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Outsmart the Hustle

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Six weeks ago I was sitting at the Pioneer Nation event in Portland, OR, wondering what bits of wisdom or knowledge that I would walk away with. It’s always my intention to gain insights, new friends, and new ideas from events like this. But this time I was looking for something more. Something specific and actionable that I could start right away. Something that would have an immediate impact on me and the direction of my business.

Finding clarity.

There I was sitting in the fourth row listening to Shenee Howard talk about her frustration with clients, being busy but not making any real progress, and still feeling broke. These sounded like the typical frustrations of many early stage solopreneurs.

But then Shenee offered a unique solution to her business problems. She called her solution The 100 People Project. She spoke about leaving the comfort and safety of her computer screen and reaching out to connect with people in the real world. As in meeting them face-to-face or on Skype.

Imagine the novelty of ditching Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in favor of having real conversations with real people. This alone was enough to grab my attention.

Shenee went on to describe how she had decided to stop trying to guess what people needed and instead go talk to new people every day and hear their ambitions and frustrations.

And three months later she had talked to 100 people about what THEY needed and wanted.

And you know what she got from these discussions? Clarity.

She now understood…

  • Who she wanted to work with and how she wanted to work with them.
  • Exactly what people needed and how to give it to them.
  • How she could serve others in a way that she could have never thought of on her own.

This was all I needed to hear.

Shenee had connected with me on an idea that was so simple yet so profound.

I had been diligently working to build my platform and engage with my coaching clients for nearly 8 months and while I was getting results, I realized that there was room for improvement. Something needed to shift.

So I decided right then that I wanted to get out and meet people face-to-face.

I no longer wanted to guess what people wanted and needed. I wanted to hear their stories and understand the struggles and obstacles that people were facing as they contemplated doing meaningful work, leaving unfulfilling jobs, and making their ideas soar.

That’s when the People First Project was born. This will be my journey of hearing what people need and serving them in any way that I can.

The journey so far has been nothing short of remarkable.

Even though I’m just getting started, I feel like I’ve gained so much from the first 10 discussions. I’ve spoken with coaches, consultants, moms, photographers, writers, marketing experts, artists, yoga teachers, solopreneurs, and aspiring business builders.

Every single one of them has a world changing idea brewing or in the making. So much talent. So much desire. So much heart. All coming alive. All this from just 10 conversations.

So what have I learned so far?

I’ve learned that we all want to be heard. We all want to make a difference. And we all want to be recognized for our brilliance.

And…we all get in our own way. We all have doubts and fears. We all second-guess ourselves. And we all feel overwhelmed about how to get our ideas off the ground.

I am so incredibly inspired by this amazing journey and a deeper understanding of the wonderful friends that I’ve encountered. And I know one thing for sure. I am 100% dedicated to speaking with 100 people about their ideas, frustrations, and obstacles and helping them in any way that I can.

My journey with this project is much like the journey of any entrepreneur. We take that first step because it just feels right. We may not totally understand the reason or see the entire picture but we trust that something greater is unfolding before us. And then we step forward.

I ‘m so excited about the remaining 90 discussions and I look forward to sharing the results along the way.

Onward.

Michael

P.S. Contact me if you are interested or inspired to be part of this project. 

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