Changing the publishing game

28th March 2011

Today, at the Domino Project, we’re announcing a significant breakthrough in book publishing, and it may be a first: the digital edition of a bestselling author’s next book is available for free, thanks to a generous sponsor. The next title is by bestselling author Steven Pressfield. He’s the author of the classic The War of Art.

From the announcement post:

Because most of the costs of an ebook are fixed (extra copies cost far less than additional copies of a paper book) there’s a great opportunity for a sponsor to subsidize the distribution–readers get the ebook for free, the sponsor benefits by being connected with a great work and perhaps some gratitude from the reader for bringing them an idea that might bring positive change.

The folks at GE have stepped up and they’re our first ebook sponsors. Beginning today until shortly after the Kindle edition is available on April 20th, the sponsored edition is free.

Click here, order it and it will be automatically delivered on pub date. You can read it on a Kindle, an iPad, an iPhone a PC and more. (If you already ordered your copy, your payment will be credited back to you).

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"If you ever need my help, just let me know"

21st March 2011

How often do you tell people, “if you ever need my help, just let me know?”

It’s a wonderful gesture and fully appreciated by the receiver, I’m sure. I’ve had two people tell me this via email in the last two hours. I’m sure I tell people this all the time too. 

That said, the question still remains: how can you help me? And most importantly, how do you want to help me? 

Don’t just tell people that you want to help them. Tell them how you want to help them.

Ask and you shall receive. 

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Let it be, let it unfold

17th March 2011

Sometimes, when we don’t know what to do about something, the best thing to do is to let it be.

To accept it for what it is in that moment.

To learn what the distance will teach us. 

To feel the range of emotions, uncertainties, and fears. 

To realize that getting to this point is kind of a big deal.

To relish in the small accomplishments.

To cherish the new beginnings. 

To learn trust in thyself and patience in the process.

To paint the blank canvas as we deem right.

It’s often easier to ask other people what they think we should do. But it’s far more difficult to look inside for answers.

Sometimes, slowing down to reflect on and appreciate the present will bring us everything we need to know.

Still yourself, and let the answer unfold.

"When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."  - The Alchemist

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The Passion Experiment (aka how you can get unstuck in 4 weeks or less)

16th March 2011

Each week, I get dozens of emails from people asking for advice about overcoming obstacles, getting unstuck, and finding meaningful work. 

I love them.

It’s deeply fulfilling to watch people overcome their fears and act. Whether they’re going from no passion to passion or no freedom to freedom, nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than getting the email saying, “BIG NEWS!!! I made it happen!!! Thank you!!!” 

Those are the moments I live for.

Lately I’ve been overwhelmingly busy working with Seth Godin on his new publishing venture and launching my passion project revolution.is. I’m finding that I have less time than I’d like to thoughtfully answer incoming questions…

And that makes me sad.

So I’ve got an idea that I’m calling ‘The Passion Experiment.’

For four weeks, I want to work with two people who need direction and inspiration in their lives. We’ll work on one issue or problem that has you stuck. We’ll try experiments that get you out of your comfort zone and into forward motion.

These two people will get complete access to me and I’ll support you in every way possible. Each week I will hold you accountable and together we’ll watch you grow. 

I’m looking for two people who are committed and willing to invest in themselves. I’ll guide you and you’ll do the work. We’ll find a fee structure that works for both of us.

Interested? Shoot me an email (me @ heyamberrae dot com) and I’ll tell you how to apply.

To chasing dreams and pursuing what you love,
Amber

I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life. - Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

[Update: I’ve “graduated” sixteen clients and I have spots available for October through December. A full report is coming soon but in the meantime here’s a preview: In twelve days, Liz started a business and landed her dream client (plus two more!). In four days, Joel said his life had been changed and he was now on the right track toward pursuing his passion. Jenn said this is exactly what she needed to make change in her life. If you’re seriously interested in getting unstuck, fill out this form and then shoot me an email.]

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SXSW Poker #12: Laurie Davis

9th March 2011

I love Laurie and her inspiring story about taking initiative. 

sxswpokes:

When I was 18, I wanted to be a rock star. As a student at Berklee College of Music, I met an alumnus who owned an entertainment company and I had high hopes of being his next lead singer.  When we met, he told me more about his other business — a music education service.  Through stream of consciousness, he blurted out a business challenge: He didn’t have enough time to focus on the education side of things though it had higher margins than the entertainment company.

One week later, I showed up to meet him, notebook in hand, and ran through a list of innovative ideas for his music lesson business.  If he did these things, I said, his revenue would dramatically climb.  He stared at me, listening patiently, mouth agape as I outlined my 3 page manifesto for a business that wasn’t even mine.  When I finished, he said, “Great ideas. And I know exactly the person to do all this. YOU.”

I didn’t become a Director of Operations at 18 without taking some initiative.  What I’ve learned is that inspired moments happen when you least expect it.  I didn’t scribble down business ideas in a notebook 11 years ago because I wanted a job; I was just trying to help someone out.  The same happened with my first business, an event planning company — the demand came before the LLC.  Similarly, what once was a hobby helping my friends date online morphed into something that no one could have expected — my internationally recognized brand, eFlirt Expert. Ideas generated by circumstances can often become the most powerful ones in your life.  Being ambitious isn’t necessarily always about climbing the ladder; it’s about noticing opportunities and taking advantage of them.


Laurie Davis is the Founder of eFlirt Expert and eFlirt Expert VIP.  She helps singles find love using technology, and gets just as excited about first dates and engagements as they do!

Reblogged from SXSW Pokes

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I love the idea of following your passion and doing what you love, I was previously in a program in College that I did not enjoy and working a job I despised which led me to drop everything and start over. The problem is that now with the possibility of doing anything, I am doing nothing and I 'don't know how to figure out what I want to do. I guess what i'm asking is how did you find what was meaningful in your life or did you always know?

Asked by souupp

Most importantly, just start. Think less, do more, and begin with the things you enjoy doing. You might have to try a lot of things before you find something that fits. Live for the question and experience the answer. 

My approach is to only do things I enjoy. If I don’t like something and I can’t make it work, I stop. Move on. Appreciate the experience. And repeat. 

That said, if I wanted to be very intentional, I would: 

1) Give myself 10 minutes to make a list of everything in life I want to do and accomplish. (Think career, family, financial, fitness, spiritual, pleasure, etc.)

2) Go through that list and assess very honestly why I want to do each of those things. (Here I find it important to understand if each item is extrinsically or intrinsically motivating. I like to focus on the latter as doing what I enjoy is more fulfilling and rewarding than trying to please others.)

3) Pick 5-8 concrete goals to work on now, listing out a) the benefits of reaching, b) obstacles to overcome, c) skills & knowledge to gain, d) who the groups and individuals who can help.

4) Devise an action plan, set a date, and GO.

This process can be daunting. As is anything great we want to accomplish in life. Good luck.

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Announcing SXSW Pokes with Poker #1: Clay Hebert

4th March 2011

Next week I’m heading to SXSW to rep The Domino Project, talk poking, and collect your stories about taking initiative. Over the next week, we’re curating stories of SXSW Pokers who take initiative. First up: Clay Hebert. 

Want to get your story in the mix? Submit yours now. We’ll hand pick the best.

sxswpokes:

Two words can change everything.

I love playing basketball.  I remember being 11 years old and going to the local playground.  A bunch of older kids were all just shooting around at the two hoops and not really playing.  

I asked a simple two-word question that changed everything, “Wanna run?”

They all nodded excitedly and we started a full-court game that lasted for hours.  More players showed up.  A group of girls showed up just to watch.  Everyone had a great time and we didn’t leave until they shut off the playground lights.  We started playing every night at the same time.

The sad, surprising tale is that this same scene has repeated itself hundreds of times in my life.  I show up to a court and everyone is just shooting buckets, like they need an 11-year old’s permission to organize a game.  

“Wanna run?”

Minutes later, we split up teams and we’re immersed in a competitive game, whether 3 on 3 or full-court 5 on 5. In 23 years of doing this, it has worked every time.  Never have the other seven people said “no, I just came to shoot”.

Thousands of hours of fun and exercise for hundreds of people from two simple words.

So what’s stopping you?   You have dreams, ideas, that book you want to write, that blog you want to start, that trip you want to take.  So why are you standing around shooting at the hoop?

Wanna run?

Clay Hebert is an entrepreneur, optimist and nomad. The founder of Tribes Win, he blogs at Daily Sense.

Reblogged from SXSW Pokes

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3rd March 2011

From Paul Buchheit, this is the very best thing I’ve read all week. It captures everything I believe about living a fulfilling life:

One of the problems I’ve faced throughout life is that I’m kind of lazy, or maybe I lack will power or discipline or something. Either way, it’s very difficult for me to do anything that I don’t feel like doing. If I try to force it, my energy disappears, and I hate life.

My strategy can be reduced to two rules: 1) Find a way to make it fun and 2) If that fails, find a way to do something else.
 
YES. 
The extrinsic path to success is to focus on being the person you are told to be, and put all of your energy and drive into fitting that mold.

The approach I stumbled into is based on intrinsic motivation. To the greatest extent possible, do whatever is most fun, interesting, and personally rewarding (and not evil). External constraints, such as the need to go to school or make money are simply obstacles to be hacked. Be skeptical of external authorities, as they are often manipulating you for their own benefit, or for the benefit of the institutions they represent (often unknowingly, as they were already captured by the same systems which are attempted to ensnare you). Your identity comes from within — external recognition such as degrees and awards are only of tactical importance — don’t allow them to define who you are.

The intrinsic path to success is to focus on being the person that you are, and put all of your energy and drive into being the best possible version of yourself.

Of course this leads to the question, “What is success?” Someone who spent his life working 80 hour weeks, living in hotels, and fighting his way up the corporate ladder to become VP of toilet paper marketing would probably consider himself more successful than a sandwich shop owner who spends his nights and weekends playing with his kids and working on hobby projects, but maybe the sandwich shop owner would be happier and healthier. Ultimately, it is up to each person to decide what success means to them, but I think it’s important that everyone be mindful of the decision they are making. 

It’s often said that people become entrepreneurs because they can’t handle a regular job. Perhaps these people are simply too “defective” to fit into any mold, or maybe they lack the extrinsic motivation necessary to care about bosses, performance reviews, and other things which are so important for success in the corporate environment. However, what they do have is the creativity and natural sense of direction necessary to run their own business. I doubt that this is a coincidence.
The purpose of life (to me): shape your world (don’t shape yourself to it), look within before you look out, and become the very best possible version of yourself. Pursue fulfillment and chase that which makes you feel alive. 

Source: paulbuchheit.blogspot.com

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