What are some uncommon ways to work smarter not harder?

Work Smarter Not Harder

This post originally appeared as an answer on Quora HEREquora

  • Take the first parking spot you see. Period.
  • When vacationing with kids, order supplies like formula and diapers from Amazon and have it delivered to your hotel so it’s waiting for you when you get there.
  • Buy a new car with a warranty: the poorest people end up spending the most money on  cars when they purchase the cheapest one they can find that constantly needs repairs. $500 here, $1000 there. Sometimes trying to save money costs you too much.
  • Starbucks mobile app when you are 2 minutes away. Or even waiting in a long line. As soon as the order comes through its added to the queue, and skips the line you are standing in.
  • Services like Trunk Club that do your clothes shopping for you, sends you a trunk, try 2zLQAV1Pon what you like and return what you don’t like by returning the trunk. UPS deliveries it and picks it up from your house. Not a necessity but MUCH better than going to the mall. IF you do have to go to the mall, take the first parking spot you see.
  • Automate savings and investing. Whether it’s a pay check or other income source. Set up automatic transfers or withdrawal into another account for Future You. Set it and forget it (but maybe review it once a year and reallocate where necessary)
  • Don’t worry about trying to make a quick return on investments, instead focus on DCA or Dollar Cost Averaging. Be the tortoise, not the hare.
  • Never stop learning. Turn your car into a university on wheels. This means no more talk radio, instead replace it with audio books.  Or better yet download AUDIBLE and subscribe to get discounts and 2 free books Audible – The Cash Flow Lifestyle
  • If you don’t drive then do this on your work commute. When you walk the dogs. When you work out. Be more efficient with your time. Never waste time.
  • If you aren’t handy, hire a handyman. Whatever you do in life to make your money you are better at than trying to fix the toilet or repair an outlet. Spend your hours doing your thing so you can afford to pay others to do theirs.
  • Wake up early. Exercise. Meditate. Eat well. Take care of your body. Be nice to others. Stay humble. Work hard even if you are smarter. Everyone I know who does these things are happier people.

How To Deal With The Negativity:

How Do You Deal With Online Negativity and Mean Comments?

Have you ever heard the saying: “The boos come from the cheap seats”? This implies that the people who boo the opposing team, or referees at sporting events, come from the cheaper seats, meaning the higher class people sitting in more expensive seats do not boo.

After spending the last 2 seasons court-side for the Phoenix Suns, I have learned this is not always true.

In the last 6 months, I published my first book, started my YouTube channel, began regularly writing on the website Quora.com where at the time of this writing have over 700,000 views, and was published in both Inc.com and MarketWatch.com, the ladder being as a regular contributor.

What have I learned in this short time? The old saying referenced above is based on some truth. People sure do like to boo.

Boos are Louder Than Cheers

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This was one of the first comments I received on Quora. It caused me to doubt many things, including myself and my choices. How dare someone like me wake up at 4am and spend 60 minutes every day answering questions I have been asked based on my own personal experiences.

I read and re-read my answer and really wanted to respond to this guy. My biggest complaint after re-reading my answer several times was that my initial answer didn’t say any of the stuff he was implying. Its easy to cut and paste whatever you want to help make your argument. I realize this now, but this guy already knew it.

Yes, anything can be taken out of context. This is the reason Tim Ferriss only does interviews by email under the condition that you print his response entirely, or not at all.

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This paragraph above can be taken out of context. You can also take one sentence out of it and remove even more context. Whatever helps your argument I suppose.

My post received over 18,000 views and 78 people were kind enough to up-vote it. But boos are louder than cheers. 


Just Get Over It

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Oh Janice. I don’t even know where to begin. Oh wait, yes I do. How about the fact that next to your review it actually says “Verified Purchase”?

This one star review dropped me down to 4.3 average. In the world of e-books, this is sort of a big deal.

75% of my 16 reviews were 4-5 stars. Why can’t my brain focus on those?

Recent YouTube comment I received: “Only a moron would think that!”

What sucks is that I can’t even find the video this was for anymore. But I still remember the comment. Our brains are wired this way. Those who strayed from the herd getting eaten by wolves.

Or get called morons.


What Does It All Mean?

What is holding you back from trying something new? Stepping outside of your comfort zone?

I can tell you that fear stops more people than failure ever does. 

Fear of what? Fear of rejection? Fear of criticism? Fear of embarrassment?

I won’t sit here and tell you that non-constructive criticism doesn’t suck. It does. But, like anything, it sucks less and less. You get stronger, and you also get better. Maybe you go through and edit your post a second time before publishing. Maybe you add more disclaimers or pre-justify your views and opinions. Maybe you just stop giving a shit. 


What Have I Learned?

Creators don’t criticize. I have never read a negative comment on YouTube by a person who has uploaded a single video that they created. I am sure they exist, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Coaches don’t criticize other coaches. Directors don’t criticize other directors. Authors don’t criticize other others. The reason is because they know how hard the job is. The process. The focus.

There are many variables that cannot be controlled.

Creators understand the process. Criticizers envy it. 

We are naturally inclined to hear the boos over the cheers. But we can also reprogram ourselves to either enjoy the praise more or just care less about the criticism. Some are better than others naturally, but anything can be reprogramed and improved on.

A lot of times I am wrong. I make a lot of predictions and base a lot of my advice on my personal experience. This can include things I have done, or things I have read about or learned from others. Everything that has happened to me has shaped me and my thinking. You are a different person. What has worked for me in the past or what might work for me in the future may not work for someone else, at a different time in a different place.

If you read something I wrote about Facebook 6 months ago, there is a good chance that information is outdated.

When the Phoenix housing market crashed so hard that you could buy properties for LESS than what they cost to build, my advice on buying as much real estate as you could made a lot of sense. Times change. Strategies change.

Fear stops more people than failure

My Advice To You:

If you want to create something, do it. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you. Something bad might happen. Who cares? More good things will happen, so focus on that.

If you follow a creator, be sure to tell them that you appreciate them. Everyone is reachable on social media these days, so if you are a fan of someone let them know. The world needs more praise.

Whatever you do, don’t listen to anything I say. We are just a flash in a pan, on a planet spinning around one of the billions of stars that existed long before us and will exist even longer after us and in 100 years (probably less) no one will remember your intentions or feelings, but they might remember something that you created.

But what do I know? 

“Only a moron would think that!”


Do Your Worst, First!

Do More = Be More

Eat That Frog.

Eat The Brussel Sprouts.

Simply put, just do your worst, first. Trust me.

Stop putting off your least favorite tasks towards the end of the day, week, month, or forever. Instead, do those items first thing in the morning.

Usually those items include working out, making that phone call to that client that hates you, or worst of all having to tell your spouse you are sorry. (Just kidding honey. I love you. Sorry I said that)

Brian Tracy calls it “Eat That Frog” in his book titled, yes Eat That Frog. The premise: What if every morning you had to start the day by eating a frog. Wouldn’t the rest of your day look pretty nice knowing that was behind you?

Yes Brian Tracy, it would!

I have heard others use the phrase: Eat the Brussel Sprouts first, then your pork chop will taste much better.

True again!

But in addition to doing the worst first, you are also doing what is most likely the MOST IMPORTANT first.

Paraphrasing Tim Ferriss: Your success is determined by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.

Often, this involves stepping outside our comfort zones. Most people hate leaving their comfort zones. Unfortunately, real life begins outside of your comfort zone.

Action Item:

At the start of your day, write down your three most important tasks that need to be finished. Then, do them first!

Sounds too easy? It is, and it isn’t. You will have so many excuses NOT TO.

And as the day goes on you will find even more. There is a reason those items have been on your list all this time. So from now on, do your worst first.

Take the three most important items, or the three items you LEAST want to do (they are usually the same thing), and just do them first.

The rest of the day is yours. You will have more clarity throughout the day and your sense of accomplishment will remain with you even if you end up leaving the office early. Focus on completing tasks.

Busy is not the goal. Busy means you have no clarity.

Productivity is the goal. Production leads to success.

And if that doesn’t work, I can have Brian Tracy mail you a couple frogs.


16 Things I Learned While Writing My First Book!

16 Things I learned from writing my first book.

I recently published my first book (Available on Amazon)I have wanted to write and publish a book for quite sometime, but starting tomorrow always seemed much more convenient than starting today.

And then tomorrow came.

And then another one.

Eventually I knew I had to try something drastic if I really wanted results. So I made an announcement:

“My new book is set to be released August of 2015!”

I shared this in an email to everyone I knew. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.

It was now out there. The only problem was that it was March of 2015, and I hadn’t written a single word yet.

On Thursday, September 2nd, 2015, Amazon published my first book. I missed my self imposed deadline by a couple days. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. To achieve something big, accountability is crucial. I announced my new book to everyone I knew. They didn’t know that I hadn’t started, and to be honest, were pretty busy with their own things to even notice. But being the narcissistic person that I am, I felt that I couldn’t let everyone down. They were expecting a published book by August of 2015 and it was up to me to deliver it!


2. Writing a book is hard. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In fact, I always wrote ‘too much’ when it came to school assignments growing up. I would just get carried away and a 3 page paper would turn into 10. Teachers didn’t like to grade 7 extra pages. (Did I mention I didn’t do too well in school?)But nothing compares to writing an entire book. You tell yourself “I need a beginning, middle and an end.”

And then you start writing and realize every chapter needs a beginning, middle and and end. And then you write your introduction and it needs a beginning middle and an end.

And then you read everything you have written and none of it makes any sense.



3. Doing much of anything, including writing a book, with a newborn child at home is really difficult!


4. Finding an impartial and 3rd-party editor/proof reader is a MUST. It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself when you give a rough draft edition to a friend or family member because you WILL get defensive when they give you edits or advice. Better to outsource this to a professional, and then listen to what they have to say.


5. Write every damn day. I was given this advice when I started by more than one author and I thought it was good advice. And then I went one day without writing and then another. By the time day 3 rolled around and I got back to it, I might as well have started over from the beginning! The mental hurdle of getting back into the rhythm and also trying to pick up my train of thought was much too daunting. Even if its just a little bit, write every day.


6. Don’t tell anyone what your book is about until you are finished. All it takes is one small comment from a friend, family member, or even a stranger, all of whom are most likely not your target audience anyway, and you will feel deflated. Writing against your own self-doubt is challenging enough, so don’t add anyone else’s to the process.

7. Delegate the parts you suck at.
If you want to write a book, then just focus on the writing. I delegated my cover design to 99Designs.com and have a kick ass cover. I decided to do the e-book formatting myself and now my formatting sucks.If you want your book to look like a real book, focus on the writing and delegate the rest. (www.elance.com , www.freelancer.com , www.fiverr.com , www.99designs.com are all great resources to find exactly what you need for items like editing, proof reading, cover design, formatting and more)


8. Give yourself a deadline. If you don’t, then tomorrow will always seem much better than today. But in the end, do remember that it is your own self imposed deadline. I grew very depressed when August came and went and I didn’t feel that I was anywhere close to having a completed version prepared. But in hindsight, if I didn’t create this deadline in the first place then I most likely would still be trying to finish it now!


9. Write in Rythm. Try and write the same time every day, and also write every day. Rhythm is great, and even if you are just writing a little bit one day and a lot another day, the pattern and habit you are creating is crucial to completion.


10. Be Passionate. You must really enjoy what it is you are writing about, or else you will quit or your eventual reader will wish that you had.


11. Provide as much value as you possible can in the least amount of words possible. In our Twitter and Facebook age, its really hard to finish an entire book. This is also because the traditional book is too often 100 pages too long! In order to justify the costs of cutting down the tree and publishing a bunch of books for $19.99, the publisher feels a book should be a minimum of 250 pages.Even if the book should only be 100 pages, or maybe even less!

Don’t feel that you have to fill up pages, instead just focus on providing a lot of value in as few pages as possible.


12. Read up on other authors in your field. Whatever you are writing about or whatever you style is, research other authors that have done similar books that you are attempting. By understanding that they also struggled with the process but eventually produced a good piece of work will encourage you to stay on point.


13. Only take advice about your book from people that have written a book. I have found that the people who have achieved the least usually have the most advice to give me. Be cautious.


14. Know your audience and decide early on if this is a book for you or for a specific audience. Then write your book accordingly and continue to remind yourself of your answer.


15. Don’t worry about trying to sell 100,000 copies. Instead focus on trying to sell 1000 copies. By targeting a smaller niche, your book can specify its theme to a smaller audience, thus providing a closer connection with your readers. This will provide you with the opportunity to write more books with a built-in fanbase. And if you try and please everyone you won’t please anyone.


16. Good today is better than perfect tomorrow. It will be really hard to finally submit your book for publishing. There is always one more edit you need to make or one more read-through. If you focus on providing a ton of value, then its easier to submit to the fact that your book will never be perfect. Publish it and move on to the next one. Besides, you can always publish a revised edition a year from now!


Buy my new book How To Leverage Your Real Estate Business With Facebook on Amazon:

Bill Simmons Was Fired By ESPN: Bill Simmons Will Not Be Just Fine

In case you haven’t heard, Bill Simmons was recently fired by ESPN.  (Who is Bill Simmons?)

Bill Simmons is not going to be just fine. And no matter the situation, it really sucks getting fired. Even when you are at a company you don’t like, don’t respect, or really don’t need, it sucks getting fired. (I know from experience.)

So what makes me unequivocally believe that Bill Simmons is not going to be just fine without ESPN?

Lets start at the beginning…

Bill Simmons is a role model. Bill Simmons is an Idea Machine. Bill Simmons was fired by ESPN. Bill Simmons will not be just fine.

The world has changed, and Bill Simmons might be the only one in Media over 40 years old to realize it. This may be due the the fact that Bill Simmons helped change it.

Today, content is king. I can’t think of one person responsible for more content than Bill Simmons. If I try and think of the two biggest content creators today, the only names that come to mind are Bill Simmons and Disney. And Disney is an Uber-Corporation with access to George Lucas, Marvel Comics and an army of writers with a vault of licensed material. (Authors Note: I am long $DIS)

He made a name for himself with his writing. He combined sports with popular culture before anyone realized that sports IS popular culture.

He didn’t stop there.

He jumped on podcasts before podcasts were a ‘thing’, first creating the BS Report, then founding the Grantland Podcast Chanel (More on Grantland.com later)

He didn’ stop there.

He Developed and Produced  ESPN’s: 30 for 30 Documentaries. My favorite one being BROKE, and my second favorite being ALL OF THEM.


Helped produce a Disney Movie staring Don Draper (If you watch every John Hamm role assuming its what Don Draper ended up doing after he left advertising all of his roles are that much better. You’re welcome.)


Then he broke away from ESPN.com and convinced the powers that be to spin off a second website combining Pop-Culture and Sports once and for all with Grantland.com

By this time, I had been following Simmons’ work for quite a while. The reason? I was truly inspired by his writing. That is not an understatement. When a new Bill Simmons article was published, I made time to read it.

Yes he is a Boston sports homer.

Yes he knows more about the 1990’s show 90210 than I know about anything.

Yes his articles are a minimum of 5000 words (may or may not be an exaggeration).

But the way he writes was so different. So unique. So inspiring to someone who also enjoys writing.

When I learned he was starting a new website, even I had doubts. I distinctly remember Googling ‘Grantland’ to learn more about his motivation. The only articles and blogs I could find at the time all argued over how long until ESPN admitted failure and pulled the plug on the project. Those articles are now scrubbed from the inter-webs.

Today, Grantland.com is leading the way with innovative ideas by young and distinguished voices that would be silent today if not for Bill Simmons.

Not everything Bill Simmons did was a success. He openly admits he struggles with his brief substitution efforts on Pardon The Interruption, and his time on ESPN’s NBA Pre-game and Half Time Show is not looked back on fondly. But he learned from these experiences and used these lessons on his next projects.

Grantland Basketball Hour was a very enjoyable show. In addition to his March Madness YouTube live streams and myriad other concepts he thought up, attempted, then improved on, or moved on.

Bill Simmons is an entreprenuer. He is an idea machine. ESPN will be just fine without him, but BIll Simmons will not be just fine.

Sure, there are pros and cons with working at a huge corporation. Despite the many public disputes they had, they worked well together. Very well. ESPN has Disney money behind it, and Bill Simmons knew the right way to spend it.

Many of Bill Simmons’ ideas will live on at ESPN. Grantland will continue to thrive, which is more a testament to Bill Simmons creativity and work ethic than anything to do with ESPN.

The Grantland Podcast machine that Bill Simmon’s established will also thrive. It has a head start against any competition and Simmons’ did such a fantastice job of developing each writer’s voice, that they now have a future in an industry that didn’t even exist a few years ago.

In today’s world, Idea Machines are the future. Whether they are creating entirely new categories (Grantland.com, Podcasting, YouTube Live-stream) , or combining two existing ones to establish something that feels new (Popular Culture and Sports). Corporations and businesses that succeed grow fast and then spend the next few decades trying to maintain their dominance and fighting off competition. This hurts innovation. In fact, it destroys it.

ESPN is Microsoft. BIll Simmons is Steve Jobs.

I would not be surprised if, like Steve Jobs, Bill Simmons returns to ESPN one day. They both work better together. I wish this wasn’t true because I root for Bill Simmons. But sometimes the pieces just fit better together than apart.

Right now, Simmons’ has remained silent. Some believe he is biding his time, while I fear that he is still ‘under contract’ with ESPN for a few months and they are trying to hurt his earning potential by keeping him out of the media until his contact expires.

Simmons’ has a fan base. Its more than just an audience. Its a community. In communities, the audience is heard, and is part of the conversation. ESPN has an audience. That audience is diminishing as people like me who grew up watching SportsCenter before school in the morning do not have the time to watch scheduled viewing any more.

But I make time for Bill Simmons. He gets that. Whether its a 5000 word article on how the 2015 Celtiics are really like the 3rd Season of Saved By The Bell The New Class (I made this title up, but doesn’t it sound like a Simmons’ article? Wouldn’t you read it?)

I also would never miss a 30 for 30 Documentary whether live, DVR or later on YouTube or iTunes.

I have also never missed a BS Report. Whether he is arguing with Adam Carolla over which film had a greater impact on American Nationalism, Fast and Furious 6 or Fast and Furious 7, or interviewing Barak Obama. That is RANGE. That is talent. That is rare.

Bill Simmons has rare talent. Being an idea machine is only half the battle. He also implemented his ideas. He tried things and when they failed, he used the failures to succeed in the next thing.

ESPN will be fine without Simmons. But that may be their biggest problem. When you are just fine, others become great. Others take risks. Risks that do not work out aren’t failures if you use those lessons in your next attempt.

ESPN failed by letting Simmon’s go. ESPN will be just fine.

Bill Simmons was fired by ESPN. That sucks because being fired, even from a job you hate, sucks.

Bill Simmons will be just fine if he just creates BillSimmons.com and continues to write his long articles, create his podcast and youtube videos and has the freedom to voice his opinions.

But Bill Simmons will not be just fine.

Bill Simmons is the type of person who won’t just do what he has been doing. He simply can’t.

Bill Simmons is going to be much more than fine. He will create, develop and inspire.

He will innovate. He will try new things and fail at some of them. But that doesn’t matter. He understands that. When you only concentrate on providing value to others, the money will follow. He understand that too.

But for the time being, I hope he is enjoying his vacation.

Even role models should take a vacation.

– @Skyler_Irvine

More Articles Related to Bill Simmons:

Deadspin: “Why ESPN Fired Bill Simmons
Forbes: “After ESPN And Bill Simmons Divorce, What Is The Future For Grantland.com?”
Money.CNN:  “ESPN Finds Bill Simmons’ Replacement”
SportsGrid.com: “Colin Cowherd Gets Emotional About Bill Simmons’ Departure”


Back When I Was Lucky: Unemployed, In Debt, And Living With My Parents

I look around and I don’t think I have ever met anyone as lucky as me. Yes, I was born in America, so I already won the lottery, but it gets better!

I was born in 1984! Why is this important? Because this meant if I followed societies expectations, I would graduate high school in 2003. And I did!

Stay with me…

Because I graduated high school in 2003, this meant I began college a few months later in the fall of 2003. Despite spending a few quarters (University of California Schools are on the quarter system, not semesters) on academic probation (including a personal letter I had to write to the Dean begging to keep me enrolled), I managed to graduate in 4 years, meaning I entered the workforce in 2007!

Do you remember 2007?

In real estate history, 2007 is not looked upon as a positive year. In fact, most of our economy doesn’t look back on 2007 fondly.

You can trace back the peak of the housing market to between 2005-2006, depending on which part of the country you are looking. Prices kept skyrocketing… until they stopped.

Think of 2007 as Wiley Coyote from The Looney Toons cartoon. Prices are about to collapse, but as long as nobody looks down, everyone can buy themselves a few more seconds of ignorance and stability.

So here we are, it’s 2007 and I enter the workforce! Corporate America here I come! How lucky am I?!

I am hired as an assistant marketing consultant for an environmental consulting firm. Sounds pretty neat right? It wasn’t.

But lucky for me after I returned from a 2-week training program in Indianapolis (I was based in Newport, California) only to discover that the boss who hired me had left the company!

How lucky!

So now I had several bosses! Thats cool right? And no ‘real’ job description any more. Thats sustainable, right?

Here’s the thing. I hated my job. I hated my job more than you have ever hated a job. I don’t need to go into details about how I travelled 25 days a month, worked 60-80 hour weeks for extremely low pay while living in a very expensive city that I barely saw except when I was flying into and out of John Wayne Airport, LAX or Burbank (depending one whichever was cheapest or involved the longest layovers).

It is very possible that the greatest attribute any entrepreneur can have is a complete disdain towards working at a job. I consider myself very lucky to have this attribute.

Did I mention I was a coward?

Maybe coward is too strong of a word, but maybe it isn’t. I absolutely despised working at this job. My friends saw it in me.

I was terrible to be around, and any free time I had was usually filled with a lot of alcohol. It went on like this for WAY longer than any sane person should allow.

I was completely unappreciated and at any time I could have put a stop to it.

(My wife and I are currently watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, and all I can compare it to is voluntarily getting up every morning and driving to prison for the day, only to do it all over again the next day.)

So why would I do this? We already established that I was a big fat scaredy cat.

Was it fear of the unknown? What would I do for money?

What would my friends think if I was unemployed?

What would my parents think if I quit my first job?

What would my mom think if I no longer had health benefits?

Whatever it was, it was strong enough to keep me doing something I despised for quite a while. But good thing I am lucky!

By the time the recession reached the west coast, my company had seen at least 3 rounds of layoffs before it was my turn.

I have touched on this before, but I was legitimately “Up in the Air”d.

It wasn’t as bad as getting fired over the computer, but it was a 3rd party company doing the dirty work.

So its 2008. Mid-Recession. I am 24 and unemployed, so I moved back in with my parents! How lucky!

All of these things were happening to me, (for me), and I had no control over them. I was too afraid to quit a job I hated, but was eventually fired! How many people get to experience this level of good luck in their lives? I assume not many.

But I did!

2008. Crazy recession going on. Living at home with my parents, back in Scottsdale and out of California where all my friends and “business connections” resided.

All of my biggest ‘fears’ had come to fruition. How lucky!

Do you know how freeing it is to be so afraid of something, and then to experience it?

Its pretty hard to be afraid of hitting rock bottom if it means moving up a level.

Armed with my only attribute of “never wanting another job again”, I decided I would never have another job again. What was the worst that would happen? I’d end up at home with my parents at 25 instead of 24?

So I took a risk. And then another. And then another. Now these were very calculated risks. In fact, they weren’t really even risks.

After studying Robert Kiyosaki for a few years, I was well aware that he made  lot of money in real estate after the savings and loan crisis of 1987. In fact, he did it in Phoenix. Phoenix is where I was, and there was a new crisis. How lucky!

I begged, borrowed, and stole all the money I could find, in order to buy single family homes in Phoenix. People told me I was crazy to be buying houses. Today, they tell me how lucky I am.

I tell them, I know!!!

I was born in America in 1984. The way the American education system is aligned, this meant I graduated from college after 4 years in 2007. There was a global recession underway that I had no control over. It didn’t start earlier, it didn’t start later.

I was fired from a job I was too afraid to quit.

At age 24, unemployed and a complete failure, I moved back in with my parents.

No one is luckier than me!

In the following years; several companies founded, many houses bought, rented and sold, websites developed and books in the pipeline, a loving wife and beautiful family. All because I am nothing but a big scaredy cat. At least I was.

And no one is luckier than me.


Jim Carey’s Commencement Address: Overcoming Fear

“You can fail at what you don’t like, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.”- Jim Carey.