Day 3.5 Pink, Pitches and Pixar

While practicing my craft 60 minutes each day I became obsessed with storytelling and pitching that story.

 

Story Telling Capital
Disruptions derail our critical plans. Learn to make healthy, wealthy and wise choices for living, loving, working, playing, investing & retiring in a world turned upside down.

You can tell I struggled with a name.

AnyWired didn’t help me much other than by telling me what to do, not how to do it.

While practicing my craft 60 minutes each day I became obsessed with storytelling and pitching that story.

One of Daniel Pink’s Best Sellers

Somewhere along the way I stumbled upon Daniel Pink’s book, “To Sell is Human.”

I remember him from this Free Agent book.

I had borrowed his premise when I wrote about one of my lifestyle groups “Permanent Temporaries.”

Anyway, here’s a take away that helped me as I struggled with my business name(s) and more accurately my network of enterprises.

I hope it helps you.

First the pitches, and how I used them.

The Pixar Creative Process

1. The Pixar Pitch.

  • Once upon a time …
  • Every day …
  • Because of that …
  • Because of that …
  • Until finally …

2. The Twitter Pitch. (Two Sentences)

3. The Subject Line Pitch. (For Your Email)

4. The Rhyming Pitch.

5. The Question Pitch.

6. The One-Word Pitch. 

  • Write a fifty-word pitch.
  • Reduce it to twenty-five words.
  • Then to six words.
  • Then to one word.

Example One: Pristine

1. The Pixar Pitch. 

Once upon a time the story of the Wild West celebrated a spirit of adventure. Starting over with new beginnings full of promise. Fueled by dreams of striking it rich. We have a rich history of mining and panning for gold nuggets in the West. Making a life based on ingenuity, resourcefulness and self-reliance. Whenever travelers meet each other on the road, they swap info about the places they came from and ask questions about places they’re going.

Every day we followed the rules.  Go to work.  Keep our nose to the grind stone.  Marry our sweat hearts. Raise our children.  Save for their college education.  And, finally retire sometime off into the future to a glorious second half of our life.

One day everything changed: Employers shipped our jobs overseas.  We worked longer and longer in jobs we couldn’t stand.  But, at least we had a job.  But the stress piled on. And on.

Because of that we had to escape.  If only for a vacation. There’s nothing quite as all-American as a road trip, especially in the West, where a wealth of culture, natural beauty and excitement unfolds before you. What is it about traveling back to nature?  Where you feel most inspired? Where the yellow aspen do that shimmering dance beside the deep green of the lodge pole pines.

Because of that we notice our predicament when we return to work.  Are we who we really, really are when we keep our head down with our noses to the grindstone? What about those expansive western skies?  The majestic mountain peaks? The rushing babbling creeks and brooks? The taste of salt in the air along the coast?

Until finally we wake up and realize we don’t live in a vacuum any longer. We make a commitment to ourselves.  We can make healthy, wealthy and wise choices for living, loving, working, playing, investing and leaving a legacy in vacation communities where we feel most alive.

Leading source of news about the Western region in the spirit of sharing knowledge that makes travel so enjoyable.

2. The Twitter Pitch. 

Short and Sweet

The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life. Winter in the mountains and summer at the beach.

3. The Subject Line Pitch. 

Nobody can follow your passions for you. Choose to live anywhere you want.

4. The Rhyming Pitch. 

Changing Seasons. Changing Reasons

5. The Question Pitch. 

Do you know how to fix your leaking bucket list?

6. The One-Word Pitch. 

Write a fifty-word pitch.

Qual·i·ty of life — the degree of enjoyment and satisfaction felt in everyday life. “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”  Henry David Thoreau. Follow your passions. Live, love, work, play, invest and leave a legacy anywhere you want from the Desert to the Mountains to the Sea and all the Pristine Rivers, Lakes and Islands in Between.

Reduce it to twenty-five words.

Live, love, work, play, invest anywhere from the Desert to the Mountains to the Sea and all the Pristine Rivers, Lakes and Islands in Between.

Then to six words.

Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Leave a Legacy.

Then to one word.

Pristine.

Example Two: Thrive

1. The Pixar Pitch. 

Once upon a time the pace of life flowed through us like a slowly meandering stream. We felt secure.  Our plans needed little tweaks here and there.  Our futures required little thought.

Every day we followed the rules.  Go to work.  Keep our nose to the grind stone.  Marry our sweat hearts. Raise our children.  Save for their college education.  And, finally retire sometime off into the future to a glorious second half of our life.

One day everything changed:  The old rules no longer worked.  Employers shipped our jobs overseas.  Even the white-collar, professional jobs found cheaper homes.  Most people missed the warning signs until it was too late.

Because of that the decisions we made based on the old rules are not be enough to protect us from high-risk consequences that threaten our current and future livelihoods.

Because of that conventional wisdom fails to protect us. While we still we have our life-time of dreams and plans, the perfect storm of economic, political, technological and social forces has its own set of unrelenting cycles of boom and bust that threaten us.

Until finally we wake up and realize we don’t live in a vacuum any longer. Disruptions happen.  We have to learn new ways to make ourselves valuable, marketable and in demand in a world turned upside down.

When we do we can make healthy, wealthy and wise choices for living, loving, working, playing, investing and retiring at critical turning points in our life-time.

2. The Twitter Pitch. 

See how ideas and innovation are changing your world, for the better. Take advantage. Live, love, work, play, invest & retire.

3. The Subject Line Pitch. 

Is it over yet?  8 proven ways to weather the next perfect storm

4. The Rhyming Pitch. 

Anticipate and thrive while others barely survive

5. The Question Pitch. 

Are you ready for the next 5 years, no matter what?

6. The One-Word Pitch. 

Write a fifty-word pitch.

We don’t live in a vacuum. Disruptions happen.  We have to learn new ways to make ourselves valuable, marketable and in demand in a world turned upside down. When we do we can make healthy, wealthy and wise choices for living, loving, working, playing, investing and retiring at critical turning points in our life-time.

Reduce it to twenty-five words.

Disruptions derail our critical plans. Learn to make healthy, wealthy and wise choices for living, loving, working, playing, investing & retiring in a world turned upside down.

Then to six words.

Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. Retire.

Then to one word.

Thrive.

Next Up, Day Four: Define Your Products.

Day Three: Decide on a Business Name

Day Two: 60-Minute Habit

 

60-Minute Habit

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

First Cup at Zero Dark Thirty
Now what?  I’ve gathered boxes of stuff and identified 11 ways of working through a process.

Reviewing this step described by AnyWired now, dredges up my feelings of confusion.

Instead of the blank page problem any author encounters before (or after) that 5 a.m. perked brew, I faced the opposite.

Feeling overwhelmed.

Awash in a Sea of Papers

Too many materials gathered, digitized and sitting in desk piles on my first floor home office.

While this should be mainly direct practice (doing rather than reading about), you will need to gather materials to guide you here.”

Right.

Doing.

“This includes articles, interviews and tutorials.”

Right.

Look, I was moonlighting and running out of time I budgeted before my morning commute.

It will take me more than an hour just to figure out some sense of order with all this stuff.

Reports, Articles, Printouts

Travel articles from the LA Times profiling destinations and vacations along the coast in Southern California and Northern California.

Indexed in an old Mac version of Microsoft’s “Entourage Notes” with full text of the article and linked to their file categorized by:

“Lone Eagle”;

  • Listing of best places by year from 2005 – 2010 and
  • Tools / websites for finding the best; and
  • Regions – western states and Hawaii / Tropical.

And by another category – by “Do What You Love Scenarios:”

  • High Country Eagles,
  • Permanently Temporary,
  • Wealthy Influentials and
  • Wireless Resorters

(16 Lifestyles, 4 for each).

I’m panicked.

Just then a thought bubble popped above my head.

If Only. What if?

What if somehow customers and clients could use my system for tagging the Internet sites and articles on Delicious, the social book marking site?

But, why and how?

Focus mainly on developing techniques you could actually see yourself using in client work.

1.  List of online resources?

2.  Seasonal comparison summaries by categories:  Best Places, Green Planet, High Country Eagles and Wireless Resorters?

You should spend at least 1 hour per day just developing your skill.

I know,

I know.

  • Maybe I could write about how to use delicious (aka knowledge bank) for the sequence of initiating coverage of a best place community?
  • How to use the Internet to build a knowledge bank for finding the right place?
  • How would a potential reader, customer or client?
  • It may begin with a vacation to a favorite destination.

For the first time you’ll want to figure out your route and itinerary, right?

  • Usually you have a region in mind, with some ideas where you might want to visit.
  • You may start with a map of a region within the West or of Hawaii.
  • You can start saving bookmarks about potential places, to revisit later.

Or you recall a trip you took out west a few years ago.

  • From California to Nevada and Arizona.
  • Up to Colorado and back through Utah and Nevada to your return to California.

A name rings a bell when you read an article about the list of top places to retire published by AARP – Loveland, Colorado.

Loveland, Colorado. The Gateway to the Rockies
  • You spend a little time on the Internet and discover, it’s been singled out as a great place to retire on the water.
  • In 2009 it was singled out as a best place to live.
  • You recall the fun you had hiking through the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • What were the names of some of those other places you saw on the way?
Awesome Views from Rocky Mountain National Park

You wonder if it is right for you?

  • After all US News & World Report ranked it 7th on their top 10 places to live in 2009;
  • right ahead of San Luis Obispo, California and
  • behind front-runner Albuquerque, New Mexico, # 3 Austin, Texas and #4 Boise, Idaho.

Now you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Here’s a way to find out.

1.  I recommend beginning with Wikipedia and WikiTravel for a quick summary, local history some pictures and the zip code or zip codes.  You’ll see a map of the state, a subset of that map for it’s county.  WikiTravel profiles vacation attractions – directions and transportation, where to stay overnight, where you should eat and play.  It gives you ideas for visiting local attractions and doing more when you consider a broader vicinity.  So you can plan for a long weekend or a one or more week vacation.

2.  If you aren’t interested in Loveland you can stop there and consider San Luis Obispo next.  Maybe, for this time of year you want to visit the desert instead of the mountains.  Or take a vacation along the coast. Or islands – like Catalina off the coast of Southern California or one of the Hawaiian Islands. If you like lakes and rivers, then Loveland may be worth further investigation.

3.  For our purposes, we are assuming that you really want to move, invest in, work in and around, start a business or retire in a new community that doubles as a vacation resort and with pristine quality of lifestyle activities.  Otherwise, why bother?

4.  So, grab the zip code and go to Google and search on the 5 digits.  You’ll find a map which will show you where this destination is in relation to its surrounding area.  You see photo slide shows and videos of the area.  You can switch to satellite views and hybrid map views.

5.  Still believe this town maybe a keeper?  Jump to Claritas to check out the types of people who already live in the neighborhoods.  Birds of a Feather Flock Together.  Neighborhoods change slowly.  They attract the same kinds of people over time.  If you plan to move, invest, work, start a business or retire, you’ll want to see if residents match your criteria.

6.  We’ve already done the heavy lifting for you by identifying neighborhood characteristics by age and stage of life of their residents.  Single (20-20, 25-54, or 30-44).  Couple (55+ or 65+). Family (20-44, 25-54, 35-54). Empty Nests (55+).  Mid-Lifers (30-44).  Baby Boomers (45+ or 55+). Seniors ( 65+).

7.  And, we’ve compared neighborhoods by status and density.  From Wealthy Influentials and Wireless Resorters to High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.  And from Metropolitan to Suburban to Small Cities and Country Towns.  So, if you want to narrow your focus to neighborhoods with 25-54 year old families in Wireless Resorts, then you can find a list that no other top 10 magazine list can provide.

8.  Let’s say you’ve compared and narrowed your search for real estate investments.  Check out City-Data for in-depth demographics and regional, county and zip code statistics – including the number of registered sex offenders.

9.  If you plan to move, you should search by zip code on Weather Underground to find a wealth of weather patterns including tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters for each season, but especially for January and June to determine just how inviting your new vacation resort will be.  You may just decide to live there for six months and somewhere else for the other.  In the mountains for skiing and snowboarding and then at the beach for surfing and sun bathing.

10. Need a job?  Check the openings by zip code from two Internet sites – Indeed and Simply Hired.  You’ll want to take a couple of job hunting or house hunting trips before your final decision.  Make a vacation of it by returning to WikiTravel to line up the best accommodations, or visit My New Place for a listing, map and photos of rentals by zip code.

11.  We know that the best positions are hidden.  You find them by a chain of referrals and introductions.  How do you create a new network?  Use your zip code and key word description of the town in LinkedIn’s advanced search function and begin contacting the first few of 100 local introductions.

Now what?

Is this really a business?

I’ve gathered boxes of stuff and identified 11 ways of working through a process.

And, I know it will take more that another 60 minutes.

Day One: Behind the Scenes

 

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.”

 

Consultants

“He left the corporate rat race a year or two before me and told me what he loved about working from home was that he could work in his underwear.”

Consulting May Be The Best Choice For You
Why Expertise isn’t Enough: Time to Close Sales, Perform Work, Manage Details.

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.

So, how can you tell when people are in transition – that is between jobs?

The tell you they are  consultants.

Between Jobs or Trusted Expert?

Even before the Great Recession, more than 11 million people looked for work and there were only 4 million job openings — about three people for every available regular job.

The reasons are familiar to you by now.

Employers are hesitant to hire new workers so they turn to temporary staff, contract workers and consultants.

The so-called “1099” crowd.

Whether you’ve been forced into it or decided to chose the professional advisory path you should seriously consider how you will be offering your unique talents, knowledge, skills, interests and assistance as a consultant.

What are the keys to success?

Actually they are very straight forward.

  • You need to possess some expertise that you’ve mastered in your career to date.
  • Then, all you need to do is identify an adequate number of prospects who need or want your special knowledge.

That’s it.

But, Wait That’s Not All

Pretty simple, right?

Most consultants I know, myself included, dwell on the mastery of their expertise — further developing their specialty to the exclusion of the self-promotion part.

  • Feeling like used car salespeople, we equate promotion with sales and fail at the most important part of the consulting business.
  • Promoting your services to the target individuals and organizations who need you.
  • Many professionals give up.
  • And, probably 80% who do secretly want to trade their variable income streams for a steady pay check with some benefits.

But, for them, the consulting option can turn into long-term retainers in recessionary times.

And that leads to “permanent” employment.

Is becoming a trusted advisor right for you?

Starting your own consulting “business” like a start-up venture requires planning and preparation.

If the benefits of a flexible consulting career far outweigh any inconveniences, obstacles or risks and you’ve got the knowledge you may be ready to take the leap.

But if you’re not sure don’t give up just yet.

  • Spend some time evaluating your options.
  • Develop plans for dealing with the small problems that may crop up before you jump.
  • Face it you’re basically managing a small business.
  • Only in your case the product is you.

Yes you need valuable expertise.

But, you must be willing and able to develop your business.

  • Close sales.
  • Perform the work.
  • Make time for administrative details — invoicing, collecting, filing estimated quarterly taxes and managing you accounts.

The list goes on.

But you get the picture.

So is being a trusted advisor for you?

Consulting can be a great career option for the right person.

Like other ‘Preneurs you are your own boss.

  • Other than your portfolio of clients, you report to no one else – except, of course, to your spouse or partner.
  • And you get to choose which clients to take on and which projects appeal to you.
  • I enjoy the flexibility.

Establish your business, get all the moving parts synchronized and then enjoy the variety of your lifestyle pursuits.

Your time is your own.

If you have kids, take time off to coach little league or watch your kids soccer match.

Fulfillment and Flexibility

And, you control your earning power directly.

  • Sure you need to compete with other experts in the marketplace, set your rates up or down within the range your clients are willing to pay.
  • You can also decide to take on extra assignments to earn more.
  • Or, you can specialize in the challenges larger clients face and which command higher fees.

Best of all, your consulting business probably won’t require a large capital investment as a barrier to entry.

Especially compared to buying a business or purchasing a franchise.

Many professionals choose to work from home after saying goodbye to their former boss and corporate career.

But, check into any local zoning restrictions or deed restrictions first, of course.

Many successful businesses started out as a “third bedroom consultancy.”

  • You’ll value the low overhead expenses as you establish yourself.
  • No rent.
  • No office utilities.
  • No rush-hour commuting.
  • And, one of the most attractive features may just be the fact that you can claim tax deductions.

One of my former colleagues who left the corporate rat race a year or two before me told me what he loved about working from home was that he could work in his underwear.

That’s not the reason he’s a former colleague.

Another told me he loved the Fridays when he could invoice someone.

And, he wasn’t a lawyer!

Of course you have to weigh the tradeoffs.

Lots of hard work, long hours and stressful deadlines to complete proposals and negotiate contracts.

Maintain a Pipeline of Submitted Proposals

The stereotypical consultant is the one you see in commercials rushing through airports, narrowly missing fellow travelers.

She’s waving one arm to make a point as she speaks on her smartphone with an earbud in one ear.

Another colleague told me that he knew when the 70 hours a week he spent plus traveling finally got to him.

He finished an international assignment and looked forward to relaxing for a few weeks at home between assignments.

After he arrived home late Friday evening, he got up around 6:30 or 7 am the following Saturday and discovered that he didn’t have eggs or milk in his refrigerator.

Where Do I Fly To Next?

His local grocery store was about two miles away.

So he jumped in his car.

About an hour later he discovered to his horror that out of habit he’d been on auto pilot commuting in and out of traffic on the 405 freeway just moments away from the LAX exit.

Being your own boss means the buck stops with you.

If you haven’t been marketing and selling,  the bucks might not be depositing themselves into your business banking account.

Sure you can still be successful, but getting over your shyness, distaste of selling and disdain for meeting new people represent personal grown areas to be developed.

Desire and expertise count.

But the most frequent reason why independent consultants fail is because they don’t generate enough clients and the revenue that flows from new business.

Without a boss and an assistant to keep you on track and organized, you need to become a self-starter and self-disciplined to focus on priorities.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

You’ll need to become an expert at project management with assignments unfolding at different phases and timelines.

One of the most helpful bits of advice I received from a successful colleague was not to book more than three days a week.

  • A day to manage the administrative details to keep them from falling through the cracks.
  • If you don’t, your reputation and brand as an expert will suffer.
  • And, you need another day devoted to marketing and networking to keep the pipeline full.

The good news is you’ll be able to find apps and software programs to help you stay on top of your business as the volume grows.

Make what you can predictable for your own sanity.

But, if you’re the type of person who is a freak for total consistency and a predictable routine you never would have kissed your corporate job goodbye.

  • I must admit to a certain thrill associated with the erratic nature of my schedule.
  • A mix of short days and long nights.
  • A variety of clients and duration of projects.

    Invoicing and Managing Multiple Contracts

Sure, I’ve negotiated multi-year retainers, but most often, especially as you establish your business,  you’re the specialist engaged on a temporary project to solve a problem and then move on.

Managing your cash flow is a beast.

  • The unpredictable nature may stretch you to the edge.
  • You may go weeks or months without income.
  • Not only do you defer payment until the project is over, or based on meeting milestones, but your clients may stick to a 90 day disbursement policy after you invoice.

If you don’t have a pipeline full of projects you could be forced to tap into the money you saved for a rainy day.

  • Don’t forget that not every hour you work is in fact billable.
  • You’ll need to devote many hours to just running your business.
  • Expense tracking, for instance.

And when you roll up your time devoted to  just invoicing and collecting your fees for each of your clients, it can be significant.

Although my “underwear wearing” colleague said that was one of his most enjoyable tasks – billing someone.

Add costs for taxes and insurance to the frustration of spending extra non-billable time for all those administrative tasks and the romance of consulting begins to fade.

Knowledge Products for Making Money While Your Sleep

Especially when you need to devote more billable time and expertise to your clients, and you realize there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Steps:

(5) Choose the ‘Preneur’ business model that brings out the best in you – freelancing, consulting, franchising, Internet marketing or establishing a Knowledge ATM.

 

Appeal

“Find one or two lifestyles that describe you, then the logic goes other neighborhoods that attract the same  “Birds-of-a-Feather” lifestyle would appeal to you.”

Peel Away the Outer to Find Your Inner Appeal
An ongoing case study: How to convert thousand lesser fans into a thousand true fans, so they buy enough to support you and make a little profit?

Here’s the part I’ve always hated.

Crafting the sales message.

And, there’s a little irony.

To be successful you have to appeal to human motivations and I earned a masters degree in psychology.

The problem for me has always been that as a professional knowledge worker — in my case a consultant, coach and trusted advisor — we were trained not to advertise or to market ourselves

The path to a thousand raving fans was taken one referral step at a time.

No Advertising or Sales

Not by running ads.

Or by selling.

But by transforming clients with so much value they became enthusiastic advocates.

Can you advertise and sell online without crossing over into the “scam territory?”

Sure.

For the last few years I found plenty of information and inside intelligence that online marketers and other less scrupulous “Make Money Online” entrepreneurs misused.

But some of it could and should be used by legitimate consultants and lifestyle business owners.

Formula for Attraction

How can you convert a thousand Lesser Fans into a thousand True Fans?

So they buy enough to support you and make a little profit?

Keep these tips in mind.

One of the things that motivates you is to avoid unpleasant things.

Will your “knowledge product” – book or ebook, for instance – save your true fans from making a fool of themselves?

If Only You Knew in Time

Remember high school and how embarrassed you felt from time to time because you didn’t know or understand what everyone else did?

Television ads reminded us how bad our breath smelled or our stinky body odor offended the those around us.

We didn’t have a clue.

Others did though.

Or so the ads implied

There’s that whole wall of worry.

Stuff that makes us uncomfortable.

Things like worrying about having enough money …

  • for paying our monthly bills,
  • for our doctor visits,
  • for the car payment and
  • for what the insurance company won’t pay because of our high collision deductible.

As an entrepreneur you wake up abruptly at 3 a.m. in the dark doubting your ability.

  • Money is running out.

    Gotta Get Back To Sleep
  • Did you seriously underestimated the market for your product or service?
  • Can your knowledge product or service offer peace of mind ?

During the Great Recession we all worried if we would keep our jobs.

If we lost them we worried we might not find another one that paid as well located within a reasonable commuting distance.

Just before the Memorial Day holiday a couple of years ago one of the Chief Marketing Officers who volunteers to mentor our Executive MBA students shocked me.

I knew he lost his job, which comes with the territory when you reach age 50 and finally pull in the big bucks.

What I didn’t realize was how traumatic his situation was.

Now What?

He lost his house because he couldn’t make payments on his mortgage – a wapping $6,000 a month.

And he had to find and move into a two bedroom apartment that long weekend.

Plus lease a storage unit for all the stuff that wouldn’t fit.

Not only did he and his wife suffer the loss of their home and their wealthy influential lifestyle that came part and parcel with it, but their basic feelings of security disappeared that weekend.

Neither he nor his wife could qualify for for social security or medicare coverage.

At least not for another 12 years.

But, the truly shocking part he told me was he had taken out and spent equity loans while he drained his 401K accounts to make his lavish lifestyle “ends meet.”

In my chapter, “Why Careers Are like Real Estate Markets,” I described the dilemma many like my CMO friend faced.

They find themselves at the cross roads between “Doing What You Love vs. Doing What You Hate” and “Living in the Same Geographical Location vs. Moving to a New Preferred Community.”

“My passion and location stories described four different communities …  ‘Wealthy Influentials,’ ‘Wireless Resorters,’ ‘High Country Eagles,’ and ‘Permanent Temporaries.’”

Here’s a snapshot of each.

Permanent Temporaries don’t anticipate the future well and have a hard time adapting to new work realities. 

Many become consultants and entrepreneurs because they can’t find full-time employment. 

Guarded Gate Communities

They aspire to live in, or return to, the guarded-gate communities of the Wealthy Influentials. 

What if they’re forced to relocate, where do they go?

When forced to move to lower cost-of-living neighborhoods they choose small university towns populated with High Country Eagles in higher quality-of-life communities. 

But, they long for face-to-face project-based work as a way of affiliating with other people on a more regular basis.  

Succeeding at interim work demonstrates their value in a new organization. 

What about the trade offs?

Between projects they miss the teamwork and seek to counterbalance the isolation and extreme independence they are forced to endure being on their own – no matter if they’re  interim middle managers, trapped urbanites or just starting over in a new marriage, neighborhood or way of life.

Wealthy Influentials live in neighborhoods that showcase their status and affluence

Viewed from the outside, it’s as if they’ve cornered the market with a wealth-generating machine. 

Like my Executive MBA Mentor once was able to afford …

They find a safe haven for high margin income, pay for a high cost of living, accumulate peak real estate appreciation, and live in a secluded, secure, and mature suburbs or an upscale metropolitan center. 

Selling products or services to this group means offering highly personalized, luxury, and one-of-a-kind experiences.

What if you found yourself in a similar situation?

How about …

Quality-of-Life Lifestyles

Wireless Resorters share the love of a new quality-of-life community with High Country Eagles. 

They realize that with the ability to operate anywhere there is Internet access, anyone can move to unspoiled smaller towns and rural regions. 

Many moved to the mountains areas that became destination vacation  areas like the ski resorts in Colorado.

All four lifestyles populate thousands of thousands of communities from coast to coast.

Across the western region of the United States you’ll find residents in Wealthy Influential neighborhoods like Del Mar or Coronado in California; 

High Country Eagle towns like Sedona or Bisbee in Arizona or Angel Fire and Taos in New Mexico; 

Permanent Temporaries parts of Reno, Nevada or Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; 

or, in some of the better known ski resorts attracting the Wireless Resorters like Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs in Colorado.” 

What if you could find the perfect town for you with just the right kind of neighborhood you’d love?

Claritas, now Nielsen Segmentation, helped pioneer market segments initially based on each new census update.

They linked consumer behaviors for “shopping, financial, media and much more …” with household lifestyles living in specific zip codes across the United States.

Household Shopping Lifestyles

If you’ve ever received direct mail addressed to you or “current resident” those marketers are taking advantage of household data.

The key to their business model unlocks a specific zip code.

In their PRIZM segmentation you can slice and dice over 60 different lifestyles ranging from high to low degrees of affluence and status.

By age and life stage.

Type in your current zip code and they’ll supply you with the top four or five lifestyles in your community.

Find one or two lifestyles that describe you, then the logic goes other neighborhoods that attract the same  “Birds-of-a-Feather” lifestyle would appeal to you.

Try to search for that lifestyle in their segmentation database and build a “Bucket List” of awesome zip code neighborhoods.

Can’t do it.

Doesn’t work that way.

  • But, what if you devoted the time to reverse engineer it?
  • And, you “mobilized” your lifestyle business?
  • Once you authentically built your virtual community of a 1000 raving fans?
  • You could move them with you, right?

And, you’d be able to zero in on regions and communities varying from …

  • high to low  density,
  • from urban to suburban, exurban, rural and
  • remote populations.

You wouldn’t have to worry about making a living solely from the locals.

Instead, you’d live that quality-of-life that can bring out the best in you.

More on that later.

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.