492 days left… My Grand Plan

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492 days left… My Grand Plan

 

I’ve been doing a lot of brain dumps. I’ve been leafing through old papers and looking up old mind maps. The result of this is a settling determination on the direction I need to sojourn.

So the idea, is to make some moolah right? Get money in, quit your day job. Awesome! Sign me up.

Now how do I do that?

As we have said before, you start out with the free stuff. And not the crappy stuff like those who give junk free puke buckets most people got out there hanging in the windows of drive by internet shops. The good stuff. The stuff you get for free and think… holy cow, why wasn’t this like $200?!

You have to pay your dues. This is what everyone is telling me. I believe ‘em.

So before I rake in all this cash…. I’ve got to pave the path with some awesome free content. The fertilizer of greatness.

My Grand Plan

A while back, before my site got nuked, I talked about a men’s conference I spoke at. I handed out a survey to the 300+ men in attendance wondering what they thought about entrepreneurship.

Some were interested. Some were disinterested.

Of the ones who indicated interest, I was about to extrapolate through statistical analysis that there were 3 main problem people purported when thinking about starting their own business.

  1. I am not sure where to start
  2. I don’t have enough money
  3. I don’t have enough time

I also had women take the same survey. They had the same 3 issues as the men. I was on to something. And just now I am off to the races with a cockamamie plan to solve this problem for them. For you!

I am starting at the beginning. Before you need startup capital, before you need to manage your personal time you need to begin. How does one do this?

I have read literally hundreds of books on development (Personal and Business) over the past decade. I have been schooled in it and I have practiced it. I have learned from mentors and kept a keen ear to the ground on all thoughts pertaining to growth.

The result?

I have uncovered the principals espoused by myriads of books from hundreds of authors. I have thrown all their ideas into a giant mind blender and broken down the fabric of each concept into its most basic building blocks.

After sifting through the pulp of ideas for enough time you start to see patterns emerge. I’ve collected these patterns into a coherent method for growth.

Growth of what you ask? Of anything relating to a human. Relationships, businesses, money, health… you name it. I didn’t invent it, I just found it.

Make it FREE

SO my first totally awesome contribution to the FREE society is The Forward Journey Discovery Course. A 6 part video series that will guide you through the maze of life’s meaning and unlocking your legacy- the reason you are here.

This is how I answer the first half of problem #1 from above. You start from a vision, one that you can follow all your life. This honestly has little to do with business. It has everything to do with YOU. From this vantage point you can then launch into a business that stems from YOU that is sure to result in a life time of sustained growth into the person God is calling you to be.

And if you are one of the 3 people who actually read this blog, I need your help. I have trialed this out on 5 brave Guinea pigs and am ready to take it to the next level.

I am going to be hosting a series of webinars where I teach The Forward Journey method. I have fine-tuned the method. I need to prefect the presentation. If you are a part of the Forward Nation you will soon be getting an email detailing this in the coming weeks.

Just in case you haven’t already signed up to be on the list click here and you will be the first to know when these webinar trainings become available. Years from now we will both look back and remember how small it all started and marvel at how many people are fulfilling their callings from God because you and I worked together to produce this tool.

Remember to join the tribe and get on the leading edge of moving forward.

 

494 Days left… and I just got a REALITY Kick in the Butt!

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494 Days left… and I just got a REALITY Kick in the Butt!

Man.. sometimes you just get on a streak. I’ve been on a streak walking down easy street. 3 weeks of greatness.
Yeah… now it’s all come crashing down.
That happens ya know. But I think this is a good thing. This week I have been faced with some real  challenges at my 9-5. Last night I was pretty distraught over it. Through prayer and contemplation I decided not to act out of emotion but to face this difficult person with understanding and kindness.
Know what?
It went swimmingly! My kindness engendered their kindness and we were able to reach an amicable decision on the matter which had me pacing the floors.
It all ended well today.
But I think there is a take from this. The lessons I needed at this point in time was that I was falling back into the mindset that work is going well. The past 3 weeks I have not been motivated much to work on my side hustle.
If I am going to maintain my course of goal accomplishment in just 18 months, I can’t afford to take any weeks off! I need to me moving forward consistently and at a steady pace.

This disruption in my normal happiness has caused me to understand I was hitting a plateau! I need to keep on with the climb and not stop.
Thankfully I am gung-ho back on developing my online course. And I have even received some greater clarity about it as a result of this personal disruption.
All things work together for the good right? Can you finish the verse?

TFJ013: Flirting the Line Between Complacency and Contentment

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TFJ013: Flirting the Line Between Complacency and Contentment

In episode 13 we take a gander at why you should always be content but never complacent. If you have a fire inside driving you forward, that’s a good thing! But be sure not to leave the other half undone. Find out more inside.

496 days left… Some Great Quotes

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496 days left… Some Great Quotes

 

Sometimes it’s cool just to peruse through the greatest one liners people have to offer.

 

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”

Winston Churchill

I like this quote because it put things in perspective for me. I need to be able to walk out in the front lines and take whatever may come. No valor can take place if I am cowering behind something providing cover.

But why step out if it is only for yourself. You must put other above yourself, right? This is how happiness is found. It’s only when you look outside of yourself that you truly find something that deposits the gold you are searching for.

 

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”

Rumi

 

So often we spend our time trying to avoid pain. We seek out comfort. But those difficult things are the very catalysts which cause our growth as people. Instead of looking at the climb with disdain, perhaps we should flip the perspective and embrace the challenges as they arrive.

 

“A lack of available alternatives does not necessitate truth.”

DM Murphy

 

Ok, it’s weird I have my own quote on this list. I came up with this in 8th grade. I wrote it on my school notebook cover. I saw it all the time. At the time I wrote it I just like the way it sounded. But after rehearsal for a few months, it began to stick with me.

Just because you can’t explain something at the time… as in you don’t have an available alternative explanation, doesn’t mean what you are feeling or thinking is false. Just because someone has an answer doesn’t make that the right answer.

Often you will be left standing alone in the ring of battling ideas. Your conscious is a powerful ally in the search for truth. Just because someone is more education, more forceful or uses a lot of words doesn’t make their ideas right. You shouldn’t adopt their point of view just because you are unable to articulate your stance.

Stand strong in what you believe in even if you can’t describe it in words yet. Feelings are how you understand the state of your soul. Don’t take them for granted. We shouldn’t live by our feelings, but they should inform decisions as they reveal our orientation toward any subject.

 

499 days left… I have made $0

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499 days left… I have made $0

I’ve been at this thing hitting it hard nearly every day. And what have I got to show for it?

$0

But that’s ok because that’s the plan. I plan to start this thing for much longer without any sort of remuneration coming my way. That’s simply the principal of reciprocity.

Reciprocity

You have heard it said what goes around comes around. I often hear the fruits of this law punted to some ethereal, cosmic mystery. Call it Karma, come-up-ins, goes-around-comes-around, sewing and reaping… it has many names.

It’s the simple truth that if you invest into others and tend it well, you will inevitably receive recompense if you stand ready. So that’s what I am doing… 500 days out and I am paying my dues.

But I will have to admit there are times when I snap out of faith and think to myself, “What the heck are you doing?!”

You can’t be working for free… aint nobody got time for that!

Then, again and again I am reminded of a better way.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Jesus of Nazareth

In the end, the reason I am trying to build my own business is to build the Kingdom of God. Plain and simple. With motives like that I have no worries that the expenses will not be covered… even if they look like this:

Total Spent so far: $4,400

Total Earned: Good Will

Profit so far: $(4,400)

 

Let’s keep on keepin on! Be in it for the long term game not short term gain.

501 days left… The Impact of Unintentional Messages

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501 days left… The Impact of Unintentional Messages

We have now frequented a Mexican restaurant for the 3rd time in 2 weeks. It is good. The staff is friendly and responsive to every whim and request my group can generate.

The pricing is fair and competitive for the sleepy little town we are in. There is a great sense of authenticity amongst the relics darting the walls here and there.

All in all this business has hit the mark. All except for this one thing on the wall. It’s a drawing in a Mexicana/Aztec style. Here it is.

 

This thing is looking at me as I sit trying to enjoy my burrito. But I can’t… I just can’t. I can’t help what I see.

Follow this with me

Rumbly Tummy Spiral- man that just looks painful. You’ve experienced this before. Your stomach is doing somersaults because you thought, “Hey, it tastes good!” but didn’t think about the delicate balance of your digestive tract.

This is not the sort of imagery food patrons should be ingesting during the course of a meal. But it gets worse.

It seems the stomach ache has given birth to an explosive exit! Look at that thing. That bird looks like a rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral. Ouch! Is this my future from eating your food?

Pooping Bird

Just in case you missed the whole concept there is a “Stool” right there. I mean com’on, we get it already. You are poisoning my meal you dirty rotten chefs! I’m out of here.

Moral of this story- be mindful of the unintentional messages you send out to other people. The impact can be diametrically opposed to your intent. I wonder what sort of unintentional messages I have been giving off… hmmm.

503 days left… there are still French Fries in the Bag

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503 days left… there are still French Fries in the Bag

We went out to 5 Guys for the first time. The guy behind the counter sported an awesome handlebar mustache that stretched out nearly to the ends of his cheeks.

We ordered food and sat down. It was a cool hipster vibe on the corner street in downtown. Having 5 kids we always get double looks… people make sure they aren’t seeing in duplicate. The same looks came from the staff.

Too often our world is sterile and packed up too neatly in single serve packages. Crud, even cookies today come individually wrapped.

Our number was called and I peeked inside the bag.

Fries… all fries.

I couldn’t see burgers, just a heap of fresh fries.

I’m not sure if they always do that, but we only ordered one large fry. Down in the bottom of the bag was our cup… also full of fries. I dug through the hot greasy mess of potato straws and eventually, after rooting around a while found our burgers.

As we all sat busily munching, what I am sure was the poster child of health food, I began to think.

I liked the fact they just dropped a fry bomb in my basket. I like the fact they weren’t each in induvial servings sizes. Just a whole mess of goodness, enough for the family.

Oddly enough it was refreshing to see a chain restaurant just go full in one a concept without the health nuts and legal departments cutting out all the fun. Just dump a family worth of fries in the basket! They’ll love it… and we did!

And now it’s got me thinking again.

How often are we more concerned with our packaging than what’s inside?

How much time do we take crafting something to look good, and not quite as much time on making sure that it actually is good?

Maybe we need to go full in… just dump all the stupid fries in the basket. Let the quality speak for itself. Can’t a business take a cue from 5 guys and just be real? Drop the pretentious single serve, individually wrapped piece of pony crap?

Instead hire a dude with a handlebar mustache and make the customers happy. I like it. I’m going to do just that. Perhaps minus the mustache employee part- but who knows?!

TFJ012: 5 Tips to Avoid Unnecessarily Stupid Risks in Your Business

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Happy Valentine’s day, this week in episode 12, D gives you 5 techniques (Ooch, Pivoting, Sunken Cost Fallacy, Critical eye, Avoid Opportunity Costs) that successful business owners have modeled for you to avoid STUPID risks. It’s all about the calculated risk that brings success- NOT BLIND FAITH!

506 days left… 13 Exits

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506 days left… 13 Exits

 

32 miles, that’s how far away I drive to the plant from Chattanooga. 32 miles there and 32 miles back.

I suppose I take it for granted that I always arrive at my destination on time. This morning I was thinking about this. Something as simple as knowing where you are going and then getting there. It’s easy.

The reason nits easy is because I know exactly where I am going. Even if I am driving somewhere new to me, I have GPS turned on with the address loaded. I won’t miss a turn, I will get there on time.

But that’s in a car. Life, on the other hand, that’s quite a different experience. We have no GPS to give us turn by turn directions. Heck we don’t even have an Atlas to reference (Remember those?). Driving is easy, living is difficult.

I counted the possible exits I could have taken on my trip into the plant this morning. 13 exits are open and available to lead me away from my destination all along my route.

At any time I have the freedom to turn away and follow one of these rabbit trails to who knows where it would end up. But my mind is on my work so I forestall any inclination to go exploring and keep my sights 32 miles down the road to my end goal.

And that’s where I think so many of us get it wrong in life. We have no end goal, no destination on which we affix our gaze. Lacking a specific point on the horizon, your ship is likely to steer off course at any moment… and you would never even know it.

We take those exits and travel those rabbit trails which inevitably lead to nothing but frustration and disillusionment. Problem is, we don’t recognize them as off cutes since we don’t recognize the main path. We think this is how life works. And endless cycle of frustrating disillusionment; one after the other.

Do you know what your end goal is? Your final destination the point all your travels are pointing toward?

508 days left… The Homeless Lady and the Anonymous Pizza

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508 days left… The Homeless Lady and the Anonymous Pizza

Today is Wednesday and something great happened. I had a good day at work and I came back to the hotel room in a good mood. My kids all hid behind the elevators doors and scared the crap out of me as I exited the elevator to the 3rd floor. Thanks guys.

But we were all hungry. I had been wanting to try this pizza place just around the corner. The past year it’s been under renovation (well it seemed like a year) and now it is finally done. It’s called the Mellow Mushroom.

We all walked over in a hurried pace because the weather channel is calling for rain any moment. On our way, a homeless lady came up and asked us for change. I wasn’t lying when I told her we had no cash. I never carry cash when traveling… especially in a bigger city.

She walked away, I am sure having heard the same line from countless others that day.

We walked into the newly remodeled restaurant and were pleasantly surprised by how good the pretzels with beer cheese was! We ordered some pizzas and talked together as a family. But Isaac was a little glum. He padded over to Kate and whispered something in her ear then turned and sat back down with a wry little smile.

Kate leaned over the table and told me Isaac told her he had been praying for that homeless lady.

Isn’t that great? I had just told the kids we would be doing some family Bible reading after dinner. And here is my 8-year-old praying for the least of us. Awesome.

We ate our food. We all were stuffed with an entire pizza left over. We boxed it up, I paid the bill and as we started to walk out, Isaac made a petition.

“Would it be ok if we gave our pizza to the homeless lady?” He asked in such innocent love the only answer was, “Of course we can.”

We walked back to where we first encountered her. She wasn’t there. Her upturned crate was where she had left it with her ripped paper sack continuing her only other change of clothes hadn’t budged. The storm was looming ahead and we needed to walk back to the hotel or get drenched.

So Aidan gently slid the pizza box containing $27 of gourmet Pizza onto the overturned crate where she sits and we walked away. Isaac was beaming from ear to ear the whole walk home.

I think our Bible reading had extra special significance for the kids tonight as we didn’t just read about Jesus, we lived it. And that thought brings me back to a decision made to donate 11% of all revenue made from my business venture to charity. Last week I came across this verse in my devotions

 

Luke 14:14, “Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay.”

That’s real. Helping those who have no ability to repay you and our little charity tonight has got me stoked for spending that 11% on some others who cannot ever hope to repay!

510 days left… Why am I Leaving this Job Again?

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510 days left… Why am I Leaving this Job Again?

 

Yesterday was a great day. It started off with a great worship service. One year ago a friend died quite unexpectedly on Super Bowl Sunday. To remember him and encourage his surviving family our church family all sported Superman shirts… a long time favorite of his.

Right after this picture was taken the family loaded up in the rental van and headed south. I need to work in Chattanooga for 2 weeks straight. My employer is awesome. They encouraged me to bring the fam along. So we are all going together.

They get a 2 week vacation (Badly needed in the midst of a Michigan Winter) in a sunny mountainous region of the country. Yay… of course I still get to work every day. But that’s ok.

Kate and I were talking in the car on the ride down, and somewhere around Indianapolis she turned and said to me

“So pretty much your company is paying for our hotel room for 2 weeks, our food for 2 weeks and this car for 2 weeks… right?” (That amounts to about $4,000)

“Yep.” I confirmed.

“So why do you want to quit? Isn’t this most people’s dream job?”

She’s got a point. I set my own hours, I get to travel, I am always on a new challenge every week on cutting edge technology… who would want to leave all that when you add on the fact the salary is generous?

Well, I guess I do. It’s not that I am unhappy with this job. Actually, I really love it! I never dread Monday. I get excited when I think about work, I’m never depressed about it.

So why am I on this 18 month journey (down to 17 months now) to change it all up?

 

Being Honest

I suppose the reason is this still feels like a job. And I don’t want a job. I want a legacy! I want to do something that touches down to the very depths of my purpose. Auto parts just don’t fulfill that inner need.

I’m not ungrateful. I am forever thankful to God that He has provided so well for my family. Yet, how many times have my favorite Bible characters been in a good place in life, a comfortable place, and yet God called them out of comfort into greatness.

That’s how I see it. I am trading in good for Great. There is a fine line between compliance and content. I think we all need to be content without being complacent.

Just like Paul, we are happy with much or little, but we keep pressing on toward the prize. And the prize of my life is not to make auto parts chapter and last longer, it is to advance the Kingdom of God. That’s why. It’s like getting called from the comfortable land of Ur to an unknown but Promised Land of Canaan.

It’s a Forward Journey.

TFJ011: A 2-Part Divine Prescription to Cure Common Business pitfalls

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This week in episode 11 we take a look at the flip side of entrepreneurship, the potential pitfalls awaiting you as you head out your door into the unknown. Fear not, you can navigate these waters with a little help from your friend D.

513 Days Left and I am glad to be an American

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513 Days Left and I am glad to be an American

 

This week I led an event designing a new dual air induction system for the dual turbo Cadillac ATS. We had a new program manager join the event. Getting to know him has been educational in the comforts I enjoy as a native born of ‘Merica.

Laszlo

He is an unassuming gentleman, always with a smile. Today asked him about his background as his accent is not one I could pin point. I asked him about it and he told me he is in fact, no joking here, from Transylvania.

He is Hungarian. After we made a few dumb jokes about being Hungry and eating, I asked him about his background.

His grandparent lived in the Hungarian area which is now a part of Romania. After WWII, the axis of evil divided up the land. His grandparents were wealthy land owners and now found themselves on the wrong side of the ethnic divide.

He related a childhood memory to me. He remembered packing up only a fraction of what they owned into the car, which was a luxury in Eastern Europe at that time, and driving off. They would never see their family home again, something they had settled in for generations.

Getting to America

Australia, Canada and America were all possibilities, if only one would accept them. Australia closed their doors and Canada refused to take them as refugees. The USA were the only ones to respond favorably to the family.

But they needed to get to the USA somehow.

Getting through the cluster of European countries to an international flight was difficult. His father forged some passports and took a blunted needle which he heated over a candle to painstakingly mimic the official seal imprinted on each family member’s fake passport.

It Worked

A church in Kalamazoo Michigan sponsored the family. When Laszlo landed in America for the first time they greeted him with a teddy bear and a soccer ball. A family let them stay in their home until they could find a more permanent solution.

Now he married a local woman and they have 2 kids. His family soon got back in their feet and all are successful professionals in the land of opportunity!

If you have been born in America, like I was, we have been gifted something miraculous. Yes, we may hate our president and our media sucks the big one… but overall we are still blessed!!! Awe have opportunities to freely build our lives where the only limit is our heart and determination.

Today just be thankful you are where you are. I am.

515 Days left and my Finger is Bleeding

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515 Days left and my Finger is Bleeding

 

Who says salary folks won’t get their hands dirty? Mine are bleeding and blistered. Yet it turns out its all for not. Ever had a day like that?

 

I am leading a group at work for a new design of sound tubes for the Ford Mustang. What’s a sound tube you ask?

Back in the 1960’s America gave birth to the Muscle Car. American Muscle was defined by high horsepower, aggressive styling and roaring sounds. These cars growled when you hit the gas. The sound is what turned heads and demanded the respect of all the home mechanics on the block.

Today we don’t have many home mechanics. Everything is controlled by a computer not a carburetor. The average person can’t monkey around under the hood anymore. It’s all gone state-of-the-art.

Among the changes of American muscle cars is the improved efficiency of the engine. They put out way more power and consume less gas. Cool. But they have also gotten a good bit quieter than the old versions.

Today, the Mustang’s engine purrs instead of roars. Baby Boomers and the Gen Xer’s want that old feeling they got from those original cars when they were young. Sitting in the cockpit of a mustang is more comfortable than race inducing.

So we tried to fix that.

We port engine sounds from under the hood directly into the cabin. We do this through a sound tube. Now a driver can hear the engine rev when the gas is floored. It’s a better user experience.

 

We built a 130 parts yesterday trying to make the thing work. We met mild success and don’t have enough parts to rerun a sample today. So we are breaking down the parts to reuse each component to build.

This is why I am bleeding. The different lengths of plastic and rubber tubes banded together with what’s called an Oetiker clamp. It’s a solid metal band that gets pinched tight under very high pressure. We do this so people won’t money around and undo the connections. It’s a non-serviceable joint. You can’t take a screwdriver to it and pop it off.

But pop it off is just what me and the team needed to do. So here we are at 8:00AM all standing in a large circle working on cutting, bending and cursing these metal bands to come off. They do their job really well. They don’t come off.

Bloody Finger

As I wrench on it hard, my Hand slips and my knuckle crashes into the table… and now I am bleeding. By the time I clean it up and come back another one of the guys has done the same thing and is also bleeding.

Within about 20 minutes another guy already has blisters on his hands. We are gripping the metal with nippers and bending it by sheer force until it eventually comes undone. It is taking forever.

Then a guy named Ron walks over to see what we are doing. As the group leader, I hand him a nipper and part and ask him to join us.

This guy.

He takes the nippers, positioning them just so, flexes his forward squeezing down on a specific spot on the clamp and the thing pops right off.

Ron is not bleeding like me.

He hasn’t got blisters like Steve.

Steve actually just walked into the conference room and says, “Man my hand hurts!”

Good timing Steve. Now I have just responded to him, “Where was Ron when we started ay?”

“Exactly”, Steve just nodded back. So here we sit, nursing our wounds knowing full well with just that little bit of education we could have saved ourselves from the annoyance of bloody knuckles and blistered palms.

 

What in your life is producing those bloody knuckles and blistered palms? Are you working harder instead of smarter? Seek out the Ron in your situation. It’s worth it!

January Review: 17 Months Left

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It’s the end of the first official month of my New Year’s Resolution to kick my 9-5 career to the curb in just 18 months. January went fast! Here are the high points of the month that I think you can learn from.

What have we Learned so far?

Step one in this journey was to put my goal out into the world for all to see. That was scary. I literally plastered it all over the home page of my website. Anyone can see it up there. Even my boss’ can take a gander.

If one is to truly commit to an endeavor there must be no reservation. I overcame those reservations by letting the world in on my challenge. Come what may, I am playing or keeps.

I truly think putting yourself out on the line is the best way to grow. Yes, I might fail. Everyone might laugh. That’s ok. I will certainly learn some valuable life lessons from this 18-month challenge. Even if I don’t get out of debt and replace my income, I will be further along down the road than when I started 2017.

 

The Online Space is Intimidating

My wheelhouse is product manufacturing. Moving into the online business space is weird. Most of my training is outdated up here. I can’t afford the $2000 price tag of a professionally designed website. I am doing it all myself.

To bootstrap represents but one-half of the coin. Flip it over and I am going to learn how it all works. I don’t want to be a web designer. I want to know what it takes to start your own website. How else can I help others if I haven’t gone through it first hand? Side A: Bootstrap makes it affordable for anyone. Side B: Learning how to help others do the same is worth it.

From what I can tell the successful websites get TRAFFIC. As you can see in the report below, there are 13 days in January where no one visited the site. The best day was 27 visitors. This isn’t a bad start. It’s also not a stellar start either.

It is what it is. The site hasn’t been my main focus this month my book is. But still, the website is my central hub for all thing TFJ! You too can use your own website as a sovereign piece of virtual real estate where anyone can knock on your door and engage with you.

Google Dashboard Jan

This is my Google Analytics for January. 19 people googled The Forward Journey and I had 90 visitors.

Convert Kit Progress

This is my report from Convert Kit, the company I use to manage my customer relations. I haven’t really been engaging much with this either as all efforts are focused on the book. I added 2 people to the Forward Nation in January so we are up to 70 in total. It’s not 100 but it’s better than 0!

As far as subscribers to the Forward Nation we added 2.

Libsyn jan Report

Podcasting launched in December. I’ve got 9 episodes to date with 173 listens. I didn’t make Itunes new and noteworthy and that’s ok. In 18 months I am going to look back at these first 20 episodes and shutter on how bad they are. Hey, we have to begin somewhere!

 

I Bought a $500 Course

I started an MBA online training course for business. I am doing this mostly for your benefit as #1, I already have my MBA so I can #2 report back to you the value of such a course.

Basically, I want to answer if this is this worth your time or should you be

Basically, I want to answer if this is this worth your time or should you be wary of these types of offerings online?

Realize, this is not any affiliated higher education training. This is a private site offering business training online. I have always been skeptical of these types of businesses. But hey, never know till you try.

In January I tried.

And for the first few classes, I was very unimpressed. When you enter the Masters level coursework you have a heightened sense of precision and depth. Neither of these attributes describe the coursework.

I won’t want to judge too early on this program. It seems to me they are using the “MBA” title loosely as a catch-all for business concepts. From the onset of the instruction I would call it:
Introduction to business, or business 101.

 

Trip to Mexico

Mexican Restataunt
Also in January, I took a trip to Mexico. Business, not pleasure. Yet I did find ample quantities of pleasure on my trip. Just not around any taxis.

My trip was successful from a business perspective. We lowered the part price from $64 to $51. A huge feat. In addition, we were able to lower our capital expenditures by $780,000!

My trip was also successful from a social perspective. I met a guy named Marco who made me think about how much I live inside a shell. He showed me introverts can be just as effective in social settings as extroverts if we but try.

Living out Parkinson’s Law

Getting organized with my new system to stay on track

Getting organized with my new system to stay on track. I’ve been trying to do too much! As J.R.R Tolkien put in, I feel I am like butter scraped over too much bread. So I simplified. I cut out Twitter and the idea of producing teaching videos. I am focusing on the Podcast, these posts, and my book.

And that is enough for me right now. Is it making me any money at the moment? Nope.

Is that ok? Yep. Set realistic spaces for work to be accomplished. Just as Parkinson’s Law says, a task will fill up the allotted time. By doing too many things I am forced to push the timing out and they just slog down in muddy wheel spinning.

In this case, less is more and more is great.

Podcasts
Podcasts I am listening to Chris Ducker now and kicked off Mike Sweet. Still loving the Cliff Ravenscraft Show and Smart Passive Income Podcast.

Jan Podcast list

So that’s my very first Month Review of my Journey to kick my 9-5 off the boat and on to bluer seas. Is bluer a word? It sounds like it should be a word.

520 Days Left and I am Organized

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520 Days Left and I am Organized

 

After the life lesson shared in my last post, I want to tell you about my new Organizational effort. It’s directly related to that piece of advice.

In life, it can be a mighty struggle to retain one’s focus on a single object for a prolonged period of time. It takes a trained mind to engage with a single struggle and not lose its grip.

I am finding myself, just one month into you entrepreneurial adventure, already slipping away from my focus point. I need help.

So I did something about it

There is this vagueness that has been misting up my windshield as I try to drive forward in my new venture. I have these moments of clarity but the pass just as soon as they erupt.

My response is to pull out the big guns and set them to fully automatic.

That’s right people. I have created the mother of all to-do lists… ok, maybe that’s a little overly sensational. But I’m making a big effort to be intentional about each and every day in a strategic way.

Here is how I am getting Organized

A while back I read an in-depth scholarly article on the brain’s ability to process paper-based task systems compared to electronic alternatives. The researcher’s conclusions? Writing with pen and paper is superior in your brain’s opinion. Your brain simply remembers and does more when you use the archaic quill and parchment of the days of yore.

Hey, I didn’t write the paper.

The past few years I have been relying on my smartphone to handle my calendar work. And know what? When I think about it… I have really been slipping on my discipline of my daily one thing to do.

Baby, I am coming home. Pen and paper, welcome back into my life. I’ve got a system and here it is.

The Calendar System

I have a rolling 3-month calendar of daily to do’s. But there is only one task per day. This is my uber-task. My #1 priority for the day which I will strive to complete with all my anti-procrastination muscles.

3 Mo Calendar

The Daily Planner

I have a daily planner I carry around everywhere now. I take the big task for the day and break it down into smaller chunks which I can actually complete and move me toward task completion. I can also stand back and think about what needs to be done when.

Seeing information this way allows my brain to calibrate my upcoming workload. I can adjust my “holy Crap” settings to accommodate the craziness I am forcing on myself.

 

Notice i have left quite a few holes. I am going into the future and placing the really big tasks which need to be worked around. Each week I can fill in the next weeks daily tasks which support the upcoming milestones, but only if there is an open slot! See how that works?

522 Days Left and I am Prioritized

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522 Days Left and I am Prioritized

 

My new system of solopreneur productivity awesomeness.

How it works

This whole system cost me $3 to create. It’s just (3) 11×17 sheets with a grid from excel and a bunch of colored, small, post-it notes. That’s it.

I’ll post some pics on Fridays post to show you how it all works. But for today I am thinking about an important lesson I learned many years ago and the importance of priority.

One day sitting in a car next to my Pastor’s Pastor, I was keenly listening for advice. I was about 22 or so at the time and really looked up to this man. He was speaking to me about some language studies he had been doing… yes, there are people out there who enjoy studying words. And also yes, there are people out there like me who like to listen to such people.

Get over it. You will benefit from my nerdiness I promise.

I learned something great that day in the car. He turns to me and says, “I’ve just realized the fact that it’s grammatically incorrect to pluralize the word priority.”

You Can’t Pluralize Priority

I asked him what he meant by that.

“Think about it.” He replied. “A priority is something you put at the very top. It’s the thing that goes straight to the front of the line. By its very nature, you can’t have more than one. So making the word priority plural into ‘priorities’ is technically incoherent.”

That piece of small talk has always stuck with me. Human were only ever meant to have one main thing. And as I once heard Steven Covey say, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

We go astray when we try to focus on two things at the same time. It’s almost like God was trying to tell us something when you gave us binocular vision. You can only focus on one small area in the vast array of your perspective. Trying to look at more than one focal point results in blurry and double vision.

This is true for your eyes. It’s also true in your mental focus. Try to have priorities at your own peril. Keep a priority subject and let that guide you all the way to success.

Part of getting organized is to clear out the jumble of priorities and to settle on just the one thing that will become your main thing.

It won’t always have to be your main thing. You can move on to the next after you either fix it or fail it. Either way, you learn and go into the next main thing a wiser person. You’ll be more apt to land upon success with each passing main thing.

Cut the Field to Just One Focus

I have had too many main things competing for my focus. So I’ve cut some out.

Twitter is going bye-bye for a period. So it the idea of producing weekly teaching videos. It’s simply too many things. Right now my #1 thing is to finish my book. Then, after that is complete and finished, I will move on to the next main thing!

How many things are competing for your #1 spot? How will you make a priority goal that rises above all others? Having a single focus at a time is going to pay off. I promise.

524 Days left and My head is overcapacity

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524 Days left and My head is overcapacity… my brains are spilling out!

 

Excuse me as I try and pick up my gray matter and shove it back in my cranium. I’m going nuts. I am super stressed out that I have all these plans and just not enough me to go around to get it all done.

Breathe… Chillax…

Ok. 2017 has started. I have a plan to quit my day job and be a successful entrepreneur in 18 months. To do that I need a few things done:

  • Pay off my Car
  • Buy the Wife a New Car
  • Pay off my Student Loan
  • Pay off my House
  • Have a Security Blanket for the Wife (Huge Emergency Fund)

2 Birds 1 Stone

The idea is that paying off those big ticket items will not only get me out of debt in total, but also provide the framework for reoccurring income. Income generated in 18 months to pay all that off will sustain my family thereafter.

That’s great. Debt- bird 1, self-generated income- bird 2.

The stone? A whole bunch of projects designed to provide the world value and myself fair compensation.

It’s the “whole bunch” that’s got me freaking out.

There are few ways I could tackle this right? I could get one really really big idea and hope and pray it works. But with the whole bird analogy it’s got me thinking I shouldn’t be putting all my eggs in one basket.

The other end of the spectrum is just as bleak. Getting a thousand teeny tiny bits to all add up to a big amount seem lifeless and void of passionate pursuit. I want to enjoy this 18 month journey.

Few but Important

Ok. So I break it up across multiple projects. Each smaller but significant. If one fails, well there are others that can pick up the slack. This sounds right to me. So I’m going with it.

I’ve generated a list of what I think will crack my threshold for earnings. I’ve aligned it to marry with my mission which is to provide the best content to Christians who feel the entrepreneurial itch. Some of it is free… well most of it is free. But the big cornerstone items are going to be paid resources. This is how I will accomplish my goal.

Among the ideas are books, video courses, small group curriculum and toolkits.

The thing about me is I am a slob… except when it comes to work. At work I am a perfectionist. It drives my wife bonkers.

“DARREN!” she yells, “How can you keep an immaculate office at work and not even pick up your socks at home?!”

The woman has a point. I am an organization Nazi at work. At home, not so much. Since TFJ falls under the category of work it is taking on the perfectionist side of my personality. Which means I obsess over every detail.

Obsession = More Time Required

I am being tempted to lump these project together. But I keep reminding myself of previous training.

Multitasking is sin.

If you want quality output, you must use the ingredients of focus and effort. Anything else like multitasking is like pouring vinegar in a batch of cookie dough. Not good, simply not good.

I say all that to say this. I’ve come up with a solution to keep my neurons firing appropriately. I think it could help you if and when you start your own projects. I can’t claim patents on this solution. It’s more an amalgamation of previous solutions I’ve worked with.

I am using a 3 calendar system. Current month, next month and 2 months out. Every day I have 1 task to complete.

I’ll use colors to indicate of which section of the mission they belong to. I know myself. I need rewards to keep going. I have built in daily satisfaction nuggets. Pulling off a completed post it and throwing it away is going to provide just the oxytocin boost needed to keep on. Seeing a calendar go from a rainbow to clean and clear white is going to be gratifying to me.

3 weeks in on the 18 month challenge and I think this tool is going to be instrumental in my success! What are you doing to keep yourself on track?

Pictures to come next time.

529 Days left and I almost died in a taxi!

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529 Days left and I almost died in a taxi!

 

Just breathe… you made it.

Right now I am safely in my hotel room in a very nice part of town. But getting here from landing in the plane. Start from the beginning.

First of all, it was a beautiful fly in. 50° and sunny in January? Yes please.

Then we landed. Queretaro had about a million people so it’s a good size city. There was to Jet Bridge to exit from. Ah, no big deal I enjoyed the sun on my face walking from the plane to the terminal.

I went through customs hoping I wouldn’t get the red light indicating random body cavity search. I got the green light. Someone up there likes me.

There is a single taxi service to get to work. I’m not going to the hotel because my plane in Houston as on the runway for half an hour and I missed my connection to Mexico. I needed to make up for that lost time.

I try to explain where I need to go to the seemingly 13 yr old taxi receptionist. Her English is about as bad as my Spanish. I pull up the address of the factor in my iPhone. She scribbles something down on a yellow card and suddenly someone is taking my luggage to a white taxi.

I thought they were supposed to be yellow? Anyway.

I driver asks me something in Spanish. I look at him with a look that expresses….”no idea buddy”. He laughs and I get in the back.

I’ve heard stories of the taxis in Mexico. So I’m following his route compared to what Google says on my phone.

(This is one of the nicer areas I cold find on the ride… it got much worse)

They are not the same. Ok, he turns the wrong direction here and my hand is on the door handle ready to bail. I’m coming home with both my kidneys thank you.

45 minutes later he stopped the car. Between this I almost died a few times from oncoming traffic…. Are there no traffic laws in this country?! But ill skip that part. He turns around and asks me where I need to go…

Where do I need to go? Are you kidding me? He’s the driver not me. I tell him my company.

He’s never heard of it.

He asks me if I have directions on my phone. So I call up Google Maps and I am giving him the turn by turn directions to get there. We are about 5 miles away from the building.

I guide him through a stretch of treacherous roads that make Michigan roads looked like they are paved in gold.

Google tells us we have arrived. I’m not kidding you it’s an empty dust lot bookended with used tire huts made from old cement pieces and stucco. This is not where I want to be.

Ok, I’m not freaking out. I’m sure this is normal for everyone their first time in Mexico.

I called someone from the factory and they had to give him directions on how to get there. 20 minutes later and I was dropped off at the beautiful factory! Yay!

So yeah that was fun…

531 Days left and I’m in Mexico

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531 Days left and I’m in Mexico

Aloha… wait, no that’s not right. Hola! There we go.

Greetings from sunny Mexico. I’m here on business. Oddly enough I’m leading a group of predominantly Germans deep in the heart of Mexico.

Day 1

Hey D, welcome to Mexico. Thanks for agreeing to lead our event. Your goal, should you choose to accept it, is to whittle down a $2,000,000 budget for this program so it only costs us $1,000,000.

Oh, that’s all? Sheesh why didn’t you ask for something at least a little difficult?

So I’m a little unnerved. No idea how I am going to do this.

Obviously I can’t go into specifics but we are trying to cut into new technology for an induction system. It’s nothing I’ve ever heard of before. Today is going to be interesting for sure.

Last week when they told me the expectations of the event, there was a twinge of regret for taking the challenge on sight unseen. What if I fail? What if we lose the contract?

What if

But I know the “what if” game. I also know how to beat it. I call it the 180 rule. When doubt creeps in and spews its venom, “What if _________ happens?!”

I just spin it around 180° and look at it from that perspective instead. How this works.

What if you FAIL? Vs What if I SUCCEED?

What if it all goes wrong? Vs What if something goes really right?

What if you get kidnapped, tortured and killed? vs What if I gain valuable experience that allows me to quit my job, spend more time with my kids and I live my legacy?

It’s scary when someone expects you to come up with $1,000,000 in a weeks’ time. Most people want to run from that kind of responsibility. But not me. I say bring it on. If I fail at least I’ll learn a few ways I can’t save $1,000,000 in one week.

 

Here is the challenge: when you are presented with a challenge, take it! Even if you don’t win you will learn and learning produces far more wealth than winning because learning informs your strategy which enables the repeatable win. Don’t back down, step up and try. If you fail you won’t be any worse than me. At least I’ll be in good company!

But what If you try and you win?

534 days left and I am dealing with Parkinson’s Law

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534 days left and I am dealing with Parkinson’s Law

Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with a disease.

Here’s the official definition: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Have you ever heard of this before? I had not until just a few months ago. It struck true with instant certainty.

Take Control

One of the reasons I want to kick my 9-5 job in 534 days, is to enjoy the freedom of building my schedule with activities that really matter to ME! Case in point- MEETINGS.

Now I don’t know about you, but I think meetings are one of the biggest wastes of time. To me, it’s a slumber fest on all but the rarest of occasions.

When is the last time you left a business meeting thinking… wow, I am so glad that just happened! The reason meetings are so terrible is because of Parkinson’s Law. Humans are going to fill up the allotted time.

If I give myself 3 years to write my first book, the project is going to use every bit of that time. Conversely, if I give myself just 3 months to finish the same book, I am still going to use every bit of that time… just in a more thorough way.

In fact, having learned about Parkinson’s Law has helped me craft a 3-month deadline for writing my book. A deadline which is here at the end of January! Know what? I am right on schedule.

Meetings are the same length time after time. But why? They last an hour. But if we made them last only 15 minutes and still demanded the same outcomes, we would make it work. People would prepare because there would be no down time.

Knowing the people in the business industry, if I lobby to shrink meetings by ¼ of the time, they would simply schedule 4X more of them.

Sponge it Up

This phenomenon is much like one of those sponges you get in the $.25 machine. They are all dried out and squished in a little plastic egg.

You toss em in the bath tub and they expand into this huge dinosaur, or shark or whatever. But know what, throw em in a 5 gallon pale and the same sponge will expand to the size of the pale. SAME SPONGE.

Throw it in a mixing bowl and it will expand only that big. Toss it in a coffee cup and blamo it only gets that big. Projects and task fill up the space given to them.

You and I need to do ourselves a favor and quit building giant terrariums for our tasks. Let’s just get stuff done. Plop your task in a coffee cup and get moving. Use the extra time not eaten up by excess taskitis to rest, relax or recuperate.

I’ve incorporated this idea already into The Forward Journey, I just didn’t have a good name for it. Now I do. Parkinson’s law.

Today’s challenge: What types of tasks are swelling up to fit the container you’ve cut out for them? Cut the allotted time in half on one such task and see what happens. I bet its not as horrible as you think.

536 days left and the Third Try does the Trick

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536 days left and the Third Try does the Trick

 

This week I’ve had 2 separate fortunate events happen. Both of which came through on the 3rd try.

My First Fortunate Event

 

The first is a hotel booking. I had learned I could get a discount on my hotel room. When I booked I had no code. Now I have one. Yay.

 

Just have to get it applied right?

 

Tougher than one might imagine. I called the travel booking company and am on hold. Then a voice greets me and says if your trip isn’t within 48 hr please call back later… gee thanks.

 

So I do the next best thing, I call the hotel. Only that’s a dead end too. They lady who promised to help me can’t. She offer plenty of apologies but can’t get my room rate down from $170/night. I’m staying 2 weeks at this hotel so that a good chunk of change. Almost $2,500 when you add in taxes and fees.

 

Two strikes. I’ll give it one last go and ask to speak to someone else. Bingo! This lady has the same problem as the first. But she goes a step further and researches why it’s not working. She can’t figure it out either. But she gives me the discount anyway for my troubles.

 

The room dropped from $170/night to $128/night. That’s a savings of $588! Screw Geico, that didn’t even take 15 minutes!

 

Sometimes you just need to keep at it, even when the first attempt is an endless hold and the second is fluttered with incompetence.

 

My Second Fortunate Event

 

Part of my mission this quarter is to build a reputation of authority in the area of Business development. I figure having a lecture under my belt at a university would help me achieve that end.

 

It took me three avenues to finally get at the Dean of the Business School. But I got there. In the end, I was successful by contacting the recruiter who got me interested in the school.

I know, not your first thought. But she proved to be the key to unlock the whole thing. She remembered me and upon hearing my pitch of what I wanted to do not only presented all my info to the Dean, but also has unofficially signed me up for some recruitment meetings.

The whole thing almost hit a snafu. In my introductory letter I mention a word that would almost unwind all my efforts.

I had been spinning the idea as a free, no strings attached lecture at no cost to the University or students. Good. That’s what I want.

But in my letter I mentioned the idea that I had a course. Being a university they immediately took that to mean I wanted my Curriculum to be taught at the University!!!

The word course almost killed the project. Thankfully I got it amended with the term “expert talk” before it got to the Dean.

The point

 

Don’t be too bowled over by resistance. The winds and waves of opposition come against you. That’s life. It’s just going to happen. Don’t be afraid to get back up to the plate for a third swing. Never know, just might get a hit.

TFJ007

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TFJ 007: 4 Reasons Why the World Needs You as a Christian Business Leader

I give you 4 compelling reasons why you need to engage your best ideas into productive business ventures. They are:

1)The overwhelming quantity of pointless crap in the marketplace.

2) Many people are not involved where they need to be.

3) Some types of people will only respond to your unique voice.

4) Where the hand of God rests, destruction and prosperity follow

538 days left I just purchased a $500 MBA course

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538 days left I just purchased a $500 MBA course- will it be worth it?

Ok, you’ve seen all the advertisements for continuing your education. At the very least you’ve seen the University of Phoenix ads. Get your degree online they say. Well, how great is online education?

My guess is the online offerings from traditional schools is going to generate traditional results. After all, it is the same teachers right? The world is moving online it is the way of things.

But what about the non-traditional outlets promising great things? I know we are all exposed to these opportunities to trade our cash for knowledge. The real question most of us ask ourselves, “Is it worth it?”

 

My Drive for Authenticity

Perhaps the biggest thing I look for in business dealings is authenticity. There is no limit to the vast array of initiate tweaks, changes and spins on every imaginable product out there.

“BUY MY ORANGE JUICE!!! Yes you’ve seen organize juice before, but ours comes with a miniature rainbow packed inside every gulp”… please. Quit blowing sunshine up my rear end. Your OJ is just like everyone else’s.

That’s not authentic.

If you want to charge me more money, don’t tell me about butterfly kisses and sunshine drops. Tell me about your sustainable harvesting techniques. How you employ a certain undervalued work force who otherwise wouldn’t have a job. Tell me something that makes me believe spending the extra $1 on your jug is worth it.

Quit with the spin and just give it to me plain. No one does that anymore and I hate it. This is why I feel such a strong need to not sound like everyone else. You shouldn’t either. The world is craving authenticity it’s just today’s institutions aren’t equipped to teach you how to be you… only how to be like someone else.

How does one achieve the badge of authenticity?

Transparency + Honesty = Authenticity

Being real can be a frightful proposition. If you put on a face, then it’s that façade which receives the criticism. But if we show our true heart, that criticism and rejection feels all too real.

This is the risk of the thoughtful business person. They put themselves on the line. They hold out their reputation for the world to see. They don’t hide behind corporate speak or press releases. They are real.

Transparency is critical for TRUE success. For people to want to follow you they want to know your heart. Bearing it all is difficult for most to accept. It’s not about having a big account, it’s about making a big impact. Impact requires trust.

Trust is forged through multiple iterations of demonstrated honesty. Just call it like it is my friend. Lose the deception and you are well on your way to being above all the clamor of modern business.

If you make money off something- be honest. If you completely failed at a project, be honest. Maybe your clientele will learn something from it and thank you for it. This way your failure recoups into a success for others… what NOT to do.

In the end, if you want authenticity with your peeps, you must blend transparency with honesty. Tis the only way.

I feel gipped!

But its just the beginning. Perhaps this course will surprise me! It would be a mistake for me to pack up and ask for my money back already. You can hear the conversation already can’t you..

“Excuse me sir, I’ve just taken your MBA course online.”

“Oh great, how did you like it?”

“I feel gipped. I have a MBA and your classes weren’t anything like it.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, it seems you’ve uncovered my wicked plan of deception. Would you like your money back?”

“Yes… yes I would.”

Too often we make snap judgments. Sometimes we just need to let things ride and see what results pop out of the experience. I am going to finish the course all the way through, should take a few weeks.

I will probably power through it next week while I am in Mexico. I look forward to giving you the whole report and whether I suggest you also sign up for this training or take a pass on it.

Till then keep your feet beneath you and a slight tilt toward the door. No idea what that means… it sounded clever in my head- can you make sense of it?

541 Days Left: The world is online, you should be too

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541 Days Left: The world is online, you should be too

In order to succeed in my mission I will need to gather as many people around me as possible. A tribe of likeminded people. There has always been power in numbers.

Have you noticed the neighborhood cook out just doesn’t draw the crowd it did back in the day? Why is that?

It’s because of the advancement of information. Back in the day, information was limited, so we all got along since there were only a few things to gripe over.

Enter the internet. Now information is blasted all over the place. With more information comes more opinions on that data. Where there are opinions there will be disagreements.

Now we don’t just have the presidency to gripe over, now we can bicker about African oil pricing concerns for European air traffic. It’s crazy.

The good ol’ days just aren’t coming back. We must make the best of where we find ourselves. On the flip side of the griping coin we can now find other, likeminded individuals, with greater ease.

It is the intent of connecting with these kindred minds that having an online presence is advantageous. They need to be able to find you and your own website is how!

“A website is the first essential of any profitable passive income business done online.” Pat Flynn

Check out the whole article here

Everyone I was listening to told me to go with wordpress.org, which is different from wordpress.com since you host your own site. This means you can do with it whatever you want.
I knew I wanted to blog but I honestly feel like I am pretty inexperienced at it. My readership in the past 2 months is not that great. I will need to look into some ways to boost this if I am to gather a tribe around me.

Other than the fact that everyone told me a blog was the way to go, I found that the best way to build search engine rankings is thru a blog. I am already on the first page of Google for the search term “The Forward Journey” after just a few weeks of podcasting and blogging.

TFJ Search Rank 4

Ok sure, The Forward Journey is hardly a competitive search term, but it’s a start.

So how much did I pay to get my site up and running? Let’s talk turkey about that a bit later when we discuss how much I’ve invest into TFJ so far.

For now, begin to think about the types of people you would like to build a tribe with! I bet the best way to get them in touch is through your own website.

543 Days Left: The Forward Journey Mind Map Process

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543 Days Left: Mind Mapping The Forward Journey

I am going to take you through the mind map iterations that landed me where I am today. After this post, we will be up to date with where I am currently taking The Forward Journey. You can use this same method to dream up your future.

Forward Leadership

My first attempt at thinking of this business venture was called Forward Leadership. I wanted to broadcast my accumulated teachings on the timeless principals of leadership. I liked the idea of forward so I started.

Forward Leadership Mind map

In this mind map, I outline what actions I would perform that would provide value (podcast, book, and blog) and how I would earn money in the business (Sponsorships and sales).

As I look back on it now it’s quite crude but it was a start. Never despise humble beginnings. It is the step in the right direction that is important. It’s the small steps that accumulate into something great.

As time passed my proficiency with mind mapping increased. Yours will too. Practice, practice, practice. Currently I make about 3 mind maps per week. I use it for everything which requires planning or strategy.

I continued to think about what this business would be and I kept developing new ideas. The one that landed me on The Forward Journey was this map.

TFJ Mind Map

I like how it took a person down the path of solving an issue. Moving forward from point A to B was exciting to me. So I googled whether or not www.theforwardjourney.com was available and it was! I purchased it immediately. It’s ok if this map doesn’t spell out much to you. I doubt it will. Here I am speaking my inner brain language. Your maps will speak your own jargon and that’s good. It facilitates immediate recall when you walk away from a map for a while. You’ll pick it up again and instantly remember where you were and what you were thinking.

Here is one of my most recent mind maps generated in my makeshift studio (Until I get the real studio finished).

This is the first few bubbles of the map. It’s about my discovery course I am creating to help people work through their forward journey. It’s a video-based curriculum and this is how I figured out what to include in video 1

Partial Mind Map

I knew I had 2 major elements of this map, the Problem and the Vision. So those went down 1st. Then I started on a path to logically connect those two ideas. I wanted the problem to be something big. I also wanted to base it in scripture as you can see below.

Partial Mind Map

I decided the scripture part was a bunny trail, but a good one, and I branched off from the Big problem to the idea of “missing it”. Then I thought about the stories I’ve heard about deathbed regrets. Those stories really hit me hard and I thought we all could benefit from hearing the last words of elderly people.

The death bed idea was also a bunny trail. So I went back to the idea of missing it and branched off to include some statistics on people missing it in life. Of course, I’m not sure what “it” is at this moment. That’s ok, I just roll with it.

You don’t have to have it all figured out because this is the process of how you get to your answer. Nothing is wrong! and if you use a white board like me it is super easy to erase and put down something else.

My next thought is that every action has a consequence. Some in our favor and others not so much. So I diverge my mind map into 2 more branches. Those who miss it and those who find it… all the while not really knowing what “it” is but that’s still ok.

Finished Mind Map

Then I finished the map by decided to commit finding out what “it” really is. But notice I didn’t worry about that until it was necessary for my story to make sense of that part. Defining the “it” was the Vision. That’s how I connected the problem to the vision. I think my brain knew the whole time how it connected together, I just had to get there and mapping it helped me do that.

From there is just filled out my 6 steps from Phase I of TFJ. And this will become my outline for the first video of the Discovery Course. This is going to be my flagship resource offered on www.theforwardjourney.com so it needs to hit the mark. I’m hoping to have it done in about a month so watch out for that!

The outline would look like this

Video 1

The Problem

Something BIG

Scriptures to use

Recognizing Truth

You might miss your Purpose for Living

Stories of Death Bed Regrets

Stats on current state of legacy achievement

Consequences of Making it

Success

Fuel for everyday gains

Consequences of Not making it

Failure

Feeling lost in life

Problem Solution: Vision

CORE iD

Step 1- Attributes

Step 2- Definitions

Step 3- Blends

Step 4- CORE iD

Step 5- Figuring out the Why (TRIBE)

Step 6- Share it

Hook to next video (Vision is only part of the story)

 

See how easy it was to make a simple outlined for a video product all produced from an easy to create mind map. You can do it too. Maybe someday I’ll have a big fancy TV with a touchscreen so I can make digital maps right on my wall and share it to all my devices.

For today I’ll stick with a whiteboard and marker. You might start with a paper and pencil. Just draw a circle in the middle of the page, write in a topic and see where the path leads. Feeling stuck? Email me and let’s get you unstuck! D@TheForwardJourney.com

Or maybe I’ll just make a video on my process and post it? What would work best for you?

For today just make a map following the previous post’s videos as a guide. You can do it… so go ahead and do it already!

Icon TFJ Podcast Artwork

TFJ 006: The Divine Exchange and Why Need to Learn Your Position on the Team

Posted on Posted in Podcast

2017 is a fresh start and a great time to think about the upcoming year. Come learn why its not enough to just be saved… that is only the start, you need to make the next move to find fulfillment! This year can be the year of Forward Movement!!!

Screen Shot of a Mind Map

545 Days Left: How to Get a Legacy Started

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545 Days Left: Mind Mapping

Happy first Monday of the fresh 2017 year. This is going to be the best year of my life… and probably the most difficult. I’ve got 545 days to get my butt in gear and pave some serious road in my path to being the best version of me.
In just 545 days I am envisioning myself walking up to my boss and handing in my months’ notice. I can do it because I have successfully matched my income with a side business I’ve started. It will provide me the time, motivation and resources to launch from my cubicle into the crucible of legacy building.
All my debt is gone- paid off in full! Now my income goes a lot further than it ever did before.
I’ll be working out of my house. I’ll be stalking invisible ninjas with my sons and sipping tea with my daughters.
By the time 545 days are up I will have successfully kicked my workaholism to the curb and will be living a life I’ve only dreamed about up to that point.

Now lets rewind

That’s a great day dream ay? Work from home, making lots of money and spending your time however you see fit. Am I speaking your language?
Imagine if you weren’t a slave to your alarm clock. What if you woke up naturally every morning when your body was done resting? What if you became the complete master of your own schedule?

Sounds great, but it’s a pipe dream, right?Screen Shot of a Mind Map

I am putting it to the test. And the way I got all this started was stumbling on a new tool called Mind Mapping. It’s a way of dumping everything in your brain you didn’t know was there. You get all your great ideas onto a map that is easy to expand and connect ideas together. It’s very powerful once you get the hang of it.

It took me about 5 tries before I really started to benefit from the power of this technique. I started with a whiteboard but soon moved to a digital solution so I could carry it with me wherever I was. I didn’t want to miss a great idea.

I use a free app you can get here for android or iPhone. I like it because I can quickly map out an idea right on my phone and it will save to the cloud for future use. It also generates an outline with headings and sub points automatically.
Learn more about mind mapping with these 2 videos on the subject. The first is the guy who made it famous and is only 5:38 long. The second video is how to do it with old fashioned pen and paper and is 4:39 long.
Notice how differently the second person approaches her mind map from the “Official guy” in the first video. Mind mapping is completely flexible to your way of thinking. It works the way you do it. And that’s why I fell in love with this technique.
It feels clunky at first. But this tool is responsible for clearing out my jumbled mind into an actionable plan for achievement. It’s where my 18 months goal came from and how I developed the Forward Journey concept.
In the next post, I will show exactly how I went about creating my mind map for the Forward Journey. This tool is going to help you a ton! Remember to check out the videos here and here to learn more!

On the Edge of Greatness and Failure

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My 18 Month Journey is about to Ignite!!!

I’m a bit freaked out. Just being honest.

Am I being stupid? People at work have already seen my challenge on my homepage. I display for all the world to see… including my employer… that I plan to quit my job in 18 months.

July, 2018 I plan to be fully self-employed. And I’m living this plan out loud. And I’m a bit freaked.

What if it doesn’t work

I’ve been thinking a lot, “what if this whole enterprise is a miserable failure.” What if I crash and burn? The absolute worst is probably the time comes and I am not ready. My boss thinks I’m a loser, fires me and I need to find a new job since I sucked at being an online entrepreneur.

Even so, with 18 months of dedicated focus, I would have made some headway toward my goal. That means I would have paid off some debt and been better off than if I never started.

And I would have learned a fist full of valuable lessons. And if I failed so miserably, my own boss could not stand to see me at the office and fires me. I could probably sum up all those lessons and launch another business which would have a better chance at success. Because I would avoid all the pitfalls I uncovered in the first attempt.

What if it does work

If it does work this is what my life will look like in exactly 540 days:

My house will be paid off.

My school loan will be paid off.

My wife will have a reliable family car.

I will have helped literally thousands of believers find their calling from God and on toward their own journeys.

I’ll have the support of a tribe to hand in my month notice without trembling. Knowing that I am leaving something good for something great. I will have successfully uncovered my calling from God with evidence of Gideon’s fleece ensuring my departure from the 9-5 world.

Is it worth the risk

So leaning over the edge of an old 2016 looking ahead into a fresh start, I wonder if the benefits outweigh the risks. And I answer in a resounding, “YES!”

It’s worth the sacrifice of perceived stability for a chance at true meaning. I can be part of people’s story.

It’s worth it if, in the end of my life, people say about me, “Without him I never would have started. D made me believe the impossible was possible for me.”

That spells success for me. If I am part of your chain that links you to an impact on your world… isn’t that worth the risk?

What to expect in the days to come from this Blog

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Hey there!

What to Expect from The Forward Journey Blog moving forward

After much deliberation I have come to the decision on how best to serve you. I have committed to showing you a way to live the life you greatly desire. In order to do this I must do that for myself which includes quitting my 9-5 job.

As you probably have heard by now I plan to quit my cubicle career by July 2018. That’s just 18 months away. To help you out I will be posting 3x per week on what I am learning and doing to fulfill the tag line of TFJ: Uncover Your Calling, Jettison Your Job, Live Your Legacy. To keep perspective each post is going to start with how many days remain until D-Day when I hand in my notice and start to work for myself.

Remember, before I do that my family needs security so I’m paying off the house, cars and student loans within that 18 month period.

Think I can do it?

You will have to come back to the blog to see how I am progressing and feel free to pick and choose which tactics you might want to incorporate into your own journey. I am going to share and bare it all. At the time of this post there is only 550 days left!!! I better get busy!

Shoot me an email with whatever is on your mind D@TheForwardJourney.com

Tootles.

 

3 Things I’ve Learned about the Power of Purity in Business

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3 Things I’ve Learned about the Power of Purity in Business

In life, we tend to dilute things to make them palatable to others. Think of how often you hold back that 10% of what you really want to say. I do it all the time. Businesses do as well.

Business are afraid if they really go after what they want they will risk too much. So they choose dilution and pander to the masses in hopes of more money. But the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil the good book says. What happens when we divorce the love of money and purely concern ourselves with being pure in a world of sell outs?

The Power of Niching Down

Simply put you are not called to save the world. It’s just not part of your deal. So why try to wrap your arms around something so huge you will never possibly get it off the ground?

Dig in and find the sweet spot. That fine cross section where you personality, skills and relationships converge.

In my case, my journey is leading me toward Christian’s who believe their life has something more but aren’t sure what it is. My role is to help those with an entrepreneurial bent discover their calling, make that their job and leave a mark on this world so it will never forget them.

That won’t happen if I go after everybody.

The Power of Transparency

I am also learning the lessons that purity means you can see right inside the thing. There is no veil trying to misdirect sensitive parts. Think of how pure Adam and Eve’s relationship was in the Garden. They were both naked unashamed. Imagine if that happened today… ok yes, you are right, there are nudist colonies but you get my point.

The reveal of our innermost parts results in shame and the urge to hide.

But there is power in being naked in business. We do this by opening our books for the world to see. This is the tact I’ve opted for in The Forward Journey. You will be able to see all my income and expenses as I try to jettison my job in 18 months.

How else will you know if I’m full of crap?

The Power of Honest Belief

Purity isn’t mingled with doubt… otherwise it wouldn’t be pure right? If you can be honest in you beliefs you will live a more potent life. We think we believe one thing, but then circumstances turn our beliefs and reveal the opposite.

Has this happened to you? You walk along the road of life quite content in your beliefs. Then the world turns upside down and the belief you had all of a sudden seems pretty far away? Why would a circumstance change the way you believe?

I see this challenge all the time. Christian’s belief in the healing power of God wobbles when they are the ones diagnosed. Christian’s belief in God’s provision wavers when they get laid off.  Christian’s belief in God might wafts when our hopes come up empty.

Maybe that is in some part the reason those things came into your life. May there is a purpose behind a bad diagnosis, getting laid off or unanswered prayers. Maybe they show you where you are not being honest in your beliefs. Perhaps the wobbles, wavering and wafting are meant to show you where you need to strengthen things up a bit?

If you can’t stand on your beliefs in life, how will you manage to stand when you own your own business and are supporting others?

Just a thought. Those are the things running through my mind this week. On a brighter note Happy CHRISTmas!!!!

4 Ways to Avoid Slimy Salesmanship

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When We weren’t Born a Natural Salesperson

Money is a sticky topic with a lot of people. We like money, we wish we had more of it. When it comes to offering a solution int he marketplace somehow we don’t feel qualified to receive payment. We don’t want to be like that overweight, balding, greasy used car salesman.

Good news. You and I can sell without being icky. As I’ve been reading lately about selling online products, I’ve pieced together 4 ways to escape the greasy salesperson problem.

My personal obstacles

I’m really having a difficult time coming to grips with the idea of asking for remuneration. All my life I have earned money from my employer and given everything else. However, in order for me to quit my day job, I’ll need to replace that income. There’s only one way to do that: SELL.

When I think of selling I feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to ask people for money! I wish I could just get by living my life giving everything away for free. But I can’t. And you can’t either.

I am changing my paradigm and you should too. Sales can be fun and mutually beneficial. You can actually become the type of person people thank for selling to them! How about that idea ay?

Here are 4 simple ways to cut the grease and lay on the blessing for others when it comes to selling in your business.

1)      Leverage Reciprocity

Imagine you hear a knock at the door this Christmas season. You walk over, open it up and its your neighbor. Quite unexpected she has made her way over to your place with a gift in hand. She smiles, hands you the gift and says, “Merry Christmas.”

What are you feeling right now? You’re saying to yourself, “Crap, I haven’t gotten anything for you.” So you begin to look around the room wondering if she would enjoy your curtains.

Bottom line, when we receive something we feel a deep urge to give something back. This is called reciprocity. We want to repay kindness with kindness, a gift with a gift. You can go a long way by being the first to strike up the conversation that will benefit your client. Then, when it comes time for a payment later in the relationship, they will feel relieved to fill their perceived debt.

It can make people feel better to pay you for the value you’ve provided. But only if you’re not a jerk and really care about them. This leads in to the second method for overcoming slimy sales.

2)      Start with Value

Never ever come to a potential client with your hand out. Isn’t that what all advertising does to us? It yells in our face: BUY FROM ME, BUY HERE, BUY NOW. BUY BUY BUY!

This is why we tune out the 15,000 ads we see per day. All we see if people wanting our money.

So do just the opposite. Start with value not a request for purchase.

Give them something they really need or want for FREE. You can do this all sorts of ways on the cheap. The idea is to make it cost effective for you but anything but cheap for them. This can be with a report, checklist, how to instructional… your creativity can go crazy here. Keep them in mind and help a brother out with no sales pitch attached.

3)      Allow the No and be honest

When it comes time to ask for the sale, allow your potential client the right of refusal without a guilt trip. If what you are provided really is the Bee’s Knee’s they will come around eventually. I hate the kind of salesman that won’t take no for an answers. Sorry just not me.

If you are making money off a deal be honest about it. It’s not until you try to divert attention from your gain that the slime begins to build.

Make your best offer, and if they refuse hey that’s ok, we can still be buds. Right? Is that possible to do? I think so. I think it’s better than hounding someone who just wants to be left alone.

4)      Under Promise and Over Deliver

You can assuage your misgivings about selling when you have it firmly fixed in your mind that your customer will get more than they paid for. This is something you can feel good about. Sure, they might have purchased a $350 course from you, but you are going to deliver a $1000 course. They are tickled purple from the outstanding content and you feel good about selling.

Remember “The worker deserves his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:18.

If you are providing value to someone else it’s perfectly ok to ask for a fair price in exchange.

How does the idea of sales strike you? Better get used to it if you’re going to make it.

TFJ 004: The Forward Nation and how you can change the future

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Let’s talk a bit about what is needed in our future. It’s ok if we aren’t sure how our life should look… what’s not ok is to stay in the same place. I’m going to start walking in the right direction and I encourage you to come along for the ride. You just might learn something amazing!

Easily Generate Maximum Income: Passive Streams

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Easily Generate Maximum Income: Passive Streams

I realize that not everyone in the world is going to like my message. Not everyone really is cut out to own their own business. But if you feel the entrepreneurial call, then Forward Nation is for you. We are a group who is fed up with mediocrity and ready to take life to the next level.

Sound good?

Let’s talk about setting the groundwork for not only supporting your own call but also lending a generous hand to those who need monetary support.

Being Transparent: I have not yet realized the benefits of passive income, this post is reporting what I have learned so far only. But I’m still excited to share it with you!

Income Streams

A business is an enterprise seeking to exchange a product or service to solve a need for a price. What you charge for is considered an income stream. This can be giving a massage, fixing HTML code or trucking an RV across country.

Traditional business structures have you a develop product or service, set up shop and market your wares to a target audience. These are the building blocks of a business.

There are two types of income streams. One is the traditional method which takes a lot of money to start, takes a lot of time to build and takes a lot of energy to grow. The other is a new model which costs almost nothing to start, frees up your time and leverages finished work to perpetuate and grow.

Active Income

This is the first type of income stream. It’s the hard one. Think of it as trading time for dollars. You need to be there for the money to be made. If it’s a construction job you need to show up at the site to get paid. If it’s an Avon job you need to meet with the client to make a sale. If it’s a realtor job you need to meet the buyers at the home.

You must be there!

This sucks. If you are there, by definition you cannot be some other place earning even more money. You’re stuck.

Does your job have you feeling like you are stuck? I know that feeling. In fact, just this week I went out to lunch with 3 colleagues. All highly paid professionals. All degreed individuals. All smart, competent well-rounded human beings.

In conversation it came up I started a website. As I explained what I was doing I asked this question.

“If you won $10,000,000 tonight, would you keep doing what you’re doing right now?”

Not one of them had to think. The restaurant rang out with a resounding, “No Way” “Pshhhh” and “F**k No.” Sorry, one colleague has a bit of a mouth.

How would you answer my question?

Often we feel trapped in our jobs. It’s all we know to do. But someone chopped down the door to a better way for me. And I’m about to do the same for you.

Passive Income

Make money without being in the picture. What? Popycock!

Really. Make money while you sleep, visit a foreign country with your family or visit an old friend. Passive income is awesome and a real option for you because of the internet!

Imagine this. You work hard on a piece of information that will help someone with a specific problem. Rather than going door to door, which will only result in a need for therapy afterward, you can drive traffic to your website where people can follow a prescribed course resulting in their “yes” to your offer.

See, I told you that you need a website. People can log on to your site, check out your content and choose to buy. Their money goes right into your bank account while you are sky diving in Antwerp or SCUBA diving in Hawaii.

The passive income concept has revolutionized the way I see business. It will revolutionize your life if you buy in. Want to learn even more right now and don’t want to wait for another post? Check out Pat Flynn’s site Smart Passive Income. http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/passive-income-101/

Ok, ok I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a sales person. Besides, aren’t internet sales icky?

Well… yes, yes they are… for the most part. But you don’t have to be. Let’s pick that idea up next time.

The Power of True North

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The Power of True North: Arrive at Your Destination

Last post I encouraged you to think about launching your own website. Having an online presence is going to help you bank roll your Calling from God.

This leads to an obvious question.

What is my Calling from God?

Unfortunately I’ve no crystal ball that can produce the answer. Discovering your call is something you must do alone. It’s an intensely personal journey all High Achievers have gone through. Finding your call is like establishing North on a compass.

No matter where you find yourself in life, finding True North puts everything else in right perspective. Once you find it, you can determine how to get back on track wherever your destination happens to be. True North is your personal call from God.

If you are ever feeling lost in the shuffle, a quick check on the compass to remind yourself of the True North direction God is beckoning you will put all demands into perspective. In short, knowing your calling makes saying “Yes” and “No” in the appropriate places much easier.

I remember once hearing someone say, “The difference between someone who is successful and someone who has lost is putting Yes and No in their proper places.”

Just like a being lost without a compass, missing this direction from your creator will result in endless circles of unproductive wandering.  People don’t become successful by accident.

You will become successful after your direction is known.

I’m currently working very diligently on producing a resource to help you discover your calling. I’d say I’m about 75% of the way there. Actually, in a few weeks I am going to need a few Guinea Pigs to trial these ideas and prove the concept. If interested email me at D@TheForwardJourney.com

A great find this week

This week I found a great of way describing the principle of focus. In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown provides a picture of what focus can accomplish.

Focused Energy Graph

See how unproductive it is to follow after too many paths? Ultimately you get nowhere. Now use the EXACT same amount of energy but focus it on one True North direction and you will get a lot further.

Before you start your website

Before you blog, podcast, produce infomercials and become the next chair member of the Shark Tank you need to do this first: Discover your calling!!!

This cannot be overstated. You need a download from Heaven before applying your finite time, energy and skills.

If you can’t articulate your personal calling from God that’s ok. Most people can’t. Before you do anything else you need to write down a goal to figure this out. It might take a few months but wouldn’t that pay dividends throughout the rest of your life? You need to FOCUS:

Follow One Course Until Success

As soon as I wrap up The Forward Journey Discovery Course I’ll let you know- but only if you are part of Forward Nation. If you haven’t yet, sign up here to get in line for this free tool.

Today your challenge is to write down your goal to discover your call from God. Post it on your bathroom mirror or somewhere where you will be reminded daily to seek after God.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The Prophet Jeremiah 625 BC

Next post I’ll share the different way I’ve discovered you and make money online in a totally non-slimy way.

Websites are better than Facebook

Posted on Posted in Blog

Why You Need a Self-Hosted Website

You want to have a life worth living. As we’ve discussed before that’s going to require some resources. The best way to acquire resources is becoming a business owner. Today let’s discuss why owning your own self-hosted website is the right path to take in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

I don’t suggest after reading this article you go out and start a website. I spent 6 months thinking about it before I pulled the trigger. And I had a good sense of direction BEFORE I started a site. For now, just get use to the ideas I am presenting. Let is settle in your stomach for a while.

You have Facebook. That’s the internet, won’t that count? Besides a lot of people are doing it.

No and here is what I have learned in the past month.

Control of your own destiny

When you are talking about the internet, you are talking about a massive networks of billions of websites and people. It changes faster than you would believe. In that ocean of stuff, you need a boat you know you have the ability to steer.

But Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and the like all have giant cruise ships I could be on! You mean I should opt for a dingy? Yes!

When they change the rules

Those cruise ships of online connections can and will change course without notice. Just this year Facebook changed the way that businesses were allowed to interact with their customers. This completely wiped out a lot of peoples strategy for making money.

All the people I listen to who live and breathe this world tell me it’s going to happen again. They need to do what’s best for their specific business. That may or may not align with what you find is good for you business.

Growth opportunities

In order to start small and grow large you need to take advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves. The best way you can position yourself to do this is owning your own website. This puts you in control. Everything that comes through your site you can benefit from.

I’m haven’t benefited from this yet, but literally EVERYONE is telling me the #1 most important thing in online business is your email list! If one person said it, I might dismiss it as hype. But literally everyone is saying this to me. Cliff Ravenscraft, Pat Flynn, Ramit Sethi, Amy Portefield, Chris Ducker, John Lee Dumas and more. All internet millionaires and each lamenting the fact they didn’t begin by building their list.

You may notice at the top and bottom of my home page on www.theforwardjourney.com is a green button beckoning you to join the Forward Nation.

What is the Forward Nation? It’s my email list. At the time of this writing I’ve got 73 people on board. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a pitiful number. You’ve been at this a whole month already and only have 73 sign ups?

I choose to look at it this way. A month ago I had 0 subscribers and now I have 73,000% more! How many email subscribers do you have right now? That can go up by having your own website!

Here is why email lists are reported to be so important (again I have not actually found this out for myself YET).

It is the #1 way to get in contact with people. When you launch your book, develop your product, need feedback, give a free resource- email is the most effective way to get a massive amount of people on board in a short amount of time with as little effort as possible. It’s better than text, better than FB messaging and way better than an pay per click ad.

Email is still the king of personal connection for business owners. Face-to-face is laborious and time consuming. Emails can be sent to tens of thousands in a matter of minutes.

You don’t need a Website just yet

Before you do that you need a direction. And we will talk about that next time.  For now just get it in your brain that you have what it takes to launch your own website. There are thousands of FREE resources to help you do it step by step.

Have you signed up to be a member of the Forward Nation? Why not it’s free and I’m going to offer some great stuff in the coming months. But im only going to make it available to those subscribed to Forward Nation! Don’t miss out sign up now.

TFJ 003: Will I Pass Your Psycho Test?

Posted on Posted in Podcast

I know you are wondering a bit about the guy behind the mic. So far I have been dubbed the “Spiritual Mr. Rogers.” Well I don’t wear cardigans but I do want to be your neighbor!

Also, I suck at Spanish- see if you can catch my linguistic error within the first 30 seconds! Remember, no editing, just raw Mr. Rogersness.

Start a Business with No Extra Money?!

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How I started The Forward Journey with no extra money

If your legacy includes doing something of significance, then that effort is probably going to require monetary resources. One of the very best ways to gather resources is to own a business.

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:18a

Scary thought I know, but it doesn’t need to be. I started an online business for practically nothing. Today I’ll share how I did it.

It began about 2 months ago. The reason I started was to fund my calling through allowing me to jettison my 9-5 chain. I want to be self-sustaining.

This is important because you want to the type of person who funds the efforts of the Kingdom of God. You don’t want to be the type who is always sucking the funds. Am I right?

As a small business owner you can earn anywhere from 1k per month all the way past 100k per month. Don’t believe me? Check out this guy who started an online business after getting laid off. He started all by himself but has grown to expand to only a small team making this kind of revenue.

Pat Flynn's income report

If you’re like me, at first glance you are tempted to think, “I can never do that!”

But this guy didn’t start making that much… he started making nothing just like me, just like you. And over time he built trust and people began to join his crowd. That trust has generated what you see above.

All this with almost no investment up front!

From the information I gleaned listening to podcasts, I learned that the online space was super easy to get into. Competitive sure, but the barriers to entry are low.

Think about a normal business producing products or offering services. You’ve got the following costs to figure out:

$1,000- Rent of work space

$2,000- Staff payroll

$750- Utilities like heat, A/C, electricity, water/sewer

$350- Insurance

$1,500- Taxes

All this can add up to a lot for just one person. The big boys of business are bank rolled. This means someone funds them as they get their feet wet. I leaned in my studies that it takes, on average, about 7 years to become profitable. 7 years?!

Aint nobody got time for that!

I doubt you have someone to bank roll you. I didn’t.

This is why I chose the online arena. Instead of brick and mortar you have a website. A place people come to meet with you and interact. There is no need to heat a website or employ a janitor to make sure its toilets stay clean.

You can do it all yourself with a little ambition and some free help from people on the web who have already done it. Just check out YouTube- TONS of stuff guiding you step by step on how to get started. I got a lot of my help from Pat Flynn, the guy whose income report I showed above.

If you’re interested in knowing the steps I went through to get my business online let me know by emailing D@TheForwardJourney.com because for now I’m just going to talk about the costs.

How I did it with no extra money

I had been a 2 year subscriber to DISH network. This cost me $100.34 per month. I got a gazillion channels and watched 2. When the contract came due in November last month I canceled service.

Know what? Through an HD antenna to catch local channels and Sling, I still get my 2 shows and I’m happy. I can even watch Football on ESPN.

Sling costs me $25 a month so my net saving is $75.34 per month. With that savings I purchased the following subscriptions to facilitate my personal business plan.

Libsyn: $5/mo (Podcast Hosting) I got a deal from Cliff Ravenscraft

Blue Host: $12/mo (Website Hosting + extras) I got a deal from Pat Flynn

ConvertKit: $30/mo (Customer relationship Management) I got a deal from Pat Flynn

Webinar Ninja: $27/mo (online meetings) I got a deal on Black Friday from another guy (I forget)

That’s a grand total of $74/mo!!! I’m still saving $1.34 per month- woo hoo, in a couple of months I’ll treat myself to a Starbucks.

This is what we in the biz call a win-win scenario. I still get my shows and I get my personal business plan up and running.

I’m sure you can find at least $75 a month if you dig hard enough. Maybe you can do what I did and come up with that amount for free. The moral of the story is you don’t need thousands of dollars to start. You don’t need to go into debt to get your legacy rolling.

That is IF you choose to go the online route. I chose it because, for one, it offered small startup costs, but also it gives me a global reach. I’ve already got people in Russia, China and Australia checking out my website. That’s COOL!

Here is the take away. Get use to the idea of having an online presence. You already do on Social media but that’s not a good place to start- I’ll share what I learned why in the next article.

Starting Your Future with No Money and No Time

Posted on Posted in Blog

How to start with NO money and NO time

Survey Results Pic

Today I want to begin to tackle two of the problems described to me by over 350 men. No money and no time. This came as part of my analysis which you can get more on soon.

No Money

You are strapped for cash. If you’re like the majority of Americans you are only a few paychecks away from complete financial ruin. And now you want to build a legacy of some sort…

Where do I get the start-up cash?

Pretend debt isn’t an option. How do you proceed?

Begin with information. When it does come time to start spending money, and only a little at first, you want to ensure it is well invested. How does one do this? Building a repository of information on what works.

Luckily for you and I, there is a ton of free information on how to go about what you want to do. We can figuratively spend other people’s money by learning from their failed attempts. The best way I ‘ve found to access this kind of free information is through a podcast.

Use iTunes or Stictcher to search for podcasts related to your interest. There is going to be something out there that at least tangentially touches on your topic.

Personally, I use an app on my phone called Podcast Addict. I like this one because it automatically downloads all my shows at a time each morning and automatically deletes them after listening. But the real reason I love this player is it lets me set the speed. Depending on the average rate of speech of the host I’ll set playback speed anywhere from 1.7 – 2.3 times.

Ok yes, they sound like chipmunks, but I can listen to 2 podcasts in the time it takes for a normal person to listen to one. Don’t worry, your brain and more than handle that speed!

I’ve got a library of FREE information all in my phone that automatically updates each morning. Right now on my subscription list I have the following- just in case you’re interested.

Phone Podcast Screenshot

AskPat with Pat Flynn, Answering online business question0, about 10 mins subscribe here.

Currently evaluating Influence Psychology Persuasion with Mike Sweet, about 10 min subscribe here

Read to Lead with Jeff Brown, Interviews with authors, about 40 min subscribe here

The Cliff Ravenscraft Show, All about Podcasting and more, about 1 hr subscribe here

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn, Make money while you sleep, about 45 min subscribe here

This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt, Building your Platform, about 30 min subscribe here

That’s 3 hours and 15 min every week of high quality training for FREE. Annualize that and you’ve got 5 full 40 hr work weeks’ of content at no cost. Of course you can increase that based on your ability to handle new info.

 

There more out there too

There is a lot of free information out there to be had. Perhaps someday I’ll make a list of all the free stuff I find and where you can get it. For now just google search what you’re into and include the word “FREE”. You’re bound to come up with something.

The main thrust of good business men and women out there is to provide you valuable free content to get you into what they are doing. Then, if you really get what they are offering, you are likely to buy from them.

It’s good for you since you get something you want for free. It’s good for them because they get to contact you. Now, there exists the possibility to build a relationship. It only works if the match is right. And that’s a good thing.

Contrast this approach to the commercial approach. It interrupts your regularly scheduled programing with a loud, annoying offer you have no interest in. Relational building is best.

No Time

Now let’s hit the time crunch we are all under. If you were to tell me that you had ZERO down time in your day I’d say your pants are on fire. We all have some portion of our day where our mind is numbly paused as we try to move from one thing to another.

One of the most insidious wastes in life is transportation. How much time do you spend in the car? This is where I found my solace from the “Full Plate Syndrome.”

I have a 45 min drive to work in the morning and then back again on the evening totaling 90 minutes of idle time where I can literally do nothing else productive. No writing, no podcasting… just sitting and steering.

So I use this time to consume my podcasts (remember they are on hyper drive!) But they don’t last the whole week. so I have audiobooks loaded on a USB I listen to when the podcasts have run out.

Where is your idle time? Drive to work, running, laundry, kids nap time, lunch, there has got be something!

I never listen to the radio and I never watch the news. I use those times to feed myself uplifting information from people I trust. You can do the same.

There you go

A free avenue to begin to start your legacy using Podcast subscriptions.

Capitalize on idle time in your normal routine.

Next I’m going to show you how I got started in my online business spending no extra money!

Until then get a Podcast player you like and search for no less than 3 shows + my podcast of course here.

Blog 0

Posted on Posted in Blog

Blog 0

“All things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” The Apostle Paul, 58 AD

Change

So much wound up into one compact, little word. Change can spell disaster or fortune. One thing change will never spell out is the same old thing.

About 1 year ago I started listening to a new podcast. Through a chain of successive events that podcast caused me to start the ball rolling to quit my 9-5 corporate job… here’s the story how.

I was in Dunlap, TN were my work has a manufacturing location. Me being the lead for engineering continuous improvement, I was down there leading a 1 week launch event. As I drove onto the little highway that would whisk me back to Chattanooga for the night, I fired up my first new podcast in forever.

Up till this point in my life the only podcasts I listened to were about Christian theology. The reasonable Faith podcast, Cross Examined and Stand to Reason. Every week I consumed about 5 hours of instruction in apologetics.

Then I tried something new

I stumbled upon Jeff Brown’s Read to Lead Podcast. A show that interviews bestselling business authors about their newly published books. I loved it. Jeff has an awesome radio voice that makes mine sound like Pee Wee Herman.

In the time span of about a month, 3 separate successful authors had referenced the same person. Some guy named Pat Flynn. This would change my life.

I began to wonder, who is this “Pat” guy and why these published authors were referencing him. The 3rd reference I heard that day on the highway to Chattanooga was, “Yeah, at a conference we all want to be Pat Flynn, but we can’t. So we need to find something else we can do.”

So I did what any red blooded American would do… I googled Pat Flynn.

Long story short, I found out Pat Flynn was once an architect, got laid off and started an online business. And then he started helping others invest their time in what he calls Smart Passive Income. I was hooked.

Pat Flynn, then referenced some guy named Michael Hyatt, so I checked him out. Again, I was hooked. And one by one each of these new people started introducing me to new people. And I learned something different from all of them.

This brings the story up to about 6 months ago. I started analyzing what I was hearing and I found common themes linking all these successful people together.

Somewhere around 90% of everything they give away was FREE! And that made an impact on me. We need FREE when we are starting out.

Then, for those who are ready for next level stuff, these guys make millions selling advanced products to a fraction of their audience.  It’s a genius strategy. I caught on and wanted in! So I bought more books, listened to more podcasts and widened my search for more intel.

I found out Pat Flynn basically copied Tim Ferris’s idea in the Four Hour Work Week. He tweaked a few things and made it his own. Nothing malicious here, Pat actually credits Ferris for helping him start.

This super successful person that everyone was referring to didn’t invent something new. He took what he read from someone else, change it to be his own and ran with it. So follow on down the line with the progression. Tim Ferris doesn’t have any truly original ideas either. It’s all been done before.

There is nothing new under the sun

And I started to look at the core business strategies of all these people making millions of dollars online living dream lives. They all were sharing the same philosophy. They each tweaked it a little to suit their individuality.

Boil it all down and it’s pretty much the same formula.

The Formula

Provide value to someone else and build trust. When the time is right offer them a product that solves a painful problem at a competitive price, make it an evergreen offer though automation and go do whatever you want while you make money without continuing to working for it.

That’s it.

This isn’t a new idea. Landlords have been doing this for centuries! They work hard to gain a piece of land either through purchase or duel and then reap the rent rewards for ages just because they own the land.

So if all these people are doing it, and sharing with me how… maybe, just maybe I could too.

Fast Forward to October 2016

I started a blog. It was a jumble of articles with no unifying theme. I think they were great. But there was no mission driving them, just my random thoughts about things I’m passionate about.

Here what I was doing. I was taking the expert stance. I was informing you of how things work in the world of efficiency and effectiveness. While that is cool n’ all it wasn’t exactly right.

The bomb of December 2016

I was dealing with this issue of aimlessness. I had 38 blog posts and 2 Podcasts recorded. Then my site got hacked and I lost everything- EVERYTHING. The lady from my hosting company said they ended to “nuke” my site. A complete wipe down of everything. It was the only way to ensure the virus was gone.

Since my site got Hiroshima’d, I’m seeing a different path I need to take.

Rather than stand up on the improvement pedestal and preach to you, I’m going to step down so we are shoulder to shoulder. I’m going to learn-out-loud for you to see. I’m not new to business, but I am new to owning an online business. I’m new to service products. I’m starting from the same place you are. A blank slate.

I think that’s way cooler than trying to be the expert. I’ll learn and share as I go along. Then you can check it out. Reading my blog takes 5 minutes. What took me a week you can learn in minutes! Now that is efficiency my friend.

The rebuilding effort

In the wake of the bomb, all future blog posts are going to take you along my journey. If you still want the exert talks about efficiency, effectiveness and influence then The Forward Journey Podcast is where you want to go. But the blog will chronicle my 18 month challenge to quit my 9-5 and live my dream life with the following conditions:

My plate is already full as it is

I’ve got no real money to dump into this

I’m not exactly sure where to begin

Sound familiar? I don’t know the answers to the above problems. But dang it, I’m going to discover them. I won’t invent them- that would be cheesy. Someone else out there is already living their calling with no debts except to love their fellow man. I will find them. I will learn from them. I will try their advice. I will keep only what works and I’ll share it all with you! Of course for FREE.

Let’s do it. Let’s discover the path that leads to a legacy of meaning. I can’t tell you where we will end up, but I know if we at least try we are going to be better off in the end than where we started from in the beginning.

I’m scared. And that’s ok. I’m not going to let fear keep me back anymore. I’ll risk looking like an idiot if its helps you avoid it. I’ll risk losing some money if it helps you keep it. I’ll risk the chance at greatness if it helps inspire you to reach for the same.

I’m stopping myself here… I’m going to need some material for Wednesday’s post. For now make an internal decision to join me. Join the Forward Nation and let’s kill mediocrity.