Internet Business

Internet Business

Went to lunch today with a coworker and we talked internet business and marketing. See I’m getting ready to launch a new business/web site real soon. It will take my passion for glamour photography and turn it into something I can hopefully make a living at. More details to come. Soon.

There were three main things that influenced and inspired me, and I thought they deserved a little blog time.

The first was Tim Ferris’ book The Four Hour Work Week. I realized just recently I read that book, and gave it to two of my co-workers, a YEAR ago. It did not seem that long ago. But it changed my way of thinking. I no longer thought success was having a multi-million dollar bank account to live off. Success was having enough income to let me live where I wanted, control my schedule, and do my dreams.

But like I said I read it a year ago and was no closer to achieving anything in the book.

Then there was SXSW and my discovery of Twitter. Me seeing the concept of micro celebrity and followings that I talked about before. Those peculated in the back of my head until I stumbled across Teaching Sells[aff].

Teaching Sells is the brain child of CopyBlogger.com’s Brian Clark. I’ve got great respect for CopyBlogger it is where I learned a lot about blog writing. So when Brian said he knew what the problems were trying to make money blogging and depending on Google, I believed him. I believed him so much I signed up for the course’s free trial with out even reading the free report.

He gives a $1 one week trial for the site. Before my second day I knew I was staying at least a month, and I knew I was going to do this. The material is really good, if a little PC centric.

Teaching Sells Free Report

Since I was going to be starting an internet business, I decided it was time to reread Four Hour Work Week. While doing so I decided to take to heart one of principles in it. (Sorry forgot the name and I don’t have the book with me.) That principle said the work expands to fill the time you give it, so do give it any time.

I decided I’d focus and get this website read to go in a month. Even though I had no idea how to do that.

The only reason I decided on a month was because I discovered I needed to build up a demand via marketing before the site went live and started charging money.

So I decided to do a survey and drive traffic to the survey via friends in the market.

I also decided I needed a partner and approached one of my studio partners about being part of it. He was on board from the get go and assumes I know everything. Even though he has extensive experience in direct marketing in the real world, and is a great salesman.

Internet Business Mastery

Now I needed to learn internet marketing. But where? Well back when I was doing my Apologetics course I needed to learn podcasting and discovered Jan Van Orden’s website How To Podcast and subscribed to it in iTunes. In one of his podcast’s he mentioned two things.

One, he was living the FHWW dream by moving to Argentina for 6 months. He wasn’t doing a literal 4 hour work week, but he did have a business that didn’t require him to be in the states. So why not live in Argentina?

That was a epiphany for me. I don’t need to have a business that only takes 4 hours a week. I just need one that lets me live anywhere.

Second, Jason mentioned he had another podcast on internet business. So I subscribed to it. After the first episode, I was clicking the get button in iTunes like crazy to get back episodes. There is a ton of great information in this podcast.

I just forwarded my friend from lunch the URL for Internet Business Mastery not 10 minutes after he asked me what got me motivated to actually do, and not just talk about doing it. Low and behold they had a new post up titled What is the Tipping Point Between Thinking & Learning About Internet Business and Actual Success in Internet Business?. I haven’t even read or listened to it, but my friend went “Wow. How strange is that. I just asked you about this. Weird. I appreciate you sharing all this, man.”

I want to convey the same sentiment to the people mentioned in this post. Thanks for sharing this with me.

Welcome Our Computer Overlords

Taco Cabana Logo

So I’m on a low carb diet. Been that way for over a month and have started figuring things I can eat when I’m eating out. Currently I can eat pretty much anywhere, except maybe sushi.

Sunday after church we went to Taco Cabana. I like TC, it is high quality fast food. Have eaten there quite a bit in the past few years.

One of the things I’ve learned I can eat at Mexican restaurants is fajitas, though they can be boring if you are just eating the meat. Recently I figure out to make it more fun is to pour queso over the meet. I know you low fat people are cringing right now, but it is good and low carb.

Back to Sunday. TC is offering a special deal. Fajitas for 2 only $7.99 with beans and rice. Well beans and rice are right out on low carb. Since we aren’t going to eat them, there is no point getting them. “But hey”, we think, “since I’m saving them the expense of some beans and rice, maybe they could substitute my queso.”

So we ask the guy at the counter to do that. But he doesn’t know how. At least he went to ask, then he came back and said “There is no way to enter that in the computer.”

Is the computer the arbiter of customer service? Apperantly so. But bright boy that I am, I figure we can just go around the computer. “Well can you just do it and not enter it in the computer.”

“No, man there are cameras everywhere.”

The overlords are watching and if you don’t go through them you will be punished.

Low Carb Diet: Day 30

Thirty days ago I started a low carb diet and a few days later posted about it. Well the book I was following was a 30 day book, so it seem time to give you an update. If a picture is a 1000 words, here they are:

Since I didn’t give weight details at the start here they are:

Starting Ending Change
Weight 216.8 205 -11.8
% Body Fat 32.7% 31.0% -1.7%
Hip Measurement 41 in 40 in 1 in
Waist Measurement 39 in 37.3 in 1.7 in

That is a loss of 7.8 lbs of fat in 30 days. Don’t know if the other 4 lbs is muscle or other lean body mass. And I’m not sure how accurate my scale is on BF. I use it mainly for trend data and the trend is down.

The book said men would lose between 12-20 lbs of fat. I didn’t do that anyway you look at it. One thing to take into account is I weight 220 just a few days before starting the diet. I lost 4 lbs before starting, which I’m sure was mostly water. So the water weight you lose at the beginning of a diet was already gone when I started. If you add that 4 lbs of water weight in, I lost 15 lbs, which would be accurate.

Either way I’m happy. My weight is down and I don’t feel like I’m on a diet. I go through ups and downs on eating the food, but mostly its is fine. I can keep this up for a long time. I’ve decided when I hit 198 I’m going to take a day off and eat crap. French Fries, Bread, Ice Cream Candy. Then I will puke and go into a sugar coma. Then I’ll go back on the low carb is keep going down.

I had this belief in my mind that I used to – like in the last year – struggle right at 190. Couldn’t go down, but didn’t rise much over that. Well I caught up entering all my weights for the last few years into my excel spreadsheet and here are the results.

As you can see I haven’t been under 195 in two years. I’ve been riding the 200 mark for awhile. And the trend line shows a steady increase as I age. I need to watch this.

Eye-Fi Review

eyefi-logo

I have a dream.

In the dream I’m at a photoshoot in my studio. I’ll take a picture of a lovely model and in a moment the image will show up on my laptop across the studio.

No wires, just wireless tether.

Nikon teased me with this capability for the D200, but that wasn’t my camera. Now they have it on their D300 and D3, but you have to wear small pack on your belt and have a cable running to the camera. Remember no wires.

Well the Eye-Fi looked like the answer. Alas it is not so.

Obviously not aimed at the professional. If it was it would be a CF card and not a SD card. Seems a CF card would have been easier, because it was bigger. Also it is geared toward uploading to web photo sharing sites like Flickr, but few pros use these sites.

But I believed, and I bought an Eye-Fi and a CF card adapter. I scheduled a photoshoot with a 5′ 10″ strawberry blonde. Decked her out in lingerie, set up my lights, and put the eye-fi in my Fuji S3.

And it worked. Click the shutter, and eventually the image showed up on Flickr. And later it showed up on my computer.

“Eventually” and “later” are the problem. It took easily over five minutes per 3.5 MB file for upload. I shot over 3 hours and at the end only had 10 pictures out of 200+ images on Flickr. When I needed to review some images to make sure over powering the sun looked right, I had to take the card out and insert it into the card reader. It downloaded all 200+ images into Lightroom in less time that it took to upload 1 image via wifi.

So I’m disappointed. My dream is still just that, a dream.

What I learned from The Game and The Pickup Artist

Why is a very happily married man reading a book on how to pick up women?

It’s all Mahalo’s fault.

The Pickup Artist

See I thought I’d try out creating some search pages on Mahalo.com. I looked at the most wanted list sorted by money. Near the top was “How to Flirt Videos”. Well I spend too much time on video sharing sites, so I figured I could do any video page.

I kind of got the philosophy of Mahalo to be “do the search for the person and give them the 10 or so results they would have found if they’d waded through the crap.” So I started wading through flirting videos.

I found some good stuff and completed my page, How To Flirt Videos.

But in the process I ran across a related interview video of Neil Strauss – the world’s greatest pickup artist – on The View. Can you imagine a tougher audience than the women of The View on someone calling himself the worlds greatest pickup artist?

Any way he came off well and it turned out the book wasn’t really about how to pick up women, but how this community of men – who totally dedicate themselves to learning how to pick up woman – live. Sounded like a great book about an online community.

But you don’t buy that book with out consulting the Mrs first. She finds that one and you are in serious trouble.

Luckily for me, my wife is the best wife in the whole world and she encouraged me to buy it after I started reading it in the bookstore and realized it was good. Even thought it retails for $35.

Once I started reading the book I searched online for the people in it and found one of the main characters, Mystery, had hosted a VH1 Reality show called the Pick Up Artist. Turns out the whole show was on VH1 video, so I watched it. Set in Austin which was a plus for me as a Texan.

So What Did I Learn

The Principles Work For Everyone

At a fundamental level, the methods Mystery teaches work for any social situation where you want to meet and have fun with people. Sure they are all taught in the context of night clubs, but that doesn’t have to be where they are used. They are taught for the purposes of meeting girls and “closing” on a variety of level. Kissing/making out, getting phone numbers to continue the relationship the next day, or getting laid. But that doesn’t have to be the outcome you are going for. For instance as a photographer I often meet pretty women I’d love to shoot. These principles easily apply to a “photoshoot close”.

Knowing What To Say

If I were a single guy, I’d be just like the guys on the show. Awkward. Shy. Afraid to even approach a pretty woman or group of strangers. But having a little knowledge of social dynamics changes everything. One of the big things is having something to say.

PUAs learn “Openings”. An opening is generally a question that opens a discussion. It isn’t about specifics of the persons you are opening to. It is an opinion. For instance you might say to a group of girls. “Hey my buddy’s were arguing about something and we need your opinion. Who lies more men or women?” That’s a conversation starter.

Generally what happens when a guy tries to pick up a girl is he gives her a quiz. People hate this. “What is your name? What do you do?” Those are boring. You don’t want to be boring.

Having an opener, or many openers, approaching groups of strangers gets easier. You know what to say. You aren’t fumbling for what happens next and this gives you confidence.

There is a structure

A pick up conversation has a basic structure.

Approach & Open – come up to a group and start a conversation.
Build Rapport – you keep the conversation going by starting, or stacking, new threads. Use more of your conversation starters to get other conversations started.
Isolate Your Target – If you are after one member of the conversation, say a pretty girl, at some point you need to get her by herself so you can have a more intimate discussion.
Close – ask for what you want. A phone number, a kiss, to go back to your hotel room, a photoshoot, to go to church.

Integrity is Required

PUAs call it congruence. It means what you are saying and doing is what you actually mean. Girls can tell if you are trying to con them. If you are at a night club striking up conversations, they figure you are on the prowl. That’s OK. What isn’t OK is to act like you care, when you don’t.

If you ask a girl about who lies more, you need to legitimately want to know her opinion. And don’t tell her her answer is the greatest if you don’t think it is. They can smell a liar a mile away. As soon as they do, you might as well “roll off” – ie. leave.

Confidence is Key

Being afraid makes people uncomfortable. Confidence attracts them. You can let them think you have to have them. Rather you need to honestly be trying to find out what kind of person they are and if that is the kind of person you are interested in. You aren’t qualifying yourself to them, they are qualifying themselves to you.

Become interesting and she’ll come to you. Chase her and she’ll own you.

People Want to Hang Out With Interesting People, So Be Interesting

Learning magic tricks, conversation starters and quiz games makes you interesting. You can keep a conversation going. You can entertain people. That makes their evening more fun and they want to keep you around.

See how those apply to many social situation?