Passive Income

10 Steps

10 Steps To Brand Domination

Posted by | Entrepreneur, Passive Income, Quality of Life, Social Media, Traveling Tips | 14 Comments

Regardless if you are a travel blogger or a lifestyle blogger, and no matter if you work in English or another language, there’s a certain set of rules to follow if you want to ensure your global dominance as a brand. Devlin from 1 Life 2 Bags and myself recently put together the first Marginal Boundaries infographic covering the top 10 steps to brand domination to help you get your business on track with a global audience. Read through the expanded version of the steps here, and find the infographic at the bottom.  Read More

Entrepreneur

Why Some People Will Never Be Entrepreneurs

Posted by | Entrepreneur, Passive Income, Social Media | 2 Comments

Fact: some of you will never get your businesses off the ground and you will never become successful entrepreneurs. Not because you lack the hopes, the dreams, the ideas and the aspiration…but because you lack the one characteristic that successful business-owners have: the willingness to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. 

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs Read More

Da Vinci

Keep It Simple, Stupid: A Study On Maxinomics

Posted by | Blogging, Passive Income, Quality of Life, Social Media, Writing | No Comments

It starts off small. 5 ways to save money for travel. Then someone else comes along and does 7 ways to save money for travel. Then it’s 10. Then 15. Then 25. Then 50. Then 150. Then 200. Then 500. Every subsequent blogger trying to outdo the last, repeating, rehashing and reposting the same, tired old information that can be found in a hundred other blog posts by a hundred other bloggers. An endless cycle of trying to outdo those who came before so that people will follow your blog and not the competition.

Somewhere in the middle, the message is lost in the hustle to outdo the competition. In the rush to offer the biggest, the best or the most numerous, the actual information is left by the wayside.

The Greedy Bastard Syndrome

The Greedy Bastard Syndrome is a disease that affects those who are addicted to consumption and physical possessions. They see the world through the capitalist point of view: me first, everyone else second. They are the type of individuals who are only interested in one thing: being on top of the totem pole.

As a result of this sickness, Greedy Bastards are pushed to the extremes trying to find ways to outdo the competition, believing that if they do not they will fall to the bottom of the heap, forgotten and irrelevant. Quality is not as important as staying ahead of the pack. Quantity is the name of the game, because if you can’t outdo your competition you aren’t doing it right.

As more and more people turn to blogging for a living, they fall back on the old ways of doing things. Unfortunately, old habits are not always the best habits. Rehashing the old and doing things the same way as everyone else is the fastest and most sure-fired way to find yourself being nothing more than another in a long list of monkeys with keyboards, banging out letters as fast as they can without any clear purpose or direction, all so they can stay on top of the heap.

A top 10 list? Screw that…I’m gonna write a top 50 list. Then someone comes along and does a top 75. Then you come back and do a top 150. The cycle continues. Me first, everyone else second. 

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Whether you are talking about Ockham’s Razor (among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected), or Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s statement that, “perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”, it all boils down to less is more.

The tighter the niche, the more focused the results, the higher the quality of the information.

Simplicity

The best way to become an authority in your niche is to keep it simple, direct, to the point and as tightly focused as possible. Be the expert on that topic, and write about it with such detail that you become the ultimate source when people are looking for information regarding your niche. No one wants to read a watered down version of something: they want to read an article written by someone who is speaking with the voice of authority.

Too often in today’s blogging world people are so focused on maxinomics and presenting the biggest, loudest, most obnoxious version of something as a means of garnishing attention that they have completely lost the original intent. Keep it simple, stupid. Make it so refined, so simplistic in its design, that it is perfect in its very simplicity.

Sophistication comes not from maximizing and rehashing a topic fifty different ways so that you can be “larger” and “better” than the competition, but when you strip away all the non-essential bullshit and bring it back to the point where there is nothing more you can strip away. When you reach that point, you have absolute perfection. Ultimate simplicity.

Getting Back to Basics

The first piece of advice I give to students is “write from the soul”. When you strip away all the pretentiousness, the desire to be “just like so and so” and instead write what your heart wants you to write about, you achieve the simplicity that Leonardo was so focused on in his own work over the years.

You don’t have to be like everyone else to make it in this world. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t. If you instead focus on your own unique voice, developing your own unique way of saying things, of shooting photos, of recording videos, of drawing, writing, creating, and keeping things as streamlined, tight, focused and simplistic in nature, your work will shine through all on its own.

But the key is keeping things tight and focused rather than generic. Any monkey with a keyboard can hit letters and eventually make a coherent sentence or two. Your goal is to strip away the non-essential. Take things down to the very core message. Start there and refine the essence until it shines, the diamond in the rough.

Don’t worry about maxinomics. Take your niche and go deep. Find the perfection that Leonardo was talking about. Everything else is extraneous.

What about you? What are your thoughts on maxinomics? Tell us about your success working in niche markets in the comments below; I’ve yet to meet a single soul who focuses on tight niches and doesn’t see an excellent level of success, and it’s always a blessing to read about your success stories.

Looking for ways to refine your niche? Shoot me an email with your questions and I’ll get back to you ASAP. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

Mentors

Find A Mentor – Old School Entrepreneurship

Posted by | Passive Income, Quality of Life, Social Media, Traveling Tips | One Comment

Throughout the ages, there have always been historical presences who stood apart from the rest. Men and women who marked history with their passing. To learn from these individuals is the highest calling, the ultimate way to pave your own path to greatness.

Most geniuses have mentors and coaches to give them perspective, and to provide them with a vast source of first-hand and personal knowledge of a topic, way of thinking, lifestyle and how to be successful at it. Socrates mentored Plato. Plato mentored Aristotle. Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great. Thomas Edison mentored Henry Ford. The list goes on.

The best way, the only way if you are someone who is dedicated to making a difference with your life and being more than just an average monkey in a meat suit, is to find someone higher up on the food chain than you, someone who is successful at what they do, and join them as a mentored soul on your path to enlightenment.

The Old Way

Alexander the Great. Arguably one of the most famous names in our recorded history. Born in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until he was 16 years of age. By the time he was thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to theHimalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is still to this day considered one of history’s most successful commanders.

Numerous cultural centers to this day remain major international hotspots for travel, lifestyle and education. He is almost single-handedly considered by historians to be one of the primary drives behind Hellenization, or the spread of Greek language, culture and influence throughout what was previously the Persian Empire. To this day, we still remember his name.

Bill Gates is another example of a modern-day mentored soul, studying under Warren Buffet. Buckminster Fuller mentored Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jim Rohn mentored Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins has mentored people such as Bill Clinton.

The Masters of Destiny always look to history for examples of how to avoid the mistakes of their forefathers. Great men always find leaders to follow in the footsteps of, and they aren’t afraid to serve at the feet of better men if they want to achieve the same level of greatness.

Alexander The Great

The New Way

Universities and higher education are the biggest lie since organized religion. They are a streamlined and tightly-organized mafia masquerading as education in a system where pieces of paper are given meaning, much in the same way that colored paper is waved around and holds value despite being printed from nothing.

96% of college degrees are absolutely worthless, according to ex-education secretary William Bennet. Nearly half of those who start a four-year college don’t finish, he points out. Of those who did graduate in 2011, half are unemployed or radically underemployed. By his reckoning, only 150 of America’s 3,500 colleges are worth it, and only then for degrees in highly specialized fields such as physics, medical fields and engineering. 

College education is nothing more than a manufactured system of indentured servitude, meant to lure the masses into going $150,000 or more into debt, thus chaining them to a desk job for the majority of their adult lives while they pay off their loans to the state. Or worse yet, forcing them into a situation where they work meaningless jobs just to try and appease the creditors. Such as law students in Boston working for less than federal minimum wage.

The vast majority of university students find their lives over once they finish school.  “Student loans have basically ruined my life,” says Tanya Carter, who graduated from the University of Toledo in 2008. She went to community college for two years before transferring, and attended classes part-time so she could also work. When Carter maxed out on federal loans, she turned to private loans to finish her degree. As a result of all that debt, she writes:“I never see myself owning a home, vehicle, or even getting married.”

The need to delay starting a family because of financial worries was a common concern. Lauren Dollard graduated from Fordham University in 2008 with $157,000 in debt, including interest. “My boyfriend won’t marry me because of my debt,” she says. “He doesn’t want it attached to his name.” She said she would trade her “fancy private school education” in a heartbeat to live “as an independent adult.”

It is a tragic story, one that is born out of ignorance in regards to global options for expats, as well as reliance upon a system that force-feeds school-loans as the “only way to succeed” down the throats of every high-school student in the United States. Each year, the culpable minds of the American youth are brainwashed into believing that the only way they will ever be able to achieve anything in life is to jump through the hoops of the system.

“Go to college,” they tell you. “Don’t worry about the costs. It’s required. If you don’t go to college you’ll never be able to get a job. Don’t worry about the money. We’ll loan it to you. It’s the only way you’ll ever amount to anything. Trust us. It’s the way the system works. You can’t survive in the system unless you do what we tell you. Watch your reality TV and go to sleep. Sign on the dotted line. Let us take care of you.”

Students are told that they have no other options; it’s this way or starve, they are told. Trust us. Don’t worry. We’ll take care of you. Sign here. Four years later, they wake up feeling the cold steel wrapped around their wrists, suddenly realizing they have become prisoners in a jail cell that was being built around them without them even realizing what was going on.

Get Mentored, Or Go Home

You’ll never get personal interaction with a professor who only has you for limited hours per day trying to teach you generic, everyday knowledge that serves you absolutely no purpose in the real world. You’ll never achieve breakthrough success, never meet leaders of your industry, never rub shoulders with the elite of your niche and eventually work your way up and joint venture with those very same leaders by studying a generic series of educational jokes meant to stimulate you into a life of wage slavery.

Mentoring is also one of the only ways to completely eradicate the learning curve associated with college degrees and the mandatory “work experience” you are expected to rack up once you get out of university. Instead of spending 4-6 years breaking your back for minimal wages while “building up experience”, you can instead get on the fast-track to guaranteed success, working hand in hand with someone who can show you the things that absolutely work and absolutely generate profit.

The only way you achieve greatness is to reach out and take with both hands. Own it.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the person higher up on the food chain than you in your niche and ask them about the possibility of mentoring. Even if they don’t normally teach, most leaders are willing to train others to follow in their footsteps, if only because of the simple fact that it’s nice to pass something on. And you have nothing to lose by sending a simple email and finding out if you could perhaps serve under them and learn first-hand.

But be prepared to pony up, because mentors don’t give away their best information for free, nor should they. While in most cases you won’t fork over 150k in cash as you would for a university degree, you’ll still pay thousands to tens of thousands if you want the focused, one-on-one, long-term coaching from the best of the best. A good mentor program can last months to years and cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 per month. For example, Tony Robbins charges around $5,000 for his 9 day Mastery Program. Gregg Braden charges upwards of $1,500 to $2,000 for three to five day programs.

Guaranteed results don’t come cheap. 

If you don’t have the cash, get creative. The mentors of old, be they Plato, Aristotle, Leonardo and beyond, were always paid well for their time training the next generation of leaders, but not necessarily only in money. If you can’t afford to outright pay a mentor for their time, offer up your time and serve a mentorship as an intern or personal assistant. Many times in the old days the maestros would trade labor and general work in exchange for a student’s time. Someone to do the grunt work like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, chopping the wood, mending the house, washing clothes.  They were also offered housing in exchange for teaching the next generation of elite. In the modern days it can also include answering emails, phone calls, doing social media and being a personal assistant so that the maestro can do what it is that he does best: create.

Studying under a mentor is the ultimate path to success, and it is the only way to achieve guaranteed greatness. A generic degree from a tenured wage slave with 300,000 USD of debt to his/her name who teaches 500 or more students just like you every single year isn’t going to get you anywhere in life. It’s going to land you in the same boat as the teacher: working for someone else’s  benefit while you struggle to pay off your school loans.

Studying under a mentor who gives you personalized attention, someone who guides you every step of the way, someone who is living free of debt, free of wage slavery, traveling the world, speaking multiple languages, leveraging a global point of view, someone who has truly mastered their own universe…there is no substitute for learning at the feet of A Master where you are given undivided attention and guidance to achieve your own Destiny.

I have personally served two mentorships in my life. The first was to my grandfather, father and uncles, where I grew up as a third generation ceramic tile and natural stone contractor. I was running 10+ man crews by the age of 17, 25+ man crews by the time I was 19, self-employed by the time I was 21 years old, and semi-retired at 28 when I left the United States. Since I’ve been in Mexico I’ve been studying under DJ Vishnu, who has mentored me in alchemy and astrology and led me to the paths of universal awareness I am currently pursuing to great success, both spiritually and in business as well.

Have you served a mentorship? Do you have someone in mind who you would like to study under? What’s holding you back? Leave your comments below!

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter to receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

Coworking

Coworking Versus Networking

Posted by | Passive Income, Social Media, Traveling Tips | 2 Comments

“Hi! My name’s Bob, from World’s Best Company!”

His smile is somewhat nervous, a little bit over-the-top, as he slips me his business card. I sip my champagne and nod at all the right moments during his spiel, making eye contact periodically to keep up the pretense that I’m tuned in.

It’s the same story I’ve heard 37 times in the past two hours, and I’ve perfected my “intently listening” look while also maintaining a facade of sobriety. An endless array of self-employed gurus who are intent on only one thing: sharing just how important they are in the grand scheme of things.

The thing is, I don’t give a shit because I don’t know Bob from Adam. I could give a rat’s ass about him, his products or his services because I never met him before tonight.

The Lie of Networking Events

Traditional networking events are grand affairs put on and attended by people who are mostly, in the very sense of the word, working professionals. They generally have a functioning business and are interested in getting out there and rubbing shoulders with others who are working in the same fields as themselves, because they’ve been told over the years that this is how it’s done. If you want to make it big you have to go to events, hand out business cards and get your face out there so people can get to know you.

In principle, it’s a good idea. Because after all, a hermit can’t make money. Someone who locks themselves away in the confines of their darkened basement will never sell any products or find a niche for their art. The only way to find customers and clients is to get your product out there. You have to be willing to network and spread the information about your product to as many people as possible to maximize your results. It’s the difference between being Johnny Johnson or Suzy Smith with the lemonade stand.

Unfortunately, networking events are not the best place to find potential clients, customers and, more importantly, peers who are interested in working on joint ventures side by side with you, sharing in the profits and the rewards while also sharing the work load.  Instead, networking events are filled with people who have only one goal in mind: sharing information about their own product or project while handing out business cards and hoping they get lucky with one or two “big fish”. It’s the equivalent of casting your line into the river over and over and over again, waiting for a nibble that you can hook and then reel in.

A networking event is a limited, one-time affair. You are given a finite moment of time to make your mark on another individual. While people might remember your face, chances are they won’t remember your name, your spiel or anything about your business by the time they leave the event, because they are there for the same reasons as you: to hand out business cards and try to hook a client or two.

It’s impersonal, it’s old-fashioned and it’s completely useless in the modern era of social media, globalization and affiliate marketing.

Coworking In The Modern Era

“Hey, Tim!!”  Bob puts his laptop bag and two coffees on the table next to my laptop and settles his frame into the chair adjacent to my own. He adjust the height on the chair and places one of the coffees in front of me, then leans back, fingers spider-webbing across the back of his head. “Did you see that YouTube video last night from the TBU convention on Tuesday?”

I nod my  head as I take a sip of coffee. He shared the link with me last night as we were wrapping up our day in the coworking space we both work out of several times per week. Bob runs a blog on hacking for a living, and traveling the world as a nomad, similar to my own blog, although I focus on immersion travel as opposed to backpacking.

I’ve known Bob for about three months now, and for the last two weeks we’ve been working on developing a joint-venture webinar series, combining the power of our two communities to bring in guest speakers and earn some extra cash by working together. We also have a third wheel, Deborah, who isn’t going to be in the office today. She’s a friend of his and after a few weeks of getting to know one another we all decided to pitch in and work on a project together since we all have the same goals and a similar style of writing.

I’m personally invested with Bob and Deborah because I’ve been working side-by-side with them for the past three months. We’ve gone out for beers, we buy each other coffee and donuts, we’ve shared travel stories, photos, YouTube videos and more importantly, we’ve built up the personal rapport required to develop empathy with each other. 

In short, we’ve become more than just peers: we’ve become somewhat of friends through similar goals, directions and proximity. Rather than only knowing Bob from his 90 second spiel and a plastic business card, I’ve grown to know who Bob is as a person. We’ve worked side by side in the same office for several months, talked about pets and family, and eventually after a few months we decided to pool our resources for mutually-beneficial results on a temporary side project.

Collaborative Progress

Synergy

Coworking is a social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values and are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded, talented people in the same space.

I don’t give a shit about Bob and his 90 second spiel at the networking event because I don’t know him from Adam. Bob my nomadic peer, on the other hand, is someone who I’m personally invested in. We work well together, we both like dark beers, we both have a passion for traveling, we both blog for a living, we enjoy good food, quiet cafes, and Latin women.

Not only that, but working with Bob gives me the unique advantage of doubling my earning potential while at the same time working with someone whose opinion I not only respect but also value. I’m not just working with some random stranger I’ve only ever met one time at an event where I was half-drunk and tuned out the whole time. I’m working with a friend, a colleague, and someone who I’m personally invested in. I want to see Bob succeed as much as I want to succeed myself, because he’s my friend and working partner, not just some random douche. 

On top of that, working in an environment with others who are dong the same thing as you breeds a healthy sense of coordinated competition. Competition is the driving force behind human innovation. A desire to “one up” your peers is what has led to every great discovery in the history of humanity. Without competition we wouldn’t have the light-bulb, Internet, MP3s, YouTube, global connectivity and beyond. Without healthy competition Aristotle, Leonardo, Plato and others would never have pushed revolutionary ideas forward amongst their peers, continually striving for perfection and betterment; instead, they would have stagnated in a basement of forgotten dreams.

Synergy is only formed through a relationship built up out of mutual respect and same-mindedness. It also only happens over time as people learn how to work with each other. And only through synergy are greater ideas born, because one set of eyes will only ever see a single point of view regarding a given project. Multiple eyes viewing the project from multiple angles = new and exciting ways for the project to evolve that you would never have thought of on your own.

It is the evolution of human innovation in all its glory: multiple brilliant minds overcoming challenges together and building something that is stronger because of the numerous passions intertwined together ensuring the success of the project.

The Power of Trust

The reason I don’t give a shit about Bob at the networking event is because I don’t know him. If I don’t know him, I don’t trust him, and if I don’t trust him, how can I realistically ever do business with him, much less even be interested in what he has to say?

The real power of coworking lies in the trust that is built up between member in the same working environment. The empathy that is built up over time, the relationships, are what lead to equal opportunity sharing of like-minded blog posts, videos and projects, but more importantly, joint ventures.

If I don’t know Bob, I could care less what he does for a living. I’m never going to read his blog posts, talk about his videos with my friends, share his content with my own community of followers or purchase any of his products or services. But if I have a personal relationship with Bob, I’m invested. I’m sharing his content because it’s valuable and not only that, he’s my friend and I want to see him succeed alongside me.

No one you meet at a networking event will share your content based off a first-time conversation. In fact, the chances of them remembering your name, much less your business or even your face, after that networking event when they met another 50+ people at the same time, are almost nill.

But when you work in the same space with that person over weeks and months and get to know them, share coffee and beers and life experiences and stories and jokes and conversations, as you build a relationship with them, you find people who are personally invested in you and what you have to say with your brand. People who respect your opinion, who want to share your information with their own communities, and maybe even eventually work with you or invest in your company.

Trust is built up over time. It is not magically created through the presentation of a business card and a 90 second spiel. It requires cultivation, just like a plant. And this is the true power of coworking, because you build up trust with your coworkers and relationships that last for years to come as opposed to only a fake smile and a “nice to meet you” handshake with no heart.

What are some of your favorite aspects of coworking? Do you have any coworking success stories you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below and let us know!

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!