Possibilities

James Altucher used to email every single one of his web design clients everyday 10 things to improve their site. It’s about over-delivering and making your clients more successful. Imagine if I just did the things that it would take to make my clients more successful. Imagine if I just did those things and they became more successful. Would they pay me more because of it or would they think that they just became more successful without really trying?

PossibilitiesIn his post about 9 ways to guarantee success James talks about how doubt, laziness, carelessness, vacillating, and not making progress are all things that will stop your business in it’s tracks. When I used to read this stuff I’d think to myself, “MAN! WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? I can easily write about all of this, but I can’t seem to DO any of it! Maybe I should just go work for someone else because I’m too lazy to run my own business, can’t make a decision, and don’t have a product. The world needs employees too. I know I have to provide for my family, it just seems like there has GOT to be another way.” That’s what I wrote my wife back in January of 2013. I did end up getting a job later on that month and I’ve had one ever since (however, I still do client work on the side).

An Abundance Mindset

The world is HUGE and full of possibilities. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. It means there are lots of problems to solve and lots of things to experience and lots of little niches to serve. But it also means it’s really hard for someone like me with their head in the clouds to actually stop, choose, and commit to any one thing. Is it because of risk? (I want to cry.) Is it because of desire and happiness? (I am a grown man.) When backed against a wall, I always come to the same conclusion: I’d like to build something. I’d like it to use the skills I already have. I’d like to have autonomy. And I’d like it to provide for my family. So far, the only thing that fits most of that bill is affiliate marketing, but it just occurred to me that writing books on a subject would also fit that bill.

What if I went forward with my Content Motors idea where what I do is write “market-desired content” for my own site and for-hire for other sites with the intent of turning the material into books? It seems too simple and it doesn’t motivate me. In the book, Drive, Daniel Pink talked about the “Goldilocks tasks” which are neither overly difficult (such as app design or e-commerce) or overly simple (like business analyst or IT work). The question is how I can have both autonomy, mastery, and purpose in a job/career? Checkside has done a great job of summarizing Daniel Pink’s theory of what motivates us.

Autonomy

Autonomy – provide employees with autonomy over some (or all) of the four main aspects of work:

  • When they do it (time) – Consider switching to a ROWE (results-only work environment) which focuses more on the output (result) rather than the time/schedule, allowing employees to have flexibility over when they complete tasks.
  • How they do it (technique) – Don’t dictate how employees should complete their tasks. Provide initial guidance and then allow them to tackle the project in the way they see fit rather than having to follow a strict procedure.
  • Whom they do it with (team) – Although this can be the hardest form of autonomy to embrace, allow employees some choice over who they work with. If it would be inappropriate to involve them in the recruitment/selection process, instead allow employees to work on open-source projects where they have the ability to assemble their own teams.
  • What they do (task) – Allow employees to have regular ‘creative’ days where they can work on any project/problem they wish – there is empirical evidence which shows that many new initiatives are often generated during this ‘creative free time’.

Mastery – allow employees to become better at something that matters to them:

  • Provide “Goldilocks tasks” – Pink uses the term “Goldilocks tasks” to describe those tasks which are neither overly difficult nor overly simple – these tasks allow employees to extend themselves and develop their skills further. The risk of providing tasks that fall short of an employee’s capabilities is boredom, and the risk of providing tasks that exceed their capabilities is anxiety.
  • Create an environment where mastery is possible – to foster an environment of learning and development, four essentials are required – autonomy, clear goals, immediate feedback and Goldilocks tasks.

Purpose – take steps to fulfill employees’ natural desire to contribute to a cause greater and more enduring than themselves:

  • Communicate the purpose – make sure employees know and understand the organization purpose goals not just its profit goals. Employees, who understand the purpose and vision of their organization and how their individual roles contribute to this purpose, are more likely to be satisfied in their work.
  • Place equal emphasis on purpose maximization as you do on profit maximization – research shows that the attainment of profit goals has no impact on a person’s well-being and actually contributes to their ill-being. Organizational and individual goals should focus on purpose as well as profit. Many successful companies are now using profit as the catalyst to pursuing purpose, rather than the objective.
  • Use purpose-oriented words – talk about the organization as a united team by using words such as “us” and “we”, this will inspire employees to talk about the organization in the same way and feel a part of the greater cause.”

Sharing The Vision

I am moving towards a location-independent lifestyle that involves travel and running a business online. Outure and Webories are the primary organizations I’m setting up to help achieve that goal.

Outure

Outure is currently an affiliate marketing store, but is more of a brand, is being treated as a brand, and may one day become an ecommerce store. It has an active Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook presence. It doesn’t have an active website, but I’ve hired a VA to help me build it out. Outure’s tagline is “Outdoor Adventure. Urban Exploration.” It covers the urban/city things you can do to play outside in an area like Indiana. It has two sections: Gear and Wear. Gear is stuff like foldable bikes, kayaks, camping, and equipment. Wear is stuff like jackets, boots, and clothing.

Webories

Webories is an organization that exists solely to support other organizations. Some of those organizations are what we would traditionally call clients. Other organizations are affiliate marketing sites that do not have their own brand, per se, but are make money off of keyword searches. Again, the VA will be a large part of getting Webories going again by creating shareable content for Webories organizations (including Outure). If it helps you to categorize things in your mind, think of it as one organization (Webories) of which we have our favorite organizations underneath.

What I’m Not Going to Do

Sometimes it helps to also define what I am not doing. I am not renting an office. I am not building a software company. I am not building information products. I am not going to promote Webories as a company.

What I’m Going to Continue to Do

Blog. Tweet. Tumble. Facebook. Use Aggie. Client work. Day job.

What I am Going to Do that I’m Not Doing Now

Here’s what I’m going to start doing that I’m not doing now: podcast. video. email marketing.

4 Steps from Wanting to Receiving

I went to bed last night thinking about my experience earlier in the day with my daughter at the gas station.  We walked there to get my wife a coke, but had some “extra” money to get her some candy.  When we walked through the candy aisle, she started looking at the bags of candy on the left and I looked at the money I had.  I had to bend down and tell her that she could only look on the other side of the aisle, in a section in which I could afford to buy her something.  In bed that night I started thinking how much more awful it would be to do similar things in the future to clothes she’ll want to buy, trips she’ll want to go on with friends, etc..

All that we have been reading about, hearing about, and preaching about, start doing and acting on it – believing it.  We know it’s true, but I would encourage you to develop the faith.  If I could boil all of our conversations about this down, it would go something like this:

Develop and understand what you want.
– Desire, or love, is what keeps you attached or attracted (as in Law of Attraction) to the rest of the steps involved. I would venture to guess that for both of us right now, this desire is to first be able to pay all of our bills monthly, then be able to provide extra for our families.

Believe or train your mind to believe it. – Faith is the next step, bridging the what (desire) and the how.  This is where limiting thoughts from yourself, friends, family, and society creep in, but can be let go through self-talk or mental exercises.  It’s a matter of being acutely aware of your thoughts and managing them towards your stated desires.

Act as if you have already received it.
– This means both being thankful for everything you have now, but also what you will have in the future.  It also means acting how you will be after receiving the desire, for example, developing systems and/or routines for paying bills and saving money once the revenue starts coming in, believing that it will and we need to be prepared for it.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. – This adage means to not review a gift before accepting it.  Once you have the desire, have trained your mind to believe it will occur, and have started changing actions to prepare for it’s arrival, the next step is it’s arrival.  Make sure that for more open-ended desires like “more money” you are also open-ended on where you expect the money to come from.

I’ve been listening to an audio version of Peter Drucker’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship book.  In that book, Drucker talks about how entrepreneurship is not about starting a new business, but identifying surprises, incongruities, or miss-assumptions, and then creating something new that shifts resources from an area of lower yield to an area of higher yield.  The reason I bring this up is because sometimes businesses, which are ran by humans with similar brains and emotions to our own, go through this same process.  Some succeed and some fail.  Let me give you an example:

Drucker talks about Macy’s department store in the early 1960’s.  We can assume that the desire of the business was to earn revenue.  They believed that they could and acted as if they had already received the revenue by purchasing buildings, inventory, and machines to process the transactions.  But in the early 1960’s, more revenue started coming from appliance sales than from fashion and for twenty years, managers worked to suppress these appliance sales in order to keep the ratio of fashion-to appliances the same.  Then in the late 1970’s new management embraced the change and despite rampant inflation, Macy’s department stores began beating the market.

Another story is about IBM thinking they would sell equipment only to universities and scientists until one day they were bothered by a woman who complained that she could not get an IBM sales rep to come down to her library to talk to her.  The next morning, the head of IBM walked into that library and closed a deal with enough revenue to cover next month’s payroll.  That was when IBM decided two things: that they would start selling to anybody and start asking for the money up-front.  You see, the original sales rep desired to make a sale, he believed that he could make sales, but when a sale came by that didn’t match his idea of what a sale would look like, he passed it over.

Even I encountered this yesterday while doing micro-niche searches for the Thirty Day Challenge.  I kept coming up with results matching resumes and jobs, but every time, rejected them as not what I was looking for.  Then it dawned on me that what I was looking for should only be classified by the mechanisms and categories that got me there.  As long as it fit the goal (desire) of finding a micro-niche that had over 80 hits a day and less than 30,000 competing websites with phrases that matched mine, I had found what I needed.  To clarify, there are two steps past that (SEO competition review and Monetization) which my brain may have been pre-filtering for, but it’s hard to tell pre-filtering from bias.

Be sure and check out what Zac has to say about this topic in particular in a blog post he wrote back on January 6, 2009 entitled Who Limits Your Success?


More > If you liked this post, be sure and check out > The Law of Focus…