Workout Software

It would be cool if there was a piece of software that would turn working out into a points based game. There would be a list of workout options and each workout/machine would have a different number of points for different numbers of reps/sets. I wouldn’t base points off of weight unless you were able to take into account each person’s current maximums. Then they could get bonus points for reaching new milestones. That actually should definitely be part of the system. What would really make it fun is if it was social. If you could see your friends’ points for the day/week/month/year. I think steps on iPhones are social but I’m not sure. There could also be an achievement system within the game. I’m not sure how you could reward people. I’d imagine cheating would be pretty easy. Maybe workouts would only count if your heart rate was a certain amount. That would make the game “smart watch required” though. That could just be for competitive people though. I don’t know, I think there’s something there. I’m just tired of working out being so damn boring. That’s why I have such a hard time going. It’s more painfully boring than it is painful.

Or maybe you have an avatar and you can unlock gear or clothes or accessories based on your points and consistency. Maybe it could only count points if you’re at a gym. That sounds fairly complex though. Just thinking out loud a bit.

A Haunted House

“The ghosts of my exes they cry, “Oh, oh”
Cause they know that’s it’s their time to go, oh oh oh
The ghosts of my exes they cry, “Oh, oh”
They know that it’s their time to go, oh oh oh
Cause since you walked on through my door
This ain’t no haunted house no more”

– A Haunted House by Jon Bellion

I don’t think after a break up people should wait around for someone else to come around and make them feel better. People need to figure out how to be happy on their own before they can expect to partner up with someone else. But it is comforting to think that when the right person comes along, our minds won’t be haunted but grateful. Because that would mean we were right when we poured ourselves into previous relationships and concluded none of them were a good fit. It would mean that every failure in the past led to a success, and were therefore not in vain.

The Little Things

Why do girls like the little things? Because, the little things happen because of who you are and how you truly feel about the other. Things like holding the door open, sending good morning texts, listening, noticing differences in appearance. These are the most attractive things because they are involuntary. Voluntary actions can either be in accordance with who we are and how we feel or they can be a lie. Involuntary actions are much less likely to be lies.

Overcoming The Dip

Tim Ferris recently released an episode on his podcast called When To Quit and I really loved it. My favorite part was when Seth Godin talked about “the dip”. He actually wrote a book about this, The Dipshould overcome every dip that comes their way. If they did, they would have an extremely high risk of seeing projects, jobs, or even relationships through that they simply were not in love with.

So how do you know when to overcome a dip and when to throw in the towel. For this there were two pieces of advice. One from Seth is ask yourself if you’re making forward progress. Even if it’s small, analyze if you’re making forward progress. If you are great, you should most likely keep going. If not, examine if you’ve been doing everything you can, if the market is right for what you’re trying to do, if there even is a market for what you’re trying to do, and then consider calling it quits.

The second piece of advice is to ask yourself, if you could take away all the progress you’ve made and go back in time and start over would you do it? If the answer is no, you like the progress you’ve made you just don’t like how hard it’s getting then keep going. If you would take away all the progress you’ve made and get your time back then don’t waste any more time.

This is an important question, because today’s society has gotten a bit caught up in the “never quit” mentality, and that isn’t always the smartest decision. What’s important, I think, is that you think hard before you quit and make sure it is an unfortunate moment, not a habit.

Observations From Successful People

One thing I’ve been pretty interested in lately is people that achieve a high level of success. When I say success, in this post, I mean people who have earned a lot of money. I believe I have been able to make some pretty accurate observations about these types of people, and I want to outline them in today’s post.

First, An Analogy

A 22 year old guy, let’s call him Charlie, walks into one of the biggest financial consulting firms in the world. He goes to the front desk, tells the lady at the desk his name, and waits. No more than 5 minutes later a man, let’s call him Steve, comes out, says his name, and welcomes him to come chat.

They talk about a variety of things. Business, Charlie’s history and background, sports, movies, and other topics that all seem ordinary. At the end of the meeting, Steve told Charlie he’d be happy to have him working at their company.

A lot of people, if they could observe Charlie’s interaction with Steve might think, “I could do that. I could walk into a big financial consulting firm and talk about everything they talked about. So why can’t I get a great job at a big financial consulting firm?”

Because, the reason Charlie got hired has almost nothing to do with how their conversation went. Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s more accurate to say that Steve never would have agreed to speak with Charlie if Charlie did not have the amazing background that he did.

See, what I didn’t tell you about Charlie was that he went to a very good college. He got into that college by studying very hard in high school. A lot of weekends where he could have been at the lake or playing video games he spent studying, or figuring out what different schools liked in papers you submit with your application.

Then, after he got into a great college, Charlie spent a lot of time studying again. 4 years down, 4 more to go. In addition to studying he looked into what clubs he could get into that would look good to employers. He looked at what jobs or internships could he get in the summer that employers would like to see more than white space between May and August on his resume.

See, the problem with most people who would look at Charlie’s interview with Steve is that they only see the interview. They don’t think about the fact that Charlie actually spent 8 years of his life preparing for that moment. Every day doing homework, every weekend spent in preparation rather than play, every decision thought about with the long-term in mind led Charlie to that “easy” looking interview.

What This Post Is Inspired By

This post is inspired by a podcast episode by Gary Vaynerchuk talking about how “there is no such thing as overnight success…it doesn’t exist”.

Conversation

Now, there are different levels of success and different metrics by which you can measure success. I’m sure there are people in this world who have very little money and ample amounts of success.

That being said, the people who do earn ridiculous amounts of money, particularly through building a business, are interesting to me. I think I’ve narrowed down a few characteristics of these people.

Routine

This is almost a pet peeve of mine at this point since people of success love talking about their routine. The reason it annoys me is because I don’t think they necessarily had this routine before they became successful.

However, I do believe having a routine of some kind can be beneficial. Even something simple like making your bed or doing a daily blog. There are actually studies that suggest having a daily routine is a sign of ambition.

Working After 5 & On Weekends

This is the biggy. This is the one nobody likes. This is the one that gets in the way. This is the one that likely separates the people who want to earn/achieve something more and the people who would like to wake up one day having magically achieved something more.

This is also the one that gets me down. I don’t want to work until 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or midnight every night. I don’t want to give up weekends with my friends, who are one of the most important things in my life. I don’t want to give up video games. And neither do a lot of other people.

You know how I know? Because there are a lot less Gary Vaynerchuks and Tim Ferris’s and Jamie Foxx’s and Seth Rogins in the world than there are people who work a 9-5 or 8-5 and go home.

Now, this has been getting me kind of depressed lately. Because frankly, when I listen to these successful people they sound great and I would love to meet them, but I don’t think I want to be like them. I never really dreamed of an extravagant life. I always thought I’d be more happy with an average life. I’d have an average job, marry an average girl, buy an average house, grow old, and eventually that’d be it.

Don’t get me wrong, when I’m at work I try to make what I do above average for sure. You have to. Otherwise you won’t last long no matter what business you are in. If you’re not improving you’re not standing still, you’re falling behind.

I’ve just always been more of an observer than a go-getter I suppose. The problem is I’m not sure if that is me making excuses or not. Hell, take any person in the world. If they are not shooting for the stars are they just making excuses for doing what would be easy?

After all, some say that we were not put on this planet to be ordinary. Yet, aren’t most people ordinary? By definition, if there are people in the world who are “extremely successful” then wouldn’t it stand to reason that there are a large number of people who are not and are therefore “ordinary”? Are all of those people failures?

Whew, maybe I’m overthinking all of this crap. The above was just a series of seemingly very negative thoughts I had after listening to a podcast.

Keeping Up

So I just got done with a 3 day implentation process. We were getting some software set up for a client that they will run their entire business on. One of the problems, is they have never really had a system before. At least, not one that everyone was involved with.

The problem is a lot of their employees are country people who don’t know technology very well. What they are going to have to realize is that they can’t use their lack of tech savvy as an excuse not to use the system.

In order to stay valuable to whoever you work for, you have to be able to constantly learn new things. If you’re not improving, you’re falling behind.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

So, today on my way to work, which by the way we are getting so much exciting stuff done it’s unbelievable, I was listening to the Tim Ferris Show again. He had the founder of Tom’s on and he talked about his first entrepreneurial venture which was teaching tennis lessons.

I found that pretty funny since my dad did the exact same thing. He got away from a job at Pappadaux where he would have been making $15/hour and instead charged about 5 kids $15/hour for tennis lessons, and made way more money doing something he loved and was better at.

I’m not in highschool anymore, and I don’t have summers where I can just do that now. But it got me thinking about what I could have been doing with my summers. That never even occurred to me before. I was so busy working on getting better at golf I never even considered teaching it to someone else.

Now though, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on some type of monetisation of this thing, golf, that I have all this knowledge and skill for.

I am currently in the process of working with something called Infusionsoft to grow small businesses. Maybe, probably not in a way I can forsee right now, but maybe after learning how to make other people’s small businesses thrive, I can start my own. Knowing how hard that is I’m not sure I’d ever do it. But I’m building up a pretty valuable skill set for that field.

An example of an idea I had today, would be to start a company where people who love music can pay a monthly fee to come together with other music lovers of different skillsets and play music together. Whether they start a band or not is up to them. The point is they’d be able to practice or play in a structured environment surrounded by musicians, singers, songwriters, producers, etc.

That’s just a random idea I had in the car but whatever.

Permission

First of all, I recently subscribed to Audible and it is fantastic. You pay, 15 dollars a month, you get 2 credits for signing up (credits get you audio books), and you get one credit per month for using the service. I love it. For somebody who spends a lot of time in the car, it’s great for making travel time somewhat productive.

What I most recently listen to was Permission Marketing by Seth Godin. This short 2 hour audio book discusses the concept of marketing to people who have given you explicit permission to do so. This is different than the traditional method, interruption marketing, where you market to people regardless of whether you have permission or not.

Now, you do have to do some interrupting to get permission, but the way you do it is totally different. Rather than interrupting people and trying to get them to make a purchase decision, you offer them something helpful in exchange for their email.

So, in summary, Seth is talking about email marketing. But there’s more to it than that. By understanding what you are doing when you ask for an email, what to do next, and why building a community of engaged followers is so valuable, you can enable yourself to spend your marketing dollars on something that is trackable, proven, and will ultimately help you grow in the long run.

11 Star Service Exercise

So today I was listening to the most recent episode of the Tim Ferris Show, and I heard something interesting from one of the founders of Air BnB. Basically he was talking about making your service as awesome as possible. The way they did it at Air BnB was using this 11 Star Service Exercise.

Here’s how it works. You take your service, and ask yourself what it looks like at a 1 star rating all the way through a 5 star rating. Then, take it one step further and ask, “What does a 6 star service look like?” Then 7, 8, and 9 all the way through 11. You will likely have to start making up ridiculous perks and add-ons to make it to 11 stars. But, it’s an extremely useful exercise to figure out how you can make your service better than “meets expectations”.

The main point of this exercise is to help figure out how you can make your business something that people are ecstatic about, and want to share with their friends and family. People don’t typically share when they buy a product or service that works. Doing what you say you’ll do is the baseline. The name of the game here is figuring out a way to go over the top for your customers, in a way that is scalable.

Crap

I listened to a Seth Godin speech at Digital Summit Dallas recently. He said he thinks people should blog every day. Of course, the first thought that came to my head was probably the same of everyone else’s. What would I write about? How would I think of something to write about every day? But I think there’s a writer in everyone. It’s just that not everyone has taken the time to try.

Something happens, I think, when the keys are at your fingertips. At least, for people who are supposed to be writers. I imagine it’s like someone who can play piano. Lots of people can play. But not all of those people take the time to sit at their piano and allow something new to come to the surface. I bet that’s the way it happens a lot of the time.

I listened to a Tim Ferris podcast with A. J. Jacobs, a New York Times best seller. Jacobs said he always needed to take 30 minutes to sit and write in order to get warmed up. He also said that 90% of the time whatever he wrote in those first 30 minutes would be absolute crap. But all that crap was worth it to get to the good stuff.

I heard something similar in a speech by Mort Utley. There were two children. Twins. One was a cynic. He hated the whole world and everyone in it. The other was an optimist. He loved the whole world and everything it had to offer. The parents, concerned with the wild difference in personalities decided to take their children to a child psychologist. The psychologist examined the children and said he had never seen two children, especially twins, with such different personalities. So he decided to run a test.

He took the cynical boy down to a room that was filled with toys, candy, and everything else a little boy could want. He said, “Son you have a ¬†good time we’ll come back and check on you in a bit.” He took the other boy down to a room that didn’t have a thing in it, except for a big pile of horse manure in the middle. He said, “Son you have a good time we’ll come back and check on you in a bit.”

He went back to the room with the cynical boy in it, and the boy was just sitting in the middle of the room, hadn’t touched a thing. The psychologist asked the boy, “Why didn’t you ride on that rocking chair?” The boy replied, “I was afraid I’d fall and hurt myself”. They psychologist asked, “Well why didn’t you blow up those balloons, that’ve been fun”. The boy said, “I was afraid I’d hurt my mouth”. The psychologist asked, “What about the candy over there, that would’ve been good!” The boy said, “I was afraid I’d get a stomach ache.” The psychologist thought, well this boy seems to be in pretty bad shape. Let’s go check on the other one.

When the psychologist opened the door to the room with the optimist, he couldn’t believe what he saw. The boy was covered in crap from the neck down. The horse manure was all over the ceiling, all over the walls, he was slinging it everywhere. The psychologist asked the boy, “Son what in the world are you doing?!” The boy replied, “With all this horse manure in here there’s gotta be a pony somewhere!”

Sometimes you have to wade through the crap to get to the good stuff. This is the first blog post I’ve written in quite a while, so it’s likely to be crap. But oh well, how bad could it be. Half the material in this post I stole from other people. How does the saying go? Good artists copy, great artists steal. Gotta love Picasso.