Category - Lifestyle

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11 Excuses You Need To Stop Making TODAY And Why

  1. I don’t have time/the timing isn’t right

Let’s be honest, the timing will never be right. If you’re busy now you’ll be even busier when you take action. But you know what? You’ll be doing something you enjoy. Once you lay the foundation of your new business, you can start to automate it. You will have time once you give your time.

  1. I don’t know how/not enough experience

So what? Most people don’t have a ton of experience in the businesses they started. No one knows EVERYTHING about the business they start. That is exactly why they hire people who do. Start your business with your idea, research it online, and learn just enough to start. Learn as you go. Remember, DONE is better than PERFECT.

  1. I don’t have the money

There are businesses you can start that require little money. Read the Lean Startup. Furthermore, you can start a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Indiegogo. If you believe in it, nothing should stop you.

  1. I can’t do it alone

Then don’t! Find someone who will believe in you and your idea. Secondly, you can do it alone. Because you are awesome. If you want to do this, then do it and don’t look back until you get the results you want. If you need help, then go get it. You are worth the risk.

  1. Things will change without me taking action

Maybe. Not in the way you want though. Life happens to us that is a fact. Life doesn’t discriminate. Life will knock you down and leave you on the ground bleeding if you let it. If you want something in your life, you need to GO GET IT. If not, keep waiting, waiting, and waiting. You’ll be waiting a long time.

  1. I don’t have a following

That doesn’t matter right now. What new businesses have big followings or any followings when they first start? With today being the age of social media, you have access to the world. You can spread the word about who you are and what you can offer. You can impact the world with your idea or business if you commit to doing it. Press forward and you will get your true followers.

  1. I’m afraid of failing

Hell, who isn’t? I’m afraid of failing. But you know what? I’m MORE afraid of letting my life pass me by and not taking the life I want. I am more afraid of staying in the same spot today as I would be 5, 10, 15+ years from now. That terrifies me. Do you fear that? Then failing for your dreams or new life is nothing. Failure teaches us lessons. Failure will make you unstoppable. Fail forward and you’ll succeed.

  1. I don’t know what will happen

No one knows what tomorrow will bring. You have the best idea of the tomorrow you want. So do everything today you can do to make the tomorrow you envision. It may not happen right away, but, when you look back on yesterday, last week, last year, can you say you did everything you could to achieve the tomorrow you want?

  1. I don’t want to disrupt my family or life

Wouldn’t it be more disruptive living in the life you’re unhappy with right now? If you aren’t living the life you or your family wants, then your life is already disrupted. You are just used to it. Loop your family in to your idea and get them on board. Your support system is key. Let them help you!

  1. I should be content with my life & settle

Why? Why should you EVER settle? Settling or being content shouldn’t enter your mind. If you settle, you won’t ever have anything more than you have now. And you deserve more. Toss the words settle and content out of your mind right NOW. You want more. You want the life you envision. YOU WILL TAKE ACTION TO GET IT.

  1. People won’t believe in me/support me

Some won’t, some will. You know what, though? Your success will make believers of everyone. Make the doubters believers, and make the believers your champions. The only one that matters in believing in you, is you.

 

NOTHING CAN STOP YOU.

PS: Are you having trouble letting go of your excuses? Start meditating to clear your mind to reach your true goals.

 

Use:

Zazn – an iOS app to guide you to start.

Yoga Mat – You want a good yoga mat so you are comfortable AND you don’t slip if you decide to sprinkle in yoga practices with your meditation.

 

Hidden Content

Why I decided to Escape the Suck (And create this blog to chronicle it)

What is your time worth?

Let’s go back to the beginning. My brother and I grew up in a single parent household on the outskirts of Seattle. Our dad was a man who chose to not be around. Our mom was a woman who had chronic depression issues and nothing but time on her hands. And not in a good way. Throughout our childhood our mom channeled her inner abuser to emotionally attack us daily. But what was worse? Emotional abuse or a ghost of a dad?

Probably the abuser…

I tell you all of this because our parents didn’t make time for us, to raise us, to teach us. These parents were stuck in their Suck and couldn’t (or didn’t) do a thing about it.

I learned one big lesson from my parents, as many of us do. This one lesson was that in no way, shape, or form, did I wanted to let the Suck take my time away from what I wanted in life. It would not dictate my life.

So, what is “the Suck” you ask?

The suck is anything that is a negative impact on your life, those aspects of your life that take your time with little payoff, or things that aren’t acceptable to your goals in life. Even circumstances that make you lose your time-money trade-off.

You can find Stu and I’s further defined take on the Suck here.

These all suck don’t you think? Great! Glad you agree.

Now you know what the Suck is. Let’s look at our lives and think what the Suck? What is “the Suck” in your life? Let me walk you through my current Suck and why I started my journey to ESCAPE it.

What the Suck?!

That’s right. That’s what I’ve been saying through my struggles. My current Suck started in 2014 after I had just graduated college and was hired to run a janitorial supply company. I was taken on and thrown into the fire to get learning how to run the company. Some teaching occurred, but most was self-taught.

You are probably thinking that I lucked out or that you would love this opportunity..

And you aren’t necessarily wrong, depending what your goals are.

I was doing EVERYTHING, and I still am. This is a business that has forced me to do many tasks at the same time, which means I can’t do any of them as well I could individually with 100% effort (if you don’t believe me, read The One Thing – this book was of vast importance to me).

But let’s get back to what the Suck is for me real quick. I’ve been doing everything, working like a dog, and come 2015, my wife was coming due to have our son. Fast forward a few months and we have this beautiful little boy. Even though I’ve had this life changing little man, I didn’t have any time for him, myself, or my family. I had none before and I still don’t despite this massive change. My job wouldn’t allow me to take time off to be with my newborn son. From that point on, I decided to take any and all steps to Escape the Suck.

I have stayed with this company attempting to free more time up and to be more productive through implementing new processes and developing my staff to be more productive and self-sustaining in their work. This didn’t eliminate the Suck though (it may – but it hasn’t yet). As a new parent, time for my family was something I wasn’t willing to budge on. I knew I could make more than enough money while not giving up my time doing it my way.

A year later I started a commercial cleaning company with a big contract landed. Looking to Escape the Suck, I ran with it. Although, in hindsight I should have reviewed the business model much more thoroughly prior to securing this contract. This business required me to physically clean and be in the trenches in order for it to survive. I thought about the direction of this industry a bit more.. janitorial cleaning is a dying breed, before long it will be done almost entirely by robotics … decades down the road – but it’s coming!

I went from seeing my son 30 minutes a day to not seeing him for several days straight. What should I do? I go back to my goals in Escaping the Suck. Did this conflict with my goals? Absolutely! I started the process to shut down the business the second I answered that question.

Check out why I quit my business HERE for a breakdown and further analysis of this venture.

But what next? Where do I go from here?

My time-money trade off needs to align with my goals. If it doesn’t, then I escape it. If it does, then I attack it.

If there is one thing you take away from this, I want to question the things in your life that are “the Suck”. If you don’t know what that is just yet, that is perfectly fine. I will help guide you towards the discovery of your suck, and how to escape it.

Ask yourself:

What are my goals at my job or business?

What are my goals for my family?

Do they align with my current path?

What am I willing to do to make them align?

Is there something better I can do to get what I want?

How much time am I giving up and how much will I get in return?

Get your FREE goal-setting guide to get started!

 

As you can see, time is the one constant. How much TIME are you giving up and what are you getting in return? Your return needs to be worth it to you. If it’s not, then a change is necessary. Your time is worth everything. The key here, is realizing where the suck is and figuring out how to get away from it. I have gone through the suck, heck I still am. I am escaping it with you. And we can do it. I have no doubts that if we start questioning what the suck is in our lives are, escape it(or them), and attack our goals, then we will get the results we want.

This is exactly why Stu and I created this blog. We are Escaping our current Suck, as you are or will be very soon. I want more than I am getting in my life, and I have the power to achieve it.

As I go through the steps in my Escape, I am going to document it all on this blog. Be it money-making tips or tests, productivity tips or life hacks that have helped me in my Escape, resources that I have used in my process, and even how I started this blog and brought it to where it is today.

I am going to show YOU everything I have done and will do!

For those of you are stuck in a rut, or are fearful of taking action and making the change you know you need to make. Follow us on our journey, and take tested (by us) action.

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR ESCAPE TODAY!

 

YOU CAN DO IT!

Share you story with me, every week we will be doing a featured Escape the Suck post from a submission to provide a fresh perspective on an Escape the Suck journey!

 

Swagbucks Surveys – Can you make money?

Online surveys tested: Can you make money?

I always wondered if taking surveys online was truly a way of making money. You always see people talking about how much money they have made. I kept wondering, so I decided to find out for myself. I originally signed up for Ipsos i-Say and was unable to get an account setup with them. I ended up signing up with Swagbucks who as I researched further were highly recommended in the internet community and got to work. The set up was pretty straight forward, all I had to put in was my email and create a password.

Once I did that several options came up to “earn” Swagbucks right away, such as adding the Swagbutton, making Swagbucks the default search engine, taking a featured survey, explaining how I heard of Swagbucks, and any featured purchases or bonuses I could activate. Signing up cost me $0.00 in case you wondered!

You will be asked to check a box saying you will answer all surveys honestly. I checked the box as I wholly intended to be intentional and answer all questions honestly and thoroughly.

Afer you sign up, I recommend you go to the “Swagups” screen and check any of the items that will double your points or increase how quickly you can grow them. After I signed up I activated two Swagups, double points for my first 3 surveys, and double points on a Swagbucks search.

Last note before we get started: at the top of the screen there is a daily goal, once you reach the goal you will get a bonus Swagbuck allotment. It is usually 3-4 SB but is a free bonus for already taking surveys and earning. So why not??

A few things I am going to do through this test:

  • Attempt as many surveys as possible within my 1 hour allotment each day for 10 days.
  • Take the daily poll which will earn 1 SB each day
  • Document everything!
  • I will decide after the test is complete whether or not I made money, and if it is worth pursuing as a money making method online.
  • Document all of my attempts, time expended, averages, SB earned, and any other data I feel is relevant to giving you as much information as possible for this test.

What I will NOT do:

  • Activate the Swagbucks search engine
  • Watch videos
  • Play games
  • Any other income strategies on Swagbucks

 

Why? I want to provide you with an accurate depiction of what you can making taking surveys only. If at the end of this test I decide it is worth doing an additional test to see if the additional strategies are worth evaluating I will then mention that in my grade of the survey test and let you know how that goes!

Now it’s time to get started!

There is a daily 1 question poll I recommend you take as it takes no time and provides you with an easy 1 Swagbuck.

Survey time!

You’ll want to go to the left hand side of your screen and look for “Gold Surveys”. This is where you want to be to find the best surveys available for you to attempt, alongside any featured surveys that may be available at that time.

Side note: Before you can take the survey, you must first QUALIFY. The test to qualify can be quick and painless most times, but some take much longer than a couple of minutes.

If you qualify, you’ll be taken to the test itself and go along your way answering the questions to earn Swagbucks.

If you DON’T qualify, you are then brought back to the Gold Surveys screen and told you were given 1 SB for your time.

Once you’ve earned enough Swagbucks to redeem a prize you want, simply go to the left hand side and look for “Redeem your SB” and choose the prize you want.

Hint: You can only redeem 2 prizes per day.

Alright! Now onto the results of MY test!!

I tested 1 hour a day for 10 days.

My results? I earned 907 Swagbucks which amounts to roughly $9.07. My hourly average is $0.907 per hour, or $1.00 if you feel like rounding.

My experience with Swagbucks was bittersweet. Most surveys took me more than 10 minutes, while offering a variable amount of Swagbucks or “SB” as they call it. The most common result of my surveys was that I didn’t qualify and was given 1 SB as a result. The worst part was that most days I was disqualified from a minimum 2 surveys, while some being 3 or more. Once you are disqualified from 3-4 surveys, you stop getting the 1 SB. Which, let’s be honest, that 1 SB or $0.01 doesn’t change much.

The qualifying surveys varied in time and questions, while most seeming to take me 5-10 minutes, some more, some less. Questions varied from very little (10 or so) to way too many (50+ just to qualify!).

But what about the surveys themselves you might be wondering??

I had just a couple that took me less than 10 minutes, while most taking 15-20 on average, some even more.

I averaged less than 2 surveys per day over my 10-day test while averaging 3 disqualifications.

Get my daily results HERE !

The burning question… can you make money here??

In a short answer, YES, you can absolutely make money using Swagbucks. My question to you, however, is, what is your time worth in making money on this platform? For me, if I am averaging less than a dollar an hour, which I did, I definitely do NOT want to be spending any of my time here attempting surveys in exchange for pennies. However, you might have a free hour every day and choose to use it doing on online surveys which is absolutely great because you CAN make money here, it just takes time.

 

 

 

Because I was testing Swagbucks in just the survey format I was limited in what I was earning to whatever surveys the Swagbucks Gods would qualify me for.

In the end of the test, I redeemed my Swagbucks for 3 different $3.00 Amazon gift cards which are going to be emailed to me. When redeeming, keep in mind that you can only do 2 prize redemptions per day. Meaning, to redeem my $9.00 worth of gift cards it took me 2 days to do so.

I personally think there are better ways with which we can make money online than the survey method.

There are other methods with which you can increase your Swagbucks earned, though. You can set your browser to the Swagbucks “SwagButton” and get a 50 SB bonus right away. You will be alerted of websites you visit that Swagbucks offers deals on. In addition to this, as you search with the SwagButton you will earn additional PASSIVE Swagbucks.

UPDATE 8.25.17:

Since I started using the Swagbutton, I have averaged almost 100 SB a day in passive earnings just my using it as my search engine. Definitely something to recommend regardless of your intent to complete surveys.

Another very passive method of maximizing your Swagbucks earning potential is to watch the Swagbucks TV online or on the app. Most video packages offer 1-5 SB while taking 20-30 minutes. My recommendation is to do this on a device you aren’t using and just let it run for hours. I want you to only do this if data and battery life is not an issue, as this will drain both extensively.

I plan to test out more methods and show YOU what works!

Online Survey Experiment grade: I give this test a passing grade because I DID make money, but I recommend to use this method only when desperate.

On another note – merging the passive methods with taking surveys online will easily double your SB earned. If you want to sign up for Swagbucks, this is the best way to earn.

If you’re struggling with anything in particular – let me know and I’ll get it tested!

Patrick’s Top Audio books

I’ve always had trouble finding the time and patience to sit down and read a book. Be it 300 pages or 1000, it has always been something I found difficult. When I first started listening to audiobooks, I found the patience to listen, process, and even listen again if I felt I missed something. It took me dramatically less time to listen for 8-10 hours in total for a book than sit down for days, weeks, even months to finish just one book.

I know I’m not the only one out there, and if you’re like me you’ll understand!

So, with that in mind, here are the top audio books from Audible (in no specific order) I’ve listened to so far this year (but that does not mean the book is FROM this year) on. I will be linking up the actual books should you want to buy them in book form rather than listen on Audible.

  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • This is a classic. I have listened to it a couple of times now and there’s always something new for me to learn. It takes a couple listens to get used to language because of the age gap from when the book was written versus today when you are listening to it. I consider this to be more of a mindset book. In that I mean it is telling you how you need to think and act to be successful.
  • The ONE Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
    • I’m not going to spoil much on this book, but it’s a quick lesson and I recommend this book to all because it has ONE (see what I did there?) primary lesson.
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
    • Easily one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. There were lessons that resonated with the current times, alongside timeless lessons. Zero to One provides actionable steps that even the wantrapreneur can use to take the next step forward.
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People By Dale Carnegie
    • This was another book so the audio version depicted the time with which it was written. Much like Think and Grow Rich this book was a harder one to listen to. I knew I needed to though, as everywhere I looked this was a highly recommended book to read or listen to. And man, was that spot on! Another success mindset book in my opinion.
  • The 4-hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich By Timothy Ferris
    • Any Tim Ferris book is going to be a killer read. I’m also currently reading his newest book, Tools of Titans. Yes, I said I am actually reading it. Which for me is a big deal because I don’t have the patience to sit down for that long to actually get any legit reading done! This is a top audiobook post, but I felt inclined to mention how awesome Tim’s latest book is. But, back to The 4-hour Workweek, this was the very FIRST audiobook I listened to and I’d say I’ve learned the most from it. With that said, a must listen (or read!).
  • BONUS: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
    • This is another short but great listen. In a nut shell, it is teaches us to do less, to achieve more. Don’t muddy up the water with distractions but instead only do those actions that yield the highest results.

[ninja_form id=2]

 

 

How I Maximize My Layover

How I Maximize my Layover

 

People always ask me when I’m flying around the world if I have any time at all to see anything worth seeing or do anything worth doing on one of these super-quick-turn-and-burn courier jobs. Let me tell you, people, it isn’t as impossible as you may think.

All you need to do is have a little system in place.

Keep reading as I show you how I Maximize My Layover.

This is a simple X-step process that allows you to escape rollaboard minefields in the airport and get to at the very least, a selfie with the Eiffel Tower.

[link to IG of me somewhere cool here ]

  1. Time

You need 7 or more solid hours when public transit is running to have a chance.

If you have a one-and-a-half-hour layover at LAX coming in from an international destination, you’re going to struggle to get to your gate, let alone the closest In-N-Out burger. You should abandon all hope, in that case.

After a few years of doing this, I’ve come to realize that the lucky number to make any trip from the airport to the city really enjoyable is 7. 7 lucky hours. Any fewer, and you’re likely to spend more time on transit into the city than you would in the city anyway. What a waste of time.

If you’re lucky enough to have 7+ hours, then we go to step 2.

  1. What’s good?

In a situation like this, where you have at max one day, and maybe as few as 3-4 hours after getting into the city, you have to prioritize. I’ve got my own criteria, and you should build your own based off of your lovely personality. If you struggle to think of anything, you can use mine as a starting board. It’s served me well these many miles. The trick is to have must-haves and nice-to haves. It’s a tactic I use with my clients for digital projects at 1-2 Lab. In no particular order, here are my must-haves and nice-to-haves.

Must-haves:

  • The most stereotypical food possible. That food that I ordered before, every time I went to a restaurant serving this country’s cuisine. China – fried rice and dumplings. Mexico City – tacos. Thailand – phad thai (preferably from a cart). Italy – pasta. That’s just for the first meal, to have a comparison between the authentic version and the Americanized version. From there, I split off into the most local food possible. My second day in Shanghai involved drunken shrimp.
  • The most local drink. This is dangerous… but very rewarding… most of the time. Snake wine in Vietnam paid off. Baijiu in China did not. None of the first 5 times I tried Baijiu ended well, so you should probably avoid that devil’s drink. Unless you hate humanity, in which case feel free.
  • Something Instragrammable. Ok, I confess, I don’t actually use Instagram more than once a month if that, but let’s put this another way. You’re in a faraway place, and what would your parents and grandparents like to see you seeing? This is your Eiffel Tower, your Empire State Building, your Colosseum.
  • Friends or Family. Say no more; saved the best for last. If I visit somewhere with friends or family, they get a meetup. It’s so hard to see friends who live overseas. Don’t have any friends there yet? You’re an international traveler, and wherever you’re getting that local drink and food is sure to be a fantastic spot to meet someone new. Get their Facebook or WeChat or whatever.

Nice to have:

  • Every capital city has a fantastic museum somewhere. What are you into? When I’m in San Francisco, I beeline for the Exploratorium and call my friends and jump next to the Richter scale, and think of dumb names for the earthquake we just made. Winning name: “Hell yeah we made an earth quake!” Could use a few review sessions.
  • As a traveler, no matter where you are from, it’s just good juju to learn a little about where you are. Locals will cut you some slack for being ignorant, as a foreigner, but they really appreciate it when you can join them in conversation and say something appreciative about their culture. That’s on top of the merits of just being a cultured person in general…
  • If you’re reading our stuff then you’ve probably had the same thought about trying to become a digital nomad. This is an opportunity to prove to your company if you work fulltime that you can stay in touch and be productive while abroad.

 

  1. Gear

When you’re only in a city for a short time, and have a list of things to see quickly, you should probably not bring a rolling suitcase or easel and canvas. Whatever you’re missing, you can buy where you are. Everywhere has everything. Maybe it won’t be your favorite brand of toothpaste, but if that’s an issue for you, you likely wouldn’t have read this far. The best to bring is the barest minimum.

  • Backpack
  • Smartphone
  • Battery pack
  • Laptop
  • Comfortable, breathable, clean clothes
  • Walking shoes – look forward to 8-10km on your feet.
  • Toiletries
  • Credit card
  • Rainproof coat
  • Passport/ID
  • Wireless data

I’ve discussed this in a little more detail before with some gear recommendations, see that post here.

Do you need anything else? If you have a suggestion for an awesome product you can’t live without, please let me know. I have to say, I love upgrading my travel gear.

 

Then when you get there, and when you get through immigration and customs, just do it. I always find that immigration and customs take longer than I expect, except when they don’t, so being flexible is a must if you want to get to see as much as you can with quick turn and burn layover opportunities like this.

 

  1. Get out

 

This strategy has served me well through many years of flying around the world, and I hope that you can make use of it to, when you find yourself on any quick turn and burns throughout your travels. Just remember to leave yourself enough time to get back to the airport, grab your boarding pass, and get out.

 

While this framework works great, be very careful not to make the mistake of enjoying yourself too much. Missing a flight could be a very expensive way to ruin the rest of your trip. But if you decide you like this place so much, then maybe missing that flight wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

 

I want to give you an example of a trip where I used this framework to plan an effective itinerary. This isn’t supposed to be a complete tour guide, just to show you it’s possible. These time estimates are just that – estimates. Itwon’t be exact, but it’ll be close.

 

Prague:

Using Wikivoyage and my tried and true criteria, I chose a few objectives to go see. The old town of Prague is quite compact, so it was very easy to get it all done in my roughly 10-hour stay.

1030: finish with customs (courier life) and I’m free to go to the ticket office and pick up a 24-hour ticket for 110 Kč (or two regular 32 Kč tickets) to get me to the city and back. Bus 119 from the airport, then line A to Malostranksa station and a walk takes about 45 mins. Easy.

1115: After climbing up the castle, I don’t bother to go inside, since the view from the outside is just so stellar. The inside is highly recommended online, but I’ll always prefer a view over a museum. You can just chill up there and take a nap (it’s a goal of mine to take a nap at every castle I can). Should be able to catch the changing of the guard, too. On this trip it was a little wintery to do that.

1ish I head back down to the Karluv Most aka Karl Bridge, the prettiest bridge ever. Good place for some of those photos for your parents, as is the cathedral at the other side. The cathedral has concerts at various times of the day.

2 or so I find myself in the main square, grab food right away from one of the street stalls plus a mulled wine to warm the bones. Om nom nom. Great spot for photos of the biggest cuckoo clock in the world (I may have made that up), gorgeous churches, a fantastic statue, and more. Just gotta dodge some annoying Segway tourists.

3ish I head north from the square to the Jewish district, first stopping by the synagogue, then visiting the Museum of Communism. It’s tiny but packed, highly recommended.

5:00 walk over to Nase Maso for some fantastic butchery, and scarf it down in the packed interior. Super packed. Worth it.

Retreading my steps, I get to the church I mentioned earlier with concerts. Well, I couldn’t miss a Vivaldi Four Seasons concert! Middle of winter, snow on the ground, it was freezing, freezing, freezing to the point of cuddling with my non-English-speaking stranger neighbor in the pew. How could the musicians possibly play? Amazing.

Following the conclusion of that at about 7:30, I was too frozen to continue, and trekked back to the subway and the airport.

Success!

 

Got it? 5 steps to success for a super quick trip. Anyone that can use Google can do it. If you can’t use Google, then you’re… Lost.

 

Keep reading here for more information about how to Escape the Suck and do things like this.

 

Hidden Content