We spent the last week in Salt Lake City, visiting our family and friends who live there. It was great to see so many of our loved ones, and have a chance to talk with them in person. Thanks to everyone for your hospitality!
We arrived the day after a big snowstorm, so the kids enjoyed playing in the snow (in their dresses and flip flops), and we made a little snowman and had a short snowball fight without gloves. Snow is one thing the kids have really missed living in Costa Rica. It did look really beautiful on the mountains, and I was glad I didn’t have to drive in it.
Tragedy in Japan
While there, I heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My heart went out to those who are suffering, and I spent some time researching organizations to donate through, so I could feel like I was contributing in some way. I looked up several charities on CharityNavigator.com and decided on Americares, which puts 99% of its revenue toward program expenses.
What I’d really like from a charity, though, is to be able to see how my money helped specific individuals. On such a grand scale, it’s probably difficult to do this, but SeeYourImpact.com is the closest thing I have found, and I donate to them ocassionally. Unfortunately, they’re not setup to take donations for Japan at the moment, so I went with Americares this time.
A few people have asked me if this earthquake will deter us from traveling there later this or next year. My answer is absolutely not! First of all, we never really planned to go up north to the affected areas. But second, I believe that Japan will recover very quickly from this disaster. If any country is prepared for earthquakes and tsunamis, and knows how to handle itself in a crisis, it’s Japan.
Progress on my book
Since my business was highlighted by Tim Ferriss on his popular blog, I’ve received over a dozen e-mails from people who are thinking about or are in the process of creating their own businesses. It’s been fun hearing their stories and answering their questions. And it’s made me realize that there are a lot of people out there who are trying to do what I have done, and who want some guidance. There are also a lot of people who are considering creating a business, but have no idea where to even start.
Of course, it sounds like a dream to some that you could earn over $25,000/month working just 5 hours per week, but I really do. In fact, I expect to be making about double that by the end of this year, with no increase in my work hours. But please understand – it has taken a HUGE amount of work to get to this point, over a period of about 5 years. I also believe that it’s possible for anyone to create a successful business if they’re willing to put forth the effort and go about it in a smart way.
There’s a rumor going around that 90% of businesses fail, or only 10% succeed. I have made three attempts at creating businesses, and have succeeded at all three – a 100% success rate. My advice is, ignore statistics and don’t follow the 90% who are doing it wrong.
As you may know, I’ve been working on a book about how to create a self-sustaining on-line business. It’s been a slow process, and I’ve stopped and started a few times, wondering if the world really needs another business book. But with the encouragement I’ve received, I realize that I do have something unique to offer, even if it’s just sharing my experience in how I created my business and lifestyle, and what I’ve learned in the process.
So I’m picking up the pace again with my book. I think I’m about 70% finished with my first major draft. I can’t really tell at this point exactly when I’ll be done, and I have no idea how long the editing process will take, but I hope to have it completely finished and available by the end of this year (2011).
Your Questions Answered – I Need Your Help
In the book, I’m trying to write about the topics that would have helped me the most as I created my business, and I want to make sure I cover the most common questions of new entrepreneurs. However, since I’m only one person, and everyone is starting from a different place, I need some help knowing what those questions are.
So far, I’m planning to address issues like how to come up with an idea, how to know if your idea is a good one, how to outsource effectively, how to get the word out about your product, how to structure your business legally, and more, including some chapters on finance and productivity. But I want to make sure I don’t forget anything important, or leave out little details that would make a big difference to someone.
So, if you are thinking about starting a business, or are interested in reading my book, I would really appreciate it if you’d take a minute to post in the comments below (or send me an e-mail), telling me what questions or issues you’d like the book to address. I want this book to be as thorough as it can be, so it can help as many people as possible. Thanks in advance for taking the time to help with your feedback.