At the tender age of 21 I worked as a cocktail waitress, then bartender, at a local dive in my hometown of Las Vegas.
The things I’ve seen there could fill a blog post and would both fascinate and revolt you – but one of the most interesting oddities I would persistently encounter night after night was the persistent sleaze bag.
You’ve seen this guy at bars, nightclubs and dives. He’s the one that comes in at ten and talks to every female.
Me and my regulars would take bets on how long it would take and laugh at the untoward things he’d try to get a woman to go home with him. But the not-so-funny truth about the situation was 9 times out of 10 he’d win… that’s a better batting average than the baddest Major league slugger.
Today I turned 26 and unlike birthdays of yesteryear I’m actually really happy about growing a year older and wiser.
What I realized was that when I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, every birthday over 21 seemed frightening.
Now that I have a clear vision of my future, set goals that I’m gunning for and an overall positive outlook on life – another birthday is only reason for celebration.
Last night as I celebrated the end of 25 I sat deliberating on what kind of year 26 would be – that is May 27th, 2011 to May 27th, 2012 – and it came to me in a flash. Twenty-six will be the year of the hustle.
A while back, when I was still living in Nevada, I came out to S.F. to visit some blog friends and see Tim Ferriss and Leo Babauta do a panel on Zen living.
This was the first time I’d been alone in San Francisco in… well… forever. And something about the experience transformed me, it was just a sense of freedom I had never felt before, riding the BART, walking everywhere and spending time alone (but happy).
I’d always been dependent on other people up until that point in my life – and that first solitary visit to San Francisco flipped a switch and forever changed a very important part of my inner working.
Anyways, back to the panel, so I’m sitting in this tea spot called Samovar (which I highly recommend to all tea elitists – a group I’m sadly not part of since I consider Starbucks good tea) with Ev and Corbett. I don’t remember much of the whole thing except something Ferriss said, which was “practice being present”.
Now I’m educated enough to know he’s not the first person to coin this term, but he was the first person I’d heard it from and it made a serious impact. For much of my life before that I had tried to escape “being present” by filling time full of activities, people and relationships.
Now, almost a year later, I’m living in San Francisco and I’m practicing being present almost daily. It’s really changed my life, in business and personal ways. Because of this I thought I’d share with you my experiences over the last year which hopefully will inspire you to take a leap and change your life for the better as well… I broke my experiences and lessons learned into 7 specific thoughts, which I’ll share right… about… now…
Last week I felt like I had hit a wall when it came to productivity. So I took the weekend off, walked a lot, ate some good food and read a lot.
During my reading this weekend I came across these 33 inspiring quotes that I wanted to share with you. Read through them – it should only take a few minutes – and let me know what you think, or if you have some to add.
They’ve inspired and invigorated me for the week to come and I hope they can do the same for you!
1. Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. – Ovid
2. I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. – Douglas Adams
3. Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt
4. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. – Reinhold Niebuhr
5. When you are through changing, you are through. – Bruce Barton
6. A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason. – J. P. Morgan
7. Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. – Ayn Rand
First off, personal update, because heck… I rarely do them. Today I signed a whopping 6 month lease (commitment hives are setting in!) for an apartment in San Francisco. I also officially signed a one month contract at a coworking space in SoMa.
So I am “officially” abiding in the beautiful city by the bay and I won’t be jetting around for a while as I work doggedly to make my startup great. If you read this blog, follow me on Twitter or just like cocktails give me a shout next time your in the city & we’ll get a Moscow mule together!
Now to the brass tax… lately a lot of people have asked me if I think they have what it takes to become an entrepreneur and/or should they start a business (more or less the same thing). I’ve been responding to these emails individually but to save time and sanity I decided to write a post on what in my opinion it takes to be a successful startup entrepreneur (note: my opinion).
First things first…
What exactly is an entrepreneur?
One of the definitions of entrepreneur from the online Dictionary states an entrepreneur is:
a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
For those of you interested in online entrepreneurship and bootstrapping this interview will rock your socks. First off Adii is quite open about where his company Woothemes has done well and where they’ve needed to pivot – like focusing on only one theme platform (WordPress).
Second Adii and his partners built his company from scratch – working virtually – with partners all over the world – into a million + dollar a year business (I love when Andrew Warner has interviewed people in the past because he always gets down to the brass tax and saves me researching how much they earn – thanks Andrew!).
So sit down, shut up (I tease, I tease) and sip some yummy tea as you let your entrepreneurial spirit soar with me and Adii for the next half hour.
The other day I was on HARO… actually, let me rephrase that: The other day my virtual assistant was on HARO… looking for case studies of people who had become self made (my all encompassing obsession as of late). Lots of people responded to our query, but 6 stood out as legitimate and inspiring self made millionaires and I thought I’d share their stories with you.
Now do note that these stories aren’t written or really edited by me, they were either written by the person’s publicist or by the millionaire themselves (you can guess which one is which). I decided to leave them this way so my thoughts or personality wouldn’t taint the information a savvy reader can gather from these 6 self made case studies.
Enjoy and let me know your thoughts afterwards… I’m impartial to their stories but I think each has interesting and inspirational lesson to be learned from.
If there is a strong go-getter, self-made, female entrepreneur who has followed her passions to launch not just one, but four successful small businesses; it would be Jessie Conners.
Her life is a true rags-to-riches story – she went from a trailer with no running water – to an orphanage – to opening a marketing company at 17 – to buying her first piece of real estate at 19. At 20, Jessie was a published author, then a reality star at 21 (Donald Trump’s The Apprentice).
What is the one thing you want more than anything… what’s the thing you’ll fight for – come hell or high water?
Today I had a very real wake up call on what I want more than anything. A goal deeply tied into my belief that people should strive to become self made and my business, Zirtual.
It all started this morning when I was wishing I could offer a friend a job at Zirtual (someone who has vast talent and skill but got royally screwed by “the man” so to speak). I often wish I could give good people, hard working people jobs – but we’re currently just a baby company and doing things super bootstrapped style with a team of 3.
Then I got a nasty email…
The podcast is back! The podcast is back! I’m so happy that after going through the rigors of an incubator program and traveling for the entire month of March the Escaping the 9 to 5 podcast is back and better than ever. This is an interview I’m extremely excited to bring to you since this is one of the rare examples I’ve seen of someone who is making $80,000 a month (noted in his interview on Mixergy) in true “Four Hour Work Week” style.
Right now I’m writing this post from my virtual business office (a.k.a. Starbucks) and, over the last few months, I have been managing my virtual business from 5 different states and hundreds of different wifi hotspots. Soon I’ll be moving into a monthly co-working space in downtown San Francisco but my business will still run completely virtually.
The benefit of me working out of a co-working space will be the human connections of an “office space” and a dedicated desk for me to sit at. Besides that nothing about my virtual business changes whether I’m sitting on a beach, tethering wi-fi from my phone to my macbook or behind a big mahogany desk wheeling and dealing in a 3 piece suit (except I’d look really weird in a suit). So what’s so great about running a virtual business and are their any cons? Read on and I’ll give you an honest overview of what it takes and explore whether or not a virtual business is for you.