The experimenters manifesto

"Life is nothing more than a series of experiments. Test and share you ideas. Give them a chance to have an impact, and an impact you'll have."

Important Note & Warning: This is a special post — a manifesto and guide on experimentation & learning. It's in-depth and it's important. The whole thing will take you about 15 minutes to read and another 15 minutes to implement. I believe it will dramatically transform your career potential. That's exactly what it did for me. If you must, you can scan over the first part. But the next 9 steps are vital. I spent a lot of time making this as directly useful as possible. Please do something with it. I meant to write it a year ago. It's about time ...

Stacking the Deck in Your Favor & The Power of Feedback Loops

Just under seven years ago, I discovered a tool that completely transformed my career and ability to impact the world. It became the vehicle that allowed me to have the impact, lifestyle and experiences that I only used to encounter in the occasional book, movie or dream. And it took me four years to realize I'd found it. Without it, Live Your Legend wouldn't have a chance at existing.

Focus is the key to the world

"Focus is the key to the world."

- William A. Dinsmore III (my dad)

Admitting Defeat to Allow Victory...

I have a confession to make. For the last few months I've been working on launching a top-secret project that I think could help this community in a totally new and fun way. I've briefly mentioned it in the past, and many of you have showed serious enthusiasm - which further fueled my distraction, I mean excitement... This is also what I was referring to in my interview with John Lusk on Difficult Decisions last week - so figured it's about time we make it public. To recap, here's the first item from my 2013 goals post:
"Launch a real-time fully-exposed case study on how to take a physical product from idea, to market testing, to manufacturing and to selling — all by using today’s online tools. This is going to be our biggest project EVER, and we are going to take you along for every step of the ride. Keep an ear out for the launch of the new site to track this project as well as what the physical product will actually be. I could not sleep this weekend because I was so excited for it."
Since then, my partner Nic and I have invested a few thousand dollars in branding, design, setting up web sites, and even hired an architectural designer to create high-end CAD drawings so we can manufacture our first physical product prototype.

What's the top-secret product you ask??

the money or your life

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” – Pythagoras

Today I'm going to share a true story with you that you couldn't make up if you tried. But first a little background...

The Money or Your Life?

It's the age old question. And the crazy thing is, you used to actually have to make that choice. Today it's a little different. John Lusk is perfect proof. In 1997 John started at Wharton Business School, one of the most prestigious finance schools in the country. On his first day, he and five friends swore to each other they'd become entrepreneurs instead of the typical investment bankers and consultants that their school was known for producing. Easier said than done... When John graduated in 1999, it was the heart and height of the dot-com blow out. His friends were becoming paper multi-millionaires right and left, and banks were offering $1 million signing bonuses to keep up.

Do Something That Maters Reader Spotlight5

"We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." —Marianne Williamson, abridged

Who Do You Inspire?

It's a question we all too often forget to ask ourselves. Take a few seconds to answer it. One thing I promise you is that there are people out there who look to you to help them find their way. They admire something (if not everything) about how you live your life. This is a responsibility we all share. Once we realize this, the real question becomes: What type of life am I going to live to take my responsibility seriously? So today is about you. Last week 197 of you told us your Passion Projects - and what you're doing to Live Your Own Legends. You showed us how you plan to help and inspire those around you. And I was blown away, as I am any time I interact with our community. I could not have asked for a better birthday present. Thank you for sharing with us - the 31 winners of The Alchemist will be contacted shortly. The crazy thing is as of this morning there are 34,420 of us in this community - all with a Passion Project dying to be set free on the world. Imagine the impact that could cause.

Tell us your Passion Project

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

Today is A Fun Day...

This morning I turned 31 years old - and while I plan to spend the day outside playing, I first wanted to celebrate with all of you. So I hope you're up for a party! One of the most amazing things about the past few years, and this past year specifically, is our community that all of you have created at Live Your Legend. It's no question one of the most exciting, fun, rewarding and inspiring parts of my life. And I want to say thank you.

So I've decided I want to give away 31 copies of my favorite book, The Alchemist

discovering paradise

$1,000,000 in the bank isn't the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows.

― Timothy Ferriss

Today I want to tell you a 250 word story that changed my view of the world. But first I have to let you in on a little secret...

How Average People Can Feel and Live Like Millionaires

This morning I woke up to what I've decided is the most breathtaking morning view of my life. I'm writing from the deck of a modest thatched roof bungalow  set over a small soft sandy beach cove on the Island of Koh Lanta, Thailand. The hotel, if you can call it that, is aptly named 'Relax Bay.' Yesterday we upgraded to a 'VIP' room with air conditioning (last night had no AC, which made for a tough 85-degree high humidity night…). It's the only room in this cove that is actually on the sand. We have a full view of the private turquoise bay from our deck, where a nice little hammock also hangs.

The remote office

The real kicker? This experience cost me nothing...

Redefining Real Risk

"The biggest risk is doing nothing."

After last week's post on Creating More & Consuming Less, I noticed one very common response. It's actually become a bit of a broken record over the past few years.

It all boils down to one word: Risk

A common response goes something like this:
"Thanks for the inspiration to get me creating things and doing work I love. But my situation is different. There's just too much at stake to take that kind of a risk right now. I'm not some carefree single 23-year-old. I have too much to lose. Plus I don't think I'm quite ready to start creating."
Their excuses go on...
  • I'm too old
  • I'm too young
  • I don't have enough experience
  • People won't value the things I create
  • My mortgage is too high
  • I don't have the support from the people around me
  • I have kids and a family to support
  • And on and on depending on how creative you are

The thing is these are all still excuses.

And after reading The Alchemist for the 7th time while in a jungle lodge in Northern Thailand last week (I reread it on most international trips), the topic of finding reasons to put off dreams could not be more front of my mind. In fact the name Live Your Legend was a direct result of reading the book while fly fishing in Patagonia a few years ago. You see, the only difference between the people who do something meaningful and the ones who sit in complacency as another 20 years go by is simple.

[caption id="attachment_7329" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Creating is more powerful than consuming Creating Value Outside of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep near Chiang Mai, Thailand[/caption]

"When in doubt, consume less and create more. The world will thank you."

After all of last week's talk about the importance of selling value to others, I realized we'd forgotten to cover an even more foundational step...and a decision we all face every day. Thankfully I'm constantly reminded of it as I explore Thailand. The above man seems to have it figured out...

To Consume or to Create - The Golden Question

Two weeks ago over some Tumeric Spice tea at Samovar, my buddy Jonathan Fields casually smiled as he said "You know I don't really read that many blogs anymore." Then it got me thinking…most people waste their lives consuming things. When I first started my business I noticed myself spending a lot of money. And this wasn't money needed directly for the business (it only required about $67 to start), but I was buying all kinds of books on passion, career, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, etc. I hired coaches, purchased courses and attended seminars. I also subscribed to (and actually attempted to read) 30 or so of my favorite blogs. Over the course of a year the cost, both in time and money, started to approach a rather ridiculous number. I was learning a ton, but I noticed I was creating very little of my own work.

The consumption was killing me.

Even when I did create things, it was often because I'd read the latest post from one of my mentors or just finished a recent bestseller. All it lead me to do was create a much lower quality version of the same idea I'd just consumed. I was stuck in this trap. And it's a valley every one of us stumbles into on the path to living our legend.

The Passion Trap

"To sell is human."

- Dan Pink

How to Fail at Helping People...

For every crazy hobby and passion in the world, I've seen an example of someone who's absolutely crushed it. Everything from knitting to gardening to dancing to fishing. What's possible just blows my mind. But the sad fact is that these people are still very much the exception, not the rule. But they don't have to be. Most passions and hobbies don't make a dime, and among the ones that do, few make enough to cover more than a nice meal out each month. But why is this? What separates the millions who love playing chess on the weekends from the few who have become highly sought after and highly paid chess teachers and coaches? What separates those who save their vacation days to take a two-week trip each year from those who've turned their passion for travel into a way to fund their lifestyle? There is one thing that separates a hobby or passion from a business or career. And it's dead simple...

Create Immediate Trust with Anyone

The Magic of Creating Trust

To be honest, I've been a tad terrified to write this post for almost a week. Mainly because, after much convincing from some of our CWA graduates, I've agreed to publish one of the most embarrassing videos I've ever filmed (at end of this post). But today is not about me. It's about you. About being YOU. About us being US.

The Fastest Way to Kill Trust & Have a Miserable Life

Trust is the foundation of everything meaningful. It takes a lifetime to build and an instant to crush. Without it you have no business. You have no friendship. You have no marriage. You have, well...nothing. But every day so many people act in a way that's consistent with sabotaging any chance of creating the genuine trusting connections that make life matter. How, you ask?