Monday, April 24, 2006

Issue 363 - This'll Be Me Next Year


I hope everything is ok where you are.

Yesteday was the 26th running of the London Marathon.

Today sees the 'official' launch of my own project to run the 2007 race.
Early on the 22nd April next year I will be on the start line, all trained up and ready to go.
Notice that I don't say 'hope to be', or 'aim to be', but 'WILL be'.
Barring injury or things outside my control, I will be there, and the journey starts today.

It was a shame that for yesterday's race both the men's and women's world record holders had to pull out just a few days before, but the race was still excellent to observe.
The women's race was won by Deena Kastor from the US, and she set a personal best time.

She is only the 8th woman to run under 2 hours 20 minutes, and it was the 4th best ever.
In fact, the first 5 women home all set personal bests, but it was illustrated best by Kastor.
Since she was the leader, the cameras focused on her, and it was noted how many times she looked at her watch.
In the last 400 metres she must have glanced at it every other step.
What a great example of goal achievement!
She didnt get there by wishing or hoping, but by planning and good old fashioned hard work.
Right up until the achievement of her goal she was checking to see that all was going according to plan.

It's lessons like that which are precisely the reason why it's such a good project for me.

When I was putting the idea together, I investigated online, and it seems that a total novice, and an unfit one to boot, can train for a marathon in 6 months.
That seems surprising to me, but I see it said often enough to believe it.
I suppose that means that I can sit around for the next 6 months and do nothing.

I won't though.
I intend to use the next 6 months to build up as much basic fitness and endurance as I can, which will make the next 6 month stint that much easier.

Today I was planning to walk a mile, to check my equipment, see how long it took me , etc, but my friend called me to say he was off to the gym and did I want to go along.
He told me to remember to bring my sick bag 'just in case.'

Very funny, but in fact when I was married many years ago, British Airways had written to me, saying that someone had sent them a picture of my wife, and 'would it be ok if they used it on their sick bags?', so I still have quite a few left.
(little joke there).

So, we went to the gym, and I set off on the treadmill at a very sedate pace.
Er, well walking actually.
I was determined not to have any vomit incidents, to go at my own pace.

I gradually found I was able to increase the pace, and although it took me an astonishing 16 minutes to do 1 mile, the fact that I had started at a slow walking pace, and finished at a run, with no heaving, felt good to me.

We then had a dip in the pool, but I must have done a couple of lengths too many, because on the journey home, I soon started getting that familiar, but unwelcome feeling in my stomach, and we had to stop.
Rather appropriately we ended up by some recycling containers, and I certainly did some recycling I can tell you.

I'm hoping as I go along with my training, the nausea thing will stop, but I guess me finding out will be part of the 'fun'.

I've got a lot of my gear already - cheap stopwatch, cheap set of scales.
I know I will have to pay for proper running shoes, that can't be helped.

Weight-wise as I kick off the project, I am around 12 stone, that's 168 pounds, and I reckon a good 20 pounds of that is around my waist.
I won't be sad to see that go, and am preparing for the girls to come flocking...

If any of you have run, or know someone who has run a marathon, let me know, I'd love to hear your stories.
I recently mentioned Sandra Sims, who runs a website about fundraising, and it turns out she has done a walking marathon in Alaska.
Very impressive, and you can read about it here:

Ok, wish me luck on the project, and if you havn't done so already, go and peek at the site, which also has a 50% paying affiliate program:

'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,

Monday, April 17, 2006

Issue 362 - Project Prelaunch

The Great Gordino Newsletter - Issue 362 – Mon 17th April 2006


I hope today finds you well.

If you celebrate Easter, I hope you're enjoying it.
If you don't, I hope you're enjoying your Monday anyway!

I've been having a great weekend, there's chocolate everywhere.
My daily rationing goes out of the window at times like these, and it's fun!
Tomorrow it's back to my one-a-day limit.

Today I want to give a quick Happy Birthday to The Queen, and then it's onto the prelaunch of my new project.

Queen Elizabeth is 80 on Friday 21st.
That means she was 40 when I was zero.

Little did I know what would await me when I first poked my head into the world back then, and little did I know that Elizabeth had already reigned for 15 years!

There are lots of documentaries about her at the mo, and they show lovely private film footage of her younger years.
What a lovely smile she had, and still has today!

She wasn't born to be Queen, in fact she was in her teens when her father became King, making her next in line.
She settled into the idea, and when she was 21, she made an announcement that she would dedicate the rest of her life to the service of her duty.
It was only another 4 brief years before she took the throne, and has been there ever since.

I've never known another Monarch.

She's always been there, on the stamps, on the money.
Because she's only about 15 years older than my own mother, I suppose the images of the 2 have grown together for me.
It's that solidity that she has brought in her reign.

She still works a ferocious schedule.

Yes of course everything is done for her, but apart from the fact that she is Head of State for around 2 billion people, she *needs* to be looked after to keep up a work rate that my nearly 40-yr old body might struggle with!

So I for one say Happy 80th Birthday!

Speaking of my nearly 40-yr old body, today is the prelaunch of my new project.
I've called it The Great Gordino's Marathon Million.

I decided that to mark my 40th birthday this year, I would train for the London Marathon.

I'll go into more details next week, but I also decided to put together a book for the project, and after I had thrown those ideas into the pot along with sponsorship, I came up with the finished article.

I am selling the new book for $27.
Included in that is my 1st book, 'Transform Your Life in 21 Days!'.
Your purchase also includes sponsoring me for 1 metre of the marathon which allows you to have an image displayed on the site, linking to a site you choose, be it your site or an affiliate site or whatever.
You can sponsor me for as many metres as you want - the more metres, the bigger your image displayed!

25% of the purchase price goes to charity.
I reckon that's a good deal.

2 books, which could quite easily sell at $47 each, an image and link to your site, and 25% to charity.
Plus you get to see how I use the theories I always rattle on about to help me get through the serious challenge of a marathon to mark my 40th!

That's basically the project, and if you're asking what's the difference between today's 'prelaunch' and next week's full launch, well this is it -

This year's London Marathon is on the 23rd, so the 24th seems a good time to officially launch the project.
From then on I will be fully promoting it.

This week's prelaunch achieves a few things.
Firstly it allows me to promote the product to the select people I choose, and that's the readers of this old newsletter!

It also allows me to offer a prelaunch deal, which is 'buy one, get one free.'
That means that for the $27, not only do you get all the stuff I mentioned above, you get 2 metres' worth of image display!

Being in on the prelaunch allows you to get in first, to pick the spot you want your image to show.
It also means that you can get a head start on promoting the product - did I mention I had an affiliate programme?

Well I have, paying a 50% commission on all sales you refer.
It's important that you sign up via the affiliate page on my site, otherwise your referred sales can't be tracked and logged as yours. There are banners there you can use, and I will be adding more tools as I go.

Any buyers you refer will also get the 'buy one get one free' deal, but for the free metre there won't be any commission paid, as it doesn't cost anything to the buyer.

At 12.01am BST Monday 24th, the '2 for 1' deal ends, so use it this week while you can!

A prelaunch also allows me to fix any teething problems.
Hopefully there won't be many if any, but if any problems do appear, I'd rather it was with friends who will give me some slack!

So there we are!
Go and look at the site, get in ahead of the crowd during this week, take the 'buy one get one free' offer, and be among the first to promote it via your affiliate link.
Here's the site:

Ok, that's it for today - have a good week and raise a glass to The Queen on Friday!

'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,

Monday, April 10, 2006

Issue 361 - Sampling Sloppy Service

I hope everything is ok where you are.

Today I want to talk about service - customer service in particular.
One of the theories I use for self improvement, goal achievement and wealth creation concerns integrity.
It's important to do the best you can at all you do, and act towards others as you would yourself.
This builds your own self esteem, it builds the esteem others hold for you, and it keeps telling your subconscious that you do the right thing, and that includes the right thing for you, which helps push you in the right direction when choices need to be made.
Today I want to talk about recent examples of customer service, the good, the bad , and the ugly...

Firstly, the good.
Yesterday, in preparation for my new project which I'll be launching on the 24th April, I bought a pair of scales to weigh myself.
It was only when I went to collect the order at the shop that I realised I had ordered 2 by mistake.
I told the girl behind the counter, who instead of rolling her eyes and tutting, smiled (rather sweetly it must be said), and chirpily told me that she would just refund my card there and then.
A couple of minutes later, and I was happily walking away with just the 1 set of scales.
This was a mistake that was 100% mine, but the shop dealt with it quickly and with no fuss at all.
Thank you Argos, for a good display of customer service.

Secondly the bad.
Recently I had to order a new passport.
It took me ages to get the picture taken, because if my face was looking ok, my hair needed dying, and if my hair was ok, my face was suffering.
Eventually I decided that not many people look at my passport photo anyway, so just got it done. and the passport agency turned my new one around in less than a week.
That's impressive, but unfortunately it's also when the problems started.
The passport agency used to send out passports via the Royal Mail, but when they decided that the number going missing in the post was too high, they chose to use a 'specialist' delivery company.
The company wrote to me, saying that I needed to arrange a delivery date, but they could only guarantee a delivery time of between 8am and 6pm.
That's not a good start, since the depot is only 20 miles away.

Anyway I arranged the date, and stayed in waiting.
I couldnt go out, I didnt even want to take a shower in case I missed the delivery.
Trips to the toilet were brief, with longer visits postponed, if you follow.
After 10 hours of waiting, I rang up, only to be told I had got the day wrong (which I hadn't).
I was keeping calm, but if you can imagine my mood to be a pan of boiling water, there were plenty of bubbles rising beneath the still surface.
I insisted that I was correct, and wanted my passport by 9am the following morning.
I was told I would have to pay for that.
(bigger bubbles, water rippling)
After 20 minutes I had spoken to 2 managers, and eventually was told it *had* been the right day, but had ended up back at the office, and they couldn't guarantee a 9am delivery.
(lid coming off pan now, in go the potatoes, splish splash, one for luck, plop)
It took another 10 minutes of 'persuading' before they agreed that 'as a courtesy' they would deliver by 9.

This occasion had been a mistake made by the company, who initially denied the mistake, and then expected me to pay to correct it!
Not good, and as a result of the postponements I mentioned earlier, I think I may have pulled a muscle downstairs somewhere.

Thirdly, the ugly.
Regular readers will know that I use the online dating sites.
I've had a few dates, but have yet to meet any future ex-wife.
I got a email from the site telling me that someone had contacted me.
I couldn't read or reply to this until I had taken a subscription, so duly paid for a month, only to find that the girl contacting me was Tatyana from Moscow.
Not that I have anything against Tatyanas from Moscow, it's just that I can spot 1 or 2 hurdles to overcome right off the bat.
After a couple of weeks, I cancelled my subscription, and the site told me that my recurring billing had been stopped.

You may be ahead of me on this one...

Over the weekend I found that my card has been charged again, and despite me havng a cancellation number, the dating site tells me they have no record of it.
Hmm, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get extra money from customers.
It's a disgrace, and they don't seem to be bothered about it.
The company is so if you are considering using them, I'd reconsider.
If you're wondering how that relates to 'ugly' well you need to see some of the women on the site!

Ok, that's it for today, remember to act wth integrity towards yourself and others.
I'll see you next week when I will be pre-launching my new project.

Have a good week,
'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,

Monday, April 03, 2006

Issue 360 - Essential Experience

I hope Monday finds you well.
I had a load of things 'stored up' to write about today, but I'm buggered if I can remember them now as I start to write!
Ho hum, I will just write about the week, and maybe it will come to me!

By the way, a quick Happy Birthday today to my Florida-dwelling brother Garry,

My friend Alan decided to try curling with me last week.
I've mentioned Alan often, I can bounce any idea I have off him.
Remember him?
Fairly far back in the queue when the good looks were being handed out?
Bald patch the size of a small family car?
Magic site?

Anyway he came along, and while I was able to play 'normally' as an experienced player, Alan got lumbered in with a load of other beginners.
It didn't take long as I was playing, to hear a resounding thump, and I looked to see Alan's large frame take a speedy trip to the ice!
My playing partner told me she didn't want to laugh, but I told her to laugh all she wanted, as 'he wouldn't mind,' while I gleefully pointed and shouted just in case anyone else had missed it.
I've been going a few weeks now, and I'm finally beginning to get the stones to end up where I want them to go.
Well vaguely at least!
It's a shame that this week is the last session for 6 months, as my subconscious mind is starting to grasp the technique.
It's not very original to say that practice makes perfect, but it sure helps!

It was also Poppit's funeral last week.
It always seems strange to put the words 'lovely' and 'funeral' together, but that's how I would describe it.
The service was Humanist, and while the woman delivering it gave time for people of any faith to consider their faith, the service concentrated on the human spirit of the man, and what he had given us.
The place was packed, with many people having to stand outside!
There was blues music playing, it was a great way to send him off, and it struck me that of the huge amount of musicians that turned up, most of them had only come to know Poppit in the last 3/4 years.
These turned out to be the last years of his life, but it go to show it's *never* to late to take a new direction, it really isn't.

On the back of the order of service for the funeral, there was stuck a plectrum.
It was a touch to bring a smile to the face, and I was glad to be able to use mine yesterday at a jam.
I was playing bass, and while someone told me my playing had come on, I could still sense a problem, and this is it...
When I first played the drums again locally a few years ago, having not played for around 15 years, I was nervous.
I was nervous of making mistakes, and how I would cope when those mistakes came.
In time, I not only made less mistakes, but grew more confident in my ability to work round the mistakes.
This can only come with experience, there is absolutely no substitute for it, and anyone telling you otherwise is simply wrong.
My bass playing is still at that nervous stage.
As a performer, I have no problem in coping with cock-ups, but I still am not at the stage where my fingers instantly know where to go on the guitar.
Does this bother me?
No, because I know where I am on the learning curve, I know it is an unavoidable stage, and I know that only one thing will get me past that stage, and that's to keep going!

I've finally settled on my idea to mark my 40th this year.
As you know I've been hurling ideas around, and seem to have found something that presses my buttons.
I'll be launching it on 24th April, so havn't got long to get it ready.
I was looking at online payment processors, and found a new one called paydotcom.
They seem to offer what I need, but I have not heard anything about whether they are good or bad.
When I first started my online adventure, I spent a lot of time in marketing forums, learning, asking questions, helping others if I could.
I know they are a great resource, so I posted the question in a couple.
I got an email right away from Lynn Terry, who runs the successful SelfStartersWeeklyTips site, directing me to the threads on her forum.
Lynn is as helpful as can be, if you ever have an online marketing question, she's as good a starting point as any.
If you fancy a look at the thread, it's here:
If you've not been there before, why not say hello, and tell Lynn that I sent you!

Someone I met on that very same forum many moons ago is Sandra Sims.
She runs a site dedicated to charity fundraising, and it really is a mine of information.
She sent me a very quick answer to a question I had for her, so go and look at her site.
This is a site put together by someone like me, who learnt the knowledge as they went along, and concentrates on a subject they know and love:

Ok, that's it for this week.
Considering I still havn't remembered what I wanted to write about, I've covered the point of gaining experience by simply carrying on, I've covered how you can get huge amounts of information by developing online friendships, and I've covered how, as long as you can laugh at yourself too, nothing exercises the funny muscles quite like seeing a friend fall over.

Have a good week,

'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,
Get my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days’ here: