― Richard Buckminster Fuller
“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller
In dealing with your career and its inevitable changes, you must think in the following way: You are not tied to a particular position; your loyalty is not to a career or a company. You are committed to your Life’s Task, to giving it full expression. It is up to you to find it and guide it correctly.
It is not up to others to protect or help you. You are on your own. Change is inevitable, particularly in such a revolutionary moment as ours. Since you are on your own, it is up to you to foresee the changes going on right now in your profession. You must adapt your Life’s Task to these circumstances. You do not hold on to past ways of doing things, because that will ensure you will fall behind and suffer for it. You are flexible and always looking to adapt.
Mastery by Robert Greene
No process in history has done more to facilitate the exchange of information, skills, wisdom, and contacts than mentoring. Young men and women learned their trade by studying as apprentices under their respective craftsmen. Young artists developed their individual style only after years working under elder masters. New priests apprenticed for a decade or more with older priests to become wise religious men themselves. When finally these men and women embarked on their own, they had the knowledge and the connections to succeed in their chosen field.
By studying the lives of those who know more than we do, we expand our horizons. As a child, I realized that many of the opportunities other kids had that would expose them to new things and new people, like summer camp or extra tutoring, were unavailable to me. I quickly learned that success in my life would require determination, exploration, self-reliance, and a strong will. I also learned to rely on other people who were available: my father and some of the more professional people he knew in our neighborhood.
Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University researched the qualities and characteristics of high achievers in our society. What he found was that your choice of a “reference group,” the people you hang out with, was an important factor in determining your future success or failure. In other words, if you hang with connected people, you’re connected. If you hang with successful people, you’re more likely to become successful yourself.
I remembered that my father and mother had told me to speak less in such situations; the less you say, the more you’ll likely hear. They were warning me, given my predisposition for dominating a conversation from an early age. That’s the way you learn from others, Dad said, and glean the small nuances that will help you engender a deeper relationship later on. There’s also no better way to signal your interest in becoming a mentee. People tacitly notice your respect and are flattered by the attention. That said, quiet for me isn’t exactly quiet. I asked tons of questions, suggested things that I saw from the summer, and conspired with these leaders of the firm on what was important to them—making the firm a success.
Mentoring is a very deliberate activity that requires people to check their ego at the door, hold back from resenting other people’s success, and consciously strive to build beneficial relationships whenever the opportunity arises.
There were two crucial components that makes any mentorship, for that matter—successful. He offered his guidance because, for one, I promised something in return. I worked nonstop in an effort to use the knowledge he was imparting to make him, and his firm, more successful. And two, we created a situation that went beyond utility. Pat liked me and became emotionally invested in my advancement. He cared about me. That’s the key to a successful mentorship. A successful mentoring relationship needs equal parts utility and emotion. You can’t simply ask somebody to be personally invested in you. There has to be some reciprocity involved—whether its hard work or loyalty that you give in return—that gets someone to invest in you in the first place.
The best way to approach utility is to give help first, and not ask for it. If there is someone whose knowledge you need, find a way to be of use to that person. Consider their needs and how you can assist them. If you can’t help them specifically, perhaps you can contribute to their charity, company, or community. You have to be prepared to give back to your mentors and have them know that from the outset. Before Pat would consider having dinner with me three times a year, he had to know that I would be committed to his firm. That’s how I found myself so early on in a trusted position that later turned into a friendship.
But as my father taught me, mentors are all around you. It’s not necessarily your boss or even someone in your business. Mentoring is a nonhierarchical activity that transcends careers and can cross all organizational levels.
How many people can walk into our homes and just open up the fridge and help themselves? Not many. People need “refrigerator rights relationships,” the kind that are comfortable, informal, and intimate enough to let us walk into one another’s kitchens and rummage through the refrigerator without asking. It is close relationships like these that keep us well-adjusted, happy, and successful.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
Spend a couple of hours looking at your niche ideas. I recommend you create a list of 100 keywords for each topic.
Get a Notepad for Brainstorming I prefer to start with an idea capture mechanism.
Carry a small notebook everywhere you go so you can jot down ideas. The key is to write down everything. Record any thought – Even if you only have a slight interest in it. This is important because you never know where a random thought will lead!
Look at Your Personal Background Think of the characteristics that make YOU unique.
Look for products that are related to your core niche idea. My suggestion is to only consider an idea if you can find 3 or more products. That means it’s making enough money to warrant a little bit of competition.
Look for Competitive Niches
Instead of looking for a ‘hidden’ niche, I feel it’s better to find a proven market where you can create unique content. Yes, you’ll depend a lot on search engine traffic. But you’ll create content in a specific way where it doesn’t matter how much competition a market possesses.
Your niche site will largely depend on what’s known as long-tail keyword phrases.
Identify Long-Tail Keywords
The best way to get this web traffic is to create content around the specific phrases that are often used in each niche. You won’t target ultra competitive keywords. Instead you’ll look for longer, multiple word (3+) phrases that don’t get a ton of traffic, but are naturally congruent to the product you’re promoting.
The best place to find this kind of information is with the Google Keyword tool offered through their Adwords program.
I recommend you open a free account, so you can get 800 results instead of the 100 that’s typically offered with their External tool. Once you’ve created an account, go to: Tools and Analysis ---> Keyword Tool To the left, you’ll see the options for Match Types. I recommend you de-select the Broad and “Phrase” options. Then select the Exact option. This will provide the best approximation of how often that specific phrase is entered into Google.
The goal here is to find a variety of keywords that get at least 50 to 100 exact searches each month. These might seem like a small amount. But they add up when you factor in random long-tail searches and related traffic.
Spend a couple of hours looking at your niche ideas. I recommend you create a list of 100 keywords for each topic. That way, you’ll have stuff to write about once it comes time to build your website.
After this task, you should have a ‘short-list’ of 3 or less ideas. Each one should include the following elements: --- It should be a topic you find enjoyable --- It should be in a market where people buy information --- It should have keywords that get 50 to 100+ exact searches per month
Your First $1000 - How to Start an Online Business that Actually Makes Money by Steve Scott
If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.
SETH GODIN, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
I’m a marketer. Trust me. I’m lying to you.
I know what I’m talking about here. I have made millions of dollars selling people stuff on the Internet. I have a model for how it works and what I always show you. I call it the 3Ps and the formula is copyright pending (which doesn’t really matter since I give all my best shit away for free). So here you go.
• Pain. You have a huge problem right now. (At least one!!)
• Potential. You are dying to know that there’s a way to solve this problem.
• Proof. You’re in luck! There IS a solution, JUST LOOK HOW IT WORKED FOR JIMMY! If you understand even that tiny bit you will be successful in sales.
NOBODY buys a product for what it actually does. They buy it because they were sold on the story of what the product was going to do for them.
Nothing's Changed But My Change by Jeremy Schoemaker, Kate Sprouse
Who see a cookie cutter life as the ultimate imprisonment—the death of creativity, a hopeless track to never get where you want and what you deserve.
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
- Steve Jobs
As I see it, there are two types of people in this world. First there are the people who want to be on a track. They want to put in their hours, follow the rules and get a paycheck. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that if that is how you are wired, although I hope you are earning at least ten bucks an hour.
There are those type of people in this world and then there are the others. They’re the people who see a cookie cutter life as the ultimate imprisonment—the death of creativity, a hopeless track to never get where you want and what you deserve. That’s definitely me. I’m that kind of guy. And I’m in good company.
Nothing's Changed But My Change by Jeremy Schoemaker, Kate Sprouse
The game you want to play is different: to instead find a niche in the ecology that you can dominate. It is never a simple process to find such a niche. It requires patience and a particular strategy. In the beginning you choose a field that roughly corresponds to your interests (medicine, electrical engineering). From there you can go in one of two directions.
The first is the Ramachandran path. From within your chosen field, you look for side paths that particularly attract you (in his case the science of perception and optics). When it is possible, you make a move to this narrower field. You continue this process until you eventually hit upon a totally unoccupied niche, the narrower the better.
In some ways, this niche corresponds to your uniqueness, much as Ramachandran’s particular form of neurology corresponds to his own primal sense of feeling like an exception.
The second is the Matsuoka path. Once you have mastered your first field (robotics), you look for other subjects or skills that you can conquer (neuroscience), on your own time if necessary. You can now combine this added field of knowledge to the original one, perhaps creating a new field, or at least making novel connections between them.
Mastery by Robert Greene
Finally, you must see your career or vocational path more as a journey with twists and turns rather than a straight line. You begin by choosing a field or position that roughly corresponds to your inclinations. This initial position offers you room to maneuver and important skills to learn. You don’t want to start with something too lofty, too ambitious—you need to make a living and establish some confidence. Once on this path you discover certain side routes that attract you, while other aspects of this field leave you cold. You adjust and perhaps move to a related field, continuing to learn more about yourself, but always expanding off your skill base. Like Leonardo, you take what you do for others and make it your own.
Some 2,600 years ago the ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become who you are by learning who you are.” What he meant is the following: You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.
Mastery by Robert Greene
Greek philosophers looked upon the past and the future as the primary evils weighing upon human life, and as the source of all the anxieties which blight the present. The present moment is the only dimension of existence worth inhabiting, because it is the only one available to us. The past is no longer and the future has yet to come, they liked to remind us; yet we live virtually all of our lives somewhere between memories and aspirations, nostalgia and expectation. We imagine we would be much happier with new shoes, a faster computer, a bigger house, more exotic holidays, different friends … But by regretting the past or guessing the future, we end up missing the only life worth living: the one which proceeds from the here and now and deserves to be savoured.
A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living by Luc Ferry
For Napoleon Bonaparte it was his “star” that he always felt in ascendance when he made the right move.
In moving toward mastery, you are bringing your mind closer to reality and to life itself.
Anything that is alive is in a continual state of change and movement. The moment that you rest, thinking that you have attained the level you desire, a part of your mind enters a phase of decay. You lose your hard-earned creativity and others begin to sense it. This is a power and intelligence that must be continually renewed or it will die.
.....Verrocchio instructed his apprentices in all of the sciences that were necessary to produce the work of his studio—engineering, mechanics, chemistry, and metallurgy. Leonardo was eager to learn all of these skills, but soon he discovered in himself something else: he could not simply do an assignment; he needed to make it something of his own, to invent rather than imitate the Master.
For Napoleon Bonaparte it was his “star” that he always felt in ascendance when he made the right move. For Socrates, it was his daemon, a voice that he heard, perhaps from the gods, which inevitably spoke to him in the negative—telling him what to avoid. For Goethe, he also called it a daemon—a kind of spirit that dwelled within him and compelled him to fulfill his destiny. In more modern times, Albert Einstein talked of a kind of inner voice that shaped the direction of his speculations.
All of these are variations on what Leonardo da Vinci experienced with his own sense of fate
Mastery by Robert Greene
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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