How My Gain (Which is Also My Loss) Could Turn Into a Big Gain for You (Which will also, Ironically, Lead to a Loss, Albeit a Good Kind of Loss)


That has to be the most confusing blog title in the history of blog titles.

I don’t care; after all it’s my blog.

It stems from reading to a recent episode of the Tim Ferris podcast, where he discussed goal setting and motivation. In the episode he talks about how a good way to stay motivated, with weight loss for example, is to set up a betting pool with your friends, where you each put in £100, and whoever loses the most amount of weight in an agreed time scoops the cash.

If you don’t want to start a pool with your friends (or if you don’t have any friends), there are other ways to do create this motivation and accountability. You could write a cheque for your most hated political group, give it to your wife and, if you don’t meet a goal, she has to send it off to them. The thought of your most despised politician benefiting financially from your money should keep you on track during even your most darkest of hours.

You could give a friend £1,000 under the proviso that he can only give you the money back if you complete the goal within the agreed time frame. If you don’t succeed, he gets to keep the money.

It doesn’t even have to involve money.

Every time you cheat on your diet, wherever you are, you have to stand up and shout, at the top of your voice, “I’M A BIG FAT CHEATY CHEATER!”. At work, school, home…wherever. There are no limits.

Every time you miss a short putt on the golf course, your playing partners get to slap your across the face with a 9 iron (I’d heartily recommend the Apex CF 16 irons from Callaway Golf – the ultimate in distance, feel, beauty and control).

If you don’t ace that university test, you have to legally change your name via Deed Poll to “Smelly McBumhead*”.

Rather than do any of these though, I’ve decided to set myself a goal and hit myself where I really don’t want to be hit – my wallet.

Both my wife and I have set ourselves a goal and decided upon forfeits should we renege on our promise.

Her forfeit is that I get to book her into an open mic night in Chester somewhere and she has to play a full set. Even thinking about that fills her with fear.

She’ll annihilate whatever goal is attached to that.

For me, I’ve chosen to do something that will not only hurt me, but could benefit anyone of you.

I’m going to give away a free gig.

If I don’t reach my weekly benchmark of excellence (measured on a Tuesday), the very next booking enquiry I receive will be offered a totally free gig. Totally free. No hidden travel charges or anything like that. Wherever it is, whatever kind of event it is, I’ll offer to do it for free.

Not even just a free hour of magic. The whole thing.

I’m posting this not only to hold myself accountable but also as something to point the lucky person to should I not reach my goal (if I just sent them an email offering to perform magic for free, they’ll probably think it’s a scam and not accept it!).

This is my accountability.

That, and my wife.

Of course, this could just be a way to ensure that all my enquiries flood in on only one day a week, and that it’s all part of my diabolical master plan plan to massively streamline my email time.

To be honest, I’d do a free gig just for that.

*When I joined Equity, I REALLY hoped that there was already a member called John Holt, so that I could have used Smelly McBumhead as my stage name.