Monthly Archives: January 2013

Headline Juice Video for writing Headlines

Spent 6 hours and 160+ manual edits making this video about writing Headlines (kind sick of looking at my own face now)!

This is a simple trick I use to come up with headlines.

I also give 4 different examples of each.

Check it out!

YouTube link: http://youtu.be/iGQgKzfq6zI

If you’re interested in seeing the ridiculous amount of edits for this video, here’s a screenshot of the project in Camtasia for Mac:

headline-video-screenshot-edits
BTW, could you make sure to subscribe to Kopy.tv? I’m trying to get a 1,000 YouTube subscribers this quarter!

whenever I have a problem I think in circles

**This is a re-post of an email I sent out.  However it was long and marked-up with words like “make money” so my email client didn’t like it.  Posting here so people could see it:
———————————————————————————

I don’t know how to explain this easily, so I’m going to start with a very personal example…..maybe you can relate:
 
Sometimes whenever I’m seeing a girl, and start “liking” her more and more…..and she likes me back…..I’ll occasionally start thinking of all these horrible situations in my head like:
 
–”the last text message she sent didn’t have a smiley face or exclamation mark…..is she pissed? I bet she’s playing games or being weird…”
 
–”what if we go to this party together and she starts making out with another guy?? I bet I would walk out and tell her I never wanna see her again…..”
 
I’m not an insecure guy….but these kind of weiiiirrrddd ass thought scenarios play out in my head from time to time.  And don’t lie and say you’ve never done it either!
 
The craziest damn thing is:  
Soon after thinking this stuff and getting all worked up…..the girl will call or text something sweet and I’ll feel all excited and giddy.  
 
I know none of those scenarios are very likely if things are good…..so why does the brain torture itself with this shit?
 
 
AND THAT’S JUST RELATIONSHIP DRAMA.  
 
When it comes to practical things like growing a business, being better at your job, or getting out of a horrible living situation…..this same kind of negative thinking happens.
 
You might be in the shower, and start thinking negatively like:
 
–”I can’t compete with those other guys….they’re so much better than me…”
 
–”I’m pretty sure I might get laid off soon….then what?  What will I do?  Where will I get money?  What will I tell friends?”
 
–”I hate living here….but I don’t have enough money to move….and I don’t even know where to move…..and I don’t even know what the financial criteria to live somewhere else is.”
 
 
……and you’ll ask yourself these negative-based questions in the shower, or laying in bed at night, or while driving.  And it depresses the hell out of you and give you ZERO solutions. 
 
 
SO WHY THE HELL WOULD SOMEONE DO THIS TO THEMSELVES??
 
FIRST.) It’s normal to occasionally have weird thoughts like this….but only temporarily.  
 
SECOND.) You’re asking yourself shitty negative questions in your head that go nowhere.  
 
But don’t fret….I’m not gonna tell you the solution is to “think positive and be grateful!!!”
LEAVE IT FOR THE HIPPIES.  
 
I’ve never been a fan of this “Just be grateful” crap.  I’ve tried being “grateful” for every damn thing I have…..but in the end simply “being grateful” doesn’t get you real solutions. 
 
Lemme give you a real solution…..
 
The way to stop this is to:
Ask constructive questions that poke your brain into thinking differently.
 
YUP!  
Apparently the trick is not finding the right ANSWER…….but finding the right QUESTIONS that will get you to the answer.  (read that one more time and let it sink in). 
 
There’s too many problems in life to know the answers to everything, but we can construct sets of thoughtful questions that will nudge us towards the best answer.  
 
(my mind was blown when I came to this realization)…..
 
 
 
SO LET’S JUMP ON SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT:
Instead of asking your brain:
“How can I make more money?”
(this question will just spin your wheels on wacky biz ideas). 
 
You can instead flip the question into:
“What can I do for other people, so they WANT to give me money?”
 (this question will instead identify real ways of providing value & service to others…..which in turn will equal money).  
 
 
Instead of asking your brain:
“I wonder why he’s mad at me?”
(this question will make you start thinking about all sorts of crazy scenarios and just work you up & make the problem worse).  
 
You can instead flip the question into:
“If he did to me…..what I just did to him…..how would I feel??”
(this question will reverse the roles, and make you think more empathetically than selfishly.  It might also help you understand that you WERE in fact wrong, and owe someone an apology….not the other way around).  
 
SO UNDERSTAND THIS MY YOUNG & DUMB FRIEND:  
When you flip the question around, you will get totally different answers. 
 
 
 
Cool huh?
 
But this is just ONE of many (about 10) brain hacks I’ve found that get me out of “Shitty Thinking Mode” and into constructive thoughts that give me real answers.  
 
I originally made a document on my desktop that outlines each of these methods….and every time I have a problem, I’ll open it and scroll through the questions to.  
 
I’ll apply my problem to just one or two of the brain-poking questions…..and within seconds it’ll spark thoughts and solutions in my head, and get me on the right track to solving the problem.  JUST FROM A SIMPLE DOCUMENT ON MY DESKTOP.  
 
 
But since I’m a greedy capitalist I decided to put out a small product that can be used anytime to solve problems.  
 
OH WAIT….let me re-word that last sentence to be more constructive!
I’ve absorbed toonnss of advice over the years that I’ve distilled down into 10 brain-hacking questions…..which “poke” my brain into finding the answer to nearly every question I have.  Now I want to share these with the world.  
 
I do have a document I use like this, but it’s kind of useless for most people (since it was originally meant just for me). 
 
SO I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE IT. 
 
I’m currently working with my assistant to make it all nice-looking and helpful, and want to know what questions you have all the time you need might want assistance with.  
 
It can be business stuff, personal stuff, relationship stuff….whatever.  
 
Can you take a quick moment to write even just ONE tough question you’ve asked yourself lately?  Just fill out the one-question form (2nd question is just there in case you wanna add comments): 

 
 
 Everyone wants ANSWERS, but the right QUESTIONS are what you need to be asking…..in order to find the best answers. 
 
Lemme know what’s troubling you….and I’m gonna do my best to make a quick doc you can leave on your computer desktop that will help you solve it.  
 
Thank you :-)
Neville – A kopywriting problem solver 
 
 
P.S.  Make sure to send me question(s) you often ask your brain.  Enter them on this form.
 
 
P.P.S.  Hope the above examples already jogged your brain into thinking A LITTLE differently already.  Just ONE tweak of a question can launch you down a whole new path…..so don’t underestimate the power of this stuff.  

 

January 2013 Goals and year-long goals

BAH….I looked at my blog in January 2013, and realized I still had December 2012 goals up:

jan-goals-fail

 

Now this doesn’t seem like a big deal….but if 22 days into January I’m JUST noticing this, it clearly means something’s off.

And there has been.

The end of the year always gets a bit crazy….and in 2012 I totally embraced it by kind of “stopping work” for a while.

I was so busy going out of town, going to weddings (I was invited to NINE weddings in 2012!!), distracted by birthday festivities (including an unforgettable trip to Cuba), that I literally did nothing some days, and didn’t care.

But then 2013 finally swung around, and it was time to work again.

Unfortunately, “starting to use your brain again” is a lot like going back to the gym after taking 2 months off.  IT’S HARD TO GET BACK TO WHERE YOU WERE.

I believe it was Epictetus who said:

Books are like the training weights of the mind.

I vividly remember hearing that quote for the first time, and suddenly realize the brain is very much like a muscle….if you train it well (consistently), it will perform well.  If you don’t, it will rot away.

Well my brain kind of rotted during that time, and the result was lazy ass days.

You can probably relate…..I would wake up in my apartment, it’s cold outside, maybe a little gloomy…..and the draw off just “sleeping a little more” in my warm bed is WAY better than waking up.

When I would finally wake my lazy ass up:
I’d have some tea or a smoothie, go to the gym (conveniently inside my apt complex), do some household chores…..and then TAKE A NAP.  Take a nap?? From what effort?

It’s like laziness begets MORE laziness.  Here’s what a worthless lazy-ass looks like:

nev-doing-nothing

 

OK OK OK ….enough complaining about being lazy, and onto the solutions.

Clearly I was lacking something important: ACCOUNTABILITY.

I often use this blog as a way to keep accountable, but unfortunately there’s no consequences to NOT accomplishing goals.  So I did a little Googling, and quickly found an Accountability Coach.

Now this isn’t necessarily a life coach, or a business coach….this is someone who makes sure I accomplish major things each week.

The trick to this, is to NOT find someone who will simply yell at me for not doing something.  That kind of accountability fades when the person isn’t around….and after a while you just grow annoyed and resentful.

I wanted someone more like Adam of MyBodyTutor who changes your habits based on talking about why you want them, your goals….yadda yadda.  This method worked really well during my six-pack experiment, so I figure it’ll work again.

So now I have an accountability coach.  It’s already got me back on track….and gets me nervous when approaching a deadline I set, and haven’t done it.  GOOD!

 

……the second part of this is I hired a personal trainer.  

I’ve never felt I needed one, but an experience a friend had was pretty damn great, so I’m giving it a shot.

The reason is:
I (sort-of) know how to exercise, but in my head, I’ll only push hard as I “think” I can go.  The right trainer will push me WAY harder.  They’ll also take me out of the comfort of the same-old exercises I’m used to.

EXAMPLE:
The first time we met, he made me do all these weird poses and bends that were purposely designed to find where I’m weakest.  Turns out flexibility in my back is crappy, and some of my vertical shoulder movements are stiff.

I already knew I’m not very flexible in those areas (it becomes obvious when I do Bikram Yoga), so I always do exercises that don’t push on those areas too much.  BUT THE TRAINER DOESN’T CARE.

So the first time we actually did a full workout, he purposely had me doing “seemingly simple” exercises…..but when performed correctly, they directly focused on my weak areas.   They would get so tiring, I would’ve normally given up….but since there’s someone with a close eye on me and pushing me…..I kept doing them.

 

ANYHOW, so here were my January 2013 goals I wrote out in December 2012, and I’m finally posting them:

january-2013-goals

 

 

Here’s some goals for 2013 I plotted out on the 7 foot tall mirror in my living room with dry erase markers (didn’t feel like writing it on a small piece of paper):

2013-mirror-goals

 

On a closing note…..here’s a great interview with Conan O’brien (being serious) and Jack White talking about Jack White’s work habits.  When he finds himself too comfortable, he gets ZERO done…..so he sets up obligations that he must meet, so he actually gets his work done:

http://teamcoco.com/video/serious-jibber-jabber-04-jack-white

 

 

Hope your brain is off to a good start this year :-)
-Nev

Kopy TV animation outsourcing example

I had a simple thing to accomplish:

Make a professional-looking video-intro for my Kopy.tv videos.

The problem is I don’t know how to make snazzy little video clips like that.  However in my head, I SOOORRRT OF knew what I wanted.

This required I hired some outsourced person to do it for me.  Now for most people this kind of task intimidates them, and they’d spend way too much time “storyboarding” their idea or drawing it out.

But I’m lazy….and tried to spend the least amount of time possible on this….so I made this quick YouTube video describing what I wanted.  Look how ghetto it is:


I made this with Camtasia screen capture software in less than 5 minutes.

Notice how I didn’t even really have any font suggestions or anything.  After all, I was paying a designer to make those decisions for me (what the hell do I know about fonts)??

 

So with JUST THAT VIDEO as direction, I went to look for a designer on eLance or RentACoder……but then remembered a guy named Samuel Pitcher because he made this AppSumo animation for us because he liked AppSumo.

I was impressed because he took our static logo, and made it into an animated video…..without asking him.  We now use that animation for EVERY AppSumo video!

I decided to give Samuel a try before going elsewhere, and sent him the above “specification” video for the Kopy.tv animation, and within 2 days he came back with this:

PRETTY DAMN GOOD EH!!

I was blown away.  It was short, super-clean, and looked amazing.

That’s the benefit of a great designer…..they just “do it” without asking too many questions.  You’re essentially paying them to make your creative decisions.  

It’s nice to give them SOME direction so you’re both on the same page….but notice how easy that was in the specification video I sent.  Not hard as some people make “outsourcing” seem.

SO TWO THINGS LEARNED HERE:

1.)
When outsourcing something, it’s often good to make a video explaining it.
You can see a video Noah and I did about outsourcing tips here.
You can see another example of my outsourcing here.

 

2.) If you need a great graphics or animation designer….hit up Samuel Pitcher (at least bookmark his name in your contacts):
sam@pitcher.me.uk

 

 

BY THE WAY:
Please don’t hit up designers asking for free work.  The good one’s won’t do it, and you get what you pay for.  Even though an animation maybe short, if it’s going to be seen in ALL your branding, it’s worth getting it done well!