We often think of the 'calm before the storm', but rarely do we recognize or even witness the 'calm after the storm'. This sunset occurred less than an hour after a severe storm, near Otter Falls, MB, that brought down a hundred trees near a cabin we had rented. The clouds became soft like cotton balls (mammatus clouds) and the sky was at peace.
For all you AWeber users, and for anyone else running an email newsletter service, ‘Consistency is King!’ This may seem obvious or even an overly simplistic tip, but if you are not consistent with your email newsletter you will fail. Consistency only means your subscribers will receive valuable content when they are expecting it. In today’s world of a million distractions, you must not only meet your readers expectations, but exceeding expectations is the new normal.
Decide today how frequently you will send out your email newsletter.
Every day= You better have awesome content or a bestselling book! Too much for most readers!
Once or Twice Every week= suggested!
Every Two Weeks= OK, if that’s what your readers expect!
Once a month= Too little and forgettable.
Once a Year or When you think of it= Failure.
Add to your calendar the time line you decide on sending out your email newsletter and stick with it. If at all possible, always know what next 5 topics you are sending out. An ounce of prevention in this case is worth more than a pound of increased subscribers to your list.
Well 2011 is gonzo and now 2012 is the year the world is suppose to end, and what really matters after that statement! I don’t believe it for a second, but lets ponder for a moment if it was true for YOU or I as an individual. After all, who knows when your or my personal number comes up! You or I could die tonight… right?
I haven’t blogged in awhile for a very good reason. Outside of time with my family, I have been spending my time writing music and recording my debut album to be released some time in 2012. Even if you could care less as to what I spend my time doing, please read on, as this pertains to YOU and every single person on this PLANET.
Why am I recording an album? Simple answer; I CAN… and next to my absolute best creations, my children, my music is something that will live on forever after I am gone. You see my children are my ultimate legacy, but I can only live on through them to the extent they pass on my teachings, memories and my genes. I am recording an album, because the music I create is part of my personal legacy I will leave behind when I am gone.
If the world ended for me in 2012 I am confident I have done everything I can for my legacy to live on.
What if the world did end for you in 2012?
What will you leave behind?
What is your legacy?
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if you do not write, paint, sing, or have an artistic bone in your body. Legacy is not defined by enduring material you leave behind, but rather it’s YOUR WORK or LIFE’s impact on the living. Every person can leave a legacy!
This is my 7 Day Unplug Challenge. I hope you’ll join me in scheduling your own week to truly unplug. Please read on to unplug.
You may need to unplug if you are anything like me and:
Wake up and have a smart phone in your hand within 5 minutes.
Own an iPhone & a work Blackberry. (multiple phones and Internet connections)
Deal with multiple Internet related responsibilities from the time you wake to the moment you sleep.
Deal with 100+ emails per day.
Recognize that technology & the Internet, sometimes, is hurting the people you love the most; including yourself.
You may also need to unplug if you are:
Feeling the Internet is affecting your personal relationships in any negative way whatsoever.
Feel technology is getting in the way of you eating, exercising, sleeping or relaxing.
Find that the Internet is interfering with your career or schooling.
You may need to unplug if you even think for a second that ‘you need to unplug’!
We’ll get to the actual 7 DAY UNPLUG CHALLENGE in a moment, but first let me give you some background information as to how you can imagine it recently came about for me, and at the end, I hope you will join me in some fashion or another by accepting the 7 day Unplug Challenge.
With a two week holiday just coming to the half way mark, Tanya, my awesome wife, was kind enough to encourage me to relax on the first week of my vacation, do all the things I want to; like play with the kids, stay up late watch movies, post a few blog articles, write some music, and spend quality time as a family in general and even putter around on my computer gadgets! Yipppeeee!!!!!!
Her request for my second week of my vacation was to PLEASE, PLEASE TRULY relax and 100% UNPLUG.
So my first response was, “OK, so you mean no computer?” Nope she said, “100% UNPLUG meaning No computer, No Blackberry, No iPhone, No tablet, and NO INTERNET PERIOD. So if someone wants to get a hold of you they are just going to have to do it ‘Old School’ and call our home phone number!” I can actually count all the people on one hand who actually call my home phone! In the moment the thought of me actually fully and completely unplugging was making me a little queasy with worry how I would cope, and for that very reason alone I accepted the challenge. I knew in my heart it was time to unplug.
Now reality sets in and I am minutes away from the 7 Day Unplug Challenge. I guarantee I will go out of my skin for a few days with probably some fairly realistic withdrawal symptoms; phantom vibrating blackberry syndrome, iPhone envy, and even a little ‘what do I do now’ whining!
Here is my quasi plan:
All devices off.
Absolutely zero internet.
Out of office response on all my email addresses (don’t ask how many
Three books to read (The Hunger Games Trilogy)
A pad of paper and pen.
My wife and three beautiful children.
Your guess is as good as mine how this will turn out (I’ll post an update next week) , but I am hoping that I come back a week from now relaxed , invigorated and ready to take on the rest of 2011. Thank again to Tanya for making this happen and my apologies in a advance if I’m a grump for a day or two
Hope you’ll join me and create your own 7 Day Unplug Challenge.
I have achieved the ultimate email nirvana of ZERO EMAILS in my inbox and know that you can as well. This has been extremely easy, true, and was accomplished managing both my personal & business email (200+ combined emails per day). In addition to seeing my In Boxes empty at the end of every day, I now only have to manage three folders! This is a far cry from the 50+ folders I managed before.
I’ll say that again, “Only three folders too manage all my email!” Life is simple again.
First off, I can’t take any credit for creating an uber email system or process. The awesome blogger/author(s) over at LifeHacker, Gina Trapani (blog post) & co-author of the LifeHacker book Adam Pash, did all the heavy lifting and included an expanded version of this blog post called “Empty Your InBox With The Trusted Trio” in their book! For more detail definitely check out their book entlitled, “Lifehacker: The Guide To WOrking Smarter, Faster, and Better”. It contains an insane amount of valuable time saving tech techniques outside of your email inbox just waiting to be discovered. They should be teaching this stuff to kids in school as far as I am concerned.
Here is the premise of achieving email inbox utopia and then I highly suggest you head over to LifeHacker to read their blog post then buy the digital version on Kindle or hard copy of the book. It will be the best 10$ or $20, respectively, you have ever invested:
Every email you receive can be either dealt with immediately or assigned to a folder in less than a minute.
You only need three email folders from this day forward; follow up, on hold & archive. (See the LifeHacker blog post and or book for more details)
You need not be a slave to your email ever again. (As the screenshots of my two email in boxes below prove email utopia or nirvana is indeed achievable!)
Here are the screenshots of my gMail and Outlook email clients:
Lastly, here is my affiliate link to the book I highly recommend you read to achieve email inbox utopia and many more digital enlightenment techniques.
OK! Please don’t 100% hold me to this, but I am usually pretty good at remembering names because of, years ago, going though Kevin Trudeau’s Mega Memory book. It was WORK… but did actually help immensely. Anyway, found this gem of a training video he did that should save you the time of reading the book and learn the ‘remember names’ technique in less than an hour.
Today, I sat in a restauraunt slurping down the most amazing shucked oysters I have ever tasted and it reminded me of an old adage, “Less is more!”
Imagine a truly tiny, tiny seafood bar that for a 100 years has thrived on serving no more than 18 people at a time. This little jem of an oyster bar in San Francisco has line ups out the door that any patron will tell you are well worth waiting for.
They have no website. They don’t take reservations. They are only open until 5:30pm 6 days a week. No WIFI, NO LCD flatscreens & NO Twitter account to speak of. If you come with out cash your also out of luck as they DON’T take plastic!
Today, I rediscovered less is more while slurping down a professionaly shucked oyster.
It’s time to re-evaluate everything.
If your ever in San Francisco make your way over to the Swan Osyter Depot on Polk Street . It’s an experience.
I just finished writing an email to my parents that I thought I would share with you. It’s important because it involves your health, losing fat (not just weight) & adding years to your life on this planet. I don’t typically write about weight loss, but today is an exception. Today, I share with you the dead simple food(s) I have ate over the past two months that directly resulted in my losing 21 pounds of fat on the ‘Slow Carb Diet’. After the email below, I will share with you the link to the book I read that started it all.
Here is the email:
Re: Slow Carb Diet Recipes
Hey Mom & Mur,
As you will see below I am a creature of habit and just like the book says settled on variations of just a handful of meals I ate ALL the time. I like my food spicy so cayenne, curry & cumin are my thing but may not be yours Especially at first, make WAY more than you think you should. If you make too much just save it in the fridge until your next meal. Quite often I could make breakfast in 3 minutes because I just had to reheat last nights leftovers and add my scrambled egg mixture.
I would also suggest doing a Google search for ‘ slow carb recipes” as there are a ton of people posting stuff these days. You may find something you want to give a shot!
Always cooked in Macadamia Oil ( Olive oil and eggs suck). Macadamai Oil is about $10 at Safeway
1. Chilli (mmmmmmmm) (Chicken or Lean Beef)
2. Cajun Chicken, Mixed Vegetables or Broccoli, & Beans (Black or 6 bean) (Garlic Salt, Pepper, Cayenne & Cumin to taste)
3. Chicken or Lean Beef, Re-fried Beans, Vegetables Optional…. as I like to add Guacamole & Salsa on top of my meat & mushy beans
4. Lean Steak, Chicken or Fish, Black Beans & Corn (Garlic Salt, Pepper, Cayenne & Cumin to taste)
More water than I have ever drank in my life. Not only a large glass with each meal, but an additional 2-4 bottles throughout each day
Wine. Hard to stop at 2 glasses a night, but I found as long as paired with water I still lost weight with 3-4 glasses per night
Black coffee ( i add cinnamon & cheat with fat free creamer)
Major caution here. Theses snacks I think are best reserved for an emergency only. After all you get to gorge yourself one day a week
1. Celery & Almond Butter ( Not as good as peanut butter but gets works in a pinch)
2. Almonds ( I chose to only eat 5-8 lightly roasted almonds for a snack as I don’t like plain almonds)
3. Veggie Platter ( no dip)
Cheat Day ( 1 per week):
No rules. Make yourself sick if you want… I did eat a slow carb breakfast though and then went nuts with beer, potato chips, chocolate bars & anything else I had a craving for.
Eat lots, Drink Lots and watch the salt intake as canned beans seem to be high in sodium (hence rinse them well)! Do make sure to take your vitamins especially Calcium, Magnesium & B12)
Remember the Rules: I kept the book handy and re-read those two chapters probably 6 times.
End of email.
Fact: By following just two chapters on weight loss of the Four Hour Body I lost over 20 pounds in just over one month.
Fact # 2: Anyone can do the same.
Although there are tons of other goodies in this book. Even if you only read the two chapters on weight loss, and nothing else, I am confident you would have similar results as I have. In two sentences or less, the ‘Slow Carb” is not a diet in my mind, but a shift in how you eat every day. You still get too eat as much pizza and beer as you want one day a week, but for the first time in years you may experience a way too eat (lifestyle) that doesn’t leave you hungry….. EVER!
Here is the book:
Note: If you have any questions just ask. There is only very basic information here and I truly want to ensure that if you are interested in losing weight using the Slow Carb Diet that you are successful.
Lastly, many thank to Timothy Ferris for writing the Four Hour Body and helping change not only my life, but thousands of others.
Here are a few other blog posts you may want to look at as well (including Tim Ferris’s original post on the diet):
Today, a 26 year old father of two dropped dead while working out at the gym. Staff found NO pulse on the young man & when my brother-in-law Darren, a Registered Nurse, noticed what had happened, he rushed over and was told he has zero pulse & the ambulance is on its way!
Darren quickly asked if they had a defibrillator? They responded with a resounding, “Yes!”
My bro then proceeded to shock the young man’s heart back to life & performed CPR. I can’t even imagine the extreme stress …
Before the ambulance could arrive the young father was already revived & telling Darren about his two daughters! Absolutely amazing!!!!!
Today, my brother-in-law Darren Storm saved the life of a complete stranger.
Spent sometime today thinking about destiny versus my life by design today and I know which camp I firmly stand in.
Where do you stand?
If you totally disagree with me please reply with your thoughts… I am very curious to hear other peoples take on ‘destiny’!
*I was no more destined to be a financial professional, than a writer or a professional musician. Fact: I have chose to be all of these things, albeit the term ‘amateur professional musician is probably more accurate.
*When I think of every second of my life, I can not think of one instance that truly could be defined as destiny or fate. I love being a father, a soul mate and a husband, but I would be hard pressed to prove destiny or fate played a part.
* I make the daily decision(s) in life that propel me forward and some days even set me back.
* 95% of the Raito’s Family life has been by plan or some may call ‘by design’! The other 5% has either been positive or negative incidents out of our control (my estimation is that 3% of those uncontrollable events were based on the decisions or actions of other people & 2% truly wild card events). Believe you me… That 2% has rocked our world over the years!
*Like ‘Neo’ in the Martrix movies. I am in control of my life.
Now here is where I will openly contradict myself!
Even though I am openly stating I don’t believe in destiny or fate. I am quite confident there are stories out there that might make me believe that destiny or fate exists in this world. I want to learn more…
If you are looking for ways to grow your business, organization or even your own social profile I know you’ll get a lot out of today’s blog post. Integration marketing when done right can be like two peas in a pod for growing your business organically.
As some of you know, I sit on the board of the Childrens Wish charity for my region in Canada (Manitoba & Nunavut). Today, I attended a grand opening of a local business that understands integration marketing is indeed an art (pun intended)! I think we can all learn from their success and endeavor to apply integration marketing tactics in our own businesses.
ArtLandStudio.ca is a new business that provides art classes & workshops for kids aged 2+! Their target market is a very specific niche and they obviously put some serious thought to how they would launch their new business location to the Winnipeg community. For their Grand Opening they chose to approach the Childrens Wish charity to be a part of their first day & obviously plan to support CW as their Charity of choice.
The marriage of the two organizations is integration marketing at it’s finest! ArtLandStudio with one phone call was able to tap into having Childrens Wish help promote their business, while at same time help promote the charity all day for every parent & child who attended the Grand Opening! A true win-win for both businesses. The place was packed with kids and their parents, many of which I recognized as folks connected to our charity.
Could this work for you?
Take some time to think about other organizations that would jointly benefit from your promotion, launch, event, and if you can involve a like minded charity all the better.
Often integration marketing can bring to the table something your business needs while at the same time providing value to the other organization. What an awesome way to grow!!!
Take some time to consider the art of integration marketing & you may just surprise yourself on what you can come up with…