Winners Make It Work

WinnersIn 1973, Stephen King was a struggling writer on the brink of giving up.  

He was living in a doublewide trailer in Hermon, Maine with his wife Tabitha and two little kids.

He was driving a worn-down Buick on its last legs.  

Although he aspired to be an author, he hadn’t published any books. He was teaching English at a prep school – a position which left him little energy and time to write outside of school.

Tabitha didn’t have it any better. She was working at a Dunkin’ Donuts.

To make ends meet, King took on extra jobs during the summers, working at an industrial laundromat and as a janitor and gas pump attendant.

Hard to imagine the “King of Horror” cleaning toilet bowls as a janitor. But it happened.

Frustrated, King reportedly threw early pages from a new novel he was working on into the trash.

“I couldn’t see wasting two weeks, maybe even a month, creating a novella I didn’t like and wouldn’t be able to sell,” King wrote in his memoir On Writing. “So I threw it away … After all, who wanted to read a book about a poor girl with menstrual problems?”

Tabitha came home from work, saw the pages in the trash, and fished them out. She encouraged him to keep going. And he did.

That manuscript racked up 30 rejections from publishers. One of them wrote, “‘We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.”

But he kept going. Eventually, he found a publisher. Those pages became King’s first published book, Carrie, which sold over 4 million copies in paperback and put him on the map.

 Winners Find a Way

There’s a simple difference between the winners in life and the losers.

The winners make it work. [Click to tweet.]

When faced with a barrier or friction or speed bump, winners find a way to make it work rather than making up excuses for why it won’t.

Stephen King had ample opportunities to give up with his first novel. But he didn’t. [Read more…]

10 Lessons Learned From Throwing Our Second $50k Live Event

10 Lessons Learned

If you don’t absolutely love the idea of throwing a live event, then don’t do it.

That’s what I learned throwing a live event earlier this year.

For the second time in 5 months, I put together with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, a live 2 ½ day event for high level, driven entrepreneurs. And for the second time, the event grossed $50K.

You can read about what we learned from the first event here.

This time around, the event was held in the heart of Napa/Sonoma wine country.

But let me tell you… man, it wasn’t easy. It was a shit ton of work.

(That’s a technical term.)

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed doing it, even if there were times I wanted to pull my hair out.

But there are better ways to make money which are less stressful and much easier.

So why do I do it?

As I write about here at Smart Business Revolution, there is simply no substitute for bringing people together face-to-face.

There’s no better way to bond and forge strong relationships than hanging out with someone in person. Over the course of a couple of days together, you can create greater movement and momentum than you could during months of working on your own.

And when you are the person who has brought all the other people together – whether it’s organizing a group dinner at a conference you’re attending, or bringing people together for coffee in your local community – then you get a big hand in determining what that group looks like.

And that’s what makes live events so powerful.

So here are 10 lessons I learned from throwing our second $50K live event:

1. Beware of the “Heart Attack Signup Curve”

[Read more…]

How I Tripled My Email Signup Rate using SumoMe

How I Tripled My Email Signup Rate

Quick question: would you spend $250 per year to make an additional $50,000?

Damn straight you would, right?

I’ll explain in a moment how that’s possible.

But first, listen up.

This blog is about how to build better relationships in business.

But it’s a new world. Our economy isn’t what it was 2 years ago, much less 20 years ago.

You can’t sit idly by and expect to coast in the same job from college to retirement.

You can’t expect the business you’re working for to always be there.

Heck, I had a so-called “stable” job in GOVERNMENT and then lost it because Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor.

(Still sounds kinda crazy, doesn’t it?)

So when it comes to building relationships, you need to use new tools. New technologies. New strategies. New ideas.

Your new client development strategy cannot consist of remembering to bring business cards to the next old-school networking gathering you go to (the same one you go to every month and get little results from).

It’s no longer enough to go to a cocktail party for some Chamber of Commerce business group once a month and call it a day.

You need to think differently.

[Read more…]

How to “Scale Up” Your Relationships (in Changing Times)

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Do you ever wish you could make money while lying on the beach?

Sure… who hasn’t, right? That’s the dream.

Warm sand beneath you…

Wind in your hair…

Sound of the waves crashing against the beach…

Don’t worry – I’m the last guy to promise you can live the “laptop lifestyle,” turning your website into a cash machine without having to put in any effort.

And this blog isn’t just a cookie cutter site about how to start an online business and become a digital nomad. SBR is about building better relationships in business, which includes using digital tools to build more relationships at scale, faster.

But let me tell you a story about the blog post that scared the crap out of me.

[Read more…]

Announcing the free 7-Day Start & Grow Your Email List Challenge

Don’t you hate it when work gets in the way of a good vacation?

Have you ever gone on vacation and had a “work emergency” completely ruin your vacation?

That happened to me.

A few years ago, I went on a road trip. It was me and my wife and our son in the backseat, who was about one year old at the time.

We had a long car ride – about 8 hours – and it was on a weekday.

And when you’re a service professional like me, if you’re not working, you’re not making money.

So what did I do? I hauled out my laptop. I worked.

Here we were, the whole family in the car, our older son in the back seat and I’m sitting in the passenger seat working while my wife was driving the whole way.

It was not the most pleasant way to start a vacation.

But the bottom line is if if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid.

So flash forward a year and just recently, we had to go on another road trip, unexpectedly. We had a family member who passed away rather suddenly and we needed to go to the funeral service.

So my wife and I had to get in the car and drive.

Again it was about 7 or 8 hours in the car.

Again, it was on a weekday.

But this time, my business had changed. I did not bring out my laptop. Nor did I want to, given we were on our way to a memorial service.

But we got to our destination and it turned out I had made $2,000 while we were in the car.  Even though I hadn’t done any work.

It all happened because of a small but significant change in my business – I now have an email list.

My income is no longer tied to me being in a desk. I don’t have to worry about working while we’re on a road trip, or if a family member is in the hospital or if I’m on vacation.

My email list allows me to build relationships at scale with a huge audience of tens of thousands of subscribers.

I can communicate directly with my audience of thousands directly and immediately, and I can get immediate responses.

If you’re a service professional who doesn’t make money if you aren’t working, how long will you go before some sort of crisis comes along and you can’t work because you have to attend to personal business?

This is not a get rich quick scheme. In fact, it takes hard work. It’s not for anyone who wants to make a buck by Tuesday. If that’s you, go sell something on eBay or Fiverr.

This is not complex stuff. But what it does take is prioritizing a different kind of work. You have to be willing to put in hard work that doesn’t result in an immediate billable hour.

But the hard work does yield benefits you could reap for years to come (unlike a billable hour that you get paid for and you never get paid for ever again.)

I call it “Snowball income” rather than “Passive income,” because (a.) I think the term “passive income” is misunderstood and is usually not really passive, and (b.) what you’re really doing is putting in hard work that you will benefit from over time and in greater measure, much like a snowball picking up speed.

I want to inspire all of you to set up and grow your own email list like I did, so that’s why I created my free Start & Grow Your Email List Challenge.

This completely free 7-day course will show you how to set up and grow your own email list, even if you’re not a “techie.”

I’ll show you how to grow your email list from 0 to 100 subscribers, to 1,000 subscribers and beyond.

And better yet – I’ll show you how to turn your relationships with your subscribers into revenue for your business.

You must sign up by Sunday, May 24th.

You can sign up here.

Still not convinced? Here are 6 reasons why you should start an email newsletter today:

  1. It’s Easy. Starting an email newsletter is a piece of cake, and yet once it’s set up, you benefit for years to come. You can “set it and forget it.”
  2. You Meet New People & Grow Your Network. Every morning I wake up and have emails from new people who are on my email list. I meet new people and build wonderful relationships with my subscribers.
  3. Your Newsletter Frees Up Your Time. If you set up your email newsletter properly using “autoresponder” or followup messages, then your emails go out automagically while you’re freed up to do other things. It means less time in the office, not more.
  4. It’s a Scaleable Way to Grow Your Business. An email newsletter and an email list really allows you to scale your business, without having to work 24/7. You can get paid even when you’re on vacation or out of the office.
  5. You can Promote Products and Services You Love. As long as you lead with providing value, then you can also promote your own products and services. For example, I sell my own products like the Connect with Influencers and Power Networking System courses. And I share my love for Contactually CRM program for managing relationships and strengthening weak ties.  (Check out my video review of how I use Contactually here.)
  6. Your Newsletter Will Grow Your Income. As long as you are not spamming people and you provide value, then your income will grow as your email list grows in size.

Here’s what you get in the free, 7-day course:

  • Welcome – why an email list is so important and what to expect
  • Day 1: How to set up your email account in under 20 minutes (even if you’re not a “techie”)
  • Day 2: How to create a blog/website/landing page that will convert visitors into subscribers
  • Day 3: Where you should place your signup forms to maximize signups
  • Day 4: How to create a free opt-in “bribe” to attract people to your list
  • Day 5: How to create follow up emails that provide value to your new subscribers
  • Day 6: How to drive traffic to your list
  • Day 7: A case study on best practices

Trust me on this: starting your own email list and growing it is the best thing you can do to create the financial freedom you dream about and you deserve.

Sign up here by Sunday, May 24th.

 

How to Use Twitter to Build Relationships & Generate Revenue

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I recently shared a post titled How to Make $1,000 with One Tweet that got a lot of attention.

Many people were surprised to hear about the unusual way you can use Twitter to bring in revenue to your business.

It’s not what you expect. Most people use Twitter like a firing range that’s going out of business, blasting off rounds in rapid succession. It’s one self-serving tweet after another.

You’ve heard of “Ready, Aim, Fire”, right?

It’s like “Ready, FIRE FIRE FIRE!”

Other people have the opposite problem. They just consume without ever responding or engaging.

Neither approach is right.

Twitter is meant to be a two-way dialogue, just like a normal offline conversation.

In fact, I’ve found Twitter is a great way to grow your business. It’s an amazing tool. But the way you can use it to grow your business is probably not how you were expecting.

So in this post, I want to talk about how to use Twitter for business.

Now, the first thing I should say is Twitter is not for everyone.

I love Twitter, but it takes awhile to get used to it. It certainly took me awhile.

Twitter is best used as a place to share content you find interesting and which your ideal or target audience would also find interesting.

It’s also an excellent place to meet people and get to know people in your network better.

People who don’t know how to use Twitter will try to use it solely for self-promotion, but that’s a failed strategy.

Think about someone you just met who immediately launches into talking about him or herself, and 45 minutes later they still haven’t asked a single question about you.

People do that on Twitter all the time, but they don’t realize it.

On Twitter, you have to lead with helping and sharing first and then, every once in a while, you can use it to promote something you are doing.

A rough guide is: for every 9 pieces of content you share on Twitter, you can promote 1 thing of your own. (Click to tweet.)

Here’s another quick tip. If you’re overwhelmed staring into the abyss of hundreds of thousands of people you follow in your main “stream,” then you need to set up lists.

You can also easily set up private or public “lists” of people who you are following. This is a great way to get to know the people on your Conversations List better (you have taken 30 minutes to set up your Conversations lists, right).

What I recommend you do is to set up a private list with people from your Conversations List – the 50+ people who you want to deepen a relationship with over the course of the next 12 months.

About once a day, I will scan through this list and look for good opportunities to interact with people on my Conversation List. That may mean answering a question, or retweeting something, or providing  advice for someone who is asking for help.

Providing value to people who matter to you.

Sometimes you hear on Twitter about upcoming opportunities – like someone who is looking for a few people to provide them with feedback, or to help them promote something.

For example, about a year ago, I heard about a book signing for an author who I was interested in meeting, from a blogger I follow on Twitter. I went to the book signing, which didn’t have too many people in attendance, and I ended up at dinner afterwards with the author and the blogger.

I find that Twitter is an awesome, casual way to get to know people on your Conversation list, and for them to get to know you.

Because the platform is so quick and easy, you’d be amazed at the A-List authors, entrepreneurs and celebrities who will engage with you on Twitter.

Give it a shot, OK? And let me know what you think. Hit me up on Twitter.

Let’s engage there, ‘mkay?