My Grandpa Died Today

My Grandpa Died Today

It’s September 28th, 2017.

Facebook told me at 4:02 this afternoon I was tagged in a photo.

It was a collage of pictures of my Grandpa.

One was recent. One looked to be about a decade old.

And one held a Grandpa I hardly recognized.

He looked dapper. He looked fit.

He’d aged a bit between then and the time of my first recollection of him.

I knew what the photos meant before I read the words, but refused to accept until my eyes processed them.

He was gone. Continue reading “My Grandpa Died Today”

It’s time to add some fuel to your fire

Time to add some fuel to your fire

Tell me if this doesn’t ring true for you on some level:

There’s something you have always wanted to do. You see other people doing it successfully.

Then you realize many of those “other people” are younger than you or right around your age.

You’re not stupid so you know what they’ve created takes time.

This leads to getting down on yourself because you’re already behind the curve and you begin to wonder if it’s even worth trying to do that thing anymore.

With each passing day, you grow more anxious.

“I haven’t made any progress. I’m going so slow. I’m already behind. Why try?” Continue reading “It’s time to add some fuel to your fire”

Why Entrepreneurship Education Sucks Right Now

Alternative Entrepreneurship education sucks right now

Google “how to make more money” and you’re hit with 845 million results. That’s a lot of information.

If you’re like me, you’ve done your fair share of clicking through link after link after link searching for some income generation path that resonates with you.

And if you’re like me, you’ve noticed that you keep running into the same handful of suggestions over and over and over again. Aren’t you sick of it? I know I am.

If Google’s algorithm is to be trusted in pulling the most helpful and relevant information to the top of search results, it would seem you and I have about ten “best” options for creating income for ourselves:

  • Building and monetizing a blog
  • Building and monetizing a Youtube channel
  • Building an affiliate sales site
  • Building and monetizing a niche/authority website
  • Driving for Lyft/Uber
  • Sell on Amazon/Ebay
  • Rent out a room/house on Airbnb
  • Rent out your car on Turo
  • Start an Etsy store
  • Sell services on Fiverr

I’m aware you can find many more options scattered throughout the ridiculous amount of search results, but the vast majority of the time you’re going to be running into a combination of the above.

You know I’m right. You’ve seen it too.

This is a problem.

We’re not drones

Let me take a quick step sideways to make a comparison. Bear with me.

We, as a society, are (very slowly) coming to realize that our school system is not built on a foundation of promoting individualism and creativity among our youth.

Our school system is built to pump out two things:

  • compliant, complacent office workers, or
  • highly-skilled specialists like doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc.

Champions of the new wave of education that are challenging the status quo like Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame), Ryan Carson (founder of the alternative education company Treehouse), and Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy) make a strong case against the traditional idea of secondary education.

To summarize their collective stance on education:

We’re all unique individuals with unique interests, talents, skills, resources and reasons for doing what we do. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all four-year degree comprised of very limited and rigid course schedules is a detriment to most students’ effective contribution to society.

Our school system has treated us like drones for decades and we’re finally starting to buck the trend.

Why, then, are we falling into the same trap with our approach to entrepreneurship?

Find your why, not your what

Nobody dreams of driving for Lyft or Uber. Nobody dreams of renting their car out every weekend.

I highly doubt anyone dreams about blogging, building niche websites, or selling on online marketplaces either.

These are all channels for business, not foundations for business.

Just as a college degree has oft been viewed as the necessary component for securing a steady job, so have these “business ideas for entrepreneurs” been put on a pedestal as the starting point for anyone looking to get out of the rat race of corporate employment and join the throngs of entrepreneurs making it on their own.

The problem is, just like with the four-year-college-degree model of secondary education, there’s too much focus on the mechanism and not enough focus on the underlying drive that is necessary to power the mechanism.

Don’t fall into the trap

I’ve read too many stories about people that have gone to school, earned a degree, joined the workforce, and discovered in a year or two that they don’t enjoy what they do. They did it because it was “safe” or because the money was good.

They always regret the choice.

Deciding to embark on your own as an entrepreneur offers a similar threat.

If you do not become completely clear on the why of whatever it is you choose to do, you will quickly get burnt out.

So I urge you to ignore the lists of “101 side hustles to make money” and instead focus on self-awareness and discovering who you are and what your life purpose is.

Money is nothing, purpose is everything

Something I know to be true 110% is this: anything can be monetized.

Any skill, any interest, any product, any information.

Discover why you are here first, then figure out how to monetize it.

I’d love to hear if you’ve discovered what your passion is in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article and would like to eventually fire your boss and live your passion, submit the form below so I can get to know you better and discover how I can help you reach that goal.

3 Ways The “Right Now” Mentality is Making You Lose (Be Patient)

Right now mentality

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve fallen victim to the “right now” mentality more times than I can count and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s crippled my professional growth.

Perhaps you can identify.

You’re scrolling through Facebook, minding your own damn business when some huckster’s ad pops into view promising a 6-figure return with only a few hours of work on Instagram per week.

Too good to be true, you think to yourself. I’d agree. Keep scrolling, good choice.

Then another: “Join us for this webinar to learn the exact process we use to produce 5-figure months in your first year.”

Hmmm….sounding a bit more attainable….maybe you can do that.

One more: “This content in this book changed my life. I made $4,000 in my first month using the information inside. Get yours today for only $19.”

Now we’re talking! $19 is a small price to pay to learn how to make $4k a month in side hustle money!

But here’s the rub: you’re not just paying that $19, just watching that one video, just reading that one article. There’s so much more going on that you’re missing and it kills me to see it happen so often.

You’re being lured into the “right now” mentality and, ironically, the vast majority of these products are engineered to make you lose in the game of business.

What follows are three ways the “right now” mentality that we’re being sold is making you lose. Stick around to the end of the article for my simple solution that will ensure you keep winning.

#1 | You’re wasting time

You’ve heard it a million times by now:

Your time is precious. It’s the one asset you can never get more of. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

All true.

Every minute you spend consuming content not directly related to what you want to do with your life is a minute you’re never getting back.

Everybody that creates a wealth building/entrepreneur/marketing information or training product is doing so with the intention of drawing you into a larger sales funnel, at the end of which lies their most profitable (and usually most expensive) products.

The sales funnel is an incredibly wonderful and effective tool. Indeed, if you’re running a business and don’t have some semblance of a sales funnel in place, you’ve already doomed yourself.

I don’t want to get too deep into the details (entire books, websites, and companies are dedicated to sales funnel creation and management), but there’s one defining characteristic of every sales funnel that can’t be ignored:

Traversing the funnel takes time.

The most carefully constructed sales funnels can tease you along for months, feeding you bits and pieces of the dream you were originally sold on with that first click.

Those weeks spent in the sales funnel are filled with retargeting ads, unrelenting emails and more content to consume, all of which acts as a leech on your precious time.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of feeling an obligation to follow through on consuming that content since you’ve already invested some time to “get started.”

The feeling of wasted time is felt more sharply when you make the leap to completely jump out of the sales funnel halfway through instead of slowly being dragged down to the bottom.

It’s hard, but unless whatever content you’re being fed is perfectly inline with what you truly want to do with your life, you’re wasting your time and diluting your focus.

And that just so happens to be number two in the list.

#2 | You’re diluting your focus

You’ll notice I’m focusing on what you want to do with your life.

That’s because there’s insane value in hyper-focusing on a single thing as opposed to trying to multi-task.

There’s loads of evidence that show how harmful multitasking is. (That last article gets pretty technical, be warned).

How many times have you spent a day feeling productive, only to realize the next day you didn’t really get anything done?

The majority of these e-books, courses, downloads, and subscriptions you’re being sold are predicated on specific business models and/or products that are very rarely ideal for you and what you want to do.

Instead, most of them are “do this thing and make money.”

And the money is always hard to ignore. Anybody being exposed to the ads and emails selling those products has expressed interest in making more money somewhere online. That’s how marketing works.

Then you think:

I’d really love to have a business teaching people to surf, but it’s hard to get this thing off the ground. It’d be much easier if I just had an extra $4,000 per month from another side hustle that doesn’t require too much time.

That’s the dream. Loads of money, minimal effort. And that’s the hook for 99% of the sales funnels you’re constantly being drawn into.

But it’s never minimal effort and loads of money. You don’t get both. You get to choose one or the other.

So you find yourself spending 30 hours a week on this new side hustle in hopes of quickly turning it into passive income and then you can do the surfing school thing.

It never works. You’re diluting your focus.

If you want to get where you want to be, you need to focus on your business. Every side hustle you add to your portfolio takes a toll on your effectiveness in the one business you truly enjoy and want to grow.

It’s like trying to increase the value of your home by personally offering to do upgrade projects on all the houses on your block instead of simply working hard on your own house. It doesn’t make sense.

Form the foundation for your passion and build it. That’s it. Don’t worry about what anyone else has built.

Focusing on things other people have built and hoping you can fit it into your own professional life is diluting your focus and making you lose.

This leads me to the third way the “right now” mentality is setting you up for failure.

#3 | You’re sacrificing your confidence

You see the nice cars, the exotic locales, the expensive food, the hot women (and men), the income reports.

We all see them. That’s the point.

Whatever this person is doing, it works.

You’re right. It does work. For them. And 99 times out of 100, what they’ve done to get to that point was not done in just a year or two.

But your “right now” mentality can’t be bothered with that. You want what they have and you want it now.

Fast forward two months and you’re still trying to piece together whatever side hustle you thought would get you there.

Not only are you still not making money, but you’re realizing you’ve wasted time and, if anything, you’re further from attaining that dream lifestyle than you were when you started.

All the while, you’re still seeing the nice cars, increasing income reports, and more press appearances from those you admire.

It sucks. This is when the imposter syndrome gets very real.

Maybe they just have something I don’t have. Maybe  I can’t do it. Maybe they have connections. I’m just me, what can I do?

The only difference between you and them is continued hustle over time.

The “right now” mentality doesn’t make it easy to continue working towards your long-term goals. The people with the nice cars, massive income, and incredible lives didn’t get there overnight. Neither will you.

Unfortunately, many of them don’t care to mention that fact to those watching them. It’s just “Rah-rah, you can have this too if you really want it!”

And when you don’t get it right away, your confidence takes a hit. It doesn’t take too many of these hits to put you in a funk and deter you from pursuing anything outside of the norm (comfortable job with a consistent paycheck).

Stop comparing where you are to where those you admire are. It’s one thing to learn from them and what they’re doing but you’ve got to understand you’re years behind them as far as the process goes and getting to where they are is indeed a process.

Here’s the simple solution

Be patient.

That’s it. Get out of the “right now” mentality and keep your eye on the long-term goal, your legacy.

Be consistent in your actions, be focused on your business, and always be moving forward. If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to eventually fire your boss and live your passion, submit the form below so I can get to know you better and discover how I can help you reach that goal.

Why I’m renting a room from my baby mama and her husband

Why I'm renting

It’s 7:30 in the morning. My son yells from the other room, “Daddy, I have to go pee.”

I manage to grumble only half-audibly, “Ok, dude, go pee”, while wondering why he still insists on notifying me every time this incredible event occurs.

The static electricity builds up as I shuffle in my mismatched socks down the hallway. The drip drip drip of the Keurig and the aroma of coffee brings a much-needed perk to my still-sleepy mind.

I flip on the electric griddle, throw on some bacon, and pull out some eggs to cook in the grease that the delicious cuts leave behind. As I flip the last egg, I call out, “Breakfast is ready!”

A few moments later, my son’s mother, her husband, and their 7-month-old baby appear in the dining room. Continue reading “Why I’m renting a room from my baby mama and her husband”

Instagram hashtag strategy case study

Instagram hack

Instagram has been a black box for me for a long time as I’m sure it is for a lot of you. We all know there’s massive opportunity on Instagram for business and personal brand growth but so many of us, myself included, are struggling to get a foothold.

About a week ago I realized I wasn’t actually committing the effort to use Instagram effectively. I had no strategy, no consistency, no voice. I had to fix that.

Now, only a short week later, I’ve almost doubled my follower count and engagement is off the charts. Continue reading “Instagram hashtag strategy case study”

Why (and how) I applied to a job with a video

Why I applied to a job with a video

I recently made the tough decision to get back into the job market. I’m not ashamed to admit that I need a financial helping hand while I attempt to embark on my own. And honestly, a job at an established company at least somewhat related to what I’d like to do as a career is a great way to make some lifelong connections and learn some valuable skills.

Thusly, I found myself perusing craigslist earlier today. Much to my delight, I find a post:

“Super Star Social Marketing Assistant Wanted” Continue reading “Why (and how) I applied to a job with a video”

You’re Not Special

Feature image for "You're not special" post

A person’s a person, no matter how small. – Dr. Seuss

We all love to talk about ourselves don’t we? Our slights, our grievances, our successes, our ambitions, our interests. We love to talk about all the things that make us human. All the things that make us who we are. We think we’re special. Guess what?

You’re Not Special

Neither am I.

I recently decided to dive into the world of creative real estate investing. After what seemed like months of reading, studying, listening, watching whatever “training” I could get my hands on, I connected with a successful individual that knows his way around the industry.

I offered to help him grow his company so that I can learn through experience instead of study. His response in not so many words: find people having problems with their property, knock on their door, and talk to them. I’ll pay you for any properties we can work with.

So that’s what I did.

Very quickly I was reminded of something that we seem to so easily forget:

Every one of us is truly unique.

This is what I mean when I say “you’re not special.” You are not the only one with desires, lofty goals, money problems, stress, or a favorite food. We all have these things that make us individuals.

It’s too easy, in our age of information overload, to fall into the trap of treating anybody outside our immediate social circle as a number instead of a human being. There are so many people vying for our attention. Everybody wants something and we’ve only got so much to give.

Stay guarded, but stay human

It’s true. There are only 24 hours in a day and time is the one asset we each have that we can never get back. So of course we must stay vigilant and protect our time as the treasure it is.

However, there’s a fine line between being brusque and being inhuman; a line I believe we’d all be better off paying more attention to.

When I was out knocking on doors of people who were in jeopardy of losing their homes, I was exposed to a smorgasbord of emotions. Some had mentally removed themselves from the situation, as though it were happening to someone else. Others were frantic, obviously not able to think critically. Still others were prideful, willing to so curtly excuse even the mention of help in spite of the glaring issues.

I realized how easy it would have been to go off on some of these people. I understood how dealing with people in stressful situations could wear someone down to the point of giving up.

Very quickly I discovered the promise of money alone would not be enough to drive me to knock on the next door. I had to remind myself with each new home that the individual inside was a human, with thousands of days worth of experiences that had brought them to this point in time. These individuals need help and I had determined to help them.

The Golden Rule

Now that I think about it, mother was so much more philosophical than I’d given her credit for when she said “treat others how you’d like to be treated.”

We’ve all heard the saying but how many of us have truly grasped the implications?

It’s not just a quip to remind us to “be nice.” Indeed, it hints at something much deeper, something much more human: we must understand the humanity of the individual and respond in every unique interaction appropriately.

Every one of us has a story to tell, a life that’s been lived, a life yet to live, and a unique perspective of the world. Be mindful not to lose sight of the human component of the world you live in.