July 4 is Independence Day here in the States, which, for most of us, entails the risk of losing:
- your fingers to cheap fireworks;
- your waistline to hot dogs;
- your liver.
All of which, as a red-blooded American, I support wholeheartedly. But if you’re spending today celebrating the country’s independence, how about putting some attention on your own personal independence?
It might be independence from a day job, or financial stress, or even a mindset that’s keeping you from making things happen.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for declaring your own individual independence.
Expand Your Audience
Andy Warhol had it wrong. Now that we’re living in the future, everyone isn’t famous for 15 minutes. We’re each famous with 15 people.
Each of us online, whether or not we’re technically selling anything, has our own little village of customers. Customers for our products, our ideas, and our funny pictures of cats.
And most of us would like to expand that village, at least by a little bit. Especially if we want to build a business around it.
So what’s the secret to finding a wider audience?
Put more thought into what your village of customers wants and needs.
Sure, personal expression can be a good thing. But never forget the other side of that computer screen.
There’s something you can offer your audience that will fulfill their fondest desire or solve their most pressing problem. Think a little more about them, and a little less about yourself.
Create a Revenue Stream
For most of us, freedom and independence tend to boil down to having enough money coming in the door.
It’s a lot simpler to say good-bye to your nightmare boss or your crummy living situation when you’ve got some steady income rolling in.
Whether it’s writing an ebook, building a membership site, starting a coaching program or setting up a part-time freelance business, there’s something you could build in the next six weeks to bring a little revenue in.
The hardest part is getting started. Once you’re up and rolling, you can tweak and expand your offering to make it better and bring in more income.
Don’t let perfectionism slow you down. There’s no better way to see what works than to actually get out and do something. Start small and build on what works.
Never Stop Learning
In today’s economic and technical environment, the moment you stop learning, you’re road kill.
It’s not always about learning the latest and greatest. Sometimes it’s taking the classic works in your field and translating them for a new audience. Sometimes it’s about making a completely new connection. It’s about staying curious and keeping your mental playfulness.
If you never add anything new to your intellectual mix, your content is going to sputter out and die. (If for no other reason than you’ll develop a killer case of writer’s block.)
Spend a little less time on the trivial stuff (I love Twitter too, but no one needs to be there five hours a day) and a little more time building your understanding.
Knowledge is your greatest asset. It can’t be stolen or confiscated. It sets your intellect free. And when your mind is free, the rest of it is just a bunch of beautiful fireworks.
picture credit: Hugh MacLeod