There is far too much noise in the world.
The majority of articles and videos online catch you consistently throughout the day, and then take from you, the most valuable resource in existence. TIME.
Earlier this year, I unsubscribed from James Altucher's daily blog emails. I unsubscribed from every social media platform notification via email. And I unsubscribed from Seth Godin's daily email (and they're always less than a 1 minute read). While most of these subscriptions were entertaining, I decided I no longer desire entertainment as often as I once did. I even added a news feed eradicator to Facebook that replaces updates with quotes.
I'm always striving to be a better Clayton Mooney. Instead of "working," I should be progressing. Instead of "getting it done," I should be doing it correctly. Instead of just "being there," I should be observant and aware.
I've respected Tim Ferriss for years now. His podcasts and books have helped me through rough (very rough) times, and his transparency, open research, and strides toward becoming a stoic consistently intrigue me. His slow carb diet has helped me to drop from 194 lbs to 154 lbs in 101 days. And later I would use the slow carb diet (again for boxing) to drop from 186 lbs to 161 lbs, in 44 days.
In keeping up with the human guinea pig that is Tim Ferriss, I decided in late July that I would try experimenting in August.
What did I want to accomplish?
1. I wanted to find a good sleeping pattern.
2. I wanted to cut from 175 lbs to 158 lbs for boxing.
3. I wanted to progress KinoSol, aerolands, Young Entrepreneur Convention, the entrepreneurial book project, and help with the AgEI Student Incubator preparation.
In order to give this a go, I blocked off all incoming content and contact, unless it helped with building relationships, better understanding of the world and existence, fitness and training, and/or ventures.
Finding a Good Sleep Pattern
I had recently noticed myself working until 4:30 am some days, and passing out from exhaustion at 9:30 pm other days. Work, work, work. Always something to do. How do I better handle it all?
Consistency and scheduling can be incredibly difficult for founders. You have no one yelling at you, you have direct result work piling up, and you're hopefully hustling on the weekends--no clear time to take a breath.
I knew I had to start by putting myself in a strict sleeping schedule. I searched for inspiration and stumbled across this article on Jack Dorsey. As someone who simultaneously runs 2 publicly traded companies, he at least has his sleep in order, right?
In bed by 11 pm and up by 5 am. The going to bed before the next day sounded grim, and the waking up before sunrise sounded even grimmer. So I knew it was a perfect challenge for me.
Cutting Weight for Boxing
I'm very confident in how the slow carb diet works for my body. But I've never said it was fun. I love fruit, pasta, and cheese. Say goodbye to it all if you're going slow carb.
In order to obtain my coaching certification, and to be able to help train those in the Iowa State Boxing Club in the upcoming fall semester, I knew I needed to get back in shape. My cardio was good, mostly thanks to riding close to 100 miles a week on my bicycle, but my upper body strength needed a jolt.
I planned to start in mid-August, cut the 15-18 lbs needed in roughly 2 weeks, and then tone up and maintain a ~165 lb average throughout the remainder of the year.
Progressing All Ventures
I know there are many people out there who believe I have too much on my plate. They're waiting for me to slip, stumble, and reduce my ventures to one or none. The truth is, and I'll continue saying it until my final moments, poker prepared me well for the startup world.
I come from a career requiring a large sample size. The understanding that your career may have a negative hourly. The requirement that media makes your career look either glamorous or appear as an addiction. A requirement that you can never auto pilot throughout a day. And lastly, the requirement that many, many days will add up to be failures.
Just this year, I have failed at completing the GLOBE program at Iowa State. I have failed at numerous business plan competitions. I have failed at the Save&Raise app. I have failed at continuing podcasts and video blogs. And I have failed at making it into a startup accelerator. Will that be all I fail at in 2016? No. Thankfully I believe in grit and gratitude. Success is inevitable. Each venture has a unique position, traction, advantage point from Iowa, and its own driving factor of exciting me every day.
I prepared for an early night at 10:30 pm, created my notepad document for recording every August day's activities, and tossed and turned into drifting off to sleep at 11:07 pm, according to my Garmin vivosmart.
Day 1 (August 1st)
I awoke to my alarm's 5:01 am setting, then rolled out of bed and stretched on my floor.
5:15 am I completed 100 arm free weight exercises, and 250 boxing exercises for my abs.
5:45 am I mapped out my day while listening to Exponential Wisdom Podcast, episode 26.
6:15 am I enjoyed a breakfast smoothie while reading over and responding to emails.
7:15 am I stood at my desk and read blogs on equity crowdfunding and leadership.
8 am was a great time to start practicing my pitch for the John Pappajohn Business Plan Competition finals, so I sat reading over and rewriting lines.
9 am I switched over to reviewing aerolands data on the first Ames grow.
9:45 am I found a good stopping point and shifted focus to adjusting all of my August finances, and then paying August bills.
10:15 am I published social media posts for KinoSol, aerolands, and YEC, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
10:45 am I called my dad to catch up.
11:15 am I fixed lunch (tortellini with pesto) and broccoli.
11:30 am I showered and enjoyed some Spotify.
12 pm I biked to the AgEI office to check on the aerolands grow, record data, and research sensors.
12:45 pm I went back to responding to emails.
1:45 pm I biked to a haircut appointment.
2:15 pm I biked home and worked on YEC content.
3 pm I met for a KinoSol team meeting where we prepped and practiced for the John Pappajohn Business Plan Competition finals.
6 pm wrapped up work to go to Des Moines for dinner. Maximum amount of sushi consumed.
9:30 pm I was home and responding to emails with people in entirely different time zones.
10:15 pm I called my mom to catch up.
10:30 pm I read a Zero to One chapter (2nd time reading the book).
10:59 pm I called it a night.
A breakdown of my August 1st was roughly (excluding sleep)
7 % fitness
63% progress and education
30% downtime and food
I won't go through every other day in so much detail, but I'll share with you my August averages across the board.
Fitness --> Just over 2 hours per day x 31 days = ~66 hours
Progress and Education --> Just over 12.5 hours per day x 31 = ~390 hours
Downtime and Meals --> Just under 3 hours per day x 31 days = ~93 hours
My average sleep time was 6 hours and 18 minutes per day of sleep (thank you again to my Garmin vivosmart for tracking).
THOUGHTS ON THE SLEEPING PATTERN
By day 4 I was noticing myself completing the brunt of my work by noon. This allowed for popup situations to be more easily handled, and by the end of the month I was getting my email inboxes back to 0 unread, daily. I also enjoy writing between the hours of 6 am and 8 am, as I stand at my desk and watch the sun pop up from Ames.
Now 9 days into September, I've slipped a little, to a bed-by-midnight, up between 6 and 7 am routine. Overall, while knowing my average work hours in previous months, consistency in going to bed and waking up has helped to carve out more fitness time than anything else.
THOUGHTS ON ARRIVING BACK TO BOXING SHAPE
I began the slow carb diet on Monday, August 22nd, weighing in at 176 lbs.
14 days, 10 boxing practices, 4 early jogs, close to 30 miles bicycling, 28 eggs, a couple chickens, 7 cans of black beans, and a lot of spinach and broccoli later, I arrived at 163 lbs on September 5th.
To have cut 13 lbs in 14 days, all while building upon upper body through free weights and heavy bag drills, was a great start. Now I'm focused on getting back into mitt drills, taking my assistant coaching test online next week, and I'm at 167 as of today. I'll likely bounce between 168 and 160 over the coming weeks, as I continue to tone up.
Meal counts with little carbs, paired with a consistent sleeping and fitness schedule, have me feeling great. My body feels much more agile in the 160s as well, so I hope to keep consistent until the Ireland trip in mid-October. There will be pints.
THOUGHTS ON ALMOST 400 HOURS OF PROGRESS & EDUCATION
It never feels like you've made much progress when you look back on a single day. A month, however, with 31 full days of hustling, has me feeling pretty good.
To summarize KinoSol progress from my end, we have a big public announcement to make at our 2-year anniversary party on September 29th. Let's just say it's increasing our likelihood of growing efficiently, and helping more people sooner. Search #savethethird to join the conversation.
For aerolands, we completed basil harvests 2 through 8 with our newest unit, in Ames. We also collected 31 days of data, and used less than 10 gallons of water on the entire grow. Search #dare2air to join the conversation.
For Young Entrepreneur Convention, entire social media campaigns were completed with great traction. We're currently averaging over 2 new followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every day. Be on the lookout over the coming weeks for HUGE announcements. Search #YECDM to join the conversation.
As for book work, I become frustrated when I'm hung up on paragraphs that offer strong context but transition incorrectly. This often slows me down from releasing a lot of words, but I feel it will save time and increase quality in the long run. Critically thinking about each action a character is taking, and how a reader will transition from scene to scene is important to me, even in very early framework drafts. Hopefully I'll be able to share more details within 6-8 months.
For the AgEI Student Incubator, I am extremely excited for the students. I already know quite a few of the go-getters from previous semesters, and it amazes me to see just how well these students can balance class work and progressing their businesses. A few even have revenue, and I look forward to seeing them graduate from Iowa State and move straight into full-time positions with their companies. I'll share more information in the coming days and weeks.
For someone like me, who could easily lose track of time, work for 17 hours straight, forget to eat, crash somewhere not near a stopping point, and then wonder why I feel miserable the next day, this experiment was needed. Everyone needs to hold themselves accountable for what they want to accomplish.
I understand not everyone out there is trying to build their own company, but everyone out there could afford to be more productive.
Hold yourself to a consistent sleep schedule.
Hold yourself to a consistent diet.
Hold yourself to a consistent work ethic.
And cut out the noise.
STARTUPS - TRAVEL - EXPERIENCES