Posts tagged Learn
I’m ticked …
Notice my site … changed a bit hasn’t it.
Used to look consistent. Now … not so much. Used to be a mix-mash of traditional html, WordPress blog and forum. But at least it looked consistent.
Now not so much.
That’s not the least of it. I use WordPress to drive a number of sites that are part of the TrainingNOW family and a number of other companies (e.g. VProz) that I’m either involved in or otherwise have a relationship with (i.e. maintain). The problem is that WordPress broke all my sites in the last update.
Yes, I said broke my sites.
As a “former” techie, this ticks me off. But then again, I come from a platform that doesn’t EVER have legacy code in the way PCs do. Upgrade? Cool. But it had better not break what went before or it’s back to the drawing board. Which means there’s always new stuff to learn without unlearning the old. But that’s a heck of a lot easier than rewriting a million dollars in application code. (For the techies in the group, any html in pages was lost, workarounds around the menu stopped working around, and plugin options suddenly stopped the plugin from working. And oh yes, the theme I was using is no longer maintained so I couldn’t even keep the look consistent.)
But, since we’re all internet marketers here, I’m going to ignore the details and focus on the business effects.
Yesterday, was supposed to be a day of writing a new course. This week is turning into a write-off as appointments get in the way of producing. What was supposed to be a day of squeezing production between the appointments ended up being a day of fixing webpages. Including one that allowed my customers to download a product they had paid for. (At least it didn’t affect LearningCreators!). What really hurt was that this download was actually hit three times by the “changes”. No sooner did I fix one problem but another further down the stream appeared.
So what can we learn from this?
- Being able to download product is critical. (That means test it in full and fix it immediately).
- Don’t upgrade WordPress (or its plugins and theme’s) unless you have time to verify it hasn’t broken anything.
- If the pages need to appear consistent, then use WordPress for the whole site (not just the blog). Replacing a theme is easy. Replacing a theme and customizing it to look like your brand is not that hard. Replacing a theme and then customizing it to look identical to the html version is a major pain. (Technically, you can use a common CSS. But since WordPress has added improved Page handling, it isn’t necessary).
- Identify your critical processes (such as product delivery). Always have a backup ready to go at a moment’s notice. The backup should appear as transparent to the user as possible.
- Be flexible with release dates for product. Build in lots of time between completion and release. Then hope and work toward not needing that time.
- Watch the upgrade sequence. All themes and plugins should be upgraded shortly after a major WordPress release. If not, you need to check that they aren’t obsolete. If they are then you need to start the process of replacing them.
- Be flexible. Stuff happens. And always at the worst possible time.
- Don’t overcommit. You’re running a business (and have a life). That means you need to make appointments. But don’t let the number of appointments overload your ability to work on the business.
- Balance is needed in your business. Too much production and not enough marketing and you won’t sell. Too much marketing and not enough production and you won’t have enough product to sell. Too much production and/or marketing, at the expense of not enough administration and you could find yourself not being able to deliver what you sell. Or know what has sold and what you should produce. (Okay, I’m cheating here. This is actually something I’ve learned over the last six months. I just had it reinforced.)
- Project management rules are really business rules. The good habits that I’ve learned as a project manager are the same habits I need to remember as a business manager and entrepreneur. (Or vice versa)
Good luck with your business!
Welcome to the third and last of the series of free videos on “Finding the Time to Write”.
If you want more information on this topic, check out http://www.learningcreators.com/buyvideoa.htm. There you’ll find a 2 DVD home study course on this topic.
Now so far, we’ve covered the three areas that you need to focus on in order to “Find the Time to Write”. They form what I’ve called the Work Equation. Unless you balance them, you’ll never find the time to write your book. You’ll just go from one problem to another. You fix one problem and you find another reason not to write. Just because it’s a series of excuses doesn’t mean it’s your fault. It just means you haven’t solved the whole problem.
Next, we covered the solutions to the whole issue. This is what we need to do in those three areas in order to ensure that we solve the whole problem.
We need to:
- Motivate ourselves – and keep our motivation up
- Find 4 hours of time per week as a minimum
- Make it as quick and easy as we can to write
Motivate, Find the Time, Use a System. Do one and the problem will reoccur. Do all three and you’ll succeed.
Now today, I’m going to give you three tips — one in each area — to help you create your own system. By the way, these are different tips from those in the DVD workshop.
So let’s get started.
First off, you need to build your desire to write your book. To do that you need to motivate yourself just like you would for any other employee. And then, you need to sustain that motivation.
Picking the best motivation involves a number of models that I frankly don’t have time to show you in 5 minutes. In our two DVD course, we can go through the most important but in 5 minutes, there’s just not enough time. Sorry.
So my tip, instead, is going to focus on how to sustain your motivation. How to actually motivate you after you’ve chosen your motivations.
All of the windows operating systems – XP, Vista, and 7 can replace the picture you use behind your desktop. With Vista and 7, you can use a slide show. With XP, you need a tool you can download from Microsoft. If you use a Mac, you can also do a slide show.
Find yourself pictures that illustrate why you are writing your book. Find pictures that illustrate what is motivating you. Pictures that will inspire you. Then use a picture manipulation tool — Paint will even do the job — and add a phrase or sentence to drive the point home.
Then all you need to do is add the pictures as a rotating slideshow desktop.
Whenever you aren’t taking up the whole desktop with a program, you’ll see the reasons for writing. Even if you only see a part of the picture, it’ll help to focus your mind on your motivations to write a book.
Now the second part of the solution is that you need to find the time to write.
So how much time are you going to need?
At your most efficient, you can expect to write about 5,000 words in one morning. Now for most people, that’s also the most you can reasonably expect to write in a day. That means that for a 100-page book you’re going to need about five writing days or five four-hour blocks of time to write. Plus you’ll need a little bit for research and planning. But that you can squeeze in anywhere. We’re talking an hour here, an hour there.
Once you’ve eliminated all the time you waste, you may find that you still can’t get enough time to write a book. So try hiring a temporary worker to take on one of your tasks. Writing your book is presumably worth more than the ten or twenty bucks you’ll spend on getting your lawn cut. Or on babysitting or on cleaning the living room. Check out your local high school. They sometimes have students who are looking for spending money. Or even work-terms. Having a research assistant for free, may help you finish your book sooner.
The third part of the solution is a little more complex. It’s the system you use to write. It’s more complex because it includes the writing processes but also your environment and your work habits.
Your environment has a major effect on how fast you can write. But sometimes it’s good to slow things down – slightly. This preparation time can help you to focus yourself on your writing. That’s part of the reason you should always edit your previous day’s writing before you begin today’s writing.
Creating a ritual — any ritual — will also help. It doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, simple and fast is better. But it says to your brain — “It’s time to write now.” For example, checking my backpack to be sure my computer, my notebook and my pens are in the backpack is part of my ritual. Even though it’s done about fifteen minutes (or more) before I write. It helps me to prepare.
To create a ritual you need to do something the same way, every time. That causes your brain to link the steps. And that means that one of those steps needs to be writing. So when building the ritual you absolutely MUST produce some writing. The second sub-tip is that it takes roughly 28 repetitions to create a ritual or habit.
Okay that’s the end of the video course. I hope you found it interesting and useful. Thank you for your time and attention.
If you want more information, you can always check out the blog. However, we also have a 2 DVD home workshop that covers the information in these three videos in much greater detail. Now this home video workshop is essentially the same information we had in our full day live workshop. We’ve even included the same exercises that we used. We’ve just called them homework. So this is over two and half hours of pure information. Plus guidance developing your own responses — your own customized solution. We walk you through the entire process. From identifying where you are weak to choosing where you are going to write. And everything in between.
You can find out more information by going to http://www.learningcreators.com/buyvideoa.htm
I’m writing this around midnight. In fact, I even had to reschedule some posts to squeeze this post in. But it was such a day that I just had to write about it.
Up here in the frozen north we’re supposed be cold and living in igloos year round.
Well, it just ain’t so folks!
It’s midnight and the temperature is still at 28°C (that’s 83°F for you southern folks)! 66% Humidity makes the temp feel 10° higher (meaning it feels like it’s 38°C/100°F). That’s at midnight! This afternoon it hit 38°C/100°F officially (hottest spot in the area was 40°C/104°F and it felt like 50°C/122°F). It’s been like this all week and in fact it’s supposed to get worse!
So much for it being cold up here!
My poor son has been in summer school this month … and the school administration in its wisdom has decided to turn off the air conditioning. As a result he ended up home today with heat stroke (amongst other issues).
Now theoretically, I’ve got the perfect solution to the heat. I’ve got air conditioning in the house. I’ve got air conditioning in the car. And I’ve got a pool! You’d think I’d be all set.
But noooooo …
Fortunately, A/C in the house is still working — touch wood and whistle. But the A/C in the car has died … (actually I think it’s overloaded and can’t handle the heat. It was working last week).
And the dang-blasted, pain in the butt, pool has turned green from the heat! The scary thing is that I’ve been feeding it double the usual amount of chlorine. And it’s been shocked to the point where it’s shooting off electricity!
So since I really would like to get some use out of this money sink, I decided to shock it once again.
I’m now down one more pair of pants and a nice shirt. Damn chlorine! And it wasn’t even done when I was adding it … I got chlorine on them when I was carrying the empty containers!
Okay, so what’s the point to all this ? I mean other than the fact I wanted to bitch about the fact that I’m running out of clothes! And yes, I did want to blow off steam! (I’m so ticked I can’t even type!)
There is this tendency for the “gurus” in internet marketing to blow smoke. You know what I’m talking about. The promises of easy wealth and fast returns. All promised of course, in front of their multi-million dollar homes and $500,000 dollar cars! Just send them $5.097 and they’ll show you how in three easy lessons!
Okay, folks let’s get a couple of things straight here. I’m going to throw my credit counselor’s hat on here (I have an insolvency councilor’s diploma on my wall — along with a bunch of other sheepskins) and try to give you some straight talk.
First, creating an internet business is no different than creating any business. It’s a lot of hard work and it takes time. It also takes knowledge! It doesn’t happen with the snap of your fingers. And it involves a heck of a lot more than 1 hour a day. As for the knowledge, I’ve made arrangements with my own coach to make available a number of courses that will give you all the knowledge you need to sell over the internet. And over the next few months, we’ll be releasing a number of our own courses that will teach you everything you need to know about producing your own products (audio, video, live and book). And along the way we’ll even talk about administration and running your business.
Second. spending your income on big houses and big cars is just plain dumb. Okay, yes, I know many of you have convinced yourself that’s what you want. You’ve used that dream to motivate yourself. But the reality is a little different.
The truth is the big advantage of a successful, advice/learning business is freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from threat. Freedom from the worry about your next paycheck or where the money is going to be to pay the next bill.
Warren Buffett is one of the five richest people in the world (actually he and Bill Gates trade the top 2 spots). Yet he lives in a modest two story home and drives a Cadillac DTS. Why? ‘Cause that’s all he needs.
And that should be your own philosophy. Cars and homes are money sinks — they cost, they don’t earn. So don’t spend any more on them than you have to. Certainly, you should buy what you need. But conspicuous consumption for the sake of consumption is not a path you really want to go down. Trust me … ask the people I refer and the trustrees that I refer them to! Not a good habit to get into. You don’t have to be poor to be bankrupt. And you don’t have to have money to put on a show.
The point I’m making here is that when an internet guru goes “Look, here’s my multi-million dollar mansion. Look, here’s my $400,000 Ferrari.” then you should be putting on your hip waders.
After all, just because there’s a luxury car rental down the street from him, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to buy that Koenigsegg Trevita you’ve had your eye on.
Me, I’ve got five kids, my wife and I to squeeze into my Caravan tomorrow! And the blasted air conditioner is still going to be broken, ’cause I ain’t got the time to get it fixed. Try that with a Bugatti Veyron.
Happy Thanksgiving to our followers in the U.S.A. … it’s their Thanksgiving and Black Friday (big sales day).
Now up here, we had Thanksgiving a month or so ago. And it’s on a Monday so we don’t get a Black Friday.
So I’m going to do things a little differently!
You see, I can’t reduce our prices any lower than they are right now!
Get a copy of our complete system including templates, timelines and extra informationat the best price it will ever be…
Go HERE to get a copy of our book “How to Write How To Books in 24 Hours or Less”
including unadvertised bonuses for only $27.
And if you want even more ….
Go HERE to get our hands on coaching. Learn to create learning content such as webinars, seminars, video-inars and yes, even eBooks! At $100 off regular price.
Now remember, this is HANDS-ON Coaching by either Paul or myself. Having problems getting your eBook written? Not sure about how to design your info product? Wondering how to make a good video? Get the answers and help you need while learning about creating learning content.
So what’s so different?
Next week the price goes UP, UP, UP … and it’ll never be this low again! (Monday if I can get my act together). So don’t wait! Get it now!
So far we’ve talked about both my week (well, actually, I vented about my week) and we’ve talked about something concrete that can be done to “prevent” weeks like that.
This post I want to comment on something not-so-concrete.
Specifically, to say that weeks like last will happen! No matter how far along you get they will happen. Over and over and over. Get used to it.
Because as you get closer to your target, you will move your target. That’s normal. That’s good! It means you are growing.
The trick is to keep your focus on today’s target. Now that means two different things. Keep your focus on what you want to achieve. And also on what you will feel when you achieve it. You see we’re not just physical beings. We’re emotional, mental, social and spiritual beings. Now the last three can’t be controlled directly. That’s why we have to achieve them. To do that we need to focus on them (first meaning). You see we’ll achieve what we focus on. If we allow that focus to shift — say to focus on what we don’t have rather than on what we want — then we will achieve that new focus instead. If it’s what we don’t want then that’s going to be a problem.
On the other hand both physical and emotional can be controlled directly. And in turn they control much of our ability to focus clearly and consistently.
In other words, if you let yourself become depressed you will focus on your failure and that’s what you will achieve. If you keep yourself up, you will focus on what you want to achieve and will, in time, achieve it.
Basically, you empower yourself.
That’s why, in my book, I tell you to make a big sign saying why you want to have a book and then post that sign where you work. It’s a way to focus your mind on success. That focus will carry you through the inevitable rough spots.
Now, I’m NOT talking about the stare into the mirror and “I am wonderful” and “I have achieved” crap. Well, not directly. Unless you are willing to work towards the end you won’t get there.
Focus alone won’t do it.
Doing it alone won’t do it either.
You need both. Because only by having focus can you carry yourself over the inevitable rough spots. And because whatever you focus on you tend to achieve. But focus without doing is called dreaming.
And dreamers never write but writers must dream!
Get out there and learn and earn!
and the LearningCreators team.
Following on the last two lessons … there’s only so much work that one person can get done. After all, you got into this business to give yourself a little extra income or to be able to spend time with your family, not to spend 20 hours a day working.
At some point you need to decide what has to be done by you. And what you can give up and let someone else do.
Then you need to give the latter away. Let someone else do it. Yeah, it might cost you a few bucks but if you’re careful, it will cost you less than trying to do it all yourself.
Outsourcing is the micro-entrepreneur’s friend.
Lesson Learned #8:
You’re only one person! Get Help When You Need it.
Sometimes, there is too much work for one person. Sometimes, it’s work that you’re just not good at.
Learn to recognize when you’re not the best person to do the work. Then outsource it.
You’ll be happier and more efficient. The job will be done better. And your company will be stronger.
Whenever you start a major project there is a tendency to want to concentrate on it. Especially when it’s running behind!
But remember your reasons for getting into the IM eBiz. Words like freedom, spending time with the family, money probably will come up. Words like working all night long probably don’t.
Don’t forget to schedule time for the important things in life. Your family. Relaxation. Giving back.
Don’t lose sight of the important things in life while rushing to resolve the immediate things.
Lesson Learned #7:
You’ve got other things to do too!
Don’t spend all your time on work. Remember when creating (and recreating) the schedule that you need to spend time on other things. Things that are more important.
When you start planning to do something like this there is a tendency to think you can spend all your time on the project.
And a tendency to think that the business is going to stop while your are converting.
But that’s just not true. Unless you can get the the changeover done in one day, you still need to release blog entries. You still need to drive traffic. You still need to deal with work not yet complete.
All the little things that continue to need your time while you’re busy doing something else.
And don’t try to hold up the blog. Remember it is a key source of traffic and without traffic you don’t have a business. So keep the blog going.
Lesson Learned #6:
Don’t Forget That The Business Is Going Ahead Without You
Even though you’re busy trying to change some element of the business you need to allocate time to the business.
You need to keep up blogs and other traffic sources. You need to keep your new courses and continuity programs going.
So don’t forget to allocate time for ongoing operations. And don’t try to shut down anything.
One of the problems with being a Project Manager is that I’m supposed to know how to organize tasks so that they get done. That includes a healthy dose of “”what happens if”. Known formally as Risk Management. Known informally as, “How am I going to get myself out of it when the effluvium hits the rotary air handling device?”
Of course, for a client I would never dream of doing even the smallest project without at least a minimal bit of project management.
For myself it’s another story entirely.
Which is what went wrong with this project.
Now, I admit that this project was struck by a somewhat excessive number of shizzle floods (movements ???? Or is that too obvious?). My partner became unavailable just when I needed him. I got sick. My entire family got sick. We ended up taking care of a friend who was recovering (poorly) from an operation. A large number of the templates ended up not working (including this one btw). Conversion was a problem. Things happened without warning and out of order.
As a result this took much longer than I would have expected. Even given that it was a learning experience and with all the problems encountered.
Mind you I might be just expecting too much…..
(BTW … risk is often misunderstood to be a negative. It isn’t. That’s a threat or a potential loss. A risk is the potential for an unexpected situation to occur. The situation could be negative BUT it could also be positive. So finding the perfect solution right off the bat was also a risk. In fact, I discovered the perfect themes right away … except that it wouldn’t work for what we were trying to do. If I could have used them I wouldn’t be writing this series at all! Now I need to figure out how to use them later…)
Lesson Learned #5:
Be Prepared … aka Shizzle happens!
No matter how small the project, it is important to spend some time doing risk management. What could go wrong? How will it impact the project? What can be done to overcome or avoid it? How likely is it to occur?
There are four risk events that appeared in this project:
- What if key people aren’t available, have their time severly restricted or aren’t functioning at peak?
- What happens if secondary people aren’t available, have their time severly restricted or aren’t functioning at peak?
- What happens if software doesn’t work as expected?
- What happens if things occur out of order or sooner than expected?
Learn & Earn!