Month: February 2015

3 Steps to Staying Organized and Motivated Every Day

Small Victories

One thing I’ve been trying to implement into my lifestyle is to celebrate the small victories. Over the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve started a new website and a few new Udemy online courses (one on Bass Guitar, eBay sales and Social Media Strategy). Even though I’m very happy with these results, I realize that not every day will be a home run. To date, my Udemy courses have made me about 247 USD, which is either awesome or nothing, depending on who you are and how you look at it. To me, it’s awesome because I’ve just started and because I’ve created tons of highly popular YouTube videos over the years that have made me 0 USD. I’ve also experimented with making apps last year which made me like 80 or 90 dollars technically… the only problem is that those dollars are spread out among three different ad networks in my 4 iPhone apps and none of the amounts clear the minimum payment threshold- which means that I haven’t seen 1 cent from those apps. Well, I wasn’t exactly in it for the money on both of those projects (my YouTube channel or my apps). Nonetheless, it’s exciting to be making some actual money from something I created online. Not every day is a home run but little by little, I can see some growth in my courses and am pushing to further develop and promote them. Like many people, I feel that I can get caught up in trying to rush things and trying to get results as quickly as possible. In order to control this and stay motivated, I try to celebrate the small victories. Every day, I try to do something (outside of my main job and life responsibilities) that demonstrates some sort of progress I’ve made. I feel that tiny victories- such as getting my 5000th Twitter follower or getting my first positive review for my Bass Guitar course- are important.

Here are the 3 Steps to Staying Organized and Motivated Every Day:

1) I set up Evernote on my iPhone and home computer so that I can have my notes wherever I go. It’s way better than my old system of having separate notes on different devices.

2) On Evernote, I have separate notes saved for categories like “Calendar”, “To-Do” and “Journal”

3) On my journal, I keep a quick log of things I got done or other achievements, big or small

It’s that simple.

Whenever I get something done, I put a little bullet point note about it on my “Journal” note in Evernote. When I have some new idea or task that I think should be completed, I type it up in one of my other notes like “Online Courses” or “Social Media”.

How does this help me?

1) It keeps me focused on getting stuff done

2) It keeps me motivated to see the progress I’ve made every day

3) It helps keep me organized and therefore less overwhelmed

Here’s an excerpt from some of the notes I took this past week:

02.26.15

-updated the practice vids for the bass course, and added the charts 

-signed up for tumblr and pinterest

-website featured on a site called theneeds.com 

02.25.15

-updated and shared the wordpress post on fb and twitter

-GB course got featured on a site called intercer

02.24.15

-got a genius badge from udemy for 3 published courses

-got my first positive review for bass class, made edits, added 15 lectures

02.23.15

-added images to products page and renamed “resources”

-added headline banner image

-added a sign in opt in box for the homepage

-got HostGator affiliate link working and placed into pages/posts

-the favicon somehow started working again…sometimes (weird)

-put my welcome twitter dm as instagram and website links, profile as website link

-5000 twitter followers, 1400 instagram, almost 600 fb page

02.22.15

-set up a popup email opt in, mailchimp plugin, api key

-cleaned up the 3 existing posts and categorized them

-implemented the email opt in, tested it and sent out test campaign

-got the mobile version of the opt in email to work

-created a products page and got a main menu to work

 

If you are looking for ways to stay more organized or focused then I’d definitely recommend checking out Evernote as a place to get started. 

 

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The Five Greatest Nintendo Game Soundtracks Ever

The Legend of Zelda turned 29 Years old today. It was an all-time NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) classic and paved the way for numerous successful Zelda games for years to come.

When I think of games, I immediately think of retro games first. Retro games take me back to simpler times in the 80s and 90s when I was playing NES, Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64. Growing up during this time period, the games had a lasting impact on me and so did the music. Certain games had music that, to this very day, I still blast from my car stereo from time to time. Breaking down the greatest of anything can be difficult since there needs to be specific criteria and since personal taste is a big factor. With that being said, I’d like to share 5 of the “greatest” NES game soundtracks that have had a lasting impact on both my childhood and my iPod. If you want to make your own game music, you should check this course out. Here are the criteria:

A) No repeating franchises

B) One theme does not equal an entire soundtrack

C) Music needed to be fantastic but also complementary to the game

D) Lasting impact

E) Bonus points for being technically impressive

Without further ado,

The Five Greatest Nintendo Game Soundtracks Ever

 

NUMBER 5

CASTLEVANIA

Castlevania

The countdown begins with a game that I didn’t play until the mid-2000s. It took me that long to finally play it and then realize that it had some of the best NES music ever. It’s all 8-bit music of course, but if you translated this soundtrack into guitars, bass and drums, it would sound like Avenged Sevenfold. I love 8-bit style music for so many reasons, but one of the main reasons I love it is because it’s hard for bad songs to hide when there are no gimmicks. Despite being limited to only 5 channels, 8-bit songs like the tunes in Castlevania absolutely rock and it says something about their composers that they were able to shine with such limited technology. It says that the music is outstanding at its core and doesn’t need any bells and whistles to dress it up in order to be awesome.

The classic theme: Stage 1

If I had to pick one to share: Stage 3

BonusHere’s a YouTube video of me playing a couple of the Castlevania tunes as a one man band.

 

NUMBER 4

MIKE TYSON'S PUNCHOUT

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!!

I realize that most of the songs in this soundtrack are not original tunes. For example, almost all of the character introduction songs are not original nor is the opening theme. But the songs that are original are so memorable and so complementary to an incredibly unique and exciting retro game. Every aspect of your fight seemed to have its own music: from squaring off toe to toe with Bald Bull to getting knocked down to finally beating southpaw Soda Popinski by TKO. The password screen and music has been etched into my mind since childhood and every time I drive down the Henry Hudson or FDR to New York City, I sing it in my head. It’s one of the games that I needed to have the entire soundtrack on my iPod back in the day. I tried to learn the whole soundtrack for a YouTube video that never happened, but still remember enough to entertain friends whenever there’s a piano around.

The classic theme: Fight Theme

If I had to pick one to share: Password Screen

 

NUMBER 3

LEGEND OF ZELDA

The Legend of Zelda

I know I’m going to get punched in the face for saying this, but I didn’t love playing the Legend of Zelda as a kid. I did, however, love to watch my older siblings figure it out. Despite the fact that the soundtrack is less than 10 tracks deep, there is no denying in my mind that it is one of the greatest ever. The main theme is as legendary as they come. The dungeon theme scared me as a little kid and blew me away as a musician later in life. The “game over” theme creeped me out but was somehow beautiful at the same time. All in all, the soundtrack was memorable, technically brilliant and helped elevate a classic NES game into a true masterpiece.

The classic theme: Overworld Theme

If I had to pick one to share: Title Screen

BonusOne Man Band video

 

NUMBER 2

Super_Mario_Bros._box

Super Mario Bros

Hands down: the most iconic video game theme song of all time. It’s a song so popular that your parents and grandparents know it. If you can find a weird way to play it on YouTube, you’ll probably go viral. Besides THE song, this soundtrack consists of some of the most memorable themes of all time, such as the unorthodox underground theme and the water theme that makes you want to do the waltz. The big question most people will likely have will be “How is this NOT number 1?” Well, my friends, read on.

The classic theme: Overworld Theme

If I had to pick one to shareWater Level

 

NUMBER 1

MEGA MAN 2

Mega Man 2

No game soundtrack has had a bigger impact on me than Mega Man 2. This game has so many memorable, catchy and beautifully composed tunes that still hold up today. Most people know about Dr. Wily’s Castle Stage 1 and it seems to be a popular notion that it’s one of the greatest game songs of all time (if not THE greatest). But, beyond that, this soundtrack is one of the few complete NES soundtracks that I can sing off the top of my head because it is THAT good and I’ve spent so much time listening to it. It definitely helps that this game is one of my favorite games of all time. Beyond that, it’s very difficult to find a bad song on this entire soundtrack. Some may not be keen on the Dr. Wily Stage 2 theme where the melody repeats the same transposing four notes while the bass line stays the same, but I think it adds to the tension of the situation. It’s extremely difficult to pick a favorite song from this soundtrack and personally, I’ve gone through phases where my favorite has been Metal Man, or Flash Man, or Air Man, or Wood Man, back to Metal Man, then Bubble Man, then… well you get the picture. It’s the most iconic NES game not named Mario or Zelda, and in my view has the greatest game soundtrack on the NES- or any console- ever.

The classic theme: Dr. Wily Stage 1 & 2

If I had to pick one to share: Metal Man

BonusOne Man Band

By the way…

If the list were a top 10 and if franchises repeated, the list would likely consist of:

Mega Man 3

Super Mario 3

Contra

Ninja Gaiden

Ducktales

What is your top 5?

Are you outraged by my rankings?

What did I get right and what did I get wrong?

 

If you want to make your own game music, you should check this course out.

 

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Why Build a Website?

Over time, I’ve become increasingly dedicated to consuming as much intelligent media as possible. I’ve played less video games even though I love them like most people. I’ve abstained from tons of trendy TV shows that everyone on my Facebook news feed can’t stop talking about. I’ve even been listening to very little mainstream radio, which might seem odd to people since my internet persona is “Matty G the Musician”. Instead, I’ve tried to become immersed with intelligent sources of information that I hoped would teach me things and benefit me in the long run. One of those changes came in the forms of podcasts, which have seemed to pick up steam in recent years. Once I discovered that there’s a podcast app for the iPhone, and that I can download podcasts onto my phone for free, and that they can play in my car without any connection issues, I was pretty much done with radio. My two favorite podcasts right now have been The Motley Fool and Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. I was hooked on the Motley Fool for a couple of years but have been listening to SPI a lot these days. On SPI, Pat has a bunch of interviews with successful people who have built successful businesses that allow them to generate passive income. Long story short, the podcast inspired me to get back into websites and get started on a new adventure. So I signed up again with HostGator and got to work.

 

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Building a Website with WordPress as a Total Beginner

 Building a Website with WordPress as a Total Beginner

Today begins a new chapter in my life. A couple of years back, I had a website called “mattygthemusician.com” that ran for a year. I learned a lot about starting a website and it was a fun and positive learning experience. I used GoDaddy for the domain and used HostGator for the web hosting and was satisfied with the results. This one YouTube video I found saved me a ton a potential frustration in getting started and it deserves a special mention: you can see it hereBuilding a website with WordPress as a total beginner was made easier because of it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 2.26.05 AM

Getting Off the Ground Floor

Without these two videos by this cool guy named Anthony of InternetRiot, I may not have gotten off the ground as quickly. The funny thing is that if you do a YouTube search for “How to make a website” or “How to make a website with WordPress”, these two videos are not even in the first two or three pages of search results. Yet, in 2015 I found myself looking for those two videos and those two videos only as I began the journey of rebooting my website from years ago. This time around, I followed the same process as last time, buying the domain name from GoDaddy and the hosting from HostGator because I was happy with the results in my past experiences. Unfortunately, in the past couple of days I’ve had to contact HostGator Support Chat 4 times, yes FOUR times just to get started.

“Hey Support Team, It’s Me Again…”

To say I’m a noob at website development is completely accurate. I don’t pretend to know what I’m doing. Yet, it’s been a while since I’ve been so consistently baffled with something that seemed to be simple, especially with the awesome video tutorial I was using from YouTube. First, I had issues because I needed to figure out how to change my primary domain name. Then, I had issues connecting to FileZilla. Then, I had issues uploading all of the WordPress contents to my website. Then, I found out that HostGator has a quick install feature for their customers so that they can easily install WordPress. I did that, but then my domain name still did nothing. On my FOURTH chat with HostGator Support, I found out that I was missing some important knowledge about setting some DNS servers up on my GoDaddy domain name. For some reason, I don’t recall having the same issues during my last website adventure back in 2012, or 2011 (whenever it was). But through it all, I persisted and with the help of Host Gator and their patient support team, I was able to get my feet off the ground.

What’s Next?

Building a website is one of the many projects I am working on. I am currently building online courses and hosting them on Udemy.com which you can find in the RESOURCES page. My goal is to continue to grow these projects into something successful and continue to build new high quality digital products, courses and web pages. I’m learning that there are a ton of ways out there to make successful online businesses, and I am currently learning and experimenting with several of them. I will continue to log some of my experiences and hope that it might inspire you to take on projects that you might have been thinking about. My philosophy is to just go for it and start right away. I find that it’s best to start a project quickly and just make adjustments along the way. Sometimes, we tend to over-plan and overthink which can lead to an inability to get off the ground floor with our projects. That’s why I’ve adopted the mentality of getting started NOW. I know I need to patient to get results, but I also know that sitting back and doing nothing won’t get me there.

QUESTION:

What projects are you working on or wishing that you can get started on this year?

 

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