Continuously Improving You

RSS Feed Email Feed

Masters in Lifestyle Business – 2nd Month Update

On July 2nd, 2014 I wrote a blog post titled “My Personal Masters in Lifestyle Business Program” where I share this crazy idea I had to go out and learn what it takes to start and succeed with a Lifestyle Business. Then, back on August 9th, 2014 I wrote a post giving everyone an update on the first month of my personal, “unofficial”, Masters in Lifestyle Business.  The whole point of these posts is to share with everyone my progress, how much time I’m spending on my studies, and to share what I’m studying.

In this post I want to share how my 2nd month has gone. I’m just now finishing up my 13th week of my unofficial Masters in Lifestyle business. I’m a month behind on my updates. To give you a sneak peak at upcoming posts, after 8 weeks of “studying” I’ve zeroed in on creating a lifestyle business focused on Selling on Amazon through their FBA program. I still study when I’m not sourcing/scouting for products to sell, or preparing shipments to go into Amazon, however the 35 to 45 hour of study each week have gone down to 20 hours of working the business and studying. Let’s get on with the 2nd month update.

Here’s the breakdown of the amount of time I’ve spent on my studying on a weekly basis for the 2nd month.

Week Time
Week 5 42.5 Hours
Week 6 41.25 Hours
Week 7 36 Hours
Week 8 38.75 Hours

What Have I Been Using to Study

Week 5 

Note: The links are my affiliate links. If you follow them and decide to buy a membership for I’ll get paid for sending you there. If you would rather that I do not get paid I would open up a new tab in your browser and go to from a new tab. All other links that I’ve shared are not affiliate links. They are there to give you access to all of the resources that I’m using to study.

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

That’s it for the 2nd month update. I dove into my studies with a gusto and my focus has paid off with my being able to take the next step and actually start my first Lifestyle Business in eCommerce. I’m buying products and selling them for a profit on Amazon. My FOCUS (Follow One Course Until Success) will be on this until I see success, or determine it just isn’t going to happen.

The Myth of Getting to the Top of Google Searches

A Story From Close to Home

Warning: This is a LONG post. I originally shared it in a local Facebook group for the community where I live. I have made some edits to the post to make it appropriate for my blog.

My hopes are that it will provide some value for those that read it, particularly those that have local business in Battle Ground, and have websites. I wanted to share a bit about an experience my wife just had with a local business and the website for that business.

Again, my hope is that this will be of value to some of the members regarding websites, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and a little bit of marketing pointers. I’m sharing this because the business is getting “taken” and I have a problem with people taking advantage of others.

First, for transparency I want to share that although I created and manage the North County Community Food Bank’s website, I do not charge them for this and I do not have a business creating and managing websites. I’m not trying to sell anything to anyone in this post, and the links I share in this post are not affiliate links. Other pages and posts of my site do have affiliate links, but this one does not. The links in this post are provided for education and information.

My wife came home from doing one of those things women like to have regularly done and she said she was talking to the owner of the business… They were talking shop and about the website for the business. It came up in the conversation that the owner was paying someone $100 per month to get at the top of Google searches. This is an SEO (search engine optimization) concept, and for anyone who is in business with a web presence showing up in the top of a Google search is often desired.

This bit of information immediately raised a red flag for me. If anyone ever tells you they can get you to the top of a Google search and stay there you will do yourself a lot of good if you show that person to the door. There is no way for anyone to guarantee this, no matter how much money you pay them. Google has algorithms in place that are used to determine what shows up in a search and it highly frowns on people attempting to play the system to get to the top.

That being said I decided to take a look at the website in question to see exactly what this business was getting for its money. Within five minutes I was able to find the black hat technique the website creator was using to try and get this business to the top of a Google search.

Side note: Black hat techniques are frowned upon practices that some people use in programming or hacking that can get you in trouble if you are caught. In this case if Google comes across this website they would completely remove the site from being available in searches. The site would still be out there, it just wouldn’t be able to be found if someone searched for “the business in question” with a Google search.

So what did I find? On the business contact us page there was the normal stuff you would expect to see; address, phone number, email, etc. Everything looked normal on the outside, for the most part. I pulled the source up in the browser, something anyone can do with a browser. And in the source HTML (hypertext markup language), which is the language that is used to create web pages was a bunch of keyword spam.

What exactly is this keyword spam? I’m going to pull something out of my butt, and we’ll say this is a site for a store that sells high quality, custom made shirts that everyone and their mother would be glad to wear. Now the goal, for someone that doesn’t know better and is getting taken, is to try and show up at the top of a Google search. But, to do that you have to make sure your website has lots of the correct keywords. Most people who are doing this in a white hat fashion (this is the “good” way that is acceptable and won’t get you in trouble) they would simply make sure the keywords are part of the content on their site. The key words would show up naturally. In my T-shirt website example if I wanted to use the same black hat technique that the “real” website creator used I would take my contact page, or any page for that matter, and I would fill it (spam) with hundreds of key words that are in the code that aren’t seen by the average website visitor, but may be picked up by Google’s “spider” which crawls the web looking at websites so that those sites can be included in searches. You the visitor may see the normal stuff on a contact page such as, address, phone number, email address, etc, but what is really on that page is the stuff you can see:


phone number

email address

 And also a bunch of stuff that you can’t see because the website creator put all of the other words in the same font color as the website background. And those words, for my make believe t-shirt website, would be:


tshirt, custom tshirt, quality t-shirt, shirt, custom t-shirt, awesome shirts, funny shirts, gift, Christmas gift, Birthday Gift, sexy shirt, long sleeve shirt, the best shirt in the world, custom shirt, quality shirt, custom top, retro shirt, funny shirt, funny tshirt, funny t-shirt, and on and on and on.

Now, I want you all to imagine that I’ve taken all of that “keyword spam” and instead of using black for the font color I’ve used white for the font color… and poof, it magically disappears from being seen on my contact page where it has nothing at all to do with my contact information.

This is not what you want to do, and you certainly do not want to pay someone $100 month to put all of this crap into your website when they initially set it up and never touch it again. Not only is it wrong to begin with, charging you each and every month after that for something they aren’t going to touch again doesn’t sound like a very good use of your money.

Let’s shift gears a bit now and look at this idea of showing up at the top of a Google search. I’m going to use my t-shirt store example that is located in Battle Ground, Wa where I sell shirts to people who visit my store. I don’t sell online or ship shirts to anyone in the world, although that could be a business model. In this case, this is not my business model. The question I have to ask myself as a business owner with my storefront in Battle Ground, Wa is why do I need to be at the top of a Google Search that is going to be seen by the whole world? I highly doubt Pepe Le Pew, who happens to be visiting my site from his cottage in Southern France, is going to jump on a plane and fly to Portland, Or, rent a car, and drive to Battle Ground to visit my T-shirt business just to buy one of my awesome shirts. Although the shirts would be THAT GOOD!

So this whole getting to the top of a Google search may not really be what you want. And the way the website creator is using the key word spam in this case is doing exactly that. There is nothing in the spam to “localize” the keywords.

Time to share what little bit of online marketing that I know. The key to selling in a business or online is to reach out to the RIGHT people, at the RIGHT time, with the RIGHT product, that is going to SOLVE a problem or want or need for that person. Are people who are doing a search on Google for “Custom T-shirt” who happen to live all over the world the right people for my product? Heck no, it would have to be a damn good shirt to have people visit my store in Battle Ground from Australia. It’s not going to happen.

Here’s what I would do if someone wants to charge you to be at the top of Google’s searches. Tell the person to leave your establishment and not to ever come back. Take that $100 and use $80 of it to purchase targeted Google Adwords adds. Here’s a great youtube video by Eli the Computer guy on using Google Adwords for your local business.

Google Adwords was THE BEST advertising money he spent for his “local” company than anything else. Let me say that again. It was THE BEST and most effective advertising he spent. Again, I’m not an affiliate for Youtube or Eli the Computer Guy. I’m just sharing because the information in the video above is That Good. He explains how to have the right people who are looking for tshirts, who happen to live in or near Battle Ground, see my add for my tshirt store. Someone in Southern France looking for tshirts will not see my add. Get the beauty of this? By doing this you are advertising to the RIGHT people; those people who are going to be likely to visit your local store.

What about the other $20? If you ever listen to podcasts for entrepreneurs (I would recommend or you will almost always hear entrepreneurs say they wish they would have created a mail list sooner in their businesses. This goes for both online businesses and brick and mortar business. ALL businesses should create a mailing list. I would use that $20 and go get set up on which is a service that you would use to get your website set up to collect email addresses and communicate with your audience. If you don’t want to do this I would really encourage you to reconsider. I know where you are coming from, I didn’t want to have a mailing list either. I don’t even have a real one for this website. What is here is NOT what you want and if I had any amount of traffic visiting that site I would be dumb not to be using aweber. My future sites that I will be starting in the near future will all be set up with aweber so that I can build an audience, who are interested in reading what I have to share, or watching the youtube videos that I do, and who, after getting to know me and learning they can trust me, will buy my products.

So, how would I build an email list for my tshirt store. When people visited my site after clicking on one of my Google Adwords links, or just finding me by doing an “organic search” for tshirt battle ground, wa, I would have a banner or section of my site that said something like “join my email list to keep up with all of my newest custom shirts, and I’ll email you a 25% off coupon you can use when you visit my store”. If you do this, and you regularly communicate with your audience with newsletters about your store, sharing quality information with them, and building a relationship with the when you do have something to share with them that you would like them to buy you can shoot them off an email with “Hey, I’ve got this new custom shirt. I’m selling it for $25 dollars, but if you print out this email and bring it to the store I’ll give you $5 off!”.

Again, anyone in business should have a mailing list. This is right up there with the Google Adwords as far as effectiveness. You might be thinking people don’t want to be on your mailing list. That is okay, for those that don’t want to be on it they can easily unsubscribe with your aweber service. Aweber takes care of it for you, and this is a good thing. They are NOT the right people. You only want to be selling your products to the RIGHT people. People who are not wanting to be on your list aren’t going to be interested in your products and you really do want to make it easy for them to get off your list. Those that stay are interested in your business, interested in you, and interested in your products.

To wrap this all up. Don’t pay someone $100 to get to the top of Google Searches. No one can guarantee that, and anything they are doing to try and achieve that is probably pretty shady. They are taking you for a ride. Create a quality website with keywords used naturally on the site. Don’t fill your site with “hidden” keyword spam. Use part of that money to get targeted advertising that people in and around Battle Ground, Wa will see when they do a search on Google, and use part of that money to purchase something like aweber, constact contact, or getresponse, to build an email list that you can send newsletters to. The key here is to use your email list to build a relationship with your customers, share valuable information with them, and once they trust you they will be willing to buy from you when you send them offers for your products.

TED Talk – Mel Robbins on How to Stop Screwing Yourself



(but, not easy)

It takes FORCE!

Here’s the deal. In this day and age, we have plenty of resources available to get what we want. You can do the traditional thing of going to a bookstore and you’ll be able to find more books than you can shake a stick at for whatever topic you are wanting to learn to help you achieve the change you would like to see in your life. You can go online and find blog after blog after blog by folks who have done what it is you are wanting to do.

Heck, I saw this video on Youtube as I was going through my Lifestyle Business studies. I was actually watching a Frank Kern video when I came across this one. Youtube is a great place to find information and learn about something relates to whatever goal you are working on. When John Lee Dumas, from the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, asked Larry Broughton (Entrepreneur of the Year) what his favorite resource was he replied… Youtube. And for good reason.

A large part of my learning comes from Youtube.

Find someone else that has done it and go study them. Go figure it out. It’s simple. It’s not easy.

In the TED Talk Ms. Robbins explains the F-word that keeps us all from making changes in our lives. And no, it’s not that “F-word”. I know I was thinking the same thing. That word is:


You hear people saying FINE all of the time. You go to a job everyday you hate, and you are FINE. Your commute to work takes you an hour and 45 minutes each way, much of the trip you feel like you are a cow in a herd of cows being slowly herded to the slaughterhouse…

But you are FINE.

You live pay check to pay check, worried each month if you will have enough to pay  your bills.. but you are FINE.

Ms. Robbins points out that the reason we are all FINE with the things in our lives that are making us miserable is because it let’s us off the hook. We don’t have to go out and do something about it. I’m FINE… I don’t need to take any action to change my life. It’s all good! In any area of your life that you would like to change there is one FACT you will have to face.


You are never going to feel like doing what you have to do to make that change.

It’s our jobs to parent ourselves. When we were kids we had our parents to “FORCE” us to do things we didn’t want to do, but were things that were good for us. Now we are all grown ups, and guess what… We need to parent ourselves. It’s time for us all to put our big boys and girls pants on, start parenting ourselves, and force ourselves to make the changes necessary to get what we WANT. If you want it you are going to need to parent yourself to do the stuff you should be doing to get it.

It’s simple, (but note easy):

FORCE Yourself

Mel goes on to explain the two sides of the brain and how they work together to keep us “on track” with our lives. I say on track because the goal is to keep us in our normal range. Anything out of that “normal” range and the brain works to get us back. We’ve got the one side that keeps us on autopilot, where we don’t have to think about what we are doing. It’s easy and doesn’t take a lot of energy. When the autopilot is interrupted for any reason we have the other side of the brain which is the emergency brake. It stops what we are doing, because it isn’t “normal” and get’s back into autopilot mode.

The problem is that autopilot mode keeps us stuck in the day-to-day stuff that we are attempting to make changes to. It’s okay that we are going to a J.O.B we don’t like because it’s “normal” for us. Don’t try and make changes to that. If you do the “emergency brake” comes on and gets us back into the norm of “it’s okay to work a job we don’t enjoy”.

 It’s this ROUTINE that is killing us.

The only way to get out of this routine and the “normal” day-to-day life is to FORCE yourself OUT of your head. You’ve got to get past your feelings. Your feelings are screwing you. You need to get past the feelings and focused on what you want. If you let your feelings control you you will not ever do anything, because you are not going to FEEL like doing it. You have to do it anyway, because it is what you WANT. And, to do this you will need to get out of your comfort zone. When you have the impulse to do it. You have to take action and do it. Right away. Don’t let your emergency brake take action.

The 5 Second Rule.

When you have an impulse, you will need to take action within 5 seconds or the emergency brake will jump into action and it will kill the impulse. This happens and you will not take action, you will not make the changes that you need to take to succeed, and you won’t get what you want. You won’t lose the weight you’ve been wanting to lose. You won’t achieve that lifestyle business you are working to have, and you will be stuck going to work a job everyday. You’ll be out there with everyone else who has accepted the norm, like the sheep that we all can be. You’ll be making, long, daily commutes, wasting a bunch of your time, crawling along the freeway. All because you’re stuck on autopilot and you haven’t forced yourself to do what is necessary to get what you want.

Make it a point this week to practice the 5 Second Rule. Play with this. Experiment with this. Give yourself a chance to continuously improve in all areas of your life.

If you would like to learn more about how to stop screwing yourself you can buy Mel Robbins’ book Stop Saying You’re Fine.
(Note: That link is my affiliate link to Amazon. If you go there and buy the book I’ll get a small commission. If you’d rather not go through my affiliate link you’ll want to open up another tab, go to and search for the book. If you do that you’ll be able to get the book without my getting a commission for it.)


Lifestyle Business Podcasts for Continuous Learning

Lifestyle Business Podcasts for Continuous Learning

Lifestyle Business Podcasts for Continuous Learning

As I go through my continuous learning and my “personal” Masters in Lifestyle Business I’ve discovered the awesomeness of Podcasts. Podcasts are one of those things that have been around a long time. It’s not like I didn’t know they were there. I just didn’t realize how much value I could get from them. If you aren’t already making podcasts part of your continuous learning, load up a podcast player onto your phone and start listening and learning.

As I started out on all of this continuous learning, focused on discovering everything I could about creating a lifestyle business, I kept coming across information pushing me towards podcasts. I think it first came up in Scott Fox’s book, Click Millionaires: Work Less, Live More with an Internet Business You Love
that I had been listening to. Around the same time I started having lunch a couple of times a month with Mark, a coworker who is sharing in the BEAUTIFUL experience we call a J.O.B. We meet up to talk about all of our goals we working on; it’s like our 2 person mastermind group. Mark, was sharing with me about the podcasts he likes to listen to. And then, as I started getting really serious about my learning my friend Clint turned me on to Pat Flynn’s podcast. At the time I was ½ way through my third week of my Masters in Lifestyle Business program and I was feeling kind of depressed. I needed a pick me up and decided to check out Pat Flynn’s Ask Pat Podcast.

That was all she wrote. I became addicted to another great resource in my quest to learn about how to start a lifestyle business and to work towards the goal of one day saying Goodbye to the J.O.B.

Listening to podcasts is now part of my day and I’ve collected a handful of favorites. They are:

Ask Pat
Internet Business Mastery
Entrepreneur on Fire
Ask Altucher
Thrifting for Profit

There are a handful of others here and there I’ve checked out, but these are my main shows I like to keep up on. Every now and then you come across some great information, and as John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire likes to say, we become those five people we surround ourselves with the most. Each day, two of those people are John Lee Dumas and whichever guest he happens to have on the show. Typically, that guest is going to be a successful entrepreneur who has worked hard to get where they are in life, and has a thing or two they can teach us.

Podcasts are a great resource for learning about other successful people and seeing what steps they have gone through to become successful. I found listening to the programs to be a great way to keep myself motivated and lift me up during the times when I’m starting to doubt myself.

If you’re going to jump into using podcasts for your continuous learning you’re going to want to find a podcast player that is going to work for you. In the short amount of time that I’ve been listening to podcasts I’ve tried 3 different players and the third one was a charm. My player of choice is the free Player FM ( It’s very user friendly, and although it could use some polish, it isn’t as “clunky” as the other two players I tried. What I really like about Player FM is that as you are listening to a podcast and it ends, the player just jumps right in to the next program in the lineup. No fumbling around while I drive to start and stop and look for the next one. It just keeps playing, one program after another until I get to my destination.

So if you aren’t listening to podcasts yet I can’t encourage you enough to get out there and try a few. If you are listening to podcasts feel free to comment on the post and share which ones are your favorites.

Masters in Lifestyle Business – 1st Month Update

Lifestyle Business - My Future Office

Lifestyle Business – My Future Office

Back… WAY Back… on July 5th, 2014 I wrote a blog post about my personal Masters in Lifestyle Business Program.

I say way back, because it seems like time has just flown by. It’s now August 4th, 2014, and I’m in the middle of the 6th week of my Masters in Lifestyle Business program.

For those of you that may have an interest in starting a Lifestyle Business I thought I’d provide progress updates to let you know how much time I’m putting into it, what I’m using to study, and what results, if any, I’m having by implementing what I’m learning.

Here’s the breakdown of the amount of time I’ve spent on my studying on a weekly basis for the first month.


Week Time
Week 1 23.5 Hours
Week 2 29 Hours
Week 3 32.5 Hours
Week 4 35 Hours


What I’m Using to Study For a Lifestyle Business

Yes, I really did use all of those resources during the first four weeks of my Masters in Lifestyle Business. Seeing it all typed out here is kind of crazy.

My Income From My Lifestyle Business

At this point I haven’t started a lifestyle business and I’m still at zero income for that. Everything I’m bringing in is from my AWESOME (facetious) 9 to 5 Job.

Final Thoughts and What I’ll Focus on Next for my Lifestyle Business Learning

After the 4th week I’m starting to narrow my focus down to three areas:

  1. After studying the information provided by Pat Flynn on his Smart Passive Income Website and Ask Pat Podcast I’m leaning towards building Niche Affiliate Marketing Websites.
  2. SEO and SEM – Again, this is going to be important to know for any business. You can’t go wrong with learning this stuff, and it plays a huge role in Affiliate Marketing.
  3. Learn to develop mobile apps with the Corona SDK. I spend probably an eighth to a quarter of my time on this. I try to study an hour to 2 hours a day, but there are some days during the week after I get home from my 9 to 5 job where I only spend 3 to 4 hours of studying. I feel it is more important to spend that time during the week on learning SEO and Affiliate Marketing. It’s still important to me, however my main focus is on developing sites that will bring start bringing in some income and eventually replace my 9 to 5 job.

Monitor Your Goals with the Start/Stop Stopwatch App

Start Stop Stopwatch App

The Start/Stop Stopwatch App – An awesome App you can use to stay on top of the time you spend working on your goals. The app is $0.99, however the first 10 people who let me know they would like to use the app by leaving a comment will receive a promo code to get the app for free.

As we are all well aware, and as I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, actually monitoring the time we spend working towards our goals can make a huge impact on the achievement of those goals. Last year when I created a goal to attain a new IT certification every 3 months, I would use a stopwatch app on my mobile phone to monitor the amount of time I spent studying each day. Instead of achieving 4 new certifications in the last year, I ended up with 7 new IT certifications. As a very good friend of mine stated…

I killed it!

One of the reasons why I killed it is because I used a stopwatch app to keep myself on track. There are lots of apps out there, but I want to tell you about the Start/Stop Stopwatch app that is available in the Apple App Store.

Before I go on; Full Disclosure.  Mark Johnson, the developer of this app, is a colleague of mine. However, I’m not an affiliate for his app, I don’t get any kickbacks, or anything like that. I’m writing about it because I think it’s a great app, and if I can share a great app with everyone while helping out a friend I’m all over it.

The beauty of the Start/Stop Stopwatch App is its simplicity and ease of use. The whole screen is used to start and stop the app. It’s incredibly easy to use and has been featured on Vinnie Tortorich’s Podcast; Episode 280. As a side note, if you are working towards any health goals this is a great exercise and fitness podcast to subscribe to. Vinnie and Anna are entertaining and informative.

I use the App for monitoring the time I spend working on my goals. You can read more about the app’s feature on the Start/Stop Stopwatch home page.

The app is $0.99 on the Apple App Store, however for those of you who like what you see in the Start Stop Stopwatch App, Mark has graciously provided promo codes that can be used to get the app for free. I’ll send a promo code to the first 10 people who comment on this post letting me know that they would like to have one.

Get Rid of Stuff That Doesn’t Matter to Succeed

Get Rid of Garbage

Get Rid of Garbage

Do you want to Succeed in Life? Maybe getting rid of stuff that doesn’t matter will hep!!

I was watching Shark Tank last week and the last pitch of the episode was a gentleman who owns a company named U-Lace.

Shark Tank – Season 5 Episode 19

U-Lace – Color Your World. It’s Your World. Color It Your Way

In his pitch, Tim Talley, says something that just hit home for me. As he is trying to convince the sharks to invest in his company he shares a story from when he was in college:

“… When I was in college the chairman of the engineering department called me in and said, ‘Tim, you are out-classed. You are never gonna get an engineering degree. You don’t have to be an engineer. You could be an electrician. Why don’t you drop out of school, save your parents some money, join the army, and learn a trade? And what I did was…

I Got Rid of Stuff that Didn’t Matter.

I’ve read about this “frame of mind” said in different ways in a number of books. This way of thinking first jumped out at me in the book “Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins. This was the key to seeing success with my goals soon after listening to that audio book. In that book what Mr. Collins and his team discovered was how much of the successful companies success wasn’t due to deciding what to do, but deciding….

What to Stop Doing to be Successful.

Just last week I started reading Richard Koch’s book, Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More. The main idea of the book is:

Eighty percent of the Success in our life is going to be due to Twenty Percent of our actions.

The other eighty percent of what we do on a day to day basis doesn’t matter. The key to success is to figure out what  behaviors make up that twenty percent and go do them. At the same time, figure out the 80 percent that aren’t going to do anything for us and stop doing them.

Sir John Mark Templeton took this idea to the extreme in his book, Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness , when he states something along the lines of…

If you watch more than twenty hours of television in a year you will never be successful. 

Talk about extreme. But, you have to admit he has a point.

Here’s the deal. It’s just shy of 10pm. I’ve been studying stuff for my “Masters in Lifestyle Business,” and working on my blog since 6pm. I took enough time away from the computer to go make a juice for dinner, and feed my dogs.  Back in the old days I’d be farting around online playing video games. And, during those days I wasn’t seeing any progress on my goals.  On my days off, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find me playing video games for 8 to 10, sometime even more, hours a day.

Talk about doing stuff that doesn’t matter!

I could be in the living room right now watching the latest episode of whatever it is that is the thing to watch. Again…

More Garbage that doesn’t matter! 

Do you want to succeed?

  1. Then decide what it is you are going to stop doing to be successful.
  2. Figure out what doesn’t matter.
  3. Create a not to do List.

If you would like, feel free to comment and share what things you’ve stopped doing that have helped you be more successful in life. Or, share some ideas on what you could stop doing so you can achieve your goals.


Udemy Growth Hacking Lecture with Eric Siu

One of the courses I’m taking on is Bronson Taylor’s free course on Growth Hacking. I just finished Lecture 11: Startup Blog for Growth with Eric Siu. It’s just over 30 minutes long. If you are like me it will probably take you longer to get through as you pause it to take notes or rewind it to hear key information again. There are definitely some nuggets that you’ll come away with from this interview.

Here are my Take Aways from this lecture.

  1. Learning SEO is important, but you don’t have to learn it first.
  2. Blogs are great to build your brand, to let people learn about you, and to build trust. But blogs will not sell your product. This jumped out at me because just last night I was reading something similiar in Joel Comm’s book, “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays” where he discusses the ways to build your brand if you want to become a coach.
  3. Use Data and Metrics to help you decide what to blog about. Keep in mind that your gut will also play a role in deciding what to write about. It doesn’t hurt to research key words to help you decide what to write about, and what content to include, but also use common sense.
  4. Focus on writing quality blog posts. This builds on 3 above. You can’t just write some low quality post that has some key words in it and hope to be successful. Focus on writing content that is going to add value for your readers. I’ve seen bloggers pop an image of a product they are an affiliate for and add a comment like “This is cool. Go buy it!”. This is not providing anything of substance or quality for your followers.
  5. If you are doing videos, it can be very helpful to have transcripts of the videos. Google can’t index videos, but it can index the transcripts of the videos.
  6. For landing pages you want to keep them simple, keep them focused and keep them uncluttered. I can’t tell you how many landing pages I’ve visited that just seem to go on and on. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I end up on a landing page that goes on and on, my thoughts are always “Come On Already! Get to the Point. How much is it?”. There is a lot to be said for KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), and honoring the time your visitors are using to view your page.
  7. When learning this stuff you want to read as much as you can. Read voraciously. Go immerse yourself in it. I like to say if I’m not dreaming about it in my sleep I’m probably not putting enough time in.

I like to take notes when I’m learning something. In my notes, I’ll often add book titles, blogs, and websites that are mentioned. Here are some resources that were mentioned in this video.

  1. Team Treehouse
  2. BookDon’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug. You can get the book on:
    Amazon –  Don’t Make Me Think or on Safari Books.
  3. Sean Ellis’ Blog on Startup Marketing –

My Personal Masters in Lifestyle Business Program

Recently I came up with a crazy idea, or maybe not so crazy idea, to create my own “personal” masters program in Lifestyle Business. Yep, I’m going to have a Masters in Lifestyle Business. Read on to see how I pulled this out of my ass…

During the last couple of months I’ve been going through the process to start a Masters in Information Security and Assurance. There are a few reasons I thought this would be a good idea. One, I’m in IT and I’ve been working towards a career in Information Security. Two, it would be working on my continuous improvement in my skills and education. Three, the company I work for would essentially pay for all of it.

Why wouldn’t someone jump all over this? The only thing that I could potentially lose is the time commitment.

Why indeed…  After a couple of hurdles in getting all of the financial aid paperwork squared away, paired with the coincidence that I just finished reading a book on building a lifestyle business, “Click Millionaires: Work Less, Live More with an Internet Business You Love,” by Scott Fox, I started asking myself a few questions.

  1. Am I afraid to take the masters program and just looking for a way out?
  2. What is one of my most important goals in my life? Is the Masters in Information Security and Assurance going to help me achieve that goal?
  3. What if I spent the amount of time I would devote to studying for a Masters in Information Security and Assurance into my very own “unaccredited” or  “personal” Masters in Lifestyle Business?

Let’s look at the first question. Yes, I’m not sure what the masters program will be like. Will it be difficult? Can I do it? My answers to this fall with the point I made above. All I really have to lose is the time commitment. If I find that a class is just way over my head, I’ll know this fairly early into the class and I can drop it without having to pay for it. That would be another consideration; if I don’t pass a class my company will not pay for it. I really don’t think the first question is keeping me from moving forward with the “official” masters program.

Moving on to the second question. One of most important goals in my life is to be able to work from home, either by having a job that allows me to do this, or having my own business. This has been a goal of mine since my late teens and early twenties. Can the “official” masters help me achieve this goal? Maybe. My company does let people work from home, but will this seal the deal for me. I’m hesitant to believe this is a slam dunk. Also, I’d really like to get to the point where I’m not working for “the man,” and have more freedom in my career. Again, the official masters could lead to that, but I just don’t know if it is really the path I should be taking to achieve one of my most important lifetime goals.

Now, I’d like you to think about the third question with me. I pulled this out of my ass, and I think my friends and family may think I’m off my rocker just a little bit; maybe even a lot. Of course they don’t say that directly to me, but I sure as heck wouldn’t be surprised if they felt this way. I don’t blame them or hold it against them. I kind of wonder this myself. I very well could be off my rocker. I’m secure in my off-my-rockerness!

What if I spent the amount of time I would have to commit to for an “official” Masters in Information Security and Assurance, and I put that into my own personal “masters program” in Lifestyle Business?

The recommended number of hours they say you will need to commit in order to be successful in the masters program is 15 to 20 hours per week. I don’t know about you, but I think putting in 15 to 20 hours per week towards my own Masters in Lifestyle Business would eventually lead to SUCCESS. The whole point of a “Lifestyle Business” is to do what you love, while not working yourself into the ground. You want to be able to work when you want, how much you want, and actually earn a decent living at it. This includes not having to work 40 or more hours a week, 50 weeks out of the year in order to just get by.  Many people who have created a lifestyle business work much less than 40 hours a week, take a whole lot more time off for vacations than a measly 2 weeks a year, and are doing much better than just getting by. It can be done.

So what is the Game Plan?

  1.  Start putting in 15 to 20 hours a week in learning how to create my Lifestyle Business.
  2. Find the resources I’m going to use in my Masters Program.
  • Get a membership to Safari Books – $19.99 per month for the 6 months, and then $27.00 per month after that.
  • Join – Basic is $25 per month or $250 per Year. Premium is $37.50 per month or $375 per year.
  • Get an Audible Account.
  • Go to Udemy and take courses there.
  1. Create a schedule. Make it a point to study every single day. Using the idea of 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell states in his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, work towards mastery by whittling away at your 10,000 hours.
  2. Create a table or chart to monitor the hours you put in. Research has shown that the simple process of monitoring a goal helps you stay on task to achieve the goal. See an example of the chart below!

Masters in Lifestlye Business

Goal Monitoring Table

Table to Monitor Your Goal


 Feel free to leave comments.

  • Do you think I’m off my Rocker?
  • Should I stick with the “safe” route and keep working for “THE MAN”?
  • Could you use this approach for one of your lifetime goals?



How to Create a Daily Expense Record in Microsoft Excel 2007

In this video I go through the steps to create a daily expense record in Microsoft Excel 2007. This is a follow up on the video I posted on using this exact same Daily Expense Record to stay on budget and to make it much easier to do your taxes at the end of the year.

« Older Entries