being true

August: Being true to self and sharing all aspects

What comes to mind when you reflect on the last 30 days?

When I reflect on the past 30 days I think about why I failed to be my true self in the workplace, and there is only one real answer… FEAR.
It’s funny because I often speak about being true, being authentic but in the workplace, I failed to live up to my own advice. I never opened up about my lifestyle outside of work due to fear of judgement or fear that they may think my focus is on other areas aside from Cyber Security.

It has taken a long time to realise that living this lie is probably a factor on my workplace happiness; I was never one of those people who woke up excited for a day at work, but for my own projects I would hop out with a spring in my step.
I rarely spoke or shared information about my real life and what really occupied my free time; whether it was hosting or running events for The BME Collective or Bristol Co-Working, recording or editing for Tag Me In Podcast or pushing Notesworthy or Best Revision Guide – none of this was revealed.

These are where my true happiness came from and it took a while to discover the reason. It was because in these ventures I am myself; I’m not holding or limiting myself, I’m ok with making mistakes, I’m comfortable in using my natural skills or learn the necessary skills required as I go along.
Mentally I think there is a workplace pressure or expectation although it may not truly exist, at times it feels like you always have to be on guard and you are only a few mistakes away from being shown the door.

I am making the commitment to myself to be truer, whether that be talking about them openly or even how them linked on my LinkedIn page.

What have you achieved?

Tag Me In Podcast has recently reached a milestone of 20,000 listens since it started, it’s a strange feeling knowing people spend time every week listening to myself and Ola discussing topics around being the best version of ourselves.
It’s these type of achievements that reinforces our drive to push on and do better, initially before travelling we pre-recorded 4 months worth of episode, we have had reached the point of which we were running out of episodes and that meant we recorded 12 episode over a week period. We both sacrificed our free time to ensure we could record these even with a 7-hour time difference as we remain committed to this baby of us.

What have you struggled with?

I have always struggled with is dealing with non-verbal conflicts, the type of conflict is when you know something is up just based on the vibe.
I find it difficult to be direct and say “Hey, are we cool?”, in these moments this is a lot of over thinking “What did I do, is it even me, have I thought about this too much”.

It naturally eats away at me and alters my own behaviour towards that person… Like “please don’t kill my vibe” but I have witnessed how other people deal with it and I’m trying to learn from their approach of just confronting the person directly and opening up that communication.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve been spending time going through the published material on Best Revision Guide and Notesworthy and trying to improve their SEO scoring, little amendments like heading length, ensuring the right keywords are listed in both the main body of text and heading and also adding other useful links to improving SEO scores of posts.

Based on the achievement of Tag Me In Podcast I have been reviewing and planning the roadmap for the next 6 months.
We have big aims and want to see more collaboration, new visual contents, new materials. This will progress over time, but small changes have already been implemented to our Youtube Channel like improving the thumbnails and tags in the hope it will catch people’s attention when searching for certain videos.

How do you feel physically and mentally?

The joys of travelling mean I meet new people frequently, but there are certain ones who stand out, and recently I met someone who challenged my mind on a daily basis. Conversations would roll on for 5+ hour plus, talking and exploring topics, and the greatest thing was it was so natural. Moments like this leaves you wanting more and there was a huge void when they did set off to their new destination. Yes, the moments didn’t last for long but they make you excited for the next meeting or encounter.

Physically I have been paying attention to those aches and pains and treated myself to a full on a spa day. I have also reduced the frequency of stretching, as I believe I may be overstretching which can be painful itself.

What are your future goals?

Research Properties and use propertygeek
Apply lessons learnt from Babypips and make 2 trades
Build traffic to Dropshipping website, to see sales of 20
Focus on and build better relationships with banknote sellers
Maintain daily stretching while traveling
Complete push up on a daily basis while travelling
Have video call with family once every 2 weeks
Have call with friends once every 2 weeks
Complete Funding Application for BME Collective
Record 4 months worth of Tag Me In Podcast
Migrate Tag Me In Podcast to different podcast host
Plan and book the next stops of my trip – Singapore, Indonesia and Australia

Anything else you feel is important.

  • Digital Look Stock Screener
    • Useful for those who want to screen stocks based on their fundamentals
  • Don’t have expectations but translate it as goals
    • More about your own personal expectation of yourself, learn how to convert the expectation into a goal. It will make things more achievable especially if they are broken down.
  • Pay off your mortgage in the shortest time frame
    • The longer your mortgage the more you will end up paying back, aim to repay your mortgage in a short time frame if possible.
  • Interest-only mortgages are the most common type used in property investment.
  •  The key to making a profit is to start with the price you can sell it for when the work is done, and work back from there.

 

 

July: New and Old Friends

July: New and Old Friendships

What comes to mind when you reflect on the last 30 days?

When I reflect on the past 30 days I think about friendship, what it means and how it feels when you establish a new connection with people.

How our interactions, personality, and values define a friendship and the people we connect with. These unique values are what we add and contribute to others and it’s their unique values that contribute to our life.
Each person has a different aspect to them, which makes us try something new and different.

Friendships whether new or old can bring so much joy into our lives, I have friends who look out for me; who care; who want to know how I am and what I have been doing. Despite being away I have created new friendships, and have been surprised to see the extra mile these new friendships have gone to make me feel welcomed.

What have you achieved?

It may have taken some time but I finally found my motivation zone, the key to unlocking this zone was Routine a forever common theme in my life.

What routine breeds is productivity, it builds a foundation that aids you to complete your tasks and with that gives you a sense of achievement.

Over the last 30 days, I have been planning and creating content such as articles and infographics for both Notesworthy and Best Revision Guide. I’ve learned that content is king when it comes to traffic, hence the focus on creating meaningful and informative content.

A lack of preparation previously led to an increase in workload, admittedly I haven’t mastered this and I am trying to learn from past lessons.

The BME Collective business directory is growing nicely as we aim to improve the relationship of these businesses with the local Bristol community, there are exciting things happening with the BME Collective which if successful could see it grow to the next level.
Over the past year my business partner has been mentioning the need to create a strategy and roadmap for the group, and with new opportunities arising it became a priority and over a 3 day period, we produced a slide deck detailing our goal and vision over the next 3 years.

Lastly, I have been spending some time researching products that I could potentially sell online by dropshipping, whilst travelling I learnt how difficult it is to run and maintain an e-commerce business remotely which has prompted the latest venture of selling environmentally friendly products. For the past 60 days, I have been doing keyword analysis and using tools like Google Trends and Google Ads to identify a small niche within this market space.

What have you struggled with?

How one date reminded me of the emotional ups and downs of dating and how easy it is to revert back to an old way of thinking.

When I’m usually asked about the last time I have dated I tend to say about a year and a half, but if I was, to be honest, I did dip my toe about 10 months ago but it was a strong indicator to me that it was not the right time.
Why so long is the question that usually proceeds and my answer is simple? I wanted to get a better understanding of self, understand my desires and wants from myself and my future partner in a relationship, along with the lessons I failed to learn from in past relationship.

Ever met someone who at first you thought was amazing, to then later discover they have some traits you dislike. How do you feel when this happens? Disappointed.

For the first time allowed myself to entertain the idea of a date, but the date wasn’t exactly how I thought it was going to go. I felt like I giving a coaching session, the whole experience was a reminder of what the dating game is all about.  This whole experience sent me on a rollercoaster of mixed emotions especially annoyance and frustration, but it taught me a lot.
When I reflect on this moment I feel it was necessary, I reverted back to an old way of thinking by getting excited about someone I met in a short space of time, rather than slowing my excitement down, exploring the person to determine what direction thing would go.
It took the “theory” aspect of the past 18 months and showed how the “practical” aspect won’t go as expected. 

What are you working on right now?

I’ve been focusing on Tag Me In Podcast and review our social media platform, initially when we started our strategy was about gaining followers but as time went on we learnt there is more to social media like engagement and content quality. I have been looking at our followers and reviewing who is engaging with our content and whether they actually are gaining value from us.
Continous improve plays a huge factor in my life but strangely enough when I think about Tag Me In Podcast there hasn’t been any major drive for improvements. As always once I have awareness I am able to take action, I’ve been spending time each week looking at Facebook Groups about podcasts and learning from others, engaging in discussions and contributing my knowledge to the group as well.

Adding new content to Best Revision Guide, it has been a while since I had updated it and over time there have been releases of new books for AS and A Levels so there was a number of books to review and add to the site.

With Notesworthy I have finally been able to implement a new workflow to improve the flow of banknote valuations, and also a feature which allows people to sell their old notes for cash.

 

How do you feel physically and mentally?

As mentioned earlier a few days of this month had me in my feelings, but overall I am buzzing mentally. A lurking thought that is becoming louder as time goes on is what does reality look like especially once I stop my travels and potentially return back to my 9-5. I often have to remind myself to be in the present moment and enjoy these moments.

Physically I have been great, I’ve been consistent with going to the gym and focusing on flexibility by stretching every session for about 20 minutes, along with this I have been having some hard landings whilst attempting to do handstands.

What are your future goals?

*These need to be reviewed and dates added because they will end up being here indefinitely – These are definitely not S.M.A.R.T goals

To continue learning Forex using babypips
Review Trade system podcast
Read up on Property Investments
To review stock portfilo
To generate additional income into my bank
Source Dropshipping products
Scheduled posts for Notesworthy
Scheduled posts for Best Revision Guide
Completed new workflow for Notesworthy
Make your day rate £865
Stretch atleast 4 times a week
Go to the Gym atleast 4 times a week.
Practice handstands atleast once a week
Focus on building core muscle
Complete 1 wim hof method breathing exercise
Message friends weekly
Message/Speak to family once a week
Adopt SAVERS routine while travelling
Listen to Blinkist once a week
Start to learn a new language – Daily Duolingo
Complete a book a month
Update BME Collective Directory
Think about the goal for BME Collective
To have one unforgottenable moment – maybe a new activity I have never done before

Anything else you feel is important.

 

June: Restoring the Balance

What comes to mind when you reflect on the last 30 days?

My burning desire to get myself back to where I think I should be, mentally, physically, financially and all the other aspects of life.
I have high expectations of myself along with big visions and goals. and the moment I slowed down my traveling I realised I have dropped a few gears in terms of growth.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, maybe it was time for me to drop down and slow down just to allow myself to recharge those batteries.

What have you achieved?

For me reflection is everything, it’s necessary to understand where you are and how far you are from your goals. This month I decided to slow my traveling down; previously I was moving from one place to another every 3 days.

The idea of waking up in the morning in the same bed, cooking my own breakfast, going to the gym or a swim, and having a space to do some work was my ideal lifestyle.

So here I am in Kuala Lumpur starting the latest chapter of my life called “restoring the balance“.

A common theme that’s been written in my previous blogs is my struggles during my travels in terms of my physical health, the constant moving around and the eating 2 meals a day lifestyle was not great for my overall wellbeing; I felt weak quite often.
My body was screaming for some Tender Loving Care (TLC), and I had to listen to it; now if you were a fly on the wall of the gym you would literally see me spending up to 40 minutes stretching trying to increase my flexibility. Listen I don’t want to be one of those rounded back elders with muscle aches.

What have you struggled with?

Now everything hasn’t been smooth sailing, yes I had these desires, I knew what sort of lifestyle I wanted during this break from traveling.

But getting myself motivated was a very very difficult task, OK Anton lets go to the gym… Blink… OK, Anton lets complete today task… BLINK… OK, Anton let’s spend 10 minutes listening to an audiobook… erm what was I listening to?
It’s almost like part of my brain was disengaged, I didn’t really have any real pressure to do work, no real motive to do it now because I was still living a dream. I was a free man, no job, no time constraints, the weather outside was nice.
Weirdly enough prior to traveling I thought I mentally prepared myself for this, I thought the freedom of time would be a joy and I would easily find time to complete a write up on the past 30 days.

May Blog was released on the last week on June

so you can conclude how well I was doing, procrastinating was an easier option by far. I remember I once read an article about time management:-

  • More work hours doesn’t mean more productivity.
  • We’re always more focused and productive with limited time

Both of these statements are true, interesting how you think the grass will be greener on the other side.

What are you working on right now?

So assessing where I am made me notice how many things I have actually neglected, so this month was spent bringing the dead weeds back to life starting with the online businesses.

Notesworthy took a hit dramatically when I was resolving an issue, not to bore you with the technicals but removing SSL (HTTPS) traffic and Yoast an SEO plugin lead to a massive traffic dropped and it was like that for a whole month.

No traffic means no leads, meaning no conversions/sales.

SEO is vitally important when it comes to a website/Vlog. When’s the last time you’ve gone on the second page of a google search or a youtube video search, your aim is to be among the top 5 searches in relations to a particular keyword; so you want to keep Google on your side and if your website isn’t secure that goes against you.

Another thing I neglected was Amazon FBA, the first four months of my sabbatical saw this grow continuously to a point it could have served as a replacement for my monthly salary.

Yet what happened when I started traveling was I couldn’t maintain the response or delivery of certain items to the point Amazon stepped in suspended my selling activities. I’m literally at a roadblock with this one, so do I plea to Amazon and ask for them to reinstate my rights or do I park it to the side until I’m back because Amazon FBA does need a small amount of attention on a daily basis and I could potentially be setting myself up for failure if I tried to maintain whilst travelling.

 

How do you feel physically and mentally?

Great! There has been an alignment of both physical and mental feeling, in previous months I have was always better in one department.

Now we have both areas aligned up meaning I feel like I’m back in my zone, I have enjoyed my freedom even more so, the luxury of choosing when to work and when to have fun has been great.

Although it was a slow battle with the motivation I’m starting to focus on my physical wellbeing, it feels great to touch your toes without aching, I’ve been neglecting my body and now I’m finally listening to all those aches, pain and stiffness.

What are your future goals?

*These need to be reviewed and dates added because they will end up being here indefinitely – These are definitely not S.M.A.R.T goals

To continue learning Forex using babypips
Review Trade system podcast
Address issues with Amazon FBA – suspended account
Review Business status
Stretch atleast 4 times a week
Go to the Gym atleast 4 times a week.
Meditate daily and visualise
Complete a book a month
Listen to Blinkist once a week
Start to learn a new language – Daily Duolingo
Record some new Tag Me In Podcast Episodes
Review BME Collective Directory

Anything else you feel is important.

  • Learn how to change the narrative of your story from bad/negative to good – if your car breaks down, think about how it has created some time for yourself to process something in your life.
  • The only competition is the man in the mirror – don’t compare yourself to others, don’t compete with anyone else but yourself
  • If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present
  • Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
  • Appreciate how special you are there will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts and talents to share with the world.
  • It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not
  • What you choose to focus on becomes your reality
  • Rough seas make better sailors
  • When we’re forced to do something, suddenly the time is there.
  • We tiptoe through life hoping to safely make it to death

Hello January 2018, a New Year, a New Month

 

What comes to mind when you reflect on the last 30 days?

I entered 2018 with a big change, I stepped away from my 9-5 to enjoy 12 months of freedom. As you can imagine this is a complete shift in the what has been a norm to me.

So how am I using this time?

Like any normal person, “relaxation‘ would be the first thought… Anton, you’ve broken away from the life and the schedule of a career, you can just wake up when you like and do whatever.

Born out of having this new freedom, my first realisation was …

I’m a creature of habit.

Habits, like brushing our teeth or tieing up your shoelaces, initially; was a challenge when we were 3 years, but over time they become second nature.
These habits are good habits are beneficial to life… without brushing your teeth you won’t be able to show everyone that beautiful smile.

So roll on the year what habit do I need in my life:

  • Waking up with energy
    I’m learning that being disciplined involves forming a bedtime hygiene and morning routine. Over the past 30 days, I’ve been consistently going to bed around 10, partially due to my silent alarm on my Fitbit which signals the time to start wrapping up.My phone goes into do not disturb at 21:30, and my mobile connection and wifi is turned off manually to avoid future distraction from social notification or WhatsApp conversation.

    Do not disturb

Once in bed, the aim is to calm down the brain, I spend my time recapping and reflecting on the day and planning what I need to achieve the next day.
Such discipline has allowed me to naturally at 07:00 armed and ready for the day.

  • S.A.V.E.R.S routine -ish – Anton Version
    Silence.Affirmation.Visualisation.Exercise.Reading.Scribing –  A routine from the morning miracle  It’s taken me years to learn that you can’t copy everything you read or see – ever seen a business insider article on habits of successful people and thought “yeah I can do that… I should do that”.The above is true when it came to S.A.V.E.R.S routine gives me a structure to build upon.My morning starts with:

    • Reading my Kindle for about 15-30 minutes (I’m currently reading “Oprah: A Biography” for about 15-30 minutes.
    • Stretch and reach for the sky and then make my bed… something I heard on TED.
    • Practice silence … well, kind of… I pick up my phone and rush to turn on do not disturb as notification. For some strange reason, mobile connection reinitialises itself.
      I then open up OAK  and put my headphones in.
      I don’t sit in silence, but head to the kitchen to make a smoothie.I focus on my breathing and checking in on the body, practising an act of mindfulness.
      I don’t focus too much on emptying the mind I just let myself be.
    • Around 15 minutes later, I’m back in my room and listening to blinkist, and taking notes on post-it notes – fueling the brain with knowledge.
    • As I draw close to end I look up and at my vision board and tell myself my mantra of “Holding the vision. Trust the process”

And that’s the morning Routine… Oh, what about exercise? – I try and go gym 3 times a week so once I’ve completed the above, Between waking up and the morning meditation I have about 30 minutes to do a filler task before heading to the gym usually around 9 am.

What have you achieved?

  • I’ve moved from living in a 2 bed flat in Bristol back home to a single room with my mum in London. Surprisingly the transition has been great… Aside from the packing,  unpacking, and the number of motorway driving up and down the M4.
  • I’ve improved my relationship with friends, perhaps because I’ve got more time, but I can plan and allocate time to speak to friends and reach out.
  • Passive Income is the way, mentioned a few times by various people like Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins and others great mentors.So what does that mean, well I came across this formula which can help you understand how long you can live without an income:-
    • Money that is freely available to you / monthly expense = no of month you can survive without an income
    • Now if you can create a way of making money from passive to cover your monthly expenses then you one step closer to being free
      • So a rough calculation for myself was if I spend £1,200 a month on expenses, then I need to generate a passive income to cover that.- so the aim is to generate £80k and get a 15% return on that a year – achievable?
  • From buying and selling electronic via Amazon FBA I have made £2700 profit in the month of January so that is positive, being free from my job has allowed me to explore and push other ventures.
  • From trading stocks, I made a 12% return over the year, not quite the 15% I am aiming for but still relevantly good, so what does that mean? I need to improve right.
    • The month of January has been spent learning about FOREX trading – it literally leaves my head spinning, but resources like babypips.com and GOForex do help you along the way.
  • Filing taxes – All goods come to an end, not a saying I believe fully but it was true when it came to selling.
    When Amazon suspended my selling because I exceeded the sales number for an individual seller, it felt like a nail in the coffin or an unnecessary block in the road.
    It slowed me down but meant I had to learn how to register my business .. QUICK… in my panic, I turned to Just Answer website and paid £40 for this answer.
    Don’t get me wrong this is probably obvious to people but something about registering a business is not exactly clear, filing your self-assessment is scary as well – but watching a youtube video brought me back to a calm place and saying “Is That it”.

Sometimes the unknown scares us

What have you struggled with?

  • Emotions, I don’t believe in being the perfect individual or the finished product (I don’t think you ever will be). But I have had time to reflect on the wrongs, mistakes and the way I have acted towards others in the past.
    Sometimes it difficult to believe the way you acted in the past, the funny side is at that time you felt you were right and you had a reason for your behaviour.
    For a while, I had been having thoughts about a previous relationship, and realising a lot of wrongs, the thoughts usually came when I was driving up and down from Bristol to London. Becoming aware of the potential impact it could have on the people’s life did leave a taste of shame, I wanted to reach out and seek forgiveness.We as individuals need to forgive ourselves, you can’t go back in time and change things.We need to stand in front of the mirror and see the reflection, don’t hide from it or cover it up. Talk to that reflection and tell it you were wrong if you were, and how we can move on from this moment? What can we learn? What do we need to change? and then forgive yourself and accept that past version of you.Trust me that doesn’t always work, after an evening of drinking with a friend I woke up at 02:00  and struggled to fall back to sleep.
    AND what do we do in this moment of time THINK… staring at the ceiling was not my definition of fun so I decided to get pen and paper and write everything that came to mind – it was RAW thoughts no processing involved, once completed.The trick is to write everything down and not read it once complete, just simply put it aside.

What are you working on right now?

  • Delegation – letting go of some task I complete, like scraping websites for retail arbitrage opportunities, writing blog content for Best Revision Guide.
    I’ve been using Fiverr, and Freelancer to source out potential employees.
  • Working Smarter – little adjustments like planning and reviewing my to-do list, prioritising activities based on importance and ensuring my energy is spent in the right place.

What are your future goals?

February
To purchase a car to rent out via easy car club
To continue learning Forex using babypips
Review Current Site and understand Notesworthy traffic source
Make Notesworthy about banknote collectables
Promote BRG using content via Fiverr and have a brainstorming session with actionable goals completed
Find a Virtual assistance to help with daily retail arbitrage
To actively improve my health by eating better
Going Gym 3 times a week.
Build Beach Body, by researching tips and applying them
 Practice Meditation early in the morning
See at least 4 friends, by reaching out with dates to catch up
 Read Blinkist and other books to increase mind
 Improve Tag Me In Podcast listenership either via collaboration or startup technique
Drive BMW i8 to be a birthday present, to be a source of fun

How do you feel physically and mentally?

Mentally I am feeling good, I’ve overcome a number of challenges in the month of January but been blessed with the opportunities of having time and the ability to focus on them individually.

Physically I am battling with being back in the gym and getting the balance between rest, food, nutrition, so there are often times where I need to have a 10 to 15-minute nap.

Anything else you feel is important.

  • Only do thing that is a hell yeah” – Don’t settle for things that you kind of want to do
  • Remove the number 7 from your scale (1= being bad, 10= being great) – 7 is an in-between number that we usually go to be safe
  • A funeral can be a celebration of life, try and think about your own and explore and imagine what people will say about you.
  • If something will take less than 5 minutes, just do it!” – Sometimes it’s easier and more efficient to act on the stuff that will take 5 minutes to complete
  • Don’t idolise people, identify what characteristic you like about them – it enables you to focus on what characteristics or skill you need to learn yourself.
  • Learn to be more enthusiastic – people like enthusiastic people, you harness an energy and a likeability.
  • Learn how to make people feel a way, every conversation you have pay attention, listen well.
  • Seek for a partner that you can grow with, and avoid feeling weight down by – change is inevitable seek a relationship where you can grow in.