Johannesburg, I’m coming for you. Come and attend my Email Marketing Masterclass on the 22nd of August!

Hot off the sold-out event in Cape Town, I’m hosting another Email Marketing Masterclass, this time in Johannesburg.

Check out all the details and book your spot on the heavychef.com website.

It’s going to be a goodie!

 

 

Join me on the 14th of June for a Masterclass on Email Marketing – brought you by Heavy Chef

“The money is in the email list”

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. And it’s true. But you’ve got to know how to unlock that money… which is why I’m partnering up with Heavy Chef and presenting a half-day Masterclass on Email Marketing on the 14th of June 2018, here in Cape Town.

You’ll learn about:

  • Email marketing has the highest engagement of any marketing channel.
  • How to design a newsletter that sticks.
  • How to kickstart and clean your database.
  • How to optimise your emails for success.
  • What software package you should use.
  • And much more.

Tickets are R1480 per person. You can book online here.

Really looking forward to seeing you there!

3 things for 2018

Good ‘ol new year resolutions. We all create a few for ourselves, and by the 20th of January, we’ve either forgotten them or already failed at 1 or 2 and that’s it until the next year. Heck, I don’t even REMEMBER what new year resolutions I set for 2017!

For 2018, I thought I’d change the structure of my new year resolutions. I’d take stuff I did in 2017 and super-charge them. I’m also going to try and set the goals in such a way that failing doesn’t mean the goal is never reached, it just means it might take longer. Here we go:

1. Turn my Kindle notes into blog posts

I’m going to supercharge the books I read in 2018. I read 19 books in 2017, but when I look at the list, I almost don’t remember reading some of them! And when I go through the notes I made on my Kindle, there are a number of notes that are completely out of context and I have no idea why I highlighted them.

I really enjoy finishing a book and writing a mini-review on Goodreads, so I’m just going to add to my reviews by taking any of the notes I’ve made, creating a simple blog post and then turn some of the notes into actionable items. Some of the blog posts might not make sense, but they are for me, not you. :)

2. Make journalling a habit

The ups and downs of both life and running a business take their toll. I’m going to use Productive to try and turn journalling into a habit. Aiming to write twice a week.

For journaling, I’ve used Day One in the past, so will just continue with it. I’ve just gone through some of the days I did journal in the past and it brought up some really good (and bad!) memories, and also made me realise how far I’ve also come in both my personal life and in business. I definitely can see the value in it from the very very little I’ve done in the past.

3. Tick 2 items off my Bucket List

I’m a huge fan of having a bucket list. Here’s mine.

A great question I like to ask myself quite often is what one thing can I do today that will get me closer to ticking off an item off my list?

I then do that.

It might not be a massive step like buying plane tickets (most of my list is made up of travel). It could be as simple as renewing my passport, or open a savings account and aim to save R100 a week.

You don’t get to the top of a mountain in 1 step. It takes hundreds of steps, but you have to just start.

What are some of your 2018 resolutions?

Struggling to focus like me? Try the Pomodoro Technique

I’ve realised that I really struggle with focus. I’m constantly checking my email, checking my phone, scrolling through Instagram, Facebook & Twitter or jumping between random tabs in my browser.

I’ll start a task and while a file is busy downloading, or I’m waiting for something to load, I’ll quickly pick up my phone to check Twitter, or jump into my inbox to reply to a new email that has arrived.

My focus is a mess. And with no proper focus, comes no deep work, which means I’m not tackling the things that will help grow my business.

I came across Conor Neill’s blogpost where he talks about focus. This take away quote in his post is gold:

“If you don’t learn to focus, you will have a shallow and unrewarding life without any meaningful achievements.” ~ Derek Sivers

Conor recommends trying the Pomodoro technique, which he has used to great success. I must have me some of this Pomodoro!

How I use the Pomodoro Technique

You can watch the video below to see how a Pomodoro works, but it’s really simple. Set a timer for 25 minutes (a Pomodoro) and start a task. When the timer rings, get up (mid-sentence if you must) and take a 5 minute break.

If you get distracted by an email, reset the timer.
If you check your phone, reset the timer.
If the phone rings and you answer, reset the timer.
If your colleague taps you on the shoulder, reset the timer.
If you need to go to the bathroom, reset the timer.

I managed to complete 1 Pomodoro on day 1, 2 Pomodoro’s on day 2 and I’m writing this blog post on day 3 and if that timer rings it will be my first Pomodoro for the day (It’s currently 16:39). UPDATE: Yip, my first and only Pomodoro for the day!

What I also do is mark off the number of Pomodoro’s I’ve completed in my notebook, so that I have some sense of achievement when one is completed.

That * on day 1 and day 3 was an unfinished Pomodoro – I completed the task before the Pomodoro was up.

I at first thought that having to reset the timer each time I got distracted meant I’d feel like I was failing, but it has the exact opposite effect. It makes me even more determined to complete a Pomodoro, by focusing 100% at the task at hand and waiting for that buzzer. What it also showed me is how many damn distractions there are around me! My phone and the bad habit I have of constantly checking my email tab (I use Gmail in a pinned tab in Chrome) every few minutes.

A few Pomodoro tips from me

  1. DON’T USE YOUR PHONE AS A TIMER. You might have a notification come in while waiting for your phone to go off – and if that happens and you check it – you’ll have to reset the timer! Get a simple timer app for your Mac or PC. I’m using Tomato One.
  2. Turn your phone on silent, and leave it upside down or pop it into your bag so it’s a little further out the way so you aren’t tempted to check it.
  3. Pop on some headphones and listen to some music while tackling your task. If you’re not a music listening person, then just pop in headphones anyway and listen to nothing – they will definitely make any co-workers think twice about disturbing you.
  4. Keep track of the number of Pomodoro’s you complete in a notebook. The satisfaction of ticking them off really helps with the focus.
  5. Try and tackle tasks you know take longer than 25 minutes using the Pomodoro Technique and leave the little ones for later or even better, block them together. The little ones for me are a distraction to themselves, so I don’t try and Pomodoro them, I just get them out of the way.

Do you struggle with focus? What techniques or methods have you tried that have worked for you? I’d love to know!

 

Use Authy instead of Google’s authenticator – it’s safer if anything goes wrong!

TL;DRMake sure you have 2FA setup. Secondly, use Authy instead of Google Authenticator as it’s safer. Lastly, if you’re using Google Authenticator already, then switch to Authy.

When I bought my first bitcoins and altcoins, I immediately setup 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) to protect my Luno and other accounts that I use that have some form of value to me. Most of these sites say “we support Google Authenticator” and off I went to install the app and used that to add that additional layer of protection. Great! Well, not so fast…

Google Authenticator only supports a single device. If I lost my phone, and I never screenshotted/saved/backed-up the backup key that most of these services give you when setting up 2FA, I’d be royally screwed (sidenote, I had no idea where I saved these backup keys!). With Authy though, they support multiple devices as well as cloud backup (encrypted!). If I lost my phone, I could log in to Authy and I’d still have access to all my accounts wherever I’d setup 2FA.

But the app says they only support Google Authenticator – how can I use Authy then?

2FA is just a QR code or long string of characters. If the website or app says they support Google Authenticator, that means it also supports Authy!

If any website or service you use offers 2FA, set it up!

If you’ve setup 2FA with Google Authenticator and want to switch (like I did), it’s really easy. Login to the apps and sites, disable 2FA (using Google Authenticator) and then setup 2FA again using Authy. Took me 5-10 minutes to change over all my accounts and now I feel a lot safer knowing that my phone isn’t the only device that holds all the keys to my castle.

Need more convincing? Read Authy’s blogpost on their comparison to Google Authenticator.