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.
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I had to smile at your computer issues. I have a dear friend who builds my computers. My most recent crash was very similar to yours. and my friend David, followed all the steps that you did. Lo and behold, after his fix, I crashed it totally. I am almost at the end of my first “real – sell for money” e-book. and no, I am not good at backup as you. David saved my files. My miracle in all of this. But I lost too many days with computer issues. And the frustration level just grew and grew. at the same time, I became physically ill — even went to the doctor. I don’t believe in that. I rarely go to doctors. and here I am — twice in the past 3 months — truly ill. The first time was pre-launch of my free e-workbook. So many lessons to learn about the power of anxiety and negative thinking. and yes, my thoughts even effected my computer and my physical being. And I was letting it happen and I knew it. My new goal is to get out of my own way. Period! In the end, I finished up the book in less than 24 hours, and it is now out for editing. The delay was all because I let my anxiety take control. When I finally let go, then the words began to flow again and things fell in place.
Forgive the long epistle. I think those of us who work alone, particularly writers, need to get really serious about the power of the negative energy that feeds upon itself and grows. We need to stop it in its tracks!
I am enjoying your adventure. This is very important work for all of us. We need to watch you and learn — thank you for sharing — I mean that most sincerely!
one more thing — social networking — I have found that the nings offer more personal interaction with folks. I have made many friends via the nings and maintain those relationships. I get bored with all the little “gifts” I receive on Facebook. I appreciate people thinking of me, but most of the time, I just don’t have time to reciprocate — nor do I have any interest in doing so. I have cut back on the time I spend on those sites. I do visit daily Facebook and Twitter just to stay in touch, but for the most part, I prefer to really talk to people on the nings. Pat OBryan has a couple of really good ones — the Portable Empire Ning and the JV Ning. Both are active, busy places! I also enjoy Dogs and Dolphins ning, just because I enjoy those folks, and dogs and dolphins. Selective social networking!
I’m with ya on the networking sites. All I have seen so far is what you descibe. They seem to be vast and not specific enough to be effective. I’m not investing my time in them until I find out otherwise. Trying to stay focused. 🙂
Keep up the great work! Be inspired!
Bill, your quest is to conquer and tame your time and work through improved discipline is one every solo practicioner has in spades and one that vitually all of us struggle with on a daily basis. As you go through the process remember it takes six week to break in a new habit so you have to hang in there for that long at least.
As you know I teach people who are looking to start their own business where most of them as employees were used to someone telling them what to do everyday. To them I tell them each morning before they start work, they must write down one thing they are going to do for their business before they go to bed that night and then make it a practice to actually do it.
As for me I struggle with this as well though decided to start using the Franklin Covey add-in for Microsoft Outlook. Following the process, putting your Big Rocks on your calendar with committed times to work on them has helped be become more focused though it is a struggle.
Probably the best tool is that of peer pressure be it from your mentoring group, or your friends that you have shared your commitment and which will track your progress, celebrate your sucesses, or challenge you to continue to move forward. Much like each of are doing here..
Best of Luck………. Ken
I was shaking my head when I read about the computer problems you’ve had. Yep – been there recently too. Lost a laptop and a desktop in the last 4 months! I opened up the laptop to see if I could change a part but it was connected to the motherboard, so it seemed pointless to repair it – laptop parts are notoriously expensive. I learned/shopped for a replacement machine which has a core duo processor (that’s about the limit for laptops right now (here!) – you have a four – your (desktop?) machine must be smoking now.
I get your drift with Facebook and, yes, it can be a time sucker – At first, any site takes time to tweak so I’m reminding myself to really evaluate invitations. The applications ARE a bit much. I am inundated with requests to add new ones and have to delete 98% of these invites. (if I sent you “good karma” is it “bad karma” if you didn’t want it?!!! LOL!!) I also prefer to get to know people and those with huge lists aren’t there for that. Too bad, but to each his own.
Marlon’s been busy – he’s come out with some great stuff. I’m still looking at the product dashboard thingee. Joe’s new seminar looks good too…!
Best to you and your family,
Regarding Joan’s post, what is a “ning”? Where do you find them? I enjoyed reading your blog.
I have to agree with my brother that a lot of time can be wasted on social networking if you don’t use the word of the month “discipline”. In my guest blog piece on Rocky VanBrimmer’s site I talked about how I spent a lot of time late last year on social networking trying to learn the ropes and now that I have a better feel for it, my new years resolution is to use more discipline.
I totally agree that Facebook has a lot of time wasters and applications almost equivalent to chain emails which is why my main focus with Facebook is personal and I leave the heavy duty business stuff to Plaxo and LinkedIn. That being said, I do get invitations from business associates on Facebook which I accept, but only to a limited profile and I have found Facebook very useful for keeping up with what is going on in the Houston marketing community.
Twitter has been very helpful for me. I was a huge twitter skeptic, but when Erica OGrady insisted that I give it a try I took her advice and have become a believer. I’ve got an article published on ezinearticles.com on how these sites have been helpful for more information http://ezinearticles.com/?How-Can-Twitter-and-Plaxo-Help-Increase-Your-Sales?&id=949919
Keep up the good work on your new regimen, Bill! I’m so proud of my big brother!
Nings are great- it’s an online service that lets you create your own social networking site. Fast and free.
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Hello everyone–Great input here about all of the social networking sites.
I like using the “notes” part of the face book application, then write a blog post there and “tag” people I know would like what I am saying, plus will tag random people.
This has helped me to get correspondence going with the people I never wrote to before.
The ning sites are wonderful–as Joan pointed out, a ning I started: http://doganddolphin.ning.com
has good vibes going on there especially now that some troublesome energy has been cleared.
The Women Internet Marketers ning, the Heal Naturally ning and all of Pat O’Bryan’s nings are excellent.
Second Life is a favorite of mine because I meet my friends in 3-D and we get some serious work done and so many good ideas have been etched out and manifested at later times.
We got our Master Mind Meeting started there which is wonderful –and Pat O’Bryan has networking parties at his location, The Poertable Empire –used to be an island (I miss that location) now is a large warehouse building.
I’ve joined a few other sites, but the nings, SL and FB are all I have time for–cause also do alot of writing.
enough from me!!
thanks for your Discipline Diary!!
Hi Kate! I went back to the old island recently. It’s really changed. More commercial development without the funky beach town charm it had before. Glad to hear your benefiting so much from social networking sites. I tried some new traffic techniques last week and we’ll see what Google thinks of them in a week or so. — BH
Kate aka Mooie Infinity