This might be one of the only reasons to follow me on Facebook.

There aren’t a ton of reasons to follow me on Facebook. I think everything you write on blogs right now is supposed to be “7 ways to ___” or “3 reasons bears might eat you in your sleep unless you read this blog post,” but honestly there aren’t a ton of reasons you should follow me on Facebook.

You’ve already got a pretty full schedule. Might have to go it to Bed, Bath & Beyond this weekend, got a lot going on.

So I will keep this short. Here is one of the reasons that right now you should follow me on Facebook: Occasionally I post long ideas like the one below and then I respond to people like I did to the first comment below. If either of those things amuses you, you should follow me on Facebook right this second. Or a bear might eat you in your sleep.

Facebook 2

Facebook

How to charge more for your art and work in 2015.

Your art, whether you paint or do consulting, is worth more than you think.

How do I know? Because nobody values what they create enough.

The things we’re good at come naturally to us so we naturally make the mistake of thinking they aren’t worth money. I’m working on an idea about this very issue right now for all my artist and entrepreneur friends. In the meantime though, I didn’t want you to miss an amazing opportunity to charge more for the great stuff you create.

What’s the opportunity?

January 1st.

The changing of the year provides you a wonderful chance to raise your rates. I gave this exact advice to a writer recently who had been writing for a website for free.

I told him to email the site owner and say, “I’ve had a blast writing for you this last year and wanted to give you a heads up that with the new year I will be raising my rates. Do you have a budget for the writing I do?”

If they say no, be honest and admit the exposure you’ve been getting paid might not be worth it. Most of the time when we’re paid in exposure we don’t actually do the work of tracking to see if the exposure is real or fictional. Do you have blog traffic from that volunteer work you’re doing? Can you see other clients that have directly come via that exposure? Has your volunteer work opened up real opportunities you capitalized on not just fake someday opportunities?

If they say yes and that they do have a budget, the door is open. Talk to them about your rates.

If you don’t have many pre-existing clients, no one is going to notice you raised your fees for 2015. Just do it. (If you’ve got pre-existing clients that you grandfathered in at a low rate you don’t have to raise their fee but otherwise be brave. Also, if you have a cause you want to volunteer for, go for it. That’s a completely different dynamic.)

Don’t miss the chance to use the calendar as a great conversation starter.

Your work is more valuable than you think.

I promise.

Getting laughed at in a bookstore in the best possible way.

Whenever I go to a new city, I try to sign all the copies of the books I’ve written at local bookstores.

I tell the manager beforehand. I don’t just go through the aisles like Banksy, creating street art inside the covers of Start and Quitter.

A few weeks ago, I went to a bookstore and couldn’t find any of my books. I asked an employee to help me find one in their computer system. The previous store I had been in had four different books I wrote so I was expecting at least one to be in stock.

Minutes of awkward silence later, the employee looked up from the computer and said, “How do you spell your name again?” I don’t know if she meant to add, “You random guy posing as an author,” but that was what I heard in my head.

I told her it was “J O N.” She immediately said, “Oh, I was spelling it with an H.”

I felt better instantly. That must be it! There’s probably a whole shelf of my books around here somewhere and now that you’ve got the right spelling we can find them together!

[Read more…]

The reason she left for the Netherlands.

Go

Last Friday, I met a woman who was moving to the Netherlands.

Five days from the moment I met her, she would get on a plane and travel half way around the world.

For a year, she was moving to be a nanny for a family who lived two hours north of Amsterdam.

She had quit her stable job of four years. Rearranged her entire life and pushed her boat away from the shore. In that moment, with less than a week of normal life left, she was nervous and excited. I asked her why she was leaving and she said something deep and true and simple:

[Read more…]

One Word To Help You Build Your Dream (Or 3 Signs You Might Be a Multipotentialite)

(Today is a guest post from the ever amazing Jim Woods! I hope you love it as much as I did.) 

A couple months ago I came across a word that blew my mind.

This word is multipotentialite.

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking what does that word actually mean?

A multipotentialite is someone who has a lot of different interests. Wikipedia defines multipotentialite as: a term referring to the ability of a person, particularly one of intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields.

This one word may give you tremendous insight into your dream.

How so? Well, to answer that let’s look at the three signs that you may be a multipotentialite:

[Read more…]

People don’t value things that don’t have value.

Money

When you launch an event, book, product, dove into the air like Prince, you have to decide whether you’ll charge for it.

Popular rhetoric will argue that it should be free. That if you want a lot of people to get excited about it you should give it away much like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That makes sense in theory. It would seem that if something cost $10 and something else was free, the free item would be more popular. More people, realizing they don’t have $10, will jump on board with the option that costs zero dollars.

That’s a nice theory, but reality doesn’t always work that way. In fact, I’ve learned just the opposite this fall.

I’ve been holding meetups in cities across the country. During the meetups, I teach about bravery and hustle. It’s essentially an hour long event and it’s free. Of the people that sign up online, only about 30% show up. Contrast that with the paid events I’ve tried. When I charge for an event, 90% of the attendees show up.

Why does this happen?

Because if you pay $10 for an event, you have skin in the game. That might not be a lot of money, but at 6:30AM when your alarm goes off, $10 translates into about $100 worth of motivation to get out of bed.

I can’t explain it, the math doesn’t make sense, but I swear that every dollar you pay for something has roughly 10 dollars of motivation associated with it. A $10 purchase feels like a $100 purchase, a $100 purchase feels like a $1,000 purchase. And we hate to waste money. If we paid for something and then don’t attend it or use it, we feel like we’ve failed. That fear of failure is a powerful force for good in this case.

People don’t value things that don’t have value.

If you want to increase the number of people who sign up for something, give it away for free. If you want to increase the number of people who show up and are invested in what you’ve created, consider charging.

If you believe that what you’ve created will actually help someone change their life, you dramatically increase the chances of the person actually using it if you charge them money for it. You think you’re doing them a charity by giving it away for free but you’re actually removing reasons they’ll use what you’ve created.

Are there some situations where giving away something for free, or in exchange for an email address or info is worth it? Certainly, but remember this:

When something costs us nothing, we tend to invest the same amount in it.