So I’m re-reading the Four Hour Work Week, the book that started me on this path of entreprenomading that I’m still building and walking.

And…well, it’s excellent. After three years of trying to build businesses and still making less than 0.5K/month, I’m a little wary and weary of Tim’s claims of people building 40K/month businesses in a half year….yet I also know that people have done this.

Kinda pisses me off that he mislead me like this…until I remember that if I knew how difficult this would be I may not have had the energy to start. And that I have the potential to be making at least 10K/month copywriting within a few months of today, if I chose to drop all else and pursue it. And perhaps an automated 40K/month is within near grasp of me. I know I have at least one business that could potentially achieve this. Perhaps, this time around, I can use some of Tim’s advice and make it happen.

Anyway, back on point: this month’s experiment.

This month, I’ll be taking up the challenges that Tim throws my way in 4HWW. Most of them take 2 days. I’ll also be adding a bunch of my own that challenge my comfort zones.

Let’s begin.

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The Eye Gazing Challenge (March 9 – 11, 2014)

The Challenge:

Simple. Make strong eye contact with everyone you meet. As a lower limit, never be the first one to break it.

Pre-thoughts:

This is one of those comfort zones that has tended to fluctuate for me. At times, I nearly challenge everyone I meet with an intense stare. At others, it is a curiosity. And, quite often, an inexplicable level of fear or discomfort finds me looking away quickly.

I suspect this will bring me somewhere between the first two. And I think I will enjoy it immensely.

Results:

It was awesome. A month later and I still have no problem catching and holding strong eye-contact with everyone. And I love doing it. I find that zoning in on someone’s eyes creates a great opportunity for connection, and helps to create a kind of bubble between you two.

And, each time I do it, I get a little thrill in my chest. Cool feeling.

Hugging (March 13th -March 16th)

The Challenge:

Every day I must hug at least two people, at least one of them a relative stranger. I’m doing this because I crave physical contact and yet am afraid to initiate it.

Pre-thoughts:

This is gonna be a bit scary. And it’s gonna feel great.

Results:

One cool thing that kept happening (especially in Ubud) was that I would be talking about the challenge and someone would come up and hug me. It was awesome!

Hugging people feels awesome. Especially when you hold it for 6+ seconds.

Getting In Touch With Mentors (April 9 – 16)

The Challenge:

Every day I will attempt to start an ongoing relationship with a hero of mine. I’ll ask them a question, take and implement their advice, and then come back at them with the results and another question.

At least 4 of these guys must be guys I have never talked to before. And at least 3 of them must be really high-level heros of mine.

People I’ll reach out to: Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Kevin Rose, Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, Jason Mraz, Tynan.

Pre-thoughts:

This’ll be interesting. If I can create a loose yet recurring relationship with even one of these guys, that’d be absolutely amazing.

I’ve got no idea what to ask them though. I’m gonna take the approach of asking them a simple advice question, then taking their advice and implementing it, then re-contacting them to tell them the results. What to ask though…huh.

I’ve got Tanya (my VA) researching a 1-pager on all of them so I know what they’re up to and a bit of their history.

Results:

  •  The two things, mainly, that lead to my failure to connect with Sarin:
    • Not having interest in Sarin as a person, but going almost straight from A to A
    • Desperation for an outcome to the oblivion of my ability to listen to and dance with the moment
  • That being open and real and vulnerable with my emotions. It feels good.
  • I am a hippie. A real 70’s-worthy hippie.
  • Sometimes loves just doesn’t work out, despite me doing nearly everything positive. C’est l’amour, I guess.
  • I really get a kick out of breaking stupid rules and defying authority that I have not myself authoritized.

“Focus. Do one thing at a time and do it well.”

That one one of the excellent bits of advice given to me by Michael when my internship ended at Liv.it.

So what do I do upon being free to leap into whatever I wanted? I found one business, co-found two others, and agree to ghost-write and market a book.

Nice.

That was about four months ago. Today, I dropped/shelved two of those. Both projects I absolutely love, one of them a project I’ve been trying on and off to get off the ground since 2012. I had to hurt one of my close friends and business partners too.

So…why did I do it? Why did I take on so much stuff, and why did I end up hurting myself and others to drop some of it?

And what have I learned?

——–

Who Starts 3 Businesses & A Book In 3 Months?!?

I get excited about new projects like a cat gets excited about passing mice. Without thinking, I see their potential and future in my mind’s eye and go off chasing them to bring them into reality. The thought that this will be anything less than an intense and profitable adventure hardly even crosses my ecstatic mind.

It’s my natural inclination to run with multiple projects at a time. I don’t think I could devote everything I’ve got to just one major goal and stay excited.

So I decided to put my inclination to a test of reality. To let it loose and observe the results. To intentionally bite off more than I can chew.

Choking On Gourmet Mice

Back to that cat analogy, have you ever seen a cat chase and catch three mice (and a book)? Right.

Everything on my plate was gourmet…but that doesn’t matter when you can’t breath through all the food in your mouth.

After a few months of bi-polarism, continually knowing that I’ve been shortchanging my partners, making inchworm progress in many directions, and going from ‘I am god’ to ‘I am fucked’ and back again in 24 hours…and it seemed obvious that my experiment had born results. My hypothesis was that I could do 7 things at once (Surf Stoked, BookKritters, RadNomad, Event Photography Book, MetaLearning Surfing, Monthly Experiments, and Reading) and rock them all. All the while trying to fall in love and meet cool new people and go on the occasional unplanned adventure.

It would appear that that hypothesis has been disproven. I have failed.

On to the next one.

I Seems I Still Have Not Learned The Lesson

As usual with any venture, I learned a lot. I’ve gotten wayy better at outsourcing, and doing what matters now, and at enjoying high-intensity situations.

And, with the results as they are, it would seem that Michael’s theory of focus is worth a test…but I’m not going to test it just yet.

See, I love to do lots of stuff. Being a polymath, or Renaissance man, would seem to be my forte.

So I’m scaling back. But not all the way back.

I theorized a month or so ago that the ideal focus situation looks something this:

  • One Major Project
  • One Experiment
  • One Side Project
  • Three Books
    1. Main Focus in Life (Entrepreneurship)
    2. Side Project (MetaLearning/Surfing)
    3. Relax

So that’s what I’ll be doing. See you in a few months, perhaps, with the results.

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Projects as of this post:

  • Major Project
    1. Surf Stoked
  • Experiment
    1.  Stakes Experiment
  • Secondary Project
    1.  Event Photography Book
  • Books & Notes
    1. Entrepreneurship: Hackers & Painters by Paul Graham
    2. Learning: The First 20 Hours OR A Surfing Book
    3. Relax: Some New Kind of Trailer Trash by Brad Blanton