Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

The Quickest Way to Change Your Reality

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A few weeks ago I wrote a series called Four Steps to Getting Paid to Make a Difference. This was based on my experience and my personal journey over the last few years. It was a way for me to organize all of the steps that led me to launch this blog and to start a business based on the things I was most curious about.

The first thing I talked about was how to Get on Your Feet Financially. I talk about building a foundation of financial stability so that you can pursue your greatest work without the energy of fear and scarcity lurking in the background.

The second thing I talked about was how to Simplify and Prioritize Your Life so that you have the time and energy to create something brilliant.

The third subject was all about Creating Room for Expansion which allows us to create our life in the direction that is most inspiring.

And the final entry in the series was about Creating a Life with Meaning and Money. This idea focuses on the necessary action step of deliberate experimentation and pursuing your most inspiring ideas.

After putting together a comprehensive blog series on the steps that I have taken to get where I am, something still felt like it was missing.

And I figured out what it is.

Step 5: Surround yourself with people that support you.

As I began talking to people about pursuing steps to create a life with more meaning and money, I realized that I had left out maybe the most important step of all.

Whatever you do, begin surrounding yourself with people that support you!

Maybe you’ve heard this quote from Jim Rohn:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

What we believe is possible for ourselves, who we can become, what we can achieve, what we deserve, is largely determined by how we were raised, who we spend time with, and the community we’re surrounded by.

Thus my realization that you can be following all the other steps above, but if you are surrounding yourself with a crowd that has no desire for doing something greater…well, good luck!

How we limit ourselves.

Have you ever heard someone say something limiting about themselves that just sounds ridiculous?

“I want to get out of debt but I don’t make enough money.”

“I wish I could get in shape, but I don’t have the time.”

“I’d love to travel more, but it’s too expensive.”

“I want to find a lover, but there’s just no one out there for me.”

To the person making the statement, these thoughts might seem completely true. Some people really think that debt-free living is only for people who make a certain amount of money, or they don’t have time to get in shape, or that travel is cost prohibitive unless you’re rich, or they will never find love so why bother looking.

To others, these are just weak excuses. Maybe you read the above and knew better.

But no matter who you are, and how easily you can recognize the weak excuses of others, you’re never without your own self-limiting beliefs. Some of your beliefs probably even seem like silly excuses or uninformed points of view to others who have more informed views of the subjects than you do.

We all live in our own realities.

Where do these self-imposed limits and beliefs come from?

Think about who you spend the most time with. Is how you see yourself influenced by what those people believe and what they have achieved and aspire to?

Now think about your own limiting beliefs.

What do you accept as being out of reach in your life?

How do the people you spend time with contribute to those beliefs?

It’s not just your closest friends who influence how you see yourself and what you accept as reality. Your surroundings, your media influences and the status quo you’re surrounded by all have a big impact as well.

If you’re surrounded by unhappy, out of shape, in-debt people, whether they’re close friends or simply your community or co-workers, guess what you’re likely to be as well?

Make a Breakthrough!

Here are two ways to make a breakthrough in your life.

  • Surrounding yourself with people who have broader, more enlightened and ambitious views of themselves and life is one way to change your own reality.
  • Another way is to take an honest look at yourself and admit that you’re capable of much more than what you’ve allowed yourself to become so far. Then force yourself into a period of discomfort. If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. To change your life, you have to embrace being uncomfortable regularly.

The good news is we’re all capable of these voluntary adjustments of reality. These moments of clarity are opportunities and gifts, but they shouldn’t be relied on for all the progress you hope to make in your life.

You have to use these moments of clarity to make changes that will give your not-so-bold self a safety net. When you’re ready to change your life, you should devote part of your energy to tackling your challenges head-on, but you should also use some of your energy to change your surroundings and influences.

The easiest way to make a big change is to upgrade your surroundings.

I don’t know about you, but I only have a limited amount of will-power. If I am trying to lose weight and get in better shape, the last thing I need is to be hanging around someone who heads straight to happy hour for two dollar cheeseburgers and a pint of ale.

It will be much easier to achieve my desired lifestyle result if I’m surrounding myself with people that are talking about going for a run after work or discussing how to make delicious and healthy meals.

Never accept your current surroundings as your reality.

Do you really want to make changes in your life? Then be very deliberate about who you spend the most time with every day.

Make new friends, change jobs, start a business, move to a new place, start reading new books or blogs, find a mentor, stop watching so much junk TV, stop hanging out with the negative people in your life, and start doing more things that make you come alive.

Be bold and get purposeful about who you spend your time with. Do you spend your time with people out of obligation, out of old habit?

This may sound silly to some people but I keep a list of the people who inspire me and who I want to meet. And I find creative ways to meet them or get introduced to them.

I don’t think there is anything more exciting than bonding together with someone in pursuit of a common goal: to mold your reality as you want it to be.

It’s true, you might be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, and you’re likely to live a life much like your colleagues and people in your community. The good news is that you can change your surroundings.

Remember, your reality is up to you!

What is the first thing that you would change in your surroundings? Leave a comment if you feel inspired.

Michael

How Do You Deal With Resistance?

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An important part of my journey towards doing more meaningful work is reading books that inspire and challenge me. I am shooting for a book a month. And I have decided to share my thoughts about the books that have a direct impact on doing work that matters, escaping the corporate treadmill, earning money in your own business, lifestyle businesses, etc.

The process of starting something meaningful and profitable can seem both exciting and daunting at the same time. I often wonder if it’s normal to feel inspired one moment and feel like quitting the next. What is it that causes this huge fluctuation in emotion and the ability to stay focused on the task at hand? I have found the answer in Steven Pressfield’s classic read, ‘The War of Art’.

Someone once said, “The enemy is a very good teacher.” According to Pressfield, the enemy is Resistance. Resistance is felt by everyone and it rears its ugly head most vociferously during activities endeavored in pursuit of a higher calling and during which you are certain to experience challenges, setbacks, and delayed gratification. In other words: anything worth doing! These can include, according to Pressfield: “the pursuit of any creative art, however marginal or unconventional; the launching of any entrepreneurial venture; any program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction; any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.”

Pressfield makes his living as a writer, primarily of fiction (his best known work is ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’), who must sit down at his computer and contend with Resistance every day. He personifies Resistance vividly throughout the book, referring to it as “a bully” and “Santa’s evil twin.” In ‘The War of Art’ he encourages the reader, whatever his or her motives or goals, to look Resistance in the eye and tell it to f*** off.

Key Themes

Everyone experiences Resistance every single day. Be prepared that you, yes you, qualify as “everyone”. Resistance takes many forms, most notably procrastination. It can manifest itself in ways that distract us from doing our most important work including: TV, drugs, shopping, web-surfing, email addiction, gossip, sugar, chronic lateness, compulsive screwing-up, self-created drama, self-medication and/or feeling sorry for yourself (plus many more). Do any of these sound familiar? If so, you are battling with Resistance.

The way to defeat Resistance, according to Pressfield, is to become a Professional. Pressfield writes, “Resistance hates it when we turn pro.” Turning pro doesn’t mean getting included in membership of a professional association or earning a degree; it means doing the work every day. He tells us, “There’s no mystery to turning pro. It’s a decision brought about by an act of will. We make up our mind to view ourselves as pros and we do it. Simple as that.”

If you are looking for a clear course of action, you will be disappointed. Pressfield implores you to do the work, do the work, do the work. Master your craft, endure the inevitable adversity, dedicate your life to your work, arm yourself with patience and commit to the long haul. Do not over-identify with your craft! Resistance loves when you over-identify with your work: it knows you will never complete the work when you are over-invested because you are too afraid to fail. Instead be mission-focused and regard your work with a cool detachment to keep you from freezing up. And, yes: do the work.

At 165 pages, ‘The War of Art’ is a quick read. Pressfield’s style of writing is aggressive, funny, passionate and inspiring. This book will appeal to anyone that reads this blog, especially career-changers, life hackers, aspiring entrepreneurs, experienced entrepreneurs who are in a holding pattern, self-proclaimed creative types and anyone who would benefit from a little kick-in-the-ass inspiration. This is the kind of book you can pick up, flip through to a random page, and find a few choice words to put a bit of fire in your belly. Then get on with it and do the work.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Resistance is the enemy of creativity

“What does Resistance feel like? First, unhappiness.  We feel like hell. A low-grade misery pervades everything. We’re bored, we’re restless. We can’t get no satisfaction. There’s guilt but we can’t put our finger on the source. We want to go back to bed; we want to get up and party. We feel unloved and unlovable. We’re disgusted. We hate our lives. We hate ourselves.”

“Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.  We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the poser to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.”

Fear and self-doubt are part of the creative process

“Fear doesn’t go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

“Resistance feeds on fear… Fear of failure. Fear of being ridiculous. Fear of throwing away the education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for.  Fear of launching into the void, of hurtling too far out there; fear of passing some point of no return.”

“The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.”

“We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know.”

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”

If you don’t love it, don’t waste your time.

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”

“The professional, though he accepts money, does his work out of love. He has to love it. Otherwise he wouldn’t devote his life to it of his own free will.”

“To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.”

“The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her. Her artistic self contains many works and many performances. Already the next is percolating inside her. The next will be better, and the one after that better still.”

“It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.”

“If we were the last person on earth, would we still show up at the studio, the rehearsal hall, the laboratory?”

“The professional loves her work.  She is invested in it wholeheartedly.  But she does not forget that the work is not her.  Her artistic self contains many works and many performances.  Already the next is percolating inside her.  The next will be better, and the one after that better still.”

Just because its art doesn’t mean that it will be easy.

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”

“This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insight accrete.”

“The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come.  The professional is sly.  He knows that by toiling beside the front door of technique, he leaves room for genius to enter by the back.”

Success is becoming what you already are

“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”

“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”

“That’s why an artist must be a warrior and, like all warriors, artists over time acquire modesty and humility. They may, some of them, conduct themselves flamboyantly in public. But alone with the work they are chaste and humble. They know they are not the source of the creations they bring into being. They only facilitate. They carry. They are the willing and skilled instruments of the gods and goddesses they serve.”

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

What do you think about ‘The War of Art’?

  • Do you think Steven Pressfield is right when he says that what holds us back is not our level of talent, but our ability to overcome our own fears and self-doubt?
  • Do you agree that when it comes to becoming successful, we are often our own worst enemy?
  • What types of “Resistance” do you find yourself dealing with on a daily basis? How do you overcome it?

Share a thought or two about your creative journey! 

How Loving What You Do Is the Quickest Path to Doing What You Love

 

9222_1000-1000-0Some might argue that learning to love what you do is a surefire way to get stuck a comfortable place and never pursue your greatest work. I disagree. By learning to love what you do, you will create enormous momentum that will carry you forward much faster than if you are constantly focusing on how much your job sucks.

Before we can do what we love, we must first start by loving what we do.

Even if you have a clear vision of what’s next, what about right now? How can I enjoy what I’m being paid to do in the here and now?

You may be in a job or career that you don’t feel you can change right now. Perhaps because you have a huge mortgage, kids, debt or any one of the other million possibilities that don’t allow you to totally push reset. That’s fine (for now). But that also doesn’t mean you condemn yourself to a life of career complacency and sleepwalking.

How are you experiencing your work?

In some of my previous jobs, I found that the more I resisted the job, the harder it was for me to do it. Rather than pushing against it, I needed to be grateful that someone had trusted me with the opportunity to do work and be paid for it.

I remember the day where I realized that I needed to stop resisting my job and work with the opportunity that I was given. I had a business coach challenge me to either make the most of the opportunity that I had or to get out! I can say with 100% certainty that this change in perspective enabled me to move forward by leaps and bounds.

How I turned my greatest challenge into my greatest ally

The first step — like most things — started with changing my point of view. Instead of seeing my job as a necessary evil, I started viewing it in a more positive light. I began being grateful for all of the things my job was allowing me to have and do.

The second step was becoming completely accountable for my situation. I began accepting complete responsibility for what I was creating in my career and in my life. I no longer made excuses for things that were (or were not) happening.

Please do not underestimate the power of the two steps above. These steps helped me gain clarity about the kind of work that I wanted to be doing. And ultimately led to my current job which allows me to work from home, have some flexibility in my schedule, and pays me well enough to save 20% of my income.

As I learned how to value my job, my job began supporting me in many new ways, including building my own business on the side. My job has allowed me to hone valuable skills that I am currently using to start my web show and consulting business.

My job has also helped me to be humble. I have accepted that while it’s not my ultimate dream to be in software sales, it isn’t that bad and it is allowing me to accomplish many things while I am building my new business on the side.

My day job has also taught me how to be patient. While working towards creating my own version of freedom, I am building a sustainable business that will allow me to leave my day job as my side business income grows. Building a new business is similar to farming. You till your fields, you plant your crops, and you cultivate them for weeks or months before you ever reap the rewards.

How to make your job enjoyable

1.      Leverage your career strengths.

Leverage your current skills to do work that is familiar and will pay you well. This is also known as career leverage and it will make your life easier. If you already have a job where you are using your skills and being paid well, then consider yourself one step ahead of the game.

I took this step over three years ago when I leveraged my network to get back into software sales. Rather than seeing this as a step back, I knew that I could land a job that would allow me to do work that I was familiar with and where I could get paid really well for my efforts. And I also knew that there would not be much of a learning curve since I had done this type of work before.

As a result of leveraging my career experience, I was able to find a job where I am paid for my results, I get to work from home, and I am challenged and not bored.

2.      Understand where you’re at your best.

Then spend your time doing it. And find a way to stop doing the things you hate and suck at. If you enjoy marketing but hate making sales calls, then get creative and find a way to do more marketing and fewer sales calls. Your situation might not be that clear but I guarantee there’s room to work. There always is.

Using my natural strengths has been the biggest single contributor to fulfillment in my work. Everything is so much better when you fill your time doing things you’re awesome (or at least good) at. As you begin experimenting with your own business ideas, it will become very important for you to focus on what you’re good at and delegate (i.e. pay someone else) to do the rest.

3.      Find a bigger reason why.

When you’re stuck in spreadsheet hell, it’s all too easy to lose sight of life. Find a way to connect your seemingly mundane task (assuming someone else can’t do it) to the overall purpose of the company or the people your product or service is designed to serve.

Or better yet, know that the work you are doing now is supporting your efforts to do work that matters later. Some days, the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that what I am doing today is supporting something bigger and greater.

Part of the path to doing work that matters is making sure that you have a sustainable path to fulfilling your desire. And unless you already have a large pile of cash, or are expecting a windfall, your current job is supporting you and your efforts to do more meaningful work later.

4.      Negotiate working from home.

Sometimes being in the office and dealing with a commute is the worst part of your job. You might love the work but get lost in the B.S. of a bureaucratic office. You’ve got to convince your boss you can do better work at home. Start with asking for half a day on a Friday and then maybe a full day.

Be sure to be massively productive and send her everything you did on your day off. Explain how much more productive you are in a quiet and focused environment. Then show her the results. If a half or full day is too hard to negotiate then take a day off and tell her you have to stay home with your kids or wait for the plumber. Pick something realistic (and ideally true). And then use this time to prove how productive you were. Then follow up with a note that you had more time at home than you thought and here’s all the stuff you were able to accomplish in an uninterrupted environment.

I realize that not all jobs have this option. A nurse can’t do her job from home. But many jobs do offer this as an option. A big part of happiness for many people is owning their own schedule. This starts with training your boss to focus on output, not time in office. With that comes freedom.

Making the best of today does not mean sacrificing your dream tomorrow.

Let’s be clear. The above is not an excuse to stay in a job when you know that you have more meaningful work to do. It’s simply a short-term solution to a problem that millions of people face.

You are still responsible for finding your most meaningful work. It’s out there. But remember, there’ll never be a perfect time to take the jump. Wait as little as possible. But be smart about the transition so that you don’t put yourself or your family in a bind.

Start saving some money to cushion the transition and start experimenting with how you can make your mark on the world. The more clearly you understand the importance of doing what matters, the more likely you are to do something about it.

Work your plan. Make your current job part of the plan and suddenly your meaningless commute will have a little purpose to it. That’s a start.

Now it’s up to you.

If you’ve found meaning in the message above, then you have changed your perspective on your job and you understand the value in it as an important part of the journey to doing more meaningful work. I mean, if you’re going to stay in your job (for now) you might as well get some enjoyment from it.

But don’t sit idle. Start now by clearing some time in your week for exploring ideas that excite you. And remember that it’s likely going to take work to get something new and exciting off the ground. Welcome it. If you aren’t happy with your current situation then take some steps and do something about it. Remember…delaying happiness today does not equal more happiness tomorrow.

It’s up to you now.

No excuses.

No more sleep walking through life.

You can either sit idle while your story gets written or you can wake up and start writing it yourself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever felt trapped by your day job? What did you do to change how you felt about it?

Why Designing Your Business Around Your Lifestyle Matters

Once you decide to embrace the idea of doing work you love, it’s important to think about your overall goal for doing this work.

Like many people, when I first contemplated the idea of working for myself, I thought that choosing this path was the key to personal freedom.

As it turns out, I began to recognize that how you go about it can mean the difference between creating your freedom and creating something even more demanding than working at a job.

If you are thinking about test driving new business ideas that may lead to leaving your job, there are some very important considerations to make.

laptop-at-the-beach

Lifestyle Business or Startup Company?

Many people make the leap to working for themselves without a clear picture of what they want their business to do for them. Some people will begin with a traditional startup where they will add employees, secure funding, and grow their business. This is a proven model for success but may not offer you the lifestyle that you originally envisioned when you got excited about working for yourself.

There is another option. Advances in technology, communications and social media have made it possible to start and run certain types of businesses in a much different way. Instead of hiring employees, a company can now rely almost solely on contractors and service providers. Instead of renting physical office space, people can communicate over Skype, through email, or via social networks.

A newish term for this kind of company is “microbusiness” and the people who start them are classified as “solopreneurs.” These types of companies are leaner, smaller, and more able to adapt, easier to run and grow, and most of all, more supportive of the owner’s lifestyle goals.

A microbusiness is loosely defined as a company with five or fewer employees. A better definition would be around the intent of the company. The intent of a microbusiness would be a company that is designed to run and grow with five or fewer employees.

After doing a lot of research and having had personal experience with traditional startups, I’m going the microbusiness route and I’m already seeing the benefits. As I began testing my idea to launch a web based interview show and educational site, I wanted to make sure that I could run my business from anywhere with a decent internet connection. This way I’m not attached to anyone else’s timeline or expectations and I can hire other small business experts to assist me with video editing, site design and edits, scheduling my show interviews, etc.

I can also easily start my business on a part-time basis while keeping my day job until the time feels right to move into my “lifestyle business” full time.

This may change slightly as I move forward with my business, but I’m very intent on keeping my business lifestyle friendly.

This will be very important as I move towards my goal of living in different locations during the wet winter months that we experience here in Portland. Part of my criteria is to engineer my business so that I can operate from pretty much any location worldwide. This gives my wife and I the flexibility to travel and conduct business from where ever we like.

As an example, I am writing and posting this blog (joyfully) from Hawaii. And most of the blogs that I have completed, I have written while on an airplane traveling for work. My web show will also have the ability to operate from virtually anywhere. All I will need is my laptop, a high speed internet connection, my portable HD web cam, and my video editing software.

Can Any Business Be Lifestyle-Friendly?

Let’s take a look at how a traditional business can be designed to operate as a lifestyle business. While not every business can be designed to support your ideal lifestyle, I do think that many can be creatively designed (or re-designed) to support the way you want to work and live.

Example: Yoga Business

Let’s say that your dream is to start a yoga business. Most people might tell you that you need to invest in the physical space to open a studio and hire employees to help manage and run the business.

But wait! Let’s first consider your lifestyle goals.

If you love yoga and your goal is to launch a yoga business, lets also take your lifestyle goals into consideration and design a business around them. Let’s say that your lifestyle goals are to travel more, not have employees, and not have to deal with the overhead of renting or buying a yoga studio space.

Based on your lifestyle goals, you may have some options that you might not have considered. For example, you could create income and travel by learning how to plan and lead successful yoga retreats. You could also launch your own yoga training program by finding and leasing a temporary studio space or creating a program to be delivered online. You could embrace your travel bug by offering to lead yoga workshops in other cities or yoga retreat centers around the world.

There is no limit to the number of ways that we can be creative with our businesses. And I believe that the first step should be factoring in our lifestyle goals so that our business can support them.

If you currently have a business, or are planning to start one, ask yourself “how can I make this business more lifestyle-friendly for myself and everyone involved?” You’ll be much happier for it!

Michael

Are You Working Towards What You Really Want?

wake-up-and-live

I just finished reading ‘The War of Art’, a book about facing resistance as we go about leading a life of authenticity and creativity.

Talk about a wakeup call! Reading this book really caused me to cut through all the bullshit and realize one thing;

“To labor for any reason other than love is prostitution!”

This is not the revelation that I was hoping for. Far from it. The idea that I have spent that last 15+ years working for money is a harsh pill to swallow. But it is the truth. It is not a truth that is convenient. In fact, it’s borderline depressing. But it is a truth based on the actions of my past beliefs. And it is this truth that keeps me moving forward in pursuit of something better. Something more meaningful. Something that will give me the freedom and creativity that I truly desire.

I came to identify with this truth after taking a good look at why I do what I do for a living. It became evident rather quickly that I do my current work primarily for money. Pure and simple as that. And I don’t see it as right or wrong in any way. It’s just a fact.

We all need money to live our lives, put food on the table and put a roof over our heads. And if we’re lucky, we get to enjoy a few extras in life because we have a job that pays us well for what we do. But for me, getting to the raw truth of why I do the work I do, has helped me to clarify my vision for creating something more fulfilling. I choose to pursue something that will provide both meaning and money.

I challenge you to take a close look at your own situation. If you are working at a job, engaged in a career, or doing anything for any reason other than love, then you are selling out. You are selling your Soul. You are playing into the design of a culture built on the idea that we must trade our time and life energy for dollars in the hope that these dollars are going to make us happier somewhere down the line.

Our schools, media and culture do everything to try and conform us into what they want us to be. I realize that we all have free will and choice, but be honest with yourself. Do you work at your job so that you can live in a certain house, in a certain neighborhood, in a certain city, so that you can feel good about your life? So that you can be comfortable?

I’m guessing for most of us the answer would be ‘yes’.

And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Let me re-emphasize that this is not a right or wrong thing.

My point is that if you don’t enjoy and love your work, you are denying yourself the possibility of being something greater. And you are also denying the rest of humanity the gifts, talents and desires that you were given to share.

It is my belief that we all come into this world with a unique personality and a specific destiny. Think about it. How many babies are born as a blank slate? No! They are all born with a personality and a predisposition to BE a certain way. That’s why we all have different desires, talents and gifts.

I’ve spent the last several years working at jobs for the money and I am currently doing it. I currently enjoy my job and I have a great relationship with my boss and most of my co-workers. I get paid well for my efforts but I also know that it’s not my greatest calling in life.

Is it time for you to wake up? 

I believe that we all have a specific job to do, a calling to enact, a self to realize. We are who we are and we can either fully embrace it or go through life pretending to be happy.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine, but to find out who we already are and become it.

If we were born to write, then it’s our job to become a writer.

If we were born to raise children, then it’s our job to become a mother.

If we were born to teach yoga, then it’s our job to be the best fucking yoga teacher that we can possibly become.

If you were born to travel, then figure out how you are going to get started travelling.

If we were born to start companies, then it’s your job to start the most amazing companies in the world and get down to business.

Okay, this is where I throw in a little disclaimer. I am not saying that you should go and quit your job next week if you are not 100% happy. I am a big believer in making intelligent decisions that will allow us to move towards our goals and dreams in a way that is sustainable and smart.

But the first thing you must do is to wake up and come to grips with that fact that you were born to do something great and meaningful. It’s time to get in touch with that and start moving in that direction.

Play it safe or go for it?

I have recently been coaching a couple of people on how to do two things:

  • Get completely clear about what your Unique Genius is (i.e. discover your unique combination of skills, talents, passions, and life experience)
  • Turn your Unique Genius into your first profitable idea and test it in the marketplace.

One pattern that I have observed with them is that they try to play it safe and not really go for it. I think that our greatest fear is discovering that we are more than we think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent to bring our deepest desires to life. We fear that we can plant our flag and be successful and reach our promised land. And this scares the living hell out of us.

If we really go after what we want, we are afraid that we might end up alone. That we will lose our friends. Or that we will be poor and destitute.

The truth is that we probably will lose some friends along the way. I know I have. But we find new friends in places that we would have never thought to look. And they’re better and truer friends. We make our way and we are better for it. By far.

My challenge for you this week is to ask yourself the following question and answer it honestly:

What keeps you from doing work that you absolutely love?

I would love to hear your comments below!

In gratitude,

Michael

Create Room for Expansion (so that you can create something brilliant)

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We covered steps 1 & 2 for moving in the direction of getting paid to make a difference.

Step 1 was all about getting on your feet financially. This is a critical step for launching a meaningful idea that can make a difference in the world. When you have a steady flow of income and the bills are covered, there is much less pressure around making your big idea work.

Step 2 was about embracing simplicity and setting priorities around what’s really most important. When we begin to remove the fluff from our lives, it opens up room for those things and experiences that make us feel most vibrant and alive. And then it becomes easier to focus on what really matters most.

Step 3 for Getting Paid to Make a Difference: Create Room for Expansion

Step 3 is all about expanding your life in the direction that is most inspiring to you. I’m not just talking about pursuing the things that give you fleeting moments of pleasure. I’m talking about making room to experiment with your biggest and brightest ideas.

See, once you are on your feet financially, the next step is to get a little playful and creative about ways that you can use your skills, talents and experiences to offer big value to the world.

This is the phase where you begin to wonder ‘what if?’

And then begin experimenting with finding ways to blend your meaning with ways to make a living. Finding a comfortable meeting ground for your meaning and your money is going to require a fair amount of experimentation. And experimentation takes time and it takes money. And it takes room to fall and to fail.

Having the financial stability gained in Step 1 makes it a lot easier to start taking some measured risks in your life. For example, I have a job in the software industry that I happen to enjoy and it pays the bills. Outside of my day job I use mornings and weekends to write this blog and soon turn it into a full-blown web TV show. I am going to be interviewing people from all over the world that have succeeded at creating a six-figure businesses doing what they love.

Do I have all the steps in place or know how this will turn out?

Nope!

Am I excited about this project?

Hellz yeah!

The point is that I am using some of my discretionary time and income to follow my desire and create something meaningful that brings value and education to people. This is an experiment that I’m passionate about because I’m fascinated with creative entrepreneurs and I am genuinely interested in the steps that they have taken to create their dream lifestyle. So I figured, what better way to learn than talking directly to the peeps that have figured it out. And then creating a platform where I can share this with others via my own blog and web TV show.

Another example is my wife, Jill. She worked in financial services while she began developing her yoga teaching and massage skills. She began experimenting by taking a yoga teacher training program and eventually going to massage school. Fast forward a few years and she is happily teaching yoga, leading yoga retreats to tropical locations, and now has her own yoga mentorship program for new yoga teachers. See how all this all unfolds?

It’s just so different – and better – figuring out how to make a difference in the world and find meaning in your life when your bills are covered and you have a secure roof over your head. Its way less stressful than trying to do it when you feel pressure to make money. And once the hurdle of supporting yourself is achieved, you’ll be much less likely to go down a path that leads to financial burden or stress.

Now, one problem that you may encounter once you’re financially stable is that the time it takes to create that financial stability in your life is so great, there’s nothing left for anything but your job. This is where Step 3 comes in.

Freeing up time and space

You will need to free up time and space for experimenting with innovation, creativity, making a difference, and finding meaning. One of the ways which I ensure that I have creative time for myself is to get up earlier and get one thing done towards my meaningful project.

Almost every day I get up between 5:30 and 6:00 so that I can have quiet, dedicated time to think, write, research and create. I determine the single most important task that will move my idea forward and I spend at least an hour engaged with that task.

I tend to have more creative energy in the morning so this is when I make time to work on my project. I often spend some time in the evenings as well but the point is to set aside time to experiment with your ideas and stick to it. Do you realize that if you did this for an hour in the morning for a year, you will have accumulated over 350 hours of experience towards learning something new or creating something meaningful?

What if I work a demanding corporate gig?

If you’re working 70 hours a week at a corporate job, there will be very little space left for anything else.

In this case, you should begin looking for creative ways to pursue flextime, working at home, telecommuting, and working from your laptop. These ideas just aren’t that foreign anymore. At the company I work for, over 70% of the employees have home offices and spend at least a couple of days a week working from home. It has been proven that this saves companies money as a result of reduced sick days and happier, more productive employees.

As an example, one of the requirements that I had set when looking for my current job was to have a flexible schedule and to be able to work from home. When I was networking to find this job, I told people that these requirements were non-negotiable and that I am most productive and effective in that arrangement. And you know what? I got just exactly that! And I am exceptionally productive and very good at what I do as a result.

I’m not here to say that you storm into your boss’ office on Monday and demand that you be allowed to work from home. What I am saying is that there’s really no excuse for not creating some flexibility in your workday now if you want it. The only excuse might be your own fear and lack of imagination – and those just aren’t good enough!

Next Steps

  1. Decide when you will set aside time to pursue your meaningful idea. This could be anytime but make sure it is during a time when you have the most energy. For me that’s first thing in the morning but for others it may be 11:00 at night. Just make the space and then we’ll talk about what to do with it next week.
  2. Extra credit. While you’re at it, make space for exercise or movement. There is no single better way for me to feel physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced than going for a run, doing yoga, or even going for a walk. Make time for this every day and it will change your life!

Create room for expansion in your day and pretty soon you’ll be filling that time with brilliant experiments that will move you closer to a life of meaning and money.

In Gratitude,

Michael

How to Embrace Simplicity and Live Life With More Joy

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Okay, first things first. It’s been over three weeks since I posted my last article. I haven’t been slacking….trust me! 🙂

You might be thinking several things about my absence. Things like……..I knew he wouldn’t take this blogging thing serious!  Or, what gives? He posts the first part of a four part blog series and then takes a three week ski trip to the Swiss Alps!?

HA!

I wish!

Unfortunately, (or fortunately) none of the above are true and I am returning with the second installment of my series discussing how to get paid to make a difference.

The truth is, I have found it challenging over the last few weeks to balance a busy work/life/travel schedule with my desire for producing life changing content. If you remember, I committed to being transparent about this journey and I’m here to tell you that the last few weeks have been a struggle in the writing/blogging department.

Put simply, it’s been a challenge to balance the commitment of producing meaningful content and delivering it consistently.

This week we’re gonna take a look at creating an environment that makes it super easy to focus on the things that matter most.

But first, since I can barely remember what I wrote three weeks ago, let’s have a quick refresher from where we left off. Getting on your feet financially is a critical step for launching a sustainable idea that can make a difference in the world. When you have a steady flow of income and the bills are covered, there is much less pressure around making your big idea work.

Instead of feeling sad that you are trapped in a 9 to 5…..feel grateful that someone is happily funding your current life while you figure out how to capitalize on bringing your talents, interests, skills and strengths together to create an amazing business that rocks the world!

Step 2 for Getting Paid to Make a Difference: Simplify and Prioritize

As I look back on the last several years, I realize how much my priorities have changed. I remember back in 2005 when I decided to move and the moving company weighed all my stuff. When they told me that I had over 12,000 pounds of stuff, I immediately wondered how I could possibly have accumulated so much in such a short period of time. I suppose it shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise considering that I spent most of my early post-college years indulging in the things that I could now afford.

But 12,000 pounds!?

Of stuff?

Seriously?

After moving, I made it a priority to host a garage sale every summer no matter what. My new rule for stuff was if I hadn’t used it or worn it in the last year then it went into a big box. From there, it got sorted into two piles:

  • Pile 1: Things of sentimental value such as photos, keepsakes, things given to me by my relatives. In other words, things of meaning or value that I truly loved.
  • Pile 2: Things that I did not love and hadn’t used in the last year. In other words – Stuff

I was ruthless. I staged everything from pile 2 for the yearly garage sale or immediately donated it to Goodwill.

I’m not sure what it was about de-cluttering my life, but it felt cathartic to unburden myself from the stuff that I didn’t really use or want. This made more room for expansion and enjoying the things that I really did care about. Ahhhhh…this felt really good!

Since my de-cluttering journey started back in 2005, I have practiced keeping the stuff in my life to a minimum.

Stuff vs. Joy

As I survey my life today, I realize that most of the things I buy and own are things that truly give me an experience of joy. For example, I could care less about buying new furniture or having a collection of the most stylish clothes. I have two pairs of jeans, a suit for work, and one pair of casual pants. My wife and I just celebrated our one year anniversary as a single car couple because we don’t really need two cars. We share a 10 year old Subaru and we put our extra money towards things that we really love like travel, enjoying great meals with friends at nice restaurants, spending a little extra here and there on a good bottle (or 4) of wine. 🙂

I guess that it really boils down to deciding on the few things that float your boat and then let that guide your decisions of what to let go of and what to keep/buy. Once you make this decision, it will free up a tremendous amount of energy that typically goes into trying to have it all. Our consumer driven culture hypnotizes us into believing that everything is important and so many of us get caught in the trap of spending our entire adult lives working hard to pay for the things that we think will make us happy.

I used to lease two new cars, have a big mortgage payment on a brand new house, have the latest electronics, buy a new patio set every couple of years, and on and on. I was trapped into thinking that I needed to have all of these bright shiny objects to feel happy and rewarded for working so hard. Now I realize that it’s mostly experiences that I enjoy. My wife and I love to take several mini-vacations per year to experience new places, people and adventures. I love to ski so I allocate time and money to really good ski gear and a season pass at the local ski resort. Some people might think that I’m still enjoying stuff and that’s absolutely true. But the big difference is that I am deliberately choosing only the stuff that truly enhances my quality of life.

Some people love shoes. Some people love cars. Some people love gardening. Some people love fishing. Decide what really makes you happy and let this guide your decisions about how you can simplify and lighten your load. You will be a lot happier for it.

How I Prioritize My Day

Over the last few years I have also applied the idea of simplification to how I organize my day. I used to think I could do it all (similar to the belief that I could have it/buy it all) and as a result, my energy was scattered and I never did anything all that well. Then I began to get really focused on the things that are most important to me and I narrowed it down to these four:

  1. Quality time with Jill (my wife), family and friends
  2. My job/work
  3. Health and exercise (eating healthy and moving my body every day through yoga, running, skiing, etc.)
  4. Creating my new ‘Launch a Legacy’ project

Placing my attention on these four things guides my life in a powerful way. If I ever have a decision to make about whether to do something or not, I just go to my ‘top 4’ list. If it’s not on the list, I don’t do it! It’s that simple. Some might say this really sucks the spontaneity and creativity out of life but I have found the opposite to be true. I have found that by gaining depth and focus around the areas that matter most to me, it frees my mind and spirit to be more creative because I’m not always questioning (i.e. regretting) my decisions about whether to do something or not. And it makes it really easy to decide when to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

How Does This Apply to Getting Paid to Make a Difference?

You’ve probably been wondering what this has to do with getting paid to make a difference. My answer is that is has everything to do with it!

For me, this is the foundation that I needed to make physical, mental, emotional and spiritual space to live my life with more freedom and creativity than ever before. The comparison of how I live in 2013 compared to how I lived in 2005 is pretty different but it was really just a process of making little conscious choices along the way that allow me to enjoy the following benefits:

  • I have closer and more meaningful friendships than ever
  • The relationship that I have with my wife is the best it’s ever been
  • I have more flexibility in my work life than ever
  • I have complete clarity about what’s most important in my life
  • I am saving more money than ever
  • I don’t have any debt outside of our mortgage
  • I prioritize what’s most important and rarely feel guilty about where or how I spend my time
  • I enjoy more freedom and adventure, doing the things that make me happy

While I am far from finished with this journey of aligning my priorities and simplifying my life, I can honestly say that I feel great about the foundation that I have created over the last few years.

Next Steps

If you haven’t already done so, schedule some time this week or this weekend to do the following:

  1. Start with just one room, or closet, or even a drawer and commit to donating or selling anything that you don’t need, love or haven’t used in the last year. Use this as a stepping stone to make space in your life for what you really do want.
  2. Decide on one hobby/interest/passion that makes you feel alive and write it down on a note card. Cary this card with you and dedicate some time, money and attention to it. (Hint: Start with just one thing and schedule it into your day or week. Even if it’s just for a few minutes….just do it!)
  3. Write down the three or four things that are your top priorities in life right now. These will change over time but identify what it is that you know you need to be focusing on right now. Then practice saying ‘no’ to anything that is not on that list. Notice how much easier it is to decide whether or not you should do something.
  4. This is extra credit. 🙂 Journal about how you feel after taking action on these items.

If you are really gung ho about the idea of simplifying your life, I recommend checking out my friend Tammy Strobel’s work. Tammy is a full time writer and teaches others about simple living and entrepreneurship through her blog called Rowdy Kittens. She also wrote a fantastic book on the subject called You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap). She’s the real deal!

That’s all for this week. Next week we will be back on track and talking about the third step for getting paid to make a difference.

Be well,

Michael

Step 1 to Getting Paid to Make a Difference

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Last week I was talking about what makes us come alive and the steps that I have deliberately taken to move closer to designing my life in a way that works well for me. Keep in mind that this process is not an end game. It’s a constant state of deciding what excites me and making changes to align my life with what’s most interesting and exciting.

Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?

I say YES!

So how is it possible to move towards this kind of living?

I don’t think there are any specific scripts and I wouldn’t want to imply that my path is the only option. The reality is that my path is exactly that – MY path. If I can share something that inspires others to move closer to their desired lifestyle then I will feel great about that.

Picking up where we left off last week, I had identified four steps that I had taken to bring me to this point of launching this blog (and I see launching this blog as the first step in a completely new phase).

  • STEP 1: Get on your feet financially
  • STEP 2: Simplify and prioritize
  • STEP 3: Create room for expansion
  • STEP 4: Launch a Legacy Project

Today I am going to focus on STEP 1: Getting on your feet financially

This step has to do with navigating our desire for safety with our desire to make a difference in the world. How do we navigate between our desire for adventure and creativity and our desire for some level of predictability in our lives? How do we reconcile our idealistic dreams with the harsh realities of the marketplace?

This is where I tell you that I am not a gambler and that there is a huge difference between throwing caution to the wind and taking calculated risks. I will not be advising anyone to quit your comfy corporate job right away to pursue your creative passions.

So, am I telling you to give up your dreams, stick with the societal program, and get that boring, safe job, and do just as your (insert relative name here) tells you? No. The problem is, there are serious risks to that path as well. If you’re not particularly passionate about accounting, corporate management, engineering, or law and you go into those fields to please society, or to placate your own fears about the risks of following your creative passions, it seems very unlikely that you’ll end up happy with your career choice. You will always be plagued by a nagging sense of “What if?”

Sure, there are a lot of risks of following your creative passions – the risk that you’ll not make it or that you will have to start over. But there are also many unacknowledged risks to not following your creative desires, of sticking too close to the beaten path in the name of safety and predictability.

These might include: the risk of working with people you don’t respect; the risk of working for a company whose values aren’t consistent with your own; the risk of compromising what’s important; the risk of doing something that fails to express who you really are. And then there is the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

The biggest risk is what we classically refer to as the middle-aged crisis. You become forty-five years old and recognize that you’re not the person you wanted to be. The reality is that the vast majority of people today, even on their deathbed, say that their regrets largely center around things they didn’t do or try, not things they did do.

Is there a way to combine the relative safety and security that society advocates with the passion, meaning, creativity, and individualism that we dream about? Is there a way to get the best of both worlds?

Yes, I believe there is.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share a very specific plan for living a more meaningful life, making a difference and escaping the often predetermined societal script that says you must choose between safe & boring or exciting and risky.

This is about creating a career path that provides a high likelihood of financial security and allows you to follow your dreams and make a difference in the world.  It’s about bringing the spheres of money and meaning together and having them overlap significantly. After all, when was the last time someone took you aside and shared how to best achieve financial stability while at the same time making a difference in a way you care about?

We’re talking about creating a path where your work is you life’s purpose is your income is your meaning is the difference your making. Significantly more elusive – yet infinitely more rewarding – than the much-hyped “work-life balance.”

This process will require a great deal of self-inquiry into what, exactly, the difference you want to make is, and also a lot of creative, entrepreneurial problem solving to figure out how you could make great money while making your mark on the world.

You’re going to have to create a solution unique to you and your circumstances. No similar solution will have ever existed before and for a very simple reason. In the whole of humanity, no one has yet made the difference you want to make. How cool is that?

Since I’d never have you try something I haven’t applied in my own life, I will dedicate the final blog post in this series to sharing the story of how I used these very steps to go from being fairly miserable and desperate to building a flexible and rewarding career while starting a meaningful legacy project on the side.

Now let’s dive into STEP 1.

STEP 1: Get on your feet financially

If you are in one of the two following scenarios, then you must pay close attention to Step 1.

  • Scenario A: You would be happy spending the rest of your life doing what you’re doing because it feels so meaningful to you, but you’re barely scraping by financially.
  • Scenario B: You’re not happy with either the money you’re earning or the meaning of what you’re doing to earn it. In other words, life sucks!

If you would be happy spending the rest of your life earning what you’re now earning, but it doesn’t feel meaningful, then you can stop here and wait for STEP 2 next week.

There was a period a little over three years ago where I was stuck in a combination of Scenarios A & B big-time. I had left my career in technology to pursue some other ambitions and I ended up at a job where I provided coaching services to college students. This job seemed like the ideal fit at the time but I soon realized that if I was going to be coaching people, then I needed to be doing it on my own terms and charging my own fees. I am not saying this was a bad job. It was the job I needed to wake me up to the realization that I needed to leverage my skills to get back on my feet financially to be able to pursue something I truly wanted to do.

I could have gone on for several more years coaching college students on how to be successful but the money simply wasn’t good enough for me and my heart just wasn’t in it.

If you are in scenario A or B, leverage your skills to get on your feet financially, however you can. Contrary to many of the glorified stories out there, this is the way that most people start out. They get a good job, a corporate job, a boring 9-5 job, any job that will support them financially. Give up your “art,” “purpose,” or ‘meaning” for a little while and know what it means to be financially stable. Get a kinesthetic feeling in your body of how it feels to have enough money to pay rent, to pay all of your bills on time, to take your loved one out to a nice restaurant. This is so important to building a foundation of financial stability so that you can eventually pursue your legacy work without the energy of fear and scarcity lurking in the background.

This is how I did it and how many of the entrepreneurs that I will be showcasing have done it. I will share exactly how I did this in the final post of this series.

Again, if you already have a solid income that feels good to you, consider yourself that much further along and tune in next week for STEP 2: Simplify and prioritize.

That’s it for now. Keep your sights on the legacy work that you are meant to create and I’ll be here   again next week.

Best,

Michael

Book Review: The Art of Non-Conformity

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One of my goals with Launch a Legacy is to learn from other peeps that are making a living doing what they love. Nobody does this better than Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity.

Chris Guillebeau has been a big influence in my decision to start Launch a Legacy. I have followed his popular blog and attended his World Domination Summit for the past two years. While I don’t recall exactly when or how I first heard about Chris Guillebeau, his writing has been influential in the evolution of my own desire to do something that makes a difference. Oh yeah, and he is a fellow Portlander too. Pretty Cool!

The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World is a guidebook for anyone that wants to lead a more unconventional and fulfilling life. One of my favorite themes throughout the book is that you can do good things for yourself while helping other people at the same time. Chris blows up the idea that these two ideas are mutually exclusive.

Chris does a great job of laying out a roadmap for anyone that craves a life of adventure and the experience of being alive.  One of the great quotes from early in the book is:

“Life planning begins with an unfortunate fact: many people have no idea what they really want to do or accomplish over the course of their time in earth. Instead of moving toward a destination, they become mired in “life avoidance” by ambling around without a clear sense of objective or purpose.”

I love how Chris challenges us to think about what we really want. For me, this challenge goes a little deeper because I believe that we each need to take responsibility for the direction of our lives even if no one ever taught us to think about what we really want. This lack of self-awareness hurts us because it holds us back from our greatness and as Chris states, “keeps us living unremarkably average lives”. To break out of this sleepwalking pattern, we must get clear about what we want and then find a way to start making it happen.

My Three Favorite Ideas

My three favorite ideas from the book are:

  1. The Search for Meaning and the Two Questions – Chris encourages us to ask two very important questions: “What do you really want to get out of life?” and “What can you offer the world that no one else can?” I encourage you to explore your own answers to these questions and explore how you can make the world a better place by offering only what you can offer.
  2. Your Legacy Starts Now – Here is where Chris initiates an important reality check for those of us wanting to build something that will provide value to others. Chris says that if you want to create legacy work then you have to be able to clearly answer the question, “How will this really help people?” A way that you can quantify this is by answering the following questions:
  • Vision – how will the world be different because of your legacy project?
  • Beneficiaries – who will benefit from your legacy project?
  • Primary Method or Medium – how will you do the work?
  • Output – what will be produced as a result of your work?
  • Metrics – how will success be measured?

This was thought provoking enough that I took a swag at providing my own answers that I will share with you.

  • Vision – Empower people to leverage their strengths, skills, and talents to create legacy work and help others in a way that no-one else can.
  • Beneficiaries – A group of at least 10,000 people that want to pursue launching a profitable legacy project that matters.
  • Primary Method or Medium – Blogging, launch a web show (coming soon!), coaching/consulting, and eventually adventure mastermind retreats where people will launch their own legacy businesses that will change the world.
  • Output – One blog per week, one video interview web show per week.
  • Metrics – Site visitors, subscribers, unsolicited positive responses, revenue from any programs/products that are created.
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3.    Income-Based Financial Independence – This interesting idea was proposed as an alternative to measuring financial independence by wealth alone. Basically, Chris questions the traditional goal of having a “Number” that we shoot for in order to achieve financial independence. Instead of trading your time for dollars in a job you hate,  just for the sake of stashing away a million dollars, he suggests creating income by doing work that you love that supports your ideal lifestyle. It’s a fairly simple concept to grasp, but one that I thought deserved a shout-out because there are so many people who are wasting their life energy doing jobs they don’t enjoy in the hope that they can buy their freedom later.

If you are interested in the idea of living a remarkable and unconventional life, this book is definitely worth a read. It will encourage and inspire you to work toward building your legacy and that the best time to start is today!

Okay, gotta go grab a plane to Southern California for a work trip. Have an awesome week and watch for my first step on launching your own legacy this week.

-Michael

 

 

Dream Bigger….BE More!

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Well….this is it! My first blog post for Launch a Legacy. Some of you may be wondering what the hell I’m up to so let me explain. I have always dreamed of making a bigger difference and serving others in a way that leverages more of my talents, skills, and desires. To be clear, my life is really good. I have an amazing wife, a wonderful family and many true friends. I have a great job that I enjoy. I live in a nice house in a great neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Some might say that I am in a really good spot in life.

While I am grateful for all of these things, I know that I have more to give and that I can BE more. Throughout my life I have always thought of myself as a visionary yet I have been playing it pretty safe. Why rock the boat when things are pretty good? Five years ago all of that changed when most of the things I thought were making me happy came crashing down. There’s another time and place for that story but let’s just say that the past five years have been all about realizing what’s most important and reorganizing my life around that.

So what’s this ‘Launch a Legacy’ thing? I guess I could say that it’s something that’s been in the making my entire life. It’s the culmination of so many life lessons, experiences, relationships, inspirations and desires. But it’s mostly about making an Impact! At this point in my life it’s important for me to begin sharing my ideas and using my talents and strengths in a way that brings remarkable value to other people.

Launch a Legacy is an idea dedicated to the art of aligning meaningful and purpose-driven work with financial security. This idea was born of my own desire and interest to pursue a meaningful project outside of my regular job. It’s really about exploring the possibilities of creating your life’s work…and doing it in a way that is sustainable and gives you the greatest chance to succeed.

The way I intend to do this is:

1)     Write about it! I will share the very best ideas I have about creating a project/experiment/side business that is meaningful and profitable. I will not share ideas unless I feel they will be life changing.

2)     Start a web show called ‘Launch a Legacy’ where I will video interview remarkable people living extraordinary lives. I will share the stories of these brave souls who are making waves  and having a big impact on the world (more on the target launch date later).

3)     Be an example. I will share my progress of creating a meaning project that earns income. I will share all of the ups and downs along the way so that others can learn from my victories and my mistakes.

The Bottom Line

I care about one thing. I want you to wake up inspired and fall asleep fulfilled because you’re fearlessly giving your gifts to the world.

At Launch a Legacy, I want to wake-up people that are sleepwalking through life and inspire them to live more fully.

As the ‘Launch a Legacy Show’ goes live, I will publish a weekly video interview to challenge you to trust your gut, break all the rules that don’t matter anyway, and be brave in the pursuit of your dreams and desires.

Are you ready to Launch a Legacy?

Micheal Knouse