How to Surround Yourself with People Who Think Like You Do

In the 1860s in Paris, a group of young artists gathered at Café Guerbois in the heart of the Batignolles quarter of Paris.

Every Thursday, they came together.

They were rebels.


The rest of the art world scoffed at them. The establishment laughed at them.

Their work was ridiculed. Belittled. Misunderstood.

Their family members? Embarrassed by them.

They came together to share advice, learn from one another, and encourage and support one another.

Their names?

Cezanne. Monet. Renoir.

Their leader, Edouard Manet, was loud.



The art they created would come to be known as Impressionism. Today, 150 years later, their canvases hang in some of the most prestigious museums across the globe.

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From $100 to $30,000 in 9 Months: My Review of Zero to Launch [with video]

Ramit Sethi - Zero to Launch logoNOTE: Don’t miss the special bonus I am offering at the bottom of this post.  Also, be sure to grab your spot in Ramit’s free “crash course” Launch Your Profitable Online Business: How to Find a Profitable Business Idea in 7 Days while it is still available free.


Imagine for a moment that it is Friday night.

It’s been a long, tough week.

You’ve just opened a bottle of wine with your wife or husband or girlfriend or boyfriend.

After taking a sip of your wine, you put down the glass and pick up your phone.

There, in your email, are two receipts for payments of $500 from two complete strangers.

It’s not a mistake. And it’s not a dream. You’ve just been paid while you’re having a glass of wine.

Incredibly, I’ve had this experience over the past few months. Even more more amazingly, it actually has become increasingly commonplace.  And… I can’t believe I just said that.

If you want to know how this became possible, I give a large amount of credit to Zero to Launch (affiliate link), a training program on how to create an online business.

In this post, I want to give you my complete review of Zero to Launch, including a video of what it looks like when you log in.

I also want to give you five reasons why I would recommend you sign up for the program if you are serious about growing your reputation and your business online.  I also have a special offer at the bottom of this post to make signing up for Zero to Launch even more attractive.

Now, what does this have to do with building relationships in business? On this blog, I write about how to use the new world of digital tools to build relationships, grow your revenue and advance your career.

Zero to Launch has helped me dramatically in that mission. And if you invest in it, I am convinced the program can help you to build your own profitable online business by building more relationships faster with more people, just like I have.

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Review of New Media Expo 2013 and Turning a Page on My Past Failure [Video]

I recently got back from three days in Las Vegas, where I was a speaker at the New Media Expo, aka “NMX” (formerly known as Blogworld). The New Media Expo is an annual conference aimed at new media producers — in other words, bloggers, podcasters, web video producers, etc.

This is a very long review, so if you want the short version, you can watch the video here:

The short update is: I had a great time and I made a bunch of new friends. I met people who I have read or followed online for a long time. I met authors who I admire. I met bloggers and podcasters whose content I have been consuming for years.

I will get in to a longer review of NMX in a moment. But first, a confession.

As I’ve expanded my blogging and podcasting over the past few years, I have FAILED when it came to networking in a way that would help me to increase the exposure of my online presence.

Failed. Flunked. Missed the boat. Gone up in smoke. Hit rock bottom.

I have done a piss-poor job of reaching out to with others who share a mutual goal of expanding their online presence.

I am normally a very good networker offline. By age 25, I had already worked in jobs at DreamWorks, the Clinton White House and the California Governor’s office.

I didn’t get those jobs because I’m the smartest person on the planet. I credit my ability to network and keep in touch with landing me those positions.

But for some reason, I thought I could get by with building a successful online platform without putting in the hard work.

Or to put more fine a point on it: I just didn’t think I needed to network and make connections with others, like you do in real life.

I thought that for a long time. I don’t anymore.

Chris Ducker, Chris C. Ducker, Virtual Staff Finder, outsourcing, Philippines outsourcing

Chris Ducker

I now realize that no man is an island when it comes to building a brand online.

That’s why I made the decision more than a year ago to attend this conference.

The New Media Expo has been held annually or semi-annual for approximately seven years, and is the gathering place for thousands of bloggers, podcasters and new media producers.

I actually observed it from afar a year ago, when it was held in New York. I could see relationships being formed just by observing the tweets, blog posts and video reviews that came out of the show.

I knew I would like NMX and enjoy myself. That certainly came true. I had a blast.

Having said that, we don’t go into business to have a good time. We go into business to make money.

If I were only writing about how to have a good time, then I would have called this blog

That’s why I am very interested in measuring what kind of results come from this weekend. I also created a four-part formula below which you can use to measure whether a conference or other marketing activity is worthwhile for your business goals.

I have a strong belief that this weekend was well worth the time & cost, but I’m still interested in applying a formula to measure both the immediate benefits and the longer term value. That’s what I will do below if you keep reading.

OK, that’s the short version of how this weekend turned out. Here’s the longer version.

My Goals For the New Media Expo

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The New Media Expo So Far: Classes, Booze, Parties & Writing about Suicide

It’s the end of day 2 of the New Media Expo, and the conference has been flying by. New Media Expo, Blogworld, BusinessNext conference, Rick Calvert, blogging conference, podcasting conference, podcast awards

I am going to do a more complete review of the conference when I get home, but for now, a brief summary will have to suffice. I am speaking on Tuesday – I am moderating a panel  on social media legal issues  Tuesday morning at 11am.

I’ve had a great time, learned a lot, and met a huge number of people from a wide range of backgrounds. I’ve probably gone through 50-70 business cards in two days, which is pretty good.

The breakout sessions have been very valuable. I went to three presentations today:

I have been tweeting many of the key lessons I’ve been learning on my Twitter account. So you can check out my Twitter feed if you’d like to keep closer track of what is going on at NMX, including on Tuesday, January 9th.

Here’s another photo from the conference. This was from the Podcast People’s Choice Awards. Unfortunately my buddy Pat Flynn, who was nominated in two categories, came home empty handed.

New Media Expo, Blogworld, BusinessNext conference, Rick Calvert, Leo Laporte,, podcast peoples choice awards, podcast awards

It’s the Night Before Christmas at Smart Business Revolution

It’s kind of like the night before Christmas over here at Smart Business Revolution headquarters.

That’s because I’m leaving tomorrow for Las Vegas to attend the New Media Expo (formerly Blogworld). "

I have wanted to attend the New Media Expo for a number of years now, so I’m really excited it has finally come to fruition.  I’m also excited that I will be moderating a panel on social media legal issues on Tuesday, January 7th at 11:00am.

I’m looking forward to meeting face-to-face a number of popular authors, writers, podcasters and bloggers who I have admired, read, and/or connected with online over the years.

But most of all, I am looking forward to learning. I will be soaking up the information and sharing it with you all as much as possible while I am there, and when I get back.

Of course, like everything else, I’ll be tracking the ROI on this investment, and I will report back to all of you on whether it was worth it. Although I got in to the conference for free as a speaker, there is still a substantial cost involved, and time away from my family (which I do not take lightly).

As a business owner, I want to measure if this is a good use of my time. Sometimes the most fun marketing and networking events are not the best for a business in terms of generating revenue. Which is the goal of being in business, after all.

I have a *hunch* that attending the New Media Expo will connect me with individuals and organizations that could lead to great things in the future, but I don’t know for certain. It’s always good to try new things to see if they work.

Here are the details on the conference – there are still passes available, and you can also buy a “Virtual Ticket” pass if you can’t make it to Las Vegas.

What: New Media Expo (formerly “Blogworld”) and BusinessNext

When: January 6-8, 2013

Where: the Rio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Who It Is For: The New Media Expo is primarily aimed at bloggers, podcasters and web video producers, while the BusinessNext conference is aimed at small to large business owners, CEOs, CMOs, Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations professionals, IT Executives and Social Strategists. You can check out more details about who attends BusinessNext here.

Who Will Be Speaking at the New Media Expo: C.C. Chapman, David Risley, Rand Fishkin, Michelle Shocked (yes, that Michelle Shocked), Pat Flynn, Jon Morrow, Chris Drucker and a bunch of other interesting speakers.

Who Will Be Speaking at BusinessNext: Me! Oh, also Guy Kawasaki and two guys named the the Winklevoss Twins, who you may have heard of.



Behind the Scenes of the Inspirational Documentary “I’m Fine, Thanks” | Interview with Blogger/Filmmaker Adam Baker


It’s something that we all struggle with from time to time.

Do we remain satisfied with our lot in life, or do we do something about it? Should we do something? Or should we be happy with what we’ve got?

Even many highly successful entrepreneurs fight against complacency on a daily basis.

Adam Baker is fascinated by the topic. So much so that he and his good friend filmmaker Grant Peelle piled in to a van with five guys for six weeks driving across the country interviewing people about this subject.

They sought to put together a collection of stories about life, the choices we all make, and the paths we ultimately decide to follow.

What they have put together so far is pretty amazing. And if the film is anything like the trailer, I think it will really shake things up. It certainly shook me up when I saw it.

Here’s the trailer, which will blow you away:

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