About Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is an internet marketing coach, consultant, speaker and teacher who specialises in helping people build a business around their knowledge, ideas and experiences.

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 …

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! :)

How to kill your productivity completely

For a while I have been wondering why my energy has been lacking.

I wondered if it was diet, stress, workload, exercise. Of course all of those things are factors, but I couldn’t put my finger on why it was so unusually bad right now.

With the help of my iPhone I think I have found the culprit, or the largest.

My sleep is atrocious.

While I always knew my sleep paterns could be, well, less than optimal, I never expected to see a chart like this one. According to this, once I got to bed I had around 1 hour of actual deep sleep. We all know it is not so much how much time you spend in bed that counts but the quality of sleep you get while in there, and this shows mine isn’t so great.

Sleep Monitoring Gadget

The application is called “Sleep Cycle” (find it in your app store) and uses the sensitive accelerometer in the iPhone to detect your movements and therefore sleep pattern. I don’t know how to read these charts but even I can tell this does not look as it should be.

With lack of sleep we get lack of energy, stamina suffers and so does concentration. Peak productivity can’t be maintained while your body and mind are crying out for sleep.

Of course I have a lot on my mind, what with projects and an immigration to worry about on top of the usual family/business/life stuff, but I am pretty sure my productivity will take a leap once I can fix or mitigate this sleep problem.

Sleep Fix Project

Here are the things I am going to try:

  1. Temperature – Too hot or too cold and I will never get decent sleep. No point in getting proper air conditioning only to leave it in the UK but I can bring up my portable office unit to see if that helps.
  2. Pillow – I have one of those curved, firm pillows that are supposed to offer more spine support. This needs to be examined to see if it is right for me.
  3. Timing – Sleep routine rather than random “keep working until I start nodding off at my desk” would probably help I am guessing!
  4. Brain – Turn off the brain well before attempting to go to sleep to stop the mind continuiing to work long after it should be dozing.
  5. Diet – Eating late or eating certain foods impacts sleep, as does excess or late caffiene/sugar intake. I practically live on coffee, and that needs to stop.
  6. Exercise – IE. get some. I started before our recent trip to Australia and quit while we were away. Use up that adrenalin for something positive.
  7. Daylight – IE. get some. Artificial glow from a computer screen is not a natural light substitute I am told. Strange that. We need sunlight to regulate our body clocks.

What else can I try to improve my sleep? What has hurt or helped yours? Do you get enough sleep? Please share any thoughts you have in the comments ….