May 2016: The Most Productive Month of My Life
I bring you May’s monthly review incredibly excited with what is to come, and admittedly very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish since quitting my job and making the move to Medellín to go all in on working for myself.
This month has been the single most productive month of my life, by far.
My goals for May, as I wrote in my April review, were:
- Close 2 new web design clients
- Have articles featured by 4 large publications
- Create 3x more vlog content
I am proud to say that I absolutely crushed my goals for the month…
- Closed and completed 6 new web design projects (!!!)
- I had 7 different posts featured by 4 large publications: mindbodygreen, Positively Positive, Prsuit and The Good Men Project
- I published 24 new videos in May, more than doubling my goal of 12 videos
I’ve never worked harder in my life…
In total, I worked nearly 240 hours for the month, and the last week of May I worked 85 hours, or an average of 14 hours a day…
Now, I’m NOT bragging about how many hours I worked. That’s stupid and not something to brag about. Busy does not equal productive. Quality over quantity, always. But I’m in the ‘building stage’ of my brand/blog so this requires a heavy workload…
So, why am I telling you this? Because I think some of you can relate to where I was a few months ago…
I was working an unfulfilling job from 9AM to 6PM. If they asked me if I could work anywhere remotely close to 85 hours a week, I would have ROFL’d. When I got in at 9AM I couldn’t wait until 6PM, and when that came, I couldn’t wait until the weekend.
Pardon my french, but F#CK that. That is absolutely no way to live…
Now, after several stressful months and hard work, I can proudly say that I truly love the work I’m doing. Because of that, despite the ridiculous amount of hours worked, I come to you more energized, motivated and fulfilled than ever before.
How is that possible? Because I’m serving a higher purpose. I believe my work is much bigger than myself. This has created a high level of urgency in all that I do. If I don’t get done what I need to get done, then I’m letting others down. I’m letting YOU down. So I can’t, and won’t let that happen.
Additionally, as my project contributor and happiness researcher Shawn Achor said, a happy and positive brain is always a more successful and productive one…
The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain. — Shawn Achor
When the brain is operating from this place of enjoyment and satisfaction, all success outcome levels rise. This is another major reason for my massively productive month.
I am incredibly excited to share with you what I’ve been working on and what is to come for Different Hunger…
One quick announcement before I get into the month’s review:
I will be publishing my epic round up post featuring 75+ world changers on June 11th!
This has been the single most exciting project I have ever worked on in my life. Not being dramatic. Fo’real doe. These insights changed my life and provided me with incredible clarity and direction as a lost twenty something.
Just to recap, here are the reasons why I am posting these monthly reviews, and why you should be conducting your own personal reviews, if you’re not already:
- to focus yourself
- to evaluate your progress
- to learn from failure
- to repeat successes
- to improve and grow
Science backs up this practice as well. The American Psychological Association studied more than 19,000 subjects and found that the more frequently that participants monitored their progress towards a goal, the more likely that they would achieve that goal. Further, studies have also shown that consistently documenting your progress had led to improved levels of satisfaction, well-being and happiness.
Here’s what went down in March:
- Work I got done
- Projects I’ve moved forward
- Personal learning I’ve been working on
- Health and fitness update
- Things I’ve learned and want to remember
- Goals for the next month
Work I got done:
May was an insanely productive month, as you’ll see below….
The bulk of my month was spent creating massive amounts of valuable content for you:
- 24 new YouTube videos
- 7 guest posts/features on publications read by millions
- 6 new web design projects (!!!)
- 5 new blog posts on Different Hunger
- 3 new resources (a 30+ page document full of insights from 75+ highly successful individuals, a 3-page PDF outlining 40 principles of success and a 30 page eBook) available for you to download…
- Redesigned and launched Different Hunger (thanks to my amigo Connor Grooms for his assistance with the new design)
1. 24 new YouTube videos!
I still remember back in March when my two friends in my mastermind group told me I should start doing vlogs. I laughed at them, saying yeah right, mostly because I was uncomfortable speaking into a camera…
But I knew the power of video. Even an expertly written blog post simply can’t convey the same type of emotion and power as video. It’s more human and more impactful, there’s no denying it.
So, despite me being uncomfortable AF behind the camera, I knew it was something that would help me reach more people. I sacked up and slowly but surely started putting out more vlogs…
In April I put out 4 videos. In May, I put out 24 new videos.
My May goal was to create 3x more content, meaning 12 videos… so I’ll say I’m definitely happy with my output.
It wasn’t easy, know that. I am picky, so some of these two to three minute videos actually took hours! But I’m getting better, and I hope you are finding the videos more engaging and valuable.
The most popular video of the month was my video announcing my twenty something project:
Speaking of videos taking a long time… That two minute video took me freaking hours. Probably 30-40 retakes. Maybe I should be embarrassed saying that, but whatever.
Here are the other two most popular videos from May:
In this video I talk about our misperceptions of success.
This topic came up primarily because I spoke to my awesome, inspiring friend Erin Willett. Erin is a very talented singed and musician who has appeared on The Voice, and most recently lost an incredible 80+ pounds on The Biggest Loser! She mentioned how people kept coming up to her and asking her for her “secret” to how she lost so much weight. There was no secret.
Overnight success is not real. It takes days, weeks, months and years of consistent effort.
This was just a short, fun video I created after going on a Sunday day trip to the countryside in Colombia. The video is comprised mostly of gringos drinking, dancing and singing on a bus. There’s some beautiful scenery in there too. Also, the song I used is super dope, so check it out.
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2) 7 guest posts featured on awesome publications read by millions
I am very proud to say that I had several posts go live this past month on awesome publications spreading very positive and powerful messages.
1. The Mental Trick That Will Help You Achieve Your Goals on mindbodygreen
In this post I discuss the single most important ingredient to achieving your goals and maintaining motivation. It’s very simple, but overlooked…
You need to actually give a sh#t.
William Shakespeare knows. He said “Strong reasons make strong actions,” and if you don’t have powerful reasons for achieving your goal, you don’t stand a chance. Research has shown that our motivation is highest when we value the outcome of the goal we are working toward. Without a strong grasp on what’s motivating you, you won’t be able to persevere during difficult times.
Mindbodygreen is an acclaimed blog that seeks to help readers revitalize the way they eat, move and live. They have an amazing audience and more than 3 million fans on social media. My article ended up receiving more than 600 shares! Read my article here.
2. Why Abundance is Actually the Enemy on Positively Positive
In this post, I discuss how the most uncomfortable situations we go through are just about always the ones that result in the most substantial growth.
We often spend our days living in never-ending gratification where most of our needs are met after only a few clicks…
However, this abundance turns into an obstacle. It breeds complacency. We end up being accustomed to a lifestyle that comes easy which again is a problem, because the growth happens outside of your comfort zone… Cliche, or truth? In my experience, 100% truth…
It took me traveling the world to understand how blessed I truly am, and just how good I have it.
It took a failed business and thousands of dollars lost for me to truly believe in myself.
It took spending the night with my grandpa on his last day on Earth to truly understand that our timeline is running out.
Positively Positive is a resource providing inspiring content pertaining to psychology, optimism and related topics. They have an awesome community of over 2 million Facebook fans and 200K+ Twitter followers. My article received more than 500 likes and 100+ shares.
3, 4 & 5. Three different posts on Prsuit
I was humbled to find out Prsuit featured me as one of their top ‘5 inspirational people to watch’ on their blog. They included a short blurb about my story and my project featuring 75+ world-changers. It was very cool to have them feature my work / website and I’m very thankful for this.
Using my own journey as an example of what not to do, I discuss the importance of taking a step back, reflecting on whatever it is you’re working towards, and celebrating the wins along the way.
At the end of the day we’ll never be able to accomplish everything we want to. But if we appreciate the journey and love the process, while being intentional with our daily actions, we’ll be able to continually move closer and closer to achieving our goals.
Overnight success is not real. Success requires consistency, daily. But if you’re putting in the time day in and day out, the wins will come, whether they are big or small. Let my story serve as a reminder to fall in love with the journey to better yourself, while always taking the time to reflect.
You probably saw this viral video on Facebook or even featured on the news. Basically this blond chick went on a rant about how millennials are entitled, unmotivated and not contributing to society. Well, I have to disagree. I created a vlog to discuss my reaction, and my video was featured in a compilation of millennials reacting to this video. Read the article here.
Prsuit is a brand new but rapidly growing website that provides millennials with content related to entrepreneurship and mindfulness. Despite being new to the game, they have amassed nearly 100,000 Instagram followers and more than 6,000 Facebook and Twitter fans.
6 & 7. Two posts on The Good Men Project
In this post on The Good Men Project (GMP) I shared the note I wrote just before taking off to Medellín. In it I talk about my motivations for quitting my job, my inspirations that led me to determining my “dream” job, and discuss some advice I received that led me to take this leap. The article features the vlog I published just before heading to Medellín, which has since received 500 views. Read the article here.
This vlog / blog post was originally shared on Different Hunger and republished by GMP. In it I discuss my encounter with an overly negative critic. I discuss how to reframe our perception of overly negative individuals and use their criticism as a learning opportunity. Read the article here.
The Good Men Project is an awesome publication that seeks to address what it means to be a good man in today’s society. I have published several posts for them before and they are home to a great community. They too have millions of readers and are actually one of the most trafficked websites in the US!
3) 6 new web design projects !!!
I am really, really excited about this one…
Given the fact that when I arrived to Medellín I had one single design client worth $500, the fact that I was able to land 6 projects only one month later is just crazy.
When I was pulling together my notes for this post, I really couldn’t believe it…
I am currently on track to make more money this month (in June) than I was making previously at my consulting job in NYC…
I am very thankful for this good fortune, but staying humble and hungry to keep pushing forward.
Two main ingredients for this HUGE win:
- Having a truly awesome network of friends and family (the bulk of projects came through referrals — shoutout to my awesome cousin Rachel :))
- Good ole’ fashioned hustle (I landed one of these client after more than 30 ignored proposals…)
Seneca’s quote came to mind immediately when I was writing this…
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Simple as that. This success shows the importance of taking action and taking calculated risks…
If I hadn’t quit my job, moved to Medellín and embraced the uncertainty of the situation, I would not have found this success.
Thanks to a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, things are coming together. A lot faster than I had expected.
I hope this win motivates YOU to take action on that thing.
If I can do it, you can absolutely do it. All it requires, again, is a bit of hard work, acceptance of the uncertainty of the situation and trusting the process.
4) 5 new blog posts on Different Hunger
- 75+ Millionaires, Olympians & More Offer Their Best Advice
- Why Negative Feedback is the Best Feedback
- My Response to “Dear Elders, I’m sorry.” (the anti-millennial viral rant I mentioned above)
- 50 Things Mom Was Right About (fun one I wrote with my brother for Mother’s day)
- April Monthly Review: One Month Since Quitting My Desk Job
5) Three awesome new resources for twenty somethings
As you know, I’m currently working on an exciting project featuring some of the world’s most successful individuals. The insights I have received have been truly incredible and I wanted to make sure that I provided this information to my readers in them most practical and valuable way possible.
So I spent many hours putting together the following resources, and I could not be more excited to share these with you.
Each of these resources are completely free and available NOW to download. Just click the download link, enter your email and I’ll send it right over.
If you haven’t heard me talking about this already then I don’t know where you’ve been! I asked 75+ millionaires, Olympians, CEOs, bestselling authors, pro athletes & more one simple question… What is the ONE thing you wish you could tell your twenty something self? I’ve compiled ALL of their answers into a 30+ page download. Their answers truly changed my life. Click here to download now.
Resource 2Successful individuals share a striking number of similarities. They share similar habits, mindsets and other characteristics. I’ve created a free download for you outlining 40 of these ‘secrets’ to expertly navigate your twenties. Click here to download now.
The Roadmap contains a 4 step framework that you can use to apply all of the above insights and advice to your own life.
This framework will help you identify your values, vision & next steps, and again, is based on insights I receieved from 75+ top performers. Click here to download now.
You can access these resources at any time by heading to the Resources page.
6) Redesigned and launched new Different Hunger website design!
You’re looking at a beautiful new website thanks to my buddy, Connor Grooms, who came out of web design retirement to help me with this.
The goal was to create a dead simple, but incredibly clean design that eliminated all distractions.
I am very happy with the final result.
Projects I’ve moved forward
Twenty something project featuring 75+ world class individuals!
Again, I’ll be publishing all the incredible insights I received on June 11th.
Personal learning I’ve been working on
- Being fully present
Being present means being mindful of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
I’ve recently been making a conscious effort to do this. Especially after a few instances of slightly losing track of this valuable practice when I first got down to Medellín…
This happened again recently, too. I was speaking with a friend about our plans for the next few months. Where we’d be living, working, etc…
I mentioned I’d be heading home to the states for a few months through summer, then I wasn’t sure. We talked about a few options but I was struggling to determine my four to five month plan…
Then I stopped myself. What the hell am I doing? Why am I wasting this moment right now worrying about my plans four to five months from now?
Moments like these continue to remind me of the need to be fully mindful of the present moment.
When we let the past or the future consume our thoughts, we sacrifice the present.
When I sit at my laptop and stress out about hitting a client deadline, I’m missing out on what life has to offer. When I’m preoccupied with the future, I miss out on the present.
The solution to this problem is to be mindful.
When I say mindfulness, I know some of you instantly think of over-the-top yogis and/or girls with armpit hair, but hear me out…
Mindfulness is simply being aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions.
We need to simply recognize when our minds are wandering and when we are being consumed by things other than the present moment. Recognize these thoughts, then eliminate them.
It’s simple, but it takes practice. As does anything.
- Loving the journey and celebrating the process
There is a major problem with how most of us view success.
We are far too “outcome-focused” and not “process-focused”.
This means that up until the point we achieve our goal or our desired outcome, we consider our efforts a failure.
This outcome-focused mindset is severely damaging…
When I got to Medellín, I was busting my ass day in and day out to get clients with no results. I was creating content, refining my craft and getting better at prospecting, but because I was outcome-focused, I wasn’t viewing my efforts as productive or worthwhile, even though they absolutely were…
See the problem here? This perspective shifts your focus away from the positive improvements you have made, and instead emphasizes the fact that you have failed to reach your goal. This mindset is severely damaging and de-motivating. No bueno.
Secondly, when we focus on the outcome instead of the process, we neglect to carefully and systematically plan the steps needed to achieve our goals. This approach is scientifically broken and flawed.
The solution to this is to focus on the process. Break down your goal into manageable sub-goals and celebrate your wins along the way.
The success will happen. Your success will be much better than you ever imagined, in ways that you may not even be able to see right now. In fact, it’s already happening, you just have to believe in it. — Brian D. Evans, Inc. 500 serial entrepreneur and founder of Influencive
Above all, find satisfaction in the fact that you are actively working towards something when you could be watching Netflix or Snapchatting dumb shit to friends. This is something that I’m constantly working to remind myself.
3. Consistency is key
Ironically this past week I have been struggling with sticking to my routine. My morning routine has been missed often and while I have been working out consistently, my timing has been off.
I need to continue to work on this and make it a point to stay consistent with my routine. When I do this, I’m performing at my highest level, and also, am more motivated.
Health and fitness update
In May I finally gotten into a “groove” working out. I split my time between my apartment spin bike / weight room studio and a local CrossFit style gym.
I have to say it’s hard to beat a morning workout, swim and steam room in my apartment building…
I logged 19 workouts for the month so I was able to consistently get 4-5 solid workouts in per week. Sure, several of those workouts were me on a spin bike, but that counts… right?
I always feel better when I workout consistently, especially when I start my day off with a killer workout. It leaves me feeling energized and more productive. It’s been proven that exercise primes the brain for optimal learning. It’s no surprise that my most productive month also was a consistent one in regards to working out…
I’ve also been consistent with my intermittent fasting. I typically have 2-3 cheat meals per week but aside from that I’ve been keeping it pretty clean and fitting all my meals into the 12PM to 8PM window.
I’ve been able to maintain my strength numbers in the weight room. I feel lean and at a pretty good place with my physique and body fat %, but haven’t tested out the numbers recently.
Things I’ve learned and want to remember
I can do ‘it’
As expected, this move to Colombia has changed my life. Especially after this incredibly productive month, I truly believe in myself more than ever before. I knew coming here would result in one of two outcomes:
- I’d go broke
- I’d make it work
There’s success in both of those outcomes, because with each one there are incredible lessons to be learned. Thankfully, I’m currently making things work and not going broke.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m more motivated than ever before. The momentum I have behind me right now is at an all time high and I’m more committed than ever to serve others through this website.
I can do ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is, as long as I put my mind to it. I never would have felt this way unless I took this massive leap, embraced uncertainty and moved to Colombia.
Just another reason that we should take big, but calculated risks during our twenties. Again, if I can do it, you can too.
Wrapping things up
If you’re still reading this and you’re not my mom, then that is pretty awesome. I really appreciate your time.
June is my last month in Medellín before I head off to Costa Rica for a week or so, then back to the states for a few months. It has been an absolute journey, but a life changing one. I hope you found value in the many lessons I learned this month.
Goals for the next month
- Read one new book
- Stick to my morning routine 5 days/week
- Double YouTube video output (crazy, I know)
- Reach 100,000 twenty somethings with my round up post (crazier, I know)
I really, really appreciate you sticking around and reading my monthly review. If you’d like to receive updates each time I post as well as access to awesome resources, click here to subscribe.