50 Weeks To $50,000

Week 2 is done. 50 weeks to go until $50,000. I don’t mind starting slow, as long as momentum is kept and progress is made. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Yada ya.

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Total Earnings

Driving: $86.00

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Bank Account

$207.90

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Bank Statement 8-15-12

Bank Statement 8-15-12

Moving Into “S”

As I stated in my previous post, I have to move from the E Quadrant to the S Quadrant, ASAP. And I will begin that process by jumpstarting Value Detectives. I targeted August 19, 2012 as the release date, and will probably need that whole day to finish.

My next steps with this are:

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  • Post services on Craigslist.
  • Email biz owners.
  • Learn other lead generation methods.
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If you’re really interested in my progress on the site, you can watch it here as I nitpick everything on there, all the way to my Sunday release.

Moving Into “B”

I’m already brainstorming ideas so I can transition into the B Quadrant asap, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. My options here include:

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  • Bolstering my current book release (editing, refining, adding content, etc.).
  • Writing my second book.
  • Creating an online course.
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More details coming…

A Valuable Lesson In Productivity

Sometimes you just have to know who you are. And when it comes to being productive, I need to beat the clock. I do much better when I’m trying to beat the odds, as my Kolbe Profile astutely pointed out.

So I got me a timer. Not a physical one, but an App called DUE for Mac. Here’s what it looks like:

DUE for Mac

DUE for Mac

Whenever it’s time to get something done, I set the timer. My mission during that time is to concentrate only on that goal or activity. That’s it. And it’s been a very productive couple of days since I installed it, so I highly recommend it.

Also, notice I said “concentrate” and not “focus”. And there’s a distinct difference between the two.

When I think “focus” I imagine a camera. And when something is unfocused or blurry, you bring it back into focus. So focus means to make CLEAR. It’s important to make goals as simple and clear as possible.

As for “concentration“, I think, “How long can I keep my attention on this?”

Unlike focus, concentration is more about will power and duration. How long do you stick with something before something else “distracts” or detracts you?

Think of it this way. FOCUS (what you make clear ahead of time) determines what you will CONCENTRATE on (how much time you give to your focus).

I really learned this lesson back in 2001, when I played “Homeworld”, a video game based in real-time strategy.

My Big Aha!

Homeworld is a difficult game to master at first. Since it’s real time, when you’re being attacked, there’s no time to mess around. You make decisions in real-time and they are executed immediately. You tell ships to attack an enemy ship, and they go do it.

As the game progresses, the game becomes much more difficult, and that means you have to be wiser in who you attack as well as managing other resources. At it’s most difficult levels, the options can be mind boggling.

Try to imagine being attacked by 10 big ships, 5 medium sized ships, and 50-100 medium to smaller sized ships all swarming around. It gets confusing really, really fast.

Homeworld+2

Here’s what I used to do when there was this huge onslaught on my fleet. I would assign groups of my ships to attack their individual ships. Small ships would go after their small ships, medium sized ships would chase medium sized ships, etc.

As a result of this strategy, my entire fleet would be dispersed, and I’d always wonder why they got me in the end at these higher levels. I continued to try strategy after strategy, “Oooh, I know, let me go after this ship first…”, but it was my global strategy that was flawed.

And once I realized THAT, I made a decision to concentrate every single ship in my fleet on the biggest, nastiest ship they had (the one with the potential of doing the most damage to my fleet).

I started to take out their ships out one at a time. I didn’t care if they were attacking the mothership or firing on my ships as I pummeled one of theirs. And because I concentrated all my fire power on ONE SHIP AT A TIME, I went through them so much faster.

Duh.

One went down. Then another. Then another. Until there were these smaller, more agile ships flying around that did minimal damage. Eventually, I hunted them down easily.

Productivity is like this. It requires both focus and concentration. FOCUS makes goals clear (go after THIS ship), which also boosts your desire to get it done. (Try getting excited about a vague goal, like, “I want to be successful.” — meh.)

But CONCENTRATION is like taking all your ships and sending them all to destroy that big, ugly, nasty frigate that could potentially leave some serious scars on the mothership. Who cares what all the little ships are doing? They’re just distractions for now, but soon, we’ll get to them.

Clarity (and a Timer) Are Powerful

So, I got clear on my goals (focus), then I take them out, with action and my trusty timer. This works with big chunks of time, too.

Startup Weekend creates business startups in 54 hours or over any given weekend. That’s concentrated effort, over a bigger chunk of time.

Vipassana Meditation is done over a 10 day period, and the results are LIFE CHANGING.

Best way to learn a foreign language is immersion. Spend 4 months in France around native speakers, and you will pick French up. This is also a form of concentration. But flipping on your Rosetta Stone every couple of months isn’t gonna get it done.

And Finally…

I’ve been doing the exercises from Chris’ book, The $100 Startup, particularly the Instant Consultant Business and One-Page Business Plan. They’re mainly focused on Value Detectives but I’m also seeing other uses for them.  I’m still not done with the book, but soon.

I’m attaching my completed exercises below. Maybe they will help you, maybe not. But it’s always nice to see an example, isn’t it?

And I will update my goals next Wednesday, so please excuse me while I concentrate on my main focus before moving on 🙂

Ciao!

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