December 19th, 2012/Personal/By /

Personal: Knowledge Bombs #2: Back from Asia

Nha Trang, Vietnam

chilling on the beaches of Nha Trang, Vietnam

Knowledge Bombs is a collection of links and random thoughts.

Articles

The Science of Productivity – a quick 3 minute video on some of the basics of productivity. Very solid tips.

The First Distraction – This really highlights the importance of a solid morning routine. How you start your day really sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you wake up and immediately start checking Facebook / Twitter, your mind is immediately in distraction mode for the rest of the day. My morning routine / daily routines will be highlighted in a future post.

How to Get Start up Ideas – One of the best articles I’ve ever read in my life. Paul Graham’s a huge inspiration for me and I read his essays quite frequently. The article mainly focuses on building products and startups based on what customers want and are willing to pay for.

Guy Kawasaki, IamA– An ask me anything thread over at Reddit by Guy Kawasaki. He’s a venture capitalist and worked as a marketer for Apple back in the 1980’s. Definitely some interesting thoughts.

9 Ways Successful People Defeat Stress – A look at the various mental ways to destress yourself. I tend to focus more on relieving stress through physical means which include: afternoon naps, meditation, have sex, exercise, weekly massages, vacations, have hobbies you’re passionate about, and always finding ways to work smarter.

Books

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle – The author travels the world trying to figure out the secrets to unlocking and maximizing talent. He looks into the concept of deliberate practice, certain hotbeds for talents, who makes the best coaches, how the talented stay motivated, etc. I’ve actually read a lot of books like this such as Bounce and Outliers, this is by far the best one. It really helped me to understand how I can grow and acquire new talents.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport – I’ve been reading the author’s blog for years and it’s one of my favorites. Basically he attempts to go against the long held advice of “follow your passion.” Lets keep it real, most people in there early 20’s aren’t really passionate about anything. Instead he argues that you should focus on building valuable skills and then the passion will follow after. Fuck this is a good book. Any college kid that asks me for career advice I will recommend them to read this.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I don’t just read business / self-improvement books; I also spend a lot of time reading for fun. This is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in years. If I had to describe it, it’s like Harry Potter for men. It’s about a poor orphan who attends a university for magic. The magic system is smart and the plot is unpredictable.

Going to work on a Dr Ngo reading list for you guys

Other

[Lifestyle] Man how can I describe what this is. A good friend of mine Andy is putting a program together this year that aims to change the lives of 8 guys. Basically you’re spending 9 weeks traveling and learning how to pick up chicks, get fit, and learn business. This is actually his 3rd year putting this together, and he’s done an amazing job in the past.

I guess the whole pickup thing has a bad reputation –  socially awkward guys that wear weird things for attention and try to manipulate women into sleeping with them. My friend style focuses more on self-improvement, masculinity, being natural, and being fun.

They’re also going to have an “affiliate” week where the guys will learn business and affiliate marketing. I’m going to try and make it out to Eastern Europe to teach internet marketing and hang out.

Noticed a lot of guys that are into internet marketing are also into learning game so this is a good opportunity for a lot of peeps out there. I’m guessing 14 hours a day in front of the computer can really hamper your social skills

The Project Rockstar – Applications start in 2 weeks.

[Sleep] My friends at Asian Efficiency just released their first premium product. Better Sleep, which is a 30 minute podcast on understanding and optimizing sleep.

I feel our society and entrepreneurs in particular really glamorize overworking themselves, as if it’s a badge of honor to only sleep 4 hours a night and drink 4 cups of coffee in order to stay awake. Fact is you’re not operating at your highest potential. You make worse decisions, have higher stress, less healthy,

The podcast gets into the basics of sleep cycles, tips on getting better sleep, evening rituals, how food / caffeine affect sleep, etc. Also they include an excel worksheet that can calculate the optimal hours of sleep you need, based on what time you wanna go to bed. Some of these tips are things I’ve never heard of before and I’m eager to implement. I seriously have 0 interest in reading books about being able to sleep better, so it’s like they did all the work and put it into a 30 minute podcast.

Anyways, highly recommended. Get it here  Better Sleep by Asian Efficiency ($14, which is like 3 cups of coffee).

[Charity] The guys at the StackThatMoney forum are doing a charity drive for Sick Kids Foundation in Canada and trying to raise $50,000.  It’s the holiday season so help out if you can.

Donate Here: Sick Kid Foundation

Some other charities I’m donating to:

Atlanta Community Food Bank

Atlanta Children’s Shelter

Child’s Play

Toys for Tots

 

Where ever you donate to please research them at CharityNavigator to see if they’re legit or not. Seriously I’ve seen some charities that took out 25% of their revenue for their CEO compensations.

Internet Marketing

Solving Mysteries

I had a campaign the other day that completely stopped traffic. It’s been on auto-pilot for months so this was quite unusual. When something like this happens, I already have a checklist ready.

  • Do I have $ in my balance
  • Were the campaigns and ads set on “active”
  • Were my bids high enough?
  • Did any of my ads retroactively disapproved?
  • Check the day-parting settings
  • etc.

None of those were what happened and it took me a few hours to figure out the reason. This is one of the traffic sources that requires a set end date for some reason. When I created the campaign I set the end date about half a year in advance and basically forgot about it. So the end date hit, and the traffic stopped even though everything else was exactly the same. Extended the end date by another year and everything’s back to normal.

Part of being in the industry is shit happens and you need to figure out solutions by yourself. There’s no reference manual nor is there a boss that can fix things for you.

January’s a Big Month

January’s approaching us and it’s probably the biggest month for internet marketers. Why? People are willing to spend money on achieving their New Year’s Resolutions and a lot of offers will have more budget.

Think about the most common New Year Resolutions

  • Losing Weight
  • Get Out of Debt
  • Quit Smoking
  • Quit Drinking
  • Less Stress

Think about what offers and angles could do well. Obviously diet’s a big one and “green coffee” is the current fad. Are eCig offers still around?

Anyways make sure your creatives focus on talking about 2013 / resolutions / a new year for higher CTR and conversion rates.

Also with a new year comes new budgets for a lot of offers. Many offers that are capped towards the end of the years will have virtually unlimited budget come January. Hit it, and hit it hard.

Personal

Back From Asia

I just spent a month out in Asia and hanged out in Vietnam. Worked a few hours in the daytime, flew to different cities, a lot of partying, celebrated my 28th birthday, hanged out with my girl out there, ate a lot of good food, etc. I’m kinda splitting my time between two continents right now. I’ll explain my motivations in a future post.

Working Out

Finished my 12 weeks Kris Gethin program and got really solid results. Seriously if you’re new, this program breaks everything down for you. I gained about 12lbs overall from it and very little fat.

Took a month off when I went to Asia now I’m trying out German Volume Training for the next two months. Hard training, 8 hours of sleep, and eating 7x a day.

Turkey

Going to try and cook my first turkey ever for Christmas. I did my research and it seems Alton Brown’s Method is the best. I’m going to get picking up an organic turkey from Whole Foods. So if you don’t know how to cook a turkey, check it out.

Roast Turkey

 

Blog

Working on a lot of great articles. Also I’m going to experiment with some podcasting / screencasts and see how that works out. Seriously there are so many shitty blogs out there in the industry, I just wanna share what I know and provide value to you guys.

I’m hoping to update my blog more in 2013. Hopefully I can add in a 50 minute pomodoro each day to work on my blog, and I gotta work on writing some shorter articles lol.

Make sure you subscribe to my RSS so you don’t miss an update.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah (shoutout to my Jewish homies) to everyone. I wish you all a balling 2013.

– Charles Ngo