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The Four Hour Body and You Like many of your Tim Ferriss fans out there, I've been very keen to try the Four Hour Body lifestyle change. I'm overweight by quite a few pounds, so I made a New Year's resolution to shed some pounds....

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Improvements and Fixes to WP E-CommerceImprovements and Fixes to WP E-Commerce Like many of you, I am a user of the WP E-Commerce plug-in for Wordpress as well as a Gold Cart upgrade customer. While WP E-Commerce has many excellent features and does wonders for the Wordpress-based...

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Credit cards: a lifeline for cash Hi all. It certainly has been a while since I've last posted. That's because in many ways the 4HWW concept has been shot given the urgency of making ends meet and scrambling to get whatever dollars are...

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Version 0.2 of Show User Level Content Plugin Now Available Making an update to the Show User Level Content Plugin ... finally on version 0.2 This version should allow multiple hide statements in the same post. This is a test of that functionality. The first...

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More on Banking... A while back I posted about business banking accounts, and asked the community what their thoughts were on the best ones for FHWW'ers. I never really did get a good response, but the post is out there,...

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The Four Hour Body and You

Category : dieting

Like many of your Tim Ferriss fans out there, I’ve been very keen to try the Four Hour Body lifestyle change. I’m overweight by quite a few pounds, so I made a New Year’s resolution to shed some pounds. I figured a good healthy goal would be to lose one pound a week. That’s not much, eh? But indeed, after 52 weeks, that would be 52 pounds. Quite an accomplishment.

Well, I’m happy to say that since January 2011, I’ve lost over 20 pounds, and I’m right on schedule. I make sure to follow the basic ideas of the 4HB, but I’m not a stickler. I feel that a goal of one pound a week and making sure that I hit the goal at least once in the week (even if I bounce up) will keep me on target.

So, what tools do I recommend? First, the 4HB regimen is a combination of dietary changes (drop all the “white” carbs, shift to mostly lean proteins, etc.) as well as repetitive workout regimens. They recommend kettlebells for exercises, but other exercise approaches would work. To get a good cross-section of workout gear, you should definitely check out the Become shopping portal. In particular, the Sports and Outdoors section is relevant to those of you trying to get on the 4HB track. For example, the workout bench and the Proform Elliptical are welcome add-ons to a 4HB routine. Check out the Editor’s picks on the site and peruse the options.  A search on Kettlebell turns up quite a few results as well. So, this looks like a good place to pick up some equipment.

I’d love to hear from you all. Are you also having good results with the 4HB diet? Any recommendations? Many folks say you’ll hit a plateau at 15-20 pounds, but I seem to be cruising through it… so far. I wonder what’s in store!

Improvements and Fixes to WP E-Commerce

Category : wordpress

Like many of you, I am a user of the WP E-Commerce plug-in for WordPress as well as a Gold Cart upgrade customer. While WP E-Commerce has many excellent features and does wonders for the WordPress-based e-commerce experience, the code is very buggy, full of flaws, and lacks documentation and support that is needed for those working in a fast-paced e-commerce environment.

Instead of just being frustrated, I decided to dig into the code and fix a few gnawing problems:

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Credit cards: a lifeline for cash

Category : Uncategorized

Hi all. It certainly has been a while since I’ve last posted. That’s because in many ways the 4HWW concept has been shot given the urgency of making ends meet and scrambling to get whatever dollars are left to spend. One of the most important things for a small business is cash flow. If you can manage your cash flow effectively, you can weather any economic condition. However, if you are spending faster (and/or more) than you are collecting, you can be in a world of pain.

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Version 0.2 of Show User Level Content Plugin Now Available

Category : life balance, Uncategorized

Making an update to the Show User Level Content Plugin … finally on version 0.2

This version should allow multiple hide statements in the same post. This is a test of that functionality.

The first line below is going to be hidden for those below User Level 2.

Sorry, you can't see this unless you are at User Level 2 or greater

Here’s another hide statement:

Sorry, you can't see this unless you are at User Level 2 or greater

This seems to work! Download the new version of the plugin here (altho it might take time for the WordPress Plugin SVN to update):

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/show-user-level-content/

Enjoy, and provide feedback!

More on Banking…

Category : finance

A while back I posted about business banking accounts, and asked the community what their thoughts were on the best ones for FHWW’ers. I never really did get a good response, but the post is out there, so I encourage people to respond with their thoughts! In the meantime, I ended up going with Provident Bank, which offered a $122 bonus for signing up, free business checking accounts with no minimums, a remote deposit system, and an adequate (but not the best) online banking system.

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Is it time to buy a car?

Category : DHFW Site

Happy Inauguration Day!

For many of us who have worked hard to make this day possible, this is truly a day of celebration. I think for all Americans, regardless of your political persuasion, we should be happy to look forward to what the possibilities are for us in the years ahead.

In a bit of a spate of irony, I may be personally contributing to this economy. I have had to recently think about buying a new car. With the state of the US economy and in particular, the US automakers, the question is: should I buy a car from one of our troubled US automakers? I’m thinking so.

At The Car Connection, my most recent haunt for online car shopping, I’ve been looking at GMC cars. I like the Car Connection’s website since it makes it easy to locate the various models and features and has quite a bit of detail on the ratings. While GMC might have its share of financial problems (probably much more so than Ford and certainly Toyota), at the very least they don’t have as much of the significant quality woes as Chrysler. I once owned a PT Cruiser, and while it was fun for the first year or so, you could easily tell by the second that quality was not job one over there.

Anyways, GMC, like most automakers, are now producing Hybrids that approach the fuel efficiency of the Japanese automakers. I am hoping that they can power past that and work directly on Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), which would be my preferred mode of transportation.

Should I buy a car? Should I wait? What should I buy? If you were put in a position where your current car was no longer available, what would you do?

Happy New Year! Lots of upgrades…

Category : DHFW Site

Happy New Year DHFW Readers! It’s been about a month since the last post, since there have been lots of upgrades, both technically and in life.

First, the site is now upgraded to WordPress 2.7, and I’m looking at fixing a number of glitches in the site, including missing downloads, incorrectly functioning tickers, etc. If you spot a problem that needs fixing, please let me know.

Second, I’ve been making lots of progress on personal goals and especially around the FHWW. May “main job” has now been pared down to 4 hours  a day (I know, not a week, yet), but this year I will be paring it down even more. I will spend more time thinking about and writing on muses and microsourcing, so if you have any thoughts, please let me know.

I have a few posts queued up, so I will be uploading them over the course of the next few days. Stay tuned!

Working at home in style

Category : time management

One of the best advantages of the Four Hour Work Week lifestyle is that you get to work when you want, where you want, and the results or benefits are yours to gain or lose. Of course, for many that are used to a structured work day and work environment, this can be particularly challenging. Some have a hard time working at their own at their home because their personal lives merge too much with their work lives.

Well, I’ve done a few things to counter-act this potential downside of the work-at-home lifestyle. First,  I’ve created a “work zone” for myself that is completely separated from the rest of the non-work home. I did this by finishing a basement that was unused. You’ll see a post or two about that coming up soon for those who want to learn how to really mold/waterproof a basement to make it work.

Another thing you can do is make your work environment really be a work environment. Don’t have clothes hanging around that need to be washed, or toys that need to be put away. Make the work environment one in which you can be productive and one that shouts “work” rather than “play” and you’ll be tempted to make your time efficient… not the opposite.

To do that, I’ve invested in some good quality office furniture. My source of choice is Henriksen Butler office furniture. This Utah office furniture design and supply house has some really interesting and work-productive furniture that will really help you make that work/life balance effective.

They even offer to help design effective workspaces for the design-challenged:

Henriksen/Butler brings a unique blend of knowledge and technology to solve workplace challenges for business. Whether you have one location or one hundred, we can help create workplace environments that solve problems and boost productivity. The technology we use helps — from initial design through procurement and well beyond installation. We can manage any and all aspects of your workspace transition to ensure everything goes smoothly. From space planning and design to installation, maintenance and on-going support, Henriksen/Butler is creating great places to work, learn and heal.

On their website, you can see office furniture examples and the sort of interior design work they do. The company has multiple locations, mostly in the Southwest / Rocky region, providing solutions for those looking for Nevada office furniture and locations in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, St. Geroge, and Boise, Idaho.

And for companies larger than one, they setup cubicles, chairs, desks, meeting rooms, counters, etc. for medium to large corporations.

I’d love to see what sort of work environments you FHWW’ers have set up. Anyone want to share some photo galleries?

Show User Level Content WordPress Plug-in Updated

Category : Uncategorized

Update: The plug-in is now available for download from the WordPress.org Plug-in Director.

Read more about the plug-in here… and don’t forget to donate!

More Muse Ideas: e-Commerce Web Sites?

Category : muse

A lot of us 4HWW’ers are searching for muses that are Passive Income Generators (PIGs) and also require little investment upfront or continued maintenance (to allow them to be true 4 hour a week exercises). Maybe it’s a panacea, since if there was truly something that can return income with little or no time investment, everyone would be doing it, which would then eliminate any of the financial benefit. Economic markets are efficient, right?

Or maybe there are such sorts of businesses, but they can never truly replace income by themselves. Perhaps the key to a good PIG-type muse is to have a collection of small businesses, each of which contribute a modest amount, but togethr contrbute a significant amount.

In that vein, I’m getting a few of my muses together. The first muse is this blog. But a blog isn’t truly a PIG. Indeed, a blog is really an Active Income Generator (AIG) because it requires continuous work on the blogger to allow it to derive value. Well, maybe not entirely… some blogs automatically parrot information available elsewhere. Those blogs then can truly be PIG-type muses. But it’s the one where new and fresh content is the draw that makes blogs AIGs.

Note: I really need better acronyms, since we like PIGs and the AIG acronym sounds too close to an existing, failing business entity. Anyone have any ideas that convey the same meaning but have better acronyms?

An e-Commerce site as a PIG

So, one of those modestly-contributing PIGs I am considering is an ecommerce site selling a specific niche of items. There is some set-up time involved in an ecommerce site, especially around the website development and selection of products. Also, there is the issue of dealing with customer support and shipping / packaging. But I have a feeling that e-Commerce has evolved so that it can be completely turnkey without requiring the user to do anything but generate traffic.

Here’s where I’m stuck. I need help here — has anyone recently put together an e-Commerce site with a minimal of money and time investment and managed to keep operations humming with little continuous money and time investment? If so, I want to hear about it! What tools did you use? What companies are you working with? Send me your advice, and we’ll keep it posted here.

See you around the 4HWW world!