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??

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.

Debra Russell

"God grant me the creativity and willingness to make the most of the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

- Debra Russell's take on the Serenity Prayer

Today we have a very special article and interview I've been dying to publish for months (plus there are a few free tool downloads down below too!). Life is not meant to tackle on your own! Which brings us to today's topic...

Who's Debra Russell?

Most of us know who the author of Awaken The Giant Within is. In fact, most of us have learned a ton from him and his work. His stuff has changed my world in more ways than I can count -- from starting the businesses I have to switching to eating mostly plants, and plenty of things in between. But as I've realized the power of teams, I've come to pay more attention to the people who support the rock stars. Many of you probably hadn't heard of Debra Russell until earlier this week. She gave top-tier support to one of the top personal growth figures for decades. She was the one on stage pumping up over 4,000 people at his live events and changing their lives when he wasn't on stage.

[caption id="attachment_7191" align="aligncenter" width="545"]LYL Goals 5 years ago Dreaming Big: The Live Your Legend ten-year vision, long before the name even existed. Circa 2008... (Click to enlarge)[/caption]

“If you can't you must, and if you must you can.”

― Anthony Robbins

This week is all about YOU.

I want you to take 20 seconds and share your most important goal with our community in the comments at the end of this post. Plus we have a cool new comment systems we're testing that we hope will help more people jump into the discussion and connect with each other. Please try it out! Hopefully, you've already had time to complete our 100% free Goal Setting & Action Workbook. But either way, I know you have at least one goal you could list. Live Your Legend is not a resource to read about ideas.  Live Your Legend is a community whose sole purpose is to inspire you to take action to do the work that most matters to you and to the world. And then to provide you the tools to make it possible. If you don't take action on those ideas and tools, then everything we do here is for nothing. So today is about accountability. Studies in psychology and persuasion constantly prove the same thing: The more we talk about things and the more we commit to others, the more likely it is that we'll make them reality.

2013 Goal Setting Guide

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it."

~ Michelangelo

Update: Check out the 2014 Goal Setting and Action Workbook here!

The Big New Years Announcement: To celebrate 2013 and the official opening of goal-setting season, today I'm releasing the totally free (and newly designed) 2013 Goal Setting and Action Workbook.

Last year this was downloaded over 18,000 times in a matter of weeks and is consistently the #1 thing people thank me for.

The best part? It's 100% free to you. Like totally free. No email required. No nothin'. Just a good old fashioned no-strings-attached gift.

This is how we do things at Live Your Legend. Over 95% of what we offer is totally free and we promise to do everything in our power to make our tools as useful and directly applicable as possible.

And with what we have planned in the weeks and months to come, I promise you this is just a taste. It's just one of the many free tools in our Passionate Work Toolkit that's available to every email subscriber.

Read on for a recap of 2012 and a hint of what's to come this year, or download the full 2013 Goal Setting and Action Workbook by clicking here.

Some people claim they don't need to set goals to make big progress.

I am NOT one of them.

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!

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.

from blog to business

“You can't expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday's tools and expect to be in business tomorrow.”

- Nelson Jackson

From Blog to Business...

Having a blog is one thing. You can get one up and running in a matter of minutes. That alone can be incredibly powerful. In fact, it's one of the best tools for really finding and exploring a passion. But making the transition from blog to business is an entirely different feat. And I certainly needed all the help I could get.

The right tools have made all the difference.

I get requests almost daily asking me to share the tools I use on this site. I meant for this to come at the end of our "Monetize Your Passion Online" series a month or so back, but a few things came up. Sorry for the delay, but I still wanted to be sure to share the full list - especially since many of you are at the building/creation stage of your online project as I write this.