I Actually Took A Real Vacation…

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This past weekend I took a trip down to Naples, Florida to hang out with some friends. While I’ve been on many trips over the past few years they were never really vacations because I always ended up working. It is not that often I take a day off, I guess its the entrepreneur lifestyle. There is always something you can be doing, there are always e-mails to check up on, etc.

I have been working like crazy the past few months, even over-working myself by most people standards. I really have been trying to take ThinkComputers to the next level and also build up Look Social at the same time. This does not leave a whole lot of time for myself. When my friend asked me to come down to Florida I decided that this would be a vacation, not a trip where I was working every morning.

One of the best things about doing what I do is that I have the freedom to do what I want. So when I got the call about coming down I didn’t have to check with my boss to see if I could get off work, I could just book the trip. Freedom of time is something that all of the money in the world couldn’t buy.

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So from Thursday till Monday I did not work. It was a weird feeling at first, but after the first day I really embraced it. It was great waking up each morning not having a massive to-do list or stressing over the things that I needed to get done. I could hang out in the pool / hut tub and not think “Ok after this I need to do…”. I think I was at the point of burning out before I went on the trip so taking the time to just relax and de-stress was much needed. And I could actually enjoy the company of other people and really get to know them.

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Talking about the trip it was definitely nice to get out of the cold of Pittsburgh and hang out on the beach! The group that was on the trip was really great too, good people and now new friends. Hopefully we all can plan more trips together in the future.

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Now that I am home I feel much less stressed and more excited about continuing to grow both of my companies. I think that taking time off to de-stress and traveling definitely has that effect and you should take advantage of it when you can. Even if its a weekend trip, driving an hour outside of the city etc. I think I’ll be planning more trips or even just getting out of the city for a day or two if it has the kind of effect on me!

Things I Do Differently In My 30’s


Last month I turned 31! The first full year in my 30’s has been an interesting one to say the least. I was thinking over the past few days at how I carry myself and how I do things differently now that I’m in my 30’s. Here are a few things that really stand out to me…

I don’t put up with bullshit – In my 20’s I feel like I put up with a lot of bullshit and let a lot of things go. This not only was with business, but in my personal life as well. I let people work for me who were not giving me their best work, I let people feed me excuses, and I put up with things in the relationships I was in that I shouldn’t have. Now I don’t have time for any of that I don’t put up with any of it. If someone is not doing their job they are done, if they make some lame excuse they are done, and if someone I’m dating is being shady or something like that they are done. I think a lot of the relationship stuff goes back to my Why I’m OK Being 30 and Single post, which you should definitely read!

Taking better care of myself – I guess as you get older it is harder to stay in shape. Over the past few years I’ve really changed my diet. I do a lot of meal prep and eat a lot of the same things. This routine I have makes it easy and I really do not have cravings for bad food like eating an entire package of Oreo’s like I used to on a weekly basis! When it comes to working out I trying and get to the gym a few times a week, which I have been able to keep up with. I would like to make it a daily thing again, we will see how that goes.

Put more time into work – I wouldn’t say that I did bad work before, but it could have been better. A lot of time I put in what was required, but no more. I don’t know what it was or why I changed things up, but I have been putting a lot more time into work. If its adding more detail and new testing methods to ThinkComputers reviews, to starting the ThinkComputers Podcast, to launching Look-Social, to working all day and even on weekends I have really been putting all I have into work and it has paid off.

Really appreciate the moment – It’s crazy how time flies. We go out with friends, party, travel, experience new things, etc. Then in a month or a year it is just a memory. Many times in my 20’s I did some amazing things, but I feel like I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t really get to appreciate it. Now anytime I am doing anything I really take the time to appreciate that I am able to do the things I am doing.

Helping friends achieve success – I guess when I started ThinkComputers that’s all I really thought about, it occupied most of my time and I really did not have time to work on anything else. This included helping friends out with their businesses. I think that is the case with anyone when they are starting a company. Now that I have a handle on things I have taken quite a lot of time to help friends build their businesses or even just help them out with things. Nothing feels better than helping one of your close friends achieve success.

Photo Credit – Joshua Earle

6 Tips to Be More Effective & Feel Better


Running your own business is not an easy thing to do and it always feels like a constant grind. With this type of work style you can easily burn out, get stressed, and just not be happy at all. Here are six tips that I have integrated into my work routine that should help you be more effective and to feel better. These of course are not just for people who run their own business, they can be used in any type of situation really.

Wake up earlier – This is a big one! I used to be real lazy with this, I mean I make my own schedule, but waking up earlier has really helped me. For me I am more creative in the morning and I am more motivated. Waking up early allows me to do my morning routine and get many tasks out of the way fast. This way I am not stressed about getting certain things done. Later in the day I am more tired and I tend to push tasks off till the next day. Getting up early and completing these tasks first thing has really help me a lot!

Make a to-do list – This may seem like a simple thing to do, but you would be surprised at how easy this is to forget. If I don’t have a to-do list I really can’t organize my day and it is easy to get distracted by things like Facebook and YouTube. Having a to-do list gives me a clear direction of what I need to get done for that certain day and I can pick out the tasks I dread doing the most and get them done first. I typically make my to-do list the night before for the current day. That way it is sitting there ready to go when I wake up.

Exercise & Get to the gym – There have been times in my life where I wouldn’t go to the gym at all for like 6 months. Luckily because of my metabolism I didn’t turn into a fat slob, but getting exercise and going to the gym is very important. You would be surprised at how good you feel after going to the gym. Even if it’s a couple times a week it is much better than not going at all. When you feel better you are going to work so much better.

Eat Well – This goes hand in hand with going to the gym. You can eat garbage and expect to feel good. I used to eat fast food and really bad food all of the time, but eating foods like that is a real rarity these days. If you follow me on Instagram you know I eat quite well. Just like working out if you eat well, you are going to feel well. Skip the fast food and pack a healthy lunch or choose something better than fast food.

Get out of the house / office – I work from home and while it is great, it does have some downsides. One of the biggest is that I get tired of it easily and it is hard to be creative and on top of that it is easy to get distracted. You could feel the same about your office. At least once a week I try and get out of the house to work. I typically choose places like Starbucks, Panera, etc. A change of scenery can get those creative juices flowing for sure!

Take a break – As I said when you are working hard it feels like a constant grind. It is important to take a break. I typically don’t take many days off, but many times I will work a half-day where I’m out with my friends during the day and I come back home to work after. Taking a break from work and getting your mind off of it all really helps you recharge. Then you can go back to work recharged and ready to kick ass!

These are 6 things that have really helped me out, try and few and see if they can have the same effect on you!

Increase Productivity by Going Out More


Earlier this year if you asked me to go do something my response would have been something like “Sorry I’m too busy” or “I have too much work to do”. I’m sure you’ve said that to someone before as well. The funny thing is that lately I have been going out a lot, yet I have been much more productive. How could that be?

Well first lets examine why I was “too busy” before. Working for myself I set my own hours, deadlines, etc. Being your own boss makes it extremely easy to become lazy. I had been doing minimal work each day and was “keeping busy” rather than doing the important tasks that needed to be done. So I would put the important things off. This meant when someone asked me to do something I didn’t have time because I was rushing to get certain things done because I had been lazy.

Going out more changed all of that. If you truly have a good time when you go out that is something to look forward to right? Hence it gives you motivation to get your work done. If I plan on going out with friends at 7PM that means I have until that time to get my work done for the day. Instead of putting things off and working all day till midnight and not really accomplishing that much.

Going out with friends or even just getting out of the house will drastically improve how you feel as well, especially if you work from home. I’ve had times where I had barely left my apartment for weeks. I was extremely depressed and felt like going crazy!

So stop making the excuses, go out with friends, go to the gym, go see a movie, etc. Do not be trapped by your work. If you have the right motivation you can get all of your work done and go and enjoy life!

Work and Getting Things Done…

Hey blog! It’s been a while! It really has and I really need to get back into blogging. At the end of the day it is good to sit down and let the words flow out. Also I always look back at old blog posts to see what I was up to. I have been blogging since 2005 so it is great to look back.

Pittsburgh, PA (Greenfield Area) – May 8th 2013

Anyways back to what this post is about…getting things done. Do you ever feel like there is just not enough time in the day? That you are always behind on your work? This happens to me constantly and you would think by now I would have a handle on it, but I never do. There are many reasons for it, but let’s not get into that right now. Let’s talk about how to fix it.

So many times I wake up in the morning and I go “Damn I have so much work to do!”, but do I really? I am a master of procrastination so that never helps. You know if someone told me “hey let’s go to a Penguins game I have free tickets” and the game was in an hour you bet your ass I would get my work done before that. Think about that, when there is something important we will get all of our work done. But the thing is important things do not happen that often so what do we do? I have a couple of tips to help you get things done.

Set a Prize
Do you remember how awesome it was to get a prize for doing something good in school? This is the same thing. Set a goal and a prize associated with that goal. Say for me it would be to have 5 reviews written in three days. If I do that maybe I’ll treat myself to a nice dinner. This may sound stupid, but when you reinforce goals with prizes it does tend to help.

The 1 Hour Rule
I put things off, like I said I am a procrastinator. Work can suck sometimes and it can be a pain to complete the most important tasks of the day. I tell myself let me work on this one important task for an hour. I usually knock out this important task and now I have the rest of the day to complete the easier and less stressful tasks.

Another way to really get things done is to just stop what you are doing and ask yourself “how can I get this done in 15 minutes”, believe me it works. Doing this really helps you be effective rather than just slowly doing work tasks.

This is a productivity technique of breaking time down into 25-minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between. So you work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break then back to work for 25 minutes and so on. This again helps you be effective and really limits distractions.

Hopefully these tips help you get work done! I know I need to use them more, if I did you would see more blog posts!