Instead of the blank page problem any author encounters before (or after) that 5 a.m. perked brew, I faced the opposite.
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.”
“This includes articles, interviews and tutorials.”
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.
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:
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,
Wealthy Influentials and
(16 Lifestyles, 4 for each).
Just then a thought bubble popped above my head.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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
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.