Saturday, October 22, 2016

Marcus the Motivator

Marcus the Motivator has written an extremely helpful and unsurprisingly motivating book on how to be successful and keep your actions firmly aligned with your goals.  Excited about his new book, we sought to interview him to find out more and Marcus was extremely generous with his time!

Have you always been motivated yourself, or did something happen to shake you up and give you purpose?

I have always found myself quite motivated, I would always be pushing myself to be competitive at different sports whilst growing up, but it wasn’t until a close friend hit a rough patch and I was able to help him through those tough times that I realised that motivating people was my thing. When I started I wasn’t very good at it either, but I had a natural instinct and talent for it and after a lot of repetition and practice things started to really click. I just love the feeling of being able to help people and assist them to become their better self.

That's great!  I have to admit that helping someone else grow is even more exciting than actually growing yourself sometimes.  How did you find the book writing process? How did you keep your own motivation up while locking yourself away to produce "The Pinnacle of Motivation"?

I guess for me writing the book was just a matter of keep writing no matter what, even if I couldn’t think of something good to write, I would write anyway, I wrote a lot and ended up getting rid of maybe 90% of it but the 10% I did keep would become the book and I find this process works best for me, if I don’t feel like writing I do it anyway, if I don’t know what to write I do it anyway, even if what I write makes no sense I keep going, because I know at some point I will hit that magical point where everything is flowing and something magical comes out, sometimes it truly feels like an out of body experience, almost like somebody else is writing it for me.

That's incredible!  You've almost written 9 books to get to the essence of one great one!
Can you tell us one of your hardest case? Who did you struggle to inspire?

I guess a great example is a video testimonial I have from a man named Andrew, someone who came to me in a great time of need who I am proud to now call a friend. Andrew was referred to me by a mutual friend, Andrew was in desperate trouble having gambled away a significant amount of money but the problem with that was as we discovered that gambling was his true calling, being a mathematical genius he is able to spot patterns and find amazing situations where it’s not really gambling because he knows it’s going to work. So when someone’s biggest obstacle is also their biggest advantage it becomes difficult, as an example if someone has a drinking problem well you can help them stop drinking but this case was completely different. Andrew had reached the point where he was just being silly and self-destructive, he basically knew bets would lose and would bet on them anyway instead of doing what a normal person in that situation would do which is bet on what they know is a high likelihood of winning. It took a lot of work and I had to take him in living with me so that I could fully immerse him to positivity and we implemented various plans including punishment vs reward system for positive reinforcements of winning bets etc. Long story short he’s now extremely successful and I am truly proud of who he is now, there’s quite an in depth testimonial on my Facebook page where Andrew gives his side of it.

Marcus, that's hugely generous of you.  I feel like all of us get into bad patterns, that we know aren't good for us but do anyway... How could a normal person maintain enthusiasm and motivation during the less fun moments of working towards their goals?

By reading my book haha I have actually specifically created chapters around different situations and scenarios in life where people need motivation. The book works on its own from start to finish which I encourage people to read the first time, but there are various chapters designed to refer back to at different stages of life. When things are going bad, it’s very rare that absolutely everything is going bad, sometimes it’s important to take a step back and focus on everything that is going right, understand that we can’t always change what happens to us we can change how we feel about it and most negatives bring with them positives even if it doesn’t seem that way and trying to find the positive out of the negative. Obviously it’s much more detailed than this but these are the basics and at my events and in my book I cover how you can do this even when you absolutely do not want to or feel like it and also how to prepare for these situations because you can guarantee bad stuff will happen in your life and if you’re prepared in advance its much easier to deal with it using autopilot instincts vs dealing with it unprepared as it happens.

Where can readers find you?

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Interview with VSL

Another blog post by me... must mean another blogger interviewy thing.  I'm trying to smash these out to get the word out.  I'm not sure how successful it all is, but I have to say that I'm very much enjoying the process.  It's been really fun thinking back to why I created Aussie Ninja Warrior and why I started on this little adventure.

Anywho, here is the link to this interview by VSL :

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Interview with My Neon Green Notebook

I was recently interviewed by Morissa Schwartz's blog (  She's super lovely and really super accomplished, and was just really interested in everything, including me and my little journey towards Ninjaness.

The link to the interview can be found here.

Thanks Morissa!

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

An interview with The Crazy Mind

I was recently interviewed by the website The Crazy Mind who seems to interview pretty much any old thing (a category I totally rock) and they seem to have a million, trillion followers... so that's pretty ace. 

Given the amount of articles this website pumps out, I'm probably only going to stay on that front page for a minute longer, an hour tops.  Still 15 seconds of fame is better than -15 seconds of fame, which is not great but also a paradox but also just kind of un-rad.

Link to the article can be found here. I'm pretty interesting.

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Interview by Blogger Simandan

I was recently interviewed by the supernice Mihnea who has been running a really quite successful blog about his travels around Asia and his passion for archery. He also has a huge interest in a whole heap of sporting adventures which is where I came into the picture.

Links to the article can be found here.


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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Moving to America with the E3 visa

Working in America with the Australian E3 Visa

Hi everyone,

My partner and I have now been in the US for almost exactly a year now, and I thought I'd write a helpful blog post for others that are trying to work towards the same goal.  We had a little bit of help from friends of friends, but there are still a heap of things that tripped us so I'm hoping this will make the transition a little bit smoother for others.

The E3 is an amazing visa.  Basically, to qualify you need to be working in the industry that your university degree supports, or have 12 years of industry experience.  You need an American company to fill out an LCA form stating that they are going to hire you.  Here is all the specifics.

That's it.  It's actually super easy and quite painless if you can get all the jigsaw pieces fitting together.

What we did

We sold up everything in Australia, said our goodbyes and flew over to America.  We landed in LA, but it was crazy hot so we found an AirBnB in San Diego and starting applying for jobs like crazy.  We entered the country on a tourist visa each, which gave us 3 months to find something.  We actually got married before leaving so that if only one of us found a job then the other could apply for the E3-D visa.

Being married proved to be unnecessary for the visa process, but it has made a number of things easier, like hiring a car and both being allowed to drive, or renting an apartment together... basically America doesn't recognise de facto relationships in the same way that Australia does, so wedded bliss = less paperwork.  Oh, and romance and stuff.

In San Diego, we applied for jobs like crazy.  We used, Monster, LinkedIn and Seek.  Unlike Australia where I would normally only have 1 or 2 opportunities at a time, the US had so many opportunities for me it was crazy... every day I'd log on to those websites and find new and exciting jobs to apply for.

Unfortunately, some evil guy has gone around to all the major companies and sold them a recruitment portal, that requires you to fill in the same information over and over.  Sometimes Monster or Indeed would auto fill it all, or the company would leverage off the information stored in Indeed or Monster, but mostly, you just had to fill out the same information over and over. 

These same recruitment portal all have a section that basically requires a Yes/No for 'Are you an American Citizen?' and/or 'Do you have a work visa to work in the United States?' since the answer for both those was technically no, I think the portal would often automatically reject us.  We both applied for jobs we were definitely over qualified for, and got knocked back... sometimes clearly automatically with no one actually having read anything we arduously answered.

I would suggest not applying that way.  It was a massive waste of time of weeks and weeks of effort.

What worked for both of us was putting our resumes on Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn & Seek.  That's it.
American companies are deathly scared of the lawyer-filled visa process, even after I explained that the E3 is identically to the Canadian TN visa.

Recruiters on the other hand, are more than happy to jump through the hoops if it means that can secure a role.  Their clients don't usually care where the resource is from, just as long as they have the skills and experience to do the work.

For both my partner and I, recruiters found us a number of opportunities, the recruiters filled out our LCA form, we flew to Vancouver for our visa interview, the interview was a breeze and then we entered America again on the E3 visa without any issues.

We were happy to fly around to go to interviews, but honestly, both of us got our jobs over the phone. I also had one Skype interview which went really well.  American companies are very, very used to hiring people from different parts of the country, so interviewing in person is surprisingly rare.

I've since learnt that there are companies like Precision Global Consulting that will help set you up as a contractor so that your E3 is tied to them and not an organisation... however, you do have to pay them a flat fee and 20% of your rate.  This practise is quite common in the US.  While it doesn't necessarily sound appealing initially, I'm on a good wage in America, and I'm still learning less than a third of what I was earning in Australia.  My partner is earning less than half... and I'm sure that's because we are going through consulting firms... so you might very well profit from being a contractor.  Also, my partner's contract is up in September, which is slightly stress-inducing... if it's not renewed than she'll have to go through the visa process again.  You only have 10 days to organise a new visa before turning into an illegal alien.

My suggestion

Knowing what I know now, I would suggest staying in Australia, putting your resume on all those job sites and then (unfortunately) answering the phone at all hours to the recruiters who desperately want you in so they can secure the role and make a kajillion dollars off you.

I think you would save an incredible amount of money, can apply for your visa in Australia (there actually aren't too many American Embassies that know about the E3... Vancouver Canada and Barbados were kind of our only options).

We did have our San Diego accommodation address and American phone mobile on our resumes, so I'm not sure if that made any difference, but I would definitely, definitely recommend starting the process while you're in Australia.

Tips and tricks about moving to America

1.)  Organise accommodation for your first month or so... whether hotel or AirBnB make sure it's something that you can have mail sent to.

2.)  While still in Australia, apply online for a CapitalOne secured credit card for $250 or so, and have that sent to that address, it'll make life so much easier.  We had a few places that just would not accept our travel credit cards.  It was nuts.

3.)  Once you have your visa and you've entered America on your E3, apply for your social security number the day you arrive.  You're pretty much not a real person until you have an SSN.  It doesn't matter if you tie it to your accommodation  address, but it will come in the mail.  You can't receive it any other way.

4.)  You can open bank accounts without a SSN (they'll fill it in later) but you can't get paid without the SSN. My partner had this issue where US customs put her first and last name in the first name field, and she shouldn't get her SSN for like 3 months, so no pay for her for ages.

5.)  Get a couple of Secured Credit cards.  Your credit score seems to be super important, and when you first arrive you have zero credit score.  In America's eyes, you've never existed before the point of entry.  Get the secured credit cards as soon as possible so that you can get real credit cards for real amounts in the near future.  I'm making a point of the finances side because when you move to another country, you need to buy a lot of stuff, and it was really difficult for us for long time.  We had to pay $1000 deposit to get mobile phone plans, etc.

6.) Be emotionally ready for a lot of bureaucracy and crazy rulings.  Things work in America really smoothly, except if you're in the 0.01% which their systems and processes don't cater for... which describes us because we're foreign and don't know all the things.

7.) Americans are super transitional so wherever you land, there are always people new to the area that are excited to be your friend.  Do try and make some American friends, seriously, there is nothing that compares to local knowledge.

8.) Have a separate American mobile phone and Australian mobile phone. I can't tell you how many times I've swapped the SIM card over and waited so many painful minutes while everything updates just to pay money with my Australian bank accounts.

I hope this helps, I'm happy to answer any questions and update and grow this post so that it becomes a bit of a one-stop shop for anyone looking to make the big move.  America is filled with incredible natural beauty, I'm constantly blown away by how pretty everything is here.



Aussie Ninja Warrior - Launching today!
I've been busy setting up my new website Aussie Ninja Warrior to basically make a central place for all my Ninja Warrior posts but also to tell my story and help other people with their training.
I don't know if I was looking in the right places, but when I was first starting my training, I really couldn't find anything on what areas I should be focusing on, how to train, how much I should train, really how to start at all.  There were a few little articles in various fitness magazines but they were often way too broad to be of much use. 
I've learnt so much over the past few months that I thought it'd be helpful for me to try and consolidate everything to one place...and that if it's helpful for me, then it's probably helpful to everyone else as well. 
I'd love to help people start their training, I don't know everything, but I have been obsessed with this good gig for a good while, so I'm sure I'd have answers to your questions, or at least, an idea on where to find answers.  If you're interested in training for Australian Ninja Warrior, or American Ninja Warrior, or you'd just like to be more amazing athletically, check out my little website and contact me if you have any questions.
Go ninjas, go ninjas go!

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Friday, July 22, 2016 Such a good option!
One thing that drives me nuts is people exclaiming how buying a new printer and getting the printer ink that is already inside is cheaper than buying printer ink directly.  How can that be a thing?  How can buying a whole big amazing technological wonder that magically prints anything to paper be cheaper than buying the tiny amounts of liquid it uses?

I, of course, realise that people aren't just buying new printers every time they want to print something, but it is absolute craziness.

INK68.COM at least takes the sting out of it.  It sells printer ink online for cheaper than going to your OfficeWorks or OfficeMax or wherever. It has a megaton warehouse of laser printer toner and ink printer cartridges so it always has everything in stock... I can't tell you how many times I've gone down to OfficeWorks only to read every single label of printer cartridge to find my exact printer, only to find that no one caters for it anymore...

Anywho, I found this infographic because I'm still stunned with how expensive printer ink is, it's definitely interesting... but try INK68.COM to get everything cheaper... and if you're organised, it means you don't have to rock up at an office supplies store in your PJs 5 minutes before closing because your assignment is due tomorrow.

Source : ClickLinks
Click on the image for good image reading bigness.

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Get outside! Go on, git!

It's really, really important to take your training outside as much as you can. 

Let's say that the gym is where you develop your muscles, the more you train, the stronger you get... but it's running and climbing and jumping and leaping and hanging and swinging outside that you actually develop your tendons and your connective tissue and your stabilising muscles.

You'll realise this as soon as you try and obstacle course somewhere... you might be able to do a pull up or two, but suddenly on some course, getting from one tire on a chain to another tire on a chain is really, really challenging... it's those stabilising muscles that you're missing.

You might also notice that your legs or arms or whole body gets sore from running and leaping around, and that's exactly what you need to train and develop.  Sometimes on the Ninja Warrior show, you see competitors take massive falls as they've leaped off an obstacle at speed.  The strength and toughness to hit hard and carry on is as much practise as anything else.

AFL is a good example.  Sometimes you see footballers get hit hard or monster tackled to the ground and they just spring back up.  That's because all their stabilising muscles are as strong as their main gym muscles, and their body is used to being hit.  Kickboxers have to practise heaps before hitting the bag doesn't hurt their shins anymore, Karate kids get hit heaps to deaden the nerves and strengthen the connective tissue and fascia.

You'll need to be tough and you'll need to be strong to take on the Ninja Warrior course. You are definitely going to make awkward falls, you're going to have to grip on so tight that your hands would bleed if they weren't so calloused... you're going to have to take the hits and bounce along like nothing happened.  You can not be successful any other way.

So, training in the gym is fine, get as strong as you can... but you also need to train outside, anywhere that you can find so that you can also get as tough as you can. 

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