Articles

How much does honesty cost, and is it worth it?EntrepreneurshipHow much does honesty cost, and is it worth it?
2020-11-22

"What should we be doing differently?" he asked, as I tried to contain my excitement.I was on the phone with a business owner I really respect, and he was considering hiring my company to help with some marketing.My business wasn't in a great spot, so I had reached out to a well-connected friend to ask if he knew of any businesses who might need help with their marketing. This sale would put us back to a healthier monthly revenue. I needed this sale.

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How JumpX Has GROWN in Revenue During This RecessionEntrepreneurshipHow JumpX Has GROWN in Revenue During This Recession
2020-10-30

Here's a snapshot of our monthly revenue the past 6 months (October not included in this chart, but the trend continues upward):

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Intentionally Progressing as an EntrepreneurEntrepreneurshipIntentionally Progressing as an Entrepreneur
2020-08-23

It's easy to get swept up into the monotony and minutiae of everyday life, simply going through the motions without intentionality, but in order to move forward and become the person you need to be to build a purpose-driven business, you have to become intentional about doing so. Here's how.

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Make Your Own RulesEntrepreneurshipMake Your Own Rules
2020-08-14

If you’re the type of person who has to follow the rules in every situation without question because “there are rules for a reason”, you might have a difficult time with this post, but hear me out. If you’re the type of person who never follows rules because “all rules are stupid and created by the man to control us”, take this post with a grain of salt.

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Own The PondEntrepreneurshipOwn The Pond
2020-06-29

There’s a stigma in certain entrepreneur circles about being the big fish in a small pond. The consensus in those circles is that small ponds are for small business, and that if you want to be “successful”, you need to swim with the sharks in the ocean.Well, if you’ve ever watched Shark Week, you know that swimming with sharks isn’t always the best idea.

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Embracing a Recession as an EntrepreneurEntrepreneurshipEmbracing a Recession as an Entrepreneur
2020-03-30

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that the U.S. economy might already be in a recession.What does that mean for entrepreneurs?

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Charging Too Little Is Costing You More Than Just MoneyEntrepreneurshipCharging Too Little Is Costing You More Than Just Money
2020-03-05

If you believe that charging lower than the competition is what you have to do to get clients, this post is for you.I think we can all agree that charging more and working with great clients who believe in our work, trust our methods, and refer us to other great clients is the ideal situation.Yet, so many freelancers feel like that’s not possible for them (even though it totally is).So, they pitch low amounts, juggle too many clients at once, and constantly feel stressed about time and money, all to realize that you’re no longer running the dream business you wanted, in fact, your life is more complicated than just working a day job.Or, they pitch low, get a client, and when the pay seems not worth the effort, they think client work just isn’t for them, so they stop trying :/It’s possible to get paid what you’re worth, have amazing clients, and still have plenty of time for family, friends, and the freedom you want.

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A Real Example of Getting a New Client (With Step-by-step Actions)EntrepreneurshipA Real Example of Getting a New Client (With Step-by-step Actions)
2020-02-21

Doing great work for clients? Got it. Sending invoices to collect payment? Love it. Creating a one-sheeter with your service offerings? No problem. Finding and closing new clients?…confusing at best.For most people, the most frustrating part of starting a client service business is cracking the elusive code of getting new clients. While it can feel difficult to understand, and at times even unpredictable, there are tried and true steps to follow that just plain work.This is a real step-by-step example of how I closed a new client for my business.

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The 3 Most Important Operational Changes I’ve Ever MadeEntrepreneurshipThe 3 Most Important Operational Changes I’ve Ever Made
2020-02-07

At the beginning of 2019, my consulting business had just taken a major hit— we lost 3 clients in December 2018. Not a great start to the year. So I decided to get guidance from my good friend, Daniel DiPiazza (check out Alpha Mentorship).Note: As an entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to ask for help, buy courses, join programs, etc. when you need to learn something to grow your business. They often take some financial investment, but when it’s the right next move, the opportunity cost of not getting that help is often far more costly in the long run. Not always, but often.By the end of 2019, consulting revenue had tripled. Yes, there were things happening on the sales end to make that increase, but without a few really solid operational changes to the day-to-day running of the business, that increase couldn’t have happened.Here are the 3 most important operational changes that I’d recommend to your consulting business too.

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Taking Your Own AdvicePersonal DevelopmentTaking Your Own Advice
2020-02-05

From the outside looking in, it’s often so easy to know what to do. Think clearly. See the options without interference.

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How to Start a Client Business While Working Full TimeEntrepreneurshipHow to Start a Client Business While Working Full Time
2020-02-04

Starting a client business, or any business for that matter, when you have a flexible schedule isn’t that complicated. But what about when you work standard hours each week? One of the most frustrating things to me when I was trying to get my business off the ground, was that nobody had any good advice about how to start a consulting business while working full time.Here are some things to keep in mind that will help you kickstart your business while working 9-5, and hopefully keep you from pulling all of your hair out. Rest assured, it’s doable, and it can be fun at the same time.

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What Exactly Do Consultants Do?EntrepreneurshipWhat Exactly Do Consultants Do?
2020-01-29

Interested in starting a consulting business? Not entirely sure what that even looks like? You’re not alone! “Consultant” is used vaguely and often incorrectly, but luckily it’s a pretty simple concept to explain.

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Why Client Work Is The Fastest Way to Financial IndependenceEntrepreneurshipWhy Client Work  Is The Fastest Way to Financial Independence
2020-01-25

If you’ve ever started a business, you know the 2 questions that every entrepreneur has to ask: “What will it take to get started, and how soon until it’s profitable?”Unlike selling physical products, or building software, client businesses can be started very quickly, and are profitable almost instantly. Let’s look at a few reasons why client work is the fastest way to financial independence.

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What I Learned My First 6-figure Year As A Marketing ConsultantEntrepreneurshipWhat I Learned My First 6-figure Year As A Marketing Consultant
2020-01-24

If you’ve ever started a business, you know the 2 questions that every entrepreneur has to ask: “What will it take to get started, and how soon until it’s profitable?”Unlike selling physical products, or building software, client businesses can be started very quickly, and are profitable almost instantly. Let’s look at a few reasons why client work is the fastest way to financial independence.

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2019 Year in Review & 2020 FocusAnnual Reviews2019 Year in Review & 2020 Focus
2019-12-30

This is my 6th annual review. Let's see how I did against my 2019 goals, and what 2020 has in store.

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How to Make Hard Decisions With Confidence (A 6-Question Framework)Personal DevelopmentHow to Make Hard Decisions With Confidence (A 6-Question Framework)
2019-11-04

When making difficult decisions, here’s a good framework to use by asking yourself 6 questions. Take a little bit of time to ask yourself these questions, and gather any input you can. Then, make your decision with confidence knowing that you properly thought things through.

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Work and Education: Stuck in the Past?CultureWork and Education: Stuck in the Past?
2019-10-14

It’s not that we don’t feel the need for change, it’s that we’ve convinced ourselves that things just are how they are, and can’t change. What most of us fail to realize, is that work and school have been reinvented numerous times before, and they’re way overdue for an upgrade.As professionals of the modern workplace, and students of the modern education system, in order to understand where we are now and where we’re headed, we must first understand where we have been (and where we have been is pretty fascinating).Buckle up–pun intended. You’ll see why that’s a pun in a second.

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I Tracked Every Minute of My Work Week, Here’s What I LearnedWork BetterI Tracked Every Minute of My Work Week, Here’s What I Learned
2019-02-26

I don’t think most of us realize how little we actually work. Actually, I know most of us don’t.I’m not talking about physically being at your desk or at the office—just being present doesn’t qualify as “work”. For example, when I was at my last job before starting Jump, I remember playing this game of seeing how much water I could drink in a day because it was a good excuse to take 5-minute bathroom breaks every hour. Or what about those people who are more interested in talking with co-workers about last night’s episode of The Bachelor than they are actually, you know, working (if you’re not sure who the office gossiper is, it’s definitely you).Jump has been growing rapidly the past month, and as I’ve been hiring more help, I was curious how many hours of help I would need, and how long some of the repeated tasks I was doing every day or every week were actually taking.So, in typical fashion, I decided to track everything for a week, categorize the results, and use that as my basis for how much help to hire.I learned a TON more than expected.

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2018 Year in Review & 2019 GoalsAnnual Reviews2018 Year in Review & 2019 Goals
2019-01-22

This is my 5th consecutive year doing these year-in-review posts(!), and I always start with this disclaimer:Just so you know, these reviews are really for my own introspection and reflection on what went well during the year, what didn’t, and what I want to accomplish the next year. I’m making it public because I think people might enjoy reading it, and possibly learn from it. That being said, some of it won’t make sense to you why I’m sharing it, but that’s because it’s mostly for me.

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Why I wouldn’t hire me to work at my companyWork BetterWhy I wouldn’t hire me to work at my company
2018-10-24

I’ve taken interest lately in figuring out how to hire the right people for the right positions (which of course depends on a lot of different variables like work environment, schedule, peer to peer dynamics, etc.), and I mentioned this to a friend last week who is the CEO of a digital marketing agency.He showed me a tool they use during their hiring process, and he let me try it out on myself. The results were mostly as expected, but still very interesting.

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You HAVE to try this new strategyEntrepreneurshipYou HAVE to try this new strategy
2018-10-02

I likely fall victim to it as much as anyone: The draw of something new. I think we all feel it more often than we even realize, because it usually comes disguised as a good thing, when in reality it might not be.

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Strength, Courage, & Rest in Joshua TreePersonal DevelopmentStrength, Courage, & Rest in Joshua Tree
2018-09-24

“Be strong, be courageous, and you will find rest.” That was a theme we were pondering. My wife and I met up with two of our closest friends for a couple of nights out in the desert and a hike in Joshua Tree National Park this past weekend.On the last night, with a pit fire at full blaze, we shared some of our thoughts after experiencing some silence and (semi)solitude, and I want to share them with you too.

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Small Steps to Completing Substantial Side ProjectsEntrepreneurshipSmall Steps to Completing Substantial Side Projects
2018-09-11

By definition, a side project is done…on the side. Most of us have full-time jobs or businesses that we run each day, and even with the most exciting side projects, it can still be a challenge to block off time to work on them, especially after already working a full day’s work.I’ve been thinking through how to make it easier to complete big side projects, and not dread the process or feel like I have to force it. Here are some things you might find helpful for completing your side projects as well.

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Don’t Hope, Make it SoEntrepreneurshipDon’t Hope, Make it So
2018-09-03

What’s interesting about hoping something will happen as opposed to making a specific and calculated plan, is that we’re almost admitting before we’ve even begun trying that results are out of our control.

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Questioning Assumptions for Better ConclusionsPersonal DevelopmentQuestioning Assumptions for Better Conclusions
2018-08-27

“Dangit. I can’t find my wallet…again.” I told my wife, apprehensively (I’ve been known to misplace things). “When’s the last time you remember having it?” she asked. And that’s where it all spiraled out of control.It was a Friday morning and I was about to leave for the office, but needed my wallet. I work out of a WeWork co-working space in Hollywood, and I have a keycard that gets me into the doors. And yep, you guessed it, my keycard was in my wallet.I started retracing my steps in my head to figure out where it could’ve been, and rule out where it probably wasn’t. When all else fails, I turn to logic for clues.

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Are you ever actually going to start your business?EntrepreneurshipAre you ever actually going to start your business?
2018-07-20

This is a piece of “tough love” content, because I care about what happens to you.If you’ve been pondering starting a business or a side project for more than 3 months, and you haven’t even started yet, it’s time to check yourself.There are people who have been consuming my content (which is almost all about entrepreneurship, by the way) for 5+ years, and have never even reached out to a potential customer, and it saddens me because they’re stuck in limbo and it’s damaging their quality of life.

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2017 Year in Review & 2018 GoalsAnnual Reviews2017 Year in Review & 2018 Goals
2018-01-15

Every year for the past couple of years, I’ve chosen a theme phrase or word. In 2017, my theme was “Level Up.” Let’s review and see how I did with that, and set some new goals for 2018.There are 4 main areas I reflect on: Business, Relationships, Health & Fitness, and Spirituality.

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Why I Don’t Believe in Work-life BalanceCultureWhy I Don’t Believe in Work-life Balance
2018-01-15

With a busy schedule and ambitious goals, most people start wondering how to achieve a better work-life balance. Tens of thousands of people google that term every month to get ideas on how to work less and “live” more.I personally never liked the term “work-life balance.” Not because I don’t believe in balancing work with other parts of life, but because it insinuates that what you do for work isn’t part of life. It’s some other weird thing you’re forced to do that is anti-life.But then again, I know that my work situation is different than most people’s.

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Decisions—The Proof is in the PuddingPersonal DevelopmentDecisions—The Proof is in the Pudding
2018-01-04

Like an elaborate movie script, our decisions create a string of events that take us from point a (birth) to point z (physical death). Those two points happen to everyone—non-negotiable. Points b through y are within our control. We can influence what happens in life.

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Authority: Where Trust & Business IntersectEntrepreneurshipAuthority: Where Trust & Business Intersect
2018-01-04

If you can earn your audience’s trust, you’ll have a shot at being viewed as an authority by them on your area of expertise, and that’s when business happens. Authority is something you earn. Own it.

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The Power of WonderCultureThe Power of Wonder
2017-12-27

When we don’t allow ourselves to embrace belief in what we can’t yet see or understand, we rob our future of amazing things. We crawl back in our cave because it’s safe in there, and exploring unknown territory could be dangerous.

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When a Juggler Drops a BallWork BetterWhen a Juggler Drops a Ball
2017-09-11

As a society (and this is especially true for entrepreneurs), we constantly juggle tasks and projects to try to achieve our goals. Not just tasks and projects for one goal at a time, but we also often feel the need to juggle multiple small goals all at once.

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You are the Silversmith, and the Silver is YouPersonal DevelopmentYou are the Silversmith, and the Silver is You
2017-09-05

Wayback when, a silversmith would have to go through an extremely intricate and sensitive process for purifying silver. Particularly when making jewelry for a wealthy customer, quality was of the utmost importance.We have all kinds of tools and technology now that make the process much easier and predictable, but back then it took immense concentration and true dedication to master this. Part of the refining process was heating up the metal in a large furnace to melt the silver pieces so you could then mould it to the shape you wanted.

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Stress-free Productivity: How to remember every task, and do focused workPersonal DevelopmentStress-free Productivity: How to remember every task, and do focused work
2017-08-30

The goal most days is to be more productive with your work, and eliminating stress at the same time. Fair?It’s all too common of a stereotype, especially with entrepreneurs, that we have to be miserable and overwhelmed to come out successful on the other side. Like a right of passage or something.Well, that’s just not necessary.The real secret is that most people just don’t know what it means to be productive, and how to structure their environments to eliminate stress while increasing the amount that gets done.That’s what this post is all about.I’m going to show you how to get things done quickly and with minimal stress.

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Taking Ownership is the Only Way to Level UpPersonal DevelopmentTaking Ownership is the Only Way to Level Up
2017-08-27

How often do you catch yourself blaming other people and other circumstances when your business isn’t growing or something goes wrong?Whether you have employees that work for you or you’re a solopreneur, there’s one theme that stands true:Everything comes back to you.

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How to seize the opportunity of a lifetimePersonal DevelopmentHow to seize the opportunity of a lifetime
2017-07-27

“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” –Leonard Ravenhill

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My Inner Monologue After Deciding to Close Down my BusinessEntrepreneurshipMy Inner Monologue After Deciding to Close Down my Business
2017-07-24

This is fairly painful to write, but also not at all…If that even makes sense.I want to write down these feelings right now while they’re happening. Writing is therapeutic to me, but I hope this helps you too.Today I made the final decision to shut down FitFly, after about 15 months of working on it.

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What’s more important, wins or losses?EntrepreneurshipWhat’s more important, wins or losses?
2017-07-22

Success.We (or at least I) romanticize it so much that when small successes happen, it’s easy to look right past them because nothing’s ever good enough to live up to the expectations we’ve set for ourselves.

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How to Deal With Haters & TrollsEntrepreneurshipHow to Deal With Haters & Trolls
2017-07-19

Don’t drink the HATERade! Doesn’t taste good.No matter what you say or do, there will be people who agree, people who disagree, and people who are indifferent. We all have positive and negative experiences. It’s up to you which to focus on.

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How Getting Fake Fired Changed My Perspective About EntrepreneurshipEntrepreneurshipHow Getting Fake Fired Changed My Perspective About Entrepreneurship
2017-06-22

It was just a regular ol’ Friday afternoon with the regular ol’ small talk buzzing around the office about what everyone was doing over the weekend and how they hoped we’d get to go home early as we sometimes did on Fridays. All I could think was, “be careful what you wish for.”

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Dealing with Fear of FailureEntrepreneurshipDealing with Fear of Failure
2017-05-29

The number one reason people don’t start businesses is fear. Fear is paralyzing.It’s the voice in your head telling you you’ll fail and run out of money. Your children will go hungry, and you’ll look like a fool.You’re not smart enough, and your skills are too shallow. You’re too young or too old to start. You’ll never make as much money on your own as you will working for someone else. There aren’t enough hours in the day to start a business while working full time.These are all normal and completely reasonable thoughts and worries, but don’t let them stop you. Fear is a hurdle you have to practice jumping over until you succeed.Let’s jump.

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Top 10 Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs on a BudgetMarketingTop 10 Marketing Tools for Entrepreneurs on a Budget
2017-05-24

Probably the biggest struggle for most new entrepreneurs is starting or growing a business without much financial resources…aka money.Dealing with money sucks!Actually I take that back — dealing with a lack of money sucks. Money is a fun subject when you actually start making it. So, how do you get your biz going and growing on a small budget? You find and leverage affordable tools!Fortunately, we live in an era of vast technological resources, some of which are very affordable and accessible.

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Today’s My Bday, Let’s Do Something CoolCultureToday’s My Bday, Let’s Do Something Cool
2017-05-17

My mother birthed me 28 years ago today, and well, let’s all just say what we’re thinking…God bless Momma Lien!For my birthday, I want to do something that matters to the world, and support something bigger than just me.Since it’s my 28th birthday, I want to see if we can raise $1,028 for the nonprofit, ZERO (Prostate Cancer Awareness).

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2016 Year in Review & 2017 GoalsAnnual Reviews2016 Year in Review & 2017 Goals
2017-01-14

I had a theme the entire year of 2016.It was a theme I held closely and really embraced on a daily basis. All decisions were flowing through this theme, and it made a big difference in my accomplishments.My theme for 2016: WORK HARDIn all caps, just like that. I even made a MuscleFeed shirt so I could wear it around and remind myself. I’ve got a theme for 2017 too, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, let’s review 2016!This is my third year doing a year-in-review post, and I always start with a disclaimer for the readers:Just so you know, these reviews are really for my own introspection and reflection on what went well during the year, what didn’t, and what I want to accomplish the next year. I’m making it public because I think people might enjoy reading it, and possibly learn from it. That being said, some of it won’t make sense to you why I’m sharing it, but that’s because it’s mostly for me.

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Where The Story BeginsEntrepreneurshipWhere The Story Begins
2016-08-21

This isn’t the end of my story.I’ve been waiting a long time to write this story. 2016 will go down in history as the year I started writing it.

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How to Find Any Decision Maker’s Email: Step by Step InstructionsMarketingHow to Find Any Decision Maker’s Email: Step by Step Instructions
2016-03-23

Growing a B2B (Business to Business) company has everything to do with getting your product in front of the right people who have the authority to make purchasing decisions and/or influence the decisions that are made within their companies. Contact information isn’t always readily available to you, so the trick is knowing how to find someone’s email address whenever you need to.

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2015 Year in Review & 2016 GoalsAnnual Reviews2015 Year in Review & 2016 Goals
2015-09-14

This is my second year doing a year-in-review post, and it’s interesting how vastly different this year was compared to last year.Just so you know, these reviews are really for my own introspection and reflection on what went well during the year, what didn’t, and what I want to accomplish the next year. I’m making it public because I think people might enjoy reading it, and possibly learn from it.That being said, some of it won’t make sense to you why I’m sharing it, but that’s because it’s mostly for me.

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4 Real Methods to Make a Living With Passive IncomeEntrepreneurship4 Real Methods to Make a Living With Passive Income
2015-08-29

The way I like to define passive income is:Money made on a regular basis with little to no direct upkeep required, or as a byproduct of other necessary efforts.

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How to Get People to Read Your Blog: 7 Free WaysMarketingHow to Get People to Read Your Blog: 7 Free Ways
2015-08-05

As if writing great content isn’t hard enough, learning how to get people to read your blog posts can be just as challenging. It’s really discouraging to keep writing regularly when you feel like nobody cares. Well, I have good news and bad news: There are people who would love to read your content, they just don’t know you exist…yet.This article covers 7 free tactics to promote your blog posts so you can get more people on your site, and start converting more visitors into sales or newsletter subscribers.Ladies and Gentlemen, rev your engines.

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How A Blog Landed Me a Job with an Upgraded Title & a $12k/year Salary IncreaseEntrepreneurshipHow A Blog Landed Me a Job with an Upgraded Title & a $12k/year Salary Increase
2015-06-24

I was pretty confident, but how confident can you really be when you have no way of gauging your competition?I was interviewing for a marketing position at a $30 million/year company, and I was already coming in late to the interview process.It was the last round of interviews, and I was competing against a few other applicants. Now, I don’t mean this in a “braggy” way, but I just think it’s important to note that I am very good at interviews, but that only gets a person so far.I had solid experience with numbers to back it up, but other people have that too. What other people don’t have, and what gave me the competitive advantage to not only get the job, but get it at 12K higher than the original salary AND leverage an incentive-based bonus program that wasn’t originally on the table at all, AND get an upgraded job title, was my marketing blog at the time.When you think about hiring from an employer’s point of view, it makes sense that a blog is impressive.99% of people don’t have an online presence past their personal Facebook that they block from the public, random Twitter where they post uncurated content, Instagram for selfies, and Pinterest where they scavenge pin boards for next weekend’s mixed drinks.‍‍A blog shows a number of positive attributes to an employer, and beyond that, you actually acquire these attributes:

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13 Reasons to Blog Regularly and Write DailyPersonal Development13 Reasons to Blog Regularly and Write Daily
2015-05-22

Frequent writing has been praised scientifically and by raw word of mouth by entrepreneurs and great thinkers for generations. In the time we currently live in, we’re blessed with technology that not only allows us to easily write and document what we write, but also to share it with the world.If you don’t currently blog or write in another form regularly (or at all), or you just need a reminder to stick with it, here are 13 reasons...

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Value-based & Cognitive Decision Making, and How to Cure InsanityPersonal DevelopmentValue-based & Cognitive Decision Making, and How to Cure Insanity
2015-05-15

Do you know what the literal antonym of the word, “rational” is? Insanity. And if that’s the case, we’ve all gone mad.Every action we take, no matter how big or small, is driven either by a rational decision, or by the desire for the instant gratification of a chemical rush (which is usually the insane decision). Let me explain to you how I know we’re all crazy.

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Average People Who Do Average Things Have Average LivesPersonal DevelopmentAverage People Who Do Average Things Have Average Lives
2015-04-30

Behind every separation factor, there are underlying reasons why people think, act, or look differently. Those unique qualities, which are often viewed as extreme or different by outsiders, are what give the people who hold them better-than-average results in their areas of focus.If you want to be above average at something, you need to separate yourself from the average by thinking and acting differently.

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5 Startups I Would Never Invest InEntrepreneurship5 Startups I Would Never Invest In
2015-04-17

I’m not much of an investor, but if I was, there are certain criteria I would look for before putting my money into the hands of a new company.

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Overcoming Perfectionism ParalysisPersonal DevelopmentOvercoming Perfectionism Paralysis
2015-04-09

You can’t please everyone every time. If you can’t please other people, the next logical thing to do is to try to produce perfect work at least to your own standards. That ends in just as many tears as trying to produce up to other people’s standards of perfection. After we realize there’s always something that can be improved, and there’s always someone judging us on our output with criteria we can’t possibly fully predict, we just stop trying.

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How to Get LuckyEntrepreneurshipHow to Get Lucky
2015-03-20

Not that kind of lucky, you pervert.I’m talking about lucky in business and in life. First off, being lucky has nothing to do with rabbits’ feet or destiny. Luck is a combination of good timing, paying attention, and acting quickly.This is the untold story of how I met Noah Kagan from AppSumo/SumoMe/OkDork, a person I’ve long considered a “virtual mentor” of mine in business and marketing, and how good timing, paying attention, and acting quickly made it happen.

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How to Master and Embrace the Power of Self DisciplinePersonal DevelopmentHow to Master and Embrace the Power of Self Discipline
2015-03-12

I was listening to a podcast a couple of months ago, and the author of The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod, was telling his truly miraculous story of how he literally died for 6 minutes, suffered permanent brain damage, rose up to be one of the top Cutco salesmen in the country, wrote a #7 best-selling book only to have his publisher flee the country with 100% of his royalties, built up a highly successful success-coaching business, became $425,000 in debt after the economy crashed in 2007, and then built his life and finances back up again after hitting his lowest of lows by developing a very intriguing morning routine he called The Miracle Morning.

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5 Ways to Create More TimePersonal Development5 Ways to Create More Time
2015-03-02

Time doesn’t really exist. It’s something man created so that we can structure, prioritize, and calculate things we do.Man has been using the concept of time to structure activities and create rituals forever, at minimum by observation of the sun, moon, and stars. It used to be something we used as a tool—something we ruled over.Fast forward to today, and now we are the tools…and our time no longer belongs to us, we are slaves to it.What changed? Time hasn’t changed, we’ve just found more things to deplete it with, and most of the things we spend time on add little to no value to our lives.

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Why Content is Still King (and Where the Money’s At)MarketingWhy Content is Still King (and Where the Money’s At)
2015-01-29

On January 3, 1996, Bill Gates published the essay, Content is King. In it he states,“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting…No company is too small to participate…One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create…Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.”The reason why content is so powerful is because it connects thoughts, ideas, and information from one person to another, which has effects far beyond making a few bucks from ads on a website.There are many forms of content, all great in their own ways, but for this post specifically, I want to discuss why blogging is so powerful for making money.

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2014 Year in Review & 2015 GoalsAnnual Reviews2014 Year in Review & 2015 Goals
2014-12-31

This is my first of what I expect to be many year-in-review posts. It’s really for my own introspection and reflection on what went well this year, what didn’t, and what I want to accomplish next year. I’m making it public because I think people might enjoy reading it, and possibly learn from it. That being said, some of it won’t make sense to you why I’m sharing it, but that’s because it’s mostly for me.

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The 4 Ps of a Crazy Successful BusinessEntrepreneurshipThe 4 Ps of a Crazy Successful Business
2014-12-17

In 1967, on a cocktail napkin at a bar in TX, they drew a triangle. The corners were labeled, “San Antonio,” “Houston,” and “Dallas.” What they didn’t know was that the triangle represented an idea that would eventually be worth billions. Southwest Airlines started on a napkin. Let that sink in for a second.Like most really successful businesses, they had more than just a good idea. We’ve all had thousands of ideas before—good ideas, bad ideas, exciting ideas, boring ideas. Every new business starts off as just that, an idea. But what separates the ideas that don’t make it past your cocktail napkin from the ones that turn into a billion dollars (we can all dream, right?)? I see 4 major components that need to all be present for an idea to turn into a crazy successful business...

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January 1st Is No Better Than TodayPersonal DevelopmentJanuary 1st Is No Better Than Today
2014-12-01

As I write this, it’s December 1st.You’ve already begun thinking of your goals or resolutions for next year. January 1st symbolizes a fresh start and a new beginning. A day to leave the past behind and look forward to the future. Next year is the year you will ____.What I really want you to think about is where your mind is at right now. This second.

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Which Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?MarketingWhich Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?
2014-10-17

It’s almost a certainty that every small business I consult for will ask me how to set up their accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube, etc. because they “know how important it is to be on social media“.To which I say, “All businesses should not be on each and every social platform.“

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How to Increase Headline ClicksMarketingHow to Increase Headline Clicks
2014-10-14

Headlines are one of the most underrated elements of blogging. They’re often afterthoughts, or even just generically written and slapped on top before starting to write.But let me ask you this:When you’re scrolling through your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn feeds or even the newspaper if you want to get old school—how do you decide what to actually click on and go read?Headlines.In terms of getting traffic to your site from blog posts, headlines are the most important element, because they’re the first impressions people see.Before we dive in, it’s important to note that you should slightly alter your headlines depending on where you’re promoting the article. Consider the demographic and cultural differences of the platforms, and adjust accordingly.

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5 Tips for Faster BloggingMarketing5 Tips for Faster Blogging
2014-10-05

How many times have you started writing a blog post, and halfway through you realized you’ve written yourself into a wall or lost your train of thought, or worse, realized you organized it all wrong and have to restructure and start over? GAHHH!If you blog, you know it takes more work than it seems to write posts that aren’t crap. I enjoy writing, but I’ve got other things to do too (like ride my new bike home from Target after realizing it won’t fit in the car), so cutting down on time while maintaining quality sounds awesome. Writing better-than-decent blog posts takes time. No getting around that. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from repeatedly doing any task is that there’s always a way to speed up the process. The way to speed up any process is by dissecting it and tweaking the individual parts for greater efficiency.

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Sell the Outcome, Not the Benefits or FeaturesEntrepreneurshipSell the Outcome, Not the Benefits or Features
2014-09-27

In college, it was drilled into my head pretty hard that when selling, you are to sell the benefits, not the features. I’ve found taking it a step further than that to be more successful, but we’ll cover that in a sec. First, it’s important to understand the difference between a benefit and a feature, and why my advertising professors taught that rule. Let’s use an example and say you’re selling a basketball shoe that helps people jump higher, and you decided to market to high school boy basketball players.

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How to Catch ‘Em All—What Pokémon Taught Me About MarketingEntrepreneurshipHow to Catch ‘Em All—What Pokémon Taught Me About Marketing
2014-09-14

Flipping Pokemon cards when I was 10. I learned a vital lesson that I still use in my business life today.

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Why You Should Price Based On ValueEntrepreneurshipWhy You Should Price Based On Value
2014-08-31

The common fear of charging what your product is worth is that you’ll lose out on sales from customers who won’t pay a higher price, even though you know what your product is worth.

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How to Rank Your Ebook #1 On AmazonEntrepreneurshipHow to Rank Your Ebook #1 On Amazon
2014-08-10

I recently launched my first ebook, It’s Time to Start.Results: My Kindle ebook ranking was #1 in the Small Business category for free books, 3 of the 5 days during the giveaway period, as well as hitting #4 in Business and Money, and #6 in Entrepreneurship. It was downloaded about 700 times during the 5 days. 39 came from a small segment of my newsletter list, the rest were through the methods I’m about to share. It doesn’t take as much as you would expected to grab a #1 spot if you put in a little effort. I expected it to take thousands of downloads, but that wasn’t the case.

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Talking Consistency With Noah KaganEntrepreneurshipTalking Consistency With Noah Kagan
2014-08-03

First of all, Noah Kagan is kind of a beast in the gym.Here’s a picture of him and me after a gym session in Santa Monica recently (how do you type an up arrow?).How do I know him? That’s a story for another day ;)Noah is a busy dude—Helping people kick ass at work or start a $1000/month business with his company, AppSumo, and teaching business and marketing skills with his blog, OkDork. That’s a full load, yet he consistently gets to the gym and eats well to keep healthy. That sparked a conversation about how we can be so consistent with some things, but not carry that same discipline over to other areas of life. What’s interesting is that even when we see how great the results of consistency can be within one area, we still don’t always apply it to others. Here Are 3 Takeaways.

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The Benefits of Teaching Everything You KnowEntrepreneurshipThe Benefits of Teaching Everything You Know
2014-07-27

I was talking to a business owner the other day about communication with marketing clients, and he told me he tries to be very general and vague with them so they don’t learn his “secrets.”He feared that if he gave away his tactics, his clients would discontinue service with his agency and do the marketing themselves. I have the exact opposite philosophy.

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The Formula For Getting Things DoneWork BetterThe Formula For Getting Things Done
2014-07-20

As a lot of you already know, I’ve been writing a book for the last couple of months, and it’s now in the editing phase. To be honest, if you found a time machine, went back in time and told me that I’d have a book released this year, I wouldn’t believe you (mostly because there are much cooler things to do if you find access to time travel). Writing a nonfiction book took a lot of effort, but it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined——because I had a formula.

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How to Write A Business Elevator PitchEntrepreneurshipHow to Write A Business Elevator Pitch
2014-07-15

A business elevator pitch is a well-thought-out description of your business that can be given in 30 seconds or less (roughly the amount of time an elevator ride is). It’s your answer to the question, “So, what does your business do?”

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Getting Your First 100 Newsletter SubscribersMarketingGetting Your First 100 Newsletter Subscribers
2014-07-15

Hitting the milestone of 100 newsletter subscribers is a nice feeling. It can mean the idea for your product is gaining some interest, or your blog content is useful enough for people to want it on a regular basis, or maybe you are getting better at providing value through lead magnets.Early on with a blog or website, it’s important to know that you won’t get any newsletter subscribers if you don’t take an active approach. So, here’s how to get your first 100 (and beyond)...

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5 Lessons I Learned From Shark TankEntrepreneurship5 Lessons I Learned From Shark Tank
2014-07-08

I was watching Shark Tank the other night, and I was screaming at the television (in my head at least) because the people pitching their businesses to the investors were blowing it. So, just in case you’re ever on Shark Tank, I want you to be prepared. Even if you’re not looking for an investor, this is still applicable advice for all entrepreneurs.

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4 Free Tools to Increase Newsletter SubscriptionsMarketing4 Free Tools to Increase Newsletter Subscriptions
2014-07-08

I’ve been getting asked a lot recently what tools I use for growing the newsletter, so I figured I’d share with everyone.

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How to Choose a Business PartnerEntrepreneurshipHow to Choose a Business Partner
2014-07-01

The first thing to do is decide if having a business partner will actually benefit you. If you’ve decided you need a business partner in order for your business to succeed, you should choose this person based on these factors:

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When to Work for FreeWork BetterWhen to Work for Free
2014-05-25

Value can come in a lot of different forms, most of which lead back to making money. I’ve written previously about how your time is valuable, and it is, but there are times when it’s ok to work for no money.

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You Should Be More SelfishWork BetterYou Should Be More Selfish
2014-05-11

People often ask me to “take a quick look” at their website and give them feedback or help them design a simple logo for their side project. I find myself saying yes a lot of times because it’s usually someone I know that’s asking, and I feel like a jerk if I say no. The problem with this is that if you say yes to enough requests, you end up overwhelmed with projects and with no time for yourself.

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After 30 Days Of BloggingMarketingAfter 30 Days Of Blogging
2014-05-03

After 30 days of blogging here, I exceeded some goals and completely missed others. The important thing is that I started, and now I have data to assess what went well and what did not. I want to actively assess what causes me to miss my goals and why I achieve the ones I do.

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The Traffic ObsessionMarketingThe Traffic Obsession
2014-04-28

The past two weeks, I’ve been completely consumed by the success of this blog. I’m not sure if it was because of my claim to grow it as fast as possible within 30 days, or if it’s just my own willingness to succeed. Whatever the reason is, I’ve been obsessed with every aspect of the blog to the point of annoying even myself.

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The Double Life Of An EntrepreneurEntrepreneurshipThe Double Life Of An Entrepreneur
2014-04-24

Starting a side project or a business can feel like you’re living a double life, especially if you work 40 hours/week for another company like the common entrepreneur does in the early stages. You need to give full attention to your employer, but you have a thousand things running through your head about your own business. Managing your time and efforts are critical to your success.

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How Facebook Decides Who Sees Your PostsMarketingHow Facebook Decides Who Sees Your Posts
2014-04-24

According to Will Cathcart, Facebook Newsfeed Director of Product Management, Facebook determines who sees your post based on over 100,000 personalized factors, but these 5 are the most important...

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It's Time to Start DoingPersonal DevelopmentIt's Time to Start Doing
2014-04-21

For 5 years I’ve been reading articles, watching video interviews, listening to podcasts, you name it, all about entrepreneurship and the benefits of blogging. It took me until 2 years ago to start a business, and until a week and a half ago to start a personal blog. If I could go back in time, I would’ve started “doing” 5 years ago. Here’s why.

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Overcoming Life & 3 Ways to Stay MotivatedPersonal DevelopmentOvercoming Life & 3 Ways to Stay Motivated
2014-04-20

Persistence: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

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4 Tips to Start A Successful Side ProjectEntrepreneurship4 Tips to Start A Successful Side Project
2014-04-14

Starting a side project or a side business can be overwhelming—especially if you don’t know where to begin. The most important thing though, is that you start. Stop procrastinating by trying to design the logo or by reading tons of articles on how to do things and never actually doing them. I’ve started a lot of things and most of them failed.These are 4 tips I wish I knew from the beginning that could have made me more successful.

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5 Sales Lessons I Learned From a 7-Year-OldMarketing5 Sales Lessons I Learned From a 7-Year-Old
2014-04-07

I was walking toward my door after coming home from work, and my 7-year-old neighbor was standing outside. She said, “Hi, would you like to buy chocolate for $1 to help raise money for my school? I have milk chocolate, almond, and caramel.” Bam! I bought two, one for me and one for my lady. It was only $2, she’s a nice kid, and I knew it would help her out.If I could change one thing about her pitch, I would rephrase it to make it a statement rather than a question, but other than that—pretty solid. She told me what she was selling, what the options were, how much it would cost, and why she was selling it. I usually never buy chocolate because it’s delicious, and if it’s around I will eat it all—no matter the amount.After some retrospective thought, here’s what she taught me.

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Why I Declined a Job Opportunity for Twice My IncomeEntrepreneurshipWhy I Declined a Job Opportunity for Twice My Income
2014-03-31

In January 2012, I started a marketing and design agency with two friends from college. The client work wasn’t enough to support us all full time yet, so I found a full-time job in marketing to pay the bills while I tried to grow my business on the side. The problem was, I was completely burned out all the time, and I couldn’t keep up with both jobs.

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