Welcome to October and the last quarter of 2013!
Well, Summer has come and gone but the accompanying whirlwind of travel has yet to subside.
And that’s fine by me!
I get a lot of questions about my lifestyle from friends on Facebook, fans of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Facebook page and all of you who read this blog (you’re awesome!). So I’ve decided to do monthly reflection posts that summarize the highlights, travel schedule and activities I’m involved in month-to-month.
Now, these aren’t going to be super-comprehensive, 5,000+ word epic tomes, but rather are intended to give a feel for what I’m up to and “lead by example”. Since I’m a big believer in learning from people that are doing the things you want to do, this is a good way to lead from the front and reflect on the (fairly massive amount of) diverse activities I’m involved in.
So here we go!
September Recap – A Month in The Life of a Lifestyle Entrepreneur
The month started coming back from Seattle. My cousin got married to his girlfriend of 8 years. For the last three years they have been living around Asia teaching English and they came back for just a couple weeks before returning to their current home in Taiwan.
Then I went right into working on developing a partnership for my non-profit, University Incubator, whereby we could offer the student entrepreneurs that we fund and coach additional bonuses such as discounts on hardware and free access to lawyers, accountants and consultants to help them structure their businesses.
A friend (and fellow Cal alum) and I founded University Incubator in January of this year. Our mission is to help students “create their own job by the time they graduate”, which we fulfill by providing 0-% interest loans and coaching/mentorship.
I had a meeting with Bruce Wilson, who is the founder of Relay Foundation and recently completed a tour of 30 countries, benchmarking best practices at over 100 entrepreneur incubator and accelerator programs (um, awesome!!). He’s a total lifestyle entrepreneur and works with start-ups focusing on social and environmental issues. At the end of the meeting he said we’ve just got to take a look at a team out of Harvard/MIT that connect small Moringa tree farmers with international cosmetic companies, who use the oil from the Moringa tree as a key ingredient in many cosmetics products.
We immediately took a liking to the team and are helping them raise $5,000 of 0%-interest loans to buy a Moringa tree oil press for their Ghana operation. Check out Moringa Connect (and help crowdfund their loan) here: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/2052
Launching Business In a Weekend
The second weekend of September was focused on the impending launch of Business In a Weekend, a virtual bootcamp program that I teach live via webinar that starts entrepreneurs down the path to launch in a power-packed weekend. One of my mentors on this is Alicia Dunams, the creator of the Bestseller In a Weekend virtual bootcamp, which uses a similar format to help authors get a rough draft and gives them the roadmap to self-publish or get a publisher.
- Core Training – Seven 90-120 training webinars with exercises and activities
- Community – Private Facebook group for group communication throughout the weekend, and network building
- Continuity – A membership portal where all the training webinar recordings are uploaded, with exercises and some free bonuses for participants.
My plan was to start promotions and have my JV partners mail out a few days before I headed to NY for a weekend-long mastermind program I’m involved in. Then to have the collective brainpower of the 20+ entrepreneurs involved in the program help expand the reach of the launch.
The outcome opened my mind to the power of joint ventures, an arrangement where the program creator and promoter split the proceeds 50/50 for leads that convert. By launching Business In a Weekend for the first time with a small handful of 4-5 JVs I more than doubled my list size and had 500+ people register for a webinar I ran. About 130 attended live and a few hundred more watched the replay. The actual program was super fun to run too (though I almost lost my voice talking for over 14 hours haha)
Holiday With a Whole Lotta Seoul
I planned September to be a continual crescendo of action and activity that culminated in running Business In a Weekend live on Sep 20-22, then to decompress for a day and pack for a weeklong trip to Seoul, South Korea with my girlfriend. Although launching, building and running the program was intense, the timing ended up being perfect as I slept most of the 12-hour flight
This is the fourth international trip I’ve taken this year and the first time I’ve been to South Korea. Truth be told, I love studying history and world events and have been wanting to see the border to North Korea for years.
The day after we arrived, we took a tour to the de-militarized zone (the infamous DMZ) and peer into the Hermit Kingdom from an overlook with some powerful binoculars. Technically North and South Korea have been at war for over 50 years, since an armistice agreement was signed in 1953. The result is a massive fence and minefield along the 38th parallel that demarcates the two countries.
Ironically the DMZ has recently turned into a tourist attraction, but perhaps that only highlights the divergent paths the North and South have taken over the last 50 years. South Korea is the paragon of development, with massive skyscrapers and technology interwoven with their culture, while North Korea is sadly still much like it was in the ’50s, impoverished and run by a dynastic military dictatorship.
Then for the next couple days we attended the Synergy Worldwide Global Summit, the nutritional products company my girlfriend and her family work with. It was a pretty over-the-top affair with over 3,000 people, intense performances by martial artists and musicians, as well as some rousing motivational speeches.
After the conference, I met up with one of the first entrepreneurs my non-profit University Incubator funded, who is Korean and recently moved back from Berkeley. He showed me around some cool neighborhoods (like Insadong district) and cool, authentic Korean tea house with tiny tables and rich smells of ginger, cinnamon and herbs wafting through the wood framed interior.
On the day I departed Korea, I got to catch up with my friend Akira Iguchi, who has become like the “Tony Robbins of Japan”. He’s been a good friend, and a huge inspiration over the last couple years and he’s featured in the forthcoming US/Canada version of Lifestyle Entrepreneur (coming early 2014!!).
The thing I love about having a global network of friends are moments like these, where despite being in a country I’ve never been to before, there are always handful of friends nearby almost anywhere in the world I find myself.
After catching up about his upcoming tour around Japan and the next book he’s working on, we parted ways…him to enjoy a short vacation with his mother in Seoul and I to fly across the Pacific back to San Francisco. So, oddly enough September ended with a day that lasted nearly 36 hours; my flight departed at 5:30pm Korea time and landing at Noon in San Francisco on the same day thanks to a 16 hour time difference.
Then I slept for 12 hours.
Now October is here and it’s going to be more of the same, with “the same” being shorthand for writing, coaching, traveling, working, biking and creating enough cool stories to write another recap post like this in 30 days time.
Till next time, always focus on learning what you need to know, to do what you love to do, so you can be the person you want to be, living the life of your dreams!