Don’t Do ANYTHING Half-Ass

I’ve set a goal to start writing and publishing my work onto Thought Catalog, again. I’m at the point in my life where I’m realizing that I’m not moving forward with any of the plans I set for myself in the beginning of (the year)… forever.

What’s my progress of becoming a great writer for public interweb spaces?
Posted a few articles, the most viral being 54,000 viewed. However, I’ve been very inconsistent. In addition, my writing skills have gone to shit because I’m not consistently reading books. This means I need to read more books.

What’s my progress on my YouTube Channel?
Post 12 videos. However, I haven’t posted anything in 2015. I’ve totaled 30,000+ views & 800+ subscribers. Again, I’m not consistent & I haven’t posted anything for 7 months.

The progress on my Podcast?
I have stocked up interviews, which I have yet to upload. Again, I haven’t been consistent and I haven’t posted anything for a month.

Yes, I’m a big disappointment.

Therefore, I decided to get back into the game and forced myself to write an article for Thought Catalog. Hence a new article, which can viewed here -> Click Here! I wrote swiftly and uncaringly.

All I wanted to do was write and post something.Basically, I forced myself to write and publish the article to spark self-momentum.

Well, because I did it half-ass… I paid the price:

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Why Major in Rhetoric…

A few days I received an e-mail from a reader:

rhetoricThe reader asked me, i) why did I study rhetoric at UC Berkeley? & ii) what is my current profession? This post may bore you, but this question couldn’t be asked at a better time because I haven’t written anything personal in a while. And, especially because I’m getting back into the writing game, it would be nice to write… something.

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On Email Marketing: The Product Launch Formula (Part 2)

My last post I talked about the pre product launch that should happen before you start pushing out your product to your e-mail list: you can read it here. In this post I want to tell you about the product launch formula I use when I launch a product for a brand.

I understand this isn’t an email marketing or business blog. However, this site is where I write my most intimate thoughts and this is just on my mind. I promise I’ll write something that strays away from business / email marketing next time. Till then. Thank you for reading.

How This All Started

Kipkay Kits was planning to add a new feature with additional products to its store. And, they wanted me to promote this product to their e-mail list. I was in a fortunate position because, as I stated in my last post, I already had a successful (30 % open rate) auto-responder that made it clear to users that we’re an active brand that will email you.

Therefore, I think it’s very important to know that you cannot (shouldn’t) implement a product launch to your e-mail list unless you’re already sending emails to them. You’ll be wasting your time otherwise because a product launch will require you to send 12-14 emails to your email list – in a span of a week. This means that your emails will most likely hit your user’s spam folder if your users are cold.

Now that you know how it all started, I’m ready to tell you the product launch formula I used and it’s actually pretty simple.

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On Email Marketing: The (Pre)-Product Launch Formula (Part 1)

An email is the most important and sacred thing you can get from anyone. Yes, your fan may like your facebook page, follow you on twitter, and even be an active participant on your instagram account. But, it will never compare to you having the ability to interact with them first hand via their email.

Every single person in the world checks their email on a daily basis. Though we’re at a time where people are now getting accustomed to delineating between spam and important emails… a really good email can gain the attention of your suspected prospect and hook them to your product(s). The right title, message, and follow up can turn your $0 business into a multi-millionaire dollar business.

This is why I’m in a love and in a hate relationship with e-mail marketing. I understand the value and importance, but I also know the abundant struggles it takes to acquire an email, get the prospects hooked, and then getting them to pull out their wallets. It’s a process that can take many weeks, many months, and even years!

Why am I talking about all of this?

Well, for the past year I’ve been hired as a brand consultant for a few clients. This job means I’m dealing with the brand’s imaging, product development, and more importantly, the brand’s e-mail marketing side of things.

It’s safe to say that e-mail marketing has been on my mind (taking over) and since this is where I share all my intimate thoughts… I want to share the concepts I have in my brain with you.

The clients I’ve been working with (that I can talk about): Kipkay Kits (60k+ email list ) and The Checklist Mom (it was at zero when we launched 3 weeks ago. We’re now going to be hitting 1,000 emails).

Hopefully this helps you or brings you some perspective about what I know in regards to email marketing. Here we go!

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The No *** Challenge Updated & Criticisms About My Podcast

Recently I told you that I was going to participate in a NO *** CHALLENGE to motivate me to accomplish a few goals. Sadly, I didn’t last two weeks.

The only thing I accomplished was having a 10,000+ shared Thought Catalog article: about 30,000 shares to date (and it’s only been up a day since writing this blogpost).

I still want to accomplish these goals before March 13th 2015. Yes, I’m giving myself one entire month from now to make sure I stay on track. The only thing that has worked for me has been saying “If I don’t accomplish X… I will kill myself.” It’s worked in the past and I think I’m going to apply it here.

So…

If I don’t accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself, in my No Sex Challenge article, I’m going to kill myself. I want to make it very clear that sex is allowed under this statement. Again, the timeline I’ve set for myself is March 13th 2015. I don’t want to die.

Anyway, besides the genuine financial issues I’m currently facing, there is something that I can’t seem to get out of my head. It seems my podcast has a few reviews on Itunes. (Yes, believe it or not, people are listening to the show). This is what the review said:

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The Trials of Being a Writer (Part 2)

A few days ago I told ya’ll the struggles a writer faces every single day.

In the post I told you that I would update you in regards to a Thought Catalog article I was writing: the assignment was to NOT think of writing a viral piece but rather writing a piece for myself. A writing piece that was polarizing to my my beliefs without the worry for a mass appeal. (Regardless how small the group, I was writing to please myself and the people who share my same values. Basically, exactly the same way how I write in this blog).

It was the best thing I did because the piece was really easy to write! It did take me a few hours to make sure the piece was polished, but at least I wasn’t having a headache (or a tantrum) trying to figure out what to write. I’m happy: you can view it here.

I’m even happier with the number of views, shares, and comments! I swear, it feels good to have something published again. This entire process was very insightful and I’m writing this post to share what I learned.

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The Trials of Being a Writer (Part 1)

Being a writer is really tough because many times you’re wasting valuable moments of your life… writing. For example, I wrote 40,000 words, from the summer of 2013 to the end of 2014, on a potential novel I’m putting together. Unfortunately, after reviewing it I realize that I hate the first half of the book. I’m going to rewrite the first part altogether and it will probably take 8 months to complete this task.

In addition, yesterday I tried writing a new Thought Catalog piece (to get back on the horse to accomplish my 2015 writing goals) and I realized that after 5 hours of writing the piece led nowhere. There wasn’t enough examples, it wasn’t concrete enough, the idea was there but it didn’t have substance. Thought Catalog is all about relationship, love, millennial (generation y) catharsis, and stories involving love / relationships. And, my piece was far removed from being a hit.

It hurts because sometimes I just feel like I’m wasting my time. I will say that it’s really easy to write on this blog because the audience are people who already know me. It’s not for the masses, it’s for you, the 30ish people who read this blog everyday (haha. I know. So small). Last month I only had 800 unique visitors who scrolled through my site. Once I thought it to be pathetic that I averaged so little viewers.

But now I feel it a good thing because we’ve become a close nit group of people who aren’t really judging me in a negative light. You are all here to read my personal journey in life. In fact, there are even a few consistent commenters who I’ve actually reached out to via email or some other social media channel. So, thank you. Thank you to the ones reading and commenting. It means a ton.

I will say I’ve gotten a few haters (whose comments were quite hurtful) but that’s okay. It’s more love than hate here. Again, thank you.

As I write this piece I’m realizing why it’s so easy to write here than for Thought Catalog (and my novel). It’s because I don’t care what others think of what I’m trying to say here. I know the ones reading are the ones who like me and the ones who don’t know me just don’t give a fuck and won’t comeback. I’m not trying gratify the masses… just you.

Hmmm.

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The NO SEX Challenge: The Best Motivation to Complete Your Goals?

I think I’m fortunate to have a partner who reciprocates the need and want for sexual intercourse. However, I realize that my availability to coitus has made it impossible for me to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself this year.

Am I saying that sex is a distraction? Yes. The copulation between my partner and I have led to my own unproductive habits. This is why I’ve decided to try out the NO SEX challenge. There are countless others, like David Asprey (author of Bulletproof), who have participated in this endeavor. If they can do it and succeed. why can’t I?

Of course his was a 30 day challenge.

Mine is NO SEX until I accomplish my goals.

I’m not going to lie but I actually tried this feat a week ago and… I failed. She even said, “are you sure you want to do this?” HELL YEAH! I even made an excuse, “I worked really hard this week… it’s okay.” Then, the moment happened. :D

Yes, I failed. I cheated. And, I don’t feel bad because it was a great experience (we just connect). However, I’m stuck at the same place again where I’m no closer to accomplishing my goals for this year. This is why I’m going to restart this challenge, but I’m going to do a few different things so that way I don’t fail. Let me explain…

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What It’s Like Being A Manic Depressant

I’m a manic depressant.

Manic Depression is a genetic mental disorder that can be best described to be related to an individual who is bipolar and who also has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like any (genetic) mental disorder, mania is triggered through events that carry overtime.

This means that at any moment, without warrant, I can plunge into a feeling of depression. Or, in another moment my brain can catapult into a high. In this post, I’ll talk about what depression feels like, what the high does to me, and what the pills do to my body… Let me explain:

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Your Relationship & Career Can Work in Unison

I was going to originally write this for Thought Catalog. But, I’m not going to because I think it’ll lose its value as a post (it’s too personal). Also, I’m in a rush and I’m not in the mood for grammatical criticism from Thought Catalog readers…

A couple of days ago I said that having a girlfriend can limit you from your successes. I’ve been thinking it over and I think I was wrong. I think. These past few days I’ve been able to really reflect on how lucky and fortunate I am to have such an amazing partner. Let me explain…

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How To Become James Franco: Pulling Out The Weeds in Your Life

I was going to write about the mistakes I’ve made in my life because I fuck up all the time. I’ve been known to make rash decisions without really thinking about the consequences. And, in doing so, I usually get caught (100% of the time actually because I really suck at covering my tracks), someone gets hurt, and guilt consumes my body.

But, I don’t want to talk about that right now because I do not have time to write such a thing: it requires a ton of self-emotional-reflection.

Anyway, today I want to talk about James Franco. Yes, James Franco the actor slash amazing eclectic individual who seems to be able to do everything. When he was 28 years old he was attending Yale’s Phd writing program, writing movie scripts, acting in several movies, writing a fucking novel, and even directing a film.

Even today he’s known to continue this path and I don’t think his productivity is going away anytime soon. And, I want to follow in the steps of James Franco.

Hell, if he can do it – so can I? Right?

Yes? I mean. Yes.

What am I talking about?

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How to Get Paid To Write for an Online Magazine

My goal in life is to be a writer who gets paid to write. Of course this isn’t the only reason why I’m writing my novel. I write because I love writing and I’m a great storyteller (I think).

Social Proof: You can see my prominent online articles on Thought Catalog & ghostwritten online articles at Simple Pickup (start with “How To Get Along With Your Girlfriend’s Family” and head backwards… everything after that I didn’t write. Basically, 85% of those articles I’ve written). Also, last week, I was invited to a storytelling event where there were about 200 people and 12 storytellers. I did well and the MC texted me:

storytelling2

I’m happy to report that an online magazine, Matador Network, has reached out to me to write articles for them. I’ll start with one and if it goes viral… then I write another and another and another. It pays $25 an article. This isn’t great money, but it’s a start.

Now that I have you attention and provided social proof. I’m going to tell you how you can get paid to write for an online magazine. Let’e begin…

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The Sacrifices & The Risks You Must Make to Follow Your Dreams

If you want to read something I wrote that I really like – you can check it out here -> 

I haven’t written in a very long time and I account that due to my ever growing laziness to write for this blog. I’m going to honest, it’s laziness. My priorities have been elsewhere and I regret every second of where my time has been spent.

The biggest thing that has been occupying my time is handling the business development & marketing of our newest client, Kipkay. He has a subscription based product and I deal with his email marketing product launches and potential business deals.

I know this may sound boring and I do not want to push anyone away…but, I’m proud to say that the company is doing well (increased it’s profit revenue by 60% in the past 2 months) & there is a chance we might be on Shark Tank (fingers crossed). I hope one day to really go into depth about email Product Launch formulas.

Anyway, let’s get to the meat of why I’m writing this post. Today I want to talk about the sacrifices and risk you must make to follow your dreams. And, I’m basing this all off what I currently decided to do with my own life. I decided to quit everything and become homeless.

Let me explain.

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Time Management

“Jack of all trades… master of none.”

I’m stressed out and that is why I’m writing here right now. I have so many things in my head and I’m not going to lie when I say I am unable to organize all of them together. I feel like a fucking idiot because I’ve put myself in a position where I’ve added a bunch of projects together and it’s eating me alive.

It’s sad. I want to tear up because the big things I really want to do take a big step back because work always seems to come first. Even though, the work, isn’t even paying me anything (#startup life).

(I can survive, monetarily, for a couple more months)…

But, when it comes to my own survival: my bags under my eyes, hair loss, energy, and happiness can only last for so long. This is why I need to focus on Time Management. So, you’re wondering – what am I working on? Here we go. I’ll tell you and I’ll tell you what I need to do to keep things on track and the tools I use to do so…

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Podcast Stat Update – One Day Launch

In my last post I told you the strategy I’m using to promote my 4 / 5 day a week podcast. For a quick recap, here is what I’m doing:

1. Interviewing people in advanced so I have a ready made archive.

2. Giving each interviewee the social links (sound cloud, direct link, facebook share) of their podcast when it goes live.

3. Having a few Twitter Peeeps (who have 1,000 – 10,000 followers) tweet out a certain podcast episode: stripper episode

4. Have a mailing list so I can remind people about the upcoming episodes.

5. Start pushing out the podcast on all my media channels (YouTube to Facebook)

6. Wrote an article on Thought Catalog to push people to the Stripper episode.

7. Ask other Podcasters out there to be on their show (Guest Appearances).

8. Ask audience members to review my podcast because I only have eight weeks to get on the New & Noteworthy on Itunes (Free Advertisement).

I haven’t done all of these steps. So, let me recap what I’ve done with the steps above, how it’s affected the stats, what is working, and the next steps to figure out how to make this podcast grow.

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My New (podcast) Project & The Strategy (I’m using) To Make It Go Viral

It’s 4:16am in the morning and…

I’m no longer afraid to tell you about my newest passion project I’ve been working on for the past three months. It’s my newest podcast called –

People With Careers: a 4 day a week podcast where I interview different people about their careers.

I think it’s the perfect platform for me because it’s something that i) I want to do, ii) I think I’m good at, and iii) is actually feasible to accomplish (with great attention and detail) by myself – based on the limited time I have!

Before I get into my strategy of what I’m planning to do to make it go viral, let me start by telling you more about this passion project I just started.

Are you ready? Here we go…
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It’s Been Quite Some Time: The Writer’s Block

Hello. I haven’t written something for quite sometime and it’s been bugging me because it’s far from the goals I’ve set for myself. In fact, I haven’t published anything on my YouTube channel nor Thought Catalog. It’s pretty depressing. I’ve been having, “writer’s block.”

Some people would say, “Jonathan, why do you care so much about this blog when only (on average) 50 people look at your blog a day & when you post something the maximum number of people who have read this page on a single day is 1,000.” I say I do it because to those 50ish people who visit everyday… this blog is for us. The community of people who know that this is an insider look into my the life of my struggles. YouTube & Thought Catalog is what is important when it comes to the viral exposure I want.

I’ve been having Writer’s Block. I’ll tell you what it is and why…

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Not Everyone Is A Winner (How It’s Affecting My Decision To Run A Company)

Recently I read an article by Daniel Negreanu, a world-renowned poker professional, who through his analysis of critiquing another poker player’s view on the game said,

Truth is, most of you reading this, will be lifetime losers at poker. You are unlikely to become successful professional poker players. It is available to all of you, and some of you will find success at the tables, but the truth is clear: most of you will fail. Sucks huh?”

Either it’s because I’m listening to alternative emotional rock music or my meds are not kicking in correctly, but I really resonate with that paragraph. The idea to hear a top poker professional tell the world that most of us… or in this case reminding me – that I AM NOT or will ever be a winning player – floored me in a position where I don’t want to gamble anymore. Why? because he’s fucking right.

I have / had this weird psychological fucked-up mindset where I could be a winning player in poker. I’m going to be honest, as I’ve said many times before – I’m not a winning play in poker.

I have an addictive gambling personality that I will keep playing for hours upon days upon weeks until I lose everything. I’ve said this before but gambling has ruined a big portion of my life.

I feel like crying. In fact I have cried about this already but I wish I never ever took up cards. It’s not even about the money, it’s just about the time of my life that I gave away in the process of playing cards. Anyway, I’m not here to repeat what I said in my gambling article. I want to tell you that “not everyone is a winner.” No matter how far you come, no matter how hard you work, no matter what you do… many times (sometimes) you just won’t win.

Here we go…
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Donated to ALS & Concerns About California’s Drought

Today I donated $50 to support the ALS Association. It’s for a great cause because your money will go to the research to find a cure against ALS.

Also, today I did my own Ice Water Bucket Challenge. You ready? Let’s get started…
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Competition

In terms of writing, these past two weeks have been very difficult. I would sit down and do my best to write an artciel for this blog, thought catalog, and even in my own private journals… with no success.

I attribute my writer’s block to a lack of reading and a lack of discipline:  i) a writer is able to write because he gets inspired and learns from reading other texts. ii) a writer must force himself in a room to write.

Thinking about the overall picture of the situation, I think the reason why I haven’t written anything is because I’ve been lazy. Laziness breeds inactivity, which triggers a loss of your  productive momentum that happens when you’re already doing something.

This entire concept also holds true for my YouTube channel: I haven’t published anything in weeks. The reason is because i) I don’t have anything good to publish and ii) I haven’t filmed enough to see if I have anything good to publish.

Today. Right now. It’s different. Something inside of me is screaming at me to write and film without hesitation. This means I’m not striving for perfection, I’m striving to gain the momentum necessary to start being productive again. I’ve allowed other distractions take over…

Why? What has led to this burning desire to start writing and filming again. It’s simple really, competition.

Let me explain.
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