Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

My ‘Perfect Storm’

storms-brew-thunder-lightning

 

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

Norman Vincent Peale

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my journey to this point in my life. Much has changed and evolved since the last time I shared this story so I thought it was time for an update.

But first, a question for you: Do you believe in yourself?

Life is a crazy journey of unlikely twists and turns and one of the most important things I’ve learned is that I need to believe in myself before others will.

My beginning (literally)

Maybe it’s my natural tendency to be curious, but I like to understand where people are coming from and what makes them who they are. Everyone has a story and our story is what helps us connect to each other. Here’s mine.

My story starts in rural Eastern Oregon. That’s where I grew up. Back then, my idea of fun was seeing how many ‘city kids’ I could convince (dare) to touch the electric fence. It always brought me a twisted sense of pleasure to see the surprise on someone’s face after receiving an unexpected jolt of energy enter their body. And don’t worry. Karma got me back plenty of times. This is just the crazy shit young boys do.

My parents both worked full time and we lived on a horse ranch. Which sounds fun to most people until I describe the sheer volume of horse crap that I moved (manually) from one place to another.

I had a pretty standard small town upbringing, complete with grandpa’s fighting over who would take me fishing and getting reprimanded for making weird bodily noises in church.

By the time I was 18, I had spent my entire life in one single small town and I couldn’t wait to charge off to college and begin my own life. This was before parents thought it was normal to pay for their kids’ college tuition so I worked my way through college in pursuit of a better life. I was done with small towns and shoveling horse manure!

The brainwashing begins

I graduated from college and made my way to the big city and started working my way up the ladder in the fast paced world of technology. I worked hard, got married, bought a house in the suburbs, leased new cars, passed up vacations in order to work even harder, and thought that I was on a path to “success.” I had all the trappings of a good life and I was working hard but looking forward to the day that I would quit my job and be happy.

I was living what I thought was the life I wanted. I mean, everyone was telling me what a great career I had and what a great job I was doing so I must be doing it all right!

Umm…no! I was only following the lead of everyone else around me. I was allowing my friends, the culture and my work environment brainwash me. I was so busy being busy that I couldn’t see another way.

The storm hits

Back in the early 2000‘s, technology was the place to be and I was right smack in the middle of it working for a software startup in Portland. Everything was purring along nicely and then – BAM – the stock market crashed and within months, technology companies began firing people. The inconceivable was happening. And I got laid off. And then I did what seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. I started investing all of my money into real estate. And then the real estate market crashed. And then I lost everything I had worked so hard for.

A low point

I found myself newly divorced, out of work, nearly broke and looking for answers. If it had not been for what I now call my ‘Perfect Storm’, I might still be comfortably numb, spiritually bankrupt and feeling financially indestructible.

And as if things weren’t bad enough, my dog suddenly died and I lost my investment properties to foreclosure because I couldn’t sell them or pay for them. To say that all hell broke loose would be a massive understatement.

My ‘Perfect Storm’ shook me out of my complacency and plunged me into uncertainty, in which everything I held as important and true fell apart. Old beliefs began to to dissolve but nothing rushed in to take their place. I felt like I was just floating, ungrounded, desperate and hopelessly lost.

I had followed a path that was out of alignment for so many years and I was silently suffering. I remembered when I was a kid in school, how much I loved to draw, and paint, and create, and move, and play. What had happened? How did I get so off course? I still loved these things but I gave them up for what? For money? For security? For doing what others expected of me?

I found my way back into a technology job, leveraging my contacts and experience to do what I knew best. I drastically simplified my life, selling almost everything that I didn’t absolutely need or love. I started saving large chunks of my salary and I had zero debt for the first time in a long while. I started going to yoga and living a more healthy life. I felt as if I had wiped the slate clean and I was being re-born.

And then I began to dream again

I started getting glimpses of a new calling, but these glimpses would only come in flashes that were often undefined and fuzzy. But I knew something was coming. I felt an urge to be more creative but in a way that allowed me to work with people and earn some extra income on the side. I purposely mention income here because so many creative people tend discount it. Wake up! If you’re not making a good income, then you’re not serving your most important client – YOU!

Pondering how I could keep the parts of being in a technology career while ditching what sucked out my soul led me to realize that I wanted to help people learn to live unapologetically, in alignment with the truth of who they really are.

I never could have anticipated what happened next in my life. The more aligned I became with my inner desires, the more life seemed to return to me! I was getting raises and bonuses at work, I met and married the most amazing woman in the world, I started a little blog which led to a few coaching clients which led to getting paid for work that I love.

Who’da thunk I could have all this? Well that’s exactly the point! I started to believe that I deserved to have good things happen to me. My ‘Perfect Storm’ allowed me to see that unless I was brave enough to trust and believe in myself, that life would be a series of endless storms, slamming me around.

This didn’t happen overnight, but I decided to start trusting my inner desires and slowly pursue the people, activities and places that interested me the most. And by doing so, I began to listen to my own inner wisdom instead of what everyone else was saying.

In hindsight, I realize that I couldn’t have written a story better than this. And everything continues to emerge, like an onion, as I peel back the layers and become increasingly clear on what I’m here on earth to do.

One more #*% surprise

The Universe, having the sense of humor that it does, had one more big surprise in store for me. I was notified earlier this year that the software division at my company would be dissolved and that I was going to be losing my six-figure corporate job in August. Now the good news is that I had already started building something on the side to bring in a little extra income but this did nothing to dampen the shock of my day job disappearing.

So now I’m on this journey full time. I’m coaching people, I’m starting a new web show (to be released next week), I’m in the early stages of co-developing a new course with one of my mentors and I’m giving everything I’ve got to this new adventure.

While this process hasn’t been easy, it has been the most rewarding magical, enlightening journey I’ve ever experienced. In retrospect, I can honestly say that my ‘Perfect Storm’, as gut-wrenching as it was – was the best thing that ever happened to me. And if you’re in the midst of a Perfect Storm, embrace the change (even though it feels like hell) and use it as an opportunity to discover your purpose for being alive.

Best,

Michael

P.S. How have your ‘Perfect Storms’ shaped your life? Please share if you feel compelled to do so. You never know how your story may liberate someone else.

 

Decoding Your Genius

nyt20year20in20ideasDo you ever wish you had a secret decoding device that would help you determine what it is that you’re meant to do? All you would have to do is input a few details and BLAM! Out would come the perfect business idea suited specifically to your skills, strengths and interests. This flawless device would  present you with the work you are meant to be doing and would ensure that you are recognized (and paid) for your expertise.

First ,the bad news. I have no such device.

Now for the good news. I’m going to show you how to become your own decoding device!

The catch?

Well, first off you have to answer the questions (do the work) and second, you will need to trust your answers and be bold enough to take sustained action towards creating a business that solves a real problem or meets a deep need.

The truth is, in order to be recognized for your brilliance, most of us have to dig a little deeper to understand our true value and how we can offer this to the world in a meaningful way. Big things can happen when you gain clarity around what you have to offer. 

Here is a simple exercise that you can do to gain immediate clarity about what you have to offer the world. Answer the following three questions about your skills, strengths and interests. DO NOT write anything down unless it meets these three criteria:

  • it completely energizes you
  • it makes you feel Alive
  • it has a deep meaning to you

Think of this exercise as creating a master list of only the very best skills, strengths and interests that you have to offer.

SKILLS: These are the skills that you’re really good at and they energize you because they give you a sense of satisfaction. These are typically things that you have acquired through repetition and practice. These could be hobbies or things that you learned in a work environment. Skills are typically more practical and tangible. Examples might include building spreadsheets, organizing closets, remodeling homes, finding the best travel deals, cake decorating, washing windows, designing web sites.

My deepest core skills are?

STRENGTHS: These are the strengths that you absolutely love! What are you naturally good at? These are the things that come easy to you? You have probably received many compliments for these. Some examples might include singing, writing, cooking, swimming, drawing, dancing.

My deepest core strengths are?

INTERESTS: What do you deeply care about? What deeply fulfills and excites you? What are the things you simply cannot live without? You would pursue these ideas whether you were paid for them or not. These are typically deep seeded within you. You long for these experiences in your life. Make no mistake – these are probably obsessions for you. Examples might include teaching, adventure travel, non-profit work, canning vegetables, playing guitar, making beer, running marathons.

My deepest core interests are?

Now go back and take note of any similar themes. Circle anything you wrote down more than once. These are your sparks. These sparks will be used to ignite the path to doing work you love.

The final step – decoding your core genius

I believe that we all have a natural core genius inside of us. It’s that unique combination of skills, strengths and interests that you love to do and you do it so well that you might not even recognize it. People often take their core genius for granted and assume that because it’s so easy and natural for them that it must be easy for everyone else too. And nothing could be further from the truth.

In many cases, your core genius is such an integrated part of who you are that you might not recognize it as anything special. But the truth is, this is where the gold is. This is something that you could be making money at and you could easily make it your life’s work. If only you knew what it was!

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

For me, my core genius is teaching, creating, coaching, adventure, travel, connecting, simplifying, and organizing. My purpose is to inspire authenticity – freeing talent, ideas, voice, opinions, consciousness. I inspire people to be the best version of themselves by doing work that matters. To turn their existing skills and interests into a predictable income doing work that they love.

Now it’s your turn. Take the repeating patterns and words that you identified above and see if you’ve gained more clarity about what you have to offer to the world. And please share your insights. The more we share, the more we all learn from one another.

– Michael

 

Remembering Your Brilliance

hot-air-balloons-balloon-hot-lake-nature-night-reflection

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

What’s the #1 reason people don’t start a business that matters to them?

  • No time
  • No ideas
  • Too many ideas
  • Afraid to fail

While all of these things factor in at some level, the #1 answer, based on my clients feedback is…

No ideas! 

If you don’t know what you’ll do, no amount of coaching/marketing/inspiration will help. And it is frustrating for people when it seems like everyone else is out there creating blogs, starting businesses, launching products, etc. And it’s especially frustrating when you hear that someone is leaving their corporate job to pursue their passion full time making money doing what they love.

Are we happy for these people that have found their way? Absolutely! But, there’s often a part of us that wonders if we’ll ever find our way and be able to do work that matters.

So let’s talk about not having any ideas. What does this really mean? For most, it simply means that they haven’t spent time evaluating what they’re naturally good at. This might seem rather basic, but our hectic lives leave us with so little time to consider what we might be really good at.

Remembering your brilliance

It’s easy to forget who we are – our natural gifts, our effect on people, our accomplishments, and even our desires. Want to remember what you are brilliant at? Take a few minutes and answer these questions:

  1. What could I find myself talking to someone about for hours with no sign of tiring?
  2. What am I freakishly good at?
  3. What do I want to be known for?
  4. What am I bored of?
  5. What are three things I’m most proud of – but would never put on my official resume?
  6. What’s something that people instinctively ask me for help with?
  7. What can I undeniably promise to everyone I work with?
  8. What is something that I secretly wonder about everyone I meet?
  9. If my parents/spouse/kids/God or whoever holds my sense of personal propriety in check was GONE (poof!) and there was no one left to offend, upset, or disappoint…who would I become?

Now, based on your answers, can you see any patterns beginning to emerge?

These patterns are a glimpse into the things that you are made to do. I call these the non-negotiable part of you, the things that you simply can’t not do. These could be teaching (on any subject), painting, cooking, traveling, woodworking, yoga, promoting, creating, or any unique combination of these things.

The point is, we are all unique and we all have ideas residing just below the surface that are dying to be expressed. Remembering these ideas is all part of the process for starting a business that matters.

See, the pains of starting a business are REAL, even though nobody wants to talk about them. It’s more fun to talk about the latest sexy social-media tactic instead of how to find a profitable idea that someone will pay you for.

Discovering your brilliance and turning it into a profitable business can change everything. It can mean the difference between creating extra income doing what you love vs spending the next 30 years in that corporate job that sucks the life out of you.

Nothing gets me more excited than helping people find that one thing that they love so much that they would do it for free – and then help them test it and get paid for it.

Life is precious and I believe that we owe it to ourselves (and the world) to stop wasting time and  energy on the mundane and invest a little time discovering our brilliance.

Come back again next week and we’ll dive a little deeper into this subject.

-Michael

P.S. What are you brilliant at? Tell me one thing that you know you were made to do? No self-judgement allowed! :-)

How To Make A Living Doing What You Love

celebrate-life-7

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” 

Harold R. McAlindon

I’m not one of those people who can do things just for the money. I used to be. I tried this approach for years and always ended up feeling half empty.

I’ve got nothing against making money, in fact, it’s the best measurement of value there is. But I’ve found that it’s no longer possible for me to pursue money for it’s own sake.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m not in touch with reality, let me put your mind at ease. I’ve tried many times to do things just for the money. It’s just never really worked out for me over the long haul.

I’ve worked at boring jobs for years. I’ve hopped from one job to another hoping to find a better situation and something that I could be more excited about.

I’ve joined startups hoping to get rich from stock options. But those things never worked out. I never chanced upon a job that dropped millions in my lap.

Why I’ve never been able to do something like that, I don’t really know. And at this point, I’ve given up caring.

Here’s what I do know.

I have this affliction where I actually have to care about my work or I just won’t last long. It’s always been that way and I don’t think it’s something I’m able to change. It’s just how I’m wired. And over the years, I’ve come to realize that my inability to do things “just for the money” (for any extended period of time) is actually a constraint I should embrace. These days, it’s slowly becoming a non-negotiable part of my life.

My goal is to make a living doing what I love and to help 1,000 other people do the same thing.

Sadly, I can’t guarantee that if you do what you love, the money will follow. I wish that were always true. To be truthful, doing what you love doesn’t always lead to riches…at least not right away.

My wife is a yoga teacher and she loves teaching yoga more than anything in the world. But you don’t make a lot of money teaching yoga classes for other people.

But you start with what you love and then there’s always other doors that open up. Other ideas to pursue. And other opportunities that await.

6mKQrImMuM9atEerXZleOJHJBGOHiJHhAVu5ILUXsDA-1024x682After my wife started teaching yoga, she began leading yoga retreats and then creating her own yoga programs for other teachers. She found new ways to add more value and create more income doing what she loves.

Now she’s at the point where she’s getting paid to make a difference.

My point is that I don’t think you should do what you love thinking the money will follow right away. I think you should do what you love because why would you spend your life doing anything else?

And once you get really good at offering the work you love, people will show up. And when they do, you will offer value and people will happily pay you for it.

It really is as simple as that.

What about being rational?

Coming at life from such an “idealistic” point of view immediately triggers the rational reflex for most people. That’s the feeling we’ve all been trained to use to reinforce our story about what is and what is not possible. It keeps us in line. It keeps us under control.

“I can’t just go doing what I love…” we say. “I have a family to support…” “I have obligations…” “I can’t just do that…”

These are all valid and rational responses to the idea of making a living doing what you love.

And it’s your choice whether or not you want to allow your life to be governed by these thoughts.

The fact is, in 90 years, no one reading this article will be here. 90 years is a blip. It’s going to be over before you blink. That means that everything matters and nothing matters all at the same time.

Sit for a moment and see how your brain comes to terms with an idea like that. It’s not something that’s meant for your brain, it’s an idea that’s directed right at your soul.

We have been making “rational” choices about our livelihood our entire lives. But when you are taking your last breath, do you want to have regrets for the adventures you never took? Or do you want a sense of peace knowing that you gave everything you had?

We often endure decades of misery in pursuit of making a living in the way we’ve been told to do it. I can certainly relate to this.

We have been brainwashed into believing that we are “caught” and cannot escape. Little do we know that our walls are of our own making. Little do we know, we hold the key to unlock the door that blocks us.

Something needs to change. And that something begins with you. It begins with your choices about how you are going to live your life.

It begins with your decision to walk towards the dreams and ambitions you have for yourself. This isn’t a journey you start in order to reach fulfillment. It’s a journey you start because pursuing your dreams is something worthy of your life energy.

Why most people do things they don’t want to do.

We humans think we’re pretty evolved but history has shown we’re not too many steps removed from the animal kingdom. Once the luxuries of modern life are stripped away, our similarity to animals becomes very clear, very quickly. Just take away the necessities and see how long it takes for people to start behaving like animals.

But there’s one trait that animals don’t display that we “evolved” humans do. Animals won’t ever pursue an activity they don’t feel is in their own best interest.

And they certainly wouldn’t do it 8 hours a day… for years and years.

But we humans do this all the time. We do it for many reasons. We do it because we’re told to do it. We do it because we’re worried about what others might think of us if we didn’t. We do it because we don’t know any better. We do it because we don’t believe in ourselves. We do it because we’re scared of the alternatives.

And that’s why, on any given morning, millions of people in this world trudge off to spend their days doing things they hate with people they can’t stand. We spend a large percentage of our lives practicing things we have no interest in being good at.

And when we eventually do become good at those things, we have to search for something to fill the void that our “right work” is meant to fill.

“But what would I do to make a living? What else could I do?”

I used to think that I had to have answers to those questions in order to move forward. I searched long and hard for those answers, but they never came like I wanted. I wanted complete answers… but all I ever got was a spark. One spark here… another spark there.

These days, I realize that the journey to joy begins not with my ability to answer questions but my ability to ask questions and then take a single step.

Do something you care deeply about.

For me, my answers began to appear only after I was willing to let go of finding the perfect idea and just DO something I cared deeply about.

I started this simple blog because it’s the only thing I could think of to start doing.

Then I started coaching a few people on how they could move forward because it was that next thing I could think of to start doing.

Now I’m in the process of building a web show where I will interview accomplished entrepreneurs because it’s the current thing that I can think of doing.

The answers are in the doing. That’s the secret I’ve discovered. It’s taking that next step, however small and insignificant it may seem. Taking the next step is powerful because it always informs you of the next step to take.

While making a living doing what you love will have it’s own set of challenges, I believe it’s the most rewarding path we can take.

For years, going to my job became the easy thing to do, until I couldn’t stand the thought of doing it. Then it became the hard thing to do. All of a sudden it felt empty. Years of doing the work that someone else ordered me to do, and for what?

Miki-Love-Life-Large-size1-1100x500It’s only after I began my journey to make a living doing something I loved that I truly began to feel completely alive. It’s one of the best challenges I’ve faced. It requires a great amount of planning and persistence to become an entrepreneur but it’s also the richest and most rewarding thing that I’ve done in a very long time. And I’m just getting started.

I think that pursuing the challenge of making a living by doing what you love is a direct route to a life well lived. And given how brief the time we’re all given is, I don’t think there’s a more worthy destination than that.

– Michael

P.S. Tell me one small step that you are planning to take towards making a living doing what you love. I would really love to hear about it.

 

Build Your Own Reality

girl-162474_640

 Most of us are slaves of the stories we unconsciously tell ourselves about our lives. Freedom begins the moment we become conscious of the plot line we are living and, with this insight, recognize that we can step into another story. 

– Carol S. Pearson, The Hero Within

As I move closer to my transition day away from working for a big corporation, I realize that a big part of my identity has been tied to my job and the responsibilities that go along with it. It seemed normal to feel this way while working in the corporate environment. But now things are starting to change.

I feel like I’m waking up.

I feel more exposed.

Things feel more raw.

I guess it’s because I’m aware of the reality of more freedom, being in complete control of my time, being able to create whatever I want, say whatever I want, with no one to answer to but myself.

But then there’s the flip side of that equation. There will be no more bi-weekly paycheck, no matching 401k, no paid vacations, no more ‘stability’ of working for a guaranteed return. I will be the one responsible for creating value and making sure that I’m solving real problems. Otherwise, I don’t get paid.

But here’s the thing.

This is a choice. I am choosing to create extraordinary work for myself.

Work that feels exciting.

Work that fills me with energy knowing that I am making progress with something that matters.

I am no longer bogged down with my corporate inbox, tasks that drain my energy, and doing work that I don’t really care about. I am genuinely happy about what lies ahead.

My mind has somehow expanded to understand that true abundance will never come from a job. It’s funny. I couldn’t see this while I was committed to the day-to-day grind of my job. It’s hard to see the gardens when you’re locked in jail. Abundance showed up when I began pursuing my true desires and let go of the perceived safety of my job.

Now I am focusing on finding creative ways to show others that it’s totally possible to achieve the following:

  • Create extraordinary & inspiring work
  • Make extra income doing it
  • Quit your day job (or at least be ready if your company decides to lay you off)

Now I wake up every day with the motive of enhancement. How can I enhance my family, my friends, my clients, potential customers, my blog readers, people I don’t even know yet but I would like to know?

Some people have indicated to me that it’s great that I’m able to do this but that they are in a totally different situation that doesn’t make it possible for them. They tell me “it’s just the way it is.”

What?

Hey, I realize that we all have different circumstances but many people severely discount their ability to design a life that truly represents the way they want to live.

If working 40-50 hours per week at a job, getting paid vacations, and a guaranteed paycheck are what you need, then great! I’m in your corner 100%.

But if you really desire something more, whether its making a bigger difference through your own thing, traveling the world, being in control of your income, living in a sunny location during the winter (one of my personal favorites), or being able to ski mid-week, I am here to tell you that YOU are in control!

Take responsibility for the life you want to create.

It’s time that we all (myself included) take full responsibility for the life that we create.  I will always be very clear about one thing…that we are all different and the dream that floats my boat might seem completely ridiculous to the next person. But the point is that we all have our own visions of greatness and we all have the free will to pursue it.

Now you might think that my perspective requires a certain privilege available only to those that are already wealthy, successful or otherwise endowed with choices unavailable to you.

This is not the case! This was not the case for me and it was not the case for many people I know that have consciously created their lifestyle.

The only prerequisite to a new way of life is to start creating it. You start with the vision of how you want to live and then you work toward creating the actual life that you envision.

In most cases, it won’t be easy, or straightforward or feel completely safe. But it’s your life that is on the line and I encourage you to start really living it.

I wake up every day wondering if I should go take another job in the corporate world. The allure of the big salary, the benefits and the perceived stability are appealing. But I know that there is another way for me right now. I know that it’s time for me to create extraordinary work for myself.

It’s okay to take baby steps.

“I can’t just QUIT!” people say. “I have bills to pay.” I get it. I’m not saying quit today. Before someone runs a marathon they learn how to run to the end of the block and back, then run a mile, then two miles. They run several times a week and stay healthy. Then they run a marathon.

Make a list right now. Write down every dream you have. I want to start a business. I want to travel to Africa. I want to simplify my life. I want to have the freedom from many of the worries that I have succumbed to all my life. I want to be healthy. I want to make an impact with my creativity. I want to have more time for myself.

These are not goals. These are core desires for your life. What can you do today to start practicing these desires? Who can you help today? What can you do to simplify your life today? This is how you take baby steps. This is how you eventually run towards freedom.

Challenge yourself.

I want you to think about your current life in a new way.

Ask yourself this question about your job, your relationships, where you live, and how you spend the majority of your time:

Would I want to do this if I didn’t have to?

If yes, great!

If no, it’s time to begin building your own reality. You get to decide what your reality looks like and start designing it. No one is stopping you.

What would it take to wake up excited and go to sleep fulfilled most days? Decide to move one step closer to this every day.

Plan for it.

Do it.

Michael

P.S. Tell me one thing you are 100% committed to doing differently by this time next year.

Want to be Happier? Stop Doing What You Don’t Really Care About

What is it that you really care about?girl-blowing-glitter-113790_640

Your family?

Your friends?

Your job?

Your 401k?

Getting everything done?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? On the surface, we all seem to care about the things that people think we should care about.

While it’s completely natural to care deeply about your family, your spouse, your partner, your kids, and your health, it’s equally acceptable to say that you care deeply about your job or your recent promotion (even if it’s way more work for a little extra money).

But are these the things you really care about? This question is a little trickier to answer. By caring about what others expect us to care about, we most often end up neglecting our deepest purpose in life.

Not long ago, I was notified that I would be laid off from my job selling software to large corporate clients. It wasn’t a bad job but I knew that I wasn’t using my greatest gifts.

If someone were to ask me if I cared about my job, I would respond with “of course!”

But deep down I knew that I had more to give. I knew that my mind and body was made to create and build and teach and explore and love. And instead I was sitting on airplanes, sitting in meetings and sitting in front of my computer answering emails all day.

Deep down I was so busy caring for my job that I didn’t even realize I could be caring about more important things. I do not believe that we are meant to spend the majority of our time caring deeply about soul-destroying occupations where we must sit in a fluorescently-lighted box taking orders to do things so boring that we want to cry.

It’s a fact that we have been socialized to relinquish our joy for 8 or 10 hours per day in exchange for a sum of money just big enough that it keeps us chained to a miserable existence.

So many of us feel trapped, desperate, afraid, and separated from everything that gives us true happiness. So why do we care about such things?

Stop doing what you don’t really care about.

Getting laid off from my job was a wake up call. I see it as my chance to move forward and do something great, something that I really care about.

It’s also a chance for me to stop chasing things that I don’t really care about. It’s a chance for me to take my energy away from what I don’t want so that I can put it towards something I do want.

Why do I care so much about what other people think?

It’s been hard the last few weeks. I’ve had to make a huge mental shift away from pleasing other people to truly pleasing myself. Not everyone understands (or even supports) my path to doing my own thing.

Some people think I’m nuts for pursuing my own business rather than jumping back on the conventional path. They don’t say it outright but I can tell it’s what they’re thinking.

I hear things like “good for you for really going for it” and “I know you can do it.” But underneath the comments I can feel the disingenuous nature of these well meaning remarks.

Why do I care what others think? I think its human nature to want to be liked and included. But since when did it become such a risk to start your own business and follow your own path?

I’ve been tempted to continue down the same path.

I’ve had some great job opportunities come my way since being notified of my pending layoff, but it doesn’t feel right to pursue them knowing that I will most likely be frustrated and unhappy six months down the road.

I’m tired of pretending to be interested in jobs that don’t provide me with any significant level of fulfillment. I’m tired of waking up anxious about all the work that I need to do, work that isn’t even interesting to me.

Who came up with the idea that we need to invest our days working to make some big corporation more profitable? I would rather simplify my life, be in control of my income, have more time to enjoy life, and do creative work that inspires me.

The truth is that it probably would be easier to take another high paying corporate sales job. Starting my own business is challenging and it takes time to figure things out.

But honestly, my biggest fear right now is wasting the opportunity to reach out and take my shot at creating something meaningful. After all, I can always go back and get another job.

Getting honest with yourself.

Maybe it’s time that you get honest with yourself. You may – oh dear – disappoint a few people when you:

Follow your heart for the first time,

cut back your hours at work,

say ‘no’ more often,

sell your stuff,

let people be unimpressed,

decide to travel…

And you:

Transfer your skills and desires into your own meaningful project, make time for your Soul to breathe and let your purpose distract you long enough to wake-up.

Pursue your desired reality.

When you decide to go after something meaningful, you need to give less to your current reality and more to your desired reality. I struggled with this a lot when trying to figure out when/if I should leave my job to follow my desires.

Fortunately, that decision was made for me. This allowed me to set my sights 100% on my vision instead of staying in my kinda-crappy situation out of fear, habit, and obligation.

Maybe it’s time that you pursue your highest calling while you’re still employed.

Maybe it’s time that you developed a second income doing something you really care about.

Maybe it’s time that you stop ignoring that little something inside that wants to be born of your creativity and desire.

Maybe it’s time you stop waiting for everything to be perfect.

Maybe it’s time that you stop putting in crazy hours at your current thing, while your big idea waits for you to find the time.

What will your life be like a year later, or three years later, or ten years later if you just keep pleasing others instead of following your true nature?

Most people will walk this earth for decades, feeling guilty for not pursuing the adventures inside of them. Be the person who is brave enough to trust in yourself, your ideas, and in your ability to know, deep down, what’s best for YOU.

Michael

P.S.  Do me a huge favor and share one small step you are going to take towards creating the life you really want.

The Truth About Luck

horseshoe-luck_pop_20014

 

“It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.”

– Baltasar Gracian

Luck has always been on my side.

I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in the United States into a middle class family in a small town in Eastern Oregon. I was lucky enough to be supported by a caring family and never have to worry about food or water. 

When I was a child I was lucky enough to have a father and mother that worked hard. They both worked full time and ran a horse farm that required all of their time and energy after they finished with their regular jobs. Sometimes I felt that that I wasn’t as important as all of their other responsibilities, but now I understand that mom and dad were doing their best to make a better life and follow their dreams. Years later, I was lucky enough to understand that this was my first lesson about working hard for what you believe in.

I was also lucky that my mother worked mostly secretarial jobs and probably wasn’t paid much more than minimum wage. Mom didn’t get paid what she was really worth and I am lucky because I decided to never let that happen to me.

I was lucky because dad worked a job that required him to leave for work at all times of the day or night. Dad did what it took to pay the bills and because of this, I realized that I wanted a better life where I was not at the call of an employer that could drag me from bed and keep me up all night.

And boy was I lucky to have attended average schools that had minimal expectations for me. This inspired me to want more and instilled in me the drive to do better, to go to college, to make the Dean’s Honor List, to get a well paying job with ‘normal’ hours, so that I’d never feel average like that again.

It’s as though I’ve had a good luck charm around my neck for the past forty years.

I’ve also been lucky enough to experience financial hardships and mistakes. I’m lucky enough to have made financial decisions out of fear and greed that cost me nearly everything. For without having made these decisions, I would not have gained the wisdom to approach life differently today.

I am lucky that I had to start over with my career, relationship and finances a few years ago. Without losing all of these things, I would have never gained an appreciation for what I now have.

I was lucky that my first marriage didn’t last. Without going through the pain of separation and divorce, I would have never met the most amazing woman in the world and married her.

I have been lucky enough to work at several great companies over my career. And I am lucky that three of them laid me off. By placing my income and career possibilities into someone else’s hands, I have learned the value in becoming self-sufficient and starting my own business.

I have been lucky enough to realize how important it is to only do the things you love. Otherwise, you’re running on a treadmill. And the treadmill will stop when you least expect it, cracking happiness into pieces.

I am lucky that I experienced personal financial challenges, unemployment and divorce all in the same year.

That kind of luck leaves a burning desire that NOTHING could ever top.

My luck continues. Six months ago, I was lucky enough to start blogging and begin surrounding myself with people that had created amazing businesses doing work they cared about. Today, I have a growing audience of people that care about what I have to say.

I am also very lucky that I had a coach challenge me to begin charging people for what I have to offer. Today, I coach a group of amazing people that value my experience and knowledge. And because of this, I have a growing income that will ease the transition out of my corporate job in August.

What about your luck? Have you lucked out and been fortunate to have gone through similar struggles? Have you been given the inspiration to work harder than ever, to explore new opportunities to take control of your future, and drive towards following your dreams and feeling ALIVE?

Are you one of the fortunate ones that was not born with a silver spoon so that you could learn the importance of adding value to the world in exchange for a fair return? Have you been lucky enough to fail again and again?

Never forget that failure isn’t bad. Failure isn’t final. In fact, failure is part of the process. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from achieving the success you deserve. If you’re struggling, keep going. Keep taking at least one small action step each day.

From my perspective, failure is good luck. Without having failed multiple times, I would not have the amazing wife, business, friends and life that I have today.

A great thing to remember is that everybody in your situation has the same choice: you can regret your situation or you can appreciate it and dedicate yourself to changing it. Accept responsibility for your future. Refuse to complain, criticize, or condemn. If you want people to help you achieve your goals, then trust your intuition and seek out mentorship. Stop doubting it. Stop denying it. Have faith.

I can only hope you’ve been as lucky as I have over the years. So take that luck and leverage it. Keep moving towards the life that you really want. And remember, it only gets easier and better from here.

– Michael

P.S. Share an example of your luck and how it has shaped your life.

Jumping off the Hamster Wheel and Finding Your Sweet Spot

Pet Hamster Holding A Blank  SignWhy do we do the things we do? Is it because our parents did it that way? Is it because we are trying to impress our friends? Is it because everyone else does it? Or is it because we are just trying to pay the bills?

Since I was told that August 16th would be my last day at my corporate job, I have been asking myself many questions about why I do the things I do.

 

 

I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.

Lucille Ball

One of the biggest questions I have asked myself is why did I have a corporate job in the first place? Well, it was serving a purpose. My company paid me well to do work that they needed someone to do. As simple as that! And I am grateful for that opportunity as it allowed me save some money and begin to see clearly that I wanted to do more meaningful work.

I did not want to spend the rest of my working life answering to people that cared little for me. I was giving up my precious life energy and spending hours away from home so that I could receive a paycheck to buy groceries, pay the mortgage and take short vacations. This sounds simple enough…go to work, get paid, buy stuff and then do it over and over again. But I was starting to feel like a hamster on a wheel because my work was not a true reflection of me.

No offense to all those lovely hamsters out there but looking back, I was really just doing the same uncreative things over and over and over again.

Over time, I began to feel numb in my corporate job. I was going through the motions because I needed/wanted the paycheck. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Our entire Western culture is bent on the idea that we go and find a great job so that our parents can be proud of us and we can go buy nice things to enjoy life. It’s the American dream, right?

The only problem is that it’s pretty easy to get comfortable with this idea because almost everyone is doing it. It’s the reality that we know.

Well, I am questioning that idea. I know that everyone has a different situation and I would be the first to say that if you don’t have the money to take your loved one out to a nice dinner, then by all means go out and get a job and create some financial stability in your life.

The key is to not get too comfortable in the job trap (unless you truly love your job). But I do believe that it’s entirely possible to be an entrepreneur while working for someone else. The most successful employees at most companies are the ones that love their job and willingly take on new assignments and tasks to create more value.

Here’s the bottom line. If you are in a job that you don’t love or feel a deep purpose for, why would you keep doing it? For the status? For the money? To keep your spouse happy? Let me just say that these things never end well.

My advice: start a business on the side doing something you care deeply about and that others will pay you for. That way, if you get laid off like I did, you will have a foundation already in place to grow a business and an income.

And even if you don’t want to start a side business, please, please, please consider finding work that is meaningful to you. Life is just too damn short to get comfortable in a job that you don’t love.

So how would I go about starting a side business that’s meaningful?

Here’s what I did.

I started by finding the intersection of three different criteria:

1.      What you’re deeply passionate about

2.      What you’re the absolute best at

3.      What the market wants

It’s an easy enough concept.  But finding that intersection (what I call the sweet spot)… now, that’s the trick.

Finding Your Sweet Spot

sweet spot

To illustrate the sweet spot concept (the intersection where your passion + your skills + what the market wants = your ideal role), I will use an example of my own business model.

What am I Deeply Passionate About?

I am deeply passionate about: Liberating the true genius within.
My purpose is to inspire authenticity – freeing talent, ideas, voice, opinions, consciousness. I inspire people to be the best version of themselves and create a life of freedom through a business with Soul. I find that when I diverge from this path, the cost is dear. When I stay the course of my truth, and support others in doing the same, I prosper in every possible way.

What Can I Be The Best At?

I can be best in the world at: Helping others align with their brilliance and get paid to be themselves.

I resisted aligning with my own brilliance for so long that I experienced tremendous pain because of it. I now understand what it means to follow my heart and use my head.

note: the most important word in this sentence is *can*. It’s not what *are* you the best in the world at (maybe it’s not on purpose) or what do you *want* to be the best in the world at (could be unrealistic). Maybe you can only be the best in the world at making gluten free crackers for mom’s in Scandinavia, or offering yoga adventure bootcamps for thrill seeking adrenalin junkies, or wedding planning in the tri-state area for under $20,000. Or maybe it’s just one thing you sell, such as…

What Does The Market Want/What Can I Make Money Doing?

My market wants: To do work that matters. To turn their existing skills and interests into a predictable income doing work that they love.

I make money by packaging my experience and wisdom in as many forms as possible (ie. personal coaching/consulting, and soon to be online training programs and mentorship programs).

I do not say yes or make new stuff unless it’s in sync with my sweet spot. It’s pure, it’s powerful and it works.

How do you know which big ideas get the green light or the kibosh?

Only your intuition knows, and she has your best interests at heart. She will love you to the edge of your greatness, and snap her whip when you waffle. She wants you to stay on purpose, on target, and on fire. She wants you to say no to soul-draining work and time wasters. She wants you to keep it pointed to where you want to go.

Remember, your intuition actually works for you. When a new idea or opportunity comes into view, intuition leans over, surveying your potential choices, and whispers two words to you: Sweet Spot. And snap! You know just what to do. Every time. You know whether to take it or leave it!

Knowing whether something falls in your sweet spot is one mighty power tool for clarity and purpose-driving. It is deceptively simple. If it’s not in your sweet spot, you lose.

– Michael

P.S. Do me a favor and leave me a comment on what you believe is your sweet spot.

My BIG Change + Nine Reasons To Start Your Own Business On The Side (Part 2)

sg15-10761

 

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

Cherokee Expression

This is a continuation of last week’s blog post, but with one important update!

I GOT LAID OFF!

Yep. You read that right. I was notified at 12:15 on Tuesday that my employer made the “tough decision” to downsize and eliminate all of the positions in our software division.

A representative from HR and a senior executive asked me to call in for a “business update” and then made a bunch of vague statements about the reorganization of the company (which made me want to vomit) and then they thanked me for my efforts for the past four and a half years and offered me a severance package.

An 11 minute phone call essentially ended my job and my six-figure corporate income. Just like that!

But you know what? It’s the lightest that I’ve felt for a long time. Because of starting this blog (and offering some coaching/consulting along with it), I have a side income already going.

And I have some savings (always a great thing) along with a severance package that lasts until mid-October. I can now pour all of my efforts into this business full time and I have never felt happier.

Am I a little afraid? Off course! But not the ‘freaking out’ kind of afraid. I’m mostly afraid of not making the most of the opportunity to go out and create what I’ve been blogging about for the past six months.

The truth is that I have simplified my life. I have zero debt, zero car payments and a manageable mortgage payment.

Everything that’s unfolding in my life right now is exactly what I’ve been preparing for and coaching others to do. Other than losing my job sooner than I would have chosen, I am trusting that all the steps I’ve taken recently have prepared me to fully launch my own project. A project that will have a lasting impact on others while allowing me to create a life of freedom through a business with Soul.

Coincidence?

Is it a coincidence that I decided to break this blog post into two sections? I honestly had zero clue that was going to be laid off when I wrote the full version of this post last week. And as you can see below, the leading reason for starting your own business on the side is exactly what happened to me. I couldn’t make this up if I tried!

Enjoy the rest of the blog post and I’ll return next week with some perspective on my recent life changes.

Things are about to get really interesting!

Reasons 5 through 9 for Starting Your Own Business on the Side

5) There is no such thing as job security. Many big companies are systematically firing their employees. And the majority of employees are concerned about their job…and if they are going to lose it.

The lucky ones are concerned about how they’re going to get a raise to keep up with inflation or get their full bonus at the end of the year. But there’s a huge swath of people who are mostly just trying to get by.

These people are just grinding it out and trying to make ends meet. They’re less concerned about where they’re going and much more concerned about not being let go from their jobs tomorrow.

Beyond that, there are many people who are unemployed and would welcome the kind of misery that those clock-watchers are enduring. If you look at the global job market, things are not pretty. In Thomas Friedman’s column on July 12, 2011, in the New York Times titled “The Start-Up of You”, he states that the job market is not going to get any better because the jobs of yesterday are simply gone. And the companies with the big valuations aren’t looking for the types of workers that companies have traditionally hired. They’re looking for people who treat their career like a start-up.

And there is also a secret in business today that few big corporations will readily admit: They can do a whole lot with very little. Many of today’s most successful technology companies are made up of less than a handful of employees. They are leveraging technology to accomplish what used to take an army of workers to accomplish.

The time has come for each of us to start thinking about our careers as start-ups and start creating a side income from something we know and care about. It can be hard for people who have had traditional jobs to think like entrepreneurs but now it’s more critical than ever.

6) Your job is not satisfying your needs. The only time I’ve had a job that did satisfy my needs was when I’ve had the flexibility and time to pursue something meaningful on the side. To either write, start a business, have fun, or spend time with friends. When I didn’t have time for those things, I was working too hard, dealing with people I didn’t like, getting my creativity crushed over and over, and so on. When you are in those situations, you need to either make a change or plot out your exit strategy.

Your hands are not made to type emails all day long. Or go to boring meetings that you don’t really care about. Or hold a phone up while you talk to people you dislike. You have to make wonderful use of those hands now. Kiss your hands so they can make magic.

One can argue, “Not everyone is entitled to have all of those needs satisfied at a job.” That’s true. But since we already know that the salary of a job won’t make you happy, you can easily modify lifestyle and work to at least satisfy more of your needs. And the more these needs are satisfied, the more you will create the conditions for true abundance to come into your life.

7) You are trading your time for money. If you quit, the money flow stops.

If you woke up today and said “How freaking cool, I already made $500 today and I’ve only been awake for five minutes” congratulations, time is your friend, not your enemy.

The fact is, many business owners buy time though legacy creation while the rest of us sell our time through a job.

If you ever want to lead a rich life (having both time and money on your side) you must not only own your own business, it must be the right kind of business where time becomes your ally.

For example, the digital internet course that Chris Guillebeau just created called Adventure Capital, doesn’t require much of his ongoing time after he created it. People can access the course 24/7 whenever he makes it available to the public. He makes income from the value he created one time.

That is legacy.

And legacy makes money and puts time on your side, instead of against you.

This is crucially important because most businesses are just poor disguises for a job. If you have a business where you trade time for dollars, quit fooling yourself: you have a job. Your business simply employs you instead of someone else. If your clients disappear, so does your job and your income. That’s NOT legacy.

A legacy exists when you are checked out and the income continues to flow. Go for legacy baby!

8) You were lied to about college. More than 50% of graduating seniors can’t get jobs right now. And for the first time ever there is over a trillion dollars in student loan debt. The government was really nice to back that debt.

But they forgot to tell you: you can’t get rid of that debt. Not even in bankruptcy. Hmm, so jobs are going down, income is going down, debt is going up.

You’re a slave. Now that you’re stuck underneath a pile of inescapable debt, you have to do whatever they say and live with it.

9) There is a way out. You have to hustle. It’s hard. But there’s nothing else. You have to choose between the path of working a job or being an entrepreneur. This may sound funny but you have to stay physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy. What avenue is going to allow you to do this?

Decide now and begin moving forward.

– Michael

P.S. If you’ve ever experienced an unexpected job loss, how did you react and move forward?

9 Reasons To Start Your Own Business On The Side (Part 1)

fundamentals-of-success

WARNING: This is one of my more opinionated posts. Dare I say there is even a rant or two. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!

Today I will challenge ideas about some of the most established institutions in our Western culture. Specifically, the institutions of finance, higher education, employment and government.

One thing is for certain and that is change. Change happens whether we like it or not. And it’s how well we adapt to change that often determines our level of success and happiness. Today, I am going to discuss changes that are happening and why it makes sense to simplify and start a side business that may eventually replace your job as your primary source of income and stability.

While society tells us that we’re supposed to borrow money to go to school and buy a house, student loan and mortgage debt can bind you to a biweekly paycheck to remain afloat financially. When you’re paying $2,500 per month combined on your mortgage and student loans, it often makes it hard to take some time off to explore a passion or build a business. You have to keep running on the hamster wheel.

Which begs the question, is college even a good option anymore? As Michael Ellsberg points out in his book, ‘The Education of Millionaires’, why not take the money and time you would have spent on school and build a business? This comes from an Ivy League graduate and author that interviewed some of the most successful entrepreneurs around.

Ditto for buying a house, which anchors you to a specific geographic location, limiting your employment opportunities to that area. You probably won’t hear this from anyone else, but the primary factor in how much you spend every month is the house and neighborhood you live in. That’s because your neighborhood creates the financial culture that presents the spending choices you make.

I know people that live in $400,000 homes in beautiful neighborhoods, drive new BMW’s and Audi’s, buy giant flat screen TV’s and $6,000 sofas, and are essentially broke. They don’t fully realize how much money they are spending because everyone around them is doing the same thing.

If your dream is to really live rich (i.e. decrease your workload and have more time to pursue your passions) why not consider moving to a less expensive house in a less expensive neighborhood and drastically reduce expenses?

Then you wouldn’t have as much financial pressure to keep that demanding corporate job that sucks all your time and energy away from the things you really want to be doing.

At the same time you could also be starting a business on the side and increasing your income. By significantly cutting your biggest expense by 30% to 50% and at the same time, taking immediate steps to increase your income 20% – 50%, you can escape financial slavery and have more room to pursue all the things that really matter to you.

These burdens of lifestyle expenses prevent most people from reaching one of the most rewarding positions in life: working for yourself, where your earning power can be a direct result of your ideas, drive, and effort, rather than your boss’ estimation of how much your time is worth.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be free from the shackles of a 9-5 prison and someone else determining my worth. And I want to be in more control of my own destiny. I’m tired of being fed lies about what I’m supposed to do and how I’m supposed to live. The government and the media have mastered the craft of telling us how we should be living and what we should be buying in order to ‘fit in’ and be successful.

Enough!

Nine Reasons To Start Your Own Business On The Side

1) The average cubicle dweller is becoming impoverished. Let’s start by taking a look at a simple graphic: your income is going down. Simple as that! Median U.S. household income is near its lowest point over the last 13 years.

This is a disturbing trend (read change) that likely won’t change anytime soon. So what are you going to do about it?

graph

Source: Sentier Research analysis of Labor Department data.

2) The middle class is being squeezed. Population is going up, but high-quality jobs are being outsourced, globalized and mobilized.

I work for a company that has constantly been downsizing their workforce since I’ve been here. What they do every quarter is replace some of the full time workers with temporary staff so that they don’t have to pay benefits to full time employees. It started with IT, then Software Development, then Marketing. What’s next?

And that’s why temp staffing is an industry that’s going through the roof. The big companies don’t want employees. Why not? They don’t want to deal with rising health insurance costs and Obamacare. They don’t want to pay the high salaries that aging baby boomers demand. With temp staffers, they don’t have to deal with all of the issues.

The workers that are left (that’s me) are asked to do more for the same amount of pay. And we’re told that we are the lucky ones because we still have a ‘good job’.

And taxes keep going up. I don’t mind paying my fair share to support our clean water, infrastructure and other things that make life easier. But I’m not too keen on paying higher taxes to a degenerate government that has to borrow more money simply to pay interest on the money they’ve already borrowed.

And just in case you hadn’t connected the dots, having your own business means that you can deduct legitimate business expenses pre-tax.

3) You’ve sold out. Unless you are completely satisfied with your job and it gives you every aspect of happiness and success, you are selling your Soul in exchange for some temporary level of comfort.

Your unwillingness to do something that really matters is nothing more than simple bribery. It’s an illusion of comfort and security. The steady paycheck, the cool BMW 3-series, the rocking 2-bedroom loft in the cool part of town…these things are holding you hostage.

If material accoutrements are all you need to give up on your dreams, you don’t have a chance at your best life because your dreams are not your biggest priority – your immediate comfort and security are.

In other words, you’ve sold out!                                     

And I get it. I’m still working in a corporate job. But I’m leveraging it to build a business on the side that will allow me to step away and not have to put my Soul through the corporate meat grinder five days a week.

4) Your retirement plan is a joke. First off, everybody under the age of 50 should just say goodbye to eventual Social Security. Don’t count on it. Never mind that you have been paying into it your entire adult working life.

And for those age 65 and above, a promise has been made to them all of their lives. Well, unfortunately the promise is a lie. Social Security gets adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy. Guess what: food and energy are going up faster than the CPI… which is why current retirees have about ten years left before their basic needs can no longer be met by the money promised them all of their lives.

Nobody can retire anymore on their retirement plan. It’s sad but true: humans are just living longer. 401ks, IRAs, and the other little plans your corporate masters and bank liars have put together for you are built on lies and ways for them to earn fees on their mutual funds. They use fancy phrases like “laddering” and “the stock market has never had a sustained down period.” All of these things are lies.

Here’s the truth: you will never become wealthy and free investing a small portion of your income in your 401k and mutual funds. It’s just not going to happen. All of the people that I know who make significant income through investments have created their initial wealth by starting and growing their own businesses.

There are multitudes of research that indicate the the most common way to generate a combination of personal satisfaction and wealth is to start a business and create real value for people. Don’t believe the lie you’ve been told about becoming wealthy by scrimping and saving for 40 years and maxing out your 401k plan. Ask many of the baby boomers how that worked out in 2000, 2007, 2008 and 2010 when many people had their 401k’s demolished by market crashes.

The path of pursuing meaningful work is not easy. It’s going to take a lot of courage, diligence, sacrifice and patience. You will have to be around positive people who love you. You will have to be grateful for the abundance in your life and look for creative ways to have more of it. This is not economics. This is the real world and how to survive in it. Not the fantasy land of cubicles and fluorescent lights.

Remember, nothing great happens all at once. Permanent change occurs through process – hundreds of decisions made over time that engineer a lifestyle.

I will begin interviewing remarkable entrepreneurs next month on how to engineer success on your terms while keeping your sanity (mostly) intact. :-)

And I will return next week with the other five reasons to start your own business on the side.

Until then, start thinking about the kind of life that you really want to have and start taking steps to make it a reality.

Best,

Michael

P.S. Do me a favor and let me know what you think in the comments.