Tempest in a Guest Blogging Teapot? (Why Matt Cutts Has ZERO Relevance to REAL Guest Bloggers)

blog-stormSo Matt Cutts started a bit of a firestorm today, with a post on Search Engine Land titled “Stick A Fork In It, Guest Blogging is Done”.

And of course, my being the Freddy Kruger of Blogging and all, I promptly got about a hundred emails from friends and students asking what this means for all of us.

Well, I saw the same post, and I’ll be honest… I rolled my eyes a little. ;-)

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Planning a Business Retreat: One Step Back for Two Steps Forward

businessman meditatingIt’s been a crazy couple of weeks.

Or months.

Or years.

You’re doing your time, responding to your emails and blog comments, reaching out and building new relationships, and always creating content, thinking about the future and planning what you’ll need to get there.

It can be exhausting, and no matter how much you love what you do, how passionate you are, or how much it all matters, you can’t keep this up forever without driving yourself straight into the ground.

That won’t work for anyone. People need rest. People need breaks. People need to get out of their environments to be able to look clearly at where they’re coming from and where they want to go.

In short, sometimes people need retreats.

We certainly do.

In February of this year, right after the The Epic $294,865 in 25 Days Launch, right after we had taken on and made promises to 450 new students, Danny took the Firepole Marketing team away for a week of retreat.

The timing sucked, and a lot of people were annoyed, but it was the only acceptable option. The previous 4 weeks had been more grueling and more intense than any I had ever experienced, and I wasn’t the only one. We had worked too hard for too long to think straight, and we needed some breathing room if Danny was going to have a team at all come March.

You may be familiar with that feeling.

The team was smaller then – just Danny, Robyn, Amanda and myself – and although the timing ended up being bad, it had been planned carefully and well in advance. After the rush of an exciting new launch, it was a time to regroup, debrief and plan for all of the exciting things we wanted to do in the coming months.

We’re doing it again.

This time before the launch. ;-)

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Project ABC: Tiptoeing Towards a Business

abcHello Again!

Well – it feels like it’s been ages since I’ve written one of these!

I’ve enjoyed reading the posts, updates and lessons from our wonderful ABM students – and I’m happy to be back with some news and progress to share with you as well.

Summer is, if not technically, pretty much over. It’s been fun, and it’s been busy, and some of it has even been relaxing – but the leaves are starting to turn, folks are going back to school, and the feeling of productivity is in the air again.

Things have been moving along with Paying for Life – little by little, at what I’ve found a pretty comfortable pace. I haven’t made huge strides, but I’ve kept at it, and had enough time to see some friends and family over the warm season – so everyone is happy. ;-)

Balance, it turns out, is something that needs to be worked at – but is really worthwhile, even if it means dreams of blogs are worked towards at something of a snail’s pace.

I do have some updates for you, of course – some of which I consider quite exciting! [Read more...]

Lessons Learned from Our Biggest-Ever Business Education Experiment

bootcamp-debriefEveryone has a reason that they get up in the morning.

For some people, it’s family and friends. For some it’s faith. For some it’s art. For some, it’s a passion, or obsession.

For many of us at Firepole Marketing – it’s about business and education.

So when Danny shared his idea to take a giant, scary, expensive risk in the name of business education – we were apprehensive – but it felt right. Giving small business owners and others solid information about strategy, marketing and all of the things that go into running a business is why we’re here – so the risk, really – seemed quite reasonable.

(If you need a refresher on how this all came about, check out the posts here, here, and here!)

The Business Ignition Bootcamp was born – and did it ever come out screaming. ;-)

What we wanted to do was deliver a level of education that we hadn’t approached before – a deep understanding of how the elements of business work together, and how to generate ideals, and validate them as efficiently as possible. No mean feat for a six week training – but it’s what we felt we needed to do…

Offering it for free was important for two reasons – we wanted to give something back to the community who has helped us grow so much, and we wanted to be able to take small business risks, try new things and see what we could learn as we taught.

I’d like to share with you now, some of our expectations, our errors, our successes – and how we feel now that it’s over and done…
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Measuring Success… on Your Own Terms

CalliperHave you ever felt successful, only to be told that in the eyes of many people, what you saw as success was not really a success at all?

Maybe for you that could mean managing to put food on the table, or send your child to college. Things that may seem like a minor accomplishment for most people could feel like a huge feat for you. Or what about the opposite, being praised by others for something you achieved that they saw to be a huge success, but you felt as though you had let yourself down, and hadn’t done as well as you could have?

Maybe you ran a marathon, which is seen as a huge success for a lot of people, but you didn’t finish as fast as you think you could have.

Sometimes we know we worked so hard on something, that even if it doesn’t turn out as well as we hoped it would, knowing how much effort we put into it is a success on its own.

But other people don’t see that effort, and if they do they don’t always care about it. And sometimes we make the mistake of letting other people define our success when we should be deciding for ourselves what makes us feel successful. As a business owner, or anyone who has a busy schedule, you can probably understand the feeling of being on a treadmill. You work and you work so hard and it feels like, from the outside, you don’t look as though you are going anywhere. But in that never-ending cycle of work there are many small successes that other often fail to acknowledge and go unrecognized or praised and can lead to you feeling unsuccessful. [Read more...]

Striving, Stumbling, and My Personal Plan for Growth in the Coming Year

This was me (Danny Iny), roughly 29 years ago. :-)

This was taken about 29 years ago. I haven’t changed that much, have I? :-)

Today is a special day for me.

Here’s why: I was born just under 11,000 days ago. In other words, today I’m turning 30.

The big 3-0.

Yep, I know. Yikes is right. Does this make me a grown-up? ;-)

Anyway, I used to have this birthday practice of writing myself an “annual report” letter, about everything that went well in the last year, everything that didn’t, everything that I learned along the way, and how I intended to try and be a better person going forward.

(And I’m talking about *real* successes and failures; there won’t be any references to sales figures or dollar amounts here.)

I’d send that letter to all my nearest and dearest, and ask them to hold me accountable to the commitments that I’d made to myself.

Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve done that, but since I’m starting a whole new decade, I decided to revive the practice.

So let’s start with the good; the things that I’m happy about, and proud of myself for having done or achieved…

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Marketing Blueprints, and a Debrief on Our Latest Launch (Marketing Insights Podcast)

campaign_mastery_issues_3d_smallYou may have received some emails from us recently about a new product we’re offering called the Campaign Mastery Marketing Blueprints Club – it’s all about great copywriting and powerful launches, and in the spirit of the campaign, we thought we’d share some of the details of this very launch with you!

There were some real ups and downs in the first few days of the campaign launch, and because of that we’ve learned a ton.

In this podcast, Danny and Megan discuss the business challenges that we faced during the first day of the launch, what made us stumble, and how we got back on the horse and turned the launch around.

If you’d like to get in on the Campaign Mastery Marketing Blueprints Club, there’s a link at the bottom of the post – and we’d love to have you on board to share in all of our secrets on how to run successful campaigns!

Now sit back and listen to the tale of a turbulent new product launch!

New Faces at Project ABC… and Firepole Marketing!

abc

You may remember from last month that we were going to be changing the way we do things at Project ABC.

Many of our incredibly talented Audience Business Masterclass students reached out asking if they could contribute to this feature, and very sadly, we couldn’t accept all of them, although many and more are deserving!

We did, however connect with three business owners who I am incredibly excited to introduce you to today:

  • You’ll be getting to know Davis Nguyen, who is a Yale student and Confidence coach, and has a soon-to-be-launched business called Speak for the Meek.
  • You’ll also meet KM Logan, a best-selling-on-Amazon author who is finding greater success through guest blogging and community engagement.
  • Finally, you’ll be getting to know Adrianne Munkascy, a freelance writer who has a great niche, unique style, and adventurous approach to her business.

I’ll still be providing Paying for Life updates on Project ABC of course – but you’ll be hearing from a different Project ABC contributor each month. This way, we’ll be able to look at a wider variety of business owners, at different stages in the process, doing vastly different things – but all based around the same principles of building relationships through effective and ethical marketing.

I’m really excited to get this going!

I’ve also got another little announcement (I’m just full of them this week!) that affects the broader scope of Firepole Marketing – but I’ll save that for the very end.

Okay, let’s meet our new regular contributors! [Read more...]

Putting $130,000 of My Money Where My Mouth Is (The Business Ignition Bootcamp is LIVE!)

bootcamp-logoIt started with a *very* personal post about heartbreak and debilitating fear.

Then it grew into a group exploration, with an entire community weighing in through 200+ comments and 150 pages (!) of detailed survey responses.

And now, as of today, it’s live.

We’re taking the best ideas that we’ve been offered, marrying it with our best expertise and insights, and throwing in $130,000 of our own cash to make it amazing…

…and the result is the Business Ignition Bootcamp.

What is it? A super-rich, super-premium bootcamp training experience to give a much-needed jump-start to the businesses that have the most to offer.

We’re taking on 200 students, and we’re doing it for free.

The only catch is that you have to apply, and the application window closes on Tuesday, May 28th at 11:59pm Eastern. So without further ado…

>> Go Here for the Details, and to Apply <<

Thanks to everyone who was a part of making this happen. You rock, and together we’ll rock even more!

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Sneak Peek at the Business Ignition Bootcamp + How *YOU* Can Get A Free Spot!

sneak-peekOkay, so last week I hit “publish” on a very personal blog post, in which I shared my ambitions and dreams around making a real difference in the world, and also my fears about the risks involved in trying to make that happen.

I ended the post with a bold statement: “I want to take a significant amount of our time, resources, and money, and invest it all into providing a transformative business education experience for deserving members of our global entrepreneurial community; people who are set to create something spectacular for themselves, and for the world, but don’t have the critical business knowledge to make it happen, or the resources that it would take to acquire that education.”

I went on to say that I wasn’t sure if this was going to work, or if I’m even crazy to consider it, and asked *you* – my subscribers and students – whether you thought this was a good idea.

The post went live on Tuesday night, last week – just under a week ago – and since then I’ve been completely OVERWHELMED by the incredible support, enthusiasm, and encouragement that I’ve received through comments, tweets, and direct emails.

So, despite my fears, I made the commitment that yes, we’re going to do this – and I asked you all for help figuring out exactly how to make it work.

Well, thanks to your fantastic input, and after a *very* long weekend of planning and brainstorming, I’m ready to give you a sneak peek at the “Business Ignition Bootcamp”!

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Super High-End + Totally Free? (Help Me Figure This Out…)

help-me-figure-this-out

Okay, maybe this is crazy, but here goes.

A few days ago, I floated the idea of a running a massive, super-premium, totally free training, as my way of truly giving something back to our community.

Well, the feedback that I received on that post was absolutely OVERWHELMING, so as much as it’s freaking me out, we’re going to go ahead and do it.

Before we throw our time, money, and energy into doing all this, though, I’d love to get a sense from *you* of how I might be able to sort out some of the thornier issues involved in putting it together.

Specifically, we’re looking at some pretty tricky questions around:

  1. What material do we need to cover, and how should we cover it, to make this training as valuable as possible?
  2. What kind of student support can we offer that will help everyone make it through, without over-taxing our team?
  3. How to make sure people are committed, and really take the training seriously, when the price is free?

Anyway, I’ve broken each of these components into a handful of questions, and it would really, REALLY mean a lot to me if you could take a moment to fill out our survey:

>>> Survey: Super High-End + Totally Free? <<<

I’ve got to tell you, that as much as this is scaring me, I’m also really, really excited – more than I have been about anything we’ve done before.

Thank you very much for your help, and for being a part of making this happen!

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Heartbreak, Debilitating Fear, and the Craziest Risk We Might Never Take…

fear-heartbreakThere’s a scratch on the back of my brain.

It’s a thought that sits there, and niggles at me. It’s not always front-and-center, but it’s always there, reminding me that I’m forgetting something important, that I really should have done by now.

For the world, for my audience, and for myself.

And no matter what I do, or achieve, it sits there, reminding me that something important still hasn’t been done.

It all started with an email that I received more than a year ago.

The email that broke my heart…
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