Baby steps

So for the longest time (3 1/2 months now) I’ve been trying to buy a rug for my apartment.  

I can already hear you say: “Ok Neville, I really don’t give a shit about the status of your apartment decoration… ::eye roll::”

Shut up.

So when I got my previous apartment, I had zero furniture, and zero idea how to decorate.  I hate decorating.  It’s not something I’m good at.
And I’m not good at it, because I put no effort into it.  

Since we can trade people our money, to do things for us….. I hired some designer friends, gave them a $5,000 budget (including their fees) and told them to just “do the whole damn thing for me.”

In less than a week I had a fully furnished apartment that looked like someone in semi-adulthood lived there:

A while later I moved from that place for a few reasons

  • I had lived there for 2 years.
  • The apartment got robbed and someone stole all my Apple products (this really jacked with my head and made me resent the location a bit).
  • It was EVER SO SLIGHTLY on the ghetto side of town (just found out the 4 people got mugged outside my door this past weekend….so I made a good decision).

So now that I’ve moved to a new place, I had to move around a lot of the furniture and get rid of certain things that didn’t look right.  But one new thing was hardwood floors.

So APPPAARRENNTTLLYY for your living room, you gotta get a big-ass rug to indicate “this is the living room area.”

Whatever…. how hard could this be??  I decided to try doing this myself in order to learn SOME design skills.

Well I never realized what a hard decision this was.

My previous crowning achievement in the decoration department was this black & white Homer Simpson poster that followed me for years through 2 dorm rooms and 3 apartments (I’m not kidding):

So clearly my interior decorating skills are on the poor side.

But like I said before (and this is important):

I’m not good at it, because I put no effort into it.  

 A few YouTube searches for “How to design a living room” and asking some people about design (aka my mom), and it was pretty clear this whole “decoration” process was kinda of logical and formulaic.  

The people I knew who were “good” at design spent lots of time reading magazines about design, watching tv shows about design, keeping an eye out for cool decor, and practicing it themselves.

But they all started somewhere. 

Basically if you want to learn something….there’s always small baby steps you can take to get started.  Here’s a couple examples:  The reason I suggest baby steps is from experience of watching people “want to do something” ….and then HATE it when they start doing it.  

THING TO LEARN: BABY STEPS TO TAKE:

If you wanna learn to decorate:
–Try re-arranging your own living space.
–Go through decorating magazines or pick up an Ikea catalog for ideas.

If you want to start a blog:
–Start a free blog on Blogger.com and start writing something. ANYTHING. Stories from your life. Advice you’ve learned. Just write.

If you want to start an ecommerce website and sell stuff online:
–1st get familiar with how to sell things online. Signup for BigCommerce or Shopify and build test stores.
–Don’t worry about exactly WHAT to sell first….just get the technical side down and keep writing down ideas.

If you want to learn a specific skill like woodcarving (I couldn’t think of anything better):
–Start by Google’ing “How to woodcarve”
–Grab a piece of wood and your mom’s best knife and start carving.

If you want to become a copywriter:
–Google it.
–Watch copywriting advice for newbies.
–Go to Amazon and buy books about copywriting or get my KopywritingKourse

If you want to start making apps:
–Big surprise: Google “how to design an app”
–Go to Udemy and take a free or paid course on how to make an app.
–Download some app templates and start tinkering with them.

If you want to learn ANYTHING:
–Google “how to (insert thing you wanna do).”
–Go to Amazon buy books about it.
–Start doing a ghetto version of it. Just “tinker”.

I wanted to be a doctor when I was in high school (I mean…I AM Indian), so in high school I joined a program where I got to shadow 10 different doctors.  By the end, I realized I HATTTEDD what the doctors had to do!

I quickly realized the environment and the work of a doctor were not my cup of tea.

Likewise…..taking a baby step towards something will show your true passion for it quickly.  Either you’ll start off and soon your brain will become obsessed with it…..or your interest will quickly fizzle.

Have a happy Monday….and if you’re looking to start something new, try some baby steps for it.  Lemme know what you’re trying to learn in the comments here, and I’ll answer with some baby steps on how you could get started!

Sincerely,
Neville

P.S.  As for the rug decision?  I went to the rug store yesterday with the mindset of walking out with a rug.  By the time I made a purchase, I was still unsure about it…..but at least I dove into it, and within 5 days it’ll be delivered.  At that point I’ll quickly realize if it looks awesome, or sucks….but at least I’ll learn something from the decision!

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    Success Strikes Temporarily

    Well shit.  

    I had made it.

    Sometime in the summer of 2012 Noah and I rented a furnished condo in Manhattan.  East Village to be precise.  It was three bedrooms, and only two of us.  Having an extra bedroom in Manhattan is baller.

    I was 29, also had a nice apartment in Austin, TX, could work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, renting a condo in semi-arguably one of the coolest cities in the world, and made something in the neighborhood of $40,000 that month.

    Life was going well.  

    But here’s the part that’s a total mind-fuck:
    We sat down at a coffee shop for a sip, and started discussing life.  And this….what we were doing in that moment ….THIS was it.
    THIS was “the American Dream” we were living.  

    Working from wherever, making good money, travelling, being young/healthy/ridiculously-good-looking, the world is your oyster!  Oddly enough, that realization only brought a slight grin to my face for a few seconds….then faded.

    I wanted to get back to work soon.
    I wanted to produce something else.
    I wanted to work on myself some more.
    I wanted to improve/go-further/learn-new-stuff.

    STOPPING AND RESTING at this point was a frightening and boring option.

    It reminded me of all the times my parents took us to some breathtaking place somewhere in the world.  We’d travel long-n-far, make several stops, encounter several obstacles, and when we were finally there, it was pretty neat-o for a second……but as I saw it and took it in for a moment, it was then time to move on.

    The journey was fun.
    The stories along the way were fun.
    The stresses of being with the same people for weeks-on-end was fun.
    Working towards some common goal was fun.  

    The journey of getting to a point is what made you grow.  Simply “being there” was relatively insignificant compared to “getting there”.

    That was an odd realization.

    Goddamn it.  I’ll just admit, the old cliche:

    “The journey is better than the inn”

    …pretty much summed it up long before my dumbass figured this out.

     

    Ok, so what’s the takeaway here?  I’ll tell you:

    You will always be working hard, so you may as well WANT to….and make it fun for yourself. 

    I’ve met a ridiculous amount of people who’ve said to me, “I just want to have a business on auto-pilot where I don’t have to do any work, and it spits out a lot of money.”

    Those people never go anywhere. I’ve never seen one of them succeed.  They’re dweebs who want SOMETHING for NOTHING.

    They want the world to give them something, without giving the world something back first.

    It never happens that way.  So before you ask yourself how to get something you want……maybe reverse the question and ask how YOU can give something to others first.

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      Sifting for good/bad ideas

      Fresh off a trip from Cabo, I went back to Austin, did laundry, packed the exact same clothes, and headed off to our AppSumo Getaway in Seattle:
      http://www.appsumo.com/how-to-make-your-first-dollar-seattle-getaway/

      Some of the people who came were already running businesses, some were not.

      I noticed something while talking to the people who DID NOT have a business going….

      There were lots of ideas floating around in their heads (and even written down), but no apparent framework to make sense of those ideas.  

      I realized something I accidentally did back in the day, and still to this day, that has helped me immensely: I would write down tooonnsss of ideas, and rank them.

      Read that last part?
      The part about “ranking them”?

      It’s immensely important.  So lemme take you through the simple process I use to find business ideas, product ideas, ways to make money…..

      I first am fully aware of this:

      “The best way to get a good idea, is to have a lot of ideas!”

      I write down a ton of ideas.  Anything.  The point is to get the brain jogging:

      • Bad ideas.
      • Good ideas.
      • Funny ideas.
      • Stupid ideas.
      • Wacky ideas.
      • Ideas that solve problems.
      • Ideas for stuff I personally want.

      Just by it’s nature, this list will contain some gold, and some crap.  Mostly crap. But who cares, it’s just a freakin list!!  (usually mine are written somewhere in a notebook).

      Now here’s how to sift your list of ideas for gold (in a semi-scientific way):

      You rank each idea on a scale from 1 to 5 in several areas:

      1. Easy-ness – How easy would it be to get this going?
      2. Fun – Is this fun for me?
      3. Profit – What’s the potential profit here?

      Total up the numbers, and almost instantly….the piece of paper you wrote these down on will turn from a random list of ideas, to a piece of paper telling you which ideas you should move forward with.  

      Here’s a ghetto example I made in 2 minutes:

      Obviously some ideas will be easier for some than others based on skill/talent.

      So in my particular case, this list has shown a book about Kopywriting will be my best bet.  A yogurt stand however, doesn’t seem very fun (although I love GOING to them and pretending my CakeBatter yogurt with 9 pounds of chocolate toppings is “healthy”)!

      So this my friend, is a key difference between a regular-ole list of ideas….and a list of ideas which tells you which one to go with.

      Now I’m a big pencil/paper kind of guy, but I thought I’d make a cool “Idea Calculator” for you to use.

      Simply click on the Google Doc, and save it for yourself.  It’ll auto-calculate your ideas, and tell you when something is promising (usually anything over a “10″ is decent):

      Here’s your Idea Calculator (save it for yourself in any format you choose to start entering your own):
      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuaB65FccS9sdDVZVWU1ZFZYaXdaQVNsMWZPdF8zNmc#gid=0

      The point of this is to get you to start ranking your ideas with a number…..so you can spend less time sifting through ideas, and spend more time trying the winners.

      Cool huh!?
      Neville – Enjoying the awesome Seattle summer weather (and surrounded by 25 nerds in a house)

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        books are the training weights of the mind

        “Books are the training weights of the mind.”

        –Epictetus

        I’ve read a helluva lot of books, and they’ve helped change my life for the better, and maybe that’s why I’m so interested in making them (that desire comes/goes in spurts).  

        Two years back I wanted to see if I could write a book in two weeks.  AND I DID!
        http://www.nevblog.com/category/writing-a-book-in-two-weeks/

        But only recently did I think of publishing it on Amazon.

        I buy pretty much EVERY book through Amazon Prime….and I was curious if I could get that little book available to everyone on Amazon.

        And it happened……check it out!!

        I just get a kick that someone can order that book on Amazon, and get my face delivered to their door!

        When I show people the physical book, they get curious how I made it.

        It was pretty damn simple:
        1.) I went to CreateSpace.com

        2.) Uploaded the book in PDF format (I wrote it in Microsoft Word, although now I’d suggest you write your book in Google Docs and do “save as PDF” when done).

        3.) After entering in other random info, the book was ready to ship!

        Within a few days, the Amazon.com listing goes up live.  You can separately upload the same book to Amazon’s Kindle Publishing platform, and within a few days, the physical book and Kindle book get linked…..like mine are here:
        http://amzn.com/0615836720

        I started giving out random copies of this book recently, and everyone so far has loved it, and said, “This makes me wanna go out and do my own experiments!!”

        Just thought it was cool that nowadays you can publish something so easily.

        Maybe if there’s a solid piece of material you wrote, you could upload it and get it published on Amazon.com just for fun too!

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          Writing interview – Tim Ferriss and Neil Strauss

          THESE ARE MY NOTES FROM TIM FERRISS AND NEIL STRAUSS INTERVIEW ABOUT WRITING.
          ….an hour long interview boiled down to the key points for quick reading.
          This interview drops golden tips for aspiring writers everywhere.
          Link to watch 1-hour interview: Here

          You can download the .PDF or .DOC files of my notes here (2 pages each):

          pdf-download-icon      docx_mac

           

           

          Feel free to use/modify/distribute for free.  Enjoy!
          Sincerely,
          Neville Medhora

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            something from nothing

            I once heard an interview with the famous music composer Quincy Jones (the guy who produced a lot of Michael Jackson’s stuff)…..and he said this awesome quote:


            “Music is a wonderful business, because you take nothing, and make it into something….and you can sell it!”
             

            I was reminded of this after recording myself writing a chapter in the book I’m writing about Kopywriting.I started with a blank page.
            I ended with a chapter of a book people will pay for.

            You can see it (sped-up) here:

            YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JahxPjJP2iE

            This is just another reason I’ve found being able to write well has improved my life.

            I can turn nothing, into gold, with my fingers!

            Sincerely,
            Neville Medhora – A real-life genie

             

            P.S.  Have a great weekend :)

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              motivational links

              I am one….lazy….bastard!
              And an important part of getting me up and doing things is a steady stream of motivation.

              Motivation is SO different from person-to-person, so for what it’s worth, here’s a couple of things I randomly consume whenever I need a shot of adrenaline:
              ——————————————

               

              Dave Matthews blowing his lungs out:
              After a 2-year long tour, this Central Park concert was the very last for The Dave Matthews Band, and in their final song “All Along The Watchtower” he screams his lungs off  (watch whole thing if you like, but screaming starts at 11minute mark):
              http://youtu.be/fOaMQ-R9YGM?t=10m58s

               

              Ellen DeGeneres speaking at a college commencement:
              I like how she speaks.
              http://www.upworthy.com/ellen-s-tragic-lesbian-love-story-has-the-most-beautiful-ending?c=ufb1

               

              Earl Nightingales “The Strangest Secret”.
              I can never make it all the way through without getting several great ideas and getting back to work.  Love Earl’s stuff:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62DqsD2s5V8

               

              Pendulum performing 2 re-mixed songs at GlastonBerry.
              Cinematography is wonderful.  I dunno if they’re techno or a rock band, but I used to watch this constantly at wall-shaking & neighbor-complaining levels:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnD0YRAT0bg

               

              Slipknot performing “Wait and Bleed” live.  
              I think the 1st minute of this live recording is unbelievably well done.  Don’t know why.  You might not wanna watch this at work or around kids:
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yngxExGNIHg

               

              Steve Jobs talking about poking life.
              I. Love.  This.  Video.
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYfNvmF0Bqw

               

              I have over a hundred of these, but this might be enough inspiration to get you going.
              Bookmark the one’s that speak to you.
              Sincerely,
              Your lazy friend,
              Neville Medhora

              P.S.  Even if you don’t think any of my personal choices motivate you, I’d highly suggest you put a “Motivation” bookmark on your browser.  When in a lull, you’ll know what to do.

               

              P.P.S.  Please share this list with someone you know it may help.

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                Louis CK gets better

                I’m a nerd so I watch YouTube videos and interviews allllll the time when at home.

                One of my absolute favorite pieces of entertainment which I learned a hulluvalot from is a short documentary called “Talking Funny” (It’s just Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, Louis CK, and Chris Rock talking about being funny for an hour….and it’s FREAKING AMAZING).

                There’s a profound moment I will NEVER forget…

                It was said by Louis CK, while he was talking about how he makes his act stronger:

                Click the image below and it’ll take you to the video starting at the 4min15second mark:


                Link: http://youtu.be/OKY6BGcx37k?t=4m15s

                He says this brilliant thing:

                “One of the things I started doing was taking my closing bit, and opening with it, just to fuck myself.  Because then I have to follow my strongest bit.  So the end of my act gets stronger, because I don’t have a choice.

                –Louis CK

                I won’t sit here and micro-examine that phrase, because I’m sure you extract what you need from it on your own.

                Just thought I’d share this piece of advice that’s stuck with me since the day I watched it (I’ve since watched it at least 30+ times…no joke)!

                Watch it now, or save it for later.  Enjoy!
                -Neville

                Tell a friend to singup to me: Hey

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                  June 2013 Goals

                  My goals for June 2013 are pretty simple.  Only two.  (although might add another if needed).

                  june-2013-goals

                   

                  I’m re-designing this blog to be a little easier to read, and kinda go back to the old-school layout I used to have back when I was on Blogger.com.

                  Like this:

                  Old School NevBlog

                  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:

                  nevblog-mockup4

                  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??
                  -Neville

                   

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                    risky kinetic

                    Three phases of every human life that’s ever existed:
                    1.) You’re born.
                    2.) You do some things.
                    3.) You fucking die.

                    So no matter what your problem is…..it pales in comparison with that 3rd stage.

                    This might help pump you up before you do anything:

                    YouTube video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFaiizcLTp0

                    Bookmark this video as a small piece of inspiration (I have a folder in my book marks just for inspirational stuff).  Also give it a YouTube “Like” if you don’t mind.

                    This video was originally part of an email I sent out called “Risky” which got an insanely large response.  Then Bryan from VideoFruit made my soothing voice into kinetic text.  Awesome!

                    Stay young & dumb my friend (said in my best Dos Equis Man voice).
                    -Neville

                    This is my twitter: @NevMed
                    This is my YouTube: Kopy.tv
                    Tell a friend about this stuff: Hey

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