When I was seventeen, I was expected to write a series of essays for my college applications. All of the questions that I had to respond to were more or less the same: Talk about your most profound life accomplishment, or reflect on your greatest challenge and how you overcame it. Or, if the university was feeling really creative, they would throw something at you like: Imagine that you were stranded on a deserted island with 100 other people, and you were responsible for providing them all with food, water, and shelter. Based on your life experiences, how would you take action?
Ridiculous, I know.
How is an emotionally unstable, acne-ridden high school kid supposed to answer any of those? What "accomplishments" are they even referring to?
And even though most high school seniors have no real experience, insight or wisdom that would properly equip them for these essays, we still sit down and write them. We learn the art of embellishment. We grasp the concept of “fake it till you make it” and write about how earth-shattering our existence is for 2,000 words.
Why? Because this is what we had to do to get accepted. It is a small yet crucial step that will (supposedly) grant us access into the school of our dreams and see a lifetime of success.
And when new entrepreneurs are looking to sign their first clients, they often come to me with the same question: How do I prove myself to be an expert to these prospects if I lack any real experience? If I don’t have any testimonials or previous examples of my work, what do I do to convince them?
There are four key points that I say in response to this question. I want to share them with you now.
1. You don't need to be an expert to get paid for your work
Here’s a little secret that most people won’t ever tell you: Everyone feels insecure about being inadequate at their craft in the beginning. Even people who have been working in the field for 20 years still hear a voice in the back of their head that says “Who are you to be charging for these services? How long will it take for people to find out that you’re a total fraud?”
So, if you’re worried about your experience or skill, you are not alone. It’s totally normal to feel insecure about this in your new business.
But here’s the good news: No one actually expects you to be an expert. All they care about is you helping them to solve an issue faster than they would be able to solve it themselves.
If you are even half a step ahead of them in terms of your skills and knowledge, they will be more than happy to pay for you for your services.
Here’s one of my favorite examples to highlight this idea. Think about the time you first learned how to cook pasta. Maybe it was a parent or sibling who taught you how to boil the water, put the pasta into the pot, set the timer for 10 minutes, and then drain it.
When you learned this skill, did you turn to your mom and demand that she tell you what cooking awards she had won? Did you ask to see her diploma from culinary school? Did you inquire about her participation on Iron Chef?
Probably not, because it doesn’t matter. All that matters was that she was able to help you learn this skill faster than you would have been able to learn it yourself.
If you can help a client do that - even if you’re still learning the craft yourself - receiving compensation for your work is totally valid.
Making this mindset switch and accepting your skill set for what it is is crucial to gaining clients in the beginning. Otherwise, your clients will see right through your insecurities.
2. Offer free work
I used to be very anti-free work. I was disgusted when someone requested that I write the first three articles for free as a copywriter to “prove myself”, or provide a free marketing strategy before getting started.
But now, I’ve learned that when the idea comes from the service provider and the free work is within reasonable means, this is one of the fastest ways to gain testimonials, build relationships with industry players, gain a reputation for yourself, and open the doors to your first set of clients.
This is also a great option for those who are still uncomfortable charging for their work and want to lower the pressure.
In order to do this, identify a series of potential clients and reach out with a proposal on how you can help them improve. Explain exactly what you do and how you’ll help them see results, and offer it free of charge. Very few companies will say no to this.
If you’re uncomfortable offering full-blown free work, create a smaller, short-term package that you can offer them. For example, if you’re a social media marketer, offer them one month of free social media help. If you’re a business coach, offer them a one-hour free coaching session. If you’re a developer, offer to create a new page for their website. Offer whatever is comfortable for you without feeling taken advantage of.
After this experience, 99% of companies will be more than happy to provide you with testimonials. You then have some new work examples to add to your portfolio and you have a new relationship with a potential client. They could then turn into a new client and they can refer you to others. Win win win.
3. Create content and get it published
I know what you’re thinking: This one is a no-duh. But what most people don’t do is take the blog content that they create and submit it to various publications. If you can get featured in one publication, even if it’s a low-level one with a relatively small readership, this is immediate social proof that you can add to your website.
And within that small readership, even if one of them resonates with your article, they can become a client within 24 hours. This is such a simple step to take, yet most people get stuck at the above mentioned “I’m not good enough!” phase to actually hit the submit button. My advice? Get over yourself and just do it. You can easily identify various publications with tools like BuzzSumo.
So get writing!
4. Go for the low-hanging, local fruit
Most likely, there are people right in front of your eyes who are ready and willing to invest in your services, but you're too busy online to even notice them. These people are your family members, friends, and others in your community.
For example, if you're trying to start a Facebook Ads agency, instead of finding online entrepreneurs who want to sign with you, find local doctors offices, restaurants, and clothing shops. It is much easier to gain the trust and support of local business owners than it is online businesses.
Brick and mortar shops aren't exposed to the amount of online competition that you are in terms of service providers. If you're trying to find clients in a Facebook group, for example, you might be posting within a community of 10,000 other digital marketers. But if you walk into your local dentist office, establish common ground ("My aunt's a patient here!" or "I grew up with your kids!"), and tell them how you can help their business, it will be much easier to close the sale.
Even if these local businesses aren't your ideal clients, they're still a great place to start for getting some experience and testimonials under your belt.
5. Fake it till you make it
This goes back to the above college application story. For whatever reason, this concept gets a bad reputation. This shocks me because every single entrepreneur I know across various industries has used this technique to break through barriers and see success. It’s just how it works.
But when I say “fake it till you make it”, I’m not talking about blatantly lying and creating a false identity for yourself. I’m talking about having the confidence to envision your future and channeling that reality today.
Essentially, your thoughts, words, and self-perception become your reality. If you perceive yourself as inexperienced, that will be communicated to others. But if you perceive yourself as a badass who’s totally confident and capable of helping others achieve success, that will be communicated too.
Here’s an example.
My mom has a friend who had a dream of opening up a clothing store 15 years ago. She didn’t know anything about fashion or retail or entrepreneurship, but she decided to go for it anyway. She got the loan, opened the store, and it quickly became one of the most well-known women’s clothing stores in our area.
How did this happen? She told people that she was a successful brick and mortar store owner from day one. She talked about how people flooded in on her store’s opening day, even though attendance was underwhelming. Her personality was full of confidence when others asked her about her new store was doing. She got her family and friends to wear shirts around town with the store’s name on it and hung up flyers. She created a buzz even when the buzz wasn’t really there.
Essentially, she channeled this imaginary success around her business until it manifested into her reality. And this is what you need to do too.
Just as you had to do as a 17-year-old writing a college essay on your life’s greatest accomplishments, you now need to do that in your business. Identify your skill set and any relevant experiences, and build a story upon them that will make them stand out. Learn how to speak about yourself in a way that emulates confidence, success, excitement, and drive. That alone will sell itself.
I understand that getting your first client in the door is intimidating, but the greatest challenge that you're really facing are your own mental barriers that are sabotaging your success. If you follow the above steps, you'll be an expert booking clients in no time. Now...go!
I'll never forget the day I was rushing through my rainy college campus trying to make my 4 o'clock anthropology class. I had had back-to-back campus meetings just before, and now I had to sit through two hours of an intense 600-person lecture on the evolution of lizard anatomy (true story).
Once the class was done, I would have to rush to yet another campus organization meeting, and then head home to catch the latest episode of Jersey Shore.
This is so fun! I remember thinking. I love being busy. I get shit done.
In college, I was one of those girls who felt the need to be a part of 20 different student clubs. It was annoying. But I did it because it made me feel, well, productive.
I contribute so much. I am gaining so much great experience. I can't wait to add yet another activity to my resume.
I know, I know. Just thinking about me as a college student would make anyone want to throw up.
But even beyond the clear surface-level annoyance of it all, there was something even worse happening deep down: I wasn't doing jack shit.
I was actually the least productive person I knew (and that was amongst a lot of lazy college kids, so it's saying something).
Let me explain.
Yes, I was in a ton of different student clubs. But in reality, I was so busy trying to be a part of all of them that I never actually contributed anything. In those back-to-back meetings that I constantly had, I was pretty much just "there".
Yes, I went to every gen-ed class that taught me about lizard anatomy and tons of other useful stuff. But in reality, I was spending hours everyday learning nothing about nothing about nothing (and paying for all of that nothing too).
Yes, I was trying to have the "full college experience" with my social life, but in reality, I was wasting a ton of time hanging out with shit people who had no motivation to do anything other than drink 4Locos and go to basement frat parties.
Long story short: For four straight years, I spent everyday running around and planning and prepping and studying and talking and worrying and researching...but I got nothing done. It was one big fucking joke.
But that's not even the scariest part.
You want to know what's even worse?
Most people go through their entire lives doing just this.
When you ask them how they are, they say "Good, I've been so busy!" when in reality, they've been...
- going to a corporate 9 to 5 job where they sit in a cubicle and do nothing all day
- go home and spend two hours on Netflix
- then two hours in bed sifting through inspirational quotes on Instagram
- then spend one hour scrolling their their Facebook newsfeed seeing all of the progress that everyone else is making, without actually doing anything themselves
And I'm gonna be honest with you: I get it.
I was this person. And do you know why I spent so many years pretending to be "busy" without actually facing the reality of not doing anything?
It was because I was overwhelmed by the idea of taking real, powerful action.
I was intimidated by everyone who was experiencing actual success.
I was terrified of potentially failing and embarrassing myself.
I was lost in this overly complicated, unpredictable path that is life.
Do you relate to this?
I'm a firm believer that this is why 99% of emerging entrepreneurs get stuck so early on: they're completely overwhelmed by everything that they're "expected" to do.
And instead of risking it all and dealing with trial and error and potentially failing and dedicated tons of time to something that might be totally wrong, it's easier to avoid it and distract yourself with "business".
Am I right or am I right?
But let me ask you this...
- What if you had the opportunity to push all of that fear, anxiety, and repressed self-doubt out the window once and for all?
- What if you knew for a fact that you could see real results in your business in just a few months?
- What if you had the most successful entrepreneurs' strategies, systems, tools, and insights to grow your business fast?
That would be life-changing, right?
Well, you're about to have that exact opportunity.
Oh shit, I almost forgot to tell you the coolest part!
This opportunity will also allow you and I to become biz besties.
Because the truth is, out of everything that I teach you about launching and growing a successful business online, having an expert on your team to be there with you every step of the way is the most powerful, quickest way to seeing results.
And I would really, really love to be that person for you.
- I want to have one-on-one Skype calls with you every single week and give you my personal phone number so that we can text all day err day
- I want to show you how it is possible to drive five figures in revenue each month with your own business
- I want to show you how to implement sales funnels so that you can earn money on autopilot every single day
- I want to help you create a custom marketing strategy that will build a booming community of dedicated fans around your work
- I want to help you get featured in major publications so that you can get your name out there and gain huge exposure
- I want to help you create a brand for yourself that rises above the noise and shines through
- I want to give you insider's access into how I've hit $12K weeks, gained 15K dedicated fans in just six months, successfully been featured in Forbes, business.com, and Elite Daily, and how I've positioned myself as an expert in my space.
And most importantly, I want to show you that you don't have to feel stuck, overwhelmed, insecure, or confused around your business. Building a business really can be fun and easy. I promise.
And the fastest way to break through the "hard" and get to the "fun / seamless / profitable" is to get the right expert on your team.
I want to be that person for you!
Are you down?
I'm opening up five new spots in my most popular one-on-one program, Success Accelerator.
This six week program is designed to help you get unstuck and accelerate your results in just six weeks. And if you enroll by July 1, you get two extra sessions with me (a $1,000 value) and all of my digital products for free ($1,500).
Will you be the next Success Accelerator legend?
The first month that I launched my coaching business, I received an email from a "subscriber" saying something along these lines:
I joined your email list a few weeks ago, and I have a question: Who are you to be teaching this information? I've never even heard your name before. You clearly don't have any followers, so I'm curious why you keep doing this if it isn't successful?
Let me know. Thanks.
I would show you a screenshot from the actual email, but I was so horrified by the aggressiveness of it that I immediately hit 'delete'. Why are people so damn mean?
As soon as I got home, I fell straight onto my bed and cried.
Like, uncontrollably sobbing...giving-no-fucks-about-my-mascara-running-all-over-my-white-pillow-case type sobbing. It was intense.
The truth is that, even though his email was awful and so unnecessarily cruel, he wasn't wrong. I didn't have any "followers". No one knew my name in the online marketing / coaching space. No one trusted me (yet). I was a nobody.
But after I was done drooling all over my pillow, I got up, ate some left-over Thai food, and decided that I was going to figure out how become a somebody. Screw you, Raul!
I began studying other online influencers with tons of followers and dedicated buyers.
I started watching viral YouTube and Facebook videos to identify who created them and what made them special.
I committed to reading books by various marketing thought leaders, listening to podcasts that were getting millions of downloads, and reviewing the websites of popular coaches.
And little by little, I started implementing the strategies that I saw working for others. Some stuff worked for me, others didn't. But eventually, as I saw more and more subscribers and dedicated fans come in, I realized: Maybe I'm getting this whole thought leader thing down.
This is why I created The Spotlight System: How to position yourself as an influencer in your space, get noticed, and skyrocket your brand name. This is a premium one-hour video training that shows you the four "secrets" that have enabled me to:
- Get featured in tons of industry publications and get exposed to their huge audiences
- Get the attention of big industry players and build relationships with them
- Regularly get invited to be a guest on various podcasts
- Grow a following of 15K awesome subscribers
- Build a brand name that people trust to buy from
And I want to share those secrets with you, because getting more exposure could be exactly what you need to get more sales and grow your business fast. I know it was for me.
In my one-hour video training, The Spotlight System, I'm LAYIN' IT DOWN for you, giving all of my best secrets to help you skyrocket your brand exposure starting today.
And the most insane part?
It's only $15 for the next 10 hours.
Fifteen freakin' bucks!
After that, it goes up to $39, and then $79 a week after that.
Honestly, not to toot my own horn...but if you pass up this deal, you're batshit crazy.
Guest Post by Millennial Go-Getter, Austin Dixon
In an age where you can make $25,000 per month selling potatoes with messages on them, it amazes me that some people still think entrepreneurs are “lucky.”
No, we’re not lucky.
We’re just crazy enough to take our ideas and make them happen.
The modern-day entrepreneur (believe it or not) is the one that understands all you need to start a successful business are two things:
- A passion
- Some work ethic
Take Josh Ryan, CEO of Cleverpreneur, for example.
Josh is an internet marketer and, at 17, has made a living out of a side hustle.
By day, Josh is a regular high school student who goes to math class and cycles in his free time.
After school, he has mastered the art of the modern-day entrepreneur and makes money online selling info products and services for Instagram.
With over 382,000 followers and an expertise on Instagram growth, the teenage entrepreneur has built a six-figure business all from the comfort of his phone.
Now, I know one of the biggest misconceptions of building a successful business is that it’s “too hard” to make money online…
…or that you “don’t have the time.”
…or that it’s “too expensive.”
Look… I get it!
Learning something new can be hard and frustrating and take patience.
But, if it could help you find your purpose and fuel your passions then isn’t an investment in yourself worth it?!
In order to get you over those hurdles, I’m going to give you 3 reasons why EVERY Millennial needs a Side Hustle. Here they are:
Side Hustles are fun
Look… I know we don’t know each other, but I like to think I’m a fun guy.
I enjoy the movie Step Brothers, my friends seem to like my jokes, and every once in a while, I like to crack a few cold ones with the boys.
Unless you don’t like puppies or guys under 5’7”, I think we’ll get along just fine…
So… Do you think I would advocate for something if it wasn’t fun? No way, bruh!
Side Hustles are the ultimate game in which you can try to lose* and you’ll probably still win.
If you enjoy winning in ping pong, you’ll have fun with a Side Hustle.
If you always won tag as a kid (or at least thought you did), you’ll have fun with a Side Hustle.
If you have a passion that you’re not pursuing in your life, you’ll have fun with a Side Hustle.
Every day of Side Hustling presents another day to do what you love for work.
*This is a joke … You have to work hard to win!
Side Hustles help you grow both personally & professionally
As young professionals, it’s our job to be sponges so that we can learn success from other successful people.
We get jobs after college to commence true “adulthood” – also known as “holy-shit-I’m-an-adult-now-and-can-barely-afford-guacamole-hood.”
We start the 9 to 5, learn some skills, and try to move up a linear path to “the top.”
However, with Side Hustles you’re learning something new every day!
One day you’ll be studying how to provide better customer service and the next you’ll be figuring out how much money you should reinvest to grow your business.
In a Side Hustle, you’ll fail sometimes.
The good news? You’ll always win more than you lose.
Every day of Side Hustling offers you accelerated growth towards that success we’re all eagerly chasing.
Side Hustles make you $$$
There’s an elephant in the room…
Yes, Side Hustles can make you some extra money to help with things like gas for your Honda, that highly-coveted ticket to Coachella, or towards the trip to Bali that you “saw on Instagram.”
I’m not saying you’re going to be a millionaire overnight.
Heck, I’m not even promising you’ll make your first $1 until you understand the principals of ethical sales.
But, Side Hustles are all about playing the long-game and enjoying the journey along the way.
Every day of Side Hustling gives you an opportunity towards reaching that financial goal of yours, whatever that goal looks like.
At the end of the day, some of you are going to read this and be inspired to chase your dreams.
You’ll share this with the friend you talked about your blog idea with or maybe will go as far as brainstorming a few ideas.
For others, you’ll probably just brush it off because your passions are too hard, too time-consuming, or too expensive to pursue.
Let me leave you with one final thought:
The only thing that’s harder than pursuing your passions is the effort it takes to work hard at a job that’s not getting you where you want to be.
Austin Dixon is a 24-year-old serial entrepreneur & side hustler. He is cofounder of Snapchat Marketing Agency Filter Haus, creates the community over at PNW Paradise, and helps millennials start their side hustles with Side Hustle University.
More of his thoughts on marketing & entrepreneurship here: www.ayeeedixon.com
So, you recently started your online business and are looking to get dem clients. Or, maybe you've been running a business for 20 years and you're somehow here anyway. It doesn't really matter. The rules still apply.
When you put out sales offers - whether it's a digital product, an e-book, a 1:1 coaching program or anything else - you're bound to get a variety of responses.
Some are full of excitement for the opportunity. Others sound like they were written by drunk babies. And others are just straight up weird.
I'll never forget the time I received an email that said "Lena, I love you, I want to come see you and be with you, I can't wait. Sincerely, Arthur from Pakistan"
And while it's sometimes entertaining, eventually, it gets old. You just want to know: How can you weed through the people who are wasting your time and just get to the people who are ready and excited to invest in you?
In my experience, there are six red flags that show that a person is a definite NO when it comes to the sale. There is no science that backs these up or stats that prove that my conclusions apply across the board. These are just my experiences. But, come on...you and I both know I'm probably onto something.
The guy who's short of $5
I'm embarrassed to admit how many times this has happened with me. I'll get a response to a sales email that says something along the lines of "I literally have $47 in my bank account and your product costs $50. Is there any way that you can make an exception?" It doesn't matter if you then proceed to offer it to him for $1. This dude will never, ever buy from you, no matter how much you reduce the price.
The girl who needs the extension
If someone comes to you the day after you close your program registration with an email that says "I really wanted to sign up for your program, but I'm still trying to get the money together / am in the middle of finals / was on a vacation with my pet llama. Is there any way that you can still let me in?"
Even if you say yes, they will never sign up. People who can't do something as basic as respect a deadline will never take an intensive program seriously.
If they really thought that the $5K investment would be the game changer for their business and they were actually excited, they wouldn't fuck it up by missing a deadline. It's sort of like showing up for a first date 20 minutes late in a nightgown. If you really cared about making a good first impression, you would have probably made the effort to show up on time and put pants on. Same goes with programs and deadlines. If they don't respect the due date, they don't respect you or your offer.
The guy who uses your email address as an emotional outlet
Sometimes, I'll receive an email response that I have to set an hour aside to even get through. These long, emotional, belligerent rants typically revolve around the same issues: their worries about leaving their jobs, external pressures from their parents, their cat who's currently undergoing chemotherapy, and their inability to get unstuck and take a chance on themselves. Talk about heavy.
Rule of thumb: If you can imagine someone balled up in a corner, crying into their keyboard as they write this message, they will never buy from you. They're using you as a person to vent to and seek validation from, but they have no interest in working with you. Even if they are, at this point in the game, they're too insecure and confused to take the leap. Goodbye, Hot Mess Express.
The person with an incoherent email address
Again, there's no science to back this up. But in my experience, 99% of people who have an email address that's impossible to read AND / OR the person who has a Comcast, Hotmail, or Yahoo address cannot be trusted. Keep it simple: your name at gmail dot com. Anything more than that forces me to think that you're an Estonian serial killer who's trying to catfish me.
The guy who says "It's not the right time"
Typically, when a potential customer says "It's just not the right time for me" and then shares some long-winded story explaining why, it's for the same reason that people say "It's not you, it's me" when breaking up with someone. They're just not that into you. Maybe they thought that it wasn't a good fit, they didn't see the value in your offer, or they thought it was too expensive. But because most people in the world want to be polite and avoid confrontation / awkwardness, they'll tell you that it's not the right time.
Side note: If you live in Israel like I do, this rule does not apply. If someone doesn't want to work with you, they'll not only tell it to your face, but use exuberant hand gestures and then somehow manage to insult your family.
The girl who wants to "pick your brain"
I admit that I used to be guilty of this. One time a few years back, I actually emailed a very well-known business coach and asked if we could just jump on a 30-minute call so I could "pick her brain". She responded with a blunt "Lena, people pay me thousands of thousands of dollars to pick my brain. I don't offer calls like this. Good luck." And I remember thinking: What a bitch! But now that I'm a business coach too and am constantly bombarded with emails from "free info hoarders", asking me to do everything from giving them my strategies to reviewing their sales pages to laying out a personalized business plan, I'm weary of this too.
People who continuously reach out to you asking for help after months of communication will never open their wallets for you. And even though it can sometimes suck to turn people down for support, you have to remember that you're a business, not a free therapy hotline. Move on!
Alright, that's all I've got. I hope that I didn't ruin all hope for you - I'm just trying to save you some time and heartache down the road. Focus on finding the patterns in people who want to buy from you and go all in on appealing to them. If you can do this, you're golden.
The Go-Getter Series: A Guest post by Zach Strange
14 weeks from finishing up grad school.... check
14 months into blogging with thousands of hits.... check
1 month away from completing and publishing my first book.... check
6 vacation trips in the past two years.... check
If you look at these four accomplishments, would you consider that to be successful for someone in their early twenties? Yeah, probably.
Now, how about if I told you I was 41 years old, with a wife and two children and had recently begun to transition into a different part of my life? Would you still consider this success?
Or, would you begin questioning why a forty-year-old is still in college? Would you wonder to yourself, "What did this dude do for the first two decades of his adult life that kept him from taking off?
If you are asking yourself these question then let me supply you with the answers as well. It's simple really. I worked. And, I worked. And, I worked a whole lot more.
As a matter of fact, I have only spent two months unemployed since I turned eighteen. And, what is there to show? Is there an accumulation of wealth? Not necessarily. Twenty plus years in the workforce should have at least built up a decent investment account of some kind right? Not really.
See, here's the thing. When you work for someone else, there is a pretty hard ceiling on the amount of cash that you can earn. The limit is set at what your employer is willing to pay.
Now, it's not all their fault that I don't have more put back. I did a pretty fair job of creating debt in my twenties that my wife helped me dig my way out of. I have purchased a few items along the way that I probably did not need and there have been plenty of vacations that I definitely did need. And, I have spent the last ten years of my life working for non-profit organizations where the blessing of the job (and it is a tremendous blessing) is in the work done, not necessarily the pay.
However, one thing just kept ringing away in the back of my head... over and over again... for the last twenty years.
You're not winning.
You're creating wealth for someone else.
You have set your bar way too low.
Then, about a year and a half ago, it clicked. Nobody is going to change this for me. And, they will not change it for you either. The employers of the world are perfectly content to allow you to make far less than you're worth. That is part of how they make money. It just makes sense. The more an employer pays their employee, the less they get to keep. This is not rocket science. But, it is something that the majority of society has bought into.
We are told that the moment we leave high school that we need to get a job. Part of this is fueled by generations who have gone before us who's financial status was anchored to their 9 to 5 employment. They worked hard and they earned their pay. However, the world has changed. The possibility of making your own money, which has a much higher ceiling, truly is limitless. Yet, many people watch those possibilities pass them by.
You, my friend, are watching possibilities pass you by.
It is time to put an end to this cycle.
Yet, maybe you love your job. You know, I am not suggesting that the workforce is a bad place to be. There is a lot of security with corporate employment. You get a nice retirement package and excellent medical coverage. You can develop excellent working relationships with people that become friends over time. Opportunity to advance up with your company can put you in a strong position to create security for you and your family. These are not bad things.
But, what if you start feeling that itch to create something new?
You know what I am talking about. Maybe you have always wanted to write but never felt like you had the time. Perhaps, your dream is to travel the world but could never finance it or get the time off work. Maybe you have always dreamed of buying a little building on the corner of your downtown market district and running a business.
This is where my first comments become extremely relevant. If you are in your twenties and recently graduating college, the world is yours. What if you're older? What if you are in your forties and have a family to support? It's harder right? Hey, I am right there with you. but, guess what.
It's never too late to start winning.
Here's the truth about building an online business: this shit is fun. Some might even say addicting.
Here's the thought process of an online entrepreneur:
1. Think of a great idea
2. Sell it in the form of an info product or serve
3. Market it
4. Wake up at 3 am because your dog is barking at your phone for making too many PayPal notification sounds
Who could NOT love that?! Sometimes, it legit feels like I'm printing my own money.
And with that money, I get to spend it in some really awesome ways. What's cool is that a lot of these products and tools are crazy affordable. And I want to share these must-have buys with you today. Cool?
Golden Rose Liquid Lipsticks
This shouldn't surprise you, but I'm a lipstick hoarder. Don't ask me why. The best liquid lipsticks I have ever tried in my life (better than Kylie, better than Stila, better than Anastasia, better than ALL DEM) are the Golden Rose Liquid Matte Lipsticks. Golden Rose is a Turkish brand that first came to my attention when a friend brought one back from a a trip to Istanbul. I now own every shade. And they're like, eight bucks a piece. The fact that no one in the beauty / YouTube community talks about these astonishes me.
Both of Russell Brunson's books
Both DotCom Secrets and Expert Secrets are must-haves for anyone trying to sell stuff on the internet. I don't care if you're trying to sell sailboats, software or sand castles. If you want to make a name for yourself in your industry and drive in the dough, get your hands on these now. Plus, Russell is currently giving them away for free. HELLO!
This marble Macbook case
As a digital nomad, I'm on the go all the time, so it's super important that I have something both protective and stylish on my computer. I've probably ordered this same marble snap-on case three times now - there's no way in hell my Macbook Air would still be alive without it. And I get compliments on it all the time. It's around 13 bucks. Get it here.
Rich20Something by Daniel DiPiazza
If you haven't picked up Daniel's new book, you ccrrraaazzzyyy. Not only is Daniel a brilliant millennial thought leader, but he's hilarious and really fun to learn from. His book is around 15 bucks on Amazon. Grab it here.
Both of Jen Sincero's books
You Are A Badass and You Are A Badass At Making Money are must-haves for anyone trying to break through their limiting beliefs about success and step up their wealth consciousness game. Plus, Jen is freakin' hysterical and makes you feel like you're her best friend. It's a great time.
As you can see, a lot of my recommendations are books. I love books (almost as much as I love lipstick)!
If you're someone "on a budget", here's some serious advice for you: Never ever ever hold back on buying a book. No matter how much it costs, if you're thinking about it for even one second, just buy it. You never know the impact - even if it's just one new idea - that that book will have on your life. So seriously, get it and get it today. You won't regret it.
I distinctly remember the moment when I stood up in the classroom, walked to the teacher’s desk, and dropped my SAT booklet down in front of her. “I’m done!” I confidently said as I spun around to walk out.
As I headed toward the door, I turned back to see a swarm of eyes staring at me, full of insecurity and shock. “How could she have finished so quickly?!” they read. “She must be some sort of genius!”
And honestly, I couldn’t blame them. I was walking out two hours before we were expected to finish this section of the test.
The reason for it was quite simple: I skipped the section altogether. I don’t remember if that part was purposeful or not, but it’s highly possible that I intentionally neglected to finish it. The SAT was boring. A waste of my time. I had more important things to do like write for my Tumblr blog which featured riveting stories about my high school’s eclectic group of bus drivers.
The truth is that I never cared about school. I hated studying. I hated classrooms. I hated teachers (as teachers…but I adored them as friends and confidants).
There was some guilt associated with my distain for school. While my friends were rigorously studying for our latest science test, I’d be pretending to follow along while secretly crafting a speech to my mom on why she should let me go to the upcoming Christina Aguilera concert.
But regardless, this guilt was carried into my college experience and early twenties until I finally had the realization: I don’t care about studying, not because I’m lazy or stupid or “bad”. I don’t care because I’m a doer. I like taking action. I like leading. I like getting shit done fast even if it isn’t perfect.
And while that technique might have not served me well in academics, as an adult now running a successful online business and a community of over 15,000 followers, I can confidently say that my way wins.
People regularly ask me how I justified launching my first business with no money or experience. “Weren’t you scared? Weren’t you nervous? What was the moment that you decided to go for it?” And the truth is, there was no moment. I wasn’t scared. There wasn’t hesitation. I knew that taking action was more important than getting it right the first time, and just by putting myself out there and taking this risk, I was putting myself 10 steps ahead of every other wannabe entrepreneur who was still paralyzed with fear in their cubicles.
Moral of the story: As an adult, studying and observing and watching and reading is not the thing. Doing the thing is the thing. And while the preparation is important, it’s only 20% of the puzzle.
People who continue to act as they did when they were children with the stress-studying and crippling obsession with perfection and getting others’ approval before moving forward is ridiculous. This is what will get you good grades in 7th grade but it will not make you more money, give you a competitive edge, accelerate your growth, or help you stand out a creative influencer in your space.
You have to take a big step forward even if you aren’t sure what’s on the other side. If you do this, you will win.
And of course, this doesn’t solely apply to a business setting. It pertains to every little action that we take in our lives.
You can read 500 books on karate but it won’t help you win in a fight on the sidewalk.
You can watch 200 YouTube videos on winged eyeliner techniques but it won’t mean anything if you’re scared to put a sharp pencil near your eyeball.
You can swipe through a million guys on Tinder but if you never swipe right and agree to go on a date with someone, you’ll never have that relationship you’ve been looking for.
And of course, you can hoard every freebie from every Facebook ad you’ve ever seen, but it won’t help you get better/earn more money if you don’t have the confidence to take a risk and put those insights it into action.
See where I’m going with this?
Stop waiting and observing and studying and stressing about the “right time” (unless you’re in medical school — I don’t want someone doing surgery on me who learned it on YouTube). Just do the thing that you want to do and the results will follow.
I can guarantee you right now that whatever you’re fearing is an exaggerated perception of a scenario that most likely will never come to fruition. How do I know that? Because it’s just how life works. It’s rare that things ever turn out as horribly as you imagine.
Don’t believe me? Check this out.
When I “failed” the SAT, my parents thought I’d never get into college and would face a long, excruciating life of minimum wage jobs and a severe peanut butter addiction. Only one of those things turned out to be true.
I got into college, got a job, then started my own business, and then started an even better business. Woohoo!
When my sister made the powerful decision to enlist in the Israeli army instead of go to college, she was concerned that she’d be placed in a low-level job since she wasn’t a native Hebrew speaker. But guess what? She was placed as an IDF dog trainer. A DOG TRAINER. She got to play with puppies all day and teach them how to protect the State of Israel. Do you have any idea how badass that is?! And according to a recent pole I ran, she’s 96% cooler than everyone I know. So yeah, she won.
And last but certainly not least, my client Alex first approached with a business idea that he wasn’t sure would be successful. I told him we probably shouldn’t overthink it and should give it a try. Five weeks ago he had zero entrepreneurial experience and didn’t know what would come of this. And today, five weeks later, he has a full-blown travel business, a community of followers, a blog that is straight up #travelporn (we’re talkin’ overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and everything), a sales funnel that would make Russell Brunson cry, and a Facebook ad that has some of the most astonishingly low conversion rates I’ve ever seen. No, he’s not broke or embarrassed or a failure, which is what most people think will happen if they start a business from nothing. But no surprise, it worked!
So please, for the love of god, stop hiding and stressing and observing overthinking. Just start doing. Who are you trying to impress anyway?
Whenever I head back to the Old Country (also known as California), there are a few stores that I need to visit immediately.
The top three are Ulta (makeup), Trader Joe's (food), and Target (makeup and food).
Let's take a minute to honor Target alone. The second you enter those shiny red doors and take in the smell of fresh popcorn and plastic, you feel home. If that isn't pure freedom, I don't know what is.
But anyone who regularly peruses the isles of Target knows one thing: that shit ain't cheap anymore! It's not uncommon for me to walk in there to grab some shampoo and a box of Lara Bars and somehow end up with a $300 receipt. What is that all about?!
Don't get me wrong, dropping $300 at Target isn't the worst thing that can happen. But in reality, there's no real return on that $300, right? I mean, sure, it might make you feel good for a few days. But that $300 never goes up in value. There's no financial ROI on $300 at Target. It's a one-stop shop.
This was my big hesitation when I first thought about investing in Facebook ads. What was the fun in it? There's nothing physical I get from giving Facebook my credit card information. There's no temporary satisfaction like there is with buying a new jacket or pair of shoes. So why should I do it?
But then my business coach explained to me how Facebook ads worked and how big of a financial return I could actually get from them.
"Think about it, Lena. You could invest $20 and get 15 new email addresses from it. Then, 10 of those people might buy your tripwire offer. That's $120 in your pocket."
So, after she spent about 30 minutes explaining to me how to design, set up, and run really good Facebook ads, I decided to put some money down on the table. At that point, I gave Facebook a $300 budget over a 1.5 month timeline.
And guess what? I gained more than 300 new email subscribers from that investment. Over the following month, 6 of those people ended up investing in my two highest level programs ($3,000 and $8,000), equalling $29,000
That's a $29,000 return on a $300 investment. WHAT. THE. EFF.
This wasn't some cheap thrill like a 50 percent off Target bathing suit. I multiplied my investment times nearly 100 in cold hard cash.
So tell me...
Where would $197 spent on Power Intensive get YOU? What would be your return on investment if you added a new skill set, system, funnel, or strategy to your business?
Oh, and by the way, if you walk away from Power Intensive feeling like you didn't gain anything from the session, I'll give you the $197. No questions asked.
There are only 4 spots left, so be sure to sign up while you still can! Ready?