The Joys of Discipline – Day 7

Wow, the week really flew by, didn’t it?

I’ve been totally blown away by all your comments. I expected this topic to resonate with readers but didn’t expect the many passionate comments. If you missed those comments when you read the Day 1 post, I urge you to check them out. There are some very heartfelt messages there.

So, how did my first week go? Not exactly as planned.

Monday, the very first day of the experiment, I woke up at 8. After my workout, morning meditation and breakfast, I headed out to the office. When I got there, a program or update on my PC required me to reboot. I hit the “OK” button and that’s when all hell broke loose.

The Great Computer Crash ( or ‘The Bits Come Tumblin’ Down”)

Actually, ‘hell broke lose’ doesn’t accurately describe it. What happened was… nothing. The machine shut down and didn’t come back on. When I hit the power button, it whirred to life for three seconds and shut down again.

I wasn’t too worried because I’ve been down this road before. I suspected all I needed was a new power supply. I built the PC myself so swapping out the power supply isn’t a big deal. It would, however, kill a good chunk of my day.

After running to Best Buy in San Marcos, I swapped out the part and ‘abracadabra’, the PC whirred to life and didn’t automatically shut down. Unfortunately, not much else happened. Nothing on the monitors and no sound. Uh-oh.

I try to blow the dust out of the PC every few months but it it looked liked it was overdue for a good cleaning. So I took the machine apart, cleaned the parts and reassembled. Same result. Uh-oh.

It was frustrating but I had to smile. I understood what was happening. I’d attracted a little disaster.

Recently, I’ve been complaining about how ‘little disasters’ can waste hours of your day. What do I mean by little disasters? Like when a household appliance breaks and you have to spend an hour on the phone trying to get someone out to fix it. Then you’re stuck at home all day because all they’ll tell you is that they’ll be there sometime Friday between 8 and 5.

Or how about when there’s a strange charge on your credit card statement and you spend a couple hours jumping through voice mail hoops or talking to the customer service rep in Bangalore? After patiently waiting on hold and trying to explain your problem to the rep, just as they start to find a solution, the connection drops and you have to start all over again. Another ‘little disaster’.

You know the drill. And chances are, you’ve complained about the same or similar problems yourself. Joe Vitale would tell me I attracted this by focusing on little disasters. I know this is true because I’d just heard him talk about it on his Nightingale Conant audio program, The Missing Secret.

The Law of Attraction Finally Sinks In

I was getting nowhere with the PC so I sent Joe a text message and popped over to his place to smoke a couple of fine Cusano Corojo Vintage 1997 torpedoes. Joe’s been really busy lately planning a pilot for a new TV show, scouting out new land in Wimberley on top of the usual hectic schedule he keeps. We were both happy to take a break and enjoy a fine cigar.

I told Joe how much I appreciated his new audio program. Joe and I have been friends for a long time. I’ve studied his materials and spent lots of time talking about marketing, spirituality and success (not to mention rock & roll, cigars and cars). Despite that, I don’t think I’d completely accepted his personal success & spirituality philosophy until listening to The Missing Secret.

I can’t identify what it is about this particular program but I found everything just fell into place as I listened. And Craig Perrine said it effected him the same way.

Next week, I’ll dig into The Missing Secret in more detail as I begin to work the exercises. By the way, if you’d like to find 5 ways to complain and get results without playing the ‘blame game’, check out Terri Levine’s article.

Meanwhile, back at the office, my PC wasn’t getting any better. Long story short, I had to replace the motherboard and CPU as well as install new memory. The computer is back up and running now. I went ahead and installed one of those new Intel Quad-Core processors, too. For you non-techies, that means my computer is now really fast. 🙂

A new motherboard and CPU means you have to reinstall all your software including Windows. Fortunately, I didn’t lose any of my data and even if I did, I have everything backed up in two different places. Altogether, this ‘little disaster’ cost me several hundred dollars and an entire week to fix. And I’m still not done installing software.

Bottom line: Be careful where you focus. If you focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger. If you focus on the solution, the solution gets bigger. The choice is yours.

One last thing about PC’s before I move on. Sygate, the free firewall software I’ve used for several years is no longer available. Window’s built-in firewall software isn’t very good so I went searching for a replacement. If you have a constant Internet connection, like cable or DSL, a firewall is essential for keeping hackers and others from hijacking your computer.

I downloaded and installed free firewall software from Comodo and it’s excellent. This isn’t a trial version, it’s completely free and full-featured. It’s flexible enough for techies and simple enough for newbies. I highly recommend it.

My Lunch With Marlon

Friday, I got to have lunch with one of my long-time ‘virtual’ mentors, Marlon Sanders. Marlon’s The Amazing Formula was the first ebook I ever bought and my 2nd Internet marketing course. By the way, it’s updated and as relevant today as it was back in 2001. Marlon, a former professional copywriter, was the first person that taught all of us about ‘mini-sites’, the long sales letter, single page websites you see everywhere online now.

Be sure to check out Marlon’s latest, Secrets Of A Ninja Marketer — How To Sell 4,894 Products In Your First 12 Months Without Breaking A Sweat webinar. (How’s that for a good product title?)

Marlon lives about an hour away. We’ve spoken via phone but had never met in person. We had a great conversation over lunch at Palmer’s in San Marcos followed by a visit to a local coffee house.

Over excellent coffee, we discussed some of the growing pains we’ve both experienced in business and the pros and cons of having employees. We both agreed employees can be a pain in the rear but are a necessity if you want to grow your business.

Marlon also had some excellent suggestions on a new direction I’ve considered for the Internet marketing education side of my business. He pointed out several angles I hadn’t considered and I’m very excited about the possibilities. I think you’ll be excited, too. More about that soon.

Social Networking Sites: Boon to Networking or Time Waster?

Are you using any social networking websites?

I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, Second Life and one or two others. Although I see some value, I’m wondering if these sites are truly worth the effort. Some people, like my sister Misty Khan, are experts at networking on social networking websites. But what I’m seeing on most of these sites are people focusing on quantity of connections rather than quality.

As far as I know, they don’t give out awards for the user with the most ‘friends’ yet that seems to be the goal. I find many people ask for the connection and then I never hear from them again. A couple of smart marketers are using this as a way to build a list but that’s not what I see most people on these sites doing.

On the other hand, some people I connect with on Facebook send me invitations to connect with them on yet another social networking site. I don’t get that. Why? Is this like club-hopping?

I also get little gifts from people. Not real gifts but little icons. Virtual drinks, golden eggs, good karma, blessings and even plants. Again, I don’t quite get it. They send me a petunia and I’m supposed to reciprocate and this will help us both how exactly?

Facebook has a lot of these little mini-applications. When someone sends you a ‘gift’, you try to reciprocate and are then asked if you’d like to send all your other friends gifts, too. Good viral marketing for those that create the mini-apps but probably a time-waster for the rest of us.

Maybe there’s more to it than I know but from here it looks like social networking websites offer a few true opportunities but, if you’re not disciplined (ah, there’s that word again), they can can also be a tremendous waste of time.

What do you think? I’d like to know. Please post your comment below. (All comments are moderated to keep the spammers at bay. Your comment should appear within 24 hours or less).

So, one week into the experiment and I have not become Mr. Super Productive. I still see progress. I stuck to my schedule and my workout. I made time for meditation every day. I spent quality time with Lisa, Joe & Pat and made a great connection with Marlon Sanders. All that while surviving a computer crisis. Not a bad start. Let’s see what this week brings. We’ll talk again soon.