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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.

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Video Update: Do All Real Jobs Suck?

Hey guys,

I've joined the Mac world, and just as soon as I learn how to right-click, I'll be ready to get back to World Domination. It's amazing what a connection with Steve Jobs and $1,300 can get you at the Apple Store.

Here's the summary of the video: Not all real jobs suck, but many of them do -- so many, in fact, that I hear every day from people who are doing everything they can to escape.

As mentioned in the video, I get a LOT of email. I'll use the video updates to respond and answer questions. Remember, though: there are no experts. I'm calling it as I see it, and you should do the same.

What do you think? If you're working at a real job, do you love it or do you want out as fast as possible?

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Unconventional Business Ideas

lemonade-stand-unconventional-business-ideas The AONC readership has expanded quite a bit recently, and I know that not everyone here cares about business. Even though I’ve made my living as an entrepreneur for more than 10 years, I’d like to let you in on a secret:

I don’t much care for business either… at least, not in the traditional sense.

What I care about instead is business that a) doesn’t feel like work and b) is centered around building real relationships.

Here are a few unconventional business ideas that reflect this philosophy. None of these ideas are truly original (most ideas aren’t), but I’ve tried to gather them together here before writing about them in more detail for future articles.

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The End of Consulting

Rerouted-Stream Hey everyone, it’s time for the new Sunday Store Update. This is a feature where I post a brief update every Sunday afternoon to tell you more about the small business I’m building to support the rest of the site.

I have a no-hype marketing policy, and I ask that you don’t buy anything from me unless you have a clear need for the product. All regular content is ad-free and freely available.

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Influential Following

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“Are you a leader?”

She felt like she had never led anyone before, so she answered the question with an honest “no” and sent in the application. She knew the university was looking for leaders (they had said so in their advertising), so she did not expect to be admitted.

A few weeks later she received this response from the admissions committee:

Dear Applicant,

This year the university will admit 1,455 new leaders to our incoming class. We thought all those leaders would need at least one follower, so we are pleased to grant you admission.

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Working for Yourself: Case Studies Needed

Rerouted-Stream Friends and readers, I’m still going through all the notes you wrote in the recent product development survey.

First of all, GREAT feedback. I’m amazed as usual. I know you’re probably getting tired of hearing this, but I really appreciate the fact that so many of you are enjoying the site.

To be perfectly honest, I hope I never get used to it, because I don’t want to take your time or opinions for granted. I closed the survey at about 300 responses just because I had so much data to look through and I don’t want to miss anyone. I do read every single word you have to say, and we’ll do another survey later on.

So… what did I learn? A lot of things.

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Live from Heathrow Terminal 5: Knowing Your Audience, and a Quick Survey

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Greetings from the colossal series of structures known as Heathrow Airport, 45 minutes from central London on the underground. When the new Terminal 5 opened a while back, it was a huge mess. Thousands of travelers were stranded, the computers failed, and luggage had to be driven to Italy on a truck.

Many months later, Terminal 5 is quite nice. While I’m sure there’s a lesson somewhere in that, at the moment I’m just happy to be traveling again.

After avoiding the U.K. for at least two years due to the drop of the dollar, I’ve returned on a quick stopover between Washington, D.C. and Port Louis, Mauritius. I turned my 7 hours of transit into 31 by moving my onward flight back a day, and then used the extra day to stay with Naomi, Jamie, and Jack Dunford – otherwise known as ittybiz.

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Sitting Out the Global Recession?

Sitting-Out-Recession

I’m about to get on a plane and head out to Washington, D.C. by way of Seattle and Chicago. After a few days there, I’ll begin a longer journey to several countries in Southern Africa. Expect more about the trip later. For now, something else has come up – specifically, the small matter of the global economic recession.

Unless you live on another planet (you never know), I’m going to assume that you’ve noticed it too... and there are probably as many opinions about what’s happening as there are readers of this post. Today I want to look at one specific question:

"Is it possible to completely avoid the effect of a serious global recession?"

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Expanding the Pie

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It’s time for a confession: lately I’ve been stuck in a mindset of scarcity. Instead of focusing on abundance, I’ve been thinking about petty things. Naturally, I don’t like this, but I’m not sure how to fix it.

One of my heroes is Dean Karnazes, the Ultramarathon Man who runs 200-mile relay races as a solo competitor, runs 24-hours straight on treadmills in Times Square, and generally just runs a lot. Like anything else like this, some people “get it” and some people don’t.

I recently listened to a podcast interview with Dean where he was asked about some recent criticism. Apparently some people are upset that other people think he is awesome. Instead of responding with “WTF?” – a response I would have found suitable -- Dean gave a very cordial and thoughtful answer:

I’m not trying to take more of the pie for myself. I’m trying to make the pie larger for everyone.

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Creating a Legacy Project

creating-a-legacy-project

In the spring of 2007 I was feeling stuck. As amazing as they were, the four years I had spent in Africa were fading off into the distance. In my new life I had migrated to Seattle, entered graduate school, started a new business, and began traveling independently to faraway places during school breaks.

These were all good projects. Grad school, check. New city, check. Business, travel, volunteer work, marathon training, check. But despite the fact that these were worthwhile ways to spend my time, I knew something big was missing:

I had no legacy project, and it really bothered me.

I thought of a legacy project as something I’d create that would outlast me; something I could point to years from now and have more than just memories to show for it. In other words, I wanted something tangible and documented for anyone who wanted to see it at any time in the future.

As I was looking for a new focus, I considered a few options that initially seemed to be good choices ...

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Site Update: You, Me, and Your Group

Group Conversation
Group Conversation by Mr. Willie
In the nine months that people have been following along so far, I’ve met up with readers in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, New York, Tunisia, and Cairo – and many of you have sent other invitations that I haven’t been able to accept (yet) due to schedule conflicts. In the second half of 2009, I hope to get more organized with this and start doing a few meetups that are planned in advance so more people can come. Every week I hear from someone I’ve missed on a recent trip, and I want to get to know more of you. I also want to begin connecting with groups of people (especially small businesses and non-profits), and one way I’ll be doing that is through some limited teaching and speaking. Over the next few weeks I’ll be planning out the first part of my 2009 goals and schedule. I did this recently with travel planning, and next week I’ll do everything else. Naturally, I thought I’d let you know what I have I mind with the group work, in case you have an idea about an opportunity that might benefit both of us. I’ve worked with groups for about six years now, as a leader, director, board member, and outside agitator. After shying away from consulting for several years, I now do it twice a week for people seeking to solve specific problems. I want to do something like this next year on a limited basis for a couple of groups who are doing great work. What I Can (and Can’t) Do The short summary is that I challenge groups to be remarkable. I talk about combining personal goals and service to others, as well as finding a way to do what you want while helping other people at the same time. I like to honor people who are doing great work while encouraging them to go further. I’ll tell a few good travel stories in any talk I give, but there’s usually a hook – I want to help, not just entertain. I also like facilitating workshops on lifestyle design and being on roundtables with cool people. Collaboration is good. I feel at home with small businesses, non-profit organizations (especially groups working on international development), and churches that aren’t afraid of being challenged. Unfortunately, charities and non-profits are not immune from the lure of mediocrity, but thankfully there are a number of them that really want to change the world. Those are the ones I enjoy connecting with. Lastly, I am not a good person to do motivational speaking in the traditional sense. I’m not going to tell a car dealership to go out and sell, sell, sell. If I was going to talk to a car dealership, I’d probably tell them they were in the wrong business, and they’d probably tell me to leave. I’d like to avoid that, and besides, the market for salesmanship is well-covered. For group meetings or speaking opportunities, I’m looking mostly at starting here in the Pacific Northwest (from Vancouver, British Columbia to Portland, Oregon) because that makes the logistics easier, but of course I’m not one to restrict anything based on geography. Show Me the Money Charity Donation My speaking and teaching service is currently in beta mode, which doesn’t mean I’ll give it less of a 110% effort. All it means is that I don’t want to get paid for it yet. I do need to have my travel expenses covered, and if your group normally pays outside speakers, I’d like to donate the money to a charity that we both agree on. But otherwise, I’m willing to do this at no charge for the right group. If you’re changing the world somehow, the least I can do is help out where I can. If you represent a group that would be interested in connecting, please send me a note with details. ###

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