You know, there are a couple of recurring themes that keep popping up when talking to other Unemployable types. It's remarkable how these themes resemble my own experience over the last 18 years of entrepreneurial adventure.
Most everyone struggles with things they're told they should be doing (often involving scaling up) as opposed to what they want — which is simply to run a business that provides both good money and personal fulfillment. You'll hear about that again in this week's episode with John Unger, an artist who sculpts ornate fire bowls out of recycled propane tanks.
There's a word for doing what you truly want with your business instead of what someone else thinks you should do, and it's integrity. You'll get an amazing lesson on that topic in the upcoming season finale with Henry Rollins.
The other thing that comes up repeatedly comes up is what I've been calling the perpetual side hustle, which is the idea that what you're doing now enables you to do that next thing — whether bigger, better, or just different. You'll hear that from Unger, Rollins, and next week with Gary Vaynerchuk.
Check out the resources below … some interesting stuff that may be exactly what you need at this point in your own journey. Oh, and what do you think of today's graphic tagline … might make a good t-shirt, eh?
Keep going –
The Economics of Artistic Integrity
You’ll hear why John Unger protects his designs from manufacturers who steal them, even as he refuses to become a scalable “manufacturer” himself, choosing to craft each of his fire bowls by hand. It’s all about the perpetual side hustle – getting paid to do something that funds the next interesting project.
School of Life
There’s something out there that you need to do, and chances are, there’s no school that will prepare you for it. And there’s no cookie-cutter model that will tell you exactly how to do it. You have to build the model.
Contrast to Win
One of the best ways to demonstrate value is to contrast life before and after your product. Life with; life without. Motivation is key at every stage. “Okay for now” is what you’re up against, and beating the status quo is a herculean effort.
Becoming a freelancer means you’re the boss. Not only are you responsible for managing the project, you’re also in charge of accounting, creating contracts and tracking billable hours. That means you have to be inventive handling your workload and find gadgets to GTD effectively.
Having something of your own to offer, even a simple $7 ebook, virtually always beats trying to monetize your traffic with advertising. And that’s still true. But as more and more people have taken that advice, we need to get a little more strategic to build a strong business around ebooks.
The startup entrepreneur knows that they’re going to be wrong often. They’re flexible and willing to admit when they’re wrong. They don’t create a culture of punishment for mistakes. They live be the credo that if you’re never making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough.
Small businesses are doing big business, often outmaneuvering and out-innovating their Fortune 500 counterparts. Indeed, their small size is a big advantage for many solo businesses, allowing them to adapt to the marketplace and change directions quickly. Where it poses a challenge is when it comes to the day-to-day customer service.
Accredited Investing for Everyone
More people will be able to invest in entrepreneurs through crowdfunding starting May 16. And that means that more entrepreneurs with more innovative ideas will be able to launch more businesses.
Legal issues are often at the back of an entrepreneur's mind in the excitement of launching a startup. But just because you are small doesn't mean that people are going to let things slide when you infringe upon their trademark or don't tell the full truth to investors.
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