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Austin on March 2nd, 2011

This is a short video I recorded (apologies for the low quality) when I was backpacking in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.  In it, I drink water directly from a lake and explain why it is important to take extended periods AWAY from technology.

It is important to take time away from your cell phone, computer, and email.  I take extended breaks from these things often, and so far technology has not “passed me by“.  Doing this allows you to take a step back and look at your career, life, and goals from an objective standpoint.  As an entrepreneur, this can be extremely beneficial!

Don’t be afraid to disconnect!

Austin on February 17th, 2011

“It’s the age of the informed and educated musician, and if you think sending demo tapes is still the way to go, you’ve got a harsh reality to face.”

D.P. writes, sings, and produces all of his own music.  He once created a full album in 48hrs and documented the entire thing on YouTube.  He spreads his message through social media and online music sites like Grooveshark.

If you want a taste for his style, some of my favorites are Lost In the Music and I’m Gone.  D.P. represents a new breed of entrepreneurial musicians professionally producing their own music without the help of expensive production agencies and record labels.  Without further ado, here is the exclusive D.P. interview:

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Tenure Pic

Just like when a professor takes tenure in academia, it is also appropriate for a blogging entrepreneur to take time away from blogging.

I haven’t written a post for over 7 months, and before that, my posts were pretty sparse.  In a lot of ways, my online presence died.

The thing is, my blog has been nothing but good to me.  It has provided me with so many opportunities – networking events, travel, speaking engagements, consulting gigs, just to name a few.

If you ask me how I killed my online presence, the answer is simple.  I stopped interacting online and (most importantly) I stopped writing in my blog.  “HOW” is not the important question here though.  The important question is “WHY”.

“Why did I stop?”  Why did I “kill” the blog that has treated me so well?

I needed to take time to be that which I write about, an entrepreneur.

In the last 8 months, I created a 4 week online course about how to become a ‘remote entrepreneur‘,  I traveled through 10 new and incredible countries, I put together a team for a new startup I’m working on, I gave a keynote talk to the Bahamas Internet Association in the Bahamas, and I co-founded a social media agency.
I will share most of this with you through my blog in the coming months, but let’s just say that my time away from blogging has been put to good use!

Many entrepreneurs who don’t blog claim that they are “too busy creating businesses to blog”.  This is how I felt during my “blogging tenure”.  In my opinion, the opportunity you gain through writing a blog and the value you can provide to others, far outweighs the minimal amount of time taken from your daily schedule to write a blog.  Most people who are “too busy to blog” have never even started a blog.  Not to mention, as many of my readers will attest, being “busy” is often just a lack of priorities.

There is the opposite end of the spectrum as well, the bloggers who blog way too often about entrepreneurship and startups to ever actually play a significant roll in the topics they are writing about.

The trick to me, is finding a balance.  Taking time away from my blog to focus on entrepreneurship was my way of finding that balance.  The best thing that has come from my time off, is that I have a lot of excellent content coming out through my blog over the next several months.

In the short time that my blog has been in existence (November of 2009), it has done wonders for me and my career.  For that, I am extremely grateful!  Honestly though, the most gratifying part has been the value I have been able to provide for all of you.  Having a blog that truly impacts the lives of others in a positive way is the most rewarding part of writing a blog!  I’ll talk to you soon.

Austin on June 11th, 2010


The power of the crowd (Photo: Anirudh Koul)

Whether deciding on a company name, logo, or web page design, we all want some outside feedback.  Unfortunately, sending out sample logos and keeping track of everyone’s feedback can be extremely time consuming and quite frankly, a pain in the ass.  I found a great method that streamlines the external feedback process and therefore your decision making.

Make an online survey!

This post explains, step by step, how to make a quick (and free) online survey (see example here).  With this survey you can simply send your email contacts or Facebook friends a link, and you’ll get easy-to-read feedback (I’m talking graphs) on the questions you ask.  It’s now easier than ever to turn your friends and colleagues into a virtual focus group!

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$1,000,000 Check Picture

That’s right!  Write yourself a $1,000,000 check.  No joke.

If you want to be successful, you need to know that you are worth it.  Success starts with a belief in yourself, the knowledge that you are “making it”.  To quote the philosopher Goethe:

“Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one
elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless
ideas and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely
commits oneself, then providence moves too.  All sorts of
things occur to help one that would never otherwise have

I challenge you to write yourself a one million dollar check.  Post it on your wall where you will see it every day.  If you are traveling, tape it to the inside of your journal or save a picture of it as your desktop background. I am looking at mine right now.

There are many techniques for manifesting your dreams. Each of them require a true shift on a subconscious level.  If you look at a check with your name on it that reads: “$1,000,000″, at some point, subconsciously, you are going to believe that you deserve that money.  Try it!

Austin on February 27th, 2010


(source: !borghetti and szeke)

I value socializing and meeting new people on the weekends.  In San Francisco (my current city) this can get expensive.  A round of drinks for 4 people can cost upwards of $40.  If you buy 3 rounds of drinks during a given weekend, you are spending a minimum of $120.

I also value traveling.  Like most travel-addicts, I know that traveling often costs much less than expected.

I decided to do a little comparison.  For one month (4 weekends), I would try different money-saving techniques that would help cut my “entertainment costs” drastically.  I would then compare my savings to the estimated living expenses in a country that I am dying to visit, Bolivia.  Here is what I found:

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Austin on February 1st, 2010

Success Ebook

“What does success mean to you?  How do you achieve it?” We asked over 30 talented bloggers from around the globe these 2 questions.  The result was a SUCCESS, literally.  The SUCCESS ebook was created with the intention of inspiring others.  It is a collaboration of wisdom from many of the world’s up and coming bloggers.  It is one of those books you want to read when you feel doubt creeping in.

I personally feel honored to be part of this project and I hope you find it inspirational!  If you would like to see how I and several other entrepreneurs and bloggers achieve SUCCESS, download the ebook for FREE here.

Now for the important part:

How do YOU measure success?  And how do YOU achieve it?  Please leave your experiences and insight in the comments section below.  It will be great to hear from you!

Austin on January 19th, 2010

Automation Picture

The key? External Incentives. (Photo: Ric e Ette)

Let’s face it, when you don’t have a “reason” to automate your daily business tasks, it’s not easy to do.

I recently bought a one way ticket to South America. I intend to travel through South (and Central) America for several months. However, I do not intend to terminate my current projects/businesses.

The knowledge that I am leaving soon is forcing me to come up with solutions for automating my necessary tasks.

Some Tips:

Switch to technologies that allow for automation ~

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Austin on January 5th, 2010


And how you can too. (Source: TimFerriss)

“Austin built two profitable companies while traveling abroad and having the experiences of a lifetime.”

-Tim Ferriss, New York Times Best Seller, The 4-Hour Workweek

On December 31st, 2009 I was featured on Tim Ferriss’ blog. Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Workweek, is practically a legend among entrepreneurs. His blog has 1,000,000+ readers. The exposure I’ve gained for myself and my companies from being featured on Tim’s blog has been astounding. Here is how I did it:

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Austin on November 25th, 2009

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

- Mark Twain

Last year I took two months to travel during two seemingly “critical” stages in startup creation.

Startup #1:  My Local Mountain

My Location: Backpacking through Thailand

In November of 2008, I went backpacking through Thailand.  During the same period, I was also responsible for the launch of a Startup company; My Local Mountain.

A first of its kind Facebook application, My Local Mountain was to connect skiers and snowboarders to each other based on their local ski areas.  With winter quickly approaching, November was THE month to launch our application and get our first users.

Being somewhat of a “travel addict”, canceling my trek through Thailand was not going to be easy.  In the weeks leading up to my trip, I began devising a plan to have my cake and eat it too.

Enter Elance.

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