Before we took off to live in Cozumel, we spent a year in the San Francisco Bay Area. It seems everyone there is involved in a start-up of some kind. I’m not kidding. I met people who were literally working 80 hour weeks while living off of savings because they believed if they could just […]
Recently, I was in a meeting and the subject of work came up. I mentioned that I work about 10 hours a week on my primary business.
One of the guys recoiled and said, “What?! Did you win the lottery or something?”
I replied, “No, I’ve just got a really good team and a great system in place.”
In my primary business, I do have a few key clients that I work with personally but for the most part, my team does all of the day-to-day work. Like I said in the meeting, I owe my work schedule to the systems I put in place and the team I’ve got.
This didn’t happen overnight. It took literally years to get right. I could still do even better actually and I spend a good amount of time with my coaching clients. But, I’m incredibly grateful for where I’m at.
*UPDATED NOTE: If you want to see how someone put this post into action and made real money, read “How Kevin Read a Family Rocketship Post & Made $3,600 in 1 Month” here.
When I first started with my own online marketing business, Fiverr was still relatively new.
However, even back then there were some great gigs that I used to help get the work done for my first few clients.
Now I have a staff that does most of the work.
However, if you’re just getting started with your own business, you can use Fiverr almost exclusively to get the work done.
If you’re new to Fiverr, basically, it’s a place where you can get stuff done for only $5 (and up).
Not all of the gigs on there are great, but there are some pretty high quality gigs now available.
In fact, the quality of gigs has gone up a bunch over the past few years. You can find some really amazing stuff on there and again, all for 5 bucks.
The Perfect Lifestyle Business
As you may already know, I’m a big fan of setting up a lifestyle business, scaling it, and then spending your time doing whatever you wish.
Earlier today my family and I met up with some friends from Cozumel now also living in Valencia, Spain.
We went to the Mercado to pick up some fresh meats and cheese. This was my lunch today – so good!
As we were walking through the market, my buddy and I were discussing being rich in time. Of all the currencies one could be rich in (money, mobility, fame/reputation, etc), time is one of, if not the most valuable.
How you use your time is up to you. For me, spending quality time with my family is a big deal. I consider myself a very rich man when it comes to having time to do what’s most important to me.
But How Do You Get Rich in Time?
Well, here it is in 5 steps: Read more
It’s never been easier in the history of the human race to set up a business, scale it, and then get on top of it.
It’s also never been easier to get it started in the first place.
In this post we’ll cover setting up your lifestyle business both online and offline. In other words, the digital and physical aspects of your business.
Creating the Digital Side of Your Lifestyle Business
Regardless of what kind of business you set up, you’re going to want to make sure you have an online presence. These days, every business needs to be online and use the internet as a tool to grow.
First, You Need a Domain & Hosting…
So, first go to Godaddy or any domain registrar and reserve your new business domain. Get the “.com” extension for sure. If you really want to lock up your brand, snatch up the “.info”, “.net”, and others.
Before buying, be sure to search online for “GoDaddy coupons”. This can save you some money for sure. Also, don’t be swayed by any of the upsells GoDaddy has. Just buy the domains and move on.
Next, you’re going to get hosting for your new business website. Choosing a good, reliable host with great customer service is crucial. I’ve worked with HostGator and I love them. Plus it’s really easy to get a website set up. Read more
A lifestyle business offers a ridiculous amount of freedom… once it’s set up that is.
To get there, you need to do 3 big things:
3. Systematize everything
You need to put these things in place to be able to actually make money in your business and then to scale up.
When I first started out with my own business, I literally sold in the morning and went home in the afternoon and did all of the work myself.
Long story short, I wasted way too much time trying to do everything myself. I also didn’t make as much money as I could have.
If you sell, outsource, and scale, you will be able to create a successful lifestyle business in a very short amount of time.
Even better, you’ll be able to create your own semi-automatic business. Read more
Despite what your average MBA will tell you, you don’t need a huge 100 page business plan in a giant 3 ring binder to start making money.
In fact, many business owners I know don’t even have a business plan but they’re very busy making real money.
However, to make sure you’re on the right track, you need to have a basic plan of attack to make sure your business is sound and most importantly, will be profitable.
Too many people get an idea and then start a business without thinking it through or having a solid plan.
The result is that their business usually fails. They might have to return to a job or think that owning your own business doesn’t work.
Owning your own business DOES work! And creating a lifestyle business can free you up to do whatever the heck you want.
But you’ve got to put some initial thought into it before working like crazy to get it going.
Before we dive into how to identify how you can create your own lifestyle business, first check out this quote:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Simple truth: to live your ideal lifestyle, you’re going to have to work. And work hard. And work smart.
I hope that’s not a shocker.
Now we’re going to talk about creating your own business. These days, it’s never been easier to set up a business and get moving quickly.
A Lifestyle Business Based on Your Strengths
You’ve got to first identify your strengths, natural abilities, interests, and even job experience. To get things moving quickly, we’re going to create a business around what you already know.
One way to think of it is if you were to be dropped off in another city with nothing but the clothes on your back, what would you do to start making money? (And no, you can’t beg for money or get a job!)
First, list out your skills, experience, and interests. Write them all out.
Now look at everything you’ve written. Zero in on one that you think would be most profitable.
This is crucial. Read more
On my daughters 1st birthday, I started reading a copy of The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. It blew my mind!
I was trying hard to compete in the Orange County, California scene – move up the corporate ladder, buy a big house with a ridiculous mortgage, etc.
This book, however, gave me permission to forget about that. It showed me another way.
It introduced me to the concept of “lifestyle design” and creating a lifestyle business to pay for the kind of life I wanted to live.
I started to evaluate what I deep down really wanted. I started to think of how I could make money without being stuck at a job. I thought about what it would be like to actually live my dream lifestyle together with my family.
It all boils down to one simple concept:
Lifestyle Business: Make Money, Then Do Whatever the Heck You Wanna Do!
You need money to do what you want to do. You need to provide real value in the world to get that money. So you need to create a business.
This is a business that provides you with all of the money you want, plus all of the time you want, minus the headaches of a traditional business.
In other words, a lifestyle business.
With your own lifestyle business in place, you can ditch the system and do whatever you want.
I know. I did it.
If you don’t already know, I built up my own business, and the took off to live on the Caribbean island of Cozumel with my wife and kids for over 2 1/2 years and then spent half a year touring Europe. Read more
Early this morning, I woke myself up with a scary dream.
In the dream I was talking to a boss and then settling in at my desk at a new job.
I was wearing “work casual” – khaki Dockers and a blue button down shirt. I even had an ID badge on my belt next to my smart phone in its ridiculously huge leather case.
After trying to make a light joke with my new boss, I looked down at my desk and felt an overwhelming sense of failure. A job. Bleckh!
With the way I felt, the desk could have easily been prison bars. The feeling would have been the same.
Right at that moment, I woke up.
I quickly looked around and saw the early morning light of the Caribbean sun already spilling into our bedroom.
The silhouetted palm trees assured me that I was exactly where I wanted to be.
I took a deep breath, exhaled, and then thought about what I would do for the day.
But Sean, a Job isn’t the End of the World!
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking right now.
“Stop freaking out! There are a lot of people who would love to have a job!”
And you’re right.
First things first. Every now and then, we need to center ourselves and think about what’s really the most important to us.
What’s most important to you?
As the saying goes, “when you’re lying on your deathbed, you’re not going to wish you’d just spent more time at the office.”
I’m willing to bet that family will be the most important thing to you.
In fact, family is kind of the whole point of it all.
So in today’s busy world, how can you build your life around your family?
It seems many people are caught working so hard to make ends meet that they spend their best waking hours away from their families.
In fact, most people only spend nights and weekends with their loved ones and maybe a tiny vacation once a year.
When you think about what’s truly most important to you, you see how backwards that is.
There’s a better way. You can build a family-centered life.
But what about money?
ME: “Hi, I’m Sean. Nice to meet you!”
TOURIST: “Hi Sean, so what are you doing in Cozumel?”
ME: “Oh I live here with my family.”
TOURIST: “Oh wow! That’s great! Do you work for a hotel here or one of the diamond stores?”
ME: “Nope. I own a company in the U.S. that helps local businesses with their online marketing. As long as I have an internet connection, I can put food on the table.”
TOURIST: “What brought you to Cozumel?”
ME: “Scuba diving mostly. We just plain wanted to live here.”
Next month, we will have been in Cozumel, Mexico for two years. 2 years! It’s crazy how fast time flies!
Same ‘Ol Conversation
I’ve had that conversation above about 100 times at least. Probably more.
After finding out I’m not a fellow tourist, the number one question people always want to know is how do I pay for it? How do I get to live here when they’re just on vacation from their job?
The plain fact is that I created a lifestyle business, that was internet-based, so I could do what I get to do.
It’s really that simple.
The business itself is really simple. So simple in fact, that I’ve already successfully taught others how to do it!
“This is my last job” a good friend of mine said as he stirred the ice in his lemonade.
We were sitting in his backyard relaxing and discussing his situation. He was recently “downsized” from the company where he worked for 2 years.
“I’m so tired of hating Sunday nights and dreading going in on Monday mornings. Another job will just be the same.”
He paused and then said, “This was the last job I’ll ever have. I’ve got a bunch of ideas for my own thing. I just need to get started and do the work now.”
Based on the past experience of my friend, I know he’ll be successful. I think he’ll figure it out, do the work, and make it happen.
I know his distaste for a job finally pushed him into doing something he’s always wanted to do and to take control of his income.
And this is really the key to it all.
You need money. Plain and simple.
To do anything, you need money. There’s just no getting around that.
How much is up to you and based on your desires and goals. Each person has a different idea of how much they need.
In my experience, how much you actually need to do the things that bring happiness is much lower than you think – especially once you get rid of stuff…
The whole lifestyle design thing and making money actually go hand in hand. But, this is a topic that I don’t think is covered nearly enough.
In fact, I usually see stuff like, “go live your dreams and be a yoga instructor in Bali! Money? Oh yeah, work on that too. How? Umm…start a blog or sell some ClickBank stuff”.
People get caught up in the thrill of doing what they want to do and they don’t think about how to pay for it all. So it doesn’t happen.
Or the opposite – people don’t see HOW they could go live their dream life because they don’t see how they could pay for it.
I hope to remedy that now.
Want to build a lifestyle business and live the dream?
Want to work on your laptop while sitting under a palm tree with your toes in the sand?
Maybe you just want an extra 50 grand a year coming in.
Well you can.
But there are a few things you need to understand first.
Actually, it’s more than understand. It’s like all out you totally, deep down really have to get this or you’ll never make a dime.
In the spirit of anti-fluff writing, I’ll get to the point fast. There are three vital components you need to know right out of the gate to make your lifestyle business a success.
If you don’t get these right, your business will choke and you’ll never succeed. I speak from experience having been on both sides.
Ready? Let’s go. Read more
Is it possible to learn valuable entrepreneurial lessons from a 6 year old kid selling homemade goodies in Mexico?
Like many parents, we send our daughter, Abby, off to school every day. It’s a private school here in Cozumel and they have a very hands-on teaching style.
Last week the school organized a bazaar to be held at one of the main parks here on the island.
The main goal: to create and sell homemade goods while tracking costs and profits.
In other words, Abby was getting a very hands-on math lesson. The best kind of math learning in my opinion!
To be brief, these are the steps Abby took:
- Thought of something she could make (the product had to be homemade) – she thought of rice krispie treats
- With her mom’s help, she listed the ingredients
- She went to the store and purchased the ingredients and paid for them herself
- She kept the receipt to track costs
- She hit the kitchen for some product creation
- A few hours later, she had a platter full of wrapped treats ready to sell
- She set the price at 5 pesos each – a steal for quality rice krispies!
- She set up shop at the park (on a table provided by the school)
- She got her first sale! (ok, it was her sister but the first sale is always the hardest right?)
- She spent the next 3 hours selling
- Half way into it, we tried walking around giving away free samples to increase sales
- When we decided to close up shop, Abby had sold about half of her inventory
- Abby totaled up her sales and doing some real life math realized she was about 30 pesos short of profitability
- For her school project, she turned in her final profit/loss report
Some Key Lessons Learned
Keep in mind, this was a kids bazaar – not a professional operation – so the standard is a bit lower. However, to apply Abby’s experience to “grown-up” business, here are some key takeaways.
Product Creation – Abby was a superstar in her product creation. She did most of the work herself.
It was something she knew how to do and was able to do quickly.
Product Pricing – Abby was very competitive in her pricing. Her next door neighbor was selling cookies at 8 pesos a piece.
Abby’s deal offered far more value. It also gave her a decent profit margin if she was able to reach her breakeven point.
Selling – Even though Abby’s Spanish is very limited, she learned how to tell people “how much”, say the amount of change given (if needed), and also to say “Gracias” while looking her customer in the eye.
Merchandising – Abby had a small sign compared to what most of her “competition” had. She could have had a bigger sign with more pizzazz.
Also, she could have used balloons or something else to attract more attention to her store front.
Product Research – It turns out that most people in Cozumel don’t really know what rice krispie treats are. This was a big deal.
Abby made them because she knew how but it didn’t match what the market demanded.
We were able to go do some market research and see what sold well. Items like Arroz con Leche (rice pudding) and tamales sold very well.
Selling – Abby had a challenge with being vocal about her product in the marketplace. She’s a bit shy by nature so it was challenging for her to solicit people as they walked passed.
She decided that walking around to offer free samples to drive more business might be a good idea. However, most people did not understand that they were free samples.
This is partly because by then other kids got mobile and were walking around selling. So she was forced to explain they were free and also to explain what rice krispies were.
Increase Profitability – Abby’s ingredients were very cheap. She was working with a potential huge profit margin. She could have dropped her prices or offered two-for-one promotions or even something else.
Again, the big challenge was having the right product. Had she been selling tamales or something familiar, there’s no doubt she would have quickly sold out.
It’s so important to do product research before going to market!
Over all, Abby rocked!
She did really well for being shy, selling in another language (and culture), and selling something not in the normal Cozumeleno diet.
What about the left over inventory?
Well, we all pitched in to help Abby “liquidate” it! 🙂
So how about you? Did you ever sell something as a kid? What was your experience? How has that helped you as an adult?
Just before Heidi and I were married, I worked for the marine life artist Wyland. He’s most well known for his huge murals of whales, dolphins, and other sea life on the sides of huge buildings throughout the country. In addition to “tagging” buildings, he’s also an amazing sculptor and works with oils and brush art.
Working for Wyland was an awesome experience. It was fascinating going to the art shows in his galleries in Laguna Beach, La Jolla, and San Diego.
My job at those shows was to assist him by laying out the paints, brushes, and canvases for him to paint with. If he needed something, I was the little gopher that would bring it to him.
At these shows, one of his favorite activities was to paint Chinese brush arts in front of an eager crowd all trying to watch the artist work. He would then auction the painting off right then and there.
Some eager bidder would usually pay around $4000 on the spot. My job was to record their name and then take their new painting to a safe spot where it could dry.
Before I could even finish doing that, Wyland was already busy on working on his next painting.
He would repeat this process about 4 or 5 times or until he felt the crowd was starting to dry up. It was absolutely nuts to me that I could watch this artist in action make about $20,000 – $30,000 on the spot within a period of about 30 minutes!
Not a bad gig huh?
I learned a lot of things through the whole experience. For starters, I learned that in order to live your passion, you need to be willing to go for it. Wyland always related the story about how he had 3 jobs in two days and that was it. He was meant to be an artist and he knew it. So he went for it.
Another thing I learned is that Wyland knows business. This is why most artists starve – they can’t sell their stuff! Wyland is a business man through and through. He loves profit and he loves making money. When I was working with him he had homes in Laguna Beach, North Shore, and Key Largo. Not too shabby for a guy that paints dolphins!
The biggest lesson I took away from my experience with Wyland is what I’ve termed “The Wyland Principle”. Before explaining the principle, let me give you some background.
Some of Wyland’s critics have tried to degrade his work by saying he sold out. Because he’s licensed his art to calendars, tote bags, and key chains, he can’t be a true artist. After all, true art can’t be motivated by money right?
They’ve also criticized his work calling it, “dentist office art”. No serious collector would ever consider buying a piece that you can also see while you’re getting your root canal done.
But here’s how I see it.
He’s making a killing doing what he loves. I don’t know enough about art to tell you if it’s the best out there or not. But it’s out there! And he’s making a lot of money!
So this is what I call the Wyland Principle: live your passion, get others to believe in it, and sell the crap out of it. Does that sound too capitalistic? Maybe. Maybe not.
Let’s explore this further.
Wyland is happy because he’s selling art and doing what he loves. The collectors are happy because they’re getting a piece of art that they feel enhances their lives. It’s a win for everyone right? The only people not happy are the critics. Who cares! Besides, is there such a thing as a happy critic?
So I tip my hat to Wyland and thank him for instilling in me some important life lessons.
What is one way you can apply the Wyland Principle in your life? What is something you’ve always wanted to do and maybe you can make money with it?
It’s hard to share an experience with Gary Vaynerchuk without leashing into an all out rant about the future of business. Gary V’s enthusiasm, leadership, and foresight are extremely contagious.
I’m a big fan and I agree with the about 99% of what he says. The other 1%? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t repeat it around my two little girls.
Then again, that’s what makes Gary so (darn) awesome. He’s totally authentic and completely loyal to who he is.
So, the awesome people over at Biznik put together an evening with Gary V since he’s promoting his new book, The Thank You Economy.
It was a small group of entrepreneurs and small business owners in Seattle. Because the venue was small, it made for a very cool, very intimate night with Gary.
After the brief introduction, Gary launched into a high level overview of his book. I could go on for days about this stuff but here are a few nuggets I picked up:
- Social media is not a push platform, it’s a pull platform – Fortune 500 companies and big ad agencies will be the last to understand this
- Think social media is just a fad? It’s toppling governments in the Middle East and saving lives in Japan
- We’re beginning to see the humanization of business
- On social media, don’t act business – act human
- Every consumer now has a much bigger voice – businesses can and should strive to surprise, delight, shock, and awe them
- For those who aren’t interested in social media because they don’t have time – since when did it become not important to interact with your customers/clients?
- Authenticity and genuine care has been and will be the future of business and there’s no better way to do that than through social media
With every answer to a question, he then doused us with even more business revelations.
In talking with other people after the event, I know he got everyone in there charged up and ready to take their businesses to a higher level.
Gary V had a large role (although he doesn’t know it) with the formation of the Family Rocketship. His book, Crush It had a huge influence on us to get something started.
Overall, meeting Gary V was awesome. It’s hard to meet someone as big as he is without feeling a little intimidated.
With him, it was just the opposite. I felt like we’ve partied for years. On the slim chance that Gary V sees this post, THANK YOU!
What are your views of Gary Vaynerchuk? What about Social Media and the future of business?
Bold, almost visionary statements. Specific information. Great inspirational storytelling.
All things that make Gary Vaynerchuk and his book “Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” 100% awesome!
This review is to state that I agree with pretty agree much everything Gary says in his book. Gary has succeeded in achieving a lot of what I call “quality fame” or being famous in some meaningful circles by what’s he’s done.
To be brief:
Gary tells his own story and always having an entrepreneurial spirit. He started young following his passions and learning how to monetize them along the way. He got older, helped grow the family biz, and then discovered the internet. Once he started his own vlog (http://tv.winelibrary.com/) and learned how to effectively leverage social media, he really took off and arrived at where he is now.
Why I love “Crush It”:
- Puts in plain terminology why everyone who’s passionate about something should be online and eventually be able to make money from it
- Values hard & smart work
- Stresses the importance of doing what you love in a very achievable way
- Beats to death how to build your personal brand – vital for anyone who’s going to achieve anything worthwhile in this life
- It’s motivational – hearing Gary’s story is inspiring
- Action steps – gives you a checklist of everything you need to know and do, not just theory
Chances are if you’re reading this blog then this book would be interesting to you. You can read it in an hour or two. But it’s also one of those books that you’ll want to keep handy – not only for the step-by-step information, but also inspiration.
I get at least 10 new great ideas every time I open the book and read.
I recommend getting the audio version of the book. Gary throws in a lot of extra information when he goes “off the script”. It’s just an extra little bonus and you really get a feel for where he’s coming from and why what he’s sharing is so important.
Gary V is the Ultimate Motivator
It was because of this book that I started my vlog, Your Kick in the Pants – Motivating Moms to Move That Body! Gary got me all fired up and I just knew I had to do something. I already knew my passion (helping moms want to work out more) and all I needed was a place online to do just that.
With the help of my husband, we bought the domain, set up the website, and made my first video all in one evening. Since then it’s been fun connecting with women and inspiring them (and myself) to up our level of fitness.
Gary, on the slim chance, you’ve found this post, thank you very much! The book is awesome! The message is awesome! More people need to know these things in order to live their lives to the max!
Have you ever heard the term At Will Employment? Most likely you have.
In fact, most people who’ve ever signed on with a new job have read those words in their contract. Basically it means that an employer has the right to dismiss you with or without cause whenever they like.
This “At Will Employment” isn’t just limited to hourly jobs either. It goes all the way up the food chain, CEO’s & Senior VP’s included. So my question is, with such a clause built into every persons working situation, does that really seem like true job security?
It doesn’t seem like it to me!
You Are In Charge Of Your Own Security
There is so much talk these days about the concept of Job Security. Government officials are busy trying to assure the public that they will help create happy, safe, secure jobs for years to come.
But there’s a problem with this. By relying on the anyone else to provide for you, you’re not providing for yourself. You’re getting a fish but you’re never learning how to fish.
If you’re reading this article, then chances are you have a desire within you to become something bigger. You’re not content with hand-outs. You also know that only you can provide the kind of security you’re looking for.
Why Job Security Can Never Be A Reality
The concept of having a nice, safe, secure job will always be just a dream. Governments, unions, & associations, try as they might, will never be able to provide a job for people that will last indefinitely.
That may have been true 40 years ago. But the fact is that the world is now changing too fast. Changes in technology and growth in up and coming countries like India and China are changing the global economic scene.
Those jobs where you worked steady hours with steady pay are now being written into the history books.
The simple fact is this: Job security can never be a reality because it assumes that security is something that can be created on the outside; that it’s something external.
Real security is something that comes from the inside. Real security comes from your own efforts. Real security comes from your own resourcefulness. Real security comes from your own industry and taking control of your life. It’s about taking responsibility for yourself.
At Will Income
Have you ever heard the phrase “At Will Income”? Well it’s basically the opposite of At Will Employment. It means that instead of waiting for your weekly paycheck from your boss, you determine how much money you’ll make and when and then what you get to do with it.
Entrepreneurs live by this code. Entrepreneurs don’t wait for someone to give them a handout. They go and get it for themselves.
The Choice Is Yours
Whether you want to work on the mercy of an employer or create your own income is up to you. You need money to make it – you need food on the table and a roof over your head. That’s obvious. But how you make that money is up to you.
The choice is yours.