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You Don’t Have to Win at Everything


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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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Leading a Horse to Water

There's an old story about a salesperson who was disappointed in losing an important sale.

He talked with the boss about why it didn't work out. "I guess," he said, "It just proves you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

"Maybe," said the boss, "But let me give you some advice: your job is not to make him drink. It's to make him thirsty."

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Case Studies Needed for AONC Book Sequel

As mentioned once in a while, I'm really glad I wrote the AONC book. It's been a great success and the tour has been incredibly fun—I finished all 53 stops in the U.S. before Christmas, and I'm headed to every province in Canada starting next week. My second book will be on unconventional entrepreneurship—specifically, how people with no special skills can start a small business doing something they love without going into debt ...

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Save the Date! Announcing the World Domination Summit

Jolie and I went down to the Portland Art Museum for a meeting with the Events Planner last week. We looked around at rooms that seated 350+ people. We talked about projectors and coat rooms and WiFi and catering—and everything else you could think of related to holding a major event. “Look,” I said as we walked past a wide corridor. “That looks like a nice place for the bloggers' lounge.” The corridor in question also contained a large statue of a naked man, but hey, it's an art museum.

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Art and Plumbing: The Indispensable Interview with Seth Godin

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of author and change agent Seth Godin. I’ve been reading his books since my years in West Africa (2002-2006), and he continues to produce excellent work almost every day on his great blog. I had the chance to speak to Seth’s “Alternative MBA” group last year, and when the invitation came, I rearranged my schedule and dropped everything to fly to New York. (Never pass up a major opportunity for personal growth.)

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Building Influence to Gain Widespread Authority

This is a more advanced look at how I've been able to build the AONC site into a diverse community over the past year.

I've already written 79 pages about this subject, so this follow-up is mostly for the 50,000 people who have read that report so far. What I want to do in this article is focus on using multiple spheres of influence to create widespread, perceived authority.

One of the most important parts of developing a following is answering the “reason why” question and proving yourself to be an authority on at least one thing other people care passionately about.

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26 People I Highly Respect

In 279 Days, I included links to many of the people I respect and have learned from since I started this site. I did this because I wanted to give credit where credit is due – and each of these folks deserve a lot of credit for helping me.

Here they are again, with a quick synopsis on why I think they are awesome. If you’re looking for people to learn from (I always am), I encourage you to check out their work.

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