Desiree and I go way back to the days when we were both teaching people how to dance salsa. In fact, a couple of years ago, we taught regularly together at Dance on 2 and became really good friends. Every week I would meet Desiree before class so we could prepare the day's dance lesson and during our time I would bounce my creative endeavors off of her. She always said she liked my work but I didn't know she was serious. :)
I am proud to announce that my logo and website design of All About U Fitness is live for the world to see. Although a website is always a work in progress please check out the new site and let me know your thoughts.
All About U Fitness
When my wife gave birth to my second child all hell broke loose. Yes you guessed right we had a girl. She rarely sleeps though the night after 15 months and she barely knows I am alive when my wife is around. I one time tried to take care of her when my wife was at her wits end but daddy's little girl screamed so loud that I was tempted to sell her on EBAY.
You see my wife is the type of woman who loves to pamper herself. She enjoys getting her nails done, going to the hair salon and dressing up. Since number 2 was born it's been an up hill battle for her even though I try my best to make it easy for her to do the things she loves. For Christmas I designed her a GUILT FREE USE ANYTIME CARD. To this day she hasn't used it.
Anyway, we have both looked into ways to get back to our pre pregnancy bodies because we both were pretty hot back in the day. Not that we aren't hot now but who doesn't want to be hotter? :)... So, when I told her I was going to start an Insanity before and after transformation she supported me all the way. She read my blog, asked me how I was doing beyond what I was writing and commented daily on the progress. Every Saturday she muscled up the kids and left the house for a couple of hours so I could complete the day's challenge.
I started in April and finished a little less than a month ago and every now and again I have tried to get my wife to do the Insanity before and after transformation. Although she has been very curious she has come up with a few excuses that I have had to shut down. Here are some of what she has said to me and I have responded to her.
Alright she didn't say number 5 but as you can see I have pretty good come backs. So good in fact, I convinced my wife to start Insanity today. I don't know if she will complete it but I will do my very best to support her all the way through. Like I said before I don't know what it's like to be a mom but I do know what it's like to be a caring human being. I know she has a lot on her plate being a full time working mom but hopefully through love, support and insanity she can be a lit bit selfish and think about herself again.
Headshot sessions with comedians are not what one would think. I have had the pleasure of photographing several comedians, and although each one has made me laugh during the session, it's not all shits and giggles. Comedians take their craft very seriously and Jason Andors is no exception.
I met Jason a few years back and have had the pissing on myself pleasure of watching his stand up live. Before he walked in I prepared by relieving myself just in case he wanted to do an encore performance for me. That didn't quite happen because when Jason walked into the studio he greeted me cool and professional. Yes he made a few jokes but he was very focused and knew exactly how he wanted his audience to view him.
I strongly suggest going to see one of his performances if you live in NYC or visit one of the locations he will be at around the country. Warning! Leave your morals and politically correct ways at the front door.
What do you get when you come across a blog that has 6 personal finance logo designs, a viral Doritos Crash The Superbowl video, several NYC headshot photography posts and an Insanity before and after transformation? Yep... That's right. The Jai Catalano blog. Ok so I am not the most niche blogger in the world but people like stopping by. In fact, I have an average of 18,000 visitors a month and the money isn't bad either so I will continue blogging the way I do for now. However, I DO NOT recommend the average person do things the way I do. I mean fun is fun but this is a business that I take seriously. That is why when my stepfather came to me and told me he wanted to start a blog about investing I said I know EXACTLY what you need. You need to read my 8 Things You Shouldn't Do Starting A New Website.
1. Don't Buy Free or Cheap Web Hosting
I love to save money and I love to make money but you will not save or make any money if you use free or cheap web hosting. Weebly, which I absolutely love, has a free section to their service but it is very slow and it comes with the free advertisement link attached on every page that is a terrible eye sore. The fact is free sometimes makes you look cheap and cheap is not how you want to present yourself to the internet world.
2. Don't Create A Bad Domain Name
Coming up with a good domain name is very difficult to do nowadays. People create and buy domain names all the time so they can sell them to niche audiences for a profit. A good domain name should have something about or close to your niche in it. For example I created a website for my friend who has a fitness business. Guess what she named it? All About U Fitness.
3. Don't Be Random
The people you market in your niche want specific tips, tricks or information about their the topic you are knowledgable about. If you are random or too general in your ideology they will tune out and go somewhere else for the goods. Unless you are tons of fun like me and already have a following don't be random or else you will find yourself blogging to your dog.
4. Don't Focus Only On Keywords
Keywords are important. They are a part of the business which makes a blogger thrive financially but just focusing on keywords is a selfish thing to do because it neglects your audience that has put their trust in you. Focus on your audience first as well as your market and then worry about your keywords. Not the other way around.
5. Don't Forget Great Content
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice practice practice. Luckily for me I practiced enough as a salsa dancer to have been able to dance there. However, if their audience is going to pay top dollar to see a performance they are going to want to see great content. That is why when you write, blog, post or add pages to your website you always need to give it your very best quality.
6. Don't Post Sporadically
Set a schedule when you post so that your audience can look forward to what you have to offer. Imagine American Idol airing at random times during the week. People would get frustrated and tune out. The reason they have 35 million viewers a week is because they know when to tune in. Let your market know when you plan to do something by posting a blogging schedule and if you decide to change it let them know in advance.
7. Don't Forget Your Key Audience
It's easy to go off topic. It is actually fun sometimes. However, keep your market in your vision and focus on what they want from you and not what you want from them. If you feel you want to branch off onto a subject that relates to your niche then ease your audience into it so they don't think you have forgotten about them and their needs.
8. Don't Forget To Give Back
This one is sometimes overlooked. Even some of the top bloggers forget to give back to their people. However, I have noticed that most of the great bloggers in Yakezie constantly find ways to give back to their niche market by giving away free stuff or blogging about other people or blogs which helps drive traffic and eventually money to other sites. Give back and expect nothing and I guarantee great things will come out of it.
Have a 9th thing you shouldn't do when starting a new website? Post it below.
Aloysa at mybrokencoin.com wrote an interesting article on How to Negotiate A Raise From an Insider’s Point of View. She gives a detailed account of what to do and how not to sabotage your chances of getting a raise. Luckily for me if I try to get a raise I just have to duke it out for myself. :) Please check her out and might I add I LOVE her logo.
Shane at beatingbroke.com has a thoughtful article from a guest blogger called Is Your Generosity Costing You Big? The article makes you rethink about your own generosity. It's in my nature to do for others and yes I love to give a helping hand but at what point is it counter productive?
Michael at moneybeagle.com has an article on his blog that makes you think about What You Should Understand About Your College Loan. There were no blogs back when I went to college but with articles like his one has a better chance to fully understand what it means to take out a college loan. Is it bad to take out a loan (college or any other)? No. But it is important to research what it entails.
Stephanie at empowereddollar.com continues with the theme of college topics with What Do I Do if My College Grad Doesn’t Have a Job? This has to be a scary feeling. You bust your arse for 4 years and then get rewarded with NO WORK... It doesn't seem fair. Check out the cool information on her blog and keep your head up if you fall into that category.
Sicorra at tacklingourdebt.com has a really cool inspirational post that made me smile. Don't Worry Be Happy is more than just a song. It's a blog post title that has the goods to put perspective in your day. Thanks for changing my mood. Oh and might I add I love your logo too. Very cute.
Jen at mastertheartofsaving.com makes you think about the 5 Things To Consider Before Buying Your First Home. Jen's juicy article wasn't there for me when I bought my home but after doing so and reading her article I can tell you that she is dead on... Thinking about buying your first home? Check out Jen's article first. You won't go wrong.
and last but not least... my boy Hank at moneyqanda.com. Hank wrote an article that EVERY 20 year old should read. It's called the 20 Things I Should Have Known About My Finances At The Age Of 20. Hank! As depressed as I was when I was reading and kicking myself in the arse for not being financially awake in my 20's... you wrote a great article. In fact, EVERYONE should read it.
Well... That is my new team. I wish my old team well and my new team a well deserved HELLO.
I look forward to learning from you all.
In case you weren't reading my Insanity before and after transformation blog, here is a 42 second video showing the before and after transformation in 63 days. I received a ton of comments and emails which lead to several people doing Insanity as well.
Here is my 2 part Insanity review.
Insanity workout review part 1
Insanity workout review part 2
If you are up for the challenge click below.
*Update-The 46 second video of my Insanity before and after transformation
Insanity Workout Review - Half Way Through The Pain
There are 4 new workouts in the second half of Insanity and each disc ranges from 47 minutes to 59 minutes. That is right... Each disc is an additional 15 minutes of Insanity. The good news is that this is where you get ripped. The better news is you go into the 2nd month stronger and faster after completing the first month. So, don't panic... you can do it...
INSANITY Max Interval Circuit - Why the warm up isn't a workout in itself I will never know. It's 10 minutes of pure hardcore working out. I would even say it's best to warm up by yourself for 5 minutes and then start their warm up. It's that intense. After some stretching and a 30 second break you are onto 39 minutes of tough sweat producing moves. There are 4 exercises per set which is repeated 3 times before going on to another 4 exercises. However, the 3rd set is always the most challenging because Shaun T throws in a 5th move that will kick your ass if it wasn't already kicked. Do yourself a favor and pace yourself.
INSANITY Max Interval Plyo - Once again the warm up is 10 minutes of intensity. Then there is a nice longer than normal stretch followed by a 30 second break. Enjoy it because then it's on to 2 - 3 minute sets of various exercises with a 30 second water break in between. Then the 3rd set is double the 3 minute sets you were getting used to which will push you beyond your limits. Once again pace yourself and take pleasure in listening to Shaun T's instructions as those are moments to breath and catch your breath.
INSANITY Max Cardio Conditioning - The Max Cardio Conditioning is very similar to the Pure Cardio Workout in that the moment the workout starts, it doesn’t stop until the very end. Once again the warm up is intense and lasts about 10 minutes. There is a stretch that you will want to savor because after that it is the toughest workout of the series which lasts for about 30 minutes with NO BREAK. When you are done you will need to peal yourself off of the floor and cool down. Warning... This one is TOUGH. *
INSANITY Max Recovery - Max recovery is the workout performed once a week in order to allow your muscles to stretch and recover from the brutal intensity that one experiences in the INSANITY workout. As such, there is very little cardio in this workout, no leaping or running or anything that would cause your muscles to protest even further. Instead, Shaun will lead you through a half hour’s worth of stretching, yoga poses and deep muscle work. It's still intense but nothing compared to what you felt during the prior workouts.
I haven't had a body like the one above in years. I think it's pretty obvious from the before and after photo that the results are significant and to me worth the journey. I enjoyed Insanity because it was no longer than 1 hour long and I didn't need any weights whatsoever to accomplish my goals. Shaun T is very motivating and reassuring through the DVD's. The moves are not overly difficult BUT very intense when you combine them the way that Insanity does and push yourself to the max. 63 days is not a very long time in the scheme of things and if you dedicate 1 hour a day you will see results.
Note I didn't use the Insanity diet plan. My wife and I have been on Jenny Craig and I can't tell you if their system is good or bad. However, like all diet plans you have to balance your nutrients, eat small portions of food and drink plenty of water.
This is a tough call because after going through the whole series I don't find a lot bad about the program but here is where I think some people might have a challenging time. Shaun T is on a DVD and won't be able to motivate you to get up and do the workout. The hardest part is to push yourself. If you have issues doing that then you will want to find another way to have accountability. The whole reason I started blogging about my journey and posting a photo a day for the world to see was to give myself the push I needed and it worked. Again, I live in NYC so I have neighbors who live below me. It's always in the back of my mind that someone will start complaining. That didn't happen but if you have sensitive neighbors then it might be a problem. Insanity is not for everyone. It's a very intense workout and should be taken very seriously. If you have knee, back, heart or any other medical issues then check with your doctor and seek out another form of exercise.
All and all I would give this workout a 9. The reason I didn't give it a 10 is because there is no perfect system. Every great workout strives to transform people's lives and because Insanity is only a 63 day program it falls slightly short of continuing to coach people after that.
After reading about a Pastor who died handling a rattlesnake and UCLA Insists P. Diddy's son deserves college scholarship I thought I would compile a list of some of the extra items I was going to need to get my vlog up and running.
I can't buy content. Actually I can but that isn't the route I am going in this stage of my decision making. In fact, I need to decide which direction or niche I want to go in and then find content that will make the vlog long lasting. I think I want to give myself a trial period of 6 months to see if it's something I want to do long term.
2. A Website
To add another page to my already heavy paged website would just be pure Insanity. I find that I need to direct people to another website and keep it very specific so they know what they are going to get each time they arrive. For the most part I think people don't know what to expect from me which is both the fun and stupidity of what I have done thus far. That is NOT going to happen this time around.
As an actor I had to learn lines. As an ESPN commentator I had to learn names and text. My memorizing ability for a tri weekly vlog is not something that I want to challenge myself with. I love talking off the cuff but the content is the most important thing to tighten up and not my memorization skills.
4. A Cool Looking Background
I have multiple compositions in my house that scream HOUSE and not vlogger extraordinaire so I am going to have to either design a background or outsource the project so I can brand my show to be. I can use a curtain, drawing, green screen, multiple photos or something else to get the look I want but it must look cool.
5. A Backup Drive
With all of the photography I do and videos I have done over the years I have maxed out my hard drive. It seems that I only have a few GB to spare and will need something to hold all the video content. The way I see it, if I do a 3 minute video 3 times a week for 6 months then I will need enough space to hold 234 minutes of edited video not to mention all of the outtakes. I think a Terabyte is the way to go.
Jay Leno only wears suits on the Tonight Show but in real life he wears denim shirts. I am not a suit and tie on TV kind of guy (maybe that will change) but I am going to need to get a bunch of different shirts and rotate them in such a way that I don't look like I am wearing the same old thing everyday. Unless of course I wear the same shirt everyday which is a choice that might not be a bad one or I can always do topless like Insanity.
All in all this is not going to be an easy project to start but once it is under way should be a lot less intense. Through all of the investigation I have done thus far it seems that I will need to spend around $400 to get this up and going.
Am I forgetting something? Throw your 2 cents in on the bottom and let me know.
There are 3 things I can't change... my 2 kids, my 1 wife and my 0 rights.