awesome things to do

I Want to Talk About All the Things

i want to do all the thingsWhen most beginners start blogging, all them blogging and social media gurus tell you that you gotta pick something. Nobody likes jacks- and janes-of-all-trades, so you need to pick something and specialize in it and build a community around that one topic you picked. It's easier that way. It's easier to attract a community. It's easier to position and present yourself. Besides, you can't be everything to everybody and you can't possibly do everything anyway. All those gurus forget to mention HOW HARD it is to pick. People are complicated and often have a variety of interests and passions, sometimes competing interests and passions. Other people just don't know what their passions are, or aren't sure among several different choices so they don't want to commit to one topic. Although clarity comes from engagement, not thought, as the great Marie Forleo says, at times it can take quite a bit of "engagement" for folks to figure out which passions and interests to spend their time on.

Therefore, I'm Going to Do All the Things

I'm just going to do all the things cause I want to do all the things and I'm going to be my own blogging and social media guru and make it work. I'm going to make it work because I think it's awesome and I think just about everything is awesome (except cockroaches, as they are not awesome). There's probably going to be a lot of app marketing, inbound marketing and content marketing in here as well because I know a lot about that stuff and I do it for a living so it's kind of hard not to have it seep into the rest of my life. After all, I have plenty of categories in my sidebar, which illustrate that I certainly love all the things and have already made previous attempts at doing all the things, even though I wouldn't have called any of those posts or categories attempts when I first created them. Never mind some of the stuff that I wrote about previously. Some of it I will iterate and bring it back and others I will not.

I'm Also Probably Going to Promote Apps Here as Well

I know! It makes me such a shrill to promote products or whatever on the blog or on the sidebar. But, first of all, it's part of my job. I love my job and I do love the apps that we create. Our apps cover all sorts of topics, and some of those topics I'm probably never going to talk about in depth on this blog. For example, our latest app is Inside Drones, which is about hobby drones, quadcopters, and how they're used in various industries. It features drones news and only drones news. so it won't ever have celebrity news or sports news or even topics more closely related like gadgets or tech news. I'm probably never ever going to talk about drones in a blog post. But, people are doing some pretty awesome things with drones, like this Drones Racing Championship that's happening next month. That just sounds darn cool. How do you not promote that and talk about that?

On a side note, I need to create my reading list for this website. I like to all sorts of books and I have plenty of favorites and recommendations, spanning all sorts of topics. You know what, if I like it I'm gonna promote it. Plain and simple. Marie Forleo does that with some of the guests she has on her show, and I've certainly bought the books and other products from some of her guests. One of my particular favorites is Sally Hogshead. Her research and ideas on fascination is just amazing.

Have You Played A Google a Day Yet?

A Google a Day gameEvery Thursday, I will republish my best articles from Since Technorati redesigned its website and is under new managements, tens of thousands of articles that were previously published on the site are no longer available. I have been given explicit permission to republish my work on my own website. Think you'd be a master at trivia if you could just use Google to find the answers? Well, now's your chance to prove it.

A Google a Day is a new trivia game where you use Google, and only Google, to find the answers to the questions. Launched over the holiday weekend, it's a twist on typical trivia games, where using the Internet is considered cheating. You can play a basic game that only has three questions, or with a Google+ account, you can play a longer game with 10 questions. As the name states, you can only play it once per day.

The game has questions in six categories: pop culture, history, arts and literature, geography, science, and sports. The categories are random each day, so you could play a game that doesn't have any geography questions, or has four science questions. Points are earned based on how difficult the question is, how long it takes you to find the answers, as well as if you use any power ups (double points, additional time etc.). You have unlimited tries to answer a question correctly, and you can skip a question if it's too hard. However, to unlock the next level of questions, you have to answer two out of the three of them correctly, so you can really only skip one question per level.

If you thought search would make trivia that much easier, you would be sorrily mistaken. As the questions get harder, you often have to do multiple searches based on how the question is phrased. For example, you might have to first search for the name of Gwyneth Paltrow's husband, and then find out the name of the album for which his band won a 2004 Grammy Award. Tricky stuff, although each question comes with one hint and one clue (the clue is more specific than the hint), of which clicking them will add time and take away points. The game also has a "Tips & Tricks" page, which offers advice on how to search Google better. The advice is good for both the game and in real life.

Why Am I Here?

And How to Figure Out Why You're Here Too

why am i hereI picked up a book from the library called, Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More than Your Peers Ever Will. It's kind of obvious from the title what it's about. I've read a few snippets here and there, and one of those snippets was the following exercise below. It's used at a non-profit to help kids who can't get beyond their current environment, and the author offers the exercise as a way to show if college is really necessary for someone's dream job. I think it's a worthwhile exercise to figure out what you really want to do with your life, what you want out of it, and what it might take to get there:

What are You Put on This Planet to Do?

This is to be a verb, always a verb, and just one verb. My verb is: to help.

What are Your 5 Greatest Gifts?

Your five greatest gifts are also verbs, and these verbs support your mission (the original verb above). These verbs help with your purpose, and they're not necessarily your biggest strengths or your strongest skills. My five greatest gifts are:

  1. To write
  2. To think
  3. To represent
  4. To ask
  5. To organize

For Each Gift, Come Up with Two Ways that You Could Use it To Add Value to the World

Each way is supposed to be an occupation that uses this gift to add value to the world. Here are my 10 total ways that I can add value with each of my gifts:

To Write

  • Columnist
  • Publisher

To Think

  • Researcher
  • Consultant

To Represent

  • Public Official i.e. State Senator, City Councillor etc.
  • Non-Profit Director

To Ask

  • Journalist
  • Policy Analyst

To Organize

  • Community Organizer
  • Event Planner

Choose One Way, and Come Up with 5 Ways to Fortify the Gift in the Real World

Of the 10 occupations, pick one and come up with five ways to fortify the gift, or to be better at that occupation or that gift. I'm going to choose columnist for this, and here are five ways I can fortify my gift to write so that I could be a columnist (or a better columnist):

  1. Start a blog
  2. Pitch the idea to a publication
  3. Go to an event to write about
  4. Attend a writing or journalism seminar
  5. Read a book by a career columnist

Now What?

From the book's perspective, the point of the exercise is to see if you really needed a college degree to be a columnist, in this case. The answer is no, for the most part, especially since it's so easily to start a blog or to pitch an idea to a publication. You might want to go to college to specialize in a subject i.e. biology, history etc. that would be helpful for the column, or to be able to work on the college newspaper or magazine to improve your writing skills, or even to go to college to start a column about college life. But, all of that's not necessarily going to college to be able to become a college because there isn't anything intrinsic about college that's needed to have a successful weekly column.

Overall, it's a good thing to do to get a sense of direction, and to come up with a few ideas for career choices and pursuing your career choices. It's also a great way to think about what you're good at , what you like to do, and what possibilities may exist that compliment those things. It's not always about going to school, which isn't all that bad because school is expensive and time-consuming.

Thinking about Being Awesome, and About Doing It

thinking about being awesomeLately, it's felt like I've lost identity capital, that I haven't done or accomplished much over the past few months. I've actually completed my SuperBetter quests to be more awesome (it was a very small Power Pack) and I don't think I'm any more awesome than I was before I started. Granted, I still haven't done the task to come out of my comfort zone, and that's probably part of the problem. But, that's certainly not the whole story here.

I Think I Need to Revisit My Empowering Beliefs

It's been a long time since I recited my empowering beliefs about money and my empowering beliefs about myself. I think I've lost touch with a lot of things, which is mainly why things have gotten a bit out of control. Yes, one of the things I lost touch with was time, but I think I lost touch with a lot of things over these past few months. To get back into gear, here are my empowering beliefs about myself, of which I need to read more often. At the very least, this establishes more control over my thoughts and self-confidence.

  • I, hereby, delete these negative beliefs from my system at the source. Now, I can replace them with empowering beliefs about myself. J
  • I am awesome. I am an amazing human rights activist, a phenomenal writer, and an even better person. I am destined to change the world.
  • I am agnesamurphy, a budding poker phenom who is constantly improving at everything she does. I am well-liked because I am lots of fun at the table and away from the table.
  • I am a great businesswoman running a great business. It’s only a matter of time before it’ll be unthinkable NOT to care about Stirring Media, LLC.
  • Someone I don’t even know loves me right now. I do more for this world and for people close to me than I could ever imagine.

I Think I Need to Revisit Identity Capital Too

When that was the theme of this blog, things were going well here and I felt like I had a lot more to say too. I tried to change things up because I didn't like the idea of turning this into a personal diary, but in trying to change I haven't actually changed the scope all that much. I might go back to that topic, as there is something valuable there for people and something that I can discuss and chronicle in a way that's helpful and engaging. The idea of building identity capital is one more thing that I can add to my life to bring it back together and to go back to setting goals, revisiting my marketing plan, measuring what I'm doing, and improving my skills. I could also use a coaching session with my business coach for good measure, or even just a good lunch.

Building identity capital, one day at a time, isn't a bad idea right now for this blog (and my life).

Structuring My Time, Busting that Routine

structure of time In order to be more awesome and to spend more of my time doing awesome things, I chose to stop sticking to a routine. In thinking about how to bust my routine and not have one, I came up with a really good idea as I was going to bed the other night. I realized that one of my current problems with being productive and doing everything I want to do is that my time has lost structure. My days felt chaotic and out of control.

I lost this structure when I switched to my inferno of productivity game, when I put all my tasks on the point system. When I made this switch, I took away any sense of doing work at certain times, taking breaks at other times etc. My time was disorganized, so I wasn't maximizing my time or using it efficiently at all. To be more awesome while managing not to have a routine, I think structuring my time would be the best thing to do.

What Structuring Your Time Even Means

Structuring your time, in my opinion, is not the same as a routine. A routine is defined as, "a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program." Structuring and organizing your time isn't the regimented, as there isn't a sequence of actions or a fixed program. It's merely arranging it so that time is set aside to do work, to take a break, to play poker etc. It's not necessarily doing the same things each day, or doing certain things at certain times. It's making sure that you make the time to do what you need to do as well as what you want to do. This ensures that you don't waste time and that you don't let your time fly by without you.

How I'm Accomplishing This

One of the things I lost when I started my inferno of productivity was my planner. Since I moved my task list from the planner to the point cards, I stopped looking at my planner and I stopped using it organize my day in any way. I exacerbated this problem when I purchased a set of Day of the Week binder clips. This allowed me to create point cards for the next week, instead of just the next few days like I started. Doing so much in advanced actually made organizing my time harder, since I needed to have more in my head and I didn't have all that on paper. I've had those binder clips for several weeks now, and I think that's when things began to fall apart.

I'm fixing all this by bringing the planner back in, using it to create this structure while also using my point cards to keep track of what needs to be done. With the planner, I can also get a sense of the events and meetings coming out, and gauge how much time out of my day each of these events will take up. This prevents me from trying to cram too much and from stressing out because I didn't get as much done as I hoped.

I started this process today, and so far, I think it's working well. This organization gives me a good idea of what needs to done, as well as what's possible to get done during the day. It also puts me into a more productive, motivated, and coordinated mindset. I understand that it is a bit early to call things, so with just about every other thing I've tried, I'm going to give this several weeks and see if things improve.

Streamlining Your Awesome

i'm awesomeSupposedly, there are only two things you do each day: things you like doing/are good at and things you hate doing/are not good at. Streamlining your awesome(ness) means thinking about the things that fall into the latter category and finding a way to do them less or to have someone else do them. As part of today's SuperBetter quest, I am to write down three things in each category, and for one thing in the hate/not good at category, I am to delegate it or stop doing it all together.

Three Tasks and Activities that I'm Good At/Like Doing

  1. Blogging - I love writing and blogging, which is obvious. I wouldn't do it as a hobby, and for a living, if I didn't love it. I also wouldn't be able to make any money from it if I wasn't any good at it.
  2. Poker - Naturally, poker would be on this list. I'm better than most, and I'm working very hard on improving my skills and building my bankroll. I do need to work on taking time to study the game, as I still need to finish Harrington on Hold 'Em, take time to review hands and work on my ranges.
  3. Goal Setting - I love setting goals, thinking about the future, and taking small action steps toward my goals. Being driven and hopeful hasn't exactly been a problem for me.

Three Tasks and Activities that I'm Not Good At/Hate Doing

  1. Accounting - I'm not too good at the bookkeeping when it comes to the business. I often miss an expense, and never have the final total quite right.
  2. Setting and Keeping a Routine - I've never been one for routines, doing the same thing day in and day out and keeping myself to a structured schedule. It was easier to do while I was in school, since someone is expecting you to be there
  3. Cooking - I'm not very good at cooking, and I'm not fond of doing it either. Never been all that interested in it, even when I went vegan and focused on changing my diet. Cooking makes a vegan diet easier to adhere too, but cooking often takes a lot of prep work. That's the part I really don't like.

What Will Be Delegated or Stopped

Well, I'm not delegating or stopping the cooking, that's for sure. Both are too expensive in the long run, and not cooking means I'll be eating out and eating processed foods. Either of those aren't all I can't stop the accounting either. I could delegate it to a virtual assistant or something, which wouldn't be too expensive, but that's money the business doesn't have right now. It's something that would be doing in the future. So, I guess that leaves the routine, which I feel is somehow the hardest to stop/delegate, even though it's the only option of the three listed.

Between stopping and delegating, I supposed I'm going to have to stop having a routine, which actually sounds confusing. It sounds like I'm going to have no schedule and no control over my time, which doesn't seem healthy or constructive in any way. I certainly can't delegate my routine, or delegate that task to someone else. It's a burden no one wants; keeping track of my schedule and telling me to do certain things and certain times. I don't think I have enough going on and enough strains on my time to have such an assistant.

So, how do you stop having a routine? There's still things that you have to do each day and have to do on certain days. I suppose I can change it up and do something new or different every day. But, if I did that every day, then doesn't it become routine as well? I don't know how this is going to work.

I Don't Think I Took a Big Enough Risk

I can do it. As part of my new set of SuperBetter quests to be better at being awesome, I am to reflect on my experience coming out of my comfort zone. Quite frankly, I think I need to this whole thing over because I didn't take a big enough risk. I need a bigger risk, something that is a big more challenging to my comfort zone.

What I Actually Did

For my "risk" and 'coming-out-of-the-comfort-zone' task, I decided to go to Lab1500 for my early morning meeting. I haven't been to Lab1500 for a while, so going there has become something that would be out of my comfort zone. Also, my early morning meeting is also part of that as well, since I don't do much in the early morning and meetings are always nerve-wracking for me.

Even though my meeting went well, and was very auspicious about the future, the entire risk and task was awful. Since I've been on a night owl schedule for about four months now, doing anything at 8:30 a.m. is very difficult. It was especially difficult that day because I didn't really sleep. I got into bed and tossed and turned for several hours, only to give up, get up, and do what I need to do for this meeting. Because of this, I wasn't at Lab1500 for all that long. I was too tired to be productive, and I could tell. I felt tired, I acted tired, and I looked tired (that was the kicker that told me I needed to go home).

How It All Was

The meeting was totally worth it. I got some free coffee samples, of which I will review in the coming weeks and publishing onto Gateway Grounds. It's likely that I'll get some additional samples in the future, as well as some much-needed traffic as part of this partnership. Going to Lab1500 was also worth it, as I was able to sort out some event planning logistics for the St. Louis chapter of the Young Ambassadors for Opportunity. It was also nice to be back there, even for a just a short while, since I hadn't been there in a long time. Good things happened as a result of this 'risk', except for the lack of sleep. Emotionally and mentally, I was fine with the whole thing. I'll do it again, but I'd like to do something different and/or bigger that doesn't involve a lack of sleep or a huge disruption to my schedule.

What I'll Do for My Next Risk

What I did was a good start, and it would have been a better start if I committed to going three days in a row (which I still might do). However, I think I need to do something that's farther out of my comfort zone, as this last one was just a kind of coming out. I don't think it was really hard enough. I need to do something like go for a run at Tower Grove Park, or hop on the bus to review a coffee shop, or perhaps set up some phone interviews for some blog posts. All of those would be coming out of my comfort zone, as they've all been things I've been putting off or have been thinking about doing but haven't done yet. The magic happens when you venture outside your comfort zone. I need to do more magic and make more things happen.

You Must Play Geoguessr (and Challenge My High Score)

my first location Geoguessr, if you haven't heard of it, is a brand new Google Maps game where you're given a random location in the world and you have to use the clues in the Google Street View photography to figure it out and take a guess. Each game gives you five locations, and you only have one guess for each location. However, you can take as much time as you need and can click around as long as you need to take your guess. It sounds simple, but it's not easy. Even if you know what to look for, it can still be difficult if you get thrown into a rural location where there aren't any roadsides.

I Started Off Well...

The first time I played, I got 11000 and some points. That's about 2100 points per rounds, which is guessing within 1500 kilometers of the actual location each time. That's a really good score. It also helped that three of them were in North America, so it was pretty easy to guess. However, I've played it a few more times and haven't been able to come close since. I suppose I used up all my deduction and geography skills the first time around. I also received harder locations after the first time around. I actually gone one that was just ocean! My clues were the coral, the fish, the three swimmers/tourists/scuba divers looking at the fish, and the bright blue water. How am I supposed to guess my location with clues like that? It didn't help that I started to stress out because I felt like I was underwater and that a shark could get me at any minute.

my second location

Hint: Google Street View has only been around the Cape of Good Hope, and that's about it. So, if you get one that looks like Africa, or has something that says, "Africa" you're best bet is to guess somewhere in South Africa or western Botswana.

This through me off the first couple of times, because rural Africa doesn't have any road signs, you all you have to guess your location with the shrubbery and the vehicles (which may, or may not help, depending on where you are. License plates are blurred so you can't look at numbers, or colors, or anything). It also throws you off because the signs are in English, so your instinct is to go to Western Australia, but that is not correct.

I Want to Challenge People!

I know I can do better (I can do better tomorrow. I will start again tomorrow. I am in pain with all the clicking and guessing and all the wrong guessing)! Therefore, I will issue a challenge! I'm going to say that my highest score was 11,000 so far, since I know it wasn't bigger than 12,000 but I don't remember the rest. If you can beat that, then let me know! It's harder than you think, even if you've been around the world. It's only after you've played a few times that you learn what to look for, and what indicates what about your location.

Hint 2: When you guess, guess near a road. Obviously, this is Google Street View, so your starting point is always on a road. Whether it's a country road or a city road is a completely different story. Although, my first location for this last round wasn't exactly a road. Fortunately, I followed the stone steps to receive a big clue about my location.

Hint 3: Obviously, if you are in a city, then you want to guess in a city. It's one thing if you know you're in France (of which you might not be, because French Canada is always a possibility). But, if you know you are in a big city in France, then you want to make sure that you don't guess in the middle of nowhere.

I should stop giving away hints! This is supposed to be a challenge where I beat you! From here on out, you'll have to learn the rest on your own!

But, give Geoguessr a whirl. As hard as it can be, it's surprisingly addictive.

I am Awesome. Here's How

i am awesomeI like doing these birthday/personality/astrological sign/Chinese sign things because I find them to be so accurate of who I am. When they are so accurate, as is the photo on the left, I am reminded of how awesome I am and how much I can accomplish. I have other goals for the year, both business and personal goals, of which I shall share tomorrow so I have something to write about. In the meantime, I am awesome and will do great things. Because I said so. Here's how I am awesome, in case you've failed to notice.

I've Gotten So Much Done Today

On Linda Formichelli's blog, The Renegade Writer, she discussed in a post that instead of a "To Do List", you should create a "What I've Done List" at the end of the day. The latter is more rewarding and less daunting, while illustrating that you've probably accomplished more during the day than you realized. I wish I could find the exact post, but I've done so much today! Here is my "What I've Done List" for today:

  • Sent three marketing emails
  • Emailed a client to arrange a meeting to plan blog post ideas for the next few weeks
  • Exchanged with another client about guest posting and increasing workload
  • Secured a new customer!
  • Exchanged with a potential client on how our arrangement would work
  • Shared current business success on the business Facebook page
  • Completed four blog posts for four separate clients
  • Bought chocolate and taquitos
  • Made pizzadillas for lunch (quesadillas with pizza toppings)
  • Made soup for dinner (from a soup mix and not a can)
  • Scheduled a meeting for this Saturday
  • Scheduled tasks for next week
  • Revised a Twitter background for a client
  • Watched the latest episode of Sharktank (which is much more productive than you realize)
  • Played a poker sit-n-go and took second, after coming back from two big blinds!

Did I mention I was awesome? Did I also mention that I woke up at 11 a.m. and still got all this done? I grant that this also means I will be up until 2 a.m., but that just adds to my awesomeness.

And There are Plenty More Awesome Things to Do!

I could always do more, because doing awesome things is an awesome, and if we put our minds to it (with some coffee or really rich dark chocolate) we can always do more awesome things and come up with more awesome things to do. Now, comes that "To-Do List":

  • Create and schedule tweets for next week for me and my clients
  • Create Friday's blog post for Amnesty St. Louis about our newest book club reading
  • Send that contract for my new customer
  • Play More Poker
  • Exercise
  • Apply to More Gigs
  • Work on One of those Lead Generation Offers that I've Started and Have Yet to Finish
  • Renew my library books
  • Come up with blog post idea for next week for another client

Oh Yeah... About Those Topics

Still haven't made much progress on those, although I have gone through the notebook of interesting topics and picked out what I wanted to cover. I essentially chose the good stuff that remotely relates to saving the world. However, I still need to get to five for each, and I need to get those all scheduled in the editorial calendar. Actually, all my editorial calendars require work. Perhaps I will get this done tonight, since I can't play the Wii because my fiance is playing poker. He wishes not to have distractions when he's playing poker. Although I am sad that I cannot play SoulCalibur Legends, it's probably better that I spend time getting work done. I will do that now.