some of my thoughts and notes

Personal Enterprise Playbook

Almost a year ago I subscribed to Brian Clark's five-part e-mail course.
To make it accessible for you and me, here are links to all five parts:

We're exploring how to build your own personal enterprise, future-proof your income, and live anywhere you want.

Lesson One: It's Time to Think Differently About Your Career

Many people think when they start a business they have to know exactly what it will look like. Or that they need to “swing for the fences” with some hugely ambitious startup.

On the contrary, just about everyone I know who has their own “digital business empire” started out as a freelancer or in some other client services role. And that includes me.

Today, the idea of the “side hustle” has become popular, either to make extra cash to protect against a job loss. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that if you need to supplement your income.

The more important concern is losing your job, or perhaps having a large client that supports your self-employment decide to work with someone else. The “eggs in one basket” situation is what you’ve got to escape, first and foremost.

Lesson Two: How a Personal Enterprise Builds Progressive Wealth

There’s no doubt technology will bring huge changes to the labor market this decade, and COVID-19 has accelerated those disruptions. But instead of fretting about losing your income to rapid technological change, let’s flip the script.

Instead, look at this impending wave of change as a wave of opportunity. Instead of potentially losing your income, you can put yourself in a position to spot new income opportunities and end up making more than ever.

What if you could see coming disruptions before they impacted your career?
What if you could predict problems people will have and help them succeed?
What if you could spot new business opportunities with more certainty?
The art of anticipating change is the art and science of foresight. Let’s dive in a little deeper and see how you can train yourself to think like a futurist, step-by-step.

Lesson Three: The Art of Anticipatory Thinking

Audience is the first fundamental of a successful digital business, and having one is incredibly lucrative. Imagine being able to bootstrap a seven or eight-figure business thanks to an audience-first approach, and you’ll understand that people are willing to pay a significant sum to get one.

Many marketers willingly lose money to acquire customers via online advertising while building a broader audience. That’s because the audience becomes an asset that you can make new offers to repeatedly over time — it’s not a one-shot advertising campaign.

But when you’re first offering relatively high dollar client services, you can afford to advertise on a return on investment basis. You’ll actually make a profit off of the clients you attract, even as the broader audience grows and reveals additional offers that can be made in the future.

Lesson Four: How to Build the Base of Your Personal Enterprise

Our whole lives, we’ve been fed a story. Go to school, get a good job, raise a family — and then when you’re 65, you can do what you want.

Take a moment to think about how crazy that sounds. And yet, that’s the script most people live by.

Luckily, there’s time to rewrite the story. To create a plan that gives you what we really want sooner, instead of the traditional retirement narrative that’s more of a fiction than ever.

If this lifestyle appeals to you, start putting your plan into action now. With the right mindset and revenue model, it’s perfectly doable.

Lesson Five: “Unretire” and Travel the World

You’ve likely heard this saying before:

The harder I work, the luckier I get.

Entrepreneurship and self-employment certainly involve luck. Sometimes things completely outside our control end up causing things to go right, or wrong.

But the kind of luck that comes from doing the work is a different breed. Serendipity is not the passive kind of luck that just happens to you. It happens because you put yourself in a position to benefit from it.

Two people can look at the exact same technological development, for example, and one experiences confusion while the other arrives at a brilliant idea.

Serendipity is the difference, and there's an emerging body of research that shows how you can make it intentionally work for you.

Bonus Lesson: Connect the Dots for Eureka Moments

When it comes to attracting an audience, content of some sort has to be involved. This can lead people to believe that they must be the content creator to succeed. Not only is this not true, it might not even be the best approach.

Now, content creators are my people, and if that's you, I’m not trying to discourage you at all. Creating the content that attracts the audience that builds the brand is an excellent way to bootstrap a powerful small business.

What I’m saying is that unless you want to create content, you’re better off being a producer. Even if you’re the content creator, you may need to eventually shift into producer mode to expand your personal enterprise.

Let’s dive in a little deeper into the differences.

Bonus Lesson Two: Content Creator or Digital Media Producer?

Bonus Lesson: Productize Your Services