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Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 cardinal rules for guitar shopping

I recently decided I want to learn how to play the guitar. Everyone tells me I should meditate for whatever reasons, but I just can't get into it. It's just not my thing. But music is and I realized that singing is my form of meditation and prayers. It's my release through song, even if there are no words to the song, or the lyrics don't even make sense. It's still a sense of release for me, a moment in time where all is seemingly calm.

Since I'm just starting out, I'm trying to find a cheap guitar for less than $100. So far the best deal I found was a set with everything you needed to learn the guitar for $150 at Guitar Center. I also saw two for $80 bucks but they were super high and I was too timid to ask about it being new to guitar shopping.

Today I went to Sam Ash and a kind gentleman offered me some tips for my guitar search. He recommended a classical guitar with nylon strings so my fingers would get used to it. Then the sales associate gave me three cardinal rules for guitar shopping.

First, he said that 85% of the rules was the rule #1-it has to feel right. "When it feels right, you'll know," he said. I didn't realize shopping for a guitar was like shopping for a boyfriend....

Rule #2 was that it had to sound good. He said sounds can be changed but if it doesn't feel right, then it won't matter how good it sounds. Feel is the most important factor to consider when looking for the right guitar, especially because you want to find a guitar that you'll actually play and not get discouraged when first learning. 

Rule #3 was if it looks good too, then you got lucky, but the first two rules are more important. 

I'm glad I encountered these gentleman. They've been more than helpful on this little guitar journey off mine. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Matthew Hussey: A Model Public Speaker

This weekend, I went to see Matthew Hussey for his Get the Guy tour event. I haven't read his book yet, but I didn invest in his Man Mtyh program and really got a lot of value out of it. Even though his Ready for Love debut was short-lived and turned out to be a very public failure for him, it still got him exposure to a potential new audience, and I was among the new audience who tuned into Ready for Love, mainly for insight since I do blog for a matchmaking company. It's not often you hear about male matchmakers, so I was really curious to learn more about this guy and after watching a few videos, I decided I was a fan and started following him ever since.

This was probably the second time I've seen Matt Hussey speak. A lot of the stuff he talks about it stuff I was already exposed to in his Man Myth program, which was nothing more than a compilation of videos very similar to the event I was attending this past Saturday. Ironically, attendees had to sign a video release form since they were filimg the event.

While I probably should have been taking notes on the principles he was teaching, I opted not to since I had notes from watching the Man Myth and everything he was saying was just reinforcing  information I had already been exposed to previously. If anything, attending his events is like a constant reminder in case you slip up. I was glad I went because I ended up taking a few notes on his speaking.

He is among the many professionals doing some variation of what I would like to be doing with my life. Public speaking is something I've always aspired to do, but it's only something I'm not 100% confident doing in front of people I don't know anything about. I joined Toastmasters and that has certainly helped a little bit, but whenever I come across great speakers who inspire me, I try to make a note of things they're doing that work or reinforce things I've already learned about public speaking.

He started the event with an intro video which I noticed is a trend among speakers who use the video as a way to set the tone for the entire event. Then he had one of his staff members introduce him. This staff member is usually someone who used to sit in the audience at one point in time before they began working together in some capacity. Then Matt came out and instantly connected with the audience by overcoming objectives from the get-go and establishing his credibility through storytelling, which he used to position himself amid the competition for general dating advice that's out there on the market. He set the scene and tone for the rest of the day and set goals. What he did was manage expectations from the very beginning and made sure to stick to those expectations and then more throughout his entire speech.

The guy is a very charismatic speaker with a lot of high-energy. I wonder who his speaking coach or mentor is.  

Identity-based habits

I read something that really resonated with me the other day written by a guy named James Clear. I have no idea who he is or what he's about, but I signed up for this email list after reading a blog post he wrote that I really liked. I wanted to learn more about it but I didn't have time to do my research on this guy so I figured I'd get to know him slowly through the content he writes. Blogging is such a great way to connect with people until they are ready to take their relationship with you to the next step.

Anyway, the post he wrote was about identity-based habits. I know I have bad habits, and I've tried different ways to make habits stick, but they never do so, of course, the idea of identify-based habits intrigued me since I'm all about learning about myself and growing as an individual with every revelation and epiphanie I experience on almost a daily or weekly basis practically.

I forgot what exactly I wrote, but I wrote down on a Post-It note what really resonated with me the most. I wrote: match values, beliefs w/outcomes you want in life. The real key take away was this--that everyday, you're making a vote for your chosen identify. Each habit is associated with an aspect of your identify. Some aspects we like better than others.

Today I'm trying to build a new habit I've been trying to build for, like, EVER. I want to go for a morning walk or jog for about 30 minutes at least every other day, and listen to at least one podcast episode during that morning walk/job. My dad lives really close to a quaint hiking spot. I followed the trail all the way to the top and back which took me about 30-45 minutes in total. It was the perfect amount of time to listen to an educational podcast from people in my industry. Today, I listened to the first couple episodes of The Fizzle Show which were about finding your voice since that is something I've been struggling with.

Today, my new habit was a vote for the type of person I want to be in life. It felt really good to be more in tune with my higher purpose, to be moving in a direction that didn't feel like I was swimming against the river current.

5 step process for turning a blog post into a video

I have an idea for a content strategy that I really want to experiment and test to see how effective it is in driving more traffic to my website. My theory is that if it works for me, chances are I can use the same idea for the clients I work with either as a social media consultant or social media coach.

I wrote my idea down on a Post-It note so I wouldn't forget my idea and now I'm posting it as a blog post so I can eliminate paper clutter. Here's what I wrote down, but I'm expanding here because I have room to do so.

Step 1: Write an article or blog post on a topic related to your business or something going on in your life.

Step 2: Record yourself reading what you wrote, or summarizing what you wrote, and give them a good reason for reading it. What do you hope they'll get out of it

Step 3: Turn your written content into a set of slides you can post on Slideshare which you can sync up with your LinkedIn account.

Step 4: Combine your audio and slide content into a short video you can post on YouTube which you can sync up with Google+. You can hire someone to do this for you like my friends over at www.oneminutewebvideo.com.

Step 5: Tell everyone you know about your content, and how they can get it in a way that is most convenient for them: through blog, slides, audio or video.

Isn't it amazing how you can turn one blog post into three different forms of media? Your're basically creating four pieces of original content by taking one idea and repurposing it to fit the many different types of media that people are consuming. What floats one person's boat may not float another's so it's important to deliver a variety of content to reach a diverse set of audience based on their media consumption habits.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The one thing that holds everyone back

Fear.

I'm afraid to have my heart broken.

I'm afraid to put all my heart into creating something out of nothing only for it to have been a complete waste of my fragile, but very warm heart.

Sometimes that's part of the deal. I get that.

"Fail your way to success," appears to be the new mantra I'm hearing.

The irony is that no matter how self-aware I become of my own inner struggles and the perception I leave in in my wake, I am still afraid.

Every now and then, courage besieges and it feels good. But then I retreat.

It's like dipping your toes into the water and submerging yourself inch by inch.

I'm torn between two worlds and I'm not really ready to leave one and full enter into the other.

I'm in limbo. But I kind of like limbo. Even more than the idea of a limbo world, I like the idea of creating my own league, so to speak, that blends elements of all the many worlds I enjoy.

Is this not what business is about? If you want to build an empire, you have to build an army first.

Still, fear's hold on me is not yet stronger than the courage brewing inside of me.

I am afraid. There I said. I admit it.

I'm afraid to have a broken heart.

I'm afraid of breaking my own heart.

Fear.... What a debilitating emotion.

I will get past it. And I will create. I'll pour my heart into it. I know I'll feel so relieved.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A flood is coming ;)

I feel really good about things. About life. I just want to savor it. So I will. Here. Now. In the present moment. 

I decided to revert back to my roots back in 2009, my first year out of college...

It feels good to be reverting back to my core beginnings, using the the triple threat: Blogging, social media and email marketing. It feels good to be reverting back to my Dating is a Payne days and ignoring all the bad advice I have ever been given. 

I feel a floodgate of emotions coming on. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Deadlines are so relative

It all gets done one way or another. Sometimes you're ahead of schedule, other times you're behind schedule, but most of the time you're right on schedule because when push comes to shove, you always get it done on way or another, sooner rather than later, always by the time it really needs to be done.

I'll be honest. I never make my deadlines. Sometimes I'm ahead of schedule, but most of the time I'm behind schedule. But guess what? It always gets done. The trick of my trade is knowing myself well enough to know that I'm always behind schedule, so I do little things like set myself deadlines I'd like to meet but are virtually impossible because there are always going to be little daily interruptions that can add up and really set you back from achieving the goal or task you set out for yourself.

Some of the little things I like to do include setting the time on my car clock to be 20 minutes ahead of schedule so that I think I'm running late. That sense of urgency always gets me where I need to go early or on time.

Another thing I like to do is set me alarm to go off at least three hours before I need to leave the house. The reason I do this is because I like to snooze and when you do it is as often as I do, an hour an half will have passed you buy and then there isn't enough time to shower and eat. On days when I refrain from snoozing, I get to enjoy those extra early hours reading, something I don't get to do nearly as often as I used to without feeling utterly guilty about it.

The last trick I to do is overestimate the time it will take me to do something and set my deadlines at least three to seven days in advance (depending on how much lead time I get). So far it seems to be working and I'm getting better about deadlines but now I'm barely keeping up with myself rather than behind behind. However I want to be ahead of myself, so I still got some work to do.

So what prompted this little personal essay about deadlines? Well, I keep getting assigned stories despite the fact that I never make my deadlines and I'm always asking for deadline extensions. At least I'm consistently reliable about not making my deadlines. I keep getting more stories thrown my way because if there is one thing people come to learn about me, it's that I always deliver and make my best efforts to stay true to my promises. Otherwise, I usually refrain from making promises I may not be able to keep.

Here's my motto: Better late than never.