Cleveland Rocks!

This morning was fun…about fifteen miles after I depart Toledo, my GPS unit powers off.  After lots of poking, prodding and moderate cussing, I determine that the unit itself isn’t broken (thank goodness), it was the car charger.  I look around.  All I see are farm houses and a lone rooster pecking about.  However, being the resourceful traveler I am, I make a quick decision.  I figure, if I just keep going the way I was headed, I will eventually run into a WalMart, where I can buy a new charger.  Lo and behold, 20 minutes later I’m up and running again, and still on track!  I figure, every trip is entitled to one minor snafu, so I’m glad that’s over with!

And then it was off to Cleveland.  I’ve never been to this city before, but I loved it as soon as I got there.  Totally walkable with brick sidewalks, friendly folks who smile and wave instead of honk, and generally just an all over easy going feeling.

Met up with a great group of guys at Great Lakes Brewing Company, and I’ll be darned, they were all on ShareASale! The ever savvy Jim Kukral (@jimkukral) intrigued us with a fantastic online venture that no doubt will skyrocket later this year (I’ll let him lend the details).  Dave Stack (@davestack) also showed up.  Dave’s one cool dude, he started selling online back in the early 1990s, using a Commodore 64 to sell vinyl.  (What’s a commodore 64?  What’s vinyl?)…and now he supports himself with about eight different websites.  These days he uses virtual assistants to update his sites, adding content and doing various daily drudgery.  No doubt, that sure does beat the corporate life!  He also tipped us off about couch surfing…you’ll have to Google that for more info, but let’s just say that this morning, he had breakfast with a Chinese guy and his puppy, driving cross-country from New York to Redmond to start his job with Microsoft.

And finally, there was Daniel (@dansdeals).  Great guy, easy laugh, and definitely one sharp thinker.  He got his start back in the late 90s.  Back then, he would ditch school, run to Nordstrom’s and buy up all their Beanie Babies.  Then he’d flip them on the then nascent eBay.  He’d stay ahead of the game by researching which ones Ty was going to retire.  Then he’d go out and grab them all. Not bad for a high school kid.

These days, he travels the world, paying off first class tickets with thousands and thousands of miles.  He’s gotten monthly checks in the tens of thousands.  And yet, the guy is completely modest.  He just knows how to combine the right deals to get maximum benefit.  He related a story about how he once figured out a way to get a first class round-trip ticket to Hawaii for $80 (bascially, you had to book a couple nights with a hotel, sign up for some credit card, get a rebate, I can’t remember the details, you’ll have to ask him yourself).  He’s sitting on the plane, and the guy next to him says, “Can you believe I got this seat for $80?”  Dan’s like…”umm, where’d you hear about that?”  Sure ’nuff, Dan was sitting right next to one of his readers.  Dan had another tidbit that he came up with himself.  It is, quite possibly, the best, legitimate airline mileage arbitrage idea I’ve ever heard in my life.  I will only tell you that it involves airline miles and the U.S. Mint.  For the rest, you’ll have to check out his site.  I don’t think he fully comprehends it, but the way he thinks, and the way he runs his site, he’s figured out how to merge affiliate marketing and social media.  The best part is, he is truly adding value to the internet and not polluting it with regurgitated, incomprehensible content.  There’s a lot to learn from this one, no doubt.

Next stop, Pittsburgh!

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