3 Books That Will Get Your Brain Out of the Rat Race and Into the Entrepreneurial Mindset for 2016

 

Books are a powerful transformation tool for entrepreneurs, yet like any tool they’ll only be as good as how you use them. A hammer left in the toolbox is of no value to a builder, just like the pages of book’s lessons left unapplied are not useful to you. Don’t just read the words — live them! There are books that entertain, books that teach, and books that inspire — all with powerful applications that can change your life. In 2015, I leaned on some old favorites, as well as some new reading material to solidify my entrepreneurial mindset and make a real framework of my business. Imagine how these books could totally change your 2016.

 

Here are three books that will get you ease your brain out of the rat race and into the mindset of a healthy, wealthy and wise entrepreneur.

 

  1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – Michael E. Gerber

“While you couldn’t have known everything, you could certainly have known more than you do. And that’s your job! The job of the owner… is to prepare yourself and your business for growth.”

 

This book is a classic for a reason, yet it had been years since I’d scanned the pages and really read it. Told as a conversation between business mentor and mentee, this book will shake a much-needed dose of awareness into your New Year. Can you identify with any of the three stages of business cycles in the pages of this book? Is your startup in the adolescent phase and will you make it beyond? Are you guilty of being the corporate technician turned entrepreneur (I was!) and how is that killing your business right now? The E-Myth Revisited is an easy to read, yet powerful tool to have in your arsenal of entrepreneurial growth. Get a copy today and learn before it’s too late.

 

  1. Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream – James Altucher

 

“The only truly safe thing you can do is to try over and over again. To go for it, to get rejected, to repeat, to strive, to wish. Without rejection there is no frontier, there is no passion, and there is no magic.”

 

I will forever have a special place in my heart for this book and for Mr. James Altucher for writing it. Even now, writing up this summary I get a little emotional. Choose Yourself is one of those books that will change your life. It undoubtedly changed mine. Reading it was the first step I took toward my life today. James lays it all out on the table for you — it’s raw, and honest, and funny and sometimes even a little uncomfortable to read because it’s so honest but you will walk away from each page with a mindset shift. Jobs are dying and going away and the entrepreneurial lifestyle is the new “business as usual.” James offers real advice on how to build a strong mental, physical, emotional and spiritual foundation so that you can be successful in all areas of your life. It’s full of simple to follow ways to build your creativity, how to get started now and how be a better human being. As James says in the book, “You can either take the blue pill (become depressed about an artificial reality that is never going to return) or you can take the red pill (fully enter the Choose Yourself era and take advantage of its opportunities).” This book will change your brain and your life. Read it (or re-read it) now.

 

  1. The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph – Ryan Holiday

 

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

 

This quotes from Marcus Aurelius becomes the inspiration for the title and the message of Ryan Holiday’s musings on developing an entrepreneur’s mental acuity. As touted in every review of the book, it’s loosely based on the philosophy of stoicism, but what makes it important for you is the systematic approach to developing the kind of mindset necessary for success in all arenas of life. Ryan breaks this down to perception, action and will — and your ability to realize, master and shape your life through these three success fundamentals. You can choose your perception, you can decide what action to take and you can exercise your will. Knowing you have that kind of power will take you far in life. Learning how to hone and use that kind of power will change your life. The Obstacle is the Way is an easy to read but loaded daily primer on living your best life and training your brain for success.

Entrepreneur.com Post: 7 Ways Solopreneurs Can Turn a One-Time Webinar into a Content Goldmine

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Utilizing your content for more than one application is a great way to stretch out your marketing efforts. Content marketers know that creating the valuable articles, posts and webinars that are going to get you raving fans require time, effort and a lot of promoting.

If you’re looking for tips on how to stretch your content the farthest, try read my article for Entrepeneur.com on 7 ways you can turn a one-time webinar into a content goldmine.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 6.47.45 PMIf you have questions, or suggestions on how else you can capitalize on your content, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

 

 

Want Free Press for your Startup or Small Business? Join the workshop!

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Join me on Wednesday, July 29, for an informative, fun and jam-packed two hour workshop on how to get your business free press. I’ll be presenting this popular workshop as part of the festivities kicking off Alaska’s Entrepreneurship Week, put together by the Anchorage Economic Development Council (AEDC) and other great sponsors.

This workshop will be held at the Alaska Small Business Development Council (SBDC) offices and starts at 3pm. Registration is $20 for the event and can be paid online, in advance, through the SBDC’s website. Can’t attend in person? No problem! The workshop will be live streamed as a webinar, as well.

See you at the workshop!

Entrepreneur.com — Follow This 5-Step Process to Create Your Own Free Press

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Back in April I had my first article published on Entrepreneur.com about my 5-step process for getting free press by creating your own thought leadership content. It’s a simple concept, it just requires consistency and follow-through to keep at it and slug through the rejections until you get an acceptance.

The reality is that editorial pieces written and pitched to the press will be far more effective for garnering attention than journalistic coverage alone. Other entrepreneurs want to know what you know and you’ll gain credibility in the eyes of your customers. Getting media coverage will mean more eyes on your content and by default, your startup. You and your experience are the real goldmine that will translate from the press into increased sales. Oh, and the best part? It’s free.

Read the full piece HERE on Entrepreneur.com.

5 Simple Practices That Will Make Your Writing Better

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There’s something a little bit mythical about being a writer. When your profession is actually, “writer,” as mine has been for the past few years, people will often sigh longingly and say, “I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” then ask, “What’s your best advice for someone to get into writing?”

 

The best advice I can give any aspiring writer is to write.
That sounds so obvious but people tend to try to find all manner of hacks to improve their writing skills without doing this simple, most obvious practice. You can be a great writer, if you will take the time to write every single day. That’s it.

 

People will then ask, “What do you write about?” or “How do you come up with ideas?” There are ideas everywhere! Take a cue out of James Altucher’s advice and try to write down 10 ideas a day for your business, for someone else’s business or even just about writing prompts or stories you could write. Journaling is a great entry point to writing, too, by the way.

 

If you want to be a good writer, write.

 

From there, I can give you plenty of other advice that’s specifically related to business writing, or rather content writing, for your marketing and PR efforts.

 

While taking the time to write blog posts, editorial pieces, articles, reviews, white papers, and guest posts may just seem like just one more thing you have to do in your busy day, the reality is that creating this kind of consistent presence within your industry can become invaluable for you. I often advise my clients to go this route for two reasons; one, you create really great content to promote your business and two, you get in the habit of writing which in turn, makes you a better writer.

 

And when you’re a better writer, you’re frankly better.

 

You communicate better, you read more, you look for stories, and you notice life around you more – always looking for the opportunity, idea or angle to create a great piece of content.

 

Developing your writing skills will make you a little more awesome.

 

Aside from your general personal awesomeness, here is a look at a few other tips and tricks to establish yourself as a leader, promote your brand awareness and craft unparalleled content.

1. Deliver On the Title
Click bait titles have become all too common in the online publishing atmosphere and readers are slowly beginning to catch up to this trend. While a catchy title will bring in more traffic in the beginning, it is not going to result in long-term leadership. While lists do very well, you need to deliver on the list and provide real value. Provocative and controversial titles are a great way to get people to engage with your content, but ensure you’re delivering what you promise, in fact over deliver on your title and promise and don’t be controversial just for the sake of a hook. Really put the meat behind your hook or you’ll lose traffic, and credibility, quickly.

 

2. Make Your Writing Actionable
Fluff is great on a bunny, but bad in a story. That sentence right there was fluff. People will pick up on worthless filler content and stop reading your work if you don’t deliver the goods. We live in a share economy now. People and businesses that thrive are based on sharing, i.e. Uber, Airbnb, even Tesla share open source information about the engineering of their electric car. The new medium in today’s share economy is give more than you take. Don’t hoard your knowledge or insights, give them away freely. Your readers want information that is actionable and applicable to their life. Giving them the story and the solution, along with something to do at the end of the articles will engage them on multiple levels, which means a more powerful message. Share what you know and you’ll be a better writer and create more valuable content.

 

3. Be Accurate with Sources and Statistics
Many people writing content are making the mistake of blatantly, or inadvertently, plagiarizing. When you wrote papers in school, you had to cite sources. The same goes in the online world. Even if it’s easier to get away with stealing other people’s ideas, quotes or research, it’s the wrong thing to do and it weakens your credibility. The great thing about the online arena is you can simply hyperlink or mention sources, no bibliography or references section necessary. It’s far too easy to be so lazy that you plagiarize. You have the power to check on facts, numbers, and statistics. If your information is not backed up with hard facts and linked to them, you’re making a mistake and missing an opportunity to provide some real value. Back up your writing with relevant sources and statistics.

 

4. Make the Information Easy to Digest
Information is all about aesthetics. The human eye tends to naturally move about the screen looking for visual clues on the overall goal of the page, and this means that information must be broken up to become digestible. Anything that breaks up blocks of writing such as subheadings, lists, quotes, numbers, and media will liven up the page. Take the time to organize your writing accordingly.

 

5. Tie Your Writing Together
Finally, it is important to think of your content as an ongoing storyline. The more you can reference your own writing, the more engaged people will be with your website. Stick with the theme, brand and voice of your site and your culture overall to keep thing cohesive. Another important part of your writing is to keep not only the tone and voice consistent, but the timing, too. Get yourself on a regular posting schedule so readers know when to expect another great piece from you and your site.