Monthly Archives: August 2012

Being a GREAT guest, not just a GOOD guest

I’ve bummed at friends places….
And I’ve had friends bum at my place…..

And there’s a distinct difference between certain guests.

Some flat-out suck. They don’t get to stay again.
Some are good.  They’re cool.
Some are GREAT.  I actually PREFER having them over!

Noah and I talk about the differences…..and how to be a GREAT guest:

How David Favor validated his business

I’m a HUGE fan of validating businesses BEFORE going full-time with them.

This is an 18 minute interview with my friend David Favor who now owns a multi-million dollar company selling superfood stuff.  Now his company is a well-oiled machine, but it wasn’t always like that.  At first he was scooping product into little plastic baggies (kinda like a drug dealer):

 

An important lesson to be learned from this:

“When you’re blind-sided by the success of something you’re doing….perhaps there’s a business in it.”

My Zero G Experience

Well….I went on a Zero Gravity flight!

It’s a flight where you get on an airplane (a full-sized 727) and do parabola maneuvers that make you weightless for 30 seconds at a time.

It was kind of like skydiving, I always knew I wanted to do it.

Basically the plane does maneuvers like this:
Zero G Parabola Flight Path

Now the VERY FIRST THING everyone wants to know is “HOW MUCH DID IT COST??”

Well, here’s the after-tax price on my credit card statement:
Zero Gravity Flight Cost

$5,197.00 total cost. 

So yes…..this wasn’t a cheap little adventure (you can take a whole family on a vacation for that much money)…..but it was a “once in a lifetime” unique thing.  Plus when I go to space, I’ll have some experience :-)

So I’ll describe the whole day with words & pictures:

At 8:30am me and two friends (Steve and John) went to a Marriott where the ZeroG people were holding an orientation.  They have Dramamine and some other anti-nausea medications freely available (after all, this thing is nicknamed “The Vomit Comet”)!

Zero G Flight Orientation

After watching some videos and a light breakfast, they tell you to use the bathroom since there’s no bathroom on the plane (since regular airplane bathrooms tend to “spill over” when you do weird parabola maneuvers in them).  Gross.

One of the things I blatantly ignored was them discouraging you from bringing a camera.  They said in the air it was “very clumsy” to fiddle with a camera.  I still brought one anyway and put it in my flight suit (which you get to keep)!

They were gonna have a professional photographer onboard, plus a couple of high def video cameras to record all the floating.

Apparently this Marriott had Zero Gravity already!  ;-)

 

Soon after the orientation, they bused us to the airport:
Zero G Bus Trip

 

Everyone on the bus was pretty excited and ready to go floating!

 

We got down and saw the plane.  It was a full size plane, much like something you’d fly from Austin to New York in:

 

I naturally had to get my world-wide famous handstand picture pose.  This one was timed pretty well!
Zero G Flight Handstand

 

Here’s a picture of John, TAKING a picture of him throwing a phone in the air:

 

Everyone boarding the plane from the cargo entrance (the whole thing is actually a converted cargo airplane):

 

A group photo of everyone going floating that day. I stuck my tongue out like this  :-P

 

Me, Steve, and John walking Armageddon style towards the plane:

 

There were about 40 regular airplane seats in the back, and you can see the main floating area with padding the whole way around:

 

When we completed the takeoff and got to cruising altitude, they let us hang out in the main floating area.  Sitting like this was MUCH more comfortable than regular old airplane seats!

 

Since the plane must first do a high-gravity turn before low-gravity, they HIGHLY SUGGEST you lay down and stare at one spot on the ceiling for this part.   We would pull 1.8 G’s on this maneuver, so my 170 lbs body felt 306 lbs.

It just felt like a lot of pressure on your body, but not extremely uncomfortable (although anymore G’s and it would be uncomfortable):

 

Me jokingly falling asleep:

 

This is me in Martian gravity.  Our first parabola was “Mars gravity” which is 1/3 your weight on Earth.  The next two parabolas are “Lunar weight” where you weight 1/6th your weight.

This part was really fun!  You could jump & flip…..but when you hit the ground it didn’t hurt. You also would still come back down, whereas in Zero G you never fall back down without a push:

 

This was my first FULLY WEIGHTLESS picture.  It was fun just rising up off the ground with literally a tap of your finger:

 

John got these two great pics of him floating an iPhone.  He was actually trying to play Hangtime….a game he developed which got banned from the Apple App store.  You throw your phone high as possible and try to see how long it can “hang” in the air.  This is a CLEAR loophole :-)

These pics are particularly great since John is CEO of Mutual Mobile (a 250+ person company here in Austin):

 

John playing Hangtime as Steve flies around:

 

Everyone just flying around the cabin:

 

Another Superman pic:

 

Just hanging out in Zero G:

 

Eating a water bubble.  It seems so nice and spherical in the air….so it looks like a solid.  But don’t be fooled!  If you miss with your mouth, it WILL splash all over your face!

 

SO before I went onboard the Zero G flight, I thought THIS is what it would be like floating in Zero G for the first time:

 

However I quickly found out it was more like this the first couple of times we went weightless (30 seconds at a time):

 

After the 6th zero-g parabola I think it was much better…..but at FIRST you definitely have a difficult time controlling yourself.  Simply pushing off the floor with LAUNCH you upwards towards the ceiling.

Plus you’re often bumping into other people who change your trajectory.

I remember one time I just curled up into a ball and floated around the whole 30 seconds.  I would get bumped, pushed, nudged….around the whole area by other people or the walls.  It was fun to feel like a ping-pong ball!

 

After the  flight was done, we found out why the plane wasn’t flying in a straight line…..THESE goofballs were driving ;-)

 

I got one last pic in the plane….of course a full-gravity handstand:

 

The second thing after the “how much did it cost” questions….is “did you throw up in the vomit comet??”  The answer is: YES!

“THE NICEST VOMIT EVER”
I’m not sure I’ve ever been motion-sick before……but I know if I ever DID get motion sickness, the LAST thing I’d do is start doing flips, handstands, or achieving terminal velocity.  However that’s EXACTLY what I was doing the whole time.

For the last 3 parabolas I could feel a small part of my stomach go further and further up my throat each time.  By the last parabola, I could tell something was gonna give.  I grabbed the little air-sickness pouch they give you (everyone keeps one in their flight suit pocket), and wee bit of vomit came out.

HOWEVER it was the “nicest” vomit I’ve ever had!

Normally if someone vomits, it’s either because you’re violently ill, or very very drunk.  Both are not good feelings.  However, this was rather….dare I say…..pleasant?

I balled up the pouch when done, put it inside another…..and felt ok after that.

I kind of ignored feeling a little sick on the last few parabolas because I didn’t wanna waste my weightless time.  Only 30 seconds each, 16 times total (8 minutes of weightlessness).

If I ever do this again (or go to space), I’m going to take the anti-nausea medication they give.

By the end of the flight, I’d say at LEAST 50 percent of the people felt A LITTLE worn out or nauseous.  Not necessarily throw-up nauseous, but if you think about what your body just endured for the first time, it makes sense:

You were weightless for the first time in your life with NO visible reason why.  You endure 1.8 G’s for 30 seconds at a time, then go weightless and do flips & tricks for 30 seconds…..then you repeat that SIXTEEN TIMES!

By the end, it’s not TOO surprising your body is probably saying, “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!??!?!”

————————————————————-
“SO, WAS IS WORTH $5,2000.00 ?”
If you’re actually INTERESTED in this kind of thing, and you can easily afford it….then go for it.

If you’re either going to spend your hard-earned $5,200 on a car down-payment or $5,200 on this…..perhaps the car payment might be better.

However I wouldn’t recommend saving up for years for this.  ONLY if it’s easily affordable AND you really wanna do it….would I recommend.

 

SOME OF MY VIDEO:

 

A little side note:
I checked to see which astronauts were currently in space at the time of my Zero G flight (August 18th, 2012).  There were SIX humans in space….all aboard the International Space Station.  I checked their names:

people-in-space

Not a single Indian person…..nevertheless a Zoroastrian……so that means on August 18th, 2012…..from 12pm to 2pm ….

I WAS THE ONLY WEIGHTLESS INDIAN PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE!!

Only Weightless Indian Person In The Universe

Magazine images

Ha……this was a cool surprise.

I did a Skype interview for a magazine called Make App Mag which is releasing on the iPad soon…..and they made these images for some of the magazine pages based off the interview:

This was when my blue hair faded out into blonde, and I got a haircut, so I had frosted-douche-bag-tips:

 

I told the example of 520or90.com and how they validated their idea, and they made this graphic:

 

Here’s another they made….this time with my Facebook profile picture:

 

I’m an info-graphic now….I’ve finally made it! :-P

How to validate a taco stand

What if you wanted to open a Taco stand? 

Like a taco-truck on the side of the road.  
 
How would you do it?
 
A typical “wantrepreneur” would do the following:
  • Start researching licenses and city permits.  
  • Scout out possible lease locations and speak with all the property owners. 
  • Start Googling taco recipes.
  • Take out a loan (or borrow money) to buy a truck or cart.
  • Spend money and time to get the truck food-certified by the city.  
  • Start looking for employees to help with making the tacos.
  • And…… 
  • A……
  • Bunch……..
  • Of……. 
  • Other……
  • Boring……
  • Stuff……. 
 
Soooo after all that work, thousands of dollars, and months of time…. where are we?NO WHERE!
 
NOT ONE FUCKING TACO HAS BEEN SOLD!!
 
So let’s say $10,000 later, and 6 months down the line….we’ve got this magical taco truck ready.  
 
We excitedly go out to our pre-researched location and turn on the “Open for Business” sign!  
 
::CRICKETS CHIRPING::
::CRICKETS CHIRPING::
::CRICKETS CHIRPING::
::CRICKETS CHIRPING::
::CRICKETS CHIRPING::
 
Well shit.  That didn’t work out so well.  We were open all day & night, we spent hundreds of dollars on fresh meat, avocados, tortillas…..and we only sold 10 tacos the whole night.  
 
“But oh well, it was just the first night…..we’ll get more business soon!” 
 
The next night….
And the next night….
Aaaand the next night……
And our taco truck is still bleeding money.  
 
And since we spent all our money and all our time on this…..we still desperately cling onto this shitty business.  
 
All because WE DIDN’T FIRST VALIDATE THE IDEA.  
 
Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. 
 
 
————————————————————————
————————————————————————
Ok, now let’s take a break and re-do this whole taco-truck idea as if we knew how to validate ideas before jumping in:  
————————————————————————
————————————————————————
 
The absolute FIRST THING TO DO is see if people even WANT your tacos.  
 
Now there’s hundreds of things that could make a successful food business……so instead let’s focus on something the late & great Gary Halbert said:
 
Gary Halbert said (I’m paraphrasing here):
 
“If you opened a hot dog stand…..and I opened a hot dog stand……I can beat the PANTS off you.
It doesn’t matter if you have better hot dog buns, or fresher meat, or more condiments….. 
My secret would be setting up my hot dog stand around a STARVING CROWD.”  
 
 

Using this theory, let’s do a taco-stand validation in one day:

 
FIRST STEP.) Let’s make a bunch of tacos at home (maybe 25-50 tacos) and wrap them in foil.  
 
SECOND STEP.) Let’s take those tacos to some location we think there is a starving crowd, and stack them in little pyramid on a cheap plastic table.
THIRD STEP.) Let’s use some markers and poster-board to make a big-ass sign that says:
 
“HOT BEEF TACOS – $2 each”
FOURTH STEP.) See if people actually buy all your tacos. 
That’s it.  Kind of like this:
DO YOU REALIZE WHAT WE’VE DONE HERE ALEADY??
In one day, we’ve understood:
  • How easy or hard it was to make all those tacos.
  • How much time it took to make the tacos.
  • How much money it took.
  • If we even LIKED doing this work.
  • If our tacos were delicious, or shitty.  
  • A rough estimate of how much to charge for each taco.
  • If the location was good or bad.
  • …..and most importantly:
  • If people even WANTED our tacos from that location.
The next day, we can repeat the experiment, but try a different time, or location, or even an entirely different product…..and see if it works.  
 
And don’t give me shit about, “But Nevillleee…..what about city permits and stuff!!”
 
There’s many ways to get around this (such as setting up your stand on private property like a bar stoop or house lawn)……or even doing it WITHOUT permission.  If a cop actually tried to stop you (highly unlikely), you can just shut down the experiment and repeat elsewhere.  
 
(I asked cops in my bottled water experiment what they would do if they saw me selling water without a permit…..they said, “We don’t really care”) 
 
BE SCRAPPY.  
BE CREATIVE.  
USE LOOPHOLES.  
 
The point of this is to SEE IF PEOPLE WANT YOUR DAMN TACOS.  And if you do an experiment like this, you’ll learn SO MUCH.  
 
So if night-after-night your tacos sell out within 20 minutes…..You’ve proved that people love your tacos, love your location, and love your prices.  
 
…..you might actually have a damn good business on your hands!
 
However if no one buys, or the logistics of taco-making are just entirely too difficult (or boring) for you…..it might make sense to just SHOOT THIS IDEA IN THE HEAD AND KILL IT BEFORE IT SUCKS UP ALL YOUR TIME AND MONEY.  
 
………………and there you have it. We validated a taco stand! 
 
 
Sincerely, 
Mexican Neville

August 2012 Goals

SO I made some simple monthly goals for August…..Buuuuttt….

Well, first, here they are:

August Goals 2012

So I’m excited about this Ryan Deiss thing because it’ll actually help a lot of people.

But here’s the problem…..actually it’s not really a PROBLEM but more of a long-term thing I’ve been pondering.

I used to have this over-arching goal of making a lot of money and being able to do my work from wherever…..and if I DON’T WANNA DO WORK, I don’t have to.

Well this recent 2-week New York trip I took very much reminded me that I HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED THAT!

For example (and excuse me because this sounds like bragging, but it’s not):

  • I didn’t do ANY work for 2 weeks….yet still made money everyday.
  • I didn’t have to worry about what I spent on anything.
  • I uprooted from Austin and stayed in NYC for 2 weeks with virtually no impact on business.

Seems like I clearly accomplished the dream!  HOOOOOOOORAY!!!!   …right?

 

The queer thing about life is that once you HIT a goal….it no longer seems so great.  I guess since I was present for every single day that I slogged it out doing work…..this goal was almost “expected” to happen.

I’ve been back to Austin the last few days, and I’ve felt a bit apathetic about a lot of things.

I’ll set my alarm for 7am, but I won’t get out of bed, not because I’m lazy…..but because I’m thinking “I don’t NEED to wake up this early to do my work.”

It’s the weirdest damn thing that when you actually achieve something you’ve been working for…..you kind of don’t care anymore.

And I believe the reason is you must ALWAYS be working towards a goal.

“BUT NEVILLE….RIGHT ABOVE THIS YOU HAAAVE A GOAL!!”

Actually let’s modify that:

As Earl Nightingale says, “You must always be working towards a WORTHY goal.” 

Anyhow, it’s interesting to think if you have a goal set out….that YOU think is a WORTHY goal.

Here’s a FANTASTIC Earl Nightingale podcast recorded decades ago….but the advice is priceless.  This is from a rare collection of Earl Nightingale talks called “Lead The Field”. Enjoy & learn!

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