First Post & Goals

First post of the year!

Let’s get started. For starters, I’m not going goal-less this year like I tried in 2007. That worked out OK, but setting clear goals is quite an important task. I was using some pretty flawed logic in that goal-less post.

Short Term Goals:

  • Join the Austin Rock Gym instead of a regular gym. Two years ago I went indoor rock climbing every other day for about 3 months and saw big changes in my all around strength. Rock climbing is more fun than a normal gym, uses more muscles and this gym is only 4 miles from where I live so I can bicycle there…which bring me to:
  • Buy a bike. I found a good trick to buying a cheap bike that will last. Go to Wal-Mart, buy one of those $100 bikes, then go to a bike shop and get a $30 tune-up. I didn’t believe it at first, but it literally changes the entire way the bike rides and feels. I used to have one, but I left it at my old apartment when I moved, and within two weeks it was gone.
  • Locate 3-D Printers around Austin. I’ve been interested in the newly emerging technology 3-D Printing (aka rapid prototyping) for a long time, and want to start getting involved with it in some form. I’ve already found a $49,000 3D printer I can use on the cheap. <-- Just the thought of that gets me excited!
  • Buy a big stopwatch. Shouldn’t be that hard :-) I’ve been timing myself when doing work, and it makes things so much more interesting! Suppose I have a bunch of orders to sift through on a Monday for HouseOfRave and Bodymonkey, I’ll keep a mark on time and see how fast I can knock them out of the way. It keeps me from goofing off during the task, makes me work faster because I’m “racing” against the clock and makes the work more interesting. If I set a goal of 20 minutes for myself and finish before that, it makes me feel like I’ve “won” something, sounds dorky, but it works! I tried doing this with an egg timer, only to find out that egg timers tick REALLY loudly. Plus they only measure elapsed time which doesn’t get you racing quite as fast.

Medium Term Goals:

  • Learn Joomla. Joomla is a dynamic content management system. In a nutshell, you can build dynamic web pages with it and there’s lots of benefits to using it. I usually download software, install it then play with it to learn it, however this time I’m viewing every Flash tutorial I can find about Joomla and learning it BEFORE I install it. I’ve alreay started all of this.
  • Learn AutoCAD. Once I have 3D printers to use, it means very little unless I can provide a .stl file for the printer to print. I want to learn the 3D drafting system AutoCAD (very commonly used in architecture & engineering) so I can create and manipulate 3D files. I’ve already got my hands on it and installed it on my desktop. In the future I’ll most likely send my AutoCAD work to a drafter, as this program takes talent to use very well, however it’s always good to know what you’re talking about when sending a project to an artist.

Year Long Goals & Wants:

  • I want to fly on a private jet. Cheapest rates I’ve seen are $1,100/hour for a 6-seater Learjet. Purpose of this goal? None really, I just think it’s a neat, rare experience.
  • Take a Zero-G Flight. For $3,675 you go on a Boeing 727 and do 14+ parabolic maneuvers which make you completely weightless for about a minute followed by 1.8g’s of gravity against you as you go up. How…..freakin…..awesome! This is really expensive and doesn’t include lodging or a flight to the take-off location, so it might have to wait till next year.
  • Go to Japan. I’ve been to Japan before…and seen THE AIRPORT. I’d like to take at least a week this year and properly visit. EVERYONE I know whose been loves it for the high intensity energy of the cities, the food, the culture and the absurdly dedicated work ethic (I could use some o’ that).
  • Re-Learn Spanish. All those years of formal training in Spanish through middle school, high school and college didn’t do it for me. It’s said that learning how to use between 100 and 200 essential words in any language is enough to be partially fluent, and this is what those “Learn Spanish” CD’s teach. I’ve already started doing these courses, and after only 10 lessons of the Pimsleur Spanish course I swear I could have decent conversations. However the Pimsleur course teaches formal Spanish which works well in Spain….but since I live in Texas, this doesn’t fly. Therefore this goal is to re-take a different Spanish course that offers a more Hispanic translation, I’ve been recommended to use the Rocket Spanish course.
  • Spread the word about Jelly. It’s a great way for independent workers to work together.
  • Practice speed-reading more. No need to explain the benefits of being able to read a page of a book in 60 seconds or much less. I used to be able to do this in high school when I’d read about 2 books a week…mainly just on the bus. Nowadays I practice this by going to the public library and reading every newspaper they have REALLY REALLY fast. At first you hardly pick up any information, but over time you start absorbing more and more by simply scanning through. Since about 50% of an article in any news story is generally fluff, being able to quickly spot and pick up vital information so quickly is pretty useful. This means I need to go to the library maybe twice a week and practice for 30 minutes at a time (the rest of the time I usually read all the new magazines).
  • Go to more city council meetings. I’ve randomly gone and sat in on city council meetings before, and sometimes they’re boring, sometimes they’re interesting. However you always learn about new city decisions much before they’re announced. It can’t hurt to attend more of these, you never know who you’ll meet or what information you’ll hear.
  • Increase eCommerce income by 100%. This means HouseOfRave.com and BodyMonkey.com should both double their income from the corresponding month last year. This will be accomplished through recently changes in both systems and email marketing, both of which have already started.

That’s all the publicly available goals I’ve got for now, I may add more later. Have a happy & prosperous 2008!
-Neville

Blog posted on: January 3, 2008

15 comments on “First Post & Goals

  1. Ruthann DeGutis

    Hi Neville!
    I work for a company called Geezeo (www.geezeo.com). Geezeo is social finance website where you can get access to all your financial accounts in one place, watch your spending trends, and save money! $$$ You can even create goals and track the progress by linking them to a bank account.
    Just thought that you might want to try it out :-)
    I enjoyed looking over your blog – I’ve even friended you on Facebook!!
    Thanks!
    Ruthann

    Reply
  2. Gary Zaydman

    Hi, Nev
    I don’t know if you have seen my tutorial for setting up Joomla yet. But you might find it useful. it has over 1000+ views on YouTube. I like Joomla for setting up digital shopping carts for ebook etc. I walk you step by step on getting it installed. There is a special version of Joomla called Joomla eCommerce edition which is really awesome for setting up shopping carts you should definitely check it out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdo2xRARh5M

    You can learn and see more videos here
    here

    Let me know what you think on facebook.

    Cheers!,
    Gary

    Reply
  3. Gary Zaydman

    Hi, Nev
    I don’t know if you have seen my tutorial for setting up Joomla yet. But you might find it useful. it has over 1000+ views on YouTube. I like Joomla for setting up digital shopping carts for ebook etc. I walk you step by step on getting it installed. There is a special version of Joomla called Joomla eCommerce edition which is really awesome for setting up shopping carts you should definitely check it out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdo2xRARh5M

    You can learn and see more videos here
    here

    Let me know what you think on facebook.

    Cheers!,
    Gary

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Nev:

    Joomla is what ATI and CEI uses for their website (which I also do now) and I can tell you first hand that this is not a system you want to use. It is true that it will allow the average individual to build a decent website, but I can tell you that for anything worth a damn it is not worth the time to even look at it. I don’t know what sparked your interest in this software, but your time would be better spent improving your hard coding ability, trust me.

    -P John

    Reply
  5. Tom

    Flying a private jet would be amazing and that price doesn’t look that bad all if you really think of it. Get some friends to pitch in ;)

    Good Luck!

    Reply
  6. Patrick Hoffman

    as far as learning spanish goes i’d try Rosetta Stone. It’s a bit pricey but i heard that it’s leaps and bounds above the competition (essentially you’re getting what you pay for here).

    for spead reading there’s a very cheap (but good) book that teaches several different techniques it’s called Remember “Everything You Read: The Evelyn Wood 7-Day Speed Reading & Learning Program” i learned how to read a LOT faster that way.

    Hope those two things help out.

    -Patrick Hoffman

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Attending city council meetings is a noble goal for the year, man. We did that a few times in 2007 and it really leads to a good feeling – like we’re honestly trying to make things better in our community. (We didn’t, as it turned out, thanks to some local political corruption… grr.) But hey, at least we knew what was going on and had the insurance that we had done our part in the political process.
    Here’s to a successful 2008!
    Jerry
    http://www.leads4insurance.com

    Reply
  8. JC Rockafella

    Hey Nev,

    For 3-d design I would have to say give autocad a miss and go straight for solidworks, or a similar 3d design package. Much easier, and more powerful!

    James

    Reply
  9. CollegeGuy

    Haven’t checked in on the blog in a while – good to see you’re still succeeding.

    My wife and I have a similar goal to re-learn Spanish. I wanted to pass along what was recommended to us (by a friend of ours who works in the Foreign Service – speaks like 6 languages): immersive schools in Cuernavaca, Mexico. It’s about an hour south of Mexico City, and no one speaks English. You have class for 4-5 hours each day, then go on trips / shop in town / whatever the rest of the day. You live with a host family, who only speaks Spanish. Best of all: it’s cheap, $300-$400/wk. *including room & board*. Here’s the site of one school I was looking:

    http://www.cuernavacalanguageschool.com

    You can just google “cuernavaca school”, there’s a bunch of them out there. We’re planning to go in December for 3-4 weeks, when we both get winter breaks from law & grad school, respectively.

    Hope that helps – good luck!

    Reply
  10. Roman

    You have set some great goals for yourself. How are you planning to increase you conversion rate by that much SEO? Or just a increase in traffic?

    Reply

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