How To Let Go Of Control

Whenever I sit down to write, I struggle with the same question: Is this an opportunity to write from the perspective of the online marketing me? Or should I talk about the "regular" me? What does my audience need to hear right now? What can I share that will help them? 

Nine times out of ten, I opt for the former. My community needs both inspirational and practical advice to build their businesses, I tell myself. They don't need to know about what's going on beneath that.

I think that part of it has always been a subconscious understanding that writing about my personal life's trials and tribulations is dangerous. Admitting that I don't have the answers to everything could lesson my community's respect for me, or make them question if I'm someone worth following. "If this girl is screwing up, why should I believe in her as a thought leader?"

Essentially, somewhere along the line, I decided that hiding the fact that I'm a real human would make me more interesting to my audience. And that's fucked up.

So I'm just going to say it. I'm having a really hard time with something. And that something is control.

When I was in college, I struggled with a severe eating disorder that led to multiple health complications. It consumed every minute of every day for several years, and that obsession naturally spilled over into other aspects of my life.

During this difficult time, I went on a vacation with my parents and brother. And instead of enjoying Hawaii and the limited time I had with my family, I made the entire trip's focus on food. Not just the food that I was expected to eat, but on my younger brother's eating habits as well.

I was awful to him. Every time he would order something like pizza in a restaurant, I would scold him about how he should have ordered a salad. When he asked my mom if we could go out for ice cream, I'd shame him for making such poor choices. Every time he even brought up food, I found a way to bully him out of it. 

Keep in mind that he was only 11 at the time.

Many people would ask, "If it was your eating disorder and your issue with your own body, why would you put that on someone else?"

Because when I'm obsessed with something, I truly believe that everyone should be. It's not out of spite or anger. It's from a place of being fully consumed by something much bigger than myself and my inherent fear of it. 

Over the past few years, I have put my whole heart into building my business. From the first minute, I dove deep into every book, course, program, and online resource I could find on digital entrepreneurship. This evolving world consumed me too, but in a much more positive and healthy way.

But with the excitement that comes from creating something from scratch and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, I began (and continue) to worry. I worry that what I'm doing isn't enough. That I'll say something my followers won't like. That I'll lose their trust. That I'm ten times behind some other entrepreneur. That things will begin to grow too fast and I'll lose control. That things will slow down and soon thistle out. 

And this is when the need for control kicks in. Tagging along closely behind are always judgment, impatience, and close mindedness.

Suddenly, nothing matters other than having this control over work. And if anyone's actions or goals don't align with that, I begin to judge or question them.

Last week, my boyfriend told me that he was thinking of getting his PhD and becoming a professor. Instead of supporting him with his idea and encouraging him to pursue it, I snapped and said "That doesn't really align with our goal of being digital nomads, does it?"

What I forgot in that moment was that being an online entrepreneur is my goal. It isn't his. He is his own person with his own dreams and plans. But out of my own insecurities and stresses about my future, I put that negativity on him. 

Similarly, when someone from the Go-Getter community tells me that they're still trying to overcome self-doubt and fear in starting their business when they told me the same exact thing eight months ago, I lose it. How come they aren't pushing themselves harder? Why are they not more focused? How come they're still stuck? They have every resource available to them to make it happen. They must just not want it badly enough. 

It's mean, aggressive, black and white, and totally uncalled for. It makes me feel like a bully.

Breaking through this internal block is something that I'm working on. And it needs to come from a place of trust, compartmentalization, and a focus on the now.

Ask yourself right now, what are things that you can control in your business?

  • Your products and services
  • Your content
  • Your marketing strategy
  • Your client work
  • Your interactions with your community

What you can't control:

  • How others react to those elements
  • What others think of you
  • Who wants to hire you
  • Whether that Entrepreneur editor will email you back or not
  • The exact amount of income you'll drive over the next year

And I find that when I'm focused on what I can control right now instead of worrying about things that have spun out of control in the past or things that might go wrong in the future, my head is clearer. And with a clearer head, I can make better decisions.

For a second, fuck your business. Fuck your goals. Fuck your plans. None of it will matter if you allow your brain to destroy you from the inside.

It's time to run an inventory on your mind. What parts need to be deleted and what parts need more attention? How can you clear through the cobwebs to finally discover the contempt, self-acceptance, and clarity you've been looking for?

Only then can you truly move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tapping into your source: four benefits of unleashing the power of positive thinking (GUEST POST)

Guest Post by Preetha Vijayan, Certified Results Coach

Have you ever felt that life is just passing you by without any gravitas? Have you ever felt that things are impossible? Do you sometimes feel drained of energy? That can all change…the power and ability to do so is all within YOU!

I have come to realise the magical benefits of positive thinking and it has been a very active effort on my part to shift my mindset to “higher level thinking” and consciousness. The results have been amazing!

1)You are ONE with life – have you ever had a day when everything seems to “flow?” Things happen exactly as you want it to – there is less traffic, less queues, you get your morning coffee on time, your meetings are productive – things just seem to go your way. Is this a coincidence? I choose to attribute this to your mindset and the positive energy that you emanate – which means you have become attuned with the universe. Having busy lifestyles, we tend to forget that we ourselves are the greatest miracle of life, and that we are all part of this beautiful universe. Keep reminding yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind to – you just need to have an open mind and heart. Your life will always go the direction you want it to go… it all starts with you! Be willing to receive and the universe will give it to you… try it, you will be surprised. Life’s gifts and miracles are waiting to be presented to you!

2)Conserve your energy for the things that truly matter – being positive gives you a natural “high” and inspires you to be happy, grateful and optimistic and live a meaningful life. It gives you a very pleasant aura which enables you to invest your energy in useful events – things that really matters to you. This becomes a very invigorating practice – and you feed off your energy to build more positivity and harness this to do more amazing and inspiring things. It goes on and on!

3)You attract like minded people – do you find that you gravitate towards people who are more like you? These people have similar interests to you, and their values and ways of thinking also correspond to your mental wavelength. I call them the “positive posse.” If I examine my own circle of friends and my family, it is remarkable how alike we all are – I am surrounded by confident, strong, inspiring, grateful, energising, positive people and they continue to have a strong influence on my life. They encourage me to become a better person, keep me grounded and are always there for me during challenging times. The golden saying is true – “like attracts like!”

4)You are content with yourself – you will find that you are absolutely content with yourself. Your authentic self. You find that there is no need for any external validation and you do not depend on sources (outside yourself) to make you happy – be it friends, family, boyfriend/girlfriend, material things. You have learnt to radiate “inside out” confidence and happiness – it all comes from within you. So think about the liberation that can come from this way of thinking and being – anywhere, anytime, anyplace – YOU have the ability to control your emotions and mindset. This is the most healthy, pure and optimal way to function.

So next time you find yourself feeling down or stuck in a rut, remember that you can change this in just a second. That is the power and beauty of positive thinking. All you need is the WILLINGNESS to do so. It is an ACTIVE CHOICE. As Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right!”

 

Why I'm Hiring A 16-Year-Old

This week, my lovely Community Manager, Renana, will be going on maternity leave. And while she's taking time off with the newest addition of her family, I'll be hiring an interim freelancer.

There were a lot of people who I could have hired. The Go-Getter community is packed with virtual assistants with various specialities, many of whom have been self-employed for years.

But instead, I'm choosing to hire my 16-year-old brother, Miles.

Onboarding Miles will take countless hours of training and his work will have to revolve around his baseball schedule. But I know that this is the best possible decision I could have made.

Here's why.

Last week, my mom called me and said that Miles was planning to apply for summer jobs at local fast food restaurants and coffee shops. Since he's soon getting his driver's license, he'll need money for gas and some other relevant expenses.

And as she was telling me this, I began to think about my own experience in my first high school job. I was paid $7 an hour to work in a daycare center on Saturday mornings (diapers and crying galore!) and it was miserable. It taught me that making money = doing things you hate at inconvenient times for the rest of your life. 

And for most people, this idea sticks with them. Thus begins the unbreakable cycle of minimum wage job hopping, money resentment, and overwhelming diffidence.

Although this mindset is challenging to shift for adults (this is why so many adults are baffled by the idea of starting their own business and leaving their safe 9 to 5 job), it's easy to mold the minds of teens. This is a prime opportunity to teach them that money can come from a place of excitement, creativity, self-agency, generosity, and fun.

And I want Miles to know that this mindset can benefit him for the rest of his life.

I want him to understand that he is talented and capable of charging for his services.

I want him to know that today, in 2017, his age has nothing to do with his success. I cannot tell you how many countless teenagers I know in the entrepreneurial community who have their own startups, have been featured in top-tier publications, and are bringing in 6-figure incomes online all from the convenience of their family living rooms.

I want Miles to know that having his own business isn't some far-off dream that only exceptional high schoolers can achieve.

I want him to know that this is something that he can achieve in the next month. Because if he learns these essential skills from me, there is no reason that he can't go off and then offer them to someone else.

Our responsibility as millennial entrepreneurs is more than giving ourselves the opportunity to achieve something remarkable. It's also to ensure that the following generation, Generation Z, understands that their opportunity is even greater.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Position Yourself As An Expert When Just Getting Started As An Entrepreneur

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. 

Seriously.

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!

The Truth About "Being Busy" (And The Solution)

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?

Crying, Credibility, and Becoming A Coach: A Growth Story

The first month that I launched my coaching business, I received an email from a "subscriber" saying something along these lines:

Dear Lena,

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.

Raul

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: 3 Reasons Why EVERY Millennial Needs a Side Hustle

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.

Whether it’s drawing cats for other people or making $152,996.34 in a year by selling t-shirts, the modern day entrepreneur isn’t always some tech geek working at Silicon Valley’s “next big thing.” 

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

These People Will Never Buy From You

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.