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hawaii 2014 re-cap

Back in mid-April I went to a Hawaii destination wedding. It was lotsa of fun, lots of old family friends that used to live in Calgary, great wedding!!

Here are some pics. It was in Honolulu, the big island.   It was such a relief after 4 months of snow/ice/cold.

First day just walked Waikiki Beach.  Mahalo.

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take me back

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Entering Jurassic Park!! Nature hike with ze family

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Wedding took place overlooking the water!

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hawaii sunsets

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groom doesn’t walk today!

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my brother photo bombing the brides maids!

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The groom has arrived (on a horse!)

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sightseeing!

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lots of hula dancing later in the evening

loved this copy writing at bar while walking in maui!

loved this copy writing for a bar while in maui

All in all A GREAT HOLIDAY!

P.S. Here’s some travel video footage from my trusty iphone4S. Will get a new camera soonish.

Also: got some more posts coming up, stay tuned
Laterz,
Nishant

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watch your words

I often tell friends to never fuss on spending a mere 10 or 20 bucks on a book they are even 10% interested in.

Why you may ask? There could be one line of wisdom or practical info you can apply immediately to your business.

That ten dollar investment may pay for itself 10 times over. Maybe even more.

Anyways, the other day I was cleaning up my spare room where I keep my library.  I came across one solid book on communication called Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane that I had read about a year ago.

There was this one bit of consumer psychology that has stuck with me AND may stick with you! Check out the video below to find out:

baby steps part 2

Hi folks, Happy March!

This post is a continuation from the previous one where I talked about taking baby steps to complete projects.

My 2nd project was creating a separate rug cleaning and repair website for the business I help run.

Once again I started out with a ghetto wordpress site. I made it in 4 mins to get the ball rolling:

Calgary_Area_Rugs Crappy Verision

This was the 2nd iteration:

Calgary_Area_Rugs_Cleaning_-_We_Hand_Wash_Your_Area_Rugs._Call_Us_Toll-Free_1-877-662-6816

It’s important to do even one TINY action step to get going.  I remember the big obstacle for me was writing out the main contents. So I broke that down: write out the Directions/Map part of the site first, etc.

Once that was done, the site underwent multiple edits to make sure all the links and forms were working, also make sure SEO stuff like google sitemap was installed… my developer has a lot patience.

After some research on other cleaning websites and other effective sites,  asking coworkers, asking clients and trying to imagine myself as a user interested in rug cleaning/repair online, I came up with this:

Click on the image to open the site!

Professional_Rug_Cleaning_and_Repair._Indo_Designer_Rugs_-_Clean_and_Repair_Your_Area_Rugs._Call_Us_Toll-Free_1-877-662-6816

It shows a map of where to drop rugs, some cleaning tips for small stains, our phone number AND a form to contact us for a Free Quote. All on a wordpress platform. Cha-bang.

Feels good to be done. I’ll improve it over time.

Onto the next project.

P.S. this is a snap of  me levitating for 54 seconds..beating my hardcore fitness freak friends!  Felt good.  No idea how i’m so good at this particular feat of muscular power. We all have hidden powers.

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take baby steps

Hey’yall,

I find hardest part with committing to new projects is the dedication to see it through.

Last blog post I talked about my nearestshawarma.com site (yes I’m still talking about it, whatever).

Well, what I didn’t tell you was I also had a 2nd website I was also meaning to work on!

What happened was I wasn’t making much progress on EITHER of them, despite even having an accountability partner (more on that some other time).

So I decided to focus on ONE project –  nearestshawarma.com. I made myself a quick ghetto wordpress powered website just to get my momentum going. You can see it below:

Nearest_Shawarma Ghetto Site

Once I got this ghetto site done, I felt good. It gave me some momentum. I then spent time thinking of how to improve the design, usability.

On week 2, I finally improved the site. Hired a solid wordpress developer from Odesk to implement my ideas and bham! Finished last Friday before the weekend festivities.  Here is the final site below:

Nearest_Shawarma Final Site Feb 2014I think the lesson is focus on ONE project at a time. Set a deadline for it and Finish it. Then move to the next project.

I’m going to now apply this lesson to that 2nd website!

Talk later,

Nishant

P.S.  This past Sunday all of Calgary woke up at 5 AM to watch the Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Game between Canada and Sweden (Canada WON!) . It was a packed house at all the bars.  I’m still suffering from jet leg.

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shawarma app promo video

Back in September I published a blog post on my first iphone app – Nearest Shawarma.

Recently, my friends and I decided to  film a short promo video to get more users interested in the app.

It was a lot of fun to make and is definitely fun to watch.

So without further ado, check it out my babies:

I might be posting this video on a site I’m working on – you guessed it – nearestshawarma.com. So check that site out in the coming days.

Thank ya,

Nishant

P.S.  Repeat after me:

Thou shall not go to bed without a shawarma in ze tummy!

Peace.

get more play in your life

It’s a New Year.

New Way, New Life.

Now to back track a bit, in mid-December I threw an Ugly Xmas sweater party.

You must have heard of these before?

It’s where people wear ugly christmas sweaters and drink egg nog from a ski (shot ski). It’s a great way to meet up with old friends and make new ones as well.

This time I decided to create some hype for the party by making a series of promo videos. I posted these on a weekly basis on the FB event wall to build anticipation.

The result?

A quick survey at the party indicated that only half in attendance actually watched the videos! But those who did – loved it and more  importantly than anything else –  it was A LOT of FUN for ME to make.

Below is a 3 part series from the Making of the Shot Ski to  to the introduction of this fictional character called ” Shot Guy”.  I make an appearance in part two and three.

Yes it’s incredibly cheesy, but good fun. My film editing skillz need some upgrading in 2014.

We need more PLAY in our lives.

Some might say sarcastically, “great you made a bunch of silly videos.”

Yes I did.  It was a incredibly fun evening project.  Instead of  sitting at home watching movies off Netflix, why not make some of your own? Creating makes you feel better.

As we grow older we forget about doing things for fun sakes. There is an incredible article in Aeon magazine that talks about children today are suffering a severe deficit of play. Click here to read it.

It’s a quite thought provoking article as it states even children have LESS PLAY in there lives than 50 years ago. This is reducing our creativity, making us less healthier, and more anxious and stressed.

I think if you dig deeper, what other parts of your life are you doing that are boring or just for money?  Can you make it more fun for yourself?

 

P.S. Check out this new book by Charlie Hoehn called Play It Away.  I read his previous ebook to this “Recession Proof Graduate” which I also recommend (in fact I wrote a blog post about it you can read here by clicking here). In Play It Away he talks about he switched from being over-stressed workaholic to someone who treats his work like play! It’s really fascinating read and fast too, so check out at your nearest amazon.com.

play it away

happy money – book review

Hey ‘yall!

I read a cool little book 2 months ago called Happy Money.”

happy money

I finished all 160 pages on a return flight from NYC . It was handed out at this cool marketing conference called BehaviourCon, by the author himself, Michael Norton. He gave a speech on transparency as a strategy in marketing your business.

I wasn’t expecting much, but this was a fun quick read based on latest science.  You can’t argue with SCIENCE!

How to spend money in a such a way that maximizes your happiness ? Don’t buy so many material things, buy experiences! Right? Exactly. It goes into certain nuances of that wisdom.

It breaks spending happy money into 5 principles.

1. Buy experiences 

Housing and Transportation are not particularly good sources of happiness in the long term. Important to know since these are the largest material purchases most people ever make.

Working long hours to earn more money to provide your children with fancier home may represent a bad happiness trade-off.

Remarkably, length of an experience (holiday) has little impact on the pleasure people remember deriving from it.

It goes into one extreme example – spending 200,000 dollars on Virgin Galactic  6 mins flight to outer space will give you more lasting happiness than a material purchase of similar amount.

Shifting your focus can alter whether a purchase feels like an experience. Talks about this amazing restaurant – elBulli, made dining an amazing experience that resulted in 1-2 million reservation requests per year, yet just served 8,000 customers.

2. Make It a Treat

Limiting your access to everything from the McRib to Maseratis helps to reset your cheerometer. That is, knowing you can’t have access to something all the time may help you appreciate it more when you do. Think Charlie and Chocolate Factory. This is a win-win for both consumer and buyer.

There is Classic Car Club in Manhattan when you pay $11,000.00 for thirteen days of driving the clubs “high-end supercars”. Those magical thirteen days gives you more pleasure than owning one.

All else being equal, most people report they would rather have larger number of smaller pleasures, rather than a smaller number of larger pleasures. For example, prefer to get a $5 a day for five days, than $25 all on one day.

3. Buy Time

Don’t Watch TV as much, Cut Your Commute Time and Engage in more socializing with friends and family or join a art class, etc.

Taking a bike to work (even once a week) can transform our happiness commuting time into happiness inducing physical activity time.

Thinking about Time – rather than money – spurs people to engage in activities that promote well-being, like socializing and volunteering.

For example, concert goers felt more enthusiastic about the event when they thought about the time (verses money) they had spent to be there.

4. Pay Now, Consume Later

Vacationeers exhibited a bigger happiness boost in the weeks before their trip, rather than in the weeks afterward.

If you plan to “reward” your friends for helping you move with nothing more than cheap beer and pizza, they’re more likely to be satisfied with Bud Light and Dominos’ if you have them over the day after the move rather the day before.

Talk about Virgin Galactic Trip again. The anticipation toward the 6 min flight to space- the value of the trip stems in part of looking forward to it.

Research show that waiting can increase satisfaction if customers get the impression that work is being done on their behalf during the delay.

This “labour illusion” is so powerful that it leads to customers to prefer services that make them wait to services that provide the same quality immediately.

Purchases that have been paid for long ago feel free, thereby liberating people to spend their time in happier ways.

5. Invest in Others

This is what people report spending the least, though is excellent source of happiness. Try giving 5 dollars once in awhile to a friend. Not suggesting give all your money away.

Donations to a food bank elicited more activation in brain regions associated with reward when the contributions were made by choice rather than being obligatory.

Individuals who agreed with statements such as “I feel that my work makes a positive difference in other peoples lives” were less likely to experience emotional exhaustion at work. Goes into cause-marketing as well.

Other Notes:

Some research suggests chasing happiness can be counterproductive.

People who were told to try make themselves feel as happy as possible while they listened to some pretty good, but not fantastic music reported feeling less  happy than those who hadn’t been given any instructions.

Seneca: Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.

P.S. Check out these songs by two NEW bands that need to save music. Jagwar Ma and Temples! Don’t feel obligated to.