This is my first update for the Million Dollar Blog Project. The leader board is up and we're off to the races. I'm pretty excited about the friendly competition that this project is going to start between all the blogs. I was excited to be on the first page of the leader board early today. Since then I've moved down a couple notches as some of the other blogs get more hits each day.In the coming weeks, I'll be working my tail off to get more content up on the site and driving more visitors to it. The name of the game (well, one of them) of the MDBP (Million Dollar Blog Project) is to increase your traffic. The second goal is to make as much money as possible with it. The Think Traffic Team will be aiming for one million dollars over time with the site they're setting up for the project (which I'm stoked is about learning quickly). A secondary goal is to get the combined total money made of all the other blogs that have signed up over one million as well. We're all helping to get to one million as well as fighting for top spot on that leader board!Traffic is going fairly well although it could use a kick in the pants with some good evergreen content. Unfortunately some of my traffic won't be registering with Clicky because I've only got the plugin on the Wordpress portion of the site, the blog. The Drupal part with the articles, movies, stores and trails doesn't have a Clicky module for drupal 7 yet so I'll be doing without. I'll just remember that I'm doing better than it looks because of that other section that's not tracking. The money section of the stats will be dead on thought. Right now it is at a big fat $0!That brings me to the product end of things. I'm working hard in Tyler's Bootstrappers Guild to get a product ready and out the door. He's got us working towards making $200 a month within 60 days. Tough, but doable!I've been steadily going along this path to creating a product through PureOutside for a while now but really taking my sweet time with it. I had originally planned to have a guide out in the summer but adventures in the nice weather took over. Then I decided I needed a whole new Drupal section to the site to hold these new products and that took a while. Currently Drupal is running on all cylinders for the main section of the site and I'm hard at work currently installing and configuring Ubercart for the store. I was worried I would have to piece together a bunch of different modules to sell subscriptions and digital files on the site but seems Ubercart has it all. I'll be installing that in the next few days and getting a free sample product up and ready to go.My aim is to have the sample site ready to go by the end of October and a full paid section up by the end of November. I'm really stoked about the idea of the paid content sections or subscription style product because it means I can update it any time I need to. There won't be any random PDF's floating around in the wild with old content in them.Getting excited about the release of my first digital product. Here we go!
Got you with that title didn't I?I'll say right off that I have no means of turning this blog into a million dollar blog. It would be nice but I don't think it's where I'm headed.What IS happening is that with a whole ton of other great new blogs, I'm participating in the Million Dollar Blog Project. What is that you might ask?The Million Dollar Blog Project is from the team at Think Traffic. They've started an ambitious new project to create a new blog from scratch and, over time, make a million dollars with it. What makes it fun is that they've created a great system, almost a game actually, that lets you sign up for the project and work along side them. Another goal of the project is to also help people create 1 million dollars worth of blogs around the blogosphere.That's why I've signed up.I've been on the brink of putting some products on PureOutside for a while now. I've just launched a huge portion to the site to go along with the blog and am building up a store for the products as we speak (not really, I'm actually writing this, but tonight I will be). This will be the catalyst to actually get things moving on the site. I've got some competition in the other blogs, I've got the team at Think Traffic leading the way. I can't think of a better time to really get going on it. A big thanks to the the Think Traffic Team for setting this all up. It's going to be a huge amount of work.One of the requirements of the project is an accountability journal. You're looking at the start of it. I'll be using rcThink as my journal as I go and hopefully everyone can learn a bit, or at least watch and wonder. You'll be able to find future Accountability Journals here.If you want to sign up yourself you can at http://thinktraffic.net/mdbp/.
I never knew exactly what Dragos' background was until now. I'm just starting the whole online business process and it sure sounds like he's gone through the whole thing and he's got some great insights on it.The 7 StagesHe says there are 7 stages - or ages as he calls them - in the progression of a business. Enthusiasm, Naivety, Attention, Maturity, Expansion, Leadership, Exhaustion are the main stages of an online business. Running a business is different for everyone but I think Dragos has done a great job summing it up. It's amazing that he was able to think back to what was in each stage long after he had gone through it. Apparently he followed his advice from the next section.Keep a JournalI never thought that I'd hear a recommendation about keeping a journal for a starting a business. Running a business is similar to every other adventure we can understake in that there are mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. It's tough to learn those lessons when you can't remember what you did and what went wrong. That's where the journal comes in. The whole idea is to record what you did, what went wrong and what was awesome. If you're a serial entrepreneur or you're just able to apply the things you learned to other areas in life, it will serve you well to look back on your journal and remind yourself not to make the same mistakes again.Day DreamDragos recommends day dreaming as a way to visualize your goals. I was a little surprised with this one but am happy that it's something that works. I day dream all the time and use it to make sure I'm heading in the right direction and not doing something I hate. Most of the time it takes some work getting to where you want to go. Any goal worth pursuing will be worth a bit of work. Day Dream to make sure that you're not putting a lot of work into something you don't like.Expand too EarlyOne of the worst things a business can do early on is try to expand too early. It can kill a business or at the very least spread it too thin at a time when resources need to be focused to get through the tough times. There is a step later on in the process where expansion is the focus but it is important to wait till there is a solid base before expanding. I'm guilty of this myself. I'd say I'm in between Enthusiasm and Naivety with my business and I'm having a hard time keeping things simple and focused. Expanding is one of the more interesting steps and involves brainstorming, trying new things, and getting bigger but it's not a great idea to try early on.ExhaustionApparently the last step in the business process is exhaustion. When things have run it's cource, you're on top, and all you're doing is fending off competitors, it's been a long and tiring process. Dragos says there's no more expansion to be done because you are the leader. Although I have yet to become a leader in any niche, I don't see how there is a limit to expansion if you're number 1. I guess it would make sense if you're on the top of your niche there is no where to go but sideways. I think there are still expansion options available to a leader in a niche since there are always related niches to conquer.Think about your exitThis is one of those things that you'll want to start thinking about when you get into the final stages of your business. Hopefully you'll be able to either expand into something that will keep things interesting, delegate your way out of working too much or selling your business.It was a bit tough to read with the English issues. He could have benefited from a quick read through from an editor. At the same time, I'm impressed that Dragos has put out a book even though he doesn't have a perfect grasp on English. It definitely shows that things don't have to be perfect for others to appreciate them.If you want to take a look at the 7 Ages of an Online Business by Dragos Roua you can check it out here.
The Purposeful Product Virtual Seminar has started.Presented by ThoughtLead, it focuses on turning what you love to do into a purposeful and profitable business. 2 times a week, they open a free tele-seminar with some of the biggest names in the online blogging and online business arena. Names like Johnny B Truant, Pat Flynn, Clay Collins are on the list. I guess I should mention Chris Brogan too. He'll be there.There have already been a couple but there are still lots to come. Don't miss the next ones. SIgn up at http://purposefulproduct.com/
Wow. Time sure does fly when you're having fun, or when you're busy. Or both? Week 2 of the Location Independent 12 Week Challenge has come and gone and as advertised, it has kicked my butt into gear and got me doing more work toward getting my new business up off the ground.Week 1 of the Challenge was easy. It was basically coming up with some sort of idea for a business and products you could create a business around. After travelling in Australia this past summer, it became clear that I had a lot of ideas about things I could do to help improve peoples lives. My main goal to improve my life but in doing so I would help everyone that felt the same way.During my travels I wrote down everything I could about ideas for articles, businesses, websites and products. I didn't want to waste a single idea. And while I could never implement every single one of these ideas in a timely fashion, they provide the base for most of my ideas that have grown into websites and products that are on the way. Recording all these ideas allows them to simmer and grow while you experience life. Some of them will fall behind and never be touched again. Others will grow and eventually become entire businesses. I highly recommend recording every idea that comes floating by that you like. Who knows what will happen with it.Week 2 of the Challenge has been a bit more difficult and I'm actually still working on it.
On to the OGSM!
What? Wait, what's an OGSM?I had no idea what an OGSM was before today but now I know. It's basically a very simple, high level business plan that will help you keep the direction of your business true to what you started with. I know well with projects, websites and I'm assuming businesses, as things get going it's tough to not veer off in the direction of greener pastures and easy work. Yes, this may be a nice way to get things moving in the short term, it sacrifices the goals and mission of the idea that you started with. Every mission that is important enough to be worked on demands a periodic re-evaluation but to change your direction because the work is hard demands a different evaluation. Are you up for it? Do you really want to do this? Why are you doing this?Until now I've had pieces of an idea for what my business is going to encompass. I've also read a few articles and books on putting together a business plan and why you should. That said, I've never sat down and asked myself those tough questions. What is the mission is for my business? What are my ultimate goals? What are the strategies for completing those goals? And how will I measure things so I know when I've reached those goals.
To fill out the OGSM(try and keep it high level and limit to one page), and answer the questions that will keep your business on track.Lea does a fantastic job of explaining the OGSM and the process in the Challenge Week 2 Video. Here's a distilled version.Your Objective: What's your ultimate goal for your project/business?Your Goals: What are the specific, detailed goals for achieving the above mission(numbers, markets, audiences, distribution methods)?Your Strategies: What exactly are you going to do to achieve these goals? (Think about how and where as well)Your Measures: You need to know when you achieve your goals. What and how are you going to measure things to know when you have reached them?Now is where you see if you have the motivation and the creativity to move to the next step in creating a business. It's easy and fun to get caught up in the details and not think about the big picture. What are you planning to do next year with your business? I really have no idea but with the plan I've just created with the OGSM, I have a compass that will point me in the direction of the next product or website I'll be creating. As Lea says in the video, once you have a plan like this every single decision you make for your business will come back to the goals and mission you've set out initially. You'll never have to worry about wandering off course if you consistently follow your mission. Good luck to all the 12 Week Challenge competitors. I'm very excited for the weeks to come.
I just bought a new pair of jeans. I really liked them because they're dark, they fit well and they're not stuffy looking. By stuffy looking I mean up tight, corporate, strict. That got me thinking about why I wanted a pair of jeans instead of some nice dress pants.At first I thought they were more comfortable. But I bought the pairs of dress pants I have because they were comfortable. Yes jeans are comfortable but so are dress pants. So that wasn't it.Then I thought it was because they were cheaper. Yes good dress pants can run up in the hundreds of dollars(not usually where I shop) but so can jeans. I could have bought any style of pant for the same price as these jeans. So that wasn't it either.I finally stumbled upon my answer.I dress up a fair amount. For gatherings, parties and work. I like to dress up and look sharp. It gives me an ego boost to be the best dressed in a room. Other people notice. When you are dressed well you stand out. Even so, I still like to wear jeans more than dress pants, especially when I'm working. Why is that?Dress pants remind me of work. But not of good, fun, entertaining, provocative, invigorating work. They remind me of corporate, dry, boring, repetitive, old, stuffy, traditional, slow work full of rules, restrictions, meetings, bureaucracy and gatekeepers. Jeans make me think of original ideas, plans on napkins, working in coffee shops, intense idea sessions and casually taking over the world.What do you wear when you're scheming your evil master plan?
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to travel and see the world and learn new languages. But along with most people, I couldn't get past the "fact" that I had only a small amount of vacation time each year in which I could travel.Enter Location Independence.While not new or original idea, Jonathan and Lea Woodward have done a lot to open up the concept to the public and really push it. Where there was once excuse after excuse about how and why travelling and won't can't be done on a long term basis, you can now find article after article on their site and others explaining how it can be done, and how they did it.Need to know how to travel with kids? You can be a Location Independent Parent.Have a trailer and want to drive around while working and making a living? Do it on wheels.Want to jet off to Panama, start a business and start living the lifestyle? Maybe Panama will be your next location.If you want a detailed guide to a particular destination, check out the list of LIP guides.
Am I Location Independent?
Nope. Not yet at least. But I'm working on it. Yes, I know. Excuses and more excuses. Things are going in the direction I'd like them to but certainly not at the pace I would have hoped. Working 40 hours a week at a standard job doesn't leave much time to put together a business from scratch and get it running. But baby steps are all it takes to get you where you want to go eventually. Every single day, I'm taking steps toward my goal and every day I'm getting that much closer to being able to jet around the world, adventuring to my hearts content.Everyone gets in a rut though. I wouldn't exactly call what I'm in a rut but it feels like one. Things are getting done, I'm just not moving forward at the pace I'd like to. Sounds like that's the problem Jonathan is having as well. He's looking to become a full-time illustrator. So what do any highly motivated professionals do when they want something bad? They issue a challenge.
The 12 Week Challenge has been set up to accelerate the pace of anyone looking to be come location independent. I'm not sure I can become entirely location independent in 12 weeks but I sure as heck would love to try. What are the downsides? More freedom? More money? More experience? Damn those suck. I'm thinking I should do it now.In my mind the only way for motivated people to get even more motivated is to surround yourself with eve more highly motivated people than yourself. To become location independent in 12 weeks is an incredible goal and not one for the faint of heart. But I'm up for the challenge.What's the worse that can happen? I don't become location independent? I'm doing that already.
Welcome to the Digital Nomad Blog Carnival numero 5!This is the 5th monthly issue highlighting the best of the digital nomad blogs and their fantastic writing and amazing stories.A special thanks @CodyMckibb at Thrilling Heroics for setting up the first one and making sure this fantastic idea keeps on truckin.And without any more blah blah blah from me, here are the best of the best from the latest submissions.Thursday Bram presents Go Abroad: It Will Make You More Creative as well as Flying Solo: What If Your Other Half Doesn't Want To Travel? posted at Working Your Way Around The World.John Bardos presents 8 Reasons Why You Should Work in a Foreign Country | JetSetCitizen.com posted at JetSetCitizen.com.SVB presents Find The Best Web Host For Your Online Business posted at The Digerati Life.Chris Dunphy presents Connected at Burning Man posted at Tales from Technomadia.David Turnbull presents How To Be Effective posted at David Turnbull.Robert Fitzsimmons presents My Date with a Cambodian Girl posted at AdventureRob.com.Kirsty Henderson presents Nerdy Nomad » My 10 Favourite Cafes in New York with Free Wifi (So Far) posted at Nerdy Nomad.Jeremy Zongker presents The Importance of a Professional Website Design posted at Reliable Writers.That's it! If you were hoping to submit an article for this month, you just missed it but JetSetCitizen is hosting next months so make sure you get your entry in soon! You can do that on the Blog Carnival submission page.If you are new to this whole Digital Nomad Blog Carnival thing, check out the previous editions:Carnival #4 at Working Your Way Around The WorldCarnival #3 at Voyagner by @DanHaneveerCarnival #2 at Get Paid To Write Online by @SHurleyHallCarnival #1 at Thrilling Heroics by @codymckibb
Reading so much about travelling lately and actually doing it has me thinking a lot about how to continue the lifestyle. Most people end up either travelling or working. They work really hard, travel for a bit, then come home and work towards the next trip.Those that are able to work while they travel tend to sacrifice any past experience they've got in order to get a job in another country. Here in Australia, fruitpicking, serving and bartending are popular jobs for the travellers as they're easy to obtain, the money is pretty good and there really is no experience necessary.While these jobs can be a lot of fun they aren't exactly a career and wage doesn't change much. Skills from school or past experience go unused as moving to a new country or city require a new job, a new set of people, a different set of skills.Staying in one place and working for the same employer allows you to gain experience, get to know the people you work with/for and increase your wage. How come you can't work for the same place and get all the benefits that go along with it and travel at the same time?You can! Have you got a job that uses a computer, the internet, email, social networking? You might already be ready to go travel and work at the same time. Can you work at home with little interruption to how you function or difference in the amount of work you get done? What if you did that work from the next province, state or country?http://locationindependent.com/blog/ is a constant stream of ideas, tips and links dedicated to helping people cut the chains, escape the cubicle and become an LIP, or Location Independent Proffessional. Lea and Jonathon Woodward run the site and are living the location independent lifestyle themselves. Having lived in places like Thailand, South Africa and the Caribbean whilst blogging and running Kinetiva, their online business, they've proved the theory works, you can travel and run a business at the same time.Where are you travelling and working next?