Under30CEO » Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:27:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Under30CEO interviews successful young entrepreneurs to hear about their story and journey while starting their company. These young founders have over a million dollars a year in revenues and have been through many ups and downs to get there. These stories are meant to inspire, educate and motivate more young people to take a leap and do what they are passionate about. Under30CEO clean Under30CEO jared@under30ceo.com jared@under30ceo.com (Under30CEO) Under30CEO Interviews with Young Entrepreneurs on Starting Businesses entrepreneur, business, interview, young entrepreneur, business advice, startup advice, founder interview, ceo Under30CEO » Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/u30logo300x250.png http://under30ceo.com Change the Way You Think About Your Job & Use It To Catapult Your Own Business http://under30ceo.com/change-way-think-job-use-catapult-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=change-way-think-job-use-catapult-business http://under30ceo.com/change-way-think-job-use-catapult-business/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:00:31 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40255 One of the biggest questions you’ll start asking yourself and those around you when you get the entrepreneurial bug is when do you decide when to quit your job? Most people want to quit right away but never do because they are scared of not having a paycheck every two weeks to fall back on. […]

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entrepreneur

One of the biggest questions you’ll start asking yourself and those around you when you get the entrepreneurial bug is when do you decide when to quit your job? Most people want to quit right away but never do because they are scared of not having a paycheck every two weeks to fall back on. Others will want to quit right away and forget about the bills that begin to pile up quickly.

The thing you have to realize is that there is no right time to actually quit your day job to pursue your passion in life but instead of making the decision to quit or not to quit – why don’t you use it to get your business off the ground?

“I Don’t Have Enough Time” Myth – DEBUNKED

The average mindset that most people have is that they don’t have enough time to juggle a day job plus spend time working on their business. Well let me debunk this right away for you.

  • Full time jobs average 40-hours per week.
  • There are 24 hours in every day.
  • Which equates to 168 hours per week.

This leaves you with a total of 128 hours per week to work on your business. Now let’s say that you sleep an average of 8 hours per day. 128 – 56 = 72 hours to spend on your business.

Even with all of the time you spend at work plus the time you are sleeping, you still have a total of 72 hours to utilize to get your business off the ground. It’s never a matter of not having enough time to achieve the goals you want to achieve; it’s a matter of priorities and wanting to actually see your goals achieved.

How You Can Utilize Your Day Job For Success

There’s a lot of questions that you’ll have to ask yourself before you get started in any business, but what’s the main reason most people start a business anyway? The answer to that question is freedom. Financial freedom to live the life they desire without having to answer to anyone else controlling their schedule. Freedom to spend time with their family, to travel when they want to, and to do the things they’ve always wanted to do.

The secret is that it isn’t going to happen overnight. You won’t wake up and instantly be a successful owner of any business – you’ll wake up being the same person and doing the same thing that you did the night before.

With that in agreement, let’s break down the benefits of sticking it out with your current job before you just jump in the ocean without knowing how to swim. 

1. Finances

The biggest reason people fail in their business isn’t the fact that they don’t have any money but that they didn’t act quickly enough that the money simply ran out. Keeping your day job while pursuing your goals in your business allow you to spend money on important masterminds, business seminars, books, audio programs, and marketing your business.

If you have a business, it’s better to spend $300 per month on Facebook advertising in your local community not only gives you a better chance to be seen by your peers, but also gives you an opportunity to interact with them before they contact you for your services or go into your store.

Another thing to realize is that you will need people on your team to help you out because you can’t do this alone. Hiring a coach will help you figure out exactly what you need to do and will give you the tools necessary to succeed in your business. Whether that’s a one on one coaching situation or joining a group-coaching program – coaches will help you find clarity, provide a sense of direction, & help you simplify your actions to achieve more in less time.

The last reason why keeping your job while building your business is so you can continue to provide for your family (&/or yourself) so you don’t rack up an insane amount of debt. If I would have realized that I wouldn’t make money in my first couple business ventures because I wasn’t in the right mindset or surrounded around the right people, I wouldn’t have quit my day job at the time.

Instead, I continuously charged everything (bills, groceries, outings, etc) to my credit cards that eventually run out. Yes, credit cards aren’t just free money, eventually the balance does hit a ceiling and you are expected to pay it back… Monopoly money doesn’t count either.

Now I was in a worse situation sitting on no way to pay my bills or to eat AND I was going to lose my phone. If I would have kept my phone, I would have been able to slowly pay for marketing materials to get my business out there.

2. Mindset

The next thing that you have to realize is that starting your business requires a different mindset – a completely different mindset. Someone that is good in a managerial position might not be good at running their own business because they are used to doing the right thing instead of experimenting on growing the business they work for.

The same goes for someone in an entry-level position. Just because they are at the bottom of the barrel doesn’t mean that they can’t create and run a multi-million dollar corporation. It all boils down to the mindset and if you aren’t sure you are ready to make the leap – then you know you should do your research and spend some money on courses that will help you get into the right mindset.

There are some very fantastic books out there that will help you during this transition period and your employer will begin to notice the changes in yourself.

3. Time Management

I’ve always said there isn’t such a thing as a balance in life. Everyone is searching for a balance between work, life, & love and I wholeheartedly believe that there is absolutely no such thing as balance. Continuing to work your day job while you are building a business will help you with your time management skills.

You will learn how to juggle constantly busy schedules, figure out when your most productive periods of time are, how to still have time with your friends or your loved ones, and find time in between for some “alone” time with yourself.

This is where a lot of people enter into a state of overwhelm and never achieve anything they wanted to achieve because when someone is overwhelmed, they aren’t productive. They will sit on their hands or continue to do something that isn’t productive because their brain is trying to process what to do next.

The best thing that you can do for time management is to schedule everything out every single day. Most people have a set work schedule so you’ll be able to know when you have to leave for work and how long you’ll be there. Then you’ll be able to learn where you can find more time (whether that’s waking up earlier than usual or staying up later) in between all of your other activities.

When Is the Right Time To Leave Your Job?

Like I said before, there is no black & white answer on when you can actually leave your day job that gets you by until you start seeing success in your business. But once you start to become the person you need to become to achieve your goals in your business, then you’ll be able to break free of your employer. Until then, just stick it out so you can continue financing your goals without going into massive amounts of debt.

Once you stop having the voice in the back of your mind that you shouldn’t leave your job, that’s when you should leave.

Just remember; doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

Andrew Carlson is a public speaker & an executive coach to restauranteurs and small business owners in LA. He provides clarity, direction, and results by helping them implement the systems necessary to succeed. 

Image Credit: http://americanexpress.tumblr.com/

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How to Produce & Publish an International Magazine While Working a 9-5 Job http://under30ceo.com/produce-publish-monthly-international-magazine-working-9-5-job/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=produce-publish-monthly-international-magazine-working-9-5-job http://under30ceo.com/produce-publish-monthly-international-magazine-working-9-5-job/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:00:15 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40250 Ever heard these words before? “Content is king” What does that actually even mean? It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in the online marketing space at the moment, and I’ve been able to not only create content that people are willing to pay for, but I have created a platform where entrepreneurs can go to and learn […]

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entrepreneur

Ever heard these words before?

“Content is king”

What does that actually even mean? It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in the online marketing space at the moment, and I’ve been able to not only create content that people are willing to pay for, but I have created a platform where entrepreneurs can go to and learn from the best. In my case I have used content to drive sales and traffic. I have created a magazine to become an authority.

I am the publisher and editor of Foundr magazine. Foundr is a magazine for young entrepreneurs and its an app on the Apple Newsstand and the Google Play store for tablets and mobile devices.

What originally started off as a passion project while working my 9-5 job, has in little time turned into a serious business and media brand with 10′s of thousands of readers and a growing tribe. Through creating Foundr it has allowed me to leave my job, which I just recently resigned from!

Please note, I have no background in publishing, design and editorial. Foundr is my first REAL business.

So lets start off with what are the core elements of how I launched this international digital magazine while working my 9-5?

The core elements to this are the following:

Choosing a niche that matters to YOU  

This is the most important element. Whatever topic you want to create a magazine about it has to be in a field you are passionate about. Otherwise you are not going to last.

Publishing Platform 

This is what you use to build the app, maintain it, publish issues and enable interactive elements (video, clickable links, audio, interactive graphics)

Outsourcing

We now live in a world where you can bootstrap and create a business with little to no capital. Leveraging overseas talent on platforms like Elance & Odesk has given me access to world class designers, editors, and writers. The Foundr team is compiled of staff from India, Hungary, United Kingdom, USA, New Zealand and Australia.

So lets break things down a little further.

CHOOSING A NICHE

It’s important to note that whatever topic you decide to start your magazine on, it must be a topic that you are extremely passionate about. Originally when I started coming up with the idea of starting a magazine, I was going to do a mens lifestyle magazine, but as I went through the fact finding and research, I felt that it actually didn’t really excite me that much.

I always wanted to create my own business, so I thought why not learn from the best in the world and solve the problems that I’m facing myself as an aspring young entrepreneur. And thats how Foundr was born.

You really have to ask yourself the question when it comes to a topic of the magazine you are creating, what excites you?

CHOOSING A PUBLISHING PLATFORM

There is a lot of power in launching a digital magazine, because using the Apple Newsstand and the Google Play store allows you to have your distribution fully taken care of to a big starving crowd. Apple/Google take care of all payments, and take a 30% cut off sales, however you can list on 150+ countries around the world. Foundr has readers from Ghana, Italy, USA, Cambodia, you name it! The power of their distribution is MASSIVE.

There are affordable platforms that you can use to indepently publish your own digital magazine for tablet and mobile. It merely comes down to cost, and preference. Some are free but charge a cost per download, some require you to pay a monthly fee, and others allow you to have a one off license.

Here are the most well known publishing platforms:

Magcast – www.magcast.co – This is the platform I use. It’s built by online marketers, its cost affordable, and they really hold your hand in the process of getting your magazine off the ground.

Ooomph – https://oomphhq.com – This platform is quite good, however is a bit costly.

Magplus – www.magplus.com – Putting your magazine together with this service looks very simple and easy, I haven’t personally used it but heard great things.

Adobe DPS – https://digitalpublishing.acrobat.com – These guys are the first in the industry. It integrates well with Adobe Indesign, however they are not doing much for independent publishers and is not the most cost effective solution.

PRSS – www.prss.com – This platform is used by a top digital magazine in the appstore called TRVL (amazing travel magazine).The platform is free to use, and you are charged per download.

OUTSOURCING – BUILDING A GLOBAL TEAM TO WORK WHILE YOU SLEEP

So once you have signed up and have decided to use one of these platforms, the next step is to find someone to design the magazine. It is one of the most core elements of your product. The magazine itself should be designed with Adobe Indesign and you will need to find a graphic designer who has experience with magazine layout’s and putting content together. The magazine is essentially a PDF, that is exported from indesign. Using the publishing platform it allows you to add interactive elements. You will also need to source content as well, which actually is a lot easier than you think.

The most cost effective way to do all of this grunt work is to outsource the work overseas. Not only is this cost effective but its extremely efficient to LEVERAGE YOUR TIME. I have my design team working on a new issue while I sleep, while I’m at work, while I’m making dinner, while I’m even on the toilet. I think you get the point.

The same principle applies for our writers who are putting together amazing articles and stories, while I’m putting all the pieces together. We have use a combination of stock images, vectors and graphics to fill the magazine and make it look beautiful. The power of running a lean team, also allows us to move extremely fast, as time zone can be used to our advantage also.

As for how much content, we have around 6-7 ‘regular’ articles all with how to’s, actionable, strategical based content, then 3-4 story type features on profiling successful entrepreneurs. This generally fills the magazine out to between 50-70 pages, depending on the sizes of all the articles.

The sites I recommend to source your global team from are the following:

Odesk.com – This can be used for writers, editors, designers.

Elance.com – This can also be used for writers editors and designers.

Behance.com – Great place to see designers portfolios and potentially source a designer.

Dribble.com – Another great place designers hang, where you can find someone.

iWriter.com – Great place to specifically find writers for content.

Contently.com- Another great site to source high quality writers.

Can you see where this is all going?

This brings me to the last peice of the puzzle. So once you have established a topic and niche for your magazine, you have signed up to a publishing platform, and you have setup a global team you are ready to launch.

So how the hell do I get MASSIVE influencers on the front covers of Foundr. 

Simple.

I understand what they are looking for. How I can help them? How I can provide VALUE.

An influencer may be promoting a new book? They may be looking to get press? They may have launched a new product?

“Oh hi <ENTER BIG NAME> I’m the publisher of Foundr magazine, it would be an honor to have you on the front cover of a future issue to help promote your latest book. We can  also do full page adds for your book, which will go out to 10′s of thousands of readers who are super hungry to learn entrepreneurs.

Sounds like a no brainer right?

Like seriously, who wouldnt want to be on the front cover of a magazine?

BOOM.

So this brings me to the question. What’s holding you back from launching your own magazine? If I can do it with a full time job, that I have recently left why cant you?

Nathan Chan is the Publisher and Founder of Foundr magazine. He is extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and has had the pleasure of interviewing some of the world’s best entrepreneurs, and showcases this insider access in Foundr Magazine. You can find him at www.foundrmag.com

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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Want to Grow? How to Make Tiny Changes That Produce Enormous Results http://under30ceo.com/want-grow-make-tiny-changes-produce-enormous-results/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=want-grow-make-tiny-changes-produce-enormous-results http://under30ceo.com/want-grow-make-tiny-changes-produce-enormous-results/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:00:48 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40236   An Odd Interim I was in 7th grade. I rode around everywhere on my GT Mach One BMX bike. I rarely ever did my homework. I didn’t pay attention in class. And I didn’t care to listen to anyone, especially if it was unsolicited advice. I hung out with a sixteen year old homeschooled […]

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 small changes

An Odd Interim

I was in 7th grade. I rode around everywhere on my GT Mach One BMX bike. I rarely ever did my homework. I didn’t pay attention in class. And I didn’t care to listen to anyone, especially if it was unsolicited advice.

I hung out with a sixteen year old homeschooled kid that was obsessed with vampires and Marilyn Manson. Eventually, I became obsessed with those things too. He slept in until 4 PM every day, and we’d hang out after I got home from school.

My other friends were kids that rebelled against their parents, were constantly in trouble, and had zero motivation to succeed. But they were “cool”…

As you can see, I was going through a bit of a phase. The ironic thing about a phase is that you have no idea you’re going through one until you’re out of it.

Luckily for me, it was a short one. Those things simply weren’t me. As much as I wanted them to accept me and have a group of my own, I couldn’t let myself drown or perpetually hate life like those kids.

A Powerful and Simple Proclamation by Jim Rohn

There’s a quote you’ve probably heard before:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

- Jim Rohn

This could be one of the most true and profound statements of our time. I’d like to explore a 2.0 version of this same idea.

We all know it’s true we start talking like, acting like, thinking like, dressing like, spending like, and even feeling like the five people we spend the most time with.

Just walk through any of San Francisco’s eclectic neighborhoods and this truth is plainly presented. Even in a city known for its individuality, everyone looks and acts like everyone else. No one wants to be the outcast, the black sheep.

The Average of All Choices: True Growth

What about everything else? Do the books we read, people we listen to (but don’t necessarily know), TV shows we watch, and choices we make on the weekends shape who we are?

Of course they do, it’s just harder to see. After that phase in 7th grade I made a big change. I started hanging out with kids that did their homework, and started doing my own (most of the time). I began enjoying having intellectual conversations. I started reading books by inspiring people and began to care about measuring growth. I started realizing that maybe success was in my own hands, and life didn’t have to just happen to me. I was in control.

Later on in life — just a year or so ago actually — I decided to become a professional. I had another one of these “waking up” episodes, and with it, a big epiphany: the visions I had in my mind of the person I wanted to become didn’t match the actions I was taking today.

Would future Arman finish his work early and assume it was good enough? Would future Arman spend every weekend out on the town—drowning himself in noise, alcohol, and surface level conversation? Would future Arman surround himself with people who were okay with the status quo, with no real passion for life?

To think one day we’ll wake up and magically have the life we envisioned is a fatal mistake. That’s an amateur mindset.

The fastest and most effective way to move in the direction of your vision (without worrying about how it’ll happen), is to actually live it now. Be it now, even in the smallest ways possible.

Tiny steps go a long way.

You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.

- Paulo Coelho

I thought I was doing a good job, but there’s always room for improvement. Being aware and conscious of your choices is a great start toward becoming a happier and more fulfilled person.

I made a decision to be the very best version of myself I can be, and that person doesn’t play at an amateur level. I played small because I fell into the sheep trap again. Maybe I wanted to be accepted, or just live a “normal” life.

I stopped, I changed, and I’ve never felt better. Now everyone around me tells me I’ve changed, but I love it. Why? I think because it confirms I’m moving in the right direction. Something magical keeps nudging me along, like little omens. I know this feeling, and it usually leads to great triumph. I’m not going to question it. And when you make those changes, neither should you.

You don’t have to worry about what people will think about your new lifestyle choices. If anything, you’ll gain more respect and they will admire you. Growth attracts amazing people, and naturally sheds the rest (including the naysayers).

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

- Bernard M. Baruch

How Do You Make The Shift?

So how do you start to build that awareness and make more conscious choices about what influences you? Look around. Where and how do you spend your time?

What about the news you consume, does that affect you? Absolutely. The people you follow on Instagram, the books you read, the movies you see — all of it is part of the “formula of averages” that shapes who you are.

Just because you’re watching it on TV doesn’t mean you’re detached from it. We underestimate the affect of incoming information on our subconscious and conscious minds. It’s affecting your behaviors, and even your desires. I mean, you’re spending time with this person or idea after all, aren’t you?

Realizing this can be a bit heavy at first. There’s definitely an initial waking up period. You may feel a sense of responsibility to be more conscious about your choices, or even a sudden urge to radically change everything at once.

Don’t let it overwhelm you, have fun with it. Take it one area at a time and start to make changes little by little. Maybe start by finding excuses to hang out with that one really quirky, successful friend you have. Remember, success leaves clues.

Time to Start, but Slowly…

Start slow. Exchange just one brainless show you’re addicted to with the enlightening documentary on your queue, or that book you’ve been wanting to read. For example, lately I’ve been spending my free time watching Cosmos (the best thing on television, ever). I get to relax, and still learn something at the same time.

Another new ritual I’ve formed is meditation. I used to think it was mystical balderdash, but I’ve researched and tested this thoroughly now. I’m hooked. Meditation, even for a busy entrepreneur, is one of the most important and positive rituals you can add into your life today.

Just to be clear: I’m not recommending you become some uptight, sober book worm. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and zoning out sometimes. In fact, it’s good for you. Sometimes doing nothing but relaxing and rejuvenating is the best thing you can do.

I’m suggesting that you be more aware of how you spend your time.

When we hear about success stories, we place them in a separate category, as if it’s a hollywood movie. All my life I looked at people I wanted to become and thought, “Well, that’s them. They were born with talent. They probably knew the right people and had connections” which is the biggest BS of all.

I believe there’s one key thing that stops us from getting what we want: our story. The fictitious story you tell yourself about why things are the way they are. Change your story, and you can change your life.

Perhaps you want to be wealthy. So surround yourself with successful, wealthy people. Read books by wealthy people, and learn to appreciate their perspective. Don’t hang out with people who get jealous of others. Or worse, people who believe all wealthy people just “got lucky”. And if that’s what you believe, maybe it’s time to take a look at your own programming and explore the cognitive dissonance you’re holding. I did, and it changed my perspective.

Perhaps you want to travel more. So ask your traveler friends when their next trip is and go with them this time. Or even better, take a long weekend and head to a random country for no reason at all. I flew down to Panama and explored a beautiful country, in only 4.5 days. Don’t be the person who just asks questions about what destinations to visit, and then never does anything.

Perhaps you want to become a solopreneur. So support the ones you identify with most. When I first started to even consider this as an option, I looked to people like Chris Guillebeau to get guidance and motivation. Email your solopreneur friends and offer some value or help (this is key). Then ask them specific questions, including me. You’ll be surprised at the free help you get from people. Don’t delay and keep searching for a golden ticket, you’ll never find it.

So remember, it isn’t just the people we spend time with that influence us. It’s the reality we live in, the choices we make, and the things we do that shape us.

You are an average of the friends, mentors, activities, information, and experiences you choose to have in your life.

I trust you’ll make the best decisions. And remember, enjoy the ride…

Do you agree with Jim Rohn’s ‘average of the five people’ quote? What’s one small step you can take today to be more fulfilled?

A version of this post was originally published on WhyILeftGoogle.com

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Arman Assadi is founder and Chief Solopreneur at WhyILeftGoogle.com (WILG). Arman helps solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wantrepreneurs create more freedom and work more effectively. He is a writer, soccer player, and obsessive world traveler. He is also Board of Directors President for Traveling Stories— a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time. For more articles like this, get access to his Freedom Lifestyle Insider Newsletter.

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Top Business Books and Must Reads for Entrepreneurs http://under30ceo.com/top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs http://under30ceo.com/top-business-books-must-reads-entrepreneurs/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:38:02 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40384 Hey Under30CEO, This is our list of all time top reads and business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  It includes some new releases and best-sellers you should be reading now. Here’s our list of must reads! We are big fans of anything that gives us the edge in our personal and professional development […]

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top business books of all time

Hey Under30CEO,

This is our list of all time top reads and business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  It includes some new releases and best-sellers you should be reading now.

Here’s our list of must reads!

We are big fans of anything that gives us the edge in our personal and professional development or business.  We’ve authored over 4,000 articles here on Under30CEO and interviewed countless best selling authors including Seth Godin, Donald Trump, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Peter Shankman, Eric Ries, and Sharon Lechter.

New Releases & Best-sellers picked by our staff:

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher (Recommended by Co-founder Matt Wilson)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (Recommended by Editor Cara Murphy)

101 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations to Create Positive Change (Recommended by Community Manager Cesar Romero)

Thrive by Arianna Huffington (Recommended by Co-founder Jared O’Toole)

Our all time top reads

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

How to Win by Mark Cuban

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

The E-Myth Revisted by Michael Gerber

How to Win Friends ands Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Start with Why Simon Sinek

Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Our Top Book Lists

26 Awesome Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

17 Lessons from 17 Books to Learn from in 2013

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2012

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2011

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2010

Under30CEO’s Must Read Books from 2009

10 Billionaire Biographies You Must Read

Giveaway: Comment below with your favorite books for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! 

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Why You Should Burn All Your Bridges and Never Have a Backup Plan http://under30ceo.com/burn-bridges-never-backup-plan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=burn-bridges-never-backup-plan http://under30ceo.com/burn-bridges-never-backup-plan/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:00:56 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40234 What do you see when you look at a successful human? I see a determination, definiteness of purpose, and plan that most people are too afraid to ever create for themselves. Have you ever met anyone who achieved something important in life, something they would consider a dream, by dropping back to a plan B? […]

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What do you see when you look at a successful human?

I see a determination, definiteness of purpose, and plan that most people are too afraid to ever create for themselves.

Have you ever met anyone who achieved something important in life, something they would consider a dream, by dropping back to a plan B? It just doesn’t work that way.

Backup plans are not for winners. A person with a backup plan is likely to use that backup plan. This automatically means they’ve settled for less than what they initially wanted.

If you want to become a solopreneuer, you become one by deciding once and for all that there is no other route or course of action for you. You decide to push past the bottom-feeders and live out your full potential. You decide to create something that not only adds value to the world, but is in line with your individual purpose. There’s that “purpose” word again. Where are you supposed to find that?

quote-Steve-Jobs-if-you-havent-found-it-yet-keep-88480_1

No one ever wins in life with a backup plan.

Here’s the problem: Plan B is the sum of all your worries, fears, and disaster scenarios rolled up into one half-a*sed plan. A plan that you’re allowing yourself to be happy with. Why on earth are you compromising with your fears?

Shouldn’t we be focusing on the prize, not on the obstacles in the way?

There’s no hocus-pocus to this. Analyze any successful person you know, and you’ll see these common traits (whether they realize it or not). It essentially comes down to a fixed vs. growth mindset. People like Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck have dedicated their lives to this. Studies have been performed to understand what creates success.

If you don’t take action on your goals and desires now, will you regret it when you’re on your deathbed?

Life is a checkerboard, and the player opposite you is time.

- Napoleon Hill

Look around at the people you admire. Think about your role models and heros. Do they negotiate with life? Do they back down when they’re met with defeat or criticism? Do they believe in failure?

We hear these hero stories and learn about people who finally “made it” every day. There’s a constant theme every time: they had a relentless, crazy belief in succeeding and achieving their dreams. Whether they “failed” once or a thousand times, they kept going.

Also, isn’t there always an odd constant theme of them being in the worst possible state, in their most defeated times, when they finally pushed forward and achieved their goals?

If you want something, and you have a relentless desire to make it happen, backed by immediate action and a solid strategy — you will inevitably get it. Why? Because when you only have one possible outcome, the failures along the way can’t stop you.

The best part is — there is no such thing as failure happening to you. Failure is a choice. Failure is something we have to allow. Failure is the moment we choose to give up. For many, this may be hard to swallow. But there’s power in this realization.

In actuality, a failure along the way is nothing more than a temporary hiccup or side-step in your ultimate plan. If you have some big dream about becoming an entrepreneur, bestselling author, or world traveler — the only thing stopping you is…you.

Not the you you normally identify with. This you is nothing more than a mass accumulation of fears that your mind has created and held onto for years.

Your desires, dreams, and goals are perfectly fine. Now if you feel the plan is not yet ready or complete, that’s okay. But what’s not okay is just floating around wondering why all your plans aren’t coming true.

You must know clearly what it is you want.

Combine that with massive amounts of desire/purpose and your goals will miraculously be met with brilliant plans to help bring them into reality.

The problem (and cycle) starts when you allow yourself to come up with alternate plans that distract from the mission. The alternate plan comes with an alternate end goal, which is never as worthy of your ultimate one.

Burn the bridges, don’t look back, and march forward like there’s no tomorrow.

We’re all human. There will be struggles and moments of extreme doubt. But we can’t allow these fears or backup plans to creep into our minds.

Over time, I’ve developed a reflex to quickly stop these thoughts the moment they occur. Think of it as a game. Monitor the chatter in the skull, rather than identify with it. The moment something outside of your grandiose visions creeps in, snap it out of there like a rubber band slapping against your wrist.

In fact, I actually do that. I use a rubber band on my wrist to break old habits and develop new ones. This was one of them.

I’m not the typical entrepreneur. I don’t have the typical entrepreneur skills, mindset, or business. But I believe in my mission. I believe every single one of us deserves a life of freedom. I believe we all deserve to live the life we want, not the one others want for us.

I decided the only way I would ever commit to escaping the corporate world, building my dreams for myself, and becoming a solopreneur was by burning the bridges to the ground!

There is no return to a life of mediocrity, being incentivized to produce like a monkey, and falsely believing my daily actions (job) are contributing to the development of mankind. I’m contributing to society now, more than ever before.

If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.

- Tony Gaskins

With that said, what are you going to do?

Question: If there was one thing you could do for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Note from the author: I began drafting these ideas on a long transpacific plane ride, after a 97 day journey throughout Southeast Asia. At the time, I understood the lessons (in theory), but didn’t fully know how to live these values. Now I do, and I’ve seen a dramatic difference in my business and life.

A version of this post was originally published on WhyILeftGoogle.com 

Arman Assadi is founder and Chief Solopreneur at WhyILeftGoogle.com (WILG). Arman helps solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and wantrepreneurs create more freedom and work more effectively. He is a writer, soccer player, and obsessive world traveler. He is also Board of Directors President for Traveling Stories— a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time. For more articles like this, get access to his Freedom Lifestyle Insider Newsletter.

Image Credit: http://quotes.lifehack.org/

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Keeping the Customer from Hell out of Your Business, Automatically. http://under30ceo.com/keeping-customer-hell-business-automatically/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=keeping-customer-hell-business-automatically http://under30ceo.com/keeping-customer-hell-business-automatically/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:00:06 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40276 “You’ll throw in the extras we talked about if you want my business.” We were negotiating with a potential customer. His pattern was the same. We’d negotiate the terms and send the agreement. Our customer would confirm that everything was fine. Everything looked good. Until we spotted all of the extras he added in without […]

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customer from hell

“You’ll throw in the extras we talked about if you want my business.”

We were negotiating with a potential customer.

His pattern was the same. We’d negotiate the terms and send the agreement. Our customer would confirm that everything was fine.

Everything looked good.

Until we spotted all of the extras he added in without telling us. A new feature here, better payment terms there – He squeezed us anywhere and everywhere he could.

He was the customer from hell and we needed to keep him out.

But we couldn’t keep him out because we didn’t recognize him for what he was. In part 1, we talked about recognizing the customer from hell and why that’s important. In part 2, we talked about turning these nightmare customers into all-stars.

The real question though, is how we keep them out.

When it comes to keeping these customers out, you’ll need to cover specific areas. I’m sharing these tips with the assumption that you’re already in control of your environment. If you’re not in control, you can’t keep these customers out.

You need a system to keep them out.

One of our clients sold wheels and rims. They were a high-end manufacturer and their products were awesome. But they had no system in place for order confirmation, shipping or refunds. Customers found creative ways to take advantage of their business.

Customers would purchase their wheels, not realizing that it would take 12 weeks for our client to build, customize and ship their order. Once customers got frustrated they cancelled their orders.

At first, customers had no idea their order was on its way so they received a 12,000 dollar set of wheels for free. Word got around and customers started to take advantage.

It’s easy for businesses to ignore the systems and procedures they need. But good systems screen out bad customers. Systems close the loopholes and gotchas in your business. They help to eliminate loopholes.

But systems can’t fix the wrong tone.

Systems keep everything in line but they can’t control how customers see you. That’s where tone comes in. The wrong tone starts your customer relationship off on the wrong foot.

Let’s do a little tone comparison.

“Interested in working with me? I have 2 consulting slots left this month. I only take on 8 consulting projects each month. Here are the projects I accept.”

“I’m interested in working with you and I’d love to work on your project. Feel free to get in touch if you’re interested as well.”

Can you see the difference?

The first message tells customers you’re in demand. That you’re valuable. That you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you (which you should be).

And the second message?

It sends a message of neediness or desperation. Communicating this way shows customers you’re a mark or a target. If the customer from hell is a shark, neediness is the blood, the attractor that draws them in.

Which means you’ll need boundaries as backup.

Customers are like kids. And what do kids do? They test boundaries. They whine. They demand refunds on old products and they throw tantrums to get their way. Often times, they don’t understand the wisdom behind your decisions so they question eeeevvverrrrrything.

As frustrating as this behavior can be, it’s actually normal.

Most of us want customers who trust us completely. We want them to feel safe with us; where they don’t feel the need to question each and every decision we make.

Your customers need to test your boundaries. They need to push the limits and see that things work out when they follow your lead.

Which means you’ll need to enforce your boundaries.

Once you have your rules and systems you’ll need to enforce them. Giving in to a customer tantrum won’t lead to the kind of trust you want. Caring for them, guiding them, protecting them – from themselves even – that’s how you build that kind of trust.

Does all of this work automatically?

It’s automatic but you’ll need the complete system in order for this to work for you. Why? This whole thing works in layers. It’s a lot harder to say No to a customer or enforce boundaries when you’re desperate for work.

You’ll need to be in control over yourself and your business before you set expectations for your customer.

So what do you need to do to keep it going?

Once you have everything in place it’s all about maintenance and improvement. Go through each of the areas we’ve covered in parts 1 and 2. You’ll want to make sure you’re still in control over the areas we’ve discussed.

If you notice behavior from customers you don’t like, the first thing you’ll need to do is ask questions. What’s going on? Why is this happening, what caused it, etc.

Customers aren’t naturally unreasonable.

They’re generally okay with following the rules. Bad behavior has a source or point of origin. It’s up to you to find it.

What if we lose all-star customers as well?

All-star customers want very different things from your nightmare customers.

If you’ve done this right, your system should attract all-star customers. Your system should be focused on giving customers as much incentive as possible to behave the way you need them to.

If your customer is an all-star it’s easy to sync your goals with theirs. They want to solve a pain or problem, and you want to solve it (because it leads to more good things).

And if this whole thing stops working?

Then it means something is off, you’ve lost control somewhere along the line.

If it stops working, you simply audit your system. Go through each of the areas we’ve covered and find the leak. Figure out how the leak started and then plug it.

Can’t we turn the bad customers we get into all-stars?

You can, but it’s much easier to attract all-stars from the start.

Converting the customer from hell makes sense when your business is already full of them. When they’ve already found their way in and you’re looking to minimize the damage. It’s something you do to keep the doors open and the business going.

Letting nightmare customers in, giving them an opportunity to do some damage with hopes you’ll be able to turn it around later – not a good plan.

Keep the customer from hell out of your business.

Keeping them out of your business requires a game plan. But that game plan won’t work unless you’re in control of yourself and your environment. Follow the steps we’ve shared and the customer from hell should be a distant memory.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from a negative customer experience? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Andrew McDermott is the co-author of Hook:Why Websites Fail to Make Money and co-founder of HooktoWin.com. His Free 5 day mini course shows entrepreneurs how to fix website failure and attract customers automatically.

Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/clientsfromhell

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It’s Your Time to Fly: Why You Should Be Impractical and Move Somewhere New http://under30ceo.com/time-fly-impractical-move-somewhere-new/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=time-fly-impractical-move-somewhere-new http://under30ceo.com/time-fly-impractical-move-somewhere-new/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:00:57 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40164 The urge to pack up and start a new life in another city is a dream most everyone has entertained at one time or another. There’s a certain impulsive appeal in just leaving behind your established routine and starting fresh somewhere else. There’s an aura of adventure and renewal to the idea that calls to […]

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travel

The urge to pack up and start a new life in another city is a dream most everyone has entertained at one time or another. There’s a certain impulsive appeal in just leaving behind your established routine and starting fresh somewhere else. There’s an aura of adventure and renewal to the idea that calls to us.

But when you start seriously considering moving to a new place, there are all sorts of un-adventurous questions to answer. Are there jobs available? How’s the cost of living? What are my transportation options? Will I know or meet anyone there? These questions can be daunting, even frightening, and there may be very practical, sensible reasons to stay where you are.

But practicality can be overrated. And there are all sorts of reasons why being impractical and pulling up stakes might be the best move (literally) you ever made.

Facing your fears will teach you about yourself.

Ask around and you’ll no doubt find no shortage of people telling you why you shouldn’t move to a new city. Financial concerns. Fear of being alone. Fear of being away from friends, family, and most of all, familiarity. But would you rather be ruled by your fears, or face them down as the challenges they really are?

You get to call the shots.

Life often forces change on us, instead of the other way around. Many people find themselves forced to relocate by circumstances — family trouble, health reasons, changes in employment, or any number of other reasons may force you to find a new place to live. Why not take the reins and decide for yourself to move to someplace you’ll love? This is your opportunity to take charge, declare your independence, and go where your passion takes you. If you’re at a point in your job or career where you fear you might let go, this also might be your chance to meet new challenges head-on, instead of waiting for the worst to happen.

You can find better opportunities elsewhere.

The sad truth is, not every place is created equal. Having a personal history and emotional investment in where you live is great, but it doesn’t mean the opportunities there are better (or even as good as) anywhere else. You may find better employment opportunities, education, transportation, and community or even weather somewhere far away. The grass may, in fact, be greener on the other side.

For example, there might be a much better market environment for your startup company (Finland and Switzerland rival the United States as some of the best places for high-tech startups, while Tuscon, AZ and Augusta, GA have some of the lowest small business growth in the U.S. right now).

There are impractical considerations to moving, too. You might find a bustling arts scene, volunteer organization, or thriving community you didn’t know you were missing out on. You’ll never know unless you experience it for yourself.

There may never be a better time to follow your dreams.

Life has a way of adding obligations. Starting a family, establishing a career, buying a home: these are milestones that enrich our lives, but can also restrict opportunities. If you’re young, ambitious, and just starting out, there may literally be no better time than now to pull up stakes and set out to find a place for yourself. You’ll have your whole life to act sensibly. The time to be impetuous and impractical is now!

New adventures create growth.

Moving to a new city will create all sorts of challenges for you to meet. Develop new skills. Learn a language. Volunteer. Meet new people. Getting outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself to embrace new ideas will change you in powerful, positive ways you never expected — not to mention the personal, professional and financial opportunities and rewards that come with such growth. And you just might have a blast at the same time.

Your passion doesn’t live here anymore.

Routine can actually get comfortable if you live with it long enough. Stagnation starts to feel like familiarity, and you may not even realize what you’ve lost until you find it again. Lack of job satisfaction and growth might start to feel like security. When that happens, you know it’s time to shake things up. Starting a new life somewhere else not only holds the potential for new financial and career opportunities, but new people, new food, a new climate. Change awakens something inside us, and can reinvigorate your passion in unexpected ways.

You could find the dream career you didn’t know you wanted.

Often in life, we don’t end up where we thought we would. The dreams we cultivated as children or teens don’t survive into our adult years. Our interests change and grow as we do, and that dream job or successful business we thought we wanted may go unrealized — but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, finding a new dream career could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Moving to a new place is not necessarily something to do on a moment’s notice — it pays to do your research and find out as much as you can about where you’re going and what life will be like when you get there — but don’t let fear and uncertainty hold you back from exhilarating new experiences. There may never be a better time to experience the world than right now. Your next great life story could be just around the corner.

Jon Russo is the CEO of Areavibes, a website focused on helping people find the best places to live. Areavibes accomplishes this via a Livability Score created using a unique algorithm that takes into account dozens of characteristics in 7 different categories including nearby amenities, cost of living, crime rates, education, employment, housing and weather. Through this scoring system, AreaVibes is able to provide useful information for people who are relocating or looking to conduct a quality assessment on their own area.

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Kick-A$$ Guide to Mastering Your Goals http://under30ceo.com/kick-guide-mastering-goals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kick-guide-mastering-goals http://under30ceo.com/kick-guide-mastering-goals/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:00:45 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40141 Hey, how’s it going? It’s Mike Gowans. Do you got that friend that’s like he always comes around, and he’s always in a weird mood, kind of like cheerful but maybe not, and he’s always talking about oh, my job, blah, blah, blah? Well, the other night, I was actually out to eat with my […]

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Hey, how’s it going?

It’s Mike Gowans. Do you got that friend that’s like he always comes around, and he’s always in a weird mood, kind of like cheerful but maybe not, and he’s always talking about oh, my job, blah, blah, blah?

Well, the other night, I was actually out to eat with my girlfriend, and I sat down. An old friend of mine that guy that comes in, and he sits down and I haven’t seen him in a while. I asked him how things are going, and I had seen he had switched jobs. He had like his job shirt on. He had switched jobs, and so, I was talking to him. I said, “So, what’s going on?”

He said, “Well, you know the pay is better over here, and you plug into that 40-year-plan, you know you got to work for years for somebody, then hopefully retire.”

When I heard that, it made me cringe.

I was like, “Man! Buddy, we’ve got to get you working on some goals.”

Today, I want to talk about how to reach your goal with mastery. I found that when you go work on a goal, and you got to reach your goal, you develop mastery because you’re working on it. You’re learning different skills in order to get there. That’s kind of what I want to kind of talk about.

Let’s talk about a goal that you want to reach this year, okay?

You need first to define a goal.

Where do you want to be at the end of this year? Are things going to be different? Where are you going to get to? That’s one thing that we first got to do is define our goal, and it’s got to be something that is passionate to you.

I mean it’s important to you. It makes you cry. You got a real big reason why you want to reach this goal, and it’s so important for you to be able to reach your goal is to really knowing why you want to reach that goal. That’s the first thing we need to do.

The second thing we need to figure out is the top four skills that you would need to learn or acquire or get really good at or master in order to reach your goal that year. And so, in order to do that, you think about your goal and then you pick the top four skills, and we’re going to break those skills down into three-month chunks.

For three months at a time, you’re going to work on one skill, and you’re going to master it.

As you do that throughout the year in four different sections, so each quarter of the year, you’re going to master that one skill. Skill number one, for three months, you’re going to plug away at that one skill, not focus on anything else but that one skill that’s going to get you to your goal and that’s going to compile altogether with these other four skills and boost you into that result that’s reaching your goal.

For this first skill set that you’re going to learn in these three months, what you’re going to do is you’re going to go out there and you’re going to get the top four to six books that actually talk about that one skill.

You can find this on Amazon. Google it. Ask a friend. Go to your local bookstore. Find the top four to six books that cover this skill set.

Then, you need to go out and get the top three to five audio programs or DVDs that cover this skill. You’re going to plug in those audios and DVDs – again Amazon, your bookstore, ask around, Google it, YouTube. You’re going to find a lot of the things you’re going to need. Just Google it, okay?

The next thing you do is you plan to go to one to two live events.

Now, this may be a live seminar. It may be a live webinar. It may be a live teleseminar. Maybe you’re listening to a live call, and that’s going to be focused around that one skill that we’re going to be working on for this three-month period, okay? And then, everyday of these three months, what you’re going to do is you’re going to read 30 minutes a day, and then you’re going to listen 30 minutes a day in that focused skill that we’re looking at, okay.

These 30 minutes of reading might be broken up into three different sections of 10 minutes or maybe six different sections of 5 minutes.

Whatever you got to do to get that 30 minutes in, you got to do that because each day that 30 minutes a day piling up over three months is going to be huge.

I mean you’re going to be saturated with knowledge and all the different techniques that help you gain that skill set that are going to help you reach those goals. Listen 30 minutes a day. That may be broken up too into 10-minute increments or 5-minute increments, whatever it takes to get that 30 minutes in.

And then, here down at the bottom, I put “in the cracks of your life” because these 30 minutes of reading and 30 minutes of listening, you might not be able to do it all at once.

You got to kind of fit it into the cracks of your life – in-between different activities, in-between lunch, in-between this meeting, or in-between driving somewhere. Over here, I got an arrow that goes over here to the things or in the cracks of your life or what you can do while your hands are busy, your mind can be absorbing the knowledge of these skills that you need to learn, these top four skills.

When you’re driving, great time to turn your car into a drive time university and listen to these audios or these DVDs.

When you’re walking, maybe you go out and take a walk or when you’re doing yard work. When you’re traveling, when you’re at the airport sitting, waiting for your plane or on the plane. When you’re exercising, that’s a great time. You’re charged up. You’re kind of going. Your mind is just kind of open the things because your body is working so hard, or when you’re cleaning.

I love putting my iPhone or load up one of these audios into my iPhone and I’ll just listen to it while I’m doing those things.

Hopefully, going over this or looking at this is going to help you reach your goals, and if you got a friend that’s maybe trying to reach some goals, why don’t you share this with them?

I took a screenshot of this, and I put it below the video or there’s a link below the video that you can click on, and you can print this off and maybe hang it in your bathroom or your seat every day, or wherever you’re going to be at all the time. Maybe you can hang it there to remind you of what you’re trying to do.

goal-setting

With these goals, you got to write them down. Write them down. They’re physical. They’re out of your brain. They’re something you can look at.

It’s going to help a lot, too. Share this with someone.

Write your comments below.

What do you do to help reach your goals?

Or how did these things help you or just maybe add your two cents to other people that maybe watching this, what you got that helps you reach your goals. Be sure to do that.

Just a reminder:  This is your life. You can design it the way you want to.

I’ll see you on the next one!

I’m Mike Gowans and my whole purpose in life is to, inspire others to do what it is that inspires them. Visit me at my website www.MichaelDavidGowans.com. Find and know what it is YOU want to do. Have love and passion for what YOU want to do. Believe in YOURSELF and what YOU want to do. Take relentless action on what YOU want to do.

Image Credit: nicoleraefitness.wordp

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How to Turn the Customer from Hell into an All-Star http://under30ceo.com/turn-customer-hell-star/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=turn-customer-hell-star http://under30ceo.com/turn-customer-hell-star/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:00:01 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40193 “Why the hell isn’t this project done?!” “I’m going to initiate a chargeback on all the money we’ve paid you for the last year, since you can’t get this done.” Our customer was angry. He felt we weren’t doing our jobs. Except for one problem. Our customer was the reason his project wasn’t done. We […]

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Customers-From-Hell-2-e1383655394298

“Why the hell isn’t this project done?!”

“I’m going to initiate a chargeback on all the money we’ve paid you for the last year, since you can’t get this done.”

Our customer was angry.
He felt we weren’t doing our jobs.

Except for one problem.

Our customer was the reason his project wasn’t done. We had spent the last 2 months chasing him around, desperately trying to get the materials and approval we needed to finish his project.

He worked to sabotage his project.
Then complained that we weren’t getting things done.

He was the customer from hell.

If we wanted to save the relationship, we needed to turn our customer into an all-star.

In part 1, we talked about why it’s so important to recognize the customer from hell. If we wanted to avoid them, we needed to be able to see their behavior for what it was.

So why would anyone want to save their relationship with the customer from hell when we just talked about avoiding them?

Because bad customers aren’t created equal.

When it comes to rehabilitation, there’s two types of bad customers.

  1. The customer that’s willing to change.
  2. The customer that’s not willing to change.

Encouraging difficult customers to become all-stars is important because it eliminates the vast majority of the headaches and expense they create for your business.

It’s also cheaper to keep a paying customer than it is to try and win a new one. That’s important if you’ve got more than your fair share of nightmare customers.

Because conversion works best when there’s an incentive.

Neither one will make the effort to change their behavior without an incentive. And why should they? If treating you poorly means they continue to get all of the things they want, most of them will do it.

Your customers from hell need to self identify.

Asking them rarely works, since most of them will either avoid the question or tell you what you want to hear. No, you’ll need to use their behavior to identify the ones you keep and the ones you cut loose.

But how?

You create an environment that rewards the behaviors you want.

Rewarding the behaviors you want means you’ll need to make some changes in your business. Dysfunctional customers know which buttons to push. They know you’re afraid of losing them. They can smell desperation and they know when you “need the money”.

If they can manipulate you, they’re in control.

Which means you’ll need to control your environment.

The right environment keeps you in control; it keeps the focus on solving your customer’s problems. But your customers have very specific cards they can play to get what they want.

1. Getting emotional

Customers from hell use emotion as a delivery tool to get what they want. They’ll use the four horsemen — guilt, shame, fear and anger to send message.

Your product wasn’t what they expected? They’ll throw a tantrum.

Asked for a product they couldn’t afford? They’ll use guilt trips to get a refund.

They think you’re beneath them? They’ll use shame to keep you there.

2. Their leverage against you

Customers looove to use your competitors as leverage. “Yeah, well XYZ corp. gave me a quote that’s 30% less. Can you price match?”.

The horrible part?

We know what they’re doing and we hate it, but most of the time we play their game.

3. Your uniqueness is missing

Most of us have a hard time telling identical twins apart. Customers find themselves in the same position when you’re missing uniqueness. So they rely on their fall back.

Price.

They’ll use your price as leverage against another competitor in an effort to get the best deal. But they’re clueless when it comes to choosing what’s best for them.

See the problem? These three areas belong to you. Lose control over these areas and the symptoms get worse as the problem gets bigger.

Here’s how you use these three areas to convert a customer from hell.

1. Work with emotion.

Create boundaries, policies and systems ahead of time, when you’re not in an emotional situation. Map out the things you need to do to get the behavior you want.

Planning this out ahead of time is great because it gives you something to fall back on. You can empathize with a customer, listen when they’re angry and cry with them when they’re hurt – without hurting your business.

If you do decide to make an exception for a customer, the planning you did ahead of time will tell you how far you can go and how you can help. If customers get abusive, you know how to protect yourself.

2. Create leverage of your own

It’s really common for businesses to spend their time consulting with anyone that looks like a potential customer. They give each of them one-on-one attention in hopes of winning the sale. It’s exhausting and it never seems to be enough.

Leverage gives you the ability to market your business all day, every day without you needing to be involved. It could be an app, book or newsletter. It can be free or paid. It can be the product itself or a bait piece that points to the real product.

When it’s done right, leverage gives you lots of leads. Why is that important?

It gives you the ability to say No.

It’s easy to say no to a dysfunctional customer when you have 10 customers waiting to replace him. That puts you in a position of strength. You don’t have to grovel or beg for business when you’re in-demand.

3. Creating uniqueness

When you’re unique, you’re one of a kind.

Your uniqueness should be something your customers value, but can only get from you. Because it’s the one thing that makes you special. When it’s done right, this kind of uniqueness creates respect. It encourages loyalty. If your customers leave you, they lose your uniqueness – something they value but can’t replace.

Here are a few examples.

  • Domino’s Pizza: You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or lessóor it’s free!
  • M&M’s: Melts in your mouth, not in your hand
  • FedEx: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

Do it right and price isn’t the main focus anymore.

Creating the right environment sends the message that you’re special, unique and in-demand. It gives each of your customers a powerful incentive to behave because it sends an implied message. They need you more than you need them.

What happens when you can’t convert the customer from hell?

Remember the two types of bad customers we mentioned earlier? The stuff we’ve talked about work on those that are open to change. If you’ve created the right environment in your business they’ll change their behavior.

Those that aren’t open to change will need your help to leave, or they’ll leave on their own.

Expect their behavior to get worse before it gets better.

These customers may feel cornered. You’ve taken them out of their comfort zone, the place where they get what they want. That usually means their bad behavior is about to get worse as they fight to regain control. Stick with the changes you’ve made and it’ll pay off in the end. Distance yourself from customers who show they’re unwilling to change.

What if they become an all-star but they don’t stay that way?

If you’ve created the right environment that shouldn’t be an issue. Take a closer look at your environment if you notice some of your customers are misbehaving.

Have things been slipping? Have customers been allowed to get away with more than they should have? Are customers not being taken care of?

Ask the questions you need to ask to get the results you’re looking for. Have things gone off track a bit? Find out why. Getting things back on track is much easier when you understand the problem.

Turn your customer from hell into an all-star.

Saving your relationship with a difficult customer can be done. With the right environment and a willingness to change, your customer from hell can become your all-star.

In part 3, we’ll show you how to keep the customer from hell out of your business, automatically.

In the mean time, I want to hear about your customer from hell. Did you stick with them or show them the door?

Andrew McDermott is the co-author of Hook:Why Websites Fail to Make Money and co-founder of HooktoWin.com. His Free 5 day mini course shows entrepreneurs how to fix website failure and attract customers automatically.

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Depression F-ing Sucks! 5 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Overcome It… http://under30ceo.com/depression-f-ing-sucks-5-things-can-right-now-overcome/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=depression-f-ing-sucks-5-things-can-right-now-overcome http://under30ceo.com/depression-f-ing-sucks-5-things-can-right-now-overcome/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:00:36 +0000 Under30CEO http://under30ceo.com/?p=40248   Okay, depression really fucking sucks. It’s like doing everything you can, day in and day out, just to have the chance to take a positive step in the right direction. Every day is an accumulation of all the shitty days that came before, piled onto your back like 49 contestants from the Biggest Loser, waiting for […]

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depression 

Okay, depression really fucking sucks.

It’s like doing everything you can, day in and day out, just to have the chance to take a positive step in the right direction.

Every day is an accumulation of all the shitty days that came before, piled onto your back like 49 contestants from the Biggest Loser, waiting for you to take them to the finish line.

The finish line, of course, is your bed. Because you can’t wait to get away from everything and everyone and just do nothing.

The last 5 months I’ve been in and out of depression.

There are weeks I go without answering the phone or returning text messages from my family. I spend entire weekends on the couch. I even started watching Kourtney and Kim Take Miami—to make myself feel better… about feeling bad.

Kinda like eating a cheeseburger when you already feel like shit.

(Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about…)

I’m all for positive thinking and reinforcement, but let’s face it… sometimes that shit doesn’t cut it. Positive thoughts alone won’t lift you up out of the crappy situation you find yourself in every day.

I wish it did. But it doesn’t.

I tried maintaining a daily workout regimen, meditating, reading, hanging out with friends, Skyping family, waking up earlier, getting more sleep, taking vitamin D pills, eating bananas, making long-term plans, developing a routine, writing down my goals, talking to my cat… you name it!

None of it worked for me.

So here I am. Still depressed on a cold, rainy day in Detroit, Michigan with nothing but gray clouds outside while my cat Celestine sits on my feet.

Did I mention I lost power in my condo? Yea, that shit just happened. Because that’s what happens when everything sucks: it just gets suckier.

Here’s what the sky looks like outside…

This is my first time being depressed for this long a time. So I’m no expert on it. But I can say with confidence that the thing that sucks about depression is that you know something is wrong with you, but you’re not sure how to fix it.

So here’s a guide to lifting yourself out of depression when you’ve tried workouts, vitamin D, meditation, (insert failed remedy here) and none of it has worked.

This worked for me and hopefully it may help you…

 

1. CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS

This, I think more than anything, will help you to deal with your depression.

There are so many days where you try to lift yourself out of your funk, only to find that 20 minutes later—whether you went to the gym to jump on that treadmill or not—you still feel like shit. It’s okay!! It’s okay to feel this way because it’s not you! But remember to celebrate the fact that you even went to the gym!

Let me give you an example…

Before this 5 month spurt, I woke up every morning at 5:30am. I jumped out of bed, drank a glass of water, and headed to the gym to start my workout by 6am. After my workout, I came home and showered by 7:15am so that I could begin meditating by 7:30am. After 30 minutes of meditation, I would take a quick nap, get ready for work, and be out of the house by 8:45am.

It may sound rigid, but it was a GREAT routine! One that made me very happy to start the day off right by completing the most important tasks of my day early!

Well throughout this depression, I’ve wanted to return to that routine. But I’ve failed and failed and failed again. Some successes thrown in there, where for a few days (5 days tops!) I woke up at 5:30am. But the successful days were sporadic and the failures FAR outnumbered the successes.

Each morning that I came even close to waking up that early, I would just turn off the alarm and go back to sleep because I wouldn’t want to get out of the bed.

And at night, I’d know that I should turn off the tv so that I could go to sleep and wake up early, but I’d punish myself for not feeling right and keep the tv on anyway (because that makes sense…). Then I’d feel like crap the next day for not waking up early like I intended. This cycle repeated itself day after day… after day.

This self-sabotaging behavior, or psychic masochism, is more common in people suffering from depression.

Finally, I realized I wasn’t going to win this battle. At least not in the way I was attacking it: as an all or nothing proposition. Instead, I would attack my morning problem in small bites.

Each morning I would try to wake up 5-15 minutes earlier the day before. But here’s the catch: I wouldn’t actually wake up… I would just celebrate the fact that I COULD’VE woken up “if I wanted to”!

Sounds crazy, right?! But it worked!

Each morning I set the alarm on my phone for 5-15 minutes earlier than I did the day before. And the next morning when it was time to wake up, I would just turn it off and decide whether or not I’d actually want to get out of bed.

99.997% of the time I’d decide to stay in bed. But I still felt good about it because I knew I could’ve woke up at that time had I wanted to!

The next day would roll around and I’d do the same. “15 minutes earlier” I’d think to myself. And I’d turn over and go back to sleep.

It’s funny, but although I didn’t actually reach my goal of waking up early like I wanted to, I felt better about coming closer to achieving my goal. Any goal!

I started applying this to other things I was having trouble with.

I would start work for projects at night that I know I needed to finish soon. Even if I spent only 15 minutes on it before I went back to doing something worthless, I’d feel like I spent 15 minutes more than I would’ve if I had otherwise gone straight to watching Kourtney argue with Scott about getting drunk and punching his fist into a mirror the night before. (This is kind of embarrassing that I know this…)

Even with typing this post, I had to decide whether to sit on my couch and… well, do nothing. Or hop on my laptop for a few minutes and bang something out.

Already I feel better!

Celebrating the small wins is the best trick I know for making yourself feel better in any situation.

Harvard psychologists agree.

Allow yourself to fret over not knocking out the big projects or to-do’s another time! For now, we’re just working on doing something.

I promise, it helps!

 

2. CULTIVATE POSITIVE SELF-TALK

(YEAH, THE STUFF I SAID WON’T GET YOU OUT OF THIS… “ALONE”, I SAID!)

It’s unrealistic to think we can be completely free of depression, but we can learn to understand it enough to not give it total control over our lives.

Despite the fact that positive self-talk alone won’t get you out of your funk, it does help.

Remembering that your depression is a temporary state of mind and reclaiming hope that it will be alright in the end is a helpful reminder that things will get better.

Also, reminding yourself that you have so many experiences and events to look forward to in your life (traveling around the country, your wedding, spanking your children) does help to put things into perspective, although it may not totally alter how you currently feel.

Positive self-talk is a very practical method to break patterns of negative thought.

If you’re looking for a resource to guide you, check out What to Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter.

 

3. SPEAK WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND THOSE THAT LOVE YOU ABOUT HOW YOU’RE FEELING

This is a difficult one. It’s something that I struggle with. But I find that when I turn to the people I trust most not to judge me, they show sincere interest in what’s going on with me and want to help. Even though they may not be able to, just having them listen makes me feel better.

Love is a powerful force. And knowing that those who love you truly care about the direction of your life can reinstate hope and a drive to get better.

Also, I noticed that those whose calls I didn’t want to return because I felt like I owed them something or because didn’t want to have to explain myself, they cared too.

In fact, I haven’t come across one person who I have shared what I’m going through with who doesn’t care.

People genuinely care about your situation and want you to do better.

Remember this when you’re down because it’s so easy of us to think the opposite when things are going wrong.

 

4. WRITE

Taking inventory of your life by writing down exactly what you’re thinking and feeling in that moment is one of the best tools I know for uncovering some really interesting things about yourself.

The insights you learn from your own writing can be invaluable in helping you to understand your state of mind and how you may overcome it.

The best part is that you don’t need to have a mission for your writing. No structure. No theme. No intended outcome or length. Just write.

Sometimes all it takes is a couple of words with a pen and paper (or laptop) and the rest of the words write themselves.

Write whatever messed up shit that comes up and filters from your mind to the paper. I’ve written some pretty messed up stuff. But each time I write, I learn a little more about myself.

The action of writing down everything that is trapped inside of you is a freeing event. It’s like taking a bottle of your emotions and unscrewing the top to let them out. Even when what you write is really messed up, somehow it feels better to let it out onto paper.

At times what you see on the page is flat out ugly. Other times, you may find bits of compassion, gratitude, and hope in there.

Here’s a suggestion: make writing down whatever is on your mind the last thing that you do before you go to sleep at night. Do it in a journal or moleskin notebook, so that you have all your writing in the same record book.

You don’t have to examine it. You don’t even have to read it. Just let it out and hit the lights.

You’ll feel a little better.

 

5. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU’RE DEPRESSED. AND TRY NOT TO MINIMIZE IT.

This took me a while…

For weeks and weeks I would try to pull myself out of it by trying to push through the blockade of not wanting to workout or whatever.

I kept telling myself “I’ll be fine” and trying to pull myself together—like I’d done with everything else in my life to this point—using positive self-talk and continuing to do anything that should make me feel better.

It’d move me in the right direction for a few days or even a week. Then all of the sudden, I’d be right back where I started.

Low to the ground.

I tried reaching out to a friend from middle school who posted something to Facebook about how depressed she was and how she wished things would be better. I sent her a message saying that I was going through something similar, though on a much smaller scale, and that maybe we should chat to see if we can help one another out.

She said something I’ve heard medical professionals and people who’ve experienced depression say before: “No depression is better than another. They all affect people differently, and they all suck.”

She’s right.

What she was saying to me is that what I’m going through sucks just as bad as what she is going through. There’s no ‘Scale of Shittiness’ that I can compare my pain to hers.

Not only would that be pointless, but it’d probably suck just as bad for the winner as it does the loser (“Oh, I’m not as screwed up mentally as you are, yet I still feel like crap and am complaining about it”.)

Being able to accept the fact that you’re depressed is a huge step.

It helps to eliminate that feeling of blame for not doing things which you feel like you should or for feeling the way you feel—because it’s not totally in your control.

Once you’re able to accept the fact that you’re feeling depressed (which is to say, after you’ve identified that depression is in fact what you’re experiencing), you’re able to take the necessary actions to remedy it. Whether that’s vitamin D pills, sun lamps, medication, or counseling, it should be prescribed to you by a medical professional.

 

WANT MORE TIPS?

This is what helped me to work my way through depression. I’m not a medical professional, but I hope that what I’ve used to get through my experience with severe depression is helpful to you too.

And if you’d like more practical ideas to improve your daily life and achieve worthy goals, then you can join our free community of Practical Idealists here.

Depression sucks. And it’s not something you should feel like you have to deal with by yourself.

 

YOUR TURN

What would you add to the list? What’s one tip that you’ve used to overcome any unhappiness in your life? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

 

PS: I WROTE THIS A YEAR AGO WHEN I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A DEPRESSION WHICH BEGAN IN THE WINTER AND LASTED ROUGHLY 5 MONTHS. THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO HELPED ME WHEN I WAS LOW TO THE GROUND…

I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT AND LOVE YOU VERY MUCH.

Robert James Collier writes at practicalidealist.net, where he shares practical ideas to achieve worthy goals. If you enjoyed this article, join his free newsletter. Chat with him on Twitter @RobertJCollier.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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