No Alarms Club

Diversify Your Portfolio

Episode Summary

"For better or for worse, I am really interested in a lot of different things, and trying things out myself to see what it's like to actually experience producing media or other things is always interesting." - Mark Frauenfelder in Jeff Goins' book Real Artists Don't Starve

Episode Notes

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

Action Items:

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode Transcription


[00:00:00] Hey, you're listening to the No Alarms Club podcast. My name is Garrett. 

[00:00:05] I'm really excited for this episode. This episode is titled Diversify Your Portfolio. 

[00:00:13] We're currently working on reading Jeff Goins' book Real Artists Don't Starve

[00:00:20]We're on Chapter 11, Diversify Your Portfolio. 

[00:00:25]Let me know if this sounds like you: 

[00:00:27] This guy Mark Frauenfelder says, "for better or for worse, I am really interested in a lot of different things, and trying things out myself to see what it's like to actually experience producing media or other things is always interesting." 

[00:00:43]I don't know about you, but this describes exactly how I've always felt, but in words that I couldn't string together as well. 

[00:00:51]This guy, Mark, has done a lot of stuff that I really respect. 

[00:00:56] He started the culture and tech magazine, Boing Boing for fun while working as a mechanical engineer. 

[00:01:04] After a few years of working on that, Wired Magazine hired him to be the associate editor and handle a few other things. 

[00:01:12]At this point in time, other than working on Boing Boing as a hobby, he had no journalism experience other than with his own 'zine. 

[00:01:20]And he also started Make, which is another magazine about Makerspaces and other DIY projects. 

[00:01:28]Coincidentally, and I didn't even know this before reading Real Artists Don't Starve, but those are three of my favorite magazines that I've been following for many years. 

[00:01:37]Aside from those magazines, he has art installations all around the United States. 

[00:01:42]He wrote and published a book about magic tricks. 

[00:01:47] And, one of my favorite things, he did the album art for the album Cyberpunk by Billy Idol

[00:01:56] This guy is like my hero. 

[00:01:57] I didn't even know who he was. 

[00:01:59] But this is very similar to what I want people to write about me when I'm his age. 

[00:02:06]This is exactly why I started my media company Approaching Utopia

[00:02:10]The whole point of that was basically just to set up different opportunities to monetize the various things that I'm interested in researching and learning. 

[00:02:20] Right now we have this podcast. 

[00:02:24] We have the website Online Business ONE, which is where most of the money comes from, because that is a website that teaches people how to start an online business and quit their day jobs, which is very similar to what we're doing with this podcast. 

[00:02:38]There's also the Your Secure Life podcast, which is a podcast for individuals and small business owners who want to control their privacy and cybersecurity. 

[00:02:50]We've got the creative commons music by megabyteGhost

[00:02:55]We've got Gaming for Fun and Profit, which is how people can turn their gaming hobby into a full time online business. 

[00:03:03]And there's a lot of other stuff that are on the list for future projects. 

[00:03:08]Generally when we meet someone and they ask us what we do it's difficult to respond with a one word reply, and that's a good thing because we don't want to respond with a one word reply. 

[00:03:22] But the problem is we find ourselves often rambling on, responding with something long and complicated that really just leaves them confused. 

[00:03:32]We don't want that either. 

[00:03:34]I always thought of the concept of mastery as focusing on one thing for a long time and getting really good at it. 

[00:03:45]I don't know, maybe that is the official definition. 

[00:03:48] Maybe I won't ever master anything because I can't focus that long on one thing. 

[00:03:54]In this chapter, Jeff Goins is giving us permission to pursue and build a diverse body of work. 

[00:04:02] I'm gonna do a little riff thinking out loud on how I could apply this to my life. And maybe that'll help you figure out how you can apply it to your life. 

[00:04:13] I've got Approaching Utopia, the media company that I mentioned. 

[00:04:16] Right now I'm focused on growing the website OnlineBusiness.ONE. 

[00:04:21]The goal with that is to be making enough money in six months from now that I can quit my day job within six months from then. 

[00:04:32] I've got a lot of debts pay off. 

[00:04:34] And eventually hire someone to manage the day to day for me. 

[00:04:38]I will then put my privacy and open source intelligence skills to use working for an organization called Operation Safe Escape, which helps victims of abuse escape their abusers. 

[00:04:53]During this time, I can also build up the other projects. 

[00:04:57] Like I can go back to working on Gaming for Fun and Profit, and I can go back to working on the Your Secure Life podcast, which are things that are important to me. 

[00:05:07]And also will lead to hiring someone to handle those as well. 

[00:05:13]Hiring people that will be able to create all the different audio and visual arts that I love as well as writing is important for all of this. 

[00:05:23]I need those people, but also I can use those skills because I enjoy doing them to create marketing and education materials for Online Business ONE, as well as for Operation Safe Escape. 

[00:05:35] Especially stuff that will help raise awareness about domestic abuse and even some education materials to help people escape their abusers without needing the help of a nonprofit. 

[00:05:47]I think that sounds like a pretty good plan. 

[00:05:49]Another point Jeff Goins makes in this chapter is that by diversifying your portfolio, you don't have all your eggs in one basket as far as income.

[00:06:00] You can stretch out into other revenue generating projects while past projects continue to make money, which is exactly what I was talking about with Approaching Utopia and Online Business ONE. 

[00:06:13] I build up Online Business ONE. 

[00:06:15]When it's generating income, then I can move on to the next project and grow that and so on and so forth. 

[00:06:21]An example, maybe for you, perhaps you have been working in an industry for a long time as a day job. 

[00:06:30] You make some online video courses on how to do what you've been doing successfully. 

[00:06:35] And in your free time you write and release music, maybe one or two albums a year. 

[00:06:41] You also write and self publish a fiction novel once a year. 

[00:06:46]That seems like a lot of work, but it's actually not. 

[00:06:51] This is totally doable without burning out. 

[00:06:55] And it's four sources of income, at least two of which could go on generating income forever. 

[00:07:02]At the beginning of this episode, I told you about Mark and asked if his story sounded like yours. If you said no, that's totally okay. 

[00:07:12]This episode of the No Alarms Club is not a specific prescription to success for everyone. 

[00:07:20] This whole podcast isn't even for everyone. 

[00:07:23] You might be different than me and Mark. 

[00:07:27] Maybe you need to focus on one thing and build it up and become the best of the best in the world at that one thing. 

[00:07:35] That's totally awesome. I can't wait to do a series on a book with your wisdom in it. 

[00:07:41]Some people do well focusing on one thing. They get spread too thin working on too many different things and it overwhelms them. 

[00:07:49] There's nothing wrong with that. 

[00:07:52] What's important is knowing who you are and what you're capable of. 

[00:07:58] Other people like me and Mark, we thrive best when jumping from thing to thing. 

[00:08:04] We will never be known as the master of any one specific skill, but we will have a lot of skills and be able to combine them to create what is unique to us. 

[00:08:16] And that's our strength. 

[00:08:18]Your action item for this episode is to figure that out. What is the best for you? 

[00:08:26] Are you the type of person who wants to focus on one thing and be the best of the best of the best? 

[00:08:32] Maybe the best guitarist in the world or the best drummer or  maybe you want to start a website on accounting and be the best accountant. 

[00:08:42]It could be anything. Whatever your online business is that you want to be. 

[00:08:48]Or are you the type of person who is like me and wants to learn a little bit of everything and not master anything, but just be able to throw something together just because we enjoy working in so many different types of media?

[00:09:05]Figuring that out will be extremely important to planning out your future from here on. 

[00:09:11]That's it for this episode. This is the No Alarms Club podcast and my name is Garrett. 

[00:09:17] I appreciate you taking the time to listen because I know there's a lot of podcasts out there that you could have been listening to instead. 

[00:09:25]If you do enjoy this podcast, it would be a huge help to go and review it in whatever your favorite podcast player is. 

[00:09:35]Another thing you could do to help is to share it with anybody you know of who would benefit from listening to this podcast. 

[00:09:44]Thanks again, and I will see you in the next episode.