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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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The Less Money You Have the Better!

penny We were talking with one of our banker friends recently about start-ups. He said that people often look for money when they should ask if there’s a better way to run their business. Money isn’t always the best solution.

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In fact, sometimes not having a lot of money to get started is a good thing because it forces you to be innovative and look for ways to save money. Obviously, it is possible to have too little money. Most of us have probably experienced that a time or two.

The baker

He told us about a person who wanted to start a bakery. She thought she needed a storefront. Our banker friend asked her who her customers would be. She said it would be friends and family at first. Then she expected word-of-mouth to take it from there. So he suggested that she just use her own kitchen or find a way to use a commercial kitchen part-time, instead of spending money on rent, utilities and all the other costs of maintaining a store. She didn’t need much money if she used this operating strategy.

An internet business

A friend of ours is putting together a really cool web site. They want to have an active community. They were going to pay a developer quite a bit of money to put together the forum area. We talked him into using open-source software and having it custom designed after his community starts building. He cuts his start-up costs drastically!

A chiropractor

Our banker friend knew a chiropractor who thought he needed to rent office space so he had a place for his patients. Instead, he found a fellow chiropractor who had extra space. He rented from this chiropractor for five years. Then he secured his own location – one he knew he could afford based on the income stream he had established.

He reduced his risk and conserved money by finding a better solution to get started. Because if you build it, they may not come. Test it out first!

The average entrepreneur starts his or her business with around $25,000. Sometimes the less money you have the better, because it forces you to think creatively and spend every penny wisely. Here are two entrepreneurs who did just that …

Bear Naked

Kelly Flatley is the co-owner of the all-natural snack food business, Bear Naked.
When her business was young, she didn’t go out and rent a large space to manufacture her product. No, she negotiated to use the commercial kitchen at a local market after they closed. She manufactured at night and made deliveries to her retail customers during the day. 

Sure, she worked some crazy hours. Don’t most entrepreneurs? That’s a concession for not having money. If you’re undercapitalized, you may have to get creative and make it up with “sweat equity”.

Newman’s Own

Years ago, we heard the story of how one of our favorites, Paul Newman, started Newman’s Own – his food products company that has donated millions to charity. The details here probably aren’t fully correct, but that’s not as important as understanding what he did.

He invested a small amount of money to start his business. He contracted with one company to manufacture the product. Another company sold it to grocery stores. He outsourced almost everything. His business was bringing in millions a year in sales, yet it only had one or two employees!

He did all this with very little money, but a whole lot of creativity! You can do it too!

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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 discuss how something as simple as the font you choose can get people to do what you want. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00256-110308.mp3

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