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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!

 

achieving the dream

Achieving the Dream – Why One Degree Makes All the Difference

I recently got the opportunity to spend some time with Harrison and Dr. Ping up at Purdue. We had a chance to see a lot of the change that is going on around campus – and… man, there’s a lot!

While we were exploring a bit, we also paid a visit to the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. Whenever someone’s new to the area, that’s one of my go to places because it’s been a Purdue establishment since 1929. In fact, it’s such a local treasure that Guy Fieri visited it back in 2007 for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

achieving the dream

After leaving there, we went to meet up with one of my business mentors – Mike Cassidy – on campus.

As Mike was chatting with us about our plans, we came to a part of the discussion where we were talking about his students and members of the Amplify Hope program.

Something got stuck in my mind about both groups of people. I realized that they were trying to build their dreams without fully having a real plan in place. They’re doing what they’re doing because their emotions are telling them to. (That’s actually one of the things that Mike helps his students with – getting out of their own head and looking at their business objectively.)

There might be a few minor issues they’ve overlooked, but over time those minor bugs can lead to huge problems.

 

Why One Degree Can Make a Huge Difference

These minor issues might not seem like a big deal. I mean, a few minor tweaks going along the way and the problems they might cause can be mitigated, right?

Well, sure.

However, if they’re not taken care of, then we’re looking at problems that might be noticed until it’s too late.

The traditional illustration of this principle is one of distance traveled:

Let’s say you’re going somewhere and you’re off course by just one degree. After one foot, you’ll miss your target by 0.2 inches. Trivial, right? But what about as you get farther out?

 

  • After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
  • After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
  • After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.
  • If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you’d end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away.
  • Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you’d miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.
  • etc…

 

See what I’m talking about?

In real life, this can mean the difference of creating a business or nonprofit that is sustainable or pursuing a mission that makes someone take a 2nd or 3rd mortgage out on their house.

The key is to not let emotions and the pursuit of passion get in the way of our own success.

 

Delusions of Passion

David Anderson and Mark Nathan spoke in detail about this in their book, The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success.

In the book they argue that there’s several delusions we Millennials struggle with.

  • Where there is Passion, There is No Pain
  • Where there is Passion, There are No Problems
  • Passion Precedes Total Commitment
  • You Must Be Passionate About the Process
  • Living Passionately Is all About You

When we believe one of these delusions, we’re knocking our navigation off by a degree or more from the very beginning!

 

Action Steps

If you haven’t had the chance to read this book, here’s the link. Also, I’ve had both Mark and David on the podcast to discuss their perspectives a bit further.

I imagine it’d be worth your time to see if any of these perspectives are sabotaging your efforts to get to where you want in your career in life.

5 Levels of Leadership

The 5 Levels of Leadership: A Way to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

You guys know that I’m a big student of leadership. Heck, I even got my masters in the subject! As such, one of my favorite influencers is John Maxwell, and I once heard this really interesting lesson of his.

He called it the 5 Levels of Leadership.

Since the time I’ve learned about these levels of leadership (and posting this post on December 19, 2010), it’s helped me put a few things in perspective when it comes to not only seeing my progression, but recognizing where other influencers are at in their journey. By using this simple tool, among others, I keep myself from comparing where I’m at in my journey to where they’re at.

If you find yourself comparing your level of influence to others on social media and it bums you out, then you should definitely consider changing this habit!

You shouldn’t feel like you’re in a competition with them. Instead, you should use them for inspiration. Chances are good that they’ve had a longer journey and during that journey have had to go through each one of these checkpoints.

What’s great is that you can too!


As you all know, I’m a fan of John Maxwell. A really REALLY big fan. And I believe the main reason why is that I’ve always been interested in what makes a successful leader successful.

One of the key things to note about being a leader is that, according to Dr. Maxwell, leadership and the ability to influence others are basically the same thing. So in many, if not all, of his talks and writings, he will say that leadership IS influence.

With that said, it’s pretty obvious why one would want to be a leader. Just think, the more you lead, the more people that will agree with what you believe (for their own reasons)!! So really, your ability to influence others is a huge part of being successful not only in life, but also in business.

So how does one become a leader? Well, you can definitely wing it as many people do. You can have natural charisma (or any other leadership traits) and just get by OR, like anything else, you can learn to be one – A great one.

For me, I have had to relearn to be one – a real one. Not a guy who simply manipulates people to do what he wants them to do. Neigh, I mean a real leader who leads by example. A leader who pulls people with him and not pushes them. (Side note: people who push people where they don’t necessarily want to be often lose those people because they have pushed them too far.)

So answering the question… one becomes a leader by understanding key principles of leadership and practicing them. It’s as simple as that. Part of those key principles is the 5 Levels of Leadership. A note about these levels is that they are somewhat linear. Many times you must lead someone through level 1 before they are really in level 2 or 5 for that matter. However, this is not always the case.

5 Levels of Leadership:

Level 1.) Leadership from Position

This leadership level is the most basic. Many times it is usually not earned. One person has a title that another person does not. And because of this, one person reports to the other person. An example of this would be two people working at a restaurant. One has title of manager, the other has the title of line member. More often than not, the line member reports to the manager what they need to know and that’s it – without much feedback. Often with this level, there is minimum rapport because the person.

Level 2.) Leadership From Respect

This leadership level is just a notch higher than positional leadership. This level is where people start following another because they actually want to! The key to this position in leadership is that the leader shows that they care before the followers are interested in what the leader knows. You can begin to grow professionally as an organization when people follow you on their own.

Level 3.) Leadership from Results

People follow you not only because they want to, but also because of what you have accomplished.  Your group/organization will start to see what’s possible because you’ve actually accomplished a few things! And guess what? As a result, morale will rise even further than it was at the respect level.

Level 4.) Leadership from People Development

At this level of leadership, people follow you because of what you, as the leader, have done for them personally. Loyalty is key. At this point, the leadership has not only lead the organization to better things, but it has lead to the people themselves growing as leaders. Also, successful leadership at all levels is has an underscored by a win-win philosophy.

Level 5.) Leadership from Mentorship

At this point the leader is definitely respected. He has spent years developing other people and the organization. As a leader you are bigger than life and your success is shown through a life of accomplishment. Because not many people get to this level, people seek your knowledge for the success of other organizations.

In the end, success in leadership can be accomplished by any one. Something that is important to note is that the higher up in the levels a leader is, the longer it takes for that leader to get their own results and the more important it is for them to be aware of the leadership levels themselves.

If you’d like to know more about Leadership in general, for a starting point I highly recommend checking out John Maxwell’s Book – Becoming a Person of Influence.


Actions Steps

So where do you fall? How do you think you could get to the next level?

Even if you’re not actively comparing yourself with other influencers online, this is still a good way to measure where you’re at on that leader journey. As I’ve said in the past, all of us creators who have a message, product, or service that we want to give to the world… we’re eventually going to be leaders. It’s those of us who are aware that influence is leadership who will make the most impact.

So, have it. Let us know where you’re at in your journey below!

vision and mission

Climb Your Mountain: How to Develop Your Own Vision and Mission

I’ve been having a lot of meaningful conversations with new members of the Junto. And it seems like a lot of us who ARE mission driven are because at some point in our working career we asked “Is this all there is to life? Working in the same cubical each day? The same factory? Same ol’ town?”

The truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

 This post (originally posted on July 20th, 2012) answers this specific question. I felt it needed a good polish!


So guys, I saw this post submitted by svrtngr on reddit

“Long story short, I got a full time job through a temp agency. The contract is for six months with the option to be kept on beyond that. At first I was really happy to have a job, but now I feel weird. Odd.

Is this it? Work full-time in a cubicle for long hours and get home too tired to do anything else for fifty/sixty years until you can “retire”?Because I’m not sure if I can handle it. Where does the fun and excitement come from? What else is there?”

Your Mission is Everything

Originally, this post made me upset. The one thing about reddit is that it’s completely anonymous. The advice that he was getting was generalized stuff we’ve all heard before. “You need to get out more and find out what makes you come alive and do that.”

That’s… helpful. But it’s pretty vague.

I personally thought he needed more help. Specifically he needed to work on finding his vision by working on his clarity.

Your Vision leads to Your Mission

I remember when I was in grad school, I realized that not everyone wants to be on top of the same mountain that I wanted to be on top of. At that same time, I realized that not everyone has the desire to climb their own mountain in the first place.

This realization blew me away.

From early on in life, I always knew that I wanted to do something that made an impact for other people through technology.

I just wasn’t sure how I was going to do that. That’s what I hoping to learn in college.

What I learned there, however, is what I didn’t want to do! I wasn’t going to make it as a typical 9 to 5’er. My internal clock doesn’t work that way and I always found my mind wandering anytime I was in a job.

Likewise, svrtngr needed to start from the beginning too.

His first step should be figuring out what he likes to do and learn about. After which, he can build his life and work around the life he sees for himself.

In short, he needs to assess what his Passions and Purpose are. From there, he can devise a Plan and Process.

Our vision is derived from our passion (interests) and purpose (where we fit in the world). We can determine our vision once we figure these other two things out.

From there, you devise a some early goals and and take dumb action. During this initial action sequence, it’s your job to find out what works and what doesn’t.

After repetitive attempts,  that’s where you can start to systematize and define your process!

Don’t Forget About Generational Patterns and the First Agreement

In previous writings, I wrote about the millennial generation being called the “lost generation”. If you believe in the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory, then you’d believe that this generation is the next Hero Generation.

Here’s a bit of an explanation of this theory:

Kind of a disconnect there between those two names, right? One name sounds pretty passive while the other one is getting to work and does what needs to be done.

The reason that many people become part of this particular lost generation is that they’ve been told what they need to do with their lives from day 1. They have allowed the world to program them. They’ve never programmed themselves.

A good part of one of my all time favorite books, The Four Agreements, talks about being yourself. Actually it says, Be Impeccable With Your Word. Essentially, what it’s saying is we need to learn how to be ourselves.

Any actions we are doing is because of who we are. Not because of what the world programs us to be.

What does this mean in real talk?

It means that if we are constantly playing any sort of victim card – from “Oh, I live in a small town so I can’t do big business” to “I’m a certain color of skin, the world is against me.” then you’re probably right.

With that mentality, David Anderson says while it make us feel good in the moment, it will never allow us to amount to much. This mentality will keep us down as long as we continue to let it to.

So let it out and let it go.


Action Steps

So, guys. In essence, how can you get started on your way of doing what you’re supposed to be doing?

First thing – give yourself permission to be great. Cause if you can’t do that, you won’t be. Next, figure out what you like to do in this world. Figure out how you can use it to add value to others.

Next, plan on how you’re going to do that. For me, I really love pulling people out of the Matrix and helping them become better at helping others. How are you going to help people with your skills and interests? (If you think your skills and interests aren’t monetizable – they are. Remember that some of the biggest YouTubers are video game players!)

And then from there, just fine tune what you offer to what the market wants. Not what you’re about – but if there’s a pain, solve the pain for people if you can.

If you guys need additional help with any of this process, I’m going to be releasing an upcoming resource in the Junto: Finding Your Personal Mission: A Quick Guide to Inner Fulfillment. At least right now that’s the running title. In it, I’ll have 27 questions to help you find your passions, purpose, and a potential process – 9 questions for each.

When it’s done, I’ll have it in there as a resource.

Also, as you might know I’m a John Maxwell fan. He wrote a book called Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It. I can’t recommend this book enough. I always suggest this to all my past students and clients struggling with connecting their dreams and businesses.

Anyhow, I hope this helps! You got this guys!

remembering 9 11

Remembering 9/11: Refocusing on the More Important Things

It’s September 12th again. The day after 9/11. How are you feeling? What’s on the top of your mind? Business plans? Getting out of your day job on time? Lots of things going on, I’m sure.

Let’s slow down a little bit. Let me ask you a question.

Did you have the chance to watch any of the memorial services for 9/11 yesterday? Why or why not?

I did – and here’s what I got to share with you.

 

Remembering 9/11

Since the World One Trade Center has been finished, I’ve noticed that every year they read the names of the victims of 9/11. They might have been doing it longer than that, but I didn’t realize it because I was too busy. With college and then with work after I graduated.

Why did I watch? I didn’t lose anyone in the tower. Heck, I don’t know if I knew anyone that was affected by it at the time it happened.

So why did I watch? I guess the simple answer is that I wanted to remember. Remember where I was and what was going through our minds at the time.

 

When I was growing up, before that point, I didn’t know what it was like to be witness of a life changing event.

My mom had always been able to tell me very vividly about her whereabouts for the assassination of JFK. Similarly, she could remember where she was for other “world shattering” events including the Challenger explosion, when she heard of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and others.

While I’m sure everyone here in the United States can remember where they were at in their lives at that point (if they were alive), I know that not everyone gets the chance to reflect on that day. As mentioned, I didn’t for several years.

 

Remembering 9/12

For most folks, 9/11 isn’t a holiday. Nor is it a celebration. However, I believe that it needs to be remembered and reflected on annually. Not because of the event itself. But what happened the day after.

Just as Texans and the rest of America drove to aid the victims of recent hurricane Harley and the upcoming storm Irma this past week, so did people on 9/12. Local fire and police departments as well as everyday people from all corners of the country went to go help as much as they could.

The acts of 9/11 made us come together and act as one.

 

In 2009, Glenn Beck created the 9/12 Project to reflect upon those selfless actions and who we were at that point in history. Because it seemed that we had too easily forgotten those times.

It being Glenn and the polarizing person he was at the time (he has since apologized for his actions during that time), I don’t think he was able to reach those that needed to hear the message.

And, as you can tell from this video, it’s hard to tell if he won any new friends with those that did hear about it.

While I feel that his heart was in the right place, I think the 9/12 Project missed the mark for most people.

 

The Grocery Store Method of Reasoning

However, he did manage to get my attention. My mom followed him quite a bit – however, I tended to focus more on business type stuff at the time.

Upon hearing this message, though, I did start thinking it was necessary to become more involved in my community. I think it was due to this that I eventually became a member of the Freemasons.

However, not everything he said applied to me, and I think this is where a lot of people have hang-ups in today’s world.

Just because someone says something which doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean that other things that they’re talking about are false or that they’re completely unagreeable.

In fact, most people have more things in common than we don’t have – regardless of where they are in life.

Just as if you were getting groceries, it’s your job to NOT take everything you see at face value. Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean you should include it in your thought process.

On that same note, simply because something might not agree with you, it doesn’t mean it’s not true or good for you (just like broccoli!).

It’s up to us to see the context of where the message is coming from. And what’s great is that the more Truth we know, the easier it is for us to make a decision based on the context AND message.

 

Finding Truth in the 9/12 Project – Refocusing on the Important Things

So let’s look real quick on what Glenn said about the 9/12 Project. First, he has 9 key principles that we should follow if we were to be a part of the project. Knowing that he’s a pretty spiritual (and religious) dude, I wasn’t surprised to find references to God.

If we take that into context and actually see what he’s saying AND not take it personal (One of the Four Agreements), what can we pull from his message? What the heck is he really saying?

Let’s take a look.

 

America is good.

Yeah, I’d say so. I mean, again, after seeing us come together for the victims of recent hurricanes – I think we’re good. Now, the government, on the other hand… that’s another story, but I think Americans are good as a people.

 

I believe in God and He is the center of my life.

So here’s my take on religion – it’s not for everybody. Most people that it’s not for – they say that religious types don’t practice what they preach. I don’t personally know BAD Christians. Do they exist? Sure. But there’s bad versions of every group out there.

I think this is where most stereotypes come from. But, because they exist doesn’t necessarily make them “normal”.

So let’s talk straight normal person to normal person here.

Perhaps Glenn could have said “I have a core set of principles and I act on those principles on a consistent basis. My life is based on those principles.” to make it a little more all inclusive.

In that frame, I think many of us would agree that we have core principles which we use to define our lives.

 

I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

Yes, of course. Lying to yourself and others ultimately only screws things up. Truth is pure. While some people might get upset at it, that doesn’t mean it’s any less-true.

Big word of advice – start seeking the Truth. Listen to all sides of the story and make up your own mind – not what one particular media source tells you to think.

 

The Family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

This is another of those points that could have worded a bit better. Instead, it could have read “My spouse and I care for and are responsible for the actions, values, and beliefs of our family. Not the government.”

This I agree with because I don’t think it’s the government’s job to make things “fair”. I’ve never seen the government build up any one group. I’ve only seen them tear down others when one group is crying the loudest. That’s the opposite of being fair in my book.

 

If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

Yes. Totally with that.

 

I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

Totally true. There’s also no guarantee that starting points are the same. And what’s ironic, is that I’ve seen more people go from broke to being wealthy, than I’ve seen middle class becoming wealthy. Gary V is a great example – so are a ton of online business folks – AND people I’ve had on the podcast.

 

I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

Yes – totally agree with this. See above. But I think it’s also our own responsibility to know when to be charitable. That’s not something that society teaches. In fact, I’d say that it teaches the opposite most of the time. Every day people are inundated with the idea that it’s them vs the World. It indirectly promotes the scarcity mindset – not an abundant one.

 

It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

Agree. That’s the whole point of protection of free speech and ability to bear arms. While that allows for some very hate filled rhetoric, it also allows for well intentioned speech at the same time. The reason that we can bear arms is that if Washington ever becomes so removed from the people that it’s us against them (or some other apocalyptic situation), then we have the permission of the founders to have our own militias. If you don’t support Americans keeping firearms, then it comes across that you 100% believe the government is never going to turn on you. Which moves onto…

 

The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

Yes, 100%. Even when it comes to taxes and other “governmental” stuff. We technically should have the power to determine what we’re being taxed. However, Washington thinks they’re better than us, so therefore, they vote things into place that shouldn’t have happened if they were doing their job in the first place.

 

12 Values of the 9/12 Project

Honestly, all the values that he put in the list are those that Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins, or someone similar (I can get you a long list if you really want one!) would have said helped them get to where they are today – especially if they’re God fearing folks.

So, I’ve made it a point to make sure that I have these values as much as possible. However, there might have been a little bit of tweak on some for better wording.

 

The 12 Values

 

After looking at these values, do you believe that anyone who has achieved greatness in their life doesn’t practice them regularly? I mean, when I think of Lewis Howe’s show and the people he’s talked to – all of these words come to mind.

 

Action Steps

After seeing these principles and values of the 9/12 project, I hope you can understand why I feel I need to respect those that we lost on 9/11. We should also appreciate how we came together to deal with it all. Personally, I feel if I can reconnect to those feelings, it helps keep me anchored to who I see myself as.

 

Also, it’s especially touching to see some of the kids of these folks read off the victim’s names. Lots of these folks (some near my age) have made their lives better as a contribution to their lost parent, family member, or friend.

 

I can only think that our true friends and family would want the best for us. And because of that, I think it’s on our shoulders to live up to some certain standards in life. If not those of the 9/12 Project, then something else.

I just think the 9/12 Project is a good place to start. A lot of people can relate to it – even if they don’t care too much for its creator.

What are some key principles and values that you have? Let me know below.

local advertising

JR Rivas – Leveraging Creative Marketing in Local Advertising: What a 23 year Old Did to Create a 6 Figure Digital Marketing Agency (AoL 104)

Most entrepreneurs think, at some point, about the ability to strike it rich one day doing whatever is that they’re doing.

In my Amway days, a good question I remember being asked was “Doing the job that you’re doing, could the income they’re making ever be obtainable?”

Most of the time the question was answered “No.”. And I believe that kept many people believing that Amway was the one ticket to the life they dreamed about.

Today’s guest, had a similar wake up call. He realized that to get to where he wanted to be in life, he had to learn how to sell things.

That lead him through a journey of all kinds of jobs, businesses, and online opportunities.

This past year, he found something he could help people with – creating sales funnels.

In this chat, we discuss how he came to that realization. We also discuss why he believes that building sales funnels is one of the most lucrative out-of-the-gate businesses a new entrepreneur can start today.

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What was the Digital Nomad Excelerator? 10:48
  • What was it like growing up for JR? Where did his inspiration come from? 14:20
  • What kept JR from going the traditional college route? 21:11
  • How did tax preparation come into the mix? 28:02
  • How did he expand his tax business so quickly? 31:46
  • How did JR get started in online business? 33:30
  • What’s the best way for people to get started in online business in 2017? 41:54
  • In his opinion, what is the clearist way to having a successful online business today? 46:26
  • What’s the point of Facebook groups going into archive mode and what are some ways of growing them? 51:31
  • Who are his 3 favorite influencers? 56:31
  • One thing under $100 that has changed his life? 57:04
  • What is a topic that should be discussed more often? 57:36
  • What would he do if he woke up as his 10 year old self tomorrow? 58:34
  • Secret to achieving personal freedom? 1:02:20
  • … 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:

JR on CBS talking about What He Does:

JR speaks with Dan about how he made $10k in a month:

Facebook Ads for Entrepreneurs Review by JR and Arne:

JR on Why You’re Landing Page isn’t Converting:

JR RivasJR Rivaslocal advertisinglocal advertising


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education reform

Education Reform: Why It’s Important for Creatives to Get Involved

With everything that’s been going on in the news cycle, I thought it’d be a great time to bring up the topic of education system reform. Seems this topic isn’t discussed nearly as much as it could be.

I believe that our current education system is part of the problem in both the National Socialist vs International Communist debate as well as people not seeking appropriate shelter from Hurricane Harvey. Personally, in my teens and twenties, for example, I wouldn’t have stuck around to get hit by a hurricane. And when it comes to protests, even when I felt the need to get involved with one, I would have ducked out whenever it got violent and the police showed up.

Today, in both situations, people are playing the role of victim and not taking responsibility for their own actions. They’re saying that the government needs to take more control and tell them or the other side what to do.

The question is… can you blame them? Not necessarily.

In recent years, it appears that the greater education system has practically said it’s ok to act this way. (Safe spaces anyone???)

However, I don’t believe that’s the truth. And in fact, successful people are only successful based on their own desires and efforts. They’re the ones who have put in the extra time and commitment to make their dreams come true.

Sure others help them along the way, but it’s because they made the initial effort to do more in life. Once they began on their own journey, they met people along the way who were going in the same direction.

So how can we make the world a better place? Help change how students are educated.

Changing Education for the Better

What does that even mean?

Since this post was originally published on October 14, 2010, I’ve heard of various schools doing better work with their students. Traditional schools are starting to make classes that help their students realize their full potential.

Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the norm.

In fact, in Indiana, we still have what are called Core 40 diplomas. To many, it might be considered common sense to educate people in a well rounded manner. However, sometimes that model simply doesn’t work. Some of the individuals who are on the route to get a Core 40 diploma might have done better in a field that school can’t even touch; such as learning how to be a performing artist, an athlete, community leader, or even being a great business builder. (Personally I’m a knowledge junkie, so school was always a drug for me… except for the tests!)

Discussing Possible Solutions:

In the below RSA Animate, I wanted to share with you a video which introduced me to a guy by the name of Sir Ken Robinson. Great guy and has totally changed my perspective in why public education needs to be separated from public schooling.

It was after listening to him, that I was able to start putting two and two together. Soon after, I was re-introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk (not the Wine Library version, but instead the version we know today). If you didn’t know, Gary is completely for Education Reform (start at 12:30):

And then, I was later introduced to the School Sucks Project with Brett Veinotte. Here’s the first episode of the show from 2009. Later in the show’s life, it kinda went away from why I originally tuned in – but those first 20 or so episodes are great material.

 

Something Else to Consider

In many states, the classes that are usually cut first in public schooling are not your STEM classes. They’re not the reading, writing, or social studies classes either. For many systems, they are the “optional” classes. This includes the art, the music, and other “special” classes. You can clearly see which classes are more important to various school boards based on the classes they cut. The problem is that there are students who excel in these special classes more so than the other classes they’re in. That being the case, you can probably understand why I’ve never really been a fan of the “No Child Left Behind” act.

Generally speaking, its result has been to limit everyone’s potential to the same standardized schooling.

So why are these classes the ones normally on the chopping block? I believe it’s because many standardized tests are primarily focused on testing upon vocabulary, math, and writing. The better these test scores are in primary schooling, the better a student can perform in secondary schooling. After being in secondary school myself as a student for 9 years, I realized one main thing about learning in a “formal” secondary education: it makes you better at following orders and instructions. It makes you better suited to work a job.

 

Changing the Education System

Government isn’t the Answer:

So, I believe it’s up to us – the Creatives, the Entrepreneurs, the Rebels – whatever you want to call us – to start coming up with alternative methods of educating those around us.

The world is moving too quickly to let the old system continue to be the primary method of education. Not only that, but those who are in control of it, have no problem teaching its students that it’s ok to rely on the government to provide security.

That’s not what the government is for.

We Need to Empower People’s Individual Strengths – Not Give a One Size Fits All Solution:

In the past five years, I have become even more aware that there are other talents that could be measured for intelligence. However, for one reason or another they are not. And, in fact, the evidence is piling up.

Outside of the types that IQ measures (being linguistic verbal and logical mathematical), nine different types of intelligence have been identified.

Many private primary and secondary school systems have taken note of this as well. They have started to focus on developing intellectual leaders in different fields of intelligence. I’m convinced that making this a vital part of education is the answer to making any country, including the U.S., a player in the new economy.

However, most students still go through the traditional education curriculum that is still rated by a very narrow measure. This worries me. I find it disconcerting that many students are still being taught and measured in a way that is only useful in following directions. The problem today is that with the today’s global economy, this mindset has given us a 10% unemployment rate.

I believe the longer that this goes unchecked, the higher our future unemployment rates will go. It will be the result of an ever increasing ratio of people who should be taught to excel at their strength vs those who are mentored in their natural strengths. In other words, there will be a heck of alot more people trying to take orders than giving them.

Conclusion:

So here’s the bottom line.

It’s been 8 years since I got my masters. It’s been 5 since I haven’t taught in formal education.

I don’t believe it’s totally fair to try and pin every one down in one or two measurements of intelligence. Especially when we’re told by so many people that we need to celebrate our differences.

But funny enough, that’s what the US’s Prussian Education based system focuses on doing.

We have to help others get more creative. Period. We can’t rely on the schooling system to do it. In fact, we have to separate public education from public schooling.

Lack of creativity is hurting the US. If the US is in trouble, the rest of the world can’t be doing so hot. People still come here to get away from the crap that’s going on in their homelands.

We have to remain the the shining city on the hill.

So that being the case – I’m curious. Are you connected to public primary or secondary schooling? Have you seen any signs of a change to focus more on building students in other types of intelligence? If so, what results do you predict from that change?