Thinking Of Upgrading to WordPress 5.0? You May Want to Wait

WordPress Gutenberg (5.0) is out and it’s a very exciting update. This is a radical overhaul of the post editor in the WordPress CMS dashboard. It brings about massive and significant changes to the format, empowering users to create content in new blocks. These blocks help us dictate how content is visualized on the front end, making the creation and consumption process a lot more user friendly.

That said, because 5.0 is such a radical change it’s highly likely you have themes and/or plugins that are not yet ready for it. Meaning, it could very well break your site. I’ll talk about that here shortly, but first I want to share a video that describes the changes in WordPress with 5.0.

Very exciting. BUT… when the update first came out in a sort of beta form via a plugin, a lot of prominent WordPress ninjas hated it. And reviews of the plugin were terrible.

Just check out what this developer has to say on the topic and you’ll see what I mean.

In my view WordPress bit off too much here. They know there are incredible plugins out there like Visual Bakery and many other block base page builders and they’re trying to build a lot of that functionality into the CMS itself. The problem here is that millions of WordPress users have their infrastructure built on plugins like Visual Bakery (this very site uses it) and we’re not going to start from scratch, nor are we going to be able to easily convert everything from one builder to another.

There have been multiple reports of problems with builders such as Divy, Elementor, Brizy and yes… even visual bakery. In fact, I tested this very site on a dev environment with 5.0 and formatting completely got chopped up.

Even the WordPress Accessibility Team ripped Gutenberg over the size of the leap it took, the challenges it creates and the problems they’re seeing. (Read the full report here)

In addition to what I’ve already stated about compatibility issues with themes and plugins, the learning curve for users is incredibly steep. Via the accessibility team report:

All authors and editors will be affected by these changes. Administrators responsible for deciding whether Gutenberg is appropriate for their sites need to be informed that it may pose unacceptable barriers for their authors.

Ouch. That’s brutal.

I’m sure the WordPress team will make some big corrections here and hopefully it’s soon. But based on what we know and see right now, it’s not going to be soon enough.

With all of that said, update at your own risk. For us here at EpicNomad.Life, we’re in no hurry to update and will stick with 4.9. It’s a great CMS and we don’t really have any complaints about it. It wasn’t broken, in our view, and didn’t need to be fixed. Gutenberg is a great concept, but it’s just so radical of a change that it’s currently causing more problems than it allegedly “fixes.”

Three Video Editing Workflow Tips For Full Time RV Vloggers

Now that I’ve spent several months traveling in and living in a recreational vehicle I have a perspective that I think, when combined with my experience on the video production front, might prove useful to others. Especially those who also live in an RV and Vlog or work on video projects of their own.

As Producer for the upcoming movie RV Nomads I plan on putting up a series of these kinds of posts and I hope you find them useful. As always, if you have questions please feel free to post them below in the comments section and I’ll do my best to address them.

Before we get into the guts of today’s three epic tips, let me say this is by no means a one-size-fits all set of solutions. Different methods, software and scenarios may be more fitting for different uses and purposes. And different budgets. Additionally, this is not what I assert is the answer to some of the most commonly asked questions. These are simply what I have found over the years to be the best solutions for me personally and professionally.

The three topics I want to cover today are three that I have been asked about by multiple full time RV vloggers in the past two weeks. They include:

  1. How do you keep track of your media and what is the best method of storage?
  2. My computer is freezing up while rendering and I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong. Any advice?
  3. What’s the best editing software and what are the best formats to work with?

Full time RV life presents a few challenges that aren’t traditionally experienced. In my previous employment I had a huge office with space for a ton of external storage, multiple monitors, multiple computers running different editing programs and yes… I even had a full scale green screen studio. But in an RV I have a shared space that puts my entire editing suite on the top of a table designed for small dinners to be served on.

With this being the case it’s important to operate my editing suite with a minimal amount of space. And do so can be quite a challenge. Let’s jump in and take a look at my own personal setup I use to edit all media for Nomadic Life Films and EPIC Nomad TV.

Media Libraries & Storage

During the past two weeks I had two different vloggers describe to me scenarios in which their media libraries are a complete mess. They both have stacks of 1tb or 2tb USB disk drives containing an unorganized mashup of all content filmed over the past few years.

NoJust no.

Now I realize that living in an RV often creates scenarios where you have to work in cramped spaces while on the move. But keeping your media organized on reliable devices is an absolute must. Time is precious, and while it may be temporarily convenient to just dump all of your media cards into a USB drive, this will end up costing you significant time later on in the creative process.

It takes discipline to keep your media organized from day one, but that discipline will pay off ten fold in the long run. How you organize may end up different than how I organize. But organize it from day one! Don’t ever take files off your memory cards and dump them into USB drives without an organized file structure.

In my case I have media coming from a plethora of devices.

  • GoPro (Karma Drone)
  • DSLR
  • Black Magic Cinema Camera (SSD)
  • Tascam 60D (Audio)

Sometimes I’ll have additional media sources, but these are the four primary sources of media that I use. So what I do is I create a folder for each project or shoot. Under that folder I create four folders, one for each media source.

For the RV Nomads Christmas Trailer, for example, my folder/file structure looked like this.

Under this structure I know where everything is at all times. It doesn’t matter if I edit the night of the shoot, the following week or even months later. I know the date, project and location, and therefor I can get right to all media needed for the project I’m editing.

If I were using USB storage disks I would immediately replicate the date/project/location folder to a second drive to make a backup. I don’t primarily use USB drives (more on this later) but if/when I do I also have an exact copy of my file structure on at least two drives.

I might even add multiple folders in each media type folder depending on the size and scale of the day or projects shoot. In the drone folder, for example, I may have multiple folders breaking up the footage with multiple shoots. One folder might be “AMFarmFootage” to note the morning shoot with another being “SunsetOverCampground” to notate the evening portion of the shoot.

I do all of this to simplify my search for footage or audio when it comes time to edit. It’s extremely time consuming to have a folder filled with 100+ files and have to sit there watching each of them to find what you’re looking for. The more you properly file your media from the beginning, the less time it will take when the editing fun begins.

Besides, when you’re editing you want the process to be as smooth as possible. When you’re editing video you want your creative side to have freedom to flow through the timeline without having to spend a ton of time watching media files and flipping around in your finder or file folders.

Now getting back to the storage devices…

I have a stack of 1tb, 2tb or 4tb USB drives. If that is what your budget provides for these can be a tremendous help. Just keep in mind these are terribly unreliable for backup and are extremely resource intensive during the editing/rendering process. I’ve had multiple USB drives fail, rendering all media on them obsolete. If you use USB drives to store your media, always have one to keep copies on to ensure you always have a backup.

My preferred storage device is the G-Raid Dual Drive Thunderbolt disc drive. They make them for PC but I’m not sure of what kind of connections they work on as my editing suite is all Apple. The G-Raid dual drive is extremely reliable. And incredibly fast.

My mobile/RV editing suite consists of the following:

  • Mac Pro – 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 – 64GB Memory – AMD FirePro D500
  • 27 Inch 4K LG Ultra HD Monitor
  • 8 TB G-Raid Dual Drive
  • Two 4TB USB Drives. One for Backup and One for Finished Files

The G-Raid storage device will have an initial shock factor on price. A new one will run you $650 – $800 with certified refurbished between $450 and $500. But considering you have dual driven 8TB of storage this price isn’t much different than buying 8 single 1TB USB drives. Or 4 2TB USB drives. The difference, of course, is that you have to pop for the full price all in one go.

There are other advantages of a G-Raid device that I’ll talk about in the next section. But the important takeaway from this first part is organize, organize… ORGANIZE! And always have backups.

Speeding Up Video Editing & Rendering

If I had a dime for every time I’ve seen a vlogger complain about editing speed and render times I would be rolling in a Prevost. 🙂

If you’re facing slow render times or freezing screens while editing video you’re not alone. We all go through this. There are a wide range of reasons this can happen but I’m going to focus on the two most common in my own experience.

  • Data transfer speeds
  • RAM/Memory

Data transfer speeds are often times overlooked when trouble shooting slow render times or freezing timelines during the editing process. You may have a fast processor and plenty of RAM, but still experience a bogged down system when creating video. If so, are you working on media on USB devices? This is a huge no-no. This because USB is just not fast enough to transfer data in a real time rendering environment.

In other words, if you’re using Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere (or any editing software for that matter) and you’re editing media located on a USB storage device this is likely at least half of your problem. Your computer is working with data that has to transfer back and forth through a USB cable/connection, a connection that isn’t designed to handle that kind of workload. So it may not be that your computer can’t handle the work. It may be that your computer is waiting on the data to transfer back and forth between the two devices.

One work around on this is to move the media you want to edit from your USB devices to your desktop temporarily while you work on your video project. When you’re done with the editing, you’ve rendered and exported your finished product, you can move all the files back to the storage device. This way your computer is working with media on its own hard drive and doesn’t have to wait for data to change from an external device.

Now in the previous section I mentioned an advantage provided by a G-Raid thunderbolt storage device. Because these utilize Thunderbolt and not USB the data transfer rates are incredibly fast. Meaning, I can edit media located on a G-Raid without having to move it to my desktop. There is no real noticeable slowdown because a Thunderbolt cable/connection is able to handle the transfer rates needed to edit/render files in real time between the two devices.

The second common issue is RAM. If you have 8Gb or 16GB of memory, you’re probably going to struggle to render in real time. Especially when it comes to large projects with a lot of media. And definitely if your project contains 4K or RAW footage.

RAM is not super cheap. But if you’re going to be doing a lot of editing it’s an area you want to save for and invest in. Having a PC or Mac that can be easily upgraded on the RAM side is an extremely good investment. Or if you’re buying a new system just bite the bullet and max out on RAM from day one. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by doing this.

Right now my Mac Pro runs 64GB of RAM with 8TB of storage working through a Thunderbolt connection. I can run Photoshop, Lightroom, Apple Motion and two different browsers with multiple tabs all while my timeline renders in Final Cut Pro with no decrease in overall performance. Granted, my Mac Pro is a commercial grade $5,000 Apple computer, but I didn’t buy it this way. I bought it with 16Gb of RAM and initially ran USB drives. The performance, even on a $5,000 system, was sub-par at best until I put in the new RAM and switched to Thunderbolt storage.

Editing Software

I live and breath Final Cut Pro and Davinci Resolve for color grading. But not because I believe it is the superior editing suite. No, this is just my personal preference. Adobe Premiere has advantages that friends of mine swear by. On the software side I say to each his/her own. Whichever timeline works best for you is what you should use.

I will say, however, that in my experience Adobe Premiere is a little more complex than FCP. And, for me Premiere uses a lot more of my computer’s resources. I don’t know if this is unique to me and I know people who claim the opposite. But it has been my own experience and that is the primary determining factor of staying with Final Cut Pro.

If you’re looking to upgrade from iMovie or other limited editing systems to something more robust with more capabilities, but you want to minimize your learning curve and keep resource usage to a minimum, I would personally recommend Final Cut Pro. The timeline is pretty streamlined, the third party plugin market is vast and affordable and FCP is beautiful in terms of the front end user interface.

Conclusion

With a little discipline on the organization side, better data management and the right editing software you can create amazing visual stories with far less headaches. Time is money. And more time is more journey. Don’t waste any of it and don’t give up more than you have to. A few small changes to your production workflow can make a world of difference.

I hope this helps!

-Eric Odom

Don’t Just Be a Builder… Be a Disruptor

Disruptor: a person or thing that prevents something, especially a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected

Think big.

What do those two words mean to you? To a lot of people they mean think bigger. But bigger than what? If you have a website that sees 100 visits a day thinking bigger might mean a goal is to see 200 visitors a day. This is certainly a verifiable level of success, no doubt. Doubling traffic should never be overlooked or taken for granted.

Unfortunately, however, a lot of people would accept that doubling of traffic is the goal.

For some of us doubling the traffic, in this particular scenario, would be but a small step on a long staircase. This because the thinking isn’t just about traffic. Traffic is a surface variable. A small piece of a larger puzzle.

Bloggers, vloggers and digital nomads often get caught up in stats, viewing their subscriber counts, likes and traffic tallies as the ultimate indicator of successful trends. Of course, there is nothing wrong with monitoring stats and celebrating growth. This can often be a positive indicator that hard work is paying off.

But here’s the kicker. I know an entrepreneur who has just under 60 customers on a private webinar/consulting/learning platform and she makes $72,000 a year on that platform alone. For her it wasn’t about finding tens of thousands of followers. It was about finding 60 who would pay $100 a month for her advice, experience and guidance.

She’s now recruiting several of these customers to begin providing the exact same service for 60 of their own customers after learning everything they could from her over the past year or two. A few weeks ago she relayed to me that she plans to triple her income on the platform by 2019. This would place her revenue on a single platform at more than $200,000 annually.

Can she do it? Of course she can. Her services are top notch and the only reason her client list hasn’t grown is because she doesn’t want to dilute the service she provides to the clients she now has. But the model was built with scale in mind. And now that several of her clients are ready to step up to do what she does for them, scaling is very viable.

I know this because for about a year I was one of those customers. What I learned throughout my time as a “student” was second to none. Yes, it cost me $1,200 a year to learn what I wanted to learn, but I’ve generated far more than that $1,200 investment since working with the system.

This particular individual views herself as a disruptor. Her plans were always big. They were never about 60 customers at $1,200 a year. They were and are about 1,000+ customers at $1,200 a year. The foundation had to be built, tested and implemented. The initial service had to be tried, tested and proven.

The scaling can now begin.

This sort of big thinking has caused a lot of friction. She has competitors railing on her for stepping on their toes and into their space. Bigger companies who have heavily invested in the space. Marketers who have been there working at it for years and years. She showed up a couple years ago and did it better. She built something more user friendly and user focused. She put a better spin on it, made the product more relevant and provided a better experience from start to finish.

She disrupted the space.

Think big shouldn’t just mean think bigger. For me it means think the way your competitors are thinking and then expand your vision into a completely different universe. I think of what my competitors are thinking and force myself to see that vision as small. Small, outdated and beatable.

I recently had someone tell me I was building something that does some of what someone else is already doing. The assertion is that I should join forces with the competition and help them become bigger using my experience and talents to build on an existing platform.

No thanks.

I don’t want to add or compliment what already exists. I want to reinvent. I want to find niche spaces and dominate them. I want to elevate to 100,000 feet so I can see what those at 30,000 feet are doing and do it bigger. Bigger and better.

Of course, saying this is easy. Doing it is seemingly impossible for most. Which is why most don’t disrupt at this level. Most will see such a vision and conclude it’s too steep of a climb. Too much work and risk. Too much sacrifice.

Which is why one of the first steps to take in being a disruptor is surrounding yourself with others who can think big. Who can embrace the vision and apply themselves towards it as a team effort. One person cannot build an aircraft. This even though just two people invented it.

– Build a Collaboration

A key part of being a successful disruptor is assembling a team of disruptors. A team that can share the risk, sacrifice, drive and complex work involved in implementing a disruptive vision. This team must come from similar experience pools in terms of the industry/market targeted. They have to have a good understanding of the market (business and consumer), the problems or shortfalls and the solutions your vision will present.

When this team is together they must be cherished. They must be rewarded, admired and recognized as the engine that will accelerate the machine. Because they are the engine. You are the fuel.

I’ve worked with companies that looked at my work as forward thinking, innovative and game changing. Said companies enjoyed the game changing, but made no effort to reward my part in any meaningful way.

I’m no longer with any of these companies. A voluntary decision on my part because I simply didn’t feel as though I had skin in the game. I didn’t feel like I was part of the driving force that saw reward with success.

Don’t let good people get away. Build your team of disruptors and then be absolutely loyal. Go out of your way to reward them. Share the fruits of your labor with them. View them as an extension of yourself and help them understand how to see it all through the same lens.

– Don’t Just Act The Role, Play The Role With Perfection

Don’t just say you’re a disruptor… be one. Become the character in both actions and words. Embrace the label, the mindset and all the hurdles that will come with it. Grow a thick skin. Don’t be easily offended. Don’t be afraid to take constructive criticism and don’t fear blowing off bad advice.

Be extremely confident in your vision and your decisions, but make them based on solid logic.

Become a leading voice. Be known as an expert in your field because you are. If you aren’t then you aren’t ready. If you’re ready, however, wear that readiness like a neon lit badge. Let that readiness empower you.

Trust your partners and ensure they trust you. Don’t just share your vision with them, paint the full picture on a daily basis. Make sure your team is never in the dark. Be transparent, open and honest with them at all times.

If you’re going to be a disruptor, be one. Live it, breath it and operate as it.

You’re not going to succeed because you’re like everyone else. You’re going to succeed because everyone else is not like you.

– Prepare to Sacrifice

Prepare to fail. Prepare to make mistakes. Prepare to sacrifice. Expecting to be flawless with no changes in lifestyle is not only unrealistic… it’s dangerous.

You will make mistakes. You will fail. What will set you apart from the rest is your ability to pick yourself up, learn from your failures and go win.

There will be a season in which you’ll spend more than you make. You’ll not be enjoying a night at the movies like you once could. You won’t be able to enjoy fancy dinners or splurge on flashy toys.

You’ll work more hours than you want. You’ll have to tackle all aspects of your vision. The parts that you like to work on and the parts that make you want to pull your hair out with boredom and monotony.

You’ll likely go through a period of time in which you have no money, a lot of stress and a consistent feeling of exhaustion.

Sounds wonderful, right? So much to look forward to…

This isn’t child’s play. This isn’t for the weak. Thinking big followed by succeeding big is not easy. Not in any way, shape or form.

If it were then a lot more people you know would be viewing the playing field at a 100,000 foot view while changing the game across their targeted industry. They aren’t. Because this is very, very difficult to succeed at.

The good news is that if you can “embrace the suck,” to borrow a phrase from Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Madden, apply yourself in every way possible and get through the difficult sowing season, there will be fruit. And it will be disruptive, profitable and rewarding.

Be a builder. But don’t let it end there. Take it a step further, separate yourself from the crowds and be a disruptor.

Accept nothing less.

-Eric Odom

The Top WordPress SEO Plugin & How To Fix Wrong Images Showing Up When Sharing Content To Facebook

Today we’re going to talk about two different things that can actually be very connected. WordPress search engine optimization and getting the right images to show up when your content is shared to social media.

The first thing we’ll discuss is the best free plugin available to make your WordPress site SEO friendly. Then we’ll discuss how this plugin will also help ensure the right image is showing when you or someone else shares your content to Facebook and/or other social platforms.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

With more and more content being published online every day the search engines are constantly becoming more picky with how they rank content. A good search engine optimization strategy doesn’t mean you have to pay an SEO firm tons of cash to help you be seen by the search giants.

While some assert SEO is very complex, it really isn’t in our view. Of course, you can always get more complex with it all, but following a few rules of thumb are really all that’s necessary to ensure your site is optimized for search engine indexing.

Here are some basics you always want to pay attention to.

  • Page/post title and the keywords it contains
  • The URL structure and the keywords it contains
  • The body of your content and they keywords it contains
  • The title tag of your images and the keywords used in the title tag
  • The original authentic nature of your content (Not re-posted from somewhere else but unique and original to your site only)
  • Organic inbound links (search engines consider links as “votes” in many cases, but this part of their algorithm has decreased in importance in recent years)

And here you were thinking it was already time consuming enough to just create the content itself, right? It certainly is. But thanks to open source code and free WordPress plugins getting your content SEO optimized is now easier than ever and only requires an additional five minutes or so for each piece of content you put out.

Let’s take a look at one particular plugin that does wonders in helping your content be SEO friendly.

YOAST SEO FOR WORDPRESS

Yoast SEO for WordPress comes in two versions. Free and paid. The paid version certainly has more features and analytics for your website, but at $89 per site can be a little spendy. Not to worry, however, because the free version does plenty and will work magic when it comes to the search engine friendliness of your site.

Yoast has two primary functions. The basic overall website SEO management and a per post/page management system. Upon installation there is a setup wizard that guides you through the first part and gets your overall site ready to rock. The second part requires you to take some additional steps for every post/page you create.

But trust me… it’s worth the effort.

Once installed, activated and setup is complete, you’ll notice a new area appears in your post editor in the WordPress dashboard.

The above image shows the Yoast control panel for the post you’re reading. This post you’re reading has a very long title. Too long for what the search engines normally like, but I wanted and needed a longer title.

By default WordPress uses your page title in the code title tags, the tags that the search engine crawlers read when they come scan your site. The first thing Yoast does is let you set a different, shorter and more focused title tag that will instead be read by search engines as the title tag vs what you actually have as your post title. And Yoast will help you know the sweet spot for your title tag by giving you a green, orange or red bar depending on length. Red is bad, green is good.

Also by default WordPress uses your post title as the URL. In the case of this post that URL would have been far too long. So I shortened it using Yoast while keeping the longer title intact for potential readers to see.

Next up is your meta tag. This is the part of the post header code that tells search engines a brief summary of what the page content is about. The post description, if you will. By default WordPress is going to pull an excerpt from your post and place this in the meta tag. But in terms of SEO, that chunk of content may not be that great.

Yoast allows you to dictate what will be in the meta tag and shows you the recommended length.

Finally, Yoast let’s you determine your focus keywords to include in the keyword tag for search engines.

After that’s all done you’ll want to click on over to the Facebook and Twitter tab.

What I typically do is just copy over the title and description from the main Yoast tab. I then select the featured image I used for the post and upload it into the image box. The settings are the same for Twitter.

What this does is it tells Facebook and Twitter what image to use when this unique URL is shared to one of their platforms.

Preview the post to ensure it all looks good and hit publish. That’s it, that’s all! Your content is now optimized.

NOW LET’S FIX THOSE PESKY WRONG IMAGES SHOWING UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The Yoast plugin will tell Facebook and Twitter what information to use when your URL is shared. The problem is, Facebook and Twitter can be a little slow in coming to crawl/index your new content. Sometimes it happens within minutes, sometimes hours or days and sometimes even weeks!

If the social platforms haven’t indexed your post yet they don’t understand how it should be displayed when shared. So without proper indexing Facebook will simply pull the first image file it can find in your page code, or even worse… show the post with no image or preview at all.

The simplest, fastest and best way to force Facebook to change the way it previews your content is to bookmark and use the Facebook debugger. To use this tool you simply paste your URL, hit the debug button then tell Facebook to fetch your post information again.

Upon refresh Facebook should now have the proper preview information in its index.

This first image shows that Facebook didn’t know what to show right after I published this post.

I simply clicked the “Fetch new information” button and BAM! This is what came up.

Now the information shown above is what will show when I or anyone else shares this post.

SEO ready and good to go on the social sharing.

I hope this post helps!

-Eric Odom

4 Must Haves For Digital Nomads (VIDEO)

More and more digital nomads are joining the full time movement every day.  With this being the case the amount of information being pumped out onto the web can be a little overwhelming.

Here at EpicNomad.Life we’ll soon begin rolling out a lot of streamlined content for digital nomads. Including a full course and show scheduled for 2019!

In the meantime, my friend Jessica over at Exploring The Local Life shares 4 must-haves for digital nomads in the video below:

DIGITAL NOMADISM: When Every Day Is Like Climbing A Mountain…

Today began as follows:

  • 5:57 AM: Worked on movie script for RV Nomads – The Movie for approximately 45 minutes.
  • 6:00 AM: Worked on dealing with emails related to sales of tickets to NomadFEST 2018
  • 6:30 AM: Re-crafted framework for a custom built affiliate program
  • 7:10 AM: Dealt with emails from a sponsor of the RV Nomads movie
  • 7:55 AM: Began working on multiple emails dealing with permitting, logistics, local regulations, etc related to film production for RV Nomads
  • 8:45 AM: Finished a proposal for facilities needed to post-produce the RV Nomads movie
  • 9:20 AM: Wrote two additional scenes for the RV Nomads movie
  • 10:15 AM: Wrote a proposal for audio engineering and voice over services for the RV Nomads movie
  • 11:30 AM: Reworked company budget and projections to ensure production goals could be met in a timely manner
  • 12:10 PM: Began writing this post
  • 1:30 PM: Conference call scheduled
  • 3:00 PM: Call with cast member of RV Nomads scheduled
  • 4:00 PM: Initiate final stages of moving RV Nomads website to the ENTV platform

The above represents about 5% of the tasks piled up before me. Every day I hope to work my way through 5% of the pile, and every day 5% gets added. It’s a seemingly never ending loop. A monumental set of tasks and responsibilities that simply cannot be ignored.

If I don’t tackle as much of this as possible each and every day, none of it gets done. And keep in mind these are the parts of our projects assigned to me. They do not include all the moving parts and pieces that others are working on at any given moment.

This is part of what it takes to be a disruptor. And quite honestly I find the vast majority of it is mental. There is a switch somewhere up there that has to be flipped every single morning. And more mornings than not that switch doesn’t easily flip.

I might have a headache. I might be a little tired from the day before. I might be stressed out over drama happening somewhere. I might feel pressure from invoices stacking up. I might have 30 people waiting for answers from me. All of which are variables that make the act of flipping the switch on, sitting down with a cup of coffee and diving in very challenging.

For me it’s like climbing a mountain. Before the climb begins you look up and realize… this is gonna be hard. You don’t see large crowds around you. You aren’t joined by hundreds of others. This because… well because it is freaking hard!

And if you’ve climbed a mountain before you know what to expect. You’re going to have thrilling positive moments that you’ll love and enjoy, but you’ll also have excruciating moments of pain, misery and regret.

The reality is both have to be embraced. Both have to be accepted as a part of the journey. Both have to be tackled and conquered. For without the grit and fortitude you’ll never reach the top. When the top is reached, however, you take a deep breathe, filling your lungs with fresh air and you’ll have a view unlike any other. The payoff, the reward if you will, is often times extraordinary. As it should be for the defeat of such extraordinary challenges.

I talk to many digital nomads and find that for most they are entirely competent and capable of climbing huge mountains on their path of entrepreneurship. Yet some end up waving the white flag because they aren’t mentally geared for the hurdles unexpectedly found along the trail up.

For me the only way to get through it is to determine that I’m going to get through it upon the very first step taken. If I look at the climb ahead and say to myself “I hope it’s not too steep, I hope it’s not too rocky and I hope I don’t get tired” then I’m toast before I even begin. Because by having that discussion internally I’m already setting the stage for failure. I’m already anticipating the obstacles that I’m not fully mentally prepared for.

That, my friends, is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not getting the job done. Fear of quitting.

If that fear is there then the switch wasn’t properly flipped.

I would challenge you to not look at the mountain and dread certain parts of the climb. Look at the mountain and realize there is only one way up and you’re going to take it, no matter what. You’re going to reach the top.

Don’t just try to get to the top. Get to the top. Make that determination as the first step is taken. Or don’t try to climb at all.

I can tell you this. If I begin a day of tackling my workload with a frame of mind telling me I might not have a successful day or I might get frustrated, stressed and take a mulligan, then a mulligan is going to happen. But if I know what I need to do, I set my mind to do it no matter what and I have that expectation throughout the entire process… I can accomplish a LOT in a single day.

Not everything I want and need to accomplish, of course. But certainly enough to where at night I can reflect on the day and think to myself “holy crap that was an incredibly productive day.”

Flip the switch and get to the peak. You know you can. Now just know you will.

-Eric Odom