On Toughness and Podcasting

We Aren’t that Tough.


After traveling around the world hunting adventure jobs (fruit picking, ship refitting, cattle station hand, construction…) I’ve learned that I’m not that tough. I’m tougher than many… but when I think about historical toughness (e.g. the romans, the mongols, the WWII generation) I expect that I’m actually quite a weakling.

Imagine the toughness of people like the mongols; riding into battle, 50,000 fellow warriors deep; 5 days straight galloping across the barren steeps of Northern China. They would keep 5 horses the whole time, switching off as the horses tired to ride the next one until it became tired. These guys where crazy, hell-driven machines.

How about the Romans? Hiking thousands of miles just to go into battle with strange beastly men from distant cold lands. They had no clocks or penicillin…

No, we have it good these days… The reason I’m contemplating these things, is that Dan Carlin has been keeping me company through my iPhone.


Dan Carlin – Excellence in Podcasting.

Dan Carlin does one of my favorite podcasts. He enthralls the listener with modest, yet passionate presentations on the histories of people who come to life through his words. He brings searing descriptions of these mad people that remain with the listener for ages.

Dan Carlin - Hardcore History

His show, Hardcore History, only asks for donations if you stick around until the last 5 seconds of the show. You can support him by going through his Amazon Portal or signing up for Audible. I view these monetizing efforts at the end of his show as opportunities to help someone who has already done me a great service. There is no hard sell. He just delivers something better than I would have thought I wanted.

This is how to succeed in the podcasting world.

Want to know what kicked this blog post off? You can listen to it free by downloading Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Show 33 – (BLITZ) Old School Toughness


What this Means


It’s important to understand that previous generations where far tougher than us. At the same time, we should enjoy the fact that we live in a world of such luxury. In fact, we should be eternally grateful for every moment that we can climb in a car and drive up the hill to get fresh milk from a refrigerated box.

We stand on the shoulders of giants.

Best of all, things are getting better every day.

KISS Breakdown of Podcast Potential

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

I’ll give you 4 unique podcasts and explain what they do that is interesting.


1. Lifestyle Business Podcast 

  • Conventional Radio Style Show
  • Provides specific actionable information for business owners (specifically those that want to be web based)
  • They act as personal-like characters
  • The podcast is broken into sections which are uniform across all episodes

2. Duncan Trussell Family Hour

  • Very Unconventional
  • Focus on entertainment, humor, spiritualism futurist ideas and creativity
  • Bizarre approach to advertising
  • Adds un-predictable elements (e.g. old music, 15 minutes of buddhist chanting, strange voice effects)


3. BlogCast FM with Srinivas Rao

  • Other examples of this style are: Mixergy and Rise to the Top
  • Interview Only format
  • Mostly actionable business/blogging advice

4. This American Life

  • This is probably the highest quality podcast available
  • Fascinating stories with artistic articulation
  • This is pure entertainment podcasting
  • Excellent sound and production

As you can see, the formats for podcasting are wide open. The Podcast is a blank canvas for your ears. These shows are making real money on their own. If you have something you want to drive traffic to (e.g. a service, business or product) this medium is a great opportunity. Just from working in the Philippines I saw the numbers roll in each time we published a podcast.

Want to Get Involved?

Want to publish a podcast or join a podcasting network? Please send me a blurb of what you want your show to be about, and what you need to make it happen.

Oh yeah!


Breaking into Charity: Mastermind Group Leads to Donating – Donating Leads to Feeling Good About Myself

How I Came to Donating

Three weeks ago I set a goal with my mastermind group to write for 2 hours a day, every day for the next two weeks.

In failing to reach that goal, I had to tell the group the truth. To be honest, I was contemplating lying to them.

“Oh yeah I wrote the whole time, but most of it is indecernable and I’m not going to publish it,” I would lie.

But I realized that would be a douchy move. I’m trying to avoid douchery and mimic an Ernesto Guevara type dedication to honesty. Lying about a goal I didn’t reach in order to save money on charity donations would be a capital fail. How could I live with myself?

When the time came, I came clean with the group.

So I have to donate $15 to the charity of choosing of the other 3 in the group with me. Here, I’ll write the organizations down and provide a bit of insight into who they are.


one girl ian robinson

  • Niall: One Girl – Years of listening to NPR radio and reading about poverty alleviation has led me to the conclusion that women are the key to bringing their societies out of despondency and into productivity. When Niall showed me this organization, I couldn’t help but go ahead with the donation. I believe in this organization. They publish their financial statements and they provide micro grants to poor women in difficult situations. Lord knows my wife’s is better with money than I am 🙂
  • Spyro: Heifer International – Ending hunger and poverty on this earth sounds like a ridiculous dream right? To me, we are on the cusp of making the world an infinitely better place. I believe that alleviating hunger and poverty can make the world a better place. I’m so lucky to be in contact with someone who feels the same way. Thank you Spyros.
charity water image
  • KaiCharity Water – Water, water, water. There is nothing I cherish more on this planet than water. I love to dive into it, ski on top up it, drink it, freeze it, boil it and play in it. Living in the Philippines helps me to learn that, people don’t have it. If you’re in the western world, you just reach out, turn the faucet on and have a glass of water. In other worlds, they have to find giant containers, clean them, carry them to a clean source, fill them, carry them back, then finally enjoy some fresh water. I believe in this charity and I’m so happy that Kai brought it to my attention. Thank you Kai.

The Effect of This on My Finances

Look, if I’m honest. $45 burns me up a bit. Thats 1,890 Philippine Pesos.

I live on about $600 a month here in Cebu City. I make about $1,000 dollars a month before taxes. (I have no idea what sort of tax liability I’m building up.)

I’ve been too busy hustling up cutting edge skills (big thanks to Chris Ducker for taking me on as his Marketing Intern.) I love developing my skills. This style of learning is investing in my future propensity to make lots of money, but I feel pretty silly because I safely reside in the bottom income bracket for United States citizens.

At the end of the day, This donation equates to 4.5% of my monthly income. In all honesty, that doesn’t burn me up too bad. I’ll put off buying a Gi for Jiu Jitsu this month and be fine.

Giving Early: Contemplating Poverty

I recently read Tim Ferriss’s blog post about the compounding value of giving early in your career. This post really got me thinking about the marginal value of $45 dollars in my pocket, versus that much in the pocket of someone in a much more challenging situation.

Just outside this internet cafe and a short walk down the street, there is a woman with two children who sleeps on a cardboard box outside a bread shop. Her two children spend much of the time crying and begging for change while their mother lays on the concrete steps of a dilapidated building. The disparity in this world is difficult to understand. I took a moment to watch this poor family the other day. Sparkling new Subaru sports utility vehicles from Japan were honking at each other as they roared by at full speed, and this woman was sleeping on the street with her starving children on my right. What is going on here?

It’s easier if you live a few thousand miles away, but here poverty is a constant thorn in the mental saddle.

So I feel good about this. It’s definitely not much… but it’s a start.

Thanks for reading. If you read to this point, please comment and tell me what you think.


Challenge: Write 2 Hours a Day for 2 Weeks Straight

The Two Hour a Day Writing Challenge

How This Came About:

Writers Challenge

I joined a mastermind group with some really interesting people. I didn’t have a goal for the next two weeks. One of the members said she was going to write every day for 2 hours. Of course, I thought, “I can do that too.” So now I’m on it.

For the next two weeks I’ll be writing for 2 hours a day. My primary focus will be on writing about adventures in Australia with the goal of developing the ideal book that I wish I had had before flying to “the land down unda.” This would be a perfect product for anyone with the notion of grabbing life by the horns and selling everything to fly to Australia and live and work there for a year.

I won’t be stopping myself from going off on tangets while writing. Any topic will be acceptable under these two hours of nothing but typing and conveying thoughts into this computer.

I’ll update this post as the week progresses to mark the times where I sat down for noticable time periods and did nothing but write.

A member of my mastermind group, Kai will be working on her writing at the same ferocious pace. Check out her captivating web-series here.


Rules1. Can only use the internet for brief bursts when I need a specific facts to check or a link to add in support of my arguments.

2. The writing periods don’t have to be solid. If I break it up into two, one hour sessions, there is no problem with that.

3. These have to be for myself. Even though I write all the time for Capitan Ducker, I don’t consider that to be writing that plays a part in this challenge.

4. Must complete 2 hours of writing without any big breaks of writers block. If I get writers block, I’ll just pound the keyboard for 2 hours and feel depressed afterwards.

5. No editing during these periods. No going back through the document to rephrase things. If I want to say something a different way, I’ll just start it again.

Two Weeks of Writing Two Hours A Day

  • July 31st – 7:30 to 9:30
  • August 1st – 12:00 to 2:00
  • August 2nd – 22:00 to 24:00
  • August 3rd – 12:00-1:00 & 23:00-24:20
  • August 4th – 5:00-6:00 & 22:30-24:00
  • August 5th – No Writing… but I did film this.
  • August 6th – 11:00 – 1:40
Notes on Week 1: The hardest part is always starting. It’s that blank page. As soon as I get my fingers on the keyboard, I start producing and the rest of the time flies by. You can see I’ve got over my 2 hour quota a few times this week.
I’ve been reexamining lots of passions, music, poetry, manifesto building and working on the Australia Working Holiday Guide. The more I write, the more hectic it gets, but I feel like I’m getting lots of great ideas down that I’ve wanted to for a long time. It’s a mess right now, but this test is proving very effective in improving my writing. Who woulda’ though. Writing every day, makes you a better writer.
  • August 7th – 21:00 – 23:00
  • August 8th – 11:00 – 12:30



I found that writing everyday was incredibly beneficial. I developed lots of new ideas, turned my Australia WHV book into a giant mess of content which needs drastic editing, and I wrote lots of embarrassing poetry, short stories and imagination verses.

The truth is that I failed. The trial and tribulations of tough time in my life caused me to take a dive in productivity. I’m still trying to regain the productivity I had the week before last. Life is full of ups and downs so I’m working on building the next upward spiral.

Thanks very much for your interest in what I’m doing. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to reach out via e-mail, twitter or facebook.



Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines

My friends from Jiujit Su (Tommi, Mofa and Duke) took me out for a taste of the national dish of the Philippines, Lechon. In this video I’ll show you what this experience is like. This big feast cost us less than $3.00 a person.

The women who’s job it is to cut the pig up all day are fascinating. The meat cleavers they use are just like something out of a horror movie. I would be terrified to run into these girls on the street, but at the same time, I was constantly flinching, expecting them to dismember a finger any moment. Luckily, that never happened and we got our food and sat down.

Lechon is a Spanish inspired dish. It originated with putting a baby pig on the spit, but has since been developed into a full grown beast of a pig on the spit. It is the national dish of the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

I hope you enjoyed my video. 🙂


Trust Me, I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday Chase Jarvis Interview


I love taking systems apart to learn how they work.

I’ve deconstructed cars, appliances, cameras, websites, software and loads of other stuff. Deconstructing is the best way to learn.

It never occured to me to do this with the mainstream media.

This guy did just that. Check out the trailer for his book:

Ryan Holiday’s Media Blitz

I just came across Ryan Holiday because he is all over respectable media – here on BlogcastFM, here on The Rise To The Top, here on Mixergy.

The best of his media blitz is in this texturey interview with Chase Jarvis.

Ryan Holiday Chase Jarvis Interview

Peter Shankman vs. Ryan Holiday

peter shankman vs ryan holiday

Plus, he does controversy.

Peter Shankman lashed out at him (Shankman is going to punch Holiday Facebook mention?) Unfortunatly, Shankman comes off like the reeling bully who just woke up from a knockout punch delivered from the class nerd.

Holiday’s reply was calm, reasonable and insightful. You can read it here and here.

Who do I side with when one side is saying words like “liar, idiot, liar, liar, liar, don’t spoil it for us” and the other side is rational arguments and requests to  further the conversation?

Go with the rational one.

At the Core

At the core of all of this, is that its good to question the way the world works.

If you don’t like what you find; do something about it.

Holiday does that here. I’m excited to read his book.

Thursday Photo: Street Signs and Chickens in the Philippines

The thing I love about this photo is the angles. They are all over the place.

This is the only street sign I’ve seen in Cebu.

Street Signs in the Philippines

The culture I grew up in, has very limited perception of where our food comes from. I still to this day, have never killed a chicken. I’ve probably eaten more than 1,000 of them. I think this separation from our food causes a fision in our perception of the world we live in.

While walking the street the other day, I saw this man carrying a chicken unceremoniously. Some folks from my culture will be upset with the image below… I consider the fact that these people know what their dead animals look like, makes them much closer to the real world.

Your Chicken lo Mein from Panda Express needed one of these:

Filipino Walking With Chicken

Two Neat Things for Today

First Off – Congratulations Seth Godin

The Question

Can Seth Godin change the author/publisher paradigm?

The Answer

Seth needed 40k to get the book fast forwarded to the publishers.

As I’m looking at it now he is at:

Seths kickstarter June 20
Image Links to Live Kickstarter


What does this mean?

It is proof that everything has changed.

No more top down corporate publishing structure.

The world is flat

Second Off – Tim Ferriss Strikes Again

Language Learning

Duolingo fun free beautiful

Ever since you saw The Bourne Identity, you’ve wanted be optimal at everything, have unwavering confidence, kill snipers with shotguns and speak 20 different languages.

Now you can at least get a start on the language side of thing.

Duolingo is a free, fun and good looking language learning software that launched today. Not only do you become more impressive, you partake in translating the internet. AMAZING!

Sell your stock in Rossetta Stone…

I slammed through the Spanish section just to test the program. Then I learned more German in 5 minutes than I had in 27 years.

Ich bin Ian.

Rock n’ Roll


There is no excuse for not being a superhero these days.

These are revolutionary times.

-With Love