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The New, New Economy: How the World of Online Publishing Is Changing, and Why You Should Care

4383221264_0efdfb700c_z For the past eight years I’ve made a good living through online publishing. I’ve shared much of the journey along the way, but I first documented the overall process in a manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success.

This manifesto went on to have a life of its own, thanks to the generous sharing of readers. Every single day—seven years later!—I hear from people who have found it online and enjoyed it.

And guess what? I think at least some of the lessons I taught so fervently back then are wrong.

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Take the “Born for This” Free Quiz: What Kind of Work Style Suits You Best?

Quiz Link: Take the “Born for This” Free Quiz

Hey, everyone!

My new book, Born for This, goes out into the world in less than 70 days. I’m very excited about sharing the message of “how to find the work you were meant to do” with lots of people all over the world.

You can now take a FREE quiz to learn more about what kind of work style suits you best.

I developed this quiz with my star editor, Talia Krohn, and we worked with our great team of ninjas to put it together.

The process is pretty simple: you’ll answer just 14 easy questions about your preferences. Questions range from what kind of collaboration you prefer, as well as what kind of people drive you crazy in the office.

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Free Webinar Next Week Shows You How to Build a “Weird” Online Business

Link: Free Webinar from Ramit on “Zero to Launch”

A few days ago I mentioned Ramit’s upcoming Zero-to-Launch course. When he offered this course last year, a number of readers signed up for it and reported back with good feedback.

He’s offering the course again starting starting in just a few days.

Even if you don’t care about the course, you can follow along with a free webinar he’s offering next Monday night. Ramit is at his best when going on rants about all the things people do wrong in managing their finances and starting an online business. He's always entertaining and you can usually learn something just by tuning in.

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Free Report on 30 Successful Online Business Ideas

Link: 30 Successful Business Ideas (Free Report)

I’ve been an online entrepreneur for more than 15 years. I know, I’m old—but I do know a thing or two about this industry. People often think that entrepreneurship is about having grand ideas and building a huge team, but some of the best little businesses I’ve found have been totally random and operated entirely by one person.

Sometimes the new business owner continues to keep her job and just does it on the side. Sometimes it grows into something big and mighty, but sometimes it stays small and mighty—and of course, that's great too.

I profiled many of these businesses in The $100 Startup, and continue to write about them on the blog from time to time.

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Make Two Blockbusters for Every Arthouse Film

Consider a successful Hollywood actor. This actor likes to make independent, arthouse films. These films have special meaning to the actor, and he or she believes in them enough to give up a big paycheck to do them.

But this Hollywood actor also makes commercial, popular work. The actor has the prized opportunity to perform a major role in summer blockbusters, the kind of films that rarely win at the Oscars but regularly boost the actor’s stature, not to mention their bank account.

The clash of preferences and opportunities raises numerous questions—most of which miss the point.

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2015 Annual Review: Lessons in Writing and Other Independent Work

I spend as much time as possible working on things I believe in. It’s not all out of compulsion—it’s also because I’m motivated to create and share. I’m happiest when I’m making progress on projects that make a difference in the world, or at least the corner of the world in which I have influence.

This post provides a review and critique of my overall work in 2015.

Previous Posts

For years now, I’ve been saying that I want to become more specific and intentional. The problem is that I’m fairly good at a number of things. I know how to decipher and deconstruct successful solutions in several different fields and areas.

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Three Days of Learning & Community: Last Weekend at Pioneer Nation

21786167469_8c1fd27994_z We did it!

Last weekend I worked with a small and dedicated team to produce our second-ever Pioneer Nation, a gathering of independent entrepreneurs.

For the first time in any big event we’ve done, we took everyone onsite for the entire experience. The event was held at The Resort at the Mountain, a scenic setting near Mount Hood, an hour’s drive from Portland.

Events are a ton of work, but they can also be hugely rewarding. Once again I felt honored and inspired to be surrounded by great people.

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The Best Time Management Strategy: Don’t Find the Time, Find the Why

Over the past few months, I've been interviewing people for my upcoming book on dream jobs. Many of the people I’ve talked to are really busy—they've found or created their dream job, but they also tend to do a lot of other stuff as well. Some of them have side businesses or run ultramarathons on the weekends. Some of them have active family lives. Some of them do all those things... and more.

I don't always ask the same questions of interviewees, but one tends to come up pretty often: "How do you find the time?"

I liked this answer I heard yesterday:

"It's less about how do I find time and more about why do I find time. You'll always find time for things that have a strong enough why."

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Pioneer Nation Arrives in 23 Days: What’s Your Biggest Business Challenge?

Link: Join Us for Pioneer Nation

At the welcome reception for the inaugural Pioneer Nation, we asked our attendees to write their biggest business challenge on a post-it note and stick it to the wall, then say it out loud in front of their peers.

Here’s what they came up with:

We’re very excited to kick off Pioneer Nation again ... in just 23 days!

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How Much Is Your Time Worth? This Free Tool Will Show You

Deciding how you value your time can help you make decisions. But how do you really know what your time is worth?

It’s partly a hypothetical question, because you don’t always get to choose how much money you'll make or how much free time you'll have.

And it’s partly a practical question, because sometimes you do get to choose. Life is all about making choices, some of which are exclusive and limit us from other opportunities.

A free tool guides you to your own answer of "How much is your time worth" in both hypothetical and practical scenarios.

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Pioneer Nation 2015: Registration Now Open!

13460534704_8bddfbb05d_z Link: Three Days to Improve Your Small Business

Last year, we invited 250 independent entrepreneurs (of all kinds) to join us for three days in Portland, Oregon. The first version of Pioneer Nation, the new event, was incredible.

We’re returning in October—and if you'd like to achieve some serious growth in your small business, I’d love for you to join us.

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Pioneer Nation Returns in October: Here’s How You Can Join Us!

Last year we debuted an all-new event to serve independent entrepreneurs and anyone who felt underserved by existing business conferences. We called it Pioneer Nation—and the first gathering was a tremendous success.

We'll be returning in October (just two months from now!) for our second edition. If you'd like to hang out in a mountain resort an hour from Portland, Oregon and learn new skills for taking your business to another level, you can join us.

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Creative Ways to Succeed in the Knowledge Economy

Reading:

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I enjoyed each of these stories that have been floating around.

If you want to be negative, there’s at least one major point you could critique about each of them. The woman making tons of money on Etsy isn’t actually handcrafting most of her items, which is the guiding value of Etsy. The Rideshare Guy is essentially trading time for money. The poets, well, I guess you could say it’s more of a party trick than real poetry.

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To Be More Creative, Schedule Your Work at 80% Capacity

3601990852_541f71970d_z I'm fortunate to work with great partners, including a wonderful design studio right in Southeast Portland called Jolby & Friends.

I was recently with the Jolby crew on a site visit, and one of them mentioned something about how they deliberately operate their studio on an "80% capacity" model.

The idea is that they schedule themselves only 80% full in order to be available for last-minute client requests, as well as their own work. I thought this was really interesting!

I wrote to Steven, the studio manager, to ask more about how it works.

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You Don’t Have to Win at Everything

I had coffee with an aspiring entrepreneur who was struggling with priorities.

“I worry I’m doing everything wrong!” he said.

Everywhere he went, people gave him free advice. They told him about email marketing ... and webinars ... and the latest new social network ... and all the things he had to do to keep up.

"I'm not sure I'll be able to do all these things," he continued. "I can hardly keep up with the list!" Well, that’s the thing. First of all, it’s very hard to fully "keep up" these day. There’s always a new network to learn, a new tool to master. There’s always one more thing that can be done.

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