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The Day You Started Small

Going big is over-rated. Starting small is the key to doing it right.

If you’ve got something to teach, preach, market, mentor, publish or offer up to inspire, I want to challenge you to start small.

A challenge to the creatives and service oriented professionals reading this.

(the authors, artists, the teachers, trainers and those who crave a connection to a community of profesional peers who share your passion)

HERE is the challenge:

Create a small 1-5 page product.

You can do this on a lazy, hazy afternoon.

It can be anything – a checklist (best practices for your profession) a blueprint – a cheatsheet – a FAQ is really effective in an area you have expertise – anything that offers insight, information or inspiration to folks who would be intersted in what you do.

Step 2

Upload to the publishing platform.

Why?  It’s absolutely awesome – always improving – phenomenally free – and will make the next steps infinitely easier.

(and ultimately, much easier to scale when you’re ready to go back to thinking BIG as well :-)

Step 3

Invite other people to promote your first product as partners or “affiliates”.

For example – if you have an existing business or audience, invite your facebook fans, your newsletter subscribers your daily readers…whomever you think appropriate, to particpate in your product launch.

(or to earn an income while helping you build buzz for a new product, program, site or service)

If you are just starting from scratch:

Ask your friends,  reach out to other people you know and like in your industry – find lateral or related business and so forth.

For example?

If you are a yoga teacher – a meditation or massage therapist – a nutrition expert, etc – find offers that are complimentary to what you do, but not necessarily directly competitive and invite them to partner up with you.

This gives them an opportunity to earn extra income, and gives their audience a wider window into a related world (your expertise) that they may be unaware of otherwise.

Ask yourself this:

How many life coaches would LOVE to have a Yoga teacher to recommend?

Or –

How many Yoga teachers would love a nutritional or dietary cheat sheet to offer their clients?

This is a great way to not only cultivate a community of clients, but also an amazing way to connect with professional peers in related fields as well)

Or –

Email people who show up in search results for the niche, market or industry you are publishing or competing in.

Ask your favorite bloggers or authority site owners, – be creative and think outside the box a bit – it’s guerilla marketing 101 and it’s a ton of fun

You can do ALL of this with a free book or product – or with a fee based product or service. (or a combination of both)

(both have advantages to your audience)

Step 4 (why this works)

Starting small allows you to boostrap, or “hack” finding new readers, new subscribers and a community of client who would be hard pressed to know you who are otherwise.


When you apply this approach, everytime your friends, folowers, fans, or fellow professional peers promote your free or low priced SMALL products (the reports, blueptrings, outlines, cheatsheets, FAQ’s, etc you created in step 1) and you do this on the GUMROAD platform (it’s free – and awesome) they are adding new subscribers (what Gumroad calls followers) who are now part of your newsletter community.

Note/Disclaimer:  I get nothing for recommending Gumroad. No money.  No  little plaque.  No email from the CEO.  I know no one there, and other than a few recommendations I’ve made at 3 am by email after one bottle of wine too many, have no relationship with anyone there at all.  You don’t need to use them – it just makes this process infinitely easier – and other than charging a transaction fee like Etsy or Ebay or “insert your favorite E-commerce publishing platform here”  – they offer all of this completely free.

Remember.  Forget about the big picture for now.

Start small.

  1. Do what you love.
  2. Share your passion.
  3. Cultivate a community.
  4. And offer up your experience and expertise to the betterment of the world.
  5. (i don’t know if you’ve been watching CNN in your PJ’s for the last 3 days like me – but it’s pretty obvious we could use more people who are passionate about building people up, rather than tearing us down)

Also –

There are lots of nuances and wrinkles and fun little innovative appraoches you can use to optimize and improve, tweak and critique this strategy.

For example –

You can add a service to a free product – a coaching session or one on one time with you for example – which gives your affiliates (your partners who participate) the opportunity to earn a great commission while giving something free away.

(traditionally, about 10% of people will pay for a product or service that is bundled with a freebie if positioned properly)

But don’t even think of that stuff yet.

  • Just start small. 1-5 pages.
  • Or record something short.

Or think of something creative to offer I have’nt thought of above. (but will after i stumble to my coffee maker and get some cafeeine in my brain)

Also –

Make sure to include your product in Gumroad discover. (just check the box to allow your products to be “discovered” on email recepits and thank you pages)

This is the full marketplace where you can get “discovered” by people doing searches for the keywords that are related to your product, program, site or service.

They also will include your offer on receipts of the products that other people sell – meaning joe buys x from y – and on the receipt – joe is gently directed to check out related products he may be interested in as well. Including yours. I’ve already sold some of my own stuff this way in just the last week, simply by being “recommended” after someone buys something different, from someone not named me.

(much like Amazon does….or can also be done with Recepitful – a great free product from Woocommerce founder Adi Peinar – something I’ll be covering at length in another discussion)

This stuff is so super simple, and if you are a creative with passion and a sense of purpose and who truly enjoys your work – a ton of fun to boot.

Start small.

And begin above.

And i’m going to give you another incentive.

If you create it, I’ll help you sell it.


You can publish your product on my marketplace or directory site for free. (I’ll be your affiliate) This way, you’ll have a whole new source of free traffic, and exposure, and a audience you won’t have to worry about, or work for on your own.

Plus, selfishly, I want to add people, products, programs, sites, services, and offers to my own mindful marketplace based communities….and if you’ve read this far, you definitely belong.

I’m also going to be sharing a simple strategy you can use to build your OWN “authority” site or marketplace in YOUR niche, market or industry, using the exact same approach, so stay tuned for that as well.

(it’s quick, it’s easy and very exciting as well)

Have questions? Ask me anything in the community comments below.

OR connect with me on Twitter.

Or on Facebook.

OR come over for lunch. Just give me 15 minutes to put on some clothes.

I’m having grilled cheese with Wolf Blizter blathering on in the background, and could use the company.

The Day You Started to Teach

Here is a short article I posted a few months ago….which I re-visited earlier today working with a small group of folks who are hell bent on writing (and publishing) their first Amazon ebook by the end of the year.

Starting anything new is challenging.  Writing, for whatever reason, is particularly so.

But teaching, sharing, emoting, expressing and offering your life lessons up in the spirit of service, to help others… natural, effortless and amazingly inspiring.  (first to oneself, and then to others)

I heard this great quote the other day – the central question one should ask whenever putting their time, and trust, into the world and words of another who aspires to inform.

“How can you help me to live?”

On some level, all of our intuitions, all of our aspirations, all of our private seeking and striving and soul searching – whether it’s directed inward at our own moral compass – or outward in the arms or answers or experiences of another – boils down to that one simple all too human and all too hard to find foundation.

If you have that experience or expertise to offer…..which you do, you really ought to write it down.

The truth is, anyone who has a unique life lesson, or valuable experience to share can write a “best selling” book these days, simply due to the way the whole self publishing space has evolved over the last half a decade.

And even if writing a best seller feels a bit audacious to you, the truth is, simply publishing a book at all is an amazing accomplishment that feels great and will do wonders for your professional self esteem and your perceived credibility in your niche, market or industry.

As a marketing tool, it’s magical. But as an authentic way to create, and then convey something powerful to an audience of people who will become better by having heard your message…’s really better than cold pizza on a sunny Sunday morning. (which is pretty hard to top)

Anyway, if you are NOT writing your first book out of fear that crafting a magnum opus of literary wonder is not within your current skill set – STOP. The pursuit of perfection, is the enemy of achieving anything at all – and if you think of yourself as a teacher, and the content in your book the imperfect lessons of a life well lived shared with purity of heart and in the spirit of service, you realize it’s the message that matters much more than the perfection of the prose.

This was titled, Teach. Don’t write. I know it’s taken a lot of the proverbial pressure off of me every time i set pencil to paper (or pixel) and hopefully it will do the very same for you.

10 Questions About Starting an Affiliate Program

The 2 questions I get more often than any other, are:

1 – How do you stay so damn sexy into your 40’s?


2- If I want to create an affiliate program for my blog, brand, business, site or service, what is the easiest way to do it?

Okay, the truth is, no one ever asks me #1.

Which hurts my feelings.

It would only take a minute and would make me feel much better.

Plus, I’d do it for you.

Anyway, if we are really being honest…….#2 isn’t really a question I get all that often either.

But it should be.

Because an affiliate program is probably the quickest, easiest and most ethical way to convert your friends, fans, followers and subscribers into eager and incentivized evangelists and ambassadors for your books, blog, brand and business.

And believe me, the days where the tools and tech are tough are behind us.  That no longer is a good excuse to NOT empowering your audience to share your stuff in places and spaces you would never be able to reach on your own.

In addition, Gumroad is the ideal way to get started, with your own affiliate program, in about the time it takes for Fox News to say “Fair and Balanced” with a wink and a smile.

More good news?

I’ve answered the top 10 questions for launching an affiliate program, specifically with Gumroad, and you can download it (on Gumroad….see what I did there?) right here.

It’s 100% Free.  Just enter “0” in the price field and enjoy.


Content Marketing Templates

Now on Gumroad:  (for new subscribers)

A simple 6 point template for quickly and easily writing books, creating courses, curriculums and any other type of teachable content you can sell.

These 6 bullet points are the foundation of just about everything I create, and have reduced the amount of time, energy and mental capital I need to invest in any new writing project to an absolute minimum (and have made the process of creating again fun)

I’ve found that stripping out the superfluous silliness and streamlining each new article or idea into a ferociously focused TEACHABLE concept, is the greatest gift you can offer your readers, subscribers, fans, followers or online evangelists.

It will take you 90 seconds to read this one page PDF – but if you are coach, consultant, teacher, trainer, artist, author, mentor, mindful marketer, enlightened entrepreneur or PASSION professional……I promise, you’ll be creating more quickly than ever if you try and apply this outline to your existing approach.

Note to all existing readers and subscribers:   (yes, that only means you Aunt Jane and second Cousins Chuck and Connie)

If you aren’t using Gumroad to sell your stuff, you are insane.  (and even if you are, second cousin Chuck – you remain insane)

Why?  Since I’ve updated this particular blog last, they’ve come out with a brand new WAY overdue marketplace feature…..(something I had hoped they’d implement long ago and requested by email several times) meaning that you can now get “discovered” in the Gumroad ecosystem simply by having products published.

Similar to Amazon’s feature set in this regard, your ideal audience can find your products, programs, content and courses through Gumroad’s recommendation engine, which appears on emailed receipts, on thank you pages and other places and spaces within the Gumroad infrastructure.

Speaking of Amazon and going insane, please look for a short documentary I will be publishing in December on how to overcome getting fucked by Amazon Prime on your pre-holiday TV purchase.

It’s going to have all of the elements we love in a documentary – compelling characters we care about (me, mostly) a few villains we don’t (Ricardo S. the supervisor in the Amazon San Jose office, mostly) – a football game with heroes (the Eagles) and villains (the Cowboys) – friends who we don’t care about (mine, mostly) who are forced to watch game at local dive bar because (spoiler alert) Amazon prime fucks you with a smile.  (and blames Fed Ex)

Do note – I am using my permitted 3x usage 2015 allotment of the word fucked on this post – and I won’t use it again until 2016, I promise.

I was going to use screwed – or manipulated, or deceived, but in this case, I truly believe that fucked is the only word that will do.

Do also note that the Eagles did win in overtime, which proves again that God hates Texas.

Thank you for reading, and Jeff Bezos – check your email and keep up the good work.

If you want to call I’m free at noon.

For everyone else who is writing and creating and doing good work in the world like me – don’t forget to check out the 6 point template on Gumroad.

The Easiest Meditation in the World


Let the body assume it’s natural ease
Let the mind assume it’s natural ease.
Now remain alert to anything that arises to disrupt that natural ease.

Ajahn Amaro

A lot of people struggle with the idea of natural ease.

What is natural ease?

Are we ever really “easy”?

When i wake up in the morning, my ease is immediately disrupted by by a whirlwind of thoughts – a chaotic cascade of impressions and images and often, imaginary obstacles, all that shine a bright light on my fears, phobias and frailties before i even truly stumble out of bed.

It’s like  I’m making homemade version of “Naked and Afraid”, but without the film crew and and with better quality sheets.

But before the “I” in me starts to appear –

And before that background beat of noisy nonsense that crowds out my sleepy sense of serenity…..

There IS a perfect moment of natural ease.

Try this exercise:

Lay down (assuming you sleep standing up like the rest of us)
Visualize your body as big and broad and expansive as the sky
A blissful blue – unblemished by any stain or storm
See that as clearly as possible, and with as much concentration as you can cultivate

Then –

Just notice what you notice.

What disturbs your natural ease?

Invariably, if you like most of us, you’ll notice thoughts dancing and darting and whisking you away.

“Come here,” they beckon. “I want to show you something. Trust me, it will only scare you a little.”

Don’t listen.

Like a cloud on an otherwise balmy day, watch them until they float peacefully away

Soon, bodily sensations appear as well.

Maybe it’s an itch, a feeling of pressure, or depending on whether you did your 12 pushups the night before like me – maybe some discomfort in the body as well

Don’t think about it – just notice it

For me, the breakthrough has been in the nuance of noticing.

Noticing is a distinctly different process than thinking

it’s just an awareness of what is, without judgement.

As you flex your mindful muscles, even preferences for “this way”, or “that way”, or “I wish it was the other way”, eventually begin to evaporate.

Just let everything be at ease

And continue to watch whatever wants to get in it’s way.

Another truth is this.

What you energize, increases

The more attention you direct at what disturbs you, the bigger, badder and bolder it becomes

Picture a bright white canvas of consciousness
It stretches as far and wide as your ethereal eye can see
Notice what colors darken or deepen that whitest of white
Watch as they appear – bold blotchy blues and deep troubled tones
Don’t think about them.

Let them do their little dance and disappear.

They can’t form a shape unless you give them enough brush to bruise the page.

If you want to be happier, healthier and more well adjusted in this wild and wacky and weird world…..

Embrace the ease underneath.

Don’t move towards anything that disrupts your natural ease

Don’t fix it – or color over it, or even wish it away.

Just be aware it’s there

Allow everything to arise, appear and disappear.
In real life, off of the metaphorical mat – the actual affect this beginning practice has on our lives is complete.

If you can see everything as a weather pattern – the noisy neighbor, the crazy guy on the 3 wheel motorbike at rush hour with poor lane management skills – all a momentary disturbance in the effortless ease that is awareness itself – nothing can truly stain the peace that lies beneath.

For each of us willing to look, the coming and going gets easier and more enjoyable every day.

“You are the Sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
– Pema Chodron

Self Publishing Tips for Coaches: How to Level Up Your Book Sales & Build Real Relationships in Your Niche (Audio)

Here is a quick (30 minute) audio I recorded earlier today covering some best use strategies for not only bumping book sales, but should help many of you sell more services as well.    I  discuss a few very specific scenarios, and challenges –  that are very common in my audience, and how I recommend overcoming them as well.

Maybe more importantly in the long run?

This approach will really help all of us who use it to connect with an extended audience of professional peers, and connect with a community of people who really can have a transformative effect on your brand and business overall.

Some of things I discuss here are:

A quick and easy pricing “hack” to sell more ebooks on Amazon

A simple strategy for turning an existing book into a multiple price point purchase

How to recruit professional peers to promote your products, program, sites and services

A simple (and very personalized) email marketing campaign I tried in 2012 that increased my own blog audience by over 1000% in multiple markets.

And other stuff I’d like to list, but I already forget :-)  (but are in the audio)

I truly believe that this is the absolute easiest way to build “buzz” for your books, blog, brand, business and bank account….and in some ways, if you already have a book or product that is NOT selling, this strategy makes it almost impossible to fail.

If you have any questions about any of the topics covered, feel free to send me an email, and I’m happy to help.


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