Sunday, 26 September 2010


need to simplify Quest 1. it's good to receive input and seek advice, but if I were to do everything I had been suggested then the competition would end next year in April...

Simplifying. Updated current quests post

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Meeting with local Youth Centre rep

Learned a lot about them and how they could help. They are very open for this and can provide a lot in terms of getting the word out and also in organising the final event. I was also given a fantastic idea, genious in its simplicity. we ought to tell the participants to choose their own theme and just write a few words about their inspiration. Brill!

Now the best thing to do is to get a group of young people onboard. This is my most important mission ;)

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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Quest 1 Mission 4 under way

Just sent the initial email, now waiting for a response. It's a great idea to get a single group of teenagers and have them run the competition. Not a problem for me to meet up with them and help them steer it.

My eyes are slowly closing, but I'm still thinking what else I could do.

If the group materialises, then a list of other groups might get handy. The kids from the 'management' group could get the word out to the others and recruit people interested in the competition.

The local gallery most probably won't work with us due to a tight schedule, but I'm still planning on meeting two other people from there after speaking with the Events Curator couple of days ago.

Any more ideas?
1. Shower,
2. Sleep

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Quest 1 current state

Quarter way from the start; got a few good souls involved: local town Facebook group, local YMCA, printers (photo); working on the local gallery; started promoting the event.

What we really need now is people's participation and the involvement of the local gallery. There is no limit to the amount of participants, the more the better.

What can be done: meeting the gallery people, using Facebook for promotion, creating something viral (comic strip, ARG, building a tower in the middle of the town and taking photos from the top), talking to everyone about it - a lot; going to group leaders - make a list (mission)
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Monday, 13 September 2010

The logo

I am so proud of myself today. The logo has been officially put on top of this blog. It was drawn on my tablet using the windows journal and then taking a screen shot and editing it in paint. High tech stuff...

Here it is for posterity:

Quests on hold

Quest 2 will be on hold until I finish with Quest 1 which has a target now of end of October this year. This stems from my realisation that to achieve mastery one needs to concentrate and focus energy.

The other reason for putting this on hold is that I have not done any research prior which increases the risk of exposure should noone be interested for a lengthy period of time. I can get back to it when I devise a low cost way of testing the validity of the concept before investing.

Quest 2: Create a partially automated income stream based on my own product

Mission 1: Find a manufacturer - complete
+1 Networking (for using an existing contact to find another manufacturer)
+1 Delegating (for using an assistant to help with mass emails and communicating with potential leads) 

Bonus Mission 1: Register the business as Sole Trader (simplest form for now). Do it by Sunday 29th August - done, +1 Urgency for doing it within the given time frame
Mission 2: Find a fulfilment center - current

Mission 3: Find a distributor - current
+1 Courage (for phoning a very large distributor)
+1 Networking (for going to a distributor that supplies a customer who wants my product)
Update 8th September: Things are happening. I have contacted 5 distributors; phoned and emailed. Follow up with a phone call.

NOTE: speak to the manufacturer to get introduced to his customers

Mission 4: Outsource sales, preferably on commission only basis. Course Plotting: Decided to start with sales to concentrate on distribution partners, hold off marketing investment until cash flow is established. Have the sales start by the 10th of September

Epic Win: The sales of the product bring £1100 per month minimum, the business is over 90% automated with all running tasks automated or delegated so that my work will be down to brainstorming new markets and smoothing out the automation processes. I have no employees on payroll, all work is outsourced and on per unit costs with any and all overheads minimised. Risk is down to a minimum, same for stock with just in time production schedule. The markets are diversified both geographically and by main activities. I can relax on day jobs and concentrate on my family, flying and coming up with new ventures.
Update 04 Sep 2010
I need to be able to support myself and my family, so money in our lives is playing an important role, but it's not all that matters in life and time is heavily limited by income generating activities. I believe that I can build this venture into an entity that can be managed with little time involvement in the long run.
The product is new and untested, I am basing my actions on my own hunch and opinions of friends. As I feel this is not enough, the manufacturing has not begun yet; same with fulfilment. I don't feel comfortable posing as something I am not to potential distributors but I also wouldn't want to lose credibility through looking unprepared. Worrying and postponing action won't bring me anywhere. I need to know if there's anynone interested in buying this idea. I will not know if anyone wants to buy it until I speak to them. The metric for this will be: How many phone calls per week can I make given the time limitations. Another one: Can I do it?

Improvement metrics:

Quest 2:

How many phone calls to distributors can I make in the limited time during the working week:

Week commencing 6th Sept 2010: Made 5 calls initially, sent 5 emails, made 5 folow up calls; result: got all contact details, one of five not interested, three unreachable, one hasn't had a chance to look at it yet; asked to phone next Thursday

5 as of 09 sept

Yes, I CAN cold call potential distributors to help with bringing a new product to the market.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Improvement vs accomplishment

It's a tough one trying to come up with metrics for non routine tasks. You can't measure improvement of something that is a one off, or at least something that I haven't done before.
I'm thinking here of the mission completion. These are non routine tasks that draw me closer to the epic win. Playing the game (or at least being involved in developing it; I don't know which until more people start doing the same) definitely helped me with getting more done.

The metric for the mission completion is the path to Epic Win itself; there are questions that can help focus on getting the missions don:
  • How can I achieve the Epic win in the least amount of steps (part of planning process)
  • How quickly can I complete this in the limited time I have?
There are others, perhaps more effective than these that could be adopted.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

New mindset helps at work

Since I've changed the rules and attained the "improvement" mindset I have found my regular full time job easier.

The task list shrank and I didn't even notice it happening because I was concentrated on answering: "Why am I doing this?" and "How and what can I improve?" questions. There's a lot for me to improve and I challenge myself in simple ways like: "How long will it take me to make 14 phone calls? I measured that and compared a few days in a row. There is lots of room for improving that, but would be best done without interruptions from worker bees.

Why am I doing this? - it helps with starting whatever I'd been postponing

How can I improve? - helps with engagement and makes even the boring tasks bearable. It also helps with focus.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Quest 2 update

Phew, shaking like a leaf I made five phone calls (cold ones, very cold) to potential distributors. I now know more in terms of interest. I should have really done this half a year ago. Need interest first, then manufacturing.

Need to make email folow-ups later on, but I did it.

Lesson Tokens:
  • Nothing to measure if you've never done something before.
  • Need interest (demand) first, then manufacturing
 I'm good now. Next time I phone I will be totally comfortable because I've heard their voices already. They don't need to agree to purchase the product. I just need to know if they are interested in this.

update: sent five emails to the five contacts. Need more contacts. I could delegate mining it to my little assistant... ;)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Mastery and Focus

I realised today that attempting to attain mastery in anything forces focus on one thing at a time. Since I've always had a problem with starting many things at the same time this revelation is quite important to me. Each of the things I started would usually not get done further than the initial idea because I never thought of them this way. I never tried to master any of them (for the lack of better word).

There's a challenge in itself to come up with meaningful metrics to gauge improvement. With my second quests I get thoughts like "I don't want to be doing this", but on the other hand I get positive ones like "I'm curious if people would be interested in this" and "this is my idea (I wanted to do this), and I have gone this far, why should I stop here?". The purpose and goals are there to motivate, but they have to be equal of more meaningful than the negative thoughts one has in order to mute them and get on with the work. Therefore there's mastery in motivation in itself, but to be honest I'd rather motivate myself in areas I'm more comfortable with.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Improvement Metrics

Quest 1:
  • sent 41 friends a message on FB about it. 5 responded - 12%. Sent the messages on the 3rd of October. There were 18 page views on the blog on that day, and 16 the following day, nothing on the 5th.
  • Met 5 group leaders, some of them more than once - one has acted
  • posted 2 updates on FB asking friends to vote - There were 19 page views of the blog on the day of the first update and 7 page views after the second.
  • 10 people voted on the first poll, 2 have voted so far on the second (still open until Sunday)
  • First FB ad ran from 2am on Thursday 14th October 2010 to 2 am on Friday, cost a total of £7.50, was based on CPM, there were 157706 impressions, 28 clicks, 4 likes; average cost per click was £0.27, click through rate (CTR) was 0.02%; Text of the ad was: "Be the hero of your photo club! Participate in the Surrey 2010 Photo Competition. Like us today!"

Where to look for real motivation

Since I'd started this little project I've been trying to understand where motivation comes from and how to evoke it. This week I read up on the subject and decided that all I knew about motivation was wrong (not all, but it sounds more dramatic this way) and therefore there will be changes to how this game is played including metrics for measuring progress.

Superpowers will remain but only as a source of hm... power to draw upon at times of doubt, hesitation, etc. There will be a separate post listing those with explanations of how to use them effectively.

The point system will go away completely and will be replaced with metrics of progress and anything that could be improved upon. The first metric that I intend to use will be: "Time from creating a mission to its completion"

Lastly there will be an added emphasis on the reason behind my actions. I will be required to review the Epic Win scenarios weekly.

All this is in an effort to motivate myself with the quests alone, not with making points. Life is not about scoring points, but about completing quests (makes sense?)

edit: The GREATEST thing about this game is that I get to ramble on a blog and express myself and yet I'm not wasting time and actually achieving something. It really is working.