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How Creatives Can Survive in the 21st Century



Image Credit: Unsplash

Van Gogh. Everybody has heard his name and seen at least one photo of his paintings online. They probably even know about the yellow paint and the ear thing. But all of that aside, the genius of Van Gogh was that he was a true artist. He painted the world as he saw it and let the viewer experience it too.

Sadly, he wasn’t very good at business. In fact, from what I can tell he was bad at it. It’s reported that he only sold one painting in his entire life. That sucks, but the truth is we probably all know someone like that, or we are someone like that. Talented but lacking the confidence to sell our work and not have to eat ramen every night (or Kraft Dinner if you’re Canadian). 

If it makes you feel any better, I found myself in that exact situation. I like writing and I want to make a living from it. I should be out there tapping the keys until someone showers me with cash, right? Instead, I was working every other job you could think of. I was running away from my true calling. 

That’s how I found myself spending a Tuesday afternoon in a Zoom meeting watching Chris Do teach a group of people how to scale from zero. I was surprised to see over 700 people, all of whom ran their own business or wanted to start. The advice shared during the hour was practical and immediately applicable. 

The takeaway? Most creatives don’t think like business owners, and they need to start. 

How To Take Your Creative Business to the Next Level 

Obviously, there are artists, creatives, writers, and designers who have all found a way to get paid the big bucks for their work. Just look at Jeff Koons or Yayoi Kusama who have both sold millions of dollars worth of art and worked with huge brands like Louis Vuitton. They weren’t afraid to put their art on display and they also weren’t afraid of making some straight up suit and tie deals either. 

When I first met Chris Do, I was nervous and not sure what to expect. On the screen he has an air of mystery. There are moments that he comes across as cold or tough, he certainly isn’t afraid to tell you how it is. Other times he’s telling jokes and making people laugh. The biggest question I had was, why spend all this time teaching others? There are easier ways of making money. 

The truth, as I see it, is that Chris is a teacher through and through. Nobody spends hours a day giving people halfway around the world individual time and attention unless it fuels their sense of purpose. Whether we want to admit it or not, we need people like Chriss. Hell, Van Gogh needed someone like Chris, because he knows how to turn an artist into a business owner without killing the creative. 

Here’s 11 things I learned from Chris about scaling from zero: 

  • Make a list of possible services that you can offer someone regardless of how realistic it is
  • Rate each service on a scale from 1-10 based on three things: personal fulfillment, value to market, and profitability 
  • Add each column up with a maximum score of 30. What is the highest rated service? 
  • Think of your ideal customer. What do they do? What do they need? What do they want? 
  • Craft a no brainer offer, something so good they can’t refuse. (Godfather style) 
  • Complete a market audit. Who else is doing the same thing? What is their price? How are you different? 
  • Get some experience. Gain some social proof. Offer to do a job for free in exchange for a case study. 
  • Start to pitch your services to others for money. 
  • Collect client quotes as you go. 
  • Continue to work your way up in price. 
  • Under promise and overdeliver.  

That’s a pretty quick rundown of how to get started making money from your skills but it works. Most people want to feel like they’re making the right decision when giving someone their dough. It’s your job to ease their anxieties and deliver one hell of a product.

Chances are you’ll probably be a lot happier slinging your talents for cash instead of working a soul sucking call centre job… unless that’s your passion. If it is you might not have a soul to suck. 

All jokes aside, I began to see business as art form. “Pricing is a little bit science and a little bit art,” Chris said, before picking up a Batman figurine and giving everyone his best Batman impression. In this modern digital world, it might seem like everyone is living their dreams, making money online, and living on the beach. You might see other creatives and wonder how they’re able to support themselves. Why are you, the starving artist, living in a van down by the river? And why is Chris Farley there with you? 

All I know is that the man behind The Futur knows a thing or two about turning art into business and business into art. He helps the dreamers, and he certainly helps the doers. Let this be the mindset shift you need to get started, take action, and become addicted to success. 

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Success Advice

19 Common Characteristics All Visionary Leaders Have



visionary leadership qualities

When you look at business leaders like Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Sir Richard Branson, and philosophers like Bertrand Russell, Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, David Bohm,  C. S. Peirce and inventors like Nikola Tesla, Paolo Soleri, Harvey W. Bailey, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Wright brothers and political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Aung San Suu Kyi, it becomes very clear that they are all connected through one leadership—visionary leadership. (more…)

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Success Advice

Wealth Lessons Everyone Should Hear for Every Stage of Your Life

Do you have the courage to rewrite your story?



what i would tell my younger self

Do you see what I see? Likely not, as we each see ourselves through the lens of our own story. (more…)

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How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers



how to choose the best affiliate programs for your blog

Picking the right affiliate programs for your blog is really important. It can make a big difference in how much money you can make and how much your readers get out of your blog. With so many choices out there, deciding which ones to go with can be tricky. 

This guide is here to make it easier for you. It will give you clear steps and helpful tips to choose affiliate programs that fit well with what your blog is about, what your readers like, and what you stand for. 

For more articles on this theme, please head over to this blog

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Before you start picking affiliate programs, it’s important to really understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works. 

Basically, affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service on your blog, and then you get paid a little bit every time someone buys something or does something because you recommended it. 

It’s great for both the person selling the product and the blogger, because the seller gets more sales with low risk, and the blogger can make money from their blog.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

1. Assess Your Niche and Audience

The key to doing well in affiliate marketing starts with really knowing what your blog is about and who reads it. Consider the following:

  • Your blog’s content: What topics do you cover? Ensure the products or services you promote are relevant.
  • Your audience’s interests and needs: What solutions are they seeking? Choose affiliate programs that offer products or services that solve their problems or enhance their lives.

2. Research Potential Affiliate Programs

Once you know what your blog is about and what your readers want, start looking for affiliate programs. Choose ones that are well-known for good products, great customer service, and helpful support for affiliates. Resources to find these programs include:

  • Affiliate networks like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and ClickBank.
  • Direct searches for “[Your Niche] affiliate programs” in search engines.
  • Recommendations from other bloggers in your niche.

3. Evaluate the Commission Structure

The commission structure is a critical factor to consider. Look for programs that offer competitive rates that make your efforts worthwhile. Consider:

  • The percentage of commission per sale.
  • Whether the program offers a flat rate per action (e.g., per sign-up).
  • The cookie duration, which affects how long after a click you can earn commissions on sales.

4. Consider the Program’s Reputation and Sureness

Join affiliate programs with a solid reputation for quality and sureness. This not only ensures that you’re promoting good products but also that you’ll be paid on time. You can:

  • Read reviews from other affiliates.
  • Check the program’s history and background.
  • Look for any complaints or issues reported online.

5. Analyze the Support and Resources Offered

A good affiliate program gives you things like ads to use, training on their products, and helpful managers. Having access to these resources can really help you do a better job at promoting their products.

6. Understand the Terms and Conditions

Before signing up, thoroughly review the program’s terms and conditions. Pay close attention to:

  • Payment thresholds and methods.
  • Any restrictions on how you can promote their products.
  • The program’s policy on affiliate marketing on social media platforms.

7. Test the Product or Service

If possible, test the product or service before promoting it. This firsthand experience allows you to offer genuine charge and build trust with your audience.

8. Look for Recurring Commission Opportunities

Some affiliate programs pay you again and again for subscriptions or services that charge fees regularly. These can provide a more stable income compared to one-time sales commissions.

Implementing Your Choice

After choosing the best affiliate programs, the next step is to smoothly include your affiliate marketing in your content plan. This includes:

  • Creating valuable content that naturally incorporates affiliate links.
  • Disclosing your affiliate affairs transparently to maintain trust with your audience.
  • Tracking your results to understand what works best for your audience and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Picking the best affiliate programs for your blog involves careful planning, research, and making sure they match what your audience likes and needs. 

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers. 

The real key to doing well with affiliate marketing isn’t just about the products you talk about, but also how much your audience trusts and values your advice. 

With enough time, patience, and hard work, your blog can grow into a successful space that earns a good amount of affiliate money and helps your readers choose the right products.

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Success Advice

The Power of Ethical Leadership: How Integrity Drives Success

By leading with integrity and ethics, leaders create an environment where employees feel excited to come to work



Ethical leadership

What differentiates a positive organizational culture that enjoys a clean reputation and long-term success from a toxic culture drowning in scandals, mistrust, and legal fines?  (more…)

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