pleased with it. It’s comfortable enough to fall asleep in, molds to any shape you like and can be used as a sit upright chair or a lay down bed. Because it’s made of, and again I quote the website – “space age rip-proof nylon” – it feels like it will last a long time, you can spill food on it without worrying about it getting smelly and it’s not going to burst all the little white balls over your floor.

If you need a beanbag or some unusual furniture to make your place more funky, check out the Sumolounge range.

Personal Development For Smart People by Steve Pavlina

Personal Development For Smart People by Steve PavlinaIf you are into blogging or personal development then you know who Steve Pavlina is. His effort over the past few years blogging out personal development advice is one of the true success stories of the “average” man turning into a expert in his field, by simply sharing what he knows and experiences through his blog.

Steve sent me a preview copy of his book last year and I’ve been diligently reading through it. I haven’t quite enjoyed the book as much as Steve’s blog posts, but that’s reflective more of the medium than the message – I like reading short blog posts or magazine articles over long books. Of course to give people an entire framework for developing all aspects of their lives takes more than one or two blog posts, hence Steve had to write a manual in book format.

If you like Steve’s work and want to delve deeper into his message and work through his very focused system for developing yourself as a human being, Personal Development for Smart People is a good starting point.

Blog Blazers by Stephane Grenier

Blog BlazersBlog Blazers by Stephane Grenier was a book that was a long time coming. Steph impressed me, first because for most of the time he communicated with me, I thought he was a she (all the other Steph’s I know are female), and secondly because it appeared that Steph’s project had got the best of him. However, after months of no doubt hard work, Blog Blazers saw the light of day and since then I’ve seen it mentioned on countless blogs.

Blog Blazers is a series of interviews with some of the most successful bloggers around, including Seth Godin (business), Aaron Wall (SEO), Neil Patel (social media), Anita Campbell (small business trends), Dale Carlson (one of my early blog influences – he covers business opportunities), Trent Hamm (the simple dollar finance blog), Manolo Blahnik (the shoe blogger) and many others.

My only gripe with this book is that the interviews go in alphabetical order, and once again my name attracts discrimination, listing me last in the book (anyone know a popular blogger who’s name starts with a “Z”?). Besides that injustice, this is a good book, that is easy to read, featuring casual conversations between Steph the author and the different bloggers HE interviewed.

You can check out more about Blog Blazers at BlogBlazers.com.

Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields

Career RenegadeJonathan Fields has put together a book that readers of my blog will love. His book – Career Renegade – has the the byline “How to make a great living doing what you love“, which clearly resonates with everything my blog stands for.

Jonathan touches on a lot of topics similar to what is discussed here at Entrepreneurs-Journey, including a section on “flow-state”, finding your passion and how to realize a life where you can earn enough money to live how you want to live, without having to work a job you hate. If you haven’t realized this outcome yet, Career Renegade is definitely a book worth investigating.

Jonathan’s book is new, it was finally released after two years of development in January 2009, so this is fresh stuff. If you’re thinking it’s time for change and you want to read about someone who has lived that change (think lawyer becomes yoga instructor becomes writer) and helped others to change their careers too, then grab yourself a copy of Career Renegade.

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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36 Comments

  • Interesting post. I find the success of Steve Pavlina’s blog inspiring as well. I have not heard of all of the famous bloggers you mentioned in the blog blazers section so I think I am going to check out some of their blogs. Why did they send you those books for free by the way, just for fun? You should work on getting more freebies, maybe you could start reviewing more products on this site- that could get you some good freebies.

    • Well, freebies are just a part of the blogging journey and shouldn’t exceed its limit. Yaro did a excellent job of weaving the bean bag into a personal story and putting up a review along. Can’t be done all the time though.

  • Interesting post. Although I’ve been blogging on and off for a few years, I have never – believe it or not – heard of Steve Pavlina (*gasp*) With that said, it looks like a book worth checking out – I’ve never put much faith into self-development books (I suppose I’m pretty cynical when it comes to them), but, hey, it’s never too late!

  • Do the interviews in “Blog Blazers” discuss their traffic and growth strategies or is it a light hearted look into what motivates them and their personal story?

    best,
    Chris Ott
    Referral Key
    Your Trusted Professional Network
    http://www.referralkey.com/small-business-blog/

  • Blog Blazers sounds really good. I’ll have to check that one out. Yaro, maybe you can get Stephanie to move you up to the front if you offer her a free beanbag :)

  • Hi Yaro,

    Wow, I know what you mean about finding a way to connect the products sent to you with the overall theme of the blog. I run a blog in the hypnosis niche and get sent all types of free stuff for review as well. Most of the stuff is usually connected to my niche, but sometimes I get stuff I wouldn’t think such as chairs, lamps and other off topic items.

    Reading this post gives me a few ideas on how to connect the dots for my blog and these off items sent to me. On another note I two received an early copy of Steve’s book and found it pretty decent overall. I too, enjoy his blog over the book and it seemed like most of the stuff in his book has been taken from his blog, which makes sense, but the book is good because it allows people not familiar with Steve to become a new audience and for people to ‘catch up’ with him and his blog.

    As we both know more and more bloggers are moving over to hard cover printing which can be a benefit in many ways. The biggest two are exposure to a new audience, those who may not read blogs and another form of passive income.

    Great Post Yaro,

    Joshua Houghton
    The Blogger For Hypnotists

  • Those Beanbags looks amazing I wonder if you can buy them anywhere else than their website?
    The books look like nice reads except for the last one because I have so many interest but no single “love.” However I have been narrowing it done in the past years.

  • I liked this post. The Blog Blazers does look like a great read and I’m going to get my hands on it this weekend… I can’t wait! :)

    I know the buzz you can get from getting free stuff. Although I haven’t had freebies due to my blogging, what I have had is 100s of freebies due to competition wins. One of the best ones was a cash prize of £1000.

    Regards,

    Karl

  • I want beanbag for a long time and Omni seems the best I saw around the internet. Probably I’ll buy it if don’t find even better.

    • Yeah I think you can only get these types of awesome beanbags online because the 2 local furniture stores that I have gone to didn’t have them, well not yet anyways maybe next month.

  • Yaro,

    I love the tie in on the beanbags! It is completely relevant and hopefully Sumolounge got the exposure they were looking for. Free products provide manufacturers with great advertising/exposure for their cost of the good, but they also take the chance that you might not like it…luckily…in this case you did!

    Robb Sutton

  • Ok, I don’t know about anyone else, but I used to have a beanbag that I LOVED as a kid. Back then, it was probably filled with asbestos or broken glass, but boy oh boy did I have fun jumping on the thing.

    Not to anyone’s surprise…..it broke one day! Yep, all the “beans,” aka asbestos/glass/broken dreams came spilling out everywhere and that’s when the patchwork began.

    It ended up looking like it had been through a minefield and I’m not sure why I posted this here, but it somehow seemed quite appropriate :)

  • I just ordered a paper back copy of BlogBlazers :)

    I have already spent enough time on personal development and I think Steve’s book is not for me anymore at this point of my life.

    I couldn’t order the bean bag because my Mother wouldn’t allow one in the home!

  • Nice tie-in for the Sumolounge!

    I’ve been reading Steve Pavlina’s blog for a while now, and it is indeed inspiring. Glad to see a print book from this talented and insightful writer.

  • Somebody send me some free stuff. Please? Aston Martin Vanquish? Haha. Some of the books look like they might be worth a look. Never heard of Steve Pavlina so I’m off to find out more.

  • The beanbag sounds pretty sweet! I know what you mean about having pre-conceived thoughts on all beanbags based on past experiences lol. That is exactly the reason that I don’t have one today… but maybe the Sumolounge will be something to consider after all. BTW, Blog Blazers book looks pretty good. Might have to check it out!

  • I read the “Career Renegade” while on vacation in the Caribbean. Now I’m back behind my laptop, taking what I learned to heart.

    Great book!

  • I love bean bags and will have to check if they are available in the UK. It is difficult balancing that act between reviewing something because you think it’s brilliant (what we lesser bloggers do) and then reviewing something because you received a freebie! I wonder if anyone has ever written something terrible about a freebie they received. If you did, I wonder if that would put people off sending you them. :)
    It’s tough at the top. But I still want to get there!!!

    Career Renegade sounds like something I will definitely want to read

    Diane

  • Career Renegade is a fantastic book. I actually just sent Jonathan an email today complimenting the book. It’s unique because it mixes practical business/marketing advice with relevant web based tools. The result is a book that not only gives you inspiration but also gives you some tools to make something happen.

    I’ve never read Blog Blazers but I just might pick it up right now. Thanks for the reviews!

  • Internet Age

    Three good books to enjoy whilst lounging on your new beanbag sounds like an idyllic match to me! Blog Blazers does come as a definite must read, and seeing you also giving it a good review and punting it makes it even more so.

  • Good job at fitting the reviews into the blog topic. That can be a sticky wicket — you join an affiliate program because you like a product, but then you have to figure out how to fit the product into your blog topic.

  • […] an over-sized bean bag chair company. I just read about their foray into the Australian market in Yaro Starak’s blog. Interesting product but I find it fascinating that a company would move into a market […]

  • Hello Yaro,

    I have not heard of the bean bag, but after reading your blog I will be looking for one.

    The books are now on my to read list…..which seems to grow bigger every day because as a book worm I am always up for a good read.

    Love reading what you have to say.
    Have fun
    Lisa from ourpathtoprosperity.com

  • I think a better tie-in for your blog is just talking about their marketing by sending free profiles – great lesson there in and of itself. I was just relistening to John Reese’s interview with Jeff Walker from the original PLF so that angle jumped right out – he spent about $20,000 sending free product out ahead of his launch and as a result was the first to sell $1 million of product in a single day.

  • I have Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People and its a great read. There’s a lot of golden nuggets in there.

  • Hello Yaro! You know, I’ve been wondering what system do You use to sell your products? Do you have some solution that is safe, easy for users and automatized? For example how do you secure your lessons?
    Regards

  • Omni Chair is one of the most comfortable things I have at home. I adore it, I can’t imagine relaxing on anyting else now. But it gets dirty pretty fast though it might be my dog’s fault.

  • You have done full justice.

  • Actually I am looking into furniture because I hope to have a new room soon and I will need to furnish it. I will want the perfect solution. If the beanbag can also support one’s back while one is reading, that might be interesting …

  • If you get asked to review a beanbag I guess in the future it is possible you could get asked to almost review pretty much anything! :)

  • its look like sofa cum bed;)

  • These are the most comfortable chairs ever! That’s awesome you get deals like that from people, asking you to blog about certain things. You are a great success!

  • I purchased blog blazers a few months ago and haven’t yet finished it. Actually this post reminded me that I had it. I’ll have to pick it up again and finish it this time, however I must admit that I flipped to Yaro’s section prematurely to read his interview :)

  • Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this nice post with healthful info in this article.It is really a nice post…..

  • I wonder if there is a central location where businesses who offer freebies such as this are listed. Might be a good idea for a site to have that information available.

  • Thanks for the article or panduan here.
    But steve pavlina is an atheist, so maybe you should adjust with his point of view.

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