77.42 Amazon

931. Buy some bar towels to cut down on paper towel use.  Go Gandhi.

932. “Are we not living in a geographical entity officially called the United States of America where verifiably there are TWO Americas, TWO conceptions of what is real and what is not real, TWO ideas of what is moral and what is not, TWO views about Truth and Error, TWO visions about using whatever means is available to reach a desired and posited end (which for one of these groups is the creation of a brutal, vicious and soulless “utopia” that would make Joe Stalin’s Communism seem like Disneyland in comparison)?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/02/no_author/is-secession-the-answer/

933. I think it’s becoming obvious that I need to abandon estores as a waste of time.  Amazon has changed its product API, but you can still use a stripe or individual product links without API calls.  Chalk it up to experience.  You need way more traffic than the average person gets to make any money.

934. Flurry data shows that U.S. consumers continue to increase their time-spent on mobile devices.  In fact, the average U.S. consumer spends a whopping 5 hours a day on these devices. That is a 20% increase in time-spent compared to Q4 2015. Browser share on mobile, which has been steadily declining, is now only 8%, down from 9% in Q4 2015. Apps continued to reign supreme as time spent in browsers faded; and the chat-bot revolution, which was touted in 2016 as “the app killer”, simply fizzled.

https://flurrymobile.tumblr.com/post/157921590345/us-consumers-time-spent-on-mobile-crosses-5

935. https://mises.org/library/mises-reader

936. Demographics.  What we are seeing politically in the U.S. is a result of immigration and a fractured culture.  Identity politics versus melting pot.

937. My thrust during these 77 days has to be to master affiliate marketing through creating valuable, unique content.

938. “Looking at Mises the scholar, the contemporary student learns a valuable lesson in integrity. His life was a never-ending fight for economic truth, liberty, scholarly excellence, and the principles of the free market.  As he notes in his autobiography, at a particularly depressing time in his life when it appeared that he had become merely “an historian of decline,” he remembered his personal motto adopted from a line out of Virgil: “Do not give in to the evil, but proceed ever the more against it.” Throughout his life, he did just that.”

939. Among the most important vitamins for brain health are vitamins B3 (niacin), B6 and B12. For example, two clinical manifestations of pellagra — a condition caused by niacin deficiency — are delirium and dementia. Schizophrenia also shares some of the features of pellagra.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/02/joseph-mercola/b-vitamins-are-important-for-the-prevention-of-cognitive-decline/



A Random IBM* Walk

Letting circumstances get in the way of a good life appears to be a constant in the human condition.  As an IBM* (Introvert Boomer Male), I am working to build my vision for the rest of my life on my terms while avoid the roadblocks life is throwing at me.

Each IBM has his own unique challenges in the three main areas of modern life - health, wealth, and relationships.  As a rule, all three areas are not only related but intertwined.

For my personal health, nothing is more important than reversing and maybe even curing diabetes, if it can be cured.

To do this, I have to start with a low-fat, whole food, plant-based vegan lifestyle.  That said, this is the only “diet” that makes any sense for IBMs no matter what their health concerns.

Animal foods have failed me.  So have exercise and diabetes meds.  I am going radical from today until my next doctor’s appointment in 4 weeks.  If I don’t, I could end up insulin dependent.

There are so many variations of the vegan diet for diabetics that it’s hard to keep track.  Some like raw foods and fruitarian are hard to do over time.  The one’s like Dr. McDougall’s The Starch Solution are the most appealing but don’t allow me to get control over my blood sugar numbers.  At least not yet.

What I am constructing is my own system.  I ate a ton of starchy carbs yesterday, and had at least a liter of soup at 3:00 this morning.  At 6:30, my sugar reading was 400.  Just short of a trip to the ER.  Crazy.

If I fast (water only), I can drop my numbers down to between 70 and 80 after 3 days.  The problem is that those low numbers leave me so weak I can’t fast for more than 7 days or so.

I have studied the so-called Daniel Fast based on the Book of Daniel in the Bible.  I’m more Buddhist, but the idea is really a 10 or 21 day plant based diet in contrast to the rich animal foods eaten by kings and queens.

My system will go like this.  I’m going to let my glucose meter determine what I eat and drink.  Right now, that means water and seltzer until I drive those numbers down.  

But I don’t want to do a pure water fast unless I have to.  If I get hungry, I will eat some raw fruit or vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, or grapes.  I will continue on a raw food diet until the numbers are good all day long.

The big issue with a raw food diet is eating enough calories to keep one alive and thriving.  That’s why a starch based diet is so appealing.

I lived in Asia for 10 years.  I have eaten a mountain of rice and kimchi.  Back then, I had no blood sugar issues and no diabetes.  I hope it’s not too late.


IBM* Wealth

Most of us have been taught that accumulation of wealth is about acquiring high price items like mansions, yachts, cars, jewelry, and even a private jet.  True riches are measured in quality of life not the price of your toys.

As we know as IBMs, life consists of health, wealth, and relationships.  We all know the stereotype of the lonely, miserable miser.  It’s about being successful in all areas of life, not just financially.

There is no one path to wealth, but it does require you to get started, press on, pause, and reboot as needed.

Wealth starts with a vision.  Mine is off in the distance, but I have a dream to reimagine the international dating and matchmaking “industry” getting rid of current scams, and using technology, personal interpreters, and Airbnb to make it easier for older men to find younger women who can make their last years worth living.

That’s not likely to happen in the U.S.  But it’s not free.  Health and wealth are both required.

You will have your own dreams, goals, and vision.  Success is personal.  No use comparing your wealth or assets to others.  What you need is what you need no matter what anyone else requires.  You might become more successful by becoming less competitive.

Start small.  I think most startups and side hustles are destroyed before they begin by someone throwing too much money at them.

Many entrepreneurs have suffered through some crappy service jobs at one time or another, like waiter or customer service rep in a call center.  It’s amazing how dealing with shitty people can motivate one to start your own business.

Find the smallest possible footprint to get started.  Is it a small home office, or can you take your Chromebook to McDonald’s and keep your entire business in the cloud.  What is the smallest project that you can do that will start to make you money.

If your long term vision is not totally in focus.  Don’t despair.  Start with something small and make it right.  

Ask questions.  Why am I doing this?  What 1 action can I take right now to move forward?

A solid way to wealth is to create products or services that address pain points and solve problems.  That’s why I want to create a new way for Western men and Eastern European/Chinese/Southeast Asian women to connect and find spouses or partners.

The Internet has changed everything, yet we are mired in old solutions that haven’t changed much in 150 years.  I plan to develop a game changing, unique solution instead of the same old IMBRAs.

For Walkabout Solopreneurs, a good strategy to gain wealth is to solve the simplest, easiest, and most valuable problem a customer or client may have.  That’s why acne creams will never go out of style.  For a teenage boy or girl, that might be the most critical problem to be solved.

If you can’t be the top dog in that niche, then look to create a sub-niche where you can be the expert.

At this point, you want to build your net worth (liquid, I hope), and know your numbers.  One thing hard for new side hustles is to know what to charge.  One answer is to include some affiliate marketing of products for other companies to get an idea of value.

The best Internet marketers give away tons of valuable content for free, and then charge outrageous prices for the true believers.  Not a bad model to copy.  Affiliate marketing can bridge the gap until you develop your own products.

My mother and brother both graduated from William and Mary.  So did Thomas Jefferson.  They like to remind me since I chose the University of Virginia over W&M.

I like to remind them that Jefferson was so disenchanted with W&M that he had to found his own superior university.

At least that’s my take, and I’m sticking to it.

The thing is that you can study existing marketing masters and learn to boost your business and income into the stratosphere.  Don’t sell yourself short.  It’s easier to lower prices later than to raise them off a low starting point.

You will want to develop your own personal brand and build your own Facebook group or email list.  Technology allows entrepreneurs to connect directly with customers to promote new products, discover problems, find out what people want next, and to solve any issues that arise.

As you build value for your side hustle, always think of the day you might sell it or pass it along to your grandchildren.

One you are set up, you have to continue to grow.  Consistency is the key.  Follow through on your commitments.  Mastery comes from whatever you do consistently.  Let your learning lead to action which will lead to wealth.

Most entrepreneurial endeavors have a tendency to get bogged down in minitua.  Until you’re ready to hire employees, if you ever are, you may have to prioritize the important tasks and outsource the rest.

The Internet has made this simple too.  You can outsource almost every bullshit task on Fivver or other sites.

One of the problems of being a solopreneur is doing everything yourself.  For example, I know Wordpress well, can create images and videos, and can manage an email list.

Grunt work is not hard, but it’s time consuming.  Why should I design a blog logo or header when some more talented designer in Indonesia will do it for $5 or $10.

Answer:  it’s fun and challenging.  And it distracts you from the principal tasks you cannot outsource like taking care of clients.

Of course, for most people these days, email is the biggest distraction.

You want to create systems.  Think McDonald’s.  Or the Army.  Systems get things done and allow you to plug people into the process if needed.

McDonald’s never stops tweaking their systems.  I was at a location in downtown Jacksonville last week, and I had to use their order kiosk for a simple small black coffee.  

Their answer to employee demands for more money is to design systems to eliminate the need for more unskilled labor.

Losers have goals.  Winners have systems.

Many successful people do journaling to record those stray ideas that come to them at odd times.  Also, it’s a kind of therapy proposed decades ago by Julia Cameron with morning pages and an artist’s date.

I used to call these snot pages.  You just write 3 pages of any kind of junk to clear your head.  It’s like brainstorming in a way, but more storm than brain.  These pages are to be handwritten and not shown to anyone.

Throughout the day, you will have moments of distraction and procrastination.  So be it.  Snap back to essentials as soon as possible.


Channeling Ancient Humans

Paleo men had no bosses.  No corporations.  No governments.

Agriculture changed everything.  When you had crops under your control, you needed protection from hungry marauders who would rather steal from you than grow their own food.

The first form of government was little more than a protection racket.  We will protect you from the bad guys in exchange for a cut of the harvest.

Then some major bad ass convinces the others that god has anointed him king, or emperor, or big kahuna.  How did he pull that off?

And now, and we struggle to hang onto sucky jobs, or maybe retire, we face issues of freedom and purpose, and what we will do with our post-corporate years.  We don’t make enough money, and if we did, we have likely squander much of it.

If you dislike your work, you most likely are not happy with your life.

As we get older fear can be overwhelming.  If you’re 30 and take a wrong turn, you have decades to recover.  At 60+, the wrong path will take you over the cliff crashing into the rocks below.

Humans (hunter/gatherers) started as entrepreneurs.

entre.png

We sold out for convenience.  We sold out for comfort.  But mostly we sold out for others (farmers) to do the work of feeding our families instead of ourselves.

Of course, division of labor was a precursor to civilization and cities.

We know where that has led us today.  Jobs in fields we studied for are gone.  And they have been replaced by crap that is increasingly handled by automation or cheap labor abroad.

Even if you have a job, chances are you need a side hustle to live the life you want for yourself and your family.  So why not get rid of the job, and turn the side hustle into the foundation of the life you want to live?

Quit your career, and create your ideal life theme.

While starting a business is easier than at any time in human history, that ease is a double-edged sword that can bite you on the ass quicker than you can bow down to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

If you create a business just to make money, eventually it will consume your soul.  It has to be more.  If all you need is money, get a job.  It’s less work, and you get to quit and go home at the end of the day.

Many technically competent individuals are good at a job - plumber, lawyer, chef - leave jobs every day to start their own companies.  They like fixing problems, or sharing improvements.

What they do is take on all the bad aspects of running a business that did not factor into striking out on their own.  Ancient humans had none of this infrastructure like rent, payroll, and taxes to deal with.

An ancient plumber knew two things:

  1. water runs downhill
  2. shit floats

And don’t let the #2 mix with your water you need to stay alive.

I am a retired attorney.  The law is fascinating.  The legal practice is not.

Most lawyers make money helping people with artificial problems created by laws and government itself.  The only laws that we must abide by are the laws of nature.

A client who hires a lawyer does not want justice.  He wants to win by any means available.

Ancient humans solved problems one of two ways:

  1. fight
  2. flight

They did not need accountants to beat the latest tax laws, an HR department to soothe employee ruffled feathers, or lawyers to sue the competition into submission.

But to build your life theme you need more.

If you don’t create your life theme daily, someone may hire you to help them build theirs.

No matter how we try to cover our fears with excess and stuff and addictions, we have been unable for 2,000 to do better than the Stoics.

Most business books tell us to turn our passion into profit.  Fat chance.  First, look at the definition of passion:

passion.png

Take a look at the classic definition:  suffering.  The passion of the christ.

Solving problems is the basis of a business.  Not suffering.  A business may relieve the suffering of others, but  suffer along with them.

The modern definition of passion as something that excites you is one more example of our snowflake culture.

I grew up in the late 60s and early 70s.  We had demonstrations - mostly peaceful - but many turned ugly.  But we had underlying causes.  War.  Deep seeded racism.  Real conflicts between the people and the alleged political and religious leaders telling us we had to die for a cause not our own.

Student riots today - I don’t understand.  No one is beating you down if you don’t move to the back of the bus.  No one is refusing to hire you because of your race or gender, or increasingly, even your transgender.  

And no one is asking you to kill or be killed in a place where you do not know the enemy, and that enemy has not threatened you.

ali.png

No one owes you a living except you.

When you discover what you want to do in life, and the price you are willing to pay, you are on the road to your life theme.

That’s why I don’t like the word goal.  Goals are finite.  Your life is not.

I was thumbing through the book One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon.

It’s amazing how hard it is to pick one word to describe your life, passion, or legacy.

The closest I could come to a theme is “traveler”.  I love going to new towns, cities, and countries.  I like waking up in a new place every day (and maybe with a different woman if I’m lucky).

My bucket list of places to visit is a treasure of ancient archeological sites from Angkor Wat to Machu Picchu to the Great Wall of China.  I don’t have time to waste.

Here’s the rub.  You have to have money.  You have to be healthy.  And it helps to have some prime female flesh next to you along the way.

Health, wealth, and relationships are the problems.  Each person has his own individual issues that no one else can solve.

My life theme is Perpetual Traveler.  It’s also my passion and problem to be solved.

If you don’t have an inheritance, or you didn’t cash that lottery ticket, money is the first issue.

My passion is creating an online business that provides recurring income that goes into my bank account and can be accessed anywhere in the world.  I call it Anytime Anywhere Income.

Once the system is where I want it to be, I plan to teach it to women in a number of countries and let them run the business for me.

Outsourcing and automation.  Otherwise, you just have a job.

I choose women because they are prettier to look, smell better, and don’t belch and fart so readily in public.

But on a serious note, around the world, women do most of the grunt work.  Women are worked like dogs and not allowed to fail.  There is no harder working person than a single mom.

The system cannot depend on being in a particular place at a particular time.

I am reading and studying and testing every shiny object I can find in the Internet marketing field to see what works for me in 2019.  Later this year, I will take my system to Vietnam to test it further and work it like a borrowed mule.

I need to create my iPT system because current solutions do not work.  Forty years ago, you could travel the world and pick up work along the way or teaching English.  Over time, governments clamped down on foreigners working “illegally”, i.e. without paying tribute in the form of taxes.

To teach English in most countries, you have to complete TESL training, get a certificate, jump through endless bureaucratic hoops, and commit to a lengthy contract.

And that’s the problem.

What used to be a simple way to pick up good money before moving on is not totally gone, but it’s riskier.

The United States is the worst offender.  If you have U.S. citizenship or a green card, our land of the free will tax you on your worldwide income.  It doesn’t matter whether you live in the U.S. or not.  They own us.

Now the solution is an online business, even as a side hustle.

Anytime Anywhere Income.

That can be anything from ecommerce stores to selling products to ebay to coaching to teaching.  The way most start is with affiliate marketing.

am.png

Mostly it’s a commission sales job, only you have hundreds of thousands of choices of what companies to work with, what products or services to promote, and when and where to do the work.

With a low cost of entry comes the double edge again.  You are now competing with low wage workers around the world.  Affiliate marketing is the monetization.  You need to develop the other skills that will bring visitors to your website where they can buy your products.

In other words, you have to develop a non-commodity business.  Your job is solving problems for other people.  Affiliate products are but one solution you can offer.

I have a couple of ex-wives in my wake who were both foreign born.  Our marriages gave them green cards.  Neither was a mail order bride, but 4,000 to 6,000 women around the world marry Americans and go through the green card process each year.

Nightmare.

Most of these international brides work with online dating and matchmaking sites to advertise their desire for a husband outside their native lands.

Helping Western men and Third World women get together in holy matrimony is a multi-billion dollar a year “industry”.