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Nine Dot Three Sixty Five

Nine Dot Three Sixty Five

 

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’” — Marcus Aurelius

 

“Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being?” 

 

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly.” — Marcus Aurelius

 

I’ve spent too much of my life believing people and being generally optimistic.  Time to get real.

 

“Concentrate every minute like a Roman—like a man—on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can—if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable.” — Marcus Aurelius

 

“Never be overheard complaining, not even to yourself”. 

 

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” — Marcus Aurelius

 

  1. Adjusting The Daily Schedule

 

I’m having trouble adjusting the daily schedule to take advantage of the early morning hours before anyone else wakes up.

 

Trying to adhere to an early morning wakeup and rituals is beyond difficult.

 

  1. ChkLines – About Page

 

Even though it’s not as popular as in years past, a good about page can drive traffic to your website or blog.  It’s especially important for businesses and professionals.

 

About us pages are easily overlooked, but they do perform a valuable role on websites and blogs.  They explain your product or services in a way that visitors can easily understand. 

 

  1. After you get potential customers interested in your products or services, they often head to your About Us page to make sure your company is the right fit to provide those products and services.  Your About Us page is your website’s make or break page.
  2. Designing the perfect about page is easier said than done. Of course writing about yourself and your business is awkward.  Many find it difficult to strike the right balance between selling themselves to their customers and giving visitors the right information to make them want to learn more.
  3. Visitors are at your site to solve their own problems.  Forget what you do. Customers don’t care about what you do.  They care about what they receive –  solutions and benefits.  Focus on them.  What does your company do for clients or customers?
  4. Dedicate your opening sentence to your audience’s challenges and objectives. First-time visitors need to know you own a real business with real capabilities.
  5. What makes your company special?  Tell them what problems you can solve.  How do you make their lives better? Describe your skills and why you’re uniquely qualified to offer the service or product you sell.  Use plain language to describe how you fulfill those needs and solve those problems. 
  6. State the facts.  If you’re finding it hard to strike a happy balance between your selling points and outright boasting, then simply present your visitors with the basic facts.  Fluff is boring. Candor draws people in.
  7. To avoid bragging or blatant marketing, steer clear of hype.  Offer a straight presentation of the facts and figures.  Many About Us pages are filled with words like visionary, outstanding, disruptive, excellent, world-class, or cutting edge.  Avoid superlatives.  Don’t try to be something you’re not.
  8. Don’t say the same things that appear on your Home page.  A long, detailed, historical summary will bore everyone. You also don’t want to sound like you’re boasting. Find the middle ground.
  9. Make your about page a feast for the eyes by considering the use of images and videos. Use photos of real people and places. If you can’t, don’t use any photos.
  10. So many small business include a lame group shot of the entire staff.  Try for something more interesting.  Photos of individual employees in action or maybe at a charity fundraiser will help boost your image.
  11. For doctors and lawyers, you may want to emphasize your professional credentials such as your education, licenses, awards, and depth of experience.  Lead with specifics that speak to your qualifications that will give you instant credibility, but without laying it on too thick.  Awards can add credibility, but pick the ones that have the most impact on potential clients, patients, or customers.
  12. For professionals, a head shot somewhere on the page can help.  People want to know what their doctor or lawyer looks like.
  13. Tell a story.  Focus on the things that make you human.
  14. Don’t be afraid of where you have come from.  We are all suckers for rags to riches stories.  The more people can identify with your story, the more trust they will have in you.  A personal touch makes marketing palatable.
  15. Your About Us page must do more than communicate what’s special about your company’s products or services. This is an important page for validating your credentials for people who don’t know you, and who have no reason yet to trust you.  It must inspire trust because without trust, you’ll never get the prospective customers to open their wallets.
  16. You don’t have to tell people everything.  Social media has encouraged people to share TMI.  Filter out boring details.
  17. Share your contact details, or put in a link to your Contact page.  Most people want to know where you are located before doing business.
  18. Make sure your contact details are up to date.  No one wants to call a disconnected number or visit your prior office address.  And an invalid email address screams amateur.
  19. I prefer also to use a plugin like WP Social Contact to share extensive contact details such as Facebook, Twitter, and Skype.  Have many ways for a potential customer or client to contact you.
  20. Write in a conversational style. There is no best way to write, but your about page is no place to show off your vocabulary. The style you adopt will depend on your company, but write in a way that makes  your site feel accessible and friendly. 
  21. Don’t be over clever and rename your About Us something trendy and artistic like Our Journey.  I don’t care about your journey, only mine.  Even on my Walkabout Solopreneur blog, an About Us page is an About Us page, not a Walkabout page.
  22. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, ask your friends for help.  They may see value in your company and site that you take for granted.
  23. Your about page is not set in stone.  Make adjustments and changes as needed.  A great About Us page should be a work in progress. Whenever big changes occur, update your About Us page immediately.
  24. Make sure your page is accessible across all devices – computers, tablets, and smartphones.  If you use WordPress and a good theme, this will not be an issue.

 

Unfortunately, About Us pages are too often treated as an obligation rather than a valuable opportunity to connect with your customers.  

 

Some believe it should be a sales page.  I do not.  Think pre-sell page, and guide your visitors to valuable content inside your site.

 

~ Chaz

 

  1. Over my lifetime, we have gone from the USDA Food Pyramid to other gurus telling you to eat vegan.

 

The USDA actually copied this chart from Sweden.

 

As a real vegan, I don’t eat meat, poultry, pork, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey.  I don’t eat many grains at all, and no longer eat processed grains like bread.

 

Here’s a sample vegan food pyramid:

 

Now when it comes to leafy greens, I like mine cooked.  But that’s an issue for another day.

 

What I am trying to say is that these beliefs are simply beliefs.  As a kid, we ate at the same table when Dad got home from work.  Meat and potatoes.  Maybe fruit for dessert.  The government pushed us to eat that way.

 

Now, some doctors say eating meat and potatoes and junk food and sugary desserts is a path to an early death.

 

If you manage to eat healthy and stay trim and attractive, you have to deal with all of the dating and mating rules.  Some rules seem required, like those against sex with children, although all rules get violated by virtually every culture that has existed since men left their caves for villages.

 

We invent or accept a bunch of rules designed to make other people feel moral or superior.

 

Is she right for you?  Is she too young, or too old?  Would she be a good wife or mother?  Does she practice the same faith?  Is she the same race or ethnic background?

 

And on and on.

 

Individuals with backbone should question everything.  If society’s rules are out of alignment with your life, you can find a way to live the life you want – as Harry Browne would suggest.

 

People follow old rules and customs that should long ago have been shelved.

 

We must push to create our own systems, what I call Walkabout Solopreneur.  You may call it anything you want.

 

We have to blaze our own trails.  We have to look internally and externally to find the way to happiness given our current circumstances.  

 

~ Chaz

 

 

  1. Your Personal System

 

A business like McDonald’s thrives because every detail of their operation at every level is systematized and recorded.  No detail is left out.  This happens at every level from the farm to your stomach, and even beyond to accounting and corporate.

 

Nothing is set in stone.  While it’s not Japanese kaizen, it’s close.  Constant improvement.  Menus evolve.  When I was young, all they sold were burgers, fries, soda, and shakes.  I loved it when the fish sandwich came along – with a piece of cheese.

 

Now, as snowflakes clamor for $15 per hour “living wage” working at McDonald’s, the chain is developing smart kiosks to replace them.  McDonald’s was never meant to be a career choice except for a few managers.  It’s sad what’s become of our economy when burger flippers have no alternative career choices.

 

That brings me back to creating your life and earning a real income without having to take to the streets like depression era workers.  Each of us has some unique and individual challenges, but never in the history of mankind have we had so many choices.

 

At 66, I am retired on a small Social Security income, forced into being a night time caregiver for my 91 year old mother, and fighting to regain my health and fitness before I return to the life of a perpetual traveler.

 

Without good health and a full-time online income, continuous travel is not an option.

 

Relationships need to be cleaned up to free your mind for travel.  On the road is a great place to find your next ex-wife.  I’ve started by finalizing a divorce, my third.  Being married is not one of my top skills.

 

I have a daughter in her 20s I would love to help more.  Money is key, but not so much as “assets” but as ongoing, recurring income you can access anywhere in the world.

 

Continuous improvement is key for your personal system.  Individual kaizen.

 

Kaizen is nothing mysterious or new.  It’s the basic philosophy of stoicism.  

 

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy that flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD. Stoicism is predominantly a philosophy of personal ethics which is informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting this moment as it presents itself, by not allowing ourselves to be controlled by our desire for pleasure or our fear of pain, by using our minds to understand the world around us and to do our part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others in a fair and just manner.

 

As an IBM (Introvert Boomer Male), it’s time for me to lay out a detailed plan of action to create the best me I can make.  That light at the end of the tunnel is getting too bright to wait another day to get started.

 

My biggest problem is an addictive personality.  I don’t eat a scoop of ice cream, I grab a spoon and the container.  I don’t have a piece of toast, I make six.  And for Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies (2nd largest selling after Oreos), a sleeve is my serving size.

 

I wish I were that addictive to exercise.

 

I’ve tried a balanced approach to food, and it doesn’t work.  If I eat nothing but real, unprocessed foods for a week or a month, a single lapse will send me spiraling to a 500 blood sugar reading.

 

Once I taste sugar, I don’t stop until I have half killed myself.

 

So what is the vision?  Perpetual travel.  To get ready, I have to maximize my health and increase income.

 

The two main goals to contribute to perpetual travel:

  1. 3,000+ words per day
  2. eat real, unprocessed foods that are diabetic friendly

 

Underneath these goals are a number of daily actions and constant improvements to make me healthier and wealthier. 

 

I will go into them later, but writing down these minor daily tasks are juvenile, stupid, silly, and totally necessary for me.  If I don’t record, I don’t do.

 

Even on the first day, I’m starting to feel like a monk.  Detailed rituals.  I do keep these private and adjust for anything that is not working for me.  Unlike a monk, my schedule will not allow me to work when I want.  I just list the items and do as many as possible whenever I have a moment.

 

My “to do list” has been replaced with a “might do” list.

 

Might do’s are big ticket items that are impossible without all developing tiny habits and rituals.

 

  1. If you desire, you can start your Walkabout Solopreneur side hustle with no money at all.  Paid hosting and other tools are nice but not necessary.  But you can do it totally free.  I went down to the Jacksonville Main Public Library last week and renewed a library card.  I haven’t been there in decades.  What a nice place full of computers you can use for 45 minute segments.  There was no waiting, and hundreds of computers.  I will test writing by hand and posting to one of my blogs or free sites remotely.  If I am to advocate free affiliate marketing, this is the place to test it.

 

  1. 10 Ways To Improve My Business:

 

 

  • do all computing at my makeshift standing desk
  • handwrite some/many drafts in public spaces – Starbucks, McDonald’s, bookstore
  • spend 1 month on nothing but short posts and product reviews
  • join affiliate programs using my corporate name
  • keep proper corporate records
  • get my cloud printer working off the chromebook
  • no computing in the TV room (no multitasking)
  • keep TV turned off during the day even as background noise
  • set up video marketing for each new product
  • create pushlead campaigns

 

 

  1. Affiliate marketing is still viable, but maybe it’s time to up the ante.  In my own case, I won’t even buy an affiliate product unless the seller has included a ton of “bonuses”, or if I use my own affiliate link to buy at a discount.  Most of the good bonuses I could put together, but it would take me hours and hours to find all of the free videos and pdfs.  It’s cheaper and more productive to buy from a competitor.  Knowledge is better than one commission.

 

What I need to do is continue to market affiliate products that I use, and at the same time, write a series of ebooks/kindle books to create my own unique authority.  I won’t list them here.  I don’t want to destroy the mojo.  I will only write books that will help me – and I hope others – to live their remaining years to the fullest.  Walk the walk.  No fake it ‘til you make it.

 

  1. When I look at people my age, I see old people.  I don’t see that in the mirror.  Maybe it’s my mind altering the image.  I don’t know.  But I’m not giving in to time without a fight.  At this time, I am completing a free ebook on mail order bride scams.  This is to give away in order to build my list of followers.  Over the years, I have resisted building a list.  I have to remember I am building a list not to fleece them but to learn and advise.

 

  1. One habit I’ve abandoned is the morning pages a la Julia Cameron.  Bad me.  As a major component of The Artist’s Way, you start your day by turning out 3 handwritten pages of stream-of-consciousness words/rant.  I call them snot pages.  It’s about getting the junk out of your system.  I want to use the junk to lay an outline for more serious work instead of putting the words aside.

 

  1. Snot pages are a start to your day, not a finish.  To become the writer I want to be, I will set aside the first 4 hours of each day from when I wake up to hammer out my ideas.  I want to have that sense of great accomplishment and know that I have more work and writing done than most people well before lunchtime.  Out of the 4 hours, I am shooting for 3 hours of actual writing.  The rest of the time will include a shower, shave, and breaks from being on my feet.  I don’t need to eat until the basic work is done.  Only coffee and tea to keep me going.  What the morning hours are for is writing.  Once I cut up this document into posts, articles, and comments, I will then add other research, images, and video.  I cannot be distracted during the morning hours.  No email.  No surfing.