Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sedona Method Sucks! Is It Just Me?

I just listened the Sedona Method Audio from Steve's blog. It made me feel downright lousy. Angry too. Note that I just  wrote "made me feel" even though I know I am the one to react - no-one should be able to make me feel anything! That tells me something in itself.

When the audio told me to "switch polarity" of my thoughts from negative to positive, there was not enough time for me to raise the positive feeling that would have had any relation to the negative one,  and then he was already asking me to feel the negative side again! And that happened even though it took me quite a lot of digging to find the negative in the first place.

Fortunately I have learned a procedure to deal and release negative feelings from Louise Hay's lovely book You Can Heal Your Life so I was able to process and let go of my negative feelings. But had I not have that, Sedona Method would probably have ruined my day.

However, this was a healthy notification that it does one good to process the negative feelings too, instead of just pushing them under the positive. However, Sedona Method would not be my choice of doing that.

How did you feel about this audio? Does it work for you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Passive Income Project Manager Speaks Out

Even though I am on vacation, I still think a lot about my passive income project. Lately, I have been searching for ideas to implement, but somehow I've still felt that I don't that perfect idea yet. And somewhere deep inside I know I'm losing my focus because of that. Project management to the rescue! I want to share you this discussion that I had with my husband last week.

Me: Honey, I need some help with my passive income project.

Husband: What kind of help?

Me: Well, I know you are excellent at organizing things and I recall you telling me how you did your homework superfast as a kid.

Husband: Yes, I did everything during the school day. I rarely took the books at home. Well, not until I was older.

Me: That is just what I mean. When you were ten you were already good at seeing what is important and what is not. I mean, some other kid could not have pulled that off. He would have missed something during the class and not end up being an A-grade student.

Husband: Yes, I am good at that. I would make a superb IT project manager if I wanted to.

Me: Yeah, I know you don't want to be a project manager, but I need you to do just that for me. I need to know what I should concentrate now. I need to know what is important.

Project Manager: Ok, can you tell me your goal again?

Me: You know my goal already, right?

Project Manager: Well, lately you have been talking about a lot of things, like building a SaaS application and expressing your talents more. So what do you really want, right now? Just pick one thing.

Me: I want what I state in my goal, I want to prove myself that I can earn us a living on internet. I want to start by creating something that brings us 1000 euros per month.

Project Manager: Ok, so essentially you want to learn the process of making money on internet?

Me: Yes.

Project Manager: I'd say that right now the most important thing would be to pick one of your ideas and concentrate on that, get started with it already.

Me: But I don't have the perfect idea yet! I feel I should now do my best to find an idea worth implementing.

Project Manager: I disagree. You have plenty of ideas. I've seen your notebook with full page of ideas.

Me: But those are just random ideas. What if I pick an idea that is not unique enough?

Project Manager: While we were driving today, how many bakeries did you see?

Me: A lot! They seem to have them in every corner, just like we have barber shops in Finland.

Project Manager: See? Those ideas are not unique snowflakes either. You just need to provide something that someone needs and then make sure that someone finds your product.

Me: Ok, I agree. Most of the ideas that earn people their living are not so unique. But what if my idea is not good enough, what if people won't buy my product?

Project Manager: Well, you cannot know that beforehand anyway. You have never done this so you don't have any experience on picking ideas that sell. I'd suggest you use the courses to help you with that. Follow them and do the marketing research on the ideas you have already.

Me: What if the most boring idea wins there? I will lose interest on it as time goes by!

Project Manager: Actually, I'd suggest that you won't pick your favorite idea now. It will be easier for you to learn the process if you don't have extra emotional stuff going on. Remember what Amy said, don't be a bitch to your idea.

Me: Ok, you are probably right there.

Project Manager: Just take it easy, don't stress. You are just picking an idea here. If you end up bored or it does not earn good money, you can just stop and pick a new one. There is no risk, no obligations, you'll lose nothing but time. Just start with something little and learn how it is done. Then just rinse and repeat.

Me: Ok, so I will not use time trying to find more ideas. I'll just pick one and start working on it as soon as possible.

Project Manager: Right. You will learn as you go and get better with time. Don't be overly critical now.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Week 5 - Some Passive Value Before My Vacation

This week's report comes a bit early since I'm starting my vacation today.

I had two goals for this week. I wanted to get my programming project into a nice condition before my vacation. That went fine and I actually did not have to put much hours into it.

I also took Steve's challenge to create and publish something. I created my first video upload ever: Hands-on Video: Test-Driven Development - Java Application Skeleton

I am really happy that I took the challenge, because I learned so much doing it. It took me two working days to get my 30-minute video done. I had zero experience on videos so I started by downloading some tools and learning how to use them. Next I found out that I am not able to get everything on one take. I tried several times, but I always made mistakes in programming, stuttered or someone rang the doorbell. When I finally was able to get a longer piece of recording done, the recording application did not save it due to a restriction in file size! Finally I gave up and made my video in pieces. But that meant I needed to learn video processing too.

I thought doing videos for web is super easy, but I ended up with quite a crappy video. But it is my first so I think that is acceptable and I am really happy that I created it. After reading this article on uploading videos to YouTube and watching this video on how to make video tutorials for Blender I found out I did almost everything wrong!

The reason my video got blurry was the resolution. I should have recorded it using aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9. I also found out that YouTube resizes the video on upload and that I should have uploaded it in HD. Unfortunately YouTube limit for HD videos is 10 minutes and I already had split my video to 15-minute pieces. So I ended up uploading to Vimeo, just to find out that they allow only one HD video per week. I should have joined up the parts of my video before upload. Now the first part of my video is HD and the second part is not. But I can always re-upload the second part next week.

I used the following free programs to make my video:

  • Webinaria for recording (I also tried FrontCam, CamStudio and several others)
  • VirtualDub for editing 
  • MediaCoder for conversion (I also tried FormatFactory, but it crashed on .mp4 conversion)

Doing something little and giving it away for free is a perfect way to try out something and get comments. I had a totally different idea of how the end result would look like and I'm really happy now that I did not invest anything but time on this yet. I also have much better grasp now what it takes to make a product around videos.

Tip of the week

The 2012 Ultimate You Mindfest is starting in couple of days and it is free. I've been listening their paraliminal relaxation audio and it is really effective, so I'm looking forward to the actual fest.

I also got a recommendation for an interesting book that I'll probably buy when I get back:
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A cheat sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany

So, I'm heading to vacation now. See you after two weeks!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week 4 - Embracing The Change

This week I have finally gotten some routine into my new lifestyle. I love my life now. I do about 4 hours of programming in the morning and then I use the afternoon to either on my hobby projects or to work on my passive income stream. If I want to do something else or change the routine, I can, and I enjoy it. On thursday I was so tired I slept through the whole morning! I can feel there is some extra stress around, but I assume that is normal right now. There is a thing called stress scale that measures how stressful different life changes are and changing a job is in the top 10. So I'm trying not to push myself too much.

I also had my first challenges. My old limiting beliefs crept to the surface, and I canceled the Get Rich With eBooks course. Fortunately, with a little help I noticed what was happening and reactivated my course account. Processing that stuff took a huge amount of mental energy. Stress and worry can kill a project like this, so I smashed them right away. The course came with an affirmations audio. I now listen it on the background when I work. I really like it and it is better than my old set of affirmations.

When I started with Get Rich With eBooks I thought I would not be needing any affirmations of motivational stuff. But I am still a newbie in so many ways, so the best I can do now is to stick to the courses and just do what the teacher says.

Tip of the week

Watch videos and podcasts on double speed. I tried this and realized I could easily follow them double speed. I need to learn much, so this will save hours of my time. No 3 x speed for me though, that needs some practice.

I'm using VLC Viewer, a free software that has an option to open streams over network.

Chris & Steve, thanks for the tip.

Goals for the next week

1. Work on my programming project
2. Create and publish something valuable (Steve's challenge in post Passive Value)

This is the last week before my 2-week vacation, so I want to get the programming project into a phase where others can easily continue working on it.

I already create and publish something valuable almost every week, but I wanted to take Steve's challenge anyway. I have a certain thing in my mind that I want to try.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Self-Sabotage by Proxy

I was not planning to have to write this post this soon. Actually, I was expecting very little self-sabotage on this project. But I was not prepared for self-sabotage by proxy.

This is how I wrote in my Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 Review post:

So I have now watched $100 worth of videos, and maybe one hour of it was really good stuff. So would I pay $100 for an expert like Vic to sit with me and tell me how to use the tools to find ideas and how to evaluate the potential of my ideas? YES, yes I would. And I would not even blink.

But later on I wrote:

Comment at 5th of June - I decided to cancel my trial after reading a comment telling me that this "one-time offer" has been online for over a year now. That is a marketing tactic that I don't really like and do not wish to learn myself.

Oh Cheese! Get a grip, Jaana. Are you really claiming that Vic will inject you with EVIL, if you continue?!!! That is the lamest excuse ever for quitting a perfectly fine course, honey.

So what happened - really?

Well, I was fine when I read my blog comments and replied them. I am a big believer of "personal reality" or "personal truth" concept so even though I felt for you the comments did not affect the decision I had made. I had already established that the course content would fit my needs.

But later on I was having dinner with my husband and I asked him if he had read the comments. He had and suddenly he looked me in the eyes and asked: "What do you think, should you cancel"?

I actually left the dinner table, started up the pc I had already shut down for the evening and canceled my course account immediately. When I was ready my husband came into the room and said: "I'm glad you did that. You know, that Vic guy was a little... you know..." and he showed me the Italian gesture for furbo. Furbo is a "smart individual with vicious and tricky intent". We both laughed and I felt what he was feeling - I was relieved too. But I did ask him how I was going to learn that stuff now. He said I will surely get that information from somewhere else too, delivered by someone I'll feel more connected to.

But the next day I did not feel good. I had some major self-doubts about my project and I felt insecure. I was rolling around thoughts that everybody is trying to trick me and no-one will definitely want my product and etc. But in the afternoon I logged into my Twitter and found this:

My jaw dropped when I looked at the time stamp. Steve had tweeted before I canceled. And he was answering the only question that was relevant - is the content of Vic's course going to be of the same quality than the first 2 modules.

So I stepped back and evaluated the situation. Where did my negative thoughts came from? Why was I having a strong flashback of feelings that I thought I had dealt with already. You see, I have worked on my limiting beliefs using Louise Hay's wonderful, happy and flowery book You Can Heal Your Life. So I thought I had the most important of them swapped already. Then I realized - maybe these are not mine... When I found the book my husband was abroad and when he came back he started reading the book, but stopped after couple of chapters.

As my husband came home from work I asked him why did he think it was a good idea to cancel the course. He replied with a saying: "Don't buy a pig in a poke". I told about Steve's comment. He asked if I should trust Steve. Then I told him that I think he is having a limiting belief about this issue. Something along the lines "People are always trying to take advantage on you". That is one I had too!

After some thought he saw it himself and he was ashamed. He never meant to sabotage me. But I told him not to feel bad since he did not do anything. I am the one who decided to react and pick up the old negative belief that he offered to me. I just did not realize I did.

Diagnosis: Self-sabotage by proxy
Treatment: Account reactivation, affirmations (for DH too)

So, I'm happily back on the course!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Social Component - Who Cares For Me?

Steve's latest article Self-Discipline and Social Pressure got me thinking. So here I sit, wondering who cares if my fancy new income stream will succeed or not.

For me, the social component is not really about self-discipline. I have plenty of that. And I'm well capable of putting pressure on myself - sometimes I'm too good at that. Besides, Steve's article talks to me about something else that just self-discipline and social pressure. It talks about connections, networking. And that is what got me thinking.

Here is what Steve wrote today:
Suppose you want to earn more passive income. Why should anyone care? Why should anyone want you to succeed?

My dear husband would probably be the first to care. I really want to pull this off so that he can also resign from his job. Then we both will be free. I know resigning is going to be hard for him and it would really help him if he could say that he is going to be entrepreneur. Having to say "I have no idea what I am going to do" like I did would be much harder for him than it was for me.

The next one to care would be the WebServerGuru. He is creating his own passive (or semi-passive) income stream in his start-up company. And I'm helping him as an exchange for his expertise. They could not afford me otherwise and I would not want to work for money anyway. He would not probably be happy if I decided to stop. Of course I could not do that to him, even if something would happen to this project. He just does not know that, I guess, so he cares.

The next ones would be my parents and my sister and brother. They would like to see me succeed. My sister is actually working on a similar project herself. I do care for her and I hope that she succeeds too.

But beyond that. Who cares? The people who will love my products don't know I exist. I don't even know what I will be creating! That made me a bit sad but then I realized that this project has a social component bigger than just bringing value for someone.

For a some time now I've felt that I don't belong. People who I have spent time and worked with are interested in things that no longer interest me. I have changed, and others have too, but to another direction. Wondering who cares made me realize that whatever I am doing here is going to get me the social connections that I need so much. I want to spend time with people who think like I do. I want to work on inspiring project with people who really care and are enthusiastic about what they do.

I can honestly admit that I am on a journey now. I don't have a "life purpose", I have not defined goals for myself as a person. I just know I love to create things. I enjoy when people get happy. I love it when I publish something and get comments like this one:
You have no idea how awesome this is! Maybe you do but just in case let me tell you again, THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME! Thank you :D
Yeah, I love that! It just makes me smile. Thank YOU! I will continue creating stuff for you even though you never click my adds, honeys!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Week 3 - May 2012 Status Report

Passive Income In May 2012:   

The income is coming from AdFly and AdSense, both of which I am trying out in my current blogs. They have an income limit so that I cannot really cash as small an amount as $4, but as it was earned this month I wanted to report it.

Costs in May 2012:               

The costs are from a hastily bought GoDaddy domain that I will probably never need and the Get Rich With eBooks 3.0 Course 10 day trial. 

I also registered for the free Ultimate You Mindfest course that starts on June 18th. I am afraid that I may miss part of it due to my vacation, but hopefully I am able to attend at least part of the sessions.

Theme of the May 2012

Preparations and skill building.

I committed to my goal. I arranged time for the project and I started my skill building. I have assessed my strengths/weaknesses and made a rough budget for the project.
I have also done some searching for potential ideas and customers, and I have a worksheet where I collect that information.

I learned some web programming and search engine optimization. I learned how to find new ideas and how to evaluate their commercial potential.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 Review

Well... a pre-review. I paid $12 to get access to Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 video course for 10 days. At this point I can access and review only a part of the material.

Steve recommended Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 in his Passive Income Series article Passive Income Systems. Vic Johnson, the creator of the course, pulled the right strings for me by announcing that the video linked above will not be available forever. In the video he says that to ensure proper access to all, he will close the entry after 500 participants. As I already missed Amy's course, I did not want to miss this one too. So I bought the trial even though I was not too impressed by Vic's pushy marketing tactics.

After I paid, I was taken through several long and annoying popup windows. Vic tried to make me pay the whole course right away, then sell me some ready eBook content to publish myself and something else too. To be honest, the pop ups were full of crap and when I was done with them, I was left hanging. There was no registration link at the end, nothing, just ads. I was pissed. I was like, "OMG, this must be a scam, how stupid can I be! How can Steve recommend this nonsense?"

I felt I had just wasted a good deal of my precious time. The registration link, of course, was in my mailbox, but after the popup show I was highly skeptical that I would get anything worth the money. The course costs the initial $12 and after that $97 per month for 4 months. So a total of $400. What would I get for that?

After the login I was taken to a WordPress page that has placeholders for the training modules, resources, bonuses and advanced training (whatever that is). The menus are there, but only part of the content is accessible during the trial. The training modules contain 8 webinar videos, 2 of which are available for the initial payment. The resources contain link lists, templates and other stuff that might get handy. The resources that are available during the trial are ok, but I felt they did not contain much new information for me. Only unlocked bonus is Affirmations Audio. Advanced stuff is all unavailable and getting to know Vic, I would not be surprised if that would cost something more...

Ok, so I was not impressed. I started watching the first webinar. The videos are not of a good quality and Vic spends a lot of time messing up with the Q&A. The first 2 videos were both 1:40 of length, but Vic takes a lot of time in the beginning for motivational talk that did not really give me much. But the gem part is when Vic rolls his sleeves and gets to work! He goes through free tools (that maybe 1/2 I knew already) and shows how he is using them to find ideas and in the second video he again uses a bunch of free tools to analyse the market potential for his ideas. When I looked at the list of the tools in the Resources section, I was not impressed by them. The value in this course is that Vic shows HOW he is using them and what to look for in the results that he gets.

I must say that without this information I would not have known how to pick the best idea. For example, when I have been messing around in Google Keyword Tool, I have been looking for keywords that have the most searches and not much competition. But Vic taught me otherwise.

If I split the $400 to the 8 videos, that is $50 per video. So I have now watched $100 worth of videos, and maybe one hour of it was really good stuff. So would I pay $100 for an expert like Vic to sit with me and tell me how to use the tools to find ideas and how to evaluate the potential of my ideas. YES, yes I would. And I would not even blink.

So at this point I have decided not to cut my subscription after the trial period. Maybe I will learn to like Vic's style more when the course proceeds, but even that doesn't really matter to me. What matters is the content, and this far I have gotten enough for my money. I will be giving you updates as the course proceeds.

Did you join this course? How do you like it?

Comment at 5th of June - I decided to cancel my trial after reading a comment telling me that this "one-time offer" has been online for over a year now. That is a marketing tactic that I don't really like and do not wish to learn myself. I do wish that I will find a good course that will go through the whole process, because I sure need that! I'm going to try SBI next and I hope it will be better. Thank you to everybody who commented on this.

Comment at 6th of June - How to cancel Getting Rich With eBooks trial? You need to go to Vic's company's helpdesk page and create a new support request using support category "Getting Rich With eBooks"->"Cancellation". They answered withing a day and confirmed the cancellation.

Comment at 7th of June - I reactivated my account. Read more in my post Self-Sabotage by Proxy

*UPDATE on 1st of August 2012*

I'm now midway this course and I have changed my mind a bit. Read my full second review of Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 for more information.