Issue 16: Tiny Goal: Make €1 on the Internet (Part 1 of 2)

If you were to make €1 on the internet without gambling any of your own money, how would you do it? It is a lot tougher than you may think to make that first €1 but it is doable. I decided to write about this and make the Instagram post that I made because I think that making money online is something that is flaunted and promoted by those that are already doing it but to actually get to the position they’re in is very tough. Some people do it by selling people shit that they don’t need, others live the guru lifestyle convincing people that they need to do x to make money online (trying not to picture myself as this right now), and others simply lie about how they make money online. There is a minority of those who get there respectfully and in a way that doesn’t make other people’s lives worse off. 

Leveraging the internet has been a hot topic since its inception in the 90s. However, unless you’re the best in your industry or you have access to incredible resources that give you a competitive advantage it is very hard to make that first buck. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you have to necessarily kick the bucket on making money online. Most companies today are leveraging the internet to reach their customers and sell them stuff that they may or may not need, so why can’t you use the internet to make money in your own way? Well, one of the reasons you will find it hard is due to the amount of competition. You may then think that all you need to do is find your target audience and niche right? Well, yes but there’s a high likelihood that your niche isn’t as big of a niche as you may think. There are a lot of people who may not be doing exactly what you’re doing but something along the lines of your niche, and if they’re doing that something better than you are, well then good luck convincing their audience or customers that you’re a better choice or person to follow. 

This is where I think value comes in. If you’re dedicated to providing some sort of value to some sort of person, I think that it doesn’t matter then whether or not trying to sell them stuff or not. If by a significant enough level you can make another person’s life better off by leveraging the internet, then you’re already doing something right. You need to value-add in order to be in any way feasible of making that €1 online. So ask yourself how can you add value to other people’s lives? And then validate this, as an example when Amazon was first launching instead of making the assumption “people will want to buy books online”, they decided a better way to prove their assumption is by validating it. Amazon was better off making the statement “last month we sold 500 books online.” 

I know this may be a very abstract explanation of the concept of adding value, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to get at here. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is you’ll need to become good at something that will help others. After that depending on how much value you add you will be able to monetize. BOCTAOA

I will come back with a Part 2.

Issue 15: Seizing Opportunities.

So I haven’t been writing much recently, I’ve been appearing inactive, and haven’t been discussing my thoughts. And only today I have confirmed to myself what has been going on. 

With exams, last-minute deadlines, chores, exercise, and all other activities, I’ve been making excuses left-right-and-centre. I’ve been giving myself pretty good reasons not to do certain things and expertly justifying other things. This morning, I realised and finally accepted that I’m trying to do so many different things that I end up doing and achieving nothing significant with my days. The fleeting distractions that we can get caught up in seem like an interesting path until you realise that it’s a bit of a dead end for you and maybe the other thing that you wanted to do had a bit more sunshine on the path. 

To be frank, my dreams as of late have been really contradicting and overwhelming and I’ve noticed this in my sleeping positions too. I would dream something, then I would notice I’m dreaming, and turn over in bed leading to another dream, this would repeat itself on and on till I wake up restless. I don’t really know why I’m writing this here but sure why not? It kind of falls in line with what I’m trying to discuss here. You see, what I’ve noticed is that by procrastinating on some things we instantly free up our time to do something else; and this “something else” can either be something better or something worse. “Something better” could be classified as something closer to what you want to be doing with your life in that exact moment or something that leads you closer to whatever it is that you love to do. “Something worse” I would classify as the fleeting joys, the easy options, and things that steer us further away from our desires and passions.

It’s very easy to start something new compared to staying consistent on previously set tasks, goals, and desires. Don’t get me wrong no path is so linear that you always simply trundle onwards in a straight line, however, having ten different paths that lead in no general direction is what you need to watch out for, and this is what I’ve confirmed myself today. I can justify this situation I put myself in because I feel it has reassured me and brought me closer to the things that I actually want to do, and for this sole reason I believe getting thrown of the track is worth it. Like if you really want to do something, chances are you’re gonna do it, regardless of its highs and lows. The trick lies in the lies that you can tell yourself that “this IS what I want to do”, when really it isn’t at all. The only way you can understand whether or not you’re telling yourself that lie is to understand yourself better. And as I think I have mentioned in an issue before this discovery of self is a noble pursuit. 

Anyways that was my first rant back after a while of drifting. I do love a bit of drifting, but after a while I think it’s important to get back to shore and make sure you’re not stuck in the middle of a vast ocean with no sight of land. To finish off I leave you with your favourite thing, a quote from our homie Sun Tzu: 

“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” 

Bonus Website Issue 14.5: Greatest Social Experiment Ever Conducted.

As I was in the bathroom I wondered about what COVID-19 could bring about in terms of quantitative data. In a world dominated by data, what sort of discoveries could be made from everyone sitting at home? Charlie Munger himself said that in relation to the stock market no one has ever seen, heard, or experienced such markets before, therefore, anyone who say’s they know or can predict what will happen are most probably wrong. 

See, what made me think of this is that my family have been underperforming immensely when it comes to putting out the bins for collection. We have forgot to put it out about 50% of the time. The interesting thing is that, like I’m sure most of you have realised, the amount of waste in the house has decreased drastically. I wonder what sort of an impact this quarantine will have on all landfills around the world. 

This leads me to the next questions: How much less carbon is there in the air due to less cars on the road? How much of an impact has this had on public transport? How much more delivery drivers are in demand right now? How much have takeaways increased? How many individuals have started to cook more at home? Who has started to eat healthier and who has started to eat more junk? How much have outdoor activities increased? These are all questions that are of great interest to me since the quarantine. 

There are millions stuck in their homes. The most interesting data right now I think is being generated on our devices and internet consumption. I think if someone could give someone an overview of all their digital data, you would be able to understand what sort of an impact this quarantine has had on them. I wonder what the consumption levels are compared to what they were before we were all demanded to remain in our homes. It would be interesting to see the things that correlate with each other during these weird times. I’m going to do a second part on this I think as I may have some more to say. But in the meantime, have a think about all the things that could be tested right now due to this event that everyone is at home. I leave you with two questions: 

Have people been living a more sustainable or less sustainable life than they were before? 

If you were told you have to live like this forever, what would you do? 

Issue 14: Small Ideas That Change How You Think.

The last few sunny days I’ve been spending a lot of time in the back garden. It has been a pleasure to be able to neglect college work in this manner, however, every time I saw a bee I couldn’t help but think – will that bee fly into my ear and penetrate my brain, hence, killing me? For all of those who know the Black Mirror episode (Wikepedia citation, because I can)I’m talking about, I can’t help but think of those human-killing-tech-bees every time I see a bee nowadays.

Why I mention this is because how can one Black Mirror episode which I watched about three years ago fundamentally alter my perception of bees? This is amazing? Not only do I have to worry about them stinging me, I also have to wonder if today is today the day I’m hunted by some bee-controller? I love bees don’t get me wrong, but the day some tech company starts ‘saving the world’ with tech-bees, is the day I fill my ears with cement. I’ll just learn sign language. 

Amazing how a small idea in a TV Show can change your mind about something. I wonder, what other small ideas have I seen or heard of that have altered my thoughts about certain things, situations, or outcomes? I find it hard to answer this right now, but I think being a bit more mindful of this might be useful. Is what I’m consuming changing my mind for the better or worse? 

I’m going to leave this unanswered question here for you, if you have any small ideas that came to your mind while reading this please let me know, and if you have no clue about the tech-bees I’m talking about, do yourself a favour and watch the Black Mirror episode called ‘Hated in the Nation’, you’ll be amazed that such things may exist in the future. #savethebees

Issue 13: Stop Rating Things 7/10

I love making small changes that have a big impact. We are consuming so many things every single day that it would be emotionally and mentally frustrating to keep track of every single thing. Recently my personal digital consumption has been much healthier and consisted of a lot less junk. What is junk consumption? That’s something I’ll write another piece on, since it’s a big topic (i.e. I’m too lazy to write about it right now); briefly it is stuff that you know you shouldn’t be consuming but consume anyways because you like it. A physical – not digital – example would be those pastries and cookies you eat that your mama bakes for you, you know it’s not the healthiest choice, but you can’t say no to your mama’s baking. 

Keeping Track

So my digital junk consumption has gone down, why? Because I’ve been keeping track of the articles I read, the videos/movies I watch, the music I listen to, and the websites I click into; some of which can be found here. And what I’ve been doing is rating some of these, but, and there’s always a BUT, I haven’t been using the number 7 on the scale. 7/10 is the default rating we give to things that we enjoyed, but that we also know was below what we expected. Honestly, it’s the safest number you can give something and not upset anyone at the same time. 

6/10 or 8/10 Only

Take a minute and think of the last conversation you had, article/paragraph you read, video you watched, or anything you consumed and give it a rating out of 10 without using the number 7. As you’ll see there’s much less ambiguity. It’s either a “meh wouldn’t recommend to a friend” 6/10, or a “let’s do it again sometime” 8/10. Why I’m writing about this is because I’ve seen it work wonders since I’ve adopted it in my life. 

BOCTAOE

What this stands for is “but of course there are obvious exceptions”, coined by Scott Adams, so that he could write it at the end of the dodgy tweets he wanted to write that he knew would trigger others (remember this acronym, I’ll be using it a lot more). Why I write it here is because not everything needs to be labelled with a number. I repeat, not everything needs to be labelled with a number. This is for me more than anyone else as I can do this a bit too much. To conclude, why not give taking 7/10 out of your ratings a go? Also ask other people what they would rate something out of 10 without using 7, it’s great fun I must admit. 

Extra: I used subheadings for the first time in this issue in order to see if it would work or not, the only way I’ll find out is if some of you would be kind enough to let me know. You can do this by clicking this survey link, those that answer the surveys when I put them out help a bucketload, I give you a 10/10. 

Also for those who feel that this needed to be a little bit longer, so do I. However, I want to keep these sweet and short because I believe there a lot of things that could be a couple of hundred words or minutes shorter and convey the same message.

I also made a YOUTUBE VIDEO on this issue.  

Issue 12: The Device That’s On for Our Whole Life.

My guess is that you’re reading this on either: a laptop, a tablet, or a phone; I will refer to these as ‘your device’. This will be a simple clarity thinking exercise.

I want you to imagine your device as if you had just turned it on for the very first time. It is brand new, fresh out of the box. You begin to install all the apps you need one by one, and you start surfing on your browser to find different pieces of information. This is all a very pleasant experience as there is no lag, everything is working flawlessly, there are no storage problems, etc. All-in-all you’re completing exactly what you need to do at that moment. 

Enter the wrath. Imagine a few days have passed and you already have 50 applications downloaded on your device, all of which are open in the background since you haven’t bothered closing any of them. You have so many tabs open on your browser that they look like a dotted line, you can no longer even see what the tab is. If you were to count the number of tabs, it would be over 200. You’re also out of storage, so you have bought a brand new external hard-drive to manage this. Your days have developed into a process of you opening your device, clicking from app to app, opening a bunch of tabs, watching videos, playing games, messaging people, sharing things about your life, occasional reading, and finally watching some more videos. 

Now I would like to compare this scenario to your own mind. There are so many apps and tabs running in our minds that the poor thing is running on overdrive (i.e. running at top speed). How good does it feel when you close tabs on your device? How good does it feel when you don’t have storage problems? How good does it feel when you get stuff done on your device and feel accomplished? For me personally, it feels incredible. I think it is possible to look at our minds the same way we understand our devices. Why is it that when we do anything, our minds are thinking about 10/20/50 different things at the same time? How come we are draining our clarity of thinking and energy with all the stuff we think about?

Even as I write this I struggle with the exact thing I’m writing about. I believe the reason for this is because you don’t clear the tabs/apps on your device just once in your lifetime. It is something you do on a constant basis. You do it all the time. Every single day. Even more so than our devices, our minds are always on. So why not spend some time closing some tabs in our minds? And we can reopen them again when we return to the thought or activity. 

Extra: This is something that is definitely a long-term habit to develop for life. It has a compounding effect as the years go on. I’ve also released a YouTube video at 2 pm today on the same topic if you’re looking for a little bit more.

Issue 11: Action and Inaction.

I’m here to address one thing today, and if I’m successful at doing this one thing then I’ll consider this issue worthwhile. Before I fire away, I want to figure out what the best way to introduce this topic would be. I want to do it in a way that I haven’t thought of doing it before, let’s use this issue to get creative. 

Watered Olives is a male 24 year-old. He wants to start a drawing but he’s not sure whether or not it will be good. What led him to the thought was an inspiration of something he could picture himself sketching down on a piece of paper. Full of enthusiasm he begins to think about whether or not he should get the piece of paper and pencil so that he can start drawing. He debates in his mind whether or not it will turn out as good as he pictures it in his mind. He also spends time thinking about how those around him will judge what he draws if they were to see it. After a prolonged back and forth in his mind, he continues to sit and scroll on his phone. 

Can you see the mistake he made? Can you pinpoint the exact moment of this short story that was Watered’s biggest obstacle?

I know that a lot of people out there have things that they want to try out for the first time or stuff they would like to do, only to be stopped by their own little voices in their heads. It’s incredible how one small little voice in your mind can be the main driver and decider of what you do if you constantly listen to it. In a crowd of 10,000 individuals screaming, if you’re determined to listen to one individual you will hear what he has to say if you listen closely enough. Why not take a step away from this one voice and maybe walk around the crowd? What are some of the other things that you might hear if you walk around the crowd? To do this try to grasp the sheer amount of different perspectives, lenses, and points of view that you can take on a particular idea, topic, or subject. 

How come whenever I have an idea to do something I’m shut down by this voice? How come I think about what other people will think if I do something? Am I doing it for myself or for other people? Will it make me more content or other people? Of course, there are exceptions to this approach of thinking. Like you definitely shouldn’t do things that will harm or negatively impact others. But if you’re inspired to do something. If you can even sense a spark of inspiration, I ask, why don’t you add lighter fluid to the spark and do something great and beautiful with that inspiration? Why don’t you take action rather contemplate it next time you’re inspired? 

et’s make a deal now. I won’t care what other people think when I do something; will you do the same? Make this deal with me if you need it for inspiration and off you go. But remember… actually, I’ll write this as a lesson to myself: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” So I shouldn’t be thinking that I’m all that great from this one action I’ve made. Consider it a stepping stone. 

I’ve started to think recently that I’m in no position to give advice to others if I haven’t set myself straight first. So I write to you as if you are suffering from the same things I am. Do NOT look at me as if I’m in a position to preach. I will end this on a Tweet from Naval, which inspired this issue: 

“Impatience with actions, patience with results.”

Issue 10: Time to Think.

Already I like to think that all of you reading form up such an interesting pool of people. Everyone is so different in their own distinct ways, yet I’m sure some of you have common interests which may overlap. This may be in the form of common goals or even some similar fears. As I’m writing this there are 149 individuals already receiving these emails, and to each and every one of you, I would like to say thank you for joining this little group. 

I believe it’s hard to find other people in society with similar interests and beliefs. I think we are all put in the social circles we are in, and it is rare to find people who actively move towards a certain direction when it comes to socialising. It is rare that people cut off people they no longer feel comfortable hanging around with, with the hopes that they can surround themselves with people more like themselves. It is rare to find someone that says no, when they’re being peer pressured into saying yes. And I know this is an important topic to discuss because it’s difficult to talk about. For that reason, I want to share what I think with you. 

I’m writing this because there are people out there who are like you, and who would love to spend time with you doing and discussing stuff you like. You just need to have the courage to put yourself out there and let go of everything else momentarily. It’s common that backpackers who travel alone tend to find their best friends on the road. They tend to form bonds and relationships that would be almost impossible to replicate online or in small artificially created social circles. I’ve heard stories of companies that were started by two people who met while travelling, clicked like two peas in a pod, both being broke moved in together in some foreign country, and started working leveraging their distinct skillsets and experiences to create a truly unique company. 

The unpredictable bonds formed are unforgettable and tend to change people for the better, and it is for this reason that I urge you to seek them out in whatever way you can. Obviously now is not the best time to write about this particular topic as most nations are on lock-down, but I still believe that we can put ourselves in the mindset to be able to do this even while on lockdown. As counterintuitive as thinking about it and not doing it may seem, you need to muster up that courage somehow. For some of us this self-isolation may be the first time in our lives that we have an opportunity to slow down. We can pretend that we’re “working” from home (whether that’s college work or actual work) and think about our lives and who we are. I think it is an opportunity for us to momentarily hop off the bandwagon and understand who we are, who we’ve been surrounding ourselves with, and who we want to become. Start with this question; and if you can’t answer it yet that totally fine, just give it your best go:

Who am I?

Extra: If you have any friends or family member who may be into this stuff please feel free to forward it on and I’ve recently released my first YouTube video, here’s the link.

Issue 9: My Disgusting Addiction.

Right, so it’s time to talk about my addiction. Now I didn’t think this blog would get this intimate this quick but I have to talk about it. Like that’s what you’re essentially here for isn’t it? To support me? 

So I have been aware of this addiction of mine for a long time now but I hide it from myself every chance I get. I whisper to myself, “Its okay Mykola, keep doing what you’re doing.” And during a printing spree (excessively printing stuff I want to read) this morning, I really noticed my problem. 

Okay so here it is: I have too many books which I haven’t completed. Just abandoned. Left for dead. Hoping to ‘one day’ return to them and continue reading, but that ‘one day’ just never seems to come. Like don’t get me wrong, these books are great and all, I do tend to speak highly of them and recommend them. But my junkie ass just can’t seem to stick with it. Always “more, more, new, new, blub, blub, blab”. What a beautiful sentence. All my reading to date really shines bright in the sentences I tend to conjure. Like this one for example: the Order of the Phoenix once again shat themselves and evaporated. Where does it come from? I don’t know to be honest. But we must venture on as my friend good friend Bilbo Dragons used to say. 

So you see whenever I stumble across a book I want to read, I tend to acquire it in some shape or form and then just attack it with all my might and curiosity. This leads to one of two outcomes: One being a severe blow but not necessarily a clean-cut, sort of just left bleeding a slow and painful death (30-80%). And the other case is a straight sever of the head, like blood shooting to the sky and all (100%). Note to self: I’ll need to stick in a disclaimer that this is somewhat graphic. See the problem is that the decapitations are usually unpredictable. As in I’d get a book without expecting too much and then just get blown away to the point of a mid-life crisis. The case always being: “how has this book not showed up in my life till now?” 

But in order to get those mid-life crises, I have to leave some fallen soldiers behind. Only today my eyes have been opened that little bit wider and I have noticed how I’ve left TOO MANY fallen soldiers behind, and at this stage, you could call it an odd sort of fetish. But I do have a philosophy I tend to stick by, this philosophy being: 

An Unfinished Book > An Unbegun Book

Of course, I believe that finishing books is important and that you don’t reap the full benefits of the book unless you finish it, but I guess I can’t have the best of both worlds. Unless I learn how to read faster I’ll remain a junkie forever. But I will make a conscious effort to finish books more from now on, today I emerge out of the chamber of unfinished books and begin my pilgrimage of finishing more books that I start. Now to finish with a lovely quote, since I know you all love them more that you love the sun:

“Do or do not, there is no try.” – My Main Man Yoda

Extra: Don’t forget to wish your mother a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. I can’t believe I even have to remind you, like come on you, get a grip of yourself. 

Also for reference I did a count of all the books that I have unfinished and here is the breakdown (I didn’t count any less that 10% completed because that’s shameful:

  • 10-30% Completion: 22
  • 30-70% Completion: 8
  • 70-90% Completion: 3
  • I do complete books too, trust me.

Issue 8: Doing The Bare Minimum.

Why do I always try to achieve the most amount of results with a minimal amount of work? I tend to do the bare minimum and try to milk as much as I can out of it. Keep in mind that I tend not to aim for 100% perfection, but expect at least a solid 70/80% whenever I do something. 

And now that I have physically written this question down the answer has come to me. It comes back to the 80/20 rule. It’s the idea that 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. But then again is it worthwhile to deliver something that is only 80% complete? Or is it better to deliver something that is a full 100% and ready for consumption? From what I remember learning and reading about start-ups, it was always recommended to ship early iterations of products because that way you haven’t wasted too much time making something that nobody wants. This applies in a highly uncertain, consumer-driven environment. However, the same rules do not apply in other areas. For example, you can’t ship a vaccine that is 80% complete and only took minimal effort to develop. This would be catastrophic, as this interferes with people’s health and wellbeing. 

So then the question arises, if I was to put more than 20% of my time and energy into something to achieve an extra few percent above 80%, will it be worth it? Is an additional 5% of results worth double the work? And more importantly, will having to aim for 90/100 prevent me from doing anything at all? 

I believe that if I was to set out to do something 100% there’s a high likelihood that I’ll talk myself out of doing it at all. So for that reason, I tend to engage in the 80/20 rule, it is only after I have completed the 80% that I can commit to bringing it up to 100%, buy only if I’m arsed and if I’m really engaged in the subject or activity. But otherwise, I just leave it as it is. I’m not sure if this is right or wrong, but it makes sense to me if some results or value is created in a general direction. It gets the ball rolling in my opinion. So go ahead and half arse something you’ve been putting off for too long! 

Extra: I’m keen to hear all opinions on this, so let me know what you think in the questionnaire I’ve attached, feel free to attach your name or remain anonymous. Link