The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins https://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins shares thoughts & ideas that will help you to pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art & discover your true voice! Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:18:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 Jeff Goins shares thoughts and ideas that will help you to pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art and discover your true voice! Jeff Goins clean Jeff Goins jeff@goinswriter.com jeff@goinswriter.com (Jeff Goins) © GoinsWriter.com On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference Most Conferences Are a Waste of Money… Unless You Do This https://goinswriter.com/attend-conferences/ Sun, 24 Jun 2018 10:00:01 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19948 https://goinswriter.com/attend-conferences/#comments https://goinswriter.com/attend-conferences/feed/ 22 I started making a habit of putting into practice the things I learned at the conference before I even left the event. Forget notebooks filled with information you’ll never look at again; this is the best way to get your money’s worth out of a conference. Just do it before you leave. Have you grabbed your ticket to the Tribe Conference yet? Early bird pricing goes away July 1st! Find out more here.

When I first starting writing, I heard people talk about conferences. They said go to this one or that one. It was a good way to “connect.” But what was I, a shy guy, going to do at a conference?

Why You Should Attend a Conference (and What to Do When You Get There)

I’d also heard the case against conferences. The crowds. The unnecessary expenses. The inspirational but ultimately un-actionable content you tend to get. I just wasn’t sure the investment was going to be worth the cost, for me.

But then, on a whim, I forked up the cash for a conference and was blown away at the content and the experience. That was the place where I first started calling myself a writer. I was hooked.

I also recorded a special podcast to expand on my thoughts. You can listen to by clicking the player below.

And so it began…

Shortly after that, I found a way to volunteer my services as a writer to attend another conference. I didn’t expect much from the conference but wanted to get to know the event planner better.

After four life-changing days, I began to drop some of my skepticism about conferences. And over the course of about six months, I began building a network, organically and somewhat accidentally, of writers and bloggers and people whom I would soon call “friend.”

Within a year, I had formed some of the most important relationships in writing career — many of which came from conferences, meetups, and other kinds of events. In fact, it was at a conference in Chicago, eating panini sandwiches, that I met an editor who published my first two books.

In the world of writing, an important step to success is forming the right relationships. In fact, I think this is true in many different industries, but it seems to be especially true for creative ones. Who you know matters. And a great way to meet more people is to attend conferences.

You can’t do this alone

This journey towards becoming a writer is not a solitary one. You will need help. You will need guides and mentors and peers to help you find your way.

This is the secret to success that few people like to admit: no successful person ever succeeds alone. Just as Hemingway went to Paris in the 1920s to be around some of the most interesting literary minds of the century, you, too, will have to find a tribe you can learn from.

But if you’re not careful, you can totally waste your time and money going to the wrong conferences. You can just go from inspiration to inspiration without any practical application. So it’s important that you know how to make the most of your investment, if you decide to register for a conference.

Here are a few goals you need to have when attending a conference if you don’t want the experience to be a waste. These are lessons I learned from attending conferences and from hosting one myself, and I hope they help you.

Goal #1: Learn

You need to go to a conference that has the kind of speakers you respect and want to learn from.

I can’t learn from someone who hasn’t done what I want to do. It’s a personal preference but an important one. I must be learning from people who have done the thing that I want to do. Otherwise, I feel like it’s a waste.

Also, a secondary but significant goal for me at a conference is to meet one of the speakers. This is easier than it sounds, actually. It doesn’t have to be some A-list presenter, but the point of an event is connection with people, and you’d be surprised at how accessible some “celebrities” are.

I first learned this when I attended World Domination Summit and asked, out of the blue, if Chris Brogan would be willing to meet me in person. He replied to my email, saying he’d love to. We played it by ear and ended up skipping a session, chatting in the lobby.

By the end of our conversation, there was a small crowd surrounding Chris, peppering him with questions. I didn’t mind. Here was a blogger whom I respected and had only interacted with online, and we had just spent an hour together, chatting. We’ve been friends ever since. I don’t remember the session that I missed, but I know I was able to watch it online later.

How to do this:

  1. Reach out to the person ahead of time to book a meeting at the conference. Once the event starts, everyone will want to meet these people. So just email them a week in advance, asking for 15 minutes of their time.
  2. Offer to buy them a meal or coffee. Something. Demonstrate that you’re not a taker, but a giver.
  3. Do this whenever it is convenient for them. Early in the morning, late at night whatever. When Chris emailed me back and asked if I could meet him in the lobby in five minutes, I immediately grabbed my stuff and left the auditorium.
Lesson: You can meet influential and important people at conferences if you are willing to make sacrifices.

Goal #2: Connect

Second, you need to go to conference that has the kind of attendees you want to be around.

Who, exactly, is that?

Well, it should be people like you. When I hosted the Tribe Conference last year, I was amazed at how many people said that was their first conference ever. What made them want to attend it? They didn’t know there was a place where they could go and people others just like them.

I’ve had this same experience as an attendee at several events. There’s something powerful when you end up some place and instantly feel like you belong.

For me, I don’t want to go some place where I can’t tolerate the people attending the event, no matter how good the content is. This is why I don’t attend many business and marketing events. I just don’t love being around that crowd.

Perhaps the most memorable part of an event is the conversations you’ll have in the hotel lobby or outside the bathroom in between sessions. It’s the late-night hangouts or random lunches with strangers that will stick with you. So you want to get some place where people “get” you.

What does this matter? Because if you go to enough conferences with jerks and swindlers and people who represent values you don’t want, well, some of that just might rub off on you. You are the company you keep, so choose to hang with the kind of people who will make you better.

My first conference, I sheepishly attended a meetup for bloggers and was too nervous to introduce myself to anyone. Nonetheless, another blogger named Kyle whom I knew from Twitter came up to me and said hi. We stayed in touch and became close friends after that (we just had lunch the other day).

Later, he told me that he could tell I was nervous and that’s why he approached me in the first place. This is what you want — people who get you, who will make you feel comfortable, even when you are unsure of yourself.

What I learned from Kyle is that we can all do this. So the very next conference I attended, I found someone who looked nervous and was clinging to the wall, and introduced myself. Worked like a charm.

How to do this:

  1. Go to the event (this is important but something we shy people tend to overlook — yes, you actually have to show up).
  2. Find someone less confident than you — because when you’re shy and unsure of yourself it’s hard to approach someone who is larger than life. So just find someone who is looking around the room, lost.
  3. Say hi to this person and ask them this question: “What are you hoping to get out of this conference?”

If you need more help with this, check out this old interview I did to on how even as a shy guy I am able to meet new people at conferences.

Lesson: You can make lasting relationships at conferences if you go where people like you already are and meet people who are just as nervous as you are.

Goal #3: Apply

Third, you need to go to a conference with the intention of not just learning but of applying what you will learn. This means that the conference must have the kind of information that will make you better.

In other words, the content has to be more than just basic stuff you can Google. It needs to include exclusive teaching or access to the speaker or a brand-new application of it.

When I started attending a few conferences a year, I realized that what I wanted was not just a good experience but a transformation. To take home with me the things that I had learned and be able to apply to my own context.

So I started making a habit of putting into practice the things I learned at the conference before I even left the event. Forget notebooks filled with information you’ll never look at again; this is the best way to get your money’s worth out of a conference. Just do it before you leave.

I learned this from my friend Danny Iny when I saw him pull out his computer in the middle of a speaking session at a conference and send an email to his assistant.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m telling my team to start doing this right now.”

He then proceeded to tell me his rule for attending conferences: find three actionable nuggets and put them into practice before the event is over. Once you’ve done that, you can enjoy the rest of the event, guilt-free.

I saw him do this several times throughout the conference and decided to make that same practice a habit.

How to do this:

  1. Decide ahead of time what you want to get out of the experience.
  2. When you hear something that resonates with you, step aside to put the thing into practice. That could mean taking a break or simply emailing yourself a to-do item.
  3. Set a quota (e.g. “I’m going to immediately apply three things I learn at this conference”) and give yourself permission to stop once you’re done.
Lesson: Going to a conference won’t be a life-changing experience unless you are willing to be changed by the experience itself.

Why I created my own conference

There are a lot of conferences and events out there. A lot of paid mastermind groups and summits and experiences to keep you busy for a long, long time. Honestly, it’s easy to pick the wrong thing. It’s easy to get swept up by where everyone else is going and what everyone else is doing.

But that shouldn’t concern you. You need to go where you know you can learn from people you trust, connect with people you respect, and apply information you need.

After attending conferences for the past four years, one thing struck me as a writer. There aren’t many options available for writers and creatives who want to thrive in the modern age. There aren’t many places that help you understand where to begin, who to connect with, and what plan to follow after you leave the event.

In fact, I knew that the kind of conference I needed when I first started writing did not even exist. So I tried to cobble together some disparate experiences by attending a number of different events, but that became harder and harder to do year after year.

So I decided to create my own.

When people come together, life change happens. One person told me, it was “the best conference” they’d ever attended. Another told me it was the only one they’d ever attended.

But the truth is for a conference to make a difference, it has to have the right people, with the right message, delivered in the right way. Otherwise, you will waste your money.

That’s what the Tribe Conference is all about. It’s a place where writers, creatives, and artists can gather to share their messages and grow in their craft. It’s an event that gives you the practical known-how and inspiration to take the next step in finding the audience your message deserves.

What happens at a good conference

One attendee of the Tribe Conference, David Villalva, had this to say after leaving the event:

Every presenter and attendee I spoke with changed, challenged, or charged me. I arrived at this conference thinking I needed to somehow survive it. Instead, I discovered what it meant to be part of a tribe, and left feeling like I thrived in one.

I’ll be the first to admit that the reaction to our little event surprised me. But this was my goal: to create a place of belonging and transformation. And this is what I look for as an attendee of other events — to belong and to be changed.

Nearly half of last year’s attendees are coming back to the Tribe Conference because they’re making progress on the plans they started last year. Whether that means launching a blog or finishing a book, they’re taking action. And they want learning, connecting, and applying. It’s an honor to be a part of this growing community.

Last year was our “pilot” year to see if it worked, and it went even better than I could have imagined. This year is going to be even bigger and better, with expert speakers, brand-new technology and tools we will be featuring, and more fun surprises.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a professional writer, then Tribe Conference is for you.

If you have struggled to figure out how to use digital technology to get your message heard, then Tribe Conference is for you.

If you dream of one day writing a book or speaking for a living or simply getting the attention your message deserves, then Tribe Conference is for you.

To check out the schedule, learn more about ticket pricing, and sign up before we sell out, go here.

If you’d like to get going on that dream of yours and connect with a whole host of speakers including Alli Worthington, Amy Landino, Todd Henry, Tim Grahl, Janet Murray, and others, then sign up for Tribe before the price goes up.

Join us October 26–28 in Franklin, TN at the Tribe Conference. It’s going to be great!

What has been your best conference experience? Share in the comments.

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I started making a habit of putting into practice the things I learned at the conference before I even left the event. Forget notebooks filled with information you’ll never look at again; this is the best way to get your money’s worth out of a conferen... Find out more here.
When I first starting writing, I heard people talk about conferences. They said go to this one or that one. It was a good way to “connect.” But what was I, a shy guy, going to do at a conference?

I’d also heard the case against conferences. The crowds. The unnecessary expenses. The inspirational but ultimately un-actionable content you tend to get. I just wasn’t sure the investment was going to be worth the cost, for me.
But then, on a whim, I forked up the cash for a conference and was blown away at the content and the experience. That was the place where I first started calling myself a writer. I was hooked.
I also recorded a special podcast to expand on my thoughts. You can listen to by clicking the player below.

And so it began…
Shortly after that, I found a way to volunteer my services as a writer to attend another conference. I didn’t expect much from the conference but wanted to get to know the event planner better.
After four life-changing days, I began to drop some of my skepticism about conferences. And over the course of about six months, I began building a network, organically and somewhat accidentally, of writers and bloggers and people whom I would soon call “friend.”
Within a year, I had formed some of the most important relationships in writing career — many of which came from conferences, meetups, and other kinds of events. In fact, it was at a conference in Chicago, eating panini sandwiches, that I met an editor who published my first two books.
In the world of writing, an important step to success is forming the right relationships. In fact, I think this is true in many different industries, but it seems to be especially true for creative ones. Who you know matters. And a great way to meet more people is to attend conferences.
You can’t do this alone
This journey towards becoming a writer is not a solitary one. You will need help. You will need guides and mentors and peers to help you find your way.
This is the secret to success that few people like to admit: no successful person ever succeeds alone. Just as Hemingway went to Paris in the 1920s to be around some of the most interesting literary minds of the century, you, too, will have to find a tribe you can learn from.
But if you’re not careful, you can totally waste your time and money going to the wrong conferences. You can just go from inspiration to inspiration without any practical application. So it’s important that you know how to make the most of your investment, if you decide to register for a conference.
Here are a few goals you need to have when attending a conference if you don’t want the experience to be a waste. These are lessons I learned from attending conferences and from hosting one myself, and I hope they help you.
Goal #1: Learn
You need to go to a conference that has the kind of speakers you respect and want to learn from.
I can’t learn from someone who hasn’t done what I want to do. It’s a personal preference but an important one. I must be learning from people who have done the thing that I want to do. Otherwise, I feel like it’s a waste.
Also, a secondary but significant goal for me at a conference is to meet one of the speakers. This is easier than it sounds, actually. It doesn’t have to be some A-list presenter, but the point of an event is connection with people,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 28:54
3 Lessons on Becoming a Professional Writer from Tribe Conference Speakers https://goinswriter.com/tribe-conference-lessons/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:00:13 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=23164 https://goinswriter.com/tribe-conference-lessons/#respond https://goinswriter.com/tribe-conference-lessons/feed/ 0 After spending a decade in a shadow career that was very close to being an author, Tim Grahl decided to apprentice under Shawn Coyne to not only learn how to write fiction (a story that works) but also what it takes to become a professional writer. Shawn summarizes that Resistance, a term coined by Steven Pressfield to describe internal struggle, keeps us from our calling and meaningful work. To beat it, you have to turn pro. Tribe Conference is a gathering of writers, artists, and other creatives who want to grow their craft and get the attention their work deserves.

3 Lessons from the 2106 Tribe Conference on Becoming a Professional Writer

As we prepare for this year’s event, I wanted to share some highlights from past Tribe Conferences with you that included presentations from Emily P. Freeman, Marion Roach Smith, and The Story Grid duo of Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl.

Uncovering your voice with Emily P. Freeman

Emily believes our default mode is to have a mediocre voice, and that we’re not alone in our struggle to make the change from sounding average to uncovering our authentic voice. She shared three keys to help us do just that:

  1. Frustration. What’s bothering you? Start there. Finding your most authentic voice is discovering what gets under your skin. Push ideas you think are worth addressing forward.
  2. Passion. Pay attention to what makes you cry. Your tears are tiny messengers from the deepest place of your heart. If you cry a lot, pay attention to the tears that burn. If you rarely cry, pay close attention to the times you do.
  3. Hope. We need to believe that sharing our voice can make a difference.

You can uncover your voice with only two of these three, but it won’t be your authentic voice. Instead, it will be a mediocre voice developed by a false formula:

  1. Frustration and Passion. Without hope, your writing turns into a cynical rant.
  2. Frustration and Hope. Certain things frustrate you, but you optimistically hope they’ll get better. You lack the passion for actively promoting a cause and instead settle for rote duty.
  3. Passion and Hope. This voice is like a Hallmark movie: it’s sweet, comfortable, and boringly optimistic.

Paying attention to all three keys in our lives will help us find the sweet spot to uncovering our voice.

The benefits of writing with Marion Roach Smith

Marion Roach Smith left a great job at the New York Times to pursue her true passions: writing and living any place she pleased. She shares the benefits of writing and the secrets of doing it well.

The benefits of writing:

  1. It will turn you into a Zen master by forcing you to live in the moment. Open yourself up to feeling and reacting to your experiences. Then write about them.
  2. It will force you to embrace a thrilling life of crime. Write everything you hear down and quote everyone. If you quote them, it’s not stealing. But you will still steal like crazy.
  3. It will help you win any argument. You learn to explain complex issues with simple ingredients.
  4. It will help you become a super athlete. You learn to experience the pain of life and play hurt. Writers feel, experience, and react to pain by writing about it.
  5. It will improve your sex life. Your life improves when you learn not to share your writing with your family.

Turning pro with Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne

After spending a decade in a shadow career that was very close to being an author, Tim Grahl decided to apprentice under Shawn Coyne to not only learn how to write fiction (a story that works) but also what it takes to become a professional writer.

Shawn summarizes that Resistance, a term coined by Steven Pressfield to describe internal struggle, keeps us from our calling and meaningful work. To beat it, you have to turn pro. Here is what Shawn and Tim have learned it takes to turn pro:

  • A pro is self-validating. A book deal, blog followers, agent, and book sales are all external validations that will fail to satisfy. A professional looks for approval within to see if she meets her standard.
  • A pro is patient. He doesn’t chase other people’s definition of success. He isn’t looking to be an overnight sensation. He builds habits and keeps working.
  • A pro seizes ground every day. She embraces the warrior mindset, identifies Resistance as the enemy, and fights for inches on the battlefield of creativity.
  • A pro does deliberate practice. It’s a lie that you have to be born with a unique talent to be a writer. Having innate storytelling ability is helpful, but the professional knows she doesn’t need a mystical gift. She learns the form and structure of a story and deliberately practices to hone her craft.

To listen to the interview portion of Shawn and Tim’s presentation on The Portfolio Life, click the player below. Their complete conversation plus an audience Q&A are included in the video above.

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After spending a decade in a shadow career that was very close to being an author, Tim Grahl decided to apprentice under Shawn Coyne to not only learn how to write fiction (a story that works) but also what it takes to become a professional writer.
As we prepare for this year’s event, I wanted to share some highlights from past Tribe Conferences with you that included presentations from Emily P. Freeman, Marion Roach Smith, and The Story Grid duo of Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl.

Uncovering your voice with Emily P. Freeman








Emily believes our default mode is to have a mediocre voice, and that we’re not alone in our struggle to make the change from sounding average to uncovering our authentic voice. She shared three keys to help us do just that:

* Frustration. What’s bothering you? Start there. Finding your most authentic voice is discovering what gets under your skin. Push ideas you think are worth addressing forward.
* Passion. Pay attention to what makes you cry. Your tears are tiny messengers from the deepest place of your heart. If you cry a lot, pay attention to the tears that burn. If you rarely cry, pay close attention to the times you do.
* Hope. We need to believe that sharing our voice can make a difference.

You can uncover your voice with only two of these three, but it won’t be your authentic voice. Instead, it will be a mediocre voice developed by a false formula:

* Frustration and Passion. Without hope, your writing turns into a cynical rant.
* Frustration and Hope. Certain things frustrate you, but you optimistically hope they’ll get better. You lack the passion for actively promoting a cause and instead settle for rote duty.
* Passion and Hope. This voice is like a Hallmark movie: it’s sweet, comfortable, and boringly optimistic.

Paying attention to all three keys in our lives will help us find the sweet spot to uncovering our voice.
“We need people that write with hope.Emily P. FreemanTweet this
The benefits of writing with Marion Roach Smith








Marion Roach Smith left a great job at the New York Times to pursue her true passions: writing and living any place she pleased. She shares the benefits of writing and the secrets of doing it well.
The benefits of writing:

* It will turn you into a Zen master by forcing you to live in the moment. Open yourself up to feeling and reacting to your experiences. Then write about them.
* It will force you to embrace a thrilling life of crime. Write everything you hear down and quote everyone. If you quote them, it’s not stealing. But you will still steal like crazy.
* It will help you win any argument. You learn to explain complex issues with simple ingredients.
* It will help you become a super athlete. You learn to experience the pain of life and play hurt. Writers feel, experience, and react to pain by writing about it.
* It will improve your sex life. Your life improves when you learn not to share your writing with your family.

“Never read your stuff to someone who depends on you for food, sex, or shelter.Marion Roach SmithTweet this
Turning pro with Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne




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Jeff Goins clean 33:00
How ADHD Makes You a Better Writer: Interview with Ryan McRae https://goinswriter.com/adhd/ Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:00:18 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22980 https://goinswriter.com/adhd/#respond https://goinswriter.com/adhd/feed/ 0 ADHD is Ryan's challenge, and his website serves a real need for others. Launching his website has enabled him to help a niche audience and build a thriving community and business around it. Have you ever considered how your disadvantages might actually be advantages Ryan McRae’s blog The ADHD Nerd is an example of this.

Using Personal Challenges to Create a Thriving Blog: Interview with Ryan McRae

ADHD is Ryan’s challenge, and his website serves a real need for others. Launching his website has enabled him to help a niche audience and build a thriving community and business around it.

But The ADHD Nerd wasn’t Ryan’s first site. After attending the World Domination Summit, where I met Ryan years ago, he first started a blog called Master Presenting and wrote on it every week for a year.

Then, his friends encouraged him to find another audience to serve. This just wasn’t working.

Ryan went back to the drawing board and came up with another idea. Because he’s had ADHD all his life, Ryan has had to teach himself certain coping skills just to learn how to focus. His knowledge and experience have proven valuable to others with similar challenges.

On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Ryan shares how going to Afghanistan for a year helped him improve as a blogger and online community builder. He also tells how the advantages and disadvantages of having ADHD helped him grow an audience and business.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Ryan tells us:

  • What did his year in Afghanistan teach him?
  • The question to ask to find out what you can offer to the world.
  • When to grow your list, and when to focus on creating content for your current subscribers.
  • What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?
  • What is executive function and how is it different with ADHD?

The ADHD Nerd

  • What did his first attempt at blogging teach him?
  • When did he know The ADHD Nerd was his “thing”?
  • How many people were on his email list after a year of blogging?
  • Why shouldn’t you post great content on a Saturday?
  • How Ryan continues to help and serve his audience today.

Growing Your List

  • Who should you reach out to and who should you not?
  • How to make a plan for expanding your audience.
  • Can conferences help you grow your list?
  • What percentage of his blog posts were for his audience and what percentage were guest posts?
  • How to position your pitches for guest blog posting for others.

Resources

What’s a personal challenge you’ve experienced that you can help others with now? Let us know in the comments.

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ADHD is Ryan's challenge, and his website serves a real need for others. Launching his website has enabled him to help a niche audience and build a thriving community and business around it.
ADHD is Ryan’s challenge, and his website serves a real need for others. Launching his website has enabled him to help a niche audience and build a thriving community and business around it.
But The ADHD Nerd wasn’t Ryan’s first site. After attending the World Domination Summit, where I met Ryan years ago, he first started a blog called Master Presenting and wrote on it every week for a year.
Then, his friends encouraged him to find another audience to serve. This just wasn’t working.
Ryan went back to the drawing board and came up with another idea. Because he’s had ADHD all his life, Ryan has had to teach himself certain coping skills just to learn how to focus. His knowledge and experience have proven valuable to others with similar challenges.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Ryan shares how going to Afghanistan for a year helped him improve as a blogger and online community builder. He also tells how the advantages and disadvantages of having ADHD helped him grow an audience and business.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Ryan tells us:

* What did his year in Afghanistan teach him?
* The question to ask to find out what you can offer to the world.
* When to grow your list, and when to focus on creating content for your current subscribers.
* What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?
* What is executive function and how is it different with ADHD?

“Ultimately you want to help people.Ryan McRaeTweet this
The ADHD Nerd

* What did his first attempt at blogging teach him?
* When did he know The ADHD Nerd was his “thing”?
* How many people were on his email list after a year of blogging?
* Why shouldn’t you post great content on a Saturday?
* How Ryan continues to help and serve his audience today.

“You have to build the momentum.Ryan McRaeTweet this
Growing Your List

* Who should you reach out to and who should you not?
* How to make a plan for expanding your audience.
* Can conferences help you grow your list?
* What percentage of his blog posts were for his audience and what percentage were guest posts?
* How to position your pitches for guest blog posting for others.

Resources

* The ADHD Nerd web site
* Master Presenting web site
* Ryan McRae on Twitter
* Ryan McRae on Video Fruit 
* Forest app 
* Real Artists Don’t Starve
* Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes

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Jeff Goins clean 39:24
The Rule of the Scene: Why Where You Live Affects the Work You Do https://goinswriter.com/rule-scene/ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 10:01:31 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21594 https://goinswriter.com/rule-scene/#comments https://goinswriter.com/rule-scene/feed/ 14 When we look at the lives of successful artists, writers, and creatives, we don't just see a collection of serendipitous moments. We see strategy. Whether intentional or not, we see a series of incidents and connections that allow the person's work to get the attention it deserves. And this does not happy by accident. At least, not usually. I’ve written before that every story of success is really a story of community. This was one of the central ideas to my book, Real Artists Don’t Starve. You need a scene. But how do you find one?

The Rule of the Scene: Why Where You Live Affects the Work You Do

When we look at the lives of successful artists, writers, and creatives, we don’t just see a collection of serendipitous moments. We see strategy. Whether intentional or not, a series of incidents and connections often allow a person’s work to get the attention it deserves.

And this does not happen by accident. At least, not usually.

One of the greatest examples of this is how Ernest Hemingway moved to Paris in the 1920s to join a scene of expatriate writers and artists who had taken up residence in the Left Bank. Almost every time I tell this story, someone will ask, “But what if I can’t move?”

Do you have to move across the world to find your scene? What if circumstances prevent you from doing so? Here’s what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

I also recorded a podcast episode to further expand on my thoughts. You can finish reading below, give it a listen, or both.

Go where the magic is

The Rule of the Scene, as I call it, states that it’s easier to go where creative work is happening than it is to will yourself to be more creative. The research on this is pretty clear: genius is a group effort, not the result of any single person’s work. The concept of the solitary genius is a myth. We don’t do our best work alone.

At the same time, not all of us are able to pack up our things and move across the country or the other side of globe to find our scene. Does this mean we’re out of luck? Not exactly.

We need a scene. That much is obvious. But you may not have to move as far as you think. Here’s how this works. If you want to do your best work, you have a choice:

  1. You can either go join a scene.
  2. You can create one right where you are.

Either way, you don’t get out of this. You have to find your scene, even if it means you make it yourself.

Join an existing scene

Let’s look at the first strategy, which we’ll call “Go Join a Scene,” (see Chapter 6 of Real Artists Don’t Starve for more on this). The idea here is there are certain pockets of creativity in the world that are worth tapping into. These places and unique moments in time are sometimes called “creative clusters.”

Researcher Richard Florida writes about the Creative Class, as a group of workers who are particularly drawn to areas of technology and diversity. They intuitively understand that where we live affects what we do and how we do it.

Travel writer Eric Weiner shared the same phenomenon in his book The Geography of Genius. Some places, he argues, seem to have an “it” factor, something that makes that location a hotspot for creative. And if we want to do our best creative work, we would do well to tap into these places.

One quality, according to Weiner, is that these places are unlikely — they can happen anywhere. When Hemingway sees a bunch of poets and painters moving to Paris because the exchange rate is good, he decides to follow. There, he can live on a meager budget while growing as a writer in the company of greatness. So he goes. And he finds his scene.

That’s one way to do it. But of course, there is another.

Create your own scene

You can either do what Hemingway did and go join a scene, or you can create one. Let’s look at that second strategy, which we’ll call “Create Your Own Scene.” If one way to do your best creative work is going where creativity is already happening, the alternative, then, would be to stay put.

This, too, is a strategy. Because for every Hemingway in Paris, there’s a Bronte in Haworth. Haworth, England was a small rural town where the Bronte family made their home. The daughters of a clergyman, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne grew up without much exposure to the outside world. To pass the time and to amuse themselves, they would tell stories to each other.

One day, one of the older sisters Charlotte found some poetry written by Emily, which caused the older sister to share that she, too, had been writing. Before long, it was clear that all three siblings were closet writers, and thus began a literary collaboration that would last a lifetime.

The Bronte sisters would go on to write some of the most influential works of literature in the English language, and it all began in a small village, far from the reaches of civilization. These young women didn’t have to leave home to find their scene. In fact, some of them did leave only to return to Haworth because that was where they did their best work.

Sometimes, the community we need is closer than we realize.

You must move

So which should we do? Go find a scene? Or create one? It may sound like contradictory advice: if you can stay put or leave, then you really don’t have to do anything.

But that’s not what I’m saying. You need a scene. You need to find that place where your people are, that community you can connect and collaborate with to create your best work.

But make no mistake. This requires movement:

  • For some of us, that may mean a move across the room
  • For others, it may mean a move overseas.
  • In others, it may mean recognizing the opportunity already available.

In my case, it meant realizing that I already lived in a city where creative work was happening. I just needed to join it. But this required action. I had to put myself out there, show up where other creative workers were gathering and make some connections.

Over time, the more I made myself available to others, the more I became a part of the scene.

If you want to find your scene, you must move. Standing still is not an option. Either move to where the work is happening or recognize where it is already happening in your back yard and start putting yourself out there. Connections create community.

How to create your own scene

A scene requires three things:

  • place
  • people
  • purpose

You need a place to gather, a group of people to connect with, and a purpose for meeting.

This was true of the Brontes, it was true of Hemingway, and it was even true of the scene I joined here in Nashville. We do our best work in community, and those communities are found in places, sometimes the ones we least expect. Our job is to go find that scene, wherever it is. Because once you join it scene, everything changes.

Here’s one last example:

Every year, Eric Gale, a member of our Tribe Writers community, comes to Tribe Conference, our annual gathering for writers and creatives. But he doesn’t just show up. He takes it upon himself to put together a meet-up for other writers in the area. No one asked him to do this. He was just hungry enough for connection that he decided to create his own community.

This is how you find a scene. You put yourself out there, going where creative work is already happening — whether that’s in your own town, or at a faraway event. You do whatever you can to get to where your people are. Then, you do what Eric did: you step out and make yourself as helpful as possible to others.

And if you do this well, you win.

What do I do now?

Your next steps are simple:

  1. Join a scene. Find a place where the people you want to connect with are already gathering. Check out meetup.org or even Tribe Conference to see if it’s a good fit for you.
  2. Commit to showing up. Buy a ticket. Schedule the meeting. Do whatever you need to do to get there.
  3. Be helpful. Go above and beyond. Just as Eric did, become the community you need. Go first. Help enough people get what they want and you’ll be surprised how that generosity has a way of coming back around to you.

If you’re curious about joining Eric, me, and others this year who are eager to get the attention their work deserves, check out Tribe Conference.

Click here to reserve your seat before the early bird price expires.

Do you need to join a scene or create a new one? Share in the comments.

]]>
When we look at the lives of successful artists, writers, and creatives, we don't just see a collection of serendipitous moments. We see strategy. Whether intentional or not, we see a series of incidents and connections that allow the person's work to ... written before that every story of success is really a story of community. This was one of the central ideas to my book, Real Artists Don’t Starve. You need a scene. But how do you find one?

When we look at the lives of successful artists, writers, and creatives, we don’t just see a collection of serendipitous moments. We see strategy. Whether intentional or not, a series of incidents and connections often allow a person’s work to get the attention it deserves.
And this does not happen by accident. At least, not usually.
One of the greatest examples of this is how Ernest Hemingway moved to Paris in the 1920s to join a scene of expatriate writers and artists who had taken up residence in the Left Bank. Almost every time I tell this story, someone will ask, “But what if I can’t move?”
Do you have to move across the world to find your scene? What if circumstances prevent you from doing so? Here’s what to do if you find yourself in that situation.
I also recorded a podcast episode to further expand on my thoughts. You can finish reading below, give it a listen, or both.

Go where the magic is
The Rule of the Scene, as I call it, states that it’s easier to go where creative work is happening than it is to will yourself to be more creative. The research on this is pretty clear: genius is a group effort, not the result of any single person’s work. The concept of the solitary genius is a myth. We don’t do our best work alone.
“We don’t do our best work alone.Tweet this
At the same time, not all of us are able to pack up our things and move across the country or the other side of globe to find our scene. Does this mean we’re out of luck? Not exactly.
We need a scene. That much is obvious. But you may not have to move as far as you think. Here’s how this works. If you want to do your best work, you have a choice:

* You can either go join a scene.
* You can create one right where you are.

Either way, you don’t get out of this. You have to find your scene, even if it means you make it yourself.
Join an existing scene
Let’s look at the first strategy, which we’ll call “Go Join a Scene,” (see Chapter 6 of Real Artists Don’t Starve for more on this). The idea here is there are certain pockets of creativity in the world that are worth tapping into. These places and unique moments in time are sometimes called “creative clusters.”
Researcher Richard Florida writes about the Creative Class, as a group of workers who are particularly drawn to areas of technology and diversity. They intuitively understand that where we live affects what we do and how we do it.
Travel writer Eric Weiner shared the same phenomenon in his book The Geography of Genius. Some places, he argues, seem to have an “it” factor, something that makes that location a hotspot for creative. And if we want to do our best creative work, we would do well to tap into these places.
One quality, according to Weiner, is that these places are unlikely — they can happen...]]>
Jeff Goins clean 29:49
How to Risk Like a Writer (or How I Got the Fourth Man to Walk on the Moon to Talk to Me) https://goinswriter.com/risk/ Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=23132 https://goinswriter.com/risk/#respond https://goinswriter.com/risk/feed/ 0 Part of the job of a writer is to take risks, but not just the big, bold risks that can make or break a career. More often than that, it's the small but significant risks that make up the work we do.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” –William Faulkner

Part of the job of a writer is to take risks, but not just the big, bold risks that can make or break a career. Often, it’s the small but significant risks that define who we become.

Lessons from how I got the Fourth Man who Walked on the Moon to be in my Book

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Real Artists Don’t Starve, I decided to not only share the lessons I learned writing the book, but also the lessons I learned from the courageous readers who applied the principles of the book and put them to work.

Not only do I want to share my thoughts with you in this post, but I also recorded a special episode of The Portfolio Life to expand on these valuable lessons. You can listen below, read the article, or do both.

Sometimes the things we think of as big risks aren’t that big. And some of the most significant transitions in your career won’t require you to take a leap but instead build a bridge. So which risks are worth taking, and which ones are not? Here are three regular risks you must take.

Do the work

You have to risk your comfort. That’s the first risk every writer must take. This is not easy work, and you will be tempted to mail it in. Don’t. Here’s an example.

Writing a book for me is a process of pulling together ideas and and stories figuring out what they all mean. While researching Real Artists Don’t Starve, my latest book, a friend recommended I talk to astronaut-turned-artist Alan Bean. As I looked a little closer at Alan’s story, I was convinced of two things:

  • It was perfect for my book.
  • He would never talk to me.

My initial response was this was never going to work. Alan would never talk to me. I knew it. I was certain of it. It was fact. I shot myself down before I even tried, because that was the easy thing to do.

That’s when my friend and writing mentor, Marion Roach, challenged me: “Don’t just do Internet research,” she said. “Do real research. Pick up the phone and call him.”

In other words, do the hard work.

Marion told me that to write a great book, you have to tell stories people have never heard before. To make a difference with your art, you have to try new things, connect dots that that have never been connected. You say things what have never been said before, at least not the way that you’re going to say it.

Casting aside my self-doubt, I emailed Alan and asked for an interview. A day later, he responded with his phone number and told me to call any time. I was stunned. Risking my comfort paid off. Alan and I ended up having a terrific conversation, which you can listen to here. His story also closed out the book and continues to resonate with readers.

The lesson is simple: Don’t take the easy route. Risk your comfort, and do the hard work. It pays off more than you think.

Display your passion

You have to risk rejection. That’s the second risk we take as writers. This work is not for the faint of heart, because around every corner lurks someone waiting to reject you. Agents. Publishers. Critics. Even readers. You have to pick yourself before anyone else will.

One person who applied this lesson better than most is Rebeca Flott.

Rebecca is an artist who paints old window screens. She reached out to me on Instagram, and when I heard her story, I knew it deserved to be shared. After reading my book, Rebeca latched on to the one idea that you don’t have to starve to do your best work. She went after her dream, and today she is a full-time artist.

Here’s how she did it:

  • She sold her art to anyone who would buy it.
  • She taught her art to anyone who would listen.
  • She licensed her art to the right people who could help it spread.

As she was busy doing those things, practicing in public as I call it, someone offered Rebeca $100,000 to open up a physical shop where she could continue teaching others her art. She found a patron.

Here’s the lesson: When you risk rejection, not everyone rejects you. When decide you don’t need anyone’s permission to make your art, suddenly someone wants to help you. The universe conspires for your success.

It was when Rebeca took her art more seriously that others started taking her seriously. She risked rejection and leaned into her fear, and it paid off. Fear constrains us all, but if we want others to believe in us, we have to believe in us first. So don’t be afraid to put your passion on display for others to see. Who knows who you might attract.

Don’t say no for other people

You have to risk failure. These risks, of course don’t always pay off. Sometimes, we fall on our faces, and we hit the ground. And it hurts. Still, we have to keep going. We can’t quit. The job of a writer is to persevere, even — no, especially — when we might fail.

Is it going to be easy? Of course not. You can do the hard work, display your passion, and still get rejected. And you’d think after learning my lesson from talking to Alan Bean that I’d be more comfortable with risk. But I’m not.

When I was working on the book, I wanted to reach out to a man named Rab Hatfield, the author whose book had been a major influence and in fact the basis for much of Real Artists Don’t Starve. A retired professor living in Italy, Professor Hatfield was nearly impossible to track down. His book The Wealth of Michelangelo took me six months alone to track down and cost $120.

So getting a quote from the author was important. But I knew I needed something fresh, not a regurgitated quote from The New York Times, an exclusive interview with the man himself. Still, I was unsure of myself.

I tried Googling him but couldn’t find a current email address. He had no blog. No public phone number. Nothing.

So I went to Twitter. There, I found a two year old photo of Professor Hatfield teaching a class, and I reached out to the person who had taken the photo. They said they did know the professor and would be willing to introduce me. After emailing Professor Hatfield, he sent me a prompt reply with his phone number.

The next morning, I called him on Skype, and we spoke for over an hour. “What else do you want to know?” he asked towards the end of our conversation, then proceeded to tell me all about the Mona Lisa.

It was after I stopped saying no, that I was genuinely able to get what I wanted.

Here’s the last lesson: Stop saying no for other people. You don’t know what their answer will be. Risk rejection and lean into those fears. I was able to meet these incredible people and help tell their stories but only after I dared to ask.

May you do the same.

But how? It comes down to confidence and mindset. I believe you will find what you seek. If you’re looking for rejection, you’ll find that. And if you’re looking for acceptance, you’ll find that, too. We always find what we’re looking for… eventually.

And practically speaking, you don’t need 99 people to say yes. You just need one. It’s not your job to say no for them, and your “yes” may be closer than you think. Good luck.

What art will you have the courage to pursue? Share it with me in the comments.

]]>
Part of the job of a writer is to take risks, but not just the big, bold risks that can make or break a career. More often than that, it's the small but significant risks that make up the work we do. Part of the job of a writer is to take risks, but not just the big, bold risks that can make or break a career. Often, it’s the small but significant risks that define who we become.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Real Artists Don’t Starve, I decided to not only share the lessons I learned writing the book, but also the lessons I learned from the courageous readers who applied the principles of the book and put them to work.
Not only do I want to share my thoughts with you in this post, but I also recorded a special episode of The Portfolio Life to expand on these valuable lessons. You can listen below, read the article, or do both.

Sometimes the things we think of as big risks aren’t that big. And some of the most significant transitions in your career won’t require you to take a leap but instead build a bridge. So which risks are worth taking, and which ones are not? Here are three regular risks you must take.
Do the work
You have to risk your comfort. That’s the first risk every writer must take. This is not easy work, and you will be tempted to mail it in. Don’t. Here’s an example.
Writing a book for me is a process of pulling together ideas and and stories figuring out what they all mean. While researching Real Artists Don’t Starve, my latest book, a friend recommended I talk to astronaut-turned-artist Alan Bean. As I looked a little closer at Alan’s story, I was convinced of two things:

* It was perfect for my book.
* He would never talk to me.

My initial response was this was never going to work. Alan would never talk to me. I knew it. I was certain of it. It was fact. I shot myself down before I even tried, because that was the easy thing to do.
That’s when my friend and writing mentor, Marion Roach, challenged me: “Don’t just do Internet research,” she said. “Do real research. Pick up the phone and call him.”
In other words, do the hard work.
Marion told me that to write a great book, you have to tell stories people have never heard before. To make a difference with your art, you have to try new things, connect dots that that have never been connected. You say things what have never been said before, at least not the way that you’re going to say it.
Casting aside my self-doubt, I emailed Alan and asked for an interview. A day later, he responded with his phone number and told me to call any time. I was stunned. Risking my comfort paid off. Alan and I ended up having a terrific conversation, which you can listen to here. His story also closed out the book and continues to resonate with readers.
The lesson is simple: Don’t take the easy route. Risk your comfort, and do the hard work. It pays off more than you think.
“Anytime you write a book, you’re not really sure what it’s going to be.Tweet this
Display your passion
You have to risk rejection. That’s the second risk we take as writers. This work is not for the faint of heart, because around every corner lurks someone waiting to reject you. Agents. Publishers. Critics. Even readers. You have to pick yourself before anyone else will.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 34:03
Alan Bean: 3 Lessons on Life and Art from the Fourth Man to Walk on the Moon https://goinswriter.com/alan-bean/ Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:00:22 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=23007 https://goinswriter.com/alan-bean/#respond https://goinswriter.com/alan-bean/feed/ 0 I spoke with Alan on the phone with no idea that less than eighteen months later, he would leave this world. It was honestly one of the most moving and significant conversations I've ever had in my life. It only seemed right to share that with others. Recently, the fourth man to walk on the moon Alan Bean passed away. Though this story appears in Real Artists Don’t Starve, the full interview has never been published. Here is his story.

In late 2015 the apparel company Old Navy released a series of children’s T-shirts with “Young Aspiring Artist” written on them but then had the word “Artist” crossed out and replaced with “President” and “Astronaut.”

Photo by Barbara Brannon

Many took offense and went to the Internet to broadcast their discontent. One person on Twitter said: “My high school guidance counselor must have [sic] gotten a job at #oldnavy because she told me an artist wasn’t a career!”

Old Navy publicly apologized and discontinued the shirts, but the question of whether art is a serious career remains. The admonition to not become an artist and choose a safer path may be politically incorrect, but it’s still how many of us think.

In fact, it’s an admonition many artists tell themselves—the kind of negative self-talk that has sabotaged careers. But is it true that being an astronaut is a safer choice than being an artist?

It wasn’t for Alan Bean.

I spoke with Alan on the phone with no idea that less than eighteen months later, he would leave this world. It was honestly one of the most moving and significant conversations I’ve ever had in my life. It only seemed right to share that with others.

On this special episode of The Portfolio Life, I want to share Alan’s story with you and how he accomplished what he set out to do, which was to create meaningful works of art that would leave a legacy. I hope this interview inspires you, in the same way, to leave the familiar for what truly matters. You can also read the rest of the story below, as it appears in my book (with some minor edits).

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

From Navy to NASA

As a boy, Alan’s dream was to become a navy pilot, a path he followed with discipline, becoming an aeronautical engineer, then going on to flight training to realize his dream. At this point, Alan thought to himself, This is as good as it gets.

“I thought I had the best job in the world,” he later recalled. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough. He kept looking around at the beautiful things in the world and being captivated by them. He saw his neighbors buy some paintings and thought he could probably paint something that looked just as good.

Alan then enrolled in night school to take classes in drawing and water coloring. He wasn’t any good at first, but he liked it. Many of his navy friends noticed his new hobby and with some concern told him that if he wanted to advance his career, he was better off learning golf.

In the close quarters of the military, his affinity for art might arouse some suspicion, but none of that mattered to Alan. He had always done what was interesting to him, so he kept on painting.

The navy pilot’s career transitioned into an opportunity to work for NASA, where he was even busier than before. When he could find the time, he continued to take art classes from local teachers in the community. Art was his one and only hobby, and he dedicated himself to it with the same discipline that he gave the rest of his career, albeit in smaller doses.

When he was thirty-seven years old, Alan served as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 12, the second mission to the moon. In November 1969, he became the fourth man to walk on the moon, exploring the lunar surface and installing the first nuclear power generator station there. In 1973, he flew on the space station Skylab 3 as the spacecraft commander for fifty-nine days in orbit.

During that time of navigating the cosmos, Alan saw incredible things, things that most people will never get the opportunity to see. One day, while training to fly the space shuttle, he said to himself, “Boy, there’s young men and women around here who can do this as good as I can, but there’s no one who’s been given this gift of walking on the moon.”

It gave him pause.

From astronaut to artist

In Alan’s mind, anyone could fly the space shuttle, maybe even fly it to the moon. But who else could paint it? It might have been an excess of modesty on his part—astronauts aren’t exactly common— but Alan knew he had a gift that needed to be shared. “If I could leave here,” he said, “and if I could learn to be better, then I could leave stories and images that wouldn’t be done otherwise.”

As he contemplated leaving NASA, the middle-aged astronaut began to count the cost. He’d be given an incredible education and training to become an astronaut, but he’d also been given the gift of art. “You know, I got to thinking,” he said, “It would be nice if Columbus had taken an artist with him. We’d know a lot more. If Magellan had, that would have been a good thing.”

Seeing the moon up close and personal, trudging through the dust beneath his feet—these were experiences no other artist could fully express. No one except Alan. And the more he thought about this, the more excited he became. Soon, the choice was obvious: Alan had to paint the moon, and he had to leave NASA to do it.

That’s how Alan Bean became the first astronaut artist and the only person in history to paint the moon from firsthand experience.

On art as a duty

When he left NASA in 1981 to paint full-time, the reaction from Alan’s friends was mixed. “About half thought it was a good idea,” he said.

“The other thought I was having a midlife crisis. And they’d say things to me like, ‘Well, look Alan, you’ve got millions and millions of dollars’ worth of training that other people don’t have. You think this a good way to put it use?’ I’d been given this gift, all this training, all this knowledge that I had. It was unusual.”

But he had considered that already, and this was more than some creative whim. “I’m a guy who has done his duty his whole life,” Alan said. “And, so, I said, ‘This is what I should be doing, because they won’t miss me here. And if I don’t do this, then a lot of these images and a lot of the stories that I captured will be forgotten.'”

Typically, we don’t think of art as a duty. If anything, it’s an indulgence, certainly not a serious career choice as the Old Navy commercial suggested. But is this true? The urge to be creative is one thing, but the call to be an artist is something else. Clearly, Alan Bean considers his work to be the latter. When he finally did resign at fifty years old, Alan was not merely chasing a passion—he was answering a calling.

“I didn’t leave my job as an astronaut because I had this creative urge,” he told me in his Texas drawl over the phone. “I left because I felt it was my duty to do these paintings to celebrate this great event I was blessed to be a part of.”

So, here Alan was with this responsibility to paint the moon, something only he could do, and as he began, he realized some- thing. He wasn’t that good.

I took my work down and compared it to what was in the galleries and what was in the museums and I could see that I wasn’t anywhere near there, and I never would be probably as good as what you see. But I could get better and maybe I could get competitive. Because… if I was going to devote my life to it, I somehow had to make a living doing it.

Alan devoted his life to painting. And for more than three decades, his art has allowed him more than enough to live.

Today, Alan Bean’s artwork is featured in galleries all over the United States, with his paintings selling for tens of thousands of dollars apiece, sometimes more. An original called First Men: Neil Armstrong, a forty-by-thirty-inch textured acrylic, recently sold for $228,600.

He did his duty, and he did it well.

The lessons

There are three lessons I think we can learn from Alan’s life.

  1. Do your duty. If you have something only you can do in this world (and we all do), you must do it and do it well. What this means is that wherever we are in life, we need to be all there. And if what we’re doing is something someone else can do, then it’s time to move on and find our true calling.
  2. Use what you have. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or how they’re doing it. Do life your way on your terms and use the skills and tools and resources available to you—even when those things look like weaknesses or disadvantages. Everything can be useful if you let it.
  3. Support yourself. The money was never the point for Alan. For this astronaut-artist, his work was a duty, and to do that work well, he needed time. And if you make enough money off your art, you have time to make more art. The point was Alan had a gift to share, and he didn’t do it, no one else would. Moreover, he understood something every artist must grapple with: Money is the means, but never the master.

Thank you, Alan, for your art—and for doing your duty. May you rest in peace.

Resources

What art will you create to outlast you? Let me know in the comments.

]]>
I spoke with Alan on the phone with no idea that less than eighteen months later, he would leave this world. It was honestly one of the most moving and significant conversations I've ever had in my life. It only seemed right to share that with others. Alan Bean passed away. Though this story appears in Real Artists Don’t Starve, the full interview has never been published. Here is his story.
In late 2015 the apparel company Old Navy released a series of children’s T-shirts with “Young Aspiring Artist” written on them but then had the word “Artist” crossed out and replaced with “President” and “Astronaut.”
Photo by Barbara Brannon
Many took offense and went to the Internet to broadcast their discontent. One person on Twitter said: “My high school guidance counselor must have [sic] gotten a job at #oldnavy because she told me an artist wasn’t a career!”
Old Navy publicly apologized and discontinued the shirts, but the question of whether art is a serious career remains. The admonition to not become an artist and choose a safer path may be politically incorrect, but it’s still how many of us think.
In fact, it’s an admonition many artists tell themselves—the kind of negative self-talk that has sabotaged careers. But is it true that being an astronaut is a safer choice than being an artist?
It wasn’t for Alan Bean.
I spoke with Alan on the phone with no idea that less than eighteen months later, he would leave this world. It was honestly one of the most moving and significant conversations I’ve ever had in my life. It only seemed right to share that with others.
On this special episode of The Portfolio Life, I want to share Alan’s story with you and how he accomplished what he set out to do, which was to create meaningful works of art that would leave a legacy. I hope this interview inspires you, in the same way, to leave the familiar for what truly matters. You can also read the rest of the story below, as it appears in my book (with some minor edits).
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

From Navy to NASA
As a boy, Alan’s dream was to become a navy pilot, a path he followed with discipline, becoming an aeronautical engineer, then going on to flight training to realize his dream. At this point, Alan thought to himself, This is as good as it gets.
“I thought I had the best job in the world,” he later recalled. But for some reason, it wasn’t enough. He kept looking around at the beautiful things in the world and being captivated by them. He saw his neighbors buy some paintings and thought he could probably paint something that looked just as good.
Alan then enrolled in night school to take classes in drawing and water coloring. He wasn’t any good at first, but he liked it. Many of his navy friends noticed his new hobby and with some concern told him that if he wanted to advance his career, he was better off learning golf.
In the close quarters of the military, his affinity for art might arouse some suspicion, but none of that mattered to Alan. He had always done what was interesting to him, so he kept on painting.
The navy pilot’s career transitioned into an opportunity to work for NASA, where he was even busier than before. When he could find the time, he continued to take art classes from local teachers in the community. Art was his one and only hobby, and he dedicated himself to it with the same discipline that he gave the rest of his career, albeit in smaller doses.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 1:05:25
The Secret to Writing Successful Children’s Books: Interview with Mike Thomas https://goinswriter.com/successful-childrens-books/ Thu, 31 May 2018 08:00:06 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22962 https://goinswriter.com/successful-childrens-books/#respond https://goinswriter.com/successful-childrens-books/feed/ 0 Mike and his son looked for a fascinating Christian-based book appropriate for a grade schooler, and they couldn’t find one. So Mike decided he would write a book for this niche. Even though he'd never been a writer before, Mike set his mind to it and came up with the idea for The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls. Many people ask me how to write for the children and young adult market, and here to provide the answers is Mike Thomas.

The Secret to Writing Successful Children's Books: Interview with Mike Thomas

Mike is the author of The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls, a popular Christian children’s book series that he started because his son had to write a book report for school.

Mike and his son looked for a fascinating faith-based book appropriate for a grade school kids, and they couldn’t find one. So, Mike decided he would write a book for this niche instead. Even though he’d never been a writer before, Mike was determined and came up with the idea that would become The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls series.

When the first book was finished about 6 weeks later, Mike’s son asked if he would read it to his class. Despite feeling a bit nervous about sharing his art in public, Mike agreed.

Based on the feedback from his son’s class, Mike made some slight changes and then read it to more elementary school classrooms. The book was a hit, and kids repeatedly asked Mike when he was going to write another one!

It was then that Mike wondered what to do next. He trusted that God had given him this message to encourage others, and he felt obligated to share it.

Using CreateSpace, Mike asked a friend to design the cover, and created some illustrations for the book. He self-published the book and asked his church if they would put it in their library. A week later every copy was sold out, and Mike felt more confident about taking the books to a broader circle.

On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Mike explains how he went about finding an agent, what his writing ritual looks like from start to finish, and how many books are planned for The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Mike and I talk about:

  • What’s one of the hardest things to do as an author?
  • How did his marketing background help him get his book out to the masses?
  • Why does he still use kids’ feedback on the books he writes today?
  • Did he ever want to be a writer?
  • What constitutes a good story?

 

Self-publishing vs Traditional Publishing

  • What book helped him early on in his writing?
  • What role did Tim Grahl’s kids play in Mike’s publishing choice?
  • What was the extent of his platform when he started writing these books?
  • Why are most children’s books traditionally published?

Advice for writing children’s and young adult stories

  • When you are writing your stories think of telling it to one child.
  • Remember you don’t have to be a great storyteller.
  • Write it for the kids, and not for yourself.
  • Read it to kids before sending it a publisher or putting it on Amazon.
  • Make sure it works and kids are connecting with it.

Resources

Do you have an idea for a children or young adult book? Let us know in the comments.

]]>
Mike and his son looked for a fascinating Christian-based book appropriate for a grade schooler, and they couldn’t find one. So Mike decided he would write a book for this niche. Even though he'd never been a writer before,
Mike is the author of The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls, a popular Christian children’s book series that he started because his son had to write a book report for school.
Mike and his son looked for a fascinating faith-based book appropriate for a grade school kids, and they couldn’t find one. So, Mike decided he would write a book for this niche instead. Even though he’d never been a writer before, Mike was determined and came up with the idea that would become The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls series.
When the first book was finished about 6 weeks later, Mike’s son asked if he would read it to his class. Despite feeling a bit nervous about sharing his art in public, Mike agreed.
Based on the feedback from his son’s class, Mike made some slight changes and then read it to more elementary school classrooms. The book was a hit, and kids repeatedly asked Mike when he was going to write another one!
It was then that Mike wondered what to do next. He trusted that God had given him this message to encourage others, and he felt obligated to share it.
Using CreateSpace, Mike asked a friend to design the cover, and created some illustrations for the book. He self-published the book and asked his church if they would put it in their library. A week later every copy was sold out, and Mike felt more confident about taking the books to a broader circle.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Mike explains how he went about finding an agent, what his writing ritual looks like from start to finish, and how many books are planned for The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Mike and I talk about:

* What’s one of the hardest things to do as an author?
* How did his marketing background help him get his book out to the masses?
* Why does he still use kids’ feedback on the books he writes today?
* Did he ever want to be a writer?
* What constitutes a good story?

“I will do the best I can and surround myself with the best people.Mike ThomasTweet this 
Self-publishing vs Traditional Publishing

* What book helped him early on in his writing?
* What role did Tim Grahl’s kids play in Mike’s publishing choice?
* What was the extent of his platform when he started writing these books?
* Why are most children’s books traditionally published?

“It is gratifying to see something you made connect with someone.Mike ThomasTweet this
Advice for writing children’s and young adult stories

* When you are writing your stories think of telling it to one child.
* Remember you don’t have to be a great storyteller.
* Write it for the kids, and not for yourself.
* Read it to kids before sending it a publisher or putting it on Amazon.
* Make sure it works and kids are connecting with it.

]]>
Jeff Goins clean 50:08
How to Turn Craftsmanship Into a Successful Career: Interview with Travis Weige https://goinswriter.com/craftsmanship-to-career/ Wed, 23 May 2018 08:00:28 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22872 https://goinswriter.com/craftsmanship-to-career/#respond https://goinswriter.com/craftsmanship-to-career/feed/ 0 Have you ever wondered what it takes to turn craftmanship into a successful business? Travis Weige does. Today, Travis joins us to share his fascinating story of leaving his six-figure career in software sales to build custom, handmade knives. Before making custom knives, Travis spent 18 years in software sales, much of it flying to LA or NY from his home in Austin, Texas. One day he saw a video of a guy making knives, and was hooked by the idea. Have you ever wondered what it takes to turn craftmanship into a successful business? Travis Weige does.

How to Turn Craftsmanship Into a Successful Career: Interview with Travis Weige

Today, Travis joins us to share his fascinating story of leaving his six-figure career in software sales to build custom, handmade knives.

Before making custom knives, Travis spent 18 years in software sales, much of it flying to LA or NY from his home in Austin, Texas. One day he saw a video of a guy making knives, and was hooked by the idea.

Travis had always been good at making things by hand, and with the large garage that came with the house his family had just bought, adequate space was not an issue. The pieces all came together in his mind, so Travis tried out crafting knives.

Initially, his knives were just for friends and family, but one day a friend asked for a knife for his wife. She was a professional chef with a wealthy client list. During their consult, his friend opted to have his wife pick what she wanted her knife to look like, everything from the colors of the handle to the pins.

His friend’s wife came over and loved the concept. In fact, she loved it so much she told people about him. A month later a reporter from The Austin Chronicle stopped by to do an article on him.

Having worked as a journalist, Travis knew he would be better off having his friend take the photos for the article. The Chronicle agreed.

With the help of his photographer friend, they took photos of the various aspects and stages of the knife-making process. The Chronicle liked the photos so much they told Travis they were going to put him on the cover.

Within 48 hours of that issue going out to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, Travis had 400 emails and close to $50,000 in sales! Travis was ecstatic, but also nervous, so he called his friend to ask for help. After some cajoling, Travis’ friend joined him, and they’ve been working together ever since.

On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Travis also tells us how he manages a work/life balance, the different revenue streams for his business, and what practical advice he would offer an aspiring entrepreneur or craftsman.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Travis and I explore:

  • What other attempts did he make at having a business of his own?
  • When did he decide to give his notice and pursue knife-making full-time?
  • Did raising the prices of his knives lower sales?
  • What are you actually selling when you are in sales?
  • Why you must be willing to make mistakes.

Being an artist at heart

  • What was his first creative endeavor?
  • How did his previous skills help make his knife business so successful?
  • Why he wanted to be in charge of the vision and perception of his business.
  • What happens if you allow someone else to tell your story for you?
  • Do journalists ever want to write a negative story about someone?

On setting prices

  • How other knife-makers helped him.
  • How do you know if you are charging too much or too little?
  • Why you must know the exact pricing of your materials.
  • If you don’t respect your craft enough to charge a fair amount, what will happen?
  • The difference between a business that is a hobby and a business that is profitable.

Resources

What first step will you take to turn your art into a business? Let us know in the comments.

]]>
Have you ever wondered what it takes to turn craftmanship into a successful business? Travis Weige does. - Today, Travis joins us to share his fascinating story of leaving his six-figure career in software sales to build custom, handmade knives. -
Today, Travis joins us to share his fascinating story of leaving his six-figure career in software sales to build custom, handmade knives.
Before making custom knives, Travis spent 18 years in software sales, much of it flying to LA or NY from his home in Austin, Texas. One day he saw a video of a guy making knives, and was hooked by the idea.
Travis had always been good at making things by hand, and with the large garage that came with the house his family had just bought, adequate space was not an issue. The pieces all came together in his mind, so Travis tried out crafting knives.
Initially, his knives were just for friends and family, but one day a friend asked for a knife for his wife. She was a professional chef with a wealthy client list. During their consult, his friend opted to have his wife pick what she wanted her knife to look like, everything from the colors of the handle to the pins.
His friend’s wife came over and loved the concept. In fact, she loved it so much she told people about him. A month later a reporter from The Austin Chronicle stopped by to do an article on him.
Having worked as a journalist, Travis knew he would be better off having his friend take the photos for the article. The Chronicle agreed.
With the help of his photographer friend, they took photos of the various aspects and stages of the knife-making process. The Chronicle liked the photos so much they told Travis they were going to put him on the cover.
Within 48 hours of that issue going out to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, Travis had 400 emails and close to $50,000 in sales! Travis was ecstatic, but also nervous, so he called his friend to ask for help. After some cajoling, Travis’ friend joined him, and they’ve been working together ever since.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Travis also tells us how he manages a work/life balance, the different revenue streams for his business, and what practical advice he would offer an aspiring entrepreneur or craftsman.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Travis and I explore:

* What other attempts did he make at having a business of his own?
* When did he decide to give his notice and pursue knife-making full-time?
* Did raising the prices of his knives lower sales?
* What are you actually selling when you are in sales?
* Why you must be willing to make mistakes.

“Pricing has to be done in a way that you are making money from the onset.Travis WeigeTweet this
Being an artist at heart

* What was his first creative endeavor?
* How did his previous skills help make his knife business so successful?
* Why he wanted to be in charge of the vision and perception of his business.
* What happens if you allow someone else to tell your story for you?
* Do journalists ever want to write a negative story about someone?

“We create because when we are gone we want something to outlive us.Travis WeigeTweet this
On setting prices

* How other knife-makers helped him.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 39:41
How to Develop Multiple Income Streams as a Writer https://goinswriter.com/how-to-develop-multiple-income-streams-as-a-writer/ Mon, 21 May 2018 10:00:58 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22931 https://goinswriter.com/how-to-develop-multiple-income-streams-as-a-writer/#respond https://goinswriter.com/how-to-develop-multiple-income-streams-as-a-writer/feed/ 0 Create popular work, and use that commercially successful work to pay the bills. But don't stop there. Keep creating and go deep in your craft so that you can also produce the important work that world needs but may not want. I’ve written before about the myth of the starving artist and why creative workers need to get paid their due. But often the next question they ask is, but how? How do you actually make money as an artist? Hint: it may not be the way you think.

How to Develop Multiple Income Streams as a Writer

The way you make money as an artist is not necessarily going to be from your most important work. Important work and popular work are not always the same. Often, a person’s most significant creative expression was not what made them famous or even paid the bills. Nonetheless, it was work that needed to be made.

There are two ways to look at this. First, we could look at the cynical way: the world doesn’t care about important, only popular work. And certainly, you could make a case for this perspective.

However, the second way to look at this—the way that I look at this—is that some work is naturally going to be more commercial than others. That doesn’t make it bad or superficial. It just is.

The challenge, though, is to not camp out here and keep producing popular work. Sometimes you need to make something important, something daring, something people just might not understand at first. And yet, it still needs to be made. That’s the important work.

So, my philosophy is this: do both. Create popular work, and use that commercially successful work to pay the bills. But don’t stop there. Keep creating and go deep in your craft so that you can also produce the important work that world needs but may not want.

In other words, be the Batman of your industry: the artist we need but don’t deserve.

Let the popular work fund the important work. And the way that you do that is through multiple income streams.

Not only do I want to share my thoughts with you in this post, but I also recorded a special episode of The Portfolio Life to expand on these valuable lessons. You can listen below or read the article.

Before we talk about income streams, let’s explore another concept briefly: why are you creating this work in the first place?

What’s it for?

My friend Mark Almand (who has given me many great ideas including “experiment-chase-program”) has a great framework for deciding what the priority is in any given project. He calls it Reach-Revenue-Legacy. Here’s how it works:

  • Reach: Some things you do to help your brand grow. You may spend time, money or other resources to make this happen, but eventually as your reach grows, it will come back to you in the form of revenue. Most people call this “marketing”. Some projects help you reach more people, and money should be taken off the table as an expectation—at least in the short term.
  • Revenue: Some things are about bringing in money. There’s nothing wrong with this. If you run a business or are self-employed, this is a necessity. You’ve got to keep the lights on. So, on occasion, you may do something just to get some cash so that you can keep doing your work.
  • Legacy: Some things are about the long-term—how you want to be remembered or the dent you want to make in the universe. These efforts and projects may or may not generate revenue. They may even cost you money. But they are so important to you and your mission that you can’t avoid doing them. These are big-deal projects that you will be grateful you did when you’re on your death bed.

That’s the framework: reach, revenue, legacy. Most projects you do will fit into one—but probably not all three—of those buckets. Before you set out to do something—launch a book, build a website, host a conference—you need to know why you’re doing it and which bucket your project fits in.

If reach is the goal, the questions become:

  • Who do you want to reach, and how far will you go to reach these people?
  • How much money will you spend?
  • How much time?
  • How will you know when you’ve reached enough people?
  • What do you want them to do, once you reach them?

If revenue is the goal, the questions become:

  • How much money do I want to make off this and for what?
  • What’s the income goal, and what do you intend to do with it?

The answers can be as simple as, “I want to make $10,000 so I can pay that down payment on my house.” Or it can be more involved, like, “I want to make $1 million so that we can give $250,000 to that school project in Africa.” Or so you can reinvest in your business, hire more people, etc. Whatever. You just need to have a number in your mind and a reason for that number.

If legacy is the goal, the questions become:

  • What kind of impact do I want this to leave?
  • Why do you think this is so important that it’s worth remembering?
  • To what lengths will you go to make sure you or this project leaves a legacy?

Build an audience to answer the questions

Whether your goal is reach, revenue, or legacy, you have to be able to serve an audience:

  • The people you want to reach are an audience
  • The people you make an income off are an audience
  • The people you want to impact are an audience

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to identify and serve an audience with your work. Join me for a free webinar and learn how to launch a successful blog and build an audience for your art.

3 revenue streams for every artist

Okay, so now that we’ve covered the reach-revenue-legacy framework, that should help you decide when a project needs to make money and when it doesn’t. Because of course, not all your work will pay the same.

Some of your most important work may not end up being your most successful. That’s okay. You still need to create it.

At the same time, you can’t go broke. Not if you want to keep creating for the rest of your life. And you don’t have to sell out to make an income off your art. You do, however, have to diversify.

In Real Artists Don’t Starve, one of the “rules” of the Thriving Artist was “Diversify your portfolio.” You need to create more than one thing. A body of work. A portfolio life. That’s how you’ll be able to do this kind of work for a lifetime.

Here are three income streams you’ll want to include in that portfolio. Of course, there are more ways to monetize your art, but these three categories are a pretty good start. Almost every Thriving Artist I see uses them at one point or another.

1. Teach your art

The old saying “if you can’t do, then teach” is not true. Some of history’s best practitioners of their art were teachers. And what better way to make some money off your art than to teach what you know?

Many, many artists have done this at one point or another to support themselves, including David Foster Wallace. Of course, you don’t have to do this.

The pro to this approach is it gives you more time with your craft, because even when you’re teaching it, you’re learning about it. The con is that you may feel like a fake, teaching something, if you’re not actually doing it yourself.

2. Sell your art

There are two ways to do this.

First, you can sell your art—your books, your paintings, your music—directly to the market. Or you can sell your art to a handful of patrons.

The Beatles are a prime example of the first category. So is Taylor Swift or any very successful commercial artist. The challenge to this approach is you have to sell a lot of widgets to a lot of people for a long period of time to make a career out of this.

An example of the latter category would be any successful Renaissance artist, like Michelangelo, who used the resources of a handful of wealthy patrons throughout his career to fund his work and make ten times the average rate of his peers.

There is, however, a third way to do this today that doesn’t require you to sell millions of records or books, nor does it require you to know a bunch of wealthy people. You can build a tribe—a small but significant audience of anywhere from 100-10,000 people who are all in on your art. They want what you have, and you can spend a lifetime creating just for them.

3. License your art

The third way to profit from your art is to let others use it while you retain the intellectual property, publishing rights, and copyrights associated with your work.

In other words, you maintain ownership of the work but license your art—your words, your images, your music—to others who pay a fee to use it every year. The advantage to this is you typically don’t need a huge audience to make a living doing this, so long as you license your work to the right individuals or organizations.

For example, cartoonist and author Hugh McLeod has had a very successful career as an artist licensing his artwork to major companies who use it in employee training materials. The music of Ryan O’Neal (AKA Sleeping at Last) is another example of employing the licensing model to make a great living as a an artist.

All that to say, the point of this is to not just make a buck. It’s to make something important, something that lasts. And in order to do that, we have to reach the right people, make enough money, and leave a legacy.

As I am fond of saying, we don’t make art to make money. We make money to make more art. Good luck.

You can learn more about developing multiple income streams for your work when you order Real Artists Don’t Starve. In addition, you can pick up some extra bonuses available for a limited time:

  • Artist edition of the RADS workbook
  • Writer edition of the RADS workbook
  • 7-week book study Facebook group
  • Exclusive discount on Real Artists Don’t Starve Course ($70 off)

Get your copy of the book and claim you free bonuses here.

Sign-up for a free webinar with me and learn how to launch a successful blog and build an audience to serve with your art.

Do you have multiple income streams for your art? Let me know how in the comments.

]]>
Create popular work, and use that commercially successful work to pay the bills. But don't stop there. Keep creating and go deep in your craft so that you can also produce the important work that world needs but may not want. myth of the starving artist and why creative workers need to get paid their due. But often the next question they ask is, but how? How do you actually make money as an artist? Hint: it may not be the way you think.

The way you make money as an artist is not necessarily going to be from your most important work. Important work and popular work are not always the same. Often, a person’s most significant creative expression was not what made them famous or even paid the bills. Nonetheless, it was work that needed to be made.
“Important work and popular work are not always the same.Tweet this
There are two ways to look at this. First, we could look at the cynical way: the world doesn’t care about important, only popular work. And certainly, you could make a case for this perspective.
However, the second way to look at this—the way that I look at this—is that some work is naturally going to be more commercial than others. That doesn’t make it bad or superficial. It just is.
The challenge, though, is to not camp out here and keep producing popular work. Sometimes you need to make something important, something daring, something people just might not understand at first. And yet, it still needs to be made. That’s the important work.
So, my philosophy is this: do both. Create popular work, and use that commercially successful work to pay the bills. But don’t stop there. Keep creating and go deep in your craft so that you can also produce the important work that world needs but may not want.
In other words, be the Batman of your industry: the artist we need but don’t deserve.
“Be the Batman of your industry: the artist we need, but don’t deserve.Tweet this
Let the popular work fund the important work. And the way that you do that is through multiple income streams.
Not only do I want to share my thoughts with you in this post, but I also recorded a special episode of The Portfolio Life to expand on these valuable lessons. You can listen below or read the article.

Before we talk about income streams, let’s explore another concept briefly: why are you creating this work in the first place?
What’s it for?
My friend Mark Almand (who has given me many great ideas including “experiment-chase-program”) has a great framework for deciding what the priority is in any given project. He calls it Reach-Revenue-Legacy. Here’s how it works:

* Reach: Some things you do to help your brand grow. You may spend time, money or other resources to make this happen, but eventually as your reach grows, it will come back to you in the form of revenue. Most people call this “marketing”. Some projects help you reach more people, and money should be taken off the table as an expectation—at least in the short term.


* Revenue: Some things are about bringing in money. There’s nothing wrong with this. If you run a business or are self-employed, this is a necessity. You’ve got to keep the lights on. So, on occasion, you may do something just to get some cash so that you can keep doing your work.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 1:02:35
The Journey to Meaningful Work: Interview with Shawn Askinosie https://goinswriter.com/journey-meaningful-work/ Wed, 16 May 2018 13:38:05 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22821 https://goinswriter.com/journey-meaningful-work/#respond https://goinswriter.com/journey-meaningful-work/feed/ 0 On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Shawn shares the story of his journey from lawyer to chocolatier to an author. His experiences allowed him to learn how to navigate life, measure company growth beyond profit, and what practical things we can start today to find meaningful work. At some point in life, most of us will go through a career transition. Maybe you get let go or it’s just not a good fit, but whatever the reason, as some level, you know something is missing and there is more you are meant to do.

The Journey to Meaningful Work: Interview with Shawn Askinosie

Our guest today, Shawn Askinosie, went through a challenging transition that led him from being an attorney to selling chocolate for a living. The journey was so significant that he wrote a book called Meaningful Work: A Quest To Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, And Feed Your Soul. I love this book.

Before reading his book or being introduced by our mutual friend Seth Godin, I tried Shawn’s chocolate at Jenny’s Ice Cream years ago. They offered an Askinosie chocolate flavor, created from ingredients provided by Shawn’s family-run company, and it was amazing. Without even realizing it, I was a Shawn Askinosie fan.

Eleven years ago, Shawn started Askinosie Chocolate after a twenty-year career as a defense lawyer. Using a bean to bar model, he sources the beans himself from all around the world. Askinosie Chocolate’s work toward community development locally and globally has been well-recognized. Oprah Magazine called him “one of 15 guys saving the world” and Forbes recently named the company one of the 25 best small companies in America.

On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Shawn shares the story of his journey from lawyer to chocolatier to author. His experiences have taught him how to navigate life, measure company growth beyond profit, and what practical step we can take today to find more meaningful work. I hope you enjoy it.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Shawn and I explore:

  • What did a monastery teach him?
  • When do you know you are in the right place at the right time?
  • What does it mean to be resting in the presence of God?
  • What is his heart metric for his book?
  • Why did he write his story the way he did?

Shawn’s search for his next venture

  • What was a daily activity that helped him find his next passion?
  • Did he know anything about chocolate before starting his business?
  • What happened when he went to the Amazon?
  • Why did desperation actually make his discovery harder?
  • What did volunteering with palliative patients in a local hospital teach him?

Lessons from Shawn’s book Meaningful Work

  • What can you learn from the two parts of his business’ vocation?
  • What is farmgate and why is it important?
  • How to answer the question: how much is enough?
  • What happens if you don’t find the purpose of your work?
  • Why and when we should practice reverse scale.

Resources

What is one thing you’re going to do to bring meaning to your work after listening to Shawn? Let us know in the comments.

]]>
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Shawn shares the story of his journey from lawyer to chocolatier to an author. His experiences allowed him to learn how to navigate life, measure company growth beyond profit,
Our guest today, Shawn Askinosie, went through a challenging transition that led him from being an attorney to selling chocolate for a living. The journey was so significant that he wrote a book called Meaningful Work: A Quest To Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, And Feed Your Soul. I love this book.
Before reading his book or being introduced by our mutual friend Seth Godin, I tried Shawn’s chocolate at Jenny’s Ice Cream years ago. They offered an Askinosie chocolate flavor, created from ingredients provided by Shawn’s family-run company, and it was amazing. Without even realizing it, I was a Shawn Askinosie fan.
Eleven years ago, Shawn started Askinosie Chocolate after a twenty-year career as a defense lawyer. Using a bean to bar model, he sources the beans himself from all around the world. Askinosie Chocolate’s work toward community development locally and globally has been well-recognized. Oprah Magazine called him “one of 15 guys saving the world” and Forbes recently named the company one of the 25 best small companies in America.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Shawn shares the story of his journey from lawyer to chocolatier to author. His experiences have taught him how to navigate life, measure company growth beyond profit, and what practical step we can take today to find more meaningful work. I hope you enjoy it.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Shawn and I explore:

* What did a monastery teach him?
* When do you know you are in the right place at the right time?
* What does it mean to be resting in the presence of God?
* What is his heart metric for his book?
* Why did he write his story the way he did?

“The best way to find ourselves is to lose ourselves in service to others.Shawn AskinosieTweet this
Shawn’s search for his next venture

* What was a daily activity that helped him find his next passion?
* Did he know anything about chocolate before starting his business?
* What happened when he went to the Amazon?
* Why did desperation actually make his discovery harder?
* What did volunteering with palliative patients in a local hospital teach him?

“Our greatest joy is our sorrow unmasked.Shawn AskinosieTweet this
Lessons from Shawn’s book Meaningful Work

* What can you learn from the two parts of his business’ vocation?
* What is farmgate and why is it important?
* How to answer the question: how much is enough?
* What happens if you don’t find the purpose of your work?
* Why and when we should practice reverse scale.

Resources

* Askinosie Chocolate web site
* clean 47:46
When Should You Work for Free? https://goinswriter.com/work-for-free/ Mon, 14 May 2018 10:29:40 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22893 So many creatives chase opportunity without knowing their exact goal. As a result, they are desperately giving away their best work to everyone and everything, ultimately setting the precedent that their work is worthless. So many creatives chase opportunity without knowing their exact goal. As a result, they are desperately giving away their best work to everyone and everything, ultimately setting the precedent that their work is worthless.
In my bestselling book, 
Real Artists Don’t Starve, I made the argument that creative people should never work for free, and this has to be one of the stickiest point of the book for many people. Some of my mentors and fellow creatives (like screenwriter and popular podcaster Brian Koppelman) called me out on this, saying it just wasn’t true.
So, is working for free really a bad idea? Is it necessary to occasionally do a gig for nothing in exchange for exposure? Or should you always charge for your work?
Like most things, this issue is a little too complex for a simple cliche. So let’s take it one piece at a time in this article. First, let’s explore why working for free is a dangerous precedent to set and why you should avoid it at all costs if possible. Then, we will talk about the difference between working for free and working for nothing, and why you should always get something for your work. And finally, I’ll share when it’s okay to work for “free” (but not for nothing).
Confused yet? Don’t worry. It will all make sense soon. Not only do I want to share my thoughts with you in this post, but I also recorded a special episode of The Portfolio Life to expand on these valuable lessons. You can listen below or read the article.
Listen to the podcast

Why you should never work for free
To start with, I’m sticking to my guns here, saying I don’t think you should work for free. Ever.
But here’s what I mean. Working for free means you are doing your best work—making your art, writing your poems, composing your music—for absolutely no compensation whatsoever. And that’s a bad idea. Here’s why:

* People won’t value your work until you do. Usually, the best way to make others take your art more seriously is to charge for it.
* Getting paid will give your work greater dignity. We tend to value the things we pay money for. So not only will charging for your work cause others to take you more seriously. It will cause you to take you more seriously.
* You will be able to support yourself. It’s no surprise that we all have bills and financial responsibilities. Making money off your art will allow you the freedom and flexibility to do more of the work you love while paying the bills.

The difference between free and nothing
Recently while speaking on a panel with a couple of experts in the music industry, I heard one of them explain the difference between working for free and working for nothing. I liked that. Another way to say it is you should always work for something, and that something needs to be more than “opportunity.”
So many creatives chase opportunity without knowing their real goal. Is it an introduction to a gatekeeper or tastemaker? A new addition to the portfolio? A testimonial or referral? They usually don’t know. As a result, these talented makers, artists, and creatives give away their best work for no apparent reason, ultimately setting a precedent that their work is, well, worthless.
As Steven Pressfield poignantly puts it, “Opportunities are B.S.”
“If you do not value your work, neither will anyone else.Tweet this clean 31:35 How Positivity Helps You Find Your Purpose: Jon Gordon https://goinswriter.com/positivity-purpose/ Wed, 09 May 2018 10:00:21 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22812 Many of us want to find our purpose in life. We want to know that what we're doing ultimately matters. We want to leave our mark on the world. But how do we do this? The process is not always so simple. Many of us want to find our purpose in life. We want to know that what we're doing ultimately matters. We want to leave our mark on the world. But how do we do this? The process is not always so simple.
One man who has found his unique calling is Jon Gordon, a best-selling author, well-known keynote speaker, and influential voice in the leadership and motivation space.
Jon is also one of the most positive people I know! But his journey wasn’t always so positive. It was a difficult period in his work life and marriage that led him to find his purpose and cultivate a positive approach to life.
After graduating from Cornell University, Jon pursued a graduate degree in teaching and he opened a bar with some fellow investors and an inheritance from his grandma. He also started a non-profit when the bar began doing well. His real passion came through, though, when he decided to go into politics.
Jon ran for city council and was gaining support and leading in the polls. Because he was doing so well, his incumbent opponent began a smear campaign. He was only 26 at the time, so there wasn’t much to smear. His opponent lied, and he lost.
Devastated and confused, Jon was at a loss as to what to do next. He went to law school for a little while, then left to pursue a dot-com business with some friends. Then he discovered they were stealing from him, so he moved on from that, as well. Despite his earlier successes, he was left wondering what to pursue next.
This lack of direction made John miserable, which led to his wife also feeling miserable. They were fighting a lot, and she told him she was ready to leave because she couldn’t deal with his unhappiness. He begged her to stay and agreed to change. It was then that Jon began to research ways to become more positive, and discovered the emerging field of positive psychology.
Jon started taking gratitude walks every day, and it was during one of these walks while he was praying that he asked God to show him why he was here on earth.
Writing and speaking immediately came to mind.
On this episode of
The Portfolio Life, Jon tells us what happened next and why his early days as a writer and speaker were challenging and what he did to get through them. We also talk about how he got his first book deal, which of his books is his favorite, and what daily practices help him the most.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jon and I talk about:

* Does he have to work at being so positive?
* How many rejections did he receive for The Energy Bus?
* How long did it take for him to become a best-selling author?
* Does he consider himself more of a messenger or a writer?
* What is failure meant to do for us?

“Everything in your past prepares you for your future.Jon GordonTweet this 
On writing and speaking as a calling

* What did he do to become a sought-after speaker?
* How did he discover his calling is writing and speaking?
* Is he a writer first or a speaker?
* How long does it take him to write each of his books?
* What is his writing process when not working on a book?

“Everyone has greatness inside of them.Jon GordonTweet this
]]> Jeff Goins clean 48:55 Do Real Artists Really Starve? https://goinswriter.com/do-real-artists-really-starve/ Mon, 07 May 2018 10:00:52 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22839 We need more artists. We need more people willing to share their hearts with the world through spilling their proverbial guts, pouring themselves into their work. We need more bold souls willing to do that. We need more artists. We need more people willing to share their hearts with the world through spilling their proverbial guts, pouring themselves into their work. We need more bold souls willing to do that. Real Artists Don’t Starve. During that time, I learned some great lessons in writing, art, and business that seemed good to share with you.

Heads up: the paperback version of the book comes out later this month, and you can pre-order it here.
After talking with thousands of readers who loved the book and several who didn’t, I’ve learned three incredible lessons:

* Your work is not for everyone
* Commercial success and creative success are not the same
* We need more artists

Not only did I want to share my thoughts with you in this blog post, but I also recorded a special episode of The Portfolio Life to expand on these valuable lessons.
Listen to the podcast

Lesson 1: Your work is not for everyone
One of the biggest struggles I had with Real Artists Don’t Starve was the title. A friend recommended the title, and as soon as I heard it, the idea of “real artists don’t starve” both scared and excited me.
In general, I try to lean into the stuff that scares me, because that’s where life is. Of course, I want to make wise decisions, but I never want to avoid a risky endeavor or a bold, creative move just because someone might not like it.
So, when the book came out, and people said, “You’re saying I’m not a real artist,” that bothered me. No matter how much I protested and defended and explained, some people got mad.
One guy, who is some sort of Christian blogger, called me a “douche bag” and then said that writers shouldn’t insult their readers. Which I thought was a little ironic, since he was a reader insulting a writer, but I digress.
Anyway, some people didn’t like the idea. They didn’t have to read past the cover to know that the book wasn’t for them. But here’s the thing: for those who did pick up Real Artists Don’t Starve, many of them loved it.
In fact, I get an email or social media message (usually Instagram) about once a day from someone sharing how the book has forever changed their creative work. And almost always the parts that one group hated, other people loved.
This scenario raises an interesting question:
Who is your work for?
Seth Godin likes to ask this question often, and it’s a question I’ve been considering more and more.
Who is my work for?
Probably not everyone.
If I know from the get-go that my work won’t resonate with everyone, I don’t have to play it safe. I’m free to go all in on a specific message for a particular group of people.
I can take risks and say bold things like “real artists don’t starve” and know that while it isn’t for everyone, it will be for someone.
“Don’t play it safe. Your work isn’t for everyone, but it is for someone.Tweet this
Lesson 2: Commercial success and creative success are not the same
David Bowie once said that he would prefer to do work that was artistically important than work that is merely striving to succeed. I think that’s a fantastic take on an age-old question:
Jeff Goins clean 29:55
How to Successfully Blend Creativity and Commerce: Interview with Madeline Ellis https://goinswriter.com/creativity-and-commerce/ Wed, 02 May 2018 10:00:19 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22787 Madeline began making jewelry part-time in 2008. It was piling up around the house and her husband encouraged her to start selling some of it. He helped her branch out from selling to family and friends to delighting a broader customer base. Madeline began making jewelry part-time in 2008. It was piling up around the house and her husband encouraged her to start selling some of it. He helped her branch out from selling to family and friends to delighting a broader customer base.
Can you still be passionate about your art while blending creativity with commerce? Madeline Ellis, founder of Mimosa Handcrafted Jewelry and our guest today, answers yes. She joins us and shares how she has not only successfully balanced art and entrepreneurship, but also family life.
In this episode, we join Madeline on her journey from starting her jewelry business through today. She also gives us practical tips and advice for artists and creatives who want to pursue their passion as a vocation on today’s The Portfolio Life.
Madeline began making jewelry part-time in 2008. It was piling up around the house and her husband encouraged her to start selling some of it. He helped her branch out from selling to family and friends to delighting a broader customer base.
When she was pregnant with her son she had 4 months of maternity leave, unpaid. So it became their trial run to see if they could live off of her husband’s income and her supplemental jewelry income. It went pretty well so after working part-time for another 5 months, she struck out on her own. She’s been full speed ahead ever since!
Mimosa Handcrafted has grown from the back of her house in her husband’s old woodshop into a second story with three more full-time employees. They’ve expanded to selling jewelry online, at art markets, festivals, and boutiques.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Madeline tells us:

* How did her family influence her creatively?
* Did she ever think jewelry was her calling or was it a gradual realization?
* What are shadow careers and did she have any?
* How did her landscape work prepare her for her jewelry business?
* Why did she decide to stop making custom pieces?

“Creating things I wanted to exist was a natural thing to do.Madeline EllisTweet this
On starting her jewelry business

* How did she know when to quit her job?
* When did her husband start working in her jewelry business?
* What resources helped her learn about the specifics of running a business?
* How did failing guide her on her journey?
* When did she start to get more serious about the business side of making jewelry?

“I see myself as a creative person who makes jewelry right now.Madeline EllisTweet this
The art and the business of your passion

* What is her thought process behind new pieces?
* Has she lost any of her passion as she has monetized her art?
* Who is on her team and how do they support the entire business?
* Did she have an “I made it” moment?
* What is the difference between work-life integration and work-life balance?

Resources





* Mimosa Handcrafted Jewelry web site
* Mimosa Handcrafted Jewelry o...]]>
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Play Your Way to a Successful Creative Career: Interview with Melissa Dinwiddie https://goinswriter.com/play-your-way-success/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 10:00:58 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22743 Even though we understand intellectually we don't need others' permission to be an artist, there are still moments like Melissa's that are pivotal to helping us own our inner artist. Even though we understand intellectually we don't need others' permission to be an artist, there are still moments like Melissa's that are pivotal to helping us own our inner artist.
Our guest today has and she’s learned some valuable lessons as a result. Melissa Dinwiddie is is an artist first, and entrepreneur second. She has a great story to share. I loved it so much I included it in my book Real Artists Don’t Starve. Today we’ll hear what I didn’t include in the book and what new endeavors she’s taking on.
Before she was paid as an artist, Melissa wondered whether or not she was worthy of that title. But after her friend paid her $25 for a commissioned piece, Melissa finally believed she was an artist.
That her friend took her seriously enough to pay her made it a very big deal in her mind. Melissa says she needed someone to hold up a mirror and tell her she is an artist before she could make art for a living.
Many of us have experienced this, too. Even though we understand intellectually we don’t need others’ permission to be an artist, there are still moments like Melissa’s that are pivotal to helping us own our inner artist. It doesn’t have to be a gatekeeper like an art dealer or gallery owner, it can be a loved one like it was for Melissa.
Once she began making art for a living, she eventually stopped making art for herself. Soon, Melissa was putting business first, and artistry second. On this episode of The Portfolio Life, she shares why they need to be inverted with art first and entrepreneurship second.
We also talk about why we often get stuck in a rut and how to we can get ourselves out. Finally she tells us about her current business: it’s creative consultancy that shows companies how to be more effective through the use of methodologies like LEGO.com-serious play.
Melissa tells us what that is, how she found it and much more about learning to play in your creative sandbox on today’s The Portfolio Life.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
On today’s show, Melissa and I explore:

* What is paper cutting and why did she combine it with calligraphy?
* Why did she get burned out making art for pay?
* What is a ketubah and how was it critical to her evolution as an artist and entrepreneur?
* How can you keep the fun alive in your creative process?
* Why is play NOT the opposite of work?

“I stopped following the fun, and starting only following the money.Melissa DinwiddieTweet this 
The choice to make money from art

* Should a creative person be trying to monetize or not?
* How much time should you be spending on marketing and commerce for your art?
* Is making money from art something every artist should pursue? Why or why not?
* What is her golden formula?
* What does it mean to think daily and tiny?

“There are so many different ways to be a creator.Melissa DinwiddieTweet this
What it means to be creative

* The lesson we can all learn about creativity from my 4-year old.
* What is the question to ask yourself if you think you are not c...]]> Jeff Goins clean 55:15 Blog Your Way to a Traditional Book Deal: Interview with Erin Odom https://goinswriter.com/blog-book-deal/ Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:00:10 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22693 Not long ago, Erin and her family were in poverty. Today, she has a successful writing business reaching countless people with her work that was 7 years in the making. In January of 2011, she had a 2-year old and a newborn. Her family was barely making ends meet. Erin's husband was teaching high school Spanish, she was working several jobs, and they were dangerously close to foreclosing on an out-of-state home. Not long ago, Erin and her family were in poverty. Today, she has a successful writing business reaching countless people with her work that was 7 years in the making. - In January of 2011, she had a 2-year old and a newborn.
Our guest today has made this dream her reality. Erin Odom is a blogger and author of two books. She’s been sharing her story with me via email for the last year. It was compelling, and I’m excited to share it with you today on The Portfolio Life.
Not long ago, Erin and her family were in poverty. Today, she has a successful writing business reaching countless people with her work that was 7 years in the making.
In January of 2011, she had a 2-year old and a newborn. Her family was barely making ends meet. Erin’s husband was teaching high school Spanish, she was working several jobs, and they were dangerously close to foreclosing on an out-of-state home.
None of her jobs were bringing in the income they needed to thrive and allow her to be a stay-at-home mom. So when her newspaper editor and her best friend both separately approached Erin about starting a mom blog- she was open to the idea.
For the first six months she secretly wrote and published posts, repurposing the newspaper articles she had been writing. Then Erin decided to go for it and see if she could make it work. Within a year she had replaced her husband’s salary. Within two years she was making a very good income for her family.
In January 2014 she got an email from a literary agent which led to a two-book deal and much more. She’ll share all of those details as well as:

* Why you shouldn’t take rejection personally
* How she approached me in a polite yet persistent way about being a guest on this show

Join me and Erin Odom to hear her inspiring and insightful story on this episode of The Portfolio Life.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Erin and I explore:

* When did she start to think this was for real?
* Why did she think an email from a literary agent was a joke?
* Why it took two years to write her first book proposal.
* What she learned from writing about her family’s lean financial times.
* Why she joined numerous book launch teams and how it helped her.

“Be authentic with all. Be transparent with some. Be vulnerable with few.Erin OdomTweet this 
On growth moments with her blog

* How long did it take for her to replace her husband’s teaching salary?
* What encouraged her to keep going when things were tough in the early stages?
* How an online mom blogger mastermind helped her write her first book.
* Why being authentic with your life can resonate with your audience.
* Why readers need to know you are not perfect.

“Keep on showing up for the work every day.Erin OdomTweet this
The importance of outside support

* Why you have to put yourself out there and find your tribe.
* Where can you find people who are on the same path as you?
* Why did her husband take a “wait and see” approach with her initial plans to become a blogger?
* What’s the difference between criticism and feedback?
]]>
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3 Steps You Can Take Today to Start Making a Living Writing https://goinswriter.com/personality/ Thu, 12 Apr 2018 10:00:20 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21306 Since the last Tribe Writers class I taught in October, I've been busy. In the months since, I've spoken with hundreds of writers, asking them where they are getting stuck and how to work through those challenges. I've been coaching, teaching, and learning a lot -- all with the intent of better helping you, my dear reader and fellow writer. I've been studying the methods of successful writers from all genres, and what I've developed is a 12-step roadmap that will help just about any struggling writer break through to the next level. Since the last Tribe Writers class I taught in October, I've been busy. In the months since, I've spoken with hundreds of writers, asking them where they are getting stuck and how to work through those challenges. - I've been coaching, teaching, Click here discover yours and begin growing your platform.

Since the last Tribe Writers class I taught in the Spring, I’ve been busy. In the months since, I’ve spoken with hundreds of writers, asking them where they are getting stuck and how to work through those challenges.
I’ve been coaching, teaching, and learning a lot — all with the intent of better helping you, my dear reader and fellow writer.
I’ve been studying the methods of successful writers from all genres, and what I’ve developed is a 12-step roadmap that will help just about any struggling writer break through to the next level.
The best part? The first few steps are easy.
So, today, my goal is simple. I want to help you achieve your first three steps right now. Here they are:

* Step 1: Clarify your writing voice with a worldview. It’s not just what you write, but how you write it that matters. I’ve got an exercise on how to do this. If you need help, go watch this video and follow the “worldview exercise”.
* Step 2: Figure out what kind of platform you’re going to have. The way you do this is by defining your platform personality. If you need help with this, go watch my video on how to decide what platform personality best fits you.
* Step 3: Launch a blog and begin sharing your work with the world. If you need help with this, go watch this 8-minute tutorial on how to set up a self-hosted blog on WordPress. This is what most of the pros do. I recommend it.

Now, what do you do after that?
How do you take a blog and turn it into thousands of readers?
How do you turn that audience into a writing career, one in which you actually make enough money to live on?
Well, that’s what we’ll cover in this live training happening this week:
The 3 Most Profitable Ways to Make a Living Writing Today
In 90 minutes, I’ll teach you my WHOLE process, everything I’ve learned from coaching thousands of struggling writers, helping them succeed — and how you can follow in their footsteps. I won’t hold anything back, and I’ll answer as many questions as I can.
Real writers do the work
So, here’s your assignment today:

* Complete steps 1-3 in The Writer’s Roadmap (see list above). If you get stuck, I’d be happy to chat about it on the webinar. Just leave a comment below and tell me where you’re struggling.
* Sign up for the live training where we’ll go through this in more details. Click here to reserve your seat.

Too many writers have faded into obscurity for all time because they neglected these simple steps. The roadmap isn’t easy, or everyone would do it, but it is a proven method you can use to make a living writing.
Click here to reserve your seat for The 3 Most Profitable Ways to Make a Living Writing Today. I can’t wait to see you there.
Why do you think you aren’t a full-time writer yet? What do you feel is standing in your way?]]>
Jeff Goins clean 15:54
How to Sell 1,000 Copies of Your Self-Published Book in Two Weeks: Interview with Natalie Brenner https://goinswriter.com/sell-1000-copies/ Wed, 11 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22613 Natalie sold 1,000 copies of her self-published book in the first two weeks of her launch! When I heard she accomplished such an impressive feat I had to have her on the show so you could learn what she did and how to follow in her footsteps. Natalie sold 1,000 copies of her self-published book in the first two weeks of her launch! When I heard she accomplished such an impressive feat I had to have her on the show so you could learn what she did and how to follow in her footsteps.
If you don’t, have no fear because our guest will tell you! Natalie Brenner joins us on today’s The Portfolio Life.
Natalie is the author of This Undeserved Life; she’s also a professional photographer, a doula, one of my coaching clients, and someone I call a friend. But most of all, Natalie is a writer. She’s always loved writing, and even as a kid would dream of writing a book.
Recently, she made that dream a reality. In fact, Natalie sold 1,000 copies of her self-published book in the first two weeks of her launch! When I heard she accomplished such an impressive feat I had to have her on the show so you could learn what she did and how to follow in her footsteps.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Natalie and I talk about:

* When did she know this story would become a book?
* What was the hardest part of this process for her?
* Why “crappy first drafts” are okay!
* What was the most effective marketing strategy?
* How did she tap into the power of community to sell so many copies?

“Everything weaves itself together to make us who we are.Natalie BrennerTweet this 
On the self-publishing process

* How did she find an editor and how long did it take?
* What were the first two expenses for self-publishing?
* What questions did she ask of potential editors?
* What was her total budget for this project?
* How long did the book editing process take?

“There is no right time!Natalie BrennerTweet this
The marketing side of launching her book

* When did she begin preparation?
* How many email subscribers did she have to begin with?
* How many pre-orders did she have for her book?
* How did she sell 1,000 copies of her book?
* The important role endorsements played in her launch.

Resources

* Natalie Brenner’s web site
* This Undeserved Life, by Natalie Brenner
* Why I Stopped Waiting to Win the Lottery and Just Published My Book, Natalie’s blog post
* Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes
* The Writer’s Roadmap

Do you want to write a book? If you do what’s your next step to take after hearing this show? Let us know in the comments.
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How One Writer Landed a $220,000 Book Contract Without Being Famous https://goinswriter.com/hardy/ Tue, 10 Apr 2018 22:00:22 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21299 I am consistently amazed by what many writers think is not possible. For instance, the other day I was talking to someone who wanted to get a book published and start making money writing. But at some point someone told her she couldn't do that. "You won't make more than a few bucks off your first book," one author told her. "That's not true," I said. And then I told her the story of Benjamin Hardy... I am consistently amazed by what many writers think is not possible. For instance, the other day I was talking to someone who wanted to get a book published and start making money writing. But at some point someone told her she couldn't do that. -
“You won’t make more than a few bucks off your first book,” one author told her.
“That’s not true,” I said.
And then I told her the story of Benjamin Hardy…
The true tale of a blogger gone pro
Recently, I sat down with Ben to capture his story of how, in just 12 short months, he grew his email list to 100,000 readers and was able to land a $220,000 book contract with one of the largest publishers in the world.
Click here to watch the video.
Who was Ben Hardy before he started this journey?
Nobody special (his words, not mine). What he did was nothing new. It’s what every writer who wants to “make it” has to do:

* Start a blog
* Build an email list
* Took themselves seriously

However, what Ben did that was exceptional was the work. So many of us are looking for a quick fix or easy solution. There is none. You have to do the work. This process works if you do.
As you watch the video, pay attention to how Ben executed each step in the 12-step roadmap that I teach in Tribe Writers (Ben and I break down what he did and how you do the same). This really is a proven process.
This week, I’m sharing a few things I don’t want you to miss:

* Thing 1 (in case you missed it) was the free guide: The Writer’s Roadmap. Click here to download your copy.
* Thing 2 (in case you aren’t a big reader) was the video version of the 12-step roadmap. Click here to watch as I walk you through it.
* Thing 3 is today’s video of how Ben Hardy grew an email list of 100,000 people in 12 months and then got a $220,000 book contract. Click here to watch the case study.

Why am I doing this?
I’m sharing all these resources with you to make one very important point:
It’s possible for you to make a living writing.
You just have to do the work. I can’t motivate you. I can’t make you sit down and write. But I can show you the way to success and hope you take the next step.
If you follow Ben’s example, I am quite certain you’ll see similar results.
Don’t miss Ben Hardy’s amazing story of success. Click here to watch our interview right now.
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to writing? How do your writing efforts match up with your goals? Share in the comments.
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Jeff Goins clean 39:35
The Writer’s Roadmap: 12 Steps to Make a Living Writing https://goinswriter.com/steps/ Tue, 10 Apr 2018 03:00:27 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21294 "Writers don't make any money." I've heard teachers and relatives and even authors themselves say this. But is it true? It doesn't have to be. Yes, we have all heard the tales of starving artists. But here's the other side of that story: You don't have to starve. Not today. Not with the countless opportunities that exist to share your message with the world. "Writers don't make any money." - I've heard teachers and relatives and even authors themselves say this. But is it true? It doesn't have to be. - Yes, we have all heard the tales of starving artists. But here's the other side of that story: You don'... Click here to watch a free video about the steps you can take to make a living writing.
It never fails. Every week, I overhear a conversation at a coffee shop or get an email that essentially says the same thing:
“Writers don’t make any money.”

I’ve heard teachers and relatives and even authors themselves say this. But is it true? It doesn’t have to be.
Yes, we have all heard the tales of starving artists. But here’s the other side of that story:
You don’t have to starve.
Not today. Not with the countless opportunities that exist to share your message with the world.
“MYTH: Writers don’t make any money.Tweet this
You can make a living writing
Every year, I see writers do this. I see them bridge the gap between barely surviving and making a great living. I’ve personally taught hundreds of them each year in my Tribe Writers course and applauded as they’ve seen their dreams come true.
Here’s the deal. I’m tired of this whole “starving writer” thing. It needs to go away. So, recently I documented the process that all professional writers follow to turn pro.
And today, I want to share it with you.

* If you haven’t gotten a chance to download my new free guide yet, get it right here: 12 Steps to Make a Living Writing.
* Click here to watch a tutorial as I walk you through the writer’s roadmap and explain the 12 steps in detail.

The myth of the starving artist has dominated our culture for long enough. It’s time to equip writers and creatives with the tools to make a living from their craft.
Are you feeling stuck? These resources will help you. Get started by downloading the guide and Watching the free video.
Where do you feel stuck in your writing? What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? Share in the comments.

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Jeff Goins clean 36:54
How to Go on Vacation for 3 Months Every Year: Interview with Sean D’Souza https://goinswriter.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-for-3-months-every-year/ Wed, 04 Apr 2018 10:00:30 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22545 If someone asked what you could be the best in the world at what would you tell them? Today’s guest answered that question and it changed the course of his life! Sean D’Souza is an author, online marketer, cartoonist and one of the smartest people I know. If someone asked what you could be the best in the world at what would you tell them? Today’s guest answered that question and it changed the course of his life! - Sean D’Souza is an author, online marketer,
Sean D’Souza is an author, online marketer, cartoonist and one of the smartest people I know. But not so long ago he was a cartoonist and recent transplant to New Zealand from his homeland of India.
When he moved in 2000, Sean read Good to Great by Jim Collins. In that book, Jim asks his readers to think of what they can be the best at in life. That question and its answer altered the trajectory of Sean’s life.
At that point he was making a good living as a cartoonist; he was great at retaining his clients and was doing fine financially. But he knew he wanted to do something that was different and better than anything else out there.
Sean believed he couldn’t be the best cartoonist in the world so he understood he’d have to do something else. And he was ready, despite his friends who thought he was crazy to give up his successful business.
The same year Sean moved to New Zealand, he found the Marketing Profs web site. Somehow he started chatting with Allen Weiss, the publisher. Their conversations led to him writing articles for Allen, which led to Sean stepping into public speaking.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Sean explains how each one of these steps led to the next step and his overall evolution. We also talk about why he values certain experiences, like cooking a new dish every day, more than he values increasing profits before we finish the show with a fun magic trick from Sean!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Sean and I explore:

* Does he ever worry about his business not making enough money?
* Why did he suspend all his courses until next July?
* What other things were more important to him than tripling his income?
* Why does he focus on completion rates, rather than increased enrollment numbers in his class?
* What does it mean to do something for the magic?

“What I believe in is not skill, I believe in confidence. Sean D'SouzaTweet this
On what work for him looks like today

* Why did he start writing and talking about consumption when no one else was?
* What did he initially set out to do?
* His dartboard pricing method: Sean explains what it is and how to do it.
* What his lab is and how it helps him write books.

“The reason why I write is because it brings clarity to my own thoughts.Sean D'SouzaTweet this
On taking three months off, one month at a time

* Why taking 3 months off all at once was actually terrible!
* Why do people become workaholics?
* What is vacation momentum?
* How do Sean and his wife balance the transition from work to vacation and back again?

Resources

* Psychotactics web site
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Jeff Goins clean 57:29
The Progressive Journey to Launch Your Dream: Interview with Dale Partridge https://goinswriter.com/launch-your-dream/ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 10:00:29 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22384 It’s common for many of us to want to find our calling. Our guest today shares why there’s actually a progressive journey to finding your calling and launching your dream. It’s common for many of us to want to find our calling. Our guest today shares why there’s actually a progressive journey to finding your calling and launching your dream.
Dale Partridge is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Start-up Camp. He is also a best-selling author and a committed husband and father.
Because Dale has started so many businesses and experienced tremendous success and setbacks by his early 30s, I wanted to hear him explain what serial entrepreneurship means to him. According to him, the older he gets the more it looks like lack of contentment!
But he says it is also a gift to see the potential in things. As a kid he would get really excited about ideas. Over time he learned the discipline to take something from an idea and turn it into reality, and to stick with it over a period of time.
Many people can come up with ideas, Dale says, but too many abandon their concepts prematurely in the process of developing them into a business. He knows this firsthand: over the last 14 years he has started eight companies. He’s jumped ship too early on some and stayed too long on others.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, we dig into those experiences more. Dale tells us the difference between God’s yes and God’s go, why generosity is so critical to a company’s success, and his own progressive journey to writing his latest book, Launch Your Dream.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Dale and I explore:

* Why your life’s work doesn’t usually happen by 27.
* How do you know what your gifts are?
* What was his first company, and what did it teach him?
* What made him think he could start a business at the age of 18?
* What is entrepreneurship really about?

“Don’t compare my mile 26 to your mile 14.Dale PartridgeTweet this 
Life and business lessons learned

* How many times has he been fired from his own companies?
* What did he discover from being in between businesses?
* How many touch points do thought leaders need with their audiences?
* Where does success start?
* Why does someone with time impress him more than someone with money?

“Money comes and goes, time just goes.Dale PartridgeTweet this
On repairing his personal life

* Why he was the most successful person no one liked.
* Why did his family move to Oregon and buy a farm?
* What’s the difference between normal and common?
* What’s one of the easiest ways for husbands and wives to value their marriage?
* Why should you try to get rid of Friday?

Resources

* Dale Partridge’s web site
* Dale’s blog
* People Over Profit,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 40:01
How to Launch a Book Without a Platform: Interview with Rachel Swanson https://goinswriter.com/launch-a-book/ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:54:58 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22388 A question many first-time authors ask is how to launch a book without a platform? Is it possible or do you need to build your followers first? Our guest for today proves you can successfully launch and sell a book, without a major platform. A question many first-time authors ask is how to launch a book without a platform? Is it possible or do you need to build your followers first? - Our guest for today proves you can successfully launch and sell a book, without a major platform.
Our guest for today proves you can successfully launch and sell a book, without a major platform. Rachel Swanson was once an aspiring author with a small blog – under 100 email subscribers – and what she did with her first book was nothing short of amazing! She launched a book and sold thousands of copies in the first few weeks, and that trend has continued ever since.
To start off, I share the email she sent to pitch herself to come on this show. I think it’s a great example of how to position yourself when asking to be a guest on any podcast or other medium, and I wanted you to hear it.
We then transition into talking about how her book has sold over 10,000 copies. This is an exceptional milestone that many books don’t reach in their first year, and yet Rachel has accomplished this in just the first six months of her book’s launch!
On today’s episode of The Portfolio Life, we discuss how Rachel’s book came to be and how it became so successful, plus candid advice for following in her footsteps.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Rachel and I discuss:

* How to combine multiple trends to create something new.
* Why is it all about service, rather than book sales?
* Why Rachel is glad to give away her books.
* Where did she get the idea for this book?
* What it takes to sell 10,000 books when you don’t have a large community.

“The more you serve the more you will get back in the long run.Rachel SwansonTweet this
The story of her book

* How did she know there was a need for this topic?
* How did an app help her create this book?
* Did she send a query to agents before she had a proposal together?
* How many times did her proposal get rejected and what did each teach her?
* What is the category her book created?

“I’m looking at connecting, and not just selling a book.Rachel SwansonTweet this
What she did to generate book sales

* How to give your work a competitive edge.
* How can you tap into an existing trend while still standing out?
* What are different ways you can attract the attention of agents and publishers?
* The initial big boost of sales was driven by what?
* What’s the best way to approach relevant influencers when launching your book?

Resources

* Rachel Swanson’s web site
* Big and Little Coloring Devotion, by Rachel Swanson
* Real Artists Don’t Starve
* Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes

What will you do differently to get your book published now that you&#...]]>
Jeff Goins clean 20:07
On Becoming a Perennial Seller as an Artist: Interview with Ryan Holiday https://goinswriter.com/perennial-seller/ Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:00:22 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22378 What does it take to be a perennial seller, and can any artist do it? Here to answer those questions, and more, is my friend Ryan Holiday. Ryan is a genius marketer and best-selling author of several books including The Obstacle is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy and Perennial Seller. What does it take to be a perennial seller, and can any artist do it? Here to answer those questions, and more, is my friend Ryan Holiday. Ryan is a genius marketer and best-selling author of several books including The Obstacle is the Way,
We jump right in by talking about how to create something that lasts – the message at the heart of his Perennial Seller book. In fact, Ryan believes in this message so much that he insisted on reading Real Artists Don’t Starve before he would help me with the launch! He needed to be sure it was a book with a message he could stand behind. It was an interesting experience for me and we dig into what that process was like for both of us.
Because he felt so strongly about this, I wanted to know if he has ever worked on something he didn’t believe in. Ryan said yes. He either believed in the project initially and then dug in only to find it wasn’t a good fit, or he’s been distracted by the price tag of the project or the name of the person involved. And in the end all of those were regrettable experiences!
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, we also how much time we should spend on creating something versus marketing it, common pitfalls we can avoid as artists, and something he is failing at right now.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Ryan and I explore:

* What is one critical question to ask yourself during the creation process?
* How is creating and marketing a book like a legal trial?
* What does it take to create a perennial seller, and what are some examples?
* What makes a creation endure?
* If you are traditionally publishing your book, why is it a mistake to only sell to your email list?

“If it’s done right the work brings people to you.Ryan HolidayTweet this 
The process of creating a perennial best-seller

* The creative phase. This is the phase during which you take your idea to your first draft of the manuscript.
* Polishing and positioning phase. Editing, refining, picking your title, your cover, your release date. Basically ensuring you have accomplished what you set out to accomplish.
* Marketing. This is the launch phase. During this phase you bring in your marketers, your influencers, you get attention for your creation and you sell it.
* The platform you build around the work. During this phase you build loyalty and relationship with your reader. The person you are trying to reach with your next book. The body of work you’re making as a creator. You establish a fan base or brand around your initial idea.

“It’s going to be hard for you to continue doing what you do if you die of starvation!Ryan HolidayTweet this
Lessons from The Obstacle is The Way

* What makes this a book people recommend to others,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 45:32
From Hollywood to Business School to Best-Selling Author: Interview with Eric Barker https://goinswriter.com/screenwriter/ Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:00:54 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22400 What does it take to succeed? Apparently, not what we think. Best-selling author Eric Barker had to learn this the hard way. From working as a screenwriter to creating video games to getting his MBA, Barker has an interesting career full of surprises all leading to an incredibly successful blog and accompanying book about the science of success.   Barker first started writing in high school, then moved on to writing, in his words, “bad poetry.” After graduating from college, he moved to Hollywood where he worked as a screenwriter for Disney and Fox for 10 years. Feeling burned out What does it take to succeed? Apparently, not what we think. Best-selling author Eric Barker had to learn this the hard way. From working as a screenwriter to creating video games to getting his MBA, Barker has an interesting career full of surprises a...  

Barker first started writing in high school, then moved on to writing, in his words, “bad poetry.” After graduating from college, he moved to Hollywood where he worked as a screenwriter for Disney and Fox for 10 years.
Feeling burned out from the experience, he took a break and got his MBA. During business school, he took a class on negotiation and was exposed to social science, which he found fascinating.
Upon graduating in 2008, during the heart of a recession, Eric couldn’t land a job so he started reading abstracts and papers. Wanting to share what he was learning, Eric started a blog a year later. He explored what social science confirmed and what it didn’t by posting his own abstracts and case studies.
Over time the blog evolved into pulling these findings together to see trends in the science, and then adding his own voice to the mix. As his audience swelled to over 300,000 subscribers, Eric soon knew it was time to publish a book. In 2015, he started working on Barking up the Wrong Tree, which uses science to dispel the myths attached to the old axioms of success.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Eric and I talk about how he deals with the academic community’s opinions of his work and how, as a self-proclaimed “off the charts” introvert, he handles the extroverted aspects of marketing this book. Finally, we wrap up with what he would do if he were starting out as a writer today.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Eric and I discuss:

* What did he like and dislike about working in Hollywood?
* How did he make the transition from fiction to non-fiction?
* Why was reverse engineering a skill that helped him in his writing career?
* What are the commonalities and the differences when writing for a blog, a book, and a screenplay?
* Why did he stop writing for a few years?

“To give people something that can be entertaining and useful in their lives is very powerful.Eric BarkerTweet this 
Eric on the progression of his blog

* How did he grow his audience to over 300k readers from 2009 to 2015?
* What was the process of finding his voice?
* What makes his subject matter so accessible to everyone?
* How did his work at video game studios impact the blog?
* Did he start his blog with any specific plans for it?

“The question is how can I be gritty at the things that matter in the long-term and quit the things that are not useful to me?Eric BarkerTweet this
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Jeff Goins clean 49:43
How to Pivot Your Career Towards Your True Passion: Interview with Jenny Blake https://goinswriter.com/pivot/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 11:00:26 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22228 Have you ever felt like you should be happy with your life, but part of you is itching for whatever is next? You’re not alone if you have. Our guest today has felt that way too, and she's created a business and a book based on her experiences. Jenny Blake is a speaker, coach and business strategist. She is also the best-selling author of Pivot, a book about learning how to be better at the one constant in life: change. Have you ever felt like you should be happy with your life, but part of you is itching for whatever is next? You’re not alone if you have. Our guest today has felt that way too, and she's created a business and a book based on her experiences. -
Our guest on the podcast this week has felt that way, too, and she’s created an entire business around her experiences. Jenny Blake is a speaker, coach and business strategist. She is also the best-selling author of Pivot, a book about learning how to be better at the one constant in life: change.
Believe it or not, Jenny was not always resilient when it came to change. In fact, the impetus for Pivot and her current business model stem from her lack of ability to handle change well. She hit plateau after plateau and felt like there was was something wrong with her because she wasn’t happy despite having several “dream jobs” in her 20s.
Although she worked for a great start-up and for Google, she was always looking for what was next and looking to evolve. What she realizes now is she simply wanted to grow, and that she in fact was an entrepreneur at heart.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, we talk about why she thought she wasn’t cut out for the life of an entrepreneur, why she is so passionate about pivoting, and how the skills she developed along the way helped her be who is she is today.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jenny and I discuss:

* Why are we sometimes wrong about our own shortcomings?
* How to embrace change knowing our pivots won’t be perfect.
* What does it mean to pilot and why is it one of the most critical skills we can develop?
* Are you a high-net growth individual and how do you adapt if you are?
* What are the three Es?

“Many of us are pivoting and getting pivoted by choice and circumstance.Jenny BlakeTweet this 
Jenny on taking a project to the next level

* Why you don’t have to figure everything out overnight!
* When do you know a pivot is working and when it is not?
* How do you know if you should leave a job you hate?
* How to balance your day job with a side project.

“If change is the only constant let’s get better at it.Jenny BlakeTweet this
An inside look at Jenny’s professional portfolio

* Why what works isn’t what we would necessarily expect.
* How did she build her portfolio?
* Why doesn’t she identify as a writer?
* Are royalties a big part of her income?
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Jeff Goins clean 47:41
What Copywriting Really Is: Interview with Ray Edwards https://goinswriter.com/copywriting-is/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 11:00:58 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22340 Have you ever had an idea you wanted to share, a story you wanted the world to hear, or conviction you wanted other people to have, as well? Well, believe it or not, that makes you a copywriter. Copywriting, it turns out, has nothing to do with trademarks. It is the art of effectively persuading your audience to take action through the written word. And today's guest on the show is an expert at it. Have you ever had an idea you wanted to share, a story you wanted the world to hear, or conviction you wanted other people to have, as well? Well, believe it or not, that makes you a copywriter. - Copywriting, it turns out,
Copywriting, it turns out, has nothing to do with trademarks. It is the art of effectively persuading your audience to take action through the written word. And today’s guest on the show is an expert at it.
Ray Edwards is an online marketing expert and copywriter extraordinaire who has worked with the likes of Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Michael Hyatt, and even yours truly.
But this episode is a bit different. Instead of interviewing Ray, who is a good friend of mine, I asked him to guest host the show, answering questions I sent him to dive into his deep knowledge of copywriting and online marketing. Ray spends the entire episode explaining how to get more people to buy more of your books, read more of your blogs, listen to more episodes of your podcast and land bigger, better book deals.
We start the episode learning more about Ray’s background in eastern Kentucky, where he grew up. He started in the radio business at 14. He began helping advertisers come up with clever ways to get people to come in and put cash in the registers and soon found he loved it. He attributes this love to his entrepreneurial family: his mom, his aunts and his uncles all had their own businesses. From them he understood business owners (including artists) want to make sales.
Ray found that lesson to be true in radio, too. It was the salespeople who made the money – not the DJs – so he befriended them. He went on client calls, he studied Jay Abraham, David Ogilvy and John Caples who are the classic masters of direct response marketing.
All of that changed when the Internet came along. It effectively killed off radio so he began offering his services online and he has never looked back.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Ray shares tools that any of us can use regardless of our current skill level. He also shares the medium which has allowed him to sell an estimated $300 million worth of goods and services, as well as the next steps you can take to become a better copywriter.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Ray answers the questions:

* What is direct response marketing and why is it so powerful?
* What was the key to Ray’s success in radio?
* How did Ray’s family influence his understanding of business, marketing and sales?
* Why did the Internet kill radio?
* What is the pastor structure, and why does it have nothing to do with religion?

“If you connect with the head you are dead. If you connect with the heart now we can start!Ray EdwardsTweet this 
What copywriting is and why it matters

* What are real-life examples of copywriting from your daily life?
* What does the movie You’ve Got Mail have to do with copywriting?
* How has he sold an estimated $300 million worth of goods and services?
* What are the basics of copywriting?
* What determines how the world sees you and treats you?...]]>
Jeff Goins clean 24:37
How to Turn Your Greatest Insecurities into Your Greatest Assets: Interview with Brett McKay https://goinswriter.com/insecurities/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22235 Often what we create in art and in life stems from our early influences, and this is true for our guest today Brett McKay. Brett is the founder of The Art of Manliness, a web site he describes as a men's lifestyle magazine that helps men become better men in all aspects of life from being husbands, fathers, citizens, community members, etc. Brett started The Art of Manliness because, in part, of his grandfather’s influence. One of his favorite childhood memories is going to his granddad’s farm in New Mexico and spending time with his grandfather. His granddad was a jack of all trades, but master of many. He was a curious man who continued learning about the world around him and in the people in it until he died at the age of 101. Often what we create in art and in life stems from our early influences, and this is true for our guest today Brett McKay. Brett is the founder of The Art of Manliness, a web site he describes as a men's lifestyle magazine that helps men become better ... The Art of Manliness, which he describes as a men’s lifestyle magazine that helps men become better men in all aspects of life from being husbands, fathers, citizens, and community members.

Brett started The Art of Manliness because, in part, of his grandfather’s influence.
One of his favorite childhood memories is going to his granddad’s farm in New Mexico and spending time with his grandfather. His granddad was a jack of all trades, but master of many. He was a curious man who continued learning about the world around him and in the people in it until he died at the age of 101.
His grandfather’s tough mountain man skills along with his thirst for knowledge stuck with Brett into adulthood today — largely because Brett found those were things that were missing in culture and in his life.
One day while looking at men’s magazines he noticed they were all focused on similar topics: six-pack abs, the latest sex secrets, and other stereotypical “macho” man subjects. But no one was focusing on life skills as a father, a husband, and a citizen of the world. No one was helping men with topics like facing your greatest failure, how to know if you should marry the woman you are dating, and how to help you and your wife after a miscarriage.
Brett decided to do something about that, and while on winter break from law school, he began The Art of Manliness. In no time at all the web site found its footing and grew a considerable audience. Today it has spawned several books, courses and a podcast.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Brett and I talk about why the world needs you to turn your insecurities into assets, how he knew it was time to transition from his corporate legal job to becoming a full-time blogger, and what he does with his life when he’s not working to become the best man he can be.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Brett and I explore:

* How does his grandfather continue to influence his life today?
* What was his childhood like in Oklahoma?
* Why did he start his first blog, The Frugal Law Student?
* What does his team look like today?
* What is The Strenuous Life and where did the idea come from?

“Every generation revolts against its fathers and make friends with its grandfathers.Brett McKayTweet this 
The origins of The Art of Manliness

* What did bare knuckle boxing from the 19th century have to do with the site?
* What was his first article about on The Art of Manliness?
* Why do a lot of men come to the site?
* What personal lessons of his does he share with his audience?
* The origins of the illustrations and images on The Art of Manliness.

“Living life right now is where I get a lot of ideas.Brett McKayTweet this
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Jeff Goins clean 27:20
How to Stop Being Awkward & Captivate People’s Attention: Vanessa Van Edwards Interview https://goinswriter.com/captivate-attention/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:00:38 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22212 Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest challenges. Vanessa Van Edwards is a prime example of just such a person. She found a way to turn her awkward social skills into a thriving business helping others do the same. Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest challenges. Vanessa Van Edwards is a prime example of just such a person. She found a way to turn her awkward social skills into a thriving business helping others do the same.
Today, Vanessa is the proud creator of Science of People, a lab based in Portland. As the lead investigator at The Science of People, Vanessa and her team research people’s behaviors, what drives those behaviors and whether or not those behaviors can be predicted and/or changed.
She founded the lab as a result of her own recovering awkwardness. Growing up she was so afraid of being judged she completely shut down. She avoided social interaction as much as possible, even coming up with creative ways to stay indoors during recess!
That began to change thanks to a college professor. During a group project, Vanessa tried to complete the project on her own by bargaining with the professor. She asked if she could write 20 pages on her own, instead of the required 10 pages (two pages per person in the group). Her professor said no, and encouraged her to begin researching how to interact with others. He gave her multiple books to read on the science of people and opened up a whole new world for her. She dove in headlong and hasn’t turned back since.
Today on this episode of The Portfolio Life, Vanessa tells us the two kinds of awkwardness we can fall into and which one she used to be. She also tells the story of meeting one of her idols and how it went painfully wrong. We wrap up with what it took for her to become an expert in this field, and how you can apply the same lessons.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Vanessa and I dive into:

* How did a college professor steer her towards the work she does today?
* What did getting grounded in high school have to do with her first business?
* Where did her love of writing come from?
* What is one of the most awkward things she said or did while on the road to recovery?
* How important is the social aspect to your success in life?

“The greatest moment you can have with another human being is that feeling of me too.Vanessa Van EdwardsTweet this
On how Science of People began:

* The moment she went from being a writer to a researcher.
* How did she use both qualitative and quantitative research to make her mark?
* What methods were most effective in growing her audience?
* What is thin-slicing and why did it matter to her lab?
* Can you guess popularity from a face? The findings her lab discovered.

“It’s about trying to get with the right people in the right way in the right place.Vanessa Van EdwardsTweet this
Practical tips for recovering awkward people:

* How and why creating structure for your conversations is important.
* How to find commonalities that create bonds.
* Are there non-verbal signs and signals we can give to engage others?
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Jeff Goins clean 47:28
The Importance of Your Book Cover Design: An Interview with Pamela Webber https://goinswriter.com/cover-design/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 11:00:31 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22194 The old saying you can judge a book by its cover is rooted in truth! To get to the heart of why it's true and why design plays such a major role in an author's success, I invited the Chief Marketing Officer of 99Designs, Pamela Webber, to join us. The old saying you can judge a book by its cover is rooted in truth! To get to the heart of why it's true and why design plays such a major role in an author's success, I invited the Chief Marketing Officer of 99Designs, Pamela Webber, to join us.
To get to the heart of why design plays such a big role in an author’s success, I invited the Chief Marketing Officer of 99designs, Pamela Webber, to join us.
99designs is an online community of hundreds of thousands of graphic designers who help small business owners and entrepreneurs get their design needs met for everything from logos to book covers to packaging.
It works through a contest model. To start, you submit a creative brief explaining what you envision for your project. Designers who want to participate then read your brief and create something for you. Next you select which design you like best and agree to work with that designer exclusively as you finalize your project.
Today on this episode of The Portfolio Life, we focus primarily on the design of books, interior and exterior. Pamela joins us to explain why book covers matter, including the statistical data to support this. She walks us through each of the steps necessary to get our cover designed as a first-time author and also shares what is included in the interior of your book and why each piece is important.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Pamela reveals:

* What does it really cost to get a book professionally designed?
* In the overall strategy of selling your book, how important is the design?
* When should you think about the marketing of your book?
* Real-life data on the impact book covers can make on sales.
* Why does she believe the contest model on 99designs is fair?

“Start thinking more like a business owner, and less like an author.Pamela WebberTweet this
On the interior design of your book:

* What are the two main parts of a book’s interior design?
* How does the interior differ among genres?
* How can font and spacing impact the sales of your book?
* Why does book cover design depend so heavily on genre and audience?

“You need every piece of your marketing strategy to be working as hard as possible for you.Pamela WebberTweet this
The basics of book design:

* Design for your audience – not for yourself.
* Create your book’s design with reader engagement in mind.
* Design for sales rather than aesthetics and perfection more than sales.
* Your book interior matters but also varies by genre and readership.

Resources:

* 99designs web site
* 99designs blog article on book covers and genres
* Calculate the cost of self-publishing a book
* 99designs on Twitter
Jeff Goins clean 28:10
How to Vlog Like a Boss: An Interview with Amy Schmittauer https://goinswriter.com/amy-schmittauer/ Wed, 24 Jan 2018 11:00:17 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22176 Online video is becoming increasingly popular with every passing day. No one knows this better than Amy Schmittauer, the founder of Savvy Sexy Social and author of Vlog Like a Boss. For nearly a decade Amy has been in the video content creation world, and it all began with a surprise gift for a friend’s wedding. Amy wanted to create something personal, meaningful and a touch surprising for her friend’s rehearsal dinner, so she made a video. When she saw the emotional impact her video made on all of the guests - not just her friend - the proverbial light bulb clicked on for Amy. She fell in love with the idea of making something that surprised people and drew a reaction from them. Although she knew little of video creation or editing, she dove in headfirst. Online video is becoming increasingly popular with every passing day. No one knows this better than Amy Schmittauer, the founder of Savvy Sexy Social and author of Vlog Like a Boss. - For nearly a decade Amy has been in the video content creation worl... Vlog Like a Boss.

For nearly a decade, Amy has been in the video content creation business, and it all began with a surprise gift for a friend’s wedding. Amy wanted to create something personal, meaningful surprising for her friend’s rehearsal dinner, so she made a video.
When she saw the emotional impact her video had on all of the guests — not just her friend — the proverbial light bulb clicked on for Amy. She fell in love with the idea of making something that surprised people and drew a reaction from them. Although she knew little of video creation or editing, she dove in headfirst.
With a bit of research and creativity, she saw the opportunity to teach others how to use video, especially businesses. For the next few years, she kept her full-time job and started a “side hustle” of helping businesses make videos to reach their customers and grow their platforms.
On this episode of The Portfolio Life, Amy and I talk about how she knew it was time to have her own business, how she helped others see the value of video before everyone was doing it, and why being uncomfortable is necessary to achieving success as an entrepreneur.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Amy and I discuss:

* What’s the second largest search engine in the world?
* These two metrics are extremely important in video today: what are they?
* When does long-form content become meaningful?
* What was her first channel on YouTube?
* What is one of the biggest misconceptions about making money from YouTube?

“If you can make a normal day look interesting on video you can do a lot! Amy SchmittauerTweet this
Amy on making the leap into entrepreneurship

* Why consistency is so critical to becoming known in any field.
* How did she know starting her own business was worth the risk?
* Who was her first client and why did she work for them for free?
* Do you have to live in certain cities to be the most successful?
* What are the different streams that make up her income?

“YouTube is extremely powerful if you know how to use it.Amy SchmittauerTweet this
Amy’s quick tricks to start blogging now

* Come up with major themes for your videos.
* Q&A shows are a good concept to get you started.
* Start by publishing once a week, 2-3 videos a week once you know what you’re doing.
* Give your videos at least 48 hours to perform, before publishing more.
* Be exceptionally generous with your knowledge to become a thought leader to your viewers.

Resources:

* clean 58:50 How to Travel Around the World with Your Family for a Year: An Interview with Tsh Oxenreider https://goinswriter.com/tsh-oxenreider/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:01:34 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21995 Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world but the constraints of life got in the way? Our guest this week dreamed of taking a year off to explore the globe with her family, and she made it happen. Here’s how. Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world but the constraints of life got in the way? Our guest this week dreamed of taking a year off to explore the globe with her family, and she made it happen. Here’s how.
Today, Tsh Oxenreider recounts that experience as well as how it led to her latest book, At Home in the World.
Tsh’s journey into the life of a writer began when she was living in Turkey. She and her husband had a 2-year old and she was pregnant with their second child. Tsh says moving there was like a do-over, and it was the first time she felt she had permission to allow what she wanted and needed into her home.
About this time Tsh was also diagnosed with depression and her therapist suggested she find a creative outlet because doing so would allow Tsh to reclaim some normalcy in her ex-pat existence.
Tsh’s husband suggested she start start a blog because he remembered how much she enjoyed writing. This was about 2007 when blogs were just becoming popular, and she jumped on board. Her original intention was to write about parenting and what it was like living overseas. Soon her site grew in popularity and Tsh dove into expanding its reach and content.
On today’s show we talk about that process of growing her blog, as well as how Tsh approaches book launches and balancing the marketing and writing her books. Join us as we dig into those topics and more on this episode of The Portfolio Life!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Tsh and I discuss:

* Why is no one ever 100% ready?
* What is the “1,000 true fans” concept?
* Why does she say she isn’t a simple living guru?
* How many years did they save and prepare for their year-long trip around the world?
* What were some of the main logistics to make this type of travel possible?

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.Tsh OxenreiderTweet this
Tsh on full-time blogging and entrepreneurship

* Did she think this was going to be a new business venture?
* Where did she learn how to make money from blogging?
* How much was she earning from her blog by mid-2008?
* When did she make the leap to full-time?
* What other streams of revenue did she have in addition to her blog?

“Everybody has a different way of living simply.Tsh OxenreiderTweet this
Tsh’s lessons from her book and on writing

* What was a “sub-reason” they took their trip?
* What is the vow of stability?
* Is wanderlust ever quenched?
* What has changed in her daily life as a result of these trav...]]> Jeff Goins clean 44:49 Using Data and Metrics to Build a Painting Career: An Interview with Justin Vining https://goinswriter.com/justin-vining/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 11:01:29 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21970 Do you know where most of your customers live, or how much your market is willing to spend on your art? If you think those questions don’t matter to being a successful artist, think again. Justin Vining is a painter based in Indianapolis, Indiana who has gone from bare bones living to having a comfortable and healthy income from his art. Do you know where most of your customers live, or how much your market is willing to spend on your art? If you think those questions don’t matter to being a successful artist, think again. Justin Vining is a painter based in Indianapolis,
Justin Vining is a painter based in Indianapolis, Indiana who has gone from bare bones living to having a comfortable and healthy income from his art.
And he’s done it in an unconventional way: rather than setting an arbitrary price for his art, Justin chooses the price point based on where his market consistently buys. He also tracks his data so he knows how to reach his goals for opening nights, and he networks to become a big player in the local community.
Justin has done all of this by learning as he goes. After graduating from Purdue University, he worked as an elementary education art teacher. In his third year of teaching he left to go to law school. While earning his law degree, Justin began selling his art to classmates in order to make some money. He also built a Facebook following on a hunch. It was the beginning of his painting career.
He went on to become a lawyer (even keeping his license active today), but about 6 years ago Justin made the leap into a full-time painting career. He is a fourth generation farmer who was raised with a strong work ethic so when he dove into painting he worked day and night to get sales and make it happen.
Today, we talk about how Justin finds balance between working late into the night and still spending quality time with his loved ones, why he’s living proof that artists don’t have to starve, and how he landed his biggest commission to date. You’re going to love hearing Justin’s straightforward advice on those topics and more on this episode of The Portfolio Life!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Justin and I discuss:

* What role does metrics play in the selling and marketing of his art?
* Why is he willing to make less money per piece?
* How do you find a balance of working hard without burning out?
* Why is he getting push back from his painting peers?
* How did the invention of paint tubes change the way painting is done?

“If you want something you have to go get it.Justin ViningTweet this
Justin on work ethic and growing his business

* How did growing up on a farm influence Justin’s work ethic?
* In his first five years, how many paintings did he create per year?
* What was his strategy for generating followers for his Facebook page?
* Did he have a long-term strategy when he began painting during law school?
* How has he approached his business differently than other artists?

“I price on where the market buys the work consistently.Justin ViningTweet this
Using metrics, goals and data as an artist

* What happened in September 2012 that taught him a big lesson?
* Why did he choose to focus on Indianapolis as his target market?
* How have both his customer base and his subject matter evolved in the last year?
* How did tracking his sales data help him sell 72 paintings during one opening night?
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Jeff Goins clean 44:18
Why It’s Never Too Late To Be An Artist: An Interview with Lisa Congdon https://goinswriter.com/lisa-congdon/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 11:00:45 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21933 Do you think it’s never too late to be an artist? Or is there a cutoff point in life when to give up on your artistic dreams? Our guest for today is shaking up the notion that you can only pursue your artistic path when you’re young. Lisa talks about what happened on her artistic journey in this episode of The Portfolio Life, including how many years it took for her work to become a part-time source of income and then a full-time source. You’ll definitely want to hear her inspiring journey, and her advice on how you can follow suit. Do you think it’s never too late to be an artist? Or is there a cutoff point in life when to give up on your artistic dreams? Our guest for today is shaking up the notion that you can only pursue your artistic path when you’re young.
Lisa Congdon is an illustrator, and a fine artist. Her work is in the Museum of Modern Art’s store, Harvard University, and Martha Stewart Living to name a few. She also has a wonderful book called Art Inc.: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist.
Even though she grew up in an artistic home, Lisa didn’t pursue art as a living until later in her adult life. She was an elementary education teacher for most of her 20s and worked in an education non-profit during her 30s. But that shifted when she ended a 10-year relationship with another artist.
Lisa was lonely after the breakup and had a lot of space to fill in her life. Her brother also ended a long-term relationship about the same time, and he was questioning what to do with the rest of his life much like Lisa.
He went back to school and had to take an elective so he chose a painting class. The class was on a Friday night and he didn’t want to go by himself so he asked Lisa to join him. She said yes and was immediately smitten. Lisa took a few more classes with the teacher and also began painting in her apartment. Then she took a few drawing classes and began experimenting with all types of art from drawing to painting to sewing to cooking.
Lisa talks about what happened next in this episode of The Portfolio Life, including how many years it took for her work to become a part-time source of income and then a full-time source. You’ll definitely want to hear her inspiring journey, and her advice on how you can follow suit.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Lisa and I discuss:

* Did she always know she was going to be an artist?
* What was it like after she quit her job to become a full-time artist?
* How did she sign with an illustration agent?
* How long did it take for her to find her voice and her style?
* Did she struggle with the starving artist mindset?

“You cannot make a living as an artist without relationships.Lisa CongdonTweet this
Lisa’s timeline for becoming a full-time artist

* How long did she have Impostor Syndrome?
* What did Impostor Syndrome stop her from doing for a time?
* When did she make the switch to focusing on her art full-time?
* Why does her art look so different today versus when she started?
* What’s the one way to know which artistic medium is right for you?

“It’s never too late to pursue our dreams.Lisa CongdonTweet this
How to start thriving as an artist:

* Experiment. Start thinking differently!
* What is possible? Pretend that everything is possible and think of what you would have in your life.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 50:23
When in Doubt, Be Generous https://goinswriter.com/generous/ Mon, 18 Dec 2017 11:01:05 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22089 Do you know what the biggest secret to a successful life is? Be generous. It's so simple and yet so easy to ignore. Here's why: We think that being generous is something we do once we get famous. And that's not how it works at all. Do you know what the biggest secret to a successful life is? - Be generous. - It's so simple and yet so easy to ignore. Here's why: - We think that being generous is something we do once we get famous. And that's not how it works at all.
And if you haven’t checked out Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, it has been a sort of unofficial sponsor of this series. It’s the best goal-setting program I’ve ever done, and this is my third year going through it.
I highly recommend it.
Click here to learn how to have your best year ever.
All right, on with the final lesson (you can listen to the audio via the player below):

Lesson 10: Be Generous
Do you know what the biggest secret to a successful life is?
Be generous.
It’s so simple and yet so easy to ignore. Here’s why:
We think that being generous is something we do once we get famous. And that’s not how it works at all.
A friend of mine just shared this:
Anytime I start getting scared of running out of something, I give away something. I have more than enough love, money, work, friendship, food, time, and energy to share. Always.
I agree. The secret to getting more is to give more. The most successful people I know are not hoarders. Quite the opposite, in fact. And here’s my belief on that:
Successful people are not generous because they’re successful. They’re successful because they’re generous.
Certainly, you run across your occasional Scrooges. But in my experience, those people are the exception, not the norm. That’s just what I’ve seen in my whole life, so I’m not speaking for everyone, obviously.
But that’s enough experience to convince me of an important lesson:
When in doubt, be generous.
When you have an opportunity to get versus give, go ahead and give.
Generosity as a growth strategy
I remember starting my blog back in 2010. It wasn’t growing, people weren’t reading, and I wasn’t having fun.
So I decided to shift something. Realizing I wasn’t doing my best work, I decided to do the opposite. I was afraid that if I gave away my best writing on my blog, no one would want to pay me for my best work. But that kind of scarcity thinking wasn’t really working. So I made one simple shift:
I decided to start giving away my best work for free.
Here’s what happens when you do that. Two things, actually:
1. People start to notice when you give your best work away for free.
Why? Because it’s generous. It makes people think, “She gave me all this for free? Wow.”
Not only that, they trust you even more, believing that paying you would bring even greater value.
Which brings me to point #2…
2. You do better work.
Look. You don’t have a ceiling on what you’re capable of. You can keep improving.
When I started giving away A+ content on my blog, I started writing better content. When the time came to write a book, I was a much better writer.
As you give your work away, your capacity to do better work increases. It has to.
So that’s the simple short lesson here today:
“Do your best work for free right now. Give it all away.Tweet this
But wait a second, Jeff, don’t you say to “never work for free”?
That’s right. In Real Artists Don’t Starve, one of the rules is just that. Don’t work for free. But here’s the catch:
You need to always work for something,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 19:55
Stop Trying to Be Famous and Build a Body of Work Instead https://goinswriter.com/body-of-work/ Sat, 16 Dec 2017 11:01:13 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22086 These days, it's easy to be famous. There are more influencers on Instagram than there have ever been famous people in the history of humanity. And our culture just keeps intoxicating us with the allure of more attention, and that it's an easy thing to chase. These days, it's easy to be famous. There are more influencers on Instagram than there have ever been famous people in the history of humanity. And our culture just keeps intoxicating us with the allure of more attention,
So, yeah. Fame is the easy part. The hard part is to consistently show up every day and do your work. To stay in your lane despite what your peers are doing. To remember that they aren’t your audience.
It’s hard to do this day after day, week after week, year after year. It’s especially hard to do decade after decade.
Note: you can listen to the audio version of this lesson via the player below.

Seth Godin recently shared that he’s never had a viral hit.
Can you believe that?!
One of the Internet’s most influential marketers and longest-running bloggers has never had a huge viral sensation. Is that because he was just unlucky?
I don’t think so. Seth hasn’t gone viral, because going viral is not what Seth is trying to do. He’s trying to connect with you and help you change things. And going viral can sometimes stand in the way of real impact.
“Going viral can stand in the way of real impact.Tweet this
If you’re wanting more help with goal-setting, I highly recommend Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. It’s a process I’ve been going thru these past few years and think it’s simply the best goal-setting program out there.
One-hit wonders fade away
How many one-hit wonders are still making music today?
The answer: very few.
In fact, I know some of these people. Living in Nashville, you start to bump into songwriters and musicians fairly regularly, some of which have experienced astronomical levels of fame at some point.
One friend I have fits this really well. His band used to perform for stadiums of people. Now, they play small dive bars.
And you know what? He’s happier than ever.
For the past two decades, he’s made his living writing songs for other people. He’s written dozens of award-winning songs that have helped other people sell millions of copies. And he’s made a good living doing it.
More than that, he loves what he does.
The big lesson for him was realizing the real reason he was doing his work was not for the fame, but for the thrill of making things.
So when his famous band fell out of the spotlight, as is nearly inevitable for all of us, he got depressed. Really depressed.
Then one day, another musician called him up and asked for his help in writing a song. He went to the studio and saved the day, and he felt alive.
So he did it again. And again. Dozens of times. Decades later, he’s still doing it. I love that!
Lesson 9: Build a body of work
This is what makes a person an artist.
Not a single hit. Not going viral. Not people recognizing you at a conference or a coffee shop. It is the act of making things. Every single day.
It’s no surprise that I think you should build a body of work. That’s why I named my podcast The Portfolio Life. The creative life is one of multiple projects and gigs and crafts that all fit together.
The fun part about a portfolio is that no two portfolios look the same. That is, if it is made up of more than one thing, if it is diverse.
The chances of you becoming famous from a viral hit are slim. But even if it does happen, that’s not enough. Not enough to keep earning a living.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 18:54
Is “Legacy” Just Another Name for Ego? https://goinswriter.com/legacy/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:01:05 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22079 I used to think a lot about my funeral. I wanted to do great things and be remembered by people. I wanted them to say nice things about me after I was gone. I thought I was talking about legacy. But really it was all about ego. I used to think a lot about my funeral. I wanted to do great things and be remembered by people. I wanted them to say nice things about me after I was gone. I thought I was talking about legacy. But really it was all about ego.
Let me tell you a little something about me that is embarrassing to admit:
I care a lot about what people think. I wish I didn’t. But I do.
Note: Click the player below to listen to this lesson.

Recently, I removed all social media channels and even email from my iPhone because I just couldn’t handle the constant feedback loop any more. I was comparing my life to other people’s highlight reels, and it was making me pretty unhappy.
If you were a close friend of mine, at some point, you and I would have gotten into some kind of disagreement that stemmed from a conversation we had or didn’t have in which I mistook something you said as basically you not liking me.
What people think about me, when I’m not emotionally healthy, can plague me.
So naturally, a person with my insecurities would think a lot about “legacy” — what people think about you after you’re gone.
Let me share with you, though, my proudest accomplishment and what I learned from it.
Lesson 8: Focus on impact, not legacy
In college, I was part of our student government and was assigned the task of writing a school Honor Code. This is basically a code of conduct for the student body that says you won’t cheat, etc. This was Sophomore year.
After working with multiple partners on this project, appealing to the students, faculty, and administration multiple times, we finally finished the Honor Code.
It was passed my senior year, the week before graduation.
I’ve written about this before in my book, The Art of Work, where I share that your calling really isn’t about you and that the work you’re meant to do should be bigger than you can do on your own. That’s what I learned from this project.
Once we passed the Honor Code, it needed someone to actually implement it. I entrusted that task to another student — a Sophomore at the time named Josh. And the next year, he helped make the idea of the Honor Code a reality.
Earlier this year, I was visiting my alma mater for a speaking engagement and happened to drop in on a writing class to talk about publishing and such. As I looked around, I noticed at the front of the classroom was a laminated document adhered to the wall.
It was the Honor Code.
My Honor Code.
Except it wasn’t mine at all. My name was nowhere on it. I even asked some students about it and none of them could tell me where it came from or who wrote it.
And you know what?
I loved that. The anonymity of it. The lack of credit. It felt good to create something that helped other people. It felt like the right kind of impact, the kind that makes a life worth living.
Maybe you call that legacy. I call it impact, and as you build the kind of life you’ve always wanted, I want to encourage to do this:
Forget legacy. Do work that matters. Help people. Give away the credit.
It’s way more fun than putting your name a building. Trust me.
“Forget legacy. Do work that matters.Tweet this
If you want more help with this sort of thing, I recommend you sign up for Michael Hyatt’s goal-setting program 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.
What are you doing to make an impact? Let me know how it’s going in the comments.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 11:49
Don’t Get Sophisticated, Stay Scrappy https://goinswriter.com/stay-scrappy/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:01:39 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22073 Don't get comfortable. The habits that make you successful are the same ones that allow you to succeed. And although this makes perfect sense, many of us forget this. We achieve a little bit of success, think much of ourselves, and forget to keep practicing. We get lazy, and as a result, we lose the very thing we worked so hard to attain. Don't get comfortable. The habits that make you successful are the same ones that allow you to succeed. And although this makes perfect sense, many of us forget this. - We achieve a little bit of success, think much of ourselves,
Before we talk about that, though, have you registered yet for Michael Hyatt’s upcoming webinar on goal-setting?
If not, sign up right here to learn the five most common mistakes we make in setting and achieving goals.
All, right, on with the next lesson (you can listen via the player below)

Here’s the secret to continued success…
Lesson 7: Don’t get sophisticated, stay scrappy
One of the things I didn’t expect to learn from this process of setting goals and actually achieving them was that once you get to the mountaintop, you don’t really know what to do.
Nobody prepares you for this. I once wrote about my best year ever, explaining how “I got everything that I thought I wanted and it wasn’t what I thought.”
What do we do when this happens?
I think we ought to remember what got us here in the first place — and maybe that was the point. This goes along with Lesson 4 when we talked about how we should measure the process, not just the results.
In other words, don’t get comfortable. The habits that make you successful are the same ones that allow you to succeed. And although this makes perfect sense, many of us forget this.
We achieve a little bit of success, think much of ourselves, and forget to keep practicing. We get lazy, and as a result, we lose the very thing we worked so hard to attain.
But wait. Haven’t you heard the saying, “what got you here won’t get you there”? I think there’s even a book about that. And that’s true… sometimes.
Don’t get comfortable
Some things do change when you succeed.
But a lot of things don’t.
Take relationships, for example. When you started dating someone, you do everything you can to be around that person. Maybe you write letters or emails or send them text messages. In my case, I wrote songs for the girl who captured my heart (and eventually married her).
But at some point, we get comfortable. Lazy. We take each other for granted, and the relationship starts to stagnate. We’re busy; it’s easy to find an excuse to not spend time together. Because, we think, that person will always be there.
What do we do when we recognize this pattern?
If we’re smart, we go back to the basics, to what got us here in the first place. We date our spouses again. We pursue them. We start writing letters and songs and sending text messages that say “I love you” for no reason at all.
Sometimes what got you here is the only thing that will keep you here.
The same is true with success.
At the beginning, we tend to strive and hustle and work ourselves to the bone. And we love it. It’s fun. Exciting, even. We have all this energy and passion — it’s almost infectious.
But at some point, we achieve our goals. We get what we wanted. And for whatever reason, we think the rules change. We get sophisticated.
It is in these moments when we must discipline ourselves to stay scrappy.
I remember working so hard in 2012 to make enough money to quit my job and write full-time. Then, as soon as I got what I wanted, I stopped writing for three months.
Why?
It’s because I thought that once you achieve a goal, the work somehow becomes easier. That’s rarely true.
Again, I will say it: what got you here, keeps you here. Stay hungry.
“What got you here,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 13:55
Avoid the Comparison Trap and Run Your Own Race https://goinswriter.com/run-your-race/ Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:01:57 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22049 The other day, I posted something snarky on Facebook: So how do you use social media without hating everyone? To be honest, I was just venting. I'm a pretty insecure person and can easily get jealous of what other people are doing. And I wanted to know if I was the only one who did that. I received a lot of interesting responses. The other day, I posted something snarky on Facebook: So how do you use social media without hating everyone? - To be honest, I was just venting. I'm a pretty insecure person and can easily get jealous of what other people are doing. I’ve been sharing my story of not only becoming a writer but learning a lot of other lessons — like the importance of not comparing myself to others. “Run your own race” has become a bit of a mantra to me lately.

Sidenote: if you’re enjoying this series, check out one of Michael Hyatt’s upcoming live trainings on goal-setting. He is the Grand Poobah of this stuff, and I’ve learned so much from him. Click here to see a list of dates and times.
Also, if you need to get caught up on this series, here are the previous lessons (including audio versions with some bonus material):

* Lesson 1: Find your who
* Lesson 2: Decide not to drift
* Lesson 3: Set habits, not goals
* Lesson 4: Measure the process
* Lesson 5: Seek feedback, ignore criticism

All right. On with the next one…
Note: To listen to the audio of this lesson, click the player below.

Lesson 6: Run your own race
The other day, I posted something snarky on Facebook:
“So how do you use social media without hating everyone?”
To be honest, I was just venting. I’m a pretty insecure person and can easily get jealous of what other people are doing. And I wanted to know if I was the only one who did that.
I received a lot of interesting responses.
One person told me to pray more. Another person told me to unfriend everyone. But one person said this:
Just remember that everyone deep down just wants to feel loved and important. Anything you see stems from that.
I loved that, because that’s what I want. To feel loved and important. And usually, I feel pretty good about my life — my goals, my dreams, my accomplishments — until I see someone doing better than me.
I know not everyone is this way, but I am. It’s a sickness, I think — this fear of missing out, the comparison trap we often find ourselves in.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Sure, ignoring people helps some of the time. But sometimes, it’s just hard to ignore everyone all the time.
About a year ago, I learned a crucial lesson. I was drowning in stress and overcome with resentment about my situation. On the outside, I looked like I was winning: I had a seven-figure business, a bestselling book, and hundreds of thousands of fans. But inside, I was miserable.
All I could think about was what I wasn’t doing. What I wasn’t achieving. What I had to yet to do. And it was eating me up inside.
A number of people helped me get out of that funk, and I detail all of it here in this article.
I am now a lot healthier and happier. But I can still drift into the comparison mode and find myself not enjoying what I’m doing.
There’s one simple phrase that I’ve held onto all this time. It was given to me by a friend who was desperately trying to beat everyone around him in a marathon (like, a literal marathon), and one of the people he was running beside shouted at him:
Run your own race.
That’s become a sort of mantra for me. I don’t have to compare myself to other people, because we are all playing different games.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 11:30
You Can Be a Critic or a Creator (But You Have to Choose One) https://goinswriter.com/critic-creator/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:01:22 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22042 Professionals make things every day and then they share them. That's how they get better -- by making things. Amateurs, on the other hand, wait for their big break and hide in the shadows until someone discovers them. Incidentally, they are the ones who are quick to criticize those making things. Which one would you rather be: the brave creator, or the cowering critic? Professionals make things every day and then they share them. That's how they get better -- by making things. - Amateurs, on the other hand, wait for their big break and hide in the shadows until someone discovers them. Incidentally, –Theodore Roosevelt
Recently, a friend recently released a book with the disclaimer, “If you don’t like it, write your own book.” I love that.

We live in an age when criticism is easy. It’s expected. But is it necessary?
One of my favorite things on the Internet lately is a clip from the Howard Stern Show when a listener calls in to offer some “constructive criticism.”
Howard politely interrupts the critique saying, “not necessary.”
The listener is flabbergasted. He’s offended, insisting that Howard needs his feedback.
The seasoned shock jock curtly replies,
If I listened to feedback, I’d have quit on Day 1.
I used to say that feedback is always a gift, but is it always? I’m not so sure anymore.
Note: You can listen to the audio of this lesson by clicking the player below.

Lesson 5: Seek feedback, ignore criticism
Less than a month ago, I issued a challenge to some friends to make and share one new thing per day for 30 days. We called it the “practice in public” challenge based on an idea in one of my books.
The idea was this: Professionals make things every day and then they share them. That’s how they get better — by making things.
“Professionals make things every day and then they share them.Tweet this
Amateurs, on the other hand, wait for their big break and hide in the shadows until someone discovers them. Incidentally, they are the ones who are quick to criticize those making things.
Which one would you rather be: the brave creator, or the cowering critic?
The only question that counts
As part of this challenge, I ask one simple question on a daily basis: “What have you made today?” It’s an important question, one we get to ask twice:
First, we ask this question to ourselves because before we do anything, before we attempt to lead or offer advice or criticize, we must first get in the game.
Second, we can ask this of others. Everyone, in fact.
You don’t actually have to confront these people, though sometimes that may be necessary. But you should at least be asking this on the inside.

* That critic?
* That rude neighbor?
* That argumentative in-law who has an opinion about everything?

What have they made lately?
Are they doing the work? Are they braving the abyss, facing the fear of creation, and making something? Are they enduring the years it takes to bridge the Taste-Talent Gap and finally be as good as they hope?
Or are they just dispensing feedback for the sake of being heard? Are they offering empty advice without having earned the right to share that advice? Are they a critic, not a creator?
If so, I dare you to kindly reply, “not necessary.”
It’s not necessary to say you didn’t like my book.
It’s not necessary to tell me what you think I should be doing differently.
It’s just not necessary.
I have resources for that, people whose opinions I trust and value, those I know have my best interests in mind.
These days, we live in an age where virtually anyone can share their opinion with anyone. And so, we tend to treat all opinions as equal. But they are not. In fact, some opinions should matter to you very little.
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 14:17
Measure the Process, Not the Results https://goinswriter.com/measure-the-process/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:01:58 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22036 Most of my life has been like this: one step forward, one step back. Make a little progress, then regress. It’s not until recently that I’ve learned why I do this. I set goals, accomplish them, then slowly start to sabotage myself. Most of my life has been like this: one step forward, one step back. Make a little progress, then regress. It’s not until recently that I’ve learned why I do this. I set goals, accomplish them, then slowly start to sabotage myself.
* Lesson 1: Find your who
* Lesson 2: Decide not to drift
* Lesson 3: Set habits, not goals


My friend Michael Hyatt is hosting a free live training on how to actually achieve your goals for 2018. Learn more about it here.
Okay, now let’s get into it:
NOTE: To listen to the audio of the lesson, click the player below.

Lesson 4: Measure the Process, Not the Results
Most of my life, I’ve felt like a loser.
I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. I’ve just never felt good enough.
When I played soccer as a chubby little ten-year-old, I was too slow to score any goals, so my dad (who was the coach) had me play defense.
That year, I won the “Most Improved Player” award. This, in a way, is a pretty good metaphor for my life: good, but not great. Solid effort, Jeff. Nice try.
In Sixth Grade, I got my first real taste of greatness by winning the school spelling bee. The winning word was “acquiescence,” and the eighth grader who lost allegedly cried the entire bus ride home.
It was the only time I ever made an eighth grader cry, and to be honest, it felt good. To beat somebody. To win. To not be a loser.
The next year, I didn’t practice at all and lost to a sixth grader. The losing word was “flourishing.”
Most of my life has been like this: one step forward, one step back. Make a little progress, then regress.
Measure the chase
It’s not until recently that I’ve learned why I do this. I set goals, accomplish them, then slowly start to sabotage myself.
Do you know why we humans do this?
Because we don’t believe we deserve success. That can mean whatever you want, but the reason we get a little bit of happiness or money or influence and then squander it is because, deep down inside, we don’t feel worthy of such things.
Now, the reasons we do this are complicated and you should probably talk to a therapist about them (I do), but I want to offer a simple way that you don’t have to feel like a loser.
It’s so easy and yet almost no one does this:
“Stop measuring the results, and start measuring the process.Tweet this
Want to feel healthy? Great. You can set a goal to “lose 10 pounds” or whatever, but don’t fixate on the outcome. Research proves that we humans don’t love accomplishing results as much as we love chasing results.
So what should you do?
Measure the chase, of course.
How you achieve something is vastly more important than whether or not you achieve it.
For example, you can lose 10 pounds by starving yourself for a week, but that will slow your metabolism down and likely cause you to gain more weight in the long run. It’s an unsustainable practice.
The same goes for setting a goal of writing a book. If you sprint through NaNoWriMo and complete your first novel but haven’t developed the daily discipline of working on your writing, it’s unlikely that you will continue being able to write great stuff.
What I’m talking about here is habits, practices, and process.
Celebrate the process
So, what should you do about that weight loss goal? Measure the thing that you’re doing to get healthier. Did you go for a walk today? Eat enough vegetables?]]>
Jeff Goins clean 13:49
Set Habits, Not Goals https://goinswriter.com/set-habits/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 11:01:23 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22031 For years I set goals and never achieved them. It was horrible. I'd write them on scraps of paper, put them in a drawer, and forget about them. What's the saying? A goal without a plan is just a dream? Well, I like to dream... a little too much. But I like accomplishing things even more. For years I set goals and never achieved them. It was horrible. I'd write them on scraps of paper, put them in a drawer, and forget about them. - What's the saying? A goal without a plan is just a dream? - Well, I like to dream...
If you missed the previous installments, check them out here:

* Lesson 1 – Find Your Who
* Lesson 2 – Decide Not to Drift

Once you’re caught up, here’s the next one.
NOTE: To listen to the audio of the lesson, click the player below.

Lesson 3: Don’t Set Goals
For years I set goals and never achieved them. It was horrible.
I’d write them on scraps of paper, put them in a drawer, and forget about them.
What’s the saying? A goal without a plan is just a dream?
Well, I like to dream… a little too much.
But I like accomplishing things even more.
Note: If you’d like to attend a free webinar on how to set goals and actually achieve them, click here.
For the greater part of a decade, I would set goals — I mean, dreams — and never achieve them. I was drifting through my life, fantasizing about living another way but doing nothing to make that fantasy a reality.
Honestly, I didn’t know how.
Eventually, I got so burnt-out that I just gave up the entire process. Resolutions, goals, dreams — those were for suckers. I was content to just live my life without any big ambitions.
Except that I wasn’t.
Secretly, I was disappointed with my life and with myself for building such a life. I felt trapped and didn’t know how to make things better.
What’s worse, I was certain the problem was me, so that led to feelings of shame and inadequacy. If only I could just not want anything, I thought. But that didn’t seem to work, either.
Start small to get big results
Eventually, I got sick of feeling this way. I got tired of dreaming. I wanted to be doing. So I started small — not with a goal or a resolution, not even a dream, but with simple habits.

* I started running every morning because after a few years of newlywed home cooking, I was getting fat.
* I started writing every morning because I figured that’s what real writers did, and I wanted to be a real writer.
* I started carving out little blocks of time to work on the things that mattered most to me.

And gradually, these little habits grew into a part of my daily practice. They became the thing that made me feel like me.
I distinctly remember one morning getting up before dawn, running five miles, eating breakfast, taking a shower, and sitting down with my cup of coffee and writing 1000 words — all before 7:00 a.m.
Who was this person I had become?
It felt good.
In fact, it felt so good I never stopped doing it.
And those little habits changed my life.
The power of daily habits
That year of writing made me a better writer. It helped me build an audience. It even led to a book deal and successful writing career that continues to astound me.
This didn’t happen, because I set some goals and forgot about them. It happened because I learned the importance of habits. I got serious about what I wanted to see happen and worked that into my daily life.
This was something I learned from my friend Michael Hyatt who is probably the most disciplined and organized person I know. He crushes goals. And I was amazed to hear that he reviews his goals on a daily basis.
I guess that makes sense. Once I learned the power of daily habits, I started setting goals again.
And you know what? It’s been years since I’ve set a goal that I haven...]]>
Jeff Goins clean 21:16
How to Not Drift Through Life and Get What You Really Want https://goinswriter.com/drift/ Fri, 01 Dec 2017 11:01:10 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22021 Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to drift through life, without direction or purpose? Maybe you’ve noticed that about your own life. I did this for nearly 10 years. It made me miserable. I kept complaining to my wife about what I really wanted to do but was too afraid to do. Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to drift through life, without direction or purpose? - Maybe you’ve noticed that about your own life. - I did this for nearly 10 years. It made me miserable. you can go read (and listen to) it here.

Maybe “the life you’ve always dreamed of” sounds fluffy to you, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be. I’m sharing short, practical and personal lessons with you on what I’ve learned from finding my life’s purpose and living it out on a daily basis, along with all the struggles along the way.
If you haven’t already done so, take the LifeScore™ Assessment to clarify what’s most important in your life, and how to tangibly create the life of your dreams and achieve your biggest goals.
All of us have room to grow in this area, but knowing where you stand is a necessary first step before that growth happens.
To listen to the audio of the lesson, which includes some bonus commentary from me, click the player below.

Lesson 2: Decide Not to Drift
Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to drift through life, without direction or purpose? Maybe you’ve noticed that about your own life.
I did this for nearly 10 years. It made me miserable. I kept complaining to my wife about what I really wanted to do but was too afraid to do.
It reminds me of a time when I was about six years old, afraid to go outside and play with the other kids. My family and I were living in a small apartment near Aurora, Illinois, and I was so shy that instead of going outside to play with the other kids that summer, I stayed indoors.
But whenever the other kids from the apartment complex would run around the courtyard, I’d chase them from one end of the duplex unit to the other, running from window to window so that I didn’t miss a thing.
Of course, I was missing everything. And I wanted to be out there playing with them, but I was scared. Scared to leave the comfort of home. Scared to step out. Scared to be rejected.
But one day, my mom (who was probably annoyed at a hyper little boy racing around her house when he should have been outside that summer) sat me down and said,
Jeff, if you want a friend, you have to be a friend.
She taught me that if I wanted people know and like me then I had to make the first move. I’ve never forgotten that lesson.
Often in life, we’re waiting for someone else to make the first move.
We’re stuck inside, watching others participate in the game but never taking the bold move to join in. We’re hoping someone invites us in, hoping we don’t have to do the messy work of asking or simply showing up.
But that’s not how life works. At least not for me. Maybe you are different. Maybe you got invited to all the parties in high school and all the girls (or guys) wanted to go out with you and you never had to deal with awkwardness or rejection or fear.
But I did.
And as someone who’s deal with that, I can tell you. It’s easier to just not put yourself through it. Easier, but not better.
Sail your ship
There’s that old saying: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” The same is true of you. I believe that there is work that you need to do in this life. Important work. Work that only you can do.
But it won’t just happen. You can’t just drift through life and create the change you want. It’s going to take work and intentionality. You’re going to have sometimes swim against the current and brave the onslaught of the waves. You might even get dashed upon the rocks on occasion.
So it’s anything but safe. But this is what you were made for. This is why you are here.
“Don’t squander your life by living in the shadow of comfort.Tweet this clean 12:32
The Secret to Getting the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of https://goinswriter.com/find-your-who/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:01:21 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=22012 There's been a lot of talk about finding your why thanks to the efforts of the very smart Simon Sinek. But in my experience, that's not the first question you should ask. There's been a lot of talk about finding your why thanks to the efforts of the very smart Simon Sinek. But in my experience, that's not the first question you should ask.
To listen to the audio version of this post, click the player below and scroll down to read the lesson.

Lesson 1: Find Your “Who”
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about finding your “why” thanks to the efforts of the very smart Simon Sinek. But in my experience, that’s not the first question you should ask.
If you’re trying to live a life of purpose and meaning, the first thing to ask is not “why” or even “what” but “who.”
Do you know who you are?
I mean, really know? Most people don’t.
There’s a reason this is the theme of all great stories from Star Wars to The Lion King to Harry Potter to Moana.
We are lost. And we know it.
The trappist monk Thomas Merton calls this your “true self.” So many of us hide behind the false selves of achievement and status, because we are afraid for the world to truly see us for who we are. People might not like us, after all.
Once you know you who you are, you will know what to do.
Activity follows identify, as I like to say.
I learned this relatively early in my life when a friend asked what my dream was and I said I didn’t know.
“Once you know you who you are, you will know what to do.Tweet this
He said he thought I would have said “be a writer.” As soon as he said that, my heart leapt, and I knew that’s what I wanted but was just too afraid to admit. I guess I did want to be a writer, I admitted. But that would never happen.
My friend looked me in the eye and said,
Jeff, you are a writer. You just need to write.
The next day, I started writing and never looked back. That one conversation changed my life. Not because those words were magical, but because I was waiting to find out who I was before I knew what I was supposed to do with my life.
Maybe you can relate.
Right now, there is a gap between your true self and your false self, between your soul and your sole, and it’s up to you to fill it.
This is true for all of us, by the way, myself included. We are all — hopefully — becoming truer versions of ourselves, those selves that step into the light and do not hide from who we really are.
But to do this well, you need insight. You need a way to recognize your blindspots. Because we as human beings are really terrible at self-awareness, and so we need the voices of others to point out what we’re missing.
Every year, I reflect on what I’ve done with my time and how it complements or conflicts with the things that I say are important to me.

* Do I call myself a writer but do very little writing?
* Do I say family is first but often come home late at the end of the day?
* Do I think of myself as intelligent and creative but give myself very little time to think and play?

There is a gap between who we say we are and who we really are.
And it is the mission of our life to bridge the two. We must be whole, integrated people.
And finding our “who” — that true self we were meant to be — begins with understanding who we are right now, good or bad, warts and all.
So, I dare you to do this one small thing I do every year:
Take a quick assessment that forc...]]> Jeff Goins clean 21:28 What It Means to be a Real Writer: An Interview With Charlie Wetzel https://goinswriter.com/charlie-wetzel/ Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:38:26 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21912 While you may not recognize his name you’ll definitely recognize some of the books he has written. For the last 20 years, Charlie Wetzel has been a professional writer who has published more than 80 books with John Maxwell. And together, they’ve sold over 26 million books. While you may not recognize his name you’ll definitely recognize some of the books he has written. For the last 20 years, Charlie Wetzel has been a professional writer who has published more than 80 books with John Maxwell. And together,
Together, they’ve sold over 26 million copies of books like The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and Developing The Leader Within You. Nine of their books have been on the The Wall Street Journal best-seller list, and five have been on The New York Times best-seller list.
Charlie joins us today to talk about when he first realized he was a real writer, and what being a real actually means. He also discloses his writing process, and where the idea for Story Gurus came from.
The first story you’ll hear from Charlie though is how he began working with John. Charlie was a member of John’s church (John was the pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego), and Charlie’s wife worked on John’s staff.
There was an opening for a researcher to join the executive staff of the church and to work with John, Charlie was intrigued and felt it was time for a change in his career so he applied. Nine months passed and he heard nothing. But he was still feeling a need for a transition so he gave his notice to leave his role as dean of a business college.
He made a leap of faith, he felt God telling him it was time and his wife urged him to heed God’s words so he did.
That leap of faith turned out to be a smart one. Within a few weeks Charlie had been hired by John, and was quickly given the task to rewrite an existing manuscript. To add to the pressure John left for six weeks and gave Charlie no further instructions! Undaunted Charlie rewrote that manuscript, gave it to John to review who passed it on to their publisher. The publisher accepted it, and the rest is history.
That’s just one of many inspiring and incredible stories you’ll hear when you listen to this episode of The Portfolio Life!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Charlie and I discuss:

* Why was Charlie so touched by a monthly lesson John gave early in their working relationship?
* What is the focus of the novel he is writing right now?
* Does being a part of the audience he writes for give Charlie any advantages?
* Is there any benefit to being familiar with a variety of topics as a writer?
* What should you tomorrow if you want to be a professional writer?

“80% of being a writer is the grind.Tweet this
Charlie’s takeaways on when he began thinking of himself as a writer:

* What is the connection between golf and The 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership?
* What happened to the first copy of their first book they wrote together?
]]> Jeff Goins clean 45:32 How to Be a Successful Author in Both Fiction & Non-Fiction: Interview with Joanna Penn https://goinswriter.com/joanna-penn/ Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:01:16 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21858 Have you wondered what becoming a successful author actually takes, and if you can do it in both fiction and non-fiction? Our guest for today has authored 24 books, 14 in fiction and 10 in non-fiction. Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn is here to talk about how she has created a personally-fulfilling and financially successful business as an author. We talk about her early days as a “corporate slave” and how she escaped her golden handcuff situation that so many others face but never leave. Have you wondered what becoming a successful author actually takes, and if you can do it in both fiction and non-fiction? Our guest for today has authored 24 books, 14 in fiction and 10 in non-fiction. - Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn is here to tal...
Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn is here to talk about how she has created a personally-fulfilling and financially successful business as an author. We talk about her early days as a “corporate slave” and how she escaped her golden handcuff situation that so many others face but never leave.
She also shares how she broke through her own block around writing fiction, even after she was a published non-fiction author, and where she stands on hybrid publishing, indie publishing and traditional publishing.
Joanna also explains why you need to read and you need to write if you’re going to be a successful novelist. And we wrap up with a breakdown of how to write fiction. The step by step process goes something like this: pick a genre, understand the structure of a good book and set a deadline for yourself. You’ll hear more details on that process and why you need different platforms to be a successful author in fiction than you do in non-fiction.
If you want an in-depth look at the life of a financially successful writer who loves what she does then join us for episode 172 of The Portfolio Life!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Joanna and I discuss:

* Why does she have a secret pen name?
* How does she transition between writing fiction and non-fiction?
* What does she recommend doing if you are struggling to write a book?
* Why are box sets so critical to your success as a fiction writer?
* What is the biggest bookstore in the world?

“You get what you focus on.Joanna PennTweet this
Takeaways from Joanna about writing fiction and non-fiction

* Are the only real writers the ones who write fiction?
* How do Jung and Plato relate to writing fiction and non-fiction?
* When does she knows she’s burned out?
* When would she ever consider giving up non-fiction?
* Why are horror writers the psychologically healthiest people she knows?!

“I don’t know what I think until I write it!Joanna PennTweet this
On the successful author mindset

* Is multiple streams of income relevant to authors like it is to entrepreneurs?
* Why the journey just begins when you finish writing your book.
* What is the creative process of writing a book from idea to completion?
* The tough love advice she has for aspiring authors.
* What are two key pieces to make a living as a fiction writer?

Resources

* The Creative Penn web site
* The Creative Penn on Twitter
* Career Change by Joanna Penn
* Stain of Fire by Joanna Penn
* clean 48:08
Creating a Long-Term Marketing Plan For Your Book: An Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier https://goinswriter.com/michael-bungay-stanier/ Thu, 02 Nov 2017 10:01:08 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21854 Today's guest has sold over 200,000 copies of his latest book in the past two years -- all without a traditional book contract or a big marketing budget! In this episode, he shares how a long-term plan beats just about anything you could do short-term. Today's guest has sold over 200,000 copies of his latest book in the past two years -- all without a traditional book contract or a big marketing budget! In this episode, he shares how a long-term plan beats just about anything you could do short-term.
Michael first became interested in writing and publishing because his grandma was a writer. He was impressed by that and was also big into reading at an early age. He also wrote a lot of stories but never made a commitment to becoming a writer until the early 2000s.
It was then that he came up with idea for his first book: a self-coaching book. He talked about doing it for 5 years until his cousin’s boss heard the idea and wanted to write it! Michael told his cousin he would write it, and he set about doing so.
By this time it was around 2007 or 2008, before self-publishing was as simple as it is today. Fortunately for Michael, he had an inheritance from his grandfather, and took that to self-publish his book. Once the book was written, published and launched (including an initial order of 3,000 that sold out within the first month), he was happy with his accomplishment. In fact, he thought it was the only book he was going to write!
He was wrong. Within two years he had an idea of another book, and went the self-publishing route again. Today on The Portfolio Life we talk about that idea and how it became a self-published book that was later picked up by a publishing firm. We will also dig into why he focuses on the process of a book launch rather than specific metrics and sales milestones.
And we close with the quick and dirty advice he’d give if you are thinking of self-publishing a book. It’s all here on Episode 171 of The Portfolio Life!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Michael and I discuss:

* How did he reach #2 on Amazon.com?
* What is one of the prerequisites for being a good writer?
* What book did he co-author with Seth Godin?
* Will he write another book? Why or why not?
* Why did he choose a long-term game plan for the marketing of The Coaching Habit?

“You can never control the outcome, only the process.Michael Bungay StanierTweet this
Takeaways from Michael about the launch of The Coaching Habit:

* What is the greater metric of success: a big launch or selling more books year after year?
* How many years did he decide he would market this book?
* Who did he target to read his book in the pre-launch, and why did he choose those people?
* Why didn’t he hire a publicist?
* What type of bonuses did he offer, and which would he offer next time around?

“Try and do a few things and do them well.Michael Bungay StanierTweet this
Michael’s thoughts on self-publishing distribution and long-term book sales:

* How does airport distribution work, and was it a good investment for him?
* How many copies did he sell in the first week and the first 3 months?
* What happened when his book was sold out on Amazon?
]]> Jeff Goins clean 49:07 How to Sell 25,000 Self-Published Books: Interview with Frank McKinley https://goinswriter.com/frank-mckinley/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 10:05:48 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21838 Frank McKinley is a Tribe Writer and he recently let slip that he has sold 25,000 of his self-published books. He’s here today to talk about how this incredible feat, including valuable lessons on writing, publishing and failure. Frank’s journey as a writer began when he was very young, in fact he says he has been writing for as long as he can remember! Writing helped him deal with the world when he was a teenager, it was therapeutic for him. His first writing assignment came from a job interview. It was for a sales position; they didn’t hire him for Frank McKinley is a Tribe Writer and he recently let slip that he has sold 25,000 of his self-published books. He’s here today to talk about how this incredible feat, including valuable lessons on writing, publishing and failure. Tribe Writer and he recently let slip that he has sold 25,000 of his self-published books. He’s here today to talk about how this incredible feat, including valuable lessons on writing, publishing and failure.

Frank’s journey as a writer began when he was very young, in fact he says he has been writing for as long as he can remember! Writing helped him deal with the world when he was a teenager, it was therapeutic for him.
His first writing assignment came from a job interview. It was for a sales position; they didn’t hire him for the role but asked if he would write their weekly company email for the next three months. He’s still writing that company email six years later! That one assignment has grown into public speaking and giving company-wide presentations for Frank.
There’s an equally interesting story behind the origins of his first book, you’ll have to listen to this episode of The Portfolio Life to hear the details!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Frank and I discuss:

* Is it possible to know if your idea will be successful?
* How did damaging a customer’s roof lead to his first book?
* What would he do differently if he were launching a book tomorrow?
* What surprised him about the process of writing and publishing ebooks?
* What are his initial steps when promoting a new book?

“Follow what is proven rather than winging it.Frank McKinleyTweet this
Takeaways from Frank on selling 25,000 self-published books

* What three qualities are needed to sell 25,000 books?
* Can you sell thousands of books if you don’t have an existing large audience?
* What is the most important page of your book?
* How and why to build relationships with your readers.
* What outlets is he selling his books on and which is the most effective?

“Be willing to try, test and fail in order to succeed.Frank McKinleyTweet this
Frank’s advice for new writers who want to be professionals

* How often should you write, and who should you share it with?
* Should you build a blog if you don’t have an audience for your book?
* When will you have a hard time selling your book?
* What he learned from his failures, and what those lessons mean to you.
* When do keywords matter?

Resources:

* Frank McKinley’s web site
* Frank McKinely on Twitter
* How to Lead Unwilling Followers
* 10 Steps to Effective Leadership
* clean 29:02
Pursuing Your Art Full-Time: An Interview With Cassia Cogger https://goinswriter.com/cassia-cogger/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:01:14 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21829 One of the things I admire most about today’s guest is her voice as a true artist. I also value her experience in business, entrepreneurship, and raising a family. Cassia Cogger is an artist, an entrepreneur who has taken her art online, an author and a wife and mother. For Cassia, art has always been a part of her life, and an artist is who she has always been. Her biological father was an artist who was always creating when she was with him, and her paternal grandmother encouraged her to follow in his footsteps. However, when it was time One of the things I admire most about today’s guest is her voice as a true artist. I also value her experience in business, entrepreneurship, and raising a family. Cassia Cogger is an artist, an entrepreneur who has taken her art online,
Cassia Cogger is an artist, an entrepreneur who has taken her art online, an author and a wife and mother.
For Cassia, art has always been a part of her life, and an artist is who she has always been. Her biological father was an artist who was always creating when she was with him, and her paternal grandmother encouraged her to follow in his footsteps.
However, when it was time to go to college, Cassia started in the architecture department at her university. She lasted all of a year before moving into the art department where she pursued watercolors first, then printmaking and pottery along with art history.
But it was when she and her now-husband moved to New York City and she took evening classes with the Art Students League that she fully blossomed as an artist. Even though she learned the nuts and bolts of art with the ASL, it was still a few more years before she pursued her art as a full-time income source.
Today on The Portfolio Life, we talk about how her upbringing influenced her notions of the suffering and starving artist, when and why she finally made the shift from creating art part-time to doing so full-time and how her book came to fruition.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Cassia and I discuss:

* Is it necessary to have an art education to be an artist?
* What were the two periods in her life when her artistic production slowed?
* Why did she spend a year in the architecture department of her university?
* What experience allowed her to discover what kind of artist she wants to be?
* Why she and her husband started an e-commerce business, despite not being “business people”.

“The ideal artist is one who is willing to stay open.Cassia CoggerTweet this
Takeaways on art, money and work:

* Is creating art really a choice for her?
* Why she never wanted to be combine her art and the Internet, and when that changed.
* What are the two reasons a publisher asked her to write her mandala book?
* Is it true that those who can’t do teach?
* What is the fine line between teaching and creating art?

“If I’m not making art, then I’m not an artist.Cassia CoggerTweet this
Cassia on the notion of the starving artist:

* What does she say you must do in order to be an artist?
* How her father influenced her views on what it means to be an artist.
* What does it mean to be an artist today in Cassia’s opinion?
* Why was she reluctant to focus on art as her sole means of financial income?
* Does she hold an ideal of what a real artist should be?

Resources:

* Cassia Cogger’s web site
* Creating Personal Mandalas by Cassia Cogger
* clean 49:43 Choosing Freedom Before Money, Fame and Influence: An Interview with Sol Orwell https://goinswriter.com/sol-orwell/ Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:01:44 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21790 People choose the entrepreneurial path for a number of reasons, some want the ability to make as money as they can, others don’t want to work for anyone else. And yet others, like today’s guest, want the freedom to do what they want whenever they want. People choose the entrepreneurial path for a number of reasons, some want the ability to make as money as they can, others don’t want to work for anyone else. And yet others, like today’s guest, want the freedom to do what they want whenever they want. And yet others, like today’s guest, want the freedom to do what they want whenever they want.

Sol Orwell’s entrepreneurial journey began while he was still a teenager. But to understand his desire for freedom over his own course in life, he says you can look to his father’s life. His dad worked in the oil industry, but despite his hard work and dedication, he was never promoted above the manager role.
In fact, his dad was dedicated to his work that he moved Sol’s family all around the world. Sol was born in Pakistan, and then moved to Saudi Arabia when he was only two. Next Sol’s family lived in Japan before moving back to Saudi Arabia. By the time Sol entered high school, his family had also lived in Houston before settling in Canada.
It was in Canada, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario specifically, that he started two of his first businesses. The Internet had become something of a haven for Sol and he began fulfilling a need for virtual currency in the online MMPORG world (the online world of massively multiplayer online role-playing games).
Today on The Portfolio Life, you’ll hear Sol explain that venture in detail, and how he started Examine.com. He tells us why he was willing to spend $42,000 on the Examine.com domain, why he is never the face of any of his companies, what failures he has had throughout his life, and how he approaches them today.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Sol and I discuss:

* Where did his appetite for entrepreneurship come from?
* What is his stance on joint ventures (JVs) and why?
* Why does Sol consider his years in South America “lost years”?
* Why the 4-hour work week is a myth.
* Why he made Kamal Patel the face of Examine.com and not himself.

“I find passion to be a little overrated.Sol OrwellTweet this
Takeaways from Sol on entrepreneurship

* How did HostGator become one of his first SEO clients?
* What is acquihiring, and why won’t he do it?
* The reason he has never taken venture capital funding, and never will.
* Why micromanaging actually says YOU are terrible at hiring.
* What are the two questions he asks himself before starting a new venture?

“No one ever cares that you fail at something.Sol OrwellTweet this
Sol shares his thoughts on passion, focus and failure:

* What persists after passion has waned?
* Why being hyper-focused on one area at a time has been critical to his success.
* What failures has he had, and how does he view them?
* What is the Picasso Principle and how does it relate to success versus failure?
* What are his feelings on philanthropy and entrepreneurship?

Resources

* Sol Orwell’s web site
* Sol Orwell on Twitter
* Examine.com
]]> Jeff Goins clean 46:57 The Simple Hack to Write More and Break Bad Habits: Interview with Maneesh Sethi https://goinswriter.com/maneesh-sethi/ Thu, 28 Sep 2017 10:05:53 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21767 Making a positive change in your life is challenging. With the failure rate of resolutions at 80%, it's no wonder many people give up on setting goals altogether. What if there was a simple, scientific hack to help you break bad habits and get more writing done? Making a positive change in your life is challenging. With the failure rate of resolutions at 80%, it's no wonder many people give up on setting goals altogether. What if there was a simple, scientific hack to help you break bad habits and get more wri... failure rate of resolutions at 80%, it’s no wonder people give up on setting goals altogether. What if there was a simple, scientific hack to help you break bad habits and get more writing done?

This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life got his first book deal at 12 years old, travel hacked his way around the globe, worked with Tim Ferriss to launch The 4-Hour Chef, appeared on Shark Tank, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Listen in as bestselling author and habit hacker, Maneesh Sethi and I talk about how his revolutionary wearable Pavlok came to be, his journey as a nomadic entrepreneur, and how he wrote 5 months of content in 5 days.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Maneesh and I discuss:

* How a hero crushed his dreams
* Writing a 80 pages in 4 days and landing a book deal
* Repurposing existing research and content for a niche audience
* Being motivated by people who don’t believe in you
* Studying abroad in Italy and moving to Buenos Aires
* Buying a camel and riding him to school
* Trying to become a famous Berlin DJ led to working with Tim Ferriss (and sleeping on his couch)
* Paying someone to slap him every time he checked Facebook
* The fleeting fame of going viral
* Dealing with imposter syndrome
* What really happened on his Shark Tank appearance
* Winning the wildcard slot to get incubator funding for Pavlok
* Discovering the impact of self-administered aversion therapy
* The most impactful hack to writing more and losing weight
* Getting death threats
* The value of helping people solve tangible, life-changing problems

Takeaways
“You’re not broken. You’re designed to fit in to a group of people who allow you to extend your strengths, and not feel bad about your weaknesses.” –Maneesh Sethi

* Finishing is not always the goal, the idea has intrinsic value.
* Temperament is a tool to help you understand yourself, not a box to live in.
* Reduce complexity to increase feasibility.
* Work with people you inspire, and who inspire you.
* The right tools allow you to externalize your willpower.
* You don’t have to do stuff that you hate to do.

“Optimize the path to your goal.Maneesh SethiTweet this
Resources

* The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
* Hack the System
* Bolt
* Pavlok

How far would you go to stop a bad habit? What lengths have you taken to start a new habit? Share in the comments.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 58:06
Stop Waiting for Your Big Break: Interview with Ryan O’Neal https://goinswriter.com/ryan-oneal/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:01:27 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21745 Too often, arts of every shade toil in obscurity, waiting for their big break. They work hard on their craft, take on odd jobs to pay the bills, and hope to get discovered and become an overnight success. Sadly, they are wasting their time on a myth. If you do what everyone else does, you'll get the same results as everyone else. Average. Mediocre. Middle of the road. But you aren't average, are you? You have a story worth sharing, a song worth singing, art worth making a living from. Too often, arts of every shade toil in obscurity, waiting for their big break. They work hard on their craft, take on odd jobs to pay the bills, and hope to get discovered and become an overnight success. Sadly, they are wasting their time on a myth.
If you do what everyone else does, you’ll get the same results as everyone else. Average. Mediocre. Middle of the road.
But you aren’t average, are you? You have a story worth sharing, a song worth singing, art worth making a living from.
“Stop waiting for a big break. It may never come. And it may never matter.Tweet this
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life turned the music industry upside down and cut out the middle man. No more waiting for record labels to call. No more false hopes of overnight success.
Ryan O’Neal (of Sleeping at Last) has taken an innovative and savvy approach to consistently producing quality music, growing a loyal fan base, and creating a steady income as a full-time artist.
Listen in as we discuss the value of constant, immediate feedback and how traditionally released albums and books don’t have that loop, and why some artists aren’t successful in their lifetime.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Ryan and I discuss:

* Paying attention to what emotionally moves you, and creating art that elicits the same response
* Reflecting on the music that defined your youth
* Translating the sounds in your head into music that comes through the speakers
* The process of writing and producing an entire album
* Operating as a business and a songwriter
* Tackling writing, launching, and promoting an album from a new perspective
* Putting on the mindset of a fan
* Changing customer behavior in consuming art

Takeaways

* “Limitation is healthy for your creativity.” –Ryan O’Neal
* Create quality content on a consistent basis.
* Worldwide distribution is accessible to everyone.
* As technology evolves, there is limitless opportunity for music.
* “I love creating, so why wouldn’t I do more of it?” –Ryan O’Neal
* Art can always adapt to the market.
* “The harder you work, the more things work.” –Ryan O’Neal
* Once you break the mold, doing things the old way doesn’t make sense.
* Catching a big break has little to do with the rest of your career.

“There will always be room for songs and storytelling.Ryan O'NealTweet this
Resources

* Sleeping at Last
* Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
* Real Artists Don’t Starve

How does innovation impact your art? What can you do to break the rules? Share in the comments
]]> Jeff Goins clean 51:03 How to Become a Rockstar: Interview with Manafest https://goinswriter.com/manafest/ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:02:53 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21734 Attending a live concert makes you wonder what it'd be like to stand on stage, surrounded by your band, playing to a crowd of screaming fans. Few people have never fantasized about being a rockstar in their own way, but how is it possible? In a world saturated with distractions and noise, it's difficult to stand out from the crowd. With barriers to entry in every industry nearly obliterated by the Internet and social media, everyone has a voice. Which is both a challenge, and an opportunity. Attending a live concert makes you wonder what it'd be like to stand on stage, surrounded by your band, playing to a crowd of screaming fans. Few people have never fantasized about being a rockstar in their own way, but how is it possible? -
In a world saturated with distractions and noise, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. With barriers to entry in every industry nearly obliterated by the Internet and social media, everyone has a voice. Which is both a challenge, and an opportunity.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life is no stranger to life as a struggling artist. After landing a contract and leaving his day job to work full-time as a musician, he actually went into $30,000 in debt.
But just when he was about to quit on his dream, Chris “Manafest” Greenwood caught an unexpected break from a surprising source. From there he continued to build an effective platform piece by piece, leveraging his background in business, and exploring creative methods of distributing his music.
With 10 albums released, a self-published book via Kickstarter, and a thriving business teaching other artists how to make a living from their music, Manafest has a lot to share with us.
Listen in as we discuss how he “blew up” in Japan, the parallels between the music and publishing industries, and my own rockstar moment in Taiwan.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Manafest and I discuss:

* Understanding the business behind your art
* Transitioning from IT to music
* Treating your art like an asset
* Exploring new markets and creative ways to diversify
* The semantics of copyright ownership
* Where the real money is for all kinds of artists
* How it works when something “blows up”
* Why you can’t manufacture a hit
* Using Kickstarter to self-publish a book
* A secret tip to find a great editor
* How to know if you have a good song
* The benefits of being an artist in the digital age
* One investment every artist can’t afford to miss

Quotes and takeaways

* Avoid signing away everything for quick money and false prestige.
* Create something beautiful that feels special for readers to hold.
* Whatever you spend on making art, you’ve gotta spend double on marketing it.
* “Action fuels success. Superman isn’t coming to save you.” –Manafest
* “If you have fans, the labels will come.” –Manafest
* Remember why you’re making art in the first place. Money and fame isn’t sustainable. Do it to make a difference.

“The worst thing someone can do is quit their job before the art is ready.ManafestTweet this
Resources

* Fighter: 5 Keys To Conquering Fear & Reaching Your Dreams by Chris “Manafest” Greenwood
* Strategies to Help You Sell More Books and Spread Your Word (Jeff’s appearance on the Smart Passive Income podcast with Pat Flynn)
* clean 56:42
How to Spot (and Use) the Invisible Power of Influence: Interview with Jonah Berger https://goinswriter.com/jonah-berger/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 10:02:31 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21711 People want to believe they are good at making their own decisions. From what they buy to who they vote for. It's easy to see other people being influenced, but we have difficulty seeing it in ourselves. We tend to hold a curmudgeonly attitude when it comes to being influenced or manipulated. And yet, everyone wants more influence. We hear a lot of people talking about how to become an influencer, and how to engage with influencers. It's seems like the Age of the Influencer. People want to believe they are good at making their own decisions. From what they buy to who they vote for. It's easy to see other people being influenced, but we have difficulty seeing it in ourselves. -
We tend to hold a curmudgeonly attitude when it comes to being influenced or manipulated. And yet, everyone wants more influence. We hear a lot of people talking about how to become an influencer, and how to engage with influencers.
It’s seems like the “Age of the Influencer.”
Our guest this week on The Portfolio Life, has a counterintuitive approach to what actually influences us, and how to use it to our advantage.
Listen in as Jonah Berger, a Wharton professor and bestselling author, and I talk about why it’s easier to observe other people being influenced, why doing the opposite is still being influenced, and why writing down your goal improves your performance.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jonah and I discuss:

* Unpacking the concept of social influence
* How we are passively influenced by observing others
* The sweet spot of optimal distinctiveness
* How to positively influence others and be more positively influenced
* Trying to avoid influence during the creative process
* The danger of creating in a vacuum
* How to write something accessible, but a little bit different
* Illustrating complicated concepts in a way that’s accessible to your readers
* A simple trick to improve rapport and get better tips
* Finding motivation to write
* Appealing to peer pressure and social comparisons
* The hidden value of a “designated dissenter”

Quotes and takeaways

* Recognize influence in the world around you to live a happier, healthier life.
* Use the tools of influence to be more influential yourself.
* Optimal distinctiveness communicates added value that people can relate to.
* Answer the question: What’s an interesting way to tell a familiar story?
* “When someone is like us, we feel like we’re part of the same tribe.” –Jonah Berger

“To have influence, we first have to be able to recognize influence.Jonah BergerTweet this
Resources

* Jonah’s blog and Twitter
* Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger
* Contagious by Jonah Berger
* Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath
* clean Doing Good is Simple: Interview with Chris Marlow https://goinswriter.com/help-one-now/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 10:00:45 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21702 Too often people fight tooth and nail to claw their way onstage only to realize, after standing in the spotlight for a moment, they don't have anything to say. Building a digital platform without a purpose can have the same effect. In a world of likes, hearts, retweets, and comments, influence feels like a currency. And the more influence you appear to have, the more successful you seem. But, as our guest this week asks, why should people listen to you? Too often people fight tooth and nail to claw their way onstage only to realize, after standing in the spotlight for a moment, they don't have anything to say. Building a digital platform without a purpose can have the same effect. -
In a world of likes, hearts, retweets, and comments, influence feels like a currency. And the more influence you appear to have, the more successful you seem. But, as our guest this week on The Portfolio Life asks, why should people listen to you?
Chris Marlow, founder of Help One Now and author of Doing Good is Simple, used to gag at the word “platform”, but had a change of heart. He now encourages platform builders to embrace the generosity factor while pursuing their dreams to create sustainable businesses.
Chris champions the simplicity of doing good and works tirelessly to develop practical ways people can use influence to make a difference in the world.
Listen in as we talk about a chance meeting at a gas station that changed Chris’ life, a key ingredient to creating significant change, and why you don’t have to say yes to every thing.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Chris and I discuss:

* How your platform can do good locally and globally
* What do you do when a platform falls in your lap
* Why it feels awkward when you don’t share your influence
* Creating simple tools to empower and equip people to give
* Simplifying the complexities the world faces
* Practical ways you can use influence to help others
* How an appetite for success can consume your character
* Finding a voice of reason
* Integrating doing good into the rhythms of your life

Quotes and takeaways

* Without influence we can’t make or create change.
* You can’t avoid going broke if you don’t get paid.
* If you’re going to stand a stage, you need something important to say.
* Give away the influence of your platform to serve a greater purpose.
* Tangible outcomes make staying on mission easier.
* Wealth is not directly proportional to your capacity for joy.
* “Success without being a good neighbor is meaningless.” –Chris Marlow

“When we make our lives about others, we live better lives.Chris MarlowTweet this
Resources

* Doing Good is Simple by Chris Marlow
* Help One Now
* Tribe Conference (Chris will be there!)

How are you using your platform to make a difference? What can you do to leverage your influence for good? Share in the comments
]]> Jeff Goins clean 35:18 How to Pivot to Find Your Passion (and Get Paid): Interview with Mignon Fogarty https://goinswriter.com/grammar-girl/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:00:28 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21687 The path to our life's work is rarely linear. I studied Spanish and Religion in college, and now I write books and create digital content that has little to do with either topic. Perhaps it's not what we learn, but the journey of learning that leads us to our passions. The path to our life's work is rarely linear. I studied Spanish and Religion in college, and now I write books and create digital content that has little to do with either topic. Perhaps it's not what we learn,
Our guest this week on The Portfolio Life, originally graduated college with a degree in English, and went back to study science where she ended up in a PhD biology program at Stanford. While there she took a leave of absence to join a startup, survived the Dotcom boom as a freelance technical writer, and launched a top-rated grammar podcast that led to a book deal and a full-time career as an entrepreneur.
Listen in as Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl®) and I talk about her journey as a lifelong learner, launching a podcast network, how she wrote seven books in six years, and became a professor.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Mignon and I discuss:

* How Grammar Girl started as a hobby and took off unexpectedly
* What it’s like to get invited to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show
* The mechanics of building a podcast network and finding sponsors
* Deleting the first 8 episodes of her podcast because they were so bad
* Repeating the cycle of learning and mastery with new skills
* Finding the right partner for a collaborative business
* Why it’s never too late to break into the writing industry
* How her business venture with Macmillan works
* Conflicting advise about social media from publishers
* Why you don’t have to be an expert at something to write about it
* Recognizing your limitations and embracing your inherent strengths
* When to incorporate your writing business

Takeaways

* “I don’t think I could ever be content doing just one thing.” –Mignon Fogarty
* “Consistency and frequency are more important than the actual platform itself.” –Mignon Fogarty
* Prioritize creating over content distribution.
* “Just stick with it.” –Mignon Fogarty
* Produce content regularly over a long period of time.
* “You don’t have to be an expert. You just have to be good at finding information.” –Mignon Fogarty
* Putting yourself in the position to help others causes you to become an expert in order to serve them.
* Your readers are looking for you on social media. If you’re not there, they can’t find you.

“Just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you can’t be good at something else.Tweet this
Resources

* Grammar Girl podcast
* Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
* Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network
* Grammar Girl on Twitter

What are you learning about lately?]]>
Jeff Goins clean 45:24
Myth of the Overnight Success: Interview with Jackie Bledsoe https://goinswriter.com/jackie-bledsoe/ Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:05:58 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21661 Living outside Nashville, you can't order a cup of coffee without running into someone looking for their big break. Everyone wants to be an overnight success. It seems like less work and more fun, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you've got big dreams and life throws you a curveball, it can derail more than your financial plan. Getting injured or sick can ruin your career. Losing a job unexpectedly can mess with your sense of self, and make you reevaluate your purpose in life. Though, sometimes in the crucible of difficult circumstances is where we find our true calling. Living outside Nashville, you can't order a cup of coffee without running into someone looking for their big break. Everyone wants to be an overnight success. It seems like less work and more fun, but nothing could be further from the truth. - overnight success? It seems like less work and more fun. But nothing could be further from the truth. Every big break is preceded by years of practice.

When life throws you a curveball, it can derail more than your plan. Getting injured or sick can ruin a career. Losing your job can mess with your sense of self, making you reevaluate everything. But sometimes, in the crucible of these circumstances, we find our true calling.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life was fired for not hitting his sales numbers and started freelance writing to make ends meet. Two book deals, multiple speaking gigs, and hundreds of blog posts later, life for Jackie Bledsoe looks very different.
But it didn’t happen overnight.
Listen in as Jackie and I talk about his journey from the trenches, writing 50 blog posts a month, and discovering your unique offering to the world.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jackie and I discuss:

* Why you don’t need a big email list to be successful
* Is it possible to make a living blogging?
* Dealing with feelings of inadequacy as a writer
* Letting your loved ones point you in the right direction
* Reaching your maximum capacity and learning to say no
* Knowing who your audience is and what they need from you
* The value of answering questions people are asking Google
* How to get influencers to invest in you

Quotes and takeaways

* Give your message a year to mature and grow before moving onto the next thing.
* “Writers doubt themselves more than any profession.” –Jackie Bledsoe
* “You need multiple streams of income to make it as a writer.” –Jackie Bledsoe
* “It’s fulfilling when you’re able to help other people get over the humps you were struggling with.” –Jackie Bledsoe

“You have something unique to offer. Offer it to the best of your ability.Jackie BledsoeTweet this
Resources

* The 7 Rings of Marriage by Jackie Bledsoe
* Tribe Conference (Jackie is a speaker this year!)
* Jackie’s reflection on his Member Makeover with Platform University
* 25 Things Your Wife Will Love to Hear You Say
* Real Artists Don’t Starve

What would an overnight success look like for you? What are you doing now to get there? Share in the comments
]]>
Jeff Goins clean 40:12
How to Write Your Best Book: Part Four (Beyond the Launch) https://goinswriter.com/write-launch-book-four/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:01:49 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21655 There's a difference between an author and a writer. An author is someone who published a book at least once. A writer is someone who continues to write and publish, cultivating a writing life. But how do you know what to write about, and when to start your next project? There's a difference between an author and a writer. An author is someone who published a book at least once. A writer is someone who continues to write and publish, cultivating a writing life. But how do you know what to write about,
If you’re a writer for longer than five hours, you know that writing isn’t for the faint of heart. As William Zinsser said in On Writing Well:
If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard.
Which isn’t to say writing isn’t fun or rewarding, which it is, but it’s no stroll on the beach either. When the research is finished, and the argument is finessed, writing the fifth, sixth, and seventh draft becomes a slog.
It’s in this phase, where the work of writing is done, that new inspiration often strikes. If you don’t have a place to put them, these ideas can distract you from your prize. If you lack a system of capturing moments when the Muse visits, you won’t have any material to work with in the future.
In this final installment of the How to Write Your Best Book series, Marion Roach Smith joins us on on The Portfolio Life to talk about when to start writing your next book, the importance of cultivating a writing life, and how to ensure you have a writing future.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Marion and I discuss:

* What it means to build a writing life
* Pre-requisites for having a writing future
* The folder every writer needs
* How to handle new ideas in the middle of writing your book
* Dealing with boredom while writing
* The parallels between writing and dating
* When to start writing your next book
* How writing books is like growing up
* Moving onto the next project as a means of preserving personal sanity
* A rubric for deciding what to write about next
* The value of calling yourself a writer and an author
* Leaving it all on the battlefield once you’re done writing a book
* How to identify future market trends
* A soul-searching question every writer simply must ask themselves
* Who to send your “vomit draft” to
* Three questions every agent and publisher asks
* Lifting your sights to the next ideas and getting someone else’s eyes behind them
* How to hop genres while preserving your personal brand
* Enjoying a full-funded curiosity
* Learning new skills in order to switch genres
* What to read so that you know what good writing sounds like

Quotes and takeaways

* “You want to have a writing life, not just one book.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Be hospitable to your writing life.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “You’re not in complete control of your book launch.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Listen to what your agent says.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “There are no end of people online who don’t know what they’re talking about.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Read over your head.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Be respectful of your craft and learn it.” –Marion Roach Smith

]]>
Jeff Goins clean 33:00
How to Write Your Best Book: Part Three (Clarity) https://goinswriter.com/write-launch-book-three/ Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:01:28 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21633 We often start out with a specific intent when we begin a new project. We're out to prove an argument and make a point. But what happens when, in the course of writing, we discover new truths that derail our message? When author and memoir consultant Marion Roach Smith worked at The New York Times, she was told: Never go out with intent. Even when you know someone has committed a crime. The idea was that setting out to capture a story with a verdict already in mind would skew your writing. A good journalist is open to not proving what she thinks to be true. Authors are no exception. We often start out with a specific intent when we begin a new project. We're out to prove an argument and make a point. But what happens when, in the course of writing, we discover new truths that derail our message? -
When author and memoir consultant Marion Roach Smith worked at The New York Times, she was told, “Never go out with intent. Even when you know someone has committed a crime.”
The idea was that setting out to capture a story with a verdict already in mind would skew your writing. A good journalist is open to not proving what she thinks to be true. And authors are no exception.
In Part Three of our How to Write Your Best Book series on The Portfolio Life, Marion and I talk about what to do with the results of your research, how to change the position of your book with a publisher, and when you know your book is done.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Marion and I discuss:

* What I did wrong during the research phase of Real Artists Don’t Starve
* How to get really clear on your argument
* Why you should not pitch a book to your spouse
* A key output that starving artists cannot create
* Experiencing a pivot in writing based on research results
* Two questions every agent and publisher asks
* Why similar books seem to release at the same time
* Throwing out your darlings
* How to communicate counterpoints to your argument without refuting yourself
* One thing no one ever says to a hedge fund manager
* The origin of the Real Artists Don’t Starve book title
* Accidentally writing two books
* Leaning into controversy
* Why the first draft is “vomit”
* How to stop writing your book
* When to start talking about your book in public
* The danger of thinking about writing a bestseller

Takeaways

* You can write any book, but you cannot write every book. You have to pick one.
* See what you believe after you do the research.
* “It’s good to acknowledge counter argument so you don’t sound like you live in a cloud.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Never refute yourself.” –Marion Roach Smith
* If you want to be a real artist, you have to find a way to make a living.
* “You may end up with a better argument after you go out and look.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “You better enjoy the work because anything can happen after that.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “It’s a gift to be asked to contribute to the pool of reading in the world so try to love it.” –Marion Roach Smith

“Write what you believe. You don’t have to be right. You have to make me think.Marion Roach SmithTweet this
Resources

* How to Write Your Best Book Part 1 and Part 2
* The Book Writing Framework
* Real Artists Don’t Starve

]]>
Jeff Goins clean 54:20
How to Write Your Best Book: Part Two (Research) https://goinswriter.com/write-launch-book-two/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 10:01:42 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21604 It doesn't matter how original your idea is or how well the message of your book resonates with readers, if it's missing this essential quality, your writing will lack legitimacy and credibility. A little research goes a long way. It doesn't matter how original your idea is or how well the message of your book resonates with readers, if it's missing this essential quality, your writing will lack legitimacy and credibility. A little research goes a long way.
How far would you travel to conduct an interview for your book? To what lengths would you go in order to secure a source for your writing? Is research necessary even when you’re doing creative writing?
This week on The Portfolio Life, Marion Roach Smith and I continue the How to Write Your Best Book series with Part Two in which we address these questions and more. In this part, we focus on the topic of research and why it’s essential to do your best writing.
Listen in as we discuss some surprising research methods, what ocean Marion crossed to interview an expert, and why she recommends putting down the keyboard and picking up the phone. All these tips and more influenced the work behind my latest book Real Artists Don’t Starve.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Marion and I discuss:

* Looking for holes to build on what other people have written
* Saying something unique that contributes to the arena
* How to use studies and bibliographies to dig deeper
* The danger of accidentally building a straw man argument
* Surprising results from picking up the phone
* Scripts for building rapport with industry experts
* Why to avoid referencing celebrities
* The one word no one has ever said to Marion
* How to find interesting sources and connect with them
* The difference between an Internet writer and one who does real research.
* Which characteristic of a city gets Marion on the plane to interview someone
* When to call, email, or Skype a lead versus flying to meet them
* Why remaining vague is a strategic move
* A narrative trick that instantly bestows your writing with “street cred”

Quotes and takeaways

* “Repurposing the famous is not going to cut it.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Every fact, every interview, should heighten and add to the argument.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Live quotes are always better than repurposed quotes.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “There are no tricks to reaching out.” –Marion Roach Smith
* It’s easy to assume “no” for someone else and avoid asking them your question.
* Never research a piece starting from an intent to prove something. Research to discover the truth.
* “Make sure you have one whacky, off-the-wall question.” –Marion Roach Smith

“How do you get top experts to respond to you? You ASK them.Marion Roach SmithTweet this
Resources

* How to Write Your Best Book: Part One
*  The Book Writing Framework
* Real Artists Don’t Starve

What did you last discover while conducting research? Where have you traveled to interview a source?]]>
Jeff Goins clean 41:31
How to Write Your Best Book: Part One https://goinswriter.com/write-launch-book-one/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:00:47 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21578 Writing your first book is equal parts intimidating and exhilarating. You're scared and excited at the same time. One fear that grips new authors is how to write a book in the first place. Turns out, you re-learn this skill with every new title. After writing four books, you might assume that it was easy for me to tackle a fifth without much help. But we both know that lasting creative success happens in the context of community. Real Artists Don't Starve was no exception. Writing your first book is equal parts intimidating and exhilarating. You're scared and excited at the same time. One fear that grips new authors is how to write a book in the first place. Turns out, you re-learn this skill with every new title. -
After writing four books, I assumed it would be easy to tackle my fifth. I was wrong. As my friend Tim Sanders likes to say, genius is a team sport. Writing Real Artists Don’t Starve was no exception to this rule.
“Genius is a team sport.Tweet this
When I first learned the truth about Michelangelo’s wealth, this nagging idea of the starving artist wouldn’t let go of me. I knew I needed to write about it. There was a message worth sharing in there, but it was evading me.
So, I reached out to author, friend, and writing coach, Marion Roach Smith, for help. During the course of several conversations, Marion walked me through her process of researching, writing, and editing a book, and what resulted was the book that became Real Artists Don’t Starve.
I’ve broken that conversation into four parts that I’m sharing with you here on the podcast in a series called “How to Write Your Best Book.” In Part 1, Marion and I talk about getting started with writing a book. Listen in as we cover how to clarify your argument, what it takes to create a “closet” structure to write within, and how to hit your most stubborn beliefs with a hammer. I think you’re going to like it.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Marion and I discuss:

* Why doubt is an indicator of respect for your craft
* How reading a book is like an adventure
* What questions and doubts reveal about your book’s structure
* The original title for Real Artists Don’t Starve
* Attending a witch camp to research a book about redheads
* The modular method of writing a book
* Why you don’t have to be right to write non-fiction
* A practical writing strategy for not wasting 40,000 words
* Asking surgeons unorthodox questions about their experience in the world
* How long to research before you start writing a book

Quotes and takeaways

* You re-learn how to write a book every time you write a book.
* “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” –Ernest Hemingway
* If you have no questions or doubts, you’re not conscious of how textured the writing experience is.
* “Books are a cumulative experience.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “Once you understand the argument and can put it into a sentence, you can build the best book in the world.” –Marion Roach Smith
* “How do you write a book? One word at a time.” –Marion Roach Smith
* The best way to get someone to learn something is to put it to music or make it funny.
* “You can never stop short of fulfilling that obligation to your reader to make it as good as it can be.” –Marion Roach Smith

“When people cling to the idea that they have to starve to succeed, they’re going to starve.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 51:04
156: Avoid the Ravenous Monster of the Bestseller Game: Interview with Elizabeth Marshall https://goinswriter.com/elizabeth-marshall/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:00:52 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21533 It's becoming increasingly apparent that traditional publishing and hitting the bestseller lists is a game. You don't write a bestseller so much as you launch one. And yet, for those who want their work to endure, the question hangs in the air: is the game worth playing? As a writer and five-time author, I'd be lying if I told you that hitting the Wall Street Journal bestseller list twice meant nothing to me. Honestly, it feels good. But you know what? It's becoming increasingly apparent that traditional publishing and hitting the bestseller lists is a game. You don't write a bestseller so much as you launch one. And yet, for those who want their work to endure,
As a writer and five-time author, I’d be lying if I told you that hitting the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists meant nothing to me. Honestly, it feels good.
But you know what?
The two books that hit the list were released very differently.
With the latest title, Real Artists Don’t Starve, I was mostly hands off during launch week while the first book, The Art of Work, I was relentless in knocking on as many doors as possible to ensure it’s success.
Two different books. Two different launches. Two opposite stress levels.
Same result.
This week on The Portfolio Life, author and platform consultant, Elizabeth Marshall, and I talk about key differences between an expert and a thought leader, paths to mastery, and avoiding the allure of bestseller lists in exchange for an enduring message.
Listen in as we discuss the stages of a thought leader, why your message doesn’t always translate across all mediums, and how opportunities lead to more opportunities.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Elizabeth and I discuss:

* Exploring what it is you’re uniquely called to share
* Why knowing the “bookshelf” your work belongs on provides necessary clarity
* Challenges of translating workshop principles to book form
* Developing habits of consistency and ubiquity
* The value of creating a content strategy
* 10 different elements of a platform
* Knowing when to say “no” to enticing offers that don’t align with your purpose and vision
* What it takes to become a recognized leader in certain industries
* Keeping the message relevant and maintaining fresh connections across your platform
* Reaching the stage of unconscious competence
* The “charge neutral” nature of marketing tools and best practices
* Why chasing a badge of success is an insatiable monster

Quotes and takeaways

* Finding your purpose is more of a path than a plan.
* “Becoming a thought leader is not for the faint of heart.” –Elizabeth Marshall
* You have some control over whether your not your ideas and message endure.
* “There is no cookie cutter blueprint that guarantees you’ll be recognized as a thought leader in your industry.” –Elizabeth Marshall
* If you don’t know what stage you’re at, you can misapply strategies or try things that you and your audience aren’t ready for.
* “Messages have a path of their own. If we’re not listening and open, we might miss some of the greatest trajectories it might take us towards.” –Elizabeth Marshall
* If you feel like your message is for everyone, you need to spend more time incubating it.
* Be grateful for the opportunities you’re given. No matter how small.
* Be present in the moment and make the most of it.
* The best relationships are not based on transactions.
* Becoming a New York Times bestseller doesn’t happen by accident.

“Remaining in service to a greater calling keeps a rampant ego in check.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 57:17
155: What Makes You Unmistakable: Interview with Srini Rao https://goinswriter.com/srini-rao/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:00:41 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21482 With over 2.7 million blog posts published every day and hundreds of thousands of books published every year, it's difficult for writers to stand out from the crowd. Or is it? Think about your favorite restaurant. You're not just there for the food are you? You like the ambiance, friendly staff, comfy chairs, efficient service, and the presentation of the desserts. Writers and creatives have the same opportunity to create an experience for their audiences. With over 2.7 million blog posts published every day and hundreds of thousands of books published every year, it's difficult for writers to stand out from the crowd. Or is it? - Think about your favorite restaurant.
More and more, people are looking for an experience with the content they consume. We writers and communicators are all competing with YouTube videos, Facebook notifications, and the latest apps. It takes more than a good idea and plain text on a white background to retain the attention of an audience.
To rise above the noise, you must create something unmistakable.
This week on The Portfolio Life, we are joined by author, podcaster, and instigator, Srini Rao. Listen in as we talk about why your audience needs to feel a sense of belonging, navigating the process of renaming a brand, and appealing to a broad audience without alienating people or diluting the message.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Srini and I discuss:

* Channeling the innovative mindset of Steve Jobs
* Interviewing a variety of guests from bank robbers to performance psychologists
* The immeasurable value of creating distinctive work
* How the podcast led to a major book deal with Penguin
* Avoiding mass production while maintaining consistency
* Creating an experience beyond the standard content
* Bridging the gap between art and commerce
* Repurposing content as a byproduct of your primary medium
* Exceeding the perceived limitations of a platform
* Surfing as a metaphor for the creative process
* Borrowing ingredients from other people to come up with recipes of your own
* Building a habit of writing 1000 words a day
* The myth of solo-entrepreneurship
* How collaboration is an opportunity to elevate someone else
* The three jobs of a CEO

Quotes and takeaways

* “Connection outlasts any interaction.” –Srini Rao
* “Commitment is not negotiable.” –Srini Rao
* “When it’s so easy to start, the value of commitment goes up significantly.” –Srini Rao
* “The most profitable thing you can do for any company is keep everyone operating within their zone of genius.” –Srini Rao
* Constantly look for things that make you curious.
* Look at what people are expecting and blow their minds.
* Producing a lot of content consistently provides the opportunity to practice in public and get a lot of feedback.
* Your reader’s experience extends beyond your words.
* Avoid the noise by not subscribing to it.
* Treat your platform as an opportunity to be generous.

“The value of distinctive work makes competition irrelevant.Tweet this
Resources

* Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best by Srini Rao
* The Unmistakable Creative podcast
* The Unmistakable Creative Compass
* Mars Dorian artwork
* clean 43:40
Tough Questions About Real Artists Don’t Starve https://goinswriter.com/tough-questions/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 10:00:11 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21451 You can't write a book called "Real Artists Don't Starve" and not expect a reaction. If you try to write for everyone, no one will pay attention. With my latest book, readers are asking some tough questions. This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub rejoins us to cohost this special episode as I sit in the hot seat to answer a few pointed and insightful questions about Real Artists Don't Starve, the myth of the starving artist, the steps it takes to thrive as a creative, and the rules of New Renaissance. You can't write a book called "Real Artists Don't Starve" and not expect a reaction. If you try to write for everyone, no one will pay attention. With my latest book, readers are asking some tough questions. - This week on The Portfolio Life, Real Artists Don’t Starve” and not expect a reaction. If you try to write for everyone, no one will pay attention. With my latest book, readers are asking some tough questions.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy rejoins us to cohost this special episode as I sit in the hot seat to answer a few pointed and insightful questions about Real Artists Don’t Starve, the myth of the starving artist, the steps it takes to thrive as a creative, and the rules of New Renaissance.
Listen in as we discuss the nature of creative work, the importance of joining a scene, Steve Jobs impact at Apple, a poignant lesson from George Lucas’ early days with Star Wars, and why starving doesn’t lead to great art.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, we discuss:

* Addressing the perception of survivorship bias
* Supporting yourself without selling out
* Why making money leads to making more art
* What Picasso, Hemingway, and Jim Henson have in common
* How the story we tell ourselves about art impacts our craft
* Why artists sometimes starve, but don’t have to
* The role geography plays in your creative success
* Looking for the existing opportunities available to you
* The balance of maintaining ownership and selling your work
* How to decide between traditional publishing and self-publishing
* One thing I’d love every person who reads the book to tell me

Quotes and takeaways

* Go where the magic is right now. Join a scene or create one.
* Art costs money. Art costs time. The best art does not come from scarcity.
* If you don’t want to do marketing, you can’t be upset that nobody’s looking at your art.
* You might be standing in your own way.
* Throughout history, real artists didn’t starve to create their best work.

“Genius is a group effort.Tweet this
Resources

* Real Artists Don’t Starve
* The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner
* Group Genius by Keith Sawyer
* Make Art Make Money by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens

Click here to grab your copy of Real Artists Don’t Starve.
Do you think artists have to starve for their work? What does a thriving artist look like to you? Share in the comments
]]> Jeff Goins clean 44:28 154: Vocation and Identity: Interview with Dan Cumberland https://goinswriter.com/dan-cumberland/ Wed, 31 May 2017 10:00:36 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21419 It's really frustrating when you don't enjoy your calling or you struggle to find your calling in the first place. Sadly, many of us have been thinking about calling all wrong. Some people talk about missing their calling and continue to go through the motions of life until they take the aching in their heart to the grave. It's really frustrating when you don't enjoy your calling or you struggle to find your calling in the first place. Sadly, many of us have been thinking about calling all wrong. - Some people talk about missing their calling and continue to go through ...
Some people miss their purpose in life and continue to go through the motions of life until they take the aching in their heart to the grave. As Henry David Thoreau once said:
The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.
But what if your calling was right under your nose? What if it wasn’t something you were obligated to do, but something you freely enjoyed? This week on The Portfolio Life, our guest coaches people through the process of discovering meaning in their life and work.
Dan Cumberland proposes that while calling is about identity and work, it does not contain the whole of who we are and the meaning we bring to the world. Listen in as Dan and I talk about the definition of vocation, the pitfalls of external pressure, and why you may not be surprised by your life’s work.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Dan and I discuss:

* What does calling mean
* Unpacking what it looks like to coach people to help them find their calling
* Struggling with comparison to high achieving family pressure
* Pursuing ministry as a vocation and discovering it wasn’t a fit
* Why a calling isn’t like getting struck by lightning
* How to stop waiting for an epiphany and discover your calling
* Finding alignment between what you do and what is meaningful for you
* Imagining what it looks like to have fun in your work
* Breaking down the dichotomy of arguments around calling
* Rejecting the traditional models of a calling
* Landing a client while working at a pizzeria
* The four progressive steps of exploring your calling
* Why most people are not surprised by their calling
* A big obstacle that keeps many people from finding their calling
* The gap between what you want to do and what you’re actually doing

Quotes and takeaways

* If you hate your calling, it’s not your calling.
* Your calling is something you choose to do, accept, and enjoy.
* “Grow and increase the things you’re doing that already bring meaning into your life.” –Dan Cumberland
* “The words we use to describe something shape our experience of it.” –Dan Cumberland
* “How you tell the stories that shaped you profoundly impact the way you think about who you are.” –Dan Cumberland

“Your calling is so much bigger than any one job can contain.Dan CumberlandTweet this
Resources

* The Meaning Movement
* The Calling Course
* Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer
* The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
* Podcast sponsor: clean 34:53
153: Why Meaningful Work Automatically Attracts an Audience: Interview with Mark Frauenfelder https://goinswriter.com/mark-frauenfelder/ Wed, 24 May 2017 10:00:36 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21400 One of the biggest challenges any creative faces is what to make and who to make it for. How do you determine if an idea is a good fit for you, or if anyone will pay attention long enough to buy it? Being a full-time writer doesn't necessarily equate to writing "full-time". I don't sit at my desk for eight hours every week day and pound away at the keyboard writing books and blog posts. There's a bit more complexity to running a successful blog, launching books, and operating a digital business. One of the biggest challenges any creative faces is what to make and who to make it for. How do you determine if an idea is a good fit for you, or if anyone will pay attention long enough to buy it? - Being a full-time writer doesn't necessarily equat...
Being a full-time writer doesn’t necessarily equate to writing “full-time”. I don’t sit at my desk for eight hours every week day and pound away at the keyboard writing books and blog posts. There’s a bit more complexity to running a successful blog, launching books, and operating a digital business.
However, and more importantly, I’m interested in more than just writing from both a professional and personal standpoint. I enjoy speaking, drinking great coffee (not from Starbucks), reading, making guacamole, singing karaoke, playing with my kids, and travel among other things.
But I don’t write about all of these topics because that would be confusing to even the most loyal reader.
So how do you decide what to pursue when you feel bombarded by ideas and a collage of interests?
This week on The Portfolio Life, our guest is a modern day polymath, and basically created the Internet as we know it today (at least in my book). He’s been involved in magazine publishing since the 80’s, served as the Editor in Chief of Wired.com, started a podcast network, unknowingly cofounded the Maker movement, and designed a Billy Idol album cover.
Listen in as Mark Frauenfelder and I discuss the theme of his creative pursuits, why he doesn’t work on anything that doesn’t pique a personal interest, and how he came to write a how-to book on card tricks.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Mark and I discuss:

* Starting a print ‘zine in the 80s
* Getting recruited by Wired
* Taking a ‘zine digital in the 90s
* How his editor thought blogs weren’t going to be viable
* Identifying the common thread through diverse experiences and interests
* Avoiding being a jack-of-all-trades while embracing opportunities to explore
* Dealing with the tension between daily life and a creative career
* The origins of the Maker movement
* Why some comics are unreadable
* What artistic style he subscribes to

Quotes and takeaways

* “Make sure you give yourself time to do deep work.” –Mark Frauenfelder
* Pursue work that is personally meaningful to you and an audience.
* Embrace new ideas you enjoy, but stay grounded to a common theme.

“Try not to fall in love with your first idea.Mark FrauenfelderTweet this
Resources

* Vellum writing software
* Wired.com
* Trick Decks: How to Hack Playing Cards for Extraordinary Magic by Mark Frauenfelder
* Real Artists Don’t Starve

Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript.
]]> Jeff Goins clean 52:21 152: The Truth Behind Finding Luck: Interview with Brett Kelly https://goinswriter.com/brett-kelly/ Wed, 17 May 2017 10:00:51 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21379 People start writing for all kinds of reasons. Fame, fortune, boredom, or another hobby they'll quit in three weeks. But sometimes, a person writes for something more. They write for freedom. Most of us want freedom from something. Our past, a bad habit, a toxic relationship, a dull day job, or even the distractions we let keep us from writing. People start writing for all kinds of reasons. Fame, fortune, boredom, or another hobby they'll quit in three weeks. But sometimes, a person writes for something more. They write for freedom. - Most of us want freedom from something. Our past,
They write for freedom.
Most of us want freedom from something. Our past, a bad habit, a toxic relationship, a dull day job, or even the distractions we let keep us from writing.
Our guest this week on The Portfolio Life, was living somewhat comfortably, but wanted freedom from debt. Over the years he’d developed close relationships with a small circle of friends who ended up being quite influential.
He knew Chris Guillebeau before The Art of Non-Conformity was published by Penguin. He knew Leo Babauta when Zen Habits was on a blogspot domain. Our guest saw his friends writing online and creating digital resources for their audiences and wanted to do the same.
So, Brett Kelly took one of his favorite productivity tools and wrote a robust user guide called Evernote Essentials. With the blessing of Evernote, the support of his friends, and the attention of people like Michael Hyatt, Brett has sold nearly 80,000 copies of Evernote Essentials.
Listen in as we discuss how Brett launched with a list of 400 people, losing track of how many tattoos he has, and how the CEO of Evernote personally recruited him.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Brett and I discuss:

* Debt freedom as a motivator to create
* Paying attention to market trends
* Not getting sued by Evernote
* Broadening creative horizons and diversifying personal brand
* The awkwardness of explaining what you do as a creative to people who care, but don’t “get” it
* The ambiguity of calling yourself a writer
* How running a business around your writing is like fixing a plane mid-flight
* Accidentally building a cadre of friends who ended up being very influential
* Distilling complexity into something digestible for the masses

Quotes and takeaways

* Sometimes humility isn’t very helpful when people are looking to you for answers.
* Be helpful. Be encouraging.
* “People who had more than I had, gave to me. That’s why I’m here.” –Brett Kelly
* The medium of creation effects the final outcome.

“Be cool to people.Brett KellyTweet this
Resources

* Evernote
* Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly
* Michael Hyatt’s system for organizing Evernote
* OmniFocus
* Getting Things Done by David Allen

Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript.
What is your favorite app to write in? What is your “superpower” or the theme of your work? Share in the clean 48:45
151: Leveraging the Power of SEO to Sell Your Books on Amazon: Interview with Dave Chesson https://goinswriter.com/dave-chesson/ Thu, 11 May 2017 10:00:41 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21363 A few years ago, I was speaking a conference and a woman came up to me afterwards asking for advice about a book she wanted to publish. Not being familiar with her genre, I asked if there were any other books on the subject. Her answer scared me. "None," she said. "There are no books out there like this. This is a completely original idea." Why would this scare me? A few years ago, I was speaking a conference and a woman came up to me afterwards asking for advice about a book she wanted to publish. Not being familiar with her genre, I asked if there were any other books on the subject. Her answer scared me. -
“None,” she said. “There are no books out there like this. This is a completely original idea.”
Why would this scare me?
Because this isn’t how you successfully launch a book. If you release your work into a vacuum there is no one there to buy it.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Dave Chesson and I talk about how to research your book before you write it and nearly guarantee it’s success.
As a top authority on self-publishing through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and founder of Kindlepreneur, Dave shares his insights into the parallels between building profitable niche websites and writing relevant books that create a continuous income stream for the author.
Listen in as we talk about riding elephants, keyword research, how to use your ideal reader’s words to build your book, and quick tips for aspiring authors and new writers.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Dave and I discuss:

* Why a strategy that for Malcolm Gladwell won’t necessarily work for you
* The impact of the Amazon “honeymoon” period
* How to avoid book sales feeling like blowing air into a deflated balloon with a hole in it
* Our wives being right at least 80% of the time
* Assessing your definition of success and determining if you’re on the right path
* How building a business or writing books can fit into the margins of your day job
* The process for writing and self-publishing your book
* Creating content that centers around a topic people like and is better than the competition
* The similarities between Google and Amazon search
* How to reverse engineer Amazon’s algorithm
* Using Google to determine the degree of competition for an idea

Takeaways

* Find the words your target market is using.
* Do research to determine if anyone is looking for and buying the kind of book you want to write.
* Creating a book that people are actively searching for on Amazon can create a continuous stream of income.
* If you try to rank for a term that’s too popular, every second a new book will come out on Amazon targeting that market.
* Don’t write into a competitive market where no one is making any money.
* The most important number Amazon can give any writer is the Amazon “best seller” rank.
* Write a blog post or article to test your book idea.
* Every new book is an experiment. If the idea doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

“Even if you have the big book launch, it will not sustain your career or living as a writer.Tweet this
Resources

* Keyword Finder
* Google Keyword Planner
* Amazon Sales Rank Calculator
* 102: How to Know if You Have a Good ...]]> Jeff Goins clean 40:49 150: Why a Book Deal is Only the Beginning of Your Writing Career: Interview with Annie Downs https://goinswriter.com/annie-downs/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:00:01 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21264 The day you get your first book deal feels much the same as getting accepted to a prestigious university, or landing a coveted internship after graduation. However, much like college and your first "real" job, you soon discover the hard work has only just begun. Precious few authors are fortunate enough to quit their day jobs after landing their first book deal. Most are unable to avoid the need for side income to supplement writing revenue even after publishing multiple books. The day you get your first book deal feels much the same as getting accepted to a prestigious university, or landing a coveted internship after graduation. However, much like college and your first "real" job,
Precious few authors are fortunate enough to quit their day jobs after landing their first book deal. Most are unable to avoid the need for side income to supplement writing revenue even after publishing multiple books.
If you’re lucky enough to get a book advance, this week’s guest on The Portfolio Life recommends treating it like an investment rather than income.
Listen in as author and speaker, Annie Downs, and I talk about why traditional vs non-traditional publishing is not a clear cut decision, and confront the stereotypical mindset of publishing a bound book versus exploring different mediums.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Annie and I discuss:

* The hyperbole of reactions when people find out you’re a full-time writer
* Growing up with a love of books
* Who does hitting the New York Times bestsellers list really matter to
* Bridging the gap between getting started with nothing and touring as a speaker
* Honoring commitments and being faithful in small things and meet deadlines
* Why being scrappy is a competitive advantage
* The creative process as a partnership
* Why first drafts are awesome
* Applying for day jobs to make ends meet the week a book came out
* Modeling her company after Lady Antebellum
* Establishing a personal board of directors
* Thinking of your writing career as a business
* Feeling like quitting anytime something felt hard.

Quotes and takeaways

* “No is not about you, it’s about clearing out the space for the right thing.” –Annie Downs
* We see rejection and failure as an obstacle and it can also be an opportunity.
* Take yourself out of the center of the story to understand the greater arc of what’s being told.
* “It is not wise to treat a book deal or an advance like income. Treat it like an investment in your company.” –Annie Downs
* “The bigger your advance, the longer it takes to ever see money again.” –Annie Downs
* You may turn in the first draft, but it takes a lot of people to create the final version of the book.

“If you’re talking to the people in your tribe, other people are going to listen.Annie DownsTweet this
“Hustle is seasonal.Annie DownsTweet this
Resources

* Melanie Shankle’s Big Mama blog
* Sophie Hudson’s Boo Mama blog
* Learning to Savor: Interview with Shauna Niequest
* The Best-selling Author with a Day Job: John Green
* Annie Downs on Twitter and her blog
]]> Jeff Goins clean 50:17 149: How to Sell 1000 Copies of Your Self-Published Book on Day One: Interview with Paul Sohn https://goinswriter.com/paul-sohn/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 10:00:54 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21230 The average self-published book sells 250 copies in its first year and maybe 1,000 copies in its lifetime. Most authors are ecstatic if they hit 1,000 copies in the first three months. But what if you sold 1,000 copies of your book on the first day it released? The average self-published book sells 250 copies in its first year and maybe 1,000 copies in its lifetime. Most authors are ecstatic if they hit 1,000 copies in the first three months. But what if you sold 1,
Now, there is no such thing as an overnight success. Work that lasts and resonates with your audience requires consistent effort over an extended period of time.
Without a platform, without an email list, and without a community, you could not self-publish a book tomorrow and reasonably expect anything but dead air in response.
However, if you put in the effort, do your research, and engage with influencers and your target audience to build a loyal tribe, the sky really is the limit.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, successfully self-published a book and sold over 1,000 copies on the first day it released. Within a week he was connected with seven traditional publishers, landed a book contract soon thereafter, and has just launched Quarter-Life Calling.
Listen in as Paul Sohn and I talk about how to decide whether to self-publish or pursue a book contract with a traditional publisher, realizing the emptiness of a “dream job” at a young age, and redefining what it means to achieve success.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Paul and I discuss:

* Redefining what it means to achieve success
* Writing a book for yourself
* Unpacking the decision to self-publish
* Living out the principles of your book before publishing it
* Building an influential network on Twitter and Facebook
* Developing a book launch team
* Hacks and tricks to boost Amazon rankings
* Connecting with 7 different traditional publishers one week after self-publishing
* The supplemental benefits of creating a platform that goes beyond the book
* Establishing a personal board of directors
* Picking whichever publishing method aligns best with your goals

Quotes and takeaways

* The essence of life is discovering your calling. Which will help you to live more purposefully.
* “It’s one thing to write a book. It’s another thing to live a book.” –Paul Sohn
* Discovering your calling and aligning your life around it will require uncomfortable shifts.
* Follow the advice of experts without arguing to get the results you want.
* “Your quarter-life could be the best time to discover your calling in life.” –Paul Sohn
* Just because you write about something, doesn’t mean you are an expert.
* Any measure of fame or notoriety can be accompanied by loneliness.
* Simply writing a book doesn’t entitle you to anyone’s attention.

“You can’t 100% predict the outcome of your launch.Paul SohnTweet this
Resources

* ...]]>
Jeff Goins clean 49:20
148: How to Become a Prolific Writer and Publish Over 200 Books: Interview with Jerry B. Jenkins https://goinswriter.com/jerry-jenkins/ Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:00:19 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21199 Writing your first book is like running a marathon. When it's finally over, you're equally excited and exhausted. You might even be a little sick (of your book). Now, imagine doing that almost 200 times. With my fifth book getting ready to release this summer, I can barely fathom the level of discipline and creativity required to produce 20 books in a lifetime, let alone a couple hundred. Writing your first book is like running a marathon. When it's finally over, you're equally excited and exhausted. You might even be a little sick (of your book). Now, imagine doing that almost 200 times. -
With my fifth book getting ready to release this summer, I can barely fathom the level of discipline and creativity required to produce 20 books in a lifetime, let alone a couple hundred.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, has sold over 70 million copies of his 189 books (and counting) and yet maintains a humble demeanor, works diligently at his craft, and encourages other writers on their journey.
Listen in as Jerry B. Jenkins and I talk about how he got started writing at a young age, the hyperbole of public perception of writers, and the advantage of experiencing success later in life.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jerry and I discuss:

* How writing was his answer to a calling
* Achieving the freedom to write leisurely because you love it
* Rejecting the idea of retirement
* Not measuring success by sales or accolades
* How not to get on the bestseller lists
* The relationship between passion and purpose
* What is within your control as a writer
* If it gets easier to write as you publish more
* When to say “no” to a writing project
* Why deadlines are a writer’s best friend
* How writing a book is like giving birth
* Treating fear as a healthy motivator
* What role procrastination plays in getting writing done
* The myth of writer’s block and the truth behind it
* Why perfectionism is a mask for fear
* Getting a phone call from Stephen King
* Writing without guilt and still being present for his kids

Quotes and takeaways

* Writing may be the vehicle through which you answer your calling.
* “You don’t get on the bestseller lists by trying to get on the bestseller list.” –Jerry B. Jenkins
* Writing books doesn’t get easier. It gets harder.
* “Writers don’t write because they are writers, they write because they have something to say.” –Jerry B. Jenkins
* Schedule your procrastination
* “Procrastination may be a prerequisite to being a writer.” –Jerry B. Jenkins
* Just write something. It doesn’t have to be pretty.
* “Writers are the only profession in the world who allow themselves the conceit of writer’s block.” –Jerry B. Jenkins

“The only thing I can control, is how much of myself I give to the quality of the writing.Jerry B. JenkinsTweet this
Resources

* Left Behind Series by Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
* Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins
* Podcast sponsor: clean 53:30 147: Spike Your Creativity by Sleeping Smarter: Interview with Shawn Stevenson https://goinswriter.com/shawn-stevenson/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21166 The irony of the phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead" is that if you deprive yourself of sleep, you'll be dead sooner. And when you're dead, you're not sleeping. And you're not writing either. For whatever reason we have a tendency, creatives in particular, to default to sacrificing sleep at the altar of our work before anything else. God forbid we binge watch Netflix less or stop bringing our smartphones to bed. The trouble is, we're doing more harm to our health and our creativity by burning the candle at both ends than we realize. The irony of the phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead" is that if you deprive yourself of sleep, you'll be dead sooner. And when you're dead, you're not sleeping. And you're not writing either. - For whatever reason we have a tendency,
For whatever reason, we creatives have a tendency to sacrifice sleep at the altar of our work before anything else. God forbid we binge-watch Netflix less or stop bringing our smartphones to bed. The trouble is we’re doing more harm than we realize to both our health and creativity by burning the candle at both ends.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life is a bestselling author, sleep expert, popular podcast host, and fitness authority, Shawn Stevenson. Shawn and I recently spent a week together at a speaking gig in the Philippines, and I can tell you he is the real deal.
Listen in as we talk about the drastic effect of one day of sleep deprivation, common sleep myths, and how you can hack your health to perform at a higher creative level.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Shawn and I discuss:

* Why the quality of your sleep matters more than the quantity
* The optimal time to stop consuming caffeine
* Combatting the norm of perpetual exhaustion as a badge of honor
* The truth behind your genes
* How Shawn went from NFL level speed to the spine of an 80-year-old in high school
* Why deciding to get well is a crucial step in your health
* 3 pillars of changing your life from the inside out
* How the time of day (or night) impacts your dietary choices
* Creating a culture in your home of honoring sleep
* Why you can’t pay back a sleep debt
* The “Money Time” sleep window

Quotes and takeaways

* “If sleep is for suckers, I’m a lollipop.” –Shawn Stevenson
* The assimilation of nutrients is magnified by movement.
* “There’s a difference between doing work and actually being effective.” –Shawn Stevenson
* We are 60% more reactive to negative stimuli when sleep deprived.
* A great night of sleep starts the moment you wake up in the morning.
* Create a bedtime ritual for yourself, not just your kids.
* Fix your gut to fix your sleep.

“Sleep is not an obstacle, it’s a catalyst. Sleep is a force multiplier.Tweet this
Resources

* Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
* Flux app
* Shawn’s blog & podcast
* Podcast sponsor: Tribe Theme by Notable Themes

Do you get enough sleep? How would you rate your sleep quality? What do you want to change about your sleep? Share in the comments
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript.

]]> Jeff Goins clean 46:37 146: The Strategic Advantage of Creative Thinking: Interview with Rob Levit https://goinswriter.com/rob-levit/ Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:00:26 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21129 For too long an expanding gap has existed between working in a cubicle and spending time on your craft. Creative thinking and critical thinking are not at odds. In fact, when you allow the two halves of your mind to work together, you can unlock amazing potential. For too long an expanding gap has existed between working in a cubicle and spending time on your craft. Creative thinking and critical thinking are not at odds. In fact, when you allow the two halves of your mind to work together,
It’s difficult for some of us to face another day at the office, plugging away at a job we’re disconnected from, while our book, our blog, or camera is collecting dust at home, waiting to be picked up again. But can’t we be creative at work?
Do our day jobs really have to drain us, or could they possibly fill us up?
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life believes in the competitive advantage of creative thinking. During our conversation, he admitted artists know more about getting things done than most people. Listen in as creativity expert Rob Levit and I talk about why people are afraid to take risks, how to manage your time, and why talent is a gift.
I can’t change what people do in their jobs, but I can help them appreciate how to do it in a way that creates more meaning for them.
—Rob Levit
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Rob and I discuss:

* Why people are afraid to take basic creative risks
* How to develop a “pro-noia” mentality to see possibilities
* Undoing the adage of “those who can’t do, teach”
* Wrestling with feeling self-centered as a professional musician
* The value of real-time feedback and the bias for growth/development
* What stories we tell ourselves that keep us from being creative
* The misconception of being talented and entitled to making a good living
* Where creatives commonly get stuck
* Overcoming the conflict between art and commerce
* The ultimate gift we take for granted
* A major caveat that is never included in self-help books

Takeaways

* Everyone is interested in learning how to learn.
* Creativity thrives in the context of relationship and community.
* Failure of imagination occurs when we refuse to make time to reflect.
* Don’t create false barriers. Explore other avenues to flex your creative muscle.
* If your talent is a gift, it is your obligation to develop it to the highest level regardless of the reward.
* If you create things people don’t want you lose the right to complain when they don’t “get” it.
* Get comfortable with making mistakes.
* Life is not a microwave oven, it’s a crockpot. You have to slow cook things.
* Every moment that we live is potentially a wonderful, miraculous, great moment.
* No matter who you are or what you’re doing, people feel a deeper connection to life when they are creating.
* If you’re afraid to fail, you don’t belong in the arena.
* You’ll never know if the spaghetti will stick on the wall unless you throw it.

“Underneath all improvisation is mastery.Tweet this
Resources

* The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde
* clean 54:34
145: How to Draw Creative Inspiration from Your Day Job: Interview with John Weiss https://goinswriter.com/cartoon-cop/ Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:00:37 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21126 It's hard for some people to believe, but you don't have to choose between your day job and your dream job. The two can complement each other in ways you never imagined possible. When you think of a cartoonist, you probably don't think of somebody with a Masters degree in criminal justice administration. A creative life of making satirical art doesn't jive with running a police department. On the surface, these two occupations seem at odds with one another. But that's just what this week's guest on The Portfolio Life did for over 25 years. It's hard for some people to believe, but you don't have to choose between your day job and your dream job. The two can complement each other in ways you never imagined possible. - When you think of a cartoonist,
When you think of a cartoonist, you probably don’t think of somebody with a Masters degree in criminal justice administration. A creative life of making satirical art doesn’t jive with running a police department. On the surface, these two occupations seem at odds with one another.
But that’s just what this week’s guest on The Portfolio Life did for over 25 years. John Weiss is a former police chief who pursued his passions of cartooning, painting and writing while working in law enforcement.
Now that John is retired, he is a full-time artist painting landscapes, drawing cartoons, and writing a weekly art column.
Listen in as John and I talk about how he navigated the tension between creative expression and police work by letting his day job and dream job inspire each other.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, John and I discuss:

* Drawing political cartoons in college
* If he regrets getting a “real” job
* How a day job compliments artistry
* Confronting stereotypes of artists and law enforcement officers
* How a creative background made him better at police work
* A funny story about getting pulled over
* Pivoting to different art forms to accommodate career growth
* When he stopped apologizing for being an artist

Takeaways

* A day job compliments your artistry.
* Creativity and artfulness are necessary skills.
* Life gives you inspiration for writing.
* Going viral isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“Stand out by creating great work.Tweet this
Resources

* 7 Ways Police Work Made Me a Better Writer – John’s guest post on Goins, Writer.
* John Weiss’s blog
* Want Your Children to Survive The Future? Send Them to Art School
* Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
* Memories are Roses in Our Winter
* Podcast sponsor: Tribe Theme by Notable Themes

Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript.
How can your creative passion inform your day job? Have you ever considered your day job as a source of inspiration? Share in the comments.

]]> Jeff Goins clean 23:21 144: Why Generosity is a Strategic Advantage: Interview with Ryan Delk https://goinswriter.com/ryan-delk/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:00:22 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21048 Most of our email inboxes are out of control. Besides the junk there are people asking for help, advice, or an introduction. In the moment, it feels easier to delete it and move on. Turns out, we are missing out on a strategic opportunity. After working at big name start ups like Square and Gumroad, Ryan Delk knows a thing or two about the power of influence, and the value of a strong network. It seems like he always knows somebody who can help you with your problem, and he's done that with intention. Most of our email inboxes are out of control. Besides the junk there are people asking for help, advice, or an introduction. In the moment, it feels easier to delete it and move on. Turns out, we are missing out on a strategic opportunity. -
Rather than skip over these requests, this week’s guest on The Portfolio Life embraces the opportunity to help. The trick is he only invests 5 minutes or less, but the return pays long-term dividends.
After working at big name start ups like Square and Gumroad, Ryan Delk knows a thing or two about the power of influence, and the value of a strong network. It seems like he always knows somebody who can help you with your problem, and he’s done that with intention.
Listen in as Ryan and I talk about starting his entrepreneurial journey in college, interning in Kenya, and how not to ask for an introduction (or make one).
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Ryan and I discuss:

* How to create value for people and get them to pay you for it
* Leaving college to join Gumroad
* How to connect with interesting people and build authentic relationships
* Why trying to optimize every interaction is counterproductive
* Knowing when a new venture is a good bet or a foolish one
* Why basic transportation is just the beginning for Uber

Takeaways

* What you’re valued for and what you’re respected for is directly proportional to the value that you bring.
* Be outlandishly generous without fearing you’ll be taken advantage of.
* An element of humanity won’t diminish your success.
* It is more strategic and enjoyable to be helpful vs trying to optimize every interaction for what you can get out of it.
* Take immediate action when you know that you can help someone.

“Give before you try to get.Tweet this
Resources

* Gumroad
* Omni
* Air Table
* How Not to Pitch a Billionaire

How are you practicing generosity with people you meet? Who is your favorite person to recommend to others? Share in the comments.
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.


EPISODE 144
I just found that sort of defaulting to trying to always be helpful is a pretty good default to live with in your life, and you end up through that connecting a lot of interesting people, connecting with a lot of interesting people, and being able to build authentic relationships with people. I think if you’re playing the long game, that is a much more strategic and even enjoyable way to live life than just trying to optimize every interaction for what you can get out of it, or what your company can get out of it. –Ryan Delk
[INTRODUCTION]
[0:00:38.7] JG: Welcome to the Portfolio Life. I’m Jeff Goins. This is a show where we do lots of different things, lots of fun things, but most of what we do is try to answer a single question.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 45:24
143: How to Prepare for Your Big Break Before it Surprises You: Interview with Jill & Kate https://goinswriter.com/jill-and-kate/ Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:00:36 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21025 Stop me if you've heard this story before. An aspiring musician moves to Nashville with nothing but a dream and her guitar. She plays in dive bars to whoever will listen in hopes of being discovered and becoming a big star. We all know how the sad story usually ends. Or do we? Stop me if you've heard this story before. An aspiring musician moves to Nashville with nothing but a dream and her guitar. She plays in dive bars to whoever will listen in hopes of being discovered and becoming a big star. -
Imagine for a moment that you are a musician playing on a small stage at an open mic night at a Chinese restaurant. You’ve got a little medley of songs in your repertoire which includes a tune by Kelly Clarkson (the original American Idol).
Now, imagine Kelly Clarkson is actually sitting in the audience and she absolutely loves your sound so much that she invites you to sing backup vocals during her upcoming Daytona 500 performance. You go from singing in front of 50 people to over 250,000 people.
Seems like a fairytale, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened to this week’s guests on The Portfolio Life.
Listen in as Jill & Kate and I talk about their crazy story of accidentally playing at a biker bar, touring for 6 years with Kelly Clarkson, and the origin off their amazing duo.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jill & Kate and I discuss:

* What it’s like to co-write music
* Deconstructing what it means to make it as an artist
* Which episode of Friends captures how they discovered they should be a duo
* Why sharing the load of creativity is a blessing
* How they piggybacked on Kelly’s tour to play for their own fans
* Reaching a pivot point and how they decided to walk away
* Navigating personal and professional turbulence the first year on their own
* The value of persistence
* How talented artists come and go and attitude alone

Takeaways

* Have a good attitude. Be humble and willing to serve.
* Put in the work so you’re ready when your big break comes.
* Be prepared to lose things.
* Surround yourself with good people.
* If you have a good attitude and you’re a good hang, if you can be low maintenance and low drama, it will take you far.

“Don’t be afraid to suck. Because you will.JillAndKateTweet this
Resources

* Jill & Kate’s site
* Jill & Kate on iTunes

If you suddenly got a big break, would you be ready? How are you preparing to get noticed? Share in the comments.
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.


EPISODE 143
If you think that you’re out of opportunities, you’re never out of opportunities. It’s just, I think, you can get a little bit worn down. Because if you’re doing it right, I think there will be a lot of almost’s and maybe’s, and there will be a lot of rejections. —Kate
[INTRODUCTION]
[0:00:27.0] JG: Welcome to the Portfolio Life. I’m Jeff Goins, and this is a show that helps you pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art, and discover your true voice. I’m your host, and I want to help you find, develop, and live out your own creative calling so that you,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 45:09
142: How to Monetize a Podcast (or Any Craft): Live Coaching Session with Heather Teysko https://goinswriter.com/heather-teysko/ Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:45 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=21017 There are no end of alleged "influencers" on social media telling you to chase your passion. To pull the ripcord and pursue your dreams full-time. What their carefully curated snapshots fail to tell you is that passion isn't enough. And it shouldn't be. There are no end of alleged "influencers" on social media telling you to chase your passion. To pull the ripcord and pursue your dreams full-time. What their carefully curated snapshots fail to tell you is that passion isn't enough. And it shouldn't be.
Passion alone does not entitle you to anyone’s attention. Let alone their money. Do I think you can make a living from your passion? Absolutely. But you don’t begin with what you love.
A successful and sustainable business, which is what you’ll have when you go pro with your craft, starts with something more tangible than passion.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, walked away from a high profile job with the largest library consortium in California. Only 12 or so people in the world share the same pool of knowledge and experience. And yet, she left it all to live in Spain and now hosts a podcast on Renaissance English history with over 100,000 downloads and counting.
Listen in as Heather Teysko and I talk about the challenges she faces in trying to monetize her podcast, grow an email list, and decide where to take the show from here.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Heather and I discuss:

* What to do when your skills and passions don’t match
* Connecting market demand to your skills and passions
* How to find the “sweet spot” for your next great idea
* Why successful entrepreneurs chase relevance instead of passion
* A powerful tool to gain audience insights
* Throwing spaghetti at the wall
* Using social media as a listener feedback loop
* How to develop a brand statement that hooks your audience
* Why a podcast needs an email list

Takeaways

* Being comfortable is a dangerous place to be.
* Don’t chase your passion. Look for resonance.
* If you don’t have demand, you don’t have anything, you don’t have a business.
* You cannot create demand. You have to find it.
* Throttle your passion and find something people are willing to pay money for.

“Finding our voice isn’t about what we want to do, it’s what resonates with the audience.Tweet this
Exclusive update
Heather stopped by to share an update on her journey. You can read it and reply in the comments or check it out below.
Hey Jeff! Thanks for sharing this! We talked over a year ago, and I wanted to share the success I’ve had since implementing the strategies you taught me … (and what I learned from TW).
My mailing list is now over 2,200. I launched the Tudor Planner in November (a monthly and yearly planner filled with This Week in History, Music Listening suggestions – and an exclusive Spotify playlist, quotes, all in the style of an illuminated manuscript) and it was a five figure launch. I also have been designing other stationary and journals inspired by Tudor/Renaissance manuscripts, the most recent being the Henry & Anne Love Journal with quotes from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, and the cover inspired by a 15th century book of hours that was in the shape of a heart.
I also launched an ecourse on how to build a podcast so others can take their passions and turn them into something they...]]>
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141: The Secret to Making $70,000 a Month from Your Book: Interview with Hal Elrod https://goinswriter.com/hal-elrod/ Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20849 Most authors have two simple goals: make a difference and make some money. We want our work to matter, and to achieve the financial freedom to write full-time. Unfortunately, becoming a best-selling author doesn't necessarily directly to relate to either of those. Most authors have two simple goals: make a difference and make some money. We want our work to matter, and to achieve the financial freedom to write full-time. Unfortunately, becoming a best-selling author doesn't necessarily directly to relate to eith...
My friend has written on the myth of the best-seller. I won’t reiterate it here, but suffice to say, just because you’re a best-selling author doesn’t mean you’ve impacted a lot of people or made a lot of money.
According to this week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, a book is successful because it creates real, measurable change for the reader from day one.
Listen in as Hal Elrod, the best-selling author of The Miracle Morning, and I talk about getting in a head-on collision with a drunk driver, running an ultra-marathon, failing as a success coach, and the morning his life changed forever.
Listen in as we discuss proven personal development practices, how to wake up motivated at any hour, and the #1 key to writing a book that creates a movement and earns you a fortune.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Hal and I discuss:

* Doubling passive income in less than two months
* Convincing Pat Flynn to wake up early
* Why water wakes you up more than coffee first thing in the morning
* Impacting millions of lives and making millions of dollars
* How to go beyond being just best-selling author and create real impact and a great passive income
* Why every author should have a downloadable resource to reinforce the content of their book
* Leveraging the power of Facebook groups to launch a book

Takeaways

* Love your life even when it is difficult.
* Create a ritual around your content.
* Success is something you attract by the person you become.
* We are whatever we condition ourselves to be.
* Just because you’re a best-selling author doesn’t mean you’ve impacted a lot of people or made a lot of money.

“You can’t launch a best-selling book unless you write a best-selling book.Tweet this
Resources

* The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
* Jeff’s interview on Hal’s podcast
* Bedtime affirmation

What does your typical morning look like? How could a Miracle Morning routine change your life? Share in the comments
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.


EPISODE 141
“In that moment, I stopped running and I replayed it, and I thought, “I’m not dedicating time every day to my personal development. Therefore,]]>
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140: Stop Starving and Start Making a Living from Your Art: Interview with Cory Huff https://goinswriter.com/cory-huff/ Wed, 01 Feb 2017 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20847 At some point in our history, it became unsavory to make a good living from your art. Indie bands that sign with a label are "sellouts" and painters who distribute their canvases on Etsy aren't "legitimate". This is absolutely ridiculous! Isn't that the aim of professional artists? To obtain the freedom to step away from cubicle day jobs and dedicate their time to impacting people's lives with their craft? At some point in our history, it became unsavory to make a good living from your art. Indie bands that sign with a label are "sellouts" and painters who distribute their canvases on Etsy aren't "legitimate". - This is absolutely ridiculous!
At some point in our history, it became unsavory to make a good living from your art. Indie bands that sign with a label are “sellouts” and painters who distribute their canvases on Etsy aren’t “legitimate”.
This is absolutely ridiculous! Isn’t that the aim of professional artists? To obtain the freedom to step away from cubicle day jobs and dedicate their time to impacting people’s lives with their craft?
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life teaches people how to make a living from their art by rejecting myths, circumventing gatekeepers, and learning how to run their own business.
Listen in as Cory Huff and I talk about the intersection of creativity and money, and why the system we subject ourselves to failed Van Gogh.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Cory and I discuss:

* The untapped potential of operating outside the system
* What it really means to pick yourself
* Rejecting fame in exchange for a quiet fortune
* If it’s possible for any artist to make a living off of their creativity
* The reason stage actors don’t make tons of money
* Why books, movies, and prints are more scalable creative products
* How failure is just a learning experience
* What to say to skeptics

Quotes and takeaways

* Not every form of artistic expression is commercially viable.
* Every artist has failed ideas.
* There are a lot of authors who are terrible and still get book deals.
* Gatekeepers can grant legitimacy because we allow them to grant legitimacy.
* Fame does not equal money.
* Having a successful online business gives me the freedom to pour myself more into the creative side of things without worrying about how to sell it.

“Real artists actually make art and run their business.Tweet this
Resources

* TheAbundantArtist.com
* Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
* The Gift by Lewis Hyde
* The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
* The Myth of the Starving Artist (Cory’s guest post for Ramit Sethi)

Given the choice, would you rather have fame or fortune?]]>
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139: Forge a Heroic Path for Your Readers to Follow: Interview with John Sowers https://goinswriter.com/john-sowers/ Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20799 You can spot a man of conviction from a mile away. You take notice when a woman with a fire in her heart enters the room. But these people aren't self-made. They didn't reach this point on the path alone. Someone showed them the way. You can spot a man of conviction from a mile away. You take notice when a woman with a fire in her heart enters the room. But these people aren't self-made. They didn't reach this point on the path alone. Someone showed them the way.
Mentors are the guide on our own hero’s journey. They share their story so we can learn from their experience. Mentors believe in us so we can believe in ourselves.
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life was raised by two heroic women and always wanted to be a writer. He wrote a doctoral dissertation on fatherlessness (which was later published by Zondervan), co-founded The Mentoring Project, and even visited The White House to meet with the President.
In this interview, John Sowers and I talk about the critical role of mentors, the four steps of the heroic path, and chasing jaguars in Arizona.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, John and I discuss:

* The correlation between passion and conviction
* Knife making and rustic hobbies
* Shooting wild animals (with a camera)
* Writing about fatherlessness after growing up without a male role model
* What would JRR Tolkein say about how the True Myth informs masculinity
* The fear he faced after becoming a father
* Listening at the edge of your understanding

Quotes and takeaways

* “We find courage when we love someone deeply.” –John Sowers
* “We find strength when we’re deeply loved.” –John Sowers
* Mentoring gives you purpose, direction and opportunity.
* “Positive affirmations can change the course of our lives.” –John Sowers
* Most great things are borne out of a deep sense of conviction.
* Write what needs to be said.
* Fatherhood is about saying the things you don’t feel like you need to say.

“You need someone to believe in you before you can believe in yourself.Tweet this
Resources

* The Heroic Path by John Sowers
* Fatherless Generation: Redeeming the Story by John Sowers
* Teen 2.0 by Robert Epstein
* The Mentoring Project

Who is one of your mentors? How have they impacted your life and creative work? Share in the comments
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.

]]>
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138: How to Navigate the Intersection of Art and Entrepreneurship: Interview with Steph Halligan https://goinswriter.com/steph-halligan/ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20797 Many people believe that if they were to make a living from their creative work, the art itself would suffer. That getting paid somehow cheapens their craft, when in reality, they have finally received validation. Many people believe that if they were to make a living from their creative work, the art itself would suffer. That getting paid somehow cheapens their craft, when in reality, they have finally received validation.
Instead thinking of art and entrepreneurship as opposing forces, consider, perhaps, that they are two sides of the same coin. Rather than competing with one another, your creativity and career are intertwined.
Sometimes, as in the case of this week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, you might pursue a shadow career and rediscover a lost creative passion that breathes new life into your vocation, or reveals a new path entirely.
Listen in as motivational cartoonist and writer, Steph Halligan, and I talk about losing and finding your artistic self, hidden benefits of daily creative habits, and how to reconcile the tension between art and entrepreneurship.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Stephanie and I discuss:

* How drawing a student loan debt monster led to new opportunities
* The progression of quitting your day job
* Why self-confidence and creative frequency are interrelated
* What it feels like to be an artist and an entrepreneur
* Letting your fans celebrate and support you
* Packaging your creative work into products people care about
* The importance of environment and changing elements that influence the creative process to get unstuck

Quotes and takeaways

* “The beauty of doing something every day is you build up a portfolio of work.” —Steph Halligan
* “If you give, you are allowed to receive.” —Steph Halligan
* Create products people want. Start a dialog with your audience.
* If you help enough people there will be people lined up to give you money.
* When money becomes the chief concern, it doesn’t always lead to the best art.

Resources

* Art to Self notes and book
* Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
* The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
* Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk

Do you think getting paid compromises your craft? How do you navigate the tension between art and entrepreneurship? Share in the comments
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.


EPISODE 138
“SH: As I started adding the cartoons, it started building this confidence inside me that I had something of value to offer to the world that was beyond whatever job I had.”
[INTERVIEW]
[0:00:41.]]>
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137: The Most Important Decision Facing Creatives Today: Interview with Richard Florida https://goinswriter.com/richard-florida/ Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20796 Anyone who has has bought or sold a home knows the three rules of real estate: location, location, location. As it turns out, realtors can teach us creatives a valuable lesson. In the last 20 years we've gone from flip phones and no global Internet access to smartphones and wifi hotspots in our pockets. With the rate of technological innovation and the ability to work from anywhere doing anything, we can live wherever we want, right? Anyone who has has bought or sold a home knows the three rules of real estate: location, location, location. As it turns out, realtors can teach us creatives a valuable lesson. - In the last 20 years we've gone from flip phones and no global Internet ...
In the last 20 years we’ve gone from flip phones and no global Internet access to smartphones and wifi hotspots in our pockets. With the rate of technological innovation and the ability to work from anywhere doing anything, we can live wherever we want, right?
Not so, according to bestselling author, University of Toronto professor, and urban studies theorist, Richard Florida.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Richard and I talk about the power of place and why geography matters so much, especially to those in the creative class. Listen in as we discuss why you can live in fewer places than ever, and the lifecycle of migration to and from iconic metropolitan areas.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Richard and I discuss:

* How to know if you’re a member of the creative class
* What people want from work beyond a paycheck
* Why “cool” matters and what it really means to creatives
* The role of city leaders in developing communities that attract creative talent
* Why you can’t live and work from just anywhere with wifi
* How to take socio-economical information and practically use it
* Why cities with higher inequality have greater opportunity for creatives

Quotes and takeaways

* “When a place gets boring even the rich people leave.” –Jane Jacobs
* “Don’t sacrifice your passions for money, it’s always a mistake.” –Richard Florida
* Choosing where you life is the most important decision because all your other choices flow from it.
* The creative class has the opportunity, ability, and responsibility to do something about the bigger issues in society.
* Not all places are created equal.

“The creative class has the opportunity, ability & responsibility to do something about the bigger issues in society.Tweet this
Resources

* The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida
* Who’s Your City? by Richard Florida
* CreativeClass.com

Why do you live where you live? Given the option, where would you move to do the work you love? Share in the comments
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.


Episode 137
RF: Realizing that the place you choose to live —...]]>
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136: When Your Cartooning Side Hustle Overtakes Your Day Job: Interview with Adam Walker Cleaveland https://goinswriter.com/adam-walker-cleaveland/ Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20795 As children, many of us dreamed of becoming artists, writers, or photographers. Unfortunately, this creative bent was often lost at school or in front of a computer screen. But what if you could rediscover your passion and unlock a new calling? As children, many of us dreamed of becoming artists, writers, or photographers. Unfortunately, this creative bent was often lost at school or in front of a computer screen. But what if you could rediscover your passion and unlock a new calling?
This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life, was always drawing as a kid. He took calligraphy classes and even attended a young authors’ conference while writing and illustrating books in elementary school.
However, this all stopped the moment his family got a computer and the Internet. While he dove into web design in high school and college, he became disconnected from tactile art for years into adulthood.
Listen in as Adam Walker Cleveland and I talk about his journey through full-time ministry and how rediscovering a childhood passion for cartooning led to growing an international audience and selling over $63,000 worth of art in one month.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Adam and I discuss:

* If getting paid for your art rob you of the joy found in making it
* Hiding in a confessional instead of a cubicle
* Drawing sketchnotes to go along with sermons as a Presbyterian minister
* How one Instagram post from an influencer resulted in $5,000 worth of pre-orders overnight for his first product
* Which services and systems Adam uses to fulfill orders
* Why adult coloring books have grown so popular
* The insurmountable challenge of trying to do everything
* How art is both a business and a calling

Takeaways

* The life of a solopreneur can be really exhausting.
* Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you should start a business.
* Get help early on. It doesn’t make sense for you to do everything.
* Sometimes work and play overlap.
* It’s not uncommon to have one view when you get started and experience a pivot as you gain momentum.

Resources

* Adam’s Illustrated Children’s Ministry
* 078: Use Sketchnotes to Deliberately Capture Meaningful Ideas: Interview with Mike Rohde
* The Mom Creative
* The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
* Startup vs. Lifestyle Business with Fizzle’s Corbett Barr

What was your favorite art form as a kid? When was the last time you created something for the joy of it? Share in the comments
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete interview transcript or scroll down to read it below.


Episode 136
AWC: The freedom that you desire by becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business, you lose that almost as soon as you get it.
[INTRODUCTION]
[0:00:18.7] JG: Welcome to The Portfolio Life, I’m Jeff Goins and this is a show that helps you pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art and discover your true voice. I’m your host and I want to help you find, develop,]]>
Jeff Goins clean 35:35
135: 3 Elements of a Writing Habit that Lasts https://goinswriter.com/new-writing-habit/ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20584 Writers write. It doesn't seem that complicated, and yet you still struggle with establishing a writing habit. Why does a writing habit matter? Because it's a defining characteristic that differentiates amateurs from professionals. You can separate professionals from amateurs not only by the work they produce, but by the practice that goes into whatever they create. Writers write. It doesn't seem that complicated, and yet you still struggle with establishing a writing habit. Why does a writing habit matter? - Because it's a defining characteristic that differentiates amateurs from professionals.
A writing habit is a characteristic that separates the amateurs from the professionals. In spite of its difficulty, or perhaps because of it, consistent creation is what makes you a pro. You can clearly distinguish the real writers from the pretenders not only by the work they produce, but by the practice that goes into it.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy and I talk about some tricks, targets, and tools to help you write more consistently. We all struggle with this stuff, so maybe this episode will help you get unstuck and start creating.
Listen in as we discuss how to move past your excuses and write better in less time on a more frequent basis.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, we talk about:

* The first job of any aspiring writer
* How quantity leads to quality
* What it takes to become faster and better at writing
* The three steps I follow whenever I’m writing anything
* My favorite writing app

Quotes and takeaways

* It is better to write more than less, especially when you’re beginning.
* Pick just one tool. Not 37.
* The more you can not think, the better you’re going to write.

Resources

* ByWord
* How Tiny Goals Changed My Life And Made Me a Real Writer
* How to Get Your Writing Done Every Day: The Three-Bucket System
* My 500 Words Writing Challenge
* My best selling book, The Art of Work, is on sale this week for only $1.99.

Are you willing to commit to writing 500 words a day? Which writing tool do you recommend the most to other writers? Share in the comments
Click here to download a PDF of the full transcript or scroll down to read it below.


EPISODE 135
JG: The more you can not think, the better and faster you’re going to write.
[INTRODUCTION]
[0:00:17.0] AT: Welcome to the Portfolio Life Podcast with Jeff Goins. I’m your host Andy Traub. Jeff believes that every creative should live a portfolio life, a life full of pursuing work that matters, making a difference with your art, and discovering your true voice. Jeff’s committed to helping you find, develop, and live out your unique world view so that you too can live a portfolio life.
Writers write. It doesn’t seem that complicated, and yet you still struggle with the daily habit of writing. How can you build the habit and what tools can you use to assist you? Well today, Jeff has some simple, practical advice if you want to get past your excuses and write consistently.
Here is my conversation with Jeff Goins.
[EPISODE]
[0:01:04.3] AT: Jeff Goins, how are you today my friend?
[0:01:08.3] JG: Doing great Andy, how are you?
[0:01:09.5] AT: I am really, really good and I’m excited to talk about today’s topic because those who are listening — you who are listening right now, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are — you at some level consider yourself a writer in some way, whatever that fiction, nonfiction,]]>
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134: The Role of Writers as Torchbearers for Their Readers: Interview with Nancy Duarte https://goinswriter.com/nancy-duarte/ Wed, 21 Dec 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20583 Whenever we tell a story, anytime we write a book, or publish a blog post, we're trying to affect some kind of change. But the future is scary for our readers. They need us to light the way. Whenever we tell a story, anytime we write a book, or publish a blog post, we're trying to affect some kind of change. But the future is scary for our readers. They need us to light the way.
Torchbearers communicate in a way that conquers fear and inspires hope.
So begins the first chapter of Illuminate by Nancy Duarte.
Nancy has helped leaders from the White House to Apple create compelling presentations through her creative agency, Duarte, for decades. In that time, she has learned to lead creatively, and how to train creatives to lead.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Nancy and I talk about the role of the writer as a torchbearer, five key moments along the journey, and how stories of failure can move people out of complacency.
Listen in as we discuss why it’s almost impossible to be a storytelling leader without authenticity, and how “arriving” doesn’t mean you are victorious.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Nancy and I discuss:

* Counting the cost of declaring a new future
* Leading readers through transformative change
* The benefits and challenges of writing with a coauthor
* Why some leaders aren’t naturally empathetic (and how they can cope)
* Reinvention as a necessary strategy for enduring organizations

Quotes and takeaways

* “Those who light the path are the ones who change the world.” —Nancy Duarte
* “Chose what it is you are called to do and see it through to completion.” —Nancy Duarte
* “Everyone can lead something to leave the world a better place.” —Nancy Duarte
* You’ve written a good book if you have to reference it yourself.
* A calling is bigger than you.

“When you choose to lead, your ability to see the way and illuminate it for others sets you apart.Nancy DuarteTweet this
Resources

* Illuminate by Nancy Duarte & Patti Sanchez
* Supplemental resources for Illuminate
* Resonate by Nancy Duarte
* clean 33:24
133: The Neglected Secret to Finishing Any Writing Project On Time https://goinswriter.com/finish-writing/ Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20582 The hardest part of writing a book isn't getting started. Resistance doesn't push back on new ideas or even the first few chapters. No, the most difficult part of any writing project is the end. I like writing books because I like starting projects. It's fun to tackle a new idea. The novelty and excitement of beginning with a clean slate is thrilling. The hardest part of writing a book isn't getting started. Resistance doesn't push back on new ideas or even the first few chapters. No, the most difficult part of any writing project is the end. - I like writing books because I like starting projects.... The hardest part of writing a book isn't getting started. Resistance doesn't push back on new ideas or even the first few chapters. No, the most difficult part of any writing project is the end.<br /> <br /> I like writing books because I like starting projects. It's fun to tackle a new idea. The novelty and excitement of beginning with a clean slate is thrilling.<br /> <br /> Mostly, I prefer writing books because they're not ongoing. As hard as it is to complete tasks, it's easier to work on projects with a defined end date rather than something that goes on indefinitely. Jeff Goins clean 24:18 132: John Green: The Best-selling Author With a Day Job https://goinswriter.com/john-green/ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20571 Many writers dream of the moment they get “the call”. They answer the phone and Destiny is on the other side. Maybe their book hit a best-sellers list, or Oprah wants their novel for her book club. One call can change your life. Or can it? Many writers dream of the moment they get “the call”. They answer the phone and Destiny is on the other side. Maybe their book hit a best-sellers list, or Oprah wants their novel for her book club. One call can change your life. Or can it? Many writers dream of the moment they get “the call”. They answer the phone and Destiny is on the other side. Maybe their book hit a best-sellers list, or Oprah wants their novel for her book club. One call can change your life. Or can it? Jeff Goins clean 52:43 131: Are You a True Writer If You Don’t Write Fiction? https://goinswriter.com/true-writer/ Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20569 Writing is a challenge regardless of whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. When you look back through history and think about the writers we remember and quote, precious few are non-fiction authors. But can non-fiction writers successfully explore fiction? Are you really a “writer” if you never publish a novel? Writing is a challenge regardless of whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. When you look back through history and think about the writers we remember and quote, precious few are non-fiction authors. But can non-fiction writers successfully explore ficti... Writing is a challenge regardless of whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. When you look back through history and think about the writers we remember and quote, precious few are non-fiction authors. But can non-fiction writers successfully explore fiction? Are you really a “writer” if you never publish a novel?<br /> <br /> Listen in as we discuss the nature of storytelling and why it makes both fiction and non-fiction more compelling to the reader. Jeff Goins clean 22:09 130: Stop Running Away From Your Story: Interview with John O’Leary https://goinswriter.com/john-oleary/ Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20567 Everybody has an origin story. The heroes and villains of your favorite novels have one. And so do you. But perhaps it’s not the same story you’re telling to the world. This week on The Portfolio Life, John O’Leary and I talk about a defining moment when an explosion launched John 20 feet across his garage with third degree burns covering almost 90% of his body. Everybody has an origin story. The heroes and villains of your favorite novels have one. And so do you. But perhaps it’s not the same story you’re telling to the world. - This week on The Portfolio Life, John O’Leary and I talk about a defining moment... Everybody has an origin story. The heroes and villains of your favorite novels have one. And so do you. But perhaps it’s not the same story you’re telling to the world. Jeff Goins clean 31:15 129: How to Build a Community of Raving Fans for Your Book Launch https://goinswriter.com/raving-fans/ Wed, 16 Nov 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20564 The last sound you want to hear after releasing a new project into the world is silence. What if there was a way to launch a book (or blog or business) to a crowd of raving fans instead? Many people don’t think military deserter and cosmetology instructor belong in the same sentence let alone in the same Twitter bio. David Mike is an author who self-published his story of being dishonorably discharged, prison time, drug dealing, and redemption. The last sound you want to hear after releasing a new project into the world is silence. What if there was a way to launch a book (or blog or business) to a crowd of raving fans instead? - Many people don’t think military deserter and cosmetology inst... The last sound you want to hear after releasing a new project into the world is silence. What if there was a way to launch a book (or blog or business) to a crowd of raving fans instead?<br /> <br /> Many people don’t think military deserter and cosmetology instructor belong in the same sentence let alone in the same Twitter bio.<br /> <br /> David Mike is an author who self-published his story of being dishonorably discharged, prison time, drug dealing, and redemption. Jeff Goins clean 10:32 128: How to Write a Novel in a Month: Interview with Grant Faulkner https://goinswriter.com/grant-faulkner/ Wed, 09 Nov 2016 11:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20562 Many people believe they have a novel in them, but they fail to ever write it. They sit on the dream for years and a word never reaches the page. What they don’t realize is getting started is easier than they think. Many people believe they have a novel in them, but they fail to ever write it. They sit on the dream for years and a word never reaches the page. What they don’t realize is getting started is easier than they think. Many people believe they have a novel in them, but they fail to ever write it. They sit on the dream for years and a word never reaches the page. What they don’t realize is getting started is easier than they think. Jeff Goins clean 28:04 127: Deconstructing the Elements of a Successful Conference https://goinswriter.com/deconstruct-tribe-conference/ Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20418 There are so many elements of a conference for organizers to consider. Dates, food, speakers, content, lanyards, and the like. But there is one component that accounts for 50% of an event’s success. There are so many elements of a conference for organizers to consider. Dates, food, speakers, content, lanyards, and the like. But there is one component that accounts for 50% of an event’s success. There are so many elements of a conference for organizers to consider. Dates, food, speakers, content, lanyards, and the like. But there is one component that accounts for 50% of an event’s success.<br /> <br /> Location.<br /> <br /> For an event that’s geared towards creatives and writers (like Tribe Writers), the location needs to invigorate the creative spirit. Jeff Goins clean 19:58 126: How to Find Your Writing Voice by Self-publishing Four Books: Interview with Sandy Kreps https://goinswriter.com/tribe-writer-method/ Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20455 Honing your voice is not about an epiphany. It’s about getting your writing in front of people who know you well. Even those who don’t know you at all. Finding your voice is a process that comes easy to some, and involves grinding away at the keyboard for what feels like an eternity for others. Honing your voice is not about an epiphany. It’s about getting your writing in front of people who know you well. Even those who don’t know you at all. - Finding your voice is a process that comes easy to some, Honing your voice is not about an epiphany. It’s about getting your writing in front of people who know you well. Even those who don’t know you at all.<br /> <br /> Finding your voice is a process that comes easy to some, and involves grinding away at the keyboard for what feels like an eternity for others. Jeff Goins clean 18:36 125: Become a Full-Time Writer with This Proven 4-Step Process https://goinswriter.com/becoming-a-writer/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20335 Earning attention is hard. Everyone is bombarded with messages through phones, computers, billboards, and more. But regardless of the voices already speaking, there’s still one missing: yours. Earning attention is hard. Everyone is bombarded with messages through phones, computers, billboards, and more. But regardless of the voices already speaking, there’s still one missing: yours. Click here to register at no cost.
Earning attention is hard. Everyone is bombarded with messages through phones, computers, billboards, and more. But regardless of the voices already speaking, there’s still one missing: yours.

You have a story to tell. You have a message to share with others. All you need is an audience who will listen.
Now, the challenge you face in building an audience is the same one all of us face: obscurity.
You see, apart from our family and friends, we don’t start with a group of people interested in what we have to say. The idea that writers or creatives can just create something and people will magically find their work has never been true.
I share this with you not to crush your dreams, but to wave smelling salts under your nose. This is the challenge you will face. The good news is there is practical help available in overcoming it.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk about why it’s not too late for you to succeed as a writer. We share the proven steps you can take to help you build an audience for your work, recent case studies, and a free eBook and video series to help you along the way.
If you’ve ever wondered if it’s too late for you to overcome obscurity, then I encourage you to listen in and learn the steps you need to take to fulfill your dreams of becoming a writer people will pay attention to.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* Why so many people believe it’s too late for them to succeed in writing
* Discovering your voice and sharing your message
* Recent stories of people who have succeeded as writers
* Learning the principles of success, and adapting your tactics
* Why you have to build an audience
* Developing a way for people to get in touch with you
* Why it’s not too late for you to succeed

Quotes and takeaways

* It’s noisy today, but there’s still one voice missing: yours.
* Once we’ve seen someone else succeed, then we know it’s possible for us, too.

“It’s not too late to succeed. But you need to have a plan, do the work, and persevere.Tweet this
Resources

* It’s Not Too Late, my new free eBook
* How to Get Started as a Writer, a free video series
* How I Finished Writing My Book in 90 Days by Sandy Kreps
* What Most Self-Published Authors Do Wrong (and What This One Did Instead)
* The Art of War by Sun Tzu
* Download the full transcript clean 124: How to Live the Good Life with Jonathan Fields https://goinswriter.com/jonathan-fields/ Wed, 12 Oct 2016 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20327 What is the good life? This is one question you can ask one million people and expect to hear one million different answers. Even though we’ll have different answers to this question, there are common themes between us all. What is the good life? This is one question you can ask one million people and expect to hear one million different answers. Even though we’ll have different answers to this question, there are common themes between us all.
For me, I thought the good life was getting more influence, money, and skill. But after I got everything I wanted, I still felt like something was missing.
It took time and gut-wrenching conversations with family and friends to help me figure this out. I had to make some big changes to help me reboot and get back on the right track.
It’s never too late for you to make changes and pursue what matters most. But before you make any changes, it’s important to think through what living the good life really is.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Jonathan Fields and I talk about how to live a good life. Jonathan shares a simple, yet profoundly helpful, model that will enable you to reclaim your life and pursue a life well lived.
If you need help discovering what the good life means and what you need to do to live it, then I encourage you to listen in. Jonathan is one of the best when it comes to understanding what it takes to live a good life.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jonathan and I discuss:

* How to navigate career transitions
* The importance of creating art in such a way people will pay you for it
* The difference between makers and helpers, and why this matters to you
* Bouncing back from setbacks
* The major themes you need to know about living the good life
* Why you cannot neglect the little moments of life in pursuit of the big moments
* Jonathan’s “Good Life Buckets” system
* Evaluating your life and making changes

Quotes and takeaways

* “I love the blank canvas and blank white page. That’s my playground.” —@jonathanfields
* To get paid for your work, identify how your skills can meet needs of others.
* Your ability to do meaningful work and build relationships will be capped by how well you take care of yourself.

Resources

* How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
* Good Life Project
* Good Life Project Camp
* Download the full transcript here.

What does living the good life mean to you? Share in the comments.
]]> Jeff Goins clean 123: How Community Will Help You Become a Better Writer with Diana Glyer https://goinswriter.com/become-a-better-writer/ Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:00:25 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20345 Writing is a battle. It’s a fight to find the right words to express your thoughts or feelings, capture the beauty of a sunset, or explore the depths of the human heart. But writing is not a battle you have to fight by yourself. Writing is a battle. It’s a fight to find the right words to express your thoughts or feelings, capture the beauty of a sunset, or explore the depths of the human heart. But writing is not a battle you have to fight by yourself.
As a writer or creative person, you don’t have to do your work completely alone. You don’t have to scale a mountainside, retreat to solitude for 40 days, and then descend with a glorious work of art for people to gaze upon in amazement.
Most pieces of great art are not created in isolation. They are forged in community and collaboration with others.
To create great work and succeed as a writer, you will need a community of people who care about you and your work. Someone in your life who will hold you accountable, encourage you when you’re down, and tell you the truth when you can do better.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Diana Glyer and I talk about why great art needs to be created in community.
Diana shares invaluable lessons on writing, sustaining a creative life, and the power of community from one of the most famous literary groups of all-time—the Inklings.
Listen in as Diana and I discuss what you can learn from the Inklings about the creative life, and practical steps you can take to build your own creative community of support.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Diana and I discuss:

* Who the Inklings are, and why this group still matters today.
* The dynamics and quirks of literary groups.
* How community can positively influence your work.
* Why people believed the individuals within the Inklings were immune to influence from each other.
* The pervasive myth of the solitary genius.
* How great art and writing is forged in community.
* Why writing is not a momentary flash of genius, but a slow and steady work of art.
* What you need to know about the transactional nature of writing.
* Steps you can take to build your own literary group.

Quotes and takeaways

* We are mesmerized by the end of the story, but we forget about the beginning.
* To build community, you have to take a risk and share your work with others.
* Start small when you build a community of support.
* Loneliness will leave you feeling empty, but community will help you sustain your work.

Resources

* Bandersnatch, by Diana Glyer.
* The Company They Keep, by Diana Glyer.
* The Inklings, by Humphrey Carpenter.
* Powers of Two, by Joshua Shenk.
* Tribe Writers.
* Download the full transcript here.

Who are you going to surround yourself with on your writing journey? Share in the comments.
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122: The Most Important Decision You’ll Make as a Writer https://goinswriter.com/important-decision/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:00:54 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20285 Life is full of choices. Between the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the words we speak, we make hundreds—if not thousands—of choices every day. But out of all of the choices we make, there’s one important thing you have to decide when it comes to your work. Life is full of choices. Between the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the words we speak, we make hundreds—if not thousands—of choices every day. But out of all of the choices we make, there’s one important thing you have to decide when it comes t... “The number one most important thing is knowing why you are doing what you are doing.” This statement was made by Derek Sivers at the 2015 World Domination Summit. It cut me right to my heart.
At the time, I was fairly new to working full time as a writer and running a small, yet growing business. I was just starting to see success and make good money, but I was really struggling with the lack of freedom I had.
When it comes to our work, Derek pointed out that we really have to decide is whether we want to pursue money, fame, or freedom. We can end up with one or two of these, and some of us may end up having all three. But here’s the truth: We can’t pursue them all at once.
What you want out of life will determine how you pursue your work. It will help you set goals, define boundaries, and pick priorities that move you in the direction you want to go.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I share a clip from Derek Sivers’ talk at World Domination Summit, and discuss how it helped me to think through my work, and how you can decide what matters most to you.
Every writer and creative person will wrestle with this decision. Listen in as Andy and I share our personal experiences with the choice we made to better understand what path to pursue.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* Optimizing your life for what you—not others—want to accomplish.
* My struggle with identifying the most important thing to me.
* Why you can’t pursue money, fame, and freedom simultaneously.
* Being aware of what’s most important to you.
* Understanding the pros and cons behind our pursuits.

Quotes and takeaways

* You can have anything you want. But you can’t have everything.
* More and more money won’t make you happier.
* Don’t build a company if you don’t want to run a company.

Resources

* Uncommon Sense, Derek Sivers at World Domination Summit.
* Anything You Want, by Derek Sivers.
* The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferris.
* Don’t Chase Happiness. Recognize It, by Joshua Becker.
* Download the full transcript here.

What are you optimizing your life for? What steps do you need to take today? Share in the comments
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121: Why You Need to Let Go of Your Ego with Ryan Holiday https://goinswriter.com/ryan-holiday/ Wed, 21 Sep 2016 10:00:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20257 Many writers strike a fine balance between ego and self-deprecation. As creatives, we need to be confident in who we are while fighting off the temptation to belittle ourselves after writing a blog post, editing a scene in our book, or facing rejection for the umpteenth time. So, how do we manage ego as writers? Many writers strike a fine balance between ego and self-deprecation. As creatives, we need to be confident in who we are while fighting off the temptation to belittle ourselves after writing a blog post, editing a scene in our book,
The life of a writer—or any creative, for that matter—is difficult. There’s this sense of pride we wrestle with, thinking that everything we write needs to be perfect. Our words will be critiqued for their accuracy and style, and for whether or not they’re any “good.”
I struggle with this. I want every email, blog post, or book I write to be both correct and brilliant. I have been known to correct my friends’ grammar over text messages.
This type of constant pressure can break anyone over time. The temptation is to settle for “good enough,” or to succumb to the pressure and walk away from your work completely.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Ryan Holiday and I talk about how to manage your ego, be aware of its presence, and still pursue great work as a writer. Ryan also lets us peer into how he prepares to write a book by conducting massive amounts of research and focusing on his writing habits.
Listen in as Ryan shares the destructive nature of ego, humbling experiences he’s learned along the way, and multiple writing and book publishing tips.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Ryan Holiday and I discuss:

* The good, bad, and ugly sides of ego.
* Why you need to be crazy if you desire to change the world.
* How ego lurks around good intentions.
* Why dealing with ego is a constant process that never goes away.
* An important lesson Ryan learned from interacting with different opinions.
* Taking the time to investigate a topic before diving headfirst into it.
* Why faking it until you make it is horrible advice.
* Why there’s no such thing as “making it.”
* How ego will keep you from mastering your craft.
* The hidden benefit of being a student or mentee.
* The secret to finding a mentor.
* Why Ryan’s books are a feat of discipline and not inspiration.
* The importance of writing a book that people will read and recommend.
* Book titles and book covers.
* Ryan’s research process, and how long it takes him to write a book.
* What it means to be a New York Times best-seller.

Quotes and takeaways

* Instead of faking it until you make it, you should work until you make it.
* Ego is the most dangerous when you’re just starting out.
* Develop a skill. This places you in a much better position to help others.

Resources

* Ego Is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday.
* The Obstacle Is the Way, by Ryan Holiday.
* The Ryan Holiday Reading Recommendation Email.
* The Notecard System: The Key For Remembering, Organizing and Using Everything You Read, by Ryan Holiday.
* Behind the Scam: What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best-Selling Author’? $3 and 5 Minutes,]]>
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120: The Hidden Benefits to Writing Daily and Blogging Consistently https://goinswriter.com/writing-daily/ Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:00:34 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20218 For many years, I accidentally stunted my growth as a writer. You see, I had a bad writing habit that was unexpectedly hurting my growth. And it’s one that many other writers have, too. What is it? Inconsistent writing. I used to set aside just one day per week to write for 3–4 hours. During this time, my productivity was poor, and my creativity was woefully lacking. But I didn't realize this was the case until I made a commitment to write daily and blog consistently. If you write inconsistently, then your ability to master the art and skill of writing will be inconsistent at best. Like me, you’ll struggle with developing your thoughts, finding inspiration, and completing articles, blog posts, and even books. So, to improve yourself as a writer, you will need to write daily, publish consistently, and relentlessly persevere. This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk in detail about why I teach people to write every day, steps you can take toward developing a daily writing habit, and why you should blog consistently. For many years, I accidentally stunted my growth as a writer. You see, I had a bad writing habit that was unexpectedly hurting my growth. And it’s one that many other writers have, too. What is it? Inconsistent writing. -
I used to set aside just one day per week to write for 3–4 hours. During this time, my productivity was poor, and my creativity was woefully lacking. But I didn’t realize this was the case until I made a commitment to write daily and blog consistently.
If you write inconsistently, then your ability to master the art and skill of writing will be inconsistent at best. Like me, you’ll struggle with developing your thoughts, finding inspiration, and completing articles, blog posts, and even books.
So, to improve yourself as a writer, you will need to write daily, publish consistently, and relentlessly persevere.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk in detail about why I teach people to write every day, steps you can take toward developing a daily writing habit, and why you should blog consistently.
Since writing daily and blogging consistently are essential components to improving yourself as a writer, I encourage you to listen in to receive encouragement and pick up some tips to help you get started.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* Why daily writing is good for you and easier than you think.
* What I learned from writing only one day per week.
* How inconsistent writing will lead to inconsistent creativity and productivity.
* Simple steps you can take to form a daily writing habit.
* The pros and cons of writing daily and blogging consistently.
* My views on the future of blogging.
* How consistently blogging will enhance your dependability and improve your reader engagement.

Quotes and takeaways

* If you write infrequently, then your creativity will become inconsistent.
* Writing daily will make you a much better writer than writing a bunch of stuff all at once.
* The best type of writing practice is done in public.

Resources

* (Never) Save it For Later, by Chris Guillebeau.
* Take Permission, Andy’s personal website.
* The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard.
* My 500 Words, a free 31-day writing challenge.

Do you write daily? Do you publish daily? Why or why not? Share in the comments.
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119: How to Build Your Personal Brand the Smart Way with Chris Ducker https://goinswriter.com/chris-ducker/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:00:14 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20186 This week on The Portfolio Life, Chris Ducker and I talk about what it means to have your own brand, and steps you can take toward building your brand the smart way. Chris goes into detail on what you need to do from the outset, how to attract the right people to you and your message, and how to make your writing and business unreproducible. This week on The Portfolio Life, Chris Ducker and I talk about what it means to have your own brand, and steps you can take toward building your brand the smart way. Chris goes into detail on what you need to do from the outset, This is a question I’m often asked by writers and creatives. And I get it. The idea of a personal brand feels gimmicky and non-artistic. But regardless of where you stand on branding, here’s the thing you need to know as a writer: You have a brand.

The idea of branding has been around for centuries. Going all the way back to ancient Egypt, people have “branded” their cattle as a way of claiming ownership.
Today, the concept of branding—in general—hasn’t varied far from its historic roots. At its core, branding is an impression you leave on someone. So, if you’ve shared your writing with anyone, then you have left an impression on them, which means you have a brand.
As a writer, you need to proactively develop your brand. Don’t read this as some sort of marketing activity I’m recommending. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that if you’re going to share your writing with anyone else, then you need to take steps toward forming the opinion you want your readers to have of you.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Chris Ducker and I talk about what it means to have your own brand, and steps you can take toward building your brand the smart way. Chris goes into detail on what you need to do from the outset, how to attract the right people to you and your message, and how to make your writing and business unreproducible.
Chris is also closing out this year’s Tribe Conference. He will go into a lot more detail on how to build your personal brand with practical exercises you can complete during the conference. You’ll leave with confidence that you’re on the right track.
So, if you haven’t already, click here to get your ticket for the Tribe Conference.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Chris and I discuss:

* How Chris got his start as an entrepreneur.
* The importance of being yourself from the outset.
* Why marketing is like a magnet.
* Youpreneur, the entrepreneurial community Chris started.
* Embracing a people-to-people business mindset.
* How to become someone’s favorite person to do business with.
* Making pivots to explore new business opportunities.
* Focusing only on what you do best, and outsourcing the rest.
* The right time to start thinking about outsourcing your work.
* Why time is your most valuable commodity.

Quotes and takeaways

* You are your brand, and no one can take that away from you.
* No entrepreneur has a monopoly on good ideas.
* People want to do business with people, so it’s important to become someone’s favorite.
* You can pivot with your work at any time if your passions change or new opportunities are presented.
* Focus on what you can do, and delegate the rest to other people.

Resources

* Tribe Conference 2016.
* Youpreneur.
* Virtual Freedom, by Chris Ducker.
* All Marketers Are Liars, by Seth Godin.
* Tropical Think Thank.
* Download the full transcript clean
118: 3 Writing Habits, Blogs, and Books You Need to Succeed as a Writer https://goinswriter.com/succeed-writer/ Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:00:30 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20167 You will not become a successful writer accidentally. You will need to develop yourself as a writer and learn from others better than yourself if you want to succeed. So, where should you begin? You will not become a successful writer accidentally. You will need to develop yourself as a writer and learn from others better than yourself if you want to succeed. So, where should you begin?
I’ve had the privilege of writing full time for over three years now. The work I get to do today isn’t something I take for granted. It took me several years, many sleepless nights and early mornings, and the guidance of trusted friends to help me along the way.
The opportunities I have today didn’t happen accidentally. Yes, I’ve had some unplanned breaks come my way that made a tremendous difference. But I wouldn’t have been in a position to take advantage of them if I wasn’t putting in the work ahead of time.
If you want to become a full-time writer, then you have to intentionally work toward becoming one. This involves developing great writing habits, learning from others, and becoming a voracious reader.
Over the years, I’ve read countless blogs and books, and I’ve developed writing habits that have helped me to become a full-time writer. To help you decrease your learning curve, I want to share with you some of the lessons and resources that have helped me develop myself as a writer.
So, this week on
The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss the three habits writers should build and the three blogs and three books every writer should read.
If you want to become a full-time writer, then I encourage you to listen in as Andy and I talk about the importance of developing writing habits, and the lessons you’ll learn from the different blogs and books I recommend.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* The three habits every writer should build to become a more productive writer.
* The three parts of writing you need to master.
* How to create a folder full of writing ideas and prompts.
* Different tools you can use to capture ideas and write.
* Why you need to learn from someone far better than yourself to improve as a writer.
* Why most people struggle with writer’s block.
* The three blogs writers should read.
* One overlooked step to becoming a great writer.

Quotes and takeaways

* You want to close the gap between thinking about what you’re going to write and actually writing it.
* Give yourself time to think about what you’ve written. This will help you to review your work with a fresh set of eyes.
* If you want to become a great writer, then you have to learn from someone far better than yourself.

Resources

* How to Get Your Writing Done Every Day: The Three-Bucket System, by Jeff.
* Drafts, a note-taking app.
* Evernote.
* My 500 Words.
* My 500 Words Facebook Group.
* The Write Practice.
* The New Yorker.
* Copyblogger.
* The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.
* clean 117: How You Can Change the World in Your Sleep with Jeremy Cowart https://goinswriter.com/jeremy-cowart/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:00:18 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20122 “I can’t do this.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never be a success.” These lies plagued Jeremy Cowart with despair and hopelessness for years. Despite struggling in school, being fired from jobs, and even being told to pursue a different career, Jeremy continued to pursue his calling as an artist. So, how did he overcome these limiting beliefs to become a world-renowned photographer? “I can’t do this.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never be a success.” These lies plagued Jeremy Cowart with despair and hopelessness for years. Despite struggling in school, being fired from jobs, and even being told to pursue a different career, “I’m not good enough.”
“I’ll never be a success.”
These lies plagued Jeremy Cowart with hopelessness for years. Despite struggling in school, being fired from jobs, and even being told to pursue a different career, Jeremy continued to pursue his calling as an artist. So, how did he overcome these limiting beliefs to become a world-renowned photographer?

Today, Jeremy is not only a photographer, but also an entrepreneur and humanitarian. From starting his own graphic design company and photographing world leaders, musicians, and actors, to spearheading several humanitarian projects, Jeremy has defied countless odds to use his art to serve a great purpose.
The lies Jeremy believed are things I’ve believed myself as a husband, father, and writer. And I’m not alone. These lies also find a welcome home among many writers and creatives I know.
Listening to the constant voice of these lies is crippling. They can lead us to inactivity in pursuing our calling and even hopelessness. But what I’ve learned over the years about these lies is that they only talk to those who listen.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Jeremy Cowart and I talk about how he overcome his initial struggles, and how he not only discovered his calling, but how he has also had the opportunity to influence thousands of lives through his humanitarian efforts.
Listen in as Jeremy and I discuss how he organically and accidentally discovered his life’s work, how to know if an idea is worth pursuing, and his plans for serving various causes around the world through The Purpose Hotel.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Jeremy and I discuss:

* How he struggled with school and traditional education.
* His short stint as a backup singer.
* Discovering your calling through a series of moments versus one significant epiphany.
* How Jeremy organically became a world-famous photographer.
* Honing your craft by blending it with different disciplines.
* The inspiration behind The Purpose Hotel.
* The three steps Jeremy takes to test a new idea.
* Jeremy’s focus on his magnum opus.

Quotes and takeaways

* Listen to your life to help inform your future.
* Don’t pursue personal greatness. Pursue great work for a great purpose.
* Artists not only have to be creative, but they also have to show people they can deliver.

Resources

* The Purpose Hotel Kickstarter Project.
* “I’m Possible,” a video of Jeremy’s personal story.
* Download the full transcript here.

Are you limiting your potential? Have you let your dreams fade away? Share in the comments.
]]> Jeff Goins clean 116: Why Writers Need to Build a Professional Network to Succeed https://goinswriter.com/professional-network/ Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:00:03 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20093 Your success as a writer is not solely dependent upon your ability to write. If you believe this, then you might be missing out on one of the most important pieces to succeeding: community. Your success as a writer is not solely dependent upon your ability to write. If you believe this, then you might be missing out on one of the most important pieces to succeeding: community.
No matter how much we want to believe that successful men and women are self-made, it’s just not true. At times in your life and career, you will need the help, support, and guidance from someone else.
Someone who will pick you up when you fall down. Someone who can teach you important lessons and even speak hard truths into your life. And someone who will walk alongside you in support as you take steps toward pursuing your calling.
Like most writers, I’m a little shy and found building a community really difficult to do at first. But I learned that this type of network and support I needed couldn’t be developed behind the comfort of my computer. It wasn’t until I stepped away from my writing and into a community when I not only began to forge key friendships, but began to improve as a writer and professional.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk about the importance of building a community for your development and success as a writer. We also share some good and bad examples of building community, and practical steps you can take today to expand your professional network.
Listen in as Andy and I share my personal experiences and awkward moments in building my network and what I’ve learned along the way.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* Being intentional about creating community.
* How stepping away from my writing and joining a community changed everything.
* Finding and creating a community where you live.
* Connecting with like-minded people.
* Why real success comes from finding people who are as ambitious as you are.
* Networking with people who are ahead of you and similar to you professionally.
* What to do when you lack self-confidence in approaching others.
* How to develop and maintain relationships after forming them.

Quotes and takeaways

* Close your laptop. Put away your work. And step out into your community.
* Wherever you are, there is some kind of opportunity to network.
* Identify and network with people who are ahead of you and similar to you professionally.
* Don’t worry about your perceived level of success. That’s not the point. The point is to connect with someone at your level.
* A network is a relationship of people working together to give and receive.

Resources

* Tribe Conference 2016.
* Download the full transcript here.

What steps can you take today to connect with people who are ahead of you and similar to you professionally? Share in the comments.
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115: Why You Need to Stop Trying to Write the Perfect Book with Shauna Niequist https://goinswriter.com/perfect-story/ Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:00:49 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=20049 This week on The Portfolio Life, Shauna Niequist and I talk about her latest book, Present Over Perfect, and how she learned to forgo settling for busy in order to live a more simple, yet actively engaged life. This week on The Portfolio Life, Shauna Niequist and I talk about her latest book, Present Over Perfect, and how she learned to forgo settling for busy in order to live a more simple, yet actively engaged life.
All of us feel a little overwhelmed at times (or maybe all the times). We have obligations and opportunities. We’re working or studying, and trying to exercise, volunteer, work on side projects, and oh yeah: actually enjoy ourselves.
It’s easy to fall behind, feel disconnected, and or have that sense that we’re missing out on everything. But we don’t have to live like this. Busyness is not a virtue. If anything, it often does you more harm than good.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Shauna Niequist and I talk about her latest book, Present Over Perfect, and how she learned to forgo settling for busy in order to live a more simple, yet actively engaged life.
Shauna also allows us to peer into her writing life to let us see how she turns ideas into books, how she outlines her work and collaborates with editors, and what it means to not fixate on being a perfect writer.
Shauna’s story is our story. At one time or another, all of us will battle with feelings of exhaustion in our pursuit for more. Listen in as she and I discuss what was going on in her life that motivated her to write this book and why the perfect story doesn’t exist.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Shauna and I discuss:

* Whether or not you should read while you’re writing.
* Authors you should be aware of and read.
* What was taking place in Shauna’s life that inspired her latest book.
* Why your sense of value doesn’t come from what you earn.
* The importance of telling your life’s story unfiltered.
* How to find book ideas from your life and turn them into books.
* Respecting the relationship between readers and writers.
* Why the concept of perfectionism is not really applicable to writers.
* Working with editors in your book writing process.

Quotes and takeaways

* “I’m always telling a story, and mine is the only one I know how to tell well.” –Shauna Niequist
* Our sense of value does not come from what you create and earn.
* “Don’t like to write, but like having written.” –Frank Norris
* Don’t forsake the well-being of your personal life for your professional aspirations.
* “There is no there-there.” –Gertrude Stein
* There’s always time to let go of bad habits in order to pick up new ones to carry with you to tomorrow.

Resources

* Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist.
* 046: Learning to Savor: An Interview with Shauna Niequist, by Jeff Goins.
* Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton.
* How to Survive a Shipwreck, by Jonathan Martin.
* How to Celebrate Everything, by Jenny Rosenstrach.
* Dinner: A Love Story, by Jenny Rosenstrach.
* Download the full transcript here.

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114: An Embarrassing Confession About This Year’s Tribe Conference https://goinswriter.com/tribe-conference/ Wed, 03 Aug 2016 10:00:03 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19957 This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk about how this event was created to help writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs grow their craft and get the attention their work deserves. This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk about how this event was created to help writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs grow their craft and get the attention their work deserves. here.
Last year, I was scared when we launched the Tribe Conference. My team and I had very little experience hosting events. We had no budget. And we had no idea what to expect. This year, I’m still afraid, but for different reasons.

The first Tribe Conference went extremely well. The experience far exceeded our expectations. And the attendees not only enjoyed themselves, but many of them also fulfilled goals afterward they previously thought were unattainable.
With the experience of the first Tribe Conference under our belt, we’ve set our expectations high for this year’s event. We’re staring down the fear of a sophomore slump. And we’re going full speed ahead in creating an even better experience for participants.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk about how this event was created to help writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs grow their craft and get the attention their work deserves.
Listen in as we go behind-the-scenes of the upcoming Tribe Conference. We share the fears we’re overcoming, why this conference is more like a workshop, and how this event will help you find your voice, build your platform, and go pro with your dream.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* My single greatest fear for this year’s Tribe Conference.
* Why we think this year’s conference will be better than last year’s.
* How this event is like a workshop for writers and creatives.
* The four-step process you will go through to improve your craft, and build your platform.
* What you will learn, and how you will grow from this event.
* Receiving personal coaching during the conference.

Resources

* Tribe Conference 2016.
* 079: Lessons from Creating a Conference from Scratch in Three Months, by Jeff Goins.
* My Latest Experiment: Launching a Conference — Why I’m Scared & Doing It Anyway, by Jeff Goins.
* How I Finished Writing My Book in 90 Days, by Sandy Kreps.
* Download the full transcript here.

Have you faced the challenge of overcoming a sophomore slump? Share in the comments.
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113: Great Writers Are Risk Takers https://goinswriter.com/taking-risks/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:00:10 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19913 This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss wrestling with the tension of playing it safe and taking risks, and why taking risks are necessary to improve yourself as a writer. This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss wrestling with the tension of playing it safe and taking risks, and why taking risks are necessary to improve yourself as a writer.
It’s like driving a car with a slow leak in your tires. It might work for a while, but sooner or later, you will get stuck, fall behind, and need to make changes to get back on track.
I played it safe for years in my 20s. I had a job that was comfortable enough, and so I kept my dream in the “someday” pile. I wasn’t ready to take a risk and call myself a writer, and as a result, I wasn’t one.
It’s been a few years since I decided to start building a bridge toward my calling, and what I’ve learned on the journey is that the fear of taking risks never goes away. It doesn’t get easier to try something new, but it does get more comfortable than standing still can ever be. It’s certainly more comfortable than driving with deflated tires.
I’m not saying you need to risk everything in blind pursuit of a dream. Far from it. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to move from where you are now to where you want to be.
But I am saying that all writers are risk takers. They just are. Taking risks is how we become better at what we are called to do. It might be the only way, in fact. We must do the uncomfortable things if we want to create interesting and enduring work, and if we want to make a difference in the lives of others.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss wrestling with the tension of playing it safe and taking risks, and why taking risks is necessary to improve yourself as a writer.
Listen in as we talk about how I’m pushing myself with my latest book, and the risks we’re taking with this blog and Tribe Writers in the future.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* Where I need to take more risks and make changes.
* The downside to living the Portfolio Life.
* Why you need to be good at a few things if you want to succeed as a writer.
* Why I want to provide community and connections for writers.
* Focusing on getting better as a writer.
* How I’m pushing myself as a writer with my latest book.
* What risks we’re taking with this blog and Tribe Writers in the future.
* Creating meaningful work that will stand the test of time.
* How taking risks is good for you and your work.

Quotes and takeaways

* Focus your life and work to continually improve yourself as a writer.
* Community creates opportunity.
* Identify your core skill, build it, and then develop complementary skills.
* You will do more interesting work when you aren’t afraid to lose what you have. And you will do more boring work when you’re afraid to lose.

Resources

* Sign up for the Tribe Conference 2016.
* The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, by Lewis Hyde.
* Download the full transcript here.

Where are you taking risks in your life? Where do you need to seek out risks? Share in the comments.
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112: How Your Surroundings Ignite Your Creativity (And What To Do About It) with Eric Weiner https://goinswriter.com/eric-weiner/ Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:05:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19868 This week on The Portfolio Life, Eric Weiner and I talk about why creative work flourishes in certain places today and throughout history. Eric discovered in his research and travels a significant connection between the place you live, your surroundings, and the influence they have on your personal creativity. This week on The Portfolio Life, Eric Weiner and I talk about why creative work flourishes in certain places today and throughout history. Eric discovered in his research and travels a significant connection between the place you live,
I’m not alone in this, either. There’s a shroud of mystery that surrounds creative work. And I totally get it. Creative ideas can at times appear out of nowhere. And when I’m most in need of creative inspiration, it can be hard to find.
So, is creativity something you can plan for?
Well, the answer is yes and no.
You see, there’s no exact science, formula, or process you can follow to successfully yield creative results 100% of the time. What works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for others.
However, you can teach yourself how to become more creative, learn how to identify good ideas, and even change your surroundings or the place you live to improve your creative work.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Eric Weiner and I talk about why creative work flourishes in certain places today and throughout history. Eric discovered in his research and travels a significant connection between the place you live, your surroundings, and the influence they have on your personal creativity.
Listen in as Eric shares the common elements that not only lead certain places to become more creative, but will also help you to improve your personal creativity.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Eric and I discuss:

* The process Eric used to land on his book idea for The Geography of Genius.
* Why you should maintain a balance of knowledge and ignorance when writing.
* Celebrating and learning from your mistakes in life and work.
* Finding creative inspiration in unlikely places.
* Embracing the challenges in your life to grow in your creative work.
* The three common elements that make places creative.
* How to turn harness creativity in your home and family.
* The importance of doing creative work in collaboration with others.
* Why you need to possess courage in your pursuit of doing creative work.
* Eric’s hypothesis on the world’s next most creative place.

Quotes and takeaways

* “Nothing is new except arrangement.” -Will Durant
* If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a city to raise a genius.
* Learning from mistakes is an important part of the creative process.
* As a creative person, you need to learn how to discern between good and bad ideas.
* Successful creatives are engaged with people and their world; they’re not isolated from it.

Resources

* The Geography of Genuis, by Eric Weiner.
* The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith.
* Download the full transcript here.

Is your creativity fostered or inhibited based upon where you live? Have you considered moving to a certain place to pursue creative work? Share in the comments.
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111: Unlikely Sources of Inspiration https://goinswriter.com/unlikely-inspiration/ Wed, 13 Jul 2016 09:30:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19829 This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss creativity and unlikely sources of inspiration. We also talk about what you need to do come up with compelling ideas, the best places to find inspiration, and the importance of just getting started. This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss creativity and unlikely sources of inspiration. We also talk about what you need to do come up with compelling ideas, the best places to find inspiration,
Over the years, I’ve learned that inspiration isn’t something you wait for. Inspiration is something you have to fight for.
Though you will experience moments of creative bliss, many times you will have to push through the resistance life throws your way. At other times, your life will force you to stop and replenish yourself before you can move forward.
Regardless of what has led you to feel uninspired, it’s important to know where you can go to replenish your creative wells.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I discuss creativity and unlikely sources of inspiration. We also talk about what you need to do to come up with compelling ideas, the best places to find inspiration, and the importance of just getting started.
Since fighting for inspiration comes with every type of creative work, I encourage you to listen in to discover new and unlikely sources of inspiration.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* Unlikely places I find inspiration.
* Why I don’t tend to read blogs or listen to podcasts.
* My greatest grammar faux pas.
* What I’m looking for when I’m researching for blogs, books, and podcasts.
* What it takes to create something that motivates someone.
* Combining ideas from other fields to get new insights.
* Why reading deep and wide is essential to finding inspiration.
* The need for deadlines, processes, and feedback.
* How just getting started on something will help you gain clarity.

Quotes and takeaways

* You have to dig deeper than others to create interesting ideas that are going to move, motivate, and connect with others.
* “What is obvious to you is amazing to others.” -Derek Sivers.
* Don’t settle on your idea until you have time to explore it.
* “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” -Michelangelo

Resources

* Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.
* Peak, by Anders Ericsson.
* 7 Things Professional Writers Know that Amateurs Don’t, blog post by Jeff Goins.
* Download the full interview transcript here.

What are your sources of unlikely inspiration? Share in the comments.
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110: Rob Bell on Creating a Life Worth Living, Creativity, and Writing https://goinswriter.com/rob-bell/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 08:05:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19779 This week on The Portfolio Life, Rob Bell and I discuss creating a life worth living, and how you have the ability, choice, and power to pursue your calling. During this conversation, you will also have the opportunity to peer into Rob’s creative rhythms and writing process, and how he balances life and work. This week on The Portfolio Life, Rob Bell and I discuss creating a life worth living, and how you have the ability, choice, and power to pursue your calling. During this conversation, you will also have the opportunity to peer into Rob’s creative rhyth...
Creativity is often defined by creative works, such as books, paintings, and movies. But creativity encompasses more than the works we create. Living a creative life also involves the thought, energy, and time we devote to creating the life we’ve been given to live.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Rob Bell and I discuss creating a life worth living, and how you have the ability, choice, and power to pursue your calling. During this conversation, you will also have the opportunity to peer into Rob’s creative rhythms and writing process, and how he balances life and work.
Listen in as Rob shares what he learned going through a difficult season of life, the power of making small changes, and when you know you’re on the right path to creating great work.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Rob and I discuss:

* What Rob learned about life after experiencing his worst fear.
* Why creativity is working with the material life gives you.
* What it means to live a creative life.
* How small changes can lead you to live an empowered life.
* Why Rob expresses his ideas in the least amount of words as possible.
* The elements of a good story.
* Rob’s life and work rhythms.
* Taking daily strides toward accomplishing big goals.

Quotes and takeaways

* “What kind of life are we going to create and what kind of world are we going to create together?”—Rob Bell.
* You know you’re on the right path toward creating great work when the good material doesn’t fit in.
* “It’s not hard to fill pages. The hardest work is in what to eliminate.”—Rob Bell.
* Saying less with words is far more difficult than saying something with many words.

Resources

* How to Be Here, by Rob Bell.
* Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell.
* NOOMA, complete video collection by Rob Bell.
* Flash Boys, by Michael Lewis.
* Flickering Pixels, by Shane Hipps.
* Love Wins, by Rob Bell.
* Download the full interview transcript here.

What small change can you make today in order to move toward creating the life you want to live? Share in the comments.
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109: Everything Writers Need to Know About Facebook Live https://goinswriter.com/facebook-live/ Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:30:44 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19715 I often hear from writers about the challenge of sharing their message with others, and it’s probably not what you think. The problem is not sharing your words with the world. You have countless ways to promote your work. The challenge is deciding which medium to focus upon. I often hear from writers about the challenge of sharing their message with others, and it’s probably not what you think. The problem is not sharing your words with the world. You have countless ways to promote your work.
Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world, and arguably the most influential. To help people better connect with each other, they’ve recently doubled-down their efforts on Facebook Live.
Facebook Live enables you to broadcast a live video to your friends and followers and interact with them in real time. With the growing popularity of watching videos, Facebook Live boasts a tremendous opportunity to engage your audience and expand your reach. But is it a good medium for writers to use?
This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy Traub and I talk about Facebook Live and whether writers should bother with using it to share their message with others.
Listen in as we talk through using Facebook Live, the best practices we’ve learned so far, and practical steps you can take today to start using the platform.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Andy and I discuss:

* If Facebook Live is a distraction for writers.
* How to think about new technology for sharing your message.
* Developing complementary skills to support your writing career.
* Overcoming your hesitation to speak live.
* The best practices we’ve learned from using Facebook Live.
* Three things to consider before using new technology and mediums to share your work.

Quotes and takeaways

* There’s more to being a writer than writing. You need to become the master of complementary skills.
* The challenge for a writer is that you can’t just write; you have to get your work out there.
* Growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone.
* You’re never too old to learn something new if you’re willing to apply yourself and find the right teacher.

Resources

* Jeff’s Facebook Live videos from The Art of Work book study.
* The Short Guide to Launching a Self-Hosted Blog in 8 Minutes or Less [Screencast].
* Download the full interview transcript here.

Are you going to try Facebook Live? Have you used it before? If so, did you have a good or bad experience? Share in the comments.
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108: Destroying the Myth of Solitary Genius with Keith Sawyer https://goinswriter.com/keith-sawyer/ Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:05:25 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19677 The creative process is one of the most significant challenges you will face as a creative. Whether you’re a writer, designer, or web developer, you will regularly face the pressure of creating something new. The creative process is one of the most significant challenges you will face as a creative. Whether you’re a writer, designer, or web developer, you will regularly face the pressure of creating something new.
Over the years, I thought to be creative was something I had to do alone or experience as a flash of creativity. Thankfully, I learned this isn’t the case at all.
The “solitary genius” is common myth accepted among the creative class. It’s the belief that creative people are isolated eccentric geniuses who spontaneously receive creative ideas. This is an unhelpful myth that needs to be destroyed. It discourages creative pursuits and diminishes the hard work creative people put into their projects.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Keith Sawyer and I discuss why creativity is a group effort, and eight practical habits you can learn to improve your personal creativity. Keith is considered one of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity. He has helped students, business leaders, and corporations to become more creative and innovative.
Listen in as Keith shares the latest research on creativity and what this means for you in becoming a more creative person. If you are involved in creative work, then you don’t want to miss this helpful conversation!
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Keith and I discuss:

* What the latest research reveals about the myth of the solitary genius.
* Why creative people hate the common myths about creativity.
* How you can balance planning and spontaneity.
* The challenges of doing creative work alone.
* Eight habits you can learn to become more creative.
* Why working too much can inhibit creativity.
* The best ways to brainstorm new ideas.
* The two lies that cripple writers.
* How creativity can improve your career.

Quotes and takeaways

* Anyone can be creative.
* The creative process is a long road marked by starting, stopping, detours, and new paths.
* “The key to innovation is always to manage a subtle between balance planning, structure, and improvisation.” —Keith Sawyer
* Creative work requires a deep understanding of your field and a focus upon patterns.

Resources

* Keith Sawyer’s website, The Creativity Guru.
* Zig Zag, by Keith Sawyer.
* Zig Zag Creativity Cards
* Group Genius, by Keith Sawyer.
* Download the full interview transcript here.

What creative habit most resonated with you? How do you think this habit will improve your creative process? Share in the comments.
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107: How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection with Jia Jiang https://goinswriter.com/jia-jiang/ Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:05:02 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19609 For many years, I suppressed my dream of being a writer. I made every excuse imaginable to stay in my comfort zone. But before I could break through my self-imposed limitations, I had to listen to my life to know exactly what I was fighting. For many years, I suppressed my dream of being a writer. I made every excuse imaginable to stay in my comfort zone. But before I could break through my self-imposed limitations, I had to listen to my life to know exactly what I was fighting. The fear of rejection is an enemy I have to regularly stare down and fight. And it’s a common enemy faced by nearly every writer I know.
“What if people don’t like what I have to say?” “What if no one thinks my writing is any good?” “What if someone leaves a scathing review online?” These are common questions that can plague the thoughts of any writer. And if we allow them to, these endless “what if” questions can have the power to imprison us in an open cell of fear.
But hear me when I say this: The fear you feel is normal. What I’ve learned from writers and my own experience is that you never stop feeling fear. You just have to learn how to move on in spite of it.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Jia Jiang and I discuss how intentionally seeking out rejection for 100 days helped him to overcome the fear of rejection. Jia had a dream of becoming an entrepreneur, but he was on the verge of throwing in the towel after being rejected by a potential investor. Thankfully for Jia, the rejection he experienced led him to listen to his life, face the fear of rejection and move forward through the crippling fear he felt in pursuit of his dream.
Listen in as Jia shares stories and the lessons he learned from seeking out rejection. Since rejection comes with the territory of being a writer, I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from someone who’s having success overcoming their fears.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email or RSS, please click here.)

Show highlights
In this episode, Jia and I discuss:

* The three things Jia learned from pursuing rejection.
* One small thing you can do to overcome big fears.
* What successful people do not do after being rejected.
* Why we need to push through our personal comfort zones for personal growth.
* Jia’s decision to no longer (literally) run away from rejection.
* Why the fear of rejection is all about perspective.
* How succumbing to the fear of rejection will lead you to miss opportunities.
* Why rejecting ourselves is the worst kind of rejection.

Quotes and takeaways

* Rejecting ourselves is the worst kind of rejection.
* “Avoiding rejection is worse than receiving it.” —Jia Jiang.
* Taking a small step out of your comfort zone can lead to big strides of courage.

Resources

* Rejection Proof, by Jia Jiang.
* Jia Jiang’s website, Fearbuster.com.
* Surprising Lessons From 100 Days of Rejection, Jia Jiang’s TEDx talk.
* Download the full interview transcript here.

What is one small step you can take today to help move you towards overcoming your fear of rejection? Share in the comments.
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106: The Key to Getting Paid for What You Know with Dov Gordon https://goinswriter.com/dov-gordon/ Wed, 08 Jun 2016 10:05:12 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19530 Many people I talk to ask me how they can make a living doing the work they love to do. They are enthusiastic, skilled at their craft, and passionate about what they do. So they’re normally surprised when I tell them they need more than passion and skills to succeed. Many people I talk to ask me how they can make a living doing the work they love to do. They are enthusiastic, skilled at their craft, and passionate about what they do. So they’re normally surprised when I tell them they need more than passion and ski...
Your passion and skills are something that belongs to you. But if you want to make money doing what you love to do, then you need to provide something people need. In other words, don’t only do what you want to do. Do something for other people that they don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do it. This is the key to getting paid for what you love and know.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Dov Gordon and I talk about simple strategies you can use to get paid for what you know. Dov provides a unique perspective in this conversation. He began as an entrepreneur without a college degree, and a loan from a family member helped him to pay for his way into a coach training school. Today, Dov works with consultants and coaches to help them create a consistent flow of new clients.
Listen in as Dov shares lessons you can learn and apply today to find new clients, and get paid for what you know.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Dov and I discuss:

* Why you have to work differently today
* How you get started in getting paid for what you know
* Gaining confidence in conveying what you know
* The three questions your ideal client is going to ask
* How you can get someone to pay attention to what you have to offer
* Why everything you do needs to be geared towards helping your ideal client
* Where you need to focus your efforts to find your ideal clients
* How to best position what you know for the benefit of others
* The power of empathy in marketing your services

Quotes and takeaways

* You cannot follow the steps someone else took and expect to get the same results.
* Every tactic can work, but every tactic can fail.
* Help people where they’re at to get to where they want to be.
* Sales is leadership. Leadership is helping someone make the right decision for themselves. It’s about overlapping your interest with theirs.

Resources

* Dov Gordon’s recording on The Five Steps to a Consistent Flow of Clients.
* Million Dollar Habits, by Robert Ringer.
* Heat, by Bill Buford.
* Book Yourself Solid, by Michael Port.
* Download the full interview transcript here.

What problems can you help solve? Who has these problems, and how can you help them? Share in the comments.
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105: Redefining What Success Means to Us with Aaron Walker https://goinswriter.com/aaron-walker/ Wed, 01 Jun 2016 10:05:19 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19461 Living a “successful” life isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. We often believe if we have more money, recognition, or significant achievements, then we will feel satisfied. But I can tell you from personal experience, this isn’t the case at all. Living a “successful” life isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. We often believe if we have more money, recognition, or significant achievements, then we will feel satisfied. But I can tell you from personal experience, this isn’t the case at all.
Publishing a book, obtaining a promotion, or finally working full-time for yourself will bring you temporary satisfaction, but these good things will not please you forever. This is because, many times, the goals we pursue are about us. But success is about so much more.
I used to believe that pursuing a dream and being successful was only about myself. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. It wasn’t until I got everything I wanted in life that I realized none of it was actually for me.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Aaron Walker and I talk about why success isn’t measured by what we gain, but rather by whom we influence. There’s no one better to speak fresh truth into this topic than Aaron. He has built multiple successful businesses. But it wasn’t until he experienced a tragic accident that he realized there is more to life than achieving success.
Listen in as Aaron shares what he has learned about living a life of significance and practical steps you can take in leaving a legacy.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Aaron and I discuss:

* Why we need a reason to get up in the morning
* The difference between living a life of success versus significance
* Why pursuing success will not satisfy you forever
* Whether you have to hit rock bottom to figure out your life
* The importance of having people in your life to challenge you
* What you need to help you live a life of significance
* How to get around the right people

Quotes and takeaways

* “We need contentment, not complacency.” —Aaron Walker
* “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn
* “We have to train ourselves to be generous in all areas.” —Aaron Walker
* “The answer is always ‘no’ unless you ask.” —Aaron Walker
* “Fear missing an opportunity more than failure.” —Aaron Walker

Resources

* Free Personal Assessment from Aaron Walker at View from the Top.
* Halftime, Bob Buford
* Essentialism, Greg McKeown
* Mindset, Carol Dweck
* The Big Leap, Hendricks Gay
* Download the full interview transcript here

What would you do today if you had no limitations? Share in the comments
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104: The Secrets to a Successful Podcast with Jeff Brown https://goinswriter.com/successful-podcast/ Wed, 25 May 2016 10:05:35 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19494 Do you have a message you want to share with people? Then podcasting is arguably one of the best ways you can personally connect with your audience. Today, there are many podcasts vying for the ears of listeners. But there are practical things you can do to help your podcast stand out among the crowded airways. Do you have a message you want to share with people? Then podcasting is arguably one of the best ways you can personally connect with your audience. Today, there are many podcasts vying for the ears of listeners. Podcasts have been steadily growing in number, listeners, and influence over the years. Not only has the widespread usage of smartphones paved the way for podcasts, but the reduction in costs of equipment has made podcasting more accessibility.
Recently on The Portfolio Life, we celebrated a huge milestone: The 100th episode. Prior to recording that show, I approached Andy Traub, my co-host, about making changes. We decided to reach out to Jeff Brown, an award-winning podcaster and 26-year veteran of the broadcast industry, to help us improve the show.
This week on The Portfolio Life, I share Jeff’s critique of the podcast as a way for you to not only hear our desire to improve, but also to provide you with tips on how to make your current or future podcast successful.
Listen in as Jeff provides honest and helpful tips on ways we—and you—can improve our podcast.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Jeff Brown and I discuss:

* Areas we need to improve on The Portfolio Life
* What we learned from a recent listener survey
* How you can best prepare for every podcast episode
* Whether you should consider writing out your interview questions ahead of time
* Tips on how to best ask interviewees questions
* Why it’s important to get the basics of podcasting down
* Ways to improve your transitions between segments
* How to help your listener feel as if they are a part of your interview
* Why you should strive to make your guests feel understood

Quotes and takeaways

* Implementing certain techniques won’t guarantee your success any more than not doing them will guarantee your failure
* It’s always important that you talk to one person
* Conducting a great interview is 90% about confidence.
* Don’t be afraid to ask any question
* “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”—Leonard DaVinci

Resources

* Jeff Brown’s podcast, Read to Lead
* Starve the Doubts, podcast by Jared Easley
* The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
* Download the full interview transcript here

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103: Balancing Creativity and Business with Paul Jarvis https://goinswriter.com/balance-creativity-business/ Wed, 18 May 2016 10:05:05 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19429 I used to think working for yourself meant spending all of your time only doing the things you loved. But now I realize there's so much more to working for yourself than just doing what you love. I used to think working for yourself meant spending all of your time only doing the things you loved. But now I realize there's so much more to working for yourself than just doing what you love.
There’s a good tension you will face as a creative between balancing the business and creative side of working for yourself. This struggle will provide you with ongoing opportunities to grow as a professional. Whether you’re a freelance designer, consultant, or author, you must prepare yourself now for this challenge.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Paul Jarvis and I talk about how he handles the tension of creating great work with the business side of things, the importance of fighting fear while doing your best work, and how you can best master your skills and learn new one’s to prepare you for working full-time for yourself.
Listen in as Paul shares what he has learned working full-time as a freelancer and online entrepreneur for nearly 20 years. There’s a lot of wisdom in what he has to say that you don’t want to miss.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Show highlights
In this episode, Paul Jarvis and I discuss:

* What you can learn from Paul’s experience navigating the tension between business and creativity
* How fear can provide opportunities for personal and professional growth
* How to fight the false belief that your best work is behind you
* Why you should regularly create new challenges for yourself
* Paul’s transition from providing freelance work to becoming an online entrepreneur
* The biggest challenge creatives face in making a living for themselves
* Why you may need to say no to good opportunities
* Whether or not every creative should run a business
* How taking on new projects will help you to grow as a professional

Quotes and takeaways

* Fear and action can coexist
* The only way to be something is to start doing it
* You need to spend as much time connecting your work with people as you do making the work
* No one is going to push you as hard as you’re going to push yourself

Resources

* Paul Jarvis’ personal website
* Paul’s Creative Class
* Chimp Essentials (Paul’s class on MailChimp)
* Download the full interview transcript here
* This week only, The Art of Work ebook is available at most retailers for $2.99

What action are you going to take today after listening to this podcast? Share in the comments.
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The Seven Stages of Finding Your Calling https://goinswriter.com/seven-stages/ Wed, 11 May 2016 10:01:15 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=16680 Finding your calling usually isn’t a defining moment of clarity. It’s a hard, long process to discover what you were meant to do with your life. Each step of finding your own calling is difficult in its own. To find your calling you must walk through the seasons of awareness, apprenticeship, practice, discovery, profession, mastery, and legacy. Finding your calling usually isn’t a defining moment of clarity. It’s a hard, long process to discover what you were meant to do with your life. - Each step of finding your own calling is difficult in its own.
Failure is inevitable. It’s also a gift. When you fail, it’s a chance to learn how to move forward, overcome, and take that lesson to the next thing you do. Failure forces you to grow. And those opportunities help you find what you are called to do.
Each step of a calling is difficult in its own way. To find your calling you must walk through seven different stages: awareness, apprenticeship, practice, discovery, profession, mastery, and legacy.
In this week’s episode of The Portfolio Life, join my co-host, Andy Traub, and me as we walk through the seven stages of pursuing your calling I outlined in my book, The Art of Work.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email, click here).

You can also listen on iTunes or Stitcher.
Highlights from the show

* Your life is speaking; you just need to be able to recognize the signs.
* Every story of success is really a story of community. We don’t get to where we’re going alone.
* Practicing is how you learn what you’re supposed to be spending your time doing.
* Pick one thing and do it for the rest of your life so that you can become a master at it.
* Our calling is not complete until we begin to share it with others.
* Pursuing your calling is a process of awareness, accidental apprenticeship, painful practice, discovery, profession, mastery, and legacy.
* Download the full interview transcript here

Resources
This podcast is only an overview of the process of finding your calling. In The Art of Work, I go into more details on each of these steps and help you look at what they look like in your own life. You can pick up your own copy of the book at ArtofWorkBook.com
Pick up a copy of The Art of Work and submit your receipt at the book site to get $250 in free bonuses. Visit ArtofWorkBook.com now to get started.
Where are you in your journey of finding your calling? Share in the comments.
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102: How to Know if You Have a Good Idea for a Book https://goinswriter.com/good-book-idea/ Wed, 04 May 2016 10:01:49 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19349 Before you write a book, you need a good book idea. This sounds obvious, but deciding what you want to write about is a challenge. You need to have an idea that excites you, is worth writing, and provides value for your readers. So how do you know if you have a book idea worth pursuing? Before you write a book, you need a good book idea. This sounds obvious, but deciding what you want to write about is a challenge. - You need to have an idea that excites you, is worth writing, and provides value for your readers. - Before you write a book, you need a good book idea. This sounds obvious, but deciding what you want to write about is a challenge.<br /> <br /> You need to have an idea that excites you, is worth writing, and provides value for your readers.<br /> <br /> So how do you know if you have a book idea worth pursuing? Jeff Goins clean 17:08 101: How to Find Out if You Were Born for This: Interview with Chris Guillebeau https://goinswriter.com/born-for-this/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:01:03 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19329 There’s plenty of shallow advice online about following your passion and throwing caution to the wind. The trouble with that approach is passion alone doesn’t pay the for the gas in your car or your morning latte. But what is a dream job without passion? How do you know what you were made for? How can you discover your purpose? There’s plenty of shallow advice online about following your passion and throwing caution to the wind. The trouble with that approach is passion alone doesn’t pay the for the gas in your car or your morning latte. - A lot of people talk about dream jobs, but few people take the practical steps to make them a reality. Do you know what your dream job looks like? Or if it even exists?<br /> <br /> There’s plenty of shallow advice online about following your passion and throwing caution to the wind. The trouble with that approach is passion alone doesn’t pay the for the gas in your car or your morning latte.<br /> <br /> But what is a dream job without passion? How do you know what you were made for? How can you discover your purpose? Jeff Goins clean 28:42 100: Celebrating a Milestone and Relaunching The Portfolio Life [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/milestone/ Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:01:48 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19298 Living your “dream” doesn’t look the way people think it does. Many people talk about creativity as this mystical thing, but reality is a little less magical and a lot more work. As someone who makes a living through creative work, people are often surprised to learn that I don’t write all day. In fact, despite publishing three books and over 900 posts on this blog alone, writing is probably the thing I do least each day. Most professional creatives do more than one thing. They are not a jack of all trades, but rather masters of some. And, as I learned the hard way, there’s plenty of non-creative work that goes into supporting a creative career. Living your “dream” doesn’t look the way people think it does. Many people talk about creativity as this mystical thing, but reality is a little less magical and a lot more work. - As someone who makes a living through creative work, Living your “dream” doesn’t look the way people think it does. Many people talk about creativity as this mystical thing, but reality is a little less magical and a lot more work.<br /> <br /> IMAGE: SPARK<br /> <br /> As someone who makes a living through creative work, people are often surprised to learn that I don’t write all day. In fact, despite publishing three books and over 900 posts on this blog alone, writing is probably the thing I do least each day.<br /> <br /> Most professional creatives do more than one thing. They are not a jack of all trades, but rather masters of some. And, as I learned the hard way, there’s plenty of non-creative work that goes into supporting a creative career. Jeff Goins clean 50:06 What Actually Works: How to “Make It” as a Writer https://goinswriter.com/truth-writer/ Wed, 06 Apr 2016 17:25:38 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19280 As we get ready to close registration for this round of Tribe Writers, I’m getting some questions on whether or not the program “works” and what kinds of success previous students have had. And I realized something: those are the wrong questions to ask. As we get ready to close registration for this round of Tribe Writers, I’m getting some questions on whether or not the program “works” and what kinds of success previous students have had. And I realized something: those are the wrong questions to ask. As we get ready to close registration for this round of Tribe Writers, I’m getting some questions on whether or not the program “works” and what kinds of success previous students have had. And I realized something: those are the wrong questions to ask. Jeff Goins clean 12:17 099: Austin Kleon on the Challenges of a Creative Career [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/austin-kleon/ Wed, 30 Mar 2016 10:01:39 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19228 When you set out to do creative work for a living, there are all these unexpected obstacles you face, things like finance and admin and marketing. Which add up to a lot of work that doesn't necessarily feel creative. So the question becomes: Is getting paid to do what you love really worth the cost? When you set out to do creative work for a living, there are all these unexpected obstacles you face, things like finance and admin and marketing. Which add up to a lot of work that doesn't necessarily feel creative. When you set out to do creative work for a living, there are all these unexpected obstacles you face, things like finance and admin and marketing. Which add up to a lot of work that doesn't necessarily feel creative. So the question becomes: Is getting paid to do what you love really worth the cost? Jeff Goins clean 1:05:39 Building an Audience: Why You Don’t Have to Do It “Their” Way [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/building-audience/ Fri, 25 Mar 2016 11:30:53 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18420 A platform is people, nothing more. It’s how you connect your message to the needs of the world. And if you have something to say or share, it's essential. Here’s the thing, though: You don’t have to do this the same way everyone else does. You can build a platform your way. In fact, it's supremely important that you don't chase other people's success or try to give people what you think they want. A platform is people, nothing more. It’s how you connect your message to the needs of the world. And if you have something to say or share, it's essential. - Here’s the thing, though: You don’t have to do this the same way everyone else does. A platform is people, nothing more. It’s how you connect your message to the needs of the world. And if you have something to say or share, it's essential.<br /> <br /> Here’s the thing, though: You don’t have to do this the same way everyone else does. You can build a platform your way. In fact, it's supremely important that you don't chase other people's success or try to give people what you think they want. Jeff Goins clean 11:34 098: Behind the Man Behind The Muppets https://goinswriter.com/jim-henson/ Wed, 23 Mar 2016 10:01:09 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19179 Have you ever felt like the work you’re doing is not important? Do you sometimes feel like an amateur pretending to be a professional? I feel this way all the time. Jim Henson is most famous for co-creating The Muppets, perhaps the most iconic puppets in history alongside the characters he made for Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock. What you may not know about Jim is that he never set out to become a puppeteer. Have you ever felt like the work you’re doing is not important? Do you sometimes feel like an amateur pretending to be a professional? I feel this way all the time. - Jim Henson is most famous for co-creating The Muppets, Have you ever felt like the work you’re doing is not important? Do you sometimes feel like an amateur pretending to be a professional? I feel this way all the time.<br /> <br /> Jim Henson is most famous for co-creating The Muppets, perhaps the most iconic puppets in history alongside the characters he made for Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock. What you may not know about Jim is that he never set out to become a puppeteer. Jeff Goins clean 25:20 097: From Money Saving Mom to Money Making Mom (and Beyond): Interview with Crystal Paine [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/crystal-paine/ Wed, 09 Mar 2016 11:01:08 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19032 Some people don’t have a spending problem. They’re great at cutting coupons and keeping costs low. But saving money only goes so far. At some point you need to address the income problem because you can’t save money if you don’t make money. With the rising cost of raising a family, many homemakers dabble in blogging and online business to make ends meet. Fueled by a desire to get out of debt and leave a financial legacy for their children, stay-at-home moms (and dads) start websites dedicated to one topic or another in hopes of earning a side income. Some people don’t have a spending problem. They’re great at cutting coupons and keeping costs low. But saving money only goes so far. At some point you need to address the income problem because you can’t save money if you don’t make money. - Some people don’t have a spending problem. They’re great at cutting coupons and keeping costs low. But saving money only goes so far. At some point you need to address the income problem because you can’t save money if you don’t make money.<br /> <br /> With the rising cost of raising a family, many homemakers dabble in blogging and online business to make ends meet. Fueled by a desire to get out of debt and leave a financial legacy for their children, stay-at-home moms (and dads) start websites dedicated to one topic or another in hopes of earning a side income. Jeff Goins clean 38:45 096: Navigating the Intersection of Faith and Writing [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/faith-writing/ Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:01:54 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=19005 Your personal beliefs are part of your identity. They guide your decisions and behavior. What you believe inevitably ends up in your art. But how do you stay true to your values without alienating your audience? It’s not as tricky as some would have you think. No one likes being preached at. We much prefer a friendly chat over coffee to listening to someone shout their dogma through a megaphone. Your personal beliefs are part of your identity. They guide your decisions and behavior. What you believe inevitably ends up in your art. But how do you stay true to your values without alienating your audience? Your personal beliefs are part of your identity. They guide your decisions and behavior. What you believe inevitably ends up in your art. But how do you stay true to your values without alienating your audience? It’s not as tricky as some would have you think.<br /> <br /> No one likes being preached at. We much prefer a friendly chat over coffee to listening to someone shout their dogma through a megaphone. Jeff Goins clean 20:52 095: Why Time Management Doesn’t Work: Interview with Alli Worthington [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/alli-worthington/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 11:01:06 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18939 Have you ever had to kill a project you were excited about? Letting go of something great is hard. Especially when a few thousand people are depending on you. One of my first breakout speaking engagements was at Blissdom, a popular blogging conference that was accidentally started by Alli Worthington. Yes, by accident. She winged it the first year and the rest is history. But after six roller coaster years, while planning speakers and themes for the next event, Alli pulled the plug and BlissDom was done just about overnight. Have you ever had to kill a project you were excited about? Letting go of something great is hard. Especially when a few thousand people are depending on you. - One of my first breakout speaking engagements was at Blissdom, One of my first breakout speaking engagements was at Blissdom, a popular blogging conference that was accidentally started by Alli Worthington. Yes, by accident. She winged it the first year and the rest is history.<br /> <br /> But after six roller coaster years, while planning speakers and themes for the next event, Alli pulled the plug and BlissDom was done just about overnight.<br /> <br /> The sudden death left her community surprised and disappointed. Why quit such a successful endeavor in its prime? What was she thinking? Jeff Goins clean 37:22 094: The Wrong Reason to Go (Back) to College [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/online-courses/ Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:01:41 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18949 Recent graduates are faced with disappointment in a college experience that implicitly promised a marketable skill and good money. Unfortunately, the ROI of a traditional degree pales in comparison to the alternative. Recent graduates are faced with disappointment in a college experience that implicitly promised a marketable skill and good money. Unfortunately, the ROI of a traditional degree pales in comparison to the alternative. Recent graduates are faced with disappointment in a college experience that implicitly promised a marketable skill and good money. Unfortunately, the ROI of a traditional degree pales in comparison to the alternative. Jeff Goins clean 28:26 093: Stop Chasing Your Dream (the Wrong Way) [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/wrong-thing/ Wed, 10 Feb 2016 11:01:23 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18888 Every creative who leaves a day job to pursue their craft professionally is blindsided by a plague of time. No one ever sees it coming and no one ever warns you about it. The same thing happens to high school graduates who go onto college. One day their lives are regimented from dawn to dusk with school, sports, homework, and chores. The next day they have a few classes and untold hours of free time that no one taught them how to manage. Every creative who leaves a day job to pursue their craft professionally is blindsided by a plague of time. No one ever sees it coming and no one ever warns you about it. - The same thing happens to high school graduates who go onto college. Every creative who leaves a day job to pursue their craft professionally is blindsided by a plague of time. No one ever sees it coming and no one ever warns you about it. Jeff Goins clean 17:44 092: Pat Flynn: Validate Your Idea Before You Leap https://goinswriter.com/pat-flynn/ Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:03:39 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18832 Creatives have no shortage of ideas. We get them in the shower, during a workout, washing dishes, or driving. But not every idea is a good idea. People have wasted years on an idea that sounded good at the time but ultimately flopped. Where do good ideas come from? How does innovation happen? When do you decide what new project to start and how? I asked Pat Flynn these questions, and he shared his whole idea validation process with me. It was fascinating. The way great ideas come in to the world is not the way we would expect. Creatives have no shortage of ideas. We get them in the shower, during a workout, washing dishes, or driving. But not every idea is a good idea. People have wasted years on an idea that sounded good at the time but ultimately flopped. - Where do good ideas come from? How does innovation happen? When do you decide what new project to start and how? I asked Pat this and he shared his whole idea validation process with me. The way great ideas come in to the world is not the way we would expect. Listen in to learn more. Jeff Goins clean 42:37 091: Steve Kamb on Why Nerds Should Rule the World [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/steve-kamb/ Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:01:51 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18795 In high school, nerds were the kids everyone secretly envied and feared. Perhaps because we knew that one day they’d sign our paychecks, and invent cool stuff like the iPhone and Twitter. One nerd in particular, is flipping the multi-billion dollar fitness industry on it’s head. Steve Kamb is the most physically fit nerd I know. In fact, he’s the most physically fit person I know, period. He is ripped. And he thinks Zelda is the best video game ever made. Cool, right? As the founder and rebel leader of Nerd Fitness, Steve is dedicated to “helping desk jockeys, nerds, and average Joes level up their lives.” His unique program applies video game principles and behavioral psychology to physical fitness, and has transformed the lives of over 5,000 rebels. In high school, nerds were the kids everyone secretly envied and feared. Perhaps because we knew that one day they’d sign our paychecks, and invent cool stuff like the iPhone and Twitter. One nerd in particular, In high school, nerds were the kids everyone secretly envied and feared. Perhaps because we knew that one day they’d sign our paychecks, and invent cool stuff like the iPhone and Twitter. One nerd in particular, is flipping the multi-billion dollar fitness industry on it’s head. Jeff Goins clean 48:43 090: 3 Stages of Creative Collaboration You Can’t Ignore [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/collaboration/ Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:01:24 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18754 Looking at the author’s name on a book cover, it’s easy to think they did it all on their own. But when you turn the last page to find the acknowledgements, you quickly discover just how success is always born of community. Without a network, creative work does not endure. ​ If you think you can tackle your craft alone and hope for sustainable success, then you're kidding yourself. Be it writing, music, or business, you need people to reach people. Looking at the author’s name on a book cover, it’s easy to think they did it all on their own. But when you turn the last page to find the acknowledgements, you quickly discover just how success is always born of community. - Without a network, Looking at the author’s name on a book cover, it’s easy to think they did it all on their own. But when you turn the last page to find the acknowledgements, you quickly discover just how success is always born of community.<br /> <br /> Without a network, creative work does not endure.<br /> ​<br /> If you think you can tackle your craft alone and hope for sustainable success, then you're kidding yourself. Be it writing, music, or business, you need people to reach people. Jeff Goins clean 21:00 089: How to Find the Story You Were Meant to Write: Interview with Robert Kurson [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/robert-kurson/ Wed, 13 Jan 2016 11:01:25 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18715 Books allow us to escape the confines of reality and explore the realms of imagination. Between the pages of a book, anything is possible, anything can happen. But sometimes, as Mark Twain said, "The truth is stranger than fiction." Writers spend most of their time searching for a story. Whether it is one they pluck out of thin air, or one they discover on bookshelves of the Dominican Republic’s historical archives. Robert Kurson is a treasure hunter. He writes the true stories of pirates you’ve never seen on the big screen. As it turns out, real life pirates are bigger than Hollywood portrays them. Books allow us to escape the confines of reality and explore the realms of imagination. Between the pages of a book, anything is possible, anything can happen. But sometimes, as Mark Twain said, "The truth is stranger than fiction." - —J.R.R. Tolkien
Books allow us to escape the confines of reality and explore the realms of imagination. Between the pages of a book, anything is possible, anything can happen. But sometimes, as Mark Twain said, “The truth is stranger than fiction.”

Many writers spend their time not crafting stories but searching for them. Whether that means conjuring one out of thin air or through arduous research. Sometimes, though, the best stories are the ones that surprise us.
Robert Kurson, a writer who writes true stories that are almost too incredible to believe, found his story in the Dominican Republic’s historical archives. It was the unbelievable story of pirate ship. And as it turns out, real-life pirates are even bigger than they are portrayed in Hollywood.
This week on The Portfolio Life, Robert and I talk about what writers and pirates have in common, we uncover the truth behind popular treasure-hunting myths, and explore what it takes to find your own story. Listen in as we discuss all that and more.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (if you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

X does not mark the spot
Continuous innovation and advancing technology is shrinking the world. While we enjoy the intrigue and adventure of movies like National Treasure and Indiana Jones, it’s easy to think that everything has already been found, that there are no more pirate ships to discover or treasure chests to dig up.
But that’s just not true. As Robert Kurson shares in our interview, the truth tells a much different story. A lot of deep-seea treasure has been found, but there are still plenty of ships waiting to see the light of day.
But adventure doesn’t come cheap. There is no convenient “X” on the map telling you where to dig or dive. Professional treasure hunters often spend years and small fortunes looking for a valuable find. Becoming a writer requires the same kind of dedication. Great writers aren’t made overnight any more than a treasure chest will magically appear next to your bed.
While there are plenty of stories waiting to be written, you must look for a story with the same drive of a pirate looking for treasure. The trick is to keep your eyes open and know where to look.
Show highlights
In this episode, Robert and I discuss:

* What to do when you realize you’re in the wrong career
* Why it’s never too late to start writing
* Two different ways to think about escape
* Discovering incredible human stories
* The unique power of true stories over fiction
* How to know when you’ve found a good story
* Why fiction writers have an advantage when writing the end of a story
* Learning to tell a full story with very limited space
* A secret to finding a master who will train you in your craft
* How writing a story changes a writer

Quotes and takeaways

* “A lot of people know a lot of interesting things if you ask them about it.” –Robert Kurson
* “There are always adventures out there in the world if you’re bold enough to take a blind step forward.” –Robert Kurson
* “The hardest part of telling a good story is finding one.]]>
Jeff Goins clean 34:22
088: Three Stages of Personal Development Borrowed from The Middle Ages [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/personal-development/ Wed, 06 Jan 2016 11:02:25 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18691 After his first mentor died, young Luke Skywalker showed up to apprentice under Master Yoda. Luke thought he was hot stuff and even cut his training short. Incidentally, this resulted in his hand getting cut off. We may not lose a limb, but if we dismiss the value of apprenticeship, our craft will suffer a similar fate. One of the benefits of self-publishing is that anyone can be an author. One of the drawbacks of self-publishing is that not everyone should be an author. We have a greater responsibility to our readers. Digital platforms remove barriers to entry, but uninhibited access to the masses does not guarantee great work. After his first mentor died, young Luke Skywalker showed up to apprentice under Master Yoda. Luke thought he was hot stuff and even cut his training short. Incidentally, this resulted in his hand getting cut off. We may not lose a limb, After his first mentor died, young Luke Skywalker showed up to apprentice under Master Yoda. Luke thought he was hot stuff and even cut his training short. Incidentally, this resulted in his hand getting cut off. We may not lose a limb, but if we dismiss the value of apprenticeship, our craft will suffer a similar fate. Jeff Goins clean 19:26 087: A Counterintuitive Approach to Gaining Influence and Growing Your Platform: Interview with Brad Lomenick [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/h3-leadership/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 11:01:59 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18679 If you are trying to influence how a group of people thinks or acts, you are a leader by definition. As entrepreneurs seek to build their tribes and establish online communities, some fail to recognize their role as a leader. With self-proclaimed “gurus” popping up across the internet, it’s difficult to discern true leadership habits from the cliche quips and memes. Leadership is one of those topics everyone has an opinion about, but few are widely recognized as experts. Brad Lomenick studied under the godfather of leadership, John Maxwell, is the author of The Catalyst Leader, and was the visionary behind the iconic Catalyst movement for over 10 years. If you are trying to influence how a group of people thinks or acts, you are a leader by definition. As entrepreneurs seek to build their tribes and establish online communities, some fail to recognize their role as a leader. - If you are trying to influence how a group of people thinks or acts, you are a leader by definition. As entrepreneurs seek to build their tribes and establish online communities, some fail to recognize their role as a leader.<br /> <br /> With self-proclaimed “gurus” popping up across the internet, it’s difficult to discern true leadership habits from the cliche quips and memes.<br /> <br /> Leadership is one of those topics everyone has an opinion about, but few are widely recognized as experts. Brad Lomenick studied under the godfather of leadership, John Maxwell, is the author of The Catalyst Leader, and was the visionary behind the iconic Catalyst movement for over 10 years. Jeff Goins clean 48:43 086: The Evolution of a Writer: How to Pivot Your Writing Without Losing Your Audience [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/evolution-writer/ Wed, 23 Dec 2015 11:02:56 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18647 As a writer first begins creating content, they quickly discover that narrowing the topic increases the growth of their audience. While writing for everyone is the quickest path to oblivion, niching down too far might get you stuck in the weeds. This may shock you, but I don’t want to write about writing forever. I want to earn your trust as a reader and have the freedom to write about a variety of things. I am a writer and I’ve got my whole life to do this and explore new ideas. None of us are one-dimensional. The challenge is what to do as you continue to develop as a creative. How do you embrace change without leaving your audience behind? As a writer first begins creating content, they quickly discover that narrowing the topic increases the growth of their audience. While writing for everyone is the quickest path to oblivion, niching down too far might get you stuck in the weeds. - As a writer first begins creating content, they quickly discover that narrowing the topic increases the growth of their audience. While writing for everyone is the quickest path to oblivion, niching down too far might get you stuck in the weeds.<br /> <br /> This may shock you, but I don’t want to write about writing forever. I want to earn your trust as a reader and have the freedom to write about a variety of things. I am a writer and I’ve got my whole life to do this and explore new ideas.<br /> <br /> None of us are one-dimensional. The challenge is what to do as you continue to develop as a creative. How do you embrace change without leaving your audience behind? Jeff Goins clean 20:13 085: How to Build a Lasting Lifestyle Business Around Your Big Idea: Interview with Fizzle [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/fizzle/ Wed, 16 Dec 2015 11:31:15 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18615 Many entrepreneurs get struck with a big idea and make the mistake of isolating themselves from two very important groups of people. Their customers and their team. The trouble with creating in a vacuum is you have no clear understanding of what your customer needs. If you want to add value to your audience you must listen to them. Pay attention to what people ask you for. And give it to them. Many entrepreneurs get struck with a big idea and make the mistake of isolating themselves from two very important groups of people. Their customers and their team. - The trouble with creating in a vacuum is you have no clear understanding of what you... Many entrepreneurs get struck with a big idea and make the mistake of isolating themselves from two very important groups of people. Their customers and their team.<br /> <br /> The trouble with creating in a vacuum is you have no clear understanding of what your customer needs. If you want to add value to your audience you must listen to them.<br /> <br /> Pay attention to what people ask you for. And give it to them. Jeff Goins clean 45:06 084: Give Your Way to Stratospheric Success Without Going Broke: Interview with Bob Burg [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/bob-burg/ Wed, 09 Dec 2015 11:01:09 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18597 One of the great advantages of technology is anyone with something to say can broadcast it to the world. The disadvantage is that it’s more difficult to stand out. In the digital age, information is a commodity. With over 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 260 million blogs in the world, how can creatives and entrepreneurs generate content that rises above the noise? The answer is relatively simple, but by no means easy. Bob Burg figured it out and sold half a million books sharing a parable to explain the concept. Listen in as we talk about how giving isn’t just a good way to live your life, it’s a great way to advance your career and why generosity is a strategic advantage in a free market economy. One of the great advantages of technology is anyone with something to say can broadcast it to the world. The disadvantage is that it’s more difficult to stand out. - In the digital age, information is a commodity. One of the great advantages of technology is anyone with something to say can broadcast it to the world. The disadvantage is that it’s more difficult to stand out.<br /> <br /> In the digital age, information is a commodity. With over 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 260 million blogs in the world, how can creatives and entrepreneurs generate content that rises above the noise?<br /> <br /> The answer is relatively simple, but by no means easy. Bob Burg figured it out and sold half a million books sharing a parable to explain the concept.<br /> <br /> Listen in as we talk about how giving isn’t just a good way to live your life, it’s a great way to advance your career and why generosity is a strategic advantage in a free market economy. Jeff Goins clean 083: How to Build Better Reading Habits and Finish a Book Every Day [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/read-books/ Wed, 02 Dec 2015 11:01:14 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18572 If “leaders are readers” holds true, you’d be four steps ahead of the pack if you read just one book each month. Imagine what your life would look like if you read one book every day. Reading a book a day sounds crazy, but not only is it possible, it’s one of my personal goals. Right now, I’m trending at 3-4 books a week. And that’s on top of running a business and being involved at home. How can someone read a book a day without neglecting their work or family? The secret lies in broadening your definition of “read” and embracing multiple formats. If “leaders are readers” holds true, you’d be four steps ahead of the pack if you read just one book each month. Imagine what your life would look like if you read one book every day. - Reading a book a day sounds crazy, but not only is it possible, Imagine what your life would look like if you read one book every day.<br /> <br /> IMAGE<br /> <br /> Reading a book a day sounds crazy, but not only is it possible, it’s one of my personal goals. Right now, I’m trending at 3-4 books a week. And that’s on top of running a business and being involved at home.<br /> <br /> How can someone read a book a day without neglecting their work or family? The secret lies in broadening your definition of “read” and embracing multiple formats. Jeff Goins clean 19:00 082: The School of Greatness: Interview with Lewis Howes [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/lewis-howes/ Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:02:17 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18557 The easy street to greatness doesn’t exist. Contrary to the excuses we make, greatness is never achieved without encountering adversity. Failure is a cruel professor. We’re told to embrace it and learn from it, but failure comes crashing down out of nowhere and destroys our best laid plans. One moment you’re a on top of the world, and the next you’re broke and sleeping on your sister’s couch. The easy street to greatness doesn’t exist. Contrary to the excuses we make, greatness is never achieved without encountering adversity. - Failure is a cruel professor. We’re told to embrace it and learn from it, The easy street to greatness doesn’t exist. Contrary to the excuses we make, greatness is never achieved without encountering adversity.<br /> <br /> Failure is a cruel professor. We’re told to embrace it and learn from it, but failure comes crashing down out of nowhere and destroys our best laid plans.<br /> <br /> One moment you’re a on top of the world, and the next you’re broke and sleeping on your sister’s couch. <br /> <br /> That’s exactly what happened to my friend, Lewis Howes. Jeff Goins clean 36:51 081: Your One True Calling Doesn’t Have to be One Thing: Interview with Emilie Wapnick [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/multipotentialite/ Wed, 11 Nov 2015 11:01:11 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18446 The unspoken assumption behind the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is that the what is just one thing. Once you become a fire fighter, accountant, writer, or plumber, that’s it. But we know better, don’t we? Emilie Wapnick coined the term “multipotentialite”. This one word summarizes the idea of The Portfolio Life. We’re more complex and our interests are more varied than a single occupation can contain. The unspoken assumption behind the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is that the what is just one thing. Once you become a fire fighter, accountant, writer, or plumber, that’s it. - But we know better, don’t we? - The unspoken assumption behind the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is that the what is just one thing. Once you become a fire fighter, accountant, writer, or plumber, that’s it.<br /> <br /> But we know better, don’t we?<br /> <br /> Emilie Wapnick coined the term “multipotentialite”. This one word summarizes the idea of The Portfolio Life. We’re more complex and our interests are more varied than a single occupation can contain. Jeff Goins clean 32:52 080: Finding Your One Thing: Interview with Jay Papasan [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/jay-papasan/ Wed, 04 Nov 2015 11:01:00 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18396 The quickest way to tell the difference between a writer and someone who wants to write, is the one who actually writes. Creatives of all shades struggle with the tension between their passion and the hard work of honing their craft. It’s far easier to complain about writer’s block or say you are too busy. The inconvenient truth of creative work is that it requires work. Jay Papasan, co-author of The One Thing, shares that many professional writers got their start by waking up early to write while their family was still asleep. The quickest way to tell the difference between a writer and someone who wants to write, is the one who actually writes. - Creatives of all shades struggle with the tension between their passion and the hard work of honing their craft. The quickest way to tell the difference between a writer and someone who wants to write, is the one who actually writes.<br /> <br /> Creatives of all shades struggle with the tension between their passion and the hard work of honing their craft. It’s far easier to complain about writer’s block or say you are too busy.<br /> <br /> The inconvenient truth of creative work is that it requires work. Jay Papasan, co-author of The One Thing, shares that many professional writers got their start by waking up early to write while their family was still asleep. Jeff Goins clean 42:25 079: Lessons from Creating a Conference from Scratch in Three Months [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/conference-confessions/ Wed, 28 Oct 2015 10:02:16 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18351 When you’re standing on the edge of the unknown, it’s natural to be afraid and shy away from the light of possibilities. The worst thing you can do in those moments is let shame steal your chance to shine. Do you remember the first time you tried something big and new? The sting of anxiety in the pit of your stomach. A sense of excitement for what might happen. The hairs on your arm standing up as you prepare to make the leap. This year, I tried something I’ve never done before and it was terrifying. When you’re standing on the edge of the unknown, it’s natural to be afraid and shy away from the light of possibilities. The worst thing you can do in those moments is let shame steal your chance to shine. - When you’re standing on the edge of the unknown, it’s natural to be afraid and shy away from the light of possibilities. The worst thing you can do in those moments is let shame steal your chance to shine.<br /> <br /> Do you remember the first time you tried something big and new? The sting of anxiety in the pit of your stomach. A sense of excitement for what might happen. The hairs on your arm standing up as you prepare to make the leap. Jeff Goins clean 13:45 078: Use Sketchnotes to Deliberately Capture Meaningful Ideas: Interview with Mike Rohde [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/mike-rohde/ Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:02:27 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18304 Too many aspiring authors try to write a book they hope the world will read. They fail to realize writing to everyone is the fastest way to ensure no one reads their book. With over 350 million copies of his books sold, Stephen King reveals in On Writing that he writes to one person, his wife. King recognizes his words will lose all meaning and resonance if he tries to write for everyone. The secret here is that constraints foster creativity rather than suppress it. By narrowing the focus of your audience you can harness a creative power bursting to pour words onto the page. Too many aspiring authors try to write a book they hope the world will read. They fail to realize writing to everyone is the fastest way to ensure no one reads their book. - With over 350 million copies of his books sold, Too many aspiring authors try to write a book they hope the world will read. They fail to realize writing to everyone is the fastest way to ensure no one reads their book.<br /> <br /> With over 350 million copies of his books sold, Stephen King reveals in On Writing that he writes to one person, his wife. King recognizes his words will lose all meaning and resonance if he tries to write for everyone.<br /> <br /> The secret here is that constraints foster creativity rather than suppress it. By narrowing the focus of your audience you can harness a creative power bursting to pour words onto the page. Jeff Goins clean 31:52 077: Intentionally Choosing Your Path Instead of Dying a Slow Death: Interview with Paul Angone [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/paul-angone/ Wed, 14 Oct 2015 10:02:43 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18273 The average 2015 graduate walked off the stage at commencement with over $30,000 of student loan debt. You don’t need a math degree to realize something isn’t adding up. The 20th Century was in part an era of false belief. The influence of the industrial age allowed companies to treat people like cogs in a machine. Institutions of higher learning churned out qualified workers and graduates were promised a bright future. Paul Angone, a former college recruiter turned author and entrepreneur, knows the fear of post graduate life first hand. The average 2015 graduate walked off the stage at commencement with over $30,000 of student loan debt. You don’t need a math degree to realize something isn’t adding up. - The 20th Century was in part an era of false belief. The average 2015 graduate walked off the stage at commencement with over $30,000 of student loan debt. You don’t need a math degree to realize something isn’t adding up.<br /> <br /> The 20th Century was in part an era of false belief. The influence of the industrial age allowed companies to treat people like cogs in a machine. Institutions of higher learning churned out qualified workers and graduates were promised a bright future.<br /> <br /> Paul Angone, a former college recruiter turned author and entrepreneur, knows the fear of post graduate life first hand. Jeff Goins clean 45:33 076: Your Voice is Louder than Words: Interview with Todd Henry https://goinswriter.com/todd-henry/ Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:03:25 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18241 Some creatives think finding their voice is as simple as digging it up in their backyard. Much like buried treasure, your voice is shrouded in a bit more mystery. Todd Henry, a best-selling author and entrepreneur, believes your voice is developed in layers. It’s something you uncover and develop over time. Ultimately, your voice is how your collective body of work speaks. It is louder than your words and bigger than a single event. Some creatives think finding their voice is as simple as digging it up in their backyard. Much like buried treasure, your voice is shrouded in a bit more mystery. - Todd Henry, a best-selling author and entrepreneur, Some creatives think finding their voice is as simple as digging it up in their backyard. Much like buried treasure, your voice is shrouded in a bit more mystery.<br /> <br /> Todd Henry, a best-selling author and entrepreneur, believes your voice is developed in layers. It’s something you uncover and develop over time.<br /> <br /> Ultimately, your voice is how your collective body of work speaks. It is louder than your words and bigger than a single event. Jeff Goins clean 40:42 075: How to Get Booked and Paid to Speak: Interview with Grant Baldwin https://goinswriter.com/grant-baldwin/ Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:01:28 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18214 Despite outranking death as a fear, public speaking is a popular life goal for many people. The next worse fear is explaining what they want to speak about. It seems strange to want to be a speaker and not know the why, what, or who behind the drive. There’s an adrenaline rush when you get to connect with an audience, but you’ll fall flat without enough self-awareness. As a full-time speaker, Grant Baldwin has presented at 400+ engagements to over 350,000 people. Grant knows his purpose, his message, and the best target market. Despite outranking death as a fear, public speaking is a popular life goal for many people. The next worse fear is explaining what they want to speak about. - It seems strange to want to be a speaker and not know the why, what, Despite outranking death as a fear, public speaking is a popular life goal for many people. The next worse fear is explaining what they want to speak about.<br /> <br /> It seems strange to want to be a speaker and not know the why, what, or who behind the drive. There’s an adrenaline rush when you get to connect with an audience, but you’ll fall flat without enough self-awareness.<br /> <br /> As a full-time speaker, Grant Baldwin has presented at 400+ engagements to over 350,000 people. Grant knows his purpose, his message, and the best target market. Jeff Goins clean 37:56 074: Why Authentic Performances Steal the Show: Interview with Michael Port [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/michael-port/ Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:01:34 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18185 Approximately 6,000 tweets are shared every second. Everyone is talking, but not everyone has something to say. If you want your message to make a difference, you need to know how to steal the show. Social media is filled with the noise of political hyperbole, baby photos, cheeky memes, and the play-by-play of writers who should be writing. We overshare in the name of authenticity while complaining that our voice can’t be heard amidst the noise. When we finally get the spotlight, we fall flat on our faces or tremble with fear. The good news is we don’t have to. Approximately 6,000 tweets are shared every second. Everyone is talking, but not everyone has something to say. If you want your message to make a difference, you need to know how to steal the show. - Social media is filled with the noise of political... Approximately 6,000 tweets are shared. Everyone is talking, but not everyone has something to say. If you want your message to make a difference, you need to know how to steal the show.<br /> <br /> Social media is filled with the noise of political hyperbole, baby photos, cheeky memes, and the play-by-play of writers who should be writing.<br /> <br /> We overshare in the name of authenticity while complaining that our voice can’t be heard amidst the noise. When we finally get the spotlight, we fall flat on our faces or tremble with fear. The good news is we don’t have to. Jeff Goins clean 46:18 073: The Best Authors Never Write Alone: Interview with Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne [Podcast] https://goinswriter.com/pressfield-coyne/ Wed, 16 Sep 2015 10:01:38 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18149 Instant access to a wealth of information and digital tools broke down the walls of traditional publishing. The good news is anyone can write a book. This is also the bad news. The Internet provides the means for anyone to write, market, and launch their own book. Anyone who thinks they are a writer can self-publish a mediocre title with relative ease. People who fool themselves into believing they’ve found a secret hack to writing success are cheating. And in the long run, cheaters never win. Instant access to a wealth of information and digital tools broke down the walls of traditional publishing. The good news is anyone can write a book. This is also the bad news. - The Internet provides the means for anyone to write, market, Instant access to a wealth of information and digital tools broke down the walls of traditional publishing. The good news is anyone can write a book. This is also the bad news.<br /> <br /> The Internet provides the means for anyone to write, market, and launch their own book. Anyone who thinks they are a writer can self-publish a mediocre title with relative ease.<br /> <br /> People who fool themselves into believing they’ve found a secret hack to writing success are cheating. And in the long run, cheaters never win. Jeff Goins clean 51:04 When Friends Die: The Clarity & Confusion of Grief https://goinswriter.com/grief/ Tue, 15 Sep 2015 15:58:16 +0000 https://goinswriter.com/?p=18155 Two people I knew died this past week. I feel compelled to clarify these were people I met first online and then in real life. But then again, that happens to be just about everyone I know these days. Two people I knew died this past week. I feel compelled to clarify these were people I met first online and then in real life. But then again, that happens to be just about everyone I know these days. Two people I knew died this past week. I feel compelled to clarify these were people I met first online and then in real life. But then again, that happens to be just about everyone I know these days. Jeff Goins clean 12:08