A great danger to any business is when a client asks for one-off services outside of what you routinely do.

For example, we recently brought on a SEO client who wants us to help optimize his site for Italian keywords.  This led to our recruiting team trying to find an Italian speaking writer.

Distractions like this are very dangerous to a business because your core work doesn’t get the attention it should. Be careful taking stuff like this on.

You Can’t Change People

One thing I have discovered the hard way is that you can’t change people. If you try, you will just get frustrated but won’t get anywhere. If someone causes trouble for you, don’t keep them in  your life. If you do want to keep people in your life,  you have to accept them as they are.

More Effort = Easier & Happier Life

As a child I thought that the happiest lives were the laziest ones… people who were rich and could just relax all day.

As an adult, I have realized the opposite is true. The times I have done nothing have been some of the most depressing times in my life.

The harder I work (as long as I balance that work evenly between exercise, learning, finance, and social / emotional well being), the happier I am.

I rated yesterday (Sunday) a 10 on my happiness scale of 1-10. What did I do?

  • Ran 2.5 miles first thing in the morning
  • Programmed for 3 hours watching laracasts and refactoring scoretask
  • Climbed at Cliffs of id for 1.5 hours with a friend Brett
  •  Wrote a blog post
  • Took a nap
  • Worked another 3-4 hours on laracasts / scoretask.
  • Watched a movie with Laurel
  • Played rocket league for an hour

Mind Traps

My smartphone has turned into a huge mind trap for me. This morning, I was intending on working on refactoring Scoretask after my run. Instead, I ended up reading article after article on Nytimes, hacker news, financial times, reddit, etc. Pretty soon 3 hours had passed and my eyes were blurry and I had not done anything. I tried to go take a nap to reset myself and just read more articles. Now I hope I have broken free enough to get some work done.


A contract to me is the meeting of minds where everyone commits to something and writes it down. When I make a contract, I do everything in my power to follow through on my promises. I see way too many people who don’t do that though, which is just sad. I wish everyone out there was honest and trustworthy, the world would be a better place.


I built a platform to help give more consistent and structured feedback to my employees called Scoretask. I have not worked on the code in several months, and now I am trying to get started again. My code is fairly confusing and is taking me awhile to deciphere it. I want to do a better job of organizing my php code this time so that when I have a developer come in to work on it they don’t hate me quite as much. Right now I am having my developer Mike help me out with my recruiting application and he is very unhappy to have to work on spaghetti code base. I have been trying to learn from Laracasts about better code practices.

Physical Goals

Is it reasonable to expect significant improvements in physical fitness past the age of 32? I am not sure, but I am going to try. My goals are to do 50 straight pushups, run 4 miles at a 7:45 pace, weigh under 190 and climb 5.13.

My finances from a decade ago…

Assets Liabilities Holdings Revenue/ month Expenses/ month Income
Bank 8,469.25 Direct Loan 8,219.14 Visible 3,216.00 Rent 1,000.00
Scottrade 6,630.09 Perkins Loan 14,218.00 Car Insurance 106.00
Grandparents loan 8,000.00 Cable 76.00
Utilities 40.00
Gas 45.00
Food 600.00
Entertainment 400.00
Loan Repayment 220.00
Cell 80.00
15,099.34 30,437.14 (15,337.80) 3,216.00 2,567.00 649

The Mighty Power of Google

I have worked “optimizing” search engines for my entire post college career. “Optimizing” is in quotes because I work to help companies that pay me show up higher in Google’s search rankings, perhaps occasionally against what Google would want ranking. I am probably more familiar with search algorithms used by Google than anyone outside of Google itself. I have discovered many little methods, as well as a few bigger secrets, of how to do my job of search engine optimization better than anyone else. Because I am successful at “optimizing” Google, I have built a company with sixty full time employees who also do what I do. I have many clients that receive far more leads and revenue than they otherwise would without my help.

I thought I was powerful and influential for awhile.

Then I realized that I am really just a barnacle on the surface of a worldwide leviathan. Google has tens of thousands times higher revenue than I do. I would not exist without Google, I am a small part of it’s ecosystem.

Everyone uses Google. Google controls the information we see on a day to day basis. Billions of searches and Google controls what gets clicked on and what doesn’t. Google controls which companies succeed, and which don’t. Each time I help a client reach higher rankings in Google’s search results, that client might see their overall revenues double or triple.

Google is a company with $75 billion in annual revenue for itself. But far more importantly, it controls many trillions of dollars of commerce going to other businesses. Google controls what information you see when you search for political questions. Google controls what answers come up when you look for the best programming language, best dating site, religious questions, and on and on.

Every day Google weaves itself tighter and tighter into our lives. As I drive to work each morning, every other driver is staring intently at their phones… mostly Android powered phones. Android controls 65% of the US market, 82% of the German market, 76% of the French market, 88% of the Spanish market.

Google is becoming harder and harder to influence. When I first started in search engine optimization, anyone who had read a few blog posts could figure out how to get their website to the top of Google. Now I see thousands of flailing worthless SEO firms not getting any real changes made for their clients. The old tricks mostly don’t work anymore. My team and I have had some success, but it takes far more work than it used to. And we are the #1 ranked “los angeles seo” services company… Most companies can’t move the needle at all.

I believe that Google is now more powerful than most governments worldwide. Google controls what information you receive, and because of that, in many ways how you think.

For me, I feel like I’ve become a cyborg. Much of what I think and remember is online. 90% of my communications happen through gmail. I can’t remember what I told I a client 6 months ago, but I can find that email in seconds. Much of what used to be stored in my brain is now stored online. Photos, emails, events, research, planning, and much else only resides online now. Google has literally become a part of my personality and who I am.