I was hoping to give regular updates of the challenge as it had progressed, but I was a bit unorganized due to a lot of posts that needed to be made (Paid Reviews, Paid Posts, Blog Earnings…)
This latest work week challenge for me was very interesting. All of my challenges have been very difficult and testing for me… in fact I failed the first 2-3 I did. But this latest challenge was by far the worst.
By the 4th day, I hadn’t clocked many hours, and was 75% sure I wouldn’t make it. By the 5th, I was 96% sure I wouldn’t. In fact, I had basically given up. But there was one thing that kept bugging me: it was the fact that I would lose $150. Now, it’s interesting, because it wasn’t the thought of simply losing $150 by not finishing the challenge in time that bugged me. It was the thought of losing $150 for no good reason that drove me insane. See, I don’t mind losing a few thousand dollars in poker from bad luck, or getting ripped off by some freelance programmer for a few hundred. I mean, sure, those things don’t make me jump for joy, but losing $150 when it’s myself that has to give it away because I decided to stop working just seemed utterly stupid.
And so, I couldn’t let it happen. With only a day-and-a-half left to work (my deadline was on the 2nd, but at 11:00am and I usually don’t wake up before 11:00 so I couldn’t count that as work day) I had to clock around 18 hours to meet my deadline.
Now, understand this: on average I work 3-4 hours per day.. on a good week. On a bad week I’ll work 0-1 hours. That means that on a good week, I’d only clock between 6-8 hours in a day and a half, so the thought of having to clock around 18 hours in that timeframe made me lose my mind.
But the $150 was always in the back of my mind. I was playing a lot of Starcraft each night too, so I could feel the inevitable withdrawal that would surely come when I would have sacrifice my Starcraft playing time in order to finish my challenge.
But in the end, I did it. The first night, I worked from about 11 or 12 at night until 7:30 in the morning, straight. It was a bit easier to do because I was all wrapped up in a huge headache with server troubles, then trying to modify OpenAds, WordPress, and various Plugins, so the time went by fairly fast.
I did more of the same headache the next night, and then before I knew it, I had just made my challenge, with 0.5 hours extra and about 7-8 hours to spare.
Here’s the daily log:
Nov. 25th 11:00am – Dec. 2nd 11:00am
It’s interesting how, in the end, it was the $150 investment I had into the challenge that actually lead me to finishing it. I can guarantee you that without that money penalty that I wouldn’t have even come close. And it’s interesting how the amount makes a difference; I’m not sure if I would have tried to work so hard if it was $75 or $100. But $150 starts to become more ludicrous to simply ‘throw away’.
I kept a mini-log of what I got done during all of these hours. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as much work done as I’d like to, nor did I get that review of NeverBlueAds done and visited their headquarters. But that may have been for the best anyhow since we were hit with a lot of snow during that time.
Please take note that the first three items in this list took 80% of my time when I wasn’t working on the server/OpenAds/Wordpress/Plugin stuff.
- Answered/read e-mails (I get a LOT of email)
- Wrote blog entries
- Managed advertisers (accounting, renewals, etc.)
- Spent 3.5 hours talking business to owner of Entrecard. Ended up getting 2 paid reviews and $20 out of it
- Wrote first Entrecard review
- Did happy dance when hitting new RSS record of 917
- Added 20 NTF entries to NTF (very time consuming, took an hour)
- Posted on PublisherForums.com
- Did insane happy dance when hitting new RSS record of 960
- Worked on setting up special advertising and partnership blog deal with Kontera
- Wrote AdToll paid review (3-4 hours straight)
- Talked business with AdToll about setting up special advertising and partnership blog deal
- Requested link exchanges on 8 large money making blogs. So far I’ve received one confirmed "no", four bloggers never responded (or haven’t yet), and three said yes. The three blogs I’ve exchanged links with are: CourtneyTuttle.com (1,000 Technorati, 20,000 Alexa, and #11 on 45n5 top 100 list), WRevenue.com (Has fantastic content and I’m sure will grow huge soon), and Entrepreneurs-Journey.com (2,800 Technorati, 13,000 Alexa, #14 on 45n5 top 100 list, and over 5,000 RSS). As a result of these links, I gained an immediate 950 boost on Technorati.
- Un-installed/deleted PHPAdsNew and upgraded/installed OpenAds
- Worked with my server administration company to do some PHP modifications and server settings in order to run OpenAds.
- Talked to various people on IM’s a fair bit, but discussion was business-related. Normally I don’t do these during my work sessions, but they were striking up deals and stuff so it counts
- Went through all my forums to tend to any spam, PM’s, and to make a few posts
- Negotiated special deal with AdToll (which ended up falling through last night)
- Spent around 4 hours trying to fix timezone issues on my server
- My computer started acting up (Alexa toolbar messing up my browser, and other things that just did not want to co-operate which sucked since I had like 50 windows open at the time), so I had to spend a fair bit of time fixing my computer (Installing AdAware, reinstalling Alexa, etc.)
- Talked more business on IM’s to various contacts. I got a lot done, but unfortunately 2/3 of the deals fell through. I’ll be phoning a guy tomorrow and hopefully that one will end up going through.
- Did my "bank" accounting. On the first of every month I do my financials (put money onto my CC, taxes account, RRSP, etc.) and requested cheques and EFT’s from various sources such as PayPal, Neteller, Moneybookers, etc.
- Sent a nice email to two local papers regarding running a story on me (using the $1,000 blog income as the angle). Unfortunately no response yet… which is fine. I’ll contact them again when/if I make $2,000 a month. They can’t ignore me forever!! Buhahahah!
- Spent a lot of time working on adding an embedded banner to all of my posts which would also appear in my RSS feed.