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Archive For August 31, 2014

7 Reasons to Stop Proving Yourself to Everyone Else

Sometimes we try to show the world we are flawless in hopes that we will be liked and accepted by everyone, but we can’t please everyone and we shouldn’t try. The beauty of us lies in our vulnerability, our complex emotions, and our authentic imperfections. When we embrace who we are and decide to be authentic, instead of who we think others want us to be, we open ourselves up to real relationships, real happiness, and real success.

There is no need to put on a mask. There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not. You have nothing to prove to anyone else, because…

1. The people worth impressing just want you to be yourself.

In the long run, it’s better to be loathed for who you are than loved for who you are not. In fact, the only relationships that work well in the long run are the ones that make you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself, and without preventing you from outgrowing the person you used to be.

Ignore the comparisons and expectations knocking at your door. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Prove yourself to yourself, not others. The RIGHT people for you will love you for doing so, and they will appreciate all the things about you that the WRONG people are intimidated by. Bottom line: Don’t change so people will like you; be patient, keep being your amazing self, and pretty soon the RIGHT people will love the REAL you.

2. No one else really knows what’s best for YOU.

Don’t lose yourself in your search for acceptance by others. Walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going. You have to take the steps that are right for you; no one else walks in your shoes.

Let others take you as you are, or not at all. Speak your truth even if your voice shakes. By being true to yourself, you put something breathtaking into the world that was not there before. You are stunning when your passion and strength shines through as you follow your own path – when you aren’t distracted by the opinions of others. You are powerful when you let your mistakes educate you, and your confidence builds from firsthand experiences – when you know you can fall down, pick yourself up, and move forward without asking for anyone else’s permission.

3. YOU are the only person who can change YOUR life.

In every situation you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is you. It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to recognize that regardless of what has happened up to this point in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation, or to change the way you think about it. Don’t let the opinions of others interfere with this prevailing reality.

What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends entirely on what you choose to do with your time and energy. So stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Just keep living your truth. The only people that will fault you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.

4. Society’s materialistic measurement of worth is worthless.

When you find yourself trapped between what moves you and what society tells you is right for you, always travel the route that makes you feel alive – unless you want everyone to be happy, except you. No matter where life takes you, big cities or small towns, you will inevitably come across others who think they know what’s best for you – people who think they’re better than you – people who think happiness, success and beauty mean the same things to everyone.

They’ll try to measure your worth based on what you have, instead of who you are. But you know better than that – material things don’t matter. Don’t chase the money. Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive. Go for the things of greater value – the things money can’t buy. What matters is having strength of character, an honest heart, and a sense of self-worth. If you’re lucky enough to have any of these things, never sell them. Never sell yourself short.

5. Life isn’t a race; you have nothing to prove.

Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain first and shout, “Look at me! Look at me!” But the truth is, all your happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing, not while you’re sitting at the top. Enjoy the journey by paying attention to each step. Don’t rush through your life and miss it. Forget where everyone else is in relation to you. This isn’t a race. You get there a little at a time, not all at once.

Let go of the foolish need to prove yourself to everyone else, and you’ll free yourself to accomplish what matters most to you. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.

6. The path to all great things passes through failure.

You are an ever-changing work in progress. You don’t have to always be right, you just have to not be too worried about being wrong. Screwing up is part of the process. Looking like a fool sometimes is the only way forward. If you try too hard to impress everyone else with your “perfection,” you will stunt your growth. You will spend all your time looking a certain way, instead of living a certain way.

It’s impossible to live without failing sometimes, unless you live so cautiously that you aren’t really living at all – you’re merely existing. If you’re too afraid of failing in front of others, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful in your own eyes. You have to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how messy your journey is, so long as you do not stop taking small steps forward. In the end, those who don’t care that failure is inevitable are the ones that reach their dreams. YOU can be one of them.

7. It’s impossible to please everyone anyway.

Some people will always tell you what you did wrong, and then hesitate to compliment you for what you did right. Don’t be one of them, and don’t put up with them.

When you run into someone who discredits you, disrespects you and treats you poorly for no apparent reason at all, don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval. And be sure not to leave any space in your heart to hate them. Simply walk away and let karma deal with the things they say and do, because any bit of time you spend on these people will be wasted, and any bit of hate and aggravation in your heart will only hurt you in the end.

Afterthoughts

You don’t need a standing ovation or a bestseller or a promotion or a million bucks. You are enough right now. You have nothing to prove. Care less about who you are to others and more about who you are to yourself. You will have less heartaches and disappointments the minute you stop seeking from others the validation only YOU can give yourself.

Reblogged from Marc Chernoff’s site www.marcandangel.com (more…)

When Is The Right Time To Launch Your New Idea?

The Economics of Too Many Projects

It’s easy to get caught up in a good idea. You buy the domain immediately, and get to work.

Wait 48 hours.

I learned about the 48 hour rule from Dan and Ian, and it’s so money.

If in 48 hours you still think you have an excellent idea, then start planning and see where it goes.

Think about it, if you’re going to create 100 niche sites that’s over $1k/annually in domain registration alone. Not to mention creating content, hosting the sites, keeping everything up to date and fresh – that get’s really expensive, really quickly.

Especially when the majority of your sites are probably never going to be profitable.

Now imagine if you had one site that you put the same amount of time and money into. In my experience, most people are better off creating one site than dozens. It’s easier to provide value and in turn become profitable than it is with tons of small sites or projects that die before even getting off the ground.

So, How Do You Decide What Project to Take On?

When you’re first getting started, I’m a firm believer that you should pick one project or business model and ride that out until you’re absolutely confident in your ability to take on something new.

I started out building my skills and writing this blog. It was over a year before I started my next (personal) site, Daily HDR. It was a great idea in theory, but now it hasn’t been updated in months.

Realistically I didn’t take on a personal project that was successful until almost 18 months after beginning the first one.

Why?

Because everything I did on the first business (the blog), was laying the foundation for the next one, Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty.

I was building skills, establishing expertise, and garnering a small following to put myself in a good spot to be successful.

Then slowly but surely, I began adding other projects to my core business.

Everyday I have a new idea for a fun project, and sometimes I’ll even buy a domain. However, I don’t go full speed ahead until I know the following:

  • That there’s a need for what I’m providing
  • That there’s the potential to profit
  • That I have both the interest and the time to invest in the new project

So, how should you go about finding new projects? Here’s what I do:

Step #1: Assess Your Current Situation

What’s your current goal? Do you just want a little side business built around a hobby? Do you want something that will allow you to travel the world? Do you want to become the next millionaire entrepreneur?

Each of these goals has a different startup path.

Assess where you are, and then make sure you have the skills necessary to get started.

Step #2: Pick the ONE Project that Will Get You Closest to Your Goal Fastest

Are you trying to build a business as quickly as possible so you can quit your job and travel? Then stop trying to create a bunch of bullshit affiliate sites and start freelancing.

Pick one specialty, become a relative expert, and then get clients.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Freelancing is the best way to build your first business online.

Step #3: Stabilize the Business

Do you know how much money you’re going to bring in every month? Do you have clearly defined processes for managing clients and finding new ones? Is work coming to by word of mouth? Are you beginning to become well known in your niche?

Great, keep that going.

Before taking on any new, significant projects you want to make sure you have a solid base and are able to manage your current situation.

Step #4: Reassess Your Priorities and Select the Next Project

The chances are, whatever you choose to freelance in isn’t going to be something your totally passionate about. It’s going to be a means to being able to live out the things you are passionate about.

Once you’re freelance business is stable, then you can start thinking about other projects you want to take on that are more directly in line with what you like to do.

Two years after I began Location 180, we started up HDR Software. Once that was stable, Location Rebel was born. Then it wasn’t until a year later that Hacking the High Life was released.

Each of those are businesses built around fundamental interests of mine, but none of them started until the previous one was completely stable.

Step #5: Repeat

This is the thought process I go through every time I’m going to begin something that I know will be a significant investment of my time and money:

  • Assess where I’m at
  • Decide which project will get me to my desired goal the fastest
  • Begin and stabilize the business
  • Reassess priorities, and find the next opportunity.

Am I saying that you should absolutely, no matter what just take on one project or business? No, I’d be a complete hypocrite if that’s what I was suggesting. I love having multiple projects; it’s what keeps everything fresh and interesting for me.

However I am saying you should do your best not to overextend yourself. Once you have a base, each future project gets easier and easier to take on, because of the work you’ve put in previously.

Put in the work up front to build your core, and then expand into the fun stuff down the road.

See more at SeanOgle.com

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“What Did You Just Say?”: Language Creates Reality

While many of us subconsciously believe that we use language to objectively represent reality, the research says otherwise. The research supports the idea that language creates reality. In other words, it is not only true that we are what we eat, but it is also true that we live what we believe.

 

Language has tremendous power of suggestion the more we “suggest” something, the more likely we are to take action that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

Let’s look at some statements I have heard over the past few weeks:

  • 
• I can’t do this.
  • 
• I don’t know what I want.
  • 
• I am not as smart has him.
  • 
• She never listens to what I have to say.

  • • We can’t communicate at all.
  • 
• We just can’t agree on anything.

  • • There is no more trust here.
  • 
• I have no idea how to advocate for myself.

  • • I can never make it on my own.

 

The feelings behind these words are very powerful, but what reality do they invite when repeated again and again? The truth is, it doesn’t take long to convince ourselves (and others) that we really can’t …., don’t know how to ….., will never be able to ….., aren’t as smart as ….., and so on. The more we state it, the more we believe it, the quicker it becomes reality.

But what if the opposite were also possible? What if language could also create a more positive, hopeful and empowered reality than the one we are currently experiencing?

 

In a 2010 TED Talk, Caroline Casey shares a truly extraordinary experience confirming the absolute power of suggestion in the mind – the way in which language creates reality. (Because I do not want to ruin the impact of this talk, no synopsis, just a “must watch” link.)

 

The scientific research community supports this claim as well. In a 2013, Scientific American article, Your Thoughts Can Release Abilities Beyond Your Normal Limits, you can read about research studies in which outcomes of control groups vs. experimental groups are altered solely based upon the power of suggestion.

 

So, as you are going about your day, navigating what life places in front of you, here are some suggestions for leveraging the power of suggestion to point you in a more positive, empowered and hopeful direction:

 

Adopt the word “yet.”
Whenever someone tells me they do not know the answer to a question or don’t know how to do something, I teach them to include the simple word “yet” at the end of the statement. “I don’t know how to look for a job – yet.” ‘Yet’ definitively suggests that the knowledge or understanding is on its way, rather than completely unavailable.

 

Focus on “what went right”
Virtually every moment of very day gives us the opportunity to choose how to focus our thoughts and attention. Are you upset because it is raining or feeling grateful because you remembered to bring an umbrella? Do you beat yourself up because you burned the dinner or pat yourself on the back because you have a great back up plan – ice cream for dinner at the end of a hot summer day is one of my favorites! Do you panic all the way to work because you spilled coffee on your suit, or walk into your meeting and recognize this as an opportunity to give your stressed-out staff permission to be human and imperfect. Our mind is wired to notice the negative, and we can train it to see the positive.

 

Replace “must,” “have to,” and “need to” with WANT
How many times per day do we walk around saying things like, I have to…., I need to…., I must….. These phrases lock us into narrow places. I accomplish them and I avert disaster or a negative outcome; I do not fully achieve them and I am a failure. Either way, my reality is a narrow place of bordered on one side by temporary and fleeting moments of safety and bordered on the other by failure and demise. When I “want” to do something, it refocuses our thoughts and attention on what there is to gain, opportunities that are available, and what makes us happy.

 

As in Caroline’s story, language alone is not sufficient to create reality, but language coupled with belief is what points the needle of life’s compass in a particular direction. Once the needle is pointing where you want to go, then it is about taking action in that direction.

 

So if you have been standing on the fence about a decision, beating yourself up for failures or falling short, or notice that your mind spends most of its time consumed with the negative, try intentionally shifting a few of those 15,000+ utterances per day in a new direction. And when you are clear about wanting to point the needle in a new direction and take the actions to get there, contact me. I am eager to journey with you to a new reality.

Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.

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Don’t Pussyfoot Around

After taking my son to start his first year of college in North Carolina, I came home to Providence with a little ache in my heart to have him gone. I was also tired from a couple of days travel and activities and was looking forward to a good nights sleep in my own bed.

My cat, Althea, had different plans. She was not happy that I had left her at home so she woke me up at 7am by breaking glasses. I am serious. She broke two glasses!

You should know that I had someone stay at the house with her for most of the time that I was gone. She was well cared for, even entertained, but for her that did not matter. She did not get what she felt entitled to.

So, she gave me the cat version of the middle finger.

She is now sleeping soundly on her chair like nothing ever happened. So what is the moral of the story?

No matter how hard you try, the people who love you may get angry if they don’t get what they want.

Why is this important? Think about choices have you made to avoid making others upset. Or how often have you doubted your direction because you made others upset? Or, even, how often have you not expressed your pleasure or displeasure to avoid upsetting others?

Next question is: How much do you think this effects your success and fulfillment?

You can’t create success or fulfillment if you pay too much attention to every whim and mood of the people around you. I am not saying not to care. In fact, the central focus of my life and work is about caring more. If we shut down and turn off we are not going to like ourselves or our work. But, we do need to learn to care about the right things.

The right things are:
Did I do the best I could?
Did I act in a way that is in line with my values?
Did I stay true to my intention?

We also need to determine when a negative reaction is a sign that we are letting go of what no longer serves us or when it is a sign that we are going in the wrong direction. Sometimes the frustration of another person can be a reason to jump to the conclusion that “it is a sign” you are going in the wrong direction.

Really, It is a moment to check in with yourself.

How do you feel about what you are doing and where you are heading? If you feel good when you think about your direction then keep going things are just shifting around you. If you don’t feel good about your direction then really pause to take in the feedback. See how it can help inform you about your next steps.

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The 9 Key Components of Success

When most people talk about “success,” they’re often referring to outer things like money, title, and promotions.  But in reality, these outer accomplishments almost never bring a lasting sense of happiness or success.  They’re fleeting, and the goalposts are constantly shifting.

Instead, real success is a deeper, more satisfying experience of the heart, mind, and spirit, where the individual has committed to continuous, bold and empowering action that helps him/her feel confident, authoritative, and valuable to others in ways that are personally meaningful.

In over 10 years of working with career professionals, I’ve seen that the majority of people who reach out to me are actually not in a state of readiness for the success they desire.  They think they are, but they haven’t taken the right actions or developed appropriate mindsets and behaviors that would help them reach – and sustain — the success they dream of.  They’re just not there yet.

There are nine core categories of career success readiness that need to be mastered for professionals to achieve the success and fulfillment they long for (and these applies to any industry, field or function, and any level, for both men and women).

These nine categories of career success readiness are:

Understanding yourself deeply
You can’t achieve success on terms that are personally meaningful to you if you don’t know yourself.  Each of us has a distinct set of values, interests, histories, standards of integrity, non-negotiables and preferences that make up our own unique picture of success.  If you don’t know yourself intimately, the outcomes you’re focused on won’t end up generating the experience of success you want. 

Using your natural talents>/b>
I learned this the hard way, as have many of my clients – just because you’re great at a certain skill set doesn’t mean you enjoy using it in your work.  The most successful, fulfilled professionals use talents every day in their work that come naturally to them, that emerged early in their lives and they enjoy immensely.  You need to identify those natural talents that you use instinctively, with ease and grace. Those are the talents to focus on in your career if you want a lasting experience of success and happiness.

Engaging with people you respect and admire (including mentors and sponsors)
You can’t create lasting success if you operate alone, in a vacuum, with no one in your corner to support you.  If you find yourself isolated, with no role models, mentors, or sponsors, it’s a sign that you’re not ready for the success you dream of. You need fabulous people in your support community to help bolster you to the next level.

Setting goals and making decisions that support you

The type of success most people want isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s not a prize that just falls in your lap.  Forget the idea of a tipping point where you suddenly wake up “having it all.”   Success requires hard work (often tedious and painstaking) and continued commitment. It also takes effective decision-making and S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goal-setting.

Committing continuously to your growth
A key to helping people grow exponentially is helping them stretch out of their comfort zone and close their “power gaps.” Power gaps are areas where people feel most insecure, vulnerable, and ashamed.  When people address, heal or revise those areas, the growth is quick and astounding.  What are the areas in your life and work where you feel “less than” and insecure – and what can you do to close those gaps today?

Relating in a healthy way to money, and having a keen understanding of financial and business realities Lasting success will elude you if you’re broken down in how you view, and deal with, money.  Many of us have a damaged relationship with money, and are forever chasing or resenting it, instead of attracting, embracing, and appreciating it.  Money is a form of energy, and if you’re blocked around it, so will be your experience of success.  In addition, if you’re running your own business, you need a solid, emotionally-neutral understanding of the financial and business realities you’re facing.  A “Build It and They Will Come” mentality without a solid financial and business grounding is a recipe for disaster.

Balancing and integrating life and work (and dealing effectively with stress)
I know so many people who’ve achieved outer “success,” only to have sacrificed everything in the process.  They wake up, often in midlife, to the horrible realization that they’ve given up everything that matters to them, just to rise to the top of the heap in their field.  If you aren’t able to integrate or balance successfully your work endeavors with your identity as an individual outside of the work you do, you’ll suffer.  And if the stress and strain of your work is making you sick and sad every day, it’s time to rethink your definition of success.

Being of use in the world
Thousands of people hit midlife and suddenly feel an aching disappointment – they realize that what they’ve been clamoring for in their 20s and 30s now feels empty and meaningless.  Perhaps it’s seeing the world through older, wiser eyes, or experiencing the mortality of their parents and friends that awakens people to wanting to do something more purposeful in the world.  (This was me, and here’s a brief video of my story.) Whatever the cause, midlife professionals often wake up to the desire to build a new legacy that they can be proud of.  In the end, you won’t feel successful if your work is meaningless to you.

Marketing yourself in a compelling way
Finally, in today’s times, because of the global competition we all face, if you can’t market yourself and communicate powerfully about your great talents, you won’t succeed in the way you hope.  Gone are the days in which you could leave marketing to someone else.  You have to know how you’re special and amazing, and how you stand apart from the best of the best in your field, and share that openly and confidently.  You need to be your own best advocate, and you can do it without being a braggart.  You just have to learn how.

* * * * Reblogged from Forbes.com. For more by Kathy Caprino, visit kathycaprino.com. (more…)

Advice From Frank Sinatra

When I met Larry Winget for the first time he was telling the story of how after working his tail off to become a professional public speaker he basically woke up one day and realized he hated his life. I listened and thought to myself, “Wow, how does that happen?”

I have always been so staunchly focused on creating the life that I want for myself, I didnt think that I would ever have that kind of experience…

I don’t think I got to the place that Larry Winget got too. I didn’t feel like it was all wrong BUT I definitely felt all the places in my life where I was not doing it my way and I was not as happy as I could be.

Afterall, isn’t my work about fulfillment?

I Did It My Way

“For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows – And did it my way!”
Frank Sinatra

It is true, as Sinatra says, that if we don’t have ourselves we have nothing and also true is that we are made the way we are made because we have something very special to offer. When we realize this, we have something fabulous –we have the recipe for success and fulfillment.

Why do I need to say this?

Well in situation after situation, home, school, jobs…we are told that we need to make ourselves fit the mold. We are told this so much that even if we feel that we are staunchly devoted to doing it our way, we can still get worn down little by little.

Sometimes this process helps us see even more of yourself and sometimes it obscures it.

Time will let us know… And our own level of happiness.

So my words of wisdom for the day are: If you find yourself leaving parts of you behind that truly made you happy, go back and get them! What is back there will definitely make you happier and may be the key to your success. It has been for Larry and I.

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7 Mistakes Beginning Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Make

Over the last 4 years I’ve had the privilege of getting to know, hundreds, if not thousands of budding lifestyle entrepreneurs.

In that time, I’ve seen an equal number of “lifestyle design” blogs that have come and gone (can we ditch that term yet?)

There’s a harsh reality with these type of blogs that’s kind of tough to ignore. Usually they start out because of a major shift in someone’s life; either they were laid off, or decided to quit and perhaps travel for a year. They read the 4 Hour Workweek and proceed to “design their life.”

Step one: start a blog! Woohoo!

Do they want to be a blogger? Probably not. Do they know what the long term goal of the site is? Nah. It’s just a good way of justifying taking time off and traveling, or in some cases, collecting unemployment and becoming disturbingly good at Call of Duty.

What happens then? Well, they finish their travels, run out of money, (or a combination of both) and eventually go back to getting a real job, letting the blog die a slow and unmemorable death.

Now, obviously not everyone can relate to this story, and there’s dozens of people in Location Rebel who have had huge success building a real lifestyle business.

BUT, most people don’t. Most people make some crucial mistakes early on, that are pretty much setting them up for failure over the long term.

Today I want to see that change. I’ve made all of these mistakes myself over the last 4 years in one form or another. What’s important is you recognize what’s happening, and change course as quickly as possible.

So based on years of research (ok I may be using that term a little loosely), and thousands of conversations (true), here are the biggest mistakes I see people make when it comes to starting a lifestyle business.

1) Don’t try and Recreate someone else’s lifestyle

Now that Tim’s book has been out for the better part of 7 years, there are thousands of examples of people building successful businesses and living happier, and potentially more profitable lives in the process.

The problem with this is I’ve seen a lot of people try and emulate the path of someone else. They haven’t figured out what their dream is, so they try and live out someone else’s.

There are all kinds of problems with this. For one, that’s someone else’s passion, not yours. If you aren’t totally into hang gliding, then how can you expect to make it through the long startup process to open up that kind of business in Brazil. Oh, you want to do SEO freelancing to free up some time so you can….oh wait, you don’t know what you want to do?

You’ll be even more miserable than you were before.

No one can recreate my business or anyone else’s for that matter. It’s my unique story and 4 years of blogging/traveling/learning that makes Location 180 and related businesses what it is today.

Before you make a leap, understand what you’re leaping towards, and why you’re leaping towards it. You’ll be more successful, happier, and you won’t piss off the dude whose business your copying.

2) Start with the basics

That’s awesome you want to create a hundred niche sites, oh, and you’re going to do it all in the next 30 days? With no background in SEO or marketing?! Sweet, I’m sure you’ll make one miiiillliooon dollars off of that.

Right.

How many times have you seen that one work out? Very rarely.

What’s the problem here?

Often people who go this route, aren’t starting with the basics. Until you have the skills and confidence to be able to pull something like that off, you’re just going to be wasting your time. So how do you start with the basics?

Here’s the three step process we teach:

  • Learn Skills
  • Find Freelance Clients
  • Apply to your own projects

Are there other ways to do this? Of course. But in my experience this is the one that guarantees results.

Learning the basic skills, things like WordPress, copywriting, and SEO, will give you a solid base for whatever online or lifestyle venture you get involved with.

Then, by picking one skill and freelancing it, you’re building confidence and a base of income that will help ensure you’ve got some money coming in when you’re moving on to step 3.

Finally, once you’ve got some confidence, then you apply all of your skills to your own projects. Anything from e-commerce to membership sites, or niche sites. All are great business opportunities under the right circumstances.

And even once you’ve moved onto all of those ideas…100 niche sites, as great as it sounds, still probably a bad idea.

3) You Can Have It All, But Not All at Once

These days I’m a pretty firm believer that you can have anything you want, if you want it bad enough. If my life goal was to own a Ferrari, I could make that happen – but I’d most likely be sacrificing a lot in order to achieve that.

This works on a much smaller scale as well.

All too often, I see people who want everything in their business when they are starting out. I received an email the other day from someone still in their day job that said something to the effect of:

Sean, really excited about getting my new business up and running. I’ve got all kinds of stuff in the works, including:

  • A blog with 3 blog posts a week
  • A new podcast
  • 3 niche sites
  • A free pdf product
  • A membership site
  • A you tube video blog

Oh and I’m getting ready to travel through SE Asia when I quit in a few months.

The guy had all of about 2 blog posts done and hadn’t done any work on his theme.

Classic example of trying to do too much, too quickly.

All of those things are great…but not when you’re starting out.

Focus on maybe two of those things. Figure out what your main goals are, and then work relentlessly on the things that will get you closer to those goals.

You can totally travel through SE Asia, work on a blog, and maybe one other thing, but if you’re going to attempt all of that at once, you’ll half-ass everything and never make any real progress towards the ultimate goal of making that your full time work.

4) Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money

This one, I get. I can be a bit of a cheap ass at times, and I totally was early on. BUT, hindsight is 20/20 right? There are certain small investments that can pay off in spades, and are necessary.

Best example?

A premium blog theme. I used the free version of Arthemia for two years before finally investing in a good looking custom site design (Props to Andrew and Andrew). But you don’t even have to take it that far.

Buy a premium theme from Woo Themes or Theme Forest. They have solid frameworks, and make it so easy to customize your site and make it look however you want.

With free themes, nothing is ever easy, and if you do find a good one, you’ll probably find a thousand other blogs that look just like yours.

Afraid to spend $19/month for Aweber? Get over it. It’s the best $19 you’ll spend on your business.

The old addage “You’ve gotta spend money to make money” has a lot of truth in it. Sure, you can bootstrap the hell out of your business and spend very close to zero dollars, but you’re going to make your life a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

Stay in an extra night a week and take the money you saved and invest in yourself and your business – you won’t regret it.

5) Building a Brand is More Important Than You Think

Often times when I see people skip mistake #2 above (start with the basics) they jump right into building an info product or niche site, and they skip one very, VERY important step: establishing a brand.

I used to call it having a “hub of location independence”. By having a website and building a brand online you’re opening up so many opportunities that simply wouldn’t be available to you otherwise. It establishes credibility, and makes it easier to get in touch with more influential people and businesses. It allows other like minded people to find you which in and of itself should be enough of a motivator for you.

Sure being a lone ranger can be fun, but having a brand will allow you to scale things infinitely faster.

How do you do this?

Many people view a brand as synonymous to having a blog. While I think a blog can be a valuable asset, it isn’t 100% necessary.

Simply having a basic WordPress site up, with some solid info on who you are, and what you’re all about can go a long ways. If I were you, at the very least I’d have a blog component in order to establish expertise. Even if you only right once or twice a month, it gives people a little more insight into who you are and exactly what you do.

Not sure how to do this? Don’t worry, this post has all you need.

Your brand and things associated with it, is also one of your biggest assets. If all you’re doing is creating niche websites, one Google algorithm change can wipe out your business.

Even if everything I have online was deleted and I had to start from scratch, there’s still value in the Location 180 name, my email list, my reputation etc. Bottom line, for me personally, without the brand, there is no business.

6) Take Your Work Seriously

If you’ve recently quit or are traveling around the world, a new blog or business can seem like an awesome little side project. One of my best friends, Ryan, started an awesome blog that was quickly gaining traction and making him some money. But he never took it seriously as a business.

What happened?

He let the site sit for a year, somewhere along the way, it got hacked, and then he didn’t want to pay the hefty fee to get it fixed once he finally noticed what happened.

By now he could have had a thriving business and community, but he never took it seriously. Caveat: He loves his life as a tour guide right now, but it’s still definitely a missed opportunity.

Sorry bud, but had to call you out on this one.

Moral of the story? If you’re serious about building a business, act like it.

Build routines around your work. If you’re working on your venture full time, figure out what hours you’re most productive, and sit your ass down in your chair and do the work.

If you’re doing it on the side, do the same thing. Figure out when you can work, and actually do it.

If you treat your business like a fun side-project, that’s exactly what it’ll be. If you take it seriously, and treat it as your new day job, in time, you’ll be right where you want to be.

7) Dont Work in a Vacuum

I’ve said repeatedly over the years that if you want to be successful doing this, you have to find a supportive community. For as many people as I know living out their perfect lifestyle, the concept still isn’t mainstream.

If you tell many of the people close to you that you want to start a business on your own, they’ll probably give you a myriad of reasons as to why that’s a bad idea.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to have a solid support system while you’re working through things.

This is one of the most common mistakes I see as well. People will hole up in front of their computers and treat the whole thing like they are in a vacuum. They won’t go out and meet other entrepreneurs, and often won’t even try and communicate with likeminded people online.

Not only are you doing your education a disservice, but it won’t be long before your sanity wears thin, and you scrap the whole thing.

This is probably the most important thing I’ll say in this post, if you’re serious about building a successful lifestyle business find a supportive, like minded community as soon as possible.

Here’s a great one if you need a push in the right direction.

Are you Making These Mistakes?

None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes no matter how hard we try not to. Consider this post a reminder. It’s easy to let things get in the way of our dream lifestyles, but focus on continually improving your business, and you’ll thank yourself later on when you have full freedom in your life. When you don’t have to miss things like your kid’s first steps because you were at work, or when you meet the person of your dreams while traveling through the French Riviera.

That’s why we’re doing all of this anyway, right? To live a life where we can do more of the stuff we like to do, on a daily basis.

Reblogged from Sean Ogle’s website www.SeanOgle.com

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Going Deeper With Social Media

Social media is everywhere. If you’re like me you know you have to be engaging on it. I confess I’m not always on it and I do social media marketing and management for a living. Crazy Huh. I feel lately there is so much content out there on social media that what I have to say isn’t new. I want my content to be engaging and relevant and new. So I’m on a mission. My mission is to go deeper on my blog, with social media and in my life. So join me!

So how in the world am I going to do that in a culture that is on information overload. Heck, I feel like I’m an information junkie. Do you ever feel that way? I’m going to start with engaging. I’m going to ask you a point blank question; Are you engaging with your list and your various connections on the social media platforms? What are you doing to engage them? So here are my 3 steps for engaging.

1. Talk to them not at them! I’m learning this over and over again is that when I talk to them by adding a human element, I get a response. No one likes to be talked at. An example of what not to do, (and I’ve been guilty with this one) is don’t always write “Read my Blogpost” or “Attend my webinar”! It is essential to provide a safe place to nurture a two way conversation.

2. Provide valuable content and encourage your audience to give feedback. One of my favorite things to do is my video social media tip and I always ask things like “Does this work for you?” or “What are your thoughts on this?” This really starts the conversation rolling.

3. Look for ways to always start a conversation by focusing on them, and their needs. I love to ask questions to find out what my audience needs. I love to find out some of the things that they are doing in their business. One thing I did a couple of weeks is I posted a challenge on my video tip on a Friday to implement on Monday. I asked them to tell me how the implementation went. Had a great response.

The biggest thing for me with engaging more is to create relationships with the people I come into contact with, rather if it’s online or offline. What do you do to engage more on social media?

Read more by Lorraine on her website BizGoneSocial

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What Creates Results?

What ever goes on within the confines of your mind will surely reflect on your outside actions. What does that mean? What you think about and how you think about them will determine the level of income you earn, the type of house you live in, the type of car you drive, the type of relationships you have, etc. Take a look at what you have right now. Everything that you have around you will tell you what type of thoughts you grant attention to.

This can make a real impact on your life. Since your most dominant thoughts will determine the type of actions you take which will determine the type of lifestyle you live, it would be best to expand your mind by learning all that you can. A person who only knows of working for wages cannot hope to attain the millionaire mark. But by learning and applying different and honorable ways to earn income, the chances of attaining such a mark increase. I know we all have thought, “I’ve heard that before. It’s nothing new”. But that is precisely why so many people still work for wages and a small amount earn giant amounts of income. Because one may have heard helpful information before, doesn’t mean that one utilizes it.

It is not enough to just “know” about something. It’s useless if you don’t put it to practical use. Here is one secret to success: Listen from those who have gone to where you want to go (i.e. books, mentors, programs, seminars), apply those steps to your own venture, and leave nature no choice but to send success your way. This alone will entirely change the way you think. Therefore, changing your actions and creating a different set of results you wouldn’t have gotten if you didn’t apply the one secret to success. This also works on other aspects other than money. The bottom line: Expand your mind in the direction you want to go, exceed your limits, and create desired results.

Reblogged from the Success Coach Corner

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5 Skills of Really Amazing Listeners

Most people like to think what they have to say is important. If you or I make the effort to share thoughts, feelings, or knowledge, then we want to believe the intended recipient is listening. But honestly, many people are too distracted to really take it all in when someone else is doing the talking. What’s worse is that so many just watch mouths move, waiting for the chance to chime in.

Great leaders understand the value of active listening and get the most benefit from what others have to share. They understand that if you want to be heard and understood, the first step is learning how to listen yourself. The following are actions shared by those who truly know how to listen. Integrate them into your conversational behavior and you might be surprised what you learn.

1. Be present. Being “in the moment” is not just for yoga or Grateful Dead concerts. If you are going to take in what someone is saying, you have to truly focus your mental awareness on the person. Push distractions aside. Give a person the gift of your attention. Put down the smartphone, turn off your computer screen, put down the book or magazine, and look at him or her with a neutral or pleasant expression. Most people are so accustomed to having half of someone else’s focus at any given moment that this gesture alone will make them feel important and it will allow you to actually hear what they are saying.

2. Turn down the inner voice. Internal analysis of any conversation is unavoidable and necessary, but often it’s at the expense of objectivity. That voice can actually take over in your brain to the point at which you are no longer listening to the person talking and instead simply listening to the diatribe in your head. There is plenty of time after a conversation to assess the value of what you heard, but first you have to hear it. One technique for quieting the inner voice is simple note taking. Writing down even key words or short phrases will force you to absorb the information coming in. Then you can process it on your own outside the presence of the speaker. As an added benefit, you’ll have a more accurate representation of what was actually said for later discussion.

3. Hold up a mirror. This is a technique many psychologists and counselors recommend to help alleviate conflict. When the opportunity arises, speak up and describe for the person what you have just heard him or her say. It is OK to rephrase in your own words. Be sure to end with a request for confirmation: “So what you’re most concerned about is that the new hires lack training. Is that accurate?” The speaker then knows you are paying attention and fully engaged.

4. Ask for clarification. During a conversation, hunt for areas of interest where you might further inquire. Without derailing his or her train of thought, ask the speaker to expand and clarify: “What do you mean by ‘interesting?'” or “Why do you think that is so important?” The speaker will appreciate the interaction, and you will gain better understanding of the person’s perspective as well as your own perception of the information.

5. Establish follow-up. At the end of any conversation, discuss and determine if there are action steps required. This check-in will alert speakers to your actual concern for what they said, and help them assess their own relevancy to your needs. Express appreciation for their sharing, and let them know what you found to be valuable from the conversation. Making them feel heard increases the odds they’ll truly listen to you when you have something to say you believe is important.

reblogged from Inc.com. For more articles by Kevin Daum sign up here.

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