July Challenge Update and August Challenge

So yes. Last month’s challenge was one I must say I wasn’t looking forward to. Change diet and get generally fitter. Just how did I do?

July Challenge – Get Fitter: Failed Miserably!

Yes, I was semi on the wagon for the first two weeks, but actually finishing off my book (and getting it released) along with work on another website, and generally being incredibly busy, has meant I fell well and truly off the wagon the last two weeks. I am better than I was, but nowhere near good as the goal I set myself. I need more gym time (as it was pointed out to me at Britannia Wrestling on Saturday, where I couldn’t carry a wooden chair between two people). Maybe next month my life will calm down (hardly likely if week 1 is anything to go by, and then the football season begins again!).

Oh well. Destined to be a fat bastard. I have become to accept it a bit though.

August Challenge – Pick Up More Money off The Table

So August’s challenge is the other element of my life that’s a bit of a mess – all my other websites.

You see, with the exception  of WP Email Capture’s site, I kind of forget about my sites. As such, I’ve left myself loads to do. Things change. So I’ve compiled a to-do list on my old or not working sites and see what I can do by the end of the month:-

  • Retro Garden – Rewrite the “Write for Us” page as it’s quite contradictory. Convert the Retro Games Shop into something that bloody works (probably into something involving eBay Feeds for WordPress). Dump the other shop as it’s bloody annoying me and completely out of service.
  • tweets2csv.com – Add some sort of advertising, be it a CPM or Adsense or Buy Sell Ads, so I can earn something from it.
  • This site – Make it responsive
  • Winwar Media Site – Make it responsive, add some sort of Schema.org to bbPress Complete Book Page. Add pages for the portfolio work I’ve recently done.

So I’m trying to avoid working on any more new stuff until I’ve done the above. Wish me luck!

June Challenge Update & July Challenge

So another month begins! It has been a mental 6 months for me, and already 2013 is shaping up to be a huge year. If you would’ve said to me that in 6 months ago I’d have started a business and written a book, I’d probably called you a nutcase, but after half of 2013, it’s been incredible ride.

Unfortunately, this has reflected on something which putting right will be my focus for my July Challenge.

June Challenge – Saving Stuff: Complete! (I Think)

So yes, I just about managed to put a fifth of my wage into my savings account, which was an achievement in itself, however I did go into my overdraft the last week of June – for no other reason that my last week was just a wee bit mental. Ay well, but managed to put away the amount I wanted to. No more mental weeks for me, certainly not in July…..

July Challenge – Get Fitter

….as July’s challenge is quite simply to get fitter. These last two or 3 months have been so busy, that they culiminated spectacularly on Wednesday night – where after booking The Nook for the bbPress Complete Launch Party I took it upon myself to sample the range of beverages that they have to offer, and also went out again on Thursday. And Friday.

It’s beginning to take it’s toll, and feel myself getting bigger and feeling a bit bleh when I look at myself in the mirror. This culminated on Saturday where I ran downstairs and back up again to get to the postman and found myself out of breath.


So inspired in part by Richard Shove’s gym and diet session, I’m going to try and increase the amount of exercise I am doing. I started on Sunday with a gym session and although I was quite sore on Sunday night, I was surprised how fit I actually was (managed a good hour or so with about 35 minutes cardio, 25 minutes weights). I do actually walk a fair bit (I walk 3 miles to work most mornings), and general dicking about with the wrestling means I’m not completely stationary.

It’s not a diet per-se, as I actually eat pretty good (not perfect, like I don’t shovel Kale down my gullet like it’s going out of fashion), plus probably my biggest weakness for calories (alcohol) will probably be knocked on the head if I’m spending more time in the gym.

So yes, those last two paragraphs explain my biggest problem – I make excuses for my fitness far too easy, as I generally say I’m not that bad. So for the next 30 days, no excuses. This month I’ll do the following:-

  • Walk to/from work at least 20 times (so a walk to and from work in one day counts as 2).
  • At least 12 other active sessions (be it gym or a swim or something else)

I’m not setting any goals, but my reward is if I do this I’ll probably lose weight, and if I don’t I’ll probably still be a fat unhealthy bastard. That’s my reward & punishment. Wish me luck!

bbPress Complete – Announcement & Launch Party

Otherwise known as “my big news from April as my April Challenge“.

I have written a book.

A genuine, published, “buy it in Waterstones if you ask for it but can buy it off Amazon no problem” book.

I was approached a few months ago by a publishing firm asking if I wanted pitch for the possible writing of a book. After a bit of research, and a pitch, I was accepted and for the last two months I’ve been scribbling away at a book.

It’s been hard, it’s been tough (writers block is so much worse when you have deadlines), but on or around the 19th of July, bbPress Complete (a provisional title) is expected to launch, all being well.

I haven’t done it alone, so a huge thank you to various people: Cass Brookes, Shane Jones, Alex Moss, John Wilson, Jem Turner, Joost de Valk, Nile Flores, Emily Clark & Adam Croft who have helped me or offered to help me in the process.

During one of those periods of writers block, I went out for a drink with Shane, and we decided that the best way to celebrate the release of the book would be a launch party on or around the launch date. As tonight I finally confirmed the venue for the book launch, I feel it’s a good point to share it with people.

The event will be held in The Nook in Chorlton, and is invite only. There will be free tickets available the week before the event, but for now, to gauge interest, there are only paid tickets, which includes a signed copy of the book (either at the event or as soon as I get the copies), and a free drink. To know how much I love buying drinks for people, that’s worth the price of admission itself.

To buy tickets, or to read more about the event, please visit Eventbrite.

So yeah, it’s been a secret for ages, I’m just delighted to share it. Feel free to ask questions/congratulate/mock me now. All I can say is yes I had a proof reader and no it’s not written in Welsh.

May Challenge Update & June Challenge

So this month has been a huge month for me this month, with various projects finally coming to the forefront, and hard work paying off. I also made my glorious return to the ring, with me appearing in a Britannia Wrestling show in Prestatyn, North Wales in the Bank Holiday Weekend just gone. I was nervous but since the show I’ve been grinning like a loon, it was such a good night for all!

So onto the challenges? Well first of all, I’ve decided that “it’s a secret” is a terrible excuse for a blog post, so I’ve changed it and given the challenges cryptic names, rather than being overly explicit or quiet. As such, I’ve given May’s task a name.

May Challenge – “Limited Edition”: Completed (5 Days Late)

So I’ve had to quickly rewrite this section as instead of being secret, we’re good to go and announce this.

I’ve formed my own Limited Company.

It’s mainly for my plugin work and the stuff kept really secret in the April Challenge that will be announced very soon, rather than any desire to go freelance (I’m very happy at 3 Door Digital and not going anywhere, thank you!). It was brought about with a chat at the last Mini Sascon in The Ramada hotel (where – apparently – people from The X-Factor were staying). My plugins were beginning to earn quite a bit which meant two things:-

  • I didn’t want to be sued by some trigger happy ambulance chaser which would see me lose everything.
  • I wanted to be able to sleep at night knowing The IRS won’t be knocking on my door.

After sitting down with a small business accountant, and laying everything out for them (in particular a “am I really on enough to justify going Limited?”), we decided that going Limited was the best option.

It’s quite exciting actually, well not the whole tax paying and filing documents thing, but the fact that it’s come to the point now that taking serious steps with making the earnings from my plugins a wee bit more official is quite nice.

I’ve still loads to do, but the first big step is done. Exciting times!

June Challenge – Saving Stuff

One of the goals for 2013 back in January is to save more cash. I commented on that post that when I moved from Manual Link Building to 3 Door Digital, my savings took a bit of a hit. You will be delighted to know however that since then I have recovered and exceeded my savings amount from pre-moving jobs time. Hurrah!

But it’s a bit slow recently, I put away a tenth of my wage, and I kind of want to increase it, as such, my goal for June is to place one fifth of my wage into savings.

It should be fairly achievable, it’s more to realign my principles. At times I’ve been good (I now have home made sandwiches most days in work), and bad (including one incident when, in a rush, I bought a train ticket, yet forgot to pick it up from the machine when it dropped down. Bellend.), so it’s more to be more careful.

Thankfully, due to a lost credit card and no football season, I’m not expecting June to be particularly expensive. Something will crop up though. All in all, I have an (unjustified) reputation for being a mingebag. I might as well live up to it.

April Challenge Update and May Challenge

April was probably the busiest month for me this year, in fact not since the last month or so with WP Email Capture last July has there been a month I have been so full on. As such did my April Challenge – my secret – a success?

April Challenge: Success!

Yes it was! It was a rush towards the end, and it had a few tear out hair moments, but overall it was a success. I achieved what I wanted. And as it was a success, I have a reward.

The reward will be a party. It will be held somewhere in Chorlton. I will let you know when I plan this.

May Challenge: Another Secret!

Again, May Challenge is unfortunately another secret, for completely different reasons to the above. Hopefully when

I’m a bastard, I know. Thankfully June’s challenge, which I’ve already come up with, is due to go out in the open.

Promise a meaningful blog post soon.