I’ve been self-employed for more than fifteen years, but it hasn’t always been easy. I once had the bright idea of selling a golf membership service for $1. (It was actually a very bad idea—no one told me you can’t make money on $1 per customer.) Another time I tried to launch four projects on…Read More
Those of us who are self-employed, as well as anyone who performs intellectual work of some kind for a living, are continuously faced with a dilemma.
The dilemma can be stated in the form of a two-word question: What's next?
Many of us encounter this dilemma numerous times a day, whenever we first approach the machines that guide us through our work.Read More
Let's do this one more time, because it's important. Micro-entrepreneurship is changing the world. The best opportunities in the new economy are centered on creating your own assets. It doesn't matter who wins the U.S. election this fall, at least not in terms of how the economy affects you. No matter what happens, the unemployment rolls will continue to be full. Perhaps even worse, many people will remain underemployed by working at jobs that offer few benefits and little opportunities for advancement.Read More
For every self-employed person, there are a lot more people who would like to be. But many of these people already have jobs, and everyone is busy. Here's an idea: if you're working a regular job and want to be on your own someday, don't wait for a career break that may never come. Instead, start the business now ... without waiting to quit or take a leave of absence. Why would you want to do this? Two good reasons: opportunity and security.Read More
This week I've been reading Turning Pro, a new call-to-arms by Steven Pressfield. Here's an interesting section on making a choice:
Sometimes, when we're terrified of embracing our true calling, we'll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career involves no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us. Are you pursuing a shadow career?Read More
Greetings, friends, readers, and small army. I went on vacation for a few days and am now ensconced back at home in the great city of PDX.
It's always fun to go on vacation as a self-employed person, because a) you still have to work, and b) no one thinks you do any work to begin with. So then when you go on vacation, they say, oh, must be nice that you don't have a job and can do that. Meanwhile on vacation I work six hours a day instead of ten. But it's all good ...Read More
1) Working for yourself, especially while traveling, is not as easy as most people think. The fantasy and the reality are quite distinct, and it takes a lot of work to be successful. 2) Working for yourself, even while traveling, is awesome! The freedom is great, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Both statements are completely true, but naturally, we tend to view the idea of self-employment and extensive travel through only one of the two statements. I'd like to look at it a bit deeper.Read More
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Marketers tend to deliberately over-hype their products in an attempt to break through a crowded marketplace. In an environment where we receive 3,000 advertising messages on an average day, the idea is to be bigger and better – but if that’s too difficult, the theory goes, we can at least be noisier.
I’m coming out with my second information product exactly one week from today, and instead of trying to sell you on it, I thought I’d tell you why not to buy it.
On Monday I’ll explain how to create an Incredibly Convincing Guarantee. The idea is that most promises of “satisfaction guaranteed” aren’t that convincing at all anymore. Almost everything we buy has some kind of guarantee, but we still end up ignoring most of those 3,000 messages each day.
Since I’m in the marketplace of ideas, I’ve decided to create a guarantee for my own product that goes beyond the usual. I think I’ve found something unique, and I think it will resonate. I also can’t wait to tell you more about the guide itself – which currently runs to more than 55 pages and also includes several 25-minute audio segments.
I was going to write about both of those things today, but then I got worried… what if I’m writing for the wrong people?
See, I want to deliver great products to the right customers, and I am the first to point out that there are usually a number of good reasons to keep your money instead of exchanging it for something else. Therefore, I need to do some disqualification for your benefit and mine.
The next product will be called the Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself. The subtitle is “Creating Freedom through a Very Small Business,” and that’s basically what it’s all about:
Creating Freedom = finding a way to work for yourself instead of someone else, or at least finding a way to bring in additional income that allows you to do more of what you want and be less dependent on a job
Through a Very Small Business = not trying to start the next Google or Amazon.com, but instead building a microbusiness that brings in at least $200 a month, and potentially a series of these opportunities that eventually allow you to quit your current job
Please understand that this is not for everyone. Not everyone values freedom over traditional employment, and not everyone wants to have a business of any kind, even a very small one.
The ever-insightful Tim at Soul Shelter recently wrote a post entitled In Praise of Salaried Employment. Reading it was an affirmation that I (still) don’t want a “real job,” but I see Tim’s point -- and it also served as a good reminder that not everyone wants to work for themselves. Like most art forms, the way people on the outside perceive self-employment is quite different from the way it actually works for most of us who practice it.
Why Not to Buy the UG to Working for Yourself
As mentioned, there are many good reasons to not buy any particular product or service. A few of them for this one are:
If you’re looking for the quick path to riches. Feel free to keep looking for that – but please, not here. If I had found such a thing, I would probably not be selling it in a low-cost ebook. I might still travel around the world, but I don’t think I would sleep on the floor of airports from Rome to Dallas to save money.
If you don’t like to learn or aren’t willing to work. I use a lot of irony in my writing, but there is nothing ironic about this. A lot of people are simply not comfortable with learning new things, and if you have never worked for yourself before, there’s a lot of things you have to learn.
One of the things I mention in the guide is that you don’t have to be especially intelligent to earn money without a job, but you do need to be willing to work.
If your primary goal is to build a huge business. I have nothing against huge businesses for the most part; I just don’t know anything about building them. I’m far more interested in finding a way to pay the rent so I can do what I want.
On a higher level, I’m also interested in convergence and alignment, where my whole life is related to what I want to do for myself and how I think I can best help others. But in a nutshell, this guide is just about starting a very small business. Getting the cash flow coming in. Ready, fire, aim – that kind of thing.
If you are a complete beginner to technology. I write almost exclusively about online business because that’s what I’ve done for ten years. If you don’t know how blogs work or how Google makes money (for example), there will be more of a learning curve. The guide is targeted to the low to mid-intermediate level – not the guru who knows everything, but also not the complete beginner.
Don’t worry too much about this if you’re on the fence – I am a fairly low-tech person. I write on a $500 laptop and don’t do any programming or complex work at all. But I mention this because if you are going to work online in some kind of business, it does help to be fairly proficient with the world of computers. You should know what eBay is, you should probably have your own internet connection, etc.
Creating Freedom through a Very Small Business
I do not know how to create internet millionaires because I am not one myself. What I have done instead is find a way to create a lifestyle that works for me and gives me a great deal of freedom. It’s not a four-hour work week, but I spend a lot of time doing exactly what I want to do instead of being tied to a desk somewhere.
For me, the freedom itself is the most important thing – it is definitely the highest goal and most significant benefit of working for myself. That is what I know how to do, and that’s why the subtitle of the guide is “Creating Freedom through a Very Small Business.”
It can sometimes be unpopular to say so, but money and freedom are related to a certain point. Is there anyone who can argue that it’s fun to be poor? Let’s be honest: it sucks.
So you have to do something to avoid that, and if inheritance or litigation is not an option, then you either have to work for someone else or work for yourself.
I have chosen to work for myself. And if you’re interested, I’ll tell you all about what I do and how you can work towards creating your own freedom, doing it your own way, creating your own rules. By popular demand, I’ll include a lot of personal stories (especially “big mistakes” I’ve made along the way) and a lot of specific, actionable items you can take to get started right away.
The time for that will be Wednesday, October 8, at 10am EST / 7am here on the West Coast.
On Monday I’ll tell you all about the unique guarantee, what you’ll get, how it works, how much it costs, and so on.
For Everyone Else
I needed to address the fact that the Working for Yourself guide is not for everyone – which will hopefully be clear now. If it’s not for you due to any of the reasons mentioned above (or something else), you won’t be left out of the party entirely.
I write three times a week and will never charge for that. I’m currently writing the sequel to the World Domination Manifesto, which will be released in January. I have more plans for the next 6-9 months that all involve scaling up the project without putting ads on the site or selling anything other than a few more teaching products like this one.
And as we did last time, I’ll also post a detailed analysis after the launch with what went well and what I could have done better.
Here is the launch schedule:
Friday, October 3: Working from Any Country in the World
Monday, October 6: The Incredibly Convincing Guarantee
Wednesday, October 8 (10am EST): The Launch
Thursday, October 9: Chris retires! (Wait, probably not yet. It may take a few more days.)
Thanks for listening, and see you all next time. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments section.
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