Choose Yourself!

Hey Folks.

I haven’t posted much lately. Honestly, I am not sure on the overall direction of this blog and I’m ok with that. I know that the blog title includes my name and so therefore it can be about things related to myself.

In the past it included reflections on the simple things in life and my experiences.

I do know that I love to help and encourage people and hopefully even inspire them to do good stuff. Life can be hard and anything we can do to lighten the load of another has to be a good thing.

With this in mind, I have decided to share things that I am finding useful or helpful on my own journey, or themes that come up that I hope you can take something from. I hope you enjoy following along.

Right now I’m reading and can recommend this really great book called Choose Yourself by James Altucher.

It is about choosing ourselves rather than waiting for someone to come by and choose us, for example, many authors are now self publishing books with great success. Seth Godin similarly tells us to pick ourselves.

It’s what I unknowingly did when I set up my own YouTube channel which now has over 11K subscribers and 1.5 million views and even earns me a little of what every entrepreneur ultimately dreams of; “passive income“. I tell you this not to brag, but because I know that the ideas in the book actually work because I have direct experience of doing this myself. More on how all of this happened in future posts. I basically chose myself to do something when I wasn’t getting “picked”.

Here is an overview of the book:

The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for “security,” everything we thought was “safe,” no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It’s all crumbling down. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself.

New tools and economic forces have emerged to make it possible for individuals to create art, make millions of dollars and change the world without “help.” More and more opportunities are rising out of the ashes of the broken system to generate real inward success (personal happiness and health) and outward success (fulfilling work and wealth).

This book will teach you to do just that. With dozens of case studies, interviews and examples–including the author, investor and entrepreneur James Altucher’s own heartbreaking and inspiring story–Choose Yourself illuminates your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old.

You can get Choose Yourself on Amazon (Non affiliate link)

James will even refund you the cost of the book! Full details here.

Choose Yourself!

If you liked this post, you can leave me a comment or ask a question.

– Emma

Nothing New Ever Happens

Have you ever felt stuck? Felt like nothing ever changes? You try, but your days seem to repeat much the same? I know how you feel.

I headed out in the car, to a familiar hill, at an unfamiliar hour.

I have driven the route many a time, always the same. Nothing new here.

Except tonight, a small difference. A “Police, Slow” sign in the road.

As I turned around the corner I was greeted by a recovery truck with lights flashing.

Oh, and a man stood in the middle of the road dressed up as a lion, drinking a bottle of beer. Now that’s new and unexpected.

The lion approached my now stationary car and casually informed me that a car had gone over the verge, no one hurt, and it wouldn’t be too long.

“Thanks”, I said, much bemused, asking what the occasion was, meaning, why the hell are you dressed like a lion and drinking beer in the middle of the road?

Just a standard Saturday night. That and some country dancing event.

With that, out of the car in front appeared the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.

I smiled.

Then on top the hill, the hill that is always the same, a stacked rock formation had magically appeared:


It was as if the universe was saying, everything is possible, new things are only just around the corner and you never know what they might be. You cannot even imagine what they might be.

I’m off to see the wizard anyway.

Until next time.


Happy Birthday Dad!

I left my Dad’s birthday gathering inside the family home and stepped out into the in the darkness. It was pouring outside.

He put up an umbrella to keep us dry and walked me to my car, gift of coronas in hand.

We said goodbye and I drove away out of his sight.

I could have driven 2 other ways to get back to the main road and continue my journey.

This time however, I chose the ‘turn around’ option that would take me past the family home once again.

Driving back down the road towards the house, I briefly wondered if my Dad would still be outside. But why would he be? It was cold, dark, raining and he had no way of knowing which route I would take back home.

But sure enough, there he was, waiting patiently in the pouring rain to see if I would drive back past, smiling like the sun and waving me off.

Because that’s the sort of thing great Dads do.

Thank you for always braving the cold, rainy dark times with me Dad. You are a ray of sunshine!

Wishing you once again a very Happy Birthday for yesterday.







Raising Prices

I recently raised my prices on all my digital products I create for Studio Scratches.


The prices didn’t reflect the effort that had gone into making them and the value people get out of them.

Whilst they do attract many casual customers, I would rather attract people that really value what I do and the products I create to help them with their DJ practice. These customers usually return as repeat buyers for all new products.

Otherwise my cheap products become just lost amongst all the many other cheap products.

I want people to use my products deliberately not just buy them because they are cheap.

My guiding force is always for people to receive more in value than the actual price they pay.

I get people writing to me everyday wanting free information, information that I have spent 12 years researching and working out for myself. I don’t mind sharing and helping out, but perhaps it is time to value what I do more highly and put a better price on it. Then it becomes a win win situation for all involved.

The people that really want to know more are usually happy to pay and support what I do, the rest move on to the next person offering everything for free.

I used to release a free something every week. I put 2-3 days work into it. People hadn’t had time to fully digest the first freebie when I released the next. The value was seriously diluted.

Since I slowed down on the release of products, my work has a higher value. I don’t break myself trying to respond to everyone. Instead I consider what people are asking and how I can make this into a product or fully featured post that benefits a lot of people including myself. I’m always thinking win win.

As I write this post, I received a bulk order for 8 items, all paid for and delivered digitally without me doing a thing, as if to confirm I am on the right track. It’s so awesome when that happens.

Is it time for you to raise your prices?

Have you ever done this? What were the results?

You can tell me in the comments below or on G+.


Crossing The Atlantic in Search of Adventure

At the beginning of this week I booked a flight in June from my home in the UK to San Francisco, USA.

Why? Why not! Life is for living and getting out into the world and experiencing all it has to offer.

I’ve always wanted to experience this city.

I’ve never had the *ahem* balls to just book a solo trip with no idea of what I am doing, where I am staying, or what I’ll do when I get there. I’ll be there for 12 nights.

I have a few classic ideas of places and things to experience when I get there: the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, a road trip to Yosemite.

Sure I will experience some tourist things, but I will also discover new places, people and find out more about myself, which is where the real adventure lies.

Sometimes the only thing to do is take a risk, jump into the unknown and see what happens.

I have no real plans. I’m a little out of my depth. I’ll be travelling light.

I am reminded by Lao Tzu that “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

The last time I hopped on a plane into the unknown was in August 2004 to work on the Paskowiz Surf Camp in San Diego with people I had never met. I surfed all day, lived out of a tent for 4 weeks and had nothing but a bag of clothes and a minidisc player. It was truly awesome!

I’ll keep you updated on this new adventure.

Perhaps i’ll write and share a journal of my experiences. I’m taking a camera.

What should I do when I get there? Would you be willing to share suggestions?

I would love it if you would tell me here.

Shooting for the Stars

Today I got out and about with my Canon 600D.

It was raining and grim but it’s always good to get off the beaten track.

After a quick tour around some local hills and valleys, the rain hadn’t stopped so I opted for tea and biscuits (oops!) in the warm.

I’ve been learning quite a bit about my camera and photography in general.

Things got interesting today when I shot some pics of the sunset and got to grips with more camera settings, then I decided to see if I could capture some stars in the ‘magic hour’.


You can see the full set here.

The 2 super bright stars planets that look like stars are Jupiter and Venus and apparently will be appearing closer and closer together as the days progress.

It was really very relaxing, standing in the cold, fresh air, waiting 30 seconds for the shutter and each image to appear. It was so quiet and still. I could get used to taking these. I love the wispy blurred clouds. Clouds always make sunsets and skies more interesting in small amounts!

I edited one of the photos with some typography which will be featured on Be Deliberate tomorrow. Make sure you get signed up if you want it in your inbox.

Thats all for today.

Night night!

Learning, learning, learning

Today about 4 people inspired and helped me with photography for which I am very grateful. I didn’t know there was so much I didn’t know.

After the shoot / play on the rocky beach, I was discussing how my photos looked with them both and I expressed a few difficulties and that I hadn’t got them looking how I imagined. Turns out I needed a UV filter so I picked one up today along with a simple lens cleaning kit. One also suggested this free photography course so I’m signed up and ready to learn as much as I can.

I also now need a decent camera bag for all these extra bits I never knew I needed. Sigh. More stuff!

The overall goal is to keep it simple, travel light and snap interesting stuff. I’m loving nature and shooting close up objects.

I’m not keen to be an all out “photographer” or have tons of gear. I just want to have enough to get onto camera what my eyes see. The eyes really are the ultimate camera lenses in so many ways.

It’s quite a journey and I have sooooo much to learn! But that is the fun of it.

Practice makes better I heard Kal Barteski say.

Hopefully now I know better, I’ll do better. Ok enough quotes!

Here is some practice:

Onwards and upwards!

Have a great day.

Beaches and Things

Today I took myself and my Canon 600D to a rocky beach.

I needed some fresh air and inspiration.

It was pretty much grey and uninspiring but I figured it would be better than staying at home looking out at the grey, wishing it was sunny.

It proved to be a breath of fresh air. As soon as I got there and heard the waves breaking I felt instant chill wash over me.

Here are a few pics for you:

I just took some time strolling along, taking pictures and footage of the stream and rocks.

It was so good to feel the cool salty air in my face and when the sun came out that was an unexpected bonus.

I’ve also been experimenting with my photos and words to make things like this for Be Deliberate (my little site / way of encouraging / inspiring people to live their dreams):

I have been thinking of doing something like that for a while and yesterday I stumbled across someone that had done 365 days worth around a similar idea and that was just the inspiration I needed to kick me into action. Hooray!

I’ve also been looking for that font, for like… forever, so after a bit of detective work, I discovered it was Strangelove. So off I went with Photoshop and my little book of quotes.

Now i’m looking forward to taking more pictures and editing them up and seeing what words come to mind.

One of those nice relaxed creative days.

Go Your Own Way

I have recently found that the trouble with following someone else’s “system”, is that when they change or discontinue their system, I end up lost with no guide to help me move forwards.

The answer? I Work on my own system!

This means I:

  • Learn through personal experiences
  • Experiment
  • Listen to myself
  • Trust myself
  • Have no plan
  • Seek out adventure
  • Look for the new
  • Learn on the fly
  • Lead the way

I am of course inspired, informed and influenced by others work, but at the end of the day it’s really up to me to chart my own direction and steer my own ship.

I find that exciting, often scary, but always empowering.

I am reminded of this saying:

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

What trails are you making?

Let’s talk about it here.

So now, are you ready to get out there and kick life in the teeth?!