Hi everyone. I’m high on life and writing in from the Cathay Pacific LAX-HKG flight. I’m fading fast, but with 13 hours to go until arrival, there should be plenty of time to a) sleep and b) write this note to you.Read More
At any given time, most of us have no shortage of challenges we’re trying to work through or overcome.
Entrepreneurs must create something out of nothing — a process that is both fun and tiring. Ambitious people who work in organizations have to work with colleagues in pursuit of collective goals. Sometimes the colleagues aren’t as ambitious or have other ideas.
Those of us who go it alone have plenty of issues, too. If someone ever implies it’s easy out there, put your skeptic hat on.
Thankfully, there is one challenge that is entirely optional. This challenge is the question of how to be yourself, otherwise known as authenticity.Read More
Early this morning I sent out an envelope containing an official Freedom of Information Act Request to the U.S. government.
Am I a conspiracy theorist? Have I started stockpiling canned food and building a bomb shelter behind my apartment?
Sorry to disappoint anyone holed up in a cabin somewhere, but not really. I refuse to visit any bomb shelter that doesn't provide wifi and a french press. In this case, I'm mostly just curious ... what do the feds know about me?Read More
Congratulations to the great Lance Armstrong on his third-place victory in Paris yesterday.
I'm aware that third place is not a real victory. Lance knows this too, and said so himself in the post-race interviews. However, when you've been out of the tour for four years, you broke your collarbone a few months ago, and you're more than a decade older than the teammate who ended up winning, I think that third place is pretty good.
Lance is still a winner in my book. He's already planning to come back next year, and I'm pretty sure he won't settle for a mere third place out of 180 riders in 2010.Read More
On the flight back from South America last week, the airline was showing Yes Man, a film starring Jim Carrey. Left to my own devices, I rarely finish a movie, but I watched the first two-thirds of this one and thought it was great. The premise of Yes Man is that a guy who usually says no to everything - requests from friends, growth opportunities at work, and so on - has to make a sudden switch where his default answer becomes yes to any request he encounters.Read More
I returned to Portland late last night after a great visit to the great New York City.
I've needed to go to New York for a few months now - I wanted to meet my book editor and a few other people, but I kept putting it off. Since I travel so much internationally, I try to keep my domestic trips to a minimum.
However, when I received an invitation a couple of weeks ago to visit with Seth Godin and his remarkable Alternative MBA students, I knew it was time to break out the calendar and book a ticket.
The lesson is, when you get an opportunity like this, don't hesitate. Do whatever you need to do to get wherever you need to be.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
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.Read More
Something’s been bothering me lately, and judging from what I know about the people who read these articles each week, I bet it’s bothered some of you before too.
It’s that phrase—“Welcome to the Real World.”
Have you ever heard that? It’s usually intended as a sarcastic remark about what someone else has said or is doing.Read More
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?"Read More
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.Read More
It happens to me every time I travel overseas. I talk with people who hear about where I’m going, and they always say the same thing: “That sounds amazing! I wish I could do that.” My reply is always the same: “What’s keeping you from it?” I’m not being judgmental; I’m just trying to figure…Read More