Here Are 3 Ways to Say No Without Sounding Like a Jackass. I Used Option #3 Today.

 

Flickr says no to video

Saying no is hard. But standing up for your time is worth it.

Total Reading Time: 7 minutes

What other people think about you doesn’t matter. Right?

Well, unless you want to walk around with one of those “F*** the World” t-shirts on for the rest of your life, it does matter.

As much as we’d like to believe no one will judge us for our words and actions, it’s just not true. We judge. On top of it, we’re born with an innate desire to please others. On the surface we like to maintain a certain appearance. Positive or negative feedback affects our egos, but not in the way you might think.

Lately I’ve been studying leadership, ego, and conceit. Simon Sinek is a brilliant man and leading the way in this space. He’s famous for his TED Talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action (one of my all time favorites). He’s also written books on these topics, including his latest Leaders Eat Last.

It appears there is a positive correlation between having a strong ego and being a successful leader. I know what you’re thinking. The best leaders are humble, not egotistical. I thought the same thing myself, until I looked up the definition of ego.

Continue reading

The Self-Incarceration of a Generation: Two Choices That Shape Destiny

Vintage poster ad for Grocco tonic pills

Photo credit: Flickr.com—Laura@popdesign

This post was originally published on Medium

Total Reading Time: 3 minutes

Why are so many of us so miserable?

It seems like everyone has their own story.

“I lost my dog when I was eight, so I can never love again.”

“I had a learning disability in elementary school.”

“I don’t have enough money to travel.”

“I don’t have the right idea to start a business.”

I’ve been miserable before. I was miserable for years. And I did what all of us does.

I allowed myself to turn into a cold, lifeless, pulseless zombie. I trudged around and went through the motions. I stopped caring. Continue reading

3 Massively Important Business & Marketing Lessons You Must Understand And Implement Today

digital marketing logo

The Crazy World of Business and Marketing

Total Reading Time: 4 minutes

It has taken me 18+ months of sleepless nights, non-stop research, and defeats to understand the lessons below. Something seems to have finally clicked.

If you want to successfully sell a product or service, you must learn and implement these business and marketing lessons.

These are my 3 biggest takeaways from Traffic & Conversion Summit (a digital marketing event): 

Lesson 1: Understand and fully implement the framework to Customer Value Optimization

Man, I love frameworks (see below). This enables you to create an optimized and profitable sales funnel for whatever product or service you’re offering.

This is the same framework Amazon, Starbucks, and McDonald’s use. Apply this to everything you’ve learned in the past and will decide to learn in the future.

Stop wasting time learning new things like YouTube Advertising or social media without understanding how to apply them to this framework. Learn this and you will be unstoppable! 

Customer Value Optimization Framework

Customer Value Optimization Framework: DigitalMarketer.com

Continue reading

The Annual Review: Setting Yourself Up For Success

Onward and Upward

Onward and Upward—Photo credit: Jess at CreateAndThrive.com

Total Reading Time: 3.5 minutes

With every new year comes the feeling that you’re starting with a fresh, clean slate.

It’s likely that you spent the holidays eating, drinking, dancing and celebrating with the people you care about most.

Leonardo DiCaprio - Wolf of Wall Street gif

Some seriously funky dance moves…

If you did it really well, it probably looked something like the above.

It’s a great time of year to refresh and look back on the year you just completed. You might be asking yourself some questions like…

What went well? What were your major accomplishments and/or magic moments? What didn’t go well? What old habits are still preventing you from a break through?

The problem is, most people never, ever bother taking the time to write it all down and actually get it out of their heads.

But, you’re different. That’s why you’re reading this.

So here’s what you need to do: An Annual Review Continue reading

[Podcast] Why He Left Google: Subconscious Mind Mastery

Subconscious Mind Mastery

Subconscious Mind Mastery

This week, I was interviewed by Thomas Miller of the Subconscious Mind Mastery Podcast.

In the interview, we discussed everything from ‘Why I Left Google‘ — to the roller coaster ride of Solopreneurship, how to monetize your ideas online, the shift in lifestyle, what I teach my consulting clients, and a lot more.

The interview is divided into two parts. If you have an Apple/iOS device, you can listen through the Podcast app. Here’s a direct link to the Subconscious Mind Mastery Podcast. The interview is Podcast number 39 and 40.

You can also listen directly from the site here:

Subconscious Mind Mastery Podcast #39 – Why He Left Google (Part 1)

 

Subconscious Mind Mastery Podcast #40 – Why He Left Google (Part 2)

Continue reading

Always Be Selling: How to Create a Sales Page That Converts (For Any Product or Service)

Effortless Email landing page

The page above was created using OptimizePress

You can have a million different million dollar ideas.

But until you start testing them and building actual websites to deliver your product of service, you’ll never know if you’ve got a real business.

Creating marketing, sales, landing, and squeeze pages is a huge part of that.

If you’ve ever needed to create any type of sales page on your website, you need to read this post. In it’s entiretyContinue reading

Solopreneur Case Study: Photographer James Law

Boxer - James Law Photography

Boxer – James Law Photography

Total Reading Time: 5 minutes

I first met James Law in May of 2010 at the top of a mountain. No, seriously.

I was back in San Diego, visiting my old friends and college town.

At the time I was working for 3M and had a great job coming out of school. I was living in Manhattan, had a company car, expense account — the works.

That weekend we went out drinking on a Saturday night, SDSU style. A friend decided to wake everyone up at 9 AM on Sunday morning and told us we we should go for a run. We were going to run up Cowles mountain and sweat out the hangover.

We abided.

James was also there for the run, and even brought along his camera. He casually took some photos of our “victory” at the top of the mountain. Then we got to talking.

He was at a crossroads in his career. I’m sure you’ve been there too. Remember the feeling?

A lot of us think we’re pursuing a noble career that’s meant for us (like my jobs at 3M and Google) and that we should be thankful for. We’re trying to do something that makes us happy, keeps us motivated, and helps us live the lifestyle we want.

Unfortunately, all too often we’re compartmentalized and boxed into a certain job, with specific things we can and can’t do. A lot of times, even these jobs that provide lots of “freedom” are really just shadow careers — a parallel of what we really should be doing. The problem is many of us haven’t quite seen or realized this yet.

Later on James followed up with me through email to do a little networking and…

“…get some advice on breaking into the next step in my sales and marketing career and am ready to grow”.

Clearly, he was simply looking to do anything else. So I gave him the standard reply. Told him about 3M. Described the job opportunities.

But then I asked him — “what actually interests you most?”

So James decided to open up and explain his situation.

“I’m really having a hard time with my job and I know that I’m not growing or learning anymore and its taking a toll on my psyche.”

How many times have you heard someone say that, or even felt it yourself? How unfortunate is it that this is happening to bright, talented, motivated men and women all around the world? Fortunately, there’s a revolution coming.

James also followed up with… Continue reading

The Revolution: What Russell Brand Would Say About Entrepreneurship

Russell Brand Jeremy Paxman BBC Newsnight interview

Russell Brand being interviewed on BBC Newsnight

Total Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Profit is a filthy word.” – Russell Brand

Russell Brand—actor, comedian, and political activist—says there’s going to be a revolution. Simply put, this is the end of the current chapter of politics and economics.

If you haven’t watched the viral video above of Russell Brand being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight, you should. I respect Russell Brand. I respect anyone who has the courage to speak their mind, propose new ideas, and look for ways to help us all grow and evolve.

Now, in the interview above, Russell mostly goes into how he feels about the politics and inequalities of the world, but also touches on how lost and disillusioned so many people are (and why).

What would Russell Brand say about entrepreneurship then? Or specifically, solopreneurship?

Regardless of what you think about him, the man is using his platform and fame to speak up about some very important issues. Some call his ideas utopian or communist. I personally think it’s an inevitable evolution. Continue reading

7 Tips to Living Like a Rockstar for $25 a Day In Southeast Asia

Elephant in Thailand

Feeding the elephant in Thailand

Total Reading Time: 8 minutes

Everyone who’s been knows, and everyone who hasn’t has heard: Southeast Asia is cheap.

You can live like a rockstar for a fraction of what you normally spend back home (if you’re smart).

But, all too often, people visit Southeast Asia expecting everything to be cheap and that’s simply not the case. There are a countless number of ways you can get ripped off or pushed into a more expensive option when it’s simply not necessary.

A lot of these learnings simply come with experience and awareness. I personally learned a lot during my time there, specifically 5 odd lessons from long-term travel.

Nonetheless, a few tips can go a long way to help ensure you have that rockstar experience and are able to get the most ‘bang for your buck’.

1. Eat the street food

Whatever preconceived notions you have about street food need to be left back home. The food is delicious, sanitary, and cheap!

Eating food from these street stalls and carts is almost always the best option. If you want your foreign currency to go a long way, this is a must.

A lot of people have this idea that the street food is more likely to get them sick—wrong!

After over three months of traveling through Southeast Asia I got sick twice. Both times from pizza. Never from the street food.

In fact, most travelers said the same thing: it was the Western food that got them sick.

In Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos you can usually have a delicious meal for about $1-3. Throw in a beer and you’re looking at the cheapest, most economical meal you’ve had in a long time. Continue reading

5 Odd Lessons Learned From Long-Term Travel. #2 Was Hard to Swallow.

“Cambodian Boy”

“Cambodian Boy”—Arman Assadi. All Rights Reserved.

Total Reading Time: 8 minutes

I’m HOME.

97 days. 24 cities. 7 countries.

Words can’t explain how amazing this trip was. The perspective an experience like this gives you is truly priceless.

I learned a lot. I learned about human beings. I learned about myself. And I learned that most of what I’ve been taught was wrong.

I learned more in three months traveling the world than I did in four years of college…wait I mean five (I went to a party school).

Living, traveling, and working in different parts of the world was something I’d been dreaming of doing since I was 16 years old—and I finally did it.

During my adolescent years, my rebellious, non-conformist ideas of what life should actually be started brewing.

I struggled a lot with trying to balance what society wanted for me, and what I truly wanted for myself. I think we all do in some way.

So I started trying to do both. It didn’t work very well. Continue reading