How to Make Your Life Easier With Ari Meisel – TCE 005

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Ari Meisel

Listen to this conversation on Itunes

A lot of people like to focus on how hard it is to get things done with all of today’s readily available distractions.

Your inbox is full, the phone is buzzing, and high school friends you haven’t talked to in 3 years are asking you to play Candy Land on Facebook every other day.

I get it.

But on the other side of this coin, there’s also a small tribe of people who’ve been focused on taking advantage of all this new technology to actually make their lives easier and less stressful…and in the process they’ve been able to get far more done.

Today’s guest Ari Meisel, the Founder of, has mastered the art of “making his life easier” using a repeatable framework that anyone can use.

In this episode of The Competitive Edge, Ari shares this system and some of the best mindsets, tools, and practices he uses to simplify his life and enhance his performance.

Listen in below for all the juicy details…


Ari-ism from this episode:  “Optimizing your life starts with establishing self-awareness” – Ari Meisel (tweet this)

What You’ll Learn By Listening

  • A repeatable framework for making your life easier
  • The first place to start if you’re looking to begin streamlining life’s headaches
  • The 80-20 to becoming a more productive, stress free person
  • Why you absolutely should get a blood test to reach peak performance and some services that will help you get the most out of this
  • Some key tools you can use to outsource stuff you shouldn’t be doing
  • Tasks that Ari has his virtual assistants help him with
  • How Ari hacked the initial phases of getting a book deal with one of the world’s largest publishers

Listen to the episode here:

Subscribe on Itunes for more interviews or Listen on Stitcher

Thank Ari for dropping knowledge on us (tweet Ari here)

Mindshare segment at the end:

Thoughts on how anyone can teach courses to create passive income. Spoiler – I’m not an “expert” at my top selling course. Listen to this if you’re interested in creating an online course.

Links & Resources Mentioned:

For more on Ari check him out at: LessDoing, Book: Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier, and on Twitter @arimeisel

Other resources mentioned:

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*You’ll find a full searchable transcript below

Music Credit: Carousel Games & Stay Awake

Big Thanks to Today’s Show Partner – The Online School for LifeStyle Design. The monthly subscription which brings together thought leaders in life hacking to help you get insanely savvy about productivity, living, travel, and negotiation.

*This is an awesome program I’m a part of that gives you access to some of the best lifehacks out there. I’ve enjoyed digging into other people’s hacks myself : )

BTW – You can win a free year membership to by entering in the Podcast Launch contest. All the details here

Searchable Transcript of This Ari Meisel Interview:

Scott: What’s up Edge Nation? I am so excited today to bring you my friend and the founder of Less Doing, Ari Meisel. Let me tell you a bit about Ari because his story is super-unique and inspiring. In 2006, Ari was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. If you are not familiar with it, Crohn’s is an incurable, inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. Despite it being incurable, Ari threw a combination of Yoga, nutrition and natural supplements as well as rigorous exercise and was able to fight back against the symptoms of Crohn’s until he was finally able to suspend all of his medication.

Eventually, he was even declared free of all traces of this “incurable disease” and even was able to compete in Iron Man in France in 2011. It was through this experience and the process of data collection, self-tracking and analysis, did he develop something that we are going to dive in today called Less Doing. This framework helps him deal with the daily stresses of life by optimizing, automating and outsourcing all the tasks in his life and his business. Ari, what’s up man, how’re you doing?

Ari Meisel: Hey Scott, it was nice to talk to you, thanks for that intro.

Scott: Yeah, I’m excited to talk to you man because I know you just have so much awesome information to share. But first, I want to start with the latest news; you just came out with a new book that talks about a lot of the things that I alluded to you in your bio. Why don’t we take a minute real quick and tell everyone about your new book that just came out?

Ari Meisel: Yeah, thanks a lot. So, the book is called ‘Less Doing, More Living: How to make everything in life easier’ and that’s really how I look at it. It’s sort of a culmination of, I guess, four or five years of work now to create a system of productivity that starts with tracking and goes through creating an external brain which is how I deal with sort of offloading everything in our mind, customization, finances and organization and ending with wellness. So, it’s really a very well-rounded approach that I would like to think almost anybody can use to be more effective in their life.

Scott: Now, when you say, ‘make your life easier’, does that mean more time; does that mean I have to deal with less stress; when you say ‘make your life easier’, what exactly is that referring to?

Ari Meisel: Well, for me, the purpose or the genesis of the system was because of this health crisis and I realized that stress was such a big component of what was going on with my illness and in terms of inflammation in my life in general that I wanted to figure out a systematic way of dealing with the stress. And that’s how I came up with the idea of creating this system of productivity with the idea of freeing up as much time as possible so that people could reclaim their minds, do the things they wanted to do and stress less.

Scott: Yeah, I don’t think I know a person in the world that doesn’t want more free time. So, let’s talk a little bit about this framework without getting too into the nitty-gritty because I want to make sure that people go out and check out the book. But somebody comes to you and I know that you work with everybody from high-performance individuals to companies and they say, ‘Ari, I’m overwhelmed, I’m stressed, I want more free time, I want things to just work easier in my life’. Where is the first place that you have people start?

Ari Meisel: Well, so that’s a very good way to ask me by the way because that’s the thing that I hear every day, multiple times a day is, I’m overwhelmed. Ari, I’m so overwhelmed, I’m just overwhelmed. It’s like I’m an anti-overwhelmer, that’s what I feel I’ve become. It’s just the word that I hear at all times. And you know, you have to look at why that is, why are people overwhelmed? And the truth is on a very basic level, we have not evolved biologically as quickly as we have technologically and we simply cannot keep up with everything that’s going on in our lives. It’s just not possible and the very first step is realizing that; that’s the first step.

So, people have this fear of missing out; I think it’s actually been acronymized as FOMO, the fear of missing out. And that’s like you have to know everything, you have to be able to talk to everybody, you have to get back to every Facebook message and every email and all that stuff. And it’s just exactly that, it’s overwhelming. So, the biggest thing is that as a result of all that stuff happening and all those inputs all the time, we lose self-awareness and that’s really where I start. And there’s number of sort of avenues to get there but basically, the lack of self-awareness is at the heart of so many of the problems that people have now because — I’m sorry Scott, can we pause one second?

Scott: Yeah, sure.

[End of interview 0:05:09]

Scott: Go ahead.

Ari Meisel: So, it’s that lack of self-awareness that is really the heart of this, I find at least that’s a really common issue. So, for example, and I know Scott, you’ve seen me talk in person, but I always ask this question, I say to people, ‘look, raise your hands really quick if you can tell me what you had for breakfast this morning’. And you know, most of the time, most of the people raised their hands; I mean every now and then there’s a couple of people who don’t remember or whatever. But then I say, ‘okay tell me how many emails you sent last Tuesday’ and in the multiple thousands of people that I have spoken in the past couple of years, two people were able to answer that question.

So, the first question is which is [technical difficulty] and my response is that you don’t. But the thing is that it’s very easy nowadays to track this kind of information without having to make any effort at all. So, why not do it; because you may learn something about yourself. We have this problem where we have these sort of two [technical difficulty] and I’m trying to remember the [technical difficulty] heard about this that we have the system one which is our lazy brain which really just wants to shortcut everything, use as little energy as possible and just do it the way it’s been done before and that’s what are called heuristics.

We have these pathways that have been burned in our brain to do things and that’s — how you pay a bill, that’s how you write email, that’s how you make [technical difficulty] and people end up sort of watching their lives rather than living them. So, the very first step there, there’s a lot of tracking involved usually with people in trying to identify patterns that they have going on and then we look at the processes that they are aware, that they are going through. And again, paying a bill is a good one, if you tell someone to pay a bill, they don’t know how to do it and odds are, you don’t know how you do it, you just do it. But if you actually stopped and wrote it down step by step, you might be really fascinated to find that there is a lot of space where you can optimize, automate and outsource that process.

Scott: So, the first step is self-awareness and when you have self-awareness then you can figure out how to create a more efficient, less cumbersome process that takes up less time.

Ari Meisel: Right, I mean just think about it; if you know how a certain food makes you feel four hours later, that’s really helpful information; if you know that when it’s 9:00 o’clock at night, that’s the best time for you to be writing creatively; or if you know that if you work out at 3:00 in the afternoon versus 7:00 in the morning, you’re going to get better results. That’s all self-awareness.

Scott: That makes a lot of sense, because I know that nowadays, it seems literally every single day there’s a new company or app coming out where I can track something or I feel like I can literally track my whole life and every single component and then that becomes a huge problem. So what are some of the key 80-20 areas where people maybe are spending too much time or are not tracking where they can get some quick wins if they are wanting to get started with this?

Ari Meisel Interview: So, the first thing to realize is that most of the stuff is temporary, because once you do a lot of that hardcore tracking and you regain all that self-awareness and then the second part of us doing is really just what I call creating an external brain which is where you are off-loading a lot of stuff in your mind so you have a clear head. Once you do all of that stuff, I like I don’t really track much anymore. The only tracking I do now, is when someone sends me a device to try out which I definitely geek out and I love that. But for the most part, you’re doing it for a month, or two months or three months, or maybe even less, just sort of begin to get that awareness so that you know what’s going on in your life and once you do that, then you can sort of drop things off. So, one of the big ones is blood; that’s something that people should be doing. Blood testing is something that most people do at the doctor’s office and then they forget about it and they never even look at the results. I know that that sounds like a weird one to start with but honestly, you’re going to get a lot of bang for your buck from blood tests because I’ll tell you something, I guarantee you that if you’re telling me that you’re overwhelmed, your hormones are probably out of balance. Your inflammation is probably a little bit more than it should be because you’re stressed. Your Vitamin E levels probably suck because you’re wearing clothes and sitting inside and not getting enough sun-exposure. So, like that’s a really good place to start and it’s immediately actionable; it’s not like you have to wait for several weeks of tracking. But another one that I really love is RescueTime and I know you know RescueTime, but with RescueTime, you’re basically tracking how you’re actively using your computer and the truth is that there’s nothing wrong — in my opinion honestly, there’s nothing wrong if you are at a computer eight hours a day, that’s not the problem. If you’re using a computer eight hours a day and you’re standing at your desk or you’re taking a break every half hour to do some squats or take a walk and you’re still eating healthy, it’s not bad necessarily to be in front of the computer. And the truth is that a lot of things that we do nowadays can be done digitally or can be done that way. So RescueTime will tell you how you’re spending that time and after a week, it’s going to start to tell you, ‘today’s your most productive day’ or ‘Thursday is your least productive day’ and you can really start to act on that information. It’s very cool stuff — sorry, that’s sort of a roundabout way of answering that but basically, I would say blood, the way you use your computer and sleep-tracking I think would be the most bang for the buck.

Scott: Great, I appreciate that. So I have a question about blood, because I’ve gotten a lot of blood tests and I get the sheet printed out with a bunch of numbers, I have no idea what any of them mean; it’s not really directive in terms of how I can actually take action on this information to feel better, to notice any deficiencies. Is there a particular service that I would go and take that to? Do I ask my doctor how I could optimize my diet or exercise or whatever regimen to improve whatever levels might be off balance, what do I actually do once I get this blood test?

Ari Meisel: That’s a great question. There’s two sides of it, one, there’s actually a ton of really great doctors nowadays that do a lot of virtual consulting and you can share your results with them, they’ll get on Skype with you and they’ll talk you through it. There’s a natural doctor that I work with in New York with the name Scott Jericha who does that and he’s great. But actually — I’m an adviser to a company called Insidetracker and it’s similar to WellnessFX as a lot of people heard of. They kind of — I think one is more West Coast, one is more East Coast and what they do is that – you’re here to go for a lab, or they’ll send someone to your house to take your blood and then you’ll get a really nicely graphically designed dashboard that they have created which I love. It does two things, one, it’ll show you results of a time, so if you get tested every three months or six months or whatever you want, it’ll show you how you’ve changed and literally bring you in the green or in the red and then it’ll recommend specific fluids for your issue. So, that’s a really good way to do it and I like that because first of all, as soon as you go to the doctor, and you don’t have a specific problem necessarily and they’re going to run a CBC panel or they’re going to do a very basic panel. They’re not going to necessarily test your Vitamin D; they’re not going to test your Creatine kinase or your C-reactive protein which is an inflammatory marker. So with this one, you can do that and it really is about optimizing performance.

Scott: That’s excellent and it’s really easy for me to do, I just literally go into a website of Insidetracker or WellnessFX and set up an appointment?

Ari Meisel Interview: Yeah, and actually now at least Insidetracker has some home kits where you can prick your finger and do it yourself and mail it in but it’s only for like six months or so but it’s still useful. One of the things I love about that — It’ll definitely let you test cholesterol, I think it lets you test [Inaudible 0:07:48] function so AST and a couple of other things. What I like about that is that you can use that before and after a meal, you can use it before and after a really heavy exercise session; so you can get some very real-time results about how the things you do affect your body. For example, I’ve seen this a number of times where Creatine Kinase is a inflammatory marker, it’s basically muscle tissue breaking down and it happens when you work out and your body is supposed to flush it. I had a couple of clients, not on purpose but they ended up getting their blood tested right after doing a [Inaudible 0:08:22] workout and their Creatine kinase were like literally thousands of levels higher than they should be and then they settled right back down the next day. So, it’s interesting when you can do that kind of immediate testing.

Scott: Absolutely. Now, I understand and I have used services like RescueTime that tell me that Scott, you’re spending too much time on social media, on Facebook or maybe you’re checking email instead of doing things that are actually important and that information is great because again, like you said, it makes me aware. But that still doesn’t help me with the problem of on a regular basis, taking the actions that I know I should to make my life better and to basically be more efficient and achieve more. Is that a problem that you help people with? Is there any particular strategy for people out there that are aware of something they need to change but have difficulty actually making it a habit?

Ari Meisel: Yeah, so first of all, I actually published a lot of [Inaudible 0:09:23] in many cases but generally what I find is that if you make it as easier as possible for someone to make that change, that’s usually the best way and for example, I’m a big fan of micro-goals. So somebody tells me that they want to lose 50 pounds, that’s a terrible goal and they’re going to fail, I promise that person will fail. If somebody says they want to lose a pound a week, which — that’s on the low end if you’re really want to get after it, that’s a better goal because that’s something where you can really see what’s happening day to day, week to week and you don’t have this like a long-term goal that you can’t even see much less figure out how to get to. The thing about micro-goals that is so great is that each one, even though you’ve made it miniscule, and a perfect example is reading a book. So, you can make a micro goal, finish this page; I just want to finish this page and then reading a book for pleasure; I don’t know about you Scott, but a lot of people that I deal with and me personally, it’s difficult. It’s really hard to get my mindset to like just chill out and read a book. So, if you say like okay, I’m just going to read one page, even though that’s not a big deal to read a page, you set that as your goal so you created little bit of a success. And then if you’re motivated and you’ll go, okay I’ll do another page and then you have like five micro-successes and it really works that way on a psychological level.

Scott: So you have to chunk down the goals so it’s easy to succeed and that’ll spur the motivation?

Ari Meisel: Exactly.

Scott: That’s really great. Is there a particular step process that you tell people to — is it just that simple or is there a particular thing where you got people write out, ‘this is what I want to achieve, in the big picture, let’s break this down by week, let’s break this down by day and I’m going to track it using X’; is there kind of a cohesive framework that that all fits into?

Ari Meisel: Yes, there is but it is also kind of specific to the situation. So, for instance, there are certain ones where you can weigh it out where like the first thing you said where you have like a whole schedule meeting like — I used to write this book and I have to — if I’m going to write this book this day and then I have to write ten pages every week to get there and you could map that out that way and that’s okay and that works really well. But sometimes, I do take the GTD approach, the Getting Things Done approach where ‘what is the next step?’ And that’s all I care about. So you looked at a bunch of things and then say what is the very next thing I can do? So, for instance, if I had to write a book, do I have to do a research? No? Yes? If I do, then how am I going to do that research and when I’m ready to do it, that’s the first thing I’m going to do. The tracking is another one that is really helpful. Like for instance, I don’t know if you know this but Statins which are the Lipitor, Crestor, the cholesterol-lowering drugs, one of the side effects is memory loss which is really sad. And it has some other things too, but it’ll cause memory loss. So I had a client who went off the Lipitor and then we were doing the Lumosity Brain Training every week to test her memory and literally within a month, her memory improved by 40%. So, that is kind of situation where it’s like yeah, it’s really great to see that result and that definitely makes you want to keep going back.

Scott: Yeah, it just really amazing when you bring up examples like this. It makes me think about how many different things I am just not tracking so I’m not aware of it and thus I’m probably not operating at the highest level that I could be. Is there any particular thing that you see without fail that people are not tracking that they probably should be outside of their blood?

Ari Meisel: I think as easy as it is now, and as many devices and things that are, a lot of people really don’t track their sleep and the problem with that is that — well, forget the problem, it’s just that a lot of people don’t track their sleep and sleep is so important that I know that you are a big sleep [Inaudible 0:13:39] guy and so not being able to track their sleep is a big one and a lot of people if you ask, they did it for a week and then they got bored. They didn’t want to wear the devise, they don’t want to have a wrist band, they don’t want to have a headband, but the truth is they have some very valuable information out of that and if you want to take it a kind of another level, someone like me who — I’ve got it pretty dialed in now honestly, but it’s still valuable for me to track my sleep which I do on occasions. A, it’s a check in, even if you become self-aware and you’re like okay now, I get this, at the same time, you can come into that situation where you are back into your heuristics and it’s alike okay now — the process can always be improved. And what works for you today, doesn’t necessarily work for you in six months whether it is a sleep-plan or a diet or anything. So for me, if I were to see on my sleep tracker that I did poorly last night for some reason and I didn’t feel like that necessarily and I was poor in my sleep, then there’ll probably be some supplements that I want to take this morning to mitigate some of those effects.

Scott: Right and in terms of energy and feeling good and operating at your highest level just the value of a good night’s sleep is absolutely critical. So again, this whole idea of just bringing awareness to what particular things or inputs in your body are affecting that performance is absolutely huge. All right, I want to switch gears just for a second here because I know in addition to a lot of this tracking stuff, you’re also an expert at outsourcing and delegating things that you don’t need to be doing. Can you talk a little bit about some of the main tools and things that you help people basically get started on this whole path of having people do the things that they shouldn’t be in their life and business?

Ari Meisel: Absolutely, so — [technical difficulty] is to optimize, automate and outsource and it’s really in that order, it’s really important. Because outsourcing an inefficient task does not make it more efficient; so first we start optimizing and that’s really what we were talking about, about identifying the processes, looking at where the inefficiencies are and trying to correct — the second step is automation. So before we get to outsourcing, I’d like to look at sites, well, things, processes, people, software, whatever it is, but it’s in the [Inaudible 0:16:02] of set it and forget it. So, my favorite thing for that is IFTTT and Zapier which are both websites that are — they are identical for the most part but IFTTT is completely free and Zapier you have to pay for. But Zapier is much more expansive and works with a lot more different apps and also lets you get a lot more detail. So for those who aren’t familiar with it, very simply, it’s like programming for someone who has no idea of a program which I would fall into that boat, and so you set up a trigger and then that causes an action and that is it. And what is that trigger? That trigger could be, you like the video on YouTube; that trigger could be somebody subscribed to your MailChimp mailing list, the trigger could be that somebody mentioned you on Twitter and then the action could be anything. The action could be, somebody mentioned you on Twitter, add that person’s name to a new favorite list on Twitter or somebody signed up to your mailing list on MailChimp, send them an immediate email thanking them and offering them to sell something or whatever it might be. So, I have on a daily basis about 110 different processes running and this is everything from how my podcast gets edited and put up on my blog to how it gets shared on social media to even assigning things automatically to virtual assistants. So virtual assistants were the next part of it and I believe that everybody should work with a virtual assistant at some point in their life because it is an educational process for you in terms of how you effectively communicate and delegate anything. And if you have to deal with somebody who you don’t know and you don’t see them, you’re not going to have a real relationship with them necessarily. That’s a really interesting parameter to put on you when you’re assigning work and the truth is that if you’re dealing with somebody who is competent and they mess up, nine times out of ten, it’s your fault because you didn’t effectively give them that information. So the virtual assistants, I love Fancy Hands and Zirtual and the difference between those two is that Zirtual is a dedicated system so you’re always going to be dealing with the same person. Every time you call or email, the same person is going to deal with you, they’re going to have access to your email if you want, they can learn the way that you like to do certain things. Fancy Hands on the other hand is an on-demand service and that’s where you’re sending your task to a pool of thousands, in this case, assistants and anyone will pick it up and do it and move on. They still work through a simple [technical difficulty] they can see your calendar, they can [technical difficulty] but you never deal with the same person. I love both for different things but personally, I only have an on-demand assistant at this point because of the amount of volume that I do.

Scott: Sure. And what’s some of the popular things for people that have never worked with a virtual assistant before? What is some of the tasks that you have these people help you with?

Ari Meisel: Well, so again, for me, it’s — all my editing, the transcriptions for the podcast and putting the podcast up on WordPress and any dealing with — I manage several rental properties because I am also an realty developer, all the rent check processing, that’s done by virtual assistants; research for the most part, a lot of the personal stuff too. If you’re saving time on anything then you’re saving time as far as I’m concerned. And for people who want to just try this out, I love this thing, there’s a service called; do you know Scott?

Scott: I’ve heard of it but could you tell us a little bit more about it?

Ari Meisel: So is not a virtual assistant service and I have kind of gotten into this habit of using things for things that they are not intended but — so with you can text any business in the country and get a text response. So, how is that like a virtual assistant? Well, first of all, it’s really convenient to be able to send a text rather than having to get on the phone if you want to make a dentist appointment or a dinner reservation or see if the store has something in stock. It’s really nice just to be able to send a text and then they do it. And then yes, you are technically in a way, texting with the business but the truth is that a agent is actually calling the business and then responding to you, as if they were business and they are very transparent about that but it makes it very seamless. But if you really want to experience one of the glories of having a virtual assistant, 9:00 o’clock at night is my time where I tend to unload a lot of tasks and let’s say at 9:00 o’clock in the night I realize that I need to get a dental cleaning for some reason. So, I can send a text to my Fancy Hands friends and say, look, call this dentist and make me an appointment for the cleaning. But at the same time you can use, completely free to try this out and you’re going to see how this happens. So basically, send the text to your dentist through and then say, I need to schedule a dental cleaning. Now, they don’t open for the next 12 hours most likely, so the agent is going to write back and say, ‘we’ll get back to you as soon as we’re open’ and what that means is that for the next 12 hours even though you may sleep through a lot of that, that task is done. You are done and that is off your mind. And you have officially delegated a task that you don’t have to worry about for the next 12 hours and that is a beautiful thing.

Scott: That is a beautiful thing and that is so — so if somebody is interested in maybe giving us a shot, they know what they want to be working with virtual assistants but don’t know where to start, you’d recommend trying this

Ari Meisel: Absolutely. Make a dinner reservation, make a dentist’s appointment, see if the store has something in stock, it’s that simple, you’ll see the power of not having to deal with something that mundane by yourself.

Scott: Love it. Now again, I want to switch gears and actually have you tell a story real quick, because I think we were having a coffee in New York before I left for Brazil and you told me about how you actually got the book deal for Less Doing and I’ve heard a lot of different guys talk about this but I have never heard a story that was as unique as yours and almost — I mean it seemed in some ways, the way you had a lot of this book done is in total alignment with the whole theory of Less Doing and that it just took you much less time. So, could you talk a little bit about that and tell that story?

Ari Meisel: Yeah, so the only time that I have had outsourcing really go badly for me was when I tried to have ghostwriters work on writing stuff for me. And again, I said this before, I honestly believe that if a competent outsource provider does a poor job, it is your fault as the assigner because you weren’t clear about what you wanted. So, [Inaudible 0:22:56] some malice there but basically, I had wanted to write the book — I had written the book basically years ago even before I had really formed all the ideas which was silly in retrospect now that it has all come together. So the first two times, I tried to have somebody put together an e-book version of what is now the real book. I sent them seven or eight blog posts and an interview I had done and a podcast and basically I was like ‘hey, take all this stuff and make it something that sort of flows well’. And the first time what I got back was like basically cut and paste of what I had sent them and the second person, what they wrote, it just didn’t sound good. It was really terrible and I was really disappointed. But, it’s really about finding the method and I love — there’s an Einstein quote that I love and it’s basically like, ‘if you try to teach a fish to climb a ladder, you’re always going to think it’s an idiot’. So basically, finally, I created this online course with a lot of video of me talking in the way that I naturally speak, in the way that I naturally present, the way that I really wanted the material to come out and I sent — I said to a new person, take my course and then write an e-book based on that. And what I got back was perfect. The woman absolutely nailed it and she was amazing and I was able to use that — in a way it was a transcription of what I said but it was just put together in a nice way and the questions were removed and it flowed better. And that basically started as my outline for the real book.

Scott: Love that, so you just basically cut that whole process, cut the time on that outline process in a tenth of the time by just having somebody give you this amazing draft to start with by outsourcing giving them something to work with and then kind of doing some of the heavy lifting? That’s awesome.

Ari Meisel: Yeah, and you know what’s so funny about that is when I met the guy who became my editor, he was like ‘well, when do you think you’ll have the manuscript?’ I was like, I’ll email it to you before we leave this meeting, it was done and on the same note, I’ve already given them the manuscript for the next book.

Scott: Love it, and is there any chance we could get a sneak peak of what that might be?

Ari Meisel: Sure, it’s going to be basically my Gmail, IFTTT and virtual assistant course but it’s going to be much more specific kind of guide to how you conquer email, how you automate your life and how you deal with virtual assistants.

Scott: Love it, I think no one can ever get enough good information on how to do all those things because it just seems like no matter what we do, there’s more email, there’s more tasks, there’s more things that somebody else could be doing for me. So, I’m personally really fired up about that book too.

Ari Meisel: Thank you very much, man.

Scott: So, all right, there’s been so much amazing information in this talk that people can use to get an edge in their business and their life, but I always like to finish with one question at the end. And that is, if there was one thing that maybe we haven’t talked about yet or maybe we have and you could just highlight it, that you could tell people that they could do to get an edge in their business and life, what would that be?

Ari Meisel: Start writing down every single idea that you have; without questioning it, without hesitating or without even thinking about it. If you have an idea, get it out of your head and I recommend Evernote but you can use a notebook if you want but get those ideas out of your head. If you want to refer to them later, you can if you don’t, that’s fine, just create idea flow.

Scott: And why is it such a powerful practice?

Ari Meisel: Because again, we don’t use our brains for the things that we should be using them for and the brain is really good for coming up with ideas but it’s really bad at holding on to them and in that case it’s even worse at actually getting them.

Scott: So, the idea is to really create space by logging these in that external brain, so you can focus on what’s important like new ideas instead of focusing on having to remember something?

Ari Meisel: Exactly. I have this very ideological view that everybody has some genius in them to offer the world, everybody without fail. And for the most part if they are not sharing it with the world, it’s because they are getting in their own way. And that’s just the nature of the beast. So, you have to clear your mind to allow that to happen.

Scott: Where do you write all your ideas down?

Ari Meisel: Oh, I’m a huge Evernote guy.

Scott: Evernote, you got that app on your phone?

Ari Meisel: I have the Evernote app on the phone and then I use the Web version on the computer.

Scott: Amazing, We’ll make sure to link Evernote as well as all the other amazing tools that you have mentioned in this interview in the show notes and if people want to find out more of this type of information or if they want to get the book, what is the best place for them to go?

Ari Meisel: So the main website is Lessdoing dot com, that’s where everything is. If you just want to remember one thing, Lessdoing dot com, that’s where my book is, the podcast, the articles, everything, the blog — but if you go to Lessdoing book dot com, then I have a special page where I have some really cool offers for people if you buy one book or if you buy ten books, there’s some really cool [Inaudible 0:28:29] that goes along with that.

Scott: Well, that is a certain something that I am going to be running over to after this interview. Thanks again for coming over man, this has been so amazing, I really appreciate it, I’m like so excited right now about going up and optimizing some of the things that I’m currently doing after our talk and I really just want to thank you for coming out today.

Ari Meisel: Thanks for having me, it’s always fun talking to you.

[End of interview 0:28:53]


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3 comments, add to the conversation.

  1. Bill Masur

    Hey Scott, You really killing it with these podcasts! Nice work! Great guests and great discussions


  2. Bill Masur

    Hey Scott, You are really killing it with these podcasts! Nice work! Great guests and great discussions


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