How to Leverage Multiple Streams of Income – Review of Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark

I have a book you should check out.

But first, let’s chat.

You’re smart. (Not just because you’re reading this. ; )

You’re talented too.

You are GREAT at what you do.

Yet you struggle to build your business and to grow it without feeling like you’re on a treadmill.

Or maybe your business is humming along, spitting off cash faster than Trump spits out tweets, yet are so time-strapped, you can’t enjoy it.

What you need is NOT more of the same. You need to work smarter.

You need to create new income streams that allow you to leverage your time in a smarter way so you aren’t running yourself into the ground.

[Read more…]

“How do I research influencers online?”

I got this question from Michael, a subscriber.

He asked,

“How do I research influencers in my niche?  I want to get on podcasts and do interviews and become a thought leader, but I don’t know how to connect with the influencers. Any tips?”

Great question Michael.

But first, two questions.

Why do you need to connect with influencers in your field?

And… what do we mean by “influencer”?

First… the influencers in your field have already been “chosen” by a community of people as the leaders to be trusted on the subject matter domain you are also seeking to build trust around as an authority.

It makes perfect sense that you would want to reach out and get to know them.

If you want to be a thought leader, then these other influencers will one day be your peers, so you might as well introduce yourself, right?

And … when you build relationships with influencers in your niche or industry, then it opens up a world of opportunities, from collaborating on interviews or book projects to cross promotions.

Second question: what do we mean by “influencer”?

I’m going to take a controversial stand on this issue.

Yesterday’s influencers are dead. Today’s influencers you probably haven’t heard of.

Yesterday’s influencers are writing books no one is reading and not connecting with their readers, trying to get quoted in the newspaper or on radio, and flying around the country giving speeches.

Today’s influencers have built audiences across multiple digital platforms.

They are “influencers” because they can shape taste and steer thousands or millions of eyeballs in whatever direction they wish.

As my friend Ryan Williams, author of The Influencer Economy, would say… an influencer is someone who has created a bigger vision and built a platform around that vision.

Now as to Michael’s original question … what if you don’t know who all the influencers are? How do we research them?

There’s two ways you can research who they are. The faster paid way, and the slower free way.

Let’s start with the faster paid way.

Tool #1 – BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a tool for researching influencers in a particular field, as well as searching published content on a particular topic. They have free and paid versions of the tool.

To use it, you simply search for keywords and click on the Influencer tab.

Tool #2 – Ninja Outreach

Ninja Outreach (referral link) is like what would happen if BuzzSumo and a CRM got together and had a steamy, romantic night between the sheets, and had a baby.

Ninja Outreach allows you to run searches with keywords and compile lists of thought leaders. Then you can use their built in CRM to send outreach messages.

I’m long overdue for a longer review of Ninja Outreach, so stay tuned.

Now, there are a few less expensive options for doing all this research.

1.  Twitter

Not all thought leaders are active on Twitter, but there enough thought leaders who are active on Twitter that it justifies you spending some time there.

People say to me all the time “my people are not on Twitter” or “my people are not on Facebook.” To that, I say: sure, not all of ‘your people’ are on every social media platform. But most of the major social media platforms are large enough that there are enough of any given market present to keep you more than busy. Don’t worry about who is ‘not there.’

For an example, let’s search for thought leaders around “wine.” I went onto Twitter and searched for the hashtag “#wine.”

I found the Wine Bloggers Conference Twitter handle, which had in turn followed 4,200 wine thought leaders. That gives you a huge number of other wine thought leaders to research.

1.  Google

Don’t forget trusty old Google. Just googling the keyword terms you are researching may yield interesting results.

I searched for ‘wine blog’ and found numerous influential wine blogs written by thought leaders.

2.  Amazon

I always like to search for authors who have written books on a particular topic. So, carrying through with the “wine thought leader” example, you can search for books written about wine.

Be careful though. Just because someone has written an authoritative book on the topic doesn’t mean they are a true thought leader who has put together an engaged audience of followers who turn to that person for guidance.

Many authors do a crappy job of connecting with their readers. You want to avoid those kinds of authors.

Other authors may have written a number of books on different topics, so their “audience” is really focused on different topics.

3.  YouTube

I did a search for wine on YouTube and stumbled upon an interesting thought leader… it was actually a whole YouTube Channel called “Tipsy Bartender” – a male bartender who makes creative and funny videos with inventive mixed drinks. I found a video called “Wine for Beginners” which had 700,000 views, and his channel had 3.2 million subscribers.

The Tipsy Bartender channel on YouTube:

Another area to search for is by searching for your keyword plus “webinar” and you may find some interesting individuals or businesses hosting webinars on relevant topics for you.

4.  iTunes

Finally, you should check out iTunes for podcasts. Find the podcasters who have built a following around a particular topic.

Again, just as I cautioned regarding authors, you want to be sure they have actually built an engaged audience.

There are some podcasters who have huge engaged audiences, and others who have hardly anyone paying attention, even if they have published hundreds of episodes.

Time to Kick Ass

When my business partner Jeremy Weisz and I do a Rise25 webinar, we always end the webinar with our “ass kicking” section where we give people specific homework they MUST take action on.

Because education is nothing more than mental masturbation if you don’t steer it towards action-takin’.

So here’s your homework…

Spend 15 minutes researching thought leaders in your field. Create a spreadsheet and compile a list.

Next, send at least 2 emails to these thought leaders complimenting them. For bonus points, actually request an interview with them. You can publish the interview on your blog or on LinkedIn or Medium.

Happy researching!


P.S.: If you realize the #1 factor which will determine your success is “who you know” … and you realize you need to upgrade your network and connect with more influencers in your industry – so you can get more clients and more revenues in the door – then check out my free webinar “How to ‘Cold Email’ Any VIP.”

In this webinar, I share the 5 things you MUST do if you want your emails to be opened, read and responded to by VIPs you admire; How to go from a genuine relationship to building your income based on these relationships with VIPs and Influencers; How to go from getting your emails opened to building a genuine relationship and I’ll also share 5 of my best email templates you can use to connect with the VIPs you want to build relationships with.

Watch the webinar here.


Reader Survey: 300+ Websites You Should Bookmark Now

Recently I decided to “pay it forward” by asking my email subscribers to send me their website URL so I could share it with all of my readers.

My motivation was simple – I wanted to help more of my readers to get traffic to their website, and I wanted to foster more community among my readers.

I was overwhelmed by the number of responses – in fact, over 300 people replied and sent me their websites.

A number of people also emailed me individually and said they rushed to get their websites finished or revamped so that they could be included in this list, which was awesome. I love that this project lit a fire under a few people to get their websites done.

Other readers said they were touched by the gesture and sent me some very complimentary emails, and I loved that.

But mostly, I want this to be useful to you, whether you submitted your website or not.

This website – and now my business Rise25 with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz – has always been about building communities and doing so at scale.

I want to help more business owners – particularly from professional services backgrounds like me – to learn how to build better relationships in business, and how to do so in a digital world.

So this whole project is one big lesson in that chapter book.

In fact, here’s a few great ways you can make use of this list.
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5 “Ninja” Tricks for Using Contactually CRM to Make Money and Get More Clients


Do you ever feel like you can’t keep track of all the critical relationships in your life?

You know… past clients, referral partners, current clients?

Let’s be honest… you’ve probably let more than one relationship get stale. And I’ll bet it’s hurt your business.

I used to feel the same way… until I discovered Contactually.

Contactually is one of the slickest, fastest, easiest-to-use CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) on the market – a CRM you will love to use.

My last review of Contactually’s CRM software was waaaaaay back in 2014, so I was long overdue for an update on how I use Contactually now.

I’m a major power user of Contactually, meaning I use it all the time. And how I use the software now is very different from how I used it when I started.

So I thought it would be helpful to share a few “ninja” tricks for how to use the software.

I also think these ideas can be helpful if you use another CRM software.

To be honest, I don’t care which CRM you use but if you are in business then relationships are critical. And you should have an attitude that “I will spend $500 per year (or whatever it costs) to maintain my relationships.”

During the past few years, I’ve had a lot of people who know I’m a big Contactually power user ask me about how to use Contactually more efficiently.

So I put together a new video explaining a few key ways I use Contactually now.

[Read more…]

Year in Review 2016 & Goal Setting for 2017


Further reading: How to Create your 12-month Strategic Plan (and my 2014 Annual Review)

The funny thing about having kids is they make you laser-focused. If you aren’t laser-focused, you’re dead meat.

My wife and I had our 3rd child, another boy, this past April. So for those who keeping score, we now have 3 kids age 6 or younger, two of whom are still in diapers, and any 1 of which is likely to be throwing fistfuls of food across the room in our house at any given moment in time.

What that means is I don’t have as much time to work as I would like.

But big deal, I’ll bet you feel the same way too.

As I write this it’s New year’s eve and I have to be home in 51 minutes but I REALLY want to do a “year in review 2016” / “Goals 2017” blog post so I’ll make this a super quick.

I’m a big believer in the power of setting ambitious and specific goals for yourself.

Four years ago, in November 2012, I wrote a blog post titled My Next Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, where I wrote,

The big goal I am working on now is to build this blog into a platform and a resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to grow their businesses.

I plan to do that by writing about my entrepreneurial successes and failures, interviewing successful entrepreneurs (like this interview) and sharing non-boring legal tips for entrepreneurs. In short: by providing as much value as I can.

I want to diversify my business, to move from a model nearly entirely reliant on one-on-one client-based revenue to one which generates revenue from this blog, and from phenomenally useful, helpful information products like Business Profit Academy.

That’s why I dramatically overhauled Smart Business Revolution in May of 2011. And it’s why I continue to seek out opportunities for learning and developing my abilities so that Smart Business Revolution continues to become more valuable to its readers.

The really cool thing is most of this actually happened – thanks to the power of setting big goals, breaking down those larger goals into achievable smaller goals, and using a group to hold you accountable.

Here’s my philosophy about goal setting in a nutshell. You should start by envisioning the larger goals you want to achieve for yourself and your business. This is best done with the help of others who can give you crucial perspective and feedback.

Next: you break down your larger annual goals into quarterly and monthly goals.

Finally, meet with an accountability partner or small mastermind group and set 3 specific goals each week. Rinse and repeat throughout the year.

That’s it.

For bonus points, tell everyone what your annual goals are and join a community of like-minded people who will hold you accountable to achieving these goals.

Now, in this post, I want to first review my goals from 2016 and reflect on which ones I achieved and which I didn’t, and why. Next, I mention a few other things which went well, and what did not go well in the past year.

Then I move on to setting annual goals for 2017.

By the way, this is similar to a process we run through for our Rise25 Inner Circle members (which I mention below).

2016 year in review 

[Read more…]

Stop Going to Conferences. Do This Instead.


Warning: I’m going on a rant here.

There are too many rah-rah conferences for entrepreneurs.

You know what I’m talking about. 2 or 3 days of drinking from a firehose with non-stop speakers back-to-back, spewing too many ideas.

Speaker after speaker telling you how you just need to “hustle more” and wake up early, and if you’re already waking up early, you need to wake up even earlier.

And if you are already waking up earlier, you need to just work straight through the night.

Because sleep is for the weak.  

And you need to pass out more business cards and you need to be on every social media channel and you need to master Facebook ads and don’t forget Instagram.

And Pinterest. And Vine.

Strike that. Twitter just killed Vine.

But you need to be on whatever comes next.

So you fill yourself up with too many ideas, get inspired and excited for 24 or 48 hours like a sugar rush, and then…  nothing.

You go home, and you’re not sure what to do next.

You have no clear plan.

No one holds you accountable.

Thousands of dollars down the drain.

It’s like gorging yourself on all-you-can-eat buffet but the rest of the year you’re still hungry.

Do these events REALLY move the needle in your business?

I see a lot of people spend THOUSANDS of dollars flying around the country going to event after event, while their business limps along.

People go to these conferences because it “feels like” they’re making progress on their business, but if you really look at whether there’s ROI or if you made serious changes and improvements to your business, it’s questionable.  [Read more…]

A letter to All Veterans on Veterans Day


Today is Veterans Day in the U.S…

It’s a day to stop and be grateful for everything we have.

It’s a time to thank all the Veterans who ever served in uniform for their sacrifice and for making our freedoms possible.

For me, it’s a chance to be grateful to every Veteran who made America a place where people can worship in freedom, live and work where they want, and enjoy liberties unprecedented in the course of human history.

In particular, I want to thank the Veterans in my family. Including my father, who served in the US Air Force, and his father (John Sr.), who was a Captain in the Army Air Corps.

(And generations before them, I thank my great-great-great-great-great Uncle Paul Revere, who must have summoned incredible courage during the Revolutionary War to rise in the middle of the night and alert Americans of British forces’ impending arrival. And yes, I really am related to Paul Revere on my mother’s side.)

During WWII, my grandfather was a Captain and pilot for 35 B-17 missions over Germany and western Europe.

He too summoned the courage to rise in the middle of the night and strap himself inside a flying fortress less high-tech than today’s minivan and fly straight into the heart of darkness.

And he did it with 10 other souls whose lives depended on him executing his job.

At the time my grandfather was doing all of this, my father would have been about a year old, or about the same age as my youngest son today.

It’s not lost on me how much he sacrificed so that I would not have to endure what he did as I raise my son living in a country with abundant riches and freedoms he helped protect.

Now here’s the crazy thing … my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, also had a grandfather involved in World War II…

Except his grandfather was in a Concentration Camp… at the same time my grandfather was fighting to liberate those camps from overheard. And ultimately Jeremy’s grandfather’s camp was liberated by U.S. soldiers. Soldiers like my grandfather.

It’s amazing to think how we both wouldn’t be here… and wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing now, if it weren’t for their incredible sacrifices.

Now, we can’t all be researching a cure for cancer, fighting on the front lines of faraway wars to protect our freedoms, caring for the sick, or feeding the poor.

We can’t all teach kids in underfunded inner city schools, fight for clean air or clean drinking water, or care for babies born prematurely in the ICU as they fight for survival.

But we can try to improve the lives of the people around us.

We can all be decent to one another, treat one another with respect and honor our differences, especially in this time of deep divisions and disagreements in the U.S.

You honor the legacy of those who came before us by doing your own small part to make others’ lives better.

For Jeremy and I, it’s about doing what we can to help others through the business we founded, and that’s what you can do too.

In our case, we’ve chosen a group we know we can help. Business owners from the professional services who want freedom in their business so they can get back more time to be with their loved ones.

That’s what inspires me.

What inspires you? What lights you up?

Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. I’d like to help you too. If you are a professional services entrepreneur and you want greater freedom, but you feel stuck in your business, perhaps we can help.

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…]

A Simple, 4-Step Plan to Get 100 People to Register for Your First Webinar


“I want to do webinars, but I don’t know how to get people to show up.”

I hear this all the time.

And it’s heartbreaking.

Why? Because I know the massive impact doing webinars has had on my business.

In fact, in the past 3 years, webinars have been the #1 best thing I’ve done in my business.

They are the most highly leveraged use of my time.

Webinars have built my reputation as an expert and authority.

Webinars allow me to build relationships with thousands of prospective clients and customers at scale.

And webinars even allowed me to quadruple my email list in 7 months.

Think of all the time you’ve wasted going to “networking events” and cocktail parties.

Think of all the boring conversations, the mind-numbing chit-chat, the business cards you toss in a drawer and never do anything with.

Wouldn’t you like to have that time back?

Guess what? You can.  [Read more…]