Pulse Check – Quarterly Report for January to March 2014

Pulse CheckEvery quarter, I recap the past, present, and future of my personal journey and the voyage of Value of Simple.

This “Pulse Check” is intended to be an honest, transparent, and (hopefully) inspiring assessment of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

This is the Pulse Check for January-March 2014.

How to Appreciate Slowly Switching Gears

If you follow me somewhat closely, it’s hard to miss that I published Experience Curating on February 18.

Based on your emails, Amazon reviews, tweets, and more, the early results are in: I wrote a fine book!

(I know. I’m kinda shocked too.)

January and February were almost solely dedicated to editing, infrastructure, and marketing for the book. Actually, March milked some late nights, mental exhaustion, and physical fatigue out of me too.

But I’ve never been more proud of a personal project in my life. It was worth it. I knew it would be.

(OK, I lied. I hoped like holy hell it would be.)

Experience Curating CoverOver 4,000 people have downloaded Experience Curating and the popularity has landed me some great interview requests. Here are three book-related interviews if you want to supplement the two-part podcast series I did on Smart and Simple Matters:

I’m still promoting Experience Curating and my author friends tell me I’ll probably never stop. That’s cool though. I love talking about curating your existence … with or without spreadsheets. Fortunately, the promotion pace has slowed down enough for me to gradually (maybe too gradually?) switch gears to SimpleRev.

I’m trying not to measure my initial success with SimpleRev via ticket sales. But as Vernon Foster of the Event Supremacy podcast would say, “I need to focus on getting butts in seats.”

Ain’t that the truth! The vibrancy and impact of SimpleRev depends on people showing up. So it’s a good thing SimpleRev has a lot going for it like:

  • New team members. My friend Nancy, a veteran event planner, has agreed to be the on-site event coordinator. Can I get a “Woot!” for landing an experienced event coordinator and fantastic fire-putter-outer? Also, my friend Andrea and her friend Sarah have volunteered to properly brand SimpleRev. Thanks to them, our social media profile is already on the rise and they’ll be helping with other stuff like graphic design. These two groovy gals plus Dan Hayes – fellow SimpleRev brain trust member – plus Joshua Becker’s support equals solid momentum.
  • Schuper Schweet workshop leaders. Besides Joshua, we’ve lined up Mike Vardy, David Delp, Sheryl and Dave Balthrop, and Saul of Hearts to give workshops. They’ll be engaging people about the Share Economy, setting priorities aligned with simple living, overcoming minimalism’s social stigma, and more. To quote Napoleon Dynamite, “Yesssss!”
  • Some tickets have sold. Having people commit 5+ months before SimpleRev is a big deal. Ticket sales aren’t as steady as I had hoped, but I don’t have a magic wand as I recently explained to the 1,500 groovy folks on the Value of Simple newsletter.

SimpleRev is promising. I know it will transform me and 200+ others on October 3-4. So for now, I keep the immortal words of Sir Mix-a-Lot in mind from his classic, “Swap Meet Louie:”

I got a plan and I’m about to use it.

Now if someone could just find my back burner plans to type faster, migrate to a standing desk, and podcast weekly. That would be great.

(Maybe they’re next to my plans for the Wisconsin Badgers to win the NCAA basketball tournament or my next Continuous Creation Challenge? I won’t even ask you to come in on Saturday or Sunday to look.)

The Numbers

A lot of people are interested in the stats behind Value of Simple. I am too because it helps me understand what’s working, what’s failing, and what I need to emphasize in the future.

But more than that, being upfront with you and sharing these numbers lets me display some core values of candor, vulnerability, and accountability. The more you know about this refuge of simplicity, the more you know whether this community is a place you want to be.

If a number is in parenthesis, it’s the net increase or decrease of the same stat from the previous quarter. This also includes the income I made so you can see how this site supports my family, charities like Second Harvest Heartland, and the greater community.

Note: All numbers below are a monthly average of the past three months.

Note: Amounts shown are after PayPal fees and affiliate payments are made.

  • Total Average Monthly Income: $447.99
Check out my Resources page if you want to know why I stand by these products and services.

Look at those podcast download numbers! Awww yeah, baby!

Royalties from Experience Curating are trickling in, but not enough to compensate for a decrease (or flat-lining) of my older products and services. I really gotta do a better job of marketing Start Investing with $100, The Digital Launch Playbook, and Unsexy System Sessions. That, and improve their sales pages.

Heck, you might not even know I offer an investing course, a project launch spreadsheet of doom, and hourly virtual consulting! No es bueno.

What I Learned (and You Might Too)

You know what bums me out? I don’t get to promote my work the way I want to.

I’d like to engage you one-on-one or in small groups – preferably face-to-face – so we could have a conversation about my projects and whether they’re valuable to you.

Instead, I send emails because it’s effective and scalable. I post stuff on social media that lacks my in-person gusto. I tweak a headline so Google likes me more or to capture your attention.

Emails, social media, search engine optimization, copy writing … bleech.

I’m a connector. I want to connect with you in the most meaningful way possible: face-to-face. Sadly, most of the world doesn’t have the time, desire, or attention for my kind of genuine human connection anymore.

Perhaps the real problem is my confidence issues with emails, blog posts, social media, and ranking in Google search results?

Speaking of confidence, I’ve realized that:

Confident isn’t something you are. It’s what you have at any given moment.

[Tweet that]

I’m a confident dude when I’m doing public speaking or being interviewed. But can I stay confident about this or that aspect of SimpleRev just because I’m generally confident?

Nope.

I guess that makes me human. Besides, I don’t mind getting candid, vulnerable, or admitting my flaws. Dan Hayes convinced me to be all three in a recent note to SimpleRev email subscribers. I acknowledged that I need to get better at communicating the vision and value of SimpleRev, but not just through emails and All Things SimpleRev podcast episodes.

I’ve come a long way in the four years since my personal renaissance began. But holy schmokes, do I still have a long way to go!

So where are you getting your confidence from right now? Do you have pillars like Dan Hayes telling you with conviction, “You got this?”

What’s Around the Corner

SimpleRev Banner

SimpleRev is on the front burner and it will be sizzling all-year long. Hosting an awesome event – and turning SimpleRev from a gathering into a movement – is the 2014 project for me.

There will be predictable and unpredictable detours, of course.

On the predictable side:

  • I’m going to San Diego soon to snag some family fun and relaxation.
  • I’ll be in Omaha, NE from May 7-9 for an event called Big Omaha. Woohoo for innovators and entrepreneurs!
  • My unhinged excitement for the mid-July World Domination Summit (WDS) in Portland, OR is starting to build again. Last years’ WDS was one of the top ten greatest experiences in my life and something I curated the bajesus out of. I’m expecting more of the same in 2014.

However, I’m a man with a diversity of interests, passions, and skills. So unexpected projects are bound to come up as I connect with other people about what they’re building and how I can help.

The beauty of simple living is that I have enough margin to satisfy my current commitments and take on new ones if I want. The universe might say, “Hey. Zaslofsky! Curveball’s a-comin’! Swing batter, batter, batter, batter,” and I should be able to handle it.

What about you? Have you left enough space in your life that you can fill some with a passion project or, often even better, with nothing?

Let me know in the comments if you don’t see something around the corner you were hoping to see.

Thanks for being interested enough in me and Value of Simple to read this report!

Your partner in simplifying,

Joel

Photo Credit: fmgbain
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7 Responses to Pulse Check – Quarterly Report for January to March 2014

  1. Wan says:

    Wow!

    I like how you made yourself accountable with these kind of posts. I wish I can go to SimpleRev but I’m very busy studying haha.

    I’m really interested to read Experience Curating and it’ll be in my wishlist. Anyway, is the eBook related to the Self-Quantified movement going on nowadays?

    • Thanks for the kind words, Wan. My goal is to give you plenty to get involved with on SimpleRev, even if you can’t attend. I realize I haven’t made that easy for people on other continents yet, but I’m working on it.

      Experience Curating will be embraced by the Quantified Self (QS) movement and my framework shares some overlap with QS. In fact, I just interviewed one of the godfathers of QS – Gordon Bell – which you can listen to here. But whereas Gordon’s philosophy is “Capture everything. Discard nothing,” my philosophy is more “Capture the most valuable, filter out everything else.”

      Let me know how you think QS and EC are related – and where the opportunity is to embrace both – after you plow through my book.

      • Wan says:

        My initial thought from reading your book was I thought you advocate capturing everything in a spreadsheet. But it turns out that it’s a bit different than QS. From what I see, QS is focused on ‘superficial’/physical(not in a derogative sense) measurement of our life while EC is more meanings based.

        Anyway, as said in the book, experience curating is something practiced by many successful people in the past and I didn’t realise that I did it myself in the form of a commonplace book.

        My take on QS and EC -> Start with QS philosophy to be more aware of what we do in life and I believe the progression after that would be EC. As we realise that we need to filter the things we do and only do the things that matters in life, It’s easier to curate.

        • As we realise that we need to filter the things we do and only do the things that matters in life, It’s easier to curate.

          Well said, Wan! I do advocate using Excel for Experience Curating (or anything for that matter) if you can, but the mindset is much more important than the tools you use to act on the mindset. Commonplace books are pretty groovy, too! I’m just a digital guy so I don’t personally use many analog tools.

          • Wan says:

            Haha, I’m a digital guy too and that commonplace book is my EverNote.

            Call it a digital commonplace book if you will. I don’t like analog tools too especially if it involves papers. Books, papers, files and their peers – I am bad at organizing them.

            Anyway, I think Excel looks like a better tool to get an overview of what’s happening in life compared to EverNote. That’s why I want to shift into using them (using your book as a guide, of course!)

  2. Andrea says:

    Thanks for the shout out Joel! I am really excited to be a part of SimpleRev and to be a friend of yours. Looking forward to next quarter’s numbers because they are going to be through the roof!! Yeah!! Thanks again for your support.

    • You rock, Andrea! And you just made me think: now that I have two main websites – Value of Simple and SimpleRev – do I have a separate section in my future Pulse Checks for SimpleRev? Is SimpleRev truly an extension of Value of Simple (which is how I originally thought of it) or its own “thing?”

      I’m thinking SimpleRev is its own thing, but I bet Value of Simple readers would want the skinny on the numbers there too. Looks like I have something to think about for the April-June Pulse Check!

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