AppSumo Napa Valley Workcation 2014

Soooo this last week was pretty cool :)

The whole AppSumo Team was going on a Workcation to Napa Valley on April 21st – 26th, and put this post out:
napa-appsumo

So not only does the whole AppSumo Crew get to go on a workcation, but we invite 10 people to come work with us and we’ll help them with their businesses.

Needless to say, just like the AppSumo Seattle Getaway in 2013, it sold out hella fast.

So on April 21st, 2014 we hopped a plane to San Francisco.  Here’s some of us at the airport:IMG_4135

Picking noses:
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We tried to fit 6 team members into an SUV, but with luggage it didn’t workout…..so instead I rented a 2014 BMW and drove that the whole time.

Don’t worry, we drove it “very gently”  ;-)IMG_4140

After a 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport we arrived at the country house which is in the Napa Valley area.

There were two houses rented so everyone could sleep relatively comfortably (at the last house in Seattle a lot of people ended up sleeping in random-ass places because there wasn’t enough space in all the rooms).

The main house was AWESOME!!  It was a 33 acre estate with a:

  • Vineyard
  • Private lake
  • Paddle boards and kayaks
  • Water trampoline
  • Land trampoline
  • Outdoor gas fireplace and wood fireplace
  • Hot tub
  • Olympic-sized pool
  • Bocce Ball court
  • Basketball court
  • Tennis court
  • Workout room
  • Wine cave
  • HUGE house with 8 or 10 rooms plus billiards room
  • Private chef
  • Full outdoor seating and cooking area

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Everyone sitting around the fire pit for introductions:
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Private tour and tasting of vineyard wine by The Wine Spies:
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Noah looking hella shady:
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Aaron Batalion on the left (one of the founders of LivingSocial) was hanging with us at the house, spoke to people about bidnaz, and went on the winery tour with us:
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TAKING A SELFIE OF OTHER PEOPLE TAKING A SELFIE:
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The second house:
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Everyone congregating and working and discussing:
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Chilling by the fire was my favorite thing.  I realized that a gas fireplace is SO much better because it requires no cleanup like a traditional fire, and your clothes don’t stink like smoke!
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Private tour of the greenhouse and farm before eating at Ad Hoc.  Andrew Warner of Mixergy was with us:
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Oh man the food was good!!  It looks so “normal”, but it was truly an awesome meal:
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Goofing off while Andrew Warner speaks to everyone:
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He should interview me about how to do handstands!
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I stole someone’s dog while taking notes:
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On the way back home I flew Virgin Air for the first time….and it was AWESOME.  Since I just had such a cool trip in a mansion in Napa Valley, and dropped off my white BMW….I figured I may as well upgrade to 1st Klass (only $139 extra from San Francisco to Austin)!?

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It was actually the best domestic first class I’ve ever been in.  Good job Virgin Air!IMG_4278IMG_4280

 

Aaaannnddd that was my trip for the Napa Valley Workcation.  A good combination of getting work done, helping people with their businesses, and goofing around.

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    Rock Climbing and Work Party

    This is an idea for the “unique work scenario parties” I enjoy (kind like this Reading Party)!

    I held a “Rock Climb & Work & Laptop & Horse Around Day” this past Wednesday.

    All it took was a small Facebook invite I made in 5 minutes:

    rock-climb-day

     

    I bought $49 worth of goodies for everyone (people barely touched ANYTHING except the clementines, so it was total overkill):
    IMG_4022

     

    Here’s some pics!

    IMG_4025 IMG_4029 IMG_4037 IMG_4039 IMG_4041 IMG_4048 IMG_4049 IMG_4051 IMG_4055 IMG_4056 IMG_4057 IMG_4060 IMG_4062 IMG_4066 IMG_4067 IMG_4068 IMG_4069

     

    These events are AWESOME ways to co-work with people whilst having fun at the same time.

    Feel free to copy this with your friend circle!
    Sincerely,
    Neville

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      you didn’t finish it…..again

      Here’s a common scenario you might relate to:

      You sit down to do work, you start, then you don’t FINISH!  

      This is common.  And there’s a mentality you can learn to help with this.  Let’s solve this problem by citing some examples:

      SITTING AT THE COMPUTER EXAMPLE:
      Everyone can relate to sitting down to finish something like writing a paper, doing homework, clearing out email, whatever…..and then never finishing it through all the way.

      Here’s my estimate of the breakdown:

      100% of people are capable of starting a task.
      70% of people can start and get halfway through.
      20% of people can start and finish the first run.
      5% of people can start and finish, and revise, and finish, and do it WELL.

      Of those people, guess who’s REALLY going places?  Yup…..that 5% of top performers that can start and follow through and do it well.

      So when you start something, then start getting distracted, it’s useful to think in your head in an INSANE and AGGRESSIVE sounding voice “THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND ALL THE LAZY SCHMUCKS OUT THERE  I AM WILLING TO PUT THE WORK IN THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS NOT  AND BECAUSE OF THIS I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL AND THEY WILL NOT     >:-)  >:-O    >:-)  !!!!!!!!!!!!”

      This is the killer instinct that will push you through to finish a task, and not stop halfway through like 80% of other people.

      Video example of the attitude to have:

      Will Smith willing to DIE on a treadmill to beat the other person.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doqS35FfcUE

      AT THE GYM EXAMPLE:
      The biggest realization I had when I started seeing muscle gains from my workouts was that it’s NOT UNTIL YOU’RE IN PAIN that the growth happens.

      I’ve been going to this “YoStrong” class at the yoga studio across the street.  It’s like the end result of a yoga class having sex with a weight training class.

      In the class they inevitably work your muscles till failure.  And of course right before your muscles can literally do no more…..they hurt and ache.

      In the past I would just stop and take a rest at that point.

      But I’ve started gaining more muscle due to one mindset trick:
      When the exercise starts to hurt, instead of wincing or stopping…..I get this maniacal look on my face, and in my brain I start thinking: “FUCK YOU EXERCISE I WILL BEAT YOU I WILL KILL YOU I WILL WIN I PAID MONEY TO COME TO THIS CLASS AND GET MY ASS KICKED NOT REST AND I WILL KEEP GOING FOREVER   >:-)  >:-O    >:-)  !!!!!!!!!!!!”

      Seriously.  It’s kinda insane and masochistic.

      But this totally works, and makes me embrace that pain.  Because I know that 1% of the time I’m in pain, is where 90% of the muscle gains come from!

      Video example of the attitude to have:
      Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about this “end pain” as cumming.  He likes that feeling SO MUCH he gets there all the time and embraces it:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVCfDioTcY

      Instead of “working through the pain” Arnold is enjoying the hell out of it.  No wonder he won so many championships!

      Next time you start a task (starting now), and it starts tiring you…..power through that pain point and get all insane on it like: “YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO FINISH THIS RIGHT NOW EVEN IF IT KILLS ME   I GOTTA DO THIS CRAP ANYWAYS WHY WOULD I PROLONG IT WHEN I CAN JUST KILL THIS CRAP OFF RIGHT NOW  >-:-)    >-:-)  >-:-)  >-:-)  >-:-)   !!!!!!!!!!!”

      This will help you develop your killer instinct.

      Cheers to sounding insane  ;-)
      Neville
      Follow me: @NevMed

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        April Fools on me

        Hey, I was trying to think of some clever-ass April Fools joke…..but I stumbled across a joke that’s been played on me for years…..and has set me back several years.

        I’ve been blogging since November 17th, 2004.  That’s TEN YEARS.  I was the first person on the internet to publicly post my personal finances for all my small businesses, and was open about who I was.

        Albeit I never started NevBlog.com with the intention of a single person to read it and never had the intention of making it a large blog, it’s almost ridiculous that my following is not FUCKING HUGE.

        And here’s one of the most wasteful and regretful pieces of non-action I’ve ever done:

        I failed to collect the email address of readers. 

        Doesn’t seem so bad right?
        Well lemme explain why I would love to go back in time and PUNCH 21 years old Neville in his big nose (who apparently had $16,721 in the bank at the time).

        Here’s what happens when you spend lots of time on blog posts and stick them up on the internet randomly:

        Blog posting no growth

         

        You basically hit “publish” and hope people come to your website.  For years this is all I did.

        When I was a really active blogger my site would get like 2,000 unique people a day coming to it…..but I NEVER once had a strategy on how to get those posts out there, or keep people coming back.

        I had a ton of friends in marketing, but none of them convinced me to start collecting emails quite like Noah Kagan did.

        Everyone said it was important, but Noah viewed collecting emails as THE NUMBER ONE METRIC he went by.

        And it’s because of a chart that looks like this:

        Blog posts growth with email list

        You see, if my stupid 21 year old self had put a “Signup by Email” box somewhere on NevBlog.com, everyday I would’ve collected a minimum of 10 and 30 emails per day with the traffic I was getting.  That’s conservatively 600 people per month who wanted to hear from me.

        And if 21 year old Neville HAD done this, then every time I put out a new blog post, I could hit up those 600 people via email saying:

        “Hey, I did this thing where I got a homeless guy to sell bottled water on the side of the road, and we sold all 24 bottles in under 30 minutes!  Checkout the blog post here.

        That same day, the 600 people that signed up that month would click the post.  PLUS the people the month before, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that, PLUS the people before that and so on………

        Basically thousands of visitors would find out about my new post that same day.  Driving hella traffic to the site.  And since the email list and traffic would continue to grow together, it would create a “compounding traffic” effect in the long run.

        So a happy APRIL FOOLS to current-Neville on missing out on tens of thousands of free subscribers & sales!!

         

        Your business homework for tonight:
        Make sure somewhere on your website (personal or business) people can signup to get more information/deals/updates from you.

        Keep in mind, even though the new owner of my former business HouseOfRave.com does a horrible job with the site, this crap-ass email form still gets him an average of 3 new signups a day:

        houseofrave-email-signup-form

        So even a poorly-executed version of an email signup will help build your business for free.  You don’t even have to be emailing on a regular basis right now….just get the damn form up today!!

         

         

         

        P.S.  This kid Bryan Harris is doing all this stuff VERY correctly right off the bat, and already his blog is exploding.  Just two months into starting a blog, he makes $1,500+ a month from his new email subscribers automatically (which 21 year old Neville would TOTALLY be jealous of)!  I’ll feature a post about how he did this tomorrow.  Stay tuned homie.

         

        P.P.S.  Do you have some sort of email collection thingy on your website right now?  Post a link to it in the comments, I’m curious to see it.  If you’re feeling bold, I’d love to hear the number of signups you get per day!

         

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          March 2014 Goals and SXSW Update

          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):

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          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:

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          Here’s a bunch of the international ones going out (those are way more expensive and kinda a pain):

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          I bought a dog shirt:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          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:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          Noah had a little party:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          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):Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          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:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          I stuck my 3D printer in the window:
          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          …..and brought the guitars/mic/amplifier down just for some street-level concerts:

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          ….and there was lots of co-working by the street also:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          It was funny to see random crowds gathering to watch the 3D printer in action.  It was the first time a lot of people got to see Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          The street view:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          A lot of people would just stand there and watch. Kinda awkwardly-funny if you were in the room!Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          Then we hit up a bunch of the SXSW Interactive panel sessions.  Here’s Maneesh and Dave Asprey having one:

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          I was most happy to see Neil DeGrasse Tyson speak….I listen to his podcast all the time and love the way he can get complex subjects into your brain:

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          Abel playing a gig in the “Glass Box Room”:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          I think by far one of the best parties I went to was the Uship party (Their headquarters happens to be across the street from my building which made it even better)!Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          One of the founders Jay who I know (and had to name-drop big time just to get me and everyone else in the party):
          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          South By South Dog:
          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          South By South Dog:

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          Some friends said, “Ok….you can print anything right?  Can you 3D print a penis??”

          Apparently the answer is yes……you can download a 3D penis from the internet and print it.  Here it is:
          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          A cool mural being spray painted:

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          A common sight during SXSW:
          People are just EXHHAAUUSSTTEEDD from all the stuff during the day, and will grab random cat-naps whenever they can:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          Saw this MASSIVE 3D printer that could print out big objects like full-sized motorcycle helmets:Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          Exhausted from panels and roaming around….I FOUND A HAMMOCK!!Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          After playing guitar and singing in the “The Glass Box Room” several nights in a row, I stumbled upon a booth at SXSW that sold throat relief spray for hoarse throats…PERFECT!Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

          Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          And now that the Interactive part of SXSW (aka the nerdy part) is over I’m back to work.  I generally skip the music part.Neville's Financial Blog: Tracking the road to financial success

           

          Now off to finish all those March 2014 goals!

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            the blog

            Know something I’m really thankful for?

            My blog.

            NevBlog.com was born on November 17th, 2004 (almost TEN years ago!!) to keep track of my financial situation.

            It was never meant to be read by another human being other than myself.

            Now why would a blog be so important for me?  It’s for a simple reason:
            I FORGET EVERYTHING.  

            Ask me what I did in March 2006….and I have no freaking clue.

            However I can just go to the sidebar of my blog and click on the March 2006 archives….and INSTANTLY it all comes flooding back.  Simply reading a few sentences or seeing some images from that time allows me to instantly recall everything that was happening around that time.

            For this reason, my blog acts as my surrogate brain.  Retaining all the memories I would otherwise surely forget.

            So for keeping my brain alive, thanks NevBlog :-)

            The stats below don’t tell the whole story, but starting sometime in 2005 I installed Google Analytics, and here are the stats from a blog “nobody was supposed to read”:

            For starters, it’s cool that OVER ONE MILLION PEOPLE have viewed something I created.  Maybe I should put a badge on NevBlog saying “Now seen by over 1.5million people!” :-)

            Here’s some fuzzy math on how many cumulative hours have been spent on my site:

            (1,664,333 visits) x (99 seconds per visit) = 2,746,149 hours of NevBlog-viewing time!  
            HA!

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