Archive for November, 2017

30 Days of Action: Day 30

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 | Life

How fast time flies. We’re at the end of the 30 days. Although, of course, many people have banged out a novel in this time.

First, things I’ve done today: I finished closing down the Mountain Wallet website. I’ve upgraded all of my WordPress installs to the latest version. Hopefully, this will fix the image upload bug.

For my own sake, I’m also going to review what I have achieved in the past 30 days.

What I’ve done this month

I finished writing, editing and producing my new book, Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy. It’s now available in paperback, Kindle and iBooks edition.

In fact, this is only one of two books I published in November, as I also released the book edition of the IT Contracting Master Class. Unlike the Skeptic’s Guide, nobody has bought a copy yet. But, at £75 a copy, who can blame them.

I’ve released a new course, Mindfulness for Social Anxiety. I’ve also given my existing courses some love by fixing the audio on Get More Restaurant Customers and adding captions to all of the lectures. I’ve also taken Running For Anxiety out of private beta and launched it to the public.

I’ve got a lot of content writing done for WAM. At least six new blog posts. I’ve also released five new videos and reached out to a number of guest posting opportunities, of which one was accepted. There has also been some behind-the-scenes work too, fixing Search Console errors and adding the new image search to the CMS.

I launched the personalised reports on WAM, too. These have already shown themselves to be a good potential avenue for bringing in new leads.

I’ve attended my first business networking event in the form of WapenTalkie.

I’ve also taken some of the hard decisions such as cancelling my 5000bc and Audioblocks memberships. I’m normally pretty bad at taking action here, but it had to be done.

What are the outcomes?

Much of what I have done will have benefits further down the line than can be seen immediately after. However, there are some promising indicators already:

I’ve had my best ever month selling courses. In fact, a few more sales today and I will have generated more revenue this month than the last six months combined.

Book sales are looking up a little, too. People are already buying Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy and a lot of people have bought How to Exit VIM, too.

Traffic on WAM is up approximately 20% between October and November and I’ve generated around a dozen potential new leads in the first week or so of the personalised reports going live.

Review of outcomes

There has definitely been some success this month, and avenues to explore further.

But, overall, it’s nowhere near good enough.

Productivity this month has been good. But it hasn’t felt that way: it feels like I’ve spent far too much time being ill, or looking after Venla. Fatherhood is rubbish because none of this is quality time, it is dealing with problems.

Secondly, the outcomes have, so far, been pretty poor, too. Sure, it’s better than I was doing. But it’s not paying the bills. Unless I can 100x the effectiveness of what is happening, it’s not going to be funding my Lamborghini anytime soon.

30 Days of Action: Day 29

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 | Life

Still ill yesterday, so I struggled through my full day of uni and then went home. Still a bit of process, though.

I finished writing a blog post on mindathlons, and I started drafting a new blog post on the physiological affects of anxiety.

I have also submitted an updated description to iBooks for Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy.

As of today, men have done a full year’s work

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 | Religion & Politics

10 November is Equal Pay Day. As reported by The Telegraph, women, on average, earn 14.2% less than men, so effectively, after 10 November, they are working for free for the rest of the year. If men quit their job on that date, it would take women the rest of the year to catch up.

I like the initiative. It draws attention to the gender pay gap in a clever way.

Like all such initiatives, it misses the fine detail of the discussion. The nuances of the argument. Nobody can blame it; it’s just an advertising slogan. But, when we get down to fixing it, we need to keep those nuances in mind.

The gender hours gap

One of which is that, as of today, men have done a full year’s work. On average, they have worked so many more hours that even if they quit their job today, it would take women the rest of the year to catch up.

It’s not a small difference. Forbes reports that, on average, men work 42 minutes more per day. That’s 3.5 hours per week, 14 hours per month, or an entire month’s worth of working hours by year’s end.

Okay, but why is this relevant?

It is relevant because it shows we have a holistic social problem, not just something that affects women. We’ve built a society in which men are expected to work more and to be paid more.

It is possible in theory, though unlikely in practice, that we can solve the problem by only looking at one side of it. Until we accept that we need a fundamental change in the views of our society, not just a quick fix or call for the problem to magically go away, it seems unlikely we’re going to make more significant progress.

What do we do about it?

We need to change the nature of the debate from “why do women earn less?” to “why are there differences between genders?” Once you look at the whole picture, we become better able to deal with the situation and therefore make a fairer world.

Take maternity pay, for example. Elina and I were planning to split the childcare. But, when we ran the numbers, it was just unaffordable: Elina’s wage would be partially replaced by maternity pay and mine would not.

Aviva recently announced that they would now offer up to six months full pay for any parent, regardless of gender. It will be interesting to see how this changes the progression of women through the company.

But, more widely, we need to change the culture of men go to work, and women raise the children. That won’t just be measured in wage gaps or boardroom quotas, but in whether all genders are free to choose working hours, childcare responsibilities, occupations and a range of other factors.

30 Days of Action: Day 28

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 | Life

Today has been an absolutely miserable day. Venla has passed her cold on to both Elina and I. Elina is really suffering and I had to continue on regardless as I had an exam. So, it’s been shit.

I have got two things done:

First, I’ve added an image search to the WAM CMS. This isn’t public facing, but it is useful for me.

Second, I’ve added the new videos to the blog posts. So, anyone reading the blog post can now watch the video instead. It’s been frustratingly complex because YouTube has changed their embed options so you no longer have a size option.

I’ve also spent some time trying to fix WordPress. Version 4.9 seems to have introduced a bug which prevents images from being uploaded. No luck there, though.

30 Days of Action: Day 27

Monday, November 27th, 2017 | Life

Venla has given me her cold and I have an exam tomorrow. I also strained my ankle on my run on Sunday. So, I’ve been pretty gentle with myself today, as I think up cleverer and cleverer ways to take revenge on my daughter.

I’ve got quite a bit done, though:

First of, Running For Anxiety is now live on the WAM website. Hordes of people have not yet signed up, but it will take a few days for Google to index it so we might be looking at Wednesday before the crowds join by their thousands.

I’ve been through Google Search Console and fixed all of the crawl errors on the website.

I’ve written next week’s Live Better newsletter. This one is on the topic of foods to avoid when you have anxiety.

I’ve written four blog posts for WAM, on the topics of caffeine, cognitive reappraisal, triathlon and yoga. Normally, I would think that four was too productive because I want my blog posts to be high quality, so I shouldn’t be able to produce them at that speed. However, I had them half written, either physically, or in my mind, so I’m not too worried.

Finally, I’ve updated my personal website to bring the books section up to date.

30 Days of Action: Day 26

Sunday, November 26th, 2017 | Life

Today has been focussed around preparing Running For Anxiety for public launch. I’ve got the sign-up process in place (it needs testing, though), written the sales copy and even made this short video:

Once I’m done testing it will go live as an unlisted page for more testing, before going live live (it’s an industry term).

Also, my new videos have started to go live on YouTube. Here is the first:

30 Days of Action: Day 25

Sunday, November 26th, 2017 | Life

Yesterday, I submitted an update to my book’s description on Amazon. They have a strange hybrid plain text/HTML system where if you put some HTML in, they don’t add line breaks. But, if you manually add line breaks in, they add their own set, too. It’s still not perfect, but it’s more readable now.

I’ve scheduled the release of week nine of Running For Anxiety.

I have also made good process on preparing it for release to the public. I have created the email sequence on my mailing list provider and started working on the landing page for the course. I still need to do the technical implementation, but that is pretty much it.

30 Days of Action: Day 24

Saturday, November 25th, 2017 | Life

Yesterday I edited the new videos for WAM. I also had time to encode them, upload and schedule them for release so the whole process is done now: they’ll roll out early next week.

I have done some work on preparing Running For Anxiety for public release. There is still a lot to do but at least I have the music catalogued now, which is essential for copyright reasons.

Speaking of videos, the mindfulness meditations are now live on WAM’s channel:

30 Days of Action: Day 23

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 | Life

Today I created captions for the last three lectures of Get More Restaurant Customers, so the entire course is now done.

I took the two demo meditations from Mindfulness for Social Anxiety, added video introductions and uploaded them to YouTube. I’ve scheduled them to publish tomorrow and Saturday.

I fixed the problem with the eBook version of Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy and submitted that to Kindle. I’ve also done the iBooks version and submitted that, and created the print edition, too.

I’ve put together a to-do list for making Running For Anxiety publicly available. Finally, I’ve brainstormed ideas for expanding the mindfulness course range.

My video work has come back from Fiverr, so hopefully, I can sign that off today and start working on the editing tomorrow.

Book sales

Another notable event to mention: I seem to have gone viral. nixCraft posted about my book, How To Exit VIM, and it has had almost a hundred shares. Hashtag fifteen shares of fame. I’ve had a look on KDP and it has translated into increased book sales.


The other big thing to report for today is that I attended a business networking event. They said that if you want to achieve something you need to add knowledge or add people to your life. I’ve been adding the knowledge, so this is my adding people.

As it turns out, when I went searching for one, I found that my Toastmasters friend Andrew Hodge was running one. I’ll blog more about it when I get time, but it was a really worthwhile evening and I look forward to attending again.

Announcing the Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 | Books, News

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new book, Skeptic’s Guide to Pregnancy. Here is the blurb:

“Are you tired of reading pseudoscientific nonsense in pregnancy and parenthood books? If so, this book is for you. In it, author Chris Worfolk offers his frank assessment of preparing for parenthood with research references to back it up.

In this short book, you will find a mixture of cold hard, evidence-based facts, mixed with Worfolk’s brand of sarcastic humour and a collection of anecdotes to help you remember it.

Invest a few hours in reading this and avoid nine months of tedious and unnecessary planning, worrying and spending on things you don’t need. And, if all else fails, you will have enjoyed the ride.”

It has been two years in the writing as I have been documenting since we started Project Venla. This month, I’ve put the final touches to it. In some ways, it’s a victory for sunk cost fallacy. But I prefer to think of it as using Darren Hardy’s time/reward matrix.

In any case, it is officially out today and will be appearing in in eBook and print, via Amazon and iBooks, in the next few days.