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Spending Your Profits Wisely

So you’re making money. Revenue is outpacing expenses, and there are a few more zeroes in your bank account. Your labors are starting to bear fruit, and you’re at the point where all your “needs” are covered, and the door to “wants” is finally open.

This could be a problem.

The challenges of success require no less careful thought than the challenges of adversity. As an independent business person, you want to be prepared to make the right moves when the momentum is carrying you forward. You’ve got to be prepared for success, so that you can not only parlay it into even more success, but so that your business can maintain the identity and character that you envisioned. Most importantly, it’s necessary to define your priorities regarding wealth, work, and overall happiness.

That’s why this post is about “spending” rather than “investing” your profits. Investment is one way to spend your profits, and it’s definitely worth considering. At some point, however, you’ve got to pay yourself. Deciding how to do so in a way that’s consistent with your broader goals is part of the entrepreneur’s challenge, and an important component of maintaining long-term success.

What Are Profits For?

Let’s say, for the simplest example, that you’re a solopreneur with an online product. You’ve sold enough eBooks and courses to more than cover your overhead, and you’re left with a sheer net profit of $8k. What’s the best way to spend it? Do you have to plow it back into your business? Is there a certain ratio of business use to personal use that allows you to enjoy your life while still being a responsible business owner?

That all depends on you, and your own priorities. Naturally, what you pay yourself has to cover basic necessities like rent, food, and Netflix. Beyond that, what you choose to do with your money should be informed by what kind of business you want to run, and what kind of lifestyle you consider enjoyable.

What kind of growth are you ultimately looking for? Did you get into business hoping to build the next Google, or do you simply want the freedom that comes with supporting yourself on your own labor? Do you want to manage a business with multiple employees, or do you enjoy the peace and solitude of solopreneurship? Are you trying to maintain your current lifestyle, or are you preparing for the next plateau?

It’s important to ask yourself these questions as early as possible, rather than waiting to cross that bridge when you come to it. Having some guidelines as to the business and life you want to create will allow you to make decisions about your profits that will help you realize your own unique goals, not just some vague notion of “success.” The more specific your vision for yourself is, the better prepared you’ll be to turn profits into positive results.

Spending vs. Reinvesting

When you’ve got some extra capital on hand, the temptation to spend it is strong. Some people will want to spend it on luxury items like cars, clothes, travel, and fine dining. There is surely nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you want. But knowing you want those things is different from assuming you want them, and balancing those desires with your business goals is something that requires careful forethought.

The key is to decide on a ratio of personal spending to business reinvestment. What that ratio is will depend on how large you want your life to be, and how large you want your business to be. If you have that $8k in the bank, and all of your necessary expenses are met, try splitting the profits between your business and yourself. If $4k worth of equipment or training could elevate your business to the next level (and you want your business to be on that next level), then there’s nothing wrong with spending the other $4k on a much-needed vacation. If, however, you’re doing roughly the amount of business you want to be doing, and you’re financially secure, then spending all $8k on something personal may be a perfectly legitimate reward for yourself.

Types of Reinvestment

If you choose to devote some or all of your profits to reinvestment, make it skillfully targeted reinvestment. This breaks down into two categories: growing sales, and growing the business itself. These are related, but distinct categories.

For example, new equipment, a website overhaul, training, or hiring is an investment in the business. Investing this way doesn’t directly promote sales, it simply enhances the size, capacity, or capability of your company. This can be a precursor to more sales, but not necessarily. It could simply result in improved product quality or a diversification of your product line.

Directly boosting sales calls for a different kind of investment, generally a marketing one. Advertisements, email offers, promotional discounts (the decreased revenue from the lowered price being the cost of the promotion), and other forms of direct outreach are sales boosters. They may bring in loads of new customers, which you’ll then need the capacity to serve in the long term. This means more success, more profit, and more work- it that’s what you want.

Which form of reinvestment you choose depends on your own business plan. Do you want a big, sprawling business that serves as many people as possible? Would you rather have a niche business with a small, loyal following that prioritizes a more personalized approach? Neither answer is “correct;” it’s your business. But knowing which you prefer is crucial in deciding where to funnel your profits.

The Lifestyle Question

I’m fortunate enough to have had a few great mentors and guides in the world of online entrepreneurship. Michael Port taught me how to communicate. Noah Kagan taught me how to develop software. Another major influence in my approach to business has been Thrive’s Gary Vaynerchuk.

Vaynerchuk has made millions as a creative business thinker and entrepreneur, but his approach to personal spending is what had the most impact on me. He specifically avoids conspicuous consumption, eschewing flashy cars and other obvious signs of wealth. That’s not to say that conspicuous consumption is somehow wrong- it’s to say that a pre-determined notion of what lifestyle makes you happiest is a better goal than simply wanting “more.”

“More” is a vague and limitless goal, which is to say it’s not a goal at all. If the cost of a Porsche could buy your business the capacity it needs to sustain a modest, but stable revenue stream for the foreseeable future, a person with modest, but stable goals would do better driving a perfectly good Honda. If the cost of a Honda could allow you to see the French countryside, then someone with a travel bug would do better booking a plane ticket.

A lot has been written about how to grow your business and make as much money as possible. What you do when those efforts start to produce results, however, is something entrepreneurs might need to spend some more time considering. Start by defining what matters most to you, and as your business grows, balance the need to profit with the need to reward yourself for doing so. Rather than an open-ended quest for revenue in general, remember why you went into business for yourself in the first place- to build the life of your choosing.

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How to Successfully be Successful


Hey all! Today’s post is short and to the point but packs a powerful insight that took me a while to attain. Here it comes…

In my experience the best way to be successfully successful is to sit down and define what will make you feel successful. Seriously, sit down and write down what would have to happen in order for you to feel successful. Decide to DECIDE. Decide to define exactly what success is to you.

For me, success means being able to live comfortably doing something I enjoy and gain fulfillment doing. So basically if I’m able to earn a living that takes care of all my needs and most of my wants (within reason) while spending my wakeful hours doing something I enjoy, I’m successful!

I don’t need to speak at TED (though I am available guys if you are reading) or make 5 figures a month to feel like I’m winning. Why? Because I decided what success is and when I achieved it and continue to do so, I feel good.

The funny thing is, you’re the one that dictates what success means. Not me or anyone else. Success for you could be writing your first book then putting it out for sale. If some one buys, great! If not, it’s cool too because you are already successful, you fulfilled what success means to you.

I want to leave you with a great story. The comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld, shared in an interview his experience of his first gig at a comedy club. He was excited and nervous but he went out there and gave it all he had. He finished his set, came off stage and the crowd hated him. He completely bombed. The funny thing is, Jerry was smiling from ear to ear. He felt so happy. Why would anyone be happy after what was obviously a huge failure?

Jerry shares that he didn’t care that he had bombed or that crowed thought he stunk. All he could think of was, “Wow, I’m one of those guys now. I’m now doing it. I’m now a comedian.”

He was just happy to be doing what he always wanted to do. He was happy he was now a comedian and not just someone that talked about being a comedian. He was happy because he defined what success was before anyone else could do it for him. For him, simply being a comedian and working on his craft was enough.

Love that story. I hope you did too. What is success for you? Let me know in the comments or in an email. This blog thing is a two-way street, I love hearing from you guys so drop me an line any time.

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The Big 40: Business Books You Really Should Read – Part 2

As promised, here is Part 2 of my Big 40: Books You Really Should Read. There is a story behind this list of books and why it’s important. You can check it out in Part 1 of this post.

So without further delay, here is the second half of my Big 40….

I have hyperlinked all these books to the best deals on Amazon to save you the time and hassle of searching for the best price.

1. So Good They Can’t Ignore You

By Cal Newport

ISBN-13: 978-184112765  MY RATING: 10/10

Shockingly smart thoughts about your business career. A MUST-READ for anyone who is not loving their work, wanting to quit their job and follow their passion, or not sure what to do next.

I recommend this book to anyone looking to know how to move forward with their passions. Best book I’ve ever read on the subject.


2. Antifragile

By Nicholas Taleb

ISBN: 0140280197 MY RATING: 9/10

Bold perspectives, unusual ideas, and surprisingly wise advice around an interesting subject of the “opposite of fragile.” Looking through that lens at health, education, governments, business, and life philosophy. Very inspiring, and sparks a lot of further discussion.


3. The Icarus Deception

By Seth Godin

ISBN:0452267560 MY RATING: 9/10

Again, I LOVE Seth Godin. A VERY interesting read. Seth is moving from talking about business to talking about being an artist in the broad sense of anyone who creates (and ships!) something daring and new.

I loved the distiction between the industrialist and the artist, as it helped me give a term for something I’d experienced: not being able to relate at all to those who just wanted to grow a business for business sake. I always saw my business as a creative art project. The book stays very high-level, so don’t look for “TO-DO” type tips.


4. Switch

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath

ISBN:0307887898 MY RATING: 10/10

A GREAT psychology book about real ways to make a change last – both personal and organizational. So many powerful insights, based on fact not theory. Inspiring counterintuitive stories of huge organizational change against all odds.

Highly recommended for everyone. PERIOD.


5. 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

By Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird

ISBN:1591843170 MY RATING: 10/10

Short and brilliant book with tips on being a better thinker. Being persistent, thorough, being rooted in fundamentals, creative, and being a more active learner. Surprisingly inspiring.



6. Drive

By Daniel Pink

ISBN:0446691437 MY RATING: 9/10

Essential for all managers or soon to be managers (business owners). A deep study of motivation at work. Extrinsic vs intrinsic. Work vs play. When money is used as an external reward for some activity, the subjects lose intrinsic interest for the activity.

An easy read, once you get into it.


7. The Power of Full Engagement

By Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

ISBN:1585424331 MY RATING: 10/10

The authors worked with the best athletes and executives for years, and found that the best ones knew how to push themselves, then recuperate, push, recuperate. Take this same approach to your emotional, mental, physical, and even spiritual life, and it’s a powerful metaphor.

Think of marathons, not sprints. Be fully into whatever you’re in, then give yourself time to recuperate. But push further each time and go past your comfort zone, like a good exercise plan.


8. Outliers

By Malcolm Gladwell

ISBN:0671027034 MY RATING: 7/10

A profound study of why some people are so much more successful. Often people assume success is due to circumstances and early opportunities, but it really comes down to the fact that it takes about 10,000 hours of hard work to master something.

Again, Gladwell is not a an easy read. Gladwell is dry (hence the 7/10 score) but the concepts are intriguing and useful.


9. The E Myth

By Michael Gerber

ISBN:9780316346627 MY RATING: 9/10

Everything needs to be a system. Think of your business as a franchise prototype. You should be able to hand the “how-to” manual to just anyone to do it as good as you. 



10. Small is The New Big

By Seth Godin

ISBN:0307887898 MY RATING: 8/10

A collection of his short insightful posts from his blog, all thought-provoking and inspiring for anybody marketing anything, even music.

There are a lot of great insights in this one I’d like to share, but they are the kinds of insights that work better if you read them on your own in your own mind.


11. Give and Take

By Adam Grant

ISBN:1118103521 MY RATING: 8/10

If you feel you are too generous, or too greedy, or are wary and insist on reciprocation, consider reading this research-based look at the subject of these different personality types.

Counter-intuitive findings. Crazy stuff.


12. Decisive

By Chip & Dan Heath

ISBN:1451639619 MY RATING: 9/10

An interesting and insightful dive into the subject of how to make big decisions. Specific useful advice.

This book will address decisions that take longer than five minutes to make. Read it and thank me later.


13.The Power of Habit

By Charles Duhigg

ISBN:9780307465351 MY RATING: 8/10

A great dissection and analysis of what creates habits, and the power of changing just one of the three steps in the habit loop.

This is one of the best productivity books you can read.


14. Talent is Overrated

By Geoff Colvin

ISBN:0618785914 MY RATING: 8/10

Talent is not innate – it comes from thousands of hours of deliberate practice: focused improving of your shortcomings. That’s it.

If you can get past the first 20% of the book that just asks questions, the next 60% is quite good. And the last 20%  you can skip all together.


15. Never Eat Alone

By Keith Ferrazzi

ISBN:1591842336 MY RATING: 9/10

A good book that’s mostly about networking, but also some general business smarts.

Definitely read it if you need more work on being social.


16. Strengths Finder 2.0

By Tom Rath

ISBN:0684852861 MY RATING: 10/10

Strengths Finder 2.0 is an approach by scientists of The Gallup Organization to provide users with a tool to identify their strengths, or more precisely, their talents. Tom Rath explained it as follows: “We were tired of living in a world that revolved around fixing our weaknesses.” Brilliant!

Read this book. It works.


17. Reality Check

By Guy Kawasaki

ISBN:0743201140 MY RATING: 10/10

A great book about the importance of planning and rolling with the punches that come your way.

Guy is a very personable and entertaining, making this book one of the easiest reads on this list.


18. You, Inc – The Art of Selling Yourself 

By  Harry Beckwith

ISBN:0312284543 MY RATING: 10/10

Great author and a massive inspiration. It’s all top-notch insights on making life easier by being more considerate, whether you call that marketing or just life.

Read this one in one sitting.


19. Linchpin

By Seth Godin

ISBN:1401301304 MY RATING: 10/10

For someone who has a job at a company, I would call this essential reading with my highest recommendation. Since I didn’t have a job when I read this, I couldn’t apply many of his great points to my life. Still I loved his reminder of the value of brilliant workers instead of systemized workers.


20. Seeking Wisdom

By Peter Bevelin

ISBN:0066620996 MY RATING: 10/10

Incredibly rich. It’s a great overview of the lessons of Charlie Munger (partner of Warren Buffett) – and his approach to checklists of multi-disciplinary models to guide clear thinking.

Main point: if you can just avoid mistakes, you’re doing better than most. So it’s a catalog of the most common or important mistakes. Focused on investing, but can be applied to life.

Read this book twice in one month. So good.


Well there you have it…my Big 40.

If you have any comments on any of these books or your own personal opinions on them, let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends, you’ll look well read : )

Want to get out of the dark and know how to nail your business idea with our Free $100 MBA Video Course & Workbook? 


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The Big 40: Business Books You Really Should Read – Part 1

I love to read. If there’s a book that can help me improve in any way, in business or in life, I’m on it. Reading is the one thing, the single most powerful habit that has had the greatest effect on my success. But the funny thing is, I wasn’t always a reader.

I never really enjoyed reading as a kid. I didn’t hate it but let’s just say I only did it when I had to. You know, book reports for school and all. But I didn’t go out of my way to enjoy a book. It wasn’t until I was around 16 years old that I began to find reading awesome.

I realized I was just reading the wrong books. As a kid you’re given so much fiction to read in school, from Beowulf to Tom Sawyer, but I never really felt it was relevant to me. Good stories and all but when I got into books that actually affected my life, I was hooked.

As some  of you know I attended Wharton Business School for a semester before dropping out to start The $100 MBA. Many ask, “Omar, why did you drop out of the best business school in the country?” My reply is a short story I try to share as often as possible.

When attending Wharton, towards the end of my first semester there, a professor of mine pulled me aside and asked, “Omar, what are you doing here?” I replied in confusion,”What do you mean? I’m here to get an MBA.” He pressed me and asked, “But why do you think you need an MBA?” I was completely puzzled at this point and had no other option other than to come clean and say, “I want to be a great entrepreneur and I thought I have to go get an MBA to be one.” He shook his head in disappointment and said, “You don’t get an MBA to be a great entrepreneur. You get an MBA to get a middle management job at Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley with zero experience.”

He then highly advised me to drop out of Wharton. He told me that with the experiences that I’d already had and was currently having in real life with my business I would be better off saving the $135,000 and 18  months. He then concluded by giving me a list 40 books I should read, books that would supplement the experiences and give me a better education than I could ever get at business school. Luckily at the time I had already read half of them.

I took his advice, dropped out, read the books and continued to learn through my experiences as a business builder.  I’d like to share with you those 40 books. Books that have changed my outlook and outcomes in a major way.

If you are serious about reading all 40, then I would commit to a book a week. That may sound like a lot but if you spend 30 minutes before bed every day, you can knock out a book a week easily. And within 9 months, you’ll be a someone else. Someone filled with insights, inspiration and the knowledge to process what’s happening in your business (and life) now and in the future.

I have hyperlinked all these books to the best deals on Amazon to save you the time and hassle of searching for the best price. So in no particular order here are the first 20 of my Big 40:

1. Anyone Can Do It

By Sarah & Bobby Hashemi

ISBN-13: 978-184112765  MY RATING: 10/10

Anyone Can Do itOne of the best non-fiction reads I have ever read. This book explores the question we all ask, “Can anyone be an entrepreneur?” Both inspirational and educational. The authors detail their whole bootstrapping journey and hide absolutely nothing along the way as they build the UK’s first well known Coffee Shop brand. Not easy for a country with a lifetime love affair with tea.

This one only comes in paperback, no eBook version. So save this one for the beach or pool.


2. 48 Laws of Power

By Robert Greene

ISBN: 0140280197 MY RATING: 8/10

Warning: Other people I have met that read this book think it is pure evil. But power exists, so it can only help to understand it better, even if you choose not to wield it. This book helped me understand some of the attitudes I’ve encountered in the past as well as quickly understanding the intentions of some in the present.

This is a small short book but it’s not the easiest book to zoom through. I found myself pausing and pondering a whole lot with this book. That never can be a bad thing.


3. Mastery

By George Leonord

ISBN:0452267560 MY RATING: 9/10

A description of the path to mastery in any field. This book focuses on how to enjoy regular practice for its own sake. It also discusses how to push your capabilities but to accept the plateau and surrender to the path and exercises your teacher gives you.

The main lesson explained in this book is how to stay focused, not distracted like the dabbler, or complacent like the hacker. It has taught me it’s not mastery we are after- that’s virtually unachievable. But it’s the path of mastery we should seek to be on.

A book I read over 6 years ago but its lessons are still clear to me today. Very well written.


4. The Lean Startup

By Eric Ries

ISBN:0307887898 MY RATING: 9/10

EVERY entrepreneur should read this book! Its methodology is the one I recommend the most. I found the lean approach explained in this book hard to refute given the incredible amount of evidence the author gives to support it. It’s really the only way to go for us non-billionaire types.

Not a super easy read but the insights are priceless and keep the read going.


5. Purple Cow

By Seth Godin

ISBN:1591843170 MY RATING: 10/10

Seth Godin is my favorite business writer. His no-nonsense style has me hooked. His books tend to be short reads because he doesn’t believe in any fluff whatsoever. 

This book was a game changer for me when it comes to value creation, marketing and sales. Seth drills the importance of being remarkable with everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable.

I read this book in one sitting. It’s that good.


6. The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield

ISBN:0446691437 MY RATING: 8/10

Have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the person you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is. This book is about that. Read it.

Pressfield gives you the kick in kaboos you need with this book, smashing every excuse you have before you have a chance to use it. Nicole and I read this book together on vacation and the conversations that transpired were as good as the book itself.


7. Think and Grow Rich

By Napoleon Hill

ISBN:1585424331 MY RATING: 10/10

A classic that never gets old. Forget Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill wrote the first book to boldly ask, “What makes a winner?” Hill is now counted in the top ranks of the world’s winners himself.

Hill interviews some of the most well known millionaires and billionaires to find out, what the heck it takes to be wealthy. A novel concept in 1937, when the book was first published.

The concepts taught by Napoleon Hill has transformed the lives of many entrepreneurs. Some of these concepts include developing a definite purpose, building a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), channeling the power of the sub-conscious mind and dealing with adversity.

It’s actually a fun read as Hill is very candid in sharing the experiences he’s having gathering the information for the book.


8. How To Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

ISBN:0671027034 MY RATING: 10/10

An incredible study on human behavior. You can apply his years of research instantly to connect with others and win over even the most difficult people you encounter. A masterpiece that needs to be read ASAP.

Carnegie is actually quite humorous in this book and share some very engaging stories to drive his points home. Nicole loves this book. She took diligent notes and found it to be a fun read.


9. The Tipping Point

By Malcolm Gladwell

ISBN:9780316346627 MY RATING: 7/10

Malcolm Gladwell explains that The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. He gives examples such as a single sick person that can start an epidemic of the flu, how a small but precisely targeted push can cause a fashion trend, or how a drop in the crime rate occurs.

Not a an easy read at all. Gladwell is a bit dry (hence the 7/10 score) but the concepts are intriguing and useful.


10. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

By Robert Kiyosaki

ISBN:0307887898 MY RATING: 8/10

This book exploits the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you. One of the best personal finance books you can read.

The book is not exactly a literary masterpiece.  I’m not really sure how to put this… it’s written at a 5th grade level. I am not in any way insulting Robert’s intelligence. He is actually an incredible public speaker and communicator.

With that said, lots of engaging stories from Kiyosaki’s childhood and what he learned from his “Rich Dad” versus his “Poor Dad.” when it came to money and wealth.


11. Brand Against The Machine

By John Michael Morgan

ISBN:1118103521 MY RATING: 9/10

Brand Against the Machine offers proven and actionable steps for companies and entrepreneurs to increase their visibility and credibility, and create an indispensable brand that consumers can relate to, creating lifelong customers.

This book is filled with short little chapters that actually came from years of tweets by the author. Some of the best branding advice I have ever gotten came from this book. I reach for this book often as a reference when I’m working on our business.


12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

ISBN:1451639619 MY RATING: 8/10

This book is known as one of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written. I personally would’t go that far. It’s great and all and Covey covers a lot of ground when it comes to “how to be effective” but it’s not as actionable as some of the other books on this list.

A must read nonetheless, this book will influence your work. Plus it’s well edited and isn’t filled with pretentious jargon.


13. The 4-Hour Work Week

By Timothy Ferriss

ISBN:9780307465351 MY RATING: 8/10

This book has probably inspired more online entrepreneurs than anything else. Period. Tim Ferriss creates an industry with this book. An industry of location independent entrepreneurs that attempt to out source the parts of their business and lives they rather not deal with.

Personally, I thought the best part of the book was his concept of mini-retirements. A concept Nicole and I are piloting this year.

A very easy read. I read it cover to cover on a 5 hour flight. Tim’s unique personality and desire to hack life to it’s core caries all the way through.


14. Guerilla Marketing

By Jay Conrad Levinson

ISBN:0618785914 MY RATING: 8/10

Based on hundreds of solid ideas that really work, Levinson’s philosophy and book has become the first marketing book people recommend. It’s geared to marketing on a shoestring budget and looking big when you’re actual just getting started.

It’s a solid marketing book that lays much of the fundamentals many of us miss when it comes to marketing.


15. Tribes

By Seth Godin

ISBN:1591842336 MY RATING: 10/10

An inspiring look at what it takes to organize and mobilize groups of people. These people could be your target audience or your employees. Godin is brilliant at explaining rather complex subjects in a digestible and actionable way.

Again, Seth Godin is my favorite author so it’s hard for me not to love this one.


16. First, Break All the Rules

By Marcus Buckingham

ISBN:0684852861 MY RATING: 9/10

Marcus Buckingham does an incredible job at exposing the fallacies of standard management thinking. This book really helped me become a better manager back when I first read it, when I was a head of department in the school I worked for. I literally broke every traditional management rule and was able to win my subordinates respect and got the best out of them in the process.

Read this book. It works.


17. Now Discover Your Strengths

By Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

ISBN:0743201140 MY RATING: 10/10

Unfortunately, most of us have been told since we were children to improve our weaknesses. This book tears those words into shreds and pleads with you to focus on your strengths. It gives solid evidence to why working on your weaknesses is a huge waste of time and how discovering your talents and strengths and sharping them will get you a lot further in your life and career.

I absolutely love this book! Made perfect sense to me. A major mind shift.


18. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got

By Jay Abraham

ISBN:0312284543 MY RATING: 10/10

If you can only read one book on marketing this should be the one you read. Jay Abraham is known as one of the best marketers on the planet and this book gives you a glimpse as to why.

What I love about this book the most is that it is written in plain English and is actually one of the most practical books on this list. Keep this book close by as it’s always good to refer to when you are in a marketing rut.


19. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

By Marshall Goldsmith

ISBN:1401301304 MY RATING: 9/10

This book is aimed at already-successful people. Marshall explains that the personality traits that brought you to success (personal discipline, saying yes to everything, over-confidence) are the same traits that hold you back from going further!

This is another great management book that has helped me become a better manager with only applying a few of its insights. I remember really enjoying this read. A lot of paradigm shift moments.


20. Good to Great

By Jim Collins

ISBN:0066620996 MY RATING: 8/10

I found this book to be a refreshing change from other leadership books. Collins spends 5 years conducting a study to discover what makes businesses not just good but great. He pinpoints how and when a shift is made from mediocrity to greatness and who is responsible for it.

This book is a definite read for any business person or leader. Not a fun read but a worthy one nonetheless.


Well there you have it…the first 20 books of my Big 40. You can find 2-part of my Big 40 here.

If you have any comments on any of these books or your own personal opinions on them, let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends, you’ll look well read : )

Want to get out of the dark and know how to nail your business idea with our Free $100 MBA Video Course & Workbook? 


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Free Daily Business Lessons For The Real World

Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents told you that next week you’re going on vacation? My sisters and I would go bonkers with excitement the whole week, leading up to the day we load up in the car and head off. Now I know why my parents only told us a week before; a week is all they could take.

Well, today Nicole and I are bursting with some crazy levels of excitement! No we are not going on vacation. In one week we are launching something we are incredibly excited to share with you. A project months in the making…

On August 11, 2014 at 9am PST we are launching a whole new way to learn business- The $100 MBA Show! A whole new kind of podcast where you simply get better at business with our daily 10-minute business lessons for the real world. These no fluff, 10-minute episodes are packed with only the pure business building training you want.


On the show, I share some of the best lessons, concepts, examples and insights from inside The $100 MBA training and community. I also call upon some of the industries top experts as guest teachers on the show. Again, no backstories or promotions, just solid business lessons from the best in the game.

Plus it’s 200% free! If that’s not enough, here are 10 reasons why you are going to love The $100 MBA Show:

  1. It’s no-fluff. In every episode we only use 100% fresh organic business juice! Seriously though, we designed each episode to give you the maximum amount of info in a short amount of time.
  2. It’s only 10 minutes! Walking the dog? Get a business lesson in while Spot takes care of his business. Doing some laundry? Level up your business skills while you’re folding up your shorts.
  3. Free Ride Fridays! Every Friday we give someone a free ride to The $100 MBA. Everyone that subscribes and gives The $100 MBA Show a rating & review on iTunes, enters to win a free lifetime membership to The $100 MBA! Sweet.
  4. Grow everyday. We make sure you get some business building goodness to chew on 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. We designed The $100 MBA Show with a curriculum in mind so every episode builds upon the last. More method, less madness.
  5. We’re focused. We get straight into each episode and then summarize the lesson taught at the end to make sure the important take-aways are never lost.
  6. A killer theme song! Creative genius Matt Giovansci produced an insanely funky song for the show that we are sure you are going to love. It caries you into each lesson with a rocking beat and has us dancing every time each episode comes to a close.
  7. Guest teachers! We got some of the best experts we know to teach their area of expertise with a lesson of their own. We air these episodes every 10 episodes on the 5’s (i.e. episodes 5, 15, 25…)
  8. Must Reads! In these episodes I share the books you must read ASAP. They’ve greatly influenced me as an entrepreneur and I tell you why. We air these episodes every 10 episodes on the 10’s (i.e. episodes 10, 20, 30…)
  9. Lessons for the real world! In each episode we focus only on business concepts and strategies that are practical and immediately actionable so you can take care of business immediately.
  10. A high-quality production. Nicole is working hard behind the scenes in post-production making sure each episode sounds amazing. We want to make sure not only the content of each episode is quality but the sound quality of our production is top notch also.

Again, the show goes live on iTunes August 11, 2014 at 9am PST. For clear instructions on how to subscribe to the show on iTunes (on launch day)visit

Don’t forget to give us a rating & review so you can enter the weekly draw to win a free lifetime membership to The $100 MBA!

We are super pumped about The $100 MBA Show that we are releasing 5 episodes at once on launch day! And remember, a new episode is released every day of the week, Monday to Friday.

If you want to be notified when it launches and you’re not already on our email list, click the big red button below.

We will see then on launch day!

Want to get notified when the The $100 MBA Show launches and our Free $100 MBA Video Course & Workbook on Idea Validation? 


Business School

Why You Will Never Be Successful

Did you see how much Pat Flynn made last month on his income report? My GOD! Gary Vaynerchuk has literally a million Twitter followers. Tim Ferris’ podcast is permanently pinned to the #1 spot on iTunes now. This is nuts! What do these people have that I don’t? When am I going to blow up on the Internet already?

If that little monolog sounds familiar, listen up. Seriously. Listen to what I’m about to say to you very carefully because your success depends on it. You know, success, that feeling that makes you feel your efforts are paying off. Kind of a big deal.

Don’t favorite or save this post for later because we all know that never happens. Now that I have your full attention, keep reading.

One of the best ways to ensure you will never be successful is a lack of focus on what is important. If you want to fail, if you want to be terribly unsuccessful, spread your focus as thin as possible.

What you focus on is what you allow yourself to think about for a given time. If you focus on enough things that have nothing to do with your success, you will ensure a lack of time to focus on what will actually make you successful. Let me clairify this because it’s so important.


Do you think John Lee Dumas is spending hours “researching” what Omar Zenhom is doing today? No. I know for a fact that he actually spends most of his wakeful hours focusing on his business and what he needs to do to light things on fire (Sorry, John. I couldn’t resist). He didn’t become the best podcast on iTunes by focusing on what everyone else was doing. He was completely focused on the tasks that would allow him to have the best podcast possible.

That is not to say that John is only motivated by self-interest, quite the contrary. He spends a significant amount of time helping other entrepreneurs without any sort of monetary compensation.

We all have people we look up to in our industry and they all have valuable insights we can use. But take the insights and get busy because the experts you look up to sure are.

I wish you could see me right now. You would see me pounding the keyboard with the same vigor as if I where to shake you out of an unconscious state. Why would I shake you? Because I wish someone shook me a couple years ago when I wasted so much time focusing on everyone else’s success that there was not enough time left to focus on creating my own.

When I was in High School, I played basketball but I also ran track in the spring to stay in shape in the off-season. I ran the mile; that was my event. I hated it. But the funny thing is, everyday during practice while I was in agonizing pain, I would tell myself I am quitting tomorrow. But when I rode the late bus home after practice was all over, I would say to myself “I love track! I can’t quit!” So why the sudden change of heart?

When training in track, you don’t really race or compete with other runners. You compete with yourself. Everytime I ran the mile in practice, I was trying to beat my mile time from the day before. I’m not trying to outrun others on the track, I’m trying to out run myself from yesterday.

So when my mile time was better than the day before, I felt great! I felt successful. Why would I quit feeling successful? I was focused on my success. I was focused on the fact I was becoming a better runner.

I don’t think I need to elaborate on my track story for you understand the lesson learned. Comparing yourself to others is just not healthy and it’s flat out not helping you succeed.

Being an entrepreneur is hard as it is, so you can’t afford a lack of focus on what will bring you success. Mom was right- Don’t worry about everyone else, worry about yourself.

I have a challenge for you. Are you up for it?

Tomorrow, when you sit down to work on your business, force yourself not to focus on anything other than your work. This means closing down all social media (save your social media marketing for another day). Only focus on work that will make your business better. This could be writing an epic post, working on your new sales page copy or shooting a new video for your audience. Focus on what will only directly contribute to your business’ success.

See how you feel the next day? Do you feel a little bit better about your success? Do you feel like you are making progress? Come back to this post and let me know in the comments. Constantly comparing yourself to others is simply a waste of time. Not to mention, it will ultimately make you feel more and more less successful because you are allowing the success of others to define your own.

Last Reminder:

If you don’t take anything from this post other than this, you’ll be in better shape than most:

Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to yesterday. Are you in a better situation today?

Want to get out of the dark and know how to nail your business idea with our Free $100 MBA Video Course & Workbook? 


Business School

How To Get 2,500 Email Subscribers a Month

Heeeeyyyy there!

How are things on your end? (really, you can email me and let me know). What are you struggling with most as a striving entrepreneur? Email me and let me know. I might be able to help. How about I go first…

Let me share with you one of the biggest struggles I had when I was starting out. Building an engaged audience. For me, this was a very painful struggle. Getting visitors and getting them to subscribe to my email list seemed impossible. It was even more painful because I knew that growing my email list was essential to a great business. I just couldn’t get any traction.

Luckily, I got over that struggle with a simple change in my business and today, I’m going show you exactly how you can get 2,500 subscribers or more each month as we have. Let’s begin, shall we?

This whole strategy is based on a simple mindset -Treat subscription to your website as if  it were a product. A hot product. A product you love selling. A product that runs your business…because..hey, it does.

If you consider a subscription to your site as a sale, then you need to sell. You need to sell your potential subscribers on why they should subscribe. Selling the benefits to joining your community and answering the question “Why should I?” is critical to converting visitors to members of your community.

Here are a few tactics I have used to help us get over 2,5000 subscribers a month:

1. If you’re getting started (your site is actively younger than a year) you can’t really expect tons of subscribers if your only offer in exchange for their email is getting your newsletter every week. You need to offer something compelling enough for visitors to give you their email address.

Take a look at our current landing page to gain subscribers. You might have seen it. We offer a complete video course & workbook from The $100 MBA about idea validation in exchange for the visitor’s name and email. Nailing your business idea is the most asked about topic in our market so our free gift to them is relevant and useful. It’s also compelling. Most don’t offer so much value for free. We have sold this course to other learning institutions for $35 per student.

Long story short, your gift needs to be compelling. We found “compelling” = something you could easily charge $30 or more for. This can be an ebook or a set of ebooks or a 7 day email course. Whatever works best for you but it has to be, again, something you could sell if you chose to.

2. Your landing page where you are asking for subscribers should be written and designed just like a sales page. Sell you visitor on why they should give you their email. Why should you have access to their inbox? Outline the pain your gift or offer will alleviate. Then show how by signing up, their life will be different. Take a look at our landing page again with this in mind.

This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! “Sign up and get X” is not enough. WHY should I sign up needs to be answered. What will I get? Why should I care?

3. Let others know. Guest blog, social media, write a post about your free offer, get interviewed. We did a little slick thing where we went to iTunes and searched for all the new business podcasts (you search in your niche) in the new and noteworthy section. We then reached out to them to asked if they were looking for guests for their show. We didn’t get a single “no”. We got 11 interviews and in the interview we got to share a free gift with the audience. You guessed it! We directed them to our landing page!

4. Add a link to your landing page where you are selling your gift at the end of your blog posts. Include a captivating headline to why they should click and check it out.

5. Once your visitor does subscribe, ask them to do you a solid and share your site with their friends so you can get more subscribers. We do this on our confirmation page and confirmation email.

There are countless ways to promote but what matters most is to treat your optin like a product. Sell that product, build relationships and help your audience and the money will always follow. Super cheesy, but true 🙂

Want to get out of the dark and know how to nail your business idea with our Free $100 MBA Video Course & Workbook?