On Extroverts and Introversion

Anxiety

I could very easily turn this into a rant, but I have to get this off my chest.

Introverted and shy people are NOT broken!

It just gets me mad that when people find out that I am “quiet” that they immediately try to “fix” me. I don’t need fixing, and if you are shy or introverted, you don’t need fixing either.

Being an introvert just means that we have less social energy to spare. Unlike extroverts who get energised by other people, we can often feel drained by them. We get our energy from being alone for a while with our own thoughts or hobbies. Then we can go back out and face the world.

We look inward rather than outward a lot of the time (it can be situational). Nothing broken here, just different.

The more people there are, or the more outgoing those people are, the sooner we will need to recharge our social battery. I can feel drained with a small group or a large one. I can even feel drained on the telephone. No biggie, I just go and escape for a bit then come back.

If there is an introvert in your life, please just be aware that while our brains might be wired slightly differently, we still like people – most of us are not hermits.

The shy thing? Not all introverts are shy and not all shy people are introverted. I happen to be both, but that is not necessarily true for most. The shy thing is finding it difficult to approach new people or introduce yourself, that kind of thing. Not wanting to speak up or hold the spotlight.

My way of coping is to hide behind my written words (many bloggers are shy and/or introverted) and when that is not possible, either hide behind friends, get them to introduce me, or just say to heck with it and swallow my fear.

Again there is no right or wrong, just different personalities and how they roll.

Don’t try to fix us!

There, I had to say it. I feel better now :)

How to Really Lose Weight

I finally found a way to lose weight.

The good news for you is it doesn’t require a fad diet, does not require spending huge gobs of money, doesn’t have complicated rules, and best of all, you can “cheat” and it still works.

What Doesn’t Work for Me

I have tried lots of popular and famous diets. One where the focus was on eating meat. Another one from a famous productivity author. Yet another that had you eat like you are a caveman. One that came with a set of exercise videos didn’t even get started.

Other than complete and miserable failure, they all had in common a “guaranteed to fail” built in.

Either they said a certain food was verboten, and thus made me crave it, or the ingredients were hard to come by, or I just couldn’t understand the system enough to work within it. If you go to a restaurant and can not order for fear of getting it wrong, then you are not going to stick with it.

How I Lost Weight

My doctor told me “Move more, eat less”.

That wasn’t particularly useful advice so I went with something just a tad more conscious.

I downloaded an app for my iPhone!

This app keeps you accountable and keeps a log for you. So far you could just use a notepad or a spreadsheet.

What it also does is makes it easy to record calories and exercise (or carbs, whatever, it’s really flexible). You tell it what foods you have eaten and what exercise you take, and it works out what you have left each day in your calorie budget.

I have my phone with me all the time so I can consciously choose what goes in my mouth rather than guess. As well as a really comprehensive list of foods and brands, you can also add your own custom preferences.

There are more features, you can see everything in detail on their website.

When Things Go Wrong

Of course you will slip, get into bad habits, and generally have off days (or weeks).

Doing it this way helps you prevent making bad choices (because you are often thinking about food in a way that you make a decision rather than “follow your gut”), allows you to work out exactly where you went wrong, and get you back on track.

Most people focus just on the calories, which obviously is only one part of the equation. Nutrition is not just about calorie counting but it is a start. A next step is to focus more on the exercise part. The good news is it helps in those areas too.

Have you found anything like this that has helped with weight loss? Please share in the comments …

5 Tips For a Stress-Free Vacation

Summer’s coming. Have you planned your vacation yet?

What’s that? You’re too busy to take a vacation?

The experts say that taking a vacation is a great way to improve your mental health, find creative inspiration, renew relationships with your loved ones, and even become more productive. And yet, we find so many excuses not to get away.

I’m guilty of it too. There is always something something that needs to be done, a commitment to honor, a deadline to meet. And before you know it, the year has gone by and you are trying to convince yourself that next year you will take that vacation. Sound familiar?

Instead, make a commitment to yourself, and to your family, and take that much-needed getaway this year. Step away from your work and get ready to step into a relaxing vacation with these 5 tips:

1. Clear your schedule. Pick a week, or two, and mark it on your calendar. Do not plan anything else during your time away. That includes conference calls. Let everyone at work know that you will be unavailable. If you can delegate tasks to a colleague or assistant, even better.  Also, avoid setting any deadlines during your immediate return, so that you don’t feel as if something is hanging over your head the whole time you are trying to relax.

2. Set a budget. There is no point in going on vacation if you are going to stress over money the entire time you’re away. Instead, figure out what you can afford to spend and set aside that amount in advance. Having a realistic budget in place will help you to relax more while on vacation, and you won’t spend the rest of the year paying for it.

3. Determine your priorities. What is most important for you on vacation? Would you rather enjoy 5-star dining or full-day excursions? With your budget in place, you can start to figure out what is most important for you and plan where to spend your money accordingly.

4. Book in advance. I’m not talking about trying to re-create the Griswold’s European vacation, where every second of the day is planned out in minute detail, but do at least do some research to determine which hotels, restaurants, and companies you would like to do business with before you leave home. Make reservations early, if possible, so that you can avoid having to scramble at the last minute when your preferred attraction is booked. A little bit of planning can go a long way when you are in a strange area and are trying to decide what to do.

5. Unplug. Once you leave for your vacation, turn your phone off. Leave the laptop at home. Focus your concentration on your loved ones. Set up an out-of-office auto-reply for your email so that people will know that they should not expect a response from you until you return. Provide the name of someone else they can contact should they need immediate assistance. While you’re at it, do the same for your voice mail. You deserve to be able to relax without such distractions, and your family deserves some time with you when they are not competing for your attention.

Remember, the world will not end while you are away. (And if it does, wouldn’t you rather be laying on a beach somewhere rather than stuck in the office?) You can catch up on anything you missed when you return happier, more rested, and with a renewed energy that helps make you more productive.

All this being said, I am taking my own advice this year and going on vacation. How about you?

One Secret To Success In Life And Business That No One Tells You

Build ConfidenceThis is not about the law of attraction or some other philosophy.  It’s a real anecdote to success in life or business or both.  And it’s an anecdote that no one may ever tell you.  Until today. [Read more...]

How Debt Can Make You Wealthier

A lot of people took my Bootstrapping post at Escape Velocity to mean I am anti-debt, where in fact in specific instances I am cautiously pro debt.

What I am against is using debt to fund acquisition of additional overhead.

What does that mean?

Look at what happens when a river of outside investment or other forms of “other people’s money” comes into a business:

  • Fancy equipment
  • Fancier offices
  • Influx of payroll to create mini empires
  • “Brand” heavy advertising

IE. they load up on liabilities that put nothing, or very little, into the bottom line.

This happens with people too. What happens when people win the lottery? Most seem to burn through their cash fast. They are left with very little to show for it.

Then look at what a well-managed bootstrapped company looks like:

  • Managed overhead
  • Direct “profit” oriented advertising
  • Restricted hiring

I’m not saying this happens in all instances, but I have seen enough to know which path I prefer.

Acquisition via Assets

What I am suggesting is if you want something, think about bringing in new additional income to cover it. In the above mentioned article I talked about using a product launch to pay for conference trips, and a planned launch that would pay for a new truck.

A couple of people scoffed that a product launch would pay for a truck, but here is how you could realistically do it, and it will help make my point about not being anti-debt.

  1. Find the truck/widget/product you want to buy
  2. Discover what your audience would like to buy or needs help with
  3. Work out the monthly payments on the finance
  4. Divide the monthly finance payment amount (eg. $400) by 30 ($400/30 = 13.3)
  5. You now have the daily amount your new product needs to generate ($15 or so)

Providing you can make one sale per day then you will cover the loan for your new acquisition. Sell more or increase the price and you are into profit.

(Click here to see my system for quickly and easily creating new profit-producing assets)

It doesn’t have to be a product launch, that is just my go-to strategy. You don’t have to buy toys and gizmos either, it’s actually very cool to buy an asset that will pay for itself. Perhaps an income-producing website or a non-internet investment.

The best part? Once the loan is paid off your new asset can continue bringing in income or you can re-invest, and that is when you get the real benefit.

My point is, rather than these new acquisitions being a drain on your resources, think about it the right way, and even with debt, they make you wealthier! :)

Business Owners: Improve Your Health With This One Simple Technique

I’ll be the first to admit it.  I’m pretty bad when it comes to eating right and staying active while building an online business.  In fact, I find myself getting so absorbed into what I’m doing on a daily basis that I am either too tired to exercise or the food that I’m eating has caused me to feel “sick” a lot.  Sound familiar?

It’s a vicious cycle.

While I keep my mind active, I am not paying attention to my body and because of that, it rebels; and the more I ignore it, the worse it gets.  Because I am so busy running my business, communicating, writing, and taking on new tasks (let a lone trying out new ideas), I tend to eat on-the-fly and that usually means frozen processed foods or eating out a lot.  And the more I do that, the worse I feel. And the worse I feel, the less compelled I am to get active.

But then something happened.

About two months ago, I had a routine doctor’s visit and he mentioned that he wanted to do a blood sugar test.  So I went without food for 12 hours and then they did the test.  About two hours later, I get a call from the doctor saying he was a little concerned and determined I was pre-diabetic.

I figured it might be time to pay attention to my health a little, but then I panicked.  How was I going to fit that in? How would I do all that and run my online business?  How will I change my entire life?  That’s not possible.  Well, here’s what I discovered, and it’s working.

My fitness pal.

My Fitness Pal

Since I am one to explore apps a lot, I ran into one that literally changed my life.  And the timing was perfect.  It’s called My Fitness Pal and it’s free.  The app is actually part of a companion website which is also free.  Basically, it is a calorie counter on steroids.  It has over 750,000 foods from nearly every possible category and restaurant you could think of.  But that’s not really the benefit.

The benefit is that you can tell it your age, height, weight, and your activity level (none in my case) and it will set a daily caloric limit for you if you want to get healthy.  Then, it lets you enter in the meals you eat, any exercise you do, and it keeps track of it all just like having your own personal coach.

Now here is where it gets even better.  You fill out a profile on their website and it syncs continually with the app!  This means that no matter where you are or what you are using, you can keep track of what you eat, how much, what not to eat, or get suggestions on what would be a better choice.

Finally, a way to be healthy.

I was so impressed with their website and app that it really encouraged me to keep track of my daily eating.  In fact, it was kind of fun (dare I say) and it really opened my eyes to a new way to get a little more healthy without diving in and changing my entire life around.  It’s more like easing into it and doing it as my pace.

Besides…as an online entrepreneur we all know how controlling we can be so it was a perfect fit.  If you are a busy entrepreneur and you want to stay healthy or just watch your calories, then give My Fitness Pal a try – you might be amazed at how much better you feel just keeping calories under control.  And as a side benefit, the better you feel means you can put even more energy into your business.

Do you find that you have a hard time staying healthy while working online?  What have you done about it? What worked and what didn’t work?