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Last night, Oregon's Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy. That means, a panel of 800+ college football experts from around the country voted he was the best player in the 2014-2015 season. It's an extraordinary accomplishment, but what's most surprising about it is how many schools offered Mariota a scholarship to play football. There are 120+ division 1 football programs. Given that he was named the best played in all of college football this year, how many scholarships do you think he received? 12 colleges? That would be 10%. 6? That would be 5%. 3? Surely 2.5% of the schools in the country saw his potential.

A few weeks ago, my 11 year old didn’t want to eat a vegetable we were having for dinner. She told my wife Jenny, “I don’t like parsnips.” Jenny responded, “That’s OK, because that’s a yellow carrot, not a parsnip.” Then we had kind of a hostage/negotiator stand off moment. I told L.E., “It’s fine to not like yellow carrots, but you have to eat them. It’s just one of those things you might not like but still have to do in life.” She immediately looked at me and said, “You mean like email is for you?” Well played, small child, well played indeed. Ever since I got my first email in 1996, I haven’t disliked it, I’ve hated it. If you’ve ever sent me one, you know this to be true because I probably didn’t respond. Or if I did, it started with, “I am so sorry it took me so long to respond.” My personal hatred of email eventually poisoned my approach to sending out newsletters too. As an "Idea Generator," the title I'm calling myself today because I get to do that, I never sent out ideas via email. But lately, I’ve been learning to love email. Why? Here are the top 3 reasons:

“You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover” is a true statement, but it’s also kind of dumb. We all judge books by the covers. Why? Because we have too many options. There were three million books published in 2010. How does your book get noticed in this glut of options? One way is with a great cover. Today I get to share the cover of my new book Do Over for the first time. (It’s available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.) Do Over Cover 2 I think the Portfolio/Penguin team did an awesome job with it! So how did we get there?   Whether you’re self publishing an ebook or going the traditional route with a publisher, there are a lot of ways you can design a great cover. I think a perfect place to start is by asking these five questions:

Online, we all posture like we're at the cool table, that mythical place we dreamed about when elementary school ended and we found ourselves at middle. We filter and layer and fix and crop, until the moment that we are sharing looks very little like the moment...

(Today is a guest post from Casey Lewis! He's a regular contributor to this site and is awesome!)
As I write on Acuff.me about dreaming and pursuing passions I haven’t made it a big secret that I have a full time job and also am building up a coaching and consulting business. I’m excited about a new project I just started working on and was recently telling a mentor of mine about it.
One of his first questions was, “How are you going to make money from this?”
It almost caught me off guard. We were talking about business, and he asked me a very logical and practical business question, and I didn’t have an answer.
If I had to classify this project I’d put it in my dream category. It’s what I love to do. I love helping people and small businesses put their financial situation in a position that they can chase after dreams and go win. I’ve been in the trenches for years now, getting first hand knowledge of how to do this and I’ve found that I love teaching other people how to do this stuff.
So it’s my passion. It’s my dream. And apparently I’m supposed to find a way to monetize it.
But what if you can’t monetize your dream?

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