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Profitable Passions – Part 1

career_renegade We are privileged to have a special guest on The Bigg Success Show today. Jonathan Fields is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and author of the recently released book Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.

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marylynn
So Jonathan, you’re a renegade. That sounds so fun … so dangerous.

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jonathanWell you know I live my life all around danger. But the renegade side is just taking a different approach to how you earn a living. It’s almost like taking everything everybody says you can’t do and won’t succeed at and then somehow figuring out how to do it.

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The limitations of others

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georgeI think that’s a great point. It doesn’t matter if it works for anybody else. As long as it works for you, that’s all that matters.

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jonathanAbsolutely. And it’s funny … people think it’s age-dependent to a certain extent and I’ve had people who were 16 come to me and say, “Hey listen. I can’t get anybody to take me seriously because I’m 16 years old, but I have mad skills in the IT world.” And then I’ve had people come to me who are 55 and say, “I have this idea and nobody will take me seriously because I’m too old or I have too much on the line.” But the reality is that you make your own opportunities in life. When people say, “You can’t do that” what they’re really saying is, “I can’t do that. So who do you think you are to try?” You have to understand that and step outside that limitation. Realize that it’s their limitation and not yours. If there’s something you truly believe in, just do it.

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Becoming a renegade

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marylynnLet’s go back to your renegade story. You were a lawyer making good money and you decided to walk away to follow your passion. What motivated you to do it and how did you get past your fears and go for it?

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jonathanDepending on how you look at it, I had the good fortune or the bad fortune of having a bit of a health issue. I was actually not too deeply into my law career at the job and the career and the firm that everybody wants to be at making a great living. After working a three-week stint with very little sleep and very little downtime, my immune system essentially shut down. My body was, literally, physically rejecting my career. So I started making a list of things that I thought would be really cool to do, that I love to do, and that I could somehow figure out a way to make a living at.

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It’s not the hours

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marylynnDoesn’t being an entrepreneur take as much time? I hear a lot of people saying that they don’t want to be a business owner because of the time that it takes.

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jonathanAbsolutely. Being an entrepreneur takes as much time, if not more time. But it’s not so much the hours that you put in, as it is how you spend those hours, which determine your satisfaction with what you’re doing. I put in a lot of hours – between writing and running different businesses – but I have control over those hours. I’m a family person so there’s nothing more important to me than having time with my wife and my daughter. So I wrap those business hours around the time that I know I want to spend with my family. I make breakfast and lunch for my daughter. I hang out with her in the morning. I pick her up from school. And then I may work a little bit in the evening after everybody goes to bed. The flip side is that when I wake up, I can’t wait to work. I’m bummed when I can’t work because I love what I do so much. So when that’s how you define work, hours don’t really mean a whole lot anymore. The bigger challenge becomes balancing multiple passions so that you have enough time to intelligently honor whatever your commitments to those passions are.

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Is now the right time?

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georgeJonathan – it would seem like the objection a lot of people might have – there are times to start a business and there are times not to start a business. Like right now, is this a good time to be a renegade?

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jonathanThat’s a great question. In my mind, it’s a phenomenal time. Some of the biggest companies that are out there today were started during the last substantial recession. Within any time where there’s economic challenge, very often the people who are willing to take risks, when everybody else is awash in a sea of paralysis, are the people who end up being in a phenomenally better place once we emerge from whatever’s going on. They tend to be really well positioned to move forward aggressively. The challenge with what’s happening now is credit. A lot of people are saying, “Listen, I would be willing to take a risk.” Hundreds of thousands are out of a job. They’re saying, “I can’t go back to that job. If I had access to money, I actually might take the risk but I don’t.” But what’s really interesting is that there is a massive move to creating entrepreneurship online where you can swap work for money. It’s not so much that people don’t have the money anymore because you don’t need a whole lot. It’s that they don’t have the knowledge of what’s capable when you tap the online world. All you need for that is a broadband connection and a little bit of money to get going. You can literally transform a lot of knowledge that you have into monetizable businesses if you know how to do it.

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marylynnSo if your specialty is marketing, you can create your own brand online. Instead of just having your local clients, now you can have a shot at international clients.

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jonathanYeah. Being online opens up a worldwide market to you – whether it’s marketing or making kooky hats. There may be only 100 people in your town that would support a kooky hat store. But if you open up your market to online, maybe there’s thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands. You also don’t have to pay the rent for a storefront. You’re cutting a massive amount of your fixed overhead. I’ve been an entrepreneur, both online and in the brick-and-mortar world, so I understand the issues of overhead very well from both worlds.

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Learn more about Jonathan at his Career Renegade site.

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Thanks so much for stopping by our site today. Join us next time when we continue our discussion with Jonathan. He gives more great advice for all you career renegades who want to get a business going. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00319-012909.mp3

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Tips to Manage More Than One Business from Home

afraid We were fortunate today to visit with Grant Griffiths on The Bigg Success Show. Grant is the President and Founder of G2 Web Media, a firm that designs custom blogs for individuals and businesses. He is also the man behind Home Office Warrior and Blog for Profit.

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marylynn
One thing we need to add to your list of credentials is that you’re a recovering lawyer.

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grant
That’s right. I went through the twelve step program and I’m now recovering!

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georgeYou have so many things going on, Grant, and that’s a bigg trend for entrepreneurs now – to find multiple streams of income. We’d like you to share some tips on how you juggle it all with the attention it needs.

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grantFirst, don’t pick businesses or income streams just for the sake of doing it. You have to be passionate about each one. For me, blogging is a passion; working at home is a passion. I spend a lot of time working, which is one of the advantages of working out a home office.

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marylynn
If you can’t sleep at 2 in the morning, you can get up and get something done, right?

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grantWhich is exactly what I was doing last night at 1 o’clock! One thing I do is really take advantage of technology. When you work out of your home, you have low overhead. Since we do, we shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to the technology because that is the key to being productive.

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marylynn
What are some tools that you can’t live without?

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grantI use the MacBook because I can take my office with me so I stay connected to my clients and freelancers. The other tool that I would not be without is my iPhone. A PDA smartphone is essential because you can’t always have your computer with you. Basically, I’m accessible and can access anything I need to 24 / 7. I may have created my own monster! But to do what we do, you have to stay connected because you really are the company.

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george
You left a traditional career to do this. What was your first step?

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grantI started blogging to promote my law practice a month after I moved my firm to my home office. I wanted to control overhead and I enjoy technology. I was looking for some other way, rather than spending thousands of dollars a year on Yellow Pages, to market my practice. I spent about six months investigating blogging because, frankly, I just didn’t get it! I think that’s a problem a lot of people have – figuring out how blogging is really marketing.

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georgeIf a business owner wants to start marketing their business through blogging, how would you suggest they get started if they’ve never done it before?

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grantIn my view, the first thing you have to do is pick out a niche – the more narrow you can make it, the better. Once you decide on that, start reading other blogs in that area. Don’t be discouraged that there are other bloggers in your niche because, if anything, that just shows you that maybe you’re on the right track with what you want to blog about. Jump in the conversation by commenting on blogs that you like. Drop a blogger an e-mail and ask them for help. Then just do it – do one, don’t over-think it.

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marylynn
How do you stay sane?

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grantHave a very understanding spouse! Spend time with your spouse and children. Get out of the home office – take your laptop and run to your favorite coffee shop or whatever – to be around other people.

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marylynn
Yeah, don’t turn into a hermit!

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grantWell, I tell people that my wife stuck me in the basement to keep me out of her hair! Another way to stay sane is to create your own water cooler. That’s where social media comes in. I’ve gotten some of the best answers to my questions by using LinkedIn and Twitter.

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georgeAnd I always find great articles to read thanks to Grant’s tweets. He’s one of my favorite tweeple!

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We recommend to all of our audience who are on Twitter – follow Grant! Thanks so much for the great advice, Grant!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll ask a question – should we try to get kids to be more like adults or get adults to be more like kids? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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