Why You Must Not Ignore The Call to Adventure

closeup of hands holding a map

The following is an excerpt from Chris Guillebeau’s new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.

In ancient myths, most quests were ones of discovery or confrontation.

A kingdom was under siege, so it required defending. A minotaur in a faraway land guarded a magic chalice, and only the hero could wrest it back.

Happily, real-world quests offer more possibilities than storming castles and rescuing princesses, and with some exceptions modern-day quests can be placed into a few broad categories.

Travel is an obvious starting point.

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Permission to Kick Ass: Granted

portrait of a grizzly bear

What if you discovered that your own words and thoughts were wreaking havoc on your chances for success?

They might be.

What you say about what you do makes a difference.

It makes a difference in your own mind. And it makes a big difference in how people view your work.

At some point, you have to decide if you want to be at the top of your field.

Does that sound like too audacious of a goal?

I’d like to propose that you consider it. That you eliminate “I’ll try” from your vocabulary. That you make it your aim to be the best, to surpass the competition, and to go for the top prize.

I propose that you make it your goal to do great things.

Not to expend great effort.

It’s OK to want to be the best. And as long as you don’t step on anyone else to get there, it’s the optimum goal you can have.

Let’s kick some ass. Ready?

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The Marketer’s Guide to Using Quizzes to Reach and Engage Your Audience

two question mark cufflinks

On July 5, 2014, a food blog called Food52 shared a quiz on Twitter titled, “Which cake are you?”

The quiz was built to raise awareness for several new cake recipes on the site, and the results of the quiz showed each quiz taker’s “cake type,” as well as a link to check out the recipe for said cake on Food52′s blog.

By the end of the day on July 7, just three days later, the quiz had been viewed more than 20,000 times — it was a hit.

Food52′s quiz-success story is not the only recent one. In the last six months, quizzes have been popping up at an increasing pace all over the web.

Content marketers are itching to get involved, but the elements of a successful quiz are complicated.

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No Blog Traffic? Here’s a Simple Strategy to Seduce Readers and Win Clients

image of a coffee cup with an intricate design in the foam and a cookie next to it on the saucer

You sit down at your desk.

You start your computer.

You check Google Analytics and your email provider dashboard. A deep sigh escapes from your soul.

Why is your number of email subscribers still so low?

Why aren’t readers flocking to your blog?

And when will those business inquiries finally arrive?

We all know that blogging is hard work, but what should you do when your efforts don’t seem to pay off?

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The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day

a watch and pen on a notepad with a mind map

I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning. ~ William Faulkner

Authors often claim that writing a book is like having a baby — both in effort and length of time.

Since I’ve done both myself, I would personally insist that birthing a child is, in fact, more difficult.

There is value in the comparison though.

Even when you write from a place of passion and purpose, you may still have trouble birthing your important ideas consistently.

Babies tend to come into the world when they are ready, but how do you regularly give birth to remarkable content?

You have to command it.

Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, I take control of the content on my blog.

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Use Images (Not Just Words) to Turn Your Distracted Visitors into Engaged Readers

woman taking iPhone photo

If you have kids — or if you’ve ever been around kids — you’ve heard the sound before.

It’s a noise that’s somewhere between the cry of a lost wolf cub and the wail of a nearby car alarm. It’s one of the most annoying sounds you’ll ever hear.

It’s the ear-piercing cry of a child who has been over-stimulated.

The angelic child becomes a hot mess of whiny, clingy neediness.

If you’re the adult in charge and you manage to keep a cool head, you say something like, “Calm down. I don’t understand what you need. Use your words.”

And sometimes it works. It stops children long enough to engage their brains rather than just their emotions, and they are able to communicate what they need.

As consumers of information online, we’re a little like that over-stimulated child.

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