How to Create a $4,000 Per Month Muse in 5 Days (Plus: How to Get Me As Your Mentor)

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Photo: Stuck in Customs

Preface by Tim

This post is a follow-up to “How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend (Examples: AppSumo, Mint, Chihuahuas).”

The purpose of this guest post — written by Noah Kagan — is to show you exactly how a postal worker created a $4,000 per month muse. Included are all the tests, e-mail templates, and details you’d need to replicate his success.

Noah was employee #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint, had previously worked for Intel (where he frequently took naps under his desk), and had turned down a six-figure offer from Yahoo. Since we first met, Noah’s helped create several multi-million dollar businesses, including AppSumo, loved by entrepreneurs everywhere.

For those interested in mentorship, don’t miss the end of this post.

There’s a time-sensitive chance to visit San Francisco for a week… to be mentored in-person by Noah and yours truly. Read More

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The Odd (And Effective) Routines of Famous Minds like Beethoven, Maya Angelou, and Francis Bacon

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Wine is part of my creative process. How I use it has been influenced by other writers. Why reinvent the wheel?

Sometimes, peculiar routines are the key to sanity… and productivity.

For years, I wrote from 11pm-4am or so, fueled by carefully timed yerba mate tea, Malbec, and Casino Royale left on repeat in my peripheral vision.

But who am I? Let’s explore the odd and effective routines of several creative icons: Maya Angelou (author), Francis Bacon (painter), W.H. Auden (poet), and Ludwig van Beethoven (composer).

Here’s an appetizer, before we get to the full routines:

Maya Angelou rented a “tiny, mean” hotel or motel room to do her writing;
Francis Bacon preferred to work with a hangover;
W.H. Auden took Benzedrine the way many people take a multivitamin; and
Beethoven counted out 60 coffee beans (exactly!) each morning, and developed his compositions through walking and obsessive bathing.

Enjoy the detailed profiles below.

All were excerpted from one of my favorite books–Daily Rituals: How Artists Work–which contains nearly 200 routines of some of the greatest minds of the last four hundred years: famous novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians… Read More

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The Alchemy of Writing — Tips from a Non-Fiction and Fiction Pro

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(Photo: EJP Photo)

Total read time: 20 minutes
Bolded read time (as a teaser): 4 minutes

I first met Josh Waitzkin at a coffee shop in Manhattan.

About 15 minutes into sipping coffee and getting acquainted, I was thrilled to realize that he dropped f-bombs as much as I did. He was no Rain Man, and I felt silly for half expecting him to be. If you’ve read the bestselling book Searching for Bobby Fischer (or seen the movie), then you know of Josh.

Wandering through Washington Square Park with his mom at age six, he became fascinated with the “blitz chess” that the street hustlers played at warp speed. He watched and absorbed. Then he begged his mom to let him give it a shot. Just once! Soon thereafter, dressed in OshKosh overalls, he was king of the hustlers.

Josh proceeded to dominate the world chess scene and become the only person to win the National Primary, Elementary, Junior High School, Senior High School, U.S. Cadet, and U.S. Junior Closed chess championships before the age of 16. He could easily play “simuls,” in which 20–50 chessboards were set up with opponents in a large banquet hall, requiring him to walk from table to table playing all of the games simultaneously in his head.

He was labeled a “prodigy.”

I disagree with this labeling because Josh has a process for mastery, and he’s applied it to many fields, not just chess. As it turns out, he’s not the only one in his family with this skill. His father, Fred Waitzkin, has processes and tricks he uses for writing both non-fiction (he wrote Searching for Bobby Fischer) and fiction… Read More

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Case Study: What Does a Real 4-Hour Workweek Look Like…With a Family?

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Now that’s a happy kid. (Photos: Brandon Pearce)

One common challenge for readers of The 4-Hour Workweek is the creation a “muse”: a low-maintenance business that generates significant income. Such a muse is leveraged to finance your ideal lifestyle, which we calculate precisely based on Target Monthly Income (TMI).

Despite the dozens of case studies I’ve put on this blog, and the hundreds elsewhere, one knee-jerk objection always crops up: “That might work for a single 30-something guy, but what about families? I have a mortgage, kids, and…”

The following is a guest post by Brandon Pearce. Brandon has three kids and first appeared on this blog as a muse case study for his business, Music Teacher’s Helper, which generated more than $25,000 a month at the time.

Things are even better now.

He and his family have now been leisurely traveling the world for 1,128 days. They are currently living like royalty and surrounded by palm trees.

This post explains exactly how Brandon spends his time over one week… Read More

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The Dangers of Hero Worship: An Open Letter from Ryan Hall

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Ryan Hall

At first glance, this post appear to be about martial arts, as it’s written by Ryan Hall.

Ryan is a new friend and a phenom.  He’s IBJJF Mundial (world) and No-Gi Mundial champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), with more than 300 career victories and 275+ submissions to his credit.  Looking past his fight record, this letter and post is about the dangers of hero worship.  Whether you aim to lead others or follow the best leaders, there are important lessons here.

Even if you skip the martial arts-specific references, this is worth reading.  No time now?  Bookmark it and make time later.

Enter Ryan Hall

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1- Table of Contents

2- Foreword

 3- An Open Letter to the Martial Arts Community

 5- My Story

 8- Hero Worship and The Martial Arts

 9- You May Think You Know Your Coach, But You Probably Don’t

 12- Innocence and Trust Capitalized on for Manipulation

 15- Martial Arts as a Means of Generating a Cult Following

 19- Final Thoughts… Read More

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How to Become an Effective CEO: Chief Emotions Officer

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Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels

Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he began at age 26 and built to more than 30 properties in California alone. In 2010, Joie de Vivre was awarded the #1 customer service award in the U.S. by Market Metrix (Upper Upscale hotel category).

Conley has also been named the “Most Innovative CEO” in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, and I’m proud to call him a friend.

We’ve shared many glasses of wine together. He doesn’t know what I’m about to tell you, but it’s true (Hi, Chip!). When we first met, and after reading his first book on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I wondered “Is this Chip dude for real? Implementing self-actualization in a company?!?” My curiosity drove me to visit a few of his hotels, including Hotel Vitale, where I eventually concluded: these are the happiest employees I’ve ever met.

He has figured out what makes people tick.

The following post is a guest post by Chip and based on his new book, Emotional Equations. Be sure to read to the end, as there is a chance to win an expense-paid trip to SF to spend an entire day training with him.

Deal-making? Empire building? Self-fulfillment? He’s your guy.

Enjoy… Read More

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The Truth About Abs: How To Make $1,000,000 Per Month with Digital Products (Plus: Noah Kagan results)

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Six-pack abs sell. (Photo: San Diego Shooter)

Once or twice in the past, I have referred to “someone” who has earned $5,000,000-$10,000,000 per year with e-books and cross promotion.

For that, I should apologize, as it’s not accurate: his numbers are now closer to $1,000,000 per month, and “e-book” doesn’t begin to explain what he does. That someone is named Mike Geary. He prefers to keep a low profile, skiing powder and refining his “muse,” or automated business, to a precise science. From strategic customer service in Germany, to testing for trending, it’s all piece of a well-planned puzzle and well-oiled machine.

For the first time, this post will explain how he built his business, some of the key lessons learned, and common mistakes with digital products.

As you read, keep in mind two things:

- He is, without a doubt, considered one of the smartest online marketers and traffic buyers (a key differentiator) in the world.
– He started off knowing nothing and got there through intelligent testing.

As Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, is famous for saying: “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” Planning is valuable, but–long-term–it’s your ability to improvise and adjust that makes the difference.

Enjoy… Read More

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