Knocking Down Problems One Step at a Time

My Month Away:

It’s been almost a month since my last post already. There are many factors that came in to slow my work down during this time. Unnecessary stress overload at the docks, coming down with a bad cold, stress over certain job opportunities and so on. Notice the pattern there though? It all comes down to stress. The root of most everyone’s issues can come down to stress.

I have never been one to truly stress over anything. I have helped many with their own stress, lightening loads where I can, helping them find outlets and so on, but I myself have never experienced it. That being said, it puts a whole different perspective on what I would often tell others who were boggled down with that little bugger. I never truly understood why it was so difficult for them to press on through certain goals and plans. It’s very much a mental game, and after experiencing it for the first time like I recently had, I can see why others may struggle more.

First Step:

The first step is recognizing, of course, that it is indeed stress. Common symptoms can be mood change (I was a lot more angry and easily agitated), lack of energy (I didn’t want to do a lot really, hadn’t been to the gym much and just sort of lounged around everywhere), headaches, appetite change (I didn’t eat near as much), etc.

Symptoms can vary for everyone, but can generally be targeted to those listed. All of that adds up, weakening your immune system as well and making you more likely to get sick, such as the cold I have.

Correcting Your Course:

This is the area I would generally help people and try to guide them and tell them what could help alleviate stress. This is also the most difficult part, the part I never fully understood since I had never experienced its’ true difficulties. It took me some time to muster up the motivation to do anything, but over time it has improved.

General Recommendations:

  1. Work Out. This is always number one to me as it helps with so many things, to include stress alleviation.
  2. Check your diet. Truthfully, this should probably be number one. This happened to be one of the last things I actually looked at during this time. My issue was caffeine. For whatever reason over the past month and a half or so I became a caffeine fiend. I was drinking 4+ cups of coffee a day, with at least 2 of those being Death Wish Coffee, plus a fat burner which was pretty high in caffeine as well, plus a lot of tea. All the caffeine added up and my body finally crashed. I now hardly even touch coffee currently just to make sure everything comes back down to normal levels.
  3. Get Out! At one point, my mindset was “I just need a good day of rest being lazy at home..” That turned in to two days…two in to three and so on. Being locked up in your house for so long messes with you. This is why I encourage my wife to get out and even look for a part time job. We all need something to make us feel like we are doing something useful. If you can’t create that, sometimes it’s easier to pick up a part time job or go volunteer somewhere. The important thing is to get out and around nature and society.
  4. Meditate. When I was in high school, I was huge on meditation. I used to wake up extra early before school just to spend 30 minutes to an hour meditating. I believe that helped me a ton back then, as I never was easily agitated and never really worried about a thing. It’s hard to get in to for some people, and for me currently, it’s difficult to start up again. I have found that meditating in the steam room after my workout at the gym works pretty well. So, meditate, even if for only 5 minutes a day. It’s better than nothing!
  5. Pick up a hobby. Hobbies are awesome. They let you explore your creative side and have fun. Instead of splurging on a video game or movie and junk food, put that fun money towards a hobby. I wanted to get in to blacksmithing, so I built a forge. I now know that, due to the difficulties of coal, I want to build a gas forge, so I will eventually save for that. Hobbies can be virtually anything, from working on cars to gardening. Hell I want to have a nice garden one day, so I will pick it up eventually!
  6. Laugh. There is so much negativity, so many bad things going on in the world and the media and internet helps it spread like a wildfire, so much so that we forget to laugh once in a while. I have been on a laughing binge this past week or so. Everyone else in the house is watching their ghost stories and scary movies, and that’s fine. I typically would as well as October is my favorite month and Halloween my favorite holiday, but I need the entertainment. I will listen to a good comedian, watch a funny movie, read funny stories, or go out and mess around with friends. Whatever it is you gotta do, laugh. It is one of the best medicines out there!

The list can go on. I can be more specific and more detailed and take people on a more personal level to help them with more specific guide lines. All too often though, that just makes things difficult. It gives you too many options, overloads your brain and you just want to sit and do nothing. Limit your choices and act on it for results.

Everyone hits hard points. What are your struggles right now? What’s been bothering you? What can you do to improve the situation? Where there’s a will, there is a way. Let’s get back on it!

Set Your Ship to Sail

There comes a time when you must accept the work you have put in, prepared all that you can, left your family well off for your time away and readied your men for all that may come ahead. Your weapons are broken in and set to defend, your armor is hardened for battle, you ask Njord to guide your ship and Odin to favor you should the need arise. You have your bows and arrows ready to pour down on enemies from your ship if there is no chance of talking first, you are a warrior, a Viking. It is time to take the leap and set sail!

Set Your Ship to Sail:

By this point in your online adventure you have:

  1. Paid for hosting, paid for a domain name and maybe some extras such as SSL Security.
  2. Designed your page, maybe something simple, maybe an online market style, maybe a blog, maybe a hybrid of sorts. Your page has something to look at!
  3. You have begun networking with like-minded people, learning from everyone what they have to offer, as well as sharing what you have to offer yourself.
  4. You have built your social media, maybe you are very active in them and have built them to a large extent. Maybe you are like me and terribly suck at staying active on your social media!
  5. You have started to build your Master Mind Group. You know who you want to work with and you have talked to them about your plans. They like the ideas and offer their assistance.
  6. You are ready to take off!

When you sit back and look at all you have done, you will realize you have put an immense effort in to your business. Maybe it’s not the best it could be. Maybe you could have done more, or should have done this instead of that. But it is OKAY! Do NOT stress yourself out over the imperfections.

Unless of course these imperfections prevent you from being able to take off….which is worst case scenario and highly unlikely..it is time.

Give The Battle-Cry and Ready Yourself:

Are you ready? Are you pumped?! Are you EXCITED?? WE CAME HERE TO EXPLORE! WE CAME HERE TO CONQUER AND TO GROW AND EXPAND! 

We are NOT going to back down nor are we going to quit, turn our tails and head home before we have even taken off! It is time brothers and sisters to take a stand, raise your voice and PREPARE FOR YOUR DESTINY!

Now is the time. Advertise. Spread the word. Make yourself a nice business card with a decent logo, your website and contact information. Hand it out to the people you network with, hand it out to customers at your day job, just pass it around! Spread the word on social media, and by that I do NOT mean just on your own pages’ social media but also your PERSONAL accounts! Let your friends know, let your family know. Get them to read your blog, check out your products, offer discounts in exchange for honest reviews and feedback so you know what’s good and what’s bad. Build your FAQ list for your products, make it POP!

It’s now or never and we’re going to take off! Full force, do NOT STOP until you have reached your goals!

 

Work Hard, Live Strong, Set Sail and CONQUER!

Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen, A True Viking

Today is a special segment for “All Things Viking” in that I am happy to bring up a particularly inspiring man that I so luckily came across while scouring the web and its’ endless list of blogs. Author and Blogger Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen, creator of Bull-Hansen.com and many books on the life of Vikings.

A True Viking

Bjorn is someone I would consider a modern day True Viking. Reading over his posts, he very much lives by the Viking ideology, in the same manner I am applying to building this website. His blog is nothing short of amazing. I have spent a few days just reading over the posts there and learning more about what it means to adapt and be a Viking. Bjorn successfully teaches others about the history of Vikings with out the flashy fillers seen in the History Channel series “Vikings.”

In having the opportunity to speak with Bjorn, I have found that he is a very kind person. He is respectful and helpful. Combine that with his guides on what it means to be a Viking, if a Viking mindset is right for you, and a plethora of ideas and how-to’s on Viking life here, you have someone who is very much a Mentor to everyone interested in the lifestyle.

Bjorn’s books are currently only in Norwegian (a language I would love to learn and may buy the novels in the original language for that purpose!) but he is actively working on having them translated, searching for a Literary Agent to help bring his books to publishers in other countries. I would be quite excited to see this come through and work out for him!

All in all, I am amazed at the vast amount of information on Bjorn’s site, from vikings to Bushcraft, Bjorn has a page I can happily spend hours on just relaxing and reading, learning and exploring from the eyes of a True Viking, someone both born and living in the home of the Vikings, where the history is rich, first-hand experience, to applying it to his daily life and helping others to achieve the same thing.

Bull-Hansen.com is literally a goldmine of information worth checking out if you truly want to adapt a Viking lifestyle, or just learn more about that era.

Building Your Army

If I want to succeed and have the ability to travel to more lands after this first quest, I need to build an army. This starts with myself. I am, as other Vikings, a one man army. I must be able to do everything I can to survive without others should the opportunity arise. But there is strength in numbers. I must bring together forces of equal and greater strength to help in every situation, and for us as a group to grow together..

Building Your Army:

In the Viking Age, it was essential that you be able to survive on your own. You had to become a one man army, both mentally and physically. Vikings were intelligent people. They knew what they needed to do to survive. If they weren’t, their legacy wouldn’t have spread across the entire world as it has. The weak and ignorant died off while the rest thrived and grew. The successful worked in groups to travel and trade, battle when they needed to.

In today’s society, working in groups is still very important. I have always been a man of solitude, leaning more towards working alone more often than not. Even in my day job working on the docks, I work alone the majority of my time. This has helped me grow a lot as a person, especially with a leadership mindset. When I work with groups, most people I work with lack the desire to make a decision, so that becomes my job. Some times they won’t like it, but the after effect changes their mind.

Today, we will discuss this very important step in building your online work, be it in eCommerce, Online Marketing, MLM or just plain Blogging. Of course, you could be successful if you go at it alone. Many already have, but they have probably struggled and went through a lot to get there. Why make it hard on yourself? Build a workforce, a Master Mind group.

The Idea of the Master Mind Group:

The idea of the Master Mind Group is something that came to me in reading a very old book that still applies to today. It was a book called “Think and Grow Rich.” It’s an amazing source of inspiration and ideas for business. There are things in there that are very old knowledge but has been a major driving force for myself. This same thing can be seen mentioned in books like “The 4-Hour Work Week” and “100$ Start Up.” These are some other very amazing books I highly suggest you read.

The idea of the Master Mind Group is simple really. You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you spend your time with toxic people, you are probably very much like them. It could be that you’re lazy, just lounging around and getting nothing done. Maybe you’ve found yourself addicted to smoking or drinking and you don’t know how or when it started. Maybe you have high dreams and goals but have never acted on them because of your peer’s negativity. These are the people you want to GET AWAY from!

I have struggled with that part for years. It took distancing myself from MY FAMILY to finally start chasing my dreams and goals. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. But they are quite toxic people. Their days are spent on their phones or watching T.V. They only get out once in a while and most of the time just to get groceries. These are people you don’t want to influence you if your goal is to succeed in your dreams.

So, like I said, I separated myself. I started feeding my time to the online world, networking and meeting like minded people. I have been building a network outside as well. Working for a boat club has allowed me to meet some very successful people, so it has been quite the blessing. If your group is of the toxic nature, do expect some negative feedback when putting your time in to the right thing. They will suddenly know what’s best for you and tell you you’re doing things wrong and you should do this and stop doing that and so on. You have to ignore it and keep moving forward. This is the point where being a One Man Army is extremely important! Fight through this and network like hell is after you!

So, how do you meet the right people? Well…you could start here *wink wink* or you can start searching.

Building Your Network:

This is super important and really quite easy. Remember your farm? All your social networks you have been working on and building and growing. That’s the best place to start. Look through all your new followers and pages you follow and see what you like about them. Pick at least 5 really good ones and initiate a conversation. Don’t make it about business right from the get go. Just get to know them and build a relationship. You can also search through blogs of similar content to yours. Contact the authors and get to know them. I am doing that now with the Author of Bull-Hansen.com. He is an amazing guy and someone I highly look up to. Coming across his blog has been an eye opener and a big life lesson in general for myself. Definitely check out his page when you have the time! I will be writing about him in All Things Viking very soon.

Bringing It All Together:

It really comes down to identifying the negative people in your life and finding the positive ones. Spend less time with the negative and a lot more time with the positive and successful. Think about it this way:

Are the people you spend the most time with in a position now that you want or aspire to be in? If not, it’s time to move your time elsewhere. I look up to people living debt free, financially free and just enjoying life with their loved ones, so I have shifted my time to be spent with those people. Of course, me being the young buck that I am, that tends to mean spending more time with people much older than I. But that is perfectly okay! The older people tend to have more stories and wisdom to share. Not to say there are no successful young people. I have found the young ones just tend to be harder to get in touch with to be honest. Maybe it’s their lack of wisdom or lack of a desire to mentor others? I don’t know, but a lot of what I have learned has come from people more than twice my age.

Your Master Mind Group should be a hand full of people you can meet with at a regular time and discuss opportunities and ideas and start applying them. Each person should ideally specialize in a specific area. Example:

  1. Tim is a great marketer. So he will handle marketing and advertising.
  2. Johnny is a great speaker. He will handle public events and socializing.
  3. Sarah is great at planning. She will write out the business plan and break it in to small accountable steps.
  4. Shawn is an aspiring leader. He will manage the employees and volunteers to run the new business.
  5. Jerry is well studied in the IT Department, so he will handle most technical issues and computer security.
  6. Jenny is great at coding. She will build apps and tools for the company and the consumers.

The list can go on depending on how large your Master Mind Group is and what they all specialize in. It’s difficult for one person to know how to do all of that. That is essentially my current role. I have passed on some of the media art and design to my wife, who is an aspiring artist herself. I am looking in to VA’s to see about having some simple tasks with this  webpage outsourced. The idea is to split up the responsibilities equally and to the right people. Put it all together in one big melting pot and you have a recipe for success. Plus…it takes the stress of you handling all the work alone off your shoulders, and you all get to grow together is one way or another!

The end goal is for everyone in your Master Mind Group to grow and succeed. It is very important that you do NOT make this about yourself. If your end goal does not support your groups, then change your group. You are in it together to help each other grow and watch each other succeed, don’t be selfish!

Now, brothers and sisters, go out and build your army, gather your resources and prepare, as your ship is about to set sail and conquer!

Building a Forge

“Disclaimer: I am no expert, nor do I claim to be an expert on this subject matter. It is something I have always wanted to do. Being the nature of this post, I do NOT recommend building a forge if you are not ready to deal with temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees F. If you follow this guide, do so at your OWN RISK and please take all precautions to prevent injury. I am NOT responsible for any injury or damage done by following this. This is NOT my own forge, but one found by youtuber SwallowForge. I don’t take any credit for his work, and definitely recommend consulting his video guides for further instruction!”

Building a forge is something I have wanted to do for quite a while now. When I was just a young boy, reading fantasy novels and studying history in school, the blacksmith always caught my attention. Never being a man of much money, working hard and crafting fine weapons and armor for many different customers, the honest hard work was always intriguing. As I grew older I started to study the art in a little more detail, but never took it farther than that.

Kick back to about two years ago, my brother-in-law had brought the subject up. He had gotten in to the show Forged in Fire. Of course a show like that caught his interest in it, and being the builder kind of guy he is, he started talking about blacksmithing a LOT! But…it stayed at just that. Talking about it and no action.

Fast forward to a week ago. I was just hanging around, relaxing and being a bum, when all of a sudden some little spark in my brain went off. Right there in my head I just felt a giant urge to take a leap and build my first forge. I started doing a lot of research and came across this video. It’s a very cheap and simple forge, not meant to last long, but decent enough to get you started in the process and help you learn how a coal forge works. Needless to say, modifications can be done to it to improve and make it last longer, but that’s for another post.

For now, to keep things simple and finally start on a life long dream, I stuck to just the basics in the video. All in all, if you shop right and already have the majority of the tools, or someone you can borrow them from, you can build this forge for roughly 30$-40$ at max. It is SUPER cheap, not very safe, but highly effective. It took me a few days to complete for a couple reasons, though reality is it should take no more than an hour or two of hard, focused work.

0915161223A List of Supplies:

  • About 10ft of wood, cut to 4 sets of 1 foot and 2 sets of 3 feet.
  • 1 8 inch x 1 inch diameter non-galvanized steel pipe
  • 1 6 inch x 1 inch diameter non-galvanized steel pipe
  • 1 shut off valve at 1 inch diamater
  • 1 Electric Air Mattress Pump (Battery or Wired, I went with Wired.)
  • 2 10mm steel rods (I used rebar, don’t recommend it!)
  • 1 steel baking pan 14inx10inx2in (this will fit the frame best)
  • Lumpwood charcoal (highly important that you use charcoal and NOT coal.)
  • Wood chips/shavings
  • A bowl of any sort and a cotton rag
  • Screws/Nails/Hammers/Drill Bits for holes.
  • Coffee. Lots and lots of Death Wish Coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 0915161224c

That’s a bit better detailed of a list than the video gives you! It seems like a lot, but as soon as you start piecing it all together it really isn’t too bad. In fact, the most expensive part in the list was, to my surprise, the charcoal. So, let’s go over the process!

Getting Started:

First things first, PLEASE make sure to do this step. MEASURE EVERYTHING!! I started this project while my brain was over stimulated by a fat burner pill and coffee and decided to forgo the measuring. Not recommended at all! Fit one of your pipes against the short side of the steel pan, mark it. This will be where you cut a hole in the pan to fit the pipe through. Make sure to have a GOOD DRILL or this part will be long and painful. Get the best and largest drill bit you have and cut in to it. My drill died on me mid-way, so I improvised and used vise grips to pry it open. It didn’t come out pretty, but it functions and that’s all that matters!

Your finished product will look like this:

img_20160915_142258

Ignore the sweat drops, it was very humid, and I was on a strong fat burner! Also worth noting, please wear gloves, unless you literally want a lot of blood and sweat to go in to this project, we can just put a lot of sweat in to it by wearing gloves. I learned this the hard way when my drill died and I had to cut holes in the wood frame by hand.

Next, sorry, I didn’t get a chance to take pictures here (but if you follow the video shared, you will see exactly what I mean) you want to start making your measurements in the wood. Take the pipe out of the pan and line it up with one of the long pieces of wood. Mark the edges where the bars will hold the pan up. Make sure to keep it no more than 1 inch deep. I learned this the hard way, putting it too deep in the frame creates a large risk for the frame itself catching fire.

After you’ve made your measurements of where the holes for the steel rods will be, get a 10mm drill bit and drill the holes. Do this on BOTH pieces of the 3 feet wood! Then you can fit one of the 1 foot pieces to the end of it and use screws to put it in place. The end product will look something like this:

0916161030

Notice the other two pieces of 1 foot already in there. The back one is very important, as it will serve as the stand for your air supply. The middle is important IF your measurements are correct and your bars aren’t too low. It will be holding a cooling system soon enough. If you mess up measurements the way I did, you will see my workaround for that!

Alright, that is the most important part of the frame. Next, you’ll want to fit some legs. You can get that from scrap pallet wood. I used 2×4’s for my legs. I went with the same system as the video, 2 legs in the back, braced, and 1 leg in the front. It works out very well.

Do NOT over-complicate this. The idea is to get a cheap, quick forge put together to start using and learning how they work. I almost didn’t have this project finished because I started thinking too much. “Well, maybe if I use this instead of that. I’m just gonna look online real quick to see what they about…” and so on! Don’t! Just get this all together, I promise it will be worth it!

Final Product:

0917161406

0917161433

You want to be sure to wet the rag AND fill the bowl with water. This is to keep the pipe from becoming too hot and melting/burning other equipment. It seems silly, but it works. As you can also see, because of the pan I got (not paying attention and just wanting to put it together) I had to drill extra holes in it and put the bars through the pan rather than outside of it. This is also NOT recommended! The front bar near the air supply got red hot and is now bent downward. I will need to get another rebar, some extra pipe to extend the air flow more to the center and readjust so the heat is not as near to the bars. As you can also see in the last picture, the wood frame burned. It had actually caught fire once the temperature got really high! This is due to the bars being placed TOO LOW! So I can not stress enough how important it is to MEASURE EVERYTHING. Learn from my mistakes people! My next steps to make this forge last longer are to:

  • Add a steel plate to the bottom of the pan to reinforce it.
  • Line the inside of the pan with firebrick.
  • Put some firebrick along the sides of the frame to prevent burning more.

And that’s about it. All issues aside, it is a FULLY FUNCTIONAL forge, cheap, quick and easy to make! We had thrown a chunk of metal in to test it out and play with it. Needless to say we didn’t quite get it hot enough to reshape it completely, other than create a slight bend. That will be a project for another post soon enough though!

Well, that’s it. That’s the forge. It’s very simple, very cheap and quite effective as a learning tool. Please be careful if you decide to make one yourself. I’m not responsible for your decision to do so!

Until next time…

Hunting and Gathering

There are just a few more resources I need before leaving to conquer other worlds. The farm is ready, seeds planted and cared for. Now, I need to find some immediate food source and material for weapons and armor if I am to succeed on this quest.

Hunting and Gathering:

Survival in the old days depended heavily on the concept of hunting and gathering. So much so that successful tribes knew to follow the animals, moving place to place to have a constant food source. So, how can we apply this concept to working online? Well, let’s look back to the previous post, creating our farm. By now, your farm should be up and running. Some of us may have a few hundred followers and connections, others more and some less. Where ever you are, as long as your farm is up and running and active, you are in a good place.

So, where does hunting come in? Well, your farm is a food source. What’s attracted to a food source? Animals that eat the food you are growing of course! So, you hunt them. Set your traps, gather your weapons and set out!

Hunting:

Analytics are a thing I am still learning. Back in my HubPages days I was pretty good at working on SEOs and managing my Google Analytics. These days, they have been on the back burner, which isn’t great really. While I believe these things are slowly dying out as technology advances and we move forward as a technical society, they are still very relevant for the time being. My advice here…don’t follow my lead! Research SEO Optimization and how to use Google Analytics. These are TRACKING TOOLS that will make your HUNTING easier!

For those little rebels out there like myself, check out these ideas, apply them, see how they work and what you can do different or if you even need to do anything different to begin with.

The Blog:

First and foremost, your blog is your primary farm. Your blog should be the main source of food where the most animals are attracted. This is where you REALLY want to lay your traps down to catch the little critters.

Traps:

Traps are, obviously, your subscription opt-in forms! As I have been following the online course in list building, subscribers = money. Opt-in forms = subscribers. But of course, you can’t just say “Hey sign up for this!” And expect people to take it. You have to give them a reason to want to sign up! In comes the bait for the traps.

Bait:

Your bait is your reason people want to sign up. I.e. If you signed up for my blog earlier, you were offered a free ebook of sorts going over some of the top 10 lies affiliate markets will tell you. I admit, this one is some what silly to be honest. But to me it’s quite important to get this out to the masses! I have befriended quite a few affiliate marketers and I watch the tricks they use to lure unsuspecting victims in and convince them to buy a product or MLM service.

Multi-Level Marketing is, in my whole-hearted opinion, the worst thing ever. Of course, there are your success stories. But those are few and far in between. Those are the ones good at convincing others to buy in to a program that they really don’t understand. These programs are usually disguised  as an educational program in which you learn how to market and make money. The thing is, you don’t really learn anything other than how to sell that very high ticket program to others, make money off them purchasing it, then make money off the people they sell it to and so on. Everyone, in a sense, SHARES money. It’s super close to the idealistic “good” parts of communism!

Sorry, I just needed to get that point across! The point is, give people a REASON to sign up. In the next coming days I will be launching an e-course on starting your first forge and blacksmithing as a hobby! I am currently in the process of putting a forge together, so stay tuned there!

Traps in other places:

Of course, you can place your traps in other places as well. After all, your farm is rather large. Use your articles to start. Re-purpose blog posts to fit in to social media. Use bits and pieces from your posts, add a picture and link to that post. It takes maybe 5 to 10 minutes MAX to do this! It’s a simple and effective way to get people reading your posts, which in turn brings them to….YOUR OPT-IN FORMS! Traps set, just keep an eye on them and keep fresh bait for the best ones. 😉

Pack Your Bow and Arrows:

Of course, the successful hunter knows not to rely JUST on traps. While they are great, there are other aspects to hunting as well. You must go out looking for your food. You want that huge, beefy deer with years worth of meat on it! But, that deer is huge for a reason. It’s smart. It knows what to watch for and avoid. It survives because it has learned what not to do. 

Hunting can be difficult and time consuming. Let’s apply this concept with an example on Instagram:

Instagram Hunting:

This is something I am still in the process of and trying to master. I am not quite the successful hunter, but it’s getting better with practice! So, to have a successful following on Instagram, you have to be active. This doesn’t mean JUST posting pictures of that delicious Starbucks food you order on a Tuesday afternoon before going home from work. No, you must communicate with those who follow you, those who don’t follow you, and the followers of the ones who follow you. Speaking of, your followers are a great source.

Taking your followers own followers:

This is an awesome and easy way to build your list. Go to some of your top followers, those with over 1000 followers of their own. Look through their list and see what kind of people are following them. Go through their profiles, like some of the pictures and comment too! Commenting is great for building relationships and getting your own following up. It really is THAT simple. But it’s not THAT easy.

What does that mean? Well, that really is all you have to do. BUT it becomes very time consuming, very quickly. It can overload your brain, drain your mental energy and tire you out. Don’t believe me? Try this:

Spend 1 hour dedicated to absolutely NOTHING BUT Instagram. During this time, don’t JUST scroll through liking pictures. Be particular. Find people that fit in to your niche, look through their profile, like a few pictures of theirs and write a special comment for them. From there, look at their followers, rinse and repeat. Do this exact thing for an hour straight and see how tiresome it can become!

By the way, this method also falls in to Gathering.

Gathering:

Don’t just farm, trap, and hunt your prey. Gather some fruit too! Let’s try it this way. See your fruit as potential business partners, people you can learn from and profit from at the same time. Networking is very important, and so much more than JUST being social. Some of the people you come across you will find you want a deeper relationship with than JUST a following. This is no offense to your followers. These people just happen to have something they could offer you, with you helping them in some way in return. You have to be quite selective in this, as you want people that will challenge you and help you grow, rather than those that let you be complacent and toxic to your growth.

Look at your friends. You are the some of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Really look at this. Are they helping you to succeed and reach your goals, or are they holding you back and preventing you from success? It can be hard, but it can be very uplifting when you eliminate the rotten apples. I went through a time where I shut down Facebook for 2 years and did not socialize with anyone but a select few friends. Getting away from it for that time was enlightening in that it showed me how much time I was wasting trying to have relationships with friends that really DIDN’T care. It sucks, but once you invest all that time in to the RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS it is so much better, I promise.

A Closing For My Friends:

If you are following me here, or anywhere, I consider you a friend. If you need help with anything, I will do my best to help you solve whatever the issue is! If you want to build a Master Mind Group, get with me! I’m still seeking the right people for this group! We are all here to grow and succeed and I want you guys to grow and succeed as much as I want to.

So, practice the above, build your networks and relationships, grab those followers and stay tuned for the next chapter in the series!

Death Wish Coffee: The Beginning

I Finally Opened It!

I finally opened my 1lb bag of Whole Bean Death Wish Coffee! Upon opening, I was greeted with an amazing smell of coffee rushing out of the air tight bag. The beans themselves had a nice color to them for a dark roast. It was glorious to say the least. If you follow me on Snap Chat, you got to experience the whole process with me, from opening the bag to grinding the beans, loading the drip machine up and taking my first sip.

Needless to say, a couple friends were in a “WTF dude!” mindset after seeing a billion pictures and videos of the whole process! But I don’t care. It was the best day ever.

The Experience:

So, overall my experience was quite satisfactory. If it would have been my first cup of coffee of the day, the affects would have been tremendous. Unfortunately, it was late evening when I decided to open it up. I’m quite numb to caffeine these days, so I had two cups (roughly 1200mg of caffeine!) Once you hit a certain intake in a day, caffeine’s affects aren’t the same. Needless to say, being an evening Cup o’ Joe, it wasn’t as strong as it could have been. I got a slight energy boost, but nothing I’m not used to after being on strong pre-workouts and fat burners. However, it is much more enjoyable than your typical, stale, store bought coffee! The taste is much nicer. It’s got a stronger flavor due to the high caffeine content, so if you’re numb to burnt coffee from Starbucks, Death Wish Coffee is a party for your mouth.

Moving forward, tomorrow I plan to grind up an espresso shot, brew a drip pot, and combine them just to see what happens! I’m sure it will be nothing short of insane and enjoyable. I’ll also be sure to make it my first cup of the day to get the full affect of that which is Death Wish Coffee! I’m highly looking forward to Valhalla Java in the coming weeks, as that one supposedly has a smoother taste to it.

The Verdict:

Would I recommend Death Wish Coffee? Hell yeah! Will I purchase it again? Definitely! It has such a nice flavor to it. The price is a little steep to keep a regular supply in house, so it will be a special occasion drink or a quick preparation scrambling for the door drink. One 1lb. bag of whole bean will net you at least a week’s worth of relatively fresh coffee. I separate the whole beans in to zip lock freezer bags in a pot size of coffee, label, and freeze them just to make it hopefully last longer. When making a pot, I of course pull 1 bag out, grind it up, then brew it! It’s a small extra step in the process for the freshest coffee you can get besides roasting your own beans.

Final say in it 10/10, will buy again, but maybe once a month at the absolute most. (Until I’m rollin’ in dough of course!)

Getting Your Shit Together

Sometimes, when starting a project, your mind gets cloudy. Everything becomes disorganized and messy. This mess just builds up and suddenly…you quit.

Pull Yourself Together!

When things start becoming a mess you have two options:

You can leave it a mess and let it pile up to the point of no return, moving on to other opportunity.

Or…

Get your shit together and clean that mess up!

If you go with option one, chances are you will end up in the same spot eventually that made you leave your last project. If you can’t discipline yourself to keep things clean, you will have a hard time achieving your goals. Everyone hits these hard points. It’s all a part of the process, especially if you don’t have a mentor or guide to help you.

The Solution?

Start making a list of everything you have to do on a regular basis. That is the first step. I find that writing this down either on word or on another social forum helps a ton. I prefer the latter as it will give others the opportunity to help you organize that list, as well as them list their own issues to get together.

My Current List:

  • Gym At Least 4 to 5 times a week (MINIMUM)
  • Stick to checking emails only twice a day (to move down to once a day soon)
  • Write a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday (Still working on that!)
  • Follow course on building subscriber list
  • Learn how to build more value for my readers
  • Read up on other blog authors to learn from them
  • Stay active on social media (much more difficult than I had expected!)
  • Work my day job at the Boat Club
  • Build my network
  • Keep clean diet
  • Spend time with my wife and dogs
  • Fishing with brother-in-law (We do this quite irregularly)

And to eventually add on…

  • Pick up my ol’ dusty guitar
  • Practice singing again
  • Get back on track to learning a new language
  • Learn to sail (Club is getting a sail boat here soon!)

As you can see, the list is pretty decent right now and is only growing ever more. As you can ALSO see, it is very messy! So, as I said, I write about it. I wrote about it in a social/fitness forum I am a member of, and I am writing it here as self help for you, my readers, and myself. I know my list, I know what is important and I know how I need to arrange this list in order to make it work.

We will talk about arranging this list in the next blog post though! For now, get your thoughts together, write down your regular daily/weekly activity just to see where you’re at. This first step will help clear up the clutter so much!

What about you? What advice can you offer to this list of mine? What questions do you have about organizing your days? Maybe you aren’t a list person, and that’s perfectly okay! What do you do to manage your daily life?

 

Valhalla Java and Death Wish Coffee

I’m super excited to have my first post on “All Things Viking” about a product I have followed for many years now and only recently have I had the opportunity to purchase it! Let’s get a little history on this here…

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How I Came Across Death Wish Coffee Co.

First off, I am OBSESSED with coffee, to say the least. No, not Starbucks burnt, old beans kind of coffee. Real, at home, fresh roasted beans, good coffee. Okay, okay, I don’t roast my own beans (YET!) But I have standards! I love finding those little mom and pop coffee shops that you can sit in comfortably, listening to calm music, building relationships with the shop owners and employees, having fresh brewed coffee and fresh roasted beans. That is the absolute BEST coffee you can ever have! Believe me, I never would have known what difference in taste fresh roasted can have if I never had been invited by an old coworker to one of those places.

Back on track to how I found this place. I have played guitar for many years now. Zakk Wylde (former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, current singer and guitarist of Black Label Society) has had a HUGE influence on my style. I have followed him for as long as I can remember! Anyway, a few years ago he made this post on Facebook. It was about “The Worlds Strongest Coffee” and supporting a little start up business. My first thought was “That’s pretty cool to see him support that!” Time went on and he posted more about it every day. The company name was…of course, Death Wish Coffee Co. What a fitting name for a company supported by such a person as Zakk Wylde!

Anyways, I started following this company back when they first got their foot in the door. For years I wanted to order their coffee and give it a try, but could never find myself spending 20$ + shipping for coffee.

Finally Purchasing From Death Wish Coffee Co.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I had received an email for a coupon with a random dollar amount attached to it.

I thought, “Okay, maybe it’ll be the low 5$, even then I would still be willing to purchase it at this point..” To my surprise, my code gave me 12$ off! Pretty significant there! So, naturally, I jumped on that sale, and of course, I had to add Zakk Wylde’s Valhalla Java to it. It HAS to be Whole Bean, to preserve the flavor longer, plus being able to grind it to what I need. (After all, I just purchased an espresso machine last month as well!)

So, the product came in the mail much faster than expected! Awesome! But…I have a ton of other no name coffee to burn through (which, by my and my family’s drinking habits should be gone by the end of the week) I must wait. What’s awesome though is how air-tight the package is. They sucked all the air out to help preserve quality, and you can very well see and feel it when you pick up the product.

They also added a couple complimentary stickers, which is pretty cool!

So, this all being said, I’m super hyped to finally have some of The World’s Strongest Coffee in my hands and I can’t wait to try it. When that day comes, you can rest assured that I will be trying both Espresso shots and Drip coffee! And of course, I will detail my adventure with the coffee, from opening the package to grinding the beans and brewing the coffee and going crazy! Woo!

 

P.S. No…I don’t get any kind of commission off this, I am no affiliate. BUT I do have a refer a friend deal to give you 10% off your first purchase HERE. So go ahead, give it a try if you’re interested, and if not, no harm, no fowl!

 

Preparing Your Farm

Before I leave off on this adventure, I want to have a few things in place for the family to be taken care of while I am away. Setting up a farm is a little difficult and time consuming, but very prosperous when done properly…

 

In this chapter of The Viking’s First Voyage, we will go over a process that can be a bit slow and quite daunting. We will call this our “Farm.” By now many of you have probably noticed that the blog itself is a bit unorganized and slow to update. This is done on purpose for a few reasons. The nitty-gritty breakdown simply falls in to bringing up all of the resources before flying off in to other areas. Let us begin today’s lesson in farming.

Our virtual farm is going to be social media. Social media is very wide spread. There are many different outlets, some you may not even realize could be considered social media. For simplicity’s sake, we will stick to the basics and what I am currently using.

Current list of social media for The Online Viking:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. Snapchat
  5. The Blog Itself

Here in a moment I will break down each one. The one I’m sure throws most people off, because I don’t see many Bloggers using, is Snapchat. Let’s take more look at each one, and Snapchat will unveil itself shortly.

Facebook:

Facebook is THE network. It is (after Myspace and other old, irrelevant social networks) big brand, the creator of all things social. Though the market may seem to be slowly dying out there, it is still massive and a great place to connect with a variety of people. I like Facebook because it has been around for many years and has A LOT of tools to offer for business. Setting up a Page for your Blog/Store/Business is very fast and very easy. There are tons of tools to customize your page and help increase traffic. Facebook has been on the backburner for The Online Viking currently though, and this is simply due to keeping things away from Family/Friends eyes FOR NOW. I will unveil to them my site when the timing is right. Until then, this is about you, my readers and subscribers.

If you’re just starting out, I HIGHLY recommend making your page on Facebook and making it a priority. Reaching out to friends and family are the easiest way to get traffic and spread the word about your work.

“Mr. Viking, if that’s true, why aren’t you doing that too?” It’s simple. I don’t want them to get in to my business just yet. I want to put all my time and effort in to growing the site for what it is. I made a promise a few years ago that I will achieve and HAVE to achieve over the next couple years now. Due to the nature of this promise, I am keeping it “underground” for now, with only a select few family knowing what I am working on. (To some extent they aren’t aware, they just know it is happening!) So if you’re in on this, shhh! It’s our little secret and you’re in a special secret club right now!

 

Instagram:

Now, I have had an Instagram set up for some time before I set up The Online Viking. I have been in and out on it a lot, so it is definitely not as far along as it COULD be. If you hop on over to there, you will notice it is very Fitness and Bodybuilding based. That’s unimportant right now.

So, why Instagram? It’s simple. It’s a VERY social intensive media site. It’s a highly effective way to engage the audience and share more personal moments with them (queue in Snapchat later.) I love the ease of posting pictures/videos in a permanent spot and being able to see what everyone else is up to that they are enjoying and sharing with the world. It truly is a great, close nit site to connect with anyone and everyone. Growing a follower base on Instagram is as easy as just being very social on the site itself. I toyed with it for a while and at one point grew up to 300 followers in as little as two weeks of investing one hour a day on it. Now, I haven’t been quite active on it lately so the number has dropped a little.

But, as you can see, it is a great source to build a subscriber base, especially in a specific niche. As I mentioned, mine is mostly in Fitness and Bodybuilding and as such, a lot of my followers are in the same thing. It’s a simple and effective way to control who you are marketing to.

Twitter:

I am a NEWBY with Twitter! BUT, Twitter is amazing. It allows you to capture those random thoughts and moments, link them to Facebook and Instagram for easy sharing of content. It keeps your mind on track by limiting how much you can write in a Tweet (which is awesome when you don’t know when to stop!) My Twitter account is brand new and as such is very small right now, but I promise you, following the same rules as Instagram, that will change over the next month.

Twitter is very similar to Instagram in that it allows you to be very close with your audience and subscribers. It is an awesome tool. It also makes it very easy for your subscribers and fan base to share your articles and posts, helping spread the word about you that much easier. The key to Instagram and Twitter is simply to BE ACTIVE! From my understanding, posts on Twitter should be AT LEAST 3-5 times a day minimum. Instagram can be a minimum of 2-3 times a day. You don’t want to be too spammy in your posts, but you don’t want to seem inactive and lose interest from not posting enough. Start at about 3 posts a day on both ends for optimal results in the beginning. (I could be wrong on that number and if any Social Media experts are reading PLEASE correct me!)

Snapchat:

This is my all-time FAVORITE form of Social Media! It has been around for a while but is only recently starting to grow and gain ground. Snapchat is awesome because it’s the perfect combination of Twitter and Instagram in that you post Photos and Videos but only for a small section at a time. The BEST part is that your posts are only up for a limited amount of time. Why is that awesome? It creates a small sense of urgency and “I need to see this before it goes away!” Or “Oh no, I just missed out on this post, what did I miss?!?” sort of thinking. It is HIGHLY engaging to your followers and very personal. You can easily share moments in a matter of seconds. It allows you to share your silly side or your more personal times with a simple click, making it that much easier to connect with your subscribers. To put icing on the cake, it’s just so fun to use! Go ahead and try it out. Start with your friends and family and expand, share your account with your own follower/subscriber base and play with it. You may build some awesome relationships this way!

Your Blog:

Finally, the cream of the crop, the most fruitful tree, the best harvest, your own blog. Your blog is why you do all of this! The rest are simple supplements and extra food source. Your blog is your main source, where most of your work should go. Over the next coming weeks and months, you will see a TON of changes to The Online Viking. Everything from my Opt-In Form and offer, to placement of menus and buttons, background and overall design and layout of the site. It’s a little messy right now as I am still learning my way around, but it will all fall in to place very soon. The biggest obstacle to overcome is learning to use WordPress, which is NOT all that hard! After that, googling some simple coding to be able to personalize things a little more is a very useful tool.

Of course, if you don’t want to struggle with all that mess, you can always hire a freelancer to do the work for you when it comes to your website design. This is great when you have the money to invest in your blog. For the rest of us, you can expect to spend roughly 30$ on startup (price for a domain name and hosting with fluctuations in count.) When I started this particular blog I spent about 24$ total. I used namecheap.com for both the domain name and hosting. It’s dirt cheap to start there for a year worth of hosting, plus SSL Security for .99$! (No I am not affiliated with them and do not receive benefits for this.) Now, I know there are better options out there, but when your budget is in your mind, this is a great place to start. Eventually I will move on to better places.

 

Putting It All Together:

When formed together, all of these things will make your farm. It will take a lot of time and effort to put in to each one, and they ALL need equal attention. After you set your land up and plant your seeds, daily nurturing is required for them to grow properly, and when the time is right, the Harvest will be very bountiful. Take care of your Farm and your Farm will take care of you. Set aside a bit of time every day for each section and try new things once in a while until you find what works best for you. One tool does NOT fit all. You can follow guidelines, but you must put your own personality in to it and truly make it your own. In time, everything will fall in to place.