What's New and Interesting This Month?
Welcome to my "now" page. I update this frequently with quick summaries of things going on with me and the blog that might also be of interest to you!
💭 = General Thought | 🛠️ = New Tool | 🧪 = Experiment
💪 = Health/Fitness | 🛒 = Recent Purchase | ✔️ Helpful Hack
📖 = Self Education | 🆕 = General Update
📖 The Video Formula
March 24th, 2021
My videos leave much to be desired. I can admit it.
So, spending $97 to learn how to make my videos more engaging (without spending an additional fortune on high end equipment) from the guy who works with Russell Brunson and dozens of other big name folks was a no brainer.
If you're interested, click here to check it out.
💪 🛒 Bello Body Fat Monitor
March 24th, 2021
I've used a lot of body fat calculators over the years and they've been fine, but I wanted something a little bit different.
The Bello scanner is overpriced if you don't use it daily (I got mine for $199 on Amazon), but if you're like me and like to track your body measurements, this is a solid product.
I'm enjoying it so far but I can't say yet if I recommend it for sure.
If you want something more affordable that isn't just belly fat focused, I've used the OMRON HBF-306CN Fat Loss Monitor for the past several years and the measurements are pretty good.
✔️ 🛒 Revived My 2017 IMac with 32GB of New Ram 🛒
March 24th, 2021
If you're a PC user, scroll on down, this isn't for you...
I am embarrassed ashamed that I didn't know that you could add additional RAM to an iMac.
I also had no idea how easy it was.
My 2017 iMac had been sluggish when running multiple programs like Screenflow 8 and Chrome at the same time. I was on the verge of buying a new one but did some digging and figured out that the issue could likely be fixed by adding additional RAM.
I went from 8GB RAM (which in hindsight was way too little) to a juicy 40GB in about 2 minutes.
If you're wondering what sort of RAM your iMac has...
>Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the screen
>> Click on "About This Mac"
>>> Click on "Storage"
You can learn more about this process here and see if your device is able to easily add more RAM or not.
I bought my 32GB of RAM here for $169. If that's out of your price range, even a modest 4GB add might give you a nice boost and you can always add more later.
Your computer speed and reliability is classic "top of funnel productivity" and shouldn't be taken lightly.
📖 New Self Education Habit Stack
March 12th, 2021
Habit stacking (not to be confused with skill stacking) is the ultimate productivity hack. The concept is simple: you perform positive habits sequentially in a set window of time. These are usually checklist style tasks that take under 5 mins each to complete.
The beauty here is that remembering to do one habit and actually doing it is the hardest part. It is much easier to add a second habit that follows immediately. Then a third after that and so on and so forth.
Surely I had heard of this concept at some point in my life but when I read about it again in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, it was like it was in bold, italics and ALL CAPS. It really resonated that time (that is also my most highly recommended book).
For much of 2020, my cell phone was not my friend. It was a massive distraction that kept me from performing the deep work that my business has always required. Every time I'd get the slightest hint of restlessness or boredom, I'd click on my screen and type "MLB" into the search bar to open a game called MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2020.
Hours each day melted away to this dumb game. I'm all for escapism and playing some video games, but not to the degree I was. It was very embarrassing and pretty humbling honestly to realize that I wasn't immune to this sort of bad habit.
Fortunately, I snapped out of it and deleted the game for good.
For days after deleting I kept finding myself opening my phone and typing that familiar "MLB" into the search bar having forgotten that the app was long gone. It was a deeply rooted habit and my subconscious really wasn't accepting that the game wasn't a couple of taps away anymore.
I decided that pre-existing cue for my negative habit was an opportunity to create a new, more productive habit.
So, I've turned my phone into a portable self-education studio.
Here are the new applications I use and stack.
My meditation app of choice. I feel that it helps prepare my mind for focus on learning so I do it first.
Note: I do the rest of these while on an exercise bike. I go at an extremely slow pace that doesn't distract me from the practice.
A fun and extremely user friendly way to learn new programming languages. Although I already know a good bit, I'm starting with basic HTML and CSS since I still run into new issues everyday on my websites. One thing you might notice about this app though is that it's somewhat tedious to code on mobile. I have tried it with my iPad and it's much easier but mobile is still perfectly feasible.
I'm learning Mandarin Chinese (the most spoken language in the world) and Duolingo really makes it enjoyable. Mandarin is said to be the hardest language to learn since it has its own alphabet, is tonal and requires a general understanding of the cultural backgrounds. I fully anticipate it to take 3-4+ years to become fluent and that is totally fine with me.
I've always been skeptical of brain training games and believe that most of them are based on soft research at best. Elevate is different in that it focuses on things that are applicable to my life, especially as a writer. It focuses on things like improving grammar, spelling and general reading comprehension rather than abstract trainings like asking you to "spot the differences between these two pictures."
I love playing piano and EarForge helps me become better at recognizing notes and chords by pitch.
An app designed to help me improve my speaking voice. I've always felt that my speaking voice wasn't as clean as it should be for someone who does a lot of audio and video. This app is fun and helps with pitch, tempo, clarity and projection
I wrap it up with 5-10 mins of Blinkist. This is probably my favorite of all of these little apps. It provides quick summaries of some of the biggest name books on the planet. You can read or listen to the "blinks" and get the 80/20 of a book in a fraction of the time.
Something to keep in mind if you're considering your own self-education stack like mine, I am not in any rush to master the things I'm learning. I'm leveraging something called the spacing effect and I'm perfectly content with this being a long process vs. a sprinting cram session.
If I wanted to learn Mandarin faster, for example, I'd extend the session duration and cut out one of the other items on my stack.
As far as the number (7) of things I'm working on at once, there's no magic number there I'm aiming for. I think that each of the topics merits about 10-15 minutes of attention per day and that's plenty for my goals.
There is a terrific article on the topic of parallel vs. focused learning if you're wondering what style is best for you. Also, check out the article 13 Steps to Building a Habit Stacking Routine if you want a better idea of this process.
🆕 I'm Officially on TikTok
March 12th, 2021
I can admit when I'm wrong...Although a view on TikTok is worth far less than a view on YouTube or a blog in most cases, the platform is incredibly valuable. Yes, even for 31 year old marketers like me...
Click here to follow me if you haven't already.
Oh, and I'm a total newb at it so don't use page for an example of how to do it :) As you can see by the last 3 videos I've already gotten myself throttled because I deleted some videos to edit 😬
✔️ Cost-Hour Analysis Formula
March 12th, 2021
Shout out to one of my favorite creators Neville Medhora for sharing this in his weekly S.T.U.P.I.D. email (it's what it's called, it's not actually stupid though).
The concept will make you really appreciate the true cost of the things you buy.
[Cost] / [Hours Used Per Day] / 365
In the example above, a gym membership costing $399/year that is used 1 hour per day comes out to cost you about $1.09/Hour of usage. Would you pay $1.09 to workout in a nice gym? I would...
If the item your analyzing will last longer than a year, just divide the final number from the formula above by the total number of years you anticipate having the product.
Here are some examples of products that will last beyond one year.
This is an eye opening approach that will really change how you see certain expenses.
For example, mattresses are an amazing investment since we're spending so much time on them everyday. Things like computers and smartphones also provide an insane bank for their buck.
Other items like luxury cars and time shares...not so much.
💪 🛒 🧪 Collagen Coffee Creamer
March 12th, 2021
Much to the chagrin of my Coffee purist wife, I bought a small Keurig for my home gym area.
I've been hearing about the benefits of Collagen recently and I was intrigued. Some of the benefits reported include...
- Improved appearance of hair, skin, and nails
- Reduced joint point
- Increased muscle mass (1-10% of muscle is comprised of collagen)
So I decided to start experimenting with some collagen coffee creamer. It tastes great, especially for dry creamer. I can't speak to the benefits of it yet but I'm gonna keep buying it.
The only brand I've tried can be bought at Target too which is cool.
I'm definitely not putting all of my eggs in the collagen basket anytime soon and I'm still taking 40 grams of Whey protein post workout as collagen is not a replacement when it comes to muscle growth.
🆕 Storefront Stalker Pro Is Now Tactical Expander Lite
Feb 12th, 2021
This is far more than a name change, it's a totally revamped software with new features. Don't worry, you can still do everything the original Storefront Stalker Pro could but now, even more.
🆕 Invested in a Rehab Flip!
Feb 8th, 2021
A good friend of my mom connected me with her son who does local flips here in and around the Columbus Ohio area.
The first flip was a success and is under contract.
Waiting for additional opportunities from him soon!
💪 Back on the Whole 30 Diet
Feb 8th, 2021
Almost anyone can cook delicious food when there are no restrictions or rules like "don't use 5 sticks of butter."
My wife Emily on the other hand is able to create some of the best tasting meals I've ever had AND follow a rather restrictive set of ingredients.
The Whole 30 diet essentially breaks down into...
Key ingredients we avoid include dairy (ouch), alcohol, sugar/sweeteners, grains, and a slew of other things.
Don't feel bad for us, she's making it very easy.