My 97 Cent Surprise

MailboxEvery once in a while a check shows up at my house. I’m always surprised when it does. Perhaps this is what people mean when they talk about passive income. At this rate, however, I’ll never be rich, or even be able to afford a cup of coffee.

On Tuesday I opened the mailbox and immediately recognized the envelope, it was a royalty check. What makes this so rare and unexpected is that the royalty is for a book I wrote six years ago, one I don’t promote in any way, wrote under a pseudonym, and otherwise don’t care about. (It’s a great concept but as my first attempt was rushed and could be much better).

What Next, the book I do actively promote, the book I care deeply about, and have available in both paperback and eBook, seems to be selling just as well as the other book, which is to say not well at all. In spite of all the work and all the positive feedback and positive reviews (I haven’t heard a negative thing yet) my goals remain far out of reach.

The difference between being passionate about something and just wanting sales is that I’ll keep talking about What Next, keep writing my blog, and keep sharing my thoughts because it isn’t about the money, it’s about the ideas. Passion breeds strength.

I’m 97 cents richer now and I’m just as passionate, excited, and optimistic as the day the book was released. 

Want to become an evangelist for What Next? Then share this post and help spread the word about a Proactive Approach to Success.

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Don’t Buy My Book – Yet

It’s official Feb 29 and March 1 download for FREE!


That’s right – your read the title of this post correctly. I’m asking you not to buy my book.

Why would I do that, you ask? Because I like you and I know something you don’t.

For two days beginning Wednesday February 29, 2012 through Thursday March 1, 2012, I will offer What Next A Proactive Approach to Success free as an e-book. If you have a Kindle e-reader or the Kindle app on iPad or iPhone you can go to the Amazon page for What Next and download it for free! Yours to keep forever.

If you want a physical copy of the book I’ve also lowered the price on my website to just $8.00 plus shipping. Click here to buy the physical book.

I encourage you to share this post with anyone you think would be interested. Below is a synopsis of What Next.



What Next A Proactive Approach to Success

Have you ever wondered what makes some people so much more successful than others, than you? The answer is fairly basic and simple – they are curious, adventurous, and unsatisfied with the status quo. Put simply, successful people ask a very basic question – what next.

Successful people view life as an adventure and look for ways to keep the adventure going. As one goal is achieved they move on quickly already having identified their next goal because they are constantly searching for new challenges, new adventures – what next.

Through examples of very successful and famous people as well as ordinary people who have achieved  success, What Next A Proactive Approach to Success provides a framework for you to seek out new challenges, to be opportunistic, rather than waiting for opportunities to come to you.

 “What Next” is a proactive approach to success. Asking what next and answering it with action is the only sure path to your dreams and desires. There are no secrets or steps to success without hard work. There is no progress without movement.

If you never ask the question – What next – the answer will always be the same – nothing.

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The Benefit of Action

In a post titled Recognizing Opportunity and Taking It I told you of a networking event I went to in NY in spite of the fact that I wouldn’t know anyone including the organizer. So why did I go? Read the post, but the short answer is because success doesn’t come from talking about an event I could have gone to, it comes from taking action, being proactive, and going to the event.

There is a back story to this that was unnecessary in the original post but has special relevance now.

Before going to the event I naturally checked out Andrew Warner, the founder of who organized the event. On the website he had an interview that was free to watch at the time, with a social media marketing expert, Mari Smith. In the interview Mari mentions that to be successful you have to interact with people who are already successful and get them to interact with you. But how, Andrew asked.

The key, said Mari, was to ask for help in a mutually beneficial way. But first you have to cultivate that relationship, get on the radar of the person you’re looking to interact with. The more you learn about them, the more you can figure out what to offer them. Everyone has needs.

This had a profound effect on me and it was something that stuck with me as I headed out to the mixer. But what did I have to offer?

At the end of the night, after a lot of great conversations, I got the chance to talk to Andrew and I offered to give him a copy of my book. He took it but there was no guarantee he would read it or give it a second look. He asked me what I did for a living, why I wrote the book.

It was a passing comment that caught his attention. “My day job is at ABC News'” I said, “but my success has come from many different places.” I didn’t know it but I had just offered him something that he needed.

“Where can I find people,” he asked me, “that can write, use a camera, and do some editing?”

I know why he asked but the people I know are correspondents and anchors of national broadcasts, not what he was looking for. I told him that I could find the answer very easily and email him within a day or so.

We agreed and I sent him the email. I then followed him on twitter, which he reciprocated, but never knew if the information I gave him was of any use.

Until yesterday when I got this tweet:

Tweet from Andrew Warner

What does this mean for me? Who knows and who really cares? If I only did this to get something in return then I did it for the wrong reason. Doing something of value for someone is a reward of its own. If he doesn’t like my book, he’s not going to praise it just because I did him a favor. He will remember me, however, and maybe need something again which I’ll be happy to help him with. Maybe one day I’ll find something that I need from him, something he can help me with.

The advice I got from his website and the luck of being in the city he was holding this event would have been worth nothing if I hadn’t recognized the opportunity and taken action.

What opportunities are out there for you and will you take them?

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Curiosity Leads to Cool Places

Be curious. That’s my advice for success. Maybe you won’t be rich or famous but if you’re curious at least you’ll never be bored.

Curiosity has led to great things. Everyone is talking about Steve Jobs, posting quotes and videos and my contribution to that was a quote from his famous Stanford University Commencement Speech: “Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.”

Curiosity led me to write a book. I don’t know how many people will buy it or read it but it’s something I had to do. I use hiking as a metaphor for life in the book. When hiking you can follow the trail markings and stay on the main trail all the time and still have fun and see some amazing things. But when you’re curious, you venture off the main trail and discover things most people won’t see.

Julie and I read about these caves in a hiking book and set out to find them. Along the way we found a shortcut that involved a little climbing but the challenge made it even more fun. For those of you will only a little time, the caves starts at 3:25 into the video.

What cool places has curiosity taken you? Share your story by leaving a comment below.

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I’m Crazy – So What!

It’s only crazy until it works. That’s the title of the second chapter in my book, What Next A Proactive Approach to Success, and it’s fitting since, for me, writing a book seems, well, crazy – who the hell am I – what makes me qualified to write a book?

The fact is that we are all qualified to do whatever we want as long as we recognize that success can’t be gained overnight, that it takes work (lots of work), and that you really, REALLY have to want it.

Deep down I’m embarrassed to tell people about the book. There’s a little voice in my head telling me “you’re nobody, how are you going to convince them that this book, the idea of “what next” is a good idea? You have nothing to offer!”

If I really want it though, I have to overcome that fear, that embarrassment and be willing to tell everyone I meet about this project. Well that’s exactly what I’ve started to do.

Yes it seems crazy that I’ve written a book but it’s only crazy until it works!

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