The Importance of Having a Muse or Hobby

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When you are running your own business work can sometimes be all-consuming. There have been many times were I felt like all I ever did was work, I was stressed out, I couldn’t concentrate, it just was not healthy. Over the past year I have introduced hobbies and muses into my life which have really helped me get out of my funk and allowed me to get more work done. A muse or hobby can for example be traveling, cooking, sports or even a beautiful girl. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the past year on the subject of a muses and hobbies.

Make sure they are not directly related to your job – For the longest time I tried to keep busy or get into things that were directly related to my business. For example I used to do a lot of PC gaming, but I realized that I don’t want to be sitting in front of a computer after a long day of work where I’m in front of the computer most of the time as it is.

Needs to be something you look forward to – A muse or hobby should be something that you really enjoy or look forward to. In the case of a beautiful girl I would have so much motivation to get work done or even work harder because I knew at the end of the day or week that I would be able to see that girl and do something nice for her. With anything if its something you look forward to then getting your work done should be no issue at all.

Let them bring out your creative side – I have to be creative in my job, I think most people do in some respect. I’ve had writers block multiple time and it is not fun. When I get to travel it always brings out my creative side because I am out of my normal element. If a hobby or muse helps you be more creative that should definitely help you out in your business.

You can have more than one – Some people I know have a single hobby. Besides work and family that is all they do. That seem’s pretty boring right? That would be like going to a buffet and trying only one thing! While I’m not saying have a million different hobbies have a few things that you really enjoy.

So the question I’m asking you is what is your muse or hobby? Let me know in the comments!

Interview: Pat Hanavan

Pat Hanavan

Today I am kicking off my interview series with Pat Hanavan. Pat is a pretty close friend of mine. Over the past few years I have seen him be a big part of a start-up Vodka company and build an online community and destination website for Faded Industry. So let’s get this interview started!

What do you work for or what websites do you run?
I work for Premier Innovations Group, a spirits importing business. Premier is a multifaceted business with many smaller businesses attached. I work directly with Clique Vodka as well as FadedIndustry.com.

What is your official job title?
My official job title with Premier is VP of Brand Management & Social Media. My unofficial title with FadedIndustry.com is the Content Master because I needed something for my Twitter Bio and that seemed fitting.

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
I can remember discovering MySpace and the first through that popped into my head was, “Holy shit, I have to start a business!” At the time, I was working for Sprint and not happy with the corporate lifestyle. Even though I proved sales through the use of my social networks, the company would not adopt or even attempt to try any of my ideas to increase sales. When I got my chance to leave Sprint, I left telling myself I would never go back to the corporate monster.

Could you give me a run-down of your typical day?
In our business, there really is no typical day. The way our businesses are set up allows us to easily adapt and embrace new opportunities. With that, a typical day does not really exist. The sad truth about this job though, my life is spent on my computer. If I am not on my computer, I am still managing networks from my phone because I always have to be connected.

What would you say the hardest thing about your job is?
Hardest part about my job is all of the unknown factors associated with it. What works for some websites doesn’t necessarily work for others. You have to be creative and willing to take risks. In a way, you must be able to predict the future to stay ahead of the curve. Everyday this industry changes, if you are not constantly educating yourself and learning the proper ways to leverage all of the tools available, you will have a very tough time being successful.

The Best thing about your job?
I can do my job from anywhere with a wifi signal! Now if you were to ask me what the worst part of my job is, it’s the same answer. This job is like a blessing and a curse. Yea it is great to be able to work from paradise but you are also having to work in paradise. Luckily for me, I enjoy what I do so paradise as a backdrop to work actually motivates me.

One thing that your job has enabled you to do?
Grow as an individual and learn. I was a terrible student all throughout school and never took one computer class growing up. When I got to college, I would show up for attendance and then immediately leave class to go sell and make money at work. Being stuck in the corporate setting completely stifled creativity. Transitioning my work ethic from focusing on a monthly commission check to now focusing on our collective vision has forced me to learn and grow as an individual. I would be a completely different person if I stayed at my old job. I would hate that person…. I don’t hate me.

How has social media impacted what you do?
Social Media created the job I now have. It is everything I do, without it, our business would not exist. I wish Social Media was a chick so I could bang her.

What tools do you use that make your job easier?
All I need is my laptop, some headphones and my phone. Without them, I would be completely screwed. As for the various online tools, I typically stay native to each platform.

One piece of advice for someone who wants to do what you do?
It takes a long time to learn and build, so don’t quit after the first fucking month! I relate a lot of what I talk about with Social Media and SEO to going to the gym. Everyone wants to workout for a week and just be completely ripped or however they envision their end goal. That is not how life works. If you do the right things and build all of this the right way, slowly but surely, you will see the benefits of the countless hours of your work.

Where can people see what you are up to?
They can see me all over the place:
facebook.com/hanavan
twitter.com/pathanavan
instagram.com/pathanavan
google.com/+PatHanavan
pathanavan.com
fadedindustry.com/author/pat-hanavan/

As always I want to thank Pat for his time. If you enjoyed this interview please let me know in the comments and if you would like to be interviewed drop me a line!

The #TIM05 Shipment from Quarterly

Quarterly #TIM05 Box

I talked about getting my first Quarterly shipment a little while ago, and now I am actually on my 4th shipment from Tim Ferris, the 5th one he has sent out through Quarterly. The reason I like Quarterly over all of those other box-per-month companies is that you are able to follow actual people. If you are following someone you are into you are more than likely going to enjoy the items inside the box.

One thing I really like about Tim’s Quarterly’s boxes is that they are always worth more than what you pay for them. Each box is $100, TIM05 is worth $225 and if you remember TIM03 was worth $213.65. Anyway’s lets get into what all is inside of the TIM05 box.

Quarterly #TIM05 Box

Let’s start with my favorite thing in the box, the William Painter Titanium Sunglasses. Yes they are made of Titanium! They also have notches in the side that will open beer bottles! Looks like I have my new pair of sunglasses for summer.

Chineasy is a book to help you learn Chinese. The makers of the book say it is a groundbreaking approach that transforms key Chinese characters into pictograms for easy recall and comprehension. It will be interesting to see how well this will actually work.

Ear Peace are ear plugs to help protect your ears and essentially give you peace. They come in an easy to carry container. I will be adding these to my travel bag for sure, they will be perfect for the plane ride.

Slaine: The Horned God is a graphic novel by Pat Mills and Simon Bisley. From the artwork it looks really cool and Tim said that the version we received was specially made for Quarterly subscribers.

The last item in the box is the Captains of Crush Hand Gripper. This is used to improve your grip strength. I think it will be interesting to add this to my workout routine.

I am pretty happy with the #TIM05 box. It is always great to get things that I can not only use, but will teach me new things. Tim has made a video going over all of the products in the box, you can check it out here.

Upcoming Interview Series

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I get asked so many different questions about what I do. These questions range from what I actually do to how I make money online. Over the past few years I have met many different people that make a living online or that work in social media. To give you guys a better idea of what I do and others in the industry do I am going to be doing interviews with people who I know that make a living online, are their own boss, or that work in social media.

For starters I essentially be interviewing myself to give you an idea of how most of the interviews will go. So let’s get started…

Who do you work for or what websites do you run?
I own and operate ThinkComputers.org as well as a few other smaller websites.

What is your official job title?
Not sure if I really have one? I mean I’m my own boss, I just tell people I run websites :)

How did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
Well I started ThinkComputers when I was in high school. When I realized I could make money off it I got excited. When I started making more than my current job at the time I was hooked and there was no going back!

Could you give me a run-down of your typical day?
I start the day by trying to get up at a decent time. From there a post daily news on ThinkComputers then start on the review I am working on. By the time I get that completed I take a break for lunch. After that I usually shoot videos for upcoming reviews and check e-mail. By this time it is around dinner time so I get something to eat and continue writing and get things setup for the next day (to-do list, e-mails, etc). As you can see I do a lot of writing :)

What would you say the hardest thing about your job is?
Time management has always been a hard thing for me. It is so easy to get distracted when you are not in an office environment with someone watching what you are doing.

The best thing about your job?
Being my own boss is huge for me. I was never a fan of being told what to do. Also another thing I really enjoy about my job is knowing I am actually contributing to something and that my job matters.

One thing that your job has enabled you to do?
Travel. I never thought I would go places like Las Vegas ever in my life. Going to industry events is great and I would have never have done it if I wasn’t part of ThinkComputers.

How has social media impacted what you do?
It has brought a whole new level of marketing and free advertising to the table. It has enabled us to reach more people as well. Before social media we had a newsletter and depended on SEO and affiliate sites to post our content. With social media we are able to connect with people and it has made it so much easier for them to share our content. The best thing about social media is that it is free!

What tools do you use that make your job easier?
Hootsuite – posting and scheduling updates. It works with twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Todist – Daily to-do list
Spotify / Pandora – Always need good music when working

One piece of advice for someone who wants to do what you do?
Realize that it is going to take a lot of work and don’t give up if things don’t go your way instantly.

Where can people see what you are up to?
This blog is a good place to start, but you can also follow me on Twitter.

So now you have an understanding of what these interviews are going to be like. If you think I missed something let me know. Stay tuned for more interviews and if you want to be interviewed let me know!

A Weekend Visiting Finger Lakes Wine Country

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I have never been a huge fan of wine, it just really is not my thing. My girlfriend asked me if I wanted to go with her family to the Finger Lakes to visit wineries. While I’m not really a wine person I opted to go along as it is always good to get away.

The Finger Lakes are in Upstate New York and are a collection of Lakes that look like fingers. All around the lakes are wineries, breweries and distilleries. We stayed in a small town called Hammondsport, which is right on Keuka Lake. Apparently Hammondsport is “America’s Coolest Small Town”. We stayed at the Park Inn, which is a little place right in town. It only has 5 rooms, and each room is different.

Finger Lakes

Most of the wineries are open from 10-5 daily. You can go in and do a tasting, normally $5 (make sure you bring cash). Some wineries allowed you to pick the specific wines you wanted others opted for you to pick Dry or Sweet. I think this is the best way to actually know if you like wine or not. You get to taste all different types of wine and really find out what wine you like. I found out that I really enjoy sweeter wines. Most of the wineries have more than just wine there, but since it was off season most of the other things were closed. I did end up buying wine from Bully Hill and Glenora.

We went to 2 pretty nice restaurants while we were in Hammondsport. The first was Union Block Italian Bistro. It was very nice inside and there was a lot to choose from. I opted for the Lobster Mac & Cheese which was on special.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

It was great and had quite a lot of Lobster inside!

The second place was called Snug Harbor and was right on the lake. Here I had “The Stripper” which is a New York Strip steak with black pepper Gorgonzola crust, served with McGregor Vineyards demi-glaze and chef’s potatoes.

The Stripper at Snug Harbor

It was very good and cooked perfectly.

I really enjoyed the weekend trip to the Finger Lakes and I would love to go back in the spring or summer when there is more going on. If you want to learn about wine and see if you actually like it a trip to the Finger Lakes would definitely help out!