How to Find What You Were Meant to Do [Free Book]

Art of Work BookI don’t know about you, but I LOVE free books.

In fact, there are only 3 things I like better than free books.

Guacamole. Toast. And more guacamole.

Oh yeah, and my wife and kids.

(Let’s keep the fact that I forgot to mention them FIRST between us, ‘mkay?)

Anyways, have you heard about the newest book by my friend Jeff Goins? Well, he’s giving it away free for a limited time (you just pay shipping). And I want to tell you more about it.

Jeff is an author and he runs one of the most popular blogs for writers. And yet, for a long time he was just like most people – working a day job and struggling to figure out what he was passionate about.

Once he figured out the meaningful work he loved doing and how to get paid to do it, his success was meteoric.

And now, he wants to share what he knows with you.  (And a free book!)

Jeff’s book, The Art of Work, is all about finding your calling, that thing you were meant to do. It’s full of inspiring stories and research about how you can take your passion and turn into a lifestyle.

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How to Strengthen Your Mental Toughness Like An FBI Agent

LaRae Quy was a brand new FBI Special Agent, and it was the height of the Cold War, but she was given a huge job.

Her assignment was to go undercover and locate a known Soviet spy operating somewhere in Silicon Valley, and to convince him to start spying for the U.S.

Sound impossible? It sure did. The odds were long. Much was at stake. And failure was lurking around every corner.

Kind of like the world of business.

It turns out FBI Special Agent work has more to do with business than you might think. In business, your mental strength will determine whether you rise to a challenge or crumble. In Quy’s situation, we see what can happen when mental strength is broken down.

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Reader Q&A: Should I Form a LLC or the Business First?

Chicken eggTime for another edition of Reader Q&A! If you have a question for me, feel free to send in your questions. I love hearing from you.

I recently received a question from Kevin C. in Oregon,  who wanted to know: “Would it be better to begin with an LLC when starting your business rather than starting your business and trying to form an LLC later?”

Answer: This is a real “chicken or the egg” question – which should come first?  The LLC? Or the business?

First let me tell you what most stuffy lawyers would say. They’d say you should absolutely form the LLC first. Don’t do a thing until you’ve spent thousands of dollars and weeks of your time devoted to setting up a LLC, including hammering out an operating agreement, filing the articles of organization with the state, etc.

But here’s the thing. A lot of people don’t have the money to do that. Or they don’t know if their business will succeed.  They don’t even know if their business idea is something the market wants.

So why spend all that money and time and hassle when you don’t even know if the business will work?

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How to Use the Best Political Strategies and Tactics in Business

senator Ted Kennedy, Kennedy Carter, Edward Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy, Kennedy Brothers, MassachusettsNOTE: This post outlines the ideas behind a book I am beginning to write on how political strategies and tactics can and are being used by the business world. The book would be like The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, except instead of using the spread of venereal disease as a metaphor for business, it would use politics (draw your own conclusions about similarities between the two). I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts & suggestions in the comments at the bottom.

In the fall of 1979, Jimmy Carter was in trouble.

Inflation was in the double digits. Interest rates were through the roof.

Drivers were waiting for hours in long lines at gas stations around the country just to fill up their car tanks with gas.

As President, Carter was getting pummeled in public opinion polls.  In June of 1979, polls showed that Carter’s favorability rating was at 28 percent.

All of this was creating an opening for challengers in the 1980 Presidential election, and during 1979, members of Carter’s own party were considering whether to take him on.

For months, the speculation was that Senator Ted Kennedy would mount a challenge.

Kennedy was the last remaining Kennedy brother from a political dynasty. His older brothers John and Robert had served as President and run for President, respectively. Ted had served in the U.S. Senate for 20 years, amassed a record, and was ready for a move up.

But then Kennedy did something that took the legs out of his chances of becoming President.

Find Out What Kennedy Did and Watch the Video of Him Doing It

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5 Sources of Side Revenue for Your Small Business

eggs basketOne of the most common problems I see with small businesses is they have all their eggs in one basket.

They have one form of revenue. Usually that means one type of product or service.

Then there’s some change or disruption in the market and it overturns their apple cart. Their failure to diversify kills them.

A lot of businesses are guilty of this. It’s not uncommon.

The solution is not to double down and deepen your investment in that one vertical. That would only exacerbate the problem.

The answer to market turmoil is to diversify your business – to create a more nimble business and look for opportunities to bring in revenue on the side.

You don’t give up your core focus, but you do think strategically about other opportunities.

The key here is to not have the side project get in the way of your primary focus. If you make, say, $100/hour as a consultant and you take a side gig doing proofreading at $50/hour, it will create problems.

The side gig will take time away which you should be spending on the $100/hour gig, and you’ll be less motivated to work on the $50/hour gig.

By the same means, if you have a flower shop and you start a side business waiting tables, that will take time away from your primary focus.

I’m also not talking about “get rich quick” types of moneymaking schemes – or work that gets in the way of your primary business.

When I talk about “side revenue” I mean ways in which you can leverage underutilized resources or create new opportunities for people to buy from you.

For example, take a look at almost any shopping mall. The main purpose of a shopping mall is to rent out spaces to stores. However, many malls have gathering spaces they may rent out for meetings.

There may also be bubble gum machines, soda dispensers, and massage chairs. The mall either maintains and manages the machines on their own, or they provides a small amount of space for other companies. Without having to put in much effort, they get revenue each month.

At my local mall, there’s even a train that kids can ride – at $3 a pop.

How can you make your business think like a shopping mall?

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8 Entrepreneurs Who Identified A Common Pain & Invented a New Business Category

Disclosure: Consideration was received by Smart Business Revolution for the publishing of this post. However, I wrote this post entirely by myself. The opinions are 100% mine. 

I am kind of fascinated by businesses that completely break the mold.Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 1.19.49 PM

What I mean is businesses that invent a whole new category of service or product that never previously existed. Businesses that perhaps meet a new pain, fulfill a new need, or which leverage new technologies or customer habits that weren’t prevalent just a few years ago. Champions of innovation.

For example, Amazon.com broke the mold when it launched in that no one bought books (or really any other products) using the web before Amazon came along.

However, if Amazon had been invented in 1984 instead of 1994, it probably would have been a failure. Because the internet and consumers were not ready for it yet.

Of course, the obvious examples today are the big companies like Amazon, or Kickstarter, or Evernote. But in countless different smaller ways, creative-minded individual entrepreneurs are finding ways to provide great service – and to support themselves – by inventing companies that address a particular pain in the market.

I have met a few entrepreneurs recently, including while I was in Las Vegas for the New Media Expo, that got me thinking about this. I’m fortunate also to have a few of them as clients. So I wanted to highlight a few of these creative entrepreneurs and their companies for you.

(By the way, I’m hoping to spotlight some of these entrepreneurs further on this blog or on the podcast in the months ahead, but in the meantime, you can check out them on their websites or Twitter.)

If you want to be like these entrepreneurs, then here’s what you should do. Work hard. Study hard. Read great business books. Study the history of innovation.  You may want to work for & learn from a successful entrepreneur for a few years, or get an MBA, or maybe you won’t go to school at all. But the bottom line is start by doing something. And you can get started by reading about these 8 entrepreneurs:

Inventing an iPad-only Magazine

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