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??
1.) NevBox out:
From my Neville Letters experience I learned that a lot of people subscribing were at varying levels of life and business….and something that was worth $1,000 to one person, was worth maybe $40 to another.
But I still want to send out a physical box of stuff for anyone trying to learn copywriting better (even small improvements in your writing can result in ridiculous improvements in your business life….so it’s a pretty damn great deal).
I’ll be making about 200 of these letters (actually it’ll be a physical box with several letters), and sending them out this month.
Dammit…..now my new apartment is gonna be covered in packing material :-/
2.) Make $ Vid on Kopy.tv My latest kopy.tv video is one on how exactly I make money. This is a common question I get from family and friends…..and even after I explain it, they have NO CLUE what the hell I actually do.
When I show people through a computer how everything works, they totally get it. So for this reason I’m putting together a vid explaining it all (mainly so I can just say “uuhhhh…..just watch this YouTube video” when people ask what I do) ;-)
3.) Kopy switch
I’ve got 11 digital products out now….all of varying subjects. They’re getting too damn un-related to each other. So I’m making a shift based on a simple formula:
Does it relate to kopywriting? (If = no) = (“don’t do it”).
So those are my April 2013 goals.
…..got yours yet??
One of the best investments I’ve EVER made in my life was a small book called:
This is Earl Nightingale.
by Earl Nightingale.
It was published in 1969, and I have an original copy I bought on Amazon for maybe $15.
I’ve obsessively read books since I was younger, and so many of them are phenomenal….but this is THE ONE BOOK I would grab out of my house if it was on fire.
I’m not a very religious person, and I consider this book, the closest thing I have to a Bible.
BUT NEVILLEEEEE….WHY IS THIS BOOK SO GOOD??
The book is just transcripts of a 5-minute radio spot Earl Nightingale used to do in the 1960’s.
He did over 5,000 of these small radio shows about various topics (he was like a blogger back in the day, but his medium was radio).
The book contains about 80 of these transcripts. Each being an average of 3 pages each.
Theoretically I can read each chapter in about 30 seconds. However every damn time I pick up this book, I read one or two chapters, and it literally takes me 10+ minutes or more.
The reason is each chapter is so incredibly thought-provoking, and mind-shifting, and new-idea-giving that they make me sit there and THINK.
THE WAY I USE THE BOOK:
It’s pretty damn simple:
If I’m confused, pissed off, sad, or lazy (or in some similar state that is not desirable)….I pick up this book and open a random chapter.
Within a few minutes of reading, I generally have a paper/pen out and am jotting out the quickest solution to my problems.
It’s almost like a sure-fire way to make me feel better since it gets me thinking RATIONALLY about an issue I may have, rather than just “oh poor me complain complain complain” shitty circular thinking that gets you no where.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY!
I have no affiliation with Earl Nightingale. Or am trying to get anyone to buy the book for any reason whatsoever.
Just thought I’d share what I consider to be one of the greatest investments in myself I’ve ever made.
Reading the book over tea in Kerala, India.
I refer to this book when I have a problem. It’s like a Bible, except without all the fiction.
I love this book. Such a tiny investment has yielded huge results.
A sampling of some of the chapters. I randomly open the book and start reading. Never fails.
BAH….I looked at my blog in January 2013, and realized I still had December 2012 goals up:
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:
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:
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):
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: