Have you ever wanted to do what you are truly passionate about, build a business around it and make a good living doing it? That seems to be the outlook of many people in the new economy. If this is your goal, I have great news. It is possible to escape cubicle nation and get started… today. I have three powerful resources to help you take the first step.
1. Platform: Get Noticed In a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. This book is a great place to start when building an online presence. Michael is the Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers and has developed a very popular blog over the past few years. Through this experience, Michael has put together a step-by-step guide that anyone can follow to create a powerful online platform. His book is divided into five sections.
1. Start with WOW
2. Prepare to Launch
3. Build Your Home Base
4. Expand Your Reach
5. Engage Your Tribe
What I love about this book is Michael’s down to earth teaching style. He takes his extensive experience and puts all the pieces together in one easy to follow guide. If you have a product to sell, a business to promote, or an organization to build, pick up this wonderful guide and get started. Michael takes you through his experience building a Twitter following of over 100,000 fans and a blog that has over 400,000 visitors a month. He also shares his secret of getting hundreds of comments daily on his site. As a pre launch incentive, Michael is offering over $375 worth of free bonuses if you sign up on this list.
2. The $100 Startup. Once you have your platform started, you may want to build a business around it. If you have ever dreamed about quitting your day job and doing what you love, you need to read this book. Chris Guillebeau interviewed over 1500 businesses that were started on a shoestring (many for $100 or less) and allowed the owners to follow their passions. From a bicycle mattress delivery business to a guy who makes over $100,000 a year helping people use their frequent flyer miles, you’ll be fascinated with the ingenuity and resolve that these real world businesses have.
The great thing is, Chris shares ways that you can do the same thing yourself. It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” — even if you don’t consider it such — and what other people will pay for.
In this short video clip, Chris shares a few of the business owners highlighted in the book. I really enjoyed reading about the down to earth start-up adventures with little or no capital resources.
3. Free Marketing: 101 Low Cost Ways to Grow Your Business. Once you build your platform and develop a business, you’ll need to find unique ways to market yourself. Jim Cockrum has put together an extensive tool chest of ideas to help you do that. From unique marketing on Ebay, developing a custom email list, all they way down to creating an online membership site, you’ll find amazingly creative ideas here.
This book can help you make money, add traffic, and get the word out about your business with proven strategies. Jim has over a decade of experience with web based businesses which give him unique insights into what works… and what doesn’t. I really like the in-depth coverage and wide variety of ideas. This book is sure to give you some ideas to take your business to the next level.
Overall: These three books are a low cost primer to help you get your platform built, a business started, and lots of ways to market your products. While each comes from a unique point of view, the combination will give you a powerful understanding to the opportunities that are available today.
Question: What type of business and platform do you want to build?