Currently Reading: The Four Hour Work Week

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“Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?”

How many hours do you work a week? Twenty? Thirty? Forty? Sixty? How many would you like to work? What if you could only work four hours a week and make more money than you had in the past and do more things than you could have dreamed of before?

These are the questions that are raised and answered in:

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

The book covers how to gain a shorter work week through remote working in your job or creating a self-sustaining business.

“The manifesto of a dealmaker is simple, reality is negotiable.”

Points of Interest:

  • Adventure Deficit Disorder: lack of having any sort of adventure in your life. Such as not taking a vacation in years or doing something fun or taking risks. Having worked many years in menial jobs I am no stranger to this. Definitely get up and go on vacation sometimes or just take days off simply because I can’t stand it anymore.
  • Define your nightmare: An exercise where you imagine what worst the could probably happen if you were to take the big leap. You have to face that fear and get over it. What are the outcomes or benefits? What if you were fired? What are you putting off? What are you waiting for? All good question in this exercise about fear.
  • Tool and Tricks: At the end of each section there is a list of useful information like time enhancers, useful apps, programs and companies to help automate your business, and such.
  • Become and expert in four weeks: a section on how you can go from a nobody to a somebody without putting years or ton of money into it. One instance of course is writing a blog!
  • 80/20: learning what makes us the most productive and what customers are the biggest buyers. Loved this chapter in relation to customers and how you should deal with them when it comes to setting boundaries and limiting options.

“Serving the customer is not becoming a personal concierge and catering to their every whim and want.”

Things that didn’t mesh:

  • Questions and Actions: at the end of each section there were a series of question and actions to followup the lessons. The questions were good and took some time, however the actions were odd. For instance you had to lie down in a middle of a walk area for an undetermined amount of time while people stare and walk around you. The point was to get you out of your skin but it was still weird.
  • “Dry testing”: promoting a product that doesn’t actually exist in order to test how well it will do. This was used in the example for building a product based business. Seems simple enough but the method of doing it didn’t really appeal to me. It seemed dishonest in a way.
  • Remote working: although it is a good idea not all jobs can offer this, namely customer service based ones. It is a suggested that you could get a job that does offer this but not sure if that solves the problem especially if you aren’t qualified or interested in those jobs.
  • Although this book comes from the example of Ferriss and his business and how he was able to automate it and create income this method seems to work mostly with product based businesses and not so much creative side ones.

Overall I did find this book engaging and it did help when it came to facing fears about my business and how I want to spend more time doing the things I want and get out of the rat race. There is a wealth of stories and examples that illustrate the lessons.

I recommend this book if you are interested in remote working or wanting to have an automated product business.

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What’s Your Dream?

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 Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.

I have watch the movie Pretty Woman more times than I can recall. I don’t actually own the movie but it is on TV frequent enough and when I catch it I always stop and watch. Do know what my favorite part of that movie is?

It’s not the stomping of the divots at the polo game or the moment at the opera or even the moment when he rides to her house in his “chariot”. Oddly enough it is the radio DJ at the beginning of the film proclaiming “What’s your dream”.

It’s a very simple line spoken by a character we never see yet it holds so much potential. It sets up the whole premise of the story and how the main character has a dream she wants to achieve. Of course there is other stuff mixed in there but that is one of the underlining themes.

What’s Your Dream?

What is it that you want to do? What do you want to achieve? If you had no obligations to anything right now, what would you be doing? Where would you be?

You can’t just say you want fame, money, or security. Those are generalized terms that don’t even scratch the surface of what you want. So what do you really want?

This is what the Me Year is all about. Find your dream and have it. Do you dream of traveling? Then travel. Do you dream of owning your own business? Playing in a rock band? Volunteering in a Third World country? Making a scientific discovery? Or just having more time for your family?

Do it.

Dreams are an end result. To get to your end result you have to want it and go after it. The Me Year is about stop saying no and why it can’t happen and making it happen. Wanting isn’t enough unless you put action behind it.

Take action and make your Me Year happen. But first, What’s Your Dream?

Friday Fun: Freelance Comics

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Every week the studio blog by Envato publishes a comic strip called Freelance Freedom by N. C. Winters. It is a fantastic depiction of what it means to be a freelancer and what we go through. Here is one of my recent favorites. This is something I have experienced a lot as a filmmaker. Take a look and check out his other work as well.

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Currently Reading: Thinking For a Change

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You can act you way into feeling long before you can feel your way into action. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it.

We are always thinking whether we realize it or not. We think about what we are going to eat, what we are currently doing, what we are going to do tomorrow. We analyze people’s reactions, wonder about insignificant things, and wonder about our future.

But what is the difference between just thinking and thinking with a purpose? What thoughts do we create that take us from one path to the other and how do we make sure that, that is the right path that we want.

Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work By John C. Maxwell

In this book Maxwell explorers the different ways in which we can create intentional thought. He opens with an introduction as to how we think, change the way we think, and make our thinking intentional. He then moves on to the 11 different ways to do this from big picture thinking to bottom line thinking.

Two of these stood out the most for me:

1. Focused Thinking

Focus thinking deals with zoning in on the details of things. Taking your dream and clarifying it down in to the details. It is also realizing the distractions around you and removing them. Know that you can’t do everything, know everything, and be everything and that is okay.

Being willing to give up some of the things you love in order to focus on what has the greatest impact isn’t an easy lesson to learn.

2. Question the Acceptance of Popular Thinking

Popular thinking is the general consensus of things. At one time popular thinking thought the Earth was the center of the Universe. It was those who thought differently who changed that. Question the popular thinking always. Question especially when it is about you and the negative things people think about you. Just because a lot of people say it, doesn’t make it true.

It doesn’t matter how sound your thinking is if it’s based on faulty data or assumptions. You can’t think well in the absence of facts (or the presence of poor information).

Overall this is an informative book whose purpose isn’t necessarily to centered on business and strategy but instead on getting you to think on your own and figure things out for yourself. This book also doubles as a worksheet with questions to fill out and exercises to do.

Side note: I had actually read this before and written in the workbook part. It was interesting to see what I had written at that time and notice just how different my thinking and my goals are now.

 

 

Are You Reading?

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Did you know we rank number 22 for countries who read the most? That means there are 21 other countries that read more often then we do. We are a first world country with access to more books, magazines, and periodicals then you could imagine, yet we are on average only reading five and a half hours per week.

Reading is essential for critical thinking and critical thinking is essential for solving problems. Reading also increases your language skills and keeps your mind sharp.

If you aren’t reading more than the average person then you need to start.

For instance I always have one book I am reading for knowledge and the other I am reading for pleasure. Between these two I probably read about 20 hours per week. Not saying you have to read that much but if you do at least an hour per day you have already beaten the average.

So pick up a book or a magazine or what have you, just find something and read it. And don’t say there isn’t anything you find interesting, there is reading material that covers every subject in the world.

Start reading!

Change Your Stars

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If you could go back and relive a certain moment again, what would you change? Did you have to stop and think of what moment you would choose or did you instantly know?

I could tell you some of mine. Easily.

But then the question comes up, should you? How do we know that changing those moments will make it for the better, what if it make us worse? Everything we are right now is because of the things we did in the past. If you change the past, you become a different you.

But here’s the thing, if you change your future you ALSO become a different you.

We can’t change the past, but we can change the future. We can decide from this moment on how we will be different and how we will make a difference. I can’t change my financial situation in the past but I can change it in the future. You can’t mend broken relationships in the past but you can change them in the future.

In one of my favorite movies, A Knight’s Tale, the father tells the son, William, to “change your stars”. He is telling him that although his past is made of poverty and a low-class system it doesn’t mean that is how his future is supposed to be.

Whatever you past is, there is a future still coming that you can change.

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Billionaire Infographic

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It’s always an interesting topic to Entrepreneurs to find how the wealthy Entrepreneurs made their money and the path they took to get there. Not one path is the same as others and where someone else fails you may succeed. So here is an infographic of self-made billionaires and how they made their money as presented by Entrepreneur.com.

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Video: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

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What does our body language say about us? Is it really true that you can fake it till you make it? This video, Amy Cuddy, explorers what our body language means not to others, but ourselves. How does our body language shape how we feel and can we change our body to change how we feel. Take a look, this ended up being a really informative video.

Seize the Opportunity and Forget the Worry

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The first time I worked on an actual movie set almost didn’t happen. At the time I had been working full-time as a hostess at a restaurant while getting my degree in Entertainment Business from an online program. To say that I was busy was an understatement. Then came along this film production.

In Minnesota we have indie films being made all the time but this was different. This had some decent A-list stars and for the first time I had an opportunity to apply to work on set. It was a really big opportunity in what had become a rather stagnant and slightly depressing time in my life.

Still I hesitated. 

Why? I was struggling financially. I was working 40 hours a week and barely making it. Even though I was living at home I still couldn’t seem to get ahead. I had no time, no money, and a very intense course load.

Even when I had applied I still had hesitation. Getting time off work was nearly impossible. They weren’t very lenient when it came to family emergencies how much more so when I wanted to go work for somebody else?

Even after I had interviewed and got the job as an Intern to the AD department (assistant director), I still was wrought with worry as to how I was to make this work. How would I get days off? How would I pay my bills? When would I get my homework done?

Then in a moment of clarity, I let it all go and stopped caring.

What is the difference between having no money then and no money now? Nothing. Even if is was super hard to get the days off that I needed, was it impossible? Nope. Couldn’t I switch my schedule up a bit and still get my homework done? Yep. It just took a lot of determination and a LOT of work.

It was totally worth it.

Working on that production turned out to be one of the best choices I made. I had a great time, meet great people in my industry, and for the first time I earned a credit of IMDB. And guess what? Everything worked out just fine with my bills, job, and school work.

Worrying is a part of our human nature but it is a fruitless emotion. It doesn’t help us move forward, it is a hinderance. If I had let myself to continue to worry until the point where I gave in to it I would have never had that experience I did.

You may be like me and be stuck in a dead-end/horrible job, trying hard to pay your bills, and wanting more out of life; but don’t let those things stop you from doing what you want and don’t let them worry you out of a great opportunity just because there are risks.

There will always be risks. There will always be worry. Forget the worry, take the risks, and seize the opportunity.

Picture is from the set of Thin Ice, the production I worked on.