77.59 Despair

1260. “You can enslave yourself by assuming a responsibility to observe, judge, and correct any social problems. For the problems will continue indefinitely. They'll never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. The demands upon your time, energy, and money can never cease.”

Problems never end.  I just try not to make society’s problems my problems.

1261. “Campaigns for social change are excellent examples of the indirect alternative— working through others to get what you want. Your success depends on the responses of literally thousands of people. Your control over the situation is minute.”

1262. “You're not going to live forever. With the years ahead of you, why not start now to concentrate on making your life as meaningful, free, exciting, and joyous as possible?”

This is the essence of IBM*.  If you are not going to live your perfect life now, then when?  When you’re even an older fart than you are now?

1263. “THE PREVIOUS-INVESTMENT TRAP is the belief that time, effort, and money spent in the past must be considered when making a decision in the present.”

We have all fallen into this trap.  We stay in a relationship long after it suits the needs of either party.  One of the hardest mental tasks is staying in the present.

1264. “In every case, the question is: With what you have now, what is the best way to use that to get the most in the future? What you've paid to get to where you are now is irrelevant; those resources are gone and can't be retrieved, no matter what you do.”

Think Buddha.  Let it go.

1265. “The same thing applies to any area of your life. Recognize your losses. Don't assume that you can lead a mistake-free life. You can't. But you can recognize your mistakes early and thereby prevent them from compounding into gigantic losses.”

This happens at casinos too.  You will make mistakes.  Have a plan, and cut your losses if possible.

1266. “The first thing to recognize is that you're paying a price every day that you remain in the box. You're forgoing more attractive alternatives. And you suffer discomfort just from knowing that you don't like the situation, plus the discomfort of whatever you have to do to keep from rocking the boat.”

1267. “The second thing to recognize is that there is a way out. To get out, you have to pay a price. The price may be in emotional upheaval, in money, in time spent to make things right. Whatever it is, there is a price you can pay to get out.”

The essence of Harry Browne is that any problem can be identified, and a price to pay can be determined.  The price can be psychological or financial or both.  Determine the price, and pay it.

1268. “If you could know specifically what you're paying by staying where you are and what you would have to pay to get out, you could make a definite choice. You'd know which alternative was truly best for you.”

1269. “With this, you will have identified clearly the three elements of your situation: (1) what you're paying by remaining where you are; (2) what it would cost you to get out; and (3) what you could do once you're out.”

1270. Living with diabetes, and by taking prescribed medications, you are under the constant threat of dying from a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure, or succumbing to blindness, amputations, neuropathy, hypertension, nerve damage, high cholesterol, depression, sexual dysfunction, and falling into a coma. Those are just the side-effects of living with diabetes, or as I like to say, diabetes causes everything.

1271. Using conventional methods for diabetes does not cure diabetes, as the medical community still claims that diabetes is an incurable disease. Yet, hundreds of studies show otherwise. Diabetics are prescribed higher and higher dosages of drugs. Then when those fail, they get prescribed insulin injections on top of drugs. You will continue to live with diabetes for the rest of your life ''managing'' it until you develop horrible complications.

1272. Ever wonder why diabetics have such high rates of heart disease, heart attacks, cancer, high cholesterol, blindness, arthritis, and neuropathy?  Inflammation.

1273. Scientists and researchers at the University of California San Diego proved that type 2 diabetes is caused by inflammation.  They discovered that an inflammatory molecule called LTB4 causes insulin resistance. And insulin resistance leads to high blood sugar and diabetes.

1274. If we treat the symptoms of a condition, rather than the causes of the condition, we will be stuck treating them forever. Wouldn't it be smarter to address the causes of diabetes rather than the symptoms?

1275. What are the symptoms of diabetes? High blood sugar and insulin resistance. What do doctors prescribe? Meds to lower blood sugar, and insulin to help with insulin resistance. Have you actually done anything to treat the disease itself? No. You have simply treated the symptoms.   This is exactly what you do every single day by taking diabetes drugs or insulin - you aren't treating diabetes, you are treating the warning lights - high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

1276. Drugs and insulin manage your diabetes, but you need it for the rest of your life.  Taking steps to address the causes of diabetes can completely reverse this disease. Natural nutrition based treatments have prevented and totally reversed type 2 diabetes, yet doctors still only prescribe very dangerous drugs.

1277. The medical industry worked hard to get a law passed that stated that "Only a drug can cure, prevent or treat a disease". Yes you read that right. All those studies conducted by scientists from all over the world proving that you can prevent, treat, and reverse type 2 diabetes without drugs, are figments of your imagination.

1278. Diabetes drugs artificially adjust your blood sugar.  They don't do anything to address the root cause of your disease. They are only made to 'treat' and 'manage'. You still live with the constant threat of heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, limb amputations, dementia, hypertension, nerve system disease, high cholesterol, depression, coma, and blindness.

1279. The Introvert Perpetual Traveler

Each year, I begin on my birthday (Sept. 14) with a new plan for improving my life.  In the past, I have tried to plan for the year, which of course works as well as most New Year’s Resolutions, which means not at all.  And as it turns out, I am trying on New Year’s Day again.

This, of course, ties in with the idea of reinventing yourself.  It’s a concept that goes back to the Greco-Roman Stoics, and maybe even earlier.  In 2015, you can read James Altucher for ways to improve your life 1% each day and basically reinvent yourself every 6 months.  I look to other mentors dead or alive including Harry Browne.

The question is, “Are you truly happy where your life is right now?”

Unfortunately, reinvention is kind of a moot point when you don’t feel like you even invented yourself once.  You may have been sculpted by others.  You may have gone with the flow.  But this will be a conscious invention for the things I want at this time of my life.

Even in business, most annual plans get pushed off until the last 2 months of your fiscal year.  When I worked for the government (State Department), near the end of the fiscal year we had to waste any remaining funds or risk Congress cutting our budget in the future.

No more annual plans.

Annual plans fail for any number of reasons, but mostly because circumstances one year out cannot be calculated to any degree of certainty in your life.  Jobs are lost.  Divorces or breakups happen.  You develop an illness that changes everything as you focus on staying alive.

So this year, new life - new strategy.

When you look back over the prior year and see how much time you have wasted - or allowed others to convince you to give up for their interests - you will likely see that 3 to 4 months of focused effort (like the last 2 months of your annual plan) could replace your entire work year.

I’ve come across books like The 12 Week Year which is a good place for goal setters.  His plan calls for a 12 week year followed by a 1 week evaluation.  Now, 4 weeks paid vacation each year is better than most U.S. wage slaves receive.  But I have adjusted to more fit what I think I can do.

My method of tracking I call 77.  I work like a banshee for 11 weeks, and then take 2 weeks off.  That will give me 8 weeks a year for vacation, travel, and resetting my objectives.

On a stat sheet, I also record ideas for inclusion in this first “year” or in future ones.  The three areas I choose to improve are health, wealth, and relationships.  Some prefer mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual (Lakota).  Others may add vocational or financial or social, but I like to stick the big three.

It’s your life.  Choose what you want.

For the first time in my life, I am planning 100% of my future in 77 day nuggets.  It’s all on me.  I am 100% accountable for my choices and actions.

Caveat:  You Control Actions, Not Results

Focusing on results can easily scuttle your life theme.

For example, I will write at least 3,000 words a day on various topics.  These words will result in posts, articles, reports, ebooks and maybe even a mainstream book or two.  231,000 words in 77 days should lead to a decent web presence and get several streams of income flowing like lava.

But it might not.

Maybe no one cares about the niches I choose to blog about.  Maybe I can’t build a list of customers to market to.  Maybe my prose stinks and doesn’t add value to readers’ lives.

Who knows?

But if I stick to my action and write 3,000+ words per day, I have a chance.  Without it, life tends to steal your time and energy, and you drift with the tide.

While I have a plan for my first 77, each individual action I take has to contribute to my to the ultimate personal theme of returning to the life of perpetual traveler.  It’s been 40 years since I was able to wake up each morning with a clean slate and decide where to travel to next.

The PT lifestyle is my thing.  It may not be yours.  I have all of my possessions down to a large backpack.  Over 77 days, it will have to be down to a 33L daypack that can be carried on to any airline in the world.  No more luggage tags.

While that sounds extreme, my hero is Gandhi.  He died with around 10 possessions.

gandhibelongings2.jpg

Now that’s traveling light.

I start with 3 items each week, and add one new action each week to have 11 in each category of health, wealth, and relationships.  Of course, I start with the most important items that should be done all 11 weeks.

Simple.

Here is my 1st week:

Week 1:

Health:

  1. eat real food - non-starchy - raw or cooked

Wealth:

  1. write 3,000+ words per day

Relationships:

  1. forge new relationship with Cleo

Eating real food is critical to controlling diabetes which I developed about 12 years ago.  Cut out the crap, and diabetes takes care of itself.

Having an online income is perfect for introverts.  And it is critical for perpetual travelers who need to work anywhere in the world.

Cleo is my 26 year old daughter now out of college.  A joy.  But I want to be able to help her more emotionally and financially than I have been able to in the past.

Each of these actions will prepare me for a new round of perpetual travel.  And this is just the base.  To travel at will, you need steady income not dependent on a job or physical location.  The last thing you want is bad health or illness in a strange land.  And you need a few close relationships with friends and family to keep you grounded emotionally.

In developing my life theme, I had to look at what I truly love to do.  

Travel is at the top of the list.  Many people make some extra money and choose to upgrade their houses or cars, maybe even buy a boat.  Bless them.  The economy needs them.  When I have money, I buy a plane ticket.

For the first time, I am digging into what makes me happy.  Strange lands.  Strange pussy.  Exotic food.

No need to apologize for your wants and needs.

1280. I need to develop a 1 page marketing plan to stay on track.  My current situation could require a huge influx of money at any time.  I need a fast and direct path to FU income without following my passion.  I need to grow my business fast and get the hell out of Dodge.

Nothing kills a business faster than a lack of cash flow.  Very few problems arise that cannot be cured with money.  Once I take care of my own financial needs, I can reach out and help those few people I really want to help.

Most small businesses never grow past the point of where they support the owner.  I have a vision for Walkabout Solopreneur and LBDs where I can convert to teacher of affiliate marketing.  Many entrepreneurs would be better off taking a job and getting rid of the hassles of running a business.

Many small businesses are started by technicians who want to be on their own.  It really includes professionals as well, especially accountants and lawyers.  You trade working for an idiot boss (who signs your paychecks) to being the idiot boss (who struggles to write a paycheck that won’t bounce).

Professionals have a well-thought out plan.  Otherwise, you drift and spend way too much time on meaningless tasks.  If you are your own pilot, you need a flight plan.

Even as a solopreneur, you eventually want to use leverage to earn big bucks.  Leverage can come through automation or outsourcing or even virtual assistants.  For WS, marketing is your ace in the hole.  Even big companies suck at online marketing.

Creating a marketing plan is a boring, difficult task that most small business owners avoid.

1281.


The rest is just tactics.

1282. Marketing changes as the market changes.  Think Yellow Pages, and how much money your business shelled out for ads.  Now you have social media sites that come and go and get bought out by competitors and shut down.  

The Internet has changed everything.  Your competitors are everywhere in the world.  We tend to succumb to shiny object syndrome and waste time and money on unproven tactics.  I’m as guilty as anyone, but I’m getting better at resisting.

We need to keep sight of what we are doing and why.

1283. Strategy v. Tactics

Understanding strategy versus tactics is key to marketing success.

Strategy is your overall marketing plan.  Tactics are the tools and skills you use to put the plan into action.  Both are critical.

Strategy without tactics leads to paralysis of the spirit.  Tactics without strategy leads to chasing the latest shiny objects.  Strategy comes first and dictates what tactics you need to carry out your plan.

1284. Many businesses adopt a Field of Dreams marketing plan - “if you build it, he will come”.  No one knows how good your product or service is until after they buy it and use it.  So, your product is really a customer retention tool.  Marketing is the way for customer acquisition.

1285. Many small businesses fail at marketing because they try to copy the big kahunas in their niche.  In Internet marketing, that means paid advertising, millions of banner impressions on the biggest websites, arbitrage, and outsourcing almost everything.  

I know people in affiliate marketing that buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of ads each month.  They make good money, but it’s like day trading on the currency markets.  A mistake can cost you dearly.

Big companies spend millions on creative advertising designed to build their brand awareness, win awards, keep their stockholders happy, and hopefully make a profit.

As a Walkabout Solopreneur, you have one objective for your marketing - make a profit.

1286. Direct response marketing levels the playing field between big and small businesses.  Focus on specific problems your readers have and offer education and solutions.  Turn normal ads into direct response ads.  These are now lead generating ads for whatever solutions you can offer, not something for brand awareness that might turn into a sale 2 years from now.

1287. I want my new sales pages and copywriting skills to be an adventure.  Build the free pdfs that people will seek out.

1288. Good Internet marketing is direct response, usually CPA marketing designed to get you to take a specific action.

1289. CPA stands for Cost-Per-Action, also referred to as Cost-Per Acquisition. Cost per action is an online advertisement payment model that allows an advertiser to pay for qualifying actions such as sales or registrations or leads from prospective customers.

As a CPA Affiliate (or Publisher), you promote offers posted by the CPA Advertisers and earn commissions.  You will be rewarded for inviting someone to perform a specific action at the CPA offer website without the visitor having to buy anything.

These actions can be anything:

That’s why CPA Marketing is considered the fastest and easiest way to make

money on the web.

1290. “No matter what the discomfort, there's always a price you can pay to get rid of it.”

The price for me is high.  Make enough money for Shady Pines.

1291. “Once you get into the habit of looking for prices, you'll realize that any irritant in your life can be handled. You'll no longer tolerate that slow, chronic discomfort that eats away at you daily—destroying your incentive, making you think less of yourself, darkening your attitude toward the world.”

1292. “I've never found an exception to the rule that the sooner you pay a price, the less it costs you. As long as a situation continues, you pay a price just knowing that the situation is unresolved. And the longer a situation continues, the firmer other people become in their attitude that you have no right to initiate a change.”

1293. “Take a look at your own life. What could you do today that would give you more freedom tomorrow morning?”