Yup - it's been a while since I updated my blog.
Nope - I'm not dead.
I was actually speaking at Omar Martin's "Coolest Marketing Event Ever" last week in Orlando, and someone said to me:
"And then you disappeared for a couple years"...
LOL - I was like "I DID?!?!"
I'm going to update you on *me* in just a minute, but first, I have to tell you about this 12 year old girl that I met there as well.
Her name is Zynnia - she spoke from stage ... (and was pretty much everyone's favorite speaker, of course.)
She raised $7000 on IndieGoGo to go to the Awesomeness Fest... and now she teaches other people how to use Crowd Funding to raise money for, well, ANYTHING.
If you're interested in getting a bunch of people to give you money for any cause, project, or invention - then you need to go watch her presentation here
Alright - now for the update on me:
I guess when I didn't come out with a new product every 3 months anymore... and suddenly stopped promoting everything under the sun ... some people might have gotten the idea that I was out of the industry, think I disappeared or even died or something.
Thankfully - nope.
As many people who follow me on Facebook know, I'm actually going to Costa Rica in a month or so with my family and plan on living there for at least a year, probably two, and we'll see where we go from there.
I'm still very connected to the info product, IM, and even biz op space... I connect rockstar marketers to each other and to services that help them grow their businesses.
I connect successful marketers to targeted traffic
I connect growing marketers to merchant accounts
I connect awesome people to just about anything they need to help their online businesses grow and make more money. You can find me all the time on FB, Skype, or Gmail as "harrisfellman".
(See there -- I'm not so secretive after all. Which is why I think it's so funny when someone says, "hey man, you disappeared" LOL, righhhhht....)
Anyway, yup, that's my primary business: Connecting people.
And I love it. Been having a great time really helping kick-ass people grow their businesses.
Again, here's the 12 year old's Crowd Funding info product & presentation.
Hopefully the next 'young girl with a product' that I show you will be my own daughter. She just came up here while I was typing this and asked me to find her an app to do stop motion animation ("can you find me an app where you take a picture and then another one and another one and it makes a movie").
Her and my son are wicked smart and full of personality! Just like her mom and dad.
See you soon in Costa Rica. PURA VIDA!
LOL - I just blinked at my own website and thought the slogan "Live Life to It's Fullest" said "Life is Full of Bullshit".
I had to stop and think whether or not that had anything to do with any emotions or what have you that I was feeling right now -- and, honestly, I don't think so.
Anyway, I'm really just posting this little post to push the next one off the top of the page. Getting tired of looking at "fat old harris" every time I visit my own site.
Have a lot of great things in store for 2013 -- going to Costa Rica in July for an extended stay... been attempting to really systemize my life as much as I can ... some new "monkey business" in the works.. good stuff...
Still in a frustrating stage with it all (transitions can be that way), but really looking forward to a few months from now when all the new stuff is in place. Looking forward to being where this monkey below is (in more ways than one <G>)...
I've been talking about my rapid weight loss for months... but when I posted the pictures above on Facebook, I started getting a lot of "What's Your Secret" type questions. So, I figured I'd write a post about it so I wouldn't have to type it out every time I wasn't really planning on posting anything specific until I actually reached my goal (I have another 20-30 pounds to go -- I'm only 5'4", btw, so chillax.) Alright, Here goes:
THE HCG DIET
That's my secret. And yes, it is the freakin MAGIC PILL. I swear.
When a friend of mine finally convinced me to do it, he said I should just get everything I needed online (order the supplies, talk to people in this forum, etc.) But, as I spoke to other friends that also did this diet, I found out that there are "HCG DIET DOCTORS" as well. I felt more comfortable going with this approach, even though it was marginally more expensive than piecing it together myself online.
I googled "HCG DIET DOCTORS PASADENA, CA" and found *three* here locally. This is the doctor I chose: Dedicate to Health. She has some other pretty awesome stuff that she does, but fat loss via the HCG diet is one of her specialties. I liked the idea of having one-on-one access to someone with this level of expertise who has worked with 100's of people, like me. Go to the site, call Dr. Stephanie King and tell her I sent you... She's awesome, she can work with you remotely, no problem... and the full program is only $350 for everything, including supplements and one-on-one coaching. I've already sent a few people to her that have lost dozens of pounds as well.
Alternatively, you can learn about it via hcgdietinfo.com and also the hcgdieters group on yahoo. I suggest you either do it with a "diet doctor" in your local area, do it with Dr. King above (remotely), or if you do it "on your own", you'd want to use the hcgdieters group as your support group... do ~not~ get distracted by anything else. The hcgdieters group are all about "staying on the protocol" - this is the "Dr Simeon's HCG Diet Protocol" and has been around since the late 1950's. It's super simple, straightforward, and you will lose a bunch of weight.... and fast!
I've become an avid student of the book "Change or Die" by Alan Deutschmann. Research has shown that humans need three things in order to instill permanent change in their lives (hint: it has nothing to do with telling someone 'if you don't change, you'll die', in fact that does NOT work at all). It has to do with the following three "R"s: Relate, Repeat, Reframe
You have to find a group, mentor, or system that you relate to.
Relate: I had a group of friends, Dr King, and the HCG Diet that promised fast weight loss. If you think the HCG Diet is cray-cray... then that's fine. Find something that you relate to and get in with a group and/or mentor that believes in it religiously. (Although, I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything that creates the fast results that HCG does... plus the lasting results of keeping the weight off.)
Repeat: Do the drops two times a day under my tongue, take these other supplements daily, and eat this specific amount of food every day. *Bam* Repeat Daily for 40 Days.
Most importantly, when that's done, stop doing the HCG, eat the same foods but more of them for 3-6 weeks, test adding in other foods one a time, but do not gain more than 2 pounds in that time frame. (If you do, they have ways of getting the weight back off overnight.)
Reframe: This diet has COMPLETELY changed the way I look at food. I literally look at each food that I put in my mouth like an experiment... did this make me gain weight? Hmm, it sure did, I'm gonna cut it out. Etc. And mind you, I've done a lot of diets over the years and constantly yo-yo'd back and forth.
Also, as long as you do the maintenance period properly (and don't gain more than 2 pounds during it), then you will actually reset your thyroid... thus resetting your metabolism... and convincing your body that you really are supposed to be at this new weight.
Part of the reason this works is because it WORKS SO FAST. The reward comes quick. Psychologically, this has quite a powerful effect.
So, bam, the three R's in full effect. This is the real secret behind the secret, too. YES, you can do it with other methods. NO, I cannot guarantee you 100% that HCG will work for you. But what I CAN guarantee you is that if you follow the Relate/Repeat/Reframe formula, you can improve anything about yourself that you desire.
Before you go, let me tell you Exactly What The HCG Diet Is:
Basically, you do HCG drops under your tongue (must be REAL HCG, not homeopathic). The HCG tells your body to burn fat and not risk burning lean tissue (muscle). You couple this with a very specific 500 calorie per day diet -- YES, I said 500 calories per day. You're never hungry though because your body is actually getting the nutrients from your own fat storage. It is freakin' awesome. (HCG is released naturally in your body if you're stranded on an island... or if you're pregnant... in both cases, your body is told to use the fat stored if it needs to... and in both cases, it burns about 3000 calories per day of pure fat.)
So, if you don't feed your body fat through your stomach, your body is going to take it from your storage spots (belly, ass, thighs, etc.)
I know right now you're looking at "500 calories" and thinking "HOLY CRAP, that's impossible". I swear on my life, this has been the EASIEST thing I've ever done in my life. In fact, the part that most people screw up on is the 'maintenance phase', right after the 500-calorie phase. This is the most crucial part to keeping the weight off forever.
FWIW, You're only supposed to do it for a maximum of 40 days at a time. But men will lose 30-40 pounds in that time, and women will lose 15-25. My first round, I lost 35 pounds in the 40 days... and I'm about halfway through my second round right now and have lost 20 more.
No matter what you decide to do, I'm happy to be a support person for you. I'm happy to be your cheerleader and tough-love coach all wrapped into one. If you know me personally, just email or skype me... otherwise find me on Facebook. I've struggled with my weight for 2 decades. I'm a day or two away from being the lightest I've been since college and I'm hopefully about 2 weeks away from being the same weight that I was in high school for the first time since my senior year.
Update Feb 18, 2013: Booya! Hit my "lightest weight since college". Well, tied for it. The last time I was 179 pounds was Dec 24, 2001. Although, it looked a bit better back then b/c I was putting muscle on as well as losing fat. Next stop... HIGH SCHOOL!
I'm in a very unique position personally. I'm a long time Direct Response Marketer who used to own an online direct-marketing company from 1999-2005 (mostly performance-driven email marketing at the time)...
In 2004, I thought that email marketing would be dying out soon, only to come full circle 8 years later to not only realize that I was wrong, but also derive most of my current income leveraging other's email list - reselling advertising, optimizing conversions, copywriting, etc.
I also have a wife, who's very successful Social Media business, has allowed me to get an often too close-up view of what's going on in "another side" of the digital advertising landscape via her blog SavvySassyMoms.com and other various entities she works with such as BabyCenter, iVillage, & The Right Start.
Generally speaking, I understand Direct Response Marketing as it's applied in the Digital World first-hand and Social Media Marketing pretty darn well as an observer and sometimes behind-the-scenes participant
Anyway, last night, for some odd reason I was reading words printing on actual paper via Forbes' Dec 10 2012 Issue. The column "Journalism's New Reality" by Lewis D'Vorkin caught my eye... (I've linked to the original blog post that the shorter column I read must have been based on.) Anyway, here's what caught my eye:
- D'Vorkin called Display Ads "a relic of the dial-up era... little more than wallpaper to consumers" - a $15 Billion per year business where advertisements get between 3 and 8 clicks per 10,000 impressions of the ad.
- He says that Search Ads "ain't pretty, but they work on the desktop" - also stating that Google owns the $17.5 Billion market and wonders how they'll perform in a world of 1 billion iphones.
- Programmatic Buying is a relatively new way of buying online advertising - display ads are now bought and sold in milliseconds on computer exchanges. What a salesperson can sell for $15 CPM goes for a few bucks at auction.
- Content Marketing allows marketers to leverage blogs, twitter, facebook, pinterest and other "digital publishing tools" to produce their own expert text and video in competition with journalists via their own authentic stories.
- And finally, he speaks of Native advertising, where marketers are now seeking opportunities to integrate their content messages into the visual design and natural flow of personal and social news streams.
"Many brought journalists can't seem to reorient themselves to business realities that require a new role for marketers. FORBES BrandVoice is the type of premium product that puts marketers squarely within the content experience, always clearly identified and labeled.
"FORBES is single-minded in it's goal - to build a sustainable model for advertising-supported journalism that works for consumers and marketers alike."
It's a nicely laid out snapshot of the digital advertising landscape. I understand the many sides of this argument very well and yet I still think that FORBES has employed a major FAIL in the way they've put forth this strategy... As my much more esteemed colleague, Mark Joyner pointed out on Facebook a couple weeks ago,
"I think the new Forbes online format, whereby independent contributors are starting to submit their private content on Forbes "sites," is going to prove to be a major blunder.
"Already many of the independent contributors are posting articles shilling for dodgy businesses, so obviously the editorial standards are lower. This will hurt the Forbes brand.
"Corrective action: spin it off as a new brand, or brand it quite clearly as something not under you editorial control."
Couldn't agree with you more here, Mark. At least FORBES is trying though - hopefully, they can take a queue from long-time brilliant marketers like Mark Joyner and quickly patch up the problem and move forward. I certainly see "paid content placement" as an incredibly useful tool in my not-so-outsider view of the blog-o-sphere. But big brands like Forbes need to learn to be careful to protect their brand both online and off.
One final thought... much to the chagrin of D'Vorkin (and myself), interestingly, Display Ads can still be quite effective and they look set to continue growing in both ad spend and digital advertising marketshare while Email Marketing (not mentioned by D'Vorkin), even though it's still the giving marketers the best ROI, it seems that the "Big Brands" and "Big Companies" are spending the least amount of their ad budget on it. I'd be lying to myself if I didn't say that this is most likely because Email still has that dirty spammy feel to it.
eMarketer and others predict a slowing, yet still growing, Digital Advertising Spending in the US Market set to hit $37 billion in 2012 and $60-75 Billion by 2016 (depending on who you ask). According to eMarketer, even though actual spending in Email Advertising will continue to grow, the actual marketshare that it takes up will continue to shrink.
I think the real story is in the breakdown of Display Ads in the graphic above. Notice the steady decline of banner ads & the flatlining of rich media while video & sponsorships continue to grow at a 200-300% pace over the next 4 years?? (and that's just the overall MARKETSHARE - actual ad spend is also set to "almost double" in this time - so, eMarketer is actually predicting 300-600% increase in ad-spend in those two areas).
I do wish someone kept a scorecard on Forrester, eMarketer, and other's predictions. I do tend to agree with their prediction to a large degree. But I've also seen a lot of money spent on hyped up advertising by newly hired marketers within very large companies go to waste. (I'm not saying I wouldn't like some of the millions of dollars of so-called waste to fall into my lap sometimes - LOL - but I do truly believe in the important of marketers getting the best return on ad spend as possible.)
So, how are you spending YOUR online advertising dollars in 2013? Are you focusing on ROI, Trends, or a bit of both? The most amazing thing about business today is that you can, indeed, track the return on your ad spend on as micro-tracking level as you so desire. I sure hope you're taking advantage of this fact in your business.
I haven't shared this story with anyone before.
Maybe you can relate.
For the better part of 2011, I had been searching for my 'next move'. I was sick and tired of the IM game and wanting to get into a new business.
I wanted it to be a mix of my passion to entertain people and make them laugh with something that would pay me as well.
I got all sorts of advice and had all sorts of ideas.
Make funny videos, start a blog where I curated humorous content, create mobile apps, launch a fun experiential events business, and on and on.
My head was spinning with ideas, I didn't know which way to go. I was juggling family life, a dwindling income stream, and now then came the news that I had an enlarged spleen.
(I'll wait as you go google the word "spleen".)
It's a non-vital organ that seems to have a little to do with filtering the blood.. But so does the liver - so, meh.
Anyway, my spleen was bigger than a football when it's supposed to be smaller than my fist.
So, long story short, that baby had to go.
(and I'm not kidding when I call it a baby, it was literally the size of a small newborn when they took it out).
Let me tell you something though -- having my spleen removed was one of the best experiences of my life.
The world slowed down for a while. I got to just LAY IN BED and think for 3 days straight (and the Dilotta Drip wasn't that bad either, but annnnnywayyyy, I digress).
I remember on the day of my release from the hospital, I had perfect clarity.
"I WILL START AN APP NETWORK"
For the 3 days that followed, I busted ass getting that into motion...
And then on the 4th day came the news from my last remaining large client that he was pulling the plug on his monthly recurring payments.
Yowie! I was already just barely staying afloat.
I'd like to tell you that this horrible news totally caused me to get laser-focused on the app business.
I'd like to tell you that, but it'd be a lie.
What happened next was what must've seemed like a mid-life crisis intersecting with a clueless newbie who had never run a business before.
I flailed. I went another few months of doing a number of things that I thought might intersect with my passion until I finally came to my senses.
In February of this year, I took on the honey badger approach to making money and reminded myself of who I am, what resources I have, and how good I am at making money in a couple of different ways.
This immediately led to some copywriting gigs and then to some great JV Brokering & JV Management gigs as well. (I've even been handed a sweetheart deal to help run a CPA Network.)
Honey badger don't give a shit - and I'm goin' after everything I can - and it's working.
I think I watched the first video on Saturday amidst the beginnings of the long Memorial Day weekend.
"Hey isn't this the guy that supposedly taught Trey Smith the app business??" "Hmm, I think it is..."
"Holy cow, look at the production value on this video, I wonder if Andy Jenkins had anything to do with it"
(these are all thoughts going through my head)
And as I watched the video ... "did he say he's got a book out" - and then I immediately kindled the book and started reading that right after the first video.
Basically, these videos and the book are totally reminding me of what I told myself 9 months ago as I lay in that hospital bed....
"I MUST BUILD AN APP NETWORK"
I almost don't care how much money it makes. I just know this is the direction everything is going and I *WANT* to make fun apps.... I want it as badly as I once wanted to make films when I was in my 20's.
(And the good news? It doesn't cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to make an app. I can have a decent app made for thousands.)
Anyway, look, here's the deal.
I'm not trying to tell you that you should get into the app business. However, if you're like me, and you really want to get into it -- then Chad is the real deal. The book is awesome - and what I've seen so far from these first videos... *whatever* Chad has cooking for this launch is going to be apptastic.
I don't care if you buy through "my link" or not.
I just want to know if you're wanting to get into the app business as badly as I want to.
If so, how about ya hit me up in Facebook, Gmail, or Skype. My username in all 3 places is "harrisfellman". Maybe we can start a little skype group of wannabe app developers or something - -keep each other in check and on target.
I'm super excited about this business again.
If you are, were, or want to be excited about it too,
I look forward to hearing from you.
(StayFocusd is for the Chrome Browser; if you use Firefox, you'll use Leech Block instead; if you use Safari or Internet Explorer just google 'leech block for ___')
If you're in a hurry to be more productive -- just go grab the Pomodoro's book for free -- and especially the CHEAT SHEET. All you really need to know is in the Cheat Sheet LOL.
When my buddy Jack Sinclair first told me to check out Pomodoro, the timing couldn't be better. I have 6 or 7 projects going right now and I haven't really been getting as much done as I'd like. Basically, Pomodoro says "write your to-do list, set an egg timer for 25 minutes, work on a single project for 25 minutes straight with no distractions, take a 3-5 minute break, rinse, repeat". Simple. Highly Effective.
Oh, and listen, I'm a technology junkie. My kids each have hand me down iPhones. I have more gadgets in the garage than I could sell on ebay. And yet, I find that WRITING the tasks on actual paper works best (or a whiteboard).
Wait... wait... did I just "set an egg timer" a second ago?!? Yup. Pomodoro teaches to use an egg timer. Rather than going to target and buying one, I first installed an app on my iphone that simulates the time and sound... that worked fine. But I wanted something better b/c if I got a text or call it would stop the sound & force an interruption. Enter Rob Toth from IQuitIM.com. Rob's the creator of this freakin' awesome Skype Group I'm in ... he recommended that I grab Focus Booster and Leech Block (I went and found Stay Focusd for Chrome instead).
Focus Booster basically simulates the egg timer right on your computer - complete with countdown bar and clicking sound. Works great on Mac or PC - and absolutely free. Works like a charm. You can set it to whatever time intervals you want - but I recommend starting with the default 25 minute + 5 minute break (and maybe exercise a bit on the break like I do). Something about the clicking keeps me working, too, btw. And it's pretty rewarding to keep track of all the Pomodoros I do in a day.
Now, I've saved my biggest problem for last... getting sucked into the Facebook. My biggest time stealers are pretty much Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest (lol, I just posted about this a few days ago if you're not familiar.) Leech Block and Stay Focusd will allow you to set websites in your browser (like those 3) and say "I only want to be on these a total of 15 minutes a day ... or whatever. Once you hit your quota, you're blocked from going in.