Tag Archive: try

The Matthew Effect

So I have really fallen off the wagon with blogging, and I have fallen off the wagon on many good things that I have been striving to do and make into habits that would better my life.  I have almost stopped listening to audio books and of course have not been reading my scriptures.

There was something very interesting that I heard from the last audio book that I was listening to and that is the Matthew Effect. It comes from this verse in the Bible:

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken even that which he hath.
Wikipedia gives what I would call and over-simplification of this verse and what I believe it to mean.  Before this verse is the parable of the talents ( http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25?lang=eng ) giving the account of men that had talents (a form of money) and how they used it.  The ones that did something with their talents earned even more, while the one who did nothing with his talent had his taken away and given to the one who did use all of their talents or actually made an investment instead of hiding the money in his stewardship in the ground…

25 And I was aafraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo,there thou hast that is thine.

 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked andaslothful servant, thou knewest that I breap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with ausury.

 28 Take therefore the atalent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

 29 For unto every one that hath shall be agiven, and he shall havebabundance: but from him that hath not shall be ctaken away even that which he hath.


The way I understand this parable is not just that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!  But that those who use what they have to the best of their ability will be given more.  If the person with only one talent did something with it then he would have received another, then with those two he would have received two more and so on.  It stands to reason that the increase would grow at a geometric rate, doubling each time the talents were used(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth).

The month of December has been a really bad one for me and my family, I got my truck stuck in the ditch, I throw out my back really bad, then the wife and kids got sick, and only now near the end of the month is my back really on the mend and my wife is somewhat feeling better from the nasty flu that has been going around.

Now in this troublesome time my mind has constantly be dwelling on the Matthew Effect.  I have been the slothful servant, while I was in good health and sound mind I had all these good things I could have been doing, but have neglected them thinking that I am too tired or my head is just not in it.  So instead I watch TV, veg and sleep in as late as I possibly could before getting ready for work.

An interesting thought occurred repetitively in my mind. Oh how much more I could get done if it did not take me five minutes to get my shoes on!  How much more could I get done if my wife was not sick so I didn’t have to do all the things that she does that I have taken for granted? I could write a blog post if I just felt a little better, I could work on my side business or read something good!

I was thinking that I would blog about this when I finally felt better…but wait, I neglected to write when I was in good health, why would the powers that be believe me when despite how I feel or the health that I may have, I still did not do the needful things and the things that would improve my character and my willpower?

I think and truly believe that I needed a month like this, that to become better than I am now I needed to suffer for a time to figure out that I am wasting so much of my time and energy…and to put it bluntly…that I am just plain lazy and apathetic!

Since I did not use what I had, even that was taken away.

Have you noticed the Matthew Effect (as I understand it) in your own life?


Have you ever tried to strike out on your own, make contacts, and work towards contracts, only to find that when you have nothing coming in and you finally get a job to lick your wounds, that then and only then the Opportunities start to come in?

I have been working on using Social Media much better than I ever had in the past, and to use multiple channels as well.  I actually care now how many followers I have on Twitter and am always seeking for more followers (you can find me on Twitter @theHartsOffice) I followed the max 2000ish that you can before it caps you until you have more followers, and now I unfollow about 50 people a day so that I can find others to follow that might follow me back.

I was making a little headway, but no business opportunities were coming into fruition.  I had a great oilfield job fall into my lap while a I was training for a slightly less great oilfield job doing something else.  I took the former and then got a email to go to Edmonton to discuss Android app development.  I turned it down since I know that even after a good chat things do not fall into place quickly and I do not want to ruin anything at this new job. 

I am constantly torn inside, I want security for myself and my family.  I suppose it is much more for the family than for myself since I do not need much to get by, but supporting a family is a different beast in itself.

After reading the beginning of “The Success Principles” and “Think and Grow Rich” I find, or at least feel, that there has to be big risks taken, and endurance in those risks to get any traction.  So a fear in me is that I won’t abandon security for these larger goals.  How wretched this makes my soul!  Lucky for me I also stumbled upon a book called “How to Stop Worrying” by Dale Carnegie.  This book has helped me greatly to allow myself some peace.

I have concluded that I need to keep reading all these good books and then work in my off hours to obtain my dreams while keeping the full time job and having the ability to provide for my family.

What are you doing to chase those dreams? 

From my book “How to Survive as a Complete Failure” http://buff.ly/LzUcqS

Failure is a lonely thing, and always being a loner might be one of the causes of your failure. If all your successes are in a vacuum you might as well go back to day dreaming.

What do I mean by vacuum? In Wikipedia it states “Vacuum is space that is empty of matter.” So if you are doing things that no one knows about what good is it? If I told you I made a killer website but you never see it, what do you care? If I claim that I am a hard worker but have nothing to show for it, how can you know if I am telling the truth? We need to go public people! We need people to see and understand what we have done and what we are doing.

Think of it like a fisher man, or rather that you want to fish. Your goal is to obtain fish, and the more the better within reason. You go to your family and friends to learn more about fishing, you learn how to tie fishing knots and what all the equipment is. Then you go and get all that equipment. Then finally you get a boat and get out on the lake. This is exciting, you are so going to catch a ton of fish! Then with the fishing rod in the boat, you just sit there, maybe too worried that you are doing it wrong, worried you won’t catch fish, or that if you do they won’t taste good, or since you will not catch as big a fish as others there is no point in trying. The point is that if you do not have your line in the water, you are 100% guaranteed to not catch ANYTHING!

You are your own fishing line, and the world is the lake. You can catch all the fish you want whatever the metaphor for the fish might be (for me it is usually money). But you got to have your line in the water!

Now please understand that just because the line is in the water does not mean that a conveyer belt will appear and start dumping fish in your boat. It takes time, you will learn what kind of fishing bait works, what doesn’t and about how long it will take. Even with the best bait and fishing equipment time is still an element that you cannot skip. They may notice the bait and ignore it, then make another pass and think about it, and then when it bites, it is still up to you to hook it!

So volunteer! So what if you are not making money or accomplishing your goals? You are not doing those things sulking at home anyway. Why not at least have your line in the water?

There are endless ways that you can volunteer, the public library, your church or even someone else’s church, highway clean up, senior centers, hospitals, or furthering education institutions. Just start asking around and you are sure to find something (put your line in the water for finding ways to volunteer!).

Try Anyway

So I am a professional burn out.  That is all I know, it is either ramp up, amp up and get no sleep OR veg out, eat out and sleep all the time.  The one thing about all of this that is remotely redeemable is that despite the things about me that ruin progress for success, I try anyway.

I was thinking of changing my tagline to “try anyway” because that really is my motto, that is what I keep telling myself when I am mopy and get nothing done.  There is this mystical and super powerful gap between daydreaming something and then actually doing it.  How bizarre it is to me, that I can be sitting in front of the computer, day dreaming about a blog post that I want to write, thinking it over and enjoying how good it sounds in my head…all the while my fingers are doing no typing and that little cursor just keeps blinking and all my thoughts and anything that I can offer the world continues to live in a vacuum!

One way I have combated this is just doing something, and then giving it out to the world, more often than not it is not polished, and really seams cheap or quickly slapped together…many of my android apps can attest to this, and I am in no way saying that it is okay to settle for this kind of quality if I know that I can do better, but for my personal issues of struggling to even do something in the first place this really is better than nothing.  I hope to make improvements in iterations since when I at least do something I have faced that fear and that dread, that overwhelming feeling of incompetence, and did something  I have thousands (somewhere around 20,000) people that have downloaded my android apps.  If you know much about mobile apps you know that is not much, but it is thousands more than if I just in front of the computer daydreaming or just playing video games.

The reason for this post, more than anything, has been the books and the blogs I have been reading on how to blog better, get more followers, engage readers and how to be able to do something like this full time.  There are so many great suggestions and tactics that when I sit down to write I am overwhelmed, I think I cannot even start to write unless I have these big checklists…and hence I have not written for over a week.

I was thinking of writing a post titled “What Am I Doing?” and ask my readers what they expect from my blog, or what do they think I write about, what would you like to see and read?  I am desperate to find like minded peers, I am tormented by the fact that everyone seems to want to live such mediocre lives, that there is little to no drive out there and the really burns out my drive since it cannot find an outlet.

Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think or any suggestions that you have!

Yes this is a rather long title and I sure hope it does not turn you off to reading this post.  I have been reading and working on websites the last few weeks and have completely neglected my blog.  The other big part is that after reading “Platform” I have not been that excited to write a post since there are so many things to consider when writing them.  To get things started I just had to ignore all the nay-sayings in my head and just write, it took a little bit of courage to even get started!

I have been writing this blog since October and now my wife has started a blog about her garden.  Her posts are amazing and include many well taken photos…I still have yet to embrace the always having a picture in my post, something that I need to change.  Also I have had a lot of websites to work on, and no, none are really creating any income… one might but it is for an artist, and they want to always change things to the point that I really don’t want to work on their site anymore.  Courage, it takes courage to endure the being in the middle of creating sites and making what I do into succinct products and packages, and then creating an elevator pitch…I almost dread the thought of it, but it must be done if I want to be able to market myself quickly when I have an ear for a few moments.

Finishing is also a very daunting tasks.  It is funny that after wading through a swamp, when you are almost to the other side despite all the alligators and being weighed down with muck and water, that we want to turn back and leave any progress that we made behind to go back to the familiar.  I got my site done and asked for feedback from people, I have gotten some great suggestions…but just don’t want to go back to my site and implement them.  So it is with so many things that I have almost finished, that little voice creeps in and say that all this is for nought, no one will listen, or view your content or take your services and you will be broke, go back to a normal job.

It is so true that hero like courage is required to get started, muddle your way through, and then we must muster another whole set of courage to finish what we have set out to do.

Do you have the courage to start, work though, and finish on your dreams?  It is not easy and it is not always fun, but I must take it at everyone who has done it word that it is worth it!

Holy cow I have not been blogging or getting any of the usually stuff done.  This last two or so weeks have been intense for me building for my future.  I got the book “Platform” by Michael Hyatt, and read that all the way through, then I had this feeling that I should start a video blog, I got a little excited and then let it die cause it would be a lot of work.  But the feeling persisted almost to dread if I did not do it, I kept thinking that I just could not do it or that it would be no good.  I finally just made myself do it, and here it is for you to view in this blog!

Hope you enjoyed it, I only made it like a week ago but with all I have been trying to do I just never blogged about it.

THEN I decided to get serious about my website, my previous one http://www.hartwired.com was pretty lackluster, and now that domain points to the same place as the new URL http://www.hartsoffice.com.  The great thing about this site is that it markets me, what I do for the company I work for, my teaching and coaching in software that I do for a school here in Drumheller, and what I do on my own.  The exciting thing that this brand that I am building can come with me where ever I go.  So when I do move back to Utah, or move to Germany…that all my work will not be for nought in that new location.

I love the adage that Dave Ramsey so often uses in saying, “Leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home!”  I can fight mediocrity and so can you!

What are you doing to find, kill and drag something home? (Note: of course you know this is a metaphor for finding success, no actual killing is needed unless you work at a meat processing plant of some kind…)

It takes Courage to Blog!

I just purchased and have been furiously reading Michael Hyatts book “Platform”, it has an overwhelming amount of great information about blogging and social media, but something really struck me and has been resonating in me the last few days:

“If we are going to create wow experiences, we must become courageous. This is a personal, psychological bridge we need to cross. What we want to create—that wow experience—is on the other side of the ravine. There’s no other way to get there from here.”

Hyatt, Michael (2012-05-22). Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Kindle Locations 634-636). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I thought that was fairly neat as I read, then I continued on and the usually fears cropped up:

* I should be doing something else…
* I should stop reading and look for my lost bluetooth…
* Doing the things in this book will take too long, so why bother…
* Go get a real job and just deal with it…

This is the best way that I can put some of the fears into words, but really it is a dreadful feeling that just wants to deter me from doing ANYTHING.  But this quote has really helped me, it pointed out that there would have to be some courage involved!  That being said, there would be fears to overcome, inaction to defeat, and sacrifices to be made if I want to get to where I want to be.

The worse fear is the future projection of failure, I have at least a good two solid times (that I can still remember clearly) being in a situation of absolute horror, bills were due, no money was coming in, the job I had at the time was shaky or I was unemployed.  The feelings I have had at those times resurface just long enought to say “Don’t go for it, get somewhere safe, keep low, keep quiet, don’t get noticed, they can’t hit what they can’t see…” a terrible mindset and a perfect path to staying mediocre.

I have many ideas that come to my mind and excite my whole being, but I almost never act on them, here is another impressive quote from Hyatts book:

“Listen to your heart. Most of us have spent a lifetime ignoring—or even suppressing—our intuition. I don’t know if this is a product of modern rationalism or American pragmatism. Regardless, I believe intuition is the map to buried treasure. It is not infallible, but neither is our reason. And it can point us in the right direction. We need to pay attention to this inner voice.”

Hyatt, Michael (2012-05-22). Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Kindle Locations 682-685). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The biggest thing is that listen in this sense means to ACT.  To do, if my heart and mind and spirit or whatever is telling me to do a video blog, then I should DO IT.  This has been a tough one for me and I still have not got it started, I just dunno what to say on the camera or how to act.  Courage, I need it really bad!

So I am asking you, how do you build your courage?

Fired Up yet Realistic

I have just purchased Michael Hyatts book “Platform”, and I listened about it on the Entreleadership podcast and then started listening to Michael Hyatts podcast.  There is so much good, uplifting stuff in all of this content!  There is almost too much to read.  Of course I have anaylze how I can do what others have done (very successfully I might add) and I have some concerns.

1.  I can’t afford all the extras that will give me the extra push:

Hyatt suggests a few plugins and they cost on a monthly basis.  Also I should own the domain for my blog, that does not cost much in the grand scheme of things but it still costs.  Also I think I need a life coach to really unlock and drive my potential, and a good one of those would be very costly.  My wife and I budget to the penny and our Dave Ramsey emergency fund has been depleted a few months before the birth of our second daughter.

2.  Burning out:

I have had this blog since October of last year and so far I have been fairly decent at keeping up with it.  But there have been those burn out stages where I did nothing and more often than not I do not comment enough on other people’s blogs.

3.  I censor myself a little bit:

Since I talk about not having satisfaction with my job I do not want employers to see this, and they are on facebook, and they are following me, so I don’t dare connect this to social media site anymore which I am positive really hurts my blog following.  I don’t hate my jobs or my bosses but I am always striving for something more.

4.  Money, it is always about money:

The blog does not make me money so I cannot devote as much time to it as I would like.  Also I never want to become that annoying person that spams all his friends to follow and read.  This could be a full time job and if it made me a living I would be happy to make it my full time job.  The content would be a lot better that is for sure.

What do you think?

According to this comic I must be a scientist.  I try things out and they don’t work…and I keep trying them, over and over and over again.  My marriage is working out great, but this is what marriages that don’t work out must be doing, namely things that just don’t work.  My thought is that the things that I am doing will work over time or that they will suddenly have a transition point (as Jim Collins would say) and will exponentiationally work in my favor.  The Android apps, the blogging, the consulting, they will do better if I put more effort and time into them.

The worse part is the habits I form and reinforce.  Getting up early and having breakfast works!  It give me good results, I think to myself that I will do this all the time.  Jogging works! It give me energy throughout the day and give my mind clarity and ability.  Guess what I don’t do?  Also I think that I can get something accomplished by staying up late and taking notes on podcast and good books.  While this is not entirely bad, why could I not just do this in the morning with some breakfast and a good jog?

I read a blog last night that said “You will succeed because everyone else is lazy!”  I think the caveat should be added that “providing that you are not lazy!”

Here’s to always trying!

Too Many Good Things on the Table

Have you ever been to Thanksgiving dinner…no scratch that, Christmas dinner (in my experience they have always been better) and wanted a little of everything?  But at the same time you are hungry so you have to satisfy you gut and then worry about getting a little of everything.  Of course you can’t fit everything but you try and then you are in a food coma for a week, which around Christmas time is usually okay.

I am finding myself in a predicament where there are too many good things on the table.  The biggest problem is that each one demands (or I perceive that it demands) exclusivity.  I am mostly talking about gainful employment.  On one hand I can work a job that pays a little but I could live there until I die (if I always do enough to warrant staying there of course), and on the other I can go do Oil Field work that is crazy sometimes and dead sometimes.  Also I have my software consulting, that on a good day can make me around $300 in that day…but that is a good day, and thus far that had been about once a month, otherwise in my consulting I get a few $25/hr gigs and make about $100 a week.

For the job I have to not focus on outside things, the Oil Field I have to be away from the family for weeks or possibly months at a time and the consulting I have to do a lot of marketing on my own time but think that it will pay off once the ball is rolling.

I had the idea that I should position myself as strictly a contractor with promising no more than a month in advance of my time and talents at a job, then at the end of whatever the contract is I can choose something else or re-up a contract.  I was thinking no more than a week but I really doubt that people would go for that.

I have heard it said that good is the worse enemy of best, we will often do just good enough but never excel.  But another problem exists among perfectionist that they never move things along or do anything because it is not perfect.  My biggest problem is that I never want to burn a bridge, and that locks me down pretty tight, it is odd how you have to go back to something, like a gas station job where I have gone back twice now, but I have always left on good terms so it was easy to go back to.

Ambition maybe a problem too, although it is the thing that I like most about myself.  I don’t want to ‘just get by’, I don’t want to make payments all my life, having any debt at all destroys me inside…and this was long before I became a zealot to the Dave Ramsey system.  I guess this is just life that we all have to wade through and figure out.

Is anyone else having issues like this?  Let me know, I think it would make for some interesting conversation!