Today’s the last day to register for The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur!
And as a thank-you for your attention during this communication-heavy registration period, we’ve got one last free resource for you.
The Kelly and Pace jam session
In this video, Kelly and I jam about peaceful entrepreneurship, just because it’s fun. And what do you know, useful and helpful topics come up! Topics like:
- What happens when you tell your customers that they are an afterthought
- Doing what you love — when does it make you money, and when doesn’t it?
- What we thought “marketing” meant three years ago, and what we think it means now
- How courageous authenticity is a business advantage
- Why The Way is paved with tools, not rules
- The catch: Why The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur is not a free lunch
- What Kelly learned from me
You can watch it here.
That said, today’s the day for the big question:
Are you joining us for The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur?
Yes, I’m signing up!
Superb! If you haven’t registered already, you’ll want to do that today, because today is the last day to sign up.
If money is tight, remember that there’s a payment plan available, and if your “yes” is a yes with reservations, don’t forget that we’ve got that no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee that you get to redeem after you take the course.
No, I’m not signing up!
Cool! I’ve got some tater tots for you later. And I hope you’ve found some of our free resources helpful. Here’s a recap, in case you missed any of ’em:
- Peaceful Motivation Part 1 and Part 2 (how to motivate yourself with love, not fear)
- Conquering Self-Doubt (and why starting a business is like moving to New York City)
- The Flame and the River (the danger of the “crush it” approach, and an alternative)
- The Two Types of Internet Businesses (and which one is right for you when starting out)
- A conversation with Jen Louden about comfort, shadow comfort, and peace (to get a sense of what kind of “peaceful” we’re talking about)
- The “Peaceful Cage Match” between Pace and Johnny (now includes a link to the recording if you missed the live debate)
- The 22 Wildly Mutable Laws of the New Marketing (to get a sense of what kind of business we’re talking about)
- The Kelly and Pace jam session (to understand why being a peaceful entrepreneur is a business advantage)
Maybe! I don’t know whether to sign up!
Would you like to know how I make decisions?
Hmm. I can’t actually wait to hear your answer, so I’m going to tell you, and if you don’t want to know, then stop reading here.
I feed my head, then ask my heart.
By “feed my head”, I mean I look at all the available information. Sometimes I’ll do some research. Sometimes I’ll ask others for more information. Sometimes I’ll make a pros-and-cons list. Sometimes I’ll talk it over with someone I respect — although to be honest, those conversations are more about me thinking out loud than about having a two-way conversation.
By “ask my heart”, I mean I sit quietly, close my eyes, and turn my attention to my heart. I take several deep breaths and become aware of my connection to Spirit. I imagine placing the thing I’m deciding about in the palm of my right hand. I gently close my hand over it, and slowly place my closed right hand over my heart. Then I ask, “Is this right for me?” and wait to sense a reply.
Sometimes I sense a warming, or expanding glowing feeling in my chest. That’s a yes. Sometimes I sense a contracting, cooling feeling. That’s a no. Sometimes I physically lean slightly forward or backward. Forward is a yes, because it’s toward the thing represented by my hand. Backward is a no, because it’s away from the object of my decision.
Sometimes I don’t get anything clear at all, in which case I’ll either meditate on it for longer, or go get more data or think about it some more, then ask my heart again.
This is how I make all my important decisions. Business decisions, relationship issues, which car to buy, household budgets, what city to live in. I feed my head, then I ask my heart.
The danger of it is that I’m asking “Is this right for me?”, not “Is this easy for me?” or “Is this comfortable for me?”. My heart doesn’t always lead me where I want to go, but it always leads me where I need to go.
The beauty of it is that it brings me peace, because I no longer second-guess myself. I used to second-guess myself every day, but now I have faith in my heart.
So if you’re not sure how to decide (about The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur or about anything), try this process. Feed your head, then ask your heart. Even if you’re not sure how to do every single step of the process, just give it a shot and see what happens.
I trust your heart. Do you?
Q: Why did you decide to teach this course?
Two years ago, I ranted to Kelly Kingman about how almost all the people teaching business online had a “crush it” attitude. She suggested we teach a class about peaceful entrepreneurship as an antidote to the “crush it” mentality; to represent some feminine energy as a counterpoint to all the masculine energy out there.
(At the time, we called it “Slow Business”, as in “Slow Food”, but we later renamed it because we thought people might not get the reference.)
We tested the waters, and plenty of people resonated with this concept, so everything looked good…
…but I told Kelly no, because of a promise we made in 2010:
We’ve always been adamant that we wouldn’t sell anything related to business until we’d been decently successful in business. It just seems too circular, like those make money online scams that claim to teach you how to make a million dollars, and the answer is “trick a bunch of people into thinking that you can teach them how to make a million dollars.” Blech.
But since then, we have become decently successful in business — more than decently so, in fact — so now I feel wholehearted about teaching what I’ve learned to others. I reopened the idea with Kelly, and the rest is history!
Q: How is this related to changing the world?
The mission of the Connection Revolution is to help idealists blossom into world-changers. Here’s how The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur serves that mission.
Imagine a world full of peaceful entrepreneurs creating sustainable businesses, using ethical sales and marketing techniques to provide value for others.
Every person who takes this course and applies what they learn brings us all one step closer to that world.
Q: Why isn’t Kyeli part of The Way?
First, a quick recap: Kyeli is my life partner and my business partner. Kelly is co-creating and co-teaching The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur with me (Pace). Here’s a handy field guide to help you tell the difference.
Anyway, the way Kyeli and I divvy up our projects is that I take the lead on the business-related projects, Kyeli takes the lead on the writing-related projects, and we work together on the changing-the-world and making-your-life-more-awesome projects.
Since The Way is business-related and Kelly wanted to join forces to teach it together, Kyeli bowed out to focus on other things.
Q: I already have a business. Will The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur be helpful for me?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to learn business techniques and strategies that are new to you, then no, it won’t be helpful for you. But if you want to learn how to apply these techniques and strategies in a peaceful way — if you want to make your existing business stop stressing you the heck out — then yes, The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur will help you create that peace.
Q: Did you create the jingle for the course?
Yes! I love creating jingles! But it sounds so peaceful, it’s more of a meditation than a jingle. I was trying to evoke the feel of a Zen garden.
You can listen to it here. (It’s just 15 seconds long.)
I composed it in Renoise, and that’s Kelly’s voice you hear. I asked her to record herself saying “The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur” a dozen times, and I used the one that sounded the most peaceful.
Q: How did you decide on the price?
Kelly resonated with $297, I resonated with $197. We talked it over, and decided that we’d rather help more people for less money than fewer people for more money. So we settled on $197.
Q: How did you decide on the guarantee? Aren’t you afraid of getting ripped off?
I admit, it’s a little scary to offer a guarantee that lets people take the entire course and then get their money back after the fact, but Kelly and I talked it over, and we decided to have faith in our students. We’re asking you to have faith in us by giving us your time, attention, and money, so it only seems fair that we also have faith in you by trusting you not to take advantage of the guarantee.
I like having a bold guarantee like ours, because it puts my money where my mouth is. I’ve got to deliver as a teacher if I want to keep my profits.
That said, it’s less scary for me than for Kelly because I’ve offered guarantees like this in the past, and no one has ever taken unfair advantage of it.
Q: You’re trying to teach a difficult concept that isn’t very easy to share – how’s that been difficult?
To get a full answer to that question, you’ll have to ask us again at the end of class. (: But here are some of the teaching methods we plan to use to help our students:
- Rotating partners. (We learned this from Mark Silver in Engaging eCourses.)
- More interactivity during class.
- A self-assessment at the beginning and the end of the course, to measure how successful the course actually is. (We learned this from Pam Slim’s Power Teaching class)
- Office hours every week. Not only will this help the people who show up, we’ll also take note of common questions or themes that come up, and address them to the group at large during the next class.
- Concrete assignments each week, to help the material really sink in.
Q: What’s your launch strategy?
We set out to create a win/win/win scenario.
We started by giving away lots of the course material for free, with no restrictions. This encourages people to share it with others, which helps people find out about the course. People are more likely to share a link to free stuff than a link to buy something.
Then, when people go to our website to get the free resources, we encourage them to sign up on our mailing list, and in exchange, we give them access to The 7 Habits of Peaceful Entrepreneurs free teleclass (or the recording of it, now that it’s over).
Lastly, we encourage people on our mailing list to register for the course.
It’s a win for the people who use the free resources, because hey, free useful stuff!
It’s a win for the people who register for the course, because the course will be awesome.
It’s a win for the people who share the free resources, because they get to help out their friends.
It’s a win for our Ambassadors, because they get to help out their peeps by giving them free stuff and get thank-you monies for doing so if their peeps register for the course.
It’s a win for us, because we get to help people, connect with new people who are interested in what we’re doing, and make money.
Q: How did you hang on to your peacefulness while doing all that?
LOL! I could teach an entire course to answer that question! (Hint: it’s called The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur.)
But for a shorter answer, I’ll tell you 4 things that helped me keep my cool.
- My Peacefulness Meditation
- Applying what I learned from Teach Now (taught by Jen Louden and Michele Lisenbury Christensen)
- Planning ahead (we’ve been working since October to create these free resources and get ready for the course)
- The 3-tier system
The 3-tier system is something we’ll teach in class, but here’s a sneak preview. When planning a project with lots of tasks (to-do items) in it, split your tasks into 3 tiers:
- Tier 1: Essential
- Tier 2: Good Idea
- Tier 3: Would Be Nice
Work on all the Tier 1 tasks, then check in with yourself (and in this case, with your partner). How much time and energy do you have left? If you’re up to it, go for some Tier 2 items. If you get all those done, check in with yourself again. How much time and energy do you have left? If you’re up to it, go for some Tier 3 items.
The wonderful thing about this system is that after you finish Tier 1, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s now “good enough”, and everything else is BONUS!
For The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur, Kelly and I completed all our Tier 1 tasks, about half of our Tier 2 tasks, and a smattering of Tier 3 tasks that we just felt like doing, like the jingle/meditation I talked about above. (:
Reminder: Registration closes TOMORROW.
Q: Why does registration close tomorrow?
Class begins on Jan 26, so that’ll give us enough time to get everyone oriented, create the partner rotation, and prepare for the first class.
In 1993, some guys by the name of Ries and Trout released a now-classic book called The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.
It’s brilliant, but its 1993 publication date really shows, and its target audience is corporate marketers, not small business content marketers like us.
Here, let me show you. Here are Ries & Trout’s first 5 laws:
- The Law of Leadership: It’s better to be first than it is to be better.
- The Law of the Category: If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
- The Law of the Mind: It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
- The Law of Perception: Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.
- The Law of Focus: The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.
Most of us are never going to “own a word in the prospect’s mind.” At this point, I paused reading the book, and Kyeli and I decided to play a game. We came up with our own laws. We call them The 22 Wildly Mutable Laws of the New Marketing.
We’ve put them into a short eBook. You can read it immediately by clicking here.
Our very own Pace Smith takes on the notorious Johnny B. Truant in a PEACEFUL CAGE MATCH: a live debate, free for all to attend!
Time: Monday, January 9th at 5:00pm Eastern
Listening method: Phone + Web Simulcast
To attend, visit this page during the match, or call (303) 390-0043 and enter the PIN 734346#.
(doesn’t she look peaceful?)
(doesn’t he look… not so peaceful?)
Johnny, in the “crush it” corner, will be representing the philosophy of You are dying, and your world is a lie.
In this live debate, they’ll enter a teleconference, and they won’t leave until Pace is crushed or Johnny is subdued with peacefulness. After all, they couldn’t both be right… could they?
In this conversation, Jen and I talk about:
- All the people saying “crush it” and “kick your own ass”, and what effect that has on would-be entrepreneurs.
- Being an empowering teacher without being an annoying authority: The middle ground between “You must do it my way” and “You could do it whatever way you want.”
- The difference between true comfort and shadow comfort.
- Why Jen is no longer the Comfort Queen
- Is there ever a time when it’s appropriate to force yourself to do something?
- Pace and Kyeli’s vow of peacefulness
- The importance of choosing a path wholeheartedly
- Accepting the consequences of your choices. If I choose the peaceful path, others may rocket past me to their version of success, but I will not burn out.
Click here to listen now, or right-click and select “Save as…” to save it as an MP3 that you can listen to later. Our conversation is about 40 minutes long.
Jen gave me a new perspective on comfort and peace. I hope this conversation changes you, too.
The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur is open for registration!
…or stick around for a story.
A Life Deferred
Four years ago, I read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
That book was my first glimpse into the world of online business. According to Tim, most people are living the “Deferred Life” plan, where they suffer in jobs they hate and work really hard so they can eventually retire and finally do what they love.
His solution is to create a “Muse” business that will make money for you without a lot of effort — about four hours a week.
I was hooked.
Who wouldn’t be hooked by the allure of a four-hour work week, and the ability to do what you love for the other oodles of hours?
It wasn’t long before I figured out the catch.
The catch is that creating a “Muse” business isn’t easy. Basically, it’s a more subtle version of the “Deferred Life” plan, just shorter. You suffer and work really hard for a few years to create a “Muse” business, and only then do you get the reward of the legendary Four Hour Work Week.
What if there were a better way?
What if you could start doing what you love now instead of deferring anything, even for a moment?
That’s the question Kyeli and I asked ourselves four years ago.
Our answer, four years ago:
“Let’s try it and find out.”
Our answer, today:
A big fat YES.
The journey hasn’t been without sacrifice. It hasn’t been without challenge. But it has been without deferring our lives.
Right on! But how about something more concrete that can help me today?
Of course! We do, in fact, have something concrete and helpful to share with you today, and Kelly has a story to tell you about it. Over to you, Kelly!
Hi there, this is Kelly.
Like Pace, I also want to tell you a story about when I was just getting started with this whole online business thing. But she asked me to be more concrete, so here goes. I even made a diagram for you. :)
What I wish I knew then (About starting my Internet-based business)
When I first decided to start an Internet-based business, I had never heard of WordPress. I didn’t have a Twitter account. My experience with blogging consisted of a sporadic photo diary of my life that only my parents subscribed to. I didn’t know how people spent money online besides ordering from Amazon.com.
Now, I make my living from products and services that I sell via the Internet (man, it still sounds kind of late-night infomercial to say that). Granted, I’m not living the Internet millionaire lifestyle — no solid-gold Porsches or jet setting to the Caribbean, but I have achieved something I value dearly: steady, positive cash flow — more money coming in than is going out.
We’re talking about just over three years ago.
Two Types of Internet-based Businesses
When you’re first starting out, it’s frightening to be bombarded with so much advice about so many different business models. Which one is right for you? Which one will help you meet your goals?
I felt that way when I first started out, too. But over the course of growing my business, I’ve come to group those many different ways that people make money online into two categories: low traffic and high traffic. I wish that someone had explained this to me back then, so I’ve completely broken down these business models for you, in a concrete and helpful diagram here.
Back to you, Pace!
Thanks, Kelly. I know I’ve felt that overwhelm, too. And, as you might have guessed, my antidote is peace.
What is peace?
Peace isn’t about building yourself a shelter so you can meditate in calm and silence.
Peace is about being the eye of the hurricane. It’s about stepping out into the storm and keeping the calm within you.
We know a lot about sustaining that peace within yourself while stepping out into the storm of starting your own business.
Peace and love,
Kelly & Pace
Here is a dorky happy little video tour of my new studio, just for you. It’s less than five minutes long and is really quite amusing and adorable, if I do say so myself. (And I do.)
And! I’m in my super awesome 70’s shirt. It really doesn’t get any better.
(If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch it on YouTube.)
My face is half-gone because I was using the camera on the back of my iPad so I could see what I was doing after I turned it around – which, of course, meant I could not see what I was doing before I turned it around. Hilarity! Ensues!
I would love to see pictures or videos of your studio/workspace/creative zones, if you care to share!
I dedicate this video to Jen Hofmann over at Inspired Home Office who, after a short 10-minute pep-talk, inspired me to create this studio and give myself my own creative space! Thank you, Jen – you rock!
In keeping with my annual tradition (2010, 2009, 2008), I’m reflecting on everything that’s happened this year. I usually do this on Samhain Eve, but I didn’t make time for it this October, which is why you get two extra months here.
In 2011, I ramped up my DDR: I AAAed 11 more catas (compared to just 2 in 2010) and I played random endless 8s for two hours and twelve minutes straight. We watched Coupling, Psych, Bones, Death Note, and Hikaru no Go. We finished Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and started Midsomer Murders. The most interesting video games I played were Sakura Wars, Lost in Shadow, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Bastion, and Sequence. My favorite game of 2011 was Terraria; I loved playing multiplayer with Dru and Kyeli. My favorite books of 2011 were Made to Stick, Influence, The Art of Happiness, The Art of Power, Uncertainty, Anything You Want, and Making a Change for Good. I practiced openness, compassion, and kindness.
In January, we celebrated our son Dru’s 13th birthday and arranged a coming-of-age ceremony for him.
In February, I taught Profitable Idealism with Johnny B. Truant. We went to Portland for Mark Silver’s Sacred Moment seminar and our two-day in-person coaching session for Opening the Moneyflow.
In April, Kyeli hurt her knee and we prepared for WCWW2.
In June, we taught WCWW2 and went to Portland for World Domination Summit, with Kyeli in a wheelchair.
In July, we traded in our old car, Aimee, for our new car, Izzabella, and we saw Owl City in concert with Dru.
In August, we released the WCWW2 home study, and I took Pam Slim’s Power Teaching class. Also, we completed our 2011 book-buying ban a few months early, and Nathan Briggs rescued our website from hackers.
In September, Kyeli went to Los Angeles for Colleen Wainwright’s birthday party, the culmination of 50 for 50. We began our first coaching groups; a Pathfinder Apprenticeship group for me and a Writing Apprenticeship group for Kyeli. I thought a lot about who to trust, and we started checking email no more than twice a day. I created “Kyeli is…” with the help of many of Kyeli’s friends. It made her really happy. We went vegan (again). And we had a great big Annual Meeting to plan out what we wanted to accomplish in 2012. Last but not least, Kyeli’s arms stopped working.
In October, we hired our first assistant, and I created Best of Everything 5.0, 5 CDs full of my very favorite musick. Kelly and I started preparing for The Way of the Peaceful Entrepreneur.
In November, we presented How Your Blog Can Change the World at Blogworld LA, and Kyeli and Julica launched Permission to Make a Difference. Kyeli and I went on a cruise for our 6th anniversary. We saw Mayan ruins, went snorkeling in Cozumel, and I acquired an interest in stage magic and copywriting! (Also, it was very lovely and romantic.)
In December, we rearranged our house to give Kyeli a creative studio. We started our 30-day trial of going gluten-free to see if I have a gluten allergy. We celebrated Yule, and I came up with a fun quest for Kyeli and Dru to rescue their presents from danger. And Kyeli went on Memoir Madness: a mini-roadtrip to visit all the places she’s lived in Texas.
I began 2011 empowered and connected, full of hopes and dreams. In the first half of 2011, I grew, changed, deepened, worked, and those dreams started coming true. In the second half of 2011, I lost touch with those dreams. I let shiny pebbles fill up my jar, leaving no room for my Great Work. I started taking my connection for granted, and it faded. It faded so slowly that I didn’t realize what was happening until this very moment.
I end 2011 humbled, full of renewed connection to my purpose, understanding in my bones that it is my responsibility to nourish and sustain that connection.
I finally see the single best thing I can do to fulfill my dreams, to help others, and to change the world. I’ve been teaching it for years, and now I think it’s finally sunk in.
In 2012, I promise to take good care of myself: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
When you think “motivation,” what kind
of images come to your mind?
Do you think of fire?
A burning hot drive
to accomplish, to strive?
Or do you think of water, of flow?
The rain that can coax plants to grow?
The river that turns the mill wheel,
With its own soft and slow kind of zeal?
Do you see the sustainable rain?
Do you think of the wax and the wane?
The unstoppable waves of the sea
That smooth mountains into debris?
Fire, impressive and bright
Radiates much heat and light.
But if you go far down that route,
You can’t help but burn yourself out.
For fire needs fuel to burn,
And if you’re not nourished in turn,
The next thing your fire will do
Is turn around to consume you.
The way to sustain and deliver
Is to be not the flame but the river.
The way to accomplish with peace
Is not to control, but release.
The way to thine own self be true
Is to water the garden of you.
The way to all of the above
Is to move not from fear, but toward love.
Inspired by Passion is water, not fire
In this video, I explain what you can do when you’re not feeling motivated. Rest assured, the answer is not “Force yourself to do it anyway.”
Please share this video with others if you think they could use some peaceful motivation in their lives. I believe that the world needs a lot more carrot and a lot less stick.