How I Began Rising At 5 AM By Asking Myself This One Powerful Question In The Morning

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San Diego Sunrise | October 12, 2019


The alarm goes off. I hit snooze and buy myself 9 more minutes of sleep.


Alarm again. Snooze again. 9 minutes again.

BAMP! Snooze. 9 minutes.


And over.

And over again.

For years, I’m ashamed to admit this was my morning routine. On some days this alarm-wake-sleep spiral of misery would play out for 2–3 hours. What started as a plan to wake up at 5 AM and conquer the world devolved into Plan B — stumble out of bed at 7:30 AM feeling groggy and defeated. …

A Basic Rundown Of The 3 Strategies

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Captured over Coronado, CA

August 3rd, 2015. San Diego. I just accepted an offer at Sunrun, and I’m sitting at my manager’s desk filling out employment paperwork.

Me: “It’s amazing that this many homeowners have gone solar. I mean, to think….almost a million people have done their part to help stop climate change. It’s just incredible.”

Andrew: “People don’t go solar because it’s green. People go solar because it’s cheaper than what they are already doing.”

It’s funny to think how naive I was when I first started in the industry. I dismissed solar as a tech toy reserved for those with deep pockets. And I don’t think I was alone in that paradigm. I think this misunderstanding prevents a vast number of people from exploring solar in any more depth. …

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Dirty, expensive power.

Homeowners often go solar is in order to insulate themselves from future rate increases. It’s a cornerstone in the decision making process, and one of the highest regarded reasons. They know that over time, the power company jacks up rates at a pace considerably higher than inflation. With each passing year, the power bill consumes more and more of the paycheck. However, when folks no longer “buy in” to the notion of ever increasing costs of electricity, solar isn’t nearly as appealing.

Over the last few days, SDG&E distributed an email to it’s customers about some important changes in the rate structure that are taking place in the coming years. The message was somewhat misleading, and may have left some residents a different impression than it should. …

12:00 PM on a Tuesday

My car is due back at noon, so I’m getting a little worried. The renter — we’ll call him Jim — hasn’t contacted me in the last couple of days. Normally, renters are highly communicative, and often even bring the car back early. Something is off.

Four days ago, I picked Jim up at his house in my car. Jim used RelayRides — a popular peer-to-peer car sharing platform — to discover and rent my personal car. During our drive back to drop me off at home, I didn’t get a good feeling. Jim was very young, and although our dialogue was a brief ten minutes, he didn’t strike me as someone who came cross as outwardly responsible. A few abrasive references, a couple peculiar idioms, and my guard was up. …

What’s going on with the big changes at Medium?

Dear Greg,

I know there are some big changes at Medium. It just sounds like they’re not profitable and a bit of a mess. Does most of your advice [from The Ultimate Guide To Medium] still apply or is it too soon to know? Have the changes been rolled out or just announced?

Thank you,

Janet, online reporter at NewspaperGirl

Let’s start off by setting the stage for Janet’s questions. When she mentions the “big changes” at Medium, she’s referring to the shake up that happened in late May of 2015. Medium is focusing its efforts on strengthening the network and community. Consequently, they’ve had to pull resources from their internally supported content efforts. …

(For Writers, That Is)

By design, Medium is stripped down, streamlined, and lightweight. This isn’t a result of a lazy product team — quite the contrary. Medium has worked tirelessly to demolish all barriers that exist between you and your written word, and the resulting super simple editor is a tremendous asset in accomplishing such an ambitious target.

Don’t mistake Medium’s approach as limiting. Within the sandbox that Medium has provided for wordsmiths to play, a creative writer is still left with plenty of options. Constraints are a beautiful thing, and Medium has reached an elusive balance to encourage you to stay on track while simultaneously empowering you to add some custom touches. …

Yesterday, I saw the following banner ad. It was disturbing enough to prompt me to sit down, unhinge my laptop, and write this.

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Let’s break down the intended cognitive path for the recipient of this ad.

Binge eating? I guess I occasionally eat too much. I hear ya’!

Wait just a minute…Binge eating is a real medical condition? Holy cow, that’s scary! I wonder if I need treatment?

Oh wow, look at that! This video will tell me if I am totally sick or not. If I am, it’s a good thing I have a doctor that can write me a prescription. …

Navigating your computer quickly can be a learned skill and a competitive advantage over others that wield a keyboard and mouse. Because the tasks you perform on your machine are replicated dozens of times per hour, and you work many hours in the week, shaving just a few seconds off each process can equate to some serious time savings.

When I was writing “The Ultimate Guide To Medium: How I Made $10,000 & Other Viral Strategies”, I was constantly switching between Chrome, Evernote, and iBooks Author. I had two or three browser windows up, and I’m not ashamed to admit I may have had in excess of thirty different tabs open. Writing the book was no simple task, but it was certainly made easier once I discovered the following shortcuts to navigate between all my windows, applications, and tabs. …

Here’s how we make sure it doesn’t run out.

When I was in high school, I had a friend that came from a wealthy east coast family. Paul was 21 years old. He lived in a modest 4 bedroom house and drove a new Ford Mustang. Paul always dressed nicely, but never extravagantly. He went on a few vacations throughout the years to Hawaii and Mexico, but spent most of his time locally. He had hobbies that weren't cheap, but they weren't ridiculously expensive — skiing and golf. Interestingly, Paul did not have a full time job, yet he was never concerned about money.

When Paul was 18, he was given access to a trust fund worth five million bucks. After taxes and management fees, Paul received about $300,000 a year from the corresponding interest and investments. He took 5% and put it right back in the fund to offset inflation, and spent no more than the remaining $285,000 annually. Not a bad income. Paul could live comfortably for the rest of his life, so long as he maintained the lump sum in his fund. He realized the importance of protecting the resource that unconditionally provided for him. …

My younger sister boarded a jet plane last week, bound for Thailand until the end of summer. Along with her well paying job and insert-cliche-reason-for-packing-up-everything-and-going-abr0ad, she left behind her car — a 2010 Honda Civic so devoid of factory options that a Cap’n Crunch box may be better equipped with gadgetry. (Seriously — the car doesn’t even have floor mats.)

When seeking the most suitable option for long term storage of said horseless carriage, traditional logic would suggest to park it somewhere safe, lock it up, and check back in later.

However, as a function of remaining stationary for the nearly two quarters, the car would likely be in poor condition upon her return. The battery would be dead. Small rodents would begin to forward their mail here. The tires would become as under inflated as a New England Patriot’s football during the Superbowl. …


Greg Muender

Sales Manager @Sunrun | Circle of Excellence & 2015 Rookie of The Year | @gregmuender on Instagram | I wrote the book on @medium:

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