Financial freedom and fulfillment is within reach, and it doesn’t have to be as hard as you’re making it.
In fact, there is a roadmap you can follow that will lead you there, and combining over one thousand hours of conversations with today’s most successful entrepreneurs, I created that roadmap.
The Common Path to Uncommon Success is for those willing to commit to doing the work – for those willing to follow these 17 steps to financial freedom and fulfillment.
How to Achieve Financial Freedom
But if you’re wondering “how can I get financial freedom fast?”, then you’re in the wrong place.
Achieving financial freedom takes time and dedication – a true commitment to doing the work, being resilient, and getting back up after you’re knocked down.
And as with everything in life, it can be achieved with the help of a plan.
Financial freedom plan
You can think of the 17 steps in The Common Path to Uncommon Success as your financial freedom plan. A step-by-step guide that shows you exactly what it takes to achieve the lifestyle and freedom you’ve always dreamed of for you and your family.
The book is broken up into 17 chapters, and each chapter has 3 sections:
- A definition of the chapter’s topic – what it means
- How I implemented this step on my journey to uncommon success
- How another successful entrepreneur implemented it on their journey
Through sharing an approach to each step from different perspectives I hope to encourage you and to help you see that, while there might not be a one size fits all definition of uncommon success, there is a common path to get there.
One thing I’ve proven through my thousands of interviews with successful entrepreneurs is this: uncommon success always includes financial freedom.
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How do you get financial freedom?
A financial freedom quote from Robert Kiyosaki that sums it up quite nicely is that “Financial freedom is freedom from fear.”
So how do you get financial freedom?
One way to get financial freedom is to create it, and one way to create it is through building a scalable and sustainable business.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Some individuals were built to serve in the entertainment industry, and some individuals were built to serve in a corporate environment.
I’m not here to judge. I’m here to tell you that if you want to create freedom in your life – financial, location, and lifestyle freedom – that you can do it through identifying a struggle in the marketplace and creating a solution people will pay you for in order to solve that struggle.
Tony Robbins says, “The secret to wealth is simple: Find a way to do more for others than anyone else does. Become more valuable. Do more. Give more. Be more. Serve more.”
Creating and Growing a Business
If you’re still reading, then I know you’re on board; you have a desire to create and grow a business, and you’re wondering where to start.
Every step of the journey requires a plan. A plan is what will help you prepare and follow through with the most important steps to growing a sustainable business.
That’s how a plan and a roadmap work: one step at a time.
Below is a sneak peek at every chapter in The Common Path to Uncommon Success. These are the 17 steps to financial freedom and fulfillment, and again, all you need to do is commit to following them.
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Your Business Foundation Plan
It all starts with the foundation of your business; this is the most critical part. It’s what will help support future growth, and without a strong foundation, your business will not be able to scale and thrive long-term.
Identify Your Big Idea
Your business starts with an idea. A big idea.
Identifying your big idea happens when you identify your Zone of Fire: where your passions and curiosity overlap with your skills and expertise.
For this exercise you’ll need a piece of paper with a line drawn down the middle.
On the lefthand side write “Passions and Curiosity”, and on the righthand side write “Skills and Expertise”.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and press start.
During these 5 minutes, write down everything that comes to mind that you’re passionate or curious about.
- What makes you happy, what are you interested in, and what gives you joy?
Set another timer for 5 minutes and press start.
During these 5 minutes, write down everything that comes to mind that you’re skilled at or that you have expertise doing.
- What do your friends ask for your help with, what did you study in school, and what are skills you’ve used at previous jobs?
Once you’ve completed both sides, it’s time to find the overlap. Where do your passions and curiosities commingle with your skills and expertise?
THAT is your Zone of Fire.
Discover Your Niche
Many think that if you go broad with your topic or business idea that you’ll be able to attract more potential clients and customers.
You hesitate to go niche because then it will be harder for people to find you.
This is wrong.
When you try to talk to everyone, you end up talking to no one.
Distractions, confusion, and options will drive people in the opposite direction. If you can’t immediately show a potential client or customer that what you have to offer is for them, without a doubt, they will leave.
The following are NOT niches:
- Inspiring people is not a niche.
- Marketing strategies is not a niche.
- Creativity is not a niche.
Whereas these ARE niches:
- Inspiring people who are in the midst of recovering from an injury, and who are trying to get through physical therapy appointment is a niche.
- Marketing strategies for Instagram is a niche.
- Creativity for moms who are homeschooling their kids is a niche.
STOP trying to talk to everyone. You will quickly find that you’re really talking to no one.
Create Your Avatar
What is an avatar?
An avatar is one single individual. Your avatar is your perfect customer, your model client, the ideal consumer of your content, your products, your services, and your offers.
When you know who your avatar is with absolute clarity, you can operate your business with confidence and speed.
My avatar is Jimmy. I know him very well. I know his likes, his dislikes, what his day-to-day life is like, what his family is like, what his biggest dreams and aspirations are, and also what his biggest struggles and challenges are.
Jimmy has helped me in countless ways since I launched my business, because whenever I’m in doubt about whether to go right or left at that fork in the road, I ask Jimmy what he would want.
I didn’t create this business to serve myself. I created it to serve Jimmy.
A common misconception is that because Jimmy is my avatar, no one else can listen to Entrepreneurs On Fire, which we all know is obviously not true.
The importance of knowing Jimmy is that he keep me on track and guides me when it comes time to create new content, products, and services.
Your Business Support System Plan
We all know doing things alone can be quite difficult. Without the proper support in place, your journey will be incredibly tough. Having a mentor to help guide you and brainstorm with, and joining a mastermind to help hold yourself accountable and provide support is priceless on your journey.
Choose Your Platform
Now that you have your big idea, you’ve niched down, and you know who your one perfect client or customer is, it’s time to choose the platform where you’ll reach them.
There are three main platforms to choose from:
- Written content
- Video content
- Audio content
We’ll dive much deeper into repurposing content and being on multiple platforms, but when choosing your primary platform it’s important to FOCUS.
Which of these platforms appeals to you most, and equally as important, which of these platforms appeals to your avatar most?
- Do you love writing, being on camera, or talking “behind-the-scenes” via audio?
- Does your avatar love reading, watching, or listening based on what you know about them?
Find Your Mentor
When it comes to finding a mentor, the biggest question people have is “where do I look?”
It’s really not so much where you look as it is whom you’re looking for.
Your perfect mentor is currently where you want to be one year from today.
Write out where you want to be one year from today, and include things like:
- What have you created?
- What does your day-to-day look like?
- Who are you serving?
- How much revenue are you generating each month?
- What types of projects are you currently working on?
Now, who have you noticed in your space that fits that criteria? Try to find at least 5 people, and then follow them, subscribe to their newsletter, engage with them on social media.
Chances are within a couple of weeks you’ll have found the perfect person to help guide you on your journey.
Join or Create a Mastermind
If you want to change your life, change your environment.
A quote we hold close is from Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Who are your top five?
- Are they people who inspire, motivate, and support your dreams?
- Or are they people who complain, play the victim in their lives, and who are unhappy?
Joining (or creating) a mastermind is a great way to guarantee that you’re surrounding yourself with people who will be that inspiration, motivation, and support on your journey.
First step to finding a mastermind to join – or at least three or four others who will join the mastermind you’re creating (peer-to-peer) – is talking about the fact that you’re looking.
Oftentimes someone in your circles already knows of – or is already a part of – another mastermind.
Second step is to join groups on social media in your industry or niche, and start connecting with like-minded people who are in the same or similar place on their journey as you.
Third step: simply invite people to join!
Your Content Plan
Design Your Content Production Plan
Creating financial freedom and fulfillment requires you to create the best solutions to your avatar’s biggest problems.
Once you’ve created that solution, you’ll deliver it to your avatar (and audience as a whole) via your platform.
In order to do this consistently and successfully, you need a content production plan.
Your content production plan is a huge deal; it’s what will help hold you accountable to delivering the type of value that will gain your followers know, like, and trust factor, which in turn will be what turns them into paying clients and customers.
Dive in, create your content production plan, and commit to it.
Creating content is one of the toughest things you’ll do as an entrepreneur. Even if you LOVE to create content, your downfall could be that you’re not able to do it consistently over time.
But building and growing a successful business requires that you create content consistently over time.
So how will you keep going when things start to feel hard? Start to feel overwhelming? When doubts, fear, and anxiety start to creep in?
As you dive into this critical phase of growing your business, make sure you have a strong enough WHY that will encourage and motivate you to do the work – even when you might not feel like it.
Launching something – anything – is no walk in the park. You’ve been through a lot to get to this point, and launching a product, service, or any type of offer to your audience should be exciting!
NOT excruciating, painful, or from a place of fear.
Launch from a place of excitement and confidence, knowing that even if it isn’t a huge “success”, that you’ve still won given the experience and lessons you’ve learned along the way.
Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
It’s time to step into the ring and OWN your launch.
It might not work the first time, the second time, or the fifth time.
The difference between those who achieve uncommon success and those who don’t? The ones who do get up and try again.
Your Research and Implementation Plan
We’re starting to pick up some massive speed on the common path to uncommon success – I hope you can feel it, too!
This next stage of your journey is going to require a lot of resourcefulness. There will be a lot of excuses that come up during this stage around the reasons why something isn’t working.
You must push through.
Pinpoint Your Avatar’s Biggest Struggle
Now that you’re on your way to building an audience through providing free, valuable and consistent content, it’s time to reach out and ask some very simple yet powerful questions. Four of them to be exact.
How did you hear about me/find my content?
What do you like about the content I’m producing?
What don’t you like?
What is your biggest struggle right now?
Once you’ve found your avatar, having one-on-one conversations with them and asking these four questions will lead you to the product, service, or community you can create for them – and it’ll guarantee it’s something they’ll pay you money for.
Sound like valuable conversations?
That’s an understatement.
Not only will they be revealing key insights to help you improve what you already offer, they’ll be sharing their biggest struggle with you. It’s at this point you might find yourself talking to an audience you didn’t expect. Your avatar might change slightly based on these conversations.
Once you’ve pinpointed their biggest struggle, it’s time to take that knowledge and create the solution.
Prove the Concept and Craft the Solution
“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.” – Brian Tracy
Now don’t get too far ahead of yourself. I KNOW this is exciting and it’s very easy to want to just create the solution and put it out there.
BUT FIRST: you must prove the concept.
People vote with their wallets.
Just because you’ve heard from several people in your audience something along the lines of “Oh! That’s a great idea!” doesn’t mean they will actually be willing to paying you money for it.
So, make them vote with their wallets – let them prove the concept for you by offering up an idea, asking your audience to join, and only once you’ve hit a certain goal (for example, 10 new members for your online course) do you actually create and launch it.
Your opportunities for what type of solution you can provide to your avatar’s biggest struggle are endless. Here are just a few ideas:
- One-on-one coaching
- Group coaching
- Leading a mastermind
- Writing a book
- Creating a course
- Hosting a virtual summit
- Running a paid challenge
- Creating software (SaaS: Software as a Service)
- Creating a physical product
- Hosting a premium community
- Becoming an affiliate and promoting another company’s product, service, or community
- Offering a certification
- Hosting live or virtual events
If you’re not sure which solution is best, choose your top 3 from the list above and go back to your avatar. Have more one-on-one conversations. ASK.
Build Your Funnel
Now that you have a proven concept you can offer your audience, it’s time to build a funnel.
A funnel is the journey your avatar takes from the moment they are introduced to your content for the very first time all the way to becoming a customer, client, or evangelist.
People buy from people they know, like, and trust, and your funnel can help drastically improve your relationship with your potential buyers on their journey to your offer.
There is a lot that goes into a funnel, but lucky for you – because you’re on the common path – you’ve already created a lot of the upfront content and hopefully a free offer to kick things off.
Here’s a quick example of one of our most successful funnels to date:
- My free, valuable and consistent content goes out via my podcast, and my avatar tunes in to listen and gain inspiration for their own entrepreneurial journey
- On each episode, I have a Call To Action (CTA) that shares something valuable and free I know can help solve a pain point my avatar is currently experiencing. One of those pain points is they want to start a podcast, but they don’t know where to start.
- I introduce my audience to my Free Podcast Course: how to create and launch your podcast. It’s eight video tutorials that will walk you through step by step – and it’s completely free, I just ask for your email address.
- Once you’ve joined Free Podcast Course you see the immense value and time and care that I put into my trainings. You already have a feel for this because you listen to Entrepreneurs On Fire the podcast, but this is further confirmation.
- After you’re done with Free Podcast Course, I lead you down the path a bit further: what do people want to do once they’ve created and launched their podcast? Learn how to grow and monetize. And I teach the top 5 ways to grow and monetize a podcast on my completely free Podcast Masterclass.
- On my Podcast Masterclass – at the very end, after providing a ton of value – I share an opportunity to invest in the next step: Podcasters’ Paradise. Podcasters’ Paradise is a paid membership community and course where we have every resource, step-by-step tutorial, and the support you need to create, grow, and monetize your podcast
This isn’t what every funnel is going to look like. In step #1, you might find that your content is reaching your audience via a blog, or videos.
In step #3, you might offer a free checklist download, or you might offer a free 15-minute phone consultation.
In step #5, you might go from having given away something free in #3, to now asking for a very low investment commitment – maybe $19 to attend your masterclass, or get access to a video series.
Always remember when you’re building and crafting something for your avatar: think about it from their perspective – what would they want?
Your Scalability Plan
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final stage on your journey to uncommon success. Feels pretty great, doesn’t it?!
In this stage, you scale.
That means by now you’ve built a strong foundation, you have a support system around you, you’ve nailed your content, and you’ve proven a concept and implemented it with success.
Only thing left to do is amplify what’s working – pure 80/20 rule going into effect NOW.
Diversify Your Revenue Streams
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
You’ve heard the saying before, and never has it rang more true than when you’re building a sustainable and successful business.
Diversifying your revenue streams – aka generating revenue from not just one source, but multiples sources – is key to you finding uncommon success.
Unfortunately neither of us can predict the future, but we can take steps ahead of time to ensure that if something happens with one of our revenue streams (aka products or services or communities we have to offer), that we don’t have to close the doors due to lack of revenue.
This essentially means going back to “pinpointing your avatar’s biggest struggle” and doing it again.
You’ve proven and crafted at least one solution that’s solving one of your avatar’s biggest struggles, but what other opportunities do you have to create another solution?
Increase Your Traffic
The most common online marketing strategy to increase your traffic – or at least the one people tend to “go to” first – is paid advertising.
I’m not a fan of paid advertising.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try it or that it won’t work for you, but I’m living proof it’s not required to grow and scale your business.
In my experience, building relationships is everything, and the power of collaboration cannot be understated on your journey.
That’s how I’ve increased my traffic: through building real relationships that turn into awesome collaborations and partnerships.
Just take Entrepreneurs On Fire the podcast as one example.
I couldn’t have grown my listenership to what it was even 3 months post launch on my own. I had the help of Apple Podcasts (then iTunes) to promote my podcast. I chose my platform, leveraged the real estate Apple was offering, and it moved the needle in a big way for me when it came to getting the word out about my show.
Well, Apple isn’t what it used to be, and I know that you can’t rely solely on a platform to help you increase your traffic (although YouTube and Amazon are both awesome examples of platforms that can help you get in front of a lot of people quickly.)
In any case, in addition to leveraging Apples platform, I also took the time to build meaningful relationships with each of my guests.
Every day I had a new episode going live – a new conversation with a successful and inspiring entrepreneur who I got to chat with for 30 minutes. I got to know more about them, their business, and I was happy to share their story on my platform.
Reciprocity is real. What happened when I asked them to share their episode with their audience?
They said yes, and boy did they share!
So much so that my guests sharing their episode with their audience was one of my biggest traffic drivers.
No paid ads. No sketchy tactics. Just taking the time to build real relationships and provide value.
While the landscape is very different in the podcasting space today than it was back in 2012, one strategy I’m using right now to increase traffic is being a guest on other podcasts in my industry or niche.
Implement Systems and Build a Team
Creating systems in your business and building a team are what will allow you to scale and grow.
If you’re a one-person team and you want to keep it that way, awesome!
Even if you’re not interested in building a team, you should be very interested in building systems to help you work more effectively and save you more time.
Implementing systems is all about figuring out what repeatable tasks you do in your business each week, then finding efficiencies in how you perform those tasks.
Efficiencies might include automation, delegation or batching.
Because we LOVE our systems here at Entrepreneurs On Fire, we’ve got an entire guide for how to build systems in your business (plus, I dive into detail in The Common Path to Uncommon Success).
Building systems takes time, and it’s not typically the sexiest part of your business.
But you know what is sexy about systems? They allow you to create financial, location and lifestyle freedom.
And when it comes to building a team, well that’s also one step at a time.
After figuring out what repeatable tasks you do in your business each week, you should have a pretty solid idea of what types of things you want to delegate. Looking at your list of everything you manage in your business, what would you love to take off your plate?
Allow the tasks that are necessary – but that you’d love to take off your plate – guide your job description and post.
In addition to the details I dive into in The Common Path to Uncommon Success, we’ve also got a load of team building resources for you, too!
Create Affiliate Partnerships
You will certainly learn from your audience over time that there are pain points, struggles, and roadblocks they’re currently facing that you don’t have the solution for.
And in a lot of cases, you’ll also learn that you either don’t want to create the solution, or the solution is outside of your Zone of Fire.
This is where affiliate partnerships come into play.
When you identify a pain point, struggle, or roadblock that multiple people in your audience are currently facing, one way to still provide value and the solution without creating it yourself is to find someone else who has creating the solution.
Then, reach out to that business or individual and ask if they’d be interested in an affiliate partnership. Once you’re set up, you can recommend the solution they’ve created to your audience – and make money for doing it.
We’ve created a completely separate income stream for our business based solely off of our affiliate partnerships.
So when our audience comes to us asking for the best website host, or the best platform to build their online course on, or how we go about building funnels in our business, we have a solution to share: someone else’s product or service that we’ve set up an affiliate partnership with.
That means when we share our recommendation, we get paid if someone ends up joining.
- Best website host: Bluehost
- Best platform to build an online course: Thinkific
- How we go about building funnels in our business: ClickFunnels
These are just a few of the examples – the sky is the limit.
But always remember, it’s your responsibility as a business owner and the person recommending a product, service, or community to confirm that it meets your standards, and that you’re willing to put your personal stamp of approval on it.
For us, we only recommend products, services, or communities that we’ve tried ourselves, that we currently use ourselves, or that are created by individuals or businesses who we know, like, and trust.
Keep the Money You Make
Dave Ramsey says, “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”
Near the beginning of this chapter in The Common Path to Uncommon Success I write, “When you are living paycheck to paycheck, there’s a stress that will always be present. The first accident, blip in the economy, or unforeseen expense could cause the house of cards to topple. It feels like disaster is right around the corner, and it is.”
It’s easy to spend money. And in some cases, it can actually be easy to make money.
What’s not easy is actually finding a way to keep the money you make.
You must keep your finger on the pulse at all times. Know your numbers.
Know your profit margin.
Know your ad spend and the ROI it brings with each new launch.
Know how much time you’re spending on every project you commit to, and ask yourself “Is this worth my time?”
“There is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich.” – Marlene Dietrich
That’s the truth.
So what is true wealth to you?
All of the above?
Your Journey to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment
Financial freedom and fulfillment is within reach, and it doesn’t have to be as hard as you’re making it.
I’ve just shared a solid 17-step roadmap you can follow that will lead you to financial freedom and fulfillment, and the best part is, you can get started right now.
The Common Path to Uncommon Success is LIVE! Order you own copy today!
If you’re willing to commit to doing the work, then I’m excited to hear about your journey towards uncommon success.