Entrepreneurship

How much does honesty cost, and is it worth it?
November 22, 2020

"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.

How JumpX Has GROWN in Revenue During This Recession
October 30, 2020

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

Intentionally Progressing as an Entrepreneur
August 23, 2020

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.

Make Your Own Rules
August 14, 2020

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.

Own The Pond
June 29, 2020

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.

Embracing a Recession as an Entrepreneur
March 30, 2020

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?

Charging Too Little Is Costing You More Than Just Money
March 5, 2020

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.

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

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.

The 3 Most Important Operational Changes I’ve Ever Made
February 7, 2020

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.

How to Start a Client Business While Working Full Time
February 4, 2020

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.

What Exactly Do Consultants Do?
January 29, 2020

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.

Why Client Work Is The Fastest Way to Financial Independence
January 25, 2020

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.

What I Learned My First 6-figure Year As A Marketing Consultant
January 24, 2020

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.

You HAVE to try this new strategy
October 2, 2018

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.

Small Steps to Completing Substantial Side Projects
September 11, 2018

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.

Don’t Hope, Make it So
September 3, 2018

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.

Are you ever actually going to start your business?
July 20, 2018

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.

Authority: Where Trust & Business Intersect
January 4, 2018

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.

My Inner Monologue After Deciding to Close Down my Business
July 24, 2017

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.

What’s more important, wins or losses?
July 22, 2017

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.

How to Deal With Haters & Trolls
July 19, 2017

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.

How Getting Fake Fired Changed My Perspective About Entrepreneurship
June 22, 2017

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.”

Dealing with Fear of Failure
May 29, 2017

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.

Where The Story Begins
August 21, 2016

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.

4 Real Methods to Make a Living With Passive Income
August 29, 2015

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.

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

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:

5 Startups I Would Never Invest In
April 17, 2015

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.

How to Get Lucky
March 20, 2015

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.

The 4 Ps of a Crazy Successful Business
December 17, 2014

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...

Sell the Outcome, Not the Benefits or Features
September 27, 2014

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.

How to Catch ‘Em All—What Pokémon Taught Me About Marketing
September 14, 2014

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

Why You Should Price Based On Value
August 31, 2014

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.

How to Rank Your Ebook #1 On Amazon
August 10, 2014

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.

Talking Consistency With Noah Kagan
August 3, 2014

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.

The Benefits of Teaching Everything You Know
July 27, 2014

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.

How to Write A Business Elevator Pitch
July 15, 2014

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?”

5 Lessons I Learned From Shark Tank
July 8, 2014

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.

How to Choose a Business Partner
July 1, 2014

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:

The Double Life Of An Entrepreneur
April 24, 2014

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.

4 Tips to Start A Successful Side Project
April 14, 2014

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.

Why I Declined a Job Opportunity for Twice My Income
March 31, 2014

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.