Moving Around, Literary

I have been moving around, and moving out, in the past few weeks.

First of all I have finally switched gyms, almost four weeks ago already. From Fit For Free, the dump I used to go, I now became a member of the luxury Plaza Sportiva, really nearby from where I’m residing. Being a member of Plaza Sportiva comes with tons of advantages; it’s nearby (I already mentioned that, didn’t I?), it has Fitlinxx, it’s nearby (didn’t I say that before?), you can actually take a shower without having to pay for it, and for those who like it, they have Saunas and Turkish Steam Baths as well, and finally it’s really nearby (hmmm…). NEARBY aye!!! So, I start bringing Mauro to school, then bring Dante to pre-school, and only 5 minutes later I find myself enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee before I start my daily workout.

During the first week I had a consult with a PT (Personal Trainer), and we determined quarterly goals and three different routines; chest and shoulders, back and arms, and lower body (legs ‘n stuff).

The three months goals we’ve determined are:

  • Reduce body fat percentage from 16.4% to 15%
  • Gain strength with 10Kg lifting weights (Bench Press 70Kg)
  • Extend Chin-Up repetitions to 5 x 10 with a wide grip (Currently only able to do 3 x 10 with a front grip)
EnGenius M35
EnGenius M35

Reducing the body fat percentage will most probably be the easiest of all, also because basketball season has begun, and I have been practicing twice a week over the past three weeks. It’s been really great to be back on the court, especially after the groin surgery that kept me on the bleachers for almost whole the previous season. I have to admit though, that my body starts to act-up a bit, and that I’m considering to cut one of my weekly fitness sessions, probably the one on Fridays. However, as long as I can walk, just the thought makes me feels like I’m cheating.

And there’s been more moving around, as September 1st I received the key to my new office. Good news for my competition, as I have been painting, thus not working on regular stuff, for a little bit over two weeks. Everything is done, and I have to say that the place, sizing approximately 28 m2/300 square feet, looks really nice and clean. Extra locks have been added to the outside door too, and this week the alarm system will be installed as well – rest me to move over my valuable hardware.

Best story of the year, I am using the same Internet connection as the one I have at home -> my neighbors’ unprotected WiFi Router. KIDDING of course. Hey, what were you thinking, I am not THAT cheap! Anyway, after doing some proper research I’ve bought myself a new EnGenius M35, a multifunctional Access Point that gives me enough range to save me the additional costs from setting up a new connection. This alone will save me about €500/year. I’m considering to get myself another one of these suckers which I can set-up as a Repeater, that way I can have – hands down – the best possible WiFi signal I can get over there.

My former in-house office is now turning into a indoor playground for our spoiled kids. Sometimes I wish I was one of them, looking at all the toys kids have these days, not even talking about the game consoles. Fwiw, we have the XBOX 360 and the Nintendo Wii (thanks to Greg who drew my business card out of a hat at CAP Barcelona a couple of years ago), but they are both collecting dust, as fortunately Mauro is still unaware of what they actually are. He’s just one happy kid with his second hand Mac he got when he was only three, so I wait telling him what consoles are until we can actually play NBA Live together.

In-House Office
My Former In-House Office

The bright reader has noticed I haven’t been able to do much business wise the past few week, however I managed to do the regular things. There’s one thing that has been bugging me, and that is my site DepositPoker.co.uk. No matter what I try, I can’t get Google to give me any respect and have it indexed. It’s really frustrating, and I even posted about a possible Google penalty at PAL. Even Michael Martinez from SEO Theory chimed in, and I have followed some of the suggestions he advised taking. Hopefully I can tell you good news about the site in my next post!

I know I promised to write a comprehensive guide on how to implement a new, and better converting design into an excising site with decent amounts of traffic, but you have to take a rain check for it for the time being. It is highly exceptional that I write, and usually at this time of the day I don’t feel like going in depth too much. At some point, however, the day will come…

Today I’ve spent some time chatting with Jan Teilhof aka “Newjabber”. He’s a fellow affiliate, forum member, and even a semi-professional poker player, but most of all a proud father and a nice fellow to chat with. He gave me some great advice, which I will most definitely give a try, and if right probably will save me several hundreds of dollars every month. On my turn, by random occasion, I helped him discovering a malfunctioning affiliate link. On the other hand, he also left me with a dilemma, as he showed me one of his niche sites… ah, I should rather keep my mouth shut as I just came up with a marvelous idea, which I will have to talk to Jan about first. In each case, he should profit from my idea, or I will leave it alone, because I am definitely not that kind of guy.

It’s almost midnight, so I’m calling it a day now. Not sure when the next post will be… I guess when the time is right. See ya then!

Mixed Feelings

Today was the day Argentina was playing the 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter final game versus Germany. Where I would usually would cheer for Argentina, I kept my fingers crossed for Germany today, as this game would mean the difference between climbing to the first place in the PAL World Cup Pool, or falling further behind to Niko de Jonge. Niko, a young aged internet entrepreneur from Canada, who was first on the ladder up ’till now had Argentina win over Germany, and I picked it the other way around. I now have a five point lead, and have to say it must get really awkward if I am not going to end up with the win. With three more games to come, there are 2 x 16, and 1 x 32 points to earn, but with Brazil out – favorite to many ones – the only real threat is the Netherlands losing from Uruguay in the semis, plus Spain winning it all. I remain unbeatable in any other case, and will strike up a fair amount of money.

Netherlands Team '74
Netherlands Team '74

Of course you should never count yourself a winner too soon, but looking forward to the new office I will lease as of September 1st, any additional cash is more than welcome. And of course, we’re all looking forward to a final where the Netherlands beats the crap out of Germany. I might have been just one year young in ’74, but our revenge will have a darn sweat taste.

So, again there’s been a lot of time between my last post and this one. I just didn’t have a moment any time sooner. It’s past midnight now, and even though I have planned a Sunday morning session at the gym tomorrow morning, I decided that I didn’t want to go to bed just yet. One thing that writing entries on Pursuing Success helps me with is making me think about the things that currently keep me busy, and that’s exactly what makes me focus on the right things tomorrow and the days thereafter.

Let’s start with a few business updates. You might have read in a previous blog that I am working on something big. Well, I am still working on it, and this in fact could become the biggest thing I’ve done to date. Thank goodness I am not into this all by myself, as this is something I am setting up with my friend, my basketball team mate, and my workout buddy Shandell. We both have completely different backgrounds, and especially that’s what intrigues me about this project, which by the way has nothing to do with online gaming. Unfortunately I am not in the position to undisclosed the details yet, but once I am I will be dedicating a separate post to it.

Furthermore, the affiliate business has been level the past few months, and quite frankly, that’s not what I expected after injecting almost 15,000 euro into SEO over the past 6 months. Caffeine seems to be the troublemaker, and I hope that we can surpass this dang problem in the upcoming couple of months, say the summer. The whole situation has given me a lot of stress, as I had to come up with all kind of funky ideas to generate extra cash to keep paying the respectable fees to Stickyeyes.

Internet Gambling SitesThe biggest news from the past few weeks must have been the acquisition of internetgamblingsites.net, an exact match domain for a phrase which I was targeting since the time I was still working together with fellow entrepreneur John Holloway, who owns OnlinePoker.org. I was delighted when I found it up for sale, and didn’t hesitate buying it. I had a bargain buying it from Jim a.k.a. Poker Prop for just $175!

So I created a complete new website, and moved (yes, I 301’ed all the old locations to the new ones) over the good old English version of Casino Warehouse, since I never got the .eu domain to rank well. Together with this move I decided to drop all casinos that I was promoting and were performing (way) under the limit… shocking to say, almost all Playtech casinos. As I had so much left-over content I created another new website to store it. With some more content that I got in exchange for links, I had a new casino portal done in the matter of a few hours: CasinoWarehouse.net. Opposite to Internet Gambling Sites, which is going to end up as one of my main sites, this reincarnation of Casino Warehouse will function as another one of my supplementary sites.

There’s always more to tell about my projects, take iDEAL Poker for instance, another one of my numerous forgotten treasures. I have teamed up with my buddy Alon and his Colleagues from Reef Media to make this one work, without the need to spend tons of money to make it rank myself. Can’t say too much about the deal, but this is a typical win-win situation.

Last but not least I acquired another pair of websites – Deposit Poker, and Deposit Bingo. The former owner moved to Dubai where gambling is against the law, and needed to get rid of his sites asap. I was lucky to pick them up for just $150. However, Weycrest (stay way from this crap UK hosting company) was pretty screwed up and that’s why, after finally being able to transfer the domain names, I eventually received the contents of both sites in chunks, which I had to assemblage myself. Not a very difficult job, but still a little bit time consuming in my overwhelming schedule. The site as we speak is far from ready, no call to actions and such, but in the mean time I am just letting it age in piece.

Despite the fact that business has been great – don’t get me wrong, it is far from going bad, but nothing more than steady – I can’t complain about my personal live. I am still going to the gym about five times per week, and am still loving every bit of it. When I am walking down the street, I feel really good, and when I look into a mirror I can see the results of working out consistently for a straight half a year. Healthy wise could be much better though, as my back has become a serious problem, and even my neck starts to act up a lot lately. After all kinds of treatments I now have an appointment at the hospital next week. Several specialists are going to examine my back, and hopefully they are able to diagnose what’s causing the tremendous pain, and come with some sort of a recovery plan.

Enough for now! Time to get some sleep, but before I am going in, and since it’s only football that matters these days, I would like to share a quote from manager Bobby Robson – which hopefully applies to me one of these days!

“He’s very fast and if he gets a yard ahead of himself nobody will catch him.”

Bobby Robson

The Perfect World

In a perfect world, I would have written tons of posts between my last post, and this one, but I didn’t. Fuck that, the world is far from perfect, but you have to make it as good as you can, don’t you agree? I think I finally ended on the right track, after looking around to find my way. For one, I am going to the gym so frequently that my body is starting to change, but more about that later. Business wise I seem to have my things going the way they should. I can basically do what I want, and by the first of September one of my dreams will come through, but more about that later as well.

27 inch iMac Core i7
My New Set-up - 27 inch iMac Core i7

First, you should know that I have been using my brand new 27 inch iMac Core i7 for quite some time already, and I love every bit of it. Every time I have to turn on my old PC to transfer some files or so, I experience the difference in first person. Boy o boy, do Windows machines suck! I also installed Parallels to be able to use my former Windows applications, as in the past I have acquired many (useful and, oh well… not so useful) licenses to different kinds of software. This is a superb tool which enables you to run Windows programs in your OSX environment. It also gives me the opportunity to test my sites in Internet Explorer, which most of us Internet entrepreneurs know can cause a lot of problems.

Best of everything is my new Mac’s speed. I can run as many pieces of software simultaneously as I wish. Starting up a new application happens in just a heart beat, and you can even automate all kinds of processes. For instance, I needed to convert tons of GIF files into PNG’s – all I had to do is creating a workflow using Automator, and I was ready within a minute! The more and more I get used to working with OSX, the more efficient I become. It was an incredible investment, money wise, but it’s been all worth it up to now. My new iMac is the perfect computer, no discussion possible!

So, my world has become pretty close to perfect, although it doesn’t look that I am going to make my goal to become a Super Affiliate, which I set 5 months ago. Last week I felt totally different, as I was climbing high up the ladder, without the end in reach, but this week Google deployed Caffeine over all their data centers, and since the world wide release of it, I have dropped about 30% in unique visitors. Imagine this crap happening after hitting one of my most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for ranking with a specific phrase. I’m sure that Stickyeyes will help me to get back on track, but at this moment my investment (which is quite a sum all together) seems to have vanished.

Even if the world would be perfect, it would still suck if your body isn’t in a perfect condition. Perfect makes perfect! Health, physical strength, and fuck it, the shape of my body, have become one of my top priorities. I didn’t give up going to the gym, in fact, I am even going more frequently than when began. I estimate that I am averaging five times per week, including some occasional physio sessions at the gym across the street to work specifically on my back problems. I now have been working out 13 weeks in a row. A little bit of math tells you that I’ve been going to the gym 65 times. I managed to lose 2-3 kg, which might seem too much to you, but take in account the muscleman I’ve become and you can understand I must have lost a tremendous amount of fat, especially around the belly! Honestly, I never imagined myself becoming a gym junkie, but I did and I love it, and now even Lydia, my girlfriend, has become one. While she currently works out three times per week to get her pre-pregnancy shape back, I’ll continue to work on my six pack, and we’ll definitely form the perfect couple this summer! Say bye-bye to David and Victoria, ’cause here come Giorgio and Lydia!

Supplements

BSN NO-XplodeYesterday I have placed an order at Bodybuilding.com for a new shipload of supplements. The $183.52 are well spent on 5 Lbs of Optimum 100% Whey Protein, 2.25 Lbs BSN NO-Xplode creatine, 40 packs Universal Animal Cuts (a fat burner to cheat away the remainders of my love handles), and 200 caps of Multi Pro 32X vitamins to complete. Until now I was using supplements which I got from a local fitness and health store, but IMO these seemed a bit overpriced. I also switched from Kre-Alkalyn to NO-Xplode creatine, as I didn’t really notice an increase in strength while using Kre-Alkalyn.

I will try to post the results of my new supplements, but for those of you who don’t know Jack about it, let me describe them to you first:

  • Whey Protein – Helps the basic building of muscles. I use this 3 times a day – mornings, post workout, and before going to bed. It’s powder to be mixed with (preferably skimmed) milk to be consumed as a shake.
  • Creatine – Helps with increasing of muscle mass and explosive power, hence more reps and weight. Until now I was using Kre-Alkalyn, but am switching to NO-Xplode to see if I will notice any difference. I plan to use this supplement for a period of 12 weeks and will consume it about an hour before working out.
  • Fat Burner – I simply hate cardio, and only do it to warm up my body and loosen up my muscles. After 13 weeks I clearly have lost a lot of fat, but the summer is nearing and yes, I want to show off my six pack! Animal Cuts should help me get quicker results. People on Bodybuilding.com have rated this a 7.8, and from what I’ve heard you really get pomped up from this shit – so we’ll see.
  • Vitamins – Working out or not, no matter what you do, using vitamin supplements will help your body to become more resistant.

Let me tell you one thing: Before I finally decided to start working out, I used to be sick all the time – say one time every two weeks. In the past 13 weeks, I have been sick just once. After the whole family has been sick, I couldn’t avoid it – but I was back on my feet after just one day! See why my world is nearing perfection?

Business News

Okay, so my biggest announcement has yet to come. I already mentioned the gym across the street, right? This place is literary across the street, not even a 10 seconds walk from our front door! I can even see people sweating from my in-house office. Dang, I can even see if the chicks working out are nice looking or butt-ugly!

Anyway, once about every week I have a physio session to work on my back problems, and during one of these sessions I ended up in a conversation with my therapist about the things I’m doing for a living. One thing leads to the other, and before you knew it, a few days I was talking to the landlord about renting an office in the same building. Guess what, I was lucky and one’s becoming available coming September. I can’t be more happier, renting an office space so close to the place I live that I can probably use the same WiFi connection.

The space is about 60 square meters (approximately 200 square feet) and can easily store 2-3 persons. Time for growth baby!

In the mean time I will have to start saving for the interior and supplies, because I really want to make my office the place to be! One of the things on my wish list is a Herman Miller Aeron chair. I want this chair so badly, and had the opportunity to win one in this years’ PAL NCAA Bracket Contest, but unfortunately my bracket didn’t do very well. Next to the Aeron chair, I want a big-ass plasma screen on the wall. Since I primary work by myself, it can get awfully quiet sometimes – so I want to be able to come to work, turn on the TV and have a NBA game playing in the background. Furthermore I NEED to have a Nespresso machine (really can’t live without it at home, so I need another one). Last but not least I will get a pretty dang good security system – probably one connected to some kind of security firm.

What more has been cooking?

In one of my first posts you could read that I promoted in Hattrick. Well, my stay in the 6th division didn’t last for very long, as I ended in the final position and degraded back to the 7th. I am now facing a couple of teams with similar strength, and have to start thinking of renewing some of my players as well, as they are getting a tad bit too old to keep performing well. Nevertheless, I was able to pull a couple of great youth players in a row, which I either sold or added to my selection. I am thinking to replace my trainer, but have to save up some more money to be able to acquire a good one.

World Cup Betting Guide
Logo for Cancelled World Cup Betting Site

Furthermore, I have been wasting a few days in creating a new site, but I already pulled the plug as it was too much of a risk to fail. The site would have been a sports book related portal targeting the 2010 World Cup Football in South Africa. After consulting with an expert in the field of sports betting I finally decided that I’d better concentrate on something different – which you will soon be able to read more about.

It’s a perfect world afterall, but seriously time to stop blogging now and get some sleep, as the sun (<- sons) will rise early tomorrow morning. Speak soon, and don’t forget, if you ever want to chat, either business, about working out or casual, you know where to find me!