Masters : Louis CK

Masters : Louis CK

Louis CK is the funniest guy on the planet. I love watching his stand ups because he is such a captivating story teller, he's courageous in creating tension and he mastered his craft . When I find people that inspire me, I dig for what inspired them. Just the other day, I found this speech that Louis CK gave at a memorial of George Carlin, his own source of inspiration. It's such a treat to hear masters talk about the people that influenced them, I think mostly because it gives me the hope that we too can follow in those footsteps, observe and learn from the masters and become great at what we do .

 

Check out his speech here and let me know what you think!  

200 Customer Challenge

200 Customer Challenge

I've had the pleasure and struggle of starting multiple businesses. The businesses I've succeeded in the most were ones where I intimately understood the customer, the problems they had and had a valuable way of solving their problem.  The idea of understanding your customer is nothing new, but for most new entrepreneurs, it's easier to focus on other important tasks like branding, app development, website development, business planning, etc. Out of all of these tasks the most important thing an entrepreneur should be focusing on during the early days is talking with customers and potential customers and learning about all of their problems. By understanding the customer intimately, entrepreneurs can save a ton of time and money from not assuming they have complete understanding. This afford them the opportunity to  begin building out marketing channels and lock in initial revenue to validate the business all together. By having real relationships with customers, we increase our ability to build something they'll truly love.

 

To demonstrate the importance of how this works, I'm going to set a new commitment and demonstrate how this works in a little experiment. Over the next week, I will test out my latest idea, Genius Armour. I will do so by reaching out to at least 200 different people. I will attempt to have in person meetings, video chats and on-site visits with them, but will at minimum have a few questions answered about their problems. Here is our hypothesis and some of the questions I'll be asking.

 

Hypothesis: Founders want to share ideas securely without having to use a traditional NDA.  

Problem Hypothesis: Thinking about sharing ideas openly without any protection creates a negative feeling for entrepreneurs. 

 

Questions I'll be asking: 

What are your most common problems you face on a day to day basis? 

What problem would you eradicate from your day to day life if you could in an instant?

How often do you share new business ideas with other?  How do you go about sharing? 

How does this problem rank in comparison to your originally stated problem hypothesis?

 

I'll also be rolling with the conversation. What are some more questions that you all believe I should be asking?

 

I will track and report back about my findings after talking to 200 customers. I must reach out to 200 people by end April 1st. Stoked to see what we'll learn by putting our understanding of the customer first!

 

 

 

 

How To Get Involved In The Tech Community

For a fresh face coming out of college, hopping into industry can be  a little tough to navigate. These days,  I get asked a couple of times per week about how one might get involved in the tech community. People are looking for connections for starting their own companies or finding jobs at high-tech firms. Here are 3 ways that have proven to be successful for me.

1. Meet Ups

Meet Ups are locally hosted events that meet about specific topics. You can search for groups based on an interest and it will show you the closest group near you. If you're a leader-type, you are able to also start your own meet up. Check it out here at Meetup.com and if you're in Portland, Oregon -  Calagator.com

2. Conferences

Breaking into the tech seen can be challenging if you try to only leverage digital channels. Attending a conference by either paying for a ticket or volunteering, you can really build out a  strong network within that industry. When I was fresh out of college, I attended LavaCon in Portland. Within 2 days, I not only had the chance to meet a ton of smart and interesting people, I had the chance to learn from the leaders of the conference, and was even offered a job. There are so many people at conferences, if you have enough time spent working / volunteering with others, people get a sense of what it working with you full time would be like. So get out and finda tech conference near you, then volunteer and make some new friends!

3. Forums

I was never a big forum guy, but recently the power of these forums has got me sold. Communities are sprouting up everywhere for specific groups of people. Want to get better at iOS Development? Great! Join the iOS Slack Group and iOS Linkedin Groups. IRC is another, more old school live chat forum that you can use to connect with others in the tech scene. 

 

Depending on your goals there are a ton of ways to get involved.That said, if you are serious about getting into the tech industry, start with these 3 ways and plant your seeds for the guiding the future of tech.

The Structure Of Incredible Presentations

The Structure Of Incredible Presentations

TEDx Portland is coming around the corner and I'm so excited to volunteer this year. TED is one of my favorite organizations on the planet and to be able to participate in this conference is an experience I've been eager to have. In honor of TEDx Portland, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite TED Talks with you.

The first TED Talk is from Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design and author of the new book Illuminate. Nancy's company is responsible for creating many of the most profound modern-day speeches and talks in corporate America. Her company crafted impactful presentations for Apple to redefining the 'Inconvenient Truth' presentation by Al Gore. Her TED talk shifted my understanding of what it means to architect a great presentation and I hope you find it valuable to you.

In her talk she brings up a couple of really interesting points, my favorites being:

1. The Arch Of A Great Presentation

2. The Power We Have To Write Our Own Story

Enjoy the presentation!

A Simple Framework To Figure Out What's Important

A Simple Framework To Figure Out What's Important

In every productivity book, you'll inevitably hear the word 'Priority'. Whether it's the 80/20 Rule, Stephen Covey's Grid, or the simple ABC priorities that my father taught me, they all aim to set you up to focus on what's most important. Important, however, is never defined for us. Important is something that we have to decide..and that's a good thing! If we had everyone else telling us what the most important thing is in our life, we would essentially be giving them the freedom we all have to lead our own lives. 

This exercise of determining what's important is posed, but rarely is it that simple.  I've found that in previous prioritization exercises, I've determined this on the fly. Shouldn't it be possible to break down what importance means to us in order to give us the most thoughtful priorities and choices? Wouldn't it be great to take any idea or opportunity and throw it through a personalized system to see if it fits into your life? How can we remove any anxiety and gain as much confidence that what we're working on is the right thing? There should be a simple way to figure out what's important and so I set out to build something that can make it a little easier . I selected some standard questions and criteria of what makes something important and put together a little spreadsheet in order to make a little system for myself.  

 

Let's see how this process lines up with my life's most active projects.

  • My Wife
  • Networking
  • Genius Armour
  • The Gross Profit
  • altMBA
  • My Habits

First, you write down all of the projects you have in your life. ( we'll eventually be able to use this framework for project tasks as well ) 

Second, you take your projects and add the to the second sheet labeled 'Prioritizer'. In the 'Prioritizer', you'll be answering a few questions and giving an estimated grade on a scale from 1 to 10.  1 is less and 10 is more.

The questions we ask about your project are:

  • Alignment with Life Goals
  • Value being created for others
  • Short Term Personal Happiness
  • Long Term Personal Happiness
  • Short Term Financial Gain
  • Long Term Financial Gain
  • Difficulty
  • Impactfulness on my life
  • Urgency
  • Time to Allocate
  • Size of Daily Tasks
  • Risk to Not Complete
  • Risk To Purse

Once you add in your estimated value for each question/criteria the spreadsheet will total the project points. As you keep adding projects and answer the questions for each one, the spreadsheet will automatically sort your projects in the order of priority. Kind of cool, right?

Now you have a framework for quickly figuring out what is important so that you can live a life more aligned with what you want. This is not about being most productive to an elite standard. It's about being productive toward your own standard. It's also about having a clear and trusted process that helps you make more objective decisions.

Use this in projects, or even use it for project sub-tasks. It will help you figure out the most important thing you can be doing out of your many options. 

If you have any questions or feedback on how to improve this process, send me a message!

 

 

Tension Begets Attention

Tension Begets Attention

Tension begets attention.

Tension causes engagement.

Tension makes us uncomfortable.

Tension forces us to seek comfort.

Tension incites action.

Tension creates change.

The Hardest Part About Starting A Blog

The Hardest Part About Starting A Blog

"Don't worry if you don't think what you ship is good enough. It is. The scarce part is the shipping." - Seth Godin

When I first came across this quote, it shocked me. There is so much that has been created, how could it be that the amount of 'Stuff' that exists in our ultra-supplied world is actually the scarcity, simply a small percentage, of what could have been created. 

When I started this blog, I was sick of thinking about what could have been. I could have an online presence. I could have a place to reflect on ideas. I could connect with interesting people around the world. I could make a difference in someone's life by sharing an idea or an experience or a laugh.  All of these 'could-s' were all things that I wanted.

So, I decided. I made a choice. I will create a blog. I will connect with like-minded people. I will share ideas that aim to impact people's lives. In just one week, I can say I've done all of these things. 

What was difficult for me to understand before I changed my mindset about blogging from 'could' to 'will', was that the tasks that I thought were important, were not. The hardest part wasn't the website or even the writing. The hardest part pops up at the beginning of every day and stares you in the face.  The great thing about the hardest part, is that it only needs to last a second. The hardest part is the decision to change from 'could' to 'will'. The hardest part is making an honest, true decision about what I was going to actually do, no matter what.

Funny enough, after the decision was made, the rest figured itself out. 

Not What I Bought

Not What I Bought

I bought a premium, french fry cutter on Amazon about a year ago. I shop like most of us do, searching for what we wanted, then scrolled down to look at the pictures, pricing and reviews. The fry cutter I'd eventually buy looked promising and had plenty of 5 star reviews. The images appeared reputable giving me the added confidence that this was the only potato, french fry cutter we should buy. The images and description told me a story of how easy it would be to make fries in my home kitchen. I could already see myself busting out the fry cutter for a friendly BBQ at our house. I could see the smiles of my family and friends as they ate the freshest fries on the planet, provided by yours truly. I was already sold. I placed the order and eagerly awaited it's arrival. 

The day  I got it, we celebrated. We ran down to the store and bought a fresh bag of your classic American Potatoes. After we got home, I carefully assembled the cutter and were ready to take this thing for a test drive. I'd spent time researching and believing in the french fry cutter, I couldn't wait to give them a taste.

We popped the potatoes into the cutter and with one hand on the lever and pushed down to slice the potato then CLUNK. One attempt in and the potato was stuck in the dangerously bladed machine. If I stuck my hand in to pull out the potato, I'd be putting myself in harms way and would cut myself on the sharp-but-clearly-not-sharp-enough blades. I grabbed a kebab stick and knife trying to use human ingenuity to pry this stupid potato out of what was becoming the stupid fry cutter. After wrestling with this machine, it was clear we didn't get what we'd bought. What we bought was a fry cutter that brought smiles to the faces of my friends and family. What we bought was the greatest fry cutter in the world. We didn't get what we bought. In a world filled with fantastical ideas, of incredible salesmanship, of perception, we don't usually get what we buy.

As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to sell what people want to buy. We have the chance to give them that thing. Let's just make sure that when they receive it, that they truly get what they bought and often it has nothing to do with the widget. It mostly means delivering the experience and the story our customers told themselves all along about what you'll do for them.  

altMBA Students: We're being closed.

altMBA Students: We're being closed.

“The entire point is to experience tension.”

I feel like this is the point of altMBA. Structureless meetings, vague instructions, little ‘expert’ guidance. The tension has pushed me and all of us to move forward. Will we all sit around awkwardly, waiting for the teacher? Not in this course. The utter silence has forced us to come out of our shell. It’s forced us to engage with each other, to choose a meaning for our soon-to-be actions. Is altMBA closing a sale? Is the tension itself a mechanism to cause people to change under their own free will?

The tension is uncomfortable. I guess one could merely give up. Perhaps the $3000.00 price tag at the beginning served a purpose beyond profit and was used as a tool to lock students into staying the course. It was enough of a sunk cost that we felt we need to stay consistent with our previous choice. There is enough social pressure with learning groups accountability to bind us to this change, how ever vague it might be to us. There is enough authority by featuring best-selling author Seth Godin to mark his leadership and stamp of approval. There is a scarcity of time in each project we’re meant to ship, giving us little to no time to consider choosing an alternative course of action without feeling the wrath / fear of resisting these other influential factors. We’ve already been closed for our money. It's clear though, the closing isn’t over yet. 

The main close, the one we all set little expectation about, the mystery box, the change, is still in progress. The sale that altMBA appears to be making, is an endless sale. A relationship. As Seth called it in his video, an Opening, where a lasting relationship is built. This is the essence of sustainable businesses. This is the essence of Permission Marketing. Instead of selling us a widget, we’re being sold ideas, feelings, and stories, about how we can go about making Change. That’s the product. altMBA is an intentionally organized community of people who all share the same flavor of problem, and are actively seeking the solution: How can I make change happen in my world. I don’t know if Seth or Parin or Marie are feeling the tension personally, but they are quite intentional about creating it. They know the name of the game...

Always be closing.

Do You Choose Your Fears Wisely?

Do You Choose Your Fears Wisely?

 

Over the years, I've been exposed to so many life-changing ideas. It's difficult to trace the origins but, years ago an idea was planted in my mind. The idea came in the form of a question:

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?

The question seems simple enough to understand, right? Of course, we do the things we like to do or have to do and we try to avoid the things we don't like to do or don't want to do. In other words, we operate on a sliding scale of Pleasure (reward, comfort, stimulus ) and Pain (fear, uncertainty, discomfort ). If we get more Pain from something than we do Pleasure, we'll pick the more pleasurable option. This is a simple idea that largely goes unnoticed during our day to day because it's been drilled into our primal brains since the time we were cavemen, if not much, much earlier than that. That pre-programming allowed our ancestors to escape the time of dinosaurs with their life and offspring. As our species evolved, we gained deeper cognitive abilities allowing us to create everything from spoons to large scale agricultural systems in ancient Egypt, to Google's search engine.

With the new technology and the evolved brain we've used to create with, you might think our primal instincts are long gone. Well, they're not. We've still got our primal brain and for the most part, it runs the show. So what does that mean for you and the rest of humankind? It means that we've got a deeply rooted system of operating, of making decisions based on intuition, using a system rooted in survival instinct. This system worked great when we were running from wild beasts, but isn't as applicable to our 'Work then Netflix & Chill' lifestyles. This primal brain kicks in whenever we feel uncomfortable or afraid. It's what's powering most of our decisions to do something or not do something.

This week I went to the gym for a leg day. We started with some front squats and then moved over to a circuit of kettle bell swings and box jumps. We were pushing to do the sets as quickly as we could without compromising form, when I noticed something about my own behavior. After about 8 box jumps, I'd slowed down. Why was this happening? Was I lacking willpower? Was my body exhausted? Whatever it was, my body seemed to be putting the breaks on my exercise. It's widely known in the fitness world that our thoughts can impact our fitness performance.

It's widely known that when we push ourselves hard in the gym, our body issues a protective response. That protective response is the same response we'd get if we were running from a lion; the survival instinct. Our bodies inject a feeling of fear during these 'stressful' times in order to put us in a state of that triggers us to protect ourselves. During my workout however, I decided to look at my Fear response from a new perspective. "Am I really having Fear about this box I'm jumping on?" I asked myself. "No, I'm not." With this selected mind shift, I busted out my remaining two sets in record time...and I survived.

What does this have to do with you? A lot. What my story showed me and hopefully I was able to show you, was that our Fears, when put into an objective perspective, can be analyzed and selected using our smarter brains rather than our primal one. It means if we can cultivate the awareness of our feelings, we can gift ourselves the freedom to choose our fears. So whether you're feeling uncomfortable about going on a date with someone new or afraid to reach out to the CEO of a company you want to work with, we have the choice to choose if we should be afraid. Most of our life situations aren't life or death.

Most of the fears we hold, don't serve us well in our pursuits of a better life. That's why, from now on, we must choose our fears wisely.

Think about today? Was there a situation that felt uncomfortable or stressful? Was there a situation that seemed to risky? Let me know in the comments below!

Here is How I Got Over 900K Views In One Day

Here is How I Got Over 900K Views In One Day

I was planning on writing something different than this topic, but something out of the ordinary happened. My photo went viral.

NOTE THE VIEW COUNT!

NOTE THE VIEW COUNT!

Here is How I Got Over 900K Views In One Day

We bought two cute puppies, Watson and Eugene. They did something cute and we took a picture.

Then, we posted this image on our Facebook page. An average puppy post gets about 40 likes over the course of 1 or 2 days. This photo had nearly 200 in just over an hour. I took this as a sign and decided I'd go to reddit.

In order to post to reddit, I needed to host my photo, so I put it up on imgur. See here.

I had just signed up for a new reddit account and had 6 karma points, enough to post something. I uploaded the link with my photo and posted it to r/funny

Up until that point, I kind of forgot about it. Then, tonight we received a text from a friend saying that our puppies were famous. So we looked it up and there they were, #6 on the Reddit channel and over 800,000 views and rapidly climbing.

I checked my reddit account to see that I had several upvotes. I looked closer at the text our friend sent and someone stole our photo and reposted it to their reddit on a different channel r/aww. It had over 6500 upvotes in just a few hours.

So what did I learn from this experience?

1. If your core group goes nuts, it's likely worth sharing with the world.

2. Imgur is a hot spot to upload photos and get some exposure. 

3. Reddit really can make something go viral, so make sure to post on all of the relevant channels so that you can earn those karma points instead of someone who steals your content.

4. Its important to get lucky. We were lucky with the cute photo, and although we didn't get the karma points we deserved, we were lucky someone posted it into a different channel to get the exposure our puppies deserve ;) 

PS. You didn't think I actually had the key to going viral? I don't. I do hope the 4 learnings above will help you get a bit closer to identifying viral potential.

There are smart people out there that do have those answers.  Like Jonah Berger, author of Contagious.

This Book Will Make Your Life Better in 5 Minutes

This Book Will Make Your Life Better in 5 Minutes

What is this?

I reached down and picked up a white cardboard box with my name on it after returning home from my lunch meeting. Strange. ‘San Clemente, CA’ was printed on the label. “Who do I know in San Clemente?”. I grabbed a steak knife and cut sideways slits through the tape to release the flaps of the box. Inside, was...a book. ‘The Five Minute Journal’ was embroidered on its canvas cover.

 

I did not order this.

 

Why was it here? I open the front cover to find this slip of paper:


How cool! My great friend Aaron aka ‘Double A Willy’, had recently moved back to Orange County and decided to send me this. Aaron is the most personalized gift giver I’ve ever met. One time he widdled a page holder with my initials, known as the thumb-i-me-jig. I’ve got it hung up on my wall. Hmm I should be using that...

The 'goals' he is referring to in that slip of paper, were a part of a larger initiative I’ve been doing with my life. I had been reporting my goals to my friends and working on establishing core habits (now on day 55) and as an awesome surprise, I get this book. I feel really lucky to have friends like this. So enough context...what is this book about and why is it important?

This book holds a few secrets to happiness - and I'll give you the summary of how it will help you be happier and a cool little habit I've incorporated into my life that you may consider adding into your own.

The 5 Minute Journal is not your average book. It's page content is 10% Information we gain and 90% information we give.

It was created by Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas  ( didn’t know that until I looked it up for this post ). They dedicate the book to lifelong learners and doers. Sound like altMBA material?

The books feels like it was engineered by user experience artists. Its based on proven principles of positive psychology, aiming to help the reader with focusing on positive behavioral traits by setting a simple guideline to incorporate into your daily routine.

The first 10 percent of the book explains the purpose of the remaining 90%.  Everyday, you’ll start by writing the date, followed by reading an epic quote from inspiring leaders past and present. For example, the quote I read today was, “Everything in life is constantly moving and changing. Life is about embracing this change, for change is the only sure thing in life.” - Mimi Ikonn.

Who needs coffee when a quote like that hits you at 7 AM?

After the quote, the real fun begins. You’re asked to scribble down 3 things you are grateful for today. I’ve found it best to take a minute to really think about aspects of my life, both the larger (the internet) and smaller (a full head of hair - sorry Seth ;) . You are cautioned to avoid writing down the same thing every day and encouraged to really think about your awesome life.

Next,  you’re prompted to jot down 3 things that would make TODAY great.  This is fun and has allowed me to tee up the day with more focus, rather than hopping into an email inbox. The final item on the morning list is Daily Affirmations, where you write down positive ideas after the prefix - ‘I am…’ The book explains this will help us connect positive thoughts with our identity and help us have the confidence to become what we train ourselves to believe.

At night, before flipping the lights off to go to bed, I take out my journal and answer the remaining two points. It asks, What are 3 amazing things that have happened to day? This questions has helped me reflect on the day in a positive light, even when it’s been full of stress. The final question, as if it were written by the altMBA team themself: How could I have made today even better? This form of self-feedback allows me to step away from the day, and even leave it behind, ready to leverage the experience for tomorrow.

The reason I recommend this book is because it will improve how you feel about your day. Am I happier. Definitively, yes! The days get compartmentalized into actionable chunks. I’ve been using the journal for 25 days in a row now and ever single day I’ve had the potential to make it GREAT according to my morning definition.

I love the book and would recommend everyone get it, or at least answer the five questions every day. You deserve it!

Recap of the prompts you'll answer every day:

  1. I am grateful for... ( list 3 things )
  2. What would make today great? ( list 3 things )
  3. Daily Affirmations. I am... ( fill in the blank )
  4. 3 amazing things that happened today...
  5. How could I have made today even better?


How This 1 Email Changed My Life

How This 1 Email Changed My Life

 

What if I told you that you could set yourself on a path to incorporate any habit into your life by sending one email. Would you try it? In this post, I'm going to give you a proven template to do just that. 

The Trigger

“Do you want to go to my workout with me?” 

This was a common phrase I’d heard from my wife (yep, I’m married) as she left to go to her routine personal training appointment. My usual response is a polite variation of, ‘Thanks, but I’m busy working on stuff’, but for some reason, I decided to say, "Sure, let's do it".  I could see the surprise and joy on my wife’s face as she told me to me to meet her in the car.

It had been a pretty stressful couple of weeks because I was in the middle of negotiations for selling my shares in the mobile app development company I founded. It was the first day in just over a week that I decided to hit the gym, so it felt great to get my body moving again.

Our trainer, a kind and goofy guy, the size of an NFL linebacker had a clear plan for us. We were busting through our workout, sweat dripping down our face, when he began to ask me about my workout routine. I told him what I'm sure many of us go through, that I’ve started and stopped many times. "It's frustrating to start it and then not have it continue", I said.  

“Of course it's frustrating. You keep doing the hardest part”. 

That remark hit me across the cranium because I knew he was right. I've always been a 'theoretical' believer in the power of Momentum. Why hadn't I applied it fully to my life yet?

I mean, we all intuitively know that it’s difficult to start and maintain new habits, but on this day, something clicked. “It’s all about the sticking with it. Once you get past a certain point, it gets easy.”

As someone who has been studying productivity, goal setting and habits, it was amazing that out of all of the books I’d read, a message from a random trainer would create a lasting impression on me. This trainer, without ever knowing it, had set me off on a journey I didn't expect to be on that day. My hope is that my experience will help give you the tools to kickstart the life you want.  After my workout, I continued to think about what motivates me. We all have different motivations and much of them are based on the personalities we have. My motivation was to stop doing the hard part over and over. I decided to set up a plan to make that happen.

The Habit
 


We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Aristotle

The decision had been made. I wasn’t going to only give myself the tough stuff anymore. I sat down, full of passion and energy to write this email.

 

Begin forwarded message:

From: Alex Gross <alex@thegrossprofit.com>
Date: January 6, 2016 at 10:51:36 AM PST

To: <joel@l************.com>, <eric*****@***.com>, <car******@gmail.com>, Zt*******@gmail.com, Gs******@gmail.com, <andre****@**.com>, Wi******@gmail.com

Subject: I'm Committing to these New Habits and Need Your Help!

Sup?


I'm running a little experiment and I need your help. It's a habit experiment. I'm needing to cultivate stronger habits and doing it alone and not having enough at stake has made it really challenging for me. I've pursued all of these habits before and I get a week in and drop it. Each time, I don't get past the threshold of the most difficult part. So, my experiment if you'll be kind enough to participate is to have you act as an accountability judge. You'll decide whether or not I'm achieving my goal of establishing these habits.
 

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. I'm going to, over the next 30 days, introduce and stick to these 3 habits:


1. GTD Process - An Organization Method (see here: https://hamberg.no/gtd/ )
2. Beast Mode Exercising - Having a pre-planned workout and executing on it
3. Meditating for 10 to 20 minutes every single day - Using guided meditation
I'm confident that establishing these habits will make me happier in my life and much more effective, healthier and relaxed. 

Why do I want you to be involved?
1. I care about what you think of me.
2. I trust you'll be honest with me.
3. I want to raise the stakes and social accountability is a huge motivator.

How will the stakes be raised?
1. I have to report to you, so if I don't do what I said I would do, you'll all know ( and that makes me look like a chump )
2. I'm going to ask that if I don't provide proof to you that I did do these 3 things every single day for the next 30 days, I need you to post about my failure on social media.

Ex: "Alex Gross said he'd do 3 simple things for 30 days, but failed to because he's weak-minded and doesn't follow through. If Alex says he's going to do something, don't believe him."  
That social media post above is harsh as fuck, I know. That's why I think it will work to serve as a real consequence. Aside from consequences, I will also be rewarding myself if/when I achieve this goal of implemented all three of these habits for 30 days. 


My reward will be, booking a trip to Denver with Caroline for a long weekend this Spring.
After these 30 Days, I will introduce more habits, with the goal of continuing these for 6 months and beyond.


Here's the deal, I can't have any excuses. Building a habit is really difficult to do and I need to implement these in my life for me to express my full potential. I know this message is super fucking weird, but you knew what you signed up for when you became my friend.
I'll send you an email every day with my update and proof. You don't need to reply at all. That said, if you want to shoot me a text message, email or give me a call about what I'm doing, I'd welcome the shit out it :)


Lastly: Regardless of circumstance I need to do these habits. It's a need for me, not a want. I get no retries or sorrys. No late notices or anything. Even if I break a leg, I'll be exercising, meditating and doing GTD that day. 


Key Dates

  • Day 1 is January 6th
  • Day 30 is February 5th

I know I'm nuts, but I just care so much about being able to turn my ideas into reality and living the life I want to live. Thanks for caring about me and for supporting me as I tackle this challenge. 


I guess the last thing I need is to know: will you hold me accountable?
 

Word,
Alex

 

I’m now on Day 68. 

So How Did It Work?
1. I rigged the game to play toward my desired action.
2. I used social accountability
3. Daily tasks - easy to remember to do something every day
4. I was essentially blackmailing myself - some days, I didn't want to do it, but that thought was short lived when I even considered the consequences.

The Reward

Besides a trip to Denver, this experience taught me a lot about my character and my naturally occurring human tendencies. Overall, I learned that when you set up enough reinforcement, and you stack the deck to make the decision an easy one, you get what you want. I did get past the hard part. Now, I’m healthier than I’ve every been, stronger than I’ve ever been, more aware than I’ve ever been and more responsive than I’ve every been. I’m continuing to add new habits. The feeling that I get from knowing that if I want to change my behavior when I choose gives me a great sense of freedom. It wasn’t alway easy, but it was super simple. 

So there you go. You’ve got a proven template for implementing your goals. There are no longer excuses. And to think, it can all happen for you too by sending one email. Here’s my challenge to you: Take that first simple step and download the email template here. Then gift yourself 15 minutes to fill it out. Then send it and CC me on your email. There’s nothing stopping you now from having the habits your desire. Just Click ‘Send’. 

I’m trying to become a better writer, so if you have any constructive ideas on what you liked and what you believe could improve, I’m eager for your feedback! If you know anyone who is trying to make a change in their life, feel free to share this with them as well. 

To New Beginnings

"If you know how to talk, then you know how to write."

- Seth Godin

 

If I take Seth's quote to heart, then I should be able to write a lot. I've never been one to say a lot online, and I enjoy talking and connecting with people so I figured it was about time I got a blog and contributed to the ever amassing amount of documented human experience on the internet. 

I've got a simple mission: I'm going to be raw. I'm going to be honest. I'm going to do my very best to capture as many cool and valuable ideas as I can and then share them with you.

I've never done this blogging thing, but from what I've heard, sitting down and doing it is the hardest part. Therefore, I will now create a habit that requires I post 1 new blog post every single week at the bare minimum. Who knows, maybe I'll shake things up and post multiple times. As my friend, you should know I'm a bit of a wild card ;-)

So, what can you expect from my posts? You can expect a mix of business talk, ideas, philosophy, humor, personal development, relationships and travel. I'll pretty much be funneling all of the coolest and realest information into one location so that you and all of my friends can hang out with me whenever you want. I also think it'd be cool if my kids 50 years from now, or someone else's kids 500 years from now, can take a minute to hang out with me in my 25 year old state. I'm going to write each letter like I'm writing to you, because I am. 

No BS, this entire blog is a conversation and although I'll do most of the talking, like I do in the physical world, I want to invite you to share your voice, your feedback, your ideas with me right here. If you want to get involved with any of the ideas I'm throwing out there, let me know. If you need some help with one of your projects, let me know. 

I'd like to end this post with a toast. Here is to new beginnings, Internet friendship and becoming who we all deserve to become. Cheers!

 

Your boy,

Alexander Gross aka The Gross Profit