Oh hello there….as I sit in my apartment and type this at 4pm on a Wednesday, there are literally thousands of people drinking, smoking, going to parties, going to industry panels and listening to one of 110 bands playing AT THIS MOMENT……40 feet below my feet.
This is called South By South West (SXSW).
It’s a festival/conference that takes over Austin, TX. in a major way every year during March.
100,000+ people visiting in a city of less than 900,000 people adds a certain “crunch” to the system. Not to mention pretty much EVERY ROAD downtown is closed for events, so driving becomes a joke in certain parts.
SXSW is 3 main parts:
Interactive Festival = This where all the nerds from around the world come to talk about technology (my fav). This is where you’ll seen Tim Ferriss or Elon Musk just walking around.
Film Festival = All the movie industry people from around the world geek out about making movies. This is where you’ll see Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg chillin at a party.
Music Festival = This is where every band, musician, and people-who-wanna-see-bands-and-musicians come into town. This is the largest part people-wise. This is where you may see Snoop Dogg or Lady Gaga hanging out.
I happen to live next door to the Austin Convention Center which is the epi-center of all the action…and everything else is within a 4 block radius. AKA…..it gets crazy around here.
With that craziness said, here are my March 2014 goals (which have been interrupted by SXSW so far):
The first part says “SXSW rent place and stay healthy”.
I ALMOST rented by apartment out for over $3,000/night, but tried to ask for a little more. After taking off to Thailand for a while and other work stuff, I listed my apartment almost before the start of SXSW, so the prices plummeted (oh…and there’s also thousands more apt/condos/hotels in downtown Austin this year because of a big building boom here).
So I didn’t rent out my place unfortunately, but I did stay relatively healthy through SXSW! I still worked out, I didn’t eat late night crappy food, I did drink but far less than normal. Overall I stayed reasonably healthy considering the unreasonable amount of free food/liquor shoved in your face for free during SXSW.
A few days before SXSW started I sent out the last 25 NevBox’s I had:
Here’s a bunch of the international ones going out (those are way more expensive and kinda a pain):
I bought a dog shirt:
We had a “Creative Writing Session” from the pool. Here’s Abel from Fat Burning Man (#1 podcast in the world!) working out of my pool:
I knew SXSW was starting when outside my window I saw 4 electric BMW’s being unloaded for promotion (companies spend ABSURD amounts of money to get promotion during SXSW Interactive):
I rented out the guest suites in my building (both on the ground floor), one for my friend, one just to have parties in. One room had 4 big windows on the ground level like this, 1 block away from the convention center:
This months goals were written from an island beach in Thailand (me and Noah jetted the country for a two week workcation):
I’ve got a document I made much like the ProblemSolvingChecklist which is lightweight, short, and easily consumable…..for whenever you need copywriting inspiration. I should be selling it in the next 10 days if all goes well.
I’m also making it a goal to get the KopywritingKourse setup more as a complete business, so that’s already happening.
January 2014 was a great month, cheers to making February 2014 awesome! -Neville
Dammit I hate posting these so late in the month, but here-goes my December 2013 goals:
1st I’m porting the copywriting courses to MemberMouse. Existing members won’t notice a thing, but moving forward I’ll be able to do cooler stuff with a proper membership system rather than my current method of using Frontpage 2003. (Wow, I still use a TEN year old piece of software for my webpages).
Next I’ve been dying to send out another NevBox because people loved them so much, but I didn’t wanna just do ANOTHER one on copywriting (at least not right away because at the time I felt I couldn’t live up to the same value the first one provided).
This particular one is going to be called the “Life Changer” NevBox. I’m really excited about it because the change it should have on a person will be immense.
I was at odds with this at first, because the best customers (from a strictly business perspective) are people will a lot of money. However I think THIS particular product would have the GREATEST net-effect on people without a lot of money.
I still felt strongly about doing it, so I’m continuing despite the possible economic risk.
Just got back from Cancun for an Indian beach wedding, that was my only hope for a warm winter. Hope you’re staying warm too!
Your Top 5 Influences (10 minutes)
This is one of my favorite concepts:
“You are the composite average of the top 5 people you hang around.”
This doesn’t mean your favorite people to hang around, it means the people you LITERALLY SPEND THE MOST NUMBER OF MINUTES WITH PER DAY.
So if you live at home with your parents, just by the nature of that arrangement, your parents will be some of your top influencers. Or if you have a husband/wife….they will be one of your top influencers.
So take a look around, and write out who your top 5 influences are (aka who you are physically around the most): 1.) __________________ 2.) __________________ 3.) __________________ 4.) __________________ 5.) __________________
Are those people the kind of people you wanna become?
Are they as successful as you wanna be??
Do they have the kind of attitudes about life that you want???
Are they going to places you want to go????
If you’re hanging around a bunch of losers with crappy attitudes…..it’s likely you’ll pick up those traits too.
If you’re hanging around a bunch of positive people with great attitudes and ideas……it’s likely you’ll pick up those traits too.
So check your list to see who is negatively influencing you, and try to cut down the time you spend with those people so they don’t take you down also.
Simply GOING to events that interest you will help get some momentum going. I started to skip a lot of tech events and conferences….and this bad, because those usually motivate the hell out of me (meeting other people doing cool things always makes you work harder).
I still use a physical calendar to track all my stuff like this:
I went to my bookmark bar of “Austin Events” and started adding things recently.
All good spots to start: Meetup.com, Yelp.com, Craigslist Community.
Wanna go to tech meet ups? Then search “tech meet ups Austin” (or wherever you are).
Nearby universities generally hold a lot of cool events.
I have a whole bookmarks tab of websites/museums/charities etc that hold cool events.
Re-connect with friends by giving to them
Next thing I did was throw a small party (not a typical party though). I only invited 1 or 2 other people.
It was called the “Early Morning Blog Post Writing Party From Nev’s Pool Party!”
The rules were:
We start at 8am
We go to the shallow end of the pool at my apt
You bring your laptop
You write a blog post from inside the pool
I wanted it to be like “having your own writing island.”
So me and Billy (Forever Jobless) hit up the pool at my apartment at 8am with laptops for a “Blog Post Writing Party”! It may have been the nerdiest party in the WORLD at that moment!
I’m literally writing this post from the pool right now!!
It was actually damn fun, and Billy even said:
“I got more writing done today than I have in 4 months!”
If there’s any Austinite’s out there interested in joining me for this every once in a while, lemme know.
Changing your living space
I think changing your living space often signifies changing your life in some way.
I bought a super-kick-ass “Float” desk from HumanScale a few weeks ago, and it just arrived.
It’s awesome in several ways: 1.) It can quickly adjust to any height with a small lever. 2.) The work area is clean, all-white, and HUUUGGEE. 3.) The engineering behind it is awesome (it uses a counter-balance system that uses the weight of the stuff on your desk to move it up and down)….yet it’s all hidden inside the desk and you’d never know it. Basically it’s like a desk Apple would make!
It’s super-neat to go from standing to sitting in less than 2 seconds with this desk. Sometimes I prefer moving around and standing, but sometimes sitting down is necessary and more comfortable.
Screw all those “Standing” desks…..this one can do both!
The large size of the desk isn’t really conveyed in that picture. I’ve had it for a while now….and I can honestly say it’s been an awesome investment and really helped with productivity!
Also in the “changing your living space” department…….I needed some art for the loonngggest time but couldn’t find any. So I sat down and ordered two of the BIGGEST pieces of art from Ikea I could possibly find. I stuck one of them over a boring white wall above my bed:
It doesn’t look that big in the picture, but that picture is HUGE. It’s like 6.5 feet across.
I’m also making sure I make the bed every morning. I learned this trick from Gary Halbert:
Make your bed as SOON as you wake up in the morning, and you will already start the day off with a small win!
“Messy bed, Messy head.”
Those are a few things I’m doing to “get my mojo back”. Most of these things are more to mentally-psych myself into being productive once again.
Perhaps if you’re going through a period of time where you need this, you could take some inspiration from any of these tips.
P.S. From my last Superpowers post, these people won NevBox’s: Dave, Dave H, Allen T, Jacqueline P, Robin W.
Thanks Sithana for helping me decide. I’m sending YOU one too for that!
P.P.S.Comment on this post with actions that helped your snap out of a sluggish phase in your life….I’ll physically ship 5 commenters NevBox’s (worth $97 each…and you can’t even buy them if you wanted to). Not only that, but your comment might give some poor soul trying to “figure things out” an idea that could change their life!
P.P.P.S. Please share/send this to anyone who could use a little “jump-start” in their life.
I usually like giving myself only a maximum of three goals, but there’s no particular time-frame for them (which personally helps me).
So this month I’ve divided the goals up into week-long chunks. I’m testing how this will work:
WEEK 1: Apartment modifications
I’ve always been only semi-satisfied with my previous workspace at my current apartment. It was small, my legs would always hit the desk…and for some reason I was just LAZY at this desk.
I was thinking this amount of money for a desk is INSANE since you can buy a nice desk for waaaayyyy cheaper….but this desk had unique engineering, simplistic elegance, and can easily go from a sitting-desk to a standing-desk in 2 seconds without moving stuff off the desk.
WEEK 2: NevBlog store up and running
I’ve got so many different products and things I sell, but all in different places. Need a place to consolidate that a bit. Also need some semi-advanced functionality for some of these things, but I don’t want to build that myself. So I’ve started using Shopify to build a NevBlog store.
For a few days I was just CONSTANTLY comparing Shopify, BicCommerce and Volusion to see which platform would suite me best.
BigCommerce actually had the functionality I wanted right out of the box, but was more bulky, hard to modify, and less intuitive to use (but it did have a lot of very good features I liked).
Shopify was lightweight, SUPER easy to use. It didn’t have the same digital delivery capability as BigCommerce, but I’ve found some work-arounds.
WEEK 3: Products ported over.
I’ll have to go individually through each offering I have and make sure it works with this new store.
WEEK 4: Start life-changer NevBox.
To be announced :)
I dunno what it was about that layout, but it was just easy-as-hell to read and easy to endlessly scroll through.
Kinda want some elements of that back.
Working with Alf, and already got some of the very basic framework spec’d out:
Obviously a lot of the elements (like background) will change. But this just the general framework. POINT IS, this is moving already, so should be completed soon.
Next goal is a kopywriting book.
I randomly started writing it, and it went quick because it was based on the KopywritingKourse.
Now I think the video course is by FAR the best way to learn what I have to teach, but the book will be great for people who can’t watch it for whatever reason. It’ll also expose Kopywriting to a large audience.
It’s ALWAYS harder than it seems to crank out a book (I learned this from my Book In Two Weeks Experiment), but hopefully I can finish this month.
I’m going to TRY to limit the book to 70 or 90 pages so it’s really quick. Like a copywriting guide.
ANYWHOOZLE, those are my goals….Got yours set for June 2013 yet??