Slowly but surely – That was May 2013

May went by so quickly and I realize that our need to account for minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months is extremely counterproductive. You are on a roll and everything is fine until you look at your watch. “What!?  I already spent 3 hours?” And in this split second you can see your productivity virtually flying out the window.

As kids we didn’t care whether our Lego castle would take 5 minutes or 5 hours to build. When after lunch we had new ideas, then we never had reason to beat ourselves up for not completing what we had started. And we still accomplished our goal, which was learning for life and having fun doing it.

Goal setting is very important to get done what you want, but as I wrote earlier it is also important to understand where you come from (5 Rules) and what is realistically possible for the current situation. For me personally it means I have to realize how much time I can spend to accomplish the goals of my personal quest. I have a full time job and often the workday is not over when I get home. Communication across several time zones makes it sometimes necessary to work odd hours. At times a call can solve problems so much faster than possible via email exchange alone. In short there is always ‘my private time’ as buffer for work. The only buffer I have for my private projects is to cut down on sleep, which comes at a price.

Nevertheless, I am quite satisfied with my current work projects and also quite happy that over the last months I disciplined myself to be more rigorous about ending the work day when I get home. It is just a mindset, really. This changed mindset is so crucial for even having a chance in getting started with my private quest items.

It is about time to let you know how am I doing.

HedghehogUpdate on My Personal Quest (MPQ)

Goal 1. Do more stuff

The basic idea is to start things I would usually not do and see what happens. Some are meant to have a bigger meaning (like helping others as with Darn Office) and some are just to break out of the routine.

A) Darn Office

I am having a blast working on the website and learning about everything that comes with running a website. I cannot believe why I was so reluctant to get into this topic.

In fact I was scared of HTML and CSS, and had quite some inner resistance to overcome. I am very glad I finally simply started by diving right into it last September. I love technology and innovation, but there were probably too many little details behind the web I did not understand or did not dare to get into. Words like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Keyword research, Monetization, Social Media, and the likes only made me cross my arms in rejection. Now, I am continuing to understand more and more, which is of course a great motivation. Having that said I also realized that with all the excitement I cannot not lose focus for my other goals and be very strict with how I divide my time for DO. Regardless, I am happy to have produced several hopefully useful posts in May such as:

 

B) The Hundred Dollar Challenge

In my last DO update I wrote about what I called ‘the Fiverr experiment’, without further explaining it. The web is full of advice about how to make money online (MMO) and although I am generally quite critical about people who make money online because they give advice on how to make money online, I am the last one to not at least look into it. The idea is of course quite tempting. And it seems like there are actually several absolutely non-shady ways to earn some bucks online. Relax, I really don’t want to give any expert advice in the MMO category, because I am obviously no expert at this point. If you are generally interested you can check this extensive collection of 142+ Ways to Make Money Online.  This is not the right post to dig deeper, but I discovered so many really useful websites and blogs with genuine information that it’ll take me quite some time to comb through it all.

For the here and now it is only about having fun and trying new things. One is challenging myself to earn $100 online via different routes without spending a single dollar beforehand. The first occasion in which I succeeded was with Fiverr. There are couple of other methods I am currently testing and even more I want to try in the future.

C) Other things

Just as a side note, as a family we managed to rearrange our busy weekend schedules and went to a couple of sport events in our area. That’s also something new and very enjoyable.

 

Goal 2. Work with my wife

I am still determined to find something we can do together professionally that combines our passions and skills. One of my passions at the moment is obviously learning about the internet and creating websites. Of course I immediately considered creating a website around my wife’s line of work. The Beauty industry is probably one of the most competitive industries out there and because I still don’t have the skills and the time necessary to set-up a commercial website I wasn’t sure what to do.

This was until we talked about the super complicated licensing laws for her industry. The regulations differ a lot between the states and information is difficult to get in most of the states. I checked it for some states and realized the websites that offered some summarized information had mostly outdated or simply the wrong facts. That was perfect! So we would create a site that offered all sorts of  information current or future Makeup artists would look for.

While I was learning how to use Market Samurai (AL) I had already tested several keywords from my wife’s industry and so it was only a matter of hours to find and register the domain www.makeupartistbeauty.com at Arvixe (AL). To date I have completed enough states to cover for 75% of the U.S. population, which sounds great, but there are still around 30 states left. So far each state took me roughly an hour to complete. Consequently, I am looking into another 30 hours before we want to start adding the important content. My goal is to finish the states by the end of the month which would mean completing one state a day. Outsourcing is not an option, because I assume that is what the other guys did with the faulty information. Often the info is too spread out; I would have to spend too much time double-checking everything for accuracy that I am convinced I am saving time by doing it myself. ‘ll get there one step at a time.

Goal 3. Move to LA

This is a very personal goal and long time wish of ours. As I wrote earlier many pieces need to fall into place to work out the way we want. There is not much to report other than that I am currently using LinkedIn to create the network I need to move some pieces into the right direction.

Goal 4. Create more income

I really only work on The Hundred Dollar Challenge items for fun and to do something new. That is nothing sustainable, but well, they may create some extra cash to try other ideas. I believe our Makeup Artist info-site may eventually generate some income, but that is not the main priority. I am not planning to change careers, but working on creating better opportunities. It is all still too premature to say much. This update is not titled “slowly but surely’ without a reason. This is the speed, and perseverance and patience are the key.

Goal 5. Live healthier

I finally managed to pick up a daily workout routine.  The first step is usually the most difficult and as always you just have to stop talking and start acting. So I started with half an hour of totally mixed exercise.  The idea was to avoid having a plan that sounded too big or too difficult to accomplish. I am unfit and my my goal is to get in better shape. That simple.

By doing something every day I will get my body used to exercise again. There is no excuse. I allow for one day per week to regenerate or for the unlikely case that there is actually really no time due to some unexpected events. So far I am doing it for over two weeks and I already feel I am getting into a routine aka making it a habit to exercise. It already became a normal part of my day that I fit in whenever possible. I also started using an iPhone app called ‘Lift‘ to check off my ‘habits’ as they call it. It has a social component, which is extra motivating, because you see people checking off the same tasks along with you everyday.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Photo by Denis Defreyne