Behind the Scenes

Day One: Decide on the one service you will offer.

Make a Million Dollars
“Once you become comfortable with providing that one service, you will naturally expand what you offer.”

This is so embarrassing.

I searched through my knowledge bank.

I tried several variations on names I felt it might be it.

Searching My Knowledge Bank

And, then by a few terms I associate with it.

Then the approximate date.

But, I can’t find the source.

About a half an hour later the name came to me out of the blue.

I just searched the web for it and found the name AnyWired, but not the original.

The new one helps students with writing their term papers.

Scheduling Start-up Milestones

The old one laid out 30 steps for starting a lifestyle business.

But, enough about that.

The key is I needed a resource for developing a curriculum about becoming a ‘Preneur.

For a workshop in my new job at the university’s MBA program.

Back then my pivot took me from consulting to full-time advisor to moonlighter.

And along the way, an intrapreneur.

An internal entrepreneur with the mandate to innovate, to create new services but within an employer.

With the executive MBA population, I enjoy discussions about their situations, thinking outside of the box and giving them new inspiration and innovative strategies.

Full disclosure?

I’m not the most focused kind of guy.

I’m a lateral thinker.

Efficiency and Productivity Ain’t the Be All And End All

I need to have several projects aka knowledge laboratories running at the same time – a “network of enterprises” – attributed to Brian Eno in a chapter of “Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives” by Tim Harford.

According to Harford, if one of the enterprises in Brian’s workshop hits a dead-end, he pivots to the next most promising.

So all, I’m saying is step one was the most difficult for me.

Decide on the one service you will offer.

I had what I felt was a working title, “Western Skies, Island Currents.”

And, a tagline:

“From the desert, to the mountains and the seas – and all the pristine rivers and lakes in between.”

  • A product or service about Island get-aways and local off-the-beaten paths.
  • Maybe something about best fit and best places.
  • Infopreneurial and lifestyle options in different geographical communities.
Rearranging Creative Ideas

I already identified those things that matter to parents, mid-lifers and empty-nesters and their extended families – kind of overlapping interests and priorities like:

  • a spiritual foundation,
  • life stage challenges,
  • generational issues,
  • recreation,
  • the environment,
  • education,
  • friends,
  • family,
  • values,
  • home and community life —
  • more of the relationships –
  • both social and political on the planet.

Some of my initial brainstorms:

Business Ideas
  • Maybe somehow the product or service could be play and adventure selections for people working through their bucket lists.
  • Maybe like how to produce knowledge products – guides or coffee table books –  from your checked off your bucket list of thrills and chills – in this case about the West and Tropical Islands.
  • Maybe how to’s: A tool for picking the best fit for you.
  • And writing about your adventures.

I liked the part about expanding it with follow-up products.

More maybe brainstorms:

  • A guide to best places in the West and Hawaii.
  • Subscriptions for narrowing down your choices so you don’t make the biggest mistake of your life.
  • Memberships with access to local guides and recommendations from others just like you.
  • Quality of Life Choices throughout the West — states communities and neighborhoods.

And then I lost focus with those lateral network of enterprises.

Strategies to Trigger Get Unstuck

Damn you Brian Eno.

If a field guide crystallizes – everything you need to know to make the best possible career decision – then, why not include the best place to live out that decision?

If the Mobile KnowCo takes you step-by-step from moonlighting to launching a lifestyle business, why not pack it up and take it with you?

  • Find a Market Before You Move
  • Sample the Town over the four seasons before you move
  • Live and Play Where You Want

Why not go on vacation or move to your dream location, while your KnowledgeATM accepts deposits any time day or night?

Focus, Focus, Focus.

More tips from my notes taken from the missing-in-action, AnyWired:

“This approach will help you become skilled in the service you provide very quickly.

Since you want to be taking on your first client in 30 days, it’s crucial that you develop your skills to an adequate level.

Once you become comfortable with providing that one service, you will naturally expand what you offer.”

Day Two:  “Gather learning materials to help you practice your service before taking on a client.”

 

Authority

“You need to establish your Brand-as-an-Expert.”

Acknowledged as an Expert
While there are an ever changing array of tools to grow and nurture your platform, like most things in life, it doesn’t happen overnight.

An excerpt from Book Two in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you make more money from a lifestyle businesses you’re truly passionate about.

Trusted Advisor. Thought Leader. Acknowledged Authority.

You need to establish your Brand-as-an-Expert.

Panel of Experts

In the publishing world – getting your book published is all about establishing an authority platform.

Bigger bets get placed on authors with both authority and visibility – to an established audience.

Book Signing Crowds

One that is both receptive and appropriate.

So part one is to demonstrate your credibility and set of credentials.

Part two is to describe to publishers just who is it that knows you.

  • Who is aware of your work?
  • Where does your work appear regularly?
  • How many people see articles you’ve written?
  • And, what kind of proven reach can you claim – how and where does it spread virally?
Sought After Authority

For consultants we’re talking about the decision-makers you’ve targeted, worked with and others just like them.

Or, even better, others who aren’t just like them but who will recognize the value you offer and seek you out.

Show where you’ve made an impact in your niche.

Newsletter Subscriptions

Case studies and happy client testimonials.

And your reach?

You can offer evidence like the size of your email newsletter list.

Or state statistics you monitor about your website traffic and blog comments illustrating your expertise.

Monitoring Your Analytics

Sprinkle in some high-profile reviews and testimonials from A-Listers and your well on your way to building a stellar authority platform.

An engaged audience is golden.

So, it’s all about self-promotion, then?

Bringing Your Audience Along

No.

And it’s not about hard selling or annoying people at all.

You don’t have to be or act like an extrovert if that’s not your natural inclination.

While blogging may be involved you don’t have to go on and on about your how wonderful you are.

Demonstrating Your Value

How excellent your credentials are or how unique your experience and accomplishments have been.

That feels like bragging and it is.

And, it’s easily detected as a major turnoff.

While there are an ever changing array of tools to grow and nurture your platform, like most things in life, it doesn’t happen overnight.

And, you can’t buy it either.

Master Tools at Your Disposal

It’s more about putting in consistent effort over the trajectory of your career.

Your platform organically grows out of your body of work, out of consistently doing great work.

It comes about by making incremental improvements in the ongoing expansion of your network.

By making smaller waves that grow into larger waves of attraction.

Steps:

(11) Maintain a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation.

 

Fans

“The long tail is famously good news for two classes of people; a few lucky aggregators, such as Amazon and Netflix, and 6 billion consumers.”

“The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson
Connect with Your  Fan Base: Why You Need to Build and Nurture Your 1,000 True Fans.

An excerpt from Book Two in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you make more money from a lifestyle businesses you’re truly passionate about.

Here’s the “secret.”

“To raise your sales out of the flatline of the long tail you need to connect with your True Fans directly. 

Another way to state this is, you need to convert a thousand Lesser Fans into a thousand True Fans.”

A word of happy-ever-after caution.

“Who Owns the Future?” by Jaron Lanier

Customers looking for deals at commodity prices recommended by friends, and people they don’t even know, win with the long tail model.

But by far and away companies that own what Jaron Lanier calls the “Siren Servers” in his book, “Who Owns the Future?” make out like bandits.

Kelly agrees with Lanier:

“The long tail is famously good news for two classes of people; a few lucky aggregators, such as Amazon and Netflix, and 6 billion consumers. 

Of those two, I think consumers earn the greater reward from the wealth hidden in infinite niches.”

Kevin Kelly: http://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/

But for the rest of us, Kelly reveals the reality about living and creating in the Long Tail marketplace.

“Individual artists, producers, inventors and makers are overlooked in the equation. 

From Premium to Commodity Pricing

The long tail does not raise the sales of creators much, but it does add massive competition and endless downward pressure on prices. 

Unless artists become a large aggregator of other artist’s works, the long tail offers no path out of the quiet doldrums of minuscule sales.”

The gist of “1,000 True Fans” can be stated simply:

“A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, video-maker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.”

Seriously?

Where do you find them?

Closer to the curve that splits the long tail from the head of the tail.

These raving fans are ready and willing to … pay you!

How do you know when you’ve found one?

Cultivating “True Fans”

Here’s Kelly again:

“A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. 

They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. 

They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. 

They have a Google Alert set for your name. 

They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. 

They come to your openings. 

They have you sign their copies. 

They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. 

They can’t wait till you issue your next work.” 

Making It in the Long Tail

Here’s the rub.

The key challenge is that you have to maintain direct contact with your 1,000 True Fans.

“Not every artist is cut out, or willing, to be a nurturer of fans. 

Many musicians just want to play music, or photographers just want to shoot, or painters paint, and they temperamentally don’t want to deal with fans, especially True Fans. 

For these creatives, they need someone else to manage their fans.“

How does it work?

How Networking Effects Works

By taking advantage of networking effects.

“As your True Fans connect with each other, they will more readily increase their average spending on your works. 

So while increasing the numbers of artists involved in creation increases the number of True Fans needed, the increase does not explode, but rises gently and in proportion.

The number of True Fans needed to make a living indirectly inflates fast, but not infinitely.

Once you are in that mode, the actual number will become evident.”

Are there creative ways to make it work for you when you have a fan base?

Why not crowd-source your next book?

Funding Your Creations

Before there was Kickstarter there was Fundable, a web-based enterprise which allowed anyone to raise a fixed amount of money for a project, while reassuring the backers the project  happened.

They acted like an escrow account until the full amount was collected, and they return the money if the minimum is not reached.

Kelly says to try the street performer twist.

“Using the logic of a street performer, the author goes directly to the readers before the book is published; perhaps even before the book is written. 

The author bypasses the publisher and makes a public statement on the order of: ‘When I get $100,000 in donations, I will release the next novel in this series.’

Status of Crowd Funding Campaigns

Readers can go to the author’s Web site, see how much money has already been donated, and donate money to the cause of getting his novel out. 

Note that the author doesn’t care who pays to get the next chapter out; nor does he care how many people read the book that didn’t pay for it. 

He just cares that his $100,000 pot gets filled. 

When it does, he publishes the next book.” 

Steps:

(12) Nurture your audience of followers striving to increase the number of your raving fans to 1000.