365-Day Publishing Challenge
A few years ago Russell Brunson was mentoring a group of entrepreneurs and he promised them that if they published something every day for a year on their blog, YouTube channel or podcast, they would become financially free. Some of those entrepreneurs took Russell up on that challenge, began publishing every day, and became incredibly successful. One of those amazingly successful entrepreneurs was Stephen J. Larsen.
Stephen tells his story of attending Russell Brunson’s Funnel Hacking Live event in San Diego. Stephen couldn’t afford a taxi. So, when his flight arrived he rented a bicycle, held his luggage over his shoulder, and peddled to Funnel Hacking Live through downtown San Diego. Stephen didn’t have enough money for a hotel room, so he slept on a couch in the hotel.
I have heard Stephen tell the story of when Russell challenged him to publish every day, the challenge that changed everything for him. Before the event, Stephen had told his wife that was the one thing Russell might ask him to do that he wasn’t going to do. However, there at the event, Stephen chose to trust Russell and accept the challenge and begin to publish every day.
As a result, Stephen has become one of the leading experts in the world on digital offer creation. In 2018 Stephen left his job to start his business from scratch, with no revenue or product. He reached $1 million in revenue in only 13 months. I attended Stephen’s packed Offer Mind event before COVID-19 hit. I have paid Stephen to teach me how to create effective digital offers and I’ve witnessed firsthand some of the success Stephen has had because he accepted this daily publishing challenge.
365-Everyday Music Tour
I recently listened to a podcast from Russell Brunson talking about a newlywed couple named Jim and Sam who had been unsuccessfully trying to break into the music industry for almost 10 years. This couple decided on a whim that they were going to do a concert every day for a year, and to create a documentary of their journey. At the beginning, the couple was performing for anyone who would listen, such as a group of tree trimmers. By the end, the couple was performing to tens of thousands of people.
The documentary is called After So Many Days, and it was named the winner of the Best Music Documentary Feature at the Nashville Film Festival 2020. It has been an official selection at more than 30 film festivals. You can watch the trailer here:
In the trailer, Jim says: “So here we go, making something happen every single day.” This is profound. There is a power in doing something small every single day, and the cumulative effect of that consistency creates amazing transformation.
Starting My 365-Day Transformation
So, today I’m beginning something crazy for me. I’m starting 365 days of transformation… making something happen every single day for a year. I will be taking a series of small steps every day, but I’m expecting the cumulative transformation in my life over the year to be huge. This is going to include publishing every day for 365 days. It’s also going to include other goals to help me achieve things that matter most to me right now in my life.
These are the 7 reasons I want to publish every day:
- It will require me to research and study digital monetization and become a better digital monetizer.
- When I teach, I learn and internalize the information on a much deeper level.
- Going through his process of creating the content will help me develop my unique message. As Russell Brunson says, I want to “find my voice”.
- Publishing for 365 days will give people time to find me and follow me. Nathan Berry, the founder of ConvertKit taught that we must “Endure long enough to get noticed.”
- It will help me be more successful with my current and future projects.
- Documenting my journey will help other entrepreneurs, marketers, and CEOs to become better digital monetizers.
- It will give me a platform where I can interview, build relationships with and learn from monetization experts.
What I’m Going to Be Publishing About
I will be publishing about topics that are important for entrepreneurs, marketers, and CEOs who want to be better digital monetizers. These people already have assets, such as traffic, following, knowledge, ideas, expertise, great products, an established brand, a great team, loyal customers, or capital but want to know how to leverage their asset(s) to make more money.
I will publish a lot about the tectonic shifts I see that are transforming and disrupting the business landscape. We’ve all seen these tectonic shifts in the past, such as the shift from bricks and mortar to Internet business, the shift from yellow pages to search engines, and the shift from desktop computers to mobile devices. We’re in the middle of numerous tectonic shifts today, and I’m going to try to help digital monetizers identify these tectonic shifts and leverage them to accelerate their monetization.
The businesses that are effective at seizing these tectonic shifts can often supercharge their growth and leapfrog their competition. The companies that fail to identify and effectively leverage these tectonic shifts can encounter decline or even destruction.
I firmly believe that success in digital monetization must include success in each of the areas that matter most to the digital monetizer. Those areas might include faith, family, health, social contribution, etc. I have found that almost every entrepreneur or CEO I have worked with is striving to find better balance and success in these areas. I have also discovered that finding success in these areas can improve the success of the digital monetizer. So, I will be including these topics in the things I publish.
I will also be interviewing other successful entrepreneurs and digital monetizers and sharing their stories and secrets on my blog, podcast, YouTube channel, and social media accounts.
Starting with Why
I started by writing the four core objectives I want to achieve in 2021, and my “why.” I started with “why,” as Simon Sinek taught us in his wildly popular TED talk. If you haven’t watched that video, here’s a link:
Here are my 4 top objectives and whys for 2021:
- I want to be more connected with God. (Why? Because I love God and want to be a tool in His hands.)
- I want to have more connected relationships with my wife and daughters. (Why? Because I love them and want them to feel my love.)
- I want to be more fit and healthy (Why? So my days can be long with the people I love and doing God’s work.)
- I want to be one of the world’s top digital monetization experts (Why? So I can provide well for the people I love and so I can help other people do the same for the people they love.)
The next step was for me to set the goals I felt would give me the greatest chance of reaching my core objectives:
1st Objective: I want to be more connected with God.
Goal 1: I will study the scriptures each day.
I have other goals for this first objective, but those don’t feel appropriate to discuss publicly, so I won’t expound on them here.
2nd Objective: I want to have more connected relationships with my wife and daughters.
Goal 2: I will go on a date with my wife each week.
Goal 3: I will invite each of my daughters on a date each week.
Goal 4: I will walk or sit and talk with my wife each day. I will invite her on a walk when the weather permits.
3rd Objective: I want to be more fit and healthy.
Goal 5: I will exercise at least 30 minutes on average at least 5 times per week.
Goal 6: I will eat my modified Eat to Live diet (about 90% at least 5 days per week). This involves filling my diet with nutrient-dense foods and avoiding foods with low nutrient density. See Dr. Fuhrman’s inspiring book “Eat to Live” about the nutritarian diet.
Goal 7: I will drink a green superfood smoothie and eat a salad or veggies at least 5 days per week. This is a smoothie packed with superfoods, such as kale, goji berries, and other berries, bananas, flax seeds, plant-based protein powder, and a lot more. I try to drink this smoothie first, so I stuff my meal with quality nutrients before I eat anything else. Dr. Fuhrman believes the body stops feeling hungry when the needed nutrients have been consumed.
Goal 8: I will do my intermittent fasting at least 5 days per week.
Goal 9: I will complete a triathlon.
Goal 10: I will wake at 5:30 am at least 5 days per week so I have time to accomplish these other goals.
I’ve been implementing some of these health goals over the past weeks with the support of my accountability partners and I’ve already lost 8+ pounds and feel better. So, I’m hopeful I can get to my ideal weight and fitness level as I continue to focus on these goals this year. However, it is important that I only set goals for things that I can control. When I set goals outside of the things I can control, it is a recipe for failure. For example, I can control what I eat and how much I exercise, but I cannot control how much weight I lose.
4th Objective: I want to be one of the world’s leading digital monetization experts.
Goal 11: I will publish every day on my blog, podcast, YouTube channel, Instagram and/or other social channels during 2021. I will often publish similar content on all three of these channels. However, I also plan to publish unique content on some of the channels, depending on what appears to be working. If you want to become a better digital monetizer and follow my 2021 adventure of transformation, you can go to MonetizationNation.com and subscribe to my email list. You can also subscribe to the Monetization Nation podcast or YouTube channel.
Goal 12: I will work on my book, course or show at least 30 minutes (average) at least 5 times per week.
Goal 13: I will publish my first book and course in 2021.
Goal 14: I will study monetization, marketing, and business from experts at least 30 minutes per day (average) at least 5 times per week.
Waking at 5:30 am is one of my most important “keystone habits,” a concept I learned from the book The Power of Habit. A keystone habit is a habit that when I do it, I will naturally accomplish other goals. Exercising is one of my other keystone habits. When I exercise regularly, I find that I naturally am more successful at my other health goals, such as eating healthier. Weekly food preparation is another keystone habit because when I prepare my healthy foods in advance, I’m much more successful at eating healthy.
“If you focus on changing or cultivating keystone habits, you can cause widespread shifts.”
― Charles Duhigg, The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business
Creating the Time
I have very little free time in my schedule. If I just set goals and don’t figure a way to make time for them, they will never happen. I have learned that if I want something to happen I need to allocate time to accomplish that thing at specific times in my calendar. If we don’t schedule the time to achieve our goals, they are only wishes. Here are 6 ways I’m creating more time so I can accomplish these goals:
- Wake at 5:30 – I started working with my accountability partners about 6 weeks ago on some of my goals, including a goal to wake up at 5:30 am so I have time to do my other goals. When I was starting this process, my wife asked me which of my goals was going to be the hardest for me to achieve. I immediately answered that the hardest thing was going to be consistently waking up at 5:30 am. I have not been a morning person at all, and that consistent wake-up time sounded almost impossible, but I knew that waking up at that time was the only way I could possibly accomplish these goals. I’m proud to report that I have woken up at 5:30 am at least 5 days per week (which is my goal) every week since I set the goal, and now most days my body is waking up on my own before the alarm goes off.
- Schedule Time to Accomplish Goals – I have been working to schedule set times for me to accomplish each of my goals. For example, my date with my wife happens each Friday evening at 6pm, and my date with my oldest daughter is scheduled for each Friday at noon. I have found that by scheduling time to accomplish the things that really matter into my calendar, my success rate increases radically.
- Make Plans to Do an Event with a Friend and Buy the Ticket – To help me reach the triathlon goal, I have reached out to one of my friends who has successfully completed triathlons, and he and I have scheduled a specific triathlon that we are each going to train for and then compete in together, as long as COVID-19 doesn’t mess that up. Because of the uncertainty of COVID-19, tickets had not yet gone on sale when we made our plans, but we expect to purchase our tickets soon to further commit us to this goal.
- Multi-Task – To create additional time for my goals, I have scheduled some multi-tasking. For example, I plan to watch a lot of my educational videos while exercising. Also, I have purchased a treadmill desk so I can walk during appropriate times while I work, and I have placed a recumbent bike by a television, so I can ride that bike while I’m watching a show with my family some evenings.
- Simplify – I have been analyzing the time requirements of these goals and other commitments in my life. I have been identifying and implementing ways to simplify and reduce my time commitments from things that are not as important so I have the time necessary to accomplish my 2021 goals. I have simplified numerous elements of the goals, such as removing requirements for open captions and teaser clips to promote the interview videos. As another example, I’ve set up exercise equipment in my home so I can eliminate the travel time to and from the gym.
- Get Help – I’m getting help to accomplish some of my goals. For example, I have contracted with a video editor who is helping edit the videos I will be publishing.
Gamification and Accountability
The vast majority of us who set New Year’s resolutions fail and quit in less than a month. I absolutely do not want that to happen to me in 2021. So, I set up a system of gamification and accountability to help me succeed throughout the entire year.
- Public Accountability – I am posting my goals publicly, and I will be posting occasionally on my progress.
- Accountability Partners & Reporting System – I have reached out to 8 men who I highly respect and asked them to be my accountability partners. I’m grateful for their willingness to help me reach these goals. I have created a Google Doc with my goals and shared that document with my accountability partners. I started more than 6 weeks ago with my accountability partners on some of my goals. I wanted to see if this system worked on a small scale before I rolled it out in full. Each day I record my success in the shared document. My accountability partners can check on my progress at any time, encourage me and hold me accountable.
- Negative Consequence – I have committed for the next year that each day I do not reach my goals I will donate $100 to the University of Utah football program. I am a huge BYU football fan, and the University of Utah is our biggest rival, so supporting our rival is a big negative consequence for me. Also, I am cheap, and not wanting to pay that $100 is a HUGE motivation. I learned about the power of accountability partners and negative consequences from Redge Allen in his TEDx Talk 5 Minutes of Courage.
- Positive Rewards – I have been wanting to take a trip to Israel for many years. My wife and I have agreed that when I reach these goals, we will make that trip a reality.
- Finish Lines – Several of my goals have major “finish lines” that I cross when they are completed, such as the triathlon, or publishing my first book and course. When I’ve run races in the past, I’ve loved having finish lines to focus on, and to sprint through the finish. That sense of completion is a powerful motivator.
- Connecting Goals to Existing Habits – Over the years, I’ve started connecting new goals I want to implement with my already-established habits. For example, I love to listen to audiobooks, and when I was trying to study scriptures more consistently, I implemented a rule for myself that I could listen to my audiobooks after I had completed my scripture study. That way, the new goal was completed before I could do the established habit. As such, the new goal also became a habit. As another example, I have connected prayer with my sleep and eating habits, and pray when I wake, before I go to bed, and before meals.
- Reminders – I have set recurring reminders in my phone that help me achieve my goals. For example, I have a reminder set for 6 pm each day reminding me that it’s “Family Time – Be the best husband and father I can be.” I have another reminder set at 10 pm each day reminding me to “Go to bed by 10:30 so I can wake and exercise at 5:30.”
The goal of this system is to be successful, not to fail. So, I have built grace into the system. For example, for most of my goals I only have to complete them 5 days a week, even though I try to do them more than that. This way I don’t have to be successful 100% of the time, and I can keep my momentum going even though I’m not perfect every day. Doing the best I can with my goals is always good enough. Exceptions are appropriate for situations such as sickness, travel, crisis, inclement weather, waking up at night hungry, forgetting, dates, and celebration days. For example, if I were to get COVID-19 and couldn’t exercise, I would do the best I can and that would be acceptable. Or, if it’s snowing and I cannot take my wife for a walk, then we can sit and talk inside during that time. Or, if I’m traveling on business during the week, and I cannot take my daughters on a date, that’s not a problem. Doing the best I can is success, not failure. I need to allow myself grace. Doing my best is always good enough for God, and I don’t need to be harder on myself than God is.
6 Steps for Success in Reaching Goals
In summary, here are the 6 steps for successfully achieving the things that matter most:
1. Key Objectives – We might want to start our goal setting with our key objectives, the things we most want to achieve.
2. Whys – Then, we can write out our “whys” or core motivations behind those objectives.
3. Goals – Then, we can write out the goals that will best help us achieve our core objectives and whys.
4. Create Time – We improve our chance of success by figuring out how to make time and schedule in the actions we need to take to achieve our goals.
5. Accountability & Gamification – We can implement systems of accountability and gamification to increase our chances of being successful in reaching our most important objectives. These can include elements such as: public accountability, accountability partners, negative consequences, positive rewards and finish lines.
6. Give Grace – In the systems we create, we are all going to stumble some days. We should be sure to include grace for ourselves where we can succeed even though we are imperfect.
This system can work to help us achieve our personal and business goals.
Want to be a Better Digital Monetizer?
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If we desire monetization we have never before achieved, we must leverage strategies we have never before implemented. I challenge each of us to pick one thing that resonated with us from today’s episode and schedule a time this week to implement it to help achieve our monetization goals.
Share Your Story
What goals do you have for 2021? What tips and tricks have you used in the past to help you achieve your goals? I encourage you to join our Monetization Nation Facebook group and share your goals and your secrets for reaching your goals here:
I wish you success in reaching your 2021 goals.
So here I go, making something happen every single day.
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About the author
I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.
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