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If it doesn’t exist, create it

A lot of people like to make excuses.

They want to write a book or be part of a cool event or even become “internet famous.”

These people spend their time complaining:
– The resources out there aren’t exactly right for what I want to do
– I’ve seen others succeed, but they’re a lot different than me
– I’d go to that conference or event, but it’s not quite my style
– I don’t where I should start, so I don’t

I saw Seth Godin speak at an event earlier this year, and he had a strong message for the audience:

“Everyone in this room owns a media company.”

– If the kind of event you’d like to attend isn’t out there, create it.
– If the type of book that you’d like to read isn’t out there, write it.
– Do you want to connect people, inspire them, perform for them, entertain them, or teach them?

Go out and do it, because right now you have all the tools at your disposal.

How to create your own media company

Whether it’s self-publishing a book on a Kindle, teaching a course on Udemy, starting a blog, hosting a podcast, or creating a web series — and then marketing it for free via social media — you can act like your own big budget media company. Here’s how:

1) Stop hiding and get over your fear

Seth went on to say that if you’re constantly reading for inspiration, you’re hiding.

If you’re on Twitter all day and not creating, you’re hiding.

People need to go on an information diet, because all the time spent on social media is time spent avoiding the scary work.

He went on to say this (paraphrased):

“It’s bad news for people that are sitting around waiting to get picked. You’re not going to get picked.”

“The good news is, you have the awesome – but scary – responsibility of picking yourself. When you actually do the work, you have to put it out in the world and face the vulnerability of saying ‘I made this.’”

2) Find people that share the same mindset

This article is timely because in a few days I’ll be attending the World Domination Summit for the second year in a row. Hosted by the world-traveling author Chris Guillebeau (he reached his goal of visiting every country in the world before his 35th birthday), there was one feeling that struck me last year after just a few hours:

“These are my people.”


Every person I met for 3 days – bloggers, entrepreneurs, writers, teachers, travelers – were drawn to Chris’ tagline in the same way I was, “How to live an unconventional life in a conventional world.”

It was a remarkable conference in many ways, and I can’t wait to see what is store this year. Here was my recap from last year: 5 things I learned while planning World Domination

While it’s great to find the 1 or 2 conferences in a year that really resonate with you, it’s important to keep people like this around you on a regular basis. Being an entrepreneur is difficult, and can be made much more so by being around closed-minded people (often with good intentions), who continually cast doubt:

– “That type of business seems really risky, don’t most ventures fail?”
– “I hear it’s really lonely working from home.”
– “Why would you want to go to another country by yourself and work there? Isn’t that dangerous?”
– “Why not just get a safe full time job with benefits?”

Whether it’s a co-working space, a group of entrepreneurs online, or friends that share your viewpoint, it’s vital to interact with people that can inspire and guide you.

3) Get the right training

For this one, you have to get the right balance. On one hand, it’s foolish to dive into the process of creating and trying to figure out everything by yourself when there are plenty of resources out there.

On the other hand, you can go crazy watching hours and hours of videos and trying to absorb every single ounce of information on a topic.

[Note: the following information is only be available through Thursday July 4th at noon ET, but the creators are worth checking out]


Check out this bundle of courses at the “Only72.com” sale.

– Pat Flynn (Breakthrough Blogging)
– Scott Dinsmore (making genuine connections)
– Gideon Shalwick (video creation/marketing)
– Cathy Presland (Kindle self-publishing)
– Stillmotion (Making Better Web Videos)
– Cliff Ravenscraft (podcasting)

Note: While I haven’t personally taken these courses, I trust the creators to put out a quality product. Here’s why:

– I’ve followed Pat Flynn for several years, and met him in person at Blogworld in New York. I credit him with helping to get my book deal, as I got great ideas from his “eBooks the Smart Way” guide when I was starting out.

– I’ve gotten to know Cathy Presland through the invite-only “Bestsellers group” on Facebook for top Udemy.com instructors. Not only does she have one of the top selling classes on Udemy, Publish Your Book on Kindle, but she has been incredibly helpful to other instructors.

– Lastly, I hired Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answer Man, to help the transition of this very podcast from Wired.com to my own servers. To say he is an expert in podcasting is an understatement. There is nothing he doesn’t know.

The other two courses have to do with web videos and making connections, two vital topics in the digital age.

If you see this offer before Thursday July 4, 2013 at noon ET, I urge you to go there and take action.

But even if you don’t, you should pursue at least one kind of training. Is it a book, a blog, or video? Spend a short time finding a respected resource, go through the entire training, and then get to work.

4) Get to work

Yes, dive right in.


Start filming.
Start writing.
Start designing.
Start connecting.

You’re never going to be perfect right off the bat. In fact, your work is going to suck at first. That’s ok. It’s supposed to. But in a few months or a few years, you’re going to look back at your blog or your book or your bank account, and get to say:

Hey. I made that.

Check out my free online salary negotiation course, “How to Negotiate Salary: The Negotiation Mindset.”

Sponsor Message: Freshbooks Fresh Take of the Week: Seeing results

I try to be fairly transparent with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, so let me share with you a high: June of 2013 was the highest revenue month for my business, Hopkinson Creative Media, since I went out on my own about 18 months ago. I let myself be excited about the accomplishment, but am in no way celebrating, because as an entrepreneur, there is not a steady paycheck like in the corporate world. But what you may or may not realize, is that the corporate world isn’t so steady itself. I’m betting on me. That’s what we’ll talk about today.

So how did I know it was my best month? Why am I cautiously optimistic? Because I can instantly run a profit and loss report in Freshbooks to see my income, I can easily tell which invoices are still outstanding, and I can pull up a year to date report to show how my income and expenses are trending over the past year or more.

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