If you have 5 minutes, You can practice mindfulness!

Kia Ora Whanau!

Alex from Costas Enterprises here and today I would like to provide you with a very simple way of starting your mindfulness journey.

“But Alex, I don’t have enough time to meditate, plus I don’t want to do any hippie type, ohmmmm thinking stuff!” – I presume you say!

Well I am here to tell you that I have created a little PDF to help ease you into to some mindfulness.

So lets start with the obvious question shall we?

What The F&*k is mindfulness? Will it cause me to get 5G Like the virus?

Well no, obviously not – Mindfulness… for those still with me, is defined as per the below:

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” – defined and explained in more detail here.

Uh what are you on about?

Mindfulness is a practice and a state of being. For me it’s how I control my emotions.

Ok let me explain how I use mindfulness – I am still not an expert but I have found it greatly helps me. I use the essence of mindfulness to slow down my thoughts, accept and acknowledge my feelings and work on sorting out any emotional things I am going through. Anger, Sadness, Anxiousness and all other fun emotions.

I also use mindfulness to further structure my day, week, month and even my year. I use it to help me find the good in my life when the walls feel like they are crumbling and it all feels like it’s getting a bit stressful.

So it’s like meditation? Doesn’t that like hurt your legs?

Um … no my legs are fine, in fact I don’t even meditate, there is no special yoga poses or anything like that associated with mindfulness. A big part, however is controlling your breathing and learning to live in the moment.

Ok but doesn’t it take like 1 hour? That’s too long

Well … see that’s what caused me to create the PDF at the end. I am giving you a basic intro into mindfulness and it’s only going to take you five minutes.

If your prepared to go on a journey and keep your mind open then I hope I can explain the PDF to you.

Five Minutes That Can Potentially Change Your Life

Did I catch your attention? This is not click bait – If you are prepared to try mindfulness out then this five minute session could start to change your life. If not, you tried something new for once.

So when you download the PDF and open it you can refer to this article for more information.

Before you begin – What you need to bring/ prepare!

Basically – nothing, download the PDF and read this article before you start your journey. Keep an open mind and follow the steps.

Each step is outlined as a one minute activity – but this is a very basic guide. If you want to spend more time on a step you can.

Step One – Close your eyes and breathe deeply

We begin with life’s most precious gift, air.

With mindfulness I always start by closing my eyes and breathing deeply.

To breathe deeply, effectively you can do the following exercise:

  • Breathe in for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds
  • Slowly breathe out for four seconds

Now I know I said you should do this for one minute, but to start you don’t have to hold for four seconds for too long, but if you can control your breathing for the full five minutes you will get a lot more out of mindfulness.

This is because the breathing in and out will hopefully help you de-stress as you exhale. It is important that you are slowly breathing out. Think of playing a control game as the breath leaves your lungs.

If you are doing step one correctly you should feel all your tensions starting to disappear.

After your first minute, you can move on to step two.

Step Two – Acknowledge All Thoughts

Um … what do you mean?

Ok so this will sound a little weird but let me try and explain it. While you are doing your breathing and starting to get into a relaxed state you will find that your mind starts to wander off and start thinking about all the different things going on in your life, maybe it might direct you to the fact that one of the lines in this article sounds similar to that line in the Friends theme song.

It could be that negative doubt that your subconscious wants to get your attention, it might be that mobile game that keep beckoning you, but whatever it may be, what you need to do now is when these thoughts start to surface, you need to acknowledge them and let them go.

This is one of the most important parts of mindfulness as this step will help you focus on breathing. Your first and only thoughts while practicing mindfulness should be “Breathe in and Breathe out”.

Um stupid question but how are you supposed to “acknowledge” a thought and then forget it?

Glad you asked, by acknowledging the thoughts (either positive or negative) you are effectively taking the power away from these thoughts and you are taking control of your actions (your deep breathing). You are starting to learn how to live in the moment, specifically live in your moment!

Once you can start to let these thoughts go you are set to take on step three.

Step Three – Move That Bus … I Mean Release Those Thoughts

So by step three you should have noticed by now that actually these steps are all interconnected and that you can’t complete each step without using the first two. Congratulations young Padawan! you are ready to move on to training with master Yoda in the Dagobah system.

Step three is all about taking those acknowledged thoughts and releasing them.

This is easier said then done as sometimes those thoughts that pop in might be from past experiences that made you feel bad, or they might be your subconscious trying to undermine/ sabotage you.

Now the whole point of this step is to deal specifically with those negative thoughts. This is because these thoughts will not only distract you but they may linger and deter you from wanting to reach your ultimate goal of being the greatest and most mindful person alive (queue maniacal laughter).

But seriously, how do you remove these thoughts from your head? Well I am gonna be upfront with you. You can’t completely remove these thoughts. They will always be a part of you until you seek professional help to resolve some underlying issues you may need to address.

Wait! Don’t stop reading just yet, hope is not yet lost trust me! What you can do is focus on releasing the thoughts you acknowledge on your next exhale.

The way this was originally explained to me was to imagine these thoughts as falling leaves falling into a river.

You see the river is your state of mind and each leaf is a thought that pops up (be it positive or negative) and too many leaves that fall in your river will cause your mind to flood. We don’t want that right? So we have to take those leaves and with our wind (breath) we exhale these thoughts so they don’t affect our river.

What I am trying to say is when a thought that comes in starts to fall in the river and distract you – you need to let that leaf make like a tree and f&*k off out of your river.

This takes practice, but when you can start to master this then you will be doing a one handed handstand while you levitate rocks and a X-Wing using nothing but medichlorienes in your blood … I mean The Force.

Ready for Step Four?

Step Four – Practice Gratefulness

What are you grateful for? This step is all about focusing on the positive in your life and and noticing what you feel when you think of these things.

Basically what makes you want to keep on living life to the fullest? Is it your partner? children? parents? that amazing once in a lifetime trip that made you realize what you want to do with your life? That job that makes you get up in the morning?

Yes all of these are the things we are supposed to think when practicing gratefulness and gratitude but these are not the only things. You might be grateful for that cup of coffee that was made by your fav coffee shop, or it could be that nice old lady that gave you a giant red apple for no apparent reason.

My point is that in this step you don’t have to appreciate only the really big things, you can also appreciate something simple as the warm sun on your face with the breeze in the air.

Just be grateful and give thanks for being alive.

Now gratefulness is one thing but now is also a time for your to show some gratitude in your mind to people, animals, experiences that have helped you get to this state. Take a moment to recognize the things in your life that make you feel like living because after your mindfulness journey you may want to reach out and give back in any way.

After you have all the fuzzy feelings now you can move on to the last and most important step.

Step Five – Live In Your Moment

Congratulations! You are in the final stretch of your first (of hopefully many more) mindfulness journey(s).

This last step is about living in your moment.

Now you may be asking why did I say in “your” moment as opposed to in “the” moment, well I like to think that as you are on this journey and you have been breathing, acknowledging your thoughts, releasing your thoughts and remembering what makes you grateful to be alive its now up to you to start really living your life.

Living in your moment is being completely and utterly in your own state of being and mind, that you start to see things a little different. You are no longer controlled by other’s influences/ actions or your own emotions.

Now I am not saying this will lead you to Nirvana, but it can help you get to a further place of peace in your own mind.

You will also find that some mindfulness can help you better think of a difficult situation or decision you need to make and can help you get more clarity.

Ok that was pretty enlightening I guess I’ll check out your PDF

Well thanks for making it this far, I hope this guide and also this PDF helps you further your journey and is helpful.

Feel free to share this around and email me on my contact details.

I do cover more of these subjects on my Get A Job And Get Healthy With Costas Enterprises podcast.

Please find the PDF below and as always thanks for reading and good luck!

Alex

PDF – 5 Minutes of Mindfulness

Passive Income – TeeSpring Review – Uploading Guide

Kia Ora Whanau

Well as promised on my podcast, “Get A Job And Get Healthy With Costas Enterprises” (opens in Spotify). I promised that I would try write a blog as well every week.

Last week I did a review on Redbubble so I thought that I should now cover off the other Print On Demand (POD) service that I regularly use – TeeSpring.

To check out my TeeSpring site you can visit this here.

With my last post, “Passive Income – Redbubble Review … Wait I Got A Sale??” I compared all three POD’s I use, Threadless, TeeSpring and Redbubble. I covered off most of the differences but as I have been using TeeSpring a little longer than Redbubble I will try focus more on this.

So up front I want to say that I actually like a lot of things about TeeSpring, but there are defiantly some things that can hurt this POD.

My TeeSpring Site – Costas Enterprises Designs

Pros

  1. Analytics

So one of the things I really like about TeeSpring is the Analytics section of your dashboard.

The reason this is so good on TeeSpring is they clearly show you how many views/ sales and also what is generating your views. I will include a screen shot of my current analytics views page so you can see.

Analytics for views

As you can seem TeeSpring gives you a quick glance graph of views or sales to your store. You can also view your listings (your designs) and sort these by views, orders, units or profit. For the above example I have highlighted my most views for the last month dated to 22 August – 22 September.

The design highlighted above is the same design highlighted in my analytics

The main reason I love the analytics that TeeSpring provide is I can start to see what is working and what isn’t for my designs. It is also where you can see if your have gained a trust score.

… Um what trust score??? and … what is a trust score???

Ok so if this is the first time your hearing about a trust score then that means you haven’t read my previous post or listened to my podcast. Let me explain now.

TeeSpring advises that they will do advertising for you once you gain a positive trust score.

You can’t obtain a trust score until you have made between 1 – 25 sales through TeeSpring.

People don’t realize how important getting your trust score is. If you want to generate income passively using TeeSpring you need your trust score to be positive so your designs are seen by everyone. Now TeeSpring do advise you that you need a trust score when you sign up.

What TeeSpring doesn’t tell you is when you have gained a positive trust score or exactly how many sales you need to generate to get a positive trust score. By using the analytics to your advantage, you can start to see things like sales or views on your site to see when TeeSpring is advertising your designs.

2. Changing your storefront

Ok this Pro is more of a slightly better cosmetic fix then any actual issue on storefront but once you know about it – it can really help.

With Threadless – there is very little storefront customization for your products.

Redbubble is the same but their algorithm at least has the ability to explore designs and then click on products related to the design.

TeeSpring … not so much

Ok so let me clarify what I mean here, if you upload a design to your TeeSpring store then the design is automatically added to your store front. This means that if you don’t customize your storefront you run the risk of having 15 products with all the same design one after the other – this means your customer is only going to see one design until they keep scrolling.

However TeeSpring does allow you to actually fix this. When you are in your dashboard you will notice a “Storefronts” option – From this section you can edit your current storefront and then favorite your designs (and products) you want to be displayed first.

Tip: Hover over the storefront to either view storefront or (located in the top right corner of the storefront thumbnail) you will see a edit button – this is where you can change your actual storefront, edit the banner, add images etc..

Being able to change your storefront does make your POD store feel a bit more personal. I have been very basic with mine but I plan to add a new banner up the top with some of my designs to really make it more vibrant.

3. Uploading preview window

So with this section I am going to cover off the actual upload process and use a new design “Footlong Hugs” created for this blog to show what needs to be done. The reason I really like this is the User Interface (UI) is quite easy to use for those just starting out.

The process of uploading a design, or even adding text to your design is simple and so is the adjusting of the design. While it is a slower process then Redbubble or Threadless it does flow a lot better and is easier to use.

The Upload Window

The Upload Process

  1. Upload your design by clicking the ‘Add Image’. This must be a transparent image. I use a design 5000 x 5000 pixels created in Canva.
  2. In the preview window you will see your design. You can faintly see a red dotted box. This is the area where your image can be printed on. You can resize the image within this box.
  3. To see your design on a product click the ‘Preview’ or to go back and edit click ‘Design’.
  4. Set your colours by clicking the ‘+’ to add more. The colour you select will be the default view. You can change this underneath
  5. Set your price – as mentioned in my previous post – TeeSpring will set your price initially and it will be quite high – I have changed my price to be lower than what TeeSpring offers meaning my profit will be lower … but this is because I want to generate more sales in the future to build my trust score up.
  6. Click ‘Continue’
  7. You will be taken to a new screen where you can select and edit other products for your design
Stage 2 of uploading a design

Now you repeat steps 2 – 6 for each product you add.

Once finished click ‘Continue’ to go to the publish page.

Publish Screen
  1. Add your Title.
  2. Add the Description for your design.
    TIP: Make sure your Description matches your title and mentions the title – this will help TeeSpring find your design and also improve your trust score.
  3. Check the View, URL, Visibility and that it is adding it to our existing store.
  4. Click ‘Publish Listing’.
  5. You listing will now be added to the shop.
OMG it’s our design??? That seemed easy …

To view (or purchase … yes cheeky to ask but no harm in asking) this design click here.

Cons

Ok so there are some cons and most I have previously talked about on my podcast and previous post but lets go through them.

  1. TeeSpring Trust Score

So why is a trust score a Con? well it is a bit of a Catch 22 – It is nice once you have a Trust Score but the negative is that unless you generate “organic” sales. An organic sale is where someone (not yourself) goes to your site and purchase something.

The other problem with this is you have to have 1 – 25 sales. this means there is no actual clear definition of how to obtain a trust score.

TIP: Ok so this Tip might sounds a bit silly but the way I got a positive trust score was simply making three purchases from different accounts (well I made two, my partner surprised me by making a separate one). The only problem with this tip is – it costs you $$ and you may have to get 25 sales before it works

2. Default Pricing

The default pricing set by TeeSpring is way to high. That is not to say that the products are priced too high, I am referring to the default profit price. If you are trying to acquire a trust score as per the first Con you might have a hard time selling the product given the T-Shirt you are trying to sell is close to $30 USD instead of $16 USD as TeeSpring wants to make you money.

But wait? Isn’t more profit what I want? – well yes it is but when your starting up you need to build your brand. You will have to do all of the advertising for your products/ shop with no help from TeeSpring. If you lower the pricing to start with you are more likely to bring in a bigger audience and even if they buy a sticker, this is still a sale. Your customer doesn’t want to be paying $9 USD for something you would usually pay $3 – $5 Maximum.

3. No Tags

So I know I keep referring to my previous post so you may want to check it out.

Tags is something you really need to know about. Tags are the way Redbubble directs your customers to your designs. Tags are like when you tag someone on Facebook or Instagram. You may have even found this post due to a tag!

TeeSpring doesn’t have Tags. Your design will only be found by using keywords in your Title and Description. These are important but as you can guess your visibility will not be as good as it would be with Tags.

Now this is not to say that your design wont be seen by people – TeeSpring still has an audience of close to 28 million views a week, but it means that your keywords in your Title and Description are even more important.

Conclusion

I still really like and use TeeSpring and would recommend people use TeeSpring as well as Redbubble. You will see positives and negatives in both but still the audience is too big to not take advantage of another POD site.

Thanks for sticking with me until the end of the blog post. It has been a long one I know but I hope this has helped you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me as I love to here from my community 🙂

Have a great day whanau and good luck!

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