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The Enlightened Entrepreneur 2012 Challenge (Getting Started)


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The Enlightened Entrepreneur 2012 challenge is officially underway…:-)

What that means, specifically is THIS:

I’m challenging YOU to simplify your business around what you love, and what you KNOW works, NOT because I’m telling you it does, but because you see it everywhere around you and know it makes perfect sense. (consistently creating killer content that demonstrates your authority and expertise, building a committed community of friends, fans and followers and ultimately, developing your own CURRICULUM of products, services and offers you can sell to make a living out of what you love)

I’m not only going to be tailoring the content to those of you who want to parlay your PASSION into profit, I’m going to be breaking down, blueprinting and hopefully, shining a bright light on just how exceedingly all of this IS, if you let it be.

The truth is, you CAN make a full time sharing your natural gifts with the world….and you can do it FAR faster than most of you believe, and you can start on a bare bones, shoe string budget as well.

If you are willing to work, and truly can get ferociously focused on ONE thing (building a business that honors your expertise) you will never need another gadget, another gimmick or another “guru” again.

Let’s take a look, (again) at EACH step in this particular system, elaborate a bit on what each idea represents, and then EXACTLY what you need to do to prepare yourself to begin right away.

CONTENT. There are 2 types of content you are going to need. Onsite content. (like this blog post, for example) And OFFSITE content. (content that is created to drive traffic TO your site, or more specifically, is used to build your community.

This article I submitted yesterday is an example of this sort of content – it’s not meant to be a blog post, or be brimming with passion or personality…’s meant to do ONE thing and one thing only – help me build my list – PERIOD)

COMMUNITY. There are 3 types of community in this system.  You have a blog community.  (much like you are part of mine, by virtue of  being here now)

You have your email LIST community.  (some of you are on this, too….and this is where I focus on growing first and foremost)

And you have your extended community that live in places you don’t quite control.  (social networks, content curation and sharing sites, etc)

My “on site” blog community is a bit different than most, as I prefer and recommend, a system that encourages user generated content, Q and A, and participation……much like what you are looking at now.  (you can create profiles, ask questions, particpate in groups, post to your “wall”, etc all of which obviously is FREE content that you don’t have to write (or pay) to create)

CURRICULUM.  There are many different types of things you can sell.  For our purposes, you curriculum is ANYTHING that allows you to make a living doing what you love.  It’s optimal, most profitable and ultimately easiest to create your own products and programs.  (high end telephone coaching for example would be one, or, if you are just getting started……… an audio program that consists of you sharing your expertise in a “data dump” format for a few hours and can be made in an afternoon)

If this doesn’t make sense to you just yet, take a few minutes and think it through.

Content +Community +Curriculum + Conversation =Conversion.  (Cash!)

Simple straight lines.

You write an article.

You submit article to high volume directory.

I find it while doing a Google search for something completely different.

I like your article.

I click on the  link at the end of your article.

I end up on your landing page.

I sorta kinda like your landing page, too.

You promise my life will be better if I sign up for your list.

Always interested in a better life, I sign up for your list.

I get your first automated email. (you are sleeping, I am awake, and that doesn’t seem fair)

It’s passionate, excited and enthusiastic.

I like what you have to say.

I like your style and wonder why we don’t live closer.

It makes me hopeful.  And happy.  And hungry.

I run to the kitchen to finish off the orange sherbert I bought on Tuesday.

It’s sort of freezer burnt, but still hits the spot.

I continue to be entranced with your email……and spend the next several hours reading your blog and eating myself into an ice cream food coma.


It really works THAT easily.

Simple, straight lines.

  1. Articles.
  2. Opt in’s
  3. Offers.


Our goal is to not only help you create all 3 of these CRITICAL components as easily as possible, but to also create CONTINUITY between your content, and your community and your curriculum in a way that enhances your expertise, broadens your brand, and extends your influence pretty much at the very same time.

Okay…..let’s get some specific instructions for EXACTLY what you need to get started:

1 –  EzineArticles Author Account (you will write and submit your articles here)

2 – A domain (and blog) of your OWN.  This means a self hosted blog on a domain name you control – NOT a”squidoo” lens, or a hub page, or a “” blog – or a “weeble” or any other free alternative to getting your own domain name and building your blog, your brand, your business nad your bank account where you have CONTROL

Always CONTROL what you CREATE.

3 – A commercial grade auto responder (I use Aweber and they have a $1 dollar trial for 30 days.……other than hosting, it’s the ONE service I couldn’t live without)

4 – You need a LANDING page to put your aweber form, to build your email list community, so that you can sell them stuff…:-)  So many people struggle with this step……that I decided, to do something super silly simple.  Just take MY landing page (the one I’m using right now to build MY list using the content==>community strategy) and COPY it.  Use the “view source” command, copy and paste the entire contents of MY squeeze page into your favorite editor, delete MY copy and insert your own instead…….remembering to PASTE your Aweber javascript code where mine is now, and WALA, you now have a landing page that is ready to kick butt, take names and build your list to boot.

Here is the PAGE you can copy. (it’s the same page I’ve been using for months for my articles…..and it ain’t pretty, but it does exactly what you need it to do – turn STRANGERS into subscribers, subscribers into fans, friends and followers….and ultimately, your content into customers and clients as a result)

The truth is, while that page took me 19 seconds to create and makes me shudder at how simple it looks, it still converts 30-40% of my free traffic to opt in for my list…..and that’s as good as the best fancy pants premium priced landing pages on the market do, too.  (becauseI use plenty of those elsewhere as well!)

So if it helps you – use it.

 The LAST thing you are going to need is what I call a CONTENT CORNERSTONE, or an master outline, or market manifesto of everything you know, and have to share, teach or preach in your niche, today.

This document is really the “secret” sauce to not only being able to create copious amounts of killer content almost on demand, it’s going to give you the backbone of what you are going to create to SELL as well.  (your curriculum)  And while that may seem daunting, and you may FEEL that you are weeks, months or even years away from having a product to sell, you can literally do it in a short weekend.  (and I will show you how..:-)

Remember – if you have a niche – and you are willing to create content – and you have a blog – and you have an autoresponder – and you have a landing page – and you have something that you KNOW in your bones will help folks in your niche improve their lives……you have everything you need to succeed, I promise 🙂

I’ll share the “Content Cornerstone” document building strategy in about 24 hours, and feel free to post any questions in the getting started group, here!

4 Comments on "The Enlightened Entrepreneur 2012 Challenge (Getting Started)"

  • Patt says

    I’m very excited to be following along again! I have just one question about today’s post. How in the world did you know about the orange sherbet? 🙂 Actually, I did have another question but as I’m sitting here writing it I’m now realizing it was in jest (it had to do with the google search). Anyway, I’m so happy to be part of your community. Thanks Ian

    • ian says

      I have ended many long days with starting (and finishing) a family sized container of sherbert…..and ended up comatose near computer shortly thereafter. (i assumed it was a universal experience 🙂

      Do you mean the “searching for something else” line?

      That was sort of in jest – although what I really meant to add in there is that one of the biggest advantages of consistenly creating and having content “fresh” on the article directories TODAY (relative to how things were even a year ago) is that you inherit, or piggy back off of, or can borrow the traffic that other “aged” and trusted articles are getting in the search results, even if they aren’t neccessarily relevant to yours. (especially in the entrepreneurial niches, where there is a lot of co-mingling of content, topics, etc…..across every category – a popular home business article may drive be categorized as “internet marketing” or visa versa, etc)

      In general though – article marketing for SEO – even for the articles themselves – is radically different today, than last year. Your “new” articles are not going to get the same sort of google love they got last year…..(that may change, as EZA regains trust, and it seems to be a bit already – but not where it once was) but the OLD articles that seemed to be popular and trusted and shared, etc on EZA….still drive lots of traffic.

      Hence, having something up everyday increases your exposure to THOSE searches, and those people – and by staggering stuff out a little bit differently, the drop off hasn’t been very noticable at all. (but if you write 4 articles a week and submit them ALL at once, without the ranking benefits in the search results themselves anymore……when “they gone”……they gone..;-)


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