The Week I Got Sick With The Infamous ‘Bali Belly’

This Week:

  • What it’s like to get Bali Belly.
  • The strategy I used to approach a girl this week.
  • The types of conversations I LOVE.

December 2023

Su M T W Th F S

Where In The World Was I?

  • Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

The Drug Of Accomplishment

Last Sunday, I worked in the morning (~4 hr 30 min), then did my Life Update post in the afternoon (~3 hr 15 min).

It was around 4:30pm when I finished, and went to put my bag away to go out on a run.

I ran into the 2 girls in my room, and we exchanged “how was your day?”s

And my LORD at the difference from the previous time this happened.

See last week (The Week I Was Put In The Hot Seat And Razzed By The Group) I wrote about an exchange that happened with these 2 girls before, where I felt a sense of guilt for not doing anything “exciting.” I wrote, “I still have this disconnect between my own self-confidence and my perception of other people’s thoughts.”

Maybe in processing that, in writing about it, something changed.

Because when I was in the room and talking about my day, I felt amazing.

I responded “Great!! Did some work in the morning, wrote a blog post, now I’m going for a run!” It was short, punchy, and with energy.

And I was physically bouncing and moving around with this feeling of excitement.

There’s something special about my Sunday afternoons after publishing a blog post. Sure, it’s not the highest value thing ever that I could do, but man I just feel amazing after them.

That sense of accomplishment is unmatched to anything else I’ve experienced lately. It’s like that feeling when you finish a super long hike where you get back to the car and slump in your seat feeling exhausted but incredibly satisfied. Subtract the exhausted feeling and just keep that feeling of accomplishment.

It’s like a drug, man.

This Week’s Stats

Oof, those red recovery scores stick out like a sore thumb. More on that in a minute.

Interesting Content From The Week

Speaking of YouTube… Most of what I watched was shorter entertainment-style videos. But these 2 longer form videos were interesting from this week.

How to get SO rich you question the meaning of making money (from Alex Hormozi) – presentation by Alex Hormozi, “1. How making money really works (leverage) 2. Why new stuff is making you poor (focus) 3. Why better is the way (applying leverage)”

  • Do the boring work.

Elon Musk is PISSED “Go F*ck Yourself” (from Meet Kevin) – live stream (plus commentary) on Elon Musk’s New York Times interview (also where he swore at the advertisers who left X).

  • I continue to be fascinated by seeing into the mind of Elon Musk. A lot of people hate this guy’s entire existence with such a burning passion, completely disregarding all of the good he’s done (and is doing) for humanity. I think we’ve lost the nuance of life to social media (and media in general). It reminds me of something I heard Alex Hormozi say, “You cannot both truly hate and truly understand someone at the same time.” And man, that quote hits. I always have to reread it twice.

Lunch Experimentation

The Social Lunch

Went out to lunch with a group again this week. I was hesitant at first because I was planning on doing another low-carb lunch and seeing how it affected my focus. But, I thought, “ehh we value social opportunities, just go”

But it was FASCINATING to feel the decision fatigue I had.

What do I order?

Do I get something different?

Should I go meat or non-meat?

Carb or no carb?

I eventually folded under the fatigue and just decided I’d do the whole “I’ll get what you’re getting,” essentially outsourcing my decision to someone else.

So I got literally the same exact thing as the last time I was here (the same restaurant), except I got 2 steaks instead of one (they’re 50k IDR, $3.23 USD per steak).

The Low-Carb Lunch Setup

This is what I’ve been experimenting with lately:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Grilled smoky tempeh
  • Grilled mushrooms
  • Mashed avocado
  • Fruit or smoothie bowl
  • Juice (orange, carrot, ginger, tumeric)

Not exactly a “no” carb but I think the main idea has been not having bread.

EXCEPT for that last photo.

I order a pancake stack along with my lunch (the photo to its left) because… it was Saturday… I dunno 😂

And oh my god it destroyed me 😂 I practically passed out on the couch.

Hypothesis validated 😅

Bali Belly

So the day after doing out to eat, I felt super bloated, my stomach felt off.

And that next night? Woke up at 11pm incredibly bloated and uncomfortable. I was taking such small breaths because my stomach was so expanded.

I’ll spare you the details but basically that night and the next one I got Bali Belly (basically traveler’s diarrhea), woke up multiple times in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

1:03am in the morning

If you’re following along, GUESS THE ONLY CHANGE TO MY FOOD THIS WEEK 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

I swear.

I laugh, because at most it was just uncomfortable and inconvenient because of the disruption to my sleep.

This was LITERALLY one of the reasons I listed for not going out to eat at other restaurants, and it happened the only time (well, second) I went out to eat. Except, I ate at the SAME restaurant and ate THE SAME FOOD I ate last time. 🤦‍♂️😂

I’m grateful it wasn’t worse, like the other guy who got it and had to go to the medical center, get an IV and a whole suite of medications.

That said, that next day (Friday) I woke up with 81% recovery score and oh my god I felt amazing. To be able to actually think straight, wow.

I’ve never felt so grateful to be able to think clearly in the morning after those 2 days.

Business Progress Update

I stopped sending cold outreach emails this week (and even followups, though I think those would still be valuable because they’re easy).

In chatting with my brother and filtering through all the feedback, he noted something that gave me an idea.

Basically, no blogger that I’ve talked to has actual data or analytics on how readers interact with their maps. While nobody has explicitly expressed that they WANT those analytics, there at the very least exists a gap in the market there. I have also grown increasingly curious about this.

So, this week I shifted my focus to hacking together an MVP that collected analytics on interactions with these embedded maps.

While I do question the long-term viability of this opportunity as a business model, I think it has some value (to me) as a starting point. Maybe nobody actually cares about knowing if it’s worth creating these maps or not. But also, maybe in going down this route, a more valuable problem is uncovered.

As of Sunday, I’ve got a Google Tag Manager container with tags and events set up that push to my Google Analytics account. In Google Analytics I’ve set up some reports that (hopefully) give actionable answers to questions that bloggers might have here.

Fortunately the external-facing blog posts I have on my website have continued to gain more and more viewers. So, I’ve been testing these analytics on my website on these 2 pages/posts:

I think the next thing is really framing what I have as an offer (using Alex Hormozi’s $100m Offers book) and reaching out to bloggers to see if anyone wants to be an early adopter and work with me.

The Real(?) End Goal

I had this zoom chat with a travel blogger this week. I was very nervous for it, but in the end it went well.

I talked about my conversation in this video:

But I wanted to highlight that it was really interesting to hear what she was struggling with and thinking about.

I desperately wanted to offer suggestions, break things down with her, dig deeper, and help her grow her business. But, I knew the conversation framing wasn’t right and I just didn’t have the credibility, nor the experience to really help her.

I’ve listened to so much content from Alex Hormozi that I recognized the things he’s talked about in her situation.

This type of business coaching interests me. Maybe I’ll get there in the long term. Maybe it’ll be a part, or subset, of my coaching I eventually want to offer.

But I think the best way for me to GET there, is to niche down to a specific subset of business problems, learn the skills to solve those FIRST, then build my way up from there.

As an example, learning the skill of (only) email marketing, then being able to help businesses improve their (and only their) email marketing is a clear and specific offer. Then, stacking that skill with, say, conversion rate optimization. Then, stacking those skills with, say, social media strategy. Eventually I’d get to a point where I could have a conversation with her and know exactly which problem is most important to solve and how to help her solve it.

The Noise Of Opinions

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Led By Curiosity

One afternoon I was doing some work on my laptop when I packed up to go work out. I passed by this girl working on her laptop that I had seen before drawing these beautiful and detailed world maps.

I was so curious what they were and what she did.

I put my backpack away, grabbed my water bottle, then decided on my way out I’d ask her. There was a bit of questioning and back and forth, but not nearly as much as other instances.

I walked up to her, and as I approached she looked up and made eye contact with me, making it MUCH easier to start a conversation. I said I had seen her before and was super curious what she did.

Turns out she’s a freelance world-designer for novels, something I frankly didn’t know existed, lol. We talked about her work, she asked about me about mine, I told her about van life, and she said she’s watched all the YouTube videos and used to diagram and draw out van designs.

I was expecting just a quick: “What is that map? Oh cool! Gotta run!” but we got into a nice little conversation, much more than I was expecting!

But, I really did need to go work out (it was later than I wanted), so I gave a clear and confident end to the conversation, exchanged names, and said see ya! A nice little rep to add to the “ending conversations” skill-bucket.

It felt great!

I’ve started to notice a pattern with being led by curiosity. When I’m genuinely curious about something, I find it much easier to get over that hump of discomfort starting any kind of social interaction.

It’s shown me that I don’t always struggle with that hump of starting a conversation, which is valuable. So, I need to be more specific about what exactly I struggle with the most here.

I think the more I can lean into that curiosity, the more I can snowball it.

The French Guy… Again 😄

Saturday night I was eating dinner watching some YouTube when I saw the French guy come back to the hostel. We made eye contact, I waved, and he came over.

We caught up for a bit, but that “bit” turned into over an hour of conversation.

He told me this story of this girl that he pursued (that didn’t work out), we talked about relationships, learnings, life, and struggles.

And man, I continue to love conversations like that – learning, being curious, hearing different perspectives, connecting.

I talked for maybe 5% of the time, but I didn’t see that as a negative. I love hearing this guy’s mindset, asking questions, and learning from his perspectives.

He’s clearly ahead of me in so many ways, so I feel grateful to be able to learn from him, but I’ve questioned how exactly I can give value back to him in return.

I feel like the most valuable I can be to him (and many others) is not through the sharing of a tangible skill (yet), but rather through conversation.

There were two points in our conversation where he said “hmm that’s a really good question.” I LOVE hearing that from people and it’s starting to come up more and more to the point where I think I might be able to call it a pattern.

I love to use my curiosity to ask questions and dig deeper into people’s minds and struggles. I really like to help people solve their problems with direction and strategies, but I don’t quite know yet how to make that “a thing.”

Everything I described above is VERY difference from being able to share, for example, “you can increase your landing page conversion rate by 7% if you put an image here and change this copy to XYZ.” Clear, concrete, specific.

So in the meantime, I think my strategy is just building my reputation – being known as “that guy who asks great questions that makes you think.”

We’ll start there and see where it takes me.

Oh Yeah, That!

I did my first proper laundry since October 30th, the day before I flew to Bali! No, this is not a joke 😂

I’ve been hand-washing (or more accurately “bag” washing) every couple of days. It’s so hot and humid here that everything is soaked in sweat literally every day. It’s a never-ending battle. But, at some point jumping in the pool and doing bag washes don’t help anymore. And that point was yesterday, lol.

I don’t think there’s a better feeling on this planet than putting on a clean pair of underwear. It’s absolutely unbelievable.

I’ll leave you with that 😄 See you next week.

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