Categories
People

The Secret to Eternal Youth – Play the Game of Life (It’s Actually a Game not a Metaphor)

The Game of Life is an awesome game. I’ve been playing it for a couple of years now but have slowed down since I started travelling. I managed a few decent sessions in Budapest but you really need to know people (usually) for longer than a few hours to get them to join in on the fun.

So what is the Game of Life?

The game of life is a game, where in once you join the game, you have to play it for the rest of your life. Hence the name…

The game rules are as follow:

If someone who is also playing the game of life asks you a question, any question at all, at any point in time, for any reason, and within your response to the question you use the word ‘mine’ you have to drop and do 10 push ups. Right then and there.

Here are some examples:

Simple foolery:

Hey, who’s beer is that?

Mine

Haha get down!

Ego rubber:

Wow, this place is awesome. I love that xyz thing. Who’s idea was it to come here?

Mine

Haha get down!

Advanced trickery:

What is the name of that bomb thing between that blows up when you step on it? They have them between North and South Korea…

Land mine?

Haha get down!

As you can see, it’s pretty straight forward.

The game can get very deceptive and seeing how it is played 24/7 you can really catch people at inappropriate times.

The game is the secret to eternal youth because its a constant reminder to always have fun. To be juvenile. To not take things so seriously. Failed attempts, triumphant successes and harsh defeats will all bring a smile to your face.

Maybe not while you’re doing push ups in a fancy bar wearing a suit, maybe not while you’re half way through a conversation with a cute girl and you get done, maybe not after you’ve been woken in the middle of the night, asked a question then forced to do push ups. But you will eventually smile.

And with that smile, you will remember the good times. With that smile you will realise there are still more to come.

I’m very young, but I hope I never stop playing The Game of Life.

You shouldn’t take life to seriously. You’ll never get out alive. Van Wilder

Categories
People

Are You a Decision Making Douche?

My latest and faviouritest book is Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. I have the audio version and am on my third listen. Which is no small feat as it’s a monstrous book.

The book is crazy famous and has been used by countless athletes, actors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, coaches etc…

For those who don’t know, Psycho Cybernetics is the father of self help books. Its topics include self image, emotional state, action quota, decision making, success mechanisms, happiness, visualisation and I don’t even know what else. It is literally like 5 books in one. Each time I have listened to it, it has been like whole book of new information.

It is one of those books that will resonate with you differently depending on where in life you are. This is why I think so many people go through it multiple times. It’s like reading a different book the next time around.

One of the topics that stuck with me this time around was the topic of decision making. I wrote here how important decisions are and how much of a dramatic impact they can have on your life.

Maxwell Maltz goes into decision making in great detail. Here are some of the takeaways:

Making a decision

Making a decision is incredibly important. While you should use the information you have to assess the pros and cons of a decision you should not dwell on it too long. Decisiveness is one of the strongest traits of any leader and is a key hiring characteristic for management in the corporate world. Being able to quickly come to a decision, act on it and have others follow you creates motion instead of stagnation.  Motion is the breeding ground for innovation, creativeness, success and happiness. Stagnation is the breading ground of doubt, lethargy, boredom and depression.

If you are thinking about doing something, decide if you are going to do it or not, then act on your decision.

Locking away the Decision

This brings me to the next point. Locking away a decision. Once you have made a decision, you need to lock it away in the ‘lock box’ as so famously quoted by US Vice President Al Gore. There is no use worrying or stressing over whether or not you made a correct decision after you have made that decision. Once the decision is made, you should completely detach yourself from the outcome of the decision and just work on taking action. All analysis and concern should be done before the decision is made, not after.

If you spend time thinking about whether or not the decision was the correct one is that going to help you achieve your goal?

No.

Worrying and stressing about the ‘correctness’ of your decision is a stupid waste of time, energy and emotional state.

Making the Correct Decision

In his lectures to business leaders, Maltz quotes a few cogent remarks from his attendees:

“Dr. Maltz, the truth is that there are few inherently right decisions or wrong decisions.  Instead, we make decisions, then make them right.  That’s what leadership is all about.”

“You can always correct a poor decision, but if you do nothing, you can never get the time back.”

As stated above, worrying about whether your decision was the right one or not is not only stupid, but it increases the chances that the decision will end up as the wrong one.

If you decide to start a project, but spend all your days worrying if it will be successful or not instead of working hard to create the output necessary to complete the project, you are creating the result of a poor decision.

Whereas if you had decided you are going to start a project and work five hours a day for the next two weeks on it and not worry whether or not it will be successful, you are creating the results of a completed project which has a higher chance of being the correct decision.

You can significantly alter the outcome of your decision helping to determine its success factor.

Moral of the story

If you’re thinking about doing something, decide and move on. If it turns out you made the wrong decision, make a new decision and move on. Don’t stay in a state of limbo and don’t worry about if you are making the correct decision. Worst case scenario you fail. Who gives a fuck! NEXT.

Categories
Business Technology

Social Network Shopping

This is a guest post I just did on awebsitedesigner.com.au

Social Network Shopping – The Dawn of a New Era

We all know about social media and social networking. It’s been a hot topic in the news, on the internet and in Hollywood. But as a business owner who runs a business in the real world, what does it mean for you? How can you actually use social media to help achieve your business or life goals?

It’s true that social media can have a positive impact on business. There are methods such as running viral competitions to mass increase subscribers and more innovative approaches such as the Old Spice campaign. But while it’s true that interacting on social media can boost brand awareness and interaction, is it really the best use of time for an employee?

Read full post…

Categories
Business

The Launch Post – Could this be the Difference Between Life and Death?

I’m currently working on launching my new site which is a complete, free video guide to building an online store as mentioned in this post.

The site is coming along nicely with the core 7 lessons already developed, the email auto responder is set up using aweber so you get a nice email in your inbox with a link to each lesson (the lessons are delivered over 8 days). There is a blog that is coming along nicely, kind of. There are a bunch of sales pages up at the moment. I’m testing different subscription boxes. I have a sales video made, but need to make another one or two so I can have them rotating for testing by the time launch date comes… I don’t like making sales videos so I’ve been putting this off.

The site is already running, it’s been ‘soft launched’ meaning I have done some mild marketing for it and have a fair few subscribers but it’s still a little rough around the edges so need to smooth things out for the official launch.

One thing I’m very excited about is the launch article I’ve been working on. I think a post article can be very important as a solid kick start to any new site. If done properly, it could really blow out and create a viral effect. If it doesn’t work, it will result in a great post with not much traffic so either way it’s not so bad.

For my launch post I’ve been contacting influential figures in the ecommerce space and asking them this question:

“What is one unconventional piece of advice you would give someone looking to start their own ecommerce store”

So far the feedback has been exceptional! I have had feedback from a number of prominent CEOs, top bloggers and even a guy who has a radio and TV show. I won’t reveal the details just yet but there is some pretty juicy stuff. The goal here is that not only is this turning out to be a great post – which might even turn into a free eBook if I keep getting content like this – but hopefully the people I’m contacting will help me promote the article/ebook and it will go viral. I will write a post on how I went about contacting these people in the future. I cant take credit for this idea however, It was actually something I picked up from listening to this podcast between Pat Flyn (Smart Passive Income) and Corbett Barr (Think Traffic).

I plan to do some pretty hefty marketing to friends and people on my social media networks to try and get Diggs and Stumbles up. By hefty I mean one email asking them to Digg and Stumble the post. I’ve NEVER marketed to my friends before so I’m a little nervous about this, but this factor is driving me to ensure the quality of the content is as high as possible.

The whole process is turning out to be much more coordination than I originally thought. I also need to write a press release or two and push it out to the press release sites. I’ve never done that before… I just put a request up on HARO to see if I can get more contributors to my article so will see if that brings back anything useful. And I’m sure there are plenty of other things I need to do that I have either forgotten or haven’t thought of yet. Either way this post is kind of a check list for myself.

The one thing I still haven’t come close to deciding and that is super important is a title for the launch post. Without a title I’m 100% happy with, the launch isn’t happening. Because as you may know from here, here or here the headline of a post/book is the most important part. Here’s a few I just thought of:

Unconventional Advice from Ecommerce Geniuses?

Too boring…

Want Larger Breasts, a Super Model Girlfriend or a Million Bucks?

Too much?

Captains of Industry Reveal their Tips to Conquering the E-commerce World?

F*&% I don’t know… Maybe it will come to me in a dream. Got any ideas?

Categories
People Technology

Abstract Education: The Khan Academy

This site is truly amazing and could turn out to be one of the most important websites in the world. Abstract living at its finest. I urge everyone to share it with everyone they know.

Its a site with videos teaching educational concepts. It starts with simple concepts like 1+1 and goes all the way into college level and calculus.

The Khan Academy is helping people all around the world, giving them access to a free, first grade education.

 

www.khanacademy.org

 

Categories
Technology

Gangster & Innovator – Mark Burnett @ Blogworld

One of the more interesting events that happened during the day at Blogworld was a keynote by Mark Burnett and his following publicity stunt.

If you don’t know, who Mark Burnett is, here is a Wikipedia excerpt:

Mark Burnett (born 17 July 1960) is a British television producer, known for creating and/or producing competition-based reality television shows such as the American edition of Survivor, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Mark Burnett’s international productions include: Amne$ia Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?, which has been produced in over 55 foreign countries, The Contender-Asia (a Thai kick-boxing version of the American Boxing-Competition show), and The Apprentice which has been produced in over 21 foreign countries.

Mark Burnett is pacting with casino and resorts giant Genting Intl. to launch a $20 million joint production venture. Mark Burnett Prods. Asia will produce original content for Asian broadcasters and license those formats in markets around the world, including the U.S. The TV venture, the first for Genting, marks the latest overseas expansion for Burnett.

For a guy who use to be in the military and worked as a nanny, his talk sounded awfully familiar to a Tony Robins presentation. Which is not a bad thing in any way as Tony Robins is a gangster (the cool kind) and I’m a self help junkie.

The interesting portion of the talk was at the end when he launched his new TV show: Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

While I am no fan of Sarah Palin, I am a fan of Mark Burnett. For his TV shows, his marketing skillz and most recently his gangster Tony Robins like jargon.

During his keynote at Blogworld, he announced this TV show for the first time by having stevegarfield whom I don’t who, but seems to have a decent sized Youtube channel, upload the first copy of the TV Trailer to his Youtube channel, tweet it out then asked everyone in the room to also tweet it out.

This is the video that was uploaded to Youtube.

The official first tweet
The official first tweet

At the time of writing this video is currently on ~82,000 views. Not bad for 10 days.

Who knows if this tactic will work or not but I like his innovation and guts for giving it a shot. Plus its Sarah Palin so no one really gives a sh!t if it works anyway…

Categories
Business

Designing a Squeeze Page – Niche Site Duel 03

Welcome to post number 3 of my niche site challenge. As you may know from posts one and two I am participating in the niche site duel being run by Pat Flyn.

My strategy has been a little different from the traditional strategies that most of the other guys have been using. And I am not sure if I have picked the correct strategy or not, but at the very least I am learning lots which is the most important thing. Including picking up some awesome linking strategies from makemoneybuzz.

The main reason I chose this route was to experiment with video. With screen casting, driving traffic to and from videos as I am working on another project which is due to launch in a couple of weeks. I knew this and figured I should get some practice in before going full force on a project that I am more comfortable with and that has much larger potential.

The site that I have chosen is http://www.sleepapneastop.com

This was actually the first squeeze page I have ever designed right after going through some training on how to build them.

Here is what I did.

1. Installed WordPress and downloaded a free squeeze page theme from wordpresssqueezepage.com. I’m not going to show you how to install WordPress, there are plenty of guides out there including guides written up by the other participants of this competition. But if you have any questions, just ask.

2. Registered with Aweber to give me pretty email sign up (opt in) boxes and to track and manage my email campaign. Aweber is an amazing piece of software. You can build all sorts of sign up boxes, set up automated email responses, split test emails, track clicks. Basically do anything. If you are thinking of doing any sort of email marketing, get Aweber.

2. Crafted a story around my product. Taking this angle can seem a little on the morally grey side. Again, this is just an experiement. And we all know that stories sell. So I crafted a story about a guy named Peter Evans who used to suffer from sleep apnea but managed to fix it and now he has the secrets to show you how.

4. Created a small, relevant ebook that I give away for free by rewriting some content I found on the web. I think its only about 1000 words and took me a couple of hours including formatting. This gives people incentive to sign up and get the free report. People like free stuff.

5. Built the squeeze page. A few things I have picked up before and after I built the squeeze page:

  • Don’t have big flashy header images. Just have a simple, red title.
  • Make sure that your op-tin box is above the first line. The line refers to the first thing you see when the site loads up. You shouldn’t have to scroll down to see the sign up box.
  • Also, above the line should be short, punchy and with a strong call to action towards the sign up box. The aim here is to get people to enter their email addresses. Nothing else. Your headline should sell the majority of the people.
  • If a reader isn’t sold on your headline, start going down into benefits of the product, then into your story.
  • Finally try to capture with another sign up box.
  • Use a light background (which I am not doing!)
  • Split test your squeeze page using Google Website Optimiser (which I am not doing!)

As I said, this was my first squeeze page so its probably not the most awesomest thing ever. It was an interesting process and so far I have learned a lot. More experimenting to come and soon I will start to show results. Between Blogworld and my other new and exciting project, this site has been about 2% of my time so its definitely not where it should be but I still think it has potential so will keep slugging away at it slowly.

Categories
Business

Abstract Income: How to Support an Abstract Lifestyle

Recently I have been participating in the Niche Site Duel, more as an experiment than anything else. But the reason I have been playing around with things like this is I am trying to build myself a strong income stream. A stream that comes from multiple sources and ideally that can be eared from any country in the world.

To do this, I have been setting up income businesses. An income business (versus a value business) is a business that you can set up for relatively low costs, that will bring in consistent income. While many income businesses are now forming online, they dont have to be online. An example of an income business would be a cafe, restaurant or convenience store. They are never going to turn you into a billionaire, but they allow you to earn your income yet still have more control over your life (at least that’s the idea, doesn’t always work out that way as im sure many restaurant owners would argue).

Currently here in Vancouver, I am exploring the possibility of a value business. A business that has the potential to make lots of money but comes with high risk, more stress, less flexibility etc…

While I have been travelling though, I have built one online income business that has managed to make me a decent profit and is continuing to grow. This business has been an ecommerce business. The model I followed was the same as the one given in the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris, and truly does work. While it can be a bit of work initially, it does pay off in the long run.

I am launching a new site in the next couple of weeks that will be a free course to show people exactly how to build an online store. Its going to be AMAZING!

No seriously, I already have 4 hours of video content, with loads more coming. It will show you how to go from absolutely nothing, not even an idea (although if you already have a product or idea that will help) to owning your own ecommerce store.

It will include product research and selection, domain research and selection. Build the back end of your store (don’t worry, you don’t need to be a techie!) including setting up tracking and payment processing. Designing your store. Building the content. Plus building a marketing and customer retention strategy.

So make sure you subscribe over to the top right as this site is going to kick ass and be totally free!

Categories
People Technology

Blogworld 2010 #bwe – My Review

I was a lucky SOB and managed to win myself a full access pass to Blogoworld last week. It was an awesome experience. I have been to many trade shows in the past but nothing like this. And none since I set out on my own last year. I used to go representing my company which is a little different.

I had also never been to a multi-day event, which had parties too.

One thing I have learned about myself over the last year, is that I suck at networking online. I just don’t have the patience for it. I know this may be a bit of a negative being in the online space as there is no better place to meet people who work online than online… But I just don’t like doing it. I don’t like hanging out on Facebook, I don’t like tweeting stuff, I think its weird meeting and connecting with people online.

But hey, that’s just my opinion and personally, I think its a pretty stupid one. I should do more of it. I just feel that the computer is a place of work and learning. When I am on my computer, I am almost always doing one of those things. If I am not doing one of those things, I quickly start to feel uncomfortable and need to get outside, meet some people, do some exercise, do something!

I also know this challenge I have is the opposite of many other bloggers / internet markets who find it awkward to meet and connect with people in person but have no troubles online. I guess its the salesman in me.

So when Blogworld came about, I was like a kid in a candy store. Admittedly, I only went to the full first day, then the clubs afterwards. Even though I didn’t make it to too many events the next couple of days (partly due to the seductive beckoning of the pool, partly due to my hangover), I made it to every party – and after party. I know this was almost the reverse schedule of lots of the attendees who made it to Blogworld. Whichever way you prefer to use your time, you need to make sure you use your time.

I didn’t feel there were too many advanced content courses being taught during the days, but lots of great stuff if you are just getting into new and social media.

The nights were where it was at. I met so many interesting people. Had so much fun. Spammed business cards, collected business cards, pumped my LinkedIn account oh and did I mention the fun?

Whatever the type of person you are, if you work in the internet space I think Blogworld is worth checking out. I will definitely be back there next year if I am on this side of the planet.

So what did I get out of Blogworld (besides the ability to party for a few nights in Vegas?) – contacts. I met people. Lots of interesting people. And its all about who you know right?

Here are some photos including some great content slides from Blogworld:

Categories
Business

There’s No Such Thing as Trying

Interesting way of looking at things.