I began journaling long-hand in spiral notebooks years ago and noticed how life passed through my pages.
It was exhilarating.
It became an obsession.
It became so important that I forced myself to walk away for breaks.
I had become addicted to forgetting to live my life unless I took the time – hours – to write-up a memorable 15-minute experience.
Today I’m happy to say my journaling is confined to answering one question.
What would Leo da V do?
Not Michelangelo, but Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo kept stunning notebooks which revealed his wide-ranging scientific, artistic and human anatomy curiosities.
Walter Isaacson wrote about Leonardo’s genius, but didn’t gloss over how, due to his unrestrained creative inquiry during the Renaissance, Leonardo left many sponsored projects unfinished.
Musing what Leo da V would do triggers a meandering tour through unconnected feelings, thoughts, ideas, memories and fragments of story ideas.
Or what might be called my Prewrite.
“What would Leo da V do? Relish what the interviews reveal in Judd Apatow’s book, “Sick in the Head”. Like Marc Maron’s WTF podcast interviews, these are people who are in their 40s and 50s who are established in their careers – Gen-X – and reveal what it’s like to keep going, be creative, take newer risks, reflect on what’s going on around them now.”
If That, Then This …
Helen says, “Anything that comes to mind that you don’t want to forget — note it down. Sometimes re-reading your ideas can trigger another idea and it just snowballs from there.”
Leo led to a couple of surprises.
“Two organizing principles – Legacy and Taxes.”
The taxes symbolized a reminder that it is that time of year.
And, working on those taxes points out a need for making money – different business models to explore.
Legacy reminds me I need to return to my tagline – “How to Live, Love, Work, Play, Invest and Leave a Legacy” – and flesh out what it’s like to keep going and developing in the latter phases of artistic lives.
If That, Then This …
I may be cursed.
But, I’m also lucky enough that I recently took time off to trace Leonardo’s footsteps in Italy.
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What if I apply the research I’ve already deposited into my knowledge bank over the years?
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?
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.
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.”
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“:
Choose a business model that brings out the best in you.
Conduct a preliminary marketing study about the best places on your bucket list
Activate a “Brand-as-an-Expert” campaign
Maintain a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation.
Engage and nurture your audience of followers.Grow to 1000 (2000?) raving fans
Make it easy for them to buy your expertise and advocate on your behalf to others.
Automate the chain of awareness, interest, liking, desire, trial, repurchase and regular use.
Practice daily to master your story telling process to engage your customers imagination.
Cultivate a voice that is uniquely yours and delivers on your “Brand-as-an-Expert.”
Sketch scenarios in five-year time frames to highlight potential risks and rewards, threats and opportunities.
Prepare to pivot and thrive when key moments during your five-year scenarios arrive.
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?
My learn-as-you-go DIY project takes too long.
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.
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.