April 13, 2009

Coming Wednesday, April 15: The Secret Formula for Overnight Success

overnight-success

Friends and Readers, if you’ve been with me for a while, you may be wondering about the sequel to the World Domination manifesto.

Blame it on ADD, the book proposal that took 11 drafts, or my habit of flying around the world, but I now have good news — it’s nearly done.

The new manifesto is called 279 Days to Overnight Success, and will launch out to the world on Wednesday, April 15.

Who It’s For and Why I Wrote It

279 Days is not a mass-market publication. It’s free, but it won’t help everyone. Instead, it’s primarily for bloggers, writers, artists, and anyone interested in social media.

Why a specific readership? Because 279 Days is a case study of AONC. I wanted to explain in full detail how I started the site last year, how it grew to a full-time career, and how other people with the same aspirations of getting paid for what they love can do something similar.

There are no affiliate links and nothing for sale in the report. Also, there is no back-end or ‘hidden’ agenda. The agenda is simple: I want to help more people create unconventional careers, and I want to expand my network. If you like the report, then I’ll ask you to help me spread the message. That’s it.

By the way, I realize that not everyone wants to support themselves through online work, so the report will also help if you just want to increase your influence. In my case, I didn’t begin this site to make money — I wanted to establish a platform for my writing and encourage the spread of unconventional ideas. It was only after I had recruited an initial following that I realized I could create additional solutions in the form of products while still continuing to write for free. My thinking is that if you can do what you love and also get paid, so much the better.

The Central Questions

I frequently meet with people who want to know “how it works” — in other words, how do I write full-time, travel the world, and give away 90% of my work for free. I always say that the basics of how it works are right here for all to see. I write for free. I help people for free. I also create products on the side for people who want additional help with specific topics.

That’s really how it works; there is no secret formula. But it’s true that there is a lot of process to it.

Because people want to know the specifics, I decided to write everything down. It started out as a long blog post, but when I came to 20 pages, I decided to use a different format. In the end the report comes to 11,000 words and more than 50 pages. I’ll share the mistakes I made, the things I did right, how much money I make, etc.

In other words, it is highly specific and I’m going for full transparency here. Not everyone will relate, and that’s OK – but I think it will help people who have similar world takeover goals.

Here are the central questions I attempt to answer in the report:

  • How can you make money doing what you love while still being true to your core values?
  • Why do some projects succeed and others fail?
  • If you do want to establish freedom through writing, blogging, or another kind of social media, what is the best use of your time?

Breaking down the answers into a four-sentence super-condensed version, this is what 279 Days will teach you:

  • If you want to, you can create your own full-time career in social media (or otherwise greatly expand your influence)
  • It takes more than 30 days or 12 steps to do this, but you can probably do it in one or two years
  • Unless you can regularly generate enormous levels of traffic, forget about advertising
  • Instead, ask your followers what they want and find a way to give it to them

That’s pretty much it… but as mentioned, there is a lot of process to it. If you don’t know where to start, you’ll probably make a lot of mistakes and false starts — I know I certainly did. Some of the mistakes may be unavoidable, but I like to simplify learning processes to their most basic level. That’s what I’ve tried to do in this report.

How Are You Doing? (“Oh… not bad”)

I’m fortunate to know people from all walks of life. From a financial perspective, I know some people who are extremely successful, and others who are really struggling to make it. I’d say the range of people in my circle now goes from struggling students who make $5,000-$12,000 a year to a couple of business owners who make more than $500,000 a year.

The funny thing is that if you ask, “How are things going?” — referring to their business or their income — they will each give the same, non-specific answer: “Oh…. not bad.” In other words, you won’t know any more than before you asked.

I’m not blaming them for being vague – most of us don’t like to talk openly about money, and beyond a certain point, happiness and money are not highly correlated. But even though everyone has a right to their privacy, the “It’s OK” answer doesn’t really help anyone else who is trying to establish a similar lifestyle or career. Making money isn’t everything (far from it), but naturally any career planning resource should discuss money in an open, transparent manner. That’s what I try to do in the report.

I mentioned recently that there is no competition in this business. The thousands of people who read this article today could start up thousands of new blogs tomorrow, and I would not be harmed in any way. In fact, I would probably benefit since many of them would credit me as a source of inspiration.

(In the 279 Days report, I’m going to name all my sources of inspiration and give credit where credit is due. I’ll also have a follow-up post where I specifically thank more than 20 people who have been of particular help.)

Launch Plan

The report is currently in the hands of Reese Spykerman, designer extraordinaire, who is making it look awesome. As you know, Reese always does great work, but the mockups I’ve seen for this project are especially nice.

On Wednesday morning (9am EST / 6am PST) we’ll launch it to the world. Your FREE copy will be available here for download. Oh, and if you’re on my email list, you might get a sneak preview the evening before.

How You Can Help (If You Want)

The World Domination manifesto was a success because so many cool people helped to spread the word. The last time I checked, it had been downloaded by more than 100,000 120,000 people from 120 countries.

Since the audience is more targeted for this one, I don’t necessarily expect the same reaction to 279 Days. But I do want it to go out in the world and help people. If you have a blog that attracts an audience of other bloggers, entrepreneurs, or artists of any kind, I’d greatly appreciate a link and a review of the report after you’ve read it.

Oh, and I don’t expect my word to be the last on this subject. I have some strong opinions in the report, and I’m sharing my case study so that others can use what they like and improve what they can be better. You’re welcome (in fact, encouraged) to share your own perspective as well.

Next, if you’re active on a social network and you appreciate what I have to say, I’d appreciate an endorsement to your followers. Twitter is now the fourth-largest source of traffic to the site, and every day people join my “6 Ways” newsletter from Facebook even though I don’t even have a Facebook account. The fun thing about social networking is that YOU have more influence among your friends and followers than any so-called expert does.

(This is also why the barriers to entry in new media careers are lower than ever before… but I’m getting ahead of myself. More about that on Wednesday.)

And of course, if you don’t fit into those categories or if the report isn’t for you, no problem. I’ll continue writing my regular articles, and I’m headed out on another big trip next week where I’ll be posting more international travel essays. But for now, this is my project of the quarter… and I’m really glad it’s nearly done.

Thanks, guys. Sorry this one took so long, but I think you’ll like it. See you Wednesday!

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Overnight Success Image by KevinThoule

Comment on this article

22 Responses to “Coming Wednesday, April 15: The Secret Formula for Overnight Success”

  1. Chris,

    I’m ridiculously excited to read this! Thanks for writing it!

    Also, this reminds me, Kyeli and I have a secret project in the works that we’d like to talk to you about. We’ll email you. :)

  2. Sounds like an awesome resource. I look forward to reading it. I’m in the process of trying to create my unconventional career through my blog. It’s a process, but one that I’ve learned so much from. I wouldn’t trade this ride in for any amount of money in the world. Well…maybe 100 million, but I would just use that money to start over, trying to do the same thing.

  3. Ironic release date, just when many of us are paying taxes for all that 9-5 work we do. Looking forward to reading how you do what you do and perhaps taking a few tips for my own little blog.

  4. Thanks all – I’m looking forward to this.

  5. Awesome Chris! Can’t wait to read it and do whatever I can do to help others find you. This blog has been the one blog that makes me feel like I’m not crazy to have quit the business workday world.

  6. Wow, sounds great Chris. Can’t wait to read it and spread the word.

  7. I’d be happy to post a review (with link), and maybe the twenty-odd people who follow me now can say they knew me when…

  8. Great timing, I’ve been wondering about a lot of the issues addressed in this study. It will be useful to me, as I recently started writing a book whose topic is, as far as I know, original. And to promote the book I’d like to use a blog based on principles you’ve outlined here (no BS, 90% for free, and so on).

  9. Very excited, Chris!

  10. Wow!
    I really can’t wait!

    P.S.
    Maybe you should’ve done something similar with the redesign of the website?

  11. ELEVEN drafts?! Noooooooooo!

    That means I’m looking at 15 or 20.

    It’s a good thing I have your damned ebook to look forward to. And a tax refund. And…

    Never mind. I’m pretty happy. And *very* happy for you.

  12. Can’t wait for the big unveiling Chris. I must say, your World Domination manifesto really gave me food for thought and I’m thrilled and grateful to have found you here. I’m new to blogging and am still finding my groove – this new report of yours really sounds a promising tool toward my future creativity and growth.

    ~Namaste’

  13. Am eagerly waiting for the release. BTW, 15 April happens to be my birthday so your new manifesto will be a birthday gift to me! :-)

    Be well and prosper!

  14. I can’t wait for this… I can’t wait to go through it and figure out how to put it to use… And I’ll be more than happy to give you feedback…

    This has been the jumping point to kick myself into going independent… I’ve thought about this for a while but wasn’t sure about the whole logistics of this… And now I’m determined to make my current job as a tech writer, my last day job.
    Here’s to world domination… one free idea at a time…

  15. Chris,

    I am continually humbled by your attitude of giving. I want you to know that you have flipped the switch in my brain—you know, that phase a lot of us go through, where we want to make a heap of money and be “financially free” like the infomercials beckon…

    I want you to know that you’ve made me realize that to achieve wealth you need to create something of value to the world—something that many people can enjoy or use. I had the wrong dream, Chris, and I think many people will agree that they’ve felt the same thing.

    Even though you are across the country from me, you still feel like a mentor to me in ways I cannot claim of others. Keep doing what you are doing, and I can’t wait for your next product.

  16. Very generous. Look forward to reading and sharing.

  17. Looking forward to this one Chris

  18. Chris, if this is the prologue, I can’t imagine how interesting and generous the main act will be. This is such a great thing you’re doing here. Reading the comments, it’s clear other readers also really appreciate it. Thanks a lot! Looking forward to it.

  19. I love your abundance mind set, there are billions of people online they are your potential clients, who cares if there are 10, 20 1000 other sites doing your thing, there are enough clients to go around.

    Looking forward to your report

  20. Looking forward to it and expecting to put in place some of your suggestions.

    “I will take over the world (in a socially conscious fashion)!” she saying, rubbing her hands together and a gleam in her eye…

  21. Looking forward to this. I really enjoy your writing and hope this will give me some ideas of how and what I can share with others!

  22. Chris, in a haphazard, weakly structured way I have been trying for the last 5 years, without any success, to get to where you are at. So you can imagine how much I hope that your plan is going to finally be the one which works.

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