Inspire us with your story LYL Reader Spotlight

“We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.”

- Sandra Day O'Connor

Letting Our Community Inspire

In honor of Live Your Legend's first full year on earth (as of tonight at midnight), and my eigth year helping people do work they love, it's time to step it up a notch. And the only way we can do it is with you. Last week I asked you how we could take this community to a new level. How we could bring us all together to inspire, help and support each other to Live Our Legends. Your responses nearly put me to tears - both in your praise and your ideas. The most invigorating ideas included:

brene brown unforgettable impact

"Most will say you're crazy to try. Find those who say you'd be crazy not to."

- Jenny Blake

Being in the Right Place

Every year I dedicate at least a few weekends and a few thousand dollars to being in the right place. To attending events with people who see the world in a similar way. In a world where most people encourage complacency, we need a sanctuary where people understand why all of us interested in living meaningful lives, do what we do. I go to belong. To be inspired. To find ideas I'd never discover on my own. To find people who hold me to a higher standard. Because in that environment, magic happens.  There is no more powerful component to doing work that matters, to making a difference and to Living Your Legend, than putting yourself around the right people. It also happens to be the #1 ingredient to connecting with anyone. Last weekend was a perfect example. Chris Guillebeau hosted 1,000 people in Portland at his second annual World Domination Summit. For a weekend 1,000 of us got to feel at home.

Josh Kaufman Personal MBA

"See the sad thing about a guy like you, is in about 50 years you’re gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One, don't do that. And two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin’ education you coulda' got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library." - Matt Damon as Will in Good Will Hunting
**Important note: Today we're talking about one of my favorite topics: practical education. Be sure to read to the end for two free tools I created for you all to download and use. They go hand in hand with this post and video. Enjoy!

To Go to Business School or Not?

It's a question I used to ask myself a lot. And one I'm constantly asked by others. About seven years ago Josh Kaufman was faced with that very dilemma. He felt like he wanted (and perhaps needed) to get an MBA in order to move his career forward. The problem was he didn't want to spend two years and over $100k in debt to do it. He also doubted how practical such a solution would be. So instead, he went Good Will Hunting-style and proceeded to spend the next two months living at libraries and book stores. In those first two months he read over 200 business books. Since then he's gone through closer to 1,000. He then tested and cherry-picked the most fundamental and useful content. He also estimates he saved himself about $150,000.

how to meet world changing people

"Environment is everything. Surround yourself with passionate people doing the things you dream of, and magic starts to happen. There is no more powerful practice."

- Anonymous

It's time for another edition of "Ask the Reader" and I want to add something special to make it exciting. I am going to pick a few of your responses to be featured as case studies in the How to Connect With Anyone course I'm creating, as well as examples for the talk I'm giving at the World Domination Summit in Portland in two weeks on the same topic (if you plan to be at the talk, please let me know in the comments so we can connect!). This talk (and course) is going to be a blast and I'd love for some of you to be a part of it! All you have to do is answer one of these three questions. Just leave your response in the comments at the end of the post. (email readers click here to chime in). Remember it's your participation that makes LYL what it is.

1. What is your biggest challenge or fear keeping you from having a world-class network of passionate and inspiring peers, mentors and supporters?

or, if you already have a network you're proud of:

2. What is your best tactic or strategy for meeting new exciting people?


3. What is one success story of you meeting someone you'd always wanted to meet, and how did you do it?

**Note: Feel free to stop reading right now and go directly to the comments section below to answer one of the above. I can't wait to feature some of your responses! If you’re not usually one to comment, I urge you, if you only comment on one post, this is the one. Even if it’s only a sentence or two, and feel free to leave it under a fake name if you must. It will dramatically help all of us. 

Starting a business supporting a family of 8

"There is no cure for laziness but a large family helps."

- Herbert Prochnov

Answering the difficult questions...

I am constantly getting questions from readers about how they can live their legend and pursue their passion given whatever life situation they've found themselves in. But one situation tends to come up more often than most:

"I have a wife (or husband) and kids to support so how can I possibly make the transition to doing work I love?"

They then list all kinds of reasons (that at times can be very valid) such as not enough time, they won't make enough money, or for whatever reason they just can't take the 'risk'. This question is near impossible for me to answer. Simply because I have not been there. I have a wonderful family of two - my wife Chelsea and me. We have plenty of obligations, but we do not have any kids (yet) and there are no doubt people who have a lot more at stake than we do. So the way I always answer this is to point them to the people I've met over the years who are in very similar situations, who have families to support and big financial obligations, who have defied the odds and built an incredible life for themselves. The first person I always point to is Leo Babauta, the creator of Zen Habits. In a matter of a few years Leo went from working his ass off as a newspaper reporter, to creating one of the biggest blogs in the world, and having a 100% passion based business - all from a standing start, from scratch, while literally living in the middle of nowhere out on Guam. Time Magazine consistently rates Zen Habits one of the top 25 blogs. And the kicker... he did all this while supporting a family of 8. Over a long double date at one of our favorite SF spots, and after a few glasses of wine, he graciously agreed to write us all an article on how he actually did it.

chris guillebeau 100 startup

"Your possibilities are unlimited, but it all begins with the deliberate choice to think differently."

— Chris Guillebeau

Can a Startup be Less Risky than a Normal Job?

I spent some time with Chris Guillebeau last week hearing some pretty interesting ideas - his answer to the above question was one of them. He was on tour for his new book, The $100 Startup, which recently hit #3 on the WSJ and #6 on the New York Times bestseller lists. His message is powerful and he does a damn good job turning some conventional wisdom on its head (where most of it belongs :)). Chris has done more positive work for the area of creative careers and living life on your terms, than possibly anyone else out there - through his Art of Non Conformity site, The World Domination Summit, Travel Hacking Cartel and The $100 Startup, aside from all kinds of charity work and mentorship. I have no idea how he does it all.

how to push limits goruck

"If we don't push you to your mental and physical edge, then we have failed you." - Goruck Challenge Cadre, June 2nd, 2012, 9:15 pm, on a cold and windy San Francisco night

The Testing (and Disproving) of Limits

The people who do work that matters, the Living Legends who impact the world, all have at least one trait in common. They push limits. And it's not some chore they force themselves to do every once in a while just to get where they want to go. Not even close. It's something they do daily, in one way or another, big or small.

It's a fundamental part of how they operate.

Last Saturday night around 9 pm I found myself standing in a dark wet field in San Francisco's Presidio. The air temperature was just under 50 degrees (before factoring in the 30-40 mph wind and blanket of myst typical of my lovely hometown). I was wearing a headlamp and a 47-pound backpack. Seven close friends were standing next to me, along with a couple LYL readers (who heard about the event through my Richard Branson fitness post). There were also about 80 more of us I'd yet to meet. Then, as if on queue, the sprinklers came on. The timing could not have been worse (or better, depending on who you asked)…