4 Ways To Beat the Constant Pressure to Be Great

It’s an amazing feeling when you work hard to achieve a goal, and after incredible struggle, you achieve success.

10599365_681660608586046_6761960602204369804_nFor 12 years I didn’t care about success, I was comfortable living a good enough life. In April of 2012, my father died suddenly at 54 shattering what I thought a comfortable life meant.

My last conversations with my father were a wake up call. I realized that life is too short to live with regret. I immediately took action on chasing my dreams, and changing my life.

It took three years, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but I found my success. I lost 170 pounds, I quit a job I hated to write, speak, and coach full-time. Our family moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to our dream designation of Maui, Hawaii.

After finding my success, I kept thinking, “what’s next?” I have met people who are where I was, as they’re chasing their dreams. They look to me for inspiration, and I don’t want to let them down. I felt the pressure that everything I did needed to be great.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re a leader. As a leader, you want to lead by example, you don’t want to let anyone down. If you’re dealing with the pressure to always be great, here are four tips to help you deal with that pressure.

1. Don’t focus on yourself

Success comes from a place of service, which means helping others. It’s natural to think about our selves, and our need to always be great, but with leadership comes a responsibility to lead.

We have to think about the struggles that those following us are going through, and the solution to help them during those struggles. We don’t have time to worry about our emotions; we have to focus on leading. This isn’t about us. This is about helping others. (more…)

Help the World Stop Existing and Start Living

Man, it’s been a crazy journey to get to my dream lifestyle. I had to fail a TON of times, get back up, and chase dreams that I was convinced were impossible.

In the last three years, I quit a job that negatively affected my life. Ok, that was politically correct, I hated that job with every fiber of my being. I now write, speak, coach, and consult full-time.

I lost 170 pounds through a ton of running, and portion-controlled meals. I moved our family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to our dream designation of Maui, Hawaii. It still feels surreal that we live here!

These are the things I wrote about in my first published book, Are You Living or Existing? 9 Steps to Change Your Life. That book was published in May of 2013. Everything that I wrote about has now come true!!

The book has done well and now something cool is happening November 5-8th. My publisher is going to be dropping the price down to $1.99 on the digital version of the book for those three days, as a part of a promotion.

The reason for this ties into one of my six-month goals: becoming a New York Times best-selling author. If the book has a big enough push for those three days, it can make the New York Times digital best-sellers list. It sounds crazy, but I fully believe it can be accomplished!

I need your help!

I’m forming a launch team to push the book during those three days. For anyone willing to help, I want to offer some over the top goodies that will help you build your dream business.

Here’s what I’m offering:

  1. A digital copy of the book (duh Kimanzi).
  2. A shout out in my newsletter that now has over 16,000 people,
  3. Access to a four-week group master class on building your dream online business. This is what the class will cover:
  • Your foundation- we will cover the basics like what your website needs to look like, where everything needs to go, the best way to set up your email list and autoresponders, your social media presence, the best content to produce to draw people in.
  • How to grow- once your foundation is set, I’ll show you the best way to build traffic, email subscribers, and your social media presence.
  • How to make money- it’s not all about the money, but this is a business. We will cover the best ways to make money, the kinds of products to create, and how to package this all together.
  • The transition how to transition from your day job to dream job. The practical steps you have to take to do this smart.

The class will be on Thursday nights. I’ll get back to you as whether it will be recorded.

What I’m asking:

I want to give you a lot because I’m going to ask for a lot. Here’s what I ask your help with. To be a part of the team, and get the class, I’m going to have to ask that you commit to:

  • 1. Read and write a review for the book on Amazon. If you’ve already left a review on Amazon in the past, then Barnes and Nobles, if you have done both, then GoodReads.
  • 2. Write a review for the book on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, then I ask that you write a “note” on your Facebook page.
  • 3. Share on social media all three days; get the word out where ever you can.

That’s my pitch. If you’re interested, sign up. The promo will be November 5th-8th. I’ll be sending out instructions through email.

The Number One Reason You’re Not Living Out a Big Dream

Wow! It’s been an interesting month. I wrote about booking contracts with companies, and landing articles on large websites like the Huffington Post. I shared a lot of information you can use to grow your online business to where it can support your family.

922691_451150391637070_1137368433_nHere’s the thing though, there are people who read all those posts, and won’t do anything about it because of fear. Fear is the number reason many people don’t chase or make big dreams their reality.

I can completely relate because for 12 years I let fear hold me back. I was afraid of change, I was afraid of taking action. I let that fear talk me out of a lot of big decisions.

Even when this business supported my family, I still gave into fear. I was afraid I wasn’t a good enough writer, so I only sent guest posts to smaller websites. I was afraid I didn’t have any “credentials” so I didn’t coach.

I was afraid I didn’t have anything to teach or that people wouldn’t take me seriously so I didn’t approach any companies. I was afraid of my own shadow. AAAHHH!!! I was afraid that my content wasn’t as good as the A-Listers. I figured since they had so many fans and followers, why bother.

I know there are some reading this that can relate. We let our fear keep us back for going after big opportunities that we can totally get! For two years I ignored the Huffington Post even though it was always a dream.

Fear is holding you back from incredible opportunities to grow your business. If you can’t get over those fears, you’ll never make your dream your reality.

Fear is usually stupid

Most of the time we’re afraid of things we don’t really need to be afraid of. If you try to do something, and it doesn’t work out, so what? Life still continues on, and more than likely that isn’t going to be the only opportunity that you have. (more…)

How to Book Consulting at Companies (Part 2)

If your dream has ever been to get paid for speaking, consulting for companies can be a very profitable introduction into that market. In 2013 companies spent $39.3 billon paying consultants according to Business Week.

That’s a lot of money, and some of that could be yours if you can approach the right company. In the last post IIMG_2808 told you that the first training I did at a company paid me $500.

It was low but I didn’t have to do much. My job was to keep up their social media platforms and grow their presence. The result ended being their social media platforms grew by 26% and customer complaints on social media decreased by 68%.

I didn’t make a ton of money on that contract, but the owner did connect me with several others business owners that lead to some serious money. Flash forward to 2014.

Our family just moved here to Maui April 8th.  I had plenty of coaching business, but with the exposure I was getting from all the interviews, I got contacted by a company here.

They had heard some interviews and seen my work. I was asked to come in and talk about an opportunity. I can’t give you all the details (legal reasons) but I walked out of that meeting with a pretty sweet offer.

I sent the offer to my attorney and we were able to negotiate a sweet contract! My job is to build this company’s overall online presence. For every 1% I grow their overall presence, I get $1,000. I have been working on it for the last two months and have grown their presence 16%. Business is good!

I don’t tell you this to brag about Kimanzi because he’s really not any more special than anyone reading this. I tell you this to demonstrate that ordinary people like you and me can make serious money teaching topics we love teaching.

I hope you’re excited because the sky’s seriously the limit! Let’s finish up. (more…)

3 Ways to Become a Better Writer

ripplesIn 2011 I finally got fed up with a job I hated for 12 years. I had always loved to write, but didn’t think I could make any money with it. That August I said, “Screw it” and self-published my first book.

That book flopped; it sold five copies in the first six months. I only had ten people a day visiting my website. I was frustrated so I turned to the Internet for help, I quickly got information overload.

I followed all the advice out there and created niche websites, worked on SEO, created a membership site, created a private mastermind, spent hundred of dollars on social media advertising, and a bunch of other stuff. I tried everything they told me.

I even tried the strategy of connecting with those at the top, the A-Listers. I tried hard, but never got past the friendly “way to go” and “I’m so happy for you” emails.

I quickly realized that strategy was pointless. The only way I was going to connect with an A-Listers was by buying one of their courses or programs. Since I couldn’t afford them, I had to move on.

In the end the thing that helped this business support my family was my writing. Once I stopped following all the advice, and focused on my writing, people responded.

As they responded, I got the confidence to approach large blogs, and now large websites. I stopped listening to the haters, and just focused on those I was trying to help.

Now I’m living my dream, and many of you have asked about a course that lays out how I got here, and how I write for the places you see on the side bar. I’ve resisted creating a course because I didn’t want to create something that produced a bunch of people that looked the same.

If you look at a lot of the programs out there, you’ll notice that the content may be wonderful, but a lot of the people taking the courses end up looking the same. It’s the same themes, the same style; it may even be the same words on their websites pages. I didn’t want to create a bunch of the same.

There are over 900 million websites and a lot of people talking about the same things. The way you stand out isn’t to look like everyone else, it’s to be completely different, to be YOU! (more…)

How to Book Consulting at Companies (Part 1)

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You may not realize it, but the most profitable part of the speaking industry can be training at companies. Every day companies all over the world hire people just like you to train their employees or independent contractors on a wide range of topics. Business Week says it’s a 39.3 BILLION dollar industry, that’s a lot of opportunity!

I started speaking in 2012 and spoke at 36 events that year. That year I made $16,233 from speaking. In 2013 I spoke at 12 events and made $22,000 from speaking.

In 2013 I spoke at less events, but more of those events were private training at companies. I did training at various companies where I lived in Milwaukee as well as companies in London and Paris.

Yes, you read that right. I was able to do training for companies internationally, and they paid all of my wife’s and my travel experiences. Speaking isn’t my passion, but traveling is so I went. My wife and I had an amazing experience!

I know many people who read my blog want speaking to be a part of their business. If you look at most ‘call for speakers’ you’ll see that most events don’t pay speakers. You can find paying events in specific industries, but you’re going to have to do some work to get booked.

10440867_649766655108775_4065718387184730005_nFor those of you who want to generate some speaking income a little quicker, training at companies can be your thing. I’m writing this on a very exciting day! A coaching client of mine just landed his first contract to do training at a large car dealership. The cool thing is if he does well. he has a chance to train for 20 other dealerships!

In the next couple of posts I want to teach you how to get contracts to speak at companies. I’ve already told you about the why, so now I will teach you the how. My goal is for anyone who reads this to get their first contract within the next month!  (more…)

How To Convert New Visitors From Guest Posting (Part 2)

The first time a new visitor comes to your website can be the difference between a quick visit or a future customer. You have a short window to make a good impression so you have to make it count.

I’ve learned from my past mistakes, and going forward I want people visiting this website to get nothing but value. If they do have that great experience, they will sign up for my email list, and start the process of getting to know me.

In the last three years this website has had over one million visitors. The most people who I’ve ever had on my email list, at any one time, is 15,000 people. I have NOT done a good job at converting new visitors in the past. Only in the last year have I learned how to convert.

The goal is not income. Yes, this is a business that I support my family with, but I don’t view new visitors as potential new customers, that’s the wrong approach. I view new visitors as people who are here to get help creating freedom in their life. I want to help them anyway I can.

My first goal is to help them. I do inform everyone what I offer, as far as premium offerings, but I’m not trying to push. If what I offer is what someone’s interested in, they will reach out, no need to be the pushy Internet marketer guy.

There are all kinds of programs, and courses that tell you to do this and that to get the sale. It may even work, but it’s not the best way to build your business. If what you’re selling has value, people will see that and buy it. That is, of course, after you build an audience.

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I think we fail to realize that you can have a profitable online business with only 100 people on your email list. You don’t need 10,000 people, just 100. If you have 100 engaged fans, all you need is one of them to buy what you’re selling.

If you get that first one you can get the second and so on. The possibilities are amazing! The goal is then to get those first 100 people. If you’re giving those 100 people value, they will buy what you’re selling. Let’s continue in our series.

Make your website really personal

I had an entire post about this, which you can see here. The goal is to get people to start to get to know you. The way you do that is by being personal. You don’t want someone to visit your website and feel like you’re on a pedestal.

Your website should be in the first person (unless you’re famous or well-known) because most people will know that you wrote it. When it’s written in the first person they can better relate to you.

Every page on your website should have a snippet of your story as it relates to that page. If it’s your services page, tell the story that lead you to offer the services you now offer. Put a human face behind the website. Do that for all the pages of your website. (more…)

How To Convert New Visitors From Guest Posting (Part 1)

The last three posts we’ve talked about guest posting and how it can help you build your online presence. The question then becomes what do you do when new visitors come to your website? How can you convert them from casual browsers into email subscribers?

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.07.57 PMI faced this very question after my big guest post for Dan Miller. Back then, I didn’t know anything, so sadly I didn’t add many of those visitors to my email list.

After doing some research I learned. If you’re going to be successful, and grow your online business, you have to convert new visitors. I had a half a million visitors to this website in 2012. Can you guess how many people I converted to my email list? 6,700 people.

That’s a horrible conversion rate, and if I had done better, my online business would have supported me a lot quicker. Even if you don’t get that many visitors, you have to do a good job of converting new people. Here are some tips.

  1. A killer freebie

If you’ve been in this online world for a while, you understand the value of offering a free digital gift. When people give you their email address, you send them some content you created, and uploaded to an email service provider.

This is a great way to convert those people that aren’t sure. Here’s the thing, a lot of freebies on websites aren’t very good. I use to offer a manifesto on this website because it was popular back then.

These days it’s not enough to get people to convert. People are looking for good, and actionable content they can use to accomplish their goals. They don’t want to read a list of what I did and will do. (more…)

How To Land Articles On Large Websites (Part 2)

Aloha and welcome back! I hope you enjoyed part one and took away some yummy nuggets. If you did, and already started applying them, comment below, and tell me what you did!

We’re here because guest posting is one of the best ways to build your audience. Two articles on the Huffington Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 9.33.10 AMPost and the Good Men Project have gotten this website over 12,000 new email subscribers in the last two months.

Getting interviewed on podcasts and radio shows is great, but think about where people are listening to those shows. They’re in the car, on the way to work, or they’re working out.

If they like what you’re saying, they have to remember to come home and look you up. When they’re reading a guest post, or article on a large website, and like it, all they have to do is click a link and they’re on your website in seconds. It’s instant and within minutes they can be signing up for your email list. That’s the power of a good guest post.

In the last post I talked about the writing side of things. You have to do your research and write deeper content. If you missed it, there are some key takeaways that you can use. Today let’s get into the strategy.

3. Have the right pitch

Having the right pitch means a few things. Let’s start with whom to pitch to. Remember when we talked about research? Getting articles featured on large websites only happens when you pitch it to the right person.

Last post we talked about the Huffington Post and “verticals.” Have you figured those out yet? Verticals are the categories in the Huffington Post; the one I normally post in is “Healthy Living.”

When you get in as a contributor at the Huffington Post, you can post in whatever vertical you want. If you’ve done your research, you should know that every vertical has its own editor.

For you to have a chance to write for the Huffington Post, you have to send your post to the editor of whatever vertical your post fits under. The Huffington Post does have a standard place to submit articles, but can you imagine how many people are submitting articles everyday? One editor told me it was like 30,000 submissions a day.

To cut through all that, send your article to the right editor. That way you can get a quick yes or no. They’re usually very busy, so you should get your answer pretty quickly. (more…)

How To Land Articles On Large Websites (Part 1)

Guest posting is a killer strategy for building your online presence. You write an article for a website that is larger than yours, and they give you three links back to your website.Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 2.57.40 PMThis is great for getting exposed to new, larger audiences. It’s also killer for the back links it provides to your website. Back links are what ultimately helps with your search engine optimization.

This is how I built my audience in 2012 when I had ten people a day visiting my website. I saw the value in guest posting and immediately wrote an article for the Huffington Post.

One of the editors probably looked at it and laughed. What’s wild is that three years later I did land an article on the Huffington Post, and I’m actually a contributing writer for them! I also write for the Good Men ProjectEntrepreneur Magazine, and Mind Body Green.

One guest post for Michael Hyatt put me on the map, and is still the number one way I continue to build traffic, and email subscribers. I’m guessing I don’t need to convince you of the merits of guest posting, so I’ll move on.

You know it works, and you want to, but how do you land guest posts on large websites? In the last post I talked about expanding your horizons. I talked about guest posting for websites that are outside of our normal circle.

You may have even thought about those sites and are ready. Over the next couple of posts I’d like to give you some tips to land those bigger guest posts and articles on really large websites.

1. Research before you write

Since writing for some amazing places I get a lot of emails asking how to write for places like the Huffington Post. The first question I ask is what “vertical” would you write for?

This normally brings on a lot more questions. I would explain how the verticals work, but now you’re going to have to do your own research if you want to write for the Huffington Post. Think of this as your homework.

The point being, if you’re going to write for a large website, you have to understand how things work. What kind of people are reading the website, and the style the website is written in?

Most of the time we write posts, and then think of where they should go, that’s wrong. You should research WHERE you want to write for and THEN write the post. (more…)