White phosphorus sunlight burns my eyes.

My desiccated tongue slaps the top of my mouth, begging for moisture.

An acrid cough stings my nostrils.

“Ugghh….. How much rice wine did we drink….?”

With an icy shower and three rounds of coffee, I steady myself, and prepare for the ride to Ha Giang. 

A ride that promises to be the most ecstasy-inducing yet. 

A ride that was a hair’s width away from being the last thing I ever did. 

.

.

It’s the morning of my twenty sixth birthday.

Six friends and I are four months into a globe spanning travel program called “Remote Year”. At the halfway point of a daring motorbike adventure across Vietnam’s untamed wilds.

Last night it seems we made quite the impression in Dong Van. A sleepy town nestled in the dramatic Chinese mountains of the north.

The roads are, to put it charitably; non-existent. Covered by fresh rivers from the previous night’s storm.

We zip up and down quarried slopes flanked by sheer drops and imposing limestone peaks.

Thang, Our guide tears ahead on his enormous dirt bike, conquering the path.

Behind him, I pick up speed and confidence as I acclimatize to the slip and slide.

The cliff-side path veers left.

The “road” is two deep, parallel trenches with a muddy bank between them.

Thang blasts through the right hand trench, closest to the edge.

He bumps his front tire over the middle bank and flicks his back tire around as he pulls out of the obstacle.

I kill off much of my speed and follow his line.

Right hand trench.

“This seems deeper than you anticipated….” thunders through my brain.

Back tire slides.

“Something’s off.”

Adrenaline surges.

Time smears.

Next thought blast;

“Fuck. Your tiny bike isn’t as capable as our guide’s monster”

Pull front tire left.

“Too fast!”

Bike bounces left over the bank, away from the edge.

Back wheel flings over and into the left hand trench, smacking it’s inner edge and directing me straight.

Towards.

The edge.

I scramble to correct.

Lean left.

Pump the breaks.

Knock down the gears.

Existence shrinks to a strobing sequence.

.

Time screeches to a halt.

.

.

My bike, does not.

I’m airborne.

Flashing.

Crunching.

.

Silence.

.

.

Breathe in….

.

Breathe out….

.

As I lay there, pinned under my bike some 15 feet down the cliff, staring up a the steely cobalt sky, all I can do, is laugh.

Laugh that by some miraculous stroke of luck, I’d driven off one of the few rock slides in the area. Had this happened at any other point in the last 10 miles, I’d have flown 50+ feet straight down.

And, now my imminent demise is off the menu, my brain drifts back a little over a year ago.. to the strange string of coincidences that both lead me here, and last left me feeling such dread.

 

Discerning the quantum nature of the office clock.

Time passes like thick molasses.

 

Tick.

 

Tick.

 

Tick.

 

Rain assaults the windows on a particularly slow Tuesday at the office.

I stare so intensely at the clock, that for an eternal second, I’m sure I can see its atoms buzzing around.

No.

Not see.

Hear.

A distant buzz will not subside.

For time immemorial, I’ve been playing, the endearingly mindless game of “imagining more enjoyable experiences than this”:

  • Catching major league fastballs, with my face?
  • Hand writing my inner monologue, in an inspired attempt to endanger the world’s supply of “fucks”?
  • Tattooing my foreskin, with a harpoon?

Roughly 38 seconds have passed.

I decide that:

  • Getting awesome new ink,
  • Learning calligraphy, or,
  • Dramatically improving my impression of a cabbage,

Are unlikely to inject a sense of control back into my life.

I’m approaching the crescendo of the toughest period of my life.

The implosion of a seven year relationship.

Terrorized by stress induced nightmares, lingering from university exam periods.

Impotent to perform in a career I somehow thought I wanted. 

My sense-of-self is tearing at the seams, unraveling.

I’m stuck in tar in a pit so deep, the light doesn’t reach me.

I claw rabidly at the sides, seeking any respite. 

Reading Richard Branson’s autobiography at 15 oriented my life. Building businesses, buying and island and taking a trip to space, all sounded like jolly good fun.

I spent holidays since that age attempting to launch every flavor of online business. Hell, I’d even landed this job because of those endeavors. 

But, there’s one problem..

I’d not actually had any success with these projects, and to my dismay, am continuing that streak at this job.

Reality is bludgeoning my fantasy future into a mushy pulp.

“If I’ve been wrong about this business stuff for the last decade, what the fuck am I meant to do with my life instead??”

My entire identity is under threat.

To avoid a total freak out, I resume my attempt to discern the quantum nature of the office clock.

Before a rude interruption.. 

Upbeat electronic music pierces my dissociative fugue. 

Blissful faces sipping coconuts on rope swings. 

Back-flips from ivory cliffs into azure waves.

Friends hugging and laughing at Machu Picchu.

“Remote.. Year.. join a group of 50 awesome adventurers as you live and work in 12 cities around the world..”

The Facebook ad continues it’s bokeh laden onslaught. “Insta-famous” experiences juxtapose with travelers working from their laptops in obscure locales. 

My brain struggles to rationalize:

“Your. Life. Is. Wasting. Away. You need this.”

“You don’t even make enough money to cover their installments. Let alone your personal expenses.”

“You could try another business?”

“Fuck. Nothing you do works out.

Blog with SEO – nope.

Selling affiliate products – fail.

Product launches – nada.

Video courses – no

Paid ads – too expensive.

Writing copy – too competitive.

Selling websites to offline businesses – too soul destroying.

Startup – too ambitious”

“Ughh. You don’t have the time to even try while you’re working, and if you leave its security, you could end up much worse off.”

I’m not wrong… There’s no way I can pull this off, I close the ad and attempt to forget.

A seed is planted….

To quell the demons in my mind, I compromise. The company I work for has an Instagram Scheduling software. I add a months worth of content to it on a weekend, and have it post for me while I’m working. 

One of these social media accounts might take off, who knows?

Truth #1 The most powerful gift in the world, is time.

It’s Your Only Truly Limited Resource.

Does life have you feeling trapped?

If so, you’re spending too much time doing things you don’t fucking care about.

It’s not about balls-to-the-wall loving every, single, second of what you do.

But with little to no control or fulfillment, you’ll end up in a dark place, fast. 

At this point in my life, I felt so hopeless, so unsure of my own abilities.

Terrified to leave the security of my job.

The majority of my time and energy drained by something unfulfilling.

So, how can you start to escape this trap?

1. cultivate

Cultivate an audience of people that will return time and again for the value you provide. 

To be smart with your limited time, build this audience on an existing social platform: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok etc.

The purpose of these platforms is audience building. Pick one you like and focus there. This is MUCH easier and faster than building from scratch.

2. Curate

When it comes to providing value, you can create, or curate. Creating unique content is great, feels amazing, and takes a phenomenal amount of time.

To curate content, is to share existing content.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Repost content that has done well before (with permissions if needed).

This increases the odds that the content does well and it is far easier to share content than it is to create it.

Curation doesn’t need to be your end goal, but it should always be your first step.

You need to get moving, quick, and this is the best way to do that.

 3. automate

Final time saver – you need to use automation software.

Schedule a lot of posts in one go (on a Sunday for example). Have them auto-post over the next few weeks or months.

This builds your audience for you.

Before scheduling your next batch, analyse the previous for best performers.

Focusing on the top content will snowball, increasing your results over time.

Cultivate, curate and automate are very low commitment, low risk, very high reward.

They all combine to build an audience for you while you’re busy fighting through the rest of your life.

As your audience grows, you’ll be able to start making money from them.

It is as simple as this:

  • Ask your audience: 1. What their dream life is, 2. What’s their biggest challenge getting there.
  • Research information that solves their challenges, and gets them towards their dream life. 
  • Compile and organize that into a pdf or record a video course. 
  • Write sales copy communicating how you transform your customers from challenge to dream. Google is your friend.
  • Sell it for $25-100 using something like WooCommerce or Shopify. 

Using these three steps I was able to go from 0-250,000 fitness followers in about 10 months. I made money in my second month of business, and clear 5-figures a month by my sixth:

White phosphorus sunlight burns my eyes.

My desiccated tongue slaps the top of my mouth, begging for moisture.

An acrid cough stings my nostrils.

“Ugghh….. How much rice wine did we drink….?”

With an icy shower and three rounds of coffee, I steady myself, and prepare for the ride to Ha Giang. 

A ride that promises to be the most ecstasy-inducing yet. 

A ride that was a hair’s width away from being the last thing I ever did. 

.

.

It’s the morning of my twenty sixth birthday.

Six friends and I are four months into a globe spanning travel program called “Remote Year”. At the halfway point of a daring motorbike adventure across Vietnam’s untamed wilds.

Last night it seems we made quite the impression in Dong Van. A sleepy town nestled in the dramatic Chinese mountains of the north.

The roads are, to put it charitably; non-existent. Covered by fresh rivers from the previous night’s storm.

We zip up and down quarried slopes flanked by sheer drops and imposing limestone peaks.

Thang, Our guide tears ahead on his enormous dirt bike, conquering the path.

Behind him, I pick up speed and confidence as I acclimatize to the slip and slide.

The cliff-side path veers left.

The “road” is two deep, parallel trenches with a muddy bank between them.

Thang blasts through the right hand trench, closest to the edge.

He bumps his front tire over the middle bank and flicks his back tire around as he pulls out of the obstacle.

I kill off much of my speed and follow his line.

Right hand trench.

“This seems deeper than you anticipated….” thunders through my brain.

Back tire slides.

“Something’s off.”

Adrenaline surges.

Time smears.

Next thought blast;

“Fuck. Your tiny bike isn’t as capable as our guide’s monster”

Pull front tire left.

“Too fast!”

Bike bounces left over the bank, away from the edge.

Back wheel flings over and into the left hand trench, smacking it’s inner edge and directing me straight.

Towards.

The edge.

I scramble to correct.

Lean left.

Pump the breaks.

Knock down the gears.

Existence shrinks to a strobing sequence.

.

Time screeches to a halt.

.

.

My bike, does not.

I’m airborne.

Flashing.

Crunching.

.

Silence.

.

.

Breathe in….

.

Breathe out….

.

As I lay there, pinned under my bike some 15 feet down the cliff, staring up a the steely cobalt sky, all I can do, is laugh.

Laugh that by some miraculous stroke of luck, I’d driven off one of the few rock slides in the area. Had this happened at any other point in the last 10 miles, I’d have flown 50+ feet straight down.

And, now my imminent demise is off the menu, my brain drifts back a little over a year ago.. to the strange string of coincidences that both lead me here, and last left me feeling such dread.

 

Discerning the quantum nature of the office clock.

Time passes like thick molasses.

 

Tick.

 

Tick.

 

Tick.

 

Rain assaults the windows on a particularly slow Tuesday at the office.

I stare so intensely at the clock, that for an eternal second, I’m sure I can see its atoms buzzing around.

No.

Not see.

Hear.

A distant buzz will not subside.

For time immemorial, I’ve been playing, the endearingly mindless game of “imagining more enjoyable experiences than this”:

  • Catching major league fastballs, with my face?
  • Hand writing my inner monologue, in an inspired attempt to endanger the world’s supply of “fucks”?
  • Tattooing my foreskin, with a harpoon?

Roughly 38 seconds have passed.

I decide that:

  • Getting awesome new ink,
  • Learning calligraphy, or,
  • Dramatically improving my impression of a cabbage,

Are unlikely to inject a sense of control back into my life.

I’m approaching the crescendo of the toughest period of my life.

The implosion of a seven year relationship.

Terrorized by stress induced nightmares, lingering from university exam periods.

Impotent to perform in a career I somehow thought I wanted. 

My sense-of-self is tearing at the seams, unraveling.

I’m stuck in tar in a pit so deep, the light doesn’t reach me.

I claw rabidly at the sides, seeking any respite. 

Reading Richard Branson’s autobiography at 15 oriented my life. Building businesses, buying and island and taking a trip to space, all sounded like jolly good fun.

I spent holidays since that age attempting to launch every flavor of online business. Hell, I’d even landed this job because of those endeavors. 

But, there’s one problem..

I’d not actually had any success with these projects, and to my dismay, am continuing that streak at this job.

Reality is bludgeoning my fantasy future into a mushy pulp.

“If I’ve been wrong about this business stuff for the last decade, what the fuck am I meant to do with my life instead??”

My entire identity is under threat.

To avoid a total freak out, I resume my attempt to discern the quantum nature of the office clock.

Before a rude interruption.. 

Upbeat electronic music pierces my dissociative fugue. 

Blissful faces sipping coconuts on rope swings. 

Back-flips from ivory cliffs into azure waves.

Friends hugging and laughing at Machu Picchu.

“Remote.. Year.. join a group of 50 awesome adventurers as you live and work in 12 cities around the world..”

The Facebook ad continues it’s bokeh laden onslaught. “Insta-famous” experiences juxtapose with travelers working from their laptops in obscure locales. 

My brain struggles to rationalize:

“Your. Life. Is. Wasting. Away. You need this.”

“You don’t even make enough money to cover their installments. Let alone your personal expenses.”

“You could try another business?”

“Fuck. Nothing you do works out.

Blog with SEO – nope.

Selling affiliate products – fail.

Product launches – nada.

Video courses – no

Paid ads – too expensive.

Writing copy – too competitive.

Selling websites to offline businesses – too soul destroying.

Startup – too ambitious”

“Ughh. You don’t have the time to even try while you’re working, and if you leave its security, you could end up much worse off.”

I’m not wrong… There’s no way I can pull this off, I close the ad and attempt to forget.

A seed is planted….

To quell the demons in my mind, I compromise. The company I work for has an Instagram Scheduling software. I add a months worth of content to it on a weekend, and have it post for me while I’m working. 

One of these social media accounts might take off, who knows?

Truth #1 The most powerful gift in the world, is time.

It’s Your Only Truly Limited Resource.

Does life have you feeling trapped?

If so, you’re spending too much time doing things you don’t fucking care about.

It’s not about balls-to-the-wall loving every, single, second of what you do.

But with little to no control or fulfillment, you’ll end up in a dark place, fast. 

At this point in my life, I felt so hopeless, so unsure of my own abilities.

Terrified to leave the security of my job.

The majority of my time and energy drained by something unfulfilling.

So, how can you start to escape this trap?

1. cultivate

Cultivate an audience of people that will return time and again for the value you provide. 

To be smart with your limited time, build this audience on an existing social platform: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok etc.

The purpose of these platforms is audience building. Pick one you like and focus there. This is MUCH easier and faster than building from scratch.

2. Curate

When it comes to providing value, you can create, or curate. Creating unique content is great, feels amazing, and takes a phenomenal amount of time.

To curate content, is to share existing content.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Repost content that has done well before (with permissions if needed).

This increases the odds that the content does well and it is far easier to share content than it is to create it.

Curation doesn’t need to be your end goal, but it should always be your first step.

You need to get moving, quick, and this is the best way to do that.

3. automate

Final time saver – you need to use automation software.

Schedule a lot of posts in one go (on a Sunday for example). Have them auto-post over the next few weeks or months.

This builds your audience for you.

Before scheduling your next batch, analyse the previous for best performers.

Focusing on the top content will snowball, increasing your results over time.

Cultivate, curate and automate are very low commitment, low risk, very high reward.

They all combine to build an audience for you while you’re busy fighting through the rest of your life.

As your audience grows, you’ll be able to start making money from them.

It is as simple as this:

  • Ask your audience: 1. What their dream life is, 2. What’s their biggest challenge getting there.
  • Research information that solves their challenges, and gets them towards their dream life. 
  • Compile and organize that into a pdf or record a video course. 
  • Write sales copy communicating how you transform your customers from challenge to dream. Google is your friend.
  • Sell it for $25-100 using something like WooCommerce or Shopify. 

Using these three steps I was able to go from 0-250,000 fitness followers in about 10 months. I made money in my second month of business, and clear 5-figures a month by my sixth:

I’ve also repeated it more recently to grow 60 travel accounts (totaling 1,000,000+ followers) for my new business. 

I’ve also repeated it more recently to grow 60 travel accounts (totaling 1,000,000+ followers) for my new business. 

Use this money to increase your security, allowing you to take control of your life.

Travel on weekends.

Quit your job.

Take photography or videography courses etc.

 

How to Make Jackson

Pollock Blush

To rationalize away my deep hunger for freedom, for adventure.

My mind takes on a whiff of mania. 

Subconscious conflict is monstrous, reality bending.

I’m convince that all I need is some remote work. To taste travel and keep the safety of my salary.

I start to search for any escape from the British winter. 

THIS one simple change will fix me!

I’ll.

be.

so.

happy.

Oh wow, oh boy, I cannot wait to feel like myself again!

I’m overjoyed for days.

Until my weekly meeting with my boss…

We sit, we banter, we laugh.

I then mention flights to and hotel in Barcelona.

That I’ve already booked.

Yep.

This still makes me nauseous to recall..

My boss’s head twitches back, eyes wide, remaining calm, he murmurs:

“That’s an interesting way to ask for a work holiday.”

You’ll recognize this sequence of internal machinations. I assure you, at the time, I sure-as-shit didn’t.

My thoughts strain to follow:

“That’s.

 

an.

 

intere….oh..

 

FUCK-ABORT!” 

My brain whiplashes from its delusional ecstasy to the reality of the situation. A tsunami of adrenaline leaves time smeared out, spaghettified.

Glaciers melt and empires collapse.

Raging rivers carve through mountain ranges like butter.

Stars erupt in spectacular supernovae.

The constant, distant buzz that’s been my companion for over a year is, changing?

.

Intensity increases.

.

It’s become of a cathedral full of pissed hornets… 

I have become time itself.

Finally, my brain politely folds in half. 

The raging freight train that is reality, kindly spatters my brain across the room in such an awe-inspiring way, it would make even Pollock blush.

After being alone with my thoughts for the entire Cretaceous period, I reply:

“Fuck….

Sorry….”

Sooo….. After a brief conversation and even briefer implosion of all existence, I’m given an ultimatum:

Get my shit together.

Like yesterday.

And I head off for my “work holiday”.

All the stress doesn’t matter.

 

I’m certain that doing a little travel will fix my creativity, I’ll start making sales and everything will be unicorns and fucking rainbows, right?

 

I’m so stressed with the pressure to shit miracles, that I find myself ugly crying on the docks in Barcelona.

Upon my return, we hash out my “resignation” and within a few weeks, I’m on my way…

Image result for pollock

My brain. 

Truth #2 Freedom in the present is more valuable than money

How To Understand Which Choice Is The Smart One

For society to function, you need reasons to offer up your life to it. It constructs a desire for an  “American dream” style existence. Buying a house to fill with shiny objects. Putting off adventure until you’re “settled and secure”.

The majority agree, and don’t question.

You’re told to; work now, save money, enjoy it later.

The crime here, is “you”, at 65, is not the same “you” as at 25.

Experiences you truly desire are forever lost to you, should you waste your gift of time. 

Its latest incarnation is; “getting established first”.

After leaving my job, a conversation with a good friend bought this screaming to my attention. Have you heard something similar?:

James: “I’d love to travel more. First, I should spend another few years with this corporation to gain people management skills.”

Me: “So, you enjoy managing people?

Or this company?

Because if you don’t, what happens if you can’t travel in a year or two?

What if you get injured, or a family member is ill?

What if you want kids?

 

At some point you need to actually live your life.

 

What if you keep up this story until it’s too late?

 

What if you miss out on the adventure of a lifetime??

 James: “I guess I was just looking to strengthen my CV, for…. umm… good point.

 

So, your travel plans…

Room for an extra person?” 😅

You feel me?

You need to jump on true desires and dreams that you could forever miss out on.

At some point you need to decide to live life.

Money can’t buy it back.

Are you prepared to give control over your dreams to the random hand of fate..? 

Your dreams don’t Need “millions”

Here’s a conversation I had with my old business partner (unsuccessful startup). This was after I returned home after my first full year of travel, asking about his plans:

Pete: “I’ve had three jobs in three years, and doubled my salary over that time. I’ll keep getting more established like that, as well as building my network.

I can then channel that into a blockchain startup. We’ll do an ICO so I’ll own a chunk of something worth one billion or more. What about you?”

Me: “You keep leaving these jobs because you hate the politics, why continue?

 

And what if the startup doesn’t work out?

 

What if you waste your twenties and thirties for nothing? Or if it does work, your millions won’t buy back that time.

 

What if you miss the discovery of your passions while you’re young?

You would miss out on a lifetime of doing what you love.

 

I’m using the money from selling my business to do more writing, it’s fun. I want to help people build freedom. I want to do something in ecotourism; help the planet. Make documentaries?”

Pete: “I mean, you talk sense, and that all sounds great… but how are you going to make you millions..?”

Now, internalize this:

You DON’T need millions to do something fun, fulfilling and meaningful. 

That isn’t the end goal, and this is what my friend wasn’t understanding. The end goal is the creativity – the writing, the documentaries. It is helping people and the planet. 

Millions is a bi-product, not an aim.

Everyone wants to be Elon Musk, but ask yourself this;

“Does that dude look happy to you?” 

I respect the shit out of him, but it appears he’s sacrificing his life for humanity’s future.

It hard to understand how cheap, and well you can live in most places in the world.

Having visited about 20 countries in the last two years, I can tell you this:

  •  US $2,000 a month is likely to have you living very well.
  • Bump it to $2,500-$3,000, and you’re living like fucking royalty. 

Using Truth #1, you can build followings of 10,000+ people in a few months. Those audiences can start to make these amounts of money.

Leading to:

Take the opportunity for a quick escape.

You’ll notice that my first business was a fitness business. I enjoy fitness, but it’s by no stretch of the imagination a passion of mine. 

I made a fitness business because building a fitness audience is easy on Instagram.

It was far easier to make enough money to create my freedom (travel) by seizing a fitness opportunity. I could later follow my difficult to execute passion:

Not grinding up ALL the animals into “cancer”,  (cough… dick) medicine”.

The Donald is watching..

Using fitness, I was able to build from scratch, and sell a six figure fitness business in 18 months. 

Taking that opportunity allowed me to find the freedom I craved, and the sale means I can now chase my passion.

Use this money to increase your security, allowing you to take control of your life.

Travel on weekends.

Quit your job.

Take photography or videography courses etc.

 

How to Make Jackson

Pollock Blush

To rationalize away my deep hunger for freedom, for adventure.

My mind takes on a whiff of mania. 

Subconscious conflict is monstrous, reality bending.

I’m convince that all I need is some remote work. To taste travel and keep the safety of my salary.

I start to search for any escape from the British winter. 

THIS one simple change will fix me!

I’ll.

be.

so.

happy.

Oh wow, oh boy, I cannot wait to feel like myself again!

I’m overjoyed for days.

Until my weekly meeting with my boss…

We sit, we banter, we laugh.

I then mention flights to and hotel in Barcelona.

That I’ve already booked.

Yep.

This still makes me nauseous to recall..

My boss’s head twitches back, eyes wide, remaining calm, he murmurs:

“That’s an interesting way to ask for a work holiday.”

You’ll recognize this sequence of internal machinations. I assure you, at the time, I sure-as-shit didn’t.

My thoughts strain to follow:

“That’s.

 

an.

 

intere….oh..

 

FUCK-ABORT!” 

My brain whiplashes from its delusional ecstasy to the reality of the situation. A tsunami of adrenaline leaves time smeared out, spaghettified.

Glaciers melt and empires collapse.

Raging rivers carve through mountain ranges like butter.

Stars erupt in spectacular supernovae.

The constant, distant buzz that’s been my companion for over a year is, changing?

.

Intensity increases.

.

It’s become of a cathedral full of pissed hornets… 

I have become time itself.

Finally, my brain politely folds in half. 

The raging freight train that is reality, kindly spatters my brain across the room in such an awe-inspiring way, it would make even Pollock blush.

After being alone with my thoughts for the entire Cretaceous period, I reply:

“Fuck….

Sorry….”

Sooo….. After a brief conversation and even briefer implosion of all existence, I’m given an ultimatum:

Get my shit together.

Like yesterday.

And I head off for my “work holiday”.

All the stress doesn’t matter.

 

I’m certain that doing a little travel will fix my creativity, I’ll start making sales and everything will be unicorns and fucking rainbows, right?

 

I’m so stressed with the pressure to shit miracles, that I find myself ugly crying on the docks in Barcelona.

Upon my return, we hash out my “resignation” and within a few weeks, I’m on my way…

Image result for pollock

My brain. 

Truth #2 Freedom in the present is more valuable than money

How To Understand Which Choice Is The Smart One

For society to function, you need reasons to offer up your life to it. It constructs a desire for an  “American dream” style existence. Buying a house to fill with shiny objects. Putting off adventure until you’re “settled and secure”.

The majority agree, and don’t question.

You’re told to; work now, save money, enjoy it later.

The crime here, is “you”, at 65, is not the same “you” as at 25.

Experiences you truly desire are forever lost to you, should you waste your gift of time. 

Its latest incarnation is; “getting established first”.

After leaving my job, a conversation with a good friend bought this screaming to my attention. Have you heard something similar?:

James: “I’d love to travel more. First, I should spend another few years with this corporation to gain people management skills.”

Me: “So, you enjoy managing people?

Or this company?

Because if you don’t, what happens if you can’t travel in a year or two?

What if you get injured, or a family member is ill?

What if you want kids?

 

At some point you need to actually live your life.

 

What if you keep up this story until it’s too late?

 

What if you miss out on the adventure of a lifetime??

 James: “I guess I was just looking to strengthen my CV, for…. umm… good point.

 

So, your travel plans…

Room for an extra person?” 😅

You feel me?

You need to jump on true desires and dreams that you could forever miss out on.

At some point you need to decide to live life.

Money can’t buy it back.

Are you prepared to give control over your dreams to the random hand of fate..? 

Your dreams don’t Need “millions”

Here’s a conversation I had with my old business partner (unsuccessful startup). This was after I returned home after my first full year of travel, asking about his plans:

Pete: “I’ve had three jobs in three years, and doubled my salary over that time. I’ll keep getting more established like that, as well as building my network.

I can then channel that into a blockchain startup. We’ll do an ICO so I’ll own a chunk of something worth one billion or more. What about you?”

Me: “You keep leaving these jobs because you hate the politics, why continue?

 

And what if the startup doesn’t work out?

 

What if you waste your twenties and thirties for nothing? Or if it does work, your millions won’t buy back that time.

 

What if you miss the discovery of your passions while you’re young?

You would miss out on a lifetime of doing what you love.

 

I’m using the money from selling my business to do more writing, it’s fun. I want to help people build freedom. I want to do something in ecotourism; help the planet. Make documentaries?”

Pete: “I mean, you talk sense, and that all sounds great… but how are you going to make you millions..?”

Now, internalize this:

You DON’T need millions to do something fun, fulfilling and meaningful. 

That isn’t the end goal, and this is what my friend wasn’t understanding. The end goal is the creativity – the writing, the documentaries. It is helping people and the planet. 

Millions is a bi-product, not an aim.

Everyone wants to be Elon Musk, but ask yourself this;

“Does that dude look happy to you?” 

I respect the shit out of him, but it appears he’s sacrificing his life for humanity’s future.

It hard to understand how cheap, and well you can live in most places in the world.

Having visited about 20 countries in the last two years, I can tell you this:

  •  US $2,000 a month is likely to have you living very well.
  • Bump it to $2,500-$3,000, and you’re living like fucking royalty. 

Using Truth #1, you can build followings of 10,000+ people in a few months. Those audiences can start to make these amounts of money.

Leading to:

Take the opportunity for a quick escape.

You’ll notice that my first business was a fitness business. I enjoy fitness, but it’s by no stretch of the imagination a passion of mine. 

I made a fitness business because building a fitness audience is easy on Instagram.

It was far easier to make enough money to create my freedom (travel) by seizing a fitness opportunity. I could later follow my difficult to execute passion:

Not grinding up ALL the animals into “cancer”,  (cough… dick) medicine”.

The Donald is watching..

Using fitness, I was able to build from scratch, and sell a six figure fitness business in 18 months. 

Taking that opportunity allowed me to find the freedom I craved, and the sale means I can now chase my passion.

 My “Sold” listing on EmpireFlippers for my fitness business.

Operation: “Miracle Shitter”

Heart palpitates.

.

Palms moist.

.

Refresh.

.

.

Refresh.

.

.

Make dinosaur jump cactus.

.

Refre…

“I’M. FUCKING. IN!!!”

I hear a crash as George falls down the stairs, busting through my door like Bruce Lee, screeching:

“Are yuuuu in peril!??” 

Bring It Come At Me Bro GIF

“Croatia, Hungary, Portugal, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico! I got selected for Remote Year!” 

I’m one wrong move away from jizzing my pants with excitement.

George seems similarly excited, but not for long:

“Shiiiiiit. That’s amazing. When is it? Wait… isn’t it expensive…?” 

He’s right.

I’ve been fantasizing about doing this since first seeing that ad. I’d hoped business would pick up by now.

London ain’t cheap!

But, I can taste the margaritas.

Smell the exotic spices.

See myself on limestone flanked, golden powder beaches. 

Hiking through the clouds to the hidden city of Machu Picchu. 

Flying with sea giants, across alien reefs under the waves. 

Partying with the most beautiful women in the world in Argentina. 

Adventure after adventure after adventure.

My beautiful life beckons, just out of grasp.

I merely need to magic $10,000 out of my ass to cover the deposit and first couple of months.

I’ve no idea how this will happen.

But mark my word.

It will happen.

Ten weeks. Over 1,100 active hours..

Time to shit miracles.

.

.

Something earth-shaking can be found by frolicking in the best of all tomorrows.

Direction, motivation, purpose.

These all result from clarity on your dreams.

Visualization primes your subconscious to search for the path there, pulling you forward.

These foundations allow for building the final, and most transformational truth.

So, riddle me this Finneus:

 “What Does Your Most Beautiful Life Look Like? unbound by time and money, What breathtaking experiences would you have? How would it change your life? No restrictions.”

 

 

*for the most profound effect, replace Finneus with your own name..

Consider writing down anything that comes to you.

Like me? Then you crave adventure.

Exploring the ancient temples of Angkor Wat? 

Paint-balling in Pablo Escobar’s Holiday home?

Trekking through the California’s mind-bending giant redwoods? 

You might desire to share these experiences with the world? 

Writing grand tales of your escapades?

Capturing perfect moments with your camera?

Making movie magic to share your awe?

Or none of the above?

Want the control to blaze your own unique trail?

Like me, George (my friend and flatmate from London) suffers with mental health quirks. He’s decided to contribute to helping others in our situation. 

George created a powerful app to help us digitally communicate our feelings, but struggled for years gaining traction.

Massive setbacks with; software developers, finding the money to keep the project afloat, and promoting the app have been constant kicks in the teeth to someone trying to do good.

Feeling dejected and near quitting, George and I sat down to run through my truths and strategies.

Here’s what happened:

 My “Sold” listing on EmpireFlippers for my fitness business.

Operation: “Miracle Shitter”

Heart palpitates.

.

Palms moist.

.

Refresh.

.

.

Refresh.

.

.

Make dinosaur jump cactus.

.

Refre…

“I’M. FUCKING. IN!!!”

I hear a crash as George falls down the stairs, busting through my door like Bruce Lee, screeching:

“Are yuuuu in peril!??” 

Bring It Come At Me Bro GIF

“Croatia, Hungary, Portugal, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Mexico! I got selected for Remote Year!” 

I’m one wrong move away from jizzing my pants with excitement.

George seems similarly excited, but not for long:

“Shiiiiiit. That’s amazing. When is it? Wait… isn’t it expensive…?” 

He’s right.

I’ve been fantasizing about doing this since first seeing that ad. I’d hoped business would pick up by now.

London ain’t cheap!

But, I can taste the margaritas.

Smell the exotic spices.

See myself on limestone flanked, golden powder beaches. 

Hiking through the clouds to the hidden city of Machu Picchu. 

Flying with sea giants, across alien reefs under the waves. 

Partying with the most beautiful women in the world in Argentina. 

Adventure after adventure after adventure.

My beautiful life beckons, just out of grasp.

I merely need to magic $10,000 out of my ass to cover the deposit and first couple of months.

I’ve no idea how this will happen.

But mark my word.

It will happen.

Ten weeks. Over 1,100 active hours..

Time to shit miracles.

.

.

Something earth-shaking can be found by frolicking in the best of all tomorrows.

Direction, motivation, purpose.

These all result from clarity on your dreams.

Visualization primes your subconscious to search for the path there, pulling you forward.

These foundations allow for building the final, and most transformational truth.

So, riddle me this Finneus:

 “What Does Your Most Beautiful Life Look Like? unbound by time and money, What breathtaking experiences would you have? How would it change your life? No restrictions.”

 

 

*for the most profound effect, replace Finneus with your own name..

Consider writing down anything that comes to you.

Like me? Then you crave adventure.

Exploring the ancient temples of Angkor Wat? 

Paint-balling in Pablo Escobar’s Holiday home?

Trekking through the California’s mind-bending giant redwoods? 

You might desire to share these experiences with the world? 

Writing grand tales of your escapades?

Capturing perfect moments with your camera?

Making movie magic to share your awe?

Or none of the above?

Want the control to blaze your own unique trail?

Like me, George (my friend and flatmate from London) suffers with mental health quirks. He’s decided to contribute to helping others in our situation. 

George created a powerful app to help us digitally communicate our feelings, but struggled for years gaining traction.

Massive setbacks with; software developers, finding the money to keep the project afloat, and promoting the app have been constant kicks in the teeth to someone trying to do good.

Feeling dejected and near quitting, George and I sat down to run through my truths and strategies.

Here’s what happened:

Bro! In one year I’ve gone from zero social media presence to becoming one of the biggest influencers in mental health on Instagram. We’ve over 55,000 followers, and are growing like lightning!

Thanks for being so methodical and kind – and for not getting upset when it took a while for me to follow the advice to a T 😅.

This has been a game-changer for Feeliom. I’m often invited to speak at big industry events which has allowed me to get the word out about my mission.

That networking has made finding a killer team of people, simple. I  have access to investment should I need it, but am now even considering making money from @HowMental so may not want investment.

Best of all, when Feeliom is ready for the big time, I’ll already have a massive audience of people to share it with.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

George Taktak

Founder, Feeliom & @HowMental

Bro! In one year I’ve gone from zero social media presence to becoming one of the biggest influencers in mental health on Instagram. We’ve over 55,000 followers, and are growing like lightning!

Thanks for being so methodical and kind – and for not getting upset when it took a while for me to follow the advice to a T 😅.

This has been a game-changer for Feeliom. I’m often invited to speak at big industry events which has allowed me to get the word out about my mission.

That networking has made finding a killer team of people, simple. I  have access to investment should I need it, but am now even considering making money from @HowMental so may not want investment.

Best of all, when Feeliom is ready for the big time, I’ll already have a massive audience of people to share it with.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

George Taktak

Founder, Feeliom & @HowMental

I met Taryn on Remote Year. A caring ball of light and energy, and we became friends almost immediately.

She worked in event sales, often staying up til 4 am to make sales calls to the US from Europe or Asia. She needed this job as it allowed her to work remotely to gain some control in her life. 

Not caring about event sales (shocking), the downsides were starting to become unbearable.

Before traveling, her passion for yoga and mindfulness had empowered her to leave a broken marriage. She dreamed of helping other women discover this power within themselves.

About half way through our year, Taryn decided to expand her small blog into a full business. So we sat down and covered my truths and strategies.

Here’s what happened:  

I met Taryn on Remote Year. A caring ball of light and energy, and we became friends almost immediately.

She worked in event sales, often staying up til 4 am to make sales calls to the US from Europe or Asia. She needed this job as it allowed her to work remotely to gain some control in her life. 

Not caring about event sales (shocking), the downsides were starting to become unbearable.

Before traveling, her passion for yoga and mindfulness had empowered her to leave a broken marriage. She dreamed of helping other women discover this power within themselves.

About half way through our year, Taryn decided to expand her small blog into a full business. So we sat down and covered my truths and strategies.

Here’s what happened:  

Wow, I can’t quite believe I’m here. Severely limited finances, meant I couldn’t invest in ads or fancy marketing ideas.

I started focusing on what you shared after building my yoga membership in April (2018).

Prepare for this…

My website views are now averaging at 50,000 per month and my Pinterest is at a shocking 7 million monthly views. I’ve also been able to grow my email list to over 5,000 dedicated readers. All with zero spent on advertising! Amazing!

I have also been implementing your Instagram advice. Spending limited time on the platform, I still manage to grow @theremoteyogi by 50-100 followers a day. It’s recently crossed 10,000 followers!

Best of all, this success has allowed my to recently quit my job so I can focus on this full time.

I can direct my full energy at what I love, on my mission.

I’m now:

Coaching women.

Giving talks to sold out audiences on: confidence, dealing with anxiety and self love.

Building a growing community of paid members.

Even writing a book. 😍

Thank you so much for helping make this possible.

Taryn Raine

Founder, theremoteyogi.blog pinterest.com/theremoteyogi

Wow, I can’t quite believe I’m here. Severely limited finances, meant I couldn’t invest in ads or fancy marketing ideas.

I started focusing on what you shared after building my yoga membership in April (2018).

Prepare for this…

My website views are now averaging at 50,000 per month and my Pinterest is at a shocking 7 million monthly views. I’ve also been able to grow my email list to over 5,000 dedicated readers. All with zero spent on advertising! Amazing!

I have also been implementing your Instagram advice. Spending limited time on the platform, I still manage to grow @theremoteyogi by 50-100 followers a day. It’s recently crossed 10,000 followers!

Best of all, this success has allowed my to recently quit my job so I can focus on this full time.

I can direct my full energy at what I love, on my mission.

I’m now:

Coaching women.

Giving talks to sold out audiences on: confidence, dealing with anxiety and self love.

Building a growing community of paid members.

Even writing a book. 😍

Thank you so much for helping make this possible.

Taryn Raine

Founder, theremoteyogi.blog pinterest.com/theremoteyogi

Can you feel that energy? 

The bubbling potential?

Keep thoughts of your beautiful life at the front of your mind, for the final truth.

Truth #3 The One thing Keeping You From A Beautiful life..

A Simple Promise To Be Reincarnated?

Vision is important, it’s something that very few people have, but vision in itself is not enough

How do you leverage it to redirect the momentum of your life? 

How do you burn off the shackles of the old, and rise from the ashes of control and fear into your new, beautiful life? 

How do you show up every damn day filled with raging lightning, shooting laser beams from your eyes?

This can all happen by making one simple change.

Let me illustrate; here’s what often happens when I direct my vision question at people..

They regale me with elaborate escapades..

Amazing adventures..

And daring deeds..

That, unbeknownst to them, their future selves, shall never lead.

My response is swift:

“Well, you clearly don’t really want these experiences your future self is so delighted by, as your current self it sitting here, pathetically doing ZERO to realize those delights.

What needs to change?

Finding a lump?

Your child dying??

Sleeping with strangers for meth money???”

As you can likely guess, this makes me quite popular at parties.

Yes I know, it’s blunt, but the fact is that almost everyone gives me some variation on:

“I just don’t have enough money,  I’m completely lost on how to get started, oh and the time, there’s just no way I’d have time, so who the hell invited you to my party anyway?”

Interestingly, besides dodging hurled daiquiris, and excluding myself from every social circle to which I belong, I’ve yet to hear anyone say that what they want is actually impossible.

Our world is so connected that we can’t escape the sight of a growing amount of people that are in fact doing the impossible.

They’re living life on their own terms.

This fact should make it clear to you;

There’s but one simple change separating you from all the people living your beautiful life:

They.

commit.

to.

change. 

That’s right, they decided to grab life by the balls, take charge, and change their lives. 

This is when everything changed for me.

When I saw my true desire, and I committed to it like my life depended on it

There’s more than enough information and success stories out there for you to learn. 

There’s more than enough hours in your day not contributing to the best, most beautiful version of your life.

Dare to dream bigger, and commit to those. 

Make it:

Deep. 

Honest.

Resonant.

You need to decide that you WILL change your life, because you’re convinced that continuing the same, isn’t living at all. 

Yep, it’s scary.

But so is letting your control of your life slip through your fingertips. So is feeling crushed like a bug under the weight of the world.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Trust me.

Make the decision by choice.

Listen to the kind chancellor

How does that proverb go?

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.”

 

Providing your “tree” isn’t a time machine, do you think it’s wise to wait 20 years before you finally commit to be free?

Can you feel that energy? 

The bubbling potential?

Keep thoughts of your beautiful life at the front of your mind, for the final truth.

Truth #3 The One thing Keeping You From A Beautiful life..

A Simple Promise To Be Reincarnated?

Vision is important, it’s something that very few people have, but vision in itself is not enough

How do you leverage it to redirect the momentum of your life? 

How do you burn off the shackles of the old, and rise from the ashes of control and fear into your new, beautiful life? 

How do you show up every damn day filled with raging lightning, shooting laser beams from your eyes?

This can all happen by making one simple change.

Let me illustrate; here’s what often happens when I direct my vision question at people..

They regale me with elaborate escapades..

Amazing adventures..

And daring deeds..

That, unbeknownst to them, their future selves, shall never lead.

My response is swift:

“Well, you clearly don’t really want these experiences your future self is so delighted by, as your current self it sitting here, pathetically doing ZERO to realize those delights.

What needs to change?

Finding a lump?

Your child dying??

Sleeping with strangers for meth money???”

As you can likely guess, this makes me quite popular at parties.

Yes I know, it’s blunt, but the fact is that almost everyone gives me some variation on:

“I just don’t have enough money,  I’m completely lost on how to get started, oh and the time, there’s just no way I’d have time, so who the hell invited you to my party anyway?”

Interestingly, besides dodging hurled daiquiris, and excluding myself from every social circle to which I belong, I’ve yet to hear anyone say that what they want is actually impossible.

Our world is so connected that we can’t escape the sight of a growing amount of people that are in fact doing the impossible.

They’re living life on their own terms.

This fact should make it clear to you;

There’s but one simple change separating you from all the people living your beautiful life:

They.

commit.

to.

change. 

That’s right, they decided to grab life by the balls, take charge, and change their lives. 

This is when everything changed for me.

When I saw my true desire, and I committed to it like my life depended on it

There’s more than enough information and success stories out there for you to learn. 

There’s more than enough hours in your day not contributing to the best, most beautiful version of your life.

Dare to dream bigger, and commit to those. 

Make it:

Deep. 

Honest.

Resonant.

You need to decide that you WILL change your life, because you’re convinced that continuing the same, isn’t living at all. 

Yep, it’s scary.

But so is letting your control of your life slip through your fingertips. So is feeling crushed like a bug under the weight of the world.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Trust me.

Make the decision by choice.

Listen to the kind chancellor

How does that proverb go?

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.”

 

Providing your “tree” isn’t a time machine, do you think it’s wise to wait 20 years before you finally commit to be free?

keep doing the same shit as everyone else.

you’LL Get the same, shit results.

As mentioned, I spent over a decade trying every big marketing technique out there.

I couldn’t make any of them work.

That’s not to say they couldn’t or don’t work, but that in two months of intense effort with each, I couldn’t make it happen.

And I never had over two months at a time to invest into making these work.

Life was too hectic.

So, what changed?

Simple: I become HORRIFICALLY. FUCKING. DEPRESSED.

That all consuming fog of helplessness made me resolve to take as much control over my life as I could.

Wanting to avoid that pain gave me an animal focus on smarter business strategies. Strategies that would amplify themselves.

That’s what makes what I do, different.

I combine “what works”, with advanced automation software. It builds audiences while you’re busy suffering under your boss who starts her day devouring the hearts of puppies.

Audiences that build themselves make marketing and generating money, a none issue. All you need is a big enough audience, and the information to solve their problems.

Software can’t do everything, so to fill those gaps. I create systems that are so simple to repeat, low paid labor from the Philippines or India can do it.

That’s why it takes less than a day for me to sit down with my friends and teach to find success building their dreams.

So, if the biggest challenge keeping you from your dreams is:

“I’ve No Fucking Idea What Works”

Then, permit me to be your Yoda:

keep doing the same shit as everyone else.

you’LL Get the same, shit results.

As mentioned, I spent over a decade trying every big marketing technique out there.

I couldn’t make any of them work.

That’s not to say they couldn’t or don’t work, but that in two months of intense effort with each, I couldn’t make it happen.

And I never had over two months at a time to invest into making these work.

Life was too hectic.

So, what changed?

Simple: I become HORRIFICALLY. FUCKING. DEPRESSED.

That all consuming fog of helplessness made me resolve to take as much control over my life as I could.

Wanting to avoid that pain gave me an animal focus on smarter business strategies. Strategies that would amplify themselves.

That’s what makes what I do, different.

I combine “what works”, with advanced automation software. It builds audiences while you’re busy suffering under your boss who starts her day devouring the hearts of puppies.

Audiences that build themselves make marketing and generating money, a none issue. All you need is a big enough audience, and the information to solve their problems.

Software can’t do everything, so to fill those gaps. I create systems that are so simple to repeat, low paid labor from the Philippines or India can do it.

That’s why it takes less than a day for me to sit down with my friends and teach to find success building their dreams.

So, if the biggest challenge keeping you from your dreams is:

“I’ve No Fucking Idea What Works”

Then, permit me to be your Yoda:

This training program covers EVERYTHING I know. A-Z for building massive audiences that you can profit from, on autopilot, on Instagram.

This exact, refined strategy grew me a 250,000 follower fitness account in 10 months and launched an automated business that I sold for $120,000, 18 months after it launched (12 of which I was traveling full time).

I’ve recently used the same strategy to build a network of travel accounts with over 1,000,000 combined followers. This will launch my new eco-tourism business. 

Tested in a large number of niches, it will work in any.

This training program covers EVERYTHING I know. A-Z for building massive audiences that you can profit from, on autopilot, on Instagram.

This exact, refined strategy grew me a 250,000 follower fitness account in 10 months and launched an automated business that I sold for $120,000, 18 months after it launched (12 of which I was traveling full time).

I’ve recently used the same strategy to build a network of travel accounts with over 1,000,000 combined followers. This will launch my new eco-tourism business. 

Tested in a large number of niches, it will work in any.

What’s Inside?

1. How to Find All of the Top Accounts in Your Niche And emulate their success.

2. Discover the most profitable audience. (This simple step 20x the amount of money my business made).

3. How to reinvest profits into larger accounts and 2x their value.

4. my secret, Algorithm-proof, viral hashtag formula.

5. how to autopilot generate unlimited, top-tier content for up to hundreds of accounts.

6. Fully automate content posting – zero time spent posting or scheduling.

7. intelligently target and convert your competition’s most engaged followers.

8. GUARANTEED VIRAL – launch a brand overnight.

This strategy is valued at over $30,000.

That’s how much it made my fitness business. 

And having already built an audience 4 x larger for my new business, it’s likely much higher than that.

No bullshit.

What’s Inside?

1. How to Find All of the Top Accounts in Your Niche And emulate their success.

2. Discover the most profitable audience. (This simple step 20x the amount of money my business made).

3. How to reinvest profits into larger accounts and 2x their value.

4. my secret, Algorithm-proof, viral hashtag formula.

5. how to autopilot generate unlimited, top-tier content for up to hundreds of accounts.

6. Fully automate content posting – zero time spent posting or scheduling.

7. intelligently target and convert your competition’s most engaged followers.

8. GUARANTEED VIRAL – launch a brand overnight.

This strategy is valued at over $30,000.

That’s how much it made my fitness business. 

And having already built an audience 4 x larger for my new business, it’s likely much higher than that.

No bullshit.

B-B-B-Bonus Round. 

And what type of control freak would I be if I didn’t throw in some extra security?

At some point the world will catch on to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is clearly a scaly reptilian alien wearing a human skin.

Making Instagram implode:

See, just casually drinking water, like any normal human, sip, sip….

If you want control, you need to hedge your bets.

So as a bonus, I’m throwing in my Pinterest training course as well. 

Free Bonus:  Pinterest Pimpin ($60,000+ value)

Pinterest actually made me far more money than Instagram did.

At one point it was sending around 20,000 people to my website. PER. DAY.

It’s simple to execute, gives monstrous clicks counts and maintains itself.

But as “no one cares about Pinterest”, here we have it relegated to a mere, but powerful, bonus.

B-B-B-Bonus Round. 

And what type of control freak would I be if I didn’t throw in some extra security?

At some point the world will catch on to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg is clearly a scaly reptilian alien wearing a human skin.

Making Instagram implode:

See, just casually drinking water, like any normal human, sip, sip….

If you want control, you need to hedge your bets.

So as a bonus, I’m throwing in my Pinterest training course as well. 

Free Bonus:  Pinterest Pimpin ($60,000+ value)

Pinterest actually made me far more money than Instagram did.

At one point it was sending around 20,000 people to my website. PER. DAY.

It’s simple to execute, gives monstrous clicks counts and maintains itself.

But as “no one cares about Pinterest”, here we have it relegated to a mere, but powerful, bonus.

1st screenshot: Pinterest monthly profile views 50,000,000+, 2nd screenshot: Daily website viewers 20,000+

What’s INside? 

1. How to Find All of the Top Accounts in Your Niche And emulate their success.

2. Create the perfect profile and most powerful boards.

3. Fully automate your account. Never schedule content again.

4. autopilot attract power users to promote your content for you.

5. Secret tool I use to find the top 0.1% of content to emulate

6. Recruit the crowd, on autopilot, for the fastest growth possible. 

7. Constructing the most viral content in your niche.

8. Viral headline construction to massively increase sharing.

9. Fully automating the entire strategy A-Z.

This strategy is valued at over $65,000.

It put that much money in my pocket. 

Look familiar?

As I shared in “Truth #1”, the strategy is the same for rapid, time-efficient success with any platform:

Cultivate, Curate, Automate.

Off course can go and figure this stuff out for yourself.

But as we’ve already established, you’re free time is mostly maxed out on the bullshit you somehow thought you wanted.

With that in mind; you want over a decades combined business experience? Experience that generated over $100,000 in 18 months, allowing me create my beautiful life.

It’s only:

1st screenshot: Pinterest monthly profile views 50,000,000+, 2nd screenshot: Daily website viewers 20,000+

What’s INside? 

1. How to Find All of the Top Accounts in Your Niche And emulate their success.

2. Create the perfect profile and most powerful boards.

3. Fully automate your account. Never schedule content again.

4. autopilot attract power users to promote your content for you.

5. Secret tool I use to find the top 0.1% of content to emulate

6. Recruit the crowd, on autopilot, for the fastest growth possible. 

7. Constructing the most viral content in your niche.

8. Viral headline construction to massively increase sharing.

9. Fully automating the entire strategy A-Z.

This strategy is valued at over $65,000.

It put that much money in my pocket. 

Look familiar?

As I shared in “Truth #1”, the strategy is the same for rapid, time-efficient success with any platform:

Cultivate, Curate, Automate.

Off course can go and figure this stuff out for yourself.

But as we’ve already established, you’re free time is mostly maxed out on the bullshit you somehow thought you wanted.

With that in mind; you want over a decades combined business experience? Experience that generated over $100,000 in 18 months, allowing me create my beautiful life.

It’s only:

Become a Unicorn

The Overpriced Fake Option to Make the Other Seem Reasonable
$9,997
  •  + Transform Into a Magical Unicorn
  •  + Unlock the Power of Rainbows
  •  + Ability to Make Your Ex Love You
  •  + Power to Make Your Mother-in-law disappear (just send me her address… I have, contacts..)

How About I Pay You?

 

You heard me….

I’m confident these are the most powerful, effective, and cheapest tools for taking control of your life.
 
I’ll not only refund anyone that can’t make this work:

I’ll double your money.

If you can’t get massive results within 6 months, I’ll refund you 2x what you paid.

Makes this all seem a little more like an intelligence test, doesn’t it?

How About I Pay You?

 

You heard me….

I’m confident these are the most powerful, effective, and cheapest tools for taking control of your life.
 
I’ll not only refund anyone that can’t make this work:

I’ll double your money.

If you can’t get massive results within 6 months, I’ll refund you 2x what you paid.

Makes this all seem a little more like an intelligence test, doesn’t it?

oooo, gold internet badge, now I’m convinced…

That’s my 6 month guarantee.

For the craftier among you, you know, the ones that will claim to have accidentally bought this, after spending their lunch break reading a blog post about it….

Yes, to you, you get my full 30 days, no questions asked refund. I mean, I may ask, “You’re seriously trying that line after I explicitly called it out in the post that you’re pretending you didn’t read….?”

But otherwise, no questions. What can I say, I’m a hardcore adrenaline junkie willing to take any risk for a sweet fix.

Just a reminder, here’s what’s Possible for you in 2 years:

oooo, gold internet badge, now I’m convinced…

That’s my 6 month guarantee.

For the craftier among you, you know, the ones that will claim to have accidentally bought this, after spending their lunch break reading a blog post about it….

Yes, to you, you get my full 30 days, no questions asked refund. I mean, I may ask, “You’re seriously trying that line after I explicitly called it out in the post that you’re pretending you didn’t read….?”

But otherwise, no questions. What can I say, I’m a hardcore adrenaline junkie willing to take any risk for a sweet fix.

Just a reminder, here’s what’s Possible for you in 2 years:

  • Building a six-figure, automated fitness business.

  • Staying in 38 cities in 17 countries, always in the best part of town, almost always in villas, penthouses or flashy apartments.
  • Eat out and party A LOT.

  • Dive with manta rays, bioluminescent plankton, and giant sea turtles.

  • Breathtaking motorbike adventures in Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, and Indonesia.

  • Hike 3 volcanos, swim in 7 jungle waterfalls, scale countless epic mountain ranges.

  • Visit some of the world’s most famous tourist sites: Sagrada Familia, ANGKOR WAT, Machu Picchu, The Grand Canyon, Banff National Park.

  • sell business for $120,000 after 18 months, 12 of which you’re traveling full time.

  • after sale, take 1 years break to reflect and plan passion business.

Are you ready to stop playing small? 

Are you ready to start building a life that lets you feel creative and fulfilled?

you’ve got two choices:

  1. Waste your time reading this whole blog post, reassure yourself that you’ve got  the time, and also the inclination to figure all of this shit out yourself. Then spend $97 on a therapist to listen to you whine about how you didn’t really want to change your life.

Or…

  1. Admit that you don’t glean a deep sense of meaning from smiling dutifully at yet another of your supervisors, witless jokes. Then take action and start building your most beautiful life, today. 

Think about your vision. You can be there in 6 months. It won’t be easy, but I’m here to help.

  • Building a six-figure, automated fitness business.

  • Staying in 38 cities in 17 countries, always in the best part of town, almost always in villas, penthouses or flashy apartments.
  • Eat out and party A LOT.

  • Dive with manta rays, bioluminescent plankton, and giant sea turtles.

  • Breathtaking motorbike adventures in Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, and Indonesia.

  • Hike 3 volcanos, swim in 7 jungle waterfalls, scale countless epic mountain ranges.

  • Visit some of the world’s most famous tourist sites: Sagrada Familia, ANGKOR WAT, Machu Picchu, The Grand Canyon, Banff National Park.

  • sell business for $120,000 after 18 months, 12 of which you’re traveling full time.

  • after sale, take 1 years break to reflect and plan passion business.

Are you ready to stop playing small? 

Are you ready to start building a life that lets you feel creative and fulfilled?

you’ve got two choices:

  1. Waste your time reading this whole blog post, reassure yourself that you’ve got  the time, and also the inclination to figure all of this shit out yourself. Then spend $97 on a therapist to listen to you whine about how you didn’t really want to change your life.

Or…

  1. Admit that you don’t glean a deep sense of meaning from smiling dutifully at yet another of your supervisors, witless jokes. Then take action and start building your most beautiful life, today. 

Think about your vision. You can be there in 6 months. It won’t be easy, but I’m here to help.

Become a Unicorn

The Overpriced Fake Option to Make the Other Seem Reasonable
$9,997
  •  + Transform Into a Magical Unicorn
  •  + Unlock the Power of Rainbows
  •  + Ability to Make Your Ex Love You
  •  + Power to Make Your Mother-in-law disappear (just send me her address… I have, contacts..)

But I Have SO Many Important Questions for You…

 

Wonderful……

Will I have to spend more money when I buy this?

We use advanced software which have low monthly costs (~$50 per month total).

These software:

Sky-rockets your results,

Cut time involved,

Will pay for themselves FAST.

Again, I managed this when I was completely broke, so it’s SUPER cash efficient.

How Long will it take me to create my beautiful life?

That depends on how much time and intensity you direct at this!

I started making money within 4-6 weeks and after 3-4 months I was making a few thousands bucks per month. I had to make many mistakes along the way.

Take a second to think about this, what were you doing one year ago, was it much different to today? 

If you follow these trainings, within one year I guarantee that you can have the time, cash and location freedom to do whatever the fuck you want. Even if you have a job and can’t invest all day into this.

For more backup, read over what my friends said again. They followed some of my advice, usually working with me for one day to get crazy results within months. You get every single detail in a handy format that you can refer to.

So if I buy this, how long do I have access?

Forever my young padawan.

You’ll also get unlimited free updates.😘

 

There’s no more reading.

Commit.

Are you not bored of letting life pass you by?

But I Have SO Many Important Questions for You…

 

Wonderful……

Will I have to spend more money when I buy this?

We use advanced software which have low monthly costs (~$50 per month total).

These software:

Sky-rockets your results,

Cut time involved,

Will pay for themselves FAST.

Again, I managed this when I was completely broke, so it’s SUPER cash efficient.

How Long will it take me to create my beautiful life?

That depends on how much time and intensity you direct at this!

I started making money within 4-6 weeks and after 3-4 months I was making a few thousands bucks per month. I had to make many mistakes along the way.

Take a second to think about this, what were you doing one year ago, was it much different to today? 

If you follow these trainings, within one year I guarantee that you can have the time, cash and location freedom to do whatever the fuck you want. Even if you have a job and can’t invest all day into this.

For more backup, read over what my friends said again. They followed some of my advice, usually working with me for one day to get crazy results within months. You get every single detail in a handy format that you can refer to.

So if I buy this, how long do I have access?

Forever my young padawan.

You’ll also get unlimited free updates.😘

 

There’s no more reading.

Commit.

Are you not bored of letting life pass you by?

P.S.

If for some bizarre reason you’ve opted to skip reading the page, in hopes of finding some neat little summary here, well 1. You’re the worst. 2. Ughh fine:

  • These courses cover EVERYTHING you need. A-Z to get colossal amounts of clicks to your website.
  • I’m talking a lot. You can’t not make money from this.
  • Use your massive Instagram following to get free travel opportunities or impress shallow chicas in the club.
  • Master viral, and use it to conquer other platforms.
  • You’ll achieve this with an automated system allowing you to “work” less, take control, and actually start living your life. 

No catch.

No gimmicks.

If you have zero control over your impulse buying, I’ll give you a full refund within 30 days.

If you try the whole system, rest assured I’m so confident it works, I’ll double refund you if you can’t get success in 6 months.

In 6 months you 100% can start living your dream life, but you need to commit. 

P.S.S

Fuck, okay, here goes the secret weapon.

I’ve almost exhausted my arsenal……..

If everything else hasn’t convinced you to buy Insta Ballin and Pinterest Pimpin, this sure will.

BE WARNED: This contains a litany of devious, subtle and irresistible psychological warfare tactics, guaranteed to persuade even the most resistant to cough up the cash…

 

P.S.

If for some bizarre reason you’ve opted to skip reading the page, in hopes of finding some neat little summary here, well 1. You’re the worst. 2. Ughh fine:

  • These courses cover EVERYTHING you need. A-Z to get colossal amounts of clicks to your website.
  • I’m talking a lot. You can’t not make money from this.
  • Use your massive Instagram following to get free travel opportunities or impress shallow chicas in the club.
  • Master viral, and use it to conquer other platforms.
  • You’ll achieve this with an automated system allowing you to “work” less, take control, and actually start living your life. 

No catch.

No gimmicks.

If you have zero control over your impulse buying, I’ll give you a full refund within 30 days.

If you try the whole system, rest assured I’m so confident it works, I’ll double refund you if you can’t get success in 6 months.

In 6 months you 100% can start living your dream life, but you need to commit. 

P.S.S

Fuck, okay, here goes the secret weapon.

I’ve almost exhausted my arsenal……..

If everything else hasn’t convinced you to buy Insta Ballin and Pinterest Pimpin, this sure will.

BE WARNED: This contains a litany of devious, subtle and irresistible psychological warfare tactics, guaranteed to persuade even the most resistant to cough up the cash…

 

Depression, My Secret Power for Personal Growth and Fulfillment

Depression, My Secret Power for Personal Growth and Fulfillment

Depression, My Secret Power for Personal Growth and Fulfillment

My Half Decade Journey to Recreate My Entire Life

Originally published April 2018.

This post has literally been in the writing for approaching two years. I’ve gone back and forth, editing and rearranging it, but it’s time enough.

I want to share my story of a spiraling descent that had me a hair’s width from full mental breakdown, and flipping between locking myself in my room for days, and acting incredibly recklessly with my closest relationships.

I want to talk about what depression is and isn’t (courtesy of science).

I want to talk about how I believe that this horrific illness, with a LOT of work, can be used as the most potent driver of self transformation I’ve ever experienced. How misery so dark it sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it, can be the impetus that drives you to completely restructure everything in your life, from those ashes birthing something that you find truly extraordinary.

But most of all, I want people to have a greater understanding of this illness.

Often times it’s still shrugged off by society as weakness, when in fact having the vulnerability to even speak about it takes vast courage for a great number of men (generally).

Western society as a whole still does a great job of projecting an image of the emotionless, tough guy as the perfect man. Out in the wilderness, felling trees with his hand axe and wrestling grizzly bears for laughs.

I am maaaaaaannnn

But here’s the big, grizzly problem with that image — it raises a massive amount of men that really don’t know how to deal with their emotions. Not only are they unable or unwilling to communicate their emotions to others, they don’t even know what their emotions feel like.

The sad truth is that the biggest killer of men in many Western societies, isn’t car crashes or drugs, criminal violence or war, it’s themselves.

In the UK, suicide is the largest killer of men under FORTY FUCKING FIVE. It breaks my heart to think of so many people, feeling so lost, so isolated and so unable to change their lives, that they feel the only resort is to take that life…

A Lead Blanket and a Knot in Your Stomach.

You’re under water, a metal barrel hoop is tight around your chest, it has enough room for you to breathe, but not by much.

You’re slow, floating but heavy.

Sounds are distant and muffled.

You’re not in water, but thick tar.

It’s difficult to move, you’re so tired.

Leaving the house is exhausting. Replying to friends is exhausting. Getting out of bed is exhausting.

So you shut down, switch your phone off, remain in bed, and watch every romantic comedy in existence whilst you survive on peanut butter, hoping that these elicit some feelings.

They do not.

Dating is near impossible.

If you can manage to catch someone’s interest, how are you supposed to keep it, when 90% of the time the last thing you feel like is seeing to or talking to anyone.

Gemma Correll

Your ambition, all of your energy and motivation, these are all directed towards working for goals in your future, but you existing in the now, so they evaporate away.

This pisses you off.

You’re defined in a large part by your drive, enthusiasm and passion to do big things.

That part of you is gone.

You feel pretty sure that the driven part of you will come back, but again, that is in the future, which has little meaning for you.

You get impatient and annoyed waking up each day, thinking “Is my motivation back?! Am I me again?!

Only for the cold slap of reality to hit you in the face, and normally before you’re even up for 5 minutes and out of the shower.

Nope. Still broken. And into nothingness you slide.

Are you sad?

Nope.

You wish you felt sad.

You feel nothing.

You’re an empty husk.

On the surface that is.

Just below, a maelstrom rages…

You’re subconscious is a vicious, raging storm of self doubt, worries, anxieties and potential situations blown so far out of reality, they border on insanity.

But you don’t know this.

You’ve no idea what these emotions feel like.

You’ve spent all of your adult life up until now making a conscious decision to take any complex negative emotion, and to squish it down into a tiny box to bury somewhere in your depths.

You just feel a knot in your stomach. A lethargy. A shutdown.

And when you do get a glimpse at these feelings.

When some are actually so intense they break through your decade built barrier of stifled emotions and shut down feelings.

You are struck with such an intensely burning, yet bone chilling dread, you’ll find yourself feeling so trapped and helpless, that you just want to scream and cry, and act in ways that are so selfish and against your character, that you’ll start to question who you really are.

Yup… Elysian Dreams Tumblr

That is just a peak behind the curtain at what depression feels like.

Guess what.

It.

Fucking.

Sucks.

I get depression.

Due to what was a shocking lack of connection to my own emotions, I’m not even sure how long it has been happening for.

At least 6 years I’d say.

I’ve only been aware of it, and working my arse of to fix it for the last two years. And even still, with a colossal amount of self reflection, communication and personal work, I still get a mild but manageable wave every month or two.

How did I get depression?

So, I believe I’ve got a good handle on the inciting incident, and years later, the combination of life circumstances that started the typhoon of dread. All of the circumstances are varied, but all put me in a situation where I FELT trapped and thus panicked, and FELT like it was necessary for me to remain in those situations, and thus I did for far longer than was good for my health.

1. Shooting Myself in the Foot

I’m perhaps 14–15 years old. I’m in my first serious relationship. We’ve been together for about a year.

 

Apart from the occasional rumor of my partner’s lack of faith, which I confidently brush off as just that; rumor, often with panicked persuasion from her. It seems to be going well.

 

I think I’m in love.

Yes, I’m aware of how silly this may sound, but a whole swathe of mental and social issues are ingrained in people in their teens and younger from experiences they find extremely traumatic.

And what happened next sure felt extremely traumatic to me at the time.

It comes to light, that she’s been cheating on me with MY BEST FRIEND. That he’s been secretly messaging her, hooking up with her, and convincing her that I’ll be happy if she breaks up with me to be with him.

 

What’s more, after several story changes, she only tells me that she likes “one of my friends” when she finally shatters my illusion, and leaves me. A situation that he uses to quickly put the blame on my other closest friend, causing me to all at once have my little life shattered.

 

My girlfriend and my two closest friends. Gone. I don’t know who to believe. I don’t know who to trust.

 

It freaks me out so fucking much, that it’s one of my most vivid memories of my young teens.

This didn’t start my depression, but it was almost certainly the inciting incident that caused me to change my personality in an unproductive way.

I made the conscious decision that I wasn’t going to feel negative emotions. That I was just going to turn them off. And it worked, for a time. In fact, I really enjoyed that about me, for a time.

I essentially practiced half of stoicism for the next 6–7 years. I decided not to react to my emotions. But unlike stoicism, I did not reflect on these emotions, on what they meant, on how I should make a measured reaction to them.

I just squished them down so deep in side of my subconscious, that I needed not deal with them.

This technique was operating on borrowed time.

I’d shot myself in the foot.

It was a dumb move. More dumb than internet people … 😑

2. Cage of the Self Competition

This is the first situation that caused me to realize I was depressed, to put a name to it.

It’s my fourth and final year of university.

 

I’ve selected to study physics as I want to learn how to universe works.

 

I’m sure the problem solving and mindset it will give will be great for business, which I’ve been doing since I was 15–16.

I do think that physics was really great for me. I absolutely loved learning it and I really do think it’s crazy helpful (it’s also Elon musk’s suggested degree, and that dude is doing okay I hear).

But, I still find myself sitting in the senior tutors office, half way through my final year explaining to him that I just don’t care anymore, that I think I’m depressed.

 

I’ve come to university to study physics because I wanted to learn about it. I don’t need the degree for a career.

 

The conflict arises between this and my overly ambitious brain. Exacerbated by the fact that I’ve received a job offer in a marketing role, and the founder of the company had no interest in whether I get the degree or not.

 

When I’m in lectures learning about physics, or running experiments, it’s awesome, I love it.

 

But when it comes to exams, I just have no motivation to do well other than “I want to do well because I need to win”.

 

This conflict is colossal for me. It’s this feeling that’s making me feel trapped.

 

I won’t drop out or do worse because my competitive brain won’t let me.

 

This is one of the first times I seriously consider that I’m medically depressed.

 

Again, I cut down any thoughts of concern for my mental health, repressing any emotions and intelligent thoughts about quitting deep into my subconscious.

 

In this final year, I grit my teeth and make myself work 10–15 hours almost every single day from the start of the summer holidays, until I finish my exams. So 10–11 months at that rate.

 

I really, really have to recruit all of my brain drive. I force myself through a deep, overriding feeling that I don’t need the degree (true), that the final mark is just a stupid number (also true), and that there are better things I can be working on that will contribute much more towards my future (true again).

Was it worth it?

Fuck no.

It did a number on my brain. For what? I could have tried 10x less to get the same degree without the top grade.

But, do I regret it?

No.

In many ways, I really did love university. I made some amazing friends there and I don’t think I’d be half the person I am today if I didn’t go.

As painful as it was to force myelf to do a year of straight lunatic work, this would serve me well when working long hours on my own business when I had to do less fulfilling parts of it.

It gave me an incredible insight into a vast array of people, their motives, drives, and ultimately into the structure of society itself.

University let me understand how the world actually works, and made me a better person on reflection, I just wish I could have had all of those benefits without breaking my brain.

3. Cage of Fear

I’ve graduated from university and am staying in a small converted shed in Worcestershire, rented on Airbnb with my girlfriend of seven years.

 

She’s a sweet, kind girl, and has sacrificed a lot for me.

 

She started university a year later than me, and so decided to join one in Derby, a city an hour away from where I studied in Birmingham, so we didn’t have to try long distance.

 

She found a wildlife volunteering job about 20 minutes walk from where I lived, so she could stay over and work whilst I studied.

 

She even went to great lengths to find a job that was close to Birmingham, as I’d already firmly said to her that I had a job here, and I only wanted to take it (more on my dream job next).

 

She studied zoology, and as you might imagine, people love animals, and they’re willing to work for nothing or pennies to get a job with animals. This makes finding a decent job in the entire country difficult, let alone within an hour or so of one city.

 

And me? Something just isn’t right with me, brewing deep inside.

 

I just don’t feel that we want the same things, or that we are heading in the same direction.

 

But guess what. I have no fucking idea how to communicate this. Again, because I’ve crushed all aptitude to communicate with my emotions deep into my subconscious, and thus I’m unable to understand and communicate them with others.

 

The worst part is this issue doesn’t often creep into day to day life. But, when the emotions burst through, I realize very quickly that I feel horribly trapped. Instead of dealing with them, I go into complete emotional shutdown until they subsided.

 

I spend months in that shed stuck in bed all day whilst she’s working a summer job.

 

I’m meant to be building my business, Provos during this time in preparation to test pitch it to investors in India in a few months, but I’m not.

 

I’m just sat in bed playing video games and watching movies. Anything to distract myself from focusing on the chasm of emptiness that pervades the rest of my existence.

 

What I end up with is a relationship that in many ways is great, coupled with this orchestral, low rumbling dread that if they’re not the right person, then at some point we’ll have to break up.

 

And as we both continue to grow and develop into the people we want to be. People that are less aligned with the futures of each other. That rumbling dread becomes a vicious, deafening chorus of pain.

 

But there’s never a good time to break up.

 

Breaking up fucking sucks.

 

And guess what.

 

The longer I leave it, the worse it gets. As the pressures and expectations of family, friends and my partner rise and rise.

 

When are you getting a house together?

 

When are you going to get married?

 

When will you have grandchildren so I can have a baby girl to play with? (Mum 😑)

 

As the clock ticks and ticks and the decision becomes more and more monumental.

 

I just shut down.

 

I’m crippled in a cage of fear for what happens to the lives we’ve so closely intertwined when I rip them apart.

 

I feel fear because I know we’ll have to break up, I’ve known it for a long time, but I keep suppressing and forgetting, but it keeps building.

 

I feel fear because she won’t see it coming and it will crush her, and I don’t want to do that.

 

I find a near unlimited amount of reasons to put it off over and over, making me feel trapped and paralyzed.

Waiting kills both of you. Action kills both of you. Sayuri1314 Deviant Art

All at once, just a few days after Christmas, after months of trying to understand my depression, and starting to build the ability to communicate with my emotions and my partner, we have a conversation that ends everything in roughly 20 minutes.

 

I’m shell shocked, and it’s miserable, but it’s necessary for us both to grow.

So there’s depression trigger number two, being in a relationship with someone that through no fault of their own, no longer aligns with your future.

I have no regrets about being in the relationship.

I do of the many poor ways in which I handled parts of it, but I don’t regret it. It’s a big part of what’s built me into the person I am today. And I keep liking myself more and more, month by month.

4. Cage of Apathy

It’s university and I’ve been running the entrepreneurs society for a couple of years. I’ve met my future boss Mike via that several times.

 

He’s a super awesome guy, really one of the most genuinely nice, patient guys I know, someone I’ve got loads of respect for.

 

A natural entrepreneur, oozing charisma and fun.

 

I know his company is growing so I pitch myself to him about a year before I finish my studies. He’s a part of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, and suggests I apply for it.

NEF pays a significant amount of money for you to receive world class business training. You work with a host company for a year, and your host company also pays a significant amount to NEF in part to pay for this training, as well as giving you one or two extra days off a month to go for training events in London.

NEF seeks to build the business leaders of tomorrow and it’s an awesome program, where I’ve met some of the most impressive people I’ve ever encountered.

Mike offers to be my host company if I’m able to get on to NEF. On top of this, he gives me an extra three weeks off near the start of my contract to go to India for three weeks to check out the entrepreneur ecosystem there and to test pitching the startup I’ve been working on for several years to investors and grant providers.

 

I get on NEF, and I land what what is my dream job, or at least that’s what I convince myself.

 

I can basically do anything I want, marketing or online business related, to make some more money for the company. I have free reign to try out any fun strategies I want. And this is completely irrespective of how my degree goes. I could drop out of university and still have this job.

 

I’m so pumped for it, it’s perfect and exactly what I thought I was looking for.

 

I know I can do online marketing, I’ve done it before. At this exact company even!

 

During the summer before I start the job, when I’m living in the “shed”, I spend two weeks there, a brief period of relative positivity. I helped identify and develop a strategy that scales out to bring in the bulk of their revenue for months and months.

 

I’m even more pumped up now. My brain is exploding with possibilities.

 

But after I start. I just can’t move the needle.

 

I try for months, I really do, but I just can’t muster the creativity, intelligence or persistence to develop effective marketing channels.

 

I’m not working effectively, despite often being convinced I am.

 

It confuses and frustrates me, a lot.

 

A whole chunk of my self confidence is tied up in my ability to pull this off. Marketing is something I’ve never had a formal education in. Am I even any good at it?

 

Tsunamis of doubt crash over me.

 

Over my first four months there I start sliding faster and faster, until, I brake up with my girlfriend of seven years as I mention above.

 

This delivered slithers of respite due to finally making a decision, the lack of which has been slowly, and ever more noticeably crushing me for years. And again, it’s something that’s definitely the right move to make, and that needed to be made.

 

But mainly, at this time, is something that succeeds to further whiplash me into a spiral of misery.

 

I need to find a place to live, and figure if I move in with other people it will be great way to pick myself up again.

 

I go out house hunting and one of the first places I come across is cheap, close enough to work and another 5 people live there. I don’t get a chance to meet them, but with 5 others, I figure I’ll make at least one friend to hang with.

 

Amazing, just what I need.

 

Except it isn’t.

 

The people that live there are either never in, or are so nervous, they’ll not enter the kitchen if someone else is in there, for fear of conversation perhaps.

 

All of my friends moved to London after graduating.

 

I’m alone, trapped by a contract, and with an ever growing confusion at my inability to make money for this company.

 

For months I continue to spiral down and down, like one of those penny drop toys where the coin spins round and round towards the abyss.

 

Within minutes of waking into the office I’m completely under water.

 

I arrive in the office and just stare at my screen for hours and hours. Sometimes a whole day passes and I’m not be convinced I’ve even attempted anything. Time passes like treacle.

 

I just wear sweatpants and gym clothes and in general exude a vibe of “lazy and unmotivated”, because I’m lost, I’m drowning. This isn’t unnoticed by other people in the office.

 

I spend increasing lengths of time just sat in a toilet cubicle staring at the wall. I’m just listening to a low humming noise, like I’ve been near a bomb that’s gone off, that permeates every moment of my existence.

Felt a little something like this. Shawn Coss Art

I start acting increasingly erratic, short sighted, self centered and self sabotaging.

 

My whole world starts to close in to a tunnel existing only in the now (but not in the fun, mindful, live in the now way..)

 

At the crescendo of this malice, I convince myself that I really just need some adventure.

 

That adventure will fix me. We’ve traveled abroad to do remote work before and it’s been fun and productive.

 

So, with that simplified down so nicely in my head, I book a flight to Barcelona that returns a week later.

 

And then I tell my boss about it.

 

“That’s an interesting way to ask to work remotely”

 

Is his calm, but clearly shocked and somewhat upset response.

fuck, fuck, fuck, Fuck, Fuck, FUCK.

And then my whole world comes crashing down around me.

 

The short sightedness, the lack of professionalism, it just being a shitty thing to do to my boss who’s been beyond supportive of my struggles with depression for my whole time working here.

 

I near vomit.

 

No bueno.

 

Anyway, I go to Spain.

 

I panic work.

 

I walk to the seaside.

 

I sit down on a bench at the docks..

 

And I. Just. Break.

 

I have a piercing moment of really, deeply missing my ex.

 

I’m full on ugly crying, and I don’t give a fuck what any passers by think.

 

The trip is nice, but doesn’t fix the problem.

 

Fuck.

 

I don’t know what the problem is, and my confusion just rises.

 

What the fuck is up?

 

Why can’t I just get the motivation and drive to make this work?

 

Am I no good at marketing?

 

Do I even know anything about my abilities?

 

Fuck. I just want. to.

 

Ahh.

 

I. JUST. WANT. TO. SCR. AHHHHH.

I just want to scream. Krains Deviant Art.

In hindsight, it’s more obvious.

I’d just spent 4 years feeling trapped by university, being irritated that I couldn’t just do my own thing.

I also split with my long term girlfriend and was dealing with the emotional fallout of that.

So the problem wasn’t the job, so much as it was me having any job.

Consciously I was all in with it. I really thought it was a company I’d stay at, and I told many close friends this.

Subconsciously, I knew I needed to just do my own thing.

Unsurprisingly, what I’d spent the last 6–7 years of my life wanting, I still wanted. The job seemed like a perfect fit, something that could still get me to my goals, but that didn’t provide the journey to them I really wanted, deep down.

I’d built an invisible cage of apathy for myself. I thought I loved the job. I didn’t.

I needed complete control over my life. I needed to do whatever I wanted. I needed complete responsibility to both succeed and potentially fail horribly.

That conflict, rooted by years of desires was again ignored by my logical brain suppressing my emotions deep into my subconscious.

Depression is subconscious. It’s the storm of thoughts and doubts just below the surface, raging and spiraling so rapidly that you’ve no idea what the real cause is, what they’re saying.

I’d got onto NEF, I couldn’t afford it without a host company, which just so happened to be working with an entrepreneur I’d been inspired by, and wanted to learn from, doing essentially whatever I wanted, in the field I wanted to dive into, and it was only a year, right?

It was so easy to convince myself that it was the perfect idea for me, and standing alone that’s still correct. But, this neglects the years of desire to do my own thing, 100%, and circumstance trapping me from being able to do so.

Again, I have no regrets about this job. But, once again, I do regret how I acted at times, and my boss was BEYOND patient and understanding throughout it all. Like, really.

I’m certain I’d not be succeeding at the moment if I’d not had this job.

It taught me a LOT about taking action vs planning, convincing me that bootstrapping was what I wanted to do, and being efficient at doing so.

I just couldn’t pull it together in time to make it work.

What Causes Depression?

That’s my story of how various circumstances came together to cripple the brain of someone that on the surface, had (and has), it pretty damn sweet.

Now I want to dive into a little more on the science of depression, how to deal with it as an outsider, and as someone suffering with it.

So, being me, needing to know everything about everything, and also having the crazy strong urge to stop feeling absolutely, fucking, shit, I did some research!

First up, I’m not a doctor, don’t take my word on these things, be smart. I’m talking based on research I’ve done and based on my own experience.

They seem to align pretty nicely.

Depression is often caused by being trapped in situations that induce panic or fear in you.

Let’s look at evolution a little (apologies if I butcher this).

Situation 1

You’re on the plains of Africa.

Some big ol lion is coming for you.

An adrenaline rush kicks your fight or flight response in and you run.

Fear over, adrenaline subsides.

Or you’re eaten, in which case you’re out of the evolution game.

So fight or flight gets passed on genetically.

Situation 2

Plains of Africa again.

Your an infant and said lion eats your mother.

Again, adrenaline rush strikes so you’re ready for action, but you’re an infant so you’re not going anywhere.

As the lion is prowling around for you for ages, you either;

instinctively cry out for your mother (in which case you get eaten, again, you’re out of the evolution game

OR

you instinctively quieten down, stay in the bushes in this state and hope your tribe fam comes and gets you.

They do.

You win the evolution game.

So, theory goes, that’s the genetic basis for quieting down in some scary situations.

The issue is, in the modern world this is taken to extremes.

Our stupid monkey brains don’t know the difference between fear of lions and fear of deadlines. For much of our lives, especially for ambitious people, deadlines, tests, getting the job, these are all fearful pressures that we make up in our heads.

These freak us the fuck out all day, every day, for months at a time.

And what does months of made up, constant fear do to your brain?

Depression.

After feeling trapped for so long with so much underlying panic about success, needing things to go right or your life is fucked, after months or years of this, your brain rewires itself giving depressive disorder.

More evidence for this is that depression is a strikingly first world issue.

Tribal communities who objectively live much tougher, more harsh lives than Westerners do, have next to no cases of depression.

They live in tight nit social groups of 50–200 who they spend all of their time with, and they don’t have these constant panics about needing to succeed or else be miserable and unfulfilled for all of their lives.

Two things that can’t be said for a vast number of young people today.

So many young people willingly sacrifice happiness now, for the promise of more happiness later, often tied up with money.

“If I just grit my teeth and stick with this shit job I’ll be able to get promoted, and then I can buy a nice house and car and I’ll be happy.”

There are two common, negative ways this plays out:

  1. You grit your teeth and suffer for 5 years at a job you hate, jump up the chain and the things that would actually fulfill you, don’t, because you’ve fucked up your brain in the process and can’t be happy.
  2. You grit your teeth and suffer for 5 years at a job you hate, jump up the chain and the money, the house, the car, they don’t actually fulfill you, you’ve been solve a false dream. Oh, and you’re brain is also fucked up from the process.

Neither seem that great hey?

Depression is often a results of ignoring your feelings or gut, and just suffering with short term pain for long term results.

This can be a sound strategy if you really would feel better by achieving those long term results, but often you’ve not thought about why you actually want them. Often it’s because society as a whole (which benefits from you working like a maniac and not thinking all that much) tells you that you want these results.

The human brain isn’t wired for happiness. Happiness doesn’t help you survive. The human brain wants you to constantly desire more. It’s natural to constantly move the goal posts and think you’ll be more satisfied, or satisfied for longer with these results than is actually accurate.

So what happens to many? Constant cycles of accepting misery, for delayed happiness that will never come.

How to Deal with Depression?

First up, if you know someone that’s depressed, please don’t mistake them for being sad.

Please don’t ask them WHY they’re sad.

1. They’re likely not sad, they just feel nothing, and this is scary. If they are sad, they’re sad because they are worried that they will never feel anything again.

2. They don’t know what the fuck the problem is. The best they can likely do is lay out all the potential issues that may be causing this bout. If, “luckily” there is only one big problem in their life at the moment, they may have an easier time with this. But in most cases, they will have few clues to what the problem actually is.

Its subconscious.

😶

Honestly, I think the best thing you can do for a friend or loved on that’s depressed, is to be there to support them. Understand them, and be there to talk to them if they need it.

As you may gather from my personal story, my depression could have likely been avoided had I been more capable of communicating, both with my emotions, and with others.

If this is the case for the person you care about, just talking to them, trying to dig into what they’re experiencing can be by far the most helpful thing for them.

Depression is an illness of the brain. A good conversation and some new realisations really can pull someone out of a depressive episode. Sometimes, lifting that fog can be enough for them to realise that fixing the problem is possible, it is worth it.

Don’t be mistaken into thinking that one conversation will fix the problem. As I mentioned, I’ve been working on this actively for years, and it’s still not completely fixed. It’s a rewiring of the brain, and these depressive patterns take a long time to rewire. But one conversation can reveal the path to health, which is the first step to getting over it.

So, I’d made out in the title like depression can be a good thing and all I’ve done is talk about how much it sucks.

Well..

1. Haha, I fooled you, it fucking sucks. Avoid if at all possible.

2. There is some truth to the title!

In a weird double edged sword, the subconscious nature of depression — not knowing what causes it, can be quite helpful.

When I feel depressed, I can either:

  • Lie in bed eating junk food and watching Netflix (which I often do for a day, just to give myself a break)
  • Make a list of every possible problem in my life and start addressing them one at a time until I feel better.

The useful byproduct of this is that solving all of these problems is good for me and my development as a person.

If I’m not feeling fulfilled and I don’t know why, I feel depressed. If I feel depressed, I have to make myself better by fixing or actively working on every problem I currently have in my life — making me feel fulfilled.

It’s like a radar for fulfillment. Or unfulfillment? Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom is what I’m getting at!

Over time, you’ll likely notice patterns emerge.

Do you often worry about wanting more adventure, more alone time, more social time?

More dates, less dates?

Working harder? Relaxing more?

Having a constant assessment (I do think in a daily journal) of what your problems may be, helps you get to grips with things that actually make you feel trapped and unhappy.

This can be the first step in figuring out what your perfect life actually look like.

By looking at what makes you unhappy and unfulfilled, you may be able to tease out the core values and drives that do make you feel fulfilled.

For me, I can see few less respectable pursuits than finding out what actually fulfills and motivates you, what gets you up in the morning, and constructing a life that allows you to fill ever increasing amounts of your time with that.

Another enormous benefits is my increased connection with my subconscious allows me to understand much more quickly if I’m not working in the right direction, or if I need some down time.

It’s like growing a muscle. The more I reflect on and think about my subconscious emotions, the more I get it right. The more you practice giving yourself space when you need it, the better you get at doing that quickly, and communicating to others that you either need space or support.

The final large benefit that comes to mind is the vast level up in emotional intelligence I’ve had. I’ve met a vast array of people whilst traveling and studying. Different ages, nationalities and backgrounds. And the one thing that really seems to reveal people’s emotional maturity, is how much shit they’ve been through.

Going through awful ordeals and coming out the other side gives you immense emotional fortitude. These people are the most empathetic, as the can really feel the pain of others, they’ve experienced it. They’re much more selfless and giving of themselves. They’re much more patient, having experienced that resolving trauma takes time, no matter how quick you want it fixed.

So there you have it, there’s a silver lining. I’d really not recommend becoming depressed just to fix it and become better… But, if you are depressed, just know that working on it and overcoming it will almost certainly leave you a person you have a deep respect for.

To finish with some advice; if you do feel the way I’ve mentioned (you might not have even considered that it might be depression) then my biggest suggestions would be:

1. Talk to someone about it. If you don’t want to go to a doctor, just tell a friend.

Honestly, as soon as I realised I had depression, I decided I was going to own it and I started being open about it.

2. Try writing down things you’re worried about. Write out what’s the worst that happens if you change and don’t change them.

Often the act of getting the thoughts that are cycling around your head out and on to paper, really helps to show that you’re just worrying about nothing, or not much.

3. Meditation can really help. Again, if you’re depressed, chances are you’re not the best at communicating with your subconscious feelings. Meditation can help to change this.

No spirity woo woo necessary (unless that’s yo jam), there’s a shit tonne of rigorous science backing up the effectiveness of meditation.

If you’re miserable, you can spare 10 minutes a day for something that can have a profound difference (even if you only keep it up for 3–4 months like I did.).

4. Chat to a doctor. By all means try out the suggestions above if a doctor scares you too much, but do know that for many, many people, professional counseling / coaching, and medication are needed to get over this. I know many people that have used anxiety and depression medication and it’s been a game changer for them.

Don’t play with your life, seek appropriate help.

It’s not your fault, it’s society, they’ve broken your brain.

Fuck yooou society.

Start working at it, give yourself space when you feel down, write about ittalk to someone (even though that’s the absolute last thing you will feel like doing), meditate.

It takes a long time to rewire your brain, so be patient, but know that if you keep making small but definite steps towards getting better, you will get there!

I guess if you know anyone that this might help, send them a link? I found that seeing someone describe my exact symptoms in a post under the name “depression” helped me realize I did have a problem and should start trying to fix it.

Final note — Once again, if you know someone that’s depressed, please don’t try to fix them. If you’re depressed, you’ve got to make the decision yourself to get help, so just be supportive and understanding of them. Get them to text you if they’re feeling down and call them, they won’t want to talk but it will help!

Peaceee

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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9 Steps to Go From 0–10,000 DAILY Website Visitors from Pinterest in Under 6 Months

9 Steps to Go From 0–10,000 DAILY Website Visitors from Pinterest in Under 6 Months

9 Steps to Go From 0–10,000 DAILY Website Visitors from Pinterest in Under 6 Months

Despite What You’ve Been Told, This Ain’t Yo Momma’s Social Media Platform…

Originally published January 2018.

At the start of 2017 I was just like you. I too thought that Pinterest was nothing but hordes of mums.

I was lost.

Confused.

Completely. Fucking. Wrong.

Pinterest is a traffic beast, and may be a smarter investment of your time than more popular platforms (hint, Instagram, hint).

Want to start Pinterest pimpin?

Let’s set the scene with a little story..


It’s the start of a wonderful new year. Whilst using IFTTT, I noticed they have a “Repost from Instagram to Pinterest” automation.

I set up a simple profile and just let it auto post out.

See what happens.

[Spoiler alert]

Sweet fuck all. For months.

Several months later…

After a large expanse of nothingness, I notice a traffic spike that catches my attention..

intresting😏..

Turns out, good Instagram content is also good Pinterest content (I’m now confident that this can be extended to any visual platform).

I make my profile look better, create 10–15 varied boards, and start posting tens of daily posts across those boards.

Working, but not for me..

I notice that some content I’m reposting is gaining repins, but the majority is getting little to none.

Also, the pins that are gaining traction, are only going to be sending traffic to the external sites that they link to.

I think I need more followers to seed out the content. That way I can determine which type of content does well more quickly.

I start using some engagement automation to follow, like content and unfollow the accounts of my competition’s followers.

Ooooooo….

I notice 10–15 of the repins I’ve done are getting shared 10,000+ times… Interesting..

I decide to make my own versions, and direct them at my own website and blog content, and then..

10,000 shares.

20,000!

And then…

50,000!

100,000!!

250,000!!!

The shares keep on climbing, as does the traffic those pins are sending to my website.

Some peak at over 1,000 unique hits A DAY.

I know I know, it sounds really sweet, right?

But don’t worry, I know there’s one burning question on your mind…

“Mmmm, sounds impressive, but I think I’ll just keep bashing my head against a wall with Instagram. Could you talk about that instead?”

Look, I’m known for being good at both Instagram and Pinterest.

I’m acutely aware that Instagram is all that everybody cares about with regards to visual marketing.

I get asked about it far more often.

But you know what?

Everybody might be dumb.

Don’t get me wrong, Instagram’s traffic is GOLD. It really does convert very well for (mostly) cold traffic.

But, it’s now a nightmare to do well at Instagram without investing serious time and or cash.

It can give the best results.

But not for you.

Because you’re a business owner with a million and one tasks and projects to juggle in order to make your baby a success.

You got no time.

You got no money.

You need marketing with maximum bang for your buck!

What do I know about Instagram? I grew my business’ account from 0–250,000 followers in 10 months.

Sounds awesome right?

It was, but Instagram has a massive problem at the moment.

You only really get website clicks based on new followers.

To reliably add new followers, you need not only post effective, regular content, but you need to keep on top of every new feature in order to remain in the algorithm’s good graces.

That doesn’t mean that Instagram can’t work. I have lots of friends having success with it, and running large Instagram marketing groups.

Vivien and Tasha have an awesome group — Instagram Growth and Engagement. It’s more branding focused.

Jeannette , Daniel & Len have a great one as well — Dream Team Instagram Secrets. It’s more growth hack focused.

So if you insist on Instagram, check them out.

It can work. I just think you’re unlikely to have an easy win with it.

Instagram’s biggest business issue is that you can’t currently share content on it.

The lack of shareability means that your existing audience is only so powerful. Again, the majority of website clicks comes from new followers.

Yes, they will engage with your content, which helps it get in front of more new potential followers — meaning your audience GENERALLY grows at an accelerating rate, but they can’t propagate your content .

Once content is posted, it will be useful to you for maybe 3–7 days.

If Instagram content could be shared, then your followers could seed out content you create.

This would make having more followers, more useful, as they’re essentially posting your content to all of their followers. It would also give your content a MUCH longer lifetime.

So, which platform has the best potential for shared content…..?

You guessed it 😉

Pinterest is absolutely insane for content sharing.

With just 500 relevant followers, you can have your content become one of the most repinned in your niche (if you’re smart with your content creation).

Not only is this great for reach, but as each pin can link back to your website, one super successful pin can generate hundreds of clicks a day, for months and months.

If you think you could get results from Instagram, you 100% can get results from Pinterest.

Here are the 9 steps you need to follow to get a tsunami of traffic from Pinterst:

1. Change your mindset about Pinterest

  • It’s the 2nd biggest referrer of traffic online (after Facebook).
  • It’s not just full of mums — you’re audience is there, and no one is effectively marketing to them.

2. Do your research

Use Pinterest’s search to:

  • Find keywords in your niche.
  • Find influencer accounts with 5,000+ followers.
  • Find board name inspiration from the influencers.

3. Build your profile

  • Fill your account name and description with keywords relevant to your niche.
  • Create 10–20 boards in your niche. Get granular. Use the influencer accounts you researched for inspiration.
  • Fill your board descriptions with relevant keywords.
  • Create a covers for each board.

4. Repost A LOT to find the best content

Pinterest use to give repin counts on all content, so it was easy to see what the best performing content was.

Today is different. Now you need to repin lots of content in order to see what bubbles to the top.

  • Use post 50–100 posts across your boards DAILY.
  • Look at the influencer accounts you identified and schedule any pins you see them reposting often.
  • Schedule pins that the search returns near the top of the results for your keywords.

5. Engagement automation

With no followers, no one is getting alerts when you repost all of this content, and so no one is sharing it.

You need to hit about 500 followers to start getting good repin counts.

  • Follow the followers of your identified influencers (start unfollowing them once you’re following ~10,000 people)

6. Content seeding with group boards

Group boards are boards that you can request to contribute to.

Joining them means you can repin content to an existing audience. This can greatly increase your follower growth and greatly shorten the time it takes to identify which pin style is the most shareable.

  • Find group boards in your niche and follow the boards steps to become a contributor. This may be email, commenting on a specific post, sending them a DM etc.
  • See if your influencers are part of group boards, its a good place to start.

7. Identify content that resonates

Now comes the waiting game. Sometimes this may take a week or two, sometimes it could take a few months.

It’s a case of viral natural selection — you need to figure out what works the best, the more followers you can gain, the faster this should work.

  • Look at which pins are getting the most traction, being shared the most.
  • Repost those pins more, and schedule more that are of a similar style.
  • Stop reposting the content that is performing the worst.

8. Run with the winners

Whist you’re repinning, you’re just sharing other peoples content. Generating traffic for them.

The next step is to create your own pins and direct them to your website.

  • Wait until 5–10 of your repins, have been repinned over 1,000 times.
  • Create your own versions of these pins with corresponding blog posts.
  • Enable rich pins to pull your blog post titles to display with your pins — this will make them perform better.

9. Create a blog post system

Once you’ve had a few of your own pins reach 10,000+ repins, it’s time to create a system.

  • Find a type of blog post you can easily whip up in 30–90 minutes that suits the type of pin you’ve identified as high performing: recipes, listicles, workouts, quizez etc.
  • Alternatively — if you have a strong enough profit engine from your website, pay people to write unique content. Point is, you want lots of content relevant to the pin style, and you want it fast.
  • Churn out 50+ of these blog posts and pin combos.
  • Profit!

Make sure to constantly analyse the similarities between your top performing pins:

What words in blog post titles are performing the best?

What structure of post title?

What imagery style is performing best on the pins?

What colours are performing the best?

What you’ll likely find is that pins that reflect fixing the fears, relieving the pains, or enabling the desires of your audience will perform the best.

So make sure you understand your audience, it will only hasten your success!

That’s it!

You’ll be amazed at how much traffic you can start to pull from Pinterest once you run through this strategy.

It takes a while to gather the data, but once you know what works and start directing pins to your own site, you’ll start hitting 1,000+ clicks daily before you know it, and it’s not difficult to maintain this!

Post August dip is because I created zero new pins for 3–4 months when I started traveling 😅

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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The Profound Lesson Learned Whilst Driving a Motorbike Off a Cliff in Vietnam

The Profound Lesson Learned Whilst Driving a Motorbike Off a Cliff in Vietnam

The Profound Lesson Learned Whilst Driving a Motorbike Off a Cliff in Vietnam

A secret to wipe anger, sorrow, and frustration from your brain?

Originally published January 2018.

It’s 10 am on my 26th birthday. We’ve been on our bikes for 30 minutes, traversing the drizzled, foggy hills outside of Dong Van, a picturesque town on Vietnam’s northern border with China.

The eight of us zip up and down the quarried slopes, our tracks flanked by the sheer drops that make East Asia’s limestone cliffs so awe inspiring.

Thang tears ahead on his enormous dirt bike, easily conquering the “roads”. By this point in our odyssey we’d come to learn these were little more than gravel, mud and potholes loosely connected by ribbons of tarmac — if we were lucky.

Directly behind him, I pick up speed and confidence as I acclimatize to the slip and slide of the bike. Cruising through slick mud and freshly formed rivers from the previous night’s storm.

Gathering speed on an uphill, the cliff side path veers left. The “road” is merely two deep, parallel trenches with a muddy bank between them.

Thang blasts through the right hand trench, closest to the cliff edge.

Bumps inward up the middle bank, and flicks his back tire around as he pulls out of the obstacle.

I kill off much of my speed from the uphill and follow his line.

Right hand trench.

“This is deeper than I anticipated….” flicks across my brain for a fraction of a second.

My back tire slides.

“Perhaps my 125cc semiauto bike isn’t as capable as our guide’s off-road monster”

Pull inwards.

Bike bounces up the bank, away from the cliff.

“Correct. Fuck. Correct. Fuck”

Back wheel flicks over the bank and into the left hand trench, knocking it’s side and directing me towards the cliff edge.

“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck”

I scramble to correct, leaning in left, pumping the breaks, knocking down the gears.

Existence shrinks down to a strobing set of images and gut punch emotional reactions.

Seconds stretch out. The edge hurtles towards me.

“FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.”….


Get ready for one of the most profound life lessons I’ve learned, wrapped up in a crazy story, wrapped up in a (hopefully) amusing highlight reel of my bike trip around North Vietnam.

The insanity of Hanoi was oppressive and overwhelming for many I’m traveling with. But I, I found the elevated discomfort in almost every aspect of my life exhilarating.

Want to cross the road?

Prepare to die.

Want to eat the food?

Prepare to die.

Want to converse with 99% of the population without pointing and hand gesturing?

Good. fucking. luck.

Hanoi’s streets are tight and sprawling, with countless thousands of people all living on top of each other.

Her roads a terrifying chaos of motorbikes beeping and sliding between each other.

Her smells flick and flutter from the rich aromas of garlic, galangal, and chili to the arresting kick of exhaust smog and sewage.

The magnitude of sensory overload is electric. The mounting discomfort makes my heart thump.

For me, being immersed to the neck in an uncomfortable situation leaves me awash with the taste of growth.

The opportunity to raise to the situation and conquer it. To fight and flow through it.

To come out on the other side a person I enjoy more today than I did yesterday.

So with the scene set, and your appetite for excitement hopefully piqued, let me share just some of the fun from my Vietnamese adventure.

Sunday: You sure we’re prepared for this?

After spending less than an hour learning how to actually drive a bike the previous day, Eddie, Tibor, Remy, Mark, John, Joe, myself and our guide Thang prepare to exit the mayhem of Hanoi and begin our adventure.

Thang, is a lunatic.

A tiny Vietnamese guy in his early twenties with an electric passion for off road driving.

He seems to mistake our excitement and eagerness, for an indication of driving ability when planning out our route.

He plans out the most beautiful (deadly) route he knows, and we head out into the moto-carnage that is downtown Hanoi.

We drive for 45 minutes and through a chorus of horn honks, and feverish mirror checks, we make it safely outside the greater city.

Safely that is, until another biker swerves in front of Mark.

He slams the beaks.

The bike doesn’t like it.

Mark bails, throwing the bike down and sliding.

His hand and arm are bloodied. The bike is functional. We bandage him up and 30 minutes later we’re off.

Lesson learned — assume everyone is an imbecile with a death wish.

We’re on the road again.

Perhaps 3 minutes pass.

A woman by the side of the road stands there with her bike, and then without warning decides to walk it into the road.

I slam the breaks.

The bike doesn’t like it.

I bail, throwing the bike down and sliding.

The woman that caused me to bail just looks at me on the floor, pinned under my bike and continues on walking…

Cheers.

My right arm, leg and ankle are bloodied. My bike is not functional. I laugh it off, get bandaged up and we grab lunch whilst we wait an hour for another bike.

Lesson ACTUALLY learned — assume everyone is an imbecile with a death wish.

Great start.

Onward we ride. I’m now vigilant of anyone anywhere near the road, giving them extra room for unexplained crazy.

When we finally break from Hanoi we’re greeted by wide open roads. We ride across a gorgeous expanse of planes, greeted by my first real sight of Asia’s arresting limestone mountains.

John Michael Eubank

After a couple of hours we pull up at a junction in a small town. Whilst we figure out which direction Thang took we’re treated by the sight of, in 8 or so pieces, a cooked dog…

Interesting…..

So interesting in fact, that John somehow thinks this would be a good image to send to our 50 person Whatsapp group message.

It was not.

Silly John.

We figure out where to go, and as darkness descends we head up into the mountains. And with that darkness, rumbles in a spectacular tropical thunderstorm.

The heavens open and inky blackness is blown away by blinding cracks. The sky glows as tendrils of lightning rip it apart. Thunderclaps are so seismic I can feel them shake through my body over the rumbling engine beneath me.

It’s an electrifying end to a exciting first day as we pull into Ba Be lake to settle down at our local homestay.

Monday: We’re really dumb…

Morning breaks and we’re up early. I now get a chance to see the prehistoric beauty of Ba Be lake.

We hop on a boat and spend an hour on the lake.

Calm and cool, surrounded by dense rainforest. Towering, monolithic, jungle covered cliffs press skywards as clouds tumble and pour between their valleys.

If a triceratops burst from the trees, chased by a hungry tyrannosaur, I’d not be the least bit surprised. It is haunting..

📸: @jobob2992

We get back, gear up, hop on our motors and start our ascent from the lake. As we wind back and fourth on thin, hairpin roads, the rest of the group pulls ahead of Joe and I.

I just can’t seem to get the hang of these tight corners.

I try to throw myself into them a little more, but I still continue to drift out to the other side of the road on my exit.

Not being instantly good at everything, frustrates me.

I give it another go and can’t seem to get my balance right for long enough. I pull around a particularly sharp hairpin and find myself quickly drifting out not only to the edge of the road, but the edge of a cliff.

“Shit. Think quick.”

I pump the breaks.

Still drifting…

I tighten my sphincter.

Still drifting….

“Ahhh, fuck.”

I slam the breaks and throw myself to the floor.

I scraping along exactly the same side, in exactly the same places as yesterday 😑

100% accurate. No drama…

Wounds torn open again, I laugh that I’m not dead, check the bike’s fine, and ride on.

First hour of the day appears to be my danger zone. I’m pissed that I can’t get the hang of it as quickly as I’d like, but I’m keen to rise to the challenge.

Remy hangs back for a bit and gives some pointers.

Trial by fire — I learn how to do tight corners properly.

I kind of hope I don’t need to learn everything about my bike this way…

Today we climb up and down kilometer high cliffs, stopping at the tops to view tropical forests below. The sun shimmering across them through slithers in the cloud cover.

📸 @marky_mark38

John is apparently so distracted by this beauty, he drives straight into a ditch.

Silly John.

But no, the carnage for the day is only just beginning.

As we scale up and down drenched mountain roads, it becomes apparent to me, perhaps most so due to my acute knowledge of exactly what our bikes CAN’T do, that these slick downhill sections are ludicrously risky.

We’re on a long downhill stretch, perhaps 35⁰, everyone is in sight. Thang and Joe overtake two cars before a tight right corner. This alone seems questionable to me, but Thang know’s his shit, so I assume all is fine.

What I don’t think they notice is the car that pulls around that corner as they lose sight of it to make the overtake.

Mark’s next up and also hasn’t seen this car. He attempts to follow.

I’m slamming my horn to alert him but he moves out to attempt the overtake.

He quickly realizes this isn’t going to work, and hits the breaks to pull back in.

Too hard.

His rear wheel starts to slide, and then it goes.

Mark’s down, sliding with his bike down this slick hill.

If the cars in front of him hit the beaks, Mark’s fucked.

Remy’s behind, he slams the breaks to avoid Mark.

Remy’s down.

If he slides out towards the oncoming traffic, Remy’s fucked.

He joins Mark sliding down the mountain road.

Eddie pulls up behind, slam his breaks, and send his bike careening into Tibor, leaving both of them on the floor..

“Well that fucking was dumb..”

We all agree, laugh that we’re alive, and head on our way.

2 days in, everyone has gone down.

Everyone, except Joe.

Tick. Tock.

We end in the bustling town of Cao Bang. Finishing up in the best way imaginable — with a couple glasses each of Vietnamese coffee.

A coffee delightfully different than any I’ve had before, so chocolaty, smooth, fruity.

Yep, it’s that good you’ll want it in the evening.

Gazing longingly at that black gold…

Tuesday: No words.

We head to the garage to grab our bikes and there’s a family down there with a couple of ducks…

The father proceeds to quickly butcher one, drain it’s blood, defeather it, and chop it up, in front of his child (I assume), in approximately 4 minutes…

It was an odd way to start the day 😶

We’re on the road for an hour or so before we pass a small dragon fruit farm, grab one for the road, and have a short lived “debate” on taking a safe route vs the most beautiful one.

Weird morning, weird fruit. 📸: @marky_mark38

Debate quickly over, we pull off the tarmac to a small dirt and gravel trail up into the hills, a hundred yards of so past the farm.

What we’ve seen so far has been entrancing yes, but it pales in comparison to today.

Today is the first day I’m actually lost for words. So baring this in mind, I’ll attempt to paint a picture.

With words.

That I was lost for.

We ascend the winding dirt path through the center of a small, lush valley. Intermittent showers give us ample time to stop, take on and off waterproofs, and drink in the slowly increasing grandeur of our surrounds.

At the third stop, the valley floor opens up and on a distant valley slope is a single, enormous tree above all the rest.

It looks like a painting. A bonsai, perfected over decades, scaled up and just popped right on the side of this valley.

My heart starts to thump.

“Yep, this is up there, maybe top 10 most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.”

That’s the tree! 📸: @marky_mark38

We take off around two more bends.

I slam the breaks on, lean back on my bike and..

“Holy fucking shit balls.”

“Seriously?”

My gaze is thrust hundreds of meters down into a verdant, sun rippled valley.

Millennia sealed in stone, rise up from its base to tower over me. I’m dwarfed.

A tiny ribbon of dirt snakes back and fourth, marking the path of my descent into Eden.

“Mmm, this is likely the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.”

It takes a few minutes, but I catch my breath, quell my raging butterflies and begin my looping path to the valley floor.

The next hour is bliss.

The sound of the bike fades out and the wonder of my surroundings pours into my being.

The roads, too narrow and treacherous for anything larger than a bike, are completely ours.

The border between myself and my bike slowly start to evaporate.

Through dense forested fields, beneath the watch of the epic limestone, we twist and bob, up hills and through hairpins.

And all of a sudden.

The valley opens.

“Ughhhhhhh……”

My back tire screeches to a halt. Breath is savagely ripped from my lungs.

My soul is pierced. Shattered.

Primal majesty.

Wow…

A tsunami of splendor near knocks me from my seat.

The valley tears wide open. Vivid jade fields shoot out into the distance.

To the right, amber rice paddies, ready for harvest, dance upon terraces rising towards the heavens.

To the left, a waterfall explodes from the summit. An ephemeral rainbow shimmers in it’s spray.

The titanic cliffs made all the more striking against these softly rolling hills, and tiny dotted dwellings.

As the sunlight flutters and twirls across this vista I’m awash in ecstasy.

My heart aches. My fingers tingle.

Hell, I even shed a tear.

📸: @marky_mark38

 

Words don’t do it justice. Pictures don’t do it justice. Videos don’t do it justice.

This raw.

Emotional.

Gut punch, needs to be seen for even a slight appreciation of just how awe inspiring it feels.

If you get the chance to explore some of Asia’s off the beaten track countryside.

Fucking. Do It.

Anyway, I get my shit together and head on wards through the valley.

We run into some locals who direct us to a nearby waterfall and cave.

So off course he head off with them to check that out!

We find an awesome little waterfall, flowing from what we assume is the cave — something that can be seen into via a crack in the cliff, but not entered.

We go to walk off before we’re beckoned back by another local. He gets us to climb up the cliff with him over the waterfall, where we actually find the cave.

It’s a spectacular, alien world.

Like some eerie Lovecraftian cathedral.

Enormous limestone tendrils drip down from the ceiling.

Stalagmites line the floor like the fossilized teeth of some long dead behemoth.

Crystal clear lakes shoot off around submerged corners and corridors.

Apparently, with snorkels it’s possible to traverse a kilometer or two, coming up in another valley at another village!

Gives me chills, in the best way.

📸: @marky_mark38

We finish up the first day with the long ascent out of the valley.

It’s absolute bliss.

I take off by myself to enjoy the climb without having to start and stop for everyone else.

I really can see why people get so passionate about bikes.

There really is nothing between you and nature. You’ve got this amazing ability to reach difficult locations. With the twist of a key, you can be off your bike ready to silently drink in whichever gorgeous view has caught your eye.

And then there’s the feeling.

Oooof it feels good.

When you’ve been out for a few hours, the difference between you and the bike really just disappears. Everything becomes fluid.

Is gumming your brain up with too much testosterone a smart idea?

From experience, clearly not.

Are bikes whirring metal death machines?

Obv.

But, do I now understand why people love them?

Hell fucking yes.

Once again, I get the pleasure of finishing up the last hour of my day seeing the sky set ablaze in a crazy tropical storm as we arrive into Bao Lac.

Also!

Didn’t crash today.

Boom.

📸: @marky_mark38

Wednesday: It gets better.

Today we continue our journey towards the China boarder.

The jungle thins as we pass through lush mossy hills. The cliffs are very different now. Jet black,ominous, even more towering.

📸:@marky_mark38

A small passage opens at their base, and we pass across the floor of a narrow valley.

And then,

I’m no longer in Vietnam, I’ve ridden into Middle Earth, the gates of Mordor.

An enormous basin opens up before me.

A river and lake just below me.

Thang’s favorite road, the “Happy road”, hugs the side of the obsidian cliffs to the left, snaking it’s way up them through the clouds.

Today is every bit as awe inspiring as yesterday. Diametrically opposite, but equally arresting.

Again, I merge with my machine and take to ripping up the cliffs, bursting through the clouds, adrenaline sharpening every second into a tiny eternity.

Falling prohibited. 📸: @marky_mark38

After an amazing drive we arrive in the town of Dong Van. Thang takes the lead, and we follow, assuming he’s taking us to a hotel.

We pass through the town, down some small alley, and then start to climb a hill with an incline that is rapidly increasing.

I make no comment, blindly following Thang’s lead.

Turns out, he’s trying to take us and our bikes up to Don Cao, an old military fortress from France’s colonization days.

Up a 50–60⁰ incline!

Did I mention he was crazy..?

Most of our pathetic little bikes have no chance of making it.

Joe’s in front of me and on a gravel filled corner, tries to power up it and goes nowhere.

His bike starts sliding backwards, before falling on him, pinning him.

He’s not very pleased.

So we all immediately rush to his aid

Oh no wait, until this point, Joe was the only one of us not to crash.

So we stand above him and laugh for 2–3 minutes before offering to help.

Now he’s really not very pleased.

Silly Joe.

After sticking our bikes in first gear, leaving the throttle full, and walking them up, we manage to reach the top (still have no idea why we didn’t just walk up without them..)

And guess what?

The view’s mindbogglingly gorgeous.

We have a 360 of the whole area from hundreds of meters up.

Below us is Dong Van, with rice paddies extending down the valley floor left and right, as far as the eye can see.

Behind us are the formidable mountains that cloak China.

After soaking in the sights, we spend an eternity trying to get out bikes down the same incline — again, no idea why we took them up there, before reaching our hotel.

Another crash free day for me.

Boom.

We get freshened up and head down for a hot pot dinner — Thang’s favorite (favorite road, favorite dish, making Joe finally fall over, Thang had a good day).

As it’s my birthday tomorrow, it takes little time for the beers to escalate into several hours of rice wine, finding a massage place, befriending the guys that worked there, getting driven around in their bus/golf cart hybrid at 4am and other silliness…

📸: @marky_mark38

Thursday: It gets worse.

“Fak.”

I could feel better today, but it was an amusing birthday.

So, I pull myself together, and on wards we ride to Ha Giang.

It’s 10am on my 26th birthday. We’ve been on our bikes for 30 minutes.

The eight of us zip up and down the quarried slopes, our tracks flanked by sheer drops.

Thang tears ahead on his enormous dirt bike, easily conquering the “roads”.

Directly behind him, I pick up speed and confidence as I acclimatize to the slip and slide of the bike. Cruising through slick mud and freshly formed rivers from the previous nights storm.

Gathering speed on an uphill, the cliff side path veers left, the “road” is merely two deep, parallel trenches with a muddy bank between them.

Thang blasts through the right hand trench, closest to the cliff edge, bumps in up the middle banks and flicks his back tire around as he pulls out of the obstacle.

I kill off much of my speed from the uphill and follow his line.

Right hand trench.

“This is deeper than I anticipated….” flicks across my brain for a fraction of a second.

My back tire slides.

Next thought blast;

“Perhaps my 125cc semiauto bike isn’t as capable as our guide’s off-road monster”

Pull inwards.

Bike bounces up the bank, away from the cliff.

Back wheel flicks over the bank and into the left hand trench, knocking it’s side and directing me towards the cliff edge.

I scramble to correct, leaning in left, pumping the breaks, knocking down the gears.

Existence shrinks down to a strobing set of images and gut punch emotional reactions.

The edge hurtles towards me.

I’m airborne for a moment as I leave the road.

Everything is flashing.

Off I fly, 15 or so feet down a pile of boulders.

On the same, fucking, side 😑

.

.

.

Breathe in….

Breathe out….

.

I’m alive.

I can’t move. But, I don’t think I’m hurt.

“McCreesh….”

Mark half yells, half questions.

“Ha! I’m o-kAy!”

I holler back in what may have been an Italian accent..

Mark now starts a laugh that lasts the best part of three days.

An uncontrollable laugh that pretty much prevents him from talking to me, as every time he sees my dumb face, he imagines me flailing off that cliff….

Ten to fifteen locals seem to emerge from the bushes and before I know it, my bike is being picked off me, and we’re all pushing it back up the side of the cliff.

Ironically, one of them is wearing a tshirt with the emblazoned slogan:

“Shit Happens”

Brilliant..

Video starts about half way up 😑 📸: @where_is_remy

By the time I get to the top, Thang has cycled back and he and Joe are incredibly perplexed by just how cheery I am.

“You keep almost dying… Why are you not a trembling mess?”

Asks Joe.

“I no understand. You crazy”

Says Thang, who we’ve established, is actually crazy.

And here we come to the profound lesson….

There’s no point holding on to the negative emotion that your mind at first wants to thrust upon you.

It eats into you.

The lesson from this incident is; be WAY more fucking alert in the first hour of riding. I know it’s the danger zone.

My emotional response of laughter vs terror is largely irrelevant to me learning that.

Laughter is more enjoyable, so I chose that.

It wasn’t until this incident that I realized just how pervasive this mindset change had been in shaping my life.

As soon as the epiphany hits, example after example, going back the best part of a decade, flood into my mind.

  • You’re pushed into a swimming pool, destroying your phone. Irritation and anger become laughter and acceptance. Tears won’t fix the phone.
  • Someone has an opinion you find distasteful, idiotic or abhorrent. Frustration and anger become curiosity. You won’t convince anyone by telling them how wrong they are. May as well be interested in how they’ve arrived at the opinions they have. Great way not to hate everyone.
  • You and your friends are brutally assaultedBlind rage and panic become sharp focus. Anger exacerbates angry situations. Much more important to defuse and protect.
  • A stranger insults you. Upset and irritation become pitied amusement.Snap judgement and pigeon holing based on surface or extraneous characteristics is narrow minded. Do this robs them of beauty held in the depths of others. Their stories.

My oldest example of this response rewiring wasn’t clear to me until the end of my month in Vietnam, at our farewell event.

Roughly thirty of us are at an eco-lodge, retreat outside the city. We are all sat in a room discussing failure, and what it means to us. The question is posed:

“What does failure mean to you?”

I run the question through my mind, puzzled as I let it percolate around my brain.

“Not being able to meet the expectations of my parents.”

“Not being able to buy a house”

“Not achieving my career goals”

These are just a few of the answers offered up.

And for me? I let this question burrow deep into me.

I really, really strain to come to my answer.

And…

Absolutely. NOTHING.

It’s not that I don’t understand the question. Or that I couldn’t think of what failure meant to me.

It’s that failure has COMPLETELY ceased to hold meaning as a concept to me.

There is a technique to achieve this, and it’s equally as powerful for you to completely sever a tie between an action and the emotion you respond with.

This may seem different the previously mentioned examples, but I assure you it’s the same mechanism.

Here’s are the steps to change your emotional response to a negative situation:

1. Identify the trigger and your normal emotional response. For example, the normal emotional response to failure is to be humiliated, upset, embarrassed, dejected, perhaps to give up. Often the fear of these results may prevent you from putting yourself out there in the first place.

2. Think about what this trigger actually means. What does it actually mean to fail at your goal? Will you be homeless? Will you starve to death? Is there no route to repair the damage that failure does?

Often failures will lead to some personal or professional discomfort, but rarely are they the end of the world. Our minds like to overemphasis fears into unconquerable monstrosities, regardless of how true that may be.

3. Focus on embodying the emotion or persona that will pull you through the reality of the situation. In the case of failure, it’s something that happens for an instant. You then have the choice of how long you carry it’s emotional baggage around. The longer you carry that baggage, the longer you waste not trying to achieve your goal in another way, or not trying to repair any damage done by the failure.

When I was perhaps 16, I just decided that “I would be successful”. It was that simple.

I then started telling that to everyone I knew, regardless or not of if I believed it. Saying it created a persona that I tried to live up to, creating a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.

Over years, more and more people started to attach that characteristic to me. Over yet more years, I actually internalized this message so deeply that I started to believe it myself.

If I was going to be successful, than failure was only temporary. There was thus no point dwelling on failures (or fuck ups as I now call them). It was just wasting time. Time I should be spending towards the future “successful” me.

4. When the trigger happens, practice your embodiment. It won’t just magically work, so give yourself time to experience your normal emotions. But not for too long. Give yourself a time limit, then pick yourself up and focus on your embodiment.

If you fail; kick and scream a bit, pick yourself up, and get back to moving forward. You can’t change the past, so don’t live there.

5. Practice this! You won’t just magically change your response. It takes time. It takes patience. You really need to be considered with it.

It took me years to internalize, and be convinced by my “I will be successful”message through exclaiming it to everyone that I met.

It may have taken me years longer to completely sever my connection to my concept of failure.

But!

When you do manage to do this, you’ll realize that the neural muscle (so to speak) that you’re training, isn’t unique to your one example!

After I’d practiced swapping out wallowing in failure, or fear of doing so, it was easy to swap all of the negative responses I bullet pointed above.

Once you do this once, you can apply it to a vast amount of problems you face. In quick succession you can unburden your mind from a multitude of fears, worries and imagined pressures.

It feel amazingly liberating to:

  • Not get annoyed, angry, worried etc. about situations you cannot change, past, present or future.
  • Not care about things that are of no consequence to you or others, for example, what strangers think of you.

Back to the bikes!

Anyway, for those more interested in travel than becoming all zen, lets wrap up the rest of the bike trip 😅

So, I’m alive, bike’s fine, off we go.

Thang, thinks the roads we’ve been on so far as too good, so he decides to take up over a mountain on an road that’s mid construction.

We are literally driving over piles of boulders, on piece of shit bikes.

📸: John Michael Eubank and @marky_mark38

Joe crashes twice more.

Lol…..

They were both VERY slow so he was okay, but he was irritated for a long time none the less.

Emotional responses 😉

Today the scenery was, you guessed it, breath taking!

The black cliffs make way for rolling green fields and alpine forests.

It reminds me very much of Britain, if the landscape were vertically stretched to give hills four times the height.

Just how far the hills stretch from valley base to summit evokes thoughts of gargantuan Sci Fi O’Neal cylinders. Massive cylindrical spacecraft, rotating along their long axis to create spin gravity and leading to landscapes that reach up the insides of the cylinder, before looping back over your head.

📸: @marky_mark38 & kromekat.com

We finish up at a homestay outside Ha Giang, trekking through fireflies to a secluded waterfall where we all go swimming.

And by we all, I don’t mean me. I’m covered in holes as I insist on testing my apparent inability to break myself…

Adorably, the homestay owners have gotten me a birthday cake with my freaking name on it! 😍

It’s beyond lovely, so we finish our delicious dinner and cake desert, and turn in early.

📸: John Michael Eubank and @marky_mark38

Friday: Once more, just for fun.

By this point, I’ve had more than enough of crashing.

We cruise over a mountain range covered in dense jungle.

Tight valleys and magic waterfalls are around every turn.

📸: @marky_mark38

We pass over the mountains, and come towards to a small town for lunch.

I hear a tire screech (the sound of which still sends shivers down my spine to this day).

I look forward to Mark.

I see his tire skid out a little before he recovers it. I figure that’s what the sound was from.

It doesn’t take me long to see that I was wrong.

All though I’ve had enough of crashing, Remy, it seems, has not.

He tears through a dusty corner ahead of me, underestimating how sharp it is.

His front wheel locks up and he proceeds to superman over the handlebars.

Onto his face.

Ouch.

He laughs it off, despite missing half a tooth, and with a few big gashes. We head over to a conveniently placed hospital in the nearby town to get him stitched up.

We grab food, wait for Remy, and we head on our way.

After the descent, we follow a river on a (surprisingly good) road that hugs the bottom of a steep valley.

Another treat awaits….

We’ve seen lots of rice paddies so far, but none overlaid on such mesmerizing gradients, and few quite so close up.

Terraces stack hundreds of meters up. The landscape takes on an enchanting blend of man made and natural. Unharvested rice grass dances with a prismatic shimmer. Orange, yellow and green pulsate and wave in the breeze.

Interestingly, The strange geometry transports me to Minecraft. Are we in a simulation? 😏

📸: @marky_mark38

A darkness closes in, we arrive in Xin Man, a sooty mining town with not a second thought given to tourist catering.

This is real industrial Vietnam.

And tucked in it’s dilapidated streets is the best food I ate in my entire time in Vietnam! Thang, as always, has full reign to pick what we eat, and really outshines himself this time.

Vietnam doesn’t appear to have a massive range of signature dishes: Pho, bahn mi, bun cha, spring rolls, omlette, stir fry meat and rice are likely to make up the majority of what you eat here.

But what this does mean, is you can really find some exquisite variations on these if you search hard enough.

We grab a big assortment of dishes from a tiny family diner. Never before have I tried such a transcendental omelette! The spring rolls are mouthwatering. The soy sauce is the most deep and delicate I’ve ever experienced.

And the coffee…

Ohhh my…

This was the best Vietnamese coffee I’ve ever had. Which is in itself the best coffee I’ve ever had.

I want to fly across the globe to this (arguably) dirty nowhere just for this coffee again.

Also!

A random stray rottweiler bites Mark on the ass for no apparent reason 😂

It was funny.

For me.

He didn’t seem to think as much…

Saturday: A chipper red head.

Today brings our trip to an end. We head out for our last full day ride towards the town of Sa Pa, located to the North West on a high plateau.

On our way we have yet another captivating mountain ascent. As we head up to higher altitudes again, the jungle makes way for more alpine trees and scrub.

The transitions are striking, and hard to communicate visually. The rich smell of pine resin fills the air. The humidity dissipates.

It feels like another continent.

Atop one of the highest peaks I stop for a brooding picture.

As does everyone else 😆….

📸: @marky_mark38

Heading down the mountain, the steep road quickly turns into a muddy river.

It’s pretty damn slippery, as Eddie finds out.

We’re all stopped waiting as bikes pass one by one through a slick, thin passage caused by a landslide.

Eddie pulls up behind me and pushes his breaks lightly.

His wheels stop moving.

His bike does not.

Impressively, as the bike slides and goes down, he steps off it onto his feet as if nothing happened.

Joe, isn’t so lucky..

Whilst traversing the passage, his bike isn’t playing ball.

Without the space to hop off, he falls into the landslide, which is just an enormous pile of mud 😑

Poor Joe.

The upside — he seems way more chipper this time!

Perhaps all of our laughing in the face of near imminent death is rubbing off on him…

At the bottom of the mudslide we reach a bustling rural market, full of all manner of occult trinkets and exotic(risky) foods.

I grab some assorted goods on sticks. Chicken feet (not good). Mushrooms (not good). Pink mystery balls (you guessed it).

To left I can be seen donning a voguish armored jacket. Thang insisted after, you know, I drove off a cliff…. 📸: @marky_mark38

The exit from the market marks our last stretch as Vietnam’s rice paddy game is upped once more.

Over the next mountain we are treated to another massive expanse of wide open valleys and peaks. This time littered with hundreds of golden rice terraces ready for harvest.

And that’s not all.

For one of the few times during the trip, we are treated to..

GOOD FUCKING ROADS!

We get like two hours riding without constantly dipping and swerving to avoid potholes. What a treat.

That is until we’re about an hour out from Sa Pa…

Then it’s not the roads that are the issue, but the ludicrous amount of semi trucks that seem to be heading up the steep roads to the plateau town.

Bumper to bumper traffic. Bikes darting in and out. Crazy overtakes needed to get past two or three semis at a time. It’s pandemonium. And also really quite fun 😆

📸: @marky_mark38

We arrive in Sa Pa early evening and head out for too many cocktails to celebrate, not dying? Before heading to Lao Cai to catch the overnight train back the following day.

Would I recommend it?

I’m not convinced if this is an endorsement for a Vietnam bike trip or not. On the one hand, I have NO FUCKING IDEA how none of us were severely injured.

We crashed a LOT.

On the other hand, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The pictures and my description barely scratch the surface. It was natural splendor, exhilaration and wonder that likes of which I’ve never felt.

Enrapturing, visceral beauty.

Personally, I would do it again at the drop of a hat.

You made to the end, WOW!

Thank you so much.

I’m currently putting much more focus on my writing, so if you enjoyed this in any way, then sharing this with interested friends, or in relevant locations, would be truly mean so much to me.

I’m getting a lot of enjoyment from people’s thoughts and feedback on my writing, so the more that see it, there more I get to experience that.

Thanks again ❤️

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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Don’t Starve the Nerd Brain

Wine Fueled Adventures & Romance in Portugal

Originally posted October 2017.

Portugal, my home for the third month of my new digital nomad life, has been an awesome experience! Drinking too much. Working too much. Business diversification. Racism and assault. Epic adventures fueling a nerd brain explosion. Crazy month.

Is this a long ass post?

Yep.

Am I trying to write it 1–2 months after the fact and so might much of it be fictional?

Also, possible.

Will it make you laugh?

Irrelevant. It makes me laugh and it’s my blog.

So, after too much fun before leaving Budapest, I’m back into work mode in Lisbon.

Sunday

Go to a cute cafe to blast out some work for a few hours. Before heading over to WiP, our work space for the month to check out the city preview.

The preview is when the local team at the work space run us through everything they recommend we check out. Sites, food, bars, activities. All the fun stuff.

The local team seems awesome.

I, quite enjoying a complete lack of preparation for everything non-work related, forget to save a pin for our apartment.

After the preview, I spend 45 minutes wondering up and down what I’m sure is our street. Checking and trying all doors with a weird split key like ours, like some lunatic.

Friends eventually turn up and show me where we actually live.

I’m not even on the right side of the road…

Monday

Up early and in manic work mode.

Ariela and I march up Lisbon’s never ending hills to “A Cevicheria”. This tiny Peruvian joint, serves ceviche, beef tartar tacos and a surf and turf sandwich that

BLOWS.

MY.

MIND.

Mmmm! Ooo, even thinking about it is making me salivate…

Anyway, the food in Lisbon is the shit. I decide I’ll be back at this place to clean out the entire menu.

My mentor reminds me that I’m quite good at getting social traffic. He suggests I should diversify to offer coaching and consulting.

I diversify to offer coaching and consulting.

I spend the rest of the day diving through the operating processes I’ve given my virtual assistant to see how easy they’d be to scale for clients.

Tuesday

I’ve known since the first week of doing this travel that a large amount of the people I’m traveling with want to start their own businesses. I decide I should just launch a class for it!

If people follow it and start making money — amazing! If they don’t, I’ll have a full course recorded which I can sell myself.

Either way I win.

This is always my favorite kind of gamble.

First month of classes covers Instagram and 25+ people turn up! 🎉

For dinner I head out with Mel, Kathy and Joe for Portuguese food in some spectacular, Arabic style hotel.

Again, the food here is dope.

Still being in maniac mode, I head back to WiP and smash out work for a few hours more, accompanied by some green wine.

Kiwi and I, who are regularly the first in and last out of work, hit up a kebab joint, which again, is too tasty, and have a fun business chat.

Wednesday

Find a gym for the first time that is actually well equipped, apart from a lack of 20kg bumpers.

I make do..

John, Joe and I go to A Cevicharia, I eat everything that isn’t on the taster menu (need an excuse to come at least once more…)

OMG.

It’s so damn tasty.

A running theme for this month is the food here is so freaking good, I couldn’t decide between dishes. I often ended up eating two or more mains for variety. This was also expensive…

I head back to work late and go over to Taryn’s house to pretend to write blog posts. In honesty, just to drink wine, catch up and receive next-level back scratches 😍

Thursday

I get up early for Taryn’s Yoga class on the roof of WiP.

Feel so zen after.

Work like a maniac, again.

I then head to 4 Caravelas, an adorable little bar on Pink St., the party road in Lisbon, for a cocktail making class.

We compete with each other to speed make, and drink, about 10–15 cocktails.

I off course, must DESTROY ALL COMPETITION, as revealed by my concentration face..

When you’re so competitive that victory appears to come at the cost of a small stroke…

The cocktails are ludicrously tasty, the owners are lovely, AND we get two for one before 11.

I’ll be back here a lot…

After getting a little loosey goosey on some cocktails, we all head to a few more bars on Pink St.

Kara’s niece and friend, Rachael and Shar are over to visit.

Rachael, is really cute 😏

We drink some more before deciding to find a club along the water to go to.

Seems to only be Rachael and I by the time we arrive at the club, so we head in regardless and dance away for a few hours.

We head home along the water and Rachael decides to go and dip her feet in the river.

This was a mistake.

Unbeknownst to us, the stones down to the water are slippery AS FUCK.

About four meters from the actual water, Rachael’s feet literally launch from beneath her. She hits the deck before rapidly sliding up to her chest in the city river water.

“Holy shit”

I yell before attempting to save her.

This too, was a mistake.

Unsurprisingly, the rocks are still just as slick for me as they are for her. I also go down before sliding in to the syphilis water up to my waist.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

It’s 5am.

We’re drunk.

Soaking wet.

And covered in river sludge.

It’s hilarious to the point of making my face ache 😅

Friday

Decide (via way of hangover), that I should have a chill day.

Me and Rachael grab some food in Time Out market, a giant food hall with every food you could want. Mexican, Portuguese, French, Thai, all the food.

I can’t decide between Vietnamese spring rolls or Thai massaman curry.

I get both.

They’re both bomb!

We finish that and just start wondering the streets and chatting. Through tiny alleys, up and up hills, past beautiful hidden churches and up to gorgeous views across the entire city.

If you’re in Lisbon, suck it up and climb the hills. The vista’s are SO worth it!

@rachelyancey — different Rachel..

Hours fly by. It’s loads of fun.

We Uber back and I head off for a nap.

After recharging, I sit and chat to Pino for a bit before heading to Time Out again with her to meet Remy, Kiwi and Milana.

I can’t decide between tuna tartar or beef tartar.

I get both.

They’re both bomb!

I head out to Pink St. to grab a drink or two (or three or four….) for Adi’s Birthday.

Somehow, we’re going to a club again. I suggest Urban beach after it seeming fun last night.

This was a mistake.

Short version, we turn up and are viciously assaulted by the racist thugs on the door with zero provocation.

Long version here: When Assault, Robbery and Destruction of Property are Perfectly Legal. Mad Dogs in Lisbon.

Saturday

So I’m pretty exhausted after the last few days and try to nap.

Apparently I’m suffering with some post traumatic rage, so that doesn’t happen.

Go to WiP, smash coffee, smash angry music, smash work.

Duffs drops in for a catch up / to check I’m okay which is very sweet.

I head back to my flat late and loads of friends are over. We drink wine and catch up and it’s all adorable.

Jake, drunk on ambition, decides to construct this monstrously impressive fort in under 30 minutes.

You can’t see the palace suite and jacuzzi from this angle…

Sunday

I wake up feeling good.

I get in the shower aaaaand I’m angry again, 😑

The sea is my happy place, so a group of about 10 of us head to the Oceanarium.

Walking in we pass a very friendly looking member of security. My stomach turns.

(This is something I mention more in the above post about Friday’s incident. The PTS that followed the event for a week or two was really irritating.

It pissed me off that an act that took 10 minutes for those scumbags had to stick with me for all that time.)

Anyway, the Oceanarium is wonderful. Ooof, it’s so relaxing and beautiful seeing the fish floating around. Seeing the light shimmering through the water. Gives me shivers.

Amusingly, as we walk around I notice that it’s just me, John and Mel.

We, being massive fucking nerds, take twice as long to get around the place as everyone else. We’re too busy running around like children, gawping at every little sea critter, talking about super interesting science shit 🤓

Left @j.m.eubank, Right two @mdoesthings

We finally catch up to the others who have been waiting at the exit. We grab a Gondela lift over the bay to a tasty little Chinese spot.

I can’t decide what to eat. So I EAT EVERYTHING.

The dim sum and bao are magical.

We head back and most of the crew head on a walking tour.

I go to bed on my face, HARD.

I wake up a puddle of drool and Kib comes over as he wants some company and to talk out Friday night.

We hang for an hour and I bounce out to chill with Rachael.

I’m pleased to hear that the walking tour everyone went on was basically the same tour we wondered on ourselves a couple of days prior.

Don’t need no guide 😎

We drink wine and chat into the early hours. She tells me some story about a corpse bride from a church they’d found on the tour. It sounds like real life Game of Thrones and I’m skeptical of it’s historical accuracy..

But she tells it in a hilarious, excited way so I’m enthralled. I’m reminded that hanging out with her is so funny it makes my face hurt.

She’s heading back to America on Tuesday, and I’m pretty sure I have a massive crush on her.

Fuck.

Monday

Back on that work hype. Grab my first consulting client! I start pulling together the info to turn them into an Instagram baller.

I head to Amelia’s to watch Game of Thrones with everyone. 😱 That dragon fight though…

Take a walk through a cute little park with Rachael and we grab some wine back at mine. Loads a fun.

Tuesday

Wake up 10.40. Realize I have a cooking class at 11 😑

Run over to Time Out just in time to cook up some delicious salt cod dishes.

We make some beautiful not-bruschetta, and some gorgeous not-risotto.

Those dishes are from Italy and we’re in Portugal.

I eat, I nap (system works..), I work out, run a second Instagram Internet Money session and head out for Rachael’s last night.

It’s sad to see her leave, but it was very fun. Swings and roundabouts hey.

@specifically.random, definitely not risotto, or bruschetta..

Wednesday

Errrr….. Wednesday… What does anyone do on a Wednesday?

I believe I spent the day training up Michelle to do some Instagram account management, and worked a lot. Think I booked a couple of clients for Pinterest coaching. And likely napped.

That sounds like a day I would do…

Thursday

Another crazy work day (Lisbon seemed to take work and play to the extreme). Put in about 13 hours til 10pm, then head out to meet friends on the water for cocktails.

Stop at Amelia’s for a catch up and to generally dump all my thoughts and emotions out to her to chat through them.

I’m Watson..

Friday

Smash the gym. Smash the work. Go to grab food and pass Jake on the way out.

He reminds me that we need Visa photos and application forms for Vietnam next month…. So I go on a mission across the city to find a photo booth with him.

We grab tasty Italian pizza bread sandwich things….

I can’t decide between the pesto & mozzarella, and the prosciutto one.

I get both.

Worth ittt…

I walk 90% of the way back to WiP, down all the hills, before realizing I’m hairy.

So I walk back up all the hills in search of the best barbers.

Tucked away through an unassuming, graffiti filled alley, out onto a tiny courtyard is an awesome little barbershop. Belarmino.

I go in and am greeted with a cold beer and hard rock. Sleeve tattooed, pointy mustached guys are both giving and receiving haircuts.

You have my attention.

So anyway I sit down and grab likely the best haircut of my life from Miguel, the owner. I grab recommendations on all the best bars and food places to check out. The most interesting of which is “Red Frog”. A hidden speak easy that does some of the best rated cocktails in the World…

I stay up working til some time after 11. Amelia then comes over for a catch up and to generally dump all her thoughts and emotions out to me to chat through them.

We have a system 😄

Saturday

I take a boat trip to some gorgeous hidden beaches. This is the first time I’ve left Lisbon this month, so this is something I really need!

We sail past gorgeous, towering cliffs made from layer upon layer of stone. The sun is shining, the sea is glistening.

It looks so damn inviting.

We stop off at a beach only reachable via a long hike, and flanked by enormous cliffs. It looks gorgeous.

Johnathan jumps off the boat into the shimmering sea. Before he surfaces, I take a dive from the top deck straight into the beautiful,

shimmering,

glistening

So innocent, so unaware….. (@dre.by.day)

Altantic. Fucking. Ocean.

“Faaaaaaakkk this is cold”

Runs through my head as I plunge deeper and deeper from the enthusiasm of my dive.

At the same time, my balls jump rapidly to my throat, 😑

I then have the pleasure of swimming for 10 minutes (an eternity) to the shore.

Anyway, the beach is breathtaking. Made more so by the beach’s “entry fee”. The 20 minute hike required to get there for those without a boat! This means that many of those on the beach are athletic, bikini clad women.

Lovely.

After this, Kib, Isaac, Pino, Beth, Dario and I head out for illegal Chinese food . Unsurprisingly, this is in an illegal Chinese “restaurant”.

This has us ringing a doorbell on a random apartment. Walking into some sketchy building. Through a kitchen and into a converted dining area.

The food was insane. And luckily, I didn’t have to make any choices on what I ate as it was dirt cheap, cash in hand Chinese food.

Amusingly enough, our next stop also has us ringing some random, unassuming doorbell. We head to Red Frog, as recommended by Miguel.

He wasn’t wrong.

I have without a doubt the two (couldn’t pick one..) most exquisite cocktails I’ve ever experienced!

Flavors that have no business off a plate, blend into a refreshing sour symphony in my mouth. If you’re in Lisbon, put Red Frog on your list.

We finish up the night in Bairro Alto, bumping into more of our RY crew. Laura and Michelle are a tiny bit drunk… So we decide 3am is a good enough time to finish up the night and take them home.

Sunday

Well it appears I’ve completely exhausted my social points.

The man period begins, so I blanket hate everyone. I decide most of my Sunday is best spent smashing out some work alone in WiP.

I work up an appetite and decide I can be social, if it’s for a short time and there’s food involved..

We hit a Peruvian place and like everything else culinary in Lisbon, it’s fucking bomb.

I can’t pick what to eat so I double up my mains. Causa and ceviche 😋

With that done I dash off to hermit by myself again. Easy.

Monday

Still socially exhausted. Buckle in for another crazy work day, taking a break for the gym (important to keep me from getting too grumpy).

Head over to Amelia’s for group Game of Thrones. After, everyone heads upstairs for a group chat about the arseholes at Urban Beach. We also cover several other accounts of racism we’d encountered in Lisbon.

Love when we get together for these chats (even when I’m grumpy and hate everyone). Just feels awesome to go deeper and get stuff out that doesn’t come up in general chit chat.

PR shitstorm agreed upon. Responsibilities divided. Awesome meeting.

Tuesday

Pretty standard day. Lots of work. Run the business class, wrapping up the last of the know how on Instagram.

Have a webinar to give to Dan Meredith’s private Facebook group. “Going from 0–15,000 daily visitors from Pinterest in 6 months”. Feed oddly nervous, so start on the wine a little before.

Goes down a storm (as does the webinar 😏).

Also, writing this blog I’m becoming aware of just how much I drank whilst in Lisbon…

RIP liver.

Ashe has let me know he’s dropping out of RY a few days prior, so I go out for catch up drinks with him before he leaves.

By this time I’m already a bottle down, and that dude likes to go hard.

By time time we’re done and go to meet everyone at 4 Caravelas (as always), I’m spangled.

Not me…

Something that Melissa points out to me 😑

So I decide to try wrangle back any responsible adult points I can, and get some of the fam to take me home.

Wednesday

Again, what does anyone do on a Wednesday….

I’m going to assume based on the last nights antics that I slept most of the day..

Pretty sure this evening I hit the gym. Then Pino and I ordered a quantity of Tacos so ambitious, we request it three times before we’re taken seriously.

Yep, that’s only the first layer of Mexican delights you can see.

Thursday

Still searching for something to snap me out of my funk, I go to an event dubbed “Happiness Club”.

Sounds like it should do the job, right?

It’s a series of group exercises intended to foster deeper connection and emotional openness. Love this shit.

We talk about times we’ve struggled and challenges we’ve had etc.

For me, the most fulfilling part is pinning blank notes on each others backs. We then go around and write nice things we think about each other, anonymously, on said notes.


Something I’ve struggled with in the past is putting in the effort to give friends quality time. I’m sure this is due to a variety of factors, but a big one is I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult life (9 years since age 14) in relationships.

This can lead to is giving your focus to one person and neglecting giving time to others. Even if that’s only checking in with them for lunch or with a phone call every week or so.

This has been a problem in my past that’s bothered me. I’ve made it a large priority whilst globe trotting to really give time to people, to help them, to connect with them. To just be there to support them if needed.

So circling back to the “Happiness Club”, I feel the notes that I received reflected this, which is awesome.


“You are kind and open and accepting of everyone. “

“So compassionate, incredibly thoughtful and generous with your heart and your time. “

#feelserbeam #feelsplosion ? 😍 😍 😍

I give zero fucks what other people think of me — i.e. I’m not going to bend who I am to appease others. But, when I get feedback that I’m coming across as the version of me that I want to be, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.

So, that fixed my funk right?

Nope.

Still don’t want to be around people.

Interesting…

So I go chill at home and work from there.

Friday

Wake up feeling good!

Get to work.

Feel shit 😩

Right, fuck this.

When it turns out that what seems like social exhaustion is actually, my monthly depressive “man period”, there’s often an easy fix. I write out every problem that may be bothering me.

I then write out the potential solutions to all those problems.

I also write out what I was doing one year ago, two years ago, three years ago.

Guess what?

Turns out life’s fucking great, and that almost all these potential problems, aren’t problems.

The only one that is; that I’d only briefly left Lisbon once in my time there, is simple to solve ! Get out of Lisbon to find some adventure!

Like magic, almost all my grump dissipates. Isn’t the brain a stupid, wondrous thing.

I work like a productive little unicorn for the rest of the day 🦄

Saturday

My source of adventure?

Pino and I grab a Panda to road trip down the picturesque Portuguese coast to Lagos in the Algarve region. Her take on our adventure is here.

Immediately I’m back. My brain is on fire and I feel like myself again.

Energy and ambition fill my body.

All at once I’m terrible car company as my nerd brain fills my head with obscure rabbit holes of thought.

Amusingly, Pino, who refers to the work music I listen to as “death metal”, has a phone full of all the same artists.

Avenged, FFDP, Three Day’s Grace, Stone Sour etc.

I find that time and time again, chilling with someone, swapping through the genres and artists you enjoy, is an awesome way to bond 🙃

We off-road to a secluded beach that look as if it formed before life slithered from the seas.

We snake and twist through lush forests full of twisted, gnarled trunks.

We climb down a rocky trail to a beach flanked by mighty black cliffs, cut through with branched granite lightning.

Nerd brain pleased.

We pull up to a quaint little town and go hunting for food.

I grab some delicious charcoal grilled squid.

Pino, being a bloody yank, confuses ounces and grams.

Orders a kilo of prawns.

😑

Oh no….. now I need to eat double portions…. again.. 🙄

Mel, Arrestia and Annelise are also taking a road trip today. We head down to another majestic beach to wait for them for a while.

I lie down for a second…

*Some unknown period of time passes*

As I grumble to life, pulling my face from the puddle of drool that’s appeared, I gaze up at Pino standing next to me.

“Urghh, how long have we been here?”

“Just over an hour!”

Faaaaak….

FYI, an hour+ is not a good time to lie topless in the Portuguese summer sun, not moving at all.

As I roll over my back feels like someone’s poured hot oil on me.

I realize I’m now stuck with the most defined, burned back / white arse separation line, anyone’s ever experienced…

Lovely.

Anyway, apparently whilst I’ve been sleeping on my face, the other girls have driven by and are now on their way to Lagos.

I guess we should do the same!

We continue our journey south. Stop off at a couple more arresting beaches. Then arrive at our hotel outside Lagos.

I guess we should do the same!

We continue our journey south, stop off at a couple more arresting beaches, before arriving at our hotel outside Lagos.

After a day in the car, I figure I should do some work for a bit. Pino heads to the bar to grab some food.

The whole of 15 minutes passes before:

“They have truffle risotto at this restaurant! Should I order you some?!”

ffs…

This chick knows how to get my attention….

So I head down, smash that (it’s amazing!), and start on a little white wine.

We grab another one or two at the bar. Chat to a local expat family and note down the names of 6–7 fun places to check out in Lagos.

We go to each of them.

We drink in each of them.

We get, really, realllly, krunk.

We grab a taxi home.

Oh, except there are no taxis in the entirety of Lagos. So we walk.

And we keep walking, and walking.

And now we have no idea where we are or where our hotel is.

So, Pino, being a bloody yank, has the CIA on speed dial. She calls up someone clearly important, in an inebriated huff.

15 minutes later a car turns up, grabs us and gets us home.

Sunday

Ready to continue adventuring!

We head down to the pool to chill in the sun.

I start to melt.

It was 100% this bad, especially the bit at the end…

Perhaps we should grab breakfast and play that “hair of the dog” game?

I realize they have full English breakfasts and can’t resist!

Mmmm,

perfect hangover food,

aaaaaaaaannnndd

DEAD.

Yep, I’ll not be doing anything for a few hours.

I head up to the room and pass out.

I wake up in time for Pino and the Panda to turn up. We head out to some tiny little village in the hills of Portugal to “Pizza Pazza”. It apparently serves the best Pizza in Portugal.

I’m not convinced this statement is broad enough.

We stop in a silent town, with sweeping views across an uninhabited valley and enjoy perhaps the tastiest pizzas of my life.

The scenery, the food, the company. All come together into something truly magical.

@specifically.random

After this we head over to Sagres to watch the sunset.

We walk out along the top of a towering red cliff, overlooking sheltered bay beaches.

The crimson rocks and strange, tall, spindled flora transport me to an alien world. Darwin IV if anyone is curious about which world in particular…. 🤓

We walk further out towards the edge of this massive cliff before getting as comfy as one can on a sofa of boulders. We settle down to watch the sunset.

The surface of the sea below dances like a silk sheet against the banded indigo and red sky.

At the same time this is erupting into my nerd brain, I forward it on to Pino.

I think she’s enjoying my odd commentary.

Perhaps she’s being polite….

In any case, I’m enjoying my company 😆

Left from @mdoesthings, middle from Wayne Barlowe, right from @specifically.random

Lovellllyyy

We’re mesmerized by the sunset before driving over to Sagres town. We’re going to grab wine and meet the other girls for a bit before heading back to the hotel.

This doesn’t happen.

Almost as soon as we walk through the door, Annelise uses her hawk eyes to spot the wine. This is swiftly opened and distributed.

We drink, we chat, we decide we should go out to bars. Yaaaay….. this is exactly how I’d planned my Sunday evening….

Whilst this is happening, I notice that not only is Annelise smart and very cute, she’s also funny and loves adventure.

Ticking all them boxes.

Fuck.

Anyway, we head out, we drink cocktails and pale ale, we chat, we laugh. Arrestia gets a little drunk and chases some unknowing guy around. Pino and I drive home.

All, good, fun.

Monday

To wrap up our adventure trip, we head over to the most beautiful hidden beach. Pino had found this whilst I was dying in bed the day before…

We park up and hike for 20 minutes through a lush valley. Ducking through thick Mediterranean trees, and crossing a stream before the valley opens to a magical, hidden beach.

We scale the cliffs to the left of the beach. Climb up to an ancient ruin for a vantage over the expansive coastline.

Spotting a hidden alcove past the beach, we dash down the cliffs. We wade through crashing waves and arrive at alone at our own little spot.

Alone with a naked elderly Portuguese couple, that is..

So, when in Rome!

@specifically.random

We arrive back in Lisbon in time for Game of Thrones. After which I chill with Amelia and Dina, watching some movie with Will Farrell and Kevin Hart.

Game of Thrones was insane!

Kevin and Will were not.

Tuesday

After so much adventure, today is a work day!

Finish up the Instagram Internet money classes.

Train Michelle some more.

Grab a coaching client.

Crush it in the gym.

Solid day.

In the evening our group is running an event called “The Moth”. You get up on stage and tell a story people don’t know about you — simple.

I often vomit every story from my past at anyone at all I meet. So as Pino wasn’t at this event, I decide my easiest options is to tell a story I’ve had no chance to share yet; my nerd brain this weekend.


I get a little excited, and maybe a little drunk…

Wednesday

Easy day! Get some work done. Do a coaching call. Grab Lunch with Laura.

Laura’s already running a baller social media agency, and is awesome at strategy and management.

Two things I despise.

She’s interested in partnering up.

I get to experiment and come up with cutting edge marketing strategies. Build a personal brand. Create fun content.

Laura onboards clients. Creates a next level social strategy with them. Trains Virtual Assistants to scale those marketing systems to blow up their businesses.

Everyone gets to do what they’re good at and enjoy!

Still in crazy work mode after my adventure weekend.

Pause work for long enough to ask Annelise out for drinks the next night.

She says yes 😏

Thursday

Another day in paradise, working.

That evening I head to the Farewell Junction — a final party we throw in each city we visit.

It’s at some dope art exhibit and everyone’s here! It’s awesome to have these events to wrap up a city. Lots of our group are often busy or away exploring throughout the month, so to get everyone together can be quite rare!

It’s so worth it though. Really makes an event special.

I was late… so not even in this picture…

Everyone heads to 4 Caravelas. I start on the pints of Margarita. There are less wise things one could drink, I assume…

I chill there for a bit and then grab Annelise and a bottle (or two) of green wine for a wonderful (my words) riverside date.

Some may argue that drinking two bottles of wine on top of a full night is too much..

I would argue it can lead to half a night of hilarity.

The other half?

I have no idea, drank too much wine.

Friday

The final day! I’m pretty dead but hang with Annelise for a bit, before I grab an ambitious amount of MacDonalds.

Unsurprisingly, this puts me right to sleep…

Strong final day.

I wake up to keep track of general work tasks and then a load of friends come over and we chill in my lounge.

Hang out with Annelise after. Awesome way to wrap up my time in Lisbon before 20+ hours of flights to Dubai and Hanoi the next morning!


What did I learn from this month?

Firstly, that I drank A LOT! Holy hell. The drinking is less of a problem than the half to whole day of dead I get after doing so.

As I mentioned at the start, I’m writing this up from Thailand, 1–2 months after the fact. Just seeing this frequency of drinking has made me drastically cut my intake for the last two weeks.

Drinking can be a useful tool for open conversation, approaching people you like the look of, and general silliness. It can also be self destructive. Eating into time that you need to spend working, if you’re to continue traveling the world and having fun.

So yeah, action point 1: Be less dumb with alcohol.

The second big thing I realized was I’d much prefer to fancy someone than just have one off hook ups.

Even considering:

  1. I’m travelling the world for at least the next 7–8 months and have zero intention of getting in a relationship.
  2. It pretty miserable to like someone and then have one of you leave.

I think the enjoyment of having silly fun adventures with someone you fancy, is easily worth something that “isn’t going anywhere”.

If it wasn’t so enjoyable, it wouldn’t suck so much when it stops.

So my thoughts are: Just have fun, enjoy it, live in the moment. When the moment passes, be a fucking grown up, you can’t have everything you want all the time. Dealing with negative emotions is healthy practice.

So action point 2: Live in the moment — have fun with people you like whilst you can.

Final big point — I learned that I need to schedule in adventure or it will drive me nuts. Adventuring is something that really sets my brain alight, and if I ignore that impulse for long enough I will just feel trapped and miserable.

So making an effort to get my adventure out of the way earlier in my month should give my mental energy a big boost!

Action point 3: You love adventure — so schedule it in early.

This post was long AF, if you made it to the end, you’re amazing!

Let me know what you thought! What have been your biggest struggles whilst traveling?

For your effort:

Yo, I’m Connor!

I’m a smart person. I don’t do smart things.

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