Sometimes You Have To Put Yourself In The Right Places

What does it take to be successful? Sometimes putting yourself in the right places and being around the right people. You’ve heard the Jim Rohn saying: “you’re the average of the five people you hang out with.” It’s true and if you’re in situations or around certain people you won’t make any progress.

The only way I finally made traction was putting myself in the right situations and being surrounded by the right IMG_0620people. For me it started with attending Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy.

I met people doing things I only dream of and made connections that have definitely helped my business. Going to that conference was the right situation for success.

Besides that conference, the friends that I have today, the mastermind group that I’m in, and the other conferences I’ve attended have all contributed to my success.

Conferences

There are some amazing conferences going on everyday. Conferences that will teach you what you need to know. There you will also network with people who can help your success.

For a long time I was afraid to invest in myself. After that conference I saw the value and invested in two really amazing conferences. I also started speaking and got to attend sessions at these conferences.

I wish I had applied all that I learned at those conferences. I wish I had stayed in touch with all the amazing people who I met. Learn from my mistakes.

If you have a chance to attend a conference that can help you and your business do it. Don’t drain your bank account to do it but if you have a little extra cash look at conferences that will help. (more…)

An Update On My Dreams

Back in 2011 I wrote a book that was eventually called Are You Living or Existing? 9 Steps to Change Your Life (affiliate link).The book started off in the self-publishing world but was picked up by my publisher, Sound Wisdom Books.

That book, and my first book sold well, and were the driving force to creating this online business. The book is the10372795_653647568054017_3332585822894439047_n blueprint I used to go from a life of existing to a life now that seems like a dream.

Up until four months ago I felt a little bit like a fraud. While I’ve been busting my butt working on my dreams, I still wasn’t fully living them. In the book I talked about three main topics: my weight, my work, and where we lived.

I had conquered the work part when I was able to leave a job I hated to write, speak, and coach full-time at the beginning of 2013. My weight has been an up, and down battle.

I had done well and lost some weight, only to gain it back. On June 17th of 2013 I got fed up and decided to finally get rid of the weight once and for all. Since that date I’ve lost 170 pounds. I’m 10 pounds away from my dream weight. I just wrote about it for the amazing website Mind Body Green.

That’s two of the three things I wrote about in the book. The third was moving to Maui. This one stressed me out a little. We talked and talked but had no definite plans.

We finally got serious about moving to Hawaii and planned out the move in May of 2013. We started looking at the cost, and got a little sticker shock. How can people really afford to live here?? (more…)

4 Creative Ways To Chase Your Dream When Money Is Low

Welcome to those visiting from the blog of Jon Acuff! I’m very honored to have you here. If what I’m saying here makes sense be sure to sign up for email updates. I send exclusive content to my email list that helps you create true freedom and create a profitable online business.

We all have dreams and would love to make them a reality. Sometimes that’s hard to do for various reasons. You may be doing this with a family, which means you don’t have a bunch of disposable income. You may just not have enough income, period.

book picI’ve been there on both counts. When I started chasing my dream in 2011 I was broke. More than that I owed money to a bunch of people. When I got the brilliant idea to chase my dream of being a writer I had to come up with the cash somehow.

I looked into what it would take and the amount I needed was $900. This would get my website designed, my book edited and a nice cover made. The only problem was I didn’t have $900.

I found a way to get that money and chase my dream with very little money. I want to give you a few ideas if you’re in this same boat.

1. Odd jobs

The easy road would have been to borrow money from my parents but I had already done that too many times. I’m just not a fan of borrowing money from anyone. I wanted to do this on my own.

To come up with the $900 I did odd jobs. I cut my neighbors grass, I did yard work, and I cleaned houses. Whatever odd job someone needed done, I did it.

Was it fun? Of course not and I felt like a failure but I got that $900 in one month. Even after I got the $900 I continued to work the odd jobs because it put much-needed cash in our budget. (more…)

It’s Hard To Build An Online Business In 2014

From 1998 to 2012 it was a lot easier to build an online business. There was less competition and all this was new to many people. As of today there are 900 million websites, 250 million blogs and 175,000 blogs being added everyday.

I started my online business in 2011 but didn’t get serious until 2012. Back then you could guest post on a large IMG_6016blog and literally get tens of thousands of visitors and thousands of subscribers.

This one guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog alone got this blog 6,000 subscriber’s and over 20,000 visits. A few guest posts like this and you were set. In 2014 a lot of big blogs don’t take unsolicited guest posts anymore.

Don’t misunderstand me. Guest posting is still my favorite and number one way to build traffic to a website. I send out one guest post a week and will continue because I believe the value is still there.

I’ve now even started to expand my horizons. Last week I had an article on the Huffington Post and the Good Men Project. These two articles brought in 100,000 visitors and counting!

If you’re building an online business in 2014 I know I’m preaching to the choir. It’s hard isn’t it? It’s hard to get people’s attention and keep it. There are just too many people talking about the same things.

I hope I’m not coming off as a downer because I absolutely believe in online business. I love it and the freedom it can provide. I love living life on my terms and knowing I can wake up and do what’s right for my life.

If you are building an online business and not seeing traction my message is; hang in there. Yes it’s harder and yes it’s slower but it’s possible. Everyday people are experiencing their “freedom date.”

Focus on your why (more…)

Stop Focusing On The Wrong Things

Whether it’s building an online business or trying to improve your life, the right focus can make all the difference. It’s easy to be a busy bee and not really get much accomplished.

10351392_658806354204805_2831324270091861749_nI’ve talked a lot about my online business building efforts. When I started I wanted to make this thing support our family as soon as possible. I tried everything you can think of to generate income.

I wasn’t focused and more than that, I didn’t know how to have the right focus. I focused on the little mundane things that don’t help you make progress.

When I did finally understand the importance of focus and where I should be focused amazing things happened. I created a business that actually supports our family.

Where you focus your time affects the results you’re going to get. When it comes to online business it’s crucial to cut out information overload and focus.

Get clear on whom you’re talking to and what you’re talking about

Who’s your target audience? How are you most passionate about helping? You have to get really specific and not attempt to reach the entire world. Once you get clear you can really dig in and help them the way they need to be helped.

Once you figure out whom you’re talking to, what are you talking about? What’s your core message? What’s the tagline for your message? When we come to your website it should be very clear right away. Focus on your target audience.

Honing your craft (more…)

Get Rid of The Clutter

We just have too much clutter in our lives. Whether it’s our home, our car or even our business there’s clutter that has to go! What we don’t realize is how much that clutter is holding us back.

I learned this lesson the hard way when we moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Maui, Hawaii four monthsIMG_6396 ago. Let me just tell you upfront that the move definitely tested the relationship between my wife and I!

We decided that instead of shipping our stuff and car we would sell EVERYTHING in a huge rummage sale. As we started to dig through stuff we found things we hadn’t seen in 10 years!!

There was stuff everywhere and our dreams of the huge rummage sale quickly died. In the end we put a BUNCH of stuff on our curb that people came and got for free.

We donated an entire truckload of stuff to the Salvation Army; it was literally the entire truck. In the end we made $5,000 with the stuff we did sell but we used that money to buy things for our home here in Maui.

We learned a valuable lesson with this move. If you came to our house now you would see that we live a very simple life now. I was shocked about how freeing living simple is. Through this experience I want to share three lessons about clutter with you.

We don’t truly realize how much clutter we have (more…)

Stop Worrying About Scaling

Have you ever heard the phrase “that’s not scalable?” That phrase has kept me up some nights (not really). You want to build your business and at some point you have to worry about what you can handle.

10502118_658729634212477_5197034440989068075_nAfter spending three years building this business I feel like I’ve made some traction. I have an amazing group of clients; I love what I do for a living. As it stands right now (at the time of this writing) I don’t have any open spots for my coaching program.

I only have so many hours in a week and besides coaching I have a lot that I have to get done. I’m at the point where the experts would tell me I should start group coaching or create a program to make things scalable.

For a long time I thought about doing just that until I had a revelation. I talked about it a few posts ago. I don’t care if one on one coaching is scalable or not I’m going to keep doing it.

When I sat down and thought about what I wanted for my business I didn’t worry if it was scalable or not. I wanted elements that worked best for my life and me.

Is what you’re doing scalable?

WHO CARES?? When you’re building the last thing you should worry about is whether what you’re doing is scalable. What you should be worried about is how do you build something that supports you? (more…)

Get More Personal With Your Website

There’s a dilemma when it comes to your website. You want your website to look professional but it also has to function. You want it to draw people in and keep them coming back.

My first website looked horrible. I had it on Blogger with a default theme. I wasn’t concerned with the appearanceScreen Shot 2013-12-22 at 2.51.07 PM because I thought my words were all that mattered.

I had five people a day visiting the website and who knows how many of those people were even real. When I learned a little bit about this online stuff I realized my website needed to look better.

Three years later I’m now supported by this online business. One of the things that I do is coach. When I start working with a coaching client one of the first things we talk about is their website.

A good portion of the time there seems to be one major thing missing from websites: they’re not personal enough. It’s that balance between professional and being laid back that can make all the difference.

Brands versus people

One of the things we’re told when we’re building is that we have to “build our brand.” That’s good advice but I’d like to add a twist: you are the brand. Whether it’s a “your name domain” or the domain of a business you have, people still want to connect with YOU.

People connect with people more than they do with brands. If you look at Nike (brand) and LeBron James (person), who has a bigger social media presence? Who are people connecting with more?

On Twitter, LeBron James has 13.4 million followers (at the time of this writing). Nike has 3.4 million. Why is that? The answer is that even though LeBron James does commercials for Nike people connect better with him as a person. (more…)

My Very First Podcast Episode!

Aloha Everyone! Today is a very exciting day indeed. I’m happy to share with you the very first episode of my podcast. It’s called the Family Man Lifestyle Freedom podcast.

I can’t promise you that I’ll podcast consistently because writing is my first and last love. I do want to mix things up with more video and podcasting.

This first episode is special because two good friends join me. Jared Easley has an amazing podcast called Starve the Doubts and he’s one of the founders of Podcast Movement. The world’s first podcasting conference that was funded through Kickstarter.

Gene Hammett has a podcast called Leaders in the Trenches and I’ve talked about him a lot here. He was the coach that helped me get clarity on my target audience.

In this episode we talk about our conference called the Work Hard Play Hard Summit, which is happening here in Maui on December 5-7. Listen to the episode to get all the details.

You’ll also hear Jared and Gene’s stories. At the end they give you some killer tips to make your dream a reality. I really hope you enjoy this because I had a blast and want to podcast more!

This episode is part two of a three-episode mash-up that’s on all three of our podcasts. Be sure to head over to Starve the Doubts to listen to episode one.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. We’ll see you tomorrow where I’ll be blogging about getting more personal.

Have you ever wanted to start a podcast? How does coming to hang out with me in Maui sound? 

Are You A Firework or A Stream?

Chasing a dream with a family is hard work. You want to quit and just chase that dream but you have a family to support. My friend Zech is focused on helping you to restore significance to your life. He teaches a faith-based approach to chasing your dreams with a family. You can also connect with him on Twitter. Zech, take it away….. 

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

Burnt out and frustrated I sat wondering why I was so tired? Honestly I wondered if I should give up and throw in the towel. Then I asked myself, Am I a firework or a stream? This is very important and I believe it shows us if we will achieve the dreams of our hearts and enjoy the journey. When we pick up things with a firework mentality we appear to move faster and get more done, yet I believe there’s a better way.

Excitement!

You are like a firework. It explodes off the ground so fast you can barely see it. You are getting there so fast it is incredible. You are so excited you just can’t take it. Then you start telling every one of your plans. You are going to make it happen fast. You sprint ahead of the pack. Your heart is beating super-fast and you are going to take on the world in one day. You are going to put it on your shoulders and run up hill at the speed of light.

Disillusioned

At some point you hit the top. What happens to a firework at the top? It explodes. It disintegrates and falls back to earth. This is what happens when we pick things up with our flesh. We are super productive for a very short window before we fall back to earth in little sparks. The little sparks can’t be picked up because they are so small and burn up from all the excitement. We end up feeling defeated and feeling like all hope is gone and there is no way to hit that goal or dream. This feeling is false and it is the way we chased the dream that caused the burn-out.

“Be Like Water.” ~ Bruce Lee

You and I should be a stream. This feels less effective and feels like we will never get there. This is not the truth. Our lives should flow like a stream. Streams start with a single drop of rain. Then after another and another and so on it can create a massive stream. The powerful force of pressure over time is amazing. It didn’t look like anything in the beginning, however over time a trickle can turn into a raging river. A river over time can be so powerful. It can carve into rock; just look at the Grand Canyon. Force overtime led to one of the most massive carvings in the world and it is absolutely breathtaking.

What are some attributes of streams? They are constantly moving. Streams are not like ponds. They don’t sit and are not stagnant. They are on the move. Sometimes quickly causing rapids and sometimes slowly that it is hard to notice if they are moving at all. The fact is they are always on the go. (more…)