I’ve heard that, in the minutes before a natural disaster, farm animals often exhibit a general and uneasy restlessness – long before any detectable indicator appears on the horizon, they mill about and complain noisily, not exactly able to identify the impetus for their discontent – but fearing the impending storm nonetheless. Continue reading
In my first post of this series, I wrote about some common myths that stop would-be entrepreneurs. This post outlines how to make a list of potential product ideas, determine which one is best, and get the ball rolling on finding a supplier.
Since you’re reading a blog post about starting your own business, we’ve already established that you
aren’t satisfied with hate your job because:
- your boss is an idiot
- you don’t get paid enough
- you work too many hours
- you’re underappreciated
- you’re bored
- all of the above
I’m going to give you a crash course in idea generation and product development. It’s not the risky, dark art that “they” want you to think it is – once you know the key steps and some good tools, it’s as easy as…dealing with China. Continue reading
I’ve never really been one to follow the masses or participate in the rigid march of conformity. I sold candy on the black market in 5th grade, started an auto parts company when I was 16, skipped my senior year of high school, and was on a one-way flight to Vegas during my college graduation.
At age 23, I was making plenty of money and was only working a few hours a day. It was every guy’s dream – living in Sin City, improving my Call of Duty skills with previously undiscovered dedication, and embracing a general lack of responsibility that I hadn’t experienced since…well, college. So, after a year in Vegas, I took the next logical step – I moved back to New Jersey (where I grew up), started working for the family business, and signed a 15 month lease with a new girlfriend that I met on Match.com.
Changing or improving your life doesn’t have to be a long, frustrating, drawn-out process. I’m always in search of the smallest changes that yield the biggest returns, and below is my collection of quick tips that can make your life easier, more fulfilling, or just less of a pain in the ass.
Try one or two of these and tell me how great they worked.
Zack’s Not-So-Secret List of Simple Ways to Increase Happiness, Productivity, or General Awesomeness
I get this question almost every day and it’s really a tough one to answer. It’s been 60 days since I got any real, tangible work accomplished, but January’s revenue is almost double what it was last January. I can’t say I’m proud of my obsolescence – I love being productive – but the results speak for themselves. As you may already know, I’m in Argentina indefinitely and I’m taking Spanish classes to improve my somewhat limited communication skills. I skipped class the other day to catch up on work – the pangs of guilt finally put the perpetual hangover in the backseat – and I sat down at my desk to plug away at the next big task.
There was just one problem: there wasn’t anything major for me to do. You see, 18 months ago, I read the 4-Hour Work Week and began to systematically outsource or automate all of my day-to-day tasks for the auto parts company that I started when I was 16. I’m the only employee, and even though I have a dozen major projects underway – from developing an all-new website to engineering a line of indestructible ball joints – they’re all in the hands of subcontractors now. Every few weeks, I have some updates to review and approve, but at the moment the only things on my to-do list were lingering, non-critical tasks that I’ve been putting off for the better part of the decade. Continue reading