Career & Purpose

self guided education

“There is no graduation from education.”

~Rachel Denning, a loyal LYL reader

Warning: From time to time I go on a small rant about the importance of taking control of your education, what you learn and how you use it. Today is one of those posts. This is one of the most crucial topics I have on my mind right now and I would really like your thoughts on it. Share in the comments below your ideas for creating your own eduction, what tools you use (online and off) and your experience so far. Now more than ever, it's on us. If you're reading this in email, click here to contribute your ideas. Your responses will have a lot to do with the next big thing I build. Simply put, this post is a call to arms. And I need all your help. *Update: The week after writing this post, I put together to Unofficial Self-Guided Education Manifesto (aka: the 27 principles to teach yourself anything) complete with a free PDF download and info-graphic to keep us inspired. You can access the manifesto here. *****

The widening theory gap

Lately I've been wondering if it makes sense to drop out of school. Whether one should really stick it through four years of college or another couple years for an MBA or other advanced degree. I went to college at UC Santa Barbara. I loved it. I studied Business Economics, Accounting and Spanish. I worked my ass off and actually did pretty well. I even graduated with high honors in the top 5% of my peers. I tell you this to better set the scene for what happened next. Fast forward 8 years later and now a large portion of my business time is spent running an investment fund, Cumbre Capital (that and Live Your Legend are my two babies), with a good friend of mine. You might think that was the logical step after studying accounting, economics and finance. The thing is, by the time we launched our fund, I had remembered precisely zero applicable skills from my studies. Everything I apply in my investing work today, I had to relearn from scratch.

Live Off Your Passion Cover

Today is a huge day. I've literally been waiting for this for months (actually, probably longer). Because today we're introducing...

The first eCourse of its kind to combine the Art of discovering your PASSION with the Science of Making Money from it.

The Live Off Your Passion eCourse officially launched today at 7am PST. Visit the launch page and let me know what you think! *Update: Hundreds of people have already purchased the course. I've received dozens upon dozens of really amazing emails from buyers and some of them have been awesome enough to leave their thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this post. Check them out. It's humbling to see how much this is already starting to help people. It's the kind of thing I used to dream of and I'm so excited to finally have it for all you to experience.

Also, I've added brand new bonus content since last week:

After last week's pre-launch I got some awesome feedback. Since I build what you tell me to, I love hearing from you guys. One consistent suggestion after seeing the course last week, was to include more content directly geared towards people in the corporate world who don't plan to quit and spin off on their own. Well I have more exciting news! Not only do we now have an Expert Interview from Pam Slim of Escape from Cubicle Nation, but I also wrote an additional mini eBook totally free to those who purchase the course, that's dedicated to finding passion in the corporate world. It covers everything from finding passion in your current role (no matter how brutal it is) to the most effective ways to approach a passion-driven job hunt. Read more about it here. Consider that a little bonus from me ;)

make an impact

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

- Marianne Williamson

Last week I attend my very first live TEDx event in San Francisco. It's been on my list for over a year and it massively blew away my expectations. TED is hands down one of my favorite organizations. The things they’ve taught me are priceless. I watch a Talk on my iPad almost daily on my way to the office. It's a way to surround yourself with passionate people without even having to leave your house… The theme of the night was Creating Your Own Government and the speakers blew my mind. As I listened to the eight or so talented folks on stage, from every background, experience and walk of life you could imagine, one thing stuck more than anything:

The impact one person can have can be powerful beyond belief.

These people weren't inherently famous, privileged or gifted. In fact many of their stories of living meal to meal and idea to idea were quite the opposite. One of the men Rory Arrow, an ex British newspaper reporter, talked of his experience of having just spent every ounce and penny of his past few years creating a documentary about the work of Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Gene Sharp (more on him later). His dream of completing the documentary has come true and currently he doesn't even have a home. He's not exactly sure what's next but he knows what he's doing matters.

Dream Career

"With the right tools, anything's possible..."

As it turns out Live Your Legend is not the only website out there looking to help people do work they love (who would have thought?!). In fact, this site would not exist if it wasn't for many of the other sites out there that have inspired, taught and helped me along on my journey and my thinking. Live Your Legend is the sum of the sites, books, tools, experiments, case studies and people I've talked to over the years. That's how I found my passion. I've spent a ton of time digging through what I've found to be the very best resources in all of the internet for finding your dream career. This is meant to be your master resource. Bookmark it and come back as you see fit. In fact a number of the folks who run these sites are among the Expert Interviews and Case Studies as part of the How To Live Off Your Passion guide. The sites below are in no particular order aside from the fact that the first group of sites are run by people I know and who have personally inspired me. Then I've listed other highly ranked resources further down. These folks are all part of the revolution and I thank them for that. Together we are changing the world.

The Top 101 Online Resources for Finding Your Dream Job

Sites I've used and have inspired me:

1. PurposeFinder by Jullien Gordon Keynote speaker at over 60 college campuses around the country and implementing programs to help students find passion and purpose. Coach and author of 5 books on the topic. 2. She Creates Change by Suparna Bhasin Site, books and coaching service dedicated to women finding their passion and purpose. 3. Why University by Simon Sinek  Author of “Start With Why” and companion site for the book dedicated to finding meaning and purpose behind the work you do and how to use it to influence and change the world. 4. Job Hunter's Bible by Dick Bolles The companion site for 30 year+ best seller "What Color is Your Parachute".

Remember Steve Jobs

 “I want to put a dent in the universe.”

- Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011 [Tweet this quote]

Two weeks ago today, we lost a Legend. Perhaps the most wold-changing Legend of our time. It's quite possible that Steve Jobs had an impact on every single modern day adult across the world. It's hard to believe a statement like that could be possible with any one person. The sad thing, and the thing I find so fascinating, is despite how big of a deal something is at the time - How many headlines an event steals or How many news rooms dive on it. Within a few days or a few weeks, it's often like it never happened. The day Steve Jobs died, Twitter blew up. The whole web blew up. So did every news house around the world. Articles and links were everywhere. This continued for a few days. But sadly, only a couple weeks later, I see hardly any mention. Steve Jobs' death hit me hard. It hit me harder than I thought it would. A lot harder. And I had already been planning on it being a pretty tough blow... The day I heard, I immediately thought about canceling that day's article and pouring out my condolences. But then I remembered how quickly we forget. So I decided to wait a couple weeks. This is my public tribute to one of the biggest Living Legens of our time. I hope it at least slightly reignites the passion for a day or two. Please share and tweet this as much as you feel is appropriate.

"Live your passion. Do what you love. Help people. The rest takes care of itself." - Anonymous Important Context Note: The below is a free lesson from Live Your Legend's award-winning Live Off Your Passion Guided-Discovery career course. The lesson is part of one of our more advanced modules on "Profiting...

Conquer Fear

"Ninety percent of life is just showing up."

~ Woody Allen

About a year ago I sat down for tea with a friend and mentor of mine, Mary Jaksch, co-founder of A-List Blogging Bootcamps and Good Life Zen. I was ecstatic. Thanks to what I had learned (and diligently applied) from her and Leo Baubauta via their friendship and their blogging club, my business had grown by nearly 1,300% in the previous nine months. I had arranged time to meet with Mary because I wanted to talk about what was next - my big plans for the year to come. This is something I routinely practice with all my models in any space that I'm passionate about improving. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I prefer to seek out the folks that can teach me how to roll the one that already works perfectly well. As we were chatting ideas and next steps, we got to talking about pitfalls and things to watch out for in the business. I wanted to make sure I didn't run into any easily-avoidable brick walls... Then Mary looked over to me and said, "Scott, there is one thing over all others that's the biggest risk to your online career at your stage. Do you know what it is?" I was all ears...

"Living a life of passion and getting paid for it is just that, a way of life. Those who wake up excited aren’t just the lucky ones, they condition themselves to experience and deserve it."

- Scott Dinsmore

Note: If you're reading this post in email I strongly suggest you click to read the online version to get the full effect! ******* I have something really exciting to share with you all today. As most of you know, this site has one purpose: to get you to start doing work you love. I believe this is a fundamental human right and we're all capable of experiencing it. It also happens to be something the world desperately needs. In last month's Ask The Reader post I asked you all one question: "What's the biggest challenge or fear keeping you from doing work you love?" The responses were overwhelming. The majority of your problems came down to two things:

1. I don't know my passion

2. I don't know how to make money from my passion

Between these responses, the surveys I've run, the comments, the emails and the coaching clients, the sticking point always seems to come down to passion. As it turns out, for the past 8 years I’ve run experiments on myself and others to better understand what lights us on fire. I eventually came across a process for making these discoveries. I have good news. Over the past three months I've taken all I've learned and developed a guide to help you all with just that - to find passion and make a living from it.


Announcing: How to Live Off Your Passion

An unconventional guide to finding passion

and getting paid to do work you LOVE.


confused optimism

"Why risk what you have and need for what you don't have and don't need?"

~Warren Buffett

A few weeks ago I was seduced...

I recently had lunch with a buddy of mine who finished business school and now is about two years into his investment banking career. As we indulged in some Chipotle, he casually mentioned the kinds of salaries some of his buddies were getting and how he was looking forward to his massive year-end payout. Mind you, these are the type of bonuses that can buy homes (or perhaps even small countries). All he had to do was put in the time and he was all but assured the golden check. That's when it hit me. Suddenly I caught myself thinking of how nice it would be to have what he 'had'. The seemingly certain paychecks, the consistency - It all sounded so freaking awesome. For a moment it felt worth trading for. Then I remembered how our lunch started... He explained how out of the last three weeks he'd had dinner with his wife once. He had been at the office for around 12-14 hours a day (except on weekends when he was lucky to only work 9-5). And his workout routine was about as consistent as his family dinner appearances. Many of his friends and co-workers spent 20% more than their monthly take - despite it being enough to buy that small country. The watches, the suits, the status, the dinners, the seemingly 'necessary' luxuries they'd gotten used to. All this added up - to a price I knew I wasn't willing to pay.