Category Archives: advice

How to have a reading party

I recently had a little “reading party” which combined hanging out with friends, plus an hour of reading…..and it went off pretty well, so I thought I’d share how I threw it so YOU can throw one too!

If you enjoy hanging out with friends.
If you enjoy reading.

You can combine the two and throw a fun event.  It would be partially productive, and partially fun/social.

I wanted to see friends before the busy holiday season sucks everyone out of town, so I put a Facebook invite out to some friends in Austin.  Here was the description for the party I wrote (Many people told me this was the favorite event-invite description they’ve ever got)!

FACEBOOK INVITE TITLE:
Pajama Reading Party @ Nev’s

Hey all, it’s my first ever READING PARTY!

Put some comfy clothes on and come READ at my place on Tuesday Nov. 20th!
Bring a book…..or borrow one of mine for the evening.

Show up at 8pm and we’ll all socialize. At 9pm sharp it’ll be library time….so we’ll all read for an hour.

This is just a fun, casual event for all of us to hang out (and get some reading time in).

 

—DRESS CODE—
Whatever you want…but comfy clothes or pajamas would be best.

 

—SCHEDULE—
8pm till 9pm: We’ll all socialize and hang out like cool kids.

9pm till 10pm: I’ll be a library cop and hush everyone up. We’ll all read for an hour till 10pm.

10pm till 12am: Wherever the night goes.

Try your best to show up at 8pm so we have time to talk beforehand. 9pm – 10pm I’ll actually hush you up and make you read!

 

—ALREADY PROVIDED FOR YOU—
-Healthy snacks.
-Extra books if you don’t have.
-Pillows, blankets etc to lounge on.
-Maybe pull the guest bed into the living room for lounging.
-Night time calming tea, soda, booze, beer (for those who wanna do some buzzed reading) :-)

 

—ETIQUETTE—
-No laptops please. Just reading materials.
-Let’s actually read for a full hour from 9pm till 10pm.
-Get comfy as possible during reading time. Make friends, grab a spot on a chair, or lay on the floor, or snuggle up to
someone and getchyo READ on.

 

—GUESTS—
If you have guests, make sure they’re cool, and make sure you can vouch for them. No bummers please like the Seinfeld library cop!
http://youtu.be/D9tP9fI2zbE

 

—ADDRESS—
Neville’s apartment at AMLI Eastside (formerly called Robertson Hill Apartments).

This map should show pretty closely the exact location of my apartment unit:
[insert map link here]

 

—PARKING—
Anywhere on the street around the building is fine. If you need, call me and I can let you into the guest parking garage.

I think I have cool friends….and it’s fun when you all meet!

I’ll see you all on Tuesday for a nice evening together :-)

Book-wormingly,
-Neville Medhora
-713.301.1546

P.S. Try to show up close to 8pm and don’t forget a book.

P.P.S. At 9pm sharp till 10pm we’ll hush up and read for an hour. So come a bit earlier to get some reading time in!

 

This description covered everything perfectly, so everyone was on time and brought books.

I wanted to make sure everyone had enough space to comfily sprawl out…..but in my apartment I only have seating for a few people.  So I ended up bringing a queen sized bed from my guest room into the living room for extra seating!

Bed in living room - Book Reading party

6+ people could easily fit on it, and it turned out to be the most comfortable spot!

Everyone arrived close to 8pm as requested, and we all hung out and chatted.  Since it was random friends and not just a particular clique of friends I invited, they all got to meet each other.

At 9pm we all started reading.  I thought I’d have to be a total library cop to shut everyone up….but surprisingly everyone was cooperative and ready to read.

In the background I put some soft music (Pandora.com on the “Chill/Downtempo Radio”) ….and it played great music the whole time that wasn’t too distracting (aka doesn’t have many words).

It was really fun reading around friends.  It kept everyone focused.

Someone pulled out a laptop at one point, and like the party description said, I made them close it.  The clickity-clacking of the keyboard is distracting to people reading.  I’m glad I laid down the law as laptops would’ve ruined the mood a bit.

 

Here’s everyone showing off their books before the reading started:
Reading Party - Book peeps

 

Here’s a shot of everyone reading (there’s a few more people on the left who didn’t make the picture):
Book Reading Party - Everyone reading

 

That’s me laying down on the bed:

Reading Party - Everyone reading and lounging

 

I’m not one to cook for a party, so a few hours before I went to Whole Foods and picked up some snacks.  Pretty basic, but it worked great:

  • Water bottles (carbonated and non-carbonated).
  • Beer.
  • Tea.
  • Sliced fruit (melon, kiwi, strawberries).
  • Fresh guacamole & salsa + chips.
Snacks from Whole Foods
(on a side-note….checkout how neatly I placed my groceries on the conveyor belt thingy)!

 

Everyone was covered beverage-wise and the healthy snacks were delicious.

Overall this went off pretty well!

  • Everyone got some quality reading time in.
  • We all got to hang out on a lazy Tuesday.
  • Just a fun, social gathering.

Try it yourself with your friends :-)
-Nev

How to think of which products to make

People always ask me, “How do you come up with so many products to make?”

….well the answer is pretty simple.  And it’s NOT always simple as copying something you’ve seen done successfully by someone else.

Here’s the 5 minute video (excuse the sweat….I just came back from the gym)!

 

Basically this video boils down to the phrase:

“To make money, solve a problem.”

Just 10 More Minutes

Here’s a video Noah and I did about putting forth “Just 10 More Minutes” on stuff you wanna make GREAT ….not just “good”.

The Ones to Watch Out For

There’s a class of people you shouldn’t make fun of…..because it might bite you in the ass one day.

It’s the people that do stuff.

Here’s what I mean:

EVERY successful person I’ve ever met.
I mean EVERY SINGLE DAMN ONE….

…..has done a bunch of stuff.

This means they’ve created a lot of stupid little businesses.
This means they’ve tried a bunch of stupid money hustles.
This means they’ve repeatedly tried stuff and failed, or had crappy results.
This means they’ve done lots of dumb “side businesses”.
This means they’ve dreamt unrealistic dreams of running their own show.
This means they’ve tried businesses that “you told them so” would fail.

The people that do these things, are the ones I’ve seen become successful over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over.

When I was a bit younger I’d see people who talked a big game, got amazing grades, joined all the right clubs, and I always thought THEY would become the rich & famous ones.  But it never happened that way.  Haven’t seen it ONCE.  Nothing above average success.

But the people who were CONSTANTLY UP TO SOMETHING…. 
…Even if it was small and stupid.
…Even if they always failed.
…Even if in some sick way, I got some sick-satisfaction out of seeing them fail…..(trust me, when you try stupid businesses, there’s a lot of people who sub-consciously want you to fail).

…those were the people that made it BIG.

Now I call some of these things “stupid” or “dumb” when referring to these small “tryout” businesses…..because that’s exactly what A LOT OF PEOPLE think they are….STUPID.

In most successful people I’ve met, I’ve seen trace amounts of: 
…arrogance
…foolishness
…greed
…curiosity
…ignorance
…need to prove something

 

But ultimately I’ve seen the number one indicator of future success as being:

“ARE THEY TRYING A LOT OF STUFF?”

So next time you see a classmate, family member or colleague who is constantly trying out small businesses or side-hustles……you might wanna watch out.  That fucker might be your boss one day.    ;-)

 

 

SO…..what are YOU working on right now?

 

 

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.”

The entrepreneurial ramp-up period

I’ve done a bunch of these “survey” and “contest” thingies where we offer to help people with their small business ideas or current businesses.

It’s almost a shame only I get to see these results instead of other people…because:

MOST OF THEM ARE STUPID!

That’s right….a bulk of the ideas and running businesses that get submitted …DON’T MAKE MONEY, and doubtfully ever will.

 

BUT….THESE STUPID BUSINESSES ARE VERY VERY IMPORTANT!

Starting any small business or side-gig is kind of like riding a bike (or any skill):

STAGE 1.) You don’t know what the hell you’re doing and you’ll probably fail a couple of times.
STAGE 2.) You start to get the hang of it.
STAGE 3.) After trying many times, you kind of know what to do by now.

Look at any successful business person and there’s a VERY high chance they’ve tried A LOOTTT of things before whatever made them rich.

Here’s just a SAMLL LIST of dumb things I’ve done:

  • Resumite
  • Tried to buy and sell penny stocks
  • Facebook fan website
  • Rave website
  • Rave forum
  • Rave video hosting service
  • Powerwashing houses
  • Painting address numbers on curbs
  • Burning cd’s
  • Fixing computers
  • Selling bottled water
  • WordPress design
  • Website building
  • Adsense websites
  • Blogging
  • 3D printer websites
  • FancyBlog
  • SEO consulting
  • Buying/Selling on ebay and from Surplus stores
  • more….
  • ….and more….
  • ….and more….

That was just junk I could list off my head in a minute!

In fact, I’m always disappointed at my progress.  I feel like after ALLL THHHEE THHINGGSS I’VE TTRRRIIEED I should be a freakin billionaire by now! But like a lot of things, it takes longer than expected and it probably harder than expected.

Every person I’ve met that’s successful has GREAT stories about all the things they’ve tried in the past.  Try asking someone successful this question:

“What other business ideas did you try before you made it big?”

….and I bet you’ll get a lot of cool answers.

 

So if you’ve been trying to get something off the ground once and for all but feel it isn’t that great of an idea……. don’t be afraid to start quick & fail fast with some crappy business idea.

There are methods to help increase your odds of success (like the SumoBusinessBlueprint we did)….

….but JUST STARTING SOMETHING is always a damn-great place to start!

How to get out of a slump

Me and Noah talk about how to get out of slump:

I know what you’re thinking:

“Neville….what’s wrong with your hair??”

Well….at the beginning of the month my hair color was “bright blue …..but now faded into “i-don’t-know-what-the-hell-is-on-my-head” color.

SUMO DOJO – Hiring People To Make You Better (and PAYING for it)

STEP 1.) Place camera in very precarious position on a ledge surrounded by hot tub on one side, and pool on the other.

STEP 2.) Start filming a video in a hot tub with other people in it….and pretend to ignore them.

STEP 3.) Film a Sumo Dojo about hiring tutors for yourself….and why you should PAY for it!

 

P.S.  Apologies to the couple inside the hot tub who DID NOT enjoy a romantic dip thanks to us :-)