do something that matters

"The only difference between impossible and normal is choosing to hang around the people doing the things you thought couldn't be done."

- Anonymous

Yesterday a big dream of mine came true...

I stood up on the TEDx stage in San Francisco and gave an 18-minute talk (17:51 to be exact). The topic was "The Work You Can't NOT Do & Surrounding Yourself with the People Who Won't Let You Fail". It was the most invigorating/exhausting/terrifying/emotional/awesome/humbling/surreal day I've possibly ever had. It was perfect.

TEDx Golden Gate Park

And the best part about it? You guys made it possible. Without this community I could have never stood on that stage. In fact without you, I would have never even known about the event - one of you told me about it in our Facebook Action Group last month! As usual, I cannot express my gratitude enough. But hopefully this post is a start.

everything starts by starting

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.”

- Buddha


The Power of the Start

Yesterday I spent much of the day being inspired - by many of you. I read through countless Reader Spotlight submissions, and was blown away by what you all are doing... Donating to a different charity every week for a year with your daughter (and getting others to do the same), encouraging 100,000 people to become organ donors, hitchhiking the country to help introverts find success, an ex-lawyer helping other lawyers find their true path, moving to Japan to fullfil a childhood dream of becoming a ninja (I mean what guy can't appreciate that??), creating a concierge doctor service for solo-entrepreneurs and helping teen mom's realize their potential. The list goes on... Wow. I can't wait to feature a group of you in the next few weeks!

painfully priceless business lessons

"Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year - and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade."

- Tony Robbins

What Can Happen in a Year?

Last Thursday marked a year since I made the decision to switch my old blog Reading For Your Success over to a new brand - Live Your Legend. It took months to finally decide to make the switch (thanks to the friendly arm twisting of my buddies Corbett and Leo). I think about that decision a lot. I can think of no more profound change related to my online business career. Nothing even comes close. Reading For Your Success experienced just about 0% growth for the first four years I ran it. Once I made the switch, our community doubled almost overnight (from 4k to nearly 8k in under two weeks). Since then it's more than doubled yet again. It's been an unreal ride and I'm grateful to have experienced it. With it came some hard-learned lessons I want to share, but first here are some of the specifics of what's gone on since our launch...

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.

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.