find your niche

How to Find Your Niche and REALLY Act On It!

 One of my favorite quotes from Stephen Covey could be a great subtitle for what I’ve been thinking about lately:

“The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

For the first two years of the reboot of the New Inceptions, I was working on content pretty much daily. Whether it was writing a blog post or working on the AoL Podcast (and becoming an audiophile), I was doing the work that I thought I should be doing to get ahead in this online business world.

As you might have heard on the show itself (or even on other shows I’ve been a guest on recently) I’m starting to see a bit of a shift from entrepreneurs being more interested in “hustling” to being more about “lifestyle design”.

I’ve also noticed that there’s a bit of a formula for those who seem to get it all done but also live life to the fullest.

In this post, I want to touch a little bit about both.

 

Find Your Niche: Home is Where the Heart Is

In the last week or so, I finally released the guide called Uncover Your Personal Mission. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the gist. It helps you find your personal mission and start thinking about what kinds of businesses you would excel in. Your mission is the combination of what you love (your passion), what you’re good at (your process), and how you can provide value to other people (your purpose). I call it the 3 P’s. (Some refer to one’s personal mission as the Sweet Spot.)

In the resource, I give 9 questions per P to help you determine what it is if you don’t already know.

I wish it was something that I had access to when I was going through high school and college. It would have made my time in each more enjoyable and more focused.

Now that this resource is out there, I’ve been hearing more and more people in different podcasts talking about the importance of finding your mission. While they might use different terminology (Determining Your Sweet Spot, Finding Home, “Goldilocks” zone, etc), it’s all hovering around the same concept: How to learn what you’re supposed to as a grown up.

If You Won the Lottery, What Would You Do Differently?

Recently in the US we had a lottery where the winner had the opportunity to win $2 billion dollars.

When I was thinking about buying some tickets, a question came up. If I won, what would I change in my day to day work schedule?

I really couldn’t think of anything. Sure I might hire a team to help me do more, but I’m already starting to get a lot of that support through the Amplify team.

With that in mind, it occurred to me that while my life isn’t perfect, I’m pretty happy in general.

Because, after all, happiness isn’t the result of the obtaining the end goal itself. It’s all about the pursuit of something that you care about.

 

Pursuing Meaning at a High Level

It’s one thing to know what you’re supposed to do, it’s quite another to actually do work on a daily basis that will get you to where you want to be.

This is why one of my favorite thought leaders, Brendon Burchard, researched and released a book called High Performance Habits.

Now a lot of you guys might know Brendon for starting Experts Academy. That’s how I first learned of him myself. But since then, he’s also put a TON of time and effort in studying the habits that the top performers in the world practice regularly.

And believe it or not, one of the things that you don’t necessarily want to focus on is honing your strengths! (Yeah, crazy, huh?)

6 Habits of High Performers

Here are the 6 habits all high achievers should be focusing on:

  1. Seeking clarity
  2. Generating energy
  3. Raising necessity
  4. Increasing productivity
  5. Developing influence
  6. Demonstrating courage.

Now, after reading that list, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might realize that I already write about some of these.

Interestingly, I’ve already talked about clarity in this very post!

However, while finding your personal mission right now is a big help in getting started, it’s something you need to keep track of regularly. Life changes around us, and as that happens, we need to keep the right priorities in front of us. Because they will change.

And just as you should keep track of what’s important to you, it’s also important to develop and track your progress in these other 5 habits.

Sure, you can do it on your own in spreadsheets, but, in the last week or so I’ve learned that Brendon is releasing his own “journal” to help us.

However, it’s not just a journal. In fact, if you’re familiar with the 5 Minute Journal (which has been a favorite of mine for sometime) – it sounds like it builds on it. (I haven’t received mine yet to fully talk about what it is and isn’t.)

 

Action Steps

So guys, I think 2019 and 2020 are going to be years of change. People you’ve known for “hustling” for the last 5 to 10 years are going to start discussing “lifestyle” more often.

The truth is that everyone in this “online entrepreneurial” space has gotten just a wee bit older. They don’t feel the need to grind as much. On top of that, as more Millennials enter this space, “meaning’ is just going to become an ever larger presence.

So do yourself a favor. Find out what your personal mission is and then start executing it with those 6 habits!

 

multipotentialite

Are you a Multipotentialite? – What to Do if You Have More Than One Passion

I remember when I was first starting New Inceptions, I wanted it to cover a ton of things. In fact, I thought I’d talk about all the big picture topics that we think about in the back of our mind, but really don’t know who to go to and trust to find out answers.

In a way, I still do that, but not in the way that I first set out to do. I’ve stuck with what I know and because of that, the New Inceptions brand has become less about expressing my thoughts on a given subject and more on focusing outward in helping other people become influencers themselves. I’ve gone from wanting to be a talking head to focusing more on what others need help with.

How did this transformation occur?

Well, the short of it is that I realized that there were experts out there that were better situated to talk about a certain topic than I was. Some of the things that I’d want to bring up on the blog were, in fact, topics that others could actually help people better at.

As I realized this, I started discussing and writing more and more about topics that I knew plenty about. But I never was able to limit the focus of the blog or show to just one thing – one topic. In fact, I’d say it was more of a theme.

 

Are You a Multipotentialite?

It was about this time that I had gotten started with Fizzle and one of the hosts of the show passed along an idea.

Choose a topic and stick with it.

In fact, there’s a whole course in there in how to do that.

But what I soon found out is that I’m never going to be someone who can focus on one thing. Believe me, I tried. For about a year, I focused mainly on business building. But I’m no Pat Flynn.

The truth is that I’ve always been someone that’s bounced around from topic to topic.

Maybe you can relate?

Perhaps that’s why you’ve found this site. Maybe, just maybe, you’re having problems breaking your thoughts down into one topic that you’ll be able to discuss on a regular basis.

If so, then, like me, you’re what’s called a multipotentialite. It’s a term that I think Emilie Wapnik first coined for her TEDx talk in 2015:

Does this Sound Like You?

After watching that presentation of Emilie’s – how do you feel? Maybe a little confused? Maybe just downright furious.

It’s completely understandable.

I mean, a lot of popular business influencers say that we need to pick out one topic – but Emilie strongly disagrees with that. I agree with her that some of us aren’t wired to be specialists. Now that I think about it, it’s one reason I had problems doing research – and a reason why I might have trouble getting a PhD.

In fact, what I think that us multipotentialites need to do is search for themes in the things that we’re interested in. It’ll be through these themes in our passions, that we’ll discover our purpose and later preferred processes. When we know these aspects of ourselves, then we’ll be able to tell if we’re on the right path – for us.

 

Action Steps

If you’re struggling to get a business started or starting your own brand, maybe pursuing this idea of having a theme of passions might be helpful. In the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing a new resource that will help you connect the dots.

Until then, here’s my recommendation. Start thinking about times when you’ve been fulfilled by the work you’ve done. Doesn’t matter if it was for yourself or others. Can you make that into a career? How?

Have any ideas that you’re not 100% sure about? Drop a comment below.

industry trends

Keeping Up with Industry Trends – Should Businesses be Overly Concerned about Being Trendy?

Many of us struggle with finding content to write about. Especially if we’ve been writing or making content for awhile. As you’ve guys have seen this year, I’ve been writing in this blog since 2010. Since then, I’ve written quite a bit.

I have to admit, there’s times where I wonder if I’m going over the same stuff over and over. And if I am, is it worth it to you guys to go over something I’ve might have talked about not too long ago?

For those of us who are regularly creating content, it’s easy to do this because it’s what we know.

However, there are times where we might feel that we’re not keeping up with the times. That perhaps we’re missing something on this or that social media. Or that, perhaps, social media is where we should be to put our message out there.

Is that really the case? Let’s look at this a bit closer.

 

It’s All About Your List

When it comes to having a successful online business (or any business for that matter) is having a list of people who like what you’re about and could be a potential customer.

So, it’d make sense that the longer your list is, the more income you could possibly make when you release a new product.

This is true. And in fact, that’s the real power of Facebook and other social media platforms. Businesses of any size can “rent” parts of Facebook’s list (their users) by paying for ads. Or, as an alternative, if you don’t have a budget to spend on ads, you can spend more time by making a Facebook group.The more activity you have in your group, the more Facebook will share your group with its users. The more users you have in your group, the more you’ll be able to market to them.

But there’s a catch. You’re still using Facebook’s list.

And really, you need to own your own list. And still to this day, as I said in a recent interview, the best way of doing that is owning your own website and building a list of emails.

 

If You’re Not Trendy Can You Still Be Successful?

Now at this point, you might be thinking about that old saying “What brought you here, won’t get you to there.” Meaning, can my bread and butter – whatever you’re good at – can it take you to the next level?

The short answer is that it can – but not the way you’re currently doing it. What you’re offering people or however your servicing them, it should stay the same. If you want to scale, the way to do that is by changing your process.

However, don’t mistake this for new products or new services. Sure, you can get new customers by offering new things that are more trendy. BUT, that’s not what attracted your original customers.

What do your original customers want and are they still getting it? Ask yourself how can you service them better?

 

McDonald’s Attempt to Stay Trendy

Let’s take McDonald’s for example.

McDonald’s has a process that we’re familiar with. Every store has the same process. If you watched the movie “The Founder”, you’ll know that what Ray Kroc did to make McDonald’s better wasn’t by just toying around with the menu, it was by how he was able to scale the company. He offered the same thing at every store and that brought them loyalty.

That model worked for decades – until people started realizing what they were eating and wanted to eat better.

Now, McDonald’s realized that people wanted healthier alternatives. So they started offering all kinds of different products to cater to the healthy consumer. Their menu got larger and larger until in 2013 or so, not only could you order your regular burger, but you could order a fairly large chicken wrap.

The problem is, though, that these healthier alternatives that McDonald’s was trying… they weren’t improving their revenue. In fact, I’m guessing they were losing money with this bloated menu. Because it wasn’t too long that they got a new CEO and the menu was scaled back to a more basic selection.

They decided to cater to WHO got them there in the first place.

And one of the biggest ways they did this was by expanding the times in which they offered breakfast food.

That said, here we are in 2018 and I’d pretty much say that McDonald’s menu is about the same as it was when I was growing up. That’s why they’re still in business – not because of all the healthy alternatives they were starting to offer.

 

Social Media is Designed to be Addictive

Something else I want to point out is that social media is designed to keep you interacting with it. When I was in Honduras in January, I didn’t have a reliable internet connection. So I had just enough time to get me off of Facebook. Sure, there was a couple of times a day where I connected, but for entertainment – I read. And in fact, I read a good book you’re probably all aware of by now (Meaningful Work).

Unfortunately, that hasn’t helped me be the best steward when it comes to the Junto Facebook group. I still think that people get more fulfillment out of working their personal mission – but at the same time, they need to be actually working on it. On one hand, I don’t want to be the reason they spend all their time on Facebook, on the other hand if I didn’t care about that, the group might be growing at a more steady rate.

So, right now to get back on the horse with the Junto, I’m going to schedule time for me to actually be present on there and post. Because really, I’ve just stopped using social media altogether recently. It’s a great feeling, but I need to make sure I’m connected and connecting still too. So yeah, be it a half an hour or an hour, I’ll create a little time in order to do stuff in the group and create buzz in other groups.

 

Action Steps

So trends. Sure, they can be useful in creating more customers. But if you’re already a successful entrepreneur, stay with what you know works. Identify who those raving fans are and figure out how you can serve them better.

Are trends something that you can ignore all together? Probably not. Carve out a day once a week or once a month where you can explore to see what’s popular out there – where you can experiment in growing your business. Not only will you see more opportunities this way, but you’ll also be helping yourself avoid burnout!

As usual, let me know what you think below. How do you utilize trends in your work?

hospitality consulting

Mike Thorp – Less Talk and More Creation! – How Saying No to Gary Vaynerchuk Helped Launch a Hospitality Consulting Business (AoL 114)

There’s a reason that many businesses fail in the first several years of business.

Of course, finances might play a part in that. But I think that even having a revenue problem is the sign of a deeper issue.

The issue is simply that business ownership doesn’t necessarily make one a great leader.

And without the ability to paint a vision and help employees see what’s going on, of course a company is going to fold.

Today’s guest, Mike Thorp, helps restaurants with this problem. He says that what he does for his clients is a combination of Hell’s Kitchen and The Profit. He loves what he’s doing, as you’ll find out.

But doing his own thing – it came at a cost. As creatives, we find out that to create our consumption must go down. And sometimes, we have to cut it out completely.

That’s exactly what Mike had to do with Gary V.

So in today’s chat, we’ll hear all about what Mike brings to the table with his business, but we’ll also learn what motivated Mike to pull the plug on Gary.

Enjoy!

 

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How’d Mike get started in the restaurant industry? 9:43
  • How does Mike view leadership and culture in the restaurant industry? 15:16
  • What’s an important role he sees his company doing for local students? 22:02
  • Does he only work with local businesses around Grand Rapids? 26:53
  • What was his transition like going from corporate work to consulting? 30:43
  • What does Mike wake up for in the morning? 34:18
  • What lead Mike to write his viral post on Medium? 42:28
  • Why do so many people have trouble leaving the consumer mindset to becoming a creative? 50:37
  • What are some of the things Mike’s looking forward to? 52:39
  • What are his three top favorite books? 54:50
  • What’s a fact from today that would blow the mind from someone ten years ago.? 56:41
  • Smallest decision he’s made that’s made the largest impact? 57:08
  • What’s a life skill that he’s amazed people lack? 58:44
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:01:44

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Last Video You Have to Watch:

Cy Wakeman on The #AskGaryVee Show:

Danny Meyer – The Convergence of Casual and Fine:

Michael Shafer reviews the Oz Principle:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

good habits

Forming Good Habits through Chance: How Success Dice Can Help you Build Your Decision Making Skills with Andrew Kaplan (AoL 108)

Procrastination is a reality for everyone in some form. Many people struggle day in and day out with getting things done that they know should be done.

Most of the time, those folks are struggling simply because they are playing a reactive role in life vs one that is proactive.

They let their circumstances control what they’re doing.

On the other hand, successful people choose what they’re going to do and then act accordingly.

But how do you know what’s right to act on? We can spend a ton of time and energy figuring out just that part.

But – what if you could have something that would help you decide what to work on or do next?

Today’s guest, Andrew Kaplan, has invented just that: Success Dice.

Like many of us, Andrew struggled with a lot of things in his life. In fact, at one point, he hit an all time low.

However, after creating the prototype of the success dice, he found himself achieving more than he ever had in years prior.

In this session, Andrew shares with us how Success Dice came to be, how they help him battle procrastination, and why we could all use them.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How has his career helped lead him to where he’s at? 9:13
  • How did being a part of the Foundation help Andrew? 15:57
  • How can someone deal with procrastination in their lives? 23:41
  • What’s people’s main mistake when they’re trying to actually get things done? 29:43
  • How did the idea of the Success Dice begin? 31:41
  • Since there is an element of chance when using dice, how is using Success Dice beneficial in the long run? 35:41
  • Who are Andrew’s top 3 influencers? 43:26
  • What’s a fact from today that would blow the mind of someone from 10 years ago? 46:02
  • Smallest decision he’s made that has had the largest impact on his life? 48:34
  • What’s a service that doesn’t exist that he’d gladly pay for? 49:30
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Introduction to Success Dice:

Tony Robbins on not letting the Opinions of Others Affect You:

Even Pagan on The New Wealth (pt1):

Kamal Ravikant talks Love and Entrepreneurship:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

how to overcome insecurity

How to Overcome Insecurity when You’re Starting Something New

Do you feel insecure?

Maybe about your passions? That they’re not shared by anyone else?

Maybe you’re insecure about social situations. Perhaps you’re wondering what people are thinking about you?

Or, are you simply worried about putting your art into the world? Again, thinking that someone might compare it to some great artist? Or they’ll make fun of it – or you’re afraid of the feedback you might get?

 

These are all insecurities that most of us face from time to time. If you weren’t then you’re not human.

There’s a trick, though, to not letting them stop you from putting yourself out into the world in a meaningful way.

Actually, there’s 4 ideas that you can use on yourself to psych yourself into doing things for the first time.

 

Competence Means Confidence

For me, I hated the way I sounded on the AoL Podcast when I was first starting. However, as I grew into the craft of making the show, my brain just grew accustomed to that voice. And what I would hear in my mind after a while, wasn’t so much me, but it was more of the talent that was the host of the AoL Podcast.

I had the opportunity to make that person sound good.

2 years into the podcast, I get compliments by guests that I actually sound like I know what I’m doing.

Today, I’m facing the same thing when starting this new group thing. A part of it is doing Facebook lives. While I’m not posting every day, I have already done a couple of them. Still not completely used to my face yet, but I’m sure I’ll get over that as well.

So, the first thing you need to do is just start.

You’re not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.

You’ll see that that action will yield results which then yields new beliefs.

Then repeat the process!

overcome insecurity

Feedback Yields Power

Don’t tie your work or feelings to anyone’s approval. Even to this day, there are people out there who don’t like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek – you name it. If it exists, there’s more than likely going to be people who don’t like something.

However, those who do like your stuff, when they let you know that they like it – it means you’re going in the right direction.

If they have constructive criticism, that’s even better. Not only is someone showing you that they care enough to let you know what they thought about your work, but they’re giving you feedback in a way that matters.

As an entrepreneur and leader, that’s what you want from your followers. To have feedback so you can know how you can help them!

Don’t search for the attitude with them or even yourself – use it as a way to get better in you craft.

And finally, you can’t perfect something if you don’t have other’s input about it.

 

Rejection Doesn’t Happen that Often

Here’s the thing, you’ve probably already interacted with plenty of people in your life. Hundreds, if not thousands of people. From all of those people, how often have you really dealt with rejection?

In fact, what life actually tells us is that people are going to be indifferent about what you’re doing more than they’ll actually reject it.

The main reason that I think people reject something is that it starts out being seeing as one thing and then, for whatever reason, it changes.

For example – New Coke.

How many New Coke situations have you heard of in your life? Not many! (I’m still not too thrilled about them changing Coke Zero to Coke Zero Calorie. It’s not the same thing!)

If you’re newly putting yourself out into the world, people are going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re new.

Plus, there’s a heck of alot more supportive people in the world than trolls.

 

Your Soul Won’t Settle

Take it from me. Ever since I heard from Pat Flynn about the online business world in 2009, I’ve been wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Here it is, 2017, and I’m still not to the level I’d like to be. BUT I will mention that things are going better than i would have expected a year ago at this time.

I now have a plan for the future.

But I wouldn’t have had that plan if I hadn’t have taken action.

I would be still wondering “Can I? Will I? Should I?”

And frankly, that wasn’t going to cut it… for the rest of my life.

So, if you already have that aching suspicion that you’re supposed to be doing something else than you’re already doing – and you continue to put it off, then you’re always going to have to fight those demons.

Do yourself a favor and get started as soon as you can in doing the work that you’re meant to do.

Your mission is waiting for you.

Action Steps

If you’re in that place right now, whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or not and you’re not sure if you’re ready for the next big thing…

Ask yourself this one question.

What does my gut tell me I need to do next?

If it’s telling you to get up and do something different, then do whatever it is.

If you think it might help, make a mission statement. Let the world know that this is who you and who you see yourself becoming. Not tomorrow, but eventually.

If you need help figuring out what your mission is, check out this interview with David Anderson. It’s quickly becoming one of my go to episodes as I answer this insecurity issue from time to time.

sales skills

Mark Boersma – Developing your Sales Skills: Why Business Systems are Huge in Making Predictable Revenue (AoL 106)

You always hear about people “systematizing” their work. However, so many of us, especially us solopreneurs, don’t take the time to do that. Sure, we might write an SOP if we hire a virtual assistant (if we’re smart), but when it comes down to our creative work we never take the time to think about what might be easier if we actually detail out what gets results.

As you’ll find out in the interview of Mark Boersma, he started systemizing early on. Having an analytical mind, he out thought his problem and now teaches others how to turn sales, which can seem like an intangible skill, into something that’s very step by step.

In today’s chat, Mark discusses with me why he had to figure this system out, what the results of it gave him, and how knowing personalities plays into the success of this system.

Enjoy!

 

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why did Mark get three bachelor degrees? 10:41
  • Did he feel that going to college was a detour of what he should be doing in his career? 13:22
  • When he got out of school, why did he immediately go for a 100% commission paid position? 15:02
  • What was the first tool that he made which systematized his sales? 20:35
  • How does knowing about personalities useful in making sales? 23:44
  • What’s the accuracy percentage of the personality assessment he uses with people? 30:54
  • What are some of the things Mark is looking forward to in the future with Synergy Solutions? 35:51
  • Who are 3 influencers who have helped him get to where he is today? 41:38
  • What is a scientific fact that he knows his true but still blows him away? 42:49
  • What’s an unwritten rule that should actually be written today? 43:55
  • What’s something that he belives all high school students must know? 45:18
  • What does it mean to live a life of abundance? 46:39
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Mark and Tom interviewed by the Milwaukee’s Morning Blend:

Introduction to Personality Masteries:

Mark on Thinkers vs Doers:

ClickFunnels Viral Ad 2017:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!