Day 3 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring 

March 2019

That was fast. It’s Day 3 on 3/1/19 and it’s already spring.  And you know what they say, “Hope springs eternal.”  Who says that, right? 

So far during the infancy of this experiment I haven’t come across the quote yet.  But, who can say what the future will bring? 

Shall we see?

What’s the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me?

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: Your ambition is high gear, but the question that keeps coming up is: At what cost?” Scorpio

So my ambition is high? I don’t think so.  I’d color it low and maybe more reasonable.  I’m struggling with answering the second part of the Holiday Tau personalized for me — at what cost?  

Okay, here’s the big reveal. I’m an Introvert.  If you look for me on the Myers-Briggs personality temperaments, you’d see me described as an INTP.  

Somewhere in my exhaustive research, the attribution is hard for me to place my hands on right now, I seem to recall the numbers of Extroverts vs. Introverts is something like 60% to 40% or a 70 / 30 ratio.  

But,  as a unique and special kind of introvert, my chances of attracting an audience that’s interested in my writing falls far short of 30% of potential readers to under 5% and maybe as low as 3%.  

Luckily, I’m fortunate that I don’t have to write to earn a living and, unlike many writers and gig economy workers who freelance,  I can afford to pay an unexpected bill like a car repair or medical bill totaling $400. 

I hope you are so fortunate too.

FOMO.

Any TauBit of Wisdom worth stealing from Aoki, Smith, or the two iconic musicians, Winwood and Wonder?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

No, not really.

If I’m honest as an introvert, it is definitely true that I suffer from an overactive inner critic, but I’m not getting the prescription.  Conserving energy is a major issue for us introverts, but I’m not so sure I’ve met my inner ambassador or inner cheerleader.  So, Mr. Aoki keep your Holiday Tau.

“2”  Steve Aoki, 41: “You do have an overactive inner critic; it’s true. But your inner ambassador also has a lot of energy, as does your inner cheerleader. Pit them against one another if necessary — whatever it takes to do your best work.” Sagittarius

I do see paths and road trips as energizing, though.  

I’ve been writing about “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. And Leave a Legacy.” The idea came to me after I fell in love with the Wild West.  

“3”  Steve Smith, 30: “No need to agonize about your choices today because there won’t be any wrong paths, just paths that get there a little sooner or later.” Gemini

The story of wagon trains leaving Missouri with families intent on making a better life for themselves in California with stops along the way mesmerized me as a child. 

Much later, in a U-Haul dueling with truckers over four days while listening to rock and roll on my radio outside the Navajo Nation, and hearing the DJ introducing hit songs in his native tongue, I imagined myself riding horseback in the 1800s from east to west.  

Some of the US 40 route dipped into portions of the iconic Route 66 where I picked it up in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo.  

Staying on the beaten path got me to Santa Monica Pier quicker, but checking out portions of Route 66 felt more adventuresome.  

Both got me to my destination. 

Then I realized one iconic road dumped me into a second.  Route 66’s east to west connection intersected with the more scenic Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California. 

And, the aha! moment gave birth to my Best West Road Trips website.

Not being too superstitious and maybe not necessarily for today, but at different times on a whim, my curiosity has turned out to be lucky for me.  

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: “Doing things differently to satisfy your own curiosity will be lucky for you.” Taurus

For once in my life, during my consulting career after a late morning meeting with a client at a Starbucks on MacArthur Blvd. near the airport with three names — SNA (Santa Ana), Orange County and John Wayne — I took the less traveled path back to my office.  

I parked my 4-Runner in  University Town Center across Campus Avenue from the University of California, Irvine’s campus and began wandering in the warm noon sun which felt good on my back.  

I walked past tables with students eating, drinking and taking a break probably calling it quits on an early Friday afternoon.  

And, quite by coincidence I heard my name called out as I walked past another set of outdoor restaurant tables.  

Long story short.  

My acquaintance wanted to know what I’d been up to and wanted my business card.  

Two weeks later she escorted me into several interviews which led to a long-term, multi-year retainer. 

Which was lucky, right? 

And, incidentally illustrated Zahn’s Holiday Tau at the top of the day — “at what cost.

Image Credit: Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate 

 

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

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

 

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.