The Minute You Stop Chasing Trends Is When You Will Start Building a Real Business

If you’ve been paying attention to the entrepreneur space, you may have noticed something in the last three months. It’s a common trend that’s not so common in entrepreneurship. You’ve seen the same entrepreneurs chasing the newest “hot” trends. They started their business with a core topic and industry but maybe the income wasn’t there. In their desire to generate revenue, they were tempted by the allure of what’s working in entrepreneurship right now.

In a three-month span, they were Facebook ad experts until that became saturated, then they became “funnel” experts. After that, Facebook Messenger bots started to become popular, so they became Messenger bot experts. And now, everybody is talking about Bitcoin, so there’s a whole new wave of Bitcoin experts. This cycle will keep repeating itself as new trends emerge and entrepreneurs share the results they get with a new trend.

Build a foundation.

If you’re jumping from trend to trend, you might want to sit down and get clear about what your values are and what kind of business would match those values. You should know and understand your ultimate life goals. Your values, goals and a great idea make up the foundation of your business. We all know what happens to a house that’s not built on a solid foundation. To build a successful business, you need a deep foundation in an industry/topic that you could see yourself spending years in. You may not hold onto the business forever, but it will take time to build it to where it could be sold.

I understand the appeal of being first to the market on something, but that only works when you’re first to a market with a foundation to build on. First to the market only works when you start out and continue to build. You’re then seen as an industry leader in that market. Creating a foundation in a common industry or going deep with a trend isn’t sexy, but it’s how you will build something sustainable.

A lot of the reason why entrepreneurs can’t generate consistent revenue is that they have no marketing plan and aren’t generating new leads. A lack of marketing ruins businesses. Luckily, for us as entrepreneurs today, marketing is easier and more cost-effective. Facebook ads are highly effective and you can target them to your ideal prospect. Besides Facebook, you can now run ads on all social media networks. According to Gallup, 62 percent of people worldwide use social media daily. The stats are in our favor. Read more ›

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Broke, Broken, and Desperate on My Way to Maui

It may seem like someone has it all together and they’re thriving but appearances can be deceiving. We never know what someone is experiencing or how much they’re dealing with. I put on a good front last year. I was traveling and doing cool things but the truth was that I was dying inside. This is the story of going from an incredible high in life and business to an absolute low and desperate place. And how spending the last $153 I had in my bank account changed my life.

You don’t have to go through this alone… 

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I Started Saying ‘No’ to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better

I’m a people pleaser. It’s hard for me to say “no” to people who ask for something — despite a reluctance inside of me. This has gotten me into trouble more than a few times in life and especially in business. Time is precious and slips by quickly but there is also no lack of things that have to get done in an entrepreneur’s life.

For 12 years, I took life a day at a time. I had a dream but no goals for making it real. I just woke up each day hoping for something more. In 2011, I had had enough and began chasing my dream of starting a lifestyle business. This meant more work on top of a service business that took 60-80 hours of my week. It didn’t take long for me to realize that something had to give. I had to learn how to say no to open up room for the things that were important. Seeing how much time and energy was freed by saying no, I started looking at all the other areas of my life. Here are six things I said no to. Saying no helped me live a much better life and create the kind of business that I love.

1. Other people’s baggage.

Life is hard for all of us. Sometimes it’s easier to push your baggage onto someone else, maybe even without you realizing it. If you are trying to make changes in your life and someone reacts a certain way because of their baggage, it’s up to you to say “no”. You don’t need any more drama in your life. For me, this meant ignoring some people on social media and purging negative people from my life. It meant ending the business partnerships that were not in alignment with the direction I was taking my business.

2. Situations that I knew would make me angry.

There are things in life that you know you don’t want to do. For years, I just rolled with it. I went to gatherings and hung out with people who I knew would make me angry. I got on “get-to-know-you” calls with entrepreneurs who were all talk and no action. I entered into collaborations with business owners that weren’t serious. When I said enough and stopped, it felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It freed my mind and business and helped me focus.

3. A business that I absolutely hated.

I had a service business in the vendor industry for 12 years and hated it. I felt stuck and believed that someone like me — a high school dropout — couldn’t do better. In 2011, I said “no” more and worked hard for four years to make my dream of being a global lifestyle entrepreneur a reality. I now wake up loving what I get to do for work and traveling the world. Saing no led to happier days. Read more ›

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4 Reliable Signs Someone Is About to Waste Your Time

This internet and information age that we’re living in has created some exciting opportunities. Today, we have access to information, technology, and resources like never before. We live in a hyper-connected time where it’s very easy to communicate and interact with potential customers and possible business partners. While all of this has been good for business, it’s also created challenges.

With the access has come a flood of people who could and will waste your time if you let them. As busy entrepreneurs, our time is one of our most valuable resources. We can’t afford to waste it on what seems important but isn’t. We can’t let anyone else control our schedule and invade our boundaries. It’s smart to watch for the warning signs someone is about to waste your time.

1. They lead with what they want.

You’ve gotten at least a few messages from people on social media or through email who lead with a request. They want you to talk about their business on your networks. They want you to buy from them, even though you know nothing about what they offer. They are asking for something you sell but they want it for free.

When someone’s first interaction with you is about them and something they want, run the other way as fast as you can. This is a glaring sign that your whole relationship will be based on that self-centered entrepreneur. Even if you did something for them, it wouldn’t be enough. Strong business relationships are formed when there’s value added first.

2. They tell you they want to hire you “months from now.”

This kind of interaction is designed to make you think the person will be a future customer. They lead with a statement saying they want to hire you months from now but need information or advice first. Read more ›

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One Extra Offer That Will Increase Your Consulting Income

When it comes to consulting at companies, most of what you’ll do is give a consulting training on your topic(s). You’ll either do a one-off, a two to five-hour training, or a series of training over a period of time. You can support your training with documents that have more depth, or you can license your online courses to give a company’s employees more training.

One thing that’s not done enough is setting up comprehensive training programs at companies. Today’s tip is to start off with the one-off training, but consider setting up a bigger and more comprehensive training program for a company.

Some examples of this are a healthy & fitness consultant setting up a wellness program at a company. A podcast consultant setting up the company’s podcast. A sales consultant setting up a sales program. A personal development consultant setting up a training program that covers the major areas of personal development. You get the point.

I’ve talked to several HR managers and C.O.O.’s at the companies that have hired me for consulting gigs this year. We’ve had in-depth conversations about what they paid consultants to set up programs like this.

One company that I consulted at last month in Tokyo paid $100,000 to have a health & fitness consultant set up a wellness program. A company that I consulted at in London earlier this year paid $105,000 to a consultant for a six-month digital marketing template. One of the graduates of my Get Booked program got paid $75,000 to set up a leadership program at a company in Paris. A company that I consulted at in Hong Kong paid me $45,000 to set up their company’s podcast. Again, you get the point. Read more ›

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Building a Business Shouldn’t Require You Stop Having a Life

There’s a trend that’s been growing for some time now. You see it when you log onto social media. You’ve watched YouTube videos about it. You’ve probably heard your entrepreneur friends talking about it. This interesting new business mentality is the 24/7-never-stop “hustling” no-matter-what mentality.

Spending excessively long hours working on your business has become the new badge of honor. You’re not considered a true entrepreneur unless you work until you drop. You see entrepreneurs bragging about working at 3 a.m. and working all weekend. You hear them say they have no time for anything but business-related tasks.

If you buy into this trend you will eventually hate your business. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to business-life balance.

Your business shouldn’t eclipse your life.

I don’t know about you, but I built a business to take control of my life. Most of us are building a business to give us freedom and control of our life. We want an income that allows us to do whatever we want in life without worrying about financial security. The concepts of the Four-Hour Work Week might not be exactly what we’re looking for, but it’s pretty darn close. We want to build a scalable business that gives us flexibility.

It’s important to work a little longer or harder as you build a business, but only within the proper business-life balance. There are consequences when the balance shifts too far towards business. Many relationships have ended because entrepreneurs focused on business neglected their partner. Families have fallen apart because an entrepreneur didn’t have the right balance. Read more ›

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The Difference Between Consulting and Done-For-You Services

It’s important to understand the difference between “consulting” and doing done-for-you. Over the last five years, I’ve done consulting gigs at companies in 60 countries. I’ve only done some done-for-you work three times in that time.

Consulting

When you’re consulting, you go into a company’s offices–or get Skyped in–and train their employees on a topic. It’s a one-off (or several one-offs) training on your topic(s). Once you’re done, that’s it unless you negotiate additions to the contract. Things like licensing your online courses and/or setting up training programs (you consult on wellness so you set up a wellness program for their employees and so on for other topics).

Your obligation ends once you give the training. You don’t do the actual work. It’s important to understand that companies don’t attach a specific result to a consulting contract.

For example. They don’t say that if you consult their company on sales, they need to make an X number of sales after your training. If you consult on digital marketing, they don’t say that their digital presence has to grow by a certain number after your training. You get the point.

Companies pay a generous consulting fee for the knowledge you share–not for a certain result. They are paying you for your expertise. They understand that it’s their responsibility to implement and get the results. You give them the map and teach them how to use it, they’re the ones that drive the car and get to where they need to go. Read more ›

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Paid Travel and Large Publications Exposure

Paid Travel Pro Tip. It’s a dream of many to travel the world and do it for free—and/or get paid—while you experience new countries/cultures. I’ve traveled to 60 countries over the last five years for consulting gigs at various companies. All of my expenses of each trip were covered by the companies, and I was paid a generous training fee.

In today’s tip, I want to give you four ways to travel for free and/or get paid to experience bucket list destinations.

1. Travel Hack. This is where you use credit cards from airlines, hotels, and other credit card offers to get points, perks, and miles. People who travel hack get several credit cards through large point/mile offers. These offers can literally give you hundreds of thousands of miles/points to use for free flights, airport perks, and hotels. You would need decent credit, an income source, and be responsible enough to pay off the balances. Entrepreneurs such as Chris GuillebeauNomadic MattThe Points Guy, and others teach travel hacking.

2. Freelance. You find work—mainly online—in a variety of industries. You do this work remotely and normally per project. Some of the work includes website stuff, social media management/marketing, design jobs, teaching a specific skill, coaching, being a virtual assistant, or you can even have a 9-5 job that allows you to be remote. You can find work through places like Upwork, Fiverr, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and other places. Chris the Freelancer is a great resource to learn freelancing and the digital nomad lifestyle.

3. Teach English. Many places all over the world are looking for people to teach English. A lot of times, you don’t need a degree. There are programs/groups you can join that will train you on the basics, then you can start looking for paid gigs. You can post ads on Craigslist and other places to get gigs on your own. You can make an income and/or get your travel covered. Nomadic Matt says that you can find English teaching work in all kinds of countries that pay well. For example, you can get $80K a year in the Middle East, $2K-$5K a month in South Korea (where I just left), and several other countries where they have a huge need for English teachers.

4. Book Paid Consulting Gigs at Companies. This is how I travel to 35 countries a year. It’s by FAR my #1-#3 income source. Companies pay a generous training fee, cover all of your travel expenses/pay for your family to join you, license any online courses you have, and buy training programs that run on autopilot—you sell it to them and they setup/implement. I have been able to make an income from all of these streams at companies on six continents. Read more ›

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One Simple Strategy to Find High-End Executive Coaching and Consulting Gigs at Companies

The hard part of getting high-dollar (five to seven figures) coaching and/or consulting opportunities is finding the gigs. Today’s Pro Tip is a place where you can find leads for both.

Every single city in the United States publishes a business journal. In my hometown of Milwaukee, it’s called “The Milwaukee Business Journal.” The web address is bizjournals.com/your city. Your city/state has one. They even have them international in a different format.

In these business journals are the names of local companies, their CEO’s, the phone number of the company, AND the email address of the CEO. They are more often found in the print version of the journal, but the online version in most cities will publish the same information.

Think about this. You have the name and email addresses of CEOs and local companies. You can then take that information and do some research on each company and its CEO. You can find companies where your skill set would benefit their employees in a consulting training. You can find CEOs that could use your high-end coaching services. You have the opportunity to pitch and book great consulting gigs and/or sign executive coaching clients. Read more ›

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I WAS DESPERATE!

When I started my lifestyle business in 2012, coaching income was my everything. I took every discovery call I could get and chased down anything that looked like a lead. I made all kinds of deals to lock in business. I gave away the farm more than a few times. Some months, I was on fire, other months were super slow. I frequently cried myself to sleep.

It took years to understand that you can’t just rely on one source of income in a lifestyle business. You need multiple streams so that when one goes down, the others keep you from going crazy and being constantly worried about money.

I was often worried about money because it was sporadic. It pushed me to do desperate things like private messaging friends trying to get them to sign up for coaching, posting about my services in all kinds of Facebook groups and responding to every “pick me” post where someone asked about hiring a coaching. I came off as needy and that repelled people from wanting to work with me.

Everything changed after I came out of my funk in mid-2016. I finally understood that what I have to offer is valuable and I was giving it away. I beat my self-limiting beliefs and raised my prices by 8x. I focused on growing multiple streams of income. It made all the difference. As the other streams grew, I focused less on getting coaching business. I focused more on putting out quality content–the clients started to come to me. These days, I don’t take on one-on-one coaching clients anymore unless it’s a special circumstance.

I make money from consulting at companies (and all the extras–see below), book royalties (three published books), sales of my online courses (I have six that I sell online and license to companies), booking fees from speaking/consulting gigs that I can’t do because of schedule conflicts (I give them to other speakers/consultants and take a fee), content creation (several business publications pay me for articles, audio recordings, and videos that I make for them), affiliate income (I promote a very small number of people I truly believe in), and online group classes (I run three live classes a few times a year). Read more ›

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