Give Today, or Wait a Year

Seth Godin sent an email recently that caught my attention. He explained that today, Monday the 31st of December, is the last day to give to a nonprofit and receive a tax deduction for this year. If you wait till tomorrow, you’ll have to wait an entire year. And then he asked for me to give to the cause he likes.

This is one of our camps a few years ago. Shane and Kaitlin are pictured on the far right, their first coaching opportunity.

Good point, but do you want to know something?

I have the absolute best nonprofit to give to… [Tweet this.]

It’s one that is small and has a narrow focus, but has a huge impact in people’s lives. Training Minds: an organization that creates camps, coaching and curriculum that, in turn, creates a lot of tremendous stories in young people’s lives. 

Value of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is extremely valuable. But how many of you have a book “idea” but haven’t written the first chapter yet? Or song lyrics, but haven’t recorded it? Or a journal of poetry, but haven’t done anything with it? You’re overlooking the value of going to market with your intellect, and you’re missing a reality:

Intellectual property grows exponentially. There is no better income stream. [Tweet this.]

Take books, for example.

Just Kidding. My Phone Did Not Change Me.

I threw out a post earlier in the month, My iPhone Changed My Life. It explains how I don’t carry a wallet, I don’t wear a watch, and I don’t use a digital camera anymore. My iPhone is to thank for that.

But fundamentally, I live life the same. Not much has changed. My iPhone helps, but it has not changed who I am. I suspect you’d agree with these (at least I hope you do)… 

What Is School For?

If you care about education, watch this video. It’s great stuff, but I have to say something,

Seth Godin is taking on the educational establishment, and he should get a standing ovation. [Tweet this.]

If I didn’t know that he was speaking at a TEDx event, I would have guessed he was a keynote speaker at a homeschool conference. Seriously.

This kind of speech fires up those in the home education movement. But it isn’t an angry, fed-up response to failing schools that Seth is advocating. He’s advocating a healthy, productive discussion of the things that matter to education. Like parents who have “had enough” with their local schooling, Seth is taking the responsibility himself and offering solutions that will work in our world today. Just like homeschool parents, he’s thinking outside the normal and daring to ask the question, “What is school for?”

I’d like to hear what you think. I took notes (view them here: What Is School For?), I hope they help.

What’s to Fear in the Cloud?

I talked with a friend about Google Cloud. He refused to be dependent on Google, that I should fear Google’s dominance, and that my privacy was compromised every time I save my data with Google.

Google Cloud

In other words, “I want my stuff on my computer, with my software, with my harddrives, thank you very much.”

I have to admit. These thoughts crossed my mind when I bought the kids their Chromebook for Christmas. See “My Initial Thoughts After Two Weeks of Tinkering With Chromebook” article. I’ve wrestled with the apparent compromises, but I’m landing on the side of Google. Here’s how I’ve reasoned through the compromises of the Google Cloud… 

Initial Thoughts After 2 Weeks of Tinkering With the Chromebook

I bought a Chromebook for my kids for Christmas. When it arrived two weeks ago, I couldn’t help myself. I secretly tested the Acer C7. This Chroambook is one of three models (the Samsung Series 3 and Samsung 550 being the other available models, more expensive) that have surprised the digital computing world with price points of only a couple hundred bucks.

Acer Chroambook

I’m enough of a techie nerd to know that when a giant like Google tries to get into the laptop market, it would definitely get interesting. So when I learned of it, I thought I’d give it a try. Let me quickly bring you up to speed with what the Chromebook is, what I liked about it, and the “one catch” you will have to consider before buying one yourself. 

I Love the Grinch

The Grinch Got It Right - Eventually

Why celebrate Christmas? I’m not too impressed by some answers. They’re sort of irritating: “Jesus is the reason for the season,” “It’s merry CHRISTmas, not happy holidays,” “Put Christ back in CHRISTmas,” and so on. Sort of like rubbing it in to anyone who isn’t that impressed with Jesus.

I have an interesting perspective on what the “reason for the season” is. Hear me out on this. I believe it will make your Christmas season more meaningful, maybe impact your life in a profound way. 

Dealing With Betrayal

betrayal

I have a friend who, after going out on his own, is being undermined by people with which he used to work. He didn’t become a competitor, just started his own business, and his former associates are reeling up some ridiculous “corporate conflict” charges against him. It’s a sad situation.

I’m hoping things work out, but I’m afraid it’s getting worse. He’s a good guy who doesn’t deserve the messiness of betrayal.

Betrayal is sneaky, and it does – pardon the cliché – feel like a knife in the back. They’re lonely and unfair, but simply taking it isn’t the only option. There are some wise precautions to take when people with harmful intent are waiting to pounce. I’m advising my friend with the following: 

Two Roads to Creation

Book Table

This is worth the thought: what can you make or do for others with that which you love to do? You don’t need to wait for someone to hire you into a job, a job that you hope will be something you love.

I’ve found creative roads to making money. I call them “roads” because they are each entrepreneurial journeys. Let me briefly explain them, then tell you what I’ve done to make money at each of them.

1. Create Products

First think of what you love to do, then think of the products that could be created and sold. If you’re an entertainer, create CDs or DVDs. If you’re a teacher, create curriculum. If you’re a contractor, invent a tool to be patented and sold. With a bit of creative thought, you could come up with something tangible for any trade or profession that can be turned into a product to sell.

I have an entire line of debate and speech resources. They’ve become the bestselling resources in my niche. I love that people love them. I’ve created textbooks, sourcebooks, CD and DVD sets, curriculum, and disposable resources.

2. Create Services

Your creativity shouldn’t stop at products. You should figure out where you can help others, too. These are services – you “serve” others and help them understand how you do what you do so well. My nonprofit and my contract work are good examples of “services”; they aren’t products, really, but ways I serve others and get paid for it.

Sometimes it makes sense expand on the product side of things and develop a service end to it. I’m going to work on this for 2013. I have a long string of coaches who create great resources, but they are also available to coach. I hope to expand the online collaboration tools easily available to any of us to connect coaches with students as a premium service.

Question: What do you love? How can you turn that into products and services that others would buy?