I’ve had a lot of new people join my blog recently, mostly from all the media coverage about my new book. Welcome!If you’re just joining, here’s a quick explanation of what all of this is about. I started this blog wayyyyy back in 2008. My mission is to help people live unconventional lives, especially through self-employment and travel, but also the general theme of non-conformity. At the time I started, I was pursuing a big quest to visit every country in the world by my 35th birthday. I achieved that goal and wrote a book about it called The Happiness of Pursuit. I also wrote a book called The $100 Startup, and my newest book is SIDE HUSTLE. But enough about me. What can you find here on the site? A lot of things, but let’s focus on three areas. Read More
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. Read More
Want to do something fun that will help you travel for free? Just want to make fun of me and a couple of friends who are out to earn points? Here’s a chance to do either or both of those things.On December 4, I'll meet up with some travel hacking friends to stuff 94 handwritten index cards into envelopes in hopes of receiving at least 47,000 hotel points that we'll use for free stays. If you’re as crazy as we are, you can do this, too. Read More
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. Read More
Last year I spoke at a number of worldwide events, but only one was in Europe. The organizers are bringing it back for another round, and a limited number of tickets are now available.I like events of this size: not too small, and not too big. If you're in the neighborhood, broadly speaking, or if you're up for an overseas adventure, it’s a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people and learn more personal development. Read More
In talking with Chris Brogan for his new podcast recently, he said something I've been thinking of ever since. It was a question that you ask yourself when evaluating new opportunities. This question didn't actually come from Chris—I believe he said it was from one of his other podcast guests—but Chris is the one who implanted it in my head.
The question is: How will this new opportunity help me serve the community I already have?
Wow. Tough question.Read More
I don't often discuss news articles or reblog things from elsewhere, but I loved a recent article on an independent musician who recently raised $1.2M through Kickstarter for her new album.
A couple of things struck me from this story.
Point #1: “It doesn’t feel like a windfall,” Ms. Palmer said in an interview before the party. “It feels like the accumulated reward for years and years of work.”Read More
Awesome people of The $100 Startup event: San Francisco, Tuesday, May 29th
Greetings from Santa Cruz, California—soon heading down to Los Angeles for a
book reading party at Vroman's bookstore tonight.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. The $100 Startup launched as an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. We've sold 30,000 copies in the first three weeks and plan to reach many more people over the next few months with the message of freedom and value.Read More
As I mentioned in last week's survey invitation, when you’re trying to build a business, blog, non-profit, or pretty much any venture, regularly checking in with your peeps is an important way to make sure you know who they are and what they want.This is especially important when it comes to a) transition points in the growth of your community, or b) product development at any time. Surveys allow you to take the pulse of a large group of people in a short period of time -- and because of how sampling works, you don't actually need to hear from all of them to know what most of them are thinking. Read More
Every day I get emails from all kinds of fun people who are getting started on the journey of building an online community. Some of them want advice, and I'm happy to help wherever I can.
I always say to take my $0.02 for whatever it's worth, and ignore me if something works better for you. Also, I'm focusing here on online communities, but they share many of the same characteristics as offline ones.
In the 279 Days report, I wrote about the practical aspects of community building. We looked at RSS vs. email, how to create an e-book, and so on.
This post will look more closely at the underlying philosophy of a community. First of all, what makes a community? Definitions abound, but here's mine:
A community is a group of people united through a common struggle with the same stories.Let's look at the definition and related features in more detail. Read More