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Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers

Also known as: Why I Fired My Email List Provider

Link: Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers

For more than 8 years I used the same email provider. At one time, long ago, they were the best in the business. As the years went by, they became… well, definitely not the best. I had countless frustrations, including one time where the whole system was down for several days and the company only acknowledged the disaster after people complained.

Still, I resisted change, because change is hard—or so I thought. Over the past few years, a good friend of mine named Nathan Barry has been developing a new service that promised to fix many of the frustrations I had with the larger company that slowly declined over time.

I was skeptical at first, because, well, change is hard. But I finally decided to give Nathan’s service a try, and I was impressed right away. It’s much, much better than every other service I’ve seen, and depending on how you use it, it can be cheaper too.

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Build a Business Where You Can’t Get Fired

Link: Webcomic Entrepreneurs

A while back, a friend of mine who worked in publishing was laid off. He was at the height of a career and by all accounts had done an excellent job for his employer. He lived in New York City, perhaps the center of the universe for many things, but definitely not known for being affordable. Oh, and he also had a large family, with at least two kids who would be going to college soon.

When he was laid off, I thought, “Wow, if that can happen to him, it can happen to nearly any employee.”

Thankfully, he’s landed on his feet and now works in a senior role with another publisher. Still, what if there was a better way?

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Get 175,000 Points + $500 in Travel Rewards from Business Cards

Link: Enhanced Business Platinum Card

Link: Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Card

Link: SimplyCash Plus Business Card ($500 Credit)

Once again, it’s raining points and miles—a bunch of new travel hacking offers have hit the market all at once, offering you the chance to earn up to 175,000 miles (or more depending on how you count it) and an additional $500.

There's been some confusion about all these AmEx offers, so I thought I’d break down the most attractive ones and also clarify something. Let’s start with the clarification: these are marketed as business card offers, but if you’re eligible for U.S. credit cards, you’re probably eligible to get at least one of these.

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From Bad News to Whole Foods: One Woman’s Path to Entrepreneurship

A stay-at-home mom turned foodpreneur, Sundara Clark called on years of experience in the industry to fill a hole in the dessert aisle. After getting a lactose intolerance diagnosis for her daughter, Sundara set to work creating an organic, vegan, paleo gelato that her daughter could enjoy, without any of the mom-guilt.

After five years as a stay at home mom, I was ready to jump back into the economy. Only problem was, in Humboldt, California where I was living, jobs were few and far between. Since I wasn’t inclined to be a lumberjack or marijuana farmer, I knew I was going to have to strike out on my own. I just wasn’t quite sure what that was yet. I’ve worked in all parts of the food industry - served in restaurants, made fancy desserts, and done sales and purchasing for a food distributor. While I was growing up, my mom worked as a distributor for a then-fledgling company called Odwalla. In retrospect, it makes sense that I got into the food business, but it actually started with a bit of bad news.

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Is There a Hole in Your Bathtub?

Imagine that you’re filling your bathtub for a nice relaxing soak. You’ve got the water on full blast at just the right temperature, and the soap suds are perfectly proportioned. Yet there’s a problem: the water rises to a decent level, but never quite tops out to where you’d like it. Despite leaving the water on and stepping away for a while, nothing changes.

Then you realize the source of the problem: there’s a hole in the drain. It may just be a small one, but it’s a hole—water disappears down it in one direction only, never to return.

What do you do? You could leave the water on full blast for the entire soak, which might not be that relaxing. Or you could try to fix the problem by plugging the hole.

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“Freedom is the ability to travel”: Creating Multiple Sources of Income as a Millennial

evan3 Evan Tarver is a location-independent entrepreneur who, through multiple income streams and careful business growth, has the freedom to travel nationally and internationally. Right now he’s in Austin, but who knows where he’ll be next month!

Fresh out of college, I tossed aside a degree in Finance and Economics to take a retail management job with Target because it paid well (mistake!). Well, you guessed it, my happiness quickly waned and I decided to pull up roots, quit my job, and travel Europe until my bank account ran dry. And so I did, traveling to more than 7 countries and maxing out my last credit card to change flights from Geneva to Paris to make it home in one piece.

These days I'm a San Francisco-based millennial-entrepreneur who faces constant success and failure. I’m passionate about both writing and entrepreneurship for the collective freedom they afford. While a lot of my contemporaries in Silicon Valley are caught up in the "scale or die mentality," I focus on building my businesses very carefully so that they give me the freedom I covet. For me, freedom is the ability to travel.

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Woman Finds Her Dream Job in the Land of Milk and Honey

After 10 years, multiple career moves, and dozens of job titles, Nicole Buergers has finally found her dream job as an entrepreneurial beekeeper and cheesemonger. Have you ever heard of such a combination? Here's how she tells the story:

While I have my dream job now, it’s taken quite a peculiar journey to get here. Throughout my life I've juggled multiple jobs at once and been "the queen of the side hustle." Normally, I would have a 9-5 job to pay the bills and at least one part-time passion job on the side.

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Catch Pokémon for Fun and Money: Lessons in Paying Attention

File under: entrepreneurship is everywhere.

And so are Pokémon hunters. No matter where you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen them—and maybe you are one of them, staring at your phone while walking through the streets in search of winged creatures.

Or maybe you think the Pokémon craze is silly. Personally, I think it’s interesting to see how quickly it caught on, with millions of players all over the world, as well as how it encourages people to get out and walk more, since Pokémon are clustered around parks and other walkable areas.

I enjoyed this article about how some enterprising players have set up digital shop in helping new players “level up” or catch rare Pokémon.

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Limited Time: Get a Free Guide to Online Business

Link: Ramit’s “Ultimate Guide to Online Business” (Free)

Every day I hear from new readers who pick up The $100 Startup, especially around the world as it continues to be published in more and more languages (22 at last count).

The world of people interested in creating personal freedom through entrepreneurship continues to grow. And as it does, many of these people have questions about the best next steps to take.

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Teaching by Example: A Father’s Take on Adventure and Giving Back

Thailand 03 Michael McManus tries to live his life as an example for his daughters. He chooses to fill it with family, adventure, creativity, and giving back.

I am first and foremost a husband and father. I'm also a photographer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist that has started M2 Photography, Gethrr and Poser Photobooth Co. I love creating portraits where my subjects interact with the chalk drawings. When I'm not photographing weddings, rocking the photo booth, or helping others, I'm with my family.

We believe in intentional living and spending our time purposefully. Whether we're playing tag in our backyard or hiking in Norway, all that matters is that we're together. We constantly talk to our children about fear—about not being afraid to try new things, seeing failure as a stepping stone to success, and living life beyond our limits.

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“The Success I’m Having Now Is What I Planned for Three Years Ago”

The other day I met with a small business owner. Her business is going well, she recently had a successful product launch that brought in a lot of funds and new customers. Awesome!

But what interested me the most is what she said about it: “The success that I’m having now is what I planned for three years ago.”

Three years ago, she set out to build the kind of business she has now. She settled on an area of focus and said no to other opportunities. Then, she took the actions she’d determined were most likely to lead to successes like her recent launch.

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To Succeed in the New, New Economy, Don’t Mail It In

Ever since I wrote about The New, New Economy, I’ve been having lots of interesting conversations with people about it. Readers have also asked that I share more specific recommendations for “what works” now that a lot of online marketing strategies feel increasingly outdated.

I still stand by the general assertion that building relationships and producing quality work are the most important predictors of success, far more than any tactic or “hack.”

As a good way to illustrate this, last week I recorded a podcast for The Art of Charm, founded and hosted by Jordan Harbinger. I’ve known of Jordan for a while and we’ve emailed a bit, but I don’t think we’d ever spoken before. The hour-long conversation covered a lot of ground, and I was especially struck by something he said in the beginning.

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What to Do Now to Succeed in the Future

Link: Online Business Training That Works (Ends Wednesday)

A couple weeks ago I let you know about a popular online business course that's returning to the market. Well, it’s back! And actually, it goes away later this week. (I was a bit behind in following along with the video series—I just caught up and it looks really good.)

There’s still time to join, and if you’re looking for specific training that will help you in the new, new economy—along with a community to support you for years to come—this is a great offer with a lot of value.

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Here’s the Proof of “Live Your Dream”: 40 Case Studies of Online Entrepreneurship

Link: 40 True Stories of Online Entrepreneurship

The other day I mentioned the upcoming relaunch of an extremely popular course on online entrepreneurship. Many readers joined the preview list and have been following along with the free video series—and the course opens its doors tomorrow!

One of the questions I've been hearing since then is: does it work? And related: where’s the proof?

Well, yes—it certainly can work. The proof comes in the form of case studies, stories of real people who’ve been through the training and applied it to their own lives and businesses.

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Online Business Training Returns, More Focused and Better than Ever

Link: Online Business Training

Yesterday I published a long, controversial essay that’s currently making the rounds. In the essay I basically said that it’s no longer business as usual in the world of online publishing, and that what once worked doesn’t work anymore, at least not as well.

Here’s something that’s a clear exception to that. Last year I shared Marie Forleo’s incredibly popular course with many of you. The course is now back in action, or at least it will be soon—and you can follow along with the free video series by joining the email list featured at the link above.

So, what’s up? Well, there are at least three good reasons why this matters.

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