A couple of years back, AOL filmed a clip about how I proposed to Jena. They just posted it recently. Makes me misty eyed, remembering that beautiful day on the Brooklyn Bridge when we declared our eternal love…
These days, the cool kids drop out, say F.U! to tens or hundreds of thousands in student debt and bloated tuition bills, start companies, and build lives for themselves, on their own terms, long before parents and professors tell them they now have “permission” to be adults.
Listen here to a special call I did with Dale Stephens, author of the new book from Penguin, Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will.
Dale Stephens is a Thiel Fellow, has been featured in every media outlet you could imagine, and is the founder of UnCollege.org. He and I were both featured in the New York Times Sunday Styles article “Saying No to College,” and we shared the stage at TEDxSF on the failure of the higher education system.
Dale is an expert on the new youth-led alternatives that are now popping up like flowers amidst the college loan wasteland that parents have made of their children’s lives (parents have done this by foisting on children outmoded, out-of-touch, retrograde notions of education.)
Screw debt and five-figure tuition bills: get educated on your own, says Dale. Listen as we take this issue head on, and teach you real-world skills for educating yourself, the secret methods that out-of-touch parents, teachers, and professors don’t want you to know about, because they fly in the face of every bureaucratic notion that the older generations still rally around like lemmings jumping off the Titanic.
This recorded call is for you if:
- You are a parent or prospective parent (Listening to this call may save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in college tuition that you won’t need to save for- and it may save your child from becoming a victim of indentured student-hood, via our nation’s broken and bloated perpetual student debt fiasco.)
- You are thinking of plunking down hundreds of thousands of dollars on a graduate education. (HEAVEN’S NO! THIS CALL MAY SAVE YOU!!!)
- You are currently a college student and want to learn how to get the most out of your student years, for the least amount of money.
- You are currently a student and are thinking of getting the hell out of dodge, and joining all the other cool kids, by saying “No thanks” to your parents’ antediluvian ideas about education.
Listen to the call below.
And, while you’re at it, order a copy of Dale’s great new book Hacking Your Education.
Each of us has what I call a “revenue ceiling”… That amount of revenue that seems impossibly high to achieve in your business or career.
For years, that ceiling for me was just $50,000. That’s right. In 2007, when I was 30, I earned $8,000 from freelancing. I managed to make that work by moving to a 3rd-world country, where the cost of living was cheap (the dark side of “Lifestyle Design”…)
Then, back in the US, I got closer to my ceiling, by bumping up my earning to $25K the next year. Then the next year I finally broke my “ceiling”, bringing in $50K the next two years.
When that happened, my new ceiling—that amount that seemed impossibly high for me and far away—became $100K. The vaunted six-figures.
Then in 2010, I broke that ceiling for the first time.
Now my new ceiling is $200K revenue from doing what I love—writing and helping people. And you know what? I think I’m going to break it. If not this year, then next.
Why am I so confident now that I will?
Because I’ve now had the visceral experience of breaking through my revenue ceilings.
I’ve had the experience of feeling like some number was impossibly high for me, given my current resources, skills, and time. Then watching that feeling of impossibility vanish, as I break through that number eventually, without even sweating too much.
Throughout this process of breaking through revenue ceilings (and more important, breaking through the concept of ceilings)…
Two people have been crucial and indispensable in this process to me.Read More
I’m overwhelmed with all the communication in my life. All the commitment, projects, expectations. (I’ll bet you are too–I don’t know a single person who isn’t.)
So, I can’t respond right now.
Or, if I were to used the “responsible” language of all those personal growth workshops I take in Northern California, I’d say, “I’m choosing not to respond right now.” As technically, I *could* respond.
But I think I’d go crazy if I responded to everything. And I’ve been crazy before. So yes, I’m choosing not to respond right now.
I hope you don’t take it personally. This means absolutely nothing about you. (“It’s not you, it’s me.) I’m not saying that facetiously.
I’m just unbelievably, incredibly, insanely overwhelmed.
And honestly, if I ever get out of this overwhelm, I also just want space in my life. Space to create, space to think, space to be with my closest loved ones and love them more.
(The poet Keats called this spaciousness “negative capability.” I call it the”joyous void.” Nothingness. Whatever it’s called, it’s great stuff. My guess is you’re craving more of that spaciousness in your life too.).
I love you as a human being. Even if I don’t know you. Because all human beings are, at root, lovable.
Even me–I hope you’ll think–when I get overwhelmed and don’t respond to all my communications.
And if you don’t think so, and get mad at me or feel upset or hurt or rejected (which I hope won’t happen), I love you still.
Now, with this extra spaciousness in your own life, go forth and create some more kickass-ness.
P.S.ssst…. Pass it on…. I’ll bet you’re feeling a lot of the same things I express in this post. Feel free to send other people to this post. And tell them to do the same. Maybe we’ll all start having more compassion for each other when we don’t respond to each other. Seems that more compassion is only way out of this digital overwhelm we’re all finding ourselves in in this crazy stage of humanity’s development.
It happened like this.
My friend and mentor Bryan Franklin was very excited about putting on a DJ set at our camp. A successful Silicon Valley executive coach, he had also been a serious electronic music producer as a side-passion for years. He decided that this DJ set was going to be the birth of the public persona as a producer and DJ, under his stage name NIMITAE.
(NIMITAE stands for “Nothing is More Important Than Anything Else.” You can ask him what that means, but probably not knowing is just as important as knowing… ;-)
So NIMITAE, as he was going by on the playa, was all excited about this show he was putting on, in fact, he couldn’t stop talking about it. He said he was incredibly nervous about it, but I couldn’t understand why, as I’d been hearing him play his music informally for year at parties and such.
In recent years, he has been moved to create songs in honor of couples whom he finds inspiring in his community. He started by creating a song about our friends Kate and David Niebauer, called Earth on Fire, which he unveiled at our New Years party two years ago.Read More
For a while, I have been stepping into my identity as an artist. As opposed to a marketer or businessperson.
What I mean by *artist* is, someone who is moved primarily by a message, and spreading that message, not by earning money or building a repeatable, systematized business. (Can art truly be repeated or systematized?)
And yet, the stereotype and reality of the “starving artist” or “struggling artist” persists. I certainly paid my dues on that front, as a seriously struggling writer in my 20s. Though I was never close to starving, I certainly struggled plenty as my career as a writer emerged.
I’ll let others judge the value of my art (which I express in my writing every day, and in what I’m co-creating with all of you in my tribe every day.)
But I do believe I’ve created something truly of value in my own lifestyle—in the way I’ve learned to *live* as an artist. I have never felt so creatively free, never felt that my message was reaching as wide an audience, or never felt as materially abundant as I do right now.
I’m not an insanely wealthy man in a financial sense. But I have enough resources flowing through my life to live very comfortably. And more important, I have the resources flowing through my life to invest it back in spreading my message, via media, Web, PR, travel, networking, connecting, relationship-building.
(Something those of the “starving artist” mentality neglect: if you don’t have money to buy food, you probably also don’t have money to buy a nice web design or travel to an important networking conference, to spread your message. When living an integrated life, money—and the getting of it—*supports* the spread of art, rather than taking away from it. Be your own arts patron!)
And, most important, I have the resources to make time and space to devote myself to creating and spreading a wider message that is important to me.
The creative life, the artistic life—without the struggling or starving.
That is what I seem to come upon, and that, I am certain, has value for a lot of other people besides me.
Yet, when I look around me, I see very little serious business/marketing/branding advice aimed at people who primarily identify as artists (in the sense I’ve described above), instead of identifying as marketers or businesspeople.Read More
Have you ever thought you were crazy?
I wonder that about myself almost every day. Certainly once a week.
If you’re reading this, then I assume you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, artist, or otherwise have (or dream of having) some kind of entrepreneurial/artistic/creative career.
Which means, I know a little somethin’ about you…
(Shhh… I won’t tell anyone!)
It means, you’re crazy.
At least, a little bit.
Just like me.
I just wrote this piece on Forbes called I’m an Entrepreneur… I Need a Shrink!
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re crazy, or had people tell you that your dreams are crazy, or thought about throwing in the towel and getting a “normal” job just like your parent/teacher/professor/aunt/uncle/pastor/rabbi told you to…
Then I hope you read this piece… as it will help you realize you’re not so crazy after all.
Or maybe, the way in which you march to your own beat (i.e., that way in which you *are* “crazy”)… is the most precious, productive, fruitful, economically valuable part about you.
In this age of saturated markets, zero barriers-to-entry, and instant copy-cats, the thing that will set you apart is your own brand of entrepreneurial crazy—differentiating you from all the sheeple and me-too’s and also-rans.
Because, with all due respect to *your* crazy… No one’s going to copy it!
If they even tried to base a brand around copying someone else’s crazy—well, then, they’d be crazy too. (But in a dumb way, not in the brilliant, unique way you are.)
Embrace your crazy. Love your crazy. Nurture and protect your crazy.
I hope this article empowers you to do so.
If any of these apply to you, then you need to check out this interview I recently did, because we’re going to completely blow these fears and needless assumptions out of the water for you.
Today, I had the privilege of catching the one and only Danielle LaPorte for a very special discussion.
If you’ve read my book, you’ll remember Danielle from my section “Radiating Your Way to Success,” about personal branding. Danielle, blogger extraordinaire and author of The Fire Starter Sessions (out next month from Random House in a quarter-million dollar book deal) was one of my absolute favorite dropout superstars I interviewed during my entire time writing my own book. The top 3 reasons I love Danielle:Read More
Tomorrow at 3PM Eastern, I have the privilege of interviewing the world’s top expert on charisma, Olivia Fox Cabane. Her new book The Charisma Myth is coming out on Thursday and is already gearing up to be a bestseller. She gets paid tens of thousands for her live keynotes all over the world, but tomorrow she’s sharing her best secrets with us for a full hour for free!
Olivia says: “For the first time, science and technology have taken charisma apart. They’ve figured it out. And turned it into an applied science. In controlled laboratory experiments, researchers could raise or lower people’s level of charisma as if they were turning a dial. I will teach you how to turn that dial, for yourself, and for others.”
Olivia’s message in one sentence? “Charisma is not innate; it CAN be learned; and here’s how.”
Got you more than a little intrigued? Charisma impacts everything you do, from your work life, to your leadership, to your dating and romantic life. If you want to learn how to amp up the dial on your own charisma, join us tomorrow for a free live teleclass:
How To Teach Yourself Charisma
Michael Ellsberg interviews Olivia Fox Cabane
Tuesday, March 27th, 3PM Eastern (12PM Pacific)
According to Olivia, most of us learned our present level of charisma so young that it seems innate. The reality is that it is learned, and you can learn it at any age.
Many people believe it depends on beauty. In reality, it depends on body language.
What are the top 3 things to increase your charisma now? Olivia is going to share all three on this juicy call—so join us!
Finally, she’ll be answering the question: Is charisma dangerous? The short answer is: yes. That’s why her final chapter is entitled “Use Responsibly.” Olivia will be sharing with you secrets that could change your social life forever. So use the force wisely.
See you tomorrow!
How To Teach Yourself Charisma
Michael Ellsberg interviews Olivia Fox Cabane
Tuesday, March 27th, 3PM Eastern (12PM Pacific)