What happened on your journey so far?

You need to build a platform to establish your authority and visibility, but what works and what no longer does?

 

Drawing a curious crowd
Maybe the original estimate of how many patrons or fans it takes to succeed just doubled.

 

Final Installment in a three-part series.

Part One: What’s Going On? Why?

Part Two: Where Are You Going?

What Happened on Your Journey So Far?

  1. What did you discover?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What insights have you learned?
  4. What are new opportunities you are better positioned for?

What did you discover?

Well, first off data and information ages.

If you are like me articles randomly pop up that I believe will be important when I have time to review them.

One source for me is Medium.

Another is Flipboard.

Oh, and another is Apple News.

So you save them, tag them, and retrieve them sometime in the future when you’re ready for them.

When you can apply  the tips or secret know-how they describe.

And, of course by then, you discover the source disappears.

Which is a hard lesson to learn.

If you curate back up the originals, or lose access to pearls of wisdom you so desperately need now.

The best example?

Sign Up Before It’s Too Late

AnyWired missing in action.

Next discovery?

Figuring out which tools you should  use.

Do the “aging” tools still work?

Are they evergreen?

You need to build a platform to establish your authority and visibility, but what works and what no longer does?

Turning to crowdfunding, what did I learn?

I discovered I was at least 6 months behind.

While riffing on  self-publishing and marketing in 2016 Katherine Milkovich summed up  my journey so far.

It all just takes trial and error.

What works for somebody else, may not work for you.

What surprised you?

Maybe the original estimate of how many patrons or fans it takes to succeed just doubled.

The initial number ballooned from 1000 raving fans to 2000.

Behind again.

The biggest surprise?

At the beginning of 4th of July summer weekend, roughly a month and a half ago, I logged in to one of my 6 sites.

Clicked on its dashboard like I do everyday to write and rewrite and upload photos and link and …

WTF?

Out of nowhere I received 10 times more views than spam comments.

I’d been running an experiment on Flipboard and LinkedIn.

How did my post attract 592 followers of KnowLabs on Flipboard; 840 in LinkedIn.

It’s still a mystery how 404 people visited my site when only 10 to 12 on average bother to stop by.

Take a look for yourself. I’d love to duplicate it somehow.  Let me know what you think.

What insights have you learned?

WordPress help and support sites are outdated. 

It takes a long time for me to understand why things don’t work.

Administering the technical aspects of the six websites drains my energy.

That continuing steep learning curve steals time away from writing – what I love to do.

And, puts me into a failed-problem-solving frame of mind.

Not so conducive to creativity and clarity. Or maintaining a consistent 60-minute writing habit.

But, writing about the trial and errors encountered (know banking process) help me understand why something goes wrong. 

Those lessons could provide how-to steps for Millennials, 45+ Empty Nesters,  55+ year olds and Baby Boomers ready to move to a resort, quality-of-life community.

And, take their mobile, remote work with them.

What are the new opportunities you are better positioned for?

In the original book content, I skipped over the details for making money while you sleep. 

I assumed readers would already know how to do that, but not how to pick out the best place  to live – where other birds-of-a-feather liked them flocked. 

When this knowledge laboratory is more complete the content guidelines will be more detailed and maybe more marketable.

Some future topics – how to:

Business Ideas
  • Conduct a laboratory.
  • Bank new knowledge and expertise mastered.
  • Package and repackage your deposits into new products.

Next Steps:

  1. On Amazon / Kindle publish “On Your Own Terms: Pack More Meaning and Passion into Your Life” 
  2. Promote it as Book One of a five-book series in Volume One on all of my sites and on Flipboard and LinkedIn. 
  3. Join the Writing Cooperative and take their challenge covering all the mistakes I made in my first year (plus or minus) as a reluctant website administrator. 
  4. Repurpose those and drafts from The Knowledge Path – Volume Two and Three on Patreon. 
  5. Get MailChimp working as my primary vehicle for getting subscribers and supporters to review and leave comments on Amazon. Add Patreon link to my websites and my email, Flipboard and LinkedIn. 
  6. Automate a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation. 
  7. Master the chain reaction  of Awareness – Interest – Liking – Desire – Trial – Repurchase and Regular Use. Make it easy for your fans to buy a piece of you, and then advocate on your behalf.
  8. Achieve the long-term goal of subscribing, sponsoring, then buying books and reports, joining membership.

What have you discovered on your journey?

Where Are You Going?

I strongly feel you have to stay relevant and more marketable than your competition.

Periodically I revisit my approach for creating new (for me) knowledge that I can apply more efficiently and productively.

 

My approach unfolds in three phases:

  • What’s Going On? Why?
  • Where Are You Going?
  • What Happened on Your Journey So Far?

Part One: What’s Going On? Why?

Where Are You Going?

  1. What if?
  2. What will you be able to do?
  3. What are your expectations?
  4. How will you feel?
  5. What will you know or understand?

What if?

With so much stuff out there, how do you know what to trust?

What if I apply the research I’ve already deposited into my knowledge bank over the years?

The Knowledge Path Series

What if, then, I can engage a following, both locally and online?

What if I can attract a large enough fan base to build other products they find unique and valuable? The second volume of “The Knowledge Path” series will be about finding the right fit in company cultures for you as you compare 16 organizational talent cultures.

What will you be able to do?

Cultivating “True Fans”

Subscribers, members and patrons learn from my experiences and follow step-by-step details for packaging and repackaging their expertise to generate passive income.

By creating a community, I’ll be able to learn from their experiences too.

We’ll find out what worked and what didn’t work together. 

They’ll follow along to learn from my mistakes and I’ll be able to incorporate lessons they learned as well.

What are your expectations?

Only modest income once the websites are fully functioning and attract enough followers.

Mostly from crowdfunding rather than from book sales. 

This lifestyle business serves as startup with tax write-offs and low initial costs.

My ROE (Return On Effort) slowly and incrementally builds to a longer term sustainable income stream.

How will you feel?

Knowledge Products for Making Money While Your Sleep

Email subscribers will become more accomplished having mastered social, digital media, crowdfunding and self-publishing skills.

I’ll feel gratified, helpful and proud.

What will you know or understand?

As an amateur muddling through and testing my self-help, do-it-yourself process I’ll finally figure out how to offer websites as products through WordPress multisite.

By following along email subscribers  can profit by following my steps and missteps.

With a member community we can refine our learned lessons and offer in the virtual world what I offer to executives in the real world.

Conduct a laboratory. Bank new knowledge and expertise mastered. Package and repackage your deposits into new products.

Where are you going?

Part Three:  What Happened on Your Journey So Far?

 

 

What’s Going On? Why?

Even though it’s a cliche I hear frequently from almost all of the mentors I’ve recruited over the last decade, I too  want to give back.

 

“… I would suggest trying EVERYTHING and testing what works for you. This is what works best for me.”

 

Time Out.

Can we talk?

About what’s going on?

And a little later about where you’re (I’m) going with this work-in-progress.

And, maybe still later about what’s happened on your (my) journey so far?

Katherine Milkovich left sage advice in a comment about self-publishing:

There are always some new strategies, some of them are good while the others are not really worth my time because I saw no results. 

I believe what Katherine did was to simply define what I mean by “conducting a knowledge laboratory”.

We don’t always know what to believe and what not to believe when we cross into new territories (real and imagined) – territories filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).

“… I would suggest trying EVERYTHING and testing what works for you. This is what works best for me.”

Periodically I revisit my approach for creating new (for me) knowledge that I can apply more efficiently and productively.

I strongly feel you have to stay relevant and more marketable than your competition.

My approach unfolds in three phases.

What’s going on?

The Knowledge Path Series
  1. What is your situation?
  2. What are the knowns?
  3. What are the unknowns?
  4. What are the threats?
  5. Why?

Where are you going?

  1. What if?
  2. What will you be able to do?
  3. What are your expectations?
  4. How will you feel?
  5. What will you know or understand?

What happened on your journey so far?

  1. What did you discover?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What insights have you learned?
  4. What are new opportunities you are better positioned for?

So how does it work? Here’s what I’m experiencing in this journey so far.  Call it part one.

What’s going on?

What is your situation? I’ve been in the advising, consulting and expertise peddling business for more years than I’d like to reveal.  Here’s what I realized.  And what I wanted to do.

Make a Million Dollars
  • You either work for someone else or for yourself. 
  • What every consultant I know wants is to make money while they sleep.
  • They already sell an expertise. 
  • They need  a website to attract new clients. 
  • If so, why not combine their online marketing with a way to earn income from it – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?

What are the knowns? In my day job at the business school I developed a curriculum, but realized most executive students weren’t attempting to build a lifestyle business.

I’m guessing you aren’t an executive.

You might play one on TV.

But I do know plenty of ex-executives who have been put out to pasture in their late 40s and mid-50s and now face these choices.

If Only. What if?

How to choose the ‘Preneur’ business model by weighing the pros and cons:

What steps should you (I) take?

I’ve already identified 12 steps (from the master list of 34) described and illustrated in Volume One  of “The Knowledge Path: How to Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest and Leave a Legacy.

Phew.

Start down a path with a  lifestyle business that you can take anywhere in the world “at the intersection of passion and quality-of-life“:

  1. Choose a business model that brings out the best in you.
  2. Conduct a preliminary marketing study about the  best places on your bucket list
  3. Activate a “Brand-as-an-Expert” campaign
  4. Maintain a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation.
  5. Engage and nurture your audience of followers.  Grow to 1000 (2000?) raving fans
  6. Make it easy for them to buy your expertise and advocate on your behalf to others.
  7.  Automate the chain of awareness, interest, liking, desire, trial, repurchase and regular use.
  8. Practice daily to master your story telling process to engage your customers imagination.
  9. Cultivate a voice that is uniquely yours and delivers on your “Brand-as-an-Expert.”
  10. Sketch scenarios in five-year time frames to highlight potential risks and rewards, threats and opportunities.
  11. Prepare to pivot and thrive when key moments during your five-year scenarios arrive.
  12. Monitor and anticipate shifts in your environment.  Swim with the new currents and clue your fans in to what’s changing.

What are the unknowns?

Building a website that will describe my work-in-process.

  • Figuring out a way of capturing the knowledge and experience in a way that results in another knowledge product.
  • I didn’t know how to write and publish a book. 
  • I knew I had a story to tell.
  • Figuring out what the step-by-step process is for self-publishing, hosting a website and blog, submitting a book to Amazon, determining all the moving parts to a social media strategy and crowdfunding campaign.
  • If the return on my effort ROE may not be worth the time to master it from scratch. (Or, for you). 
  • Costs: Incurred expenses for registering domain names over two years with additional for confidentiality, hosting my 6 sites  

What are the threats?

For example:

  • My learn-as-you-go DIY project takes too long.

    Rearranging Creative Ideas
  • Is it analysis paralysis?  The research and writing parts vary between the extremes of terror and bliss.
  • My book content ages by the time it takes to successfully self-publish the series. The perceived value tanks and no-one buys my books.
  • I lose focus and move on to Volume Two prematurely. I self-sabotage as I near the end – what’s that old song – Slip Sliding Away?
  • The content business isn’t sustainable and you can’t really make a living following this business model.

Why?

Even though it’s a cliché I hear frequently from almost all of the mentors I’ve recruited over the last decade, I too  want to give back.

And, I wanted to learn something new by testing the process for creating new knowledge and innovation – called knowledge banking.

  • How you can choose the right resort community just for you in the Western Region of the United States – all you needed was fast wifi connection and a method.
  • Write Volume Two as a new series of books – selecting the type of organizations with talent cultures as clients or employers – that bring out the best in you. Optimize the entire process by applying what I’ve learned so far.
  • Integrate a project plan. Test what works and what doesn’t.   Grow your reading audience by igniting a marketing plan and social media campaign.
  • Pick the best crowdfunding platform.
  • Publish on Amazon – give it a way individually and as a five book series to experiment with pricing (Volume One) – creating a bucket list of best places attracting people like you in quality-of-life communities.
  • Offer exclusive reports and bucket list updates.

Conduct a laboratory. Bank new knowledge and expertise mastered. Package and repackage your deposits into new products.

What works for you?

Part Two: Where Are You Going?

Bill from Colorado Springs, You’re on the Air!

I have to admit for an amateur like me, it felt good when LinkedIn analytics showed I reached 487 views of “Are You Ready for Natural Beauty and Awesome Adventures” .

 

 

Akismet has protected your site from 40 spam comments already. There’s nothing in your spam queue at the moment.

 

WTF?! Apologies to Marc Maron.

In my amateurish way it felt like capturing lightning in a bottle. 

The electrical charge felt good, I have to admit. 

But, then it propelled me into new territory where I felt uncomfortable, unready and anxious.

You know, 30 steps forward, 360 steps backwards.

Goal:

Build an email list of opt-ins of 2000 fans.

Objective: 

Figure out how.

Gap:

I don’t even have a network of 2000 people, let alone raving fans.

  • Not in Facebook.
  • Not on Twitter.
  • Not on Instagram or Pinterest.

Not on …

Wait a minute.

What about LinkedIn?

What about Flipboard?

What if I combine them?

How would I … ?

Honestly, I’d been too busily curating, composing and publishing organically without drawing any visitor traffic to speak of.

Not focusing on building a network as an urgent, gotta have it done today task on my project plan.

Here, I’m juggling too many balls in the air already.

Self-publishing kept me busy.

FREE ignites your WOMB.

Your Word of Mouth Buzz.

Marketing isn’t my strong suit, but I convinced myself I’d better figure out how.

Conventional wisdom in self-publishing says I should offer free pdfs as incentives to join my opt-in email list.

Right?

So a whole bunch of questions flooded my strained brain.

  1. I need pdfs ready to go – better finish them.
  2. When they’re done how do potential fans find them?
  3. If they find them what has to be set up in advance so they click on something to unlock access?
  4. Do I set up a page on my site with a special code, or what?

My brain ached.

First things first, I thought, finish the pdfs and worry about 2, 3 and 4 later.

It’s not like any of my sites draw volumes of traffic anyway.

So my works-in-progress:

Why what you thought you knew about tried and true career development may actually prove to be harmful to you.

This approach challenges the myths of networking that everyone hates anyway in favor for cultivating introductions and referrals to decision-makers without any competition.

In favor of being passed along from one circle of trust to another. Taps into the secret value-producing combination of doing what you enjoy with what is marketable to your new boss.

 

  • Major disruptions in our lives force us to change our normal habits. …
  • dictate where and how you retire,
  • the value of your house,
  • where you live,
  • your children’s education
  • and career choices,
  • your hobbies,
  • whether your are starting, buying, or selling a business,
  • your estate and tax planning, and even your charitable giving.

 

I discovered that mastering new rules is like trying to cross a swift moving white-water river.  

How far upstream do you need to begin?  You don’t don’t want to be swept too far downstream past your destination.

We drove over 3,000 miles through portions of California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah, having hatched the idea sitting on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

 

What was her biggest fear when she left her old life behind in the big city? Becoming isolated and irrelevant.

With the right knowledge products producing multiple streams of residual income, you can overcome the challenge of having to make it in local rural markets.

Stories about Wireless Resorters and High Country Eagles leaving urban life.  

 

Craft a vision and challenge the early change-adopters with a call-to-action.

These leaders sponsor strategic, enterprise-wide changes required to reinvent the fortunes of their organization. 

Secrets of introducing enterprise-wide change into a cultural immune system by designing Knowledge Laboratories as small, incremental experiments designed to create new knowledge.

Get in on the ground floor of an emerging trend where there is very little competition.

 

Back to my anemic social media efforts.

What about LinkedIn? Here’s what I said to myself.

“Maybe, I’ll post this post on LinkedIn just to begin the process and see what happens.”

I wasn’t prepared for the jolt when I logged back into my Know Laboratories dashboard to edit and publish my next essay.

Why?

Here’s how I’m routinely greeted:

Akismet has protected your site from 40 spam comments already.
There’s nothing in your spam queue at the moment.

From “Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

“Hi Steve, I first noticed your name as a good friend here in fort Collins, now a local judge shares your same name.

Then I started reading your bio and saw some really interesting overlaps in our work.

Notably: 1. I have been applying new economy skills since 1990 and the lessons learned are still lessons corporations have yet to figure out today.

2. I have been toying with a great AI platform “Shaping Tomorrow” and love how responsive it is and its range of cognitive search.

But I already theoretically shaped 2 major uses that would put AI in a very positive light by enabling millions.

One connects education and industry on an even keel so students graduate with current or advantaged skills. The other provides startups with a far better option than incubators or accelerators by creating a complete online support ecosystem.

Love to at least chat with you by phone. I am in Fort Collins, CO and was strongly advised by digital guru and author Brian Solis to hold off retirement as he says the brightest people out there are trying to figure out,

What I experienced between 1990 and 2002 for my last 12 years leading a more conscious marketing effort for HP. Have advanced well beyond that now.”

What the … ?

It took me awhile to read and reread it and to double-check Akismet.

Looks legit,” I concluded.

Wait, if it is, then I’ll have to respond, right?

All I could think of was Amy Poehler’s description of improv work.

To whatever you acting partner throws out at you in the scene, you come back with “Yes and …”

“Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Sometimes I feel it’s like that old joke that if it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all – only in my case it’s spam comments.

Yes, I agree we traveled some of the same paths with many overlaps. For instance, I’ve been a member of Shaping Tomorrow for years and recently rediscovered a cache of emails from Michael Jackson which updated me with major leaps in their service and access to their AI robot, Athena.

Your two initiatives sound fascinating, timely and very worthwhile, Bill. Oh, and Fort Collins is one of my favorite places in Colorado.

If anyone else is interested, here’s the link to Shaping Tomorrow”

Where did that comment originate?

Organically, here on WordPress?

Or, from LinkedIn as I’m building my audience to 2000? 

I’ve been inviting roughly 100 at a time on my LinkedIn’s gallery of “people you may know.”

So far, I’ve doubled my network from 800 to 1612  “Followers”.

Good news.

In LinkedIn I’ve been consistently getting hundreds of views. 

But no difference on my site. 

One of my Executive MBA students lamented the same thing to me recently.  

She’d circulate her blog articles, but was consistently disappointed when very few readers actually clicked through to her website.

Though still anemic, the spike from my normal “views” in the teens to hundreds of views on Know Laboratories wasn’t normal.

To be honest, I paid little attention to my site analytics.

Hmm.

Was Bill from Colorado Springs non organic?

So, I continued posting  curated articles (same type of post) but one from Know Laboratories and the other from Best West Road Trips to LinkedIn.

First, Best West Road Trips.

My LinkedIn viewership sky rocketed.  

I have to admit for an amateur like me, it felt good when LinkedIn analytics showed I reached 487 views of “Are You Ready for Natural Beauty and Awesome Adventures” .

 It didn’t last very long.

It was quickly back to reality for me when after returning to the dashboard in my Best West Road Trips website:  only 29 visitors read the curated article.

Well, what if I join some LinkedIn groups, maybe that will stimulate site traffic, right?

I searched  LinkedIn Groups and discovered two.

Hospitality & Travel Forum with 291,014 members and Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide with 284,820 members.

Second, Knowledge Laboratories.

Back to Bill from Colorado Springs.

He left a comment on Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

Something was different.

Why?

Now that I’ve been paying more attention and comparing analytics, something flipped the pattern.

Almost always viewership on LinkedIn is orders of magnitude more than on Knowledge Laboratories.

But there it was:

Know Laboratories website: 404 views.

From my LinkedIn audience of 1612: 360 views.

Now, what’s that all about?

It’s all good, right?

Still, why?

Steps:

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

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

13) Make it easy for your fans to buy a piece of you, and then advocate on your behalf. 

14) Synchronize your selling process to your their buying process — master the chain reaction  of Awareness – Interest – Liking – Desire – Trial – Repurchase and Regular Use.

 

 

 

 

Is It Worth All Those 3 am Wake Up Panics?

Here’s what WordPress describes when they say a theme is a system to “skin” your weblog, but so much more.

Gotta Get Back To Sleep
Luckily, the new WordPress theme, Twenty Seventeen, was announced and launched just in time to make my progress less like 3 am and more like 2 am.

 

Anywired’s Day Seven:  Choose a WordPress Theme.

Stealing time from here and there causes major disruptions in concentration.

First Cup at Zero Dark Thirty

The next morning or at lunch you try to pick up from where you left off.

  • What did you have in mind when you wrote that?
  • Where did you file your draft?
  • And, as any writer will tell you that’s the nature of the beast.
  • It comes with the territory.
  • However, you don’t unnecessarily over-complicate things like I do.

Only those with the same Myers Briggs tendencies – ENTP on a good day and INTP on a bad day will recognize the problems.

Oh, and in my Volume Two set of books I’ll reveal similar but different coded temperaments.

For figuring out those internal organizational cultures made up of competing tribes.

Talent Cultures.

ENTP is also known (in my original research) as PMBI which is short-hand code (actually this is the code – 101HDIHHS) for Paradoxy-Morons, Breakpoint Inventors.

The disrupters, usually found in tech companies.

Or possibly, INTP aka SPURCs, the Systematic-Professionals (113MEKHIMM) who are typecast as Unbiased Research Conceptualizers.

The people antidotes for the fake news disease, aka knowledge workers.

And running Knowledge Laboratories as a way to grow and learn through short trial and error, experiments.

See I can’t help myself.

Where was I?

Day Seven.

Right off the bat I was confused.

Themes?

Templates?

Pages?

Posts?

Pluses and Minuses, Discuss – Talk among yourselves.

WTF?

And, on top of the confusion I recall AnyWired recommended showcasing your portfolio.

Shouldn’t that be in the mix as you try to choose which theme will make your life easier while giving you a solid platform to add more functions and features?

One last note.

You know when you wake up at night and you look over at the clock and it displays 2:00 am?

I feel some comfort in knowing I can get up, turn the lights back on and jot down the brilliant flash of insight or fleeting dream sequence, turn the lights back off and climb back into bed for pretty well- rested continuation of blissful sleep.

Contrast that with 3:00 am.

Gotta Get Back To Sleep
  • That, to me, presents a no-win proposition.
  • Anxiety.
  • Problem unsolved.
  • No win set up for an exhausted nights sleep and the energy depleted next day.

So my trick.

I began noting comments about where I was when I left off in a running journal under the heading of “2 am”.

It helped me pick up where I left off at zero dark thirty, or at a faux breakfast meeting before work or at an extended lunch during work.

Satan in the Inferno is trapped in the frozen central zone in the Ninth Circle of Hell, Canto XXXIV (Gustave Doré) – Wikipedia

And, where I felt the bottom had been pulled away from my floor and I fell free fall into Dante’s Inferno, as “3 am”.

The gawd awful technical issues that prolonged the progress on my goals I clearly tagged as “3am”.

And, it began with a pretty reasonable first step.

 

Review wordpress.org’s themes in its theme directory, right?

Oops.

This might take time.

Why?

You can choose among 2,883.

At least, you can view by Featured, Popular or Latest and use their “Feature Filter.”

Those filters help you choose among layout, features and subject to narrow your selection choices.

TMI

Let me go back to find out just what a theme is.

Then figure out what I need and why.

Here’s what WordPress describes when they say a theme is a system to “skin” your weblog, but so much more.

“A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog.

These files are called template files.

A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.

Themes may include customized template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as any necessary code files (*.php). For an introduction to template files, see Stepping Into Templates.”

But, even today, some of WordPress instructions are hopelessly out of date.

“WordPress currently comes with three themes: the default Twenty Fifteen theme, and previous defaults Twenty Fourteen theme and Twenty Thirteen theme.”

Now four (Twenty Seventeen theme).

“You can switch between Themes using the Appearance admin panel. Themes that you add to the theme directory will appear in the Administration Screen > Appearance > Themes as additional selections.”

Of course I didn’t know it at the time.

I felt I should record this under “2am”.

Here’s where “3 am” drained me:

“If your host offers the cPanel control panel, and the Theme files are in a .zip or .gz archive follow these instructions.

Note: This assumes the Theme you download is a compressed (.zip) file containing a folder under which all the Theme files reside.

1  Download the Theme .zip file to your local machine.

2  In cPanel File Manager, navigate to your Themes folder. If your WordPress is installed in the document root folder of your web server you would navigate to “public_html/wp-content/themes” and if you have WordPress installed in a sub-folder called wordpress, you would navigate to “public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes”.

3  Once you’ve navigated to the Themes folder in cPanel File Manager, click on Upload file(s) and upload that .zip file you saved in Step 1.

4  Once the .zip file is uploaded, click on the name of that file in cPanel, then in the panel to the right, click on “Extract File Contents”, and that .zip file will be uncompressed.

5  Follow the instructions below for selecting the new Theme.”

As if.

Again, where was I?

Choose a theme and showcase your portfolio.

Seems simple enough.

Here’s my initial strategy.

Realizing I’m an associative thinker I needed to discipline myself.

I’d only worry about activating the first few of the websites in my network of enterprises.

Know Laboratories – knowlaboratories.com

The Knowledge Path – theknowledgepath.com

Knowledge ATMs – knowatms.com

And, then later

Knowledge Banking – knowbanking.com

Best West Road Trips –  bestwestroadtrips.com

Western Skies and Island Currents – westernskiesandislandcurrents.com

I felt the last two sites clearly needed a way to show travel photos and videos and might require a theme that showcased my content as a portfolio.

From the WordPress Theme Directory I found two themes Shapely and Travelify from Colorlib.

And, for now, know that most of my notes about them filled the “3 am” categories.

But, here’s where after the first few months of floundering I found many tips and definitions that helped me make enough sense to move forward, https://codex.wordpress.org/Administration_Screens#Categories

The Initial Theme for Knowledge ATMs

Luckily, the new WordPress theme, Twenty Seventeen, was announced and

And, launched just in time to make my progress less like 3 am and more like 2 am.

Oh.

By the way, shouldn’t WordPress and “Twenty Seventeen” to their list of themes they offer?

Just saying.

Day Six: Who Should Take the First Step the Chicken or Egg?

Day Five: Repeating 1st Grade

Day Four: Packages for Producing Profits

Who Should Take the First Step the Chicken or Egg?

What I didn’t know about publishing a book could, well fill a book.

I found almost 200 articles in my knowledge bank for “WordPress.org” beginning in July of 2016 and ending more recently in January 2018

 

Day Six:  Set up WordPress under your freelance business domain.

AnyWired said:

Every freelancer should have an online portfolio, even if it’s very simple.

If you’re a designer with time to spare you can probably take control of this step.

And, then as if it is as simple as just saying it (to me):

If you want a quick solution that is quite effective, download WordPress <http://wordpress.org/download/>  and install it under your domain name.

WTF?

What does that even mean?

It wasn’t clear to me what the difference between a domain name and a website, let alone download, install and host your own.

This whole day (Day 6) felt confusing and bewildering to me.

First of all I’ve cheated – I’m not really planning on freelancing.

I’ve undertaken this hugely time-consuming project called dumping everything you know into a manuscript

What you know (or you think) is true and helpful based on the kudos from your clients.

  • I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
  • I didn’t know where to start.
  • I didn’t know how to get smart quickly.

My one hour a day devoted to practicing my writing had already expanded to four or five hours a day before work, at lunch, after work and into the early evening.

And that was purely using a template for “Pages” that made it easy to write and publish a, well, self-published ebook.

 

In my ignorance I felt I couldn’t answer what came first, the chicken or the egg.

So, my egg-product is a book manuscript and my chicken is a website to attract potential audiences, right?

What I didn’t know about publishing a book could, well fill a book.

You need a name, a title.

Better check the first place I could think of – Amazon.

A year ago I couldn’t find a name that came close to what I thought the book was about, when it was completed.

Not as I had conceived of it and outlined it.

“The Knowledge Path”

The only variations I came across seemed esoteric.

Mine was practical.

On to GoDaddy.

What about domain names?

I typed in variations.

As soon as I found one with a .com in it I reserved it and followed Daddy’s directions for buying it.

I had to pay two years worth.

Falling into a techno hell, I couldn’t figure what came next.

Nobody recommended GoDaddy as a host.

AnyWired, and a bunch of internet marketing types I found in my knowledge bank, recommended WordPress.

If I didn’t know how to download WordPress.org under my domain, then what?

Just dipping into my knowledge bank I found 80 different research articles over a five-year period beginning in June 2012 and ending in July of 2017  for “WordPress” alone.

WordPress com or org?

Then, I discovered I had a choice to make “.com” or “.org”.

Did that mean “WordPress.org” forced me into a non-profit “business model”?

Doesn’t it make more sense to choose “WordPress.com”?

Made sense to me.

But know, oh I mean NO.

“Org” provides many more choices which should have been a warning.

But, being clueless I expected smooth sailing.

Tsunami.

Is more like it.

I nearly drowned.

I found almost 200 articles in my knowledge bank for “WordPress.org” beginning in July of 2016 and ending more recently in January 2018.

Top 3 Hosting

And, what don’t I know about hosting?

Which criteria should I use to make my decision?

Again my knowledge bank.

From the summer and winter of 2012 and then a more urgent jump to the winter and spring of 2017.

WordPress.org smartened me up:

Minimum requirements, and choosing one from the crowd can be a chore. Just like flowers need the right environment to grow, WordPress works best when it’s in a rich hosting environment.

We’ve dealt with more hosts than you can imagine; in our opinion, the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world.

If you do decide to go with one of the hosts below and click through from this page, some will donate a portion of your fee back—so you can have a great host and support WordPress.org at the same time.

Single Site Installation or Multisite?

Wait, what?

You need to find a host.

Well, I’ve just paid for six domains in a just-in-case protection of my potential intellectual property.

Do I really want to find six different hosts?

What are my alternatives?

Beginning in March and continuing until July 2017 I discovered 78 expert articles and YouTube videos producing eye-glassy technical overkill to a simpleton like me.

Just about the time I gave up trying to grasp multisite, domain mapping, plugins and codex the newer version of WordPress. org included it.

Sigh of relief.

My choice simplified.

Choose one of the three hosts that supported multisite at a reasonable cost.

I chose SiteGround.

I wanted to GrowBig!

Day Five: Repeating 1st Grade

Day Four: Packages for Producing Profits

Day 3.5:  Pink, Pitches and Pixar

Secrets

“Alas, it’s not a get-rich-scheme and doesn’t work that way.”

Get Your Piles of Cash
A Subscription Authority Site – Avoiding Scams, Schemes and Serial Secret Sellers

 

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.

You’ve built your “subscription authority site” which is a fancy way of saying you’ve opened up a place where readers and viewers can follow what you have to say and show.

Master Tools at Your Disposal

When visitors from LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube or any search engine or social media channel follow a link and arrive for the first time, they need to know how to get the most out of your subscription.

Like job-seekers who want to find a paying job at a networking event, many consultants and self-published authors want a website that turns the income streams on from day one.

Like a “Knowledge ATM.”

  • Alas, it’s not a get-rich-scheme and doesn’t work that way.
  • Instead, you write something not to make an immediate sale, but rather to gain an audience.
  • You want readers and viewers to sign up to receive your newsletter, subscribe to your feed and eventually become one of your “raving” fans.
Sign up for future releases

But, who could blame artists, authors, freelancers, consultants and moonlighters?

To me, in my “get-up-to-speed learning phase,” the Internet felt like it was overrun with Get-Rich-Quick Schemes.

Sign Up Before It’s Too Late

Face it.

  • If you’ve been struggling you’re especially vulnerable to pitches promoting secrets to success, unrealistic wealth, achieved in no time at all.
  • Especially if all you have to do is to agree to pay upfront fees to learn formulas only the pros know.

Wikipedia even weighs in:

“The get-rich-quick scheme will heavily imply that the consumer will be able to earn much more than this small investment when they apply the special, secret techniques revealed in their training material they will send.
Such training material is typically in the form of e-books or training CDs.”

Age Old Pitches, Different Media

Wikipedia does a great job of summarizing what took me years in fits and starts to identify:

  • “They will imply that anyone signing up will become rich within months to a year.
  • They will tell potential victims that the route to success is by following “secret formulas” that no one else knows about.
  • They will often claim they have been seen on various websites such as Google and YouTube, causing the viewer to assume said websites endorse the product.
  • They will use pressuring tactics to get the victim to sign up quickly, such as claiming that there are only a certain amount of copies of a CD left, or using special discount prices that are only available for a short amount of time.
  • Schemes such as this will often employ the tactic of displaying testimonials from ‘previous users.’”
  • When trying to navigate away from their website, users are often presented with popup windows offering further discounts, in an attempt to make the user feel special.”
Ponzi Pyramids

Another indicator is the way the schemes are advertised.

  • “Many schemes will post so-called “success stories” on post-your-own-article websites.
  • Schemes like this will also be advertised through serial promoters.
  • Serial promoters are individuals who are not directly affiliated with a given scheme, but will promote from one to the next almost everyday.
  • In return the owner of the scheme may do the same for them, or if the get-rich-scheme is a Ponzi scheme, the serial promoters will be invited to join early in order for them to make money from new recruits.”

Steps:

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

Packages for Producing Profits

Don’t worry.  In the beginning you’ll underestimate the scope of your project and the amount of time you’ll need to devote to it.

Maintain a Pipeline of Submitted Proposals
One way of breaking into the Gig Economy is to affiliate with other independent contractors.

Day Four: Define Your Products.

Remember, according to AnyWired’s 30-day plan you should spend at least one hour per day just developing your core skill and talent.

Will you start your own consulting business?  What about a freelancing lifestyle business?

This is different from the service you are going to offer – here you decide how it is going to be packaged.

  • It’s about getting paid for a service.
  • And later about the additional income you can produce by turning your service into products – making money while you sleep.

First things first.

Are you going to sell blocks of time?

You’ll need to research how much your competitors charge.

By completed projects?

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

You’ll need to develop another skill set, perhaps more important that the talent you offer.

  • Estimating reasonable time frames to complete projects.
  • Don’t worry.  In the beginning you’ll underestimate the scope of your project and the amount of time you’ll need to devote to it.

What will your rates be?

If you are just now starting out and are breaking into the market, you’ll want to charge less for your hourly rate for those clients who buy for price.

One way of breaking into the Gig Economy is to affiliate with other independent contractors.

  • Consultants or freelancers who have already established their businesses and may need to either turn business away or find talented people like you to subcontract the projects out.
  • You’ll want to cultivate a few seasoned businesses in your community or online to help fill the weekly income gaps while you build your own business.
  • Many times you can offer them additional services they don’t or can’t provide to their already established clients or customers.

Is there a draw back?

You will be offering your talent and expertise under their umbrella brand, so once you break even with enough coming in to pay for what is going out, you’ll want to pivot to your own brand.

Next Up: Day Five

Day 3.5: Pink, Pitches and Pixar 

Day Three: Decide on a Business Name

 

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

 

Brainstorm Your Business Name

Of course, some of these are really absurd, but they do give you an idea of some common naming conventions.

What is this Business? How do I Name It?
If there’s no domain available for that name, pick another one. Your domain branding is really important.

 

Day Three: Decide on a Business Name

Business name?

I’m not even sure if I have a business.

And, just what that business is.  Sure I identified 11 steps during my last 60-minute practice.

But, I’m too scattered this early in the morning.

First Cup at Zero Dark Thirty

Is it some kind of Chamber of Commerce for Neighborhoods”?

What problem do I address?

Is it how do you find the highest quality of life communities with people who are just like you?

Those that offer everything you enjoy?

Plus affordable real estate, shopping, dining and entertainment with award-winning schools?

Decide on a business name:

Rearranging Creative Ideas
  • Western Skies
  • Island Currents
  • High Planes Drifter
  • Desert Mountain Seas
  • Off-the-Beaten Path
  • Get-aways
  • Four Season Dreams
  • Work Travel Playlist
  • High Country Eagles
  • Wireless Resorts
  • Inspiration Beach
  • Know Regrets Atoll
  • Mountain Reefs and Lagoons
  • Western Playlist
  • Playwork
  • Fusion of Play and Work
  • Flow

Of course, some of these are really absurd, but they do give you an idea of some common naming conventions.

Once you’ve picked a name, it’s time to buy the domain for that name.

Oh, great how do you do that?

I’m not done with this and my time’s up.

I’ll have to table it for another day.

  • If there’s no domain available for that name, pick another one. Your domain branding is really important.
  • Buy a domain name that comes with web hosting, as the next branding step is to create your portfolio.

I’m only on day three and I’m already a week behind.

And I still have to practice writing for 60-minutes each day.

Day One: Behind the Scenes

Day Two: 60-Minute Habit