trust your crazy ideas

“It is difficult to see the picture when you are inside the frame.”

~Eugene Kleiner, Co-founder Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

How do you know if you're meant to be an entrepreneur?

"Do I spend my life working for someone else or do I take a crack and beating the odds and hanging my own shingle?" It's an age-old question (and one of the most important when it comes to doing passionate work) and today we're going to get the answer from someone who's much more qualified than I - my good friend John Greathouse. Now that I think of it, today is also a pretty big day. Until now, I have never published a guest article on Live Your Legend. Not once in 4+ years has an article on this site been written by someone other than me. Today that's changing ever so slightly, and I'm very excited about it. From now on, over 90% of what you read at Live Your Legend will still be created by me, but in the future I will very occasionally host a guest expert, a Living Legend, who can cover a topic about 100x better than I could. After all, how ridiculous would it be to assume I could cover every topic regarding doing work we love, better than other experts out there? The truth is, in some cases (actually, a lot of them) that's just not true. Plus, a different perspective is always useful. So today I'd like to introduce a good friend and mentor, John Greathouse.

I hate my job

"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."

- Victor Hugo

**Urgent Announcement: Today is the official launch of Version 2.0 of Live Off Your Passion: A award-winning career course to help you find passion and build a career around work you love. Over 700 changes, big and small, and a redesigned 72-page workbook. Can't wait to see what you think! Check out all the details plus a couple fun v2.0 bonuses here. *****

Lessons from Creating the #1 Personal Development Product of 2011

I want to start by saying THANK YOU! To all you massively passionate and loyal readers, supporters and those of you who have purchased Live Off Your Passion in the past few months. Somehow, thanks to all of you, Live Off Your Passion was voted The #1 Personal Development Product of 2011!! Wow! Seriously, I was blown away to hear this. I didn't even know it was being considered until I heard the big news. And the only reason it happened was because of all you. The contest was held by Steve Aitchison of Change Your Thoughts, where over 20,000 people from around the world were asked to nominate and then cast their vote. Seriously, thank you! I poured my heart and soul into this course (as you likely saw from the surveys, product checklists and all else). The project technically started about 6 months ago but in reality it began nearly 8 years ago...

You will you help the world

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~Anne Frank

*Note: This is the third article in the “Monetizing Your Passion Online” series. It's also a little primer to some of the big ideas Jonathan Mead and I are going to cover in our free webinar/online presentation ****

I have a little secret...

It took me a while to learn it. Ready? Most blogs don't make much money. With how many there are, that might seem obvious. But I'm talking about the moderately big ones too (and even some really big ones). I know quite a few sites with thousands of followers and even tens or hundreds of thousands of monthly page views, that hardly make any money. And it's not because they're doing it for charity either... On the other hand, I know even more friends and mentors who have even smaller blogs and sites, but yet make more money than they'd ever need. Contrary to what many early stage business builders believe (and I was just as guilty as any), it is not all about size. The truth is that even the small guys can kick some major ass.  It just requires the right offering.

The Full Live Your Legend Business Model

"A hobby is just a hobby unit you make a sale. Then it's a business." ~Anonymous

*Note: This is the second article in the “Monetizing Your Passion Online” series I’m running for the next few weeks. Enjoy *****

Now on to the good stuff - exactly how this site makes money...

At the beginning of last year I had a goal of making $1,000 from Live Your Legend in one 30-day period by the end of 2011. It seemed like a pretty ambitious goal at the time. But that's not quite how it turned out… Instead, by the end of 2011 this website had made enough money to support a pretty nice existence in San Francisco. That works out to a bit more than 1k a month... The full details of how I did it are in the next few thousand words.

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.

Never stop learning

"You are 100% in control of what you learn and how good you become at something. No one can take that from you."


Recently I had dinner with Tim Ferriss and a few other entrepreneurs in San Francisco. One of them was Michael Ellsberg, who just published a new book The Education of Millionaires. He also recently wrote a killer article article on Tim's blog, 8 Steps to Getting What You Want… Without Formal Credentials, that's very worth the read. I absolutely love these nights. They get me shaking with ideas and possibility. At a table like that, nothing is impossible. Spending time with these guys got me thinking. There is one thing that, above all others, ensures that you are able to find and do work you love everyday. And it's something quite easy and totally within your control (p.s. that combo is incredibly rare, so listen up). Whether it's Tim, Michael, Tony Robbins or any of the other Living Legends I've spent time with over the years, there is one thing they do every day without fail. One single thing guarantees their success and makes passionate work the only option.

They Learn.

They learn everything they freaking can.

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...