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The Key to Success: Become a Mono-Maniacal Obsessive FREAK

Would you like to know the SINGLE TRAIT that every successful person possesses?

The one characteristic that, if you have it, will guarantee success.

It’s not something you’re born with.

It’s not something you cultivate.

It’s basically a simple switch.

You turn it on, and success is inevitable.

 

 

But first, let’s talk about my weekend.

Talk about me, right?

I like doing that.  ;)

I took my first Friday off from going out in probably 3 years last weekend.

What was I doing?

Creating affiliate sites, learning CSS, and building backlinks like a madman.

Pretty cool Friday night, right?

What brought me to this point?

As I’m turning 29 in a few weeks, I’ve been looking back on my 20s and how they evolved, how I matured, and how I never could have predicted the path that led me to this point.

I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Looking to the future, I can see how everything has led to right now, and the potential awesomeness the next few years will bring.

And one life lesson blatantly stands out more than any other.

Do what you love.

I remember floundering around in my mid 20s wondering what I would do with my life.

I’d finished graduate school, started working for RSD, and constantly thought about how my friends and family would view this weird job, how I’d keep my girlfriend, how long I’d do it for…

The questions were endless.

That’s all changed.

The problem is that there is no obvious gameplan for the entrepreneur.

I’ve talked before about how security stifles you.

The true trailblazers are the ones who shun security, take the path less traveled, and are rewarded heavily for taking that risk.

I made the decision years ago, that the traditional “American dream” path was not the way I wanted to live my life.

But MY path, the direction I wanted to go, just wasn’t clear.

How do you find your life path?

And how can you guarantee success?

 

The Secret to Success

In Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, (a book I highly recommend, I should probably write a review on it) he talks about the attributes that the most successful people of the 19th and 20th century possessed.

From Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, to Andrew Carnegie, one characteristic is conspicuously redundant.

Pure, bloody, obsessive, life long PASSION in their area of expertise.

The law of attraction and the movie The Secret are basically bastardized versions of this concept.

It’s not “Think and Grow Rich.”

It’s think about it when you are eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner; on the train, in the car, as you talk to your wife, as you drink a beer, as you take a shit, as you buy a watch, as you read a book, as you watch TV, as you take a shower, as you dream at night.

Obsessively PINING over the idea, the concept, your PASSION.

Making it your LIVELIHOOD.

Every action you take, every experience you have is filtered through, “How does this affect (your life goal/business venture/career path)?”

It becomes your sole purpose for living, everything else is just a form of sustenance to keep persisting at working towards that end goal.

Monomaniacal passion.

 

Find Your Passion

What do you enjoy?

What hobby could you find in your life that you could fully immerse yourself in?

Let’s say you like music.

Maybe become a DJ.

Don’t just buy a few albums, start looping some generic samples, and get some pretty headphones.

Dive in to the abyss, the extreme, obsess over it, fully immerse yourself in the culture.

Take an excursion to the weird little record store in Ohio where some old dude has those rare vinyl albums from the 50s that no one else can find.

Join forums, find the best software, the best speakers.

Go out and watch the best DJs, start networking with other DJs and night club owners.

Start getting gigs.

Maybe your first show is in the Armani Exchange clothing store. Haha.

But at least it’s a start.

Research on how to promote yourself.

Online, off-line, flyer your city, create a website, give away free CDs, remix a popular track, throw it up on youTube…

You see the theme here?

The true path to success has to come from SERIOUS labor, unceasing work ethic.

It’s an intensive process, mostly unpaid in the beginning, but because you love it, it shouldn’t matter.

I view my path with Real Social Dynamics in a similar fashion.

My weekend programs and phone coaching are my version of Rockefeller in his early years.

Digging in the trenches, hanging out in the factories for a decade before using that knowledge to create true success.

For me it’s week-in, week-out, polishing concepts, answering questions, personal FIRST HAND interaction to see specifically what works and what doesn’t, both for myself and my clients.

The blog is a byproduct of all that, yet part of the process as well.

Further fleshing out concepts, seeing how people respond, learning new promotion tactics, developing a voice, a brand..

 

Show Me The Money!

I’ve been getting emails from a few guys asking why I’m doing this all for free?

I’ve even had people offer to donate money, or ask that I set up affiliate programs so they can give something back for all the free value.

My guess is that is a good sign.

So how do I plan to monetize the blog?

I have no idea.  Haha.

Let’s grab a quote from Think and Grow Rich again.

“The man who does more than he is paid for, will soon be paid for more than he does.”
-Napoleon Hill

Eben Pagan says expect to give about 10 times the value you plan to get paid for in return.

This is even more reason to find something you love, and BLOW YOUR VALUE LOAD TO THE WORLD!

Don’t expect anything in return.

If you offer enough value, remuneration will follow.

Just as attraction = value.

MONEY = VALUE

Find the highest leverage way to create an insane amount of value, and don’t worry, financial success will follow.

What is your passion?

Is it an obsession?

Could you immerse yourself even further and create something unique?

I’ve got my gameplan.

Expect even more FREE value soon, I’ve got big plans for BradBranson.com.

It’s gonna be sick!

Happy Monday, see you all tomorrow.

Tone Comes From Your Finger Tips (How to Succeed in Business, Health, Women, and Life)

We are a consumer culture.

The average person assumes that if you spend enough money, if you find the right product, you won’t need to put the time in to get the results.

It’s a twist on the magic pill mentality.

Buy the Fender guitar amp that Jimi Hendrix used, and you can sound just like him.

Buy the Nike Golf Clubs that Tiger Woods uses, and you can “swing” just like him.  (nice pun, heh)

Eat whatever you want, and buy the six pack abs machine to get ripped.

Buy the $300 a month PPC coaching course, and become a millionaire on the internet.

No need to put the time in, just buy the façade, the technology, and everything will take care of itself.

That E-book is Not Going to Make You Successful

I just finished reading Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson, which was a great read by the way.  It talks about a new perspective on how to work within a business, and what to take into consideration when building your own.

Check it out!

I liked this phrase from the book that I requoted in the title, Tone is in Your Finger Tips.

One concept they talk about is that to sound like the master guitarist, it takes more than just buying the same equipment.

Just as being successful at anything comes down to more than trying to emulate the master.

You need to put the time in yourself.

Make mistakes, calibrate, find what works, do more of that; wash, rinse, and repeat.

Most people don’t want to put the time in.

Laziness, lack of motivation, being stuck in your comfort zone, these are all big factors.

But a more interesting one relates to the fear of failure issue I talked about last week.

One of the main recurring themes in Rework, not specifically mentioned, that they espouse is the ready, fire, aim mentality.

Why Ready, Fire, Aim as opposed to Ready, Aim, Fire?

Because no amount of preplanning can account for all the variables that may occur in the real world.

There is no elegant plan in life.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to make big mistakes to learn, although mistakes will happen.

It’s more just realizing that everything in life is a work in progress.

You are the 2.0.112 version of yourself, everyone is trying to get to version 5.0, but you need to realize even 3.0 might be overzealous.

 

Don’t Look Too Far Ahead

So you say I’m version 2.0.112 of myself, how do I get to 3.0 as opposed to 2.0.113?

All you can really focus on is what is in front of you.

There is nothing wrong with version 2.0.113, at least you are moving forward.

What is your highest leverage action step you can take RIGHT NOW to move forward?

Work on the fundamentals!

No one wants to sit in the practice room woodshedding, running through scales and chords, memorizing the fret board, tweaking the dials to get the perfect feedback. (Back to the guitar analogy for the lay people out there.)

But the sexy solo comes from the fundamentals.

 

Building Your Voice

In a previous article I explained how a lot of my research in building this website revolved around reading countless blogs, what was my motivation?

I was trying to see how each blog evolved over time, how the author created their voice, how they used the feedback from comments, from readers, how their writings were received, and how that molded future articles.

I recently read some of my older articles, even 3-4 weeks ago, and can visibly see how my “voice” has evolved.

As you guys, the readers, get more involved, I get more feedback, and it allows me to see what works, what gets more traffic to the site, and ultimately WHAT OFFERS THE MOST VALUE.

Again, it’s a work in progress.

Ready, Fire, Aim.

I could sit on top of articles, proofread them for a week or two before releasing each, (although they are highly proofread which I hope you notice) but I think one of the advantages that this site has over others is the constant stream of new extensive content.

At least I think, comment below if you like the current trend of new articles about 3 times a week.

Analyze the Results

The next step in going from version 2.0.112 to 3.0 is the process of analysis.

Keep track of your progress, have friends to support you, and find mentors.

Keeping a journal is nice because it gives you some separation from the thoughts going on in your head and your objective results.

You are able to juxtapose your current results and thought processes with those of your writings 6-12-24 months prior.

An even better method is having a mentor to hold you accountable and monitor your progress.  It is good to bounce ideas off of each other, and to point out something that maybe your friend doesn’t notice in himself.

This is why MENTORS can be so beneficial as well.

You learn from their past mistakes, and since they are seeing the playing field from a higher level, they can help guide you through the forest more efficiently.

When I started posting on BradBranson.com, in version 2.0.112, I’d just haphazardly post up articles.

I had read somewhere that it was important to post on a routine basis, how it trains readers to visit your site more, but I didn’t really understand why.

You learn through experience.

Until you DO IT and SEE the tangible benefits, you aren’t likely to take action.

Armchair theorizing is just that, theorizing.

Putting the rubber to the road, sticking your hands in the mud is where the real learning takes place.

So how did the blog upgrade to version 2.1 ?

I started analyzing my traffic and noticed that most of it comes between 10AM-2PM Monday through Thursday.

It would make sense to post up my best content during this time to get these people coming back more often.

So I started targeting these days for my best posts, and at first I didn’t care too much about the timing, I’d only worry about getting a post up on that day.

Version 2.2?

I realized that my social media traffic plays a big factor on overall traffic, and depending on when my blog post went out determined when it would be displayed in the newsfeed on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Therefore, if I wanted the most people hanging out on Facebook to see when I have a new post on the site, the time of day was actually critically important.

I’ve consistently increased my traffic by 25% a WEEK over the last 6 weeks, so something seems to be working.

(I’m sure it’s also because word is spreading, so I want to thank all you guys for telling your friends and passing on my material through tweeting, emailing, and liking the articles.  THANKS!)

 

What Version is Your Lifestyle?

V 1.0?

V 2.0?

V 3.0?

Small chunk each area of your life, and see where you could get the highest leverage.

Look at each specific “category,” whether it be health, wealth, or relationships.

What specific, minute task could you accomplish right now that would increase that category?

Working on getting JACKED?

Your first step might just be switching from Coca-cola to Coke Zero.

Or switching from going to the gym once a month to once a week.

Transition from V 2.0.113 to V 2.0.114.

If you make the gap too large, the threshold for taking action will seem too overwhelming, you aren’t likely to have much initiative.

Don’t make your goal the top of the mountain, just worry about the next step.

Or if you are trying to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, start by grabbing a domain, learning how to host a site, getting some Google analytics, and start building some traffic.

Make mistakes, learn from them, have some success, and TURN IT UP!

Ready, Fire, Aim.

How Shooting Shotguns Can Help You Order a Better Coffee

20 degrees Fahrenheit, no gloves on, all I smell is gunpowder and the crackling brushfire a few feet away.

“Pull!”

2 orange clay pigeons fly through the air, I raise my 20 gauge shotgun, and fire off two rounds…

I miss them both.

“Damn it!”

Welcome to my weekend.

 

I like the weekends away from the mayhem.  It gives me an opportunity to see how much I’ve developed and changed over the past few years.

When I surround myself with guys that are constantly working on self actualization, success and the like, I get stuck in this path of constant growth, never allowing myself to take a step back, create some space, and see how much I have developed.

Meeting back up with old friends, seeing how I interact with them now compared to a few years ago, how my mindsets and outlook on life have changed, the growth becomes more salient.

Remove the Filter

I had a realization this weekend.

Go figure…

The problem most introverted people have is they think too much in social situations.  Constantly analyzing what they are doing, how they fit in, etc.

So what did I realize when was out with my friends shooting guns all weekend?

When I’m with friends, I don’t have a filter.

How about some examples:

In my day to day life, I try to force myself to be more social.

Whether it be on the airplane, waiting for a rental car, or grabbing an iced mocha lite frappucino from Starbucks, the more I can socialize with random strangers, the more I’ve noticed it helping me become that extroverted social person.

But I can feel a filter when I’m proactively trying to be social during mundane diurnal tasks.

Thoughts pop up like:

“What if he doesn’t hear me?  Or what if he misunderstands what I say?”

Do I really care?

Not really, but it’s there.

Not that I’m afraid of embarrassment, but the POSSIBILITY of it, compared to me just chilling back and sticking to my own thought ramblings holds me back from being more social.

Now let’s say I’m with my friend that I’ve known for 20 years…

If I hear a song, or hear him talking about some new app for the iphone, and I want to ask what it is, I’ll just ask.

Seems easy right?

“Yo dude, what app is that?”

But then, if I see some dude on the street and I like his shirt, there is a level of apprehension before I’ll ask him…

“Hey, I like that shirt, what brand is it?”

Is there really any negative repercussion that could come from this?!

Worse case scenario, he doesn’t even hear me, or I might mumble, or he could awkwardly ignore me.

Why is it easier to ask your friend something than a stranger?

Well I think it’s obvious, it comes down to commonalities, life experience, and the confidence that even if you do mumble or sound weird or gay, your friend isn’t going to judge you any differently.

He’s got THOUSANDS of reference points for the type of person you are, so one random weird quip isn’t going to change his perspective on you.

But who cares about the random stranger with the cool shirt’s opinion of you?

It’s a one off interaction, and maybe you really should find out what brand that shirt is if you like it so much.Why?

Again, there might be that awkward pause at the beginning when you ask a stranger about the conversation they are having, or what they thought about the movie you just got out of.

But that has nothing to do with your proficiency at small talk and being a social guy, it’s just a BY PRODUCT of the situation.

How many times has someone started chatting you up on the elevator, and initially you were caught off guard?

I’m usually deep in thought, thinking weird esoteric thoughts, so when someone asks me a question out of the blue, it takes a second or two for it to register.

But I am usually happy to oblige, and it quite often makes the experience of waiting for my floor/waiting in line, more enjoyable.

Sometimes you learn something new, random FYI about a current event or the city you’re in.

Or nothing comes of it, you get off at your floor, and go back to your “deep thoughts.”

Start Stating Your Opinion

Some people do it naturally, they have some social blindspot where they assume people want to hear their opinion.

But, as I’ve stated before, HIGH VALUE PEOPLE also assume that everyone wants to hear their opinion.

Why?

Because they are awesome, and they think cool things, and people want to be like them because they are awesome…

Extreme self love for the win.

Get more comfortable stating your opinion.

With your friends, your family, your colleagues…

And the random strangers you encounter everyday.

You see something you like, tell them about it.

Or if you have a question that you are dying to ask, but have some apprehension, ASK IT.

It’s part of the old social dynamics truism:

Assume people are friendly.

I’ll add the tweak:

And assume that they want to hear about how awesome you are, or what you have to say.  :)

Do you have this filter when you are out and about, or maybe it’s just in specific situations?

I’d like to hear your examples…

Do not Read My Site! It is Futile and You Are Lazy. Just Give Up!

WARNING!  Reading this article will probably offend you.

If you are in the 90th percentile of people that like security, like being told what to do, don’t take risks, and won’t stop living your life in fear of failure, I’m afraid to tell you…

You are not going to succeed.

At what?

At life.

There, I got it out of the way.

I’ve talked before about guys who aren’t good at anything, who have never mastered anything, and how they think it will be different, training in the gym, or making money online.

It takes TIME.

It takes EFFORT.

It takes a SERIOUS amount of motivation.

Scarcity Dominates Most People’s Reality

I’ve been traveling non stop since the new year, and am happy to have a short respite back home in Wisconsin for a few days before the pandemonium of Miami, New Orleans, NYC, and Vegas takes place over the next couple of weeks.

I like chilling in the suburbs, but as I ventured out and about town earlier today, I realized something.

It’s probably a little bit the small town mentality, but I forget at times how close-minded and scarcity-based the average person is.

Just the random conversations I overheard in the coffee shop, and at the mall.  People talking about the economy, living paycheck to paycheck, fighting about union wages and the like…

Security is an interesting concept.

Most people are completely unaware of the fear they have towards keeping their life secure.  They want it to be predictable.  They’re afraid to lose any form of security, and it controls every aspect of their life.

Financial security, job security, relationship security, social security…

Fuck security.

Grab life by the reigns and take responsibility for your life.

But most people don’t have what it takes.

Why is this?

One reason is that most people are afraid to take risks.

Why?

Because they don’t want to fail in front of their friends, family, or colleagues.

It’s that ever-present issue of worrying about what other people think of you.

 

Make Mistakes

The only way you are going to learn is through your mistakes.

Make those mistakes in the open, fail miserably in front of everyone.

Sure, the more people that know, the more embarrassing the mishap, but it also motivates you to push on, to comeback with a vengeance.

“Success is the result of good judgment, which comes from experience.

When you succeed you party, when you fail you ponder…  From thinking you learn.”

-Tony Robbins  (I think…)

I wrote that in my notes after reading Awaken the Giant Within, but it might be my own paraphrased ramblings.  I’ll give him credit just in case.

 

Rejection Is Good For Your Psyche

As an example, let’s talk about rejection.

Each rejection peels away another layer of the onion of “giving a fuck what people think of you.”

You muster up the courage to talk to some girl, and she ignores you. Yeah it hurts for a second.

But then you realize that you are still standing there, still with the same beliefs, the same thought patterns.

Nothing has actually changed, this girl’s opinion of you has no bearings whatsoever on how you view yourself.

And it reinforces that YOU control your perception of yourself.

This is why it is so important, as I have stated before, to create an identity of yourself that you can control.

What do I choose as my identity?

Being a man of action.  A man of stories.

And I filter every action I make through this life purpose.

There is no room for security here.  Security stifles action.

Security leads to regression.

Moving backwards.

The morasse of squalid stank that becomes your life if you don’t keep developing yourself or your lifestyle…

This is why so many people are afraid of getting old.

They see how most people age, and how they just shrivel into non-existence, numb to reality, limiting life experience because they rely on the miniscule defrayment of social security, and biding time until their life support runs dry.

Getting older should be a celebration, like fine red wine, petrified wood.

Not petrified of life, but a strengthening of reality and enjoying every present moment.

Life is what happens when you are planning for the future.

 

Where is Your Life Headed?

Sitting in the Arlington Hotel in Dublin, sipping Guinness with a giddy head buzz after a few shots of Jameson, I remember having a discussion with my assistant in his late 30s about choosing careers, life goals, and how certain decisions brought him to his current life situation.

He said that when he was deciding which direction he wanted to go in his life, he looked at other people who had made similar choices, and how they evolved over 10-20 years from that decision.

Would he be happy if his life ended up like that person, making the same decisions?

Let’s say you are deciding between becoming a doctor or a professional poker player.  I’m just going completely random here…

Look at the seasoned poker player with 10-15 years of experience.  Do you want to be that guy?

Look at the doctor running around the hospital saving lives for 10-15 years.  Do you want to be that guy?

That is your decision to make.

Who are my role models?

What is my long term outlook on life?

Well, I’ve made the conscious decision to not identify with my career, as hard as that is being a personality for a living basically, but I do have a distinct plan and value system both for my short and long term goals.

I try to use my friends and mentors as inspiration for the characteristics and traits I would like to develop.

I have friends who help me stay healthy.

I have friends who help with my business ventures.

I have friends that travel with me.

And some that call me out when I get complacent.

From all of them I take what I admire, what resonates strongest, and create my own path.

 

Walk the Path Less Traveled

When I was running program with Owen in Scottsdale, I sat in on his Free Tour and heard a new concept that really resonated with me.

It was about willpower, and how to cultivate it.

A great analogy is that of your daily life being like a walk down a path surrounded by a dense field of brush.

There is a well-developed trail that you have taken many times, the easy way, the secure, safe route.

That path is well defined and easy to walk through, yet it doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t create any growth.

How to walk a new path?

At first you take a small step to the side, and fight through the dense shrubberies.

It sucks, it’s hard, but the path needs to be forged.

Maybe you take a few steps, and that’s as far as you get before floundering back towards the down trodden trail.

But you have started the trail blazing process.

Next time, step off again, and you’ll realize it is easier.

And again.

And again.

Soon enough, a divergent path has been created, and you have set a new course, a new life path.

Did I tell you that I have the map for circumnavigating this path and developing the ultimate lifestyle?

You’ll be surprised to know that you’ve probably heard of it before.

It’s called HARD WORK.

 

The Brad Branson Brand

I’ve been receiving lots of emails lately asking for advice on why my blog got so successful so quickly.

Even though my internet research has been a HUGE joy and takes up the vast amount of my free time and mental energy over the last 6 months, I’ve been apprehensive to talk about it much because I don’t feel like I have the credibility to give advice yet.

But the traffic is building at such a high rate, I have VERY high goals for this site, and I’m happy to have everyone along for the journey, and to log the process.

*Thanks to all my loyal readers and subscribers.*  :)

What did it take for me to get where I’m at, and set the path for the future?

I’ve read every article on Tim Ferris’ blog.

I’ve read over 90% of my good friend Glen’s blog on viral marketing.  There’s some great material on there by the way if you are looking for SEO or blog advice.  (He’s also the one revamping my website, and I’m super stoked to call him a friend.)

I’ve read probably 10 e-books on blogging, much less all the other countless material on html, css, wordpress plugins, sales copy writing, social media, PPC, adwords…

To increase traffic I post on a variety of other forums, use all the various social media platforms, wrote an e-book that I’m giving away for free, and am starting to guest post on a variety of blogs as well.

It’s taking me a good YEAR to get a grasp on what the hell is going on with the whole online industry.

But was it worth it?

I love whatever this is we are creating here.

I’m inspired by the interactivity of everyone that visits this site, as you can see I respond to pretty much every comment, so KEEP COMMENTING!

You keep commenting, asking questions, and I’ll keep the free content coming!

world-map-without-dots

7 Travel Tips to Decrease Costs and Increase Your Awesomeness!

Have you ever thought of traveling the world?

Riding motorcycles through South America, trekking through South East Asia, or backpacking Europe, but the dream ends due to worries that you can’t afford it, or that every other activity in your life will fall to the wayside?

Well, over the past 3 years, I have been on the road a minimum of 300 days each year, and have picked up many travel tips and tricks along the way.

At first, I wasn’t very balanced.  I’d go out, party and meet girls, but every other aspect of my life was compromised by this lifestyle.

Finances…  Depleted

Health…  Non-existent

Productivity…  Nil

Stress…  High

I’ve slowly developed a system of how to maximize your travel experience, and have the ULTIMATE lifestyle while on the road.

Getting shit done, eating healthy, and traveling economically, what follows are some of my best tips for developing the nomadic lifestyle and touring the world.

1.  The Power Of 2’s (2 buddies, 2 stars, and 2 rooms)[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Dubai-Birj-Al-Arab1-e1301873406215.jpg"]Birj Al Arab- Dubai, UAE[/frame_right]

Lodging and transportation are going to be your biggest expenses, so finding a way to sleep on the cheap is very important.

It is infinitely cheaper to travel with a friend, and this allows you to find a place closer to the nightlife and city center.

Hostels are always going to be your cheapest option, and I prefer hostelbookers.com for choosing the right one.  I usually cross reference this with hostelworld.com to look at reviews, but the former always ends up being a few dollars cheaper.

You will also find many 1-2 star hotels listed on these sites, and these are the best option when traveling with a friend.

The problem when you travel by yourself is that most hostels listed may have private single rooms, but they end up being about the same price as a more expensive hotel.

The only other option is a 12-16 bed dorm, where there is ALWAYS someone sleeping, and ALWAYS someone awake when you are trying to sleep.

But if you have the ability to find a friend, 2 bed private rooms are much more reasonably priced, usually comparable to if you were by yourself in the larger public dorm rooms.

As for the hostelbookers rating system, I don’t care how nice the bathroom is or the fun factor, if I have a friend, I’m just looking for something cheap in close proximity to the nightlife scene.

 

2.  Choose Your Alliance[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Paris-new-arch-e1301873278610.jpg"]Paris, France[/frame_right]

This one won’t directly lower costs, but it increases the overall travel experience, and for me is a NECESSITY.

Get a frequent flyer program.

Most guys first response when I suggest this is that when they fly, they usually use sites like priceline and kayak to look for the cheapest flights.

I do too.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind though, which can help you maximize your miles and fly first class.

There are various alliances that comprise the entire airline industry.

If you sign up for one specific airline, you actually get credit for flying on ANY airline in that alliance.

As an example, I fly with United, a member of the Star Alliance.  As long as I fly on any airline in that alliance, which includes everything from South African Airlines, US Airways, Lufthansa, and Swiss, I am accruing air miles on my United frequent flyer program.

All you need is 25,000 miles in a year to get the basic elite status, which has many perks.

You skip the security line, get on the plane first, get better seats and free upgrades to first class, priority luggage, and many other random perquisites.

You can play the system when looking for flights to get any flight within your desired alliance, and I am willing to spend an extra $30-50 to make sure I can get credit for my program.

If you are worried about getting to the 25K mile mark, a round trip to Europe will get you half way there from America, and there are other ways to accrue miles as well.  Also, once you get elite status, you have it for the entire next year, and the programs make it much easier to maintain your status in following years once reaching it for the first time.

Make sure to get a credit card with your program as well.  You usually get 30-50,000 bonus miles just for signing up, and between that and flying on your airline, your free trips will add up quickly.

Also realize there is a difference between Redeemable Miles (RDM) and Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM).  RDMs can be used to redeem for free flights and upgrades, but not to build elite status and the perks that come with it.

A great resource for everything frequent flyer related is www.flyertalk.com.

 

3.  Stay Jacked, and Eat Right[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Las-Vegas-Crew-e1301873337150.jpg"]World Summit- Las Vegas, NV (With Tyler, Ryan, and Tim)[/frame_right]

I have to give props to the MISC crew, this one is for you.  ;)

For the better part of my first year traveling, I used my travel schedule as an excuse to not workout consistently and eat like shit.

But there are ways to maintain your workout regimen, and eat healthy, on the road.

One technique I use when I arrive in a new city is to find a gym and get a 3-5 day test trial.

Sometimes they require an address for this, or a student ID, but a lot of times you just say you are planning to move to the city, and are looking to try out the gym for a new membership.

Another option if you can afford it is to book a hotel that has a gym.  Otherwise a more sneaky option is to swindle your way into the 4-5 star hotel gyms, or find the right receptionist to hook it up.

Worst case scenario, I’ll resort to push-ups and pull-ups in my hotel room, along with running through the streets, taking in the sights, and getting a little cardio in.

As for dieting, this too can be a challenge, but attainable.

I travel with a lot of supplements, which you can see in the Brad Master Diet list.  If I’m able to get the ingredients naturally in my food I won’t take the specific supplement, but let’s say I’m not able to find any fruit for the day, I’ll just pop a few acai berry tabs to get my fruit antioxidant kick.

As for trying to maintain a low carb diet, Subway is your friend.  Getting the salads from there or Chipotle in America, you can keep the carbs to a minimum and still get a good meal, albeit not organic.

Lots of times, if I have no other options, I’ll resort to buying burgers and removing the bun, or going to grocery stores and stocking up on lunch meat.

You can also just hit up steakhouses every night if you have the budget, but I’m not in that income bracket.  Yet.  ;)

It’s hard to feel full when you aren’t eating lots of carbs, so I’ll make sure to stock up on lots of nuts and even some meal replacement shakes to satiate the hunger without caving in to the cravings.

4.  Find The Proper Venue[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Berlin-Wall1-e1301873208240.jpg"]Berlin Wall- Berlin, Germany[/frame_right]

Finding the right place to party can make or break your trip.

Whenever I have to run a bootcamp in a new city, I’ll do my research to find the best venues.

The internet usually isn’t a great place for research as a lot of it is dated, although sites like A Small World can have some good recommendations.

There are actually many better options.

Usually my first resort is to ask the hostel receptionist.  Young travelers in hostels are there to party, and the hostel staff gets asked these same questions every day, and usually know some of the best places to go.

The problem is that most people traveling in hostels are poor college kids, so the places they usually recommend are cheap bars and the like, if you are looking to chat with locals, you are going to have to find the more exclusive nightclubs.

Walking around the city and talking to girls has resulted in mediocre results.  It seems that when asking girls for venues, the ones they like never correlate to the ones that are the good ones.

I have found the best option is to ask someone in the service industry.

Head to one bar or nightclub, and ask the bartenders/bouncers what is the best place to go on a specific night.

Even though it’s their competition, most people working at the bar have little loyalty towards their own place, and will happily tell you what’s the most happening place for the night.

You should use this opportunity, if you find someone knowledgeable about the scene, to see what is good on the other nights out as well, and maybe even find when there is a service industry night, which is important if you are trying to find a place that is busy on the slow days like Sunday or Monday.

I also like pub crawls for doing some reconnaissance.

Usually the hostel will have a pub crawl service or a joint venture with another company.

If I am in a new city, I’ll sign up for this a day or two before bootcamp to see what the city has to offer.

Not only are pub crawls fun, but I’ve found many cool venues through imbibing around the city, and made friends to go out with for the rest of my time there as well.  There always seems to be a sense of camaraderie when you get plastered with someone all night.

My last resort is to ask the taxi drivers, this works better in some cities compared to others.

The taxi drivers are the ones taking the people to the party, so sometimes you can ask where they are taking all the girls, and they’ll be able to get you to the busiest venue.

*Amazing, secret, incredible tip!*

I’ve literally saved THOUSANDS of dollars by investing in a few disposable flasks.

Check out this site, recommended to me by Jeffy, www.disposableflasks.com, to get some cheap flasks that work great.

Fill them up with vodka, head to the bar and order a club soda, and once it’s gone you can throw it away.

I love, love, love these!!!

5.  Travel Light[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Cape-town-e1301873174617.jpg"]Lions Head Mountain- Cape Town, South Africa[/frame_right]

I live out of my suitcase, and the contents in it have slowly evolved in to a veritable efficient masterpiece.

What do you need?

Well I end up in lots of posh nightclubs, so you need a mixture of nightclub gear, casual clothes to wear during the day, and also something for working out at the gym.

I mentioned the new suitcase that I recently purchased, which I really like.  It’s got a garment bag, and keeps my dress shirts nice and unwrinkled.

I still try to pick shirts that don’t show wrinkles too much, because there are a lot of hostels that don’t have an iron, but the garment bag has helped a lot to keep everything nice and pressed.

I travel with 3 dress shirts.  Remember, when you are on the road you don’t need a lot of variety, as you rarely see the same people twice.

I used to bring a second pair of jeans as well, but NEVER used them in the 2 years they were chilling in my luggage, so now I just have the pair I wear, and I make sure they are versatile enough to fit in at a nightclub with a dress shirt, or paired with a t shirt during the day.

I prefer Diesel jeans.

At the moment I travel with 2 pairs of shoes, a pair of dress shoes for clubs that require it, and usually wear a pair of Chuck Taylor style kicks when black shoes aren’t needed.

I’m trying to make room for a pair of running shoes now too, and plan to incorporate those into the rig soon.

Space is freed up by using the Eagle Creek cube system, which helps in keeping track of what you have worn, and what is still clean.

Along with that, I travel with about 15 pairs of underwear and socks, only doing laundry when I run out of these 2 necessities.

Although I’m trying to figure out a new system with this, because I rarely wash my dress shirts, and wear them often enough that, as people who have traveled with me know, they can get a little rank at times.  Haha.

Get some cologne.  ;)

I’ve also started to travel with a full shampoo, conditioner, louffa, and liquid soap bag.  This requires you to check your bag, but now that I have priority free luggage, my checked bag is free and always one of the first ones off the belt, and it makes you feel much more at home when you can take a nice and clean shower, not relying on weird bar soap that you get in a hotel.

Other necessities include: deodorant, a cordless beard trimmer, q-tips, ibuprofen, shaving cream, a razor, condoms, fingernail clippers, and some Neosporin ointment I’ve never used.

I also always travel with a swimsuit, as it doesn’t take up a lot of space, and can come in handy if you find a pool party, and a pair of gym shorts for sleeping and working out.

For my electronics bag, I like an ipad for on the plane, a camera for tracking the adventures, an electrical adaptor, a few pairs of sunglasses, and a couple terabytes of hard drives for the videos I usually film.

I also just recently got the Bose noise cancelling headphones which were one of the best purchases I’ve made in the past year.  I can’t travel without them any more, the noise cancellation is a MUST for long international flights.

I usually travel with a book or two as well, but have slowly been phasing them out and reading ebooks on the iPad.

 

6.  Enjoy the Culture[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Breck-Colorado1-e1301873382337.jpg"]Breckenridge, Colorado[/frame_right]

When you are busy traveling, partying, and nursing hungovers, there is little drive to wake up early and actually learn about the history and culture of a city, but it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your travel adventures.

One benefit is that when you are exposed to new cultures, through experiencing their perspective, you don’t judge others as much.  You become exposed to new belief systems, new views of reality, and as you stop judging others, you are less likely to be judged yourself.

I always try to find a walking tour, which is usually free, to gain a historical perspective of the region.

For the full cultural experience, I feel it takes about 4-5 days in the city, a few nights out, one walking tour, and one authentic meal.

Meeting the locals allows you to step outside of the typical touristy itinerary.  Sure, you have a sense of commonality with the hostel circuit and travelers you meet in them, but there is so much to be gained from conversing with the locals.

I’ve learned of many great hole-in-the-wall restaurants, secret historical buildings, and sheik local night life venues through pushing outside my comfort zone and getting social with the indigenous people.

 

7.  Create a Routine[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Estonian-Wall-e1301873361539.jpg"]Tallinn, Estonia[/frame_right]

Lastly, as always, it’s good to remember that we are creatures of habit.

If you are working on the road, have an internet business, trying to read a few books, or writing about your travels, you need to SCHEDULE this into your day to day activities on the road.

It’s too easy to lounge around, prepare for another night of partying, and let the day slip away without being productive.

How long does it really take to work out?  45-60 minutes?!

How much extra work could you do, or how many more books could you read if you allot 2-3 hours a day to being productive?

Make a deal with your travel buddies to hold each other accountable for a few hours each day to being productive, and you will make serious progress even while enjoying the good life and partying like a rock star.

The problem is that when you are on long excursions, or have the ability to live virtually like many of you aspiring internet marketers are working towards, your life is always a vacation.

There is no break to head back home and be productive, you are always on the road, and you need to maintain the mindset that you aren’t on spring break, work still neeeds to be a part of the fun.

This is true lifestyle development.

Running on all cylinders, try to incorporate these tips into your next trip, or start living a life where you can be productive on the road, live healthy, experience culture, and enjoy the benefits.

It’s a sick lifestyle, and easier to obtain than you might think.

Come join me, and get your friends involved.

Either like this thread so it heads to your Facebook newsfeed or send it to someone by clicking the Facebook link below!

It means a lot, and as always…

ENJOY!

 

Auto responders, Email Subscribers, Html Editors, Oh My…

I’ve been seriously jazzed the last few weeks.

Why?

Because I’m learning html.

Ok, that sounds a bit weird.

What is Lifestyle Development?

It’s personal development on steriods.

Personal development pertains to the mind.

Lifestyle development incorporates every aspect of your life, from going up and talking to that girl across the room, training hard in the gym, eating healthy, honing your entrepreneurial nature, traveling the world, and being a man of stories.

This site is dedicated to creating the ultimate life, to making your reality and the experiences you have as kick ass as possible.

Through each article, you’ll see my own journey, the process I use to teach my clients, and how you can incorporate the concepts into your own development.

Be the man of stories, James Bond without the spy shit, Pierce Brosnan in the Thomas Crown Affair, or the next Richard Branson.

Personal Development is so 2000s, Lifestyle Development is for the 2010s.

—-

They say one path to happiness is a life of achievement, a life of accomplishment.

When you are on your purpose, having goals and reaching them, striving for new goals, working hard to continuously move ahead, all in a modality that you feel meaningful, it jazzes you up.

As you guys can see, I take this blog very seriously.

I receive no financial remuneration, although I’m not faking naivety and realize it will be monetizable at some point, but purely do it because I love having my own voice, my own forum to explicate my thoughts, my own tribe to vibe with, teach, and learn from, and the ego gratification that one gets when people appreciate your work.

Steve Pavlina explains in Personal Development for Smart People, that any goal you have, when you take an action step towards that goal, you should feel good.

Too many times I see guys stressed, frustrated because they haven’t reached the goals they are striving towards.

You have to make the process fun.

Life is what happens when you are planning for the future.

Each step is an adventure, each accomplishment an orgasmic celebration.

Whether that be launching a product and making it big, or learning how to create an html link for the first time.

 

What are my goals?

I’ve been working to understand, lets just call it the halo of internet marketing, although I hate that term, for the better part of a year, and slowly, paradigm on top of paradigm, they stack on top of each other until you finally start seeing the big picture, and where YOU fit into it.

I have big goals for the next few months with this blog.

We’re hitting new traffic and subscription levels each week, growing at a 20-30% clip weekly.

From what I’ve seen from other blogs and websites, this trend should only INCREASE as word of mouth spreads.

I attribute that to you guys, my readership, and as long as you guys keep being loud, being my sneezers, I’ll keep my end as well to consistently put out kick ass content on the regular.

I just finished Seth Godin’s book Tribes:We Need You To Lead Us, and it made me realize a few things.

A lot of the book is trying to get the average person to become a leader.

How you need to realize that stability and security are dead.

Dynamism, volatility, warp speed evolution is the way of today.

Godin says you need to jump out of your role, stop trying to manage your life, and LEAD.

As stated in my mission statement, one area of lifestyle development is incorporating an entrepreneurial nature.

This DIRECTLY correlates with Godin’s Tribal leader, someone who thinks for themselves, and leads a cohort of people.

It could be creating a newsletter among your colleagues, updating them on your mutual projects and accomplishments.  Godin explains how this creates a sense of community among your colleagues.

Another method would be to start a new business venture, with the potential to reach and offer value to thousands.

Well I’m here to lead a tribe as well.

And it’s one of the best.

How many people do you know, are willing to admit that they can BETTER themselves in ANY area?

Most people walk through life in a daze, living vicariously through TV and sports, gossip and celebrities.

What portion of society actually READS?

What portion introspectively looks at their thought processes, wondering how they can change themselves FOR THE BETTER?

Remember it’s not self help, it’s self development.

Lifestyle development.

 

Success Feels Good

Should you try to achieve financial success? Shouldn’t you not need to rely on anything external for your happiness?

There is one reason that financial success is conspicuously valid when it comes to your core level of confidence.

A sense of accomplishment.

If you work hard, get shit done, and gain tangible rewards, you FEEL GOOD.

You feel like you can conquer the world.  You did it on your own, and you can handle anything that gets in your way.

But Godin necessarily requires 100 pages of explanation to coerce people into becoming leaders, why?

Let me ask you, do you have any kick ass business ideas or ventures, but never seem to find the time or right situation to step up and move forward?

If accomplishment feels so good, why don’t we all become leaders and satiate our entrepreneurial primal instincts?

Fear.

Fear of societal rejection.  Fear of embarrassment.  Fear of failure.

So how do we move past this?

A business has to be ready, fire, aim.  (that is opposed to ready, aim, fire)

The only way to learn in life is through making mistakes, fucking it up, looking at things objectively, and moving forward.

I’ve already lost hundreds of dollars in various internet related ventures, and have yet to make any of it back.  Haha.

But it was a huge LEARNING process, and I have gained massive amounts of knowledge.  I have no doubt success is on the horizon.

And as stated in this site’s mission statement, I am here to journal the process and cajole you forward as well, push you to take action in whatever area you need most.

It might be that your problem is feeling comfortable around the opposite sex, or maybe it’s getting the confidence to step out on your own and start a business, or maybe it’s combating laziness and getting into the gym and eating healthy.

It’s all about taking action.

Being a man of action.

And that’s what lifestyle development is all about.

What other areas of lifestyle development would you guys like to hear about?

1000 Comments!

[frame_right src="http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Vegas-Alex-e1301905746215.jpg"]Let’s Celebrate! -Alex and I in Vegas[/frame_right]I woke up this morning around 7AM, my body still seems to be trying to figure out what continent I’m on…

I was checking for any new comments on the blog, I moderate every one, and realized I just hit the 1000 comment mark!

It took just 5 months to get there, and I think a big part of why I reached this threshold so quickly is how active and conversational people generally are when it comes to discussing the topic of dating, self development, and even health topics at times.

I want to thank each and every one of you who has commented so far on the blog, and I ask that you continue commenting often, it creates more of a community here, and motivates me to keep writing in depth articles EVERY DAY.

Things are just getting started, the blog is being tweaked all the time.

As you can see, I increased the content box size, making the readability easier.

I’ve also added the ability to subscribe to any comment thread, that way, if you comment on an article, and want to be notified of any future comments via email, it’s really easy now.

I’ve also made it really easy to stay up to date, being able to receive every article via RSS feed, or email address, so click one of those links to sign up and get free value DAILY.

Oh, and if you tried to subscribe via the button on the right, or entered your email address and a pop-up window did not ask about verification, you need to re-subscribe.  (I’m still a html newb…)

I’m turning into a subscriber whore, it’s my only goal to get as many subscribers as possible.

So help me out bitches!@!!!

There are many behind the scenes things going on as well.

Mostly nerdy type stuff like better optimization, smoother integration with su.pr, facebook, and twitter, making the blog look more streamlined, and making it easier to navigate the site.

Any suggestions are also appreciated…

Cheers, and thanks again guys!

Brad-

Random Thoughts: Streams of Consciousness…

So I wasn’t going to post today, I wanted to, but just didn’t find the time.

But I actually have a lot on my mind.

I’m sitting in bed at the moment, getting ready for another little trip around the globe.

20 days travel, NYC, Capetown, Boston, then back home.

Also, I’ve been super productive the last few weeks.

It’s crazy when you are in the thick of going out constantly, you somehow rationalize away things like eating healthy, working out, and doing anything other than going out.

Sure the results are great, and I can’t complain about the partying, but I’ve realized something recently.

Damn, when you just make a task list, prioritize it, and DO IT, you end up doing 3 TIMES AS MUCH AS YOU THOUGHT POSSIBLE!

It’s my new diurnal goal to create a task list, get shit done in a timely fashion, and prioritize to accomplish the most important things first.

Productivity FTW!

In other news, I’m trying to get some balance back into my life.

I’ve started playing with my old band again, which has been entertaining.  I quit playing keys once I started all the traveling, but it’s nice to be back, and they welcomed me with open arms.

Funk it up.

——-

I just got off the phone with a good friend, and we decided that we are doing the AFF (accelerated free fall) skydiving program within the next two months in Lodi, CA.

Looks like that New Years goal is properly in motion.

I also started eating paleo style again, I’ve got a fridge full of grass fed venison to munch on all day.  Meat, meat, meat.

I’ve also been working out, incorporating kettle bells which has made the workouts a lot more enjoyable.  This has led to another realization.

How long does a workout really take?

Most experts suggest no longer than 45-60 minutes, do you really not have time for that?

How many times have I rationalized reasons for not working out?

Too busy, can’t find a gym, hungover…

No more.

I will keep on the workout track, and try to keep the diet rocking on the road so they work synergistically.

Speaking of which, have any of you tried Kombucha?

I’ve had the cranberry style a few times and it’s damn good.

Weird taste at first, the fermented bacteria smell reminds me of college labs where I used to streak bacteria plates all day.

Tyler has got me on a probiotic kick.  I don’t know if it even does anything, but it seems to quench my carb cravings.

Well, I need to pack, gotta pack gear for a safari, swimming with sharks, and posh NYC night club clothes as well.

Let’s see if I can fit all this in my carry on suitcase.

Luckily I got smooth new luggage for christmas.  Check out the Briggs and Riley, lifetime guarantee!

Alright, enough randomness, back to theory and all that tomorrow.

I’ll leave you with a recent jam I’ve been listening to…

Enjoy!