Weekly Update – #10 – March 10th, 2019

Hi, I’m Torrey. Each week I share updates in three areas: running, reading, and writing. This helps create accountability and keep in contact with my team. My team includes family, friends, and you, the reader.


Running

I set a new distance record this week. I ran my long commuting route, racking up a total of 17.1 miles over 3 hours and 33 minutes. Next week I will attempt a 26 mile day. There’s only 2 weeks left until the LA Marathon. Last chance training!

I don’t take enough time to reflect on progress I’ve made. Luckily, Strava helps me with this on a monthly basis. I received this summary of February activities in my inbox. 69 miles traveled on foot, 23 miles more than January. Insane! Last September I could barely run 10km.

I decided distance running is 90% mind and 10% body. Training is all about training your mind, must less about training your body. The mind quits first.

In The Dip by Seth Godin there’s this chart showing distribution of runners who quit during marathons, with the X-axis representing the distance reached before quitting. The peak is around mile 18-19. Most runners who quit, quit 7-8 miles before the finish line. Their mind gives up before the finish line is in sight. The mind quits first, so train your mind.


Reading

I’m still reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and Lead Yourself First by Kethledge and Erwin.

In Tribe of Mentors one passage that hit me particularly hard is from Muneeb Ali, a computer science PhD who co-founded a company called Blockstack. I had never heard of Ali until this. When asked what has most improved his life in the last five years, Ali answered:

Asking myself the question, “When I’m old, how much would I be willing to pay to travel back in time and relive the moment that I’m experiencing right now?”

If that moment is something like rocking my six-month-old daughter to sleep while she hugs me, then the answer is anything. I’d literally pay all the money I’d have in the bank at, say, age 70 to get a change to relive that moment. This simple question just puts things in perspective and makes your grateful for the experience you’re having right now versus being lost in thoughts about the past or the future.

Mic drop!

In, Lead Yourself First one concept which struck me is the difference between analytical thinking and intuition. Analysis works well with limited information and fails when there’s too much information. You can get stuck in analysis paralysis where you go through a loop of measure and evaluate over and over. Intuition works well when there’s too much information. With intuition, your gut tells you which way to go and you look for data to prove that assumption wrong.

I think generally reading books builds our muscles of intuition. Most of us do not remember specifics of most of what we read, its too much information. However, we do build intuition which can be called upon in the future to get us unstuck. When facing a challenge, you vaguely recall a similar situation and solutions which worked before. So, stand on the shoulders of giants.


Writing

I have not done a whole lot of writing outside my weekly updates and Torrey’s Weekly Report (TWR). The 16th edition of TWR covered some new technology under development, some market observations, a secure code training announcement, and a few other odds and ends. I’m still working on a Medium post about what I’ve learned from publishing TWR, but I haven’t found time for rewrites this week.


Thanks for reading, and

Have a great week!

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Most of us do it. It’s human nature to compare ourself to other people. Sometimes it’s inferiority (she is better than me) and other times it’s superiority (I am better than him). Either way, it’s not very effective to dwell on those thoughts because you have very little control over the traits of other people. What has personally helped me get off these complaints is a concept I call compete against yourself.

The Circle of Influence

Stephen R. Covey, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, explains how many of our concerns fall outside our circle of influence. We have no control over those outcomes. To be highly effective, one must focus on concerns/outcomes inside the circle of influence.

Comparing yourself to others has one foot inside and one foot outside the circle of influence. Thoughts like ‘she is better than me’ or ‘I am better than him’ are concerns where you can only control one side of the equation and not the other. You have no control over she or him. You also can’t control what people think about you. You only have control over you. Your thoughts and your actions.

Compete Against Yourself

What has greatly helped me get off these concerns is to drop the ‘she’ and ‘him’. She has 10 more years experience than you, anyway, so it’s not useful to compare apples to apples. He just started out so of course he finishes the task slower, with lower quality. That comparison isn’t so useful either.

What is useful is to know your own personal best, what you are capable of. And then try to top your best. Become 1% better than you were yesterday. It’s highly effective because you have 100% control over your own decisions, thoughts and actions. Compete against yourself!

What I learned from wanting lifestyle changes but failing to commit

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Image from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/turtle-tortoise-swim-sea-turtle-863336/

A long time back I read a piece by Derek Sivers called “No Yes. Either HELL YEAH or No“. I never really applied it. The main idea is to say ‘no’ to more requests, and to sign up for exciting things. Things that excite you.

I haven’t applied the ‘HELL YEAH’ or ‘no’ strategy. I’m not quite ready for that. I have to deal with some ‘maybe’s first. I have applied a say ‘maybe’ less strategy. This has changed my lifestyle in positive ways.

It begins like this. While I get ready for bed, wife asks: ‘are you going running or going to the gym tomorrow?’. The best answer is ‘yes’. The second best answer is ‘no because [completely valid reason i.e. an early morning appointment]’.

The weak answers are ‘maybe’ or ‘we’ll see, ask me again in the morning’. These answers reek of procrastination.

Why is ‘maybe’ a weak response?

‘Maybe’ is uncertainty. You can’t effectively plan ahead because you’re not certain about what to plan for. Uncertainty is the enemy of confidence.

‘Maybe’ is commitment avoidance. The decision is deferred. You shrink a little bit inside and lose some confidence.

‘Maybe’ is confrontation avoidance. You don’t want to offend him by saying ‘no’. So you inflict him with uncertainty.

‘Maybe’ shows a lack of direction. Unclear goals and priorities. If you know your priorities you can more easily decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’. You become more decisive. And more confident.

It Works

It works. After I replaced ‘Maybe’ with ‘Yes’ I showed up at the gym more.


We haven’t gotten to the power of ‘no’ yet. Save that for next time..

What I learned from Menfluential 2018 conference

This post summarizes my attendee take aways from Menfluential Conference 2018. Antonio Centeno and Aaron Marino host the two day Menfluential event which showcases social media influencers, businessmen, fitness gurus, men’s fashionistas and men’s grooming experts.

I’ve broken down my key takeaways into categories: mindset, productivity, social media, fitness, business. Jump down to the section desired. Other topics were covered at menfluential such as fragrance, hair, but I wasn’t interested and didn’t pay attention.

If you are interested in Menfluential conference there is a similar, virtual event organized by Bill Masur called Men of Character conference. MOC includes additional topics like fatherhood and relationships.

Mindset

Starting anything new sucks. It’s painful and the results are embarrassing. You have to hang on until it starts to be fun. “In 500 years you won’t exist, in 1,000 years you won’t matter, so don’t be afraid to try something new” said Ryan Masters. Don’t wait, get started!

You have to invest in yourself and continuously learn. A $30 book or a $1000 course could give you an edge worth 10X the price tag. Once you decide learning isn’t worth it, it’s game over, you’ve lost.

Productivity

“Clear to neutral” when taking a long break from working. Tidy up your desk, close windows on your computer, close tabs on your browser. Resume work from a clean slate. Less clutter leads to clearer focus.

Social Media: YouTube, Blogging

Until you reach 10,000 subscribers, you have to bring traffic from another platform. The algorithm won’t recommend your content in the beginning, not until you have a strong audience.

Choose simple headlines like “how to do X without Y”. Don’t try to be too clever, keep it simple.

Choose photo/thumbnails that spark curiosity. Make the viewer ask a question desperately needing to be answered. Consider simple questions like: “what is going on there? Why is he making that face?”

Consistency and volume are crucial for growing an audience. Publish new content on a strict cadence (daily, weekly, monthly). Cranking up the frequency from weekly to daily resulted in exponential growth for one YouTuber.

YouTube is a platform, not a business. Most businesses don’t make money directly from content, they make money by converting viewers into customers who pay for products and services.

If you don’t have haters yet, you’re still getting started. “You could teach blind kittens to read on YouTube, and someone will have a problem with it.” says Aaron Marino.

Monetize now, not after you get subscribers. 1M subscribers multiplied by 0 profit is still 0 $$. What if the money never comes? You will have wasted a lot of time and resources for nothing.

Fitness

The added value of fitness is building toughness through voluntary hardship. You muscles and your mind grow.

Strength training is the foundation. If you’ve never been to the gym, start here, get on the “strength ladder”. After strength builds, everything else falls into place, including body fat percentage.

Focus on the big 3 (compound lifts) – bench press, squat, dead lift.Find a trainer to teach you safe technique so you don’t break your back.Strength is a better measure than the scale, because your weight may fluctuate or plateau. Measuring your fitness level by tracking the amount of weight you can lift is a satisfying way to see progress.

Business

The standout business speaker at Menfluential was Dan Lok, who wore a blazing metallic red suit. Dan Lok is known for books like FU Money and his expertise in high ticket sales. He also offers a training program called high ticket closer.

People buy their way out of problems. Look for a bleeding neck problem, one the must be solved, fast. Paint a clear picture of what will happen if your product/service is used or not used.

On solving problems… > Find a need> Fill a need> The worst that can happen is nothingFocus on the simple, avoid complexity. Complexity is an excuse for a failure. You can blame the complex stuff instead of holding yourself accountable. John D. Rockefeller, the 340 billion dollar man, got his start with boring business tasks of turkey farming and book keeping.————————

There are three types of people in your sales funnel:

  1. Freeples
  2. Sheeples
  3. Leads

Freeples have a hard drive full of free ebooks, spreadsheets, and other junk. They collect stuff and never bother to contact the business or buy products.Sheeples follow the crowd and don’t know what they want. They stay lurking in the background and never contact the business or buy products.Potential clients know what they want. They know you can help solve their problems. They contact you to ask for help. They will pay you to help solve their problems. This is the type of person that can support your business. Focus on converting these people into paying customers.


Waste less time emailing and instant messaging clients. Get potential clients on the phone. Close them on the phone. You can quickly weed out clients who aren’t serious enough to get on the phone. And, you can work out details much faster on the phone compared to back-and-forth emailing.


Thanks for reading!