51 Alternatives to a Real Job: Proof Approved Yesterday!

June 26th, 2013
Pre-order 51 Alternatives to a Real Job from this page. It should ship on July 1 or July 2.

I drove to the printer yesterday to approve the proof of 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.  We had some last minute challenges to get it to the printer so we might run one day late, but they said I could pick up the books on Monday (the 1st, which is when we were hoping to ship the first batch) or Tuesday.

What a cool experience.  It actually took all of 5 minutes to approve the proof. I looked at the cover to see if it was even and the spine and back and front looked right, and then I flipped through the book to see if the margins looked good.  I learned there is a thing called the 40/60 split on the margin, which means when you open a book, the inside margins are 60% and the outside are 40%… that’s how you can open a book and read without having to peer in the crack and try to read words too close to the spine.  Who’da thunk?

As I tell more people about this book I sometimes am nervous.  They’ll hate it…. they’ll think it is a pamphlet (which is what some said about the first edition of my LinkedIn book – whiners who have never done a book project before)… they’ll think the ideas are too above them, or too below them… they’ll think “I could never do that!” and then trade their time at a company they don’t care about, working on projects that don’t inspire them, reporting to bosses they hate.  But no, they won’t consider doing something for their own financial empowerment.  I have been worried people will see this as a fattened list of ideas… which it kind of is, but with so much more.

These will be the people who complain about the book.

I hope YOU will do two things as you read it:

  1. Mark it up!  I want you to write in this book and highlight it! Get a crayon or colored pencils and mark stuff. As I was proofreading it for the last time last week I was impressed at how many AWESOME quotes are spread throughout the book.  I was so inspired by the entrepreneurs I interviewed and with their wisdom and experience.
  2. Talk about it!  I hope this book inspires you to talk with a spouse, child, brother or sister, parent, or friend about ideas.  I want you to become personally empowered and not beholden to “the machine.”  Share ideas from this book — whether they are one of the 51 Alternatives or whether they are quotes from entrepreneurs or whether they are ideas that you get as you read the book.  Maybe none of the 51 Alternatives are for you… that is OKAY!  I hope as you read you get ideas for what would work for you.

If you mark it up, and it inspires you, and you talk about it and have this become a big part of the new conversation about your income, and the income of those around you, then my mission is accomplished.

Please let this book inspire you and your family and friends!




ATE: Jason Alba on Career Management 3.0 and 51 Alternatives to a Real Job

June 6th, 2013

Here is the recording of Tuesday’s webinar.  To make it bigger just push play, then click on the “bigger” icon towards the bottom right.  You can access all ATE webinars here.  Sign up for future ATE webinars here (great stuff coming up!).

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Help? I want your input on book cover for 51 Alternatives to a New Job

May 17th, 2013

The book is getting close to going to the printer.  I am sending a draft to “the person” who will write the forword, and my graphics artist shot me three book cover ideas.

I would love your feedback on these three covers.  Will you please tell me which of the three you love, which you love the least, and WHY?  Thank you!

People are asking how to get this book – you can preorder it from the right side of this page:

Idea A: Lightbulb Head


Idea B: Triangle Head


Idea C: Elephant on Tightrope


Please leave a comment of email me ( what you think. Again, I’d love to know your favorite, least favorite, and WHY.



Pamela Slim and Merideth Mehlberg: Test Often and Fail Fast (free webinar)

February 26th, 2013

I’ve known Pamela Slim for years.  She’s the creator of Escape from Cubicle Nation.  Anything she does is awesome.

She’ll join Merideth Mehlberg tomorrow at 12:15 PACIFIC time to talk about starting a business.  The entire title is:

Test Often and Fail Fast: The Art of Rapid Deployment to Quickstart Your Business.

Here’s the link to join the webinar. Merideth has a really cool program called The Career Gold Club, which she has interviewed me for.  Definitely worth your time to check out.

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Salary Surveys and Negotiating Your Salary (based on payscale,, etc.)

February 7th, 2013

This is from Nick Corcodilos’ newsletter: Will a consulting firm pay me what I’m worth?

In short, the answer is… just kidding. Read Nick’s answer.

Here is an interesting snippet from Nick’s response:

First, if you’re relying on salay surveys, know when to fold them. Generalized surveys are okay to give you an idea of salaries in a particular field, but they are not a good place to start negotiating your own salary.

I’ve always disliked the salary surveys and information online. I remember a boss I had who hated them because the numbers were unrealistic for our area, or our industry, or our company, or the position (or a combination of all of those).  But people would come in demanding what they found online, which was impossible.

Unrealistic expectations were set and people were disappointed.  It wasn’t good.

I’m sure the survey results have gotten better but I doubt using data from those websites as gospel truth is the best strategy.



Ask The Expert: Tim Tyrell-Smith and Developing Alternative Income Streams

February 5th, 2013

Here’s the recording from this morning’s Ask The Expert call:

This was a fun conversation.  We talked about a variety of things including:

  • support from the spouse, family, friends
  • consulting vs. developing products
  • features vs. benefits (and what you are communicating)
  • a “portfolio career” and a variety of income streams
  • getting financing
  • relationships, referrals, word of mouth and JibberJobber (as a CRM to use)
  • and more.

Tim is smart and fun to talk with… check out the video.  His website is here: Tim’s Strategy

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Ask The Expert (Tim Tyrell-Smith): Non-traditional Jobs, Alternative Income Streams

February 4th, 2013

This is an exciting topic for me, especially since I’m working on 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.

Join us tomorrow morning at 9am Mountain Time.  This is a free webinar. Registration here.

While I’ve had this topic on my mind for years, and have talked about it in my presentations across the country, when Tim wrote the blog post Is It Really Possible To Make A Living With A Non Traditional Job?, I knew he was the right guy to interview for this month’s Ask The Expert.

Join us tomorrow?

Read Tim’s post and be mentally prepared.

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Ask The Expert: Tim Tyrell-Smith and Alternative Personal Revenue Streams

January 31st, 2013

You know I’m working on my next book, 51 Alternatives to a Real Job.

Join me and Tim Tyrell-Smith on Tuesday at 9am Mountain Time for a fun conversation about this topic.

Job seekers are tired of a bad economy, and the resume black hole, age discrimination, and maybe mostly trying to get a job that has no assurance that it will last.

The chat on Tuesday is all about how to create your own “income security.”

Free registration here!

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Book Publishing: ebook (easy to pirate) vs soft copy (printed)

April 23rd, 2012

I’m continually asked if I’m going to jump on the ebook bandwagon.  It’s easy to distribute, the author gets more money if you sell through Amazon, and because the Kindle is so prominent (even the Kindle app on the i-devices), it’s so easy to tap into a huge audience of people who can purchase very, very easily (one click?).

I have been on the fence about ebook publishing, for books I want to sell (not give away), for years.

Here’s why: document sharing websites, like scribd, make it super easy for people with questionable ethics, to share your document at no cost.  Here’s an example: you can get my entire book, free, illegally, from scribd (URL here, but I’m not linking to it:

Scribd is not a bad-guy site.  It’s not some offshore, shady torrent site where you can get anything, pirated, for free.

It’s more of a legitimate, trustworthy site, with real stuff.  Like docstoc and many other document sharing sites.

But it was so easy for someone with poor judgement, or no ethics, or who perhaps feels that everything should be free, to post my book in its entirety, to scribd. And I don’t see an easy way for me (or anyone) to say HEY, THIS IS PIRATED!  TAKE IT DOWN! No flag button or link.

A couple of years ago, a FENG (The Financial Executives Network Group) member took my ebook and illegally emailed it to the entire FENG email list.

Nice. Thousands of financial executives just got my book for free.  Did sales increase?  Nope.  You’d think financial execs would have more ethics than to let that happen.  When I asked the FENG leadership I got an apology, but the damage was done.

I only knew about that because one of my JibberJobber users was on that list, and they forwarded it to me.

As an author, and someone who is trying to earn money, I find the lack of integrity when it comes to stuff like this unsettling.

And that’s why I’m not enthusiastically planning on making 101 Alternatives to a Real Job an ebook.

But then, am I missing out on gobs of sales?

The decision hasn’t been made, but it’s hard to get excited about making a move that could completely wipe out any legitimate sales.

I’d love to know what you think.



Small Choices, Big Consequences

February 21st, 2012

Remember when the Internet first became popular, many years ago?

Did we have any idea what changes were in our future?

We enjoyed what we had then, and looked forward to things that were to come.

We consumed information differently, and we bought things differently.  It changed our world, changed our lives, and changed the world.

We loved it.

We were excited about it.

That is, we loved it IF we weren’t a travel agent.

What’s that, you ask?  That was a title/role that was very popular, somewhat coveted, fun and rewarded, and utterly destroyed by the internet.

Oh well, too bad for them.  Just a casualty.

Then, the Internet started infringing on other industries and jobs.

What has the Internet done to the car sales, especially the used car sales, industry?  What about the movie industry, the newspaper industry, the post office, the ________, the ______, the ______ … the list can go on and on and on.

I’m going to say in general we didn’t care about the changes in those industries when it happened.  As consumers (of products, services, information) we were glad to see the changes, which enriched our lives.  As long as the downsizing, industry slaughter and casualties didn’t affect us directly, it was all for the good of society, and we could enjoy and be detached from the painful side of change.

Fast forward to today.  I’m not saying the Internet is responsible for any economic downfall, but it caused change and shifting in what our normal used to be.  And really, we voted for it.  With each click, and purchase, we voted for the change.  And now, we’re starting to realize what this change means to us, personally.

It’s the same thing with Wal-Mart.  I like Wal-Mart.  I shop there regularly.  It’s one of the first places I go to find something because they’ll usually have it.  There’s a Super Wal-Mart close to my house.  But every time I spend money there there, it hurts any local store.  (there aren’t many local stores around anymore… most of them are just smaller, or more niche, versions of Wal-Mart)

Its argued that buying at Wal-Mart hurts the U.S. economy, since most everything (gross exaggeration, I know) is manufactured outside of the U.S.  but we don’t think about that too much, when we drop $20 on something.  How could our $20 help, or hurt, the U.S. economy?  It can’t, can it?  Unless, of course, all those $20 bills add up to hundreds of millions, and billions… then it can hurt.

But my $20 can’t hurt.  Plus, it would take too much time and gas to go to two or three other stores just to find what I need.  Wal-Mart is… convenient!

What’s convenient now might be a killer down the road.  Speaking of killer….

What about McDonalds?  Just dropping by the drive-through can’t hurt, can it?  It’s just one meal… how can that have an impact on my body?  I’m hungry and need to feel my belly.

I drive by a McDonalds every time I leave my tiny town.  The last time I drove by I was with my kids and we were talking about nutrition.  I wondered if anything on the MickeyD’s menu had any nutritional value (or, any value that wasn’t outweighed by the horrific ingredients).

But it’s convenient, and cheap, to eat at McDonald’s.  Just this once.  Not a big deal.  It can’t hurt that bad, can it?

I was talking to a nutritionalist a few weeks ago.  She said one of the most addictive and harmful things her clients eat is french fries.  She said McDonalds rolls their fries in sugar, which makes them more addictive.  And her clients are on them like crack addicts are on crack.  Here’s a google search with more info on rolling fries in sugar.

What’s the point of all of this?

Change is inevitable.  No one can stop the Internet, even as it changes industries (ie travel), products (ie books), services (ie phone services).

Instead of getting in the steamroller’s path and then whining about being destroyed, how can you move, and then look for new opportunities?

Also, small decisions that we make will have an impact on the future we live in, and create for our children.

Attitudes, habits, ethics, our language, how and where we shop, will have more of an impact than we think.

My message for the last six years has been a message of “you CAN take control of your career, and your future.”  Today’s post is more macro, bigger than your career… you CAN take control of how you live, and what you get out of life.

You can even start today.

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