Category Archives for "Life Lessons"

Entrepreneurship: The $15,000 Mistake That Could Have Been Avoided

$15000 mistake

12:18 pm
Austin, Texas

Did you know that I have failed more times than I can count?

My first “real business” was with a direct sales company back in college. I spent a $15,000 buying the product (a home cleaning product) because I thought it was an entire no-brainer for people to buy it.

Turns out, I had no idea how to sell the product. I was just getting started with my business and hadn’t spent years studying and learning about marketing, sales and how to run an actual business yet.

It was pretty devastating realizing I was a failure. I mean, I got good grades in high school, I played sports and I was on the honor roll. Everything seemed like it would just go along perfectly.

Turns out that my potential customers for that original business didn’t care about me. I walked around door-to-door in my neighborhood in Binghamton, NY trying to sell the cleaning solution. Sometimes it worked, other times I got the door slammed in my face.

I don’t talk about this much, in fact, I don’t even think my parents knew about that particular time in my life.

You see, when I walked up to these peoples houses… none of them gave a shit about my high school or college grades. No one cared that I was in college and just starting my business. No one cared that I had a dream to be rich and have my own island.

Not one person cares until you do something for them.

It’s a harsh reality. We don’t live in a world full of sunshine and unicorn rainbows with people just giving you money because they liked how you said “hello”. People are busy. People have their own problems to worry about.

It was a rough time period for me. 

I considered myself a failure.

Man… I feel weird writing that.

Don’t worry though, the story gets better… but at times it also gets worse.

like the time I spent over $15,000 trying to build a business in a niche that I knew absolutely NOTHING about.

$15,000 on something you don’t understand? WTF?

Crazy, right? I mean… what kind of an idiot thinks he can build a business in an industry where he knows nothing about the niche?

THIS GUY!

How did it happen?

Well. I didn’t have a clear image in mind of what I needed to do. And knew I needed a “team”, but I had no idea what that meant. I mean, with entrepreneurship, we’re often doing this all on our own.

It sometimes looks like this…

$15,000 mistake

Photo from the Internet Business Manifesto by Rich Schefren.

That looks terrifying, doesn’t it? If you’re the one doing all of that work, it IS terrifying.

The truth is that…way too often that’s exactly what happens when we’re building up businesses. We try to bootstrap everything because money is tight and we think we can’t afford to hire people to handle other tasks for us.

I made the opposite mistake with this particular business. I hired people before I had the system in place because I had built the same type of business in a different industry. So, naturally I felt like a genius and that nothing could go wrong.

I know, I know… what a silly mistake.

The truth is, I was all jacked up and excited after going to a mastermind that I just kinda jumped in headfirst before taking the time to build up the systems first. When you surround yourself with others who are at levels way above your current level, you sometimes forget to drop back down to where you’re currently at and reflect from that position before making decisions.

I am 100% for surrounding yourself with people who are doing bigger things than you currently do and especially for masterminds and hiring mentors. It significantly cuts down on your learning curve and as you know, you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with

In that image that you saw above with “You” in the middle and all the tasks around it, you see all of the different day-to-day things that happen in a business. That report is from I believe 2012 so it’s a little out of date for the current reality, but the concept is the same.

Little Things Make Big Differences

If you’ve been running your business for a while, you know that you have little things that have to operate each and every day to make your business work. Everything from writing blog posts like I am doing right now, to emailing your list, to posting all over your social media properties. Every single thing comes down to a system you create and follow.

Each and every single thing in your business should have a process map.

Ideally, a step-by-step checklist that you can use so that when you get ready to grow your business, you can hire someone and have them come in, follow your process and produce a similar result each time.

Here’s just a brief look into one of the systems I have, this doesn’t show the video tutorials and emails/chats about the system… but you get the idea.

$15,000 mistake

You see in my trello board that it starts off with the mindmap, showing what the structure for the template should look like. It then includes 3 attached images to show the process and at the bottom, there is the checklist to follow along.

This is the type of systems you want to have for every step of your business. Here’s just another example of process mapping, this is a proces for my team members who are uploaded blog posts to a particular site I own.

$15,000 mistake

Every time I have a new blogger come onboard, I have a series of video tutorials and checklists to follow to make sure that everything goes to plan…every time.

When I first started, I had no templates for anything.

I was just doing everything myself, not recording anything or writing out the reasons WHY I did something. I originally didn’t know any better. As a beginner, we’re expected to do it all. So, that’s what I did. I did everything in my business. I built the websites, I wrote the copy for the articles, I researched the niche, I set up emails, I, I, I…. it was miserable.

This stuff is an absolute pain in the ass to create, its extremely time-consuming and isn’t the glamorous side of entrepreneurship that is often marketed by people selling courses on being an entrepreneur.

But, taking the time to do this makes a major difference in your business and an even bigger impact on your life.

Think about this for just a second… McDonald’s was founded on May 15, 1940. Right now it’s the year 2017 and the McDonald’s system has been operating pretty much the same way for all that time.

It’s so easy that high-school kids with no other job experience can do it. That right there… that is how simple you want your processes to be. If your business isn’t at that point yet, you have some work to do. But don’t worry. I’ve got some recommendations to help you out.

What happened to that business where you lost $15k?

I’m glad you asked! Even if you didn’t ask, I’ll let you know.

Over the last few years, as my processes have improved, I applied some of them to that particular business… you know, to harden the blow a little bit of losing that much money. Since then, the business has been earning money every single month with minimal work from myself.

I realized I wasn’t meant to write about the niche, email people about the niche or even post pictures to the fans I acquired in the niche. My job was simply to identify opportunities and have my team handle the content and distribution.

The only reason that happened was because I spent the time to build the systems and partner up with people who are better than me with the work.

What To Do About It

The first recommendation is to get the book Work The System by Sam Carpenter.

$15,000 mistake

The second recommendation is to actually read the book and apply what is taught in the book. Yes, it’s going to suck. No, it won’t be glamorous like the entrepreneur hashtag on Instagram.

It’s going to be work. Boring, tedious work. But, this is work that you only have to do one time. After you have written out the process and created the tutorials, someone else can handle the work so that you can focus on your strengths. The hours you spend creating these tutorials will save you days, weeks and even months of your time in the future…

and time is the only resource we can’t get back.

How To Change Your State In The Blink Of An Eye

Change Your State In The Blink Of An Eye

Change Your State In The Blink Of An Eye

We can all admit that some days are better than others. Sometimes we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe a little hungover or just feeling “off”…

Most of the time we just accept that this is the way today is going to be. BUT, it doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, you can drastically change your state in minutes with this simple trick.

In this video, you’ll learn about the “Chris is Awesome” folder and how you can create the same thing in your life to have a little “mindset hack” to immediately change your mood.

After watching this video, you’ll create your own “Chris is Awesome” folder for yourself and start filling it with awesome stuff you’ve done over the past few years.

You can put pictures of cool things you’ve done, messages that people have sent you thanking you for things, you can even put pictures of things you’ve always wanted in the folder. It’s up to you!

The goal is to make it nearly impossible to continue having a bad day after you’ve gone through it.

So what are you waiting for? Start creating your “Chris is Awesome” folder today!

 

Feeling Stuck In Life? Try this…

Feeling Stuck in life

January 4, 2017
Location: sitting on my couch watching Better Caul Saul on NetFlix in my villa in Bali, Indonesia
Time: 7:51 pm

So it’s the 4th day of the New Year and all over Facebook, you are seeing people posting about their “New Year, New Me” and all kinds of Resolutions…

be-do-have-activity-chris-hughes

be-do-have-activity-chris-hughes

This is pretty normal if you paid attention to trends over the years. People get all jacked up and excited about the New Year and have all these plans to be the best version of themselves for the New Year.

Hell, I wrote about it in 2011 lol… (You can check it out here –> New Year Activity To Find Your Core Identity, it will open in a new tab)

But, what happens after the drunken stupor from New Years Eve is over? It tends to be back to reality, right…

yeah, I know. The tequila was flowing and those dreams you want to happen just happened to spit out un-filtered. Gotta love the filter eliminator…

Okay so now it’s time for reality to kick in…

It’s time to get real.

Time to actually figure out what your dream life honestly looks like. Plan some action steps to building that life you have always dreamt about, but never wanted to tell anyone about.

STOP

Stop what you’re watching on tv, listening to on the radio, tweeting about, or whatever the current distraction is in your life.

and grab a piece of paper and a pencil.

…but Chris, I don’t want to.

Shutup past you. Just do it.

It’s a new year. It’s time for that new you that you’ve always dreamed about…and sometimes it takes some tough love to bring that guy/girl out.

Okay, so now that you have that pen and paper… you’re done!!! You win!

Your dream life is now a reality. You are now a millionaire who lives in the house you’ve always wanted and has the life that you’ve only ever dreamed about.

haha, yeah right.

We know its not that easy.

BUTT…

when you read that, did you think of anything? Maybe about the type of house you are living in now, the type of car you drive, the type of relationship you have, maybe the type of person you became?

There’s a good chance you didn’t. . .

but there’s also a chance you did.

For those of you who immediately thought of something, write this stuff down RIGHT AWAY.

For those of you who didn’t, don’t worry…most people don’t actually know what they want in life.

Only dogs really know what they want… these are 3 puppies that my girlfriend Sam and I were foster parents for 3 weeks here in Bali…

15542363_10211238741265077_7962906139158740733_nFeeling stuck in life

I mean, all they wanted was food, water, shelter and a whole lotta lovin.. (Dukes front-left, Ernie’s in the back, and Gruber on the right)’

Simple, right?

  • Food – check
  • Water – check
  • Shelter – check
  • Lovin – check (I mean, look at how cute they are)

Now us humans on the other hand… we’re a little more complicated… and that SUCKS.

Or does it?

Well, honestly. I think it’s awesome because we have the ability to create the exact life we want.

The problem is that no one ever thinks about what it is that they want. They simply go with the flow, just doing what they’re told, day in and day out.

But what if life didn’t have to be this way?

What if you could live your dream life?

Oh man, Chris. You’re a weirdo.

haha I know, it’s great.

Ok. Here’s where the fun begins.

On the paper you grabbed earlier, you’re going to write out “BE, DO, HAVE” in big lettering and leave some spaces underneath. Ideally, you will have 3 separate pieces of paper, one for each of those words.

Weird uncomfortable moment time…

BE

Who do you want to be?

When you’re brushing your teeth in the morning and staring yourself in the eyes… or looking at your sexy body… who do you want to be when you look yourself in the mirror?

This can be a very uncomfortable thing. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here’s a starter for you..

  • do you want to be happy?
  • how about healthy?
  • how about wealthy?
  • if so, write these down!

The beauty of this activity is that no one need to see this. For all I care you could put “the ability to drink tequila without losing all my clothes”. Seriously, it’s up to you. It’s your life.

You can honestly put anything. I really need to hammer this home, because this is your life. Want to be an author? Fuck it! Write it down!

Want to be fluent in another language? Write it down!

Go crazy with this! It’s your life! You could even write “The greatest pizza grenade launching champion of Eastern Europe” if that’s a real thing, I want to try it.

…okay, next step!

DO

What do you want to do?

Want to become the “greatest pizza grenade launching champion of Eastern Europe”? Guess what, that’s something you can do! Or maybe not. I’m still not sure, I hope you’re getting the general idea here.

These are the things you want to do with your life.

Always wanted to see The Empire State Building? Write it down.

Always wanted to dive with sharks? Write it down.

(I highly recommend diving with sharks, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life, here’s the video of it Stuart’s Cove Shark Dive in Nassau, Bahamas )

This is the stuff you’ve always wanted to do. Scared that someone might see the list? Do it while they’re asleep. Write out everything you’ve ever wanted to do. It’s important, so you have something to plan out!

 

HAVE

Now this is one of the things that once people see what it is they thought that they would like to have, they’re usually like “oh shit man, I’m crazy”…

and that’s awesome.

It’s good to be a little bit crazy.

But writing it all out allows you to calculate the exact costs of having every single thing on your “have” list.

If you don’t write it out, you’ll never create a plan to have it….and then when you’re all old and dying you’ll think to yourself “damnit, Chris was right… I should have done the activity he told me to”

So, what do you want to have?

Want a Ferrari? Write it down!

Who gives a shit what other people think about what you want. It’s your life remember. You get to choose what it is you want to have.

Want to own your own winery? Write it down!

Hell, when you own your own winery send me a bottle or invite me to visit it and we can sip on some wine while discussing how awesome life is.

Most people don’t know what they want to have. One piece of advice, think about all the stuff you’ve always dreamed of having and looking at it online to see if its still something you would be interested in.

Maybe as a kid you wanted to have your own jetski…

It’s your life, so honestly I don’t know what you want. Only YOU can choose it…

That sentence reminds me of those Smokey The Bear commercials that were on TV when I was a kid… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires.

As a kid I used to always think “yeah, and I can start them too!”… but that’s not important.

What do you want?

Write it down!!!!

 

 

What These Guys Did Will Change Your Outlook On Life

What is your Outlook on Life?

With all of the negativity that seems to be taking over social media, it’s important to remember that there are good people out there.

People who want to spread happiness, joy in life and not just anger and hate.

I’m so happy and grateful that I’m able to share this video with you.

 

Honestly, these are just 2 normal dudes who decided to make a simple difference in peoples lives.

The look of pure surprise and joy that is experienced by the receivers of this makes me so damn happy.

Here’s what the guys on the page had to say

“We’re just two regular guys. Anyone could do this! Go make a difference today. We plan on filming more videos like this. Please leave your ideas in the comments.”

 

If you are reading this right now, there’s a great chance that you live a life of abundance and have more than a lot of other people do. Sure, you might be struggling a little. Hell, I still go through it from time to time.

The thing is, it’s important to always find ways to give back.

Whether it’s your time volunteering, or just lending a helping hand or listening to someone who is having a tough day. This is something we can all do.

OR if you want, you can do something simple like I do on my giving back page, where you can partner up with myself and Kiva that does loans that change lives.

Thank you so much for watching the video. Be sure to share this on Facebook and Twitter. I’d love to see this video on other people’s timelines and spreading happiness instead of hate.

What if money was no object in your life? Start Living Your Dream…

Start Living Your Dream

July 18, 2016
Location: sitting on my porch listening to the bird’s chirp while I overlook the ocean in the distance in Bali, Indonesia Time: 1:45pm

I can almost guarantee that you’ve imagined of living your dream life more often than not. I know that for me, I used to dream about living the exact life I live now.

In fact, yesterday I flew back to Bali from a weekend trip to Singapore with my girlfriend. Right now, we’re living in Bali, a place that both of us have dreamed about for years.

The truth is that my life wasn’t always like this.

…it all started a few years back when I came across a few different mentors who helped me to get more specific about what I really wanted out of life. One of the messages they kept saying to me was that “If money was no object, what would you be doing with your life?”

I know, it’s pretty cliché. But, it works.

There is an amazing truth behind this question. It forces you to get very specific about your life and what you truly want out of it.

Have you ever actually thought about what you want out of life? Not just the “oh, I’d like to travel more” or “I’d like to make $100,000 a year working a job I love” I mean the exact specifics…

Here’s an example of what I answered with this question.

I want to live a lifestyle where I can do what I want, when I want and go wherever I want. To do this, I will build a business that allows me the freedom to travel the world and have my business grow on auto-pilot, whether I choose to work or not that day. My intention is to earn $100,000 a month in order to achieve my financial goals. I intend to be able to spend my time surfing when the waves are good, and not worry about my business while I’m out catching waves, knowing that it will grow on its own without me. My life will be based around doing things that I think are fun and adventurous, in order to create memories that will last a lifetime. If I hear about something that is a “must have experience” I want to be able to do that. (This happened a few months back when my friends invited me to the Thailand New Year Songkran Celebration) I want to love the businesses I build and be challenged when building them so that I can use my mind to overcome obstacles to create solutions to problems.

 

Do you see what I did there?

I was specific about what I wanted. It wasn’t just a generic answer.

Where are you now?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably younger in your career (18-35) and are looking for an answer for “how to live your dream life“.

You may have even asked yourself “How did I get here?” with your current life. If you don’t have an answer for that, it’s time you get specific about what you truly want.

I want to introduce you to a video and audio from Alan Watts that addresses this question.

Video About How To Live Your Dream Life

So now what? If you’re anything like me, you probably got a little excited feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know the feeling. The excitement. The joy. The air of mystery..

Well, what are you going to do about it?

Seriously. You have two choices. You can go back to your Facebook news feed and keep scrolling…. keeping your life exactly the same as it always has been…. OR You can do this exercise and start to change your life.

The exercise really is simple, just like the question it addresses. When you are answering these questions, it is important to go beyond just the shit you were taught to strive for…. you know the things.

Stuff that Hollywood makes you believe you want. For example, letting go of our ideas about ‘success,’ money, material goods, fame, etc. and instead looking at it like Alan says – if money didn’t matter and I could do anything right now… what would it be?

Don’t worry about the whole career or job thing right now, just begin with what you like. Then think about what you feel you can contribute to the world, whether it be to just one person or a whole community (or the entire globe!).

Educating others, contribution to a project, and bringing joy to others are all examples of ways you could contribute to the world. 


The next step is to grab a piece of paper and answer these questions:


“What do I enjoy doing that makes me tick or gets me excited?”
“Would my ideal day look like if I could do what I wanted to do?”
“What is my ideal job? How does it look like?”
“What are my favorite hobbies or things to do?”

(if you don’t have a piece of paper and pen, go grab one right now and do this activity)

(seriously. If you are still reading this and didn’t get a piece of paper and pen, get off your ass and go get them)

(yes, I said ass.)

Once you start answering some of these more basic questions, we dive into things like:

“Why do I like these things I enjoy doing?”


“What about them are interesting to me?”


How are you starting to feel after answering these questions?

This is going to help you to start understand the things you truly love to do and things you enjoy. It also gets you thinking about why you enjoy these things, which is the truly important thing.

What you just found out is what you value in life, and this is important because it will allow you to make a decision about what you’re going to do with your life.

If something isn’t in alignment with what you want, you don’t do it. Or you do it until you can find a replacement.

For me, I believe Entrepreneurship allows you to eliminate the shit you hate, and focus on the stuff you love. It provides the replacement.

These little details are going to help you create a life that you absolutely love.

In the end, it’s all about doing the activities that bring you joy and ignite your passion, even if it’s only a few hours a week. ….and don’t worry if you can’t find your passion or purpose immediately, it takes time.

Just have fun with this and be playful about the whole idea.

As you get older, your answers will probably change a bit. I know mine have over the years and they will continue to as I get older.

It’s part of the fun of living.

Now here’s a gift I want to give you that will help some of you to start to pursue your dream life.

Yes, I said some of you.

This isn’t going to be for everyone, because let’s face it.

Some people are fu#*ing lazy and won’t do anything.

If you are reading this right now and are thinking “I can create my dream life”. Thinking “I’m not lazy and I am willing to work to build something to help me live my dream”, then this might be right for you.

I was able to get a 14-day trial offer to my blog readers to something that I like to consider an “Internet Marketing for Dummies” course.

I’m not 100% sure how long it will be available to test out for the 2 weeks for free, but it’s still working. Click here to claim your free 14-day trial

If you didn’t click the link above and are still reading, I included the link again so you can click it now.

Here’s the link again –> Click Here

If you want, you can click on the image below this as well and you’ll be taken to the same page… so go ahead and CLICK ITclickhere Start Living Your Dream