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14 Ways to Go Pro in 2014

Welcome to 2014, babydoll!


I've got a question for ya:


Don't know?


I've got some ideas for you!


In today’s article I’m giving you 14 ways to become more professional in 2014.


(For those of you who haven’t been following the RBC for very long, don’t worry. Being a pro doesn’t mean being boring. Being a pro just means taking your work seriously and putting yourself first. You can absolutely have fun while doing this!)


I'm made it easy for you to step upt to the next level! Each step comes with a Profesh Tweet-firmation that you can use to make a public declaration of your comittment to success. Tweet out the declarations that you want to use in your life :)


1. Visualize yourself at the next level.


Write down everything you see. Where do you live? What tools do you have? What does your day look like from start to finish?


Tweet-firmation: Pros know where they're headed. I'm ready for the next step!


2. Get control of your social media use.


One of my biggest goals in 2014 is to stop letting social media control me. Often, while my mind wanders, I’ll open up a new browser and go to Facebook. It’s an automatic reflex! That’s why I’ve started using Self Control on the regular to block my vices: Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Tweet-firmation: Pros control social media. They don't let social media control them.


3. Start a daily writing habit.


If you run an online business, you need to become a writer, period. In order to become a better writer (and copywriter), you need to create a daily writing habit. (Psst! Even I had been slacking on this recently, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t been writing as much as you’d like).


I recently read an essay by Gretchen Rubin where she said, “As a writer, I work every single day, including weekends, holidays, and vacations. Usually I write for many hours during a day, though sometimes it might be a stint as short as fifteen minutes-- and I never skip a day. I’ve found that this kind of frequent work makes it possible to accomplish more, with greater originality, for several reasons.”


In 2014 I’m recommitting to my “morning pages”-- a daily writing exercise recommended by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. On top of that, I’ve committed myself to writing 365 articles in 2014. I won’t publish all of these articles, of course. Some of them will be absolute crap! The point is that I’m taking control of my creativity.


Tweet-firmation: Professionals have a daily writing habit. 


4. Upgrade your tools.


What kind of tools does someone at your level use? Is there a reason why they use these particular tools? I must say that purchasing my MacBook Pro in 2011 was the best decision I ever made. At the time, I wasn’t even close to being a professional, but having the best tool possible made it possible for me to step up to the next level.


Make a list of all of the tools that you’d like to have this year and make a plan to invest in them!


Tweet-firmation: Pros use pro tools. No skimping on getting what you need for your business!


5. Show up.


It’s as simple as that, my friend. If you want to make waves, you’ve got to show up every single day and get the work done. In the beginning, you have to show up even more because you still haven’t proven to yourself that you can do it. When you honor your own word and show up, you empower yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an article, going to the gym, or filing your taxes. SHOW UP.


Tweet-firmation: A pro shows up to work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 


6. Clean up your life.


A few weeks ago I was trying to book a client when I realized that my living and work spaces did not reflect the environment of someone who would have high paying clients. My desk was a mess, I hadn’t unpacked my suitcase properly, there were dirty dishes in the sink, and my bed was unmade. In an amature life this kind of stuff is fine. But in a professional life? It’s time to upgrade and clean out!


Tweet-firmation: From now on my personal + work space are totally profesh! 


7. Take care of numero uno.


This is NOT about “life balance”. I don’t believe in balance. Sometimes you’ve just got to focus more on work and sometimes your personal life comes first. I get it. But if you want to step up to the next level, it’s imperative that you take care of your basic needs. Drink your green smoothies, get enough sleep, do your yoga stretches, and spend time with family and friends. If you don’t do this, you’ll burn out. You’ll extinguish your creative flame and it will take months to get it back.


Tweet-firmation: I’m a professional, bitches, and I take care of my pro temple.


8. Upgrade your to do list/ calendar system.


I put my best thoughts on this subject into my book From Amateur to Professional, but here's the gist:

You need a master to do list and a master calendar.

This can be a physical or electronic system. I currently use a physical notebook for my to do list and Google Calendar for my calendar.

Basically, if it's not on my calendar, it's not happening.


Tweet-firmation: Pros honor their calendars. If it's not on my calendar, it's not happening.


9. Be ballsier. Or ovary-er. Whichever.


Do you want to know the BIGGEST reason why you're not at the next level yet?

You haven't done the things that someone at that level would do.

It may come from a deep, uncomfortable feeling of not being good enough. 

I think we all struggle with feelings of not being good enough at some point or another.

But it's time to be bold, baby.

It's time to take that big step forward toward your dream. You know which step I'm talking about.

(It's funny, as I was writing this the Switchfoot song "Dare You to Move" came on Pandora. If you need a little musical inspiration to get your butt moving, listen to it here).


Tweet-firmation: Pros make ballsy moves + start before they're ready.


10. Do a little profesh development.


I'm constantly reading books on psychology, marketing, and writing to improve my skills because I want to be the best in the world at what I do. 

You can create a wish list on Amazon of books in your industry that you want to read or start downloading eBooks to your e-reader. 


Tweet-firmation: Pros are always learning. I'm constantly improving my skills, yo! 


11. Hire someone.


Newslfash: By the time you feel "ready" to hire help, it's proably too late.

I'm not talking about getting a fulltime VA. Yet.

But what about hiring accounting, photography, design help?

What about hiring a business coach?

I keep a running list of "things to outsource" in my to do notebook. Basically, every time I come across a task that I DON'T WANT TO DO, I write it down in the book.


Tweet-firmation: Pros don't do everything themselves. We do what's in our zone of genius.


12. Pay for basic online services.


If you're new to the outsourcing game, a great place to start is with online services.

Currently, I pay for monthly accounts at Freshbooks and ScheduleOnce. Bookkeeping and scheduling are two things that you should not be doing by hand. Let these services take away the hassle!


Tweet-firmation: Pros pay for pro services to automate their work.


13. Get your legalities in order.


I know, I know.

This is the LAST thing you want to talk about.

In order to take your business to the next pro level, though, you need to:


  • Register your business.
  • Get contracts set up for your client and contractor agreements.
  • Set up a separate bank account. 


And I'm not joking about this. You NEED to do these three things ASAP.

Tweet-firmation: Pros have their businesses set up with contracts and separate bank accounts!


14. Surround yourself with likeminded people.

Finally, I want to leave you with this thought:
There is no better self-development tool than entrepreneurship (except maybe relationships).
You're going to realize quickly (if you haven't already) that 99% of the people in your life have NO CLUE what you do or why you do it. 
And before you chase after me with a lit torch calling me a witch, LET ME ESSPLAIN MYSELF.
I'm not suggesting that you ditch your BFFs or stop talking to your family members. 
But you DO need to protect yourself. You need to know who you can share your aspirations with and who not to.
You need to know who's on the same page as you and who isn't.
And then, you need to make it a point to find people who understand you and can lift you even higher.
Slowly, you'll start to realize that you have more and more entrepreneurial friends. It'll seem weird when you meet people who actually have to go to a normal job every day (swear to Moses). 


Tweet-firmation: Pros protect their art and surround themselves with superstars.



If you're ready to learn even more about going pro, make sure check out From Amateur to Professional. It could change your life in 2014. (Click the image to learn more).



How Ron Burgundy (amongst other things) will make you a better online writer.

It used to be that everyone wanted to be a writer, but only a few people got “lucky”.


And I’m not just talking about writing novels (I’ve never really wanted to write a novel, myself, even though I’ve loved writing since I before I even knew how to write).


I’m talking about writing articles, short stories, press releases, emails, letters, anything.


But here’s the deal, my friend.


Whether you want to write or have to get really good at it.


It’s 2014 now, and writing? It’s like, the most important skill you could have in online business because it’s how you connect with your clients + customers.


Being a great writer has almost nothing to do with passing the AP English exam or even getting a degree in English.


Being a successful business owner and writer means understanding HUMAN BEINGS.


Do you or don’t you want to get more people to read your blog posts?


Do you or don’t you want to become the next big wig in your industry?


Do you or don’t you want to convert more readers into clients?


Dear god, I hope you answered YES to those questions.


The truth is…


In order to become a successful online business, YOU HAVE TO BE OBSESSED WITH HUMAN BEINGS.


You have wonder why we do what we do…


Why we make the choices we make…


Why we seem to act in competition with our own best interests…


If you don’t care about human psychology, you should go get a number crunching or data entry job. You can’t be an entrepreneur. I’m sorry. So long!


If you are fascinated with human psychology, I want to share with you a few psychological tricks that will help you to connect faster and more authentically with your peeps.





This is why social proof and hype are big sellers.


Testimonials? They’re worth their weight in diamonds. (Tweet that).


This is especially important in online business because there’s so much noise.


Personally? I don’t care how awesome your business is. I’m probably not even going to look at your website until someone else who I trust tells me that it’s good.


Authority figures have an especially powerful influence. Just being associated with an authority figure (even outside of your industry) can have a powerful influence on your audience.


How to use this to your advantage:


  • Take testimonials seriously.  
  • Update Facebook statuses of your business with testimonials for your products + services. 
  • Collect any and every compliment you’ve ever received (you can see my “Tweetstimonials” in the right column of this page!)
  • Spend 10 minutes brainstorming everyone you’ve ever worked with. Ask them to write testimonials for you.





Again, there’s a lot of noise online and in offline life.


If you want me to buy something from you? GIVE ME A DAMN GOOD REASON TO DO IT RIGHT NOW.


Last year, I launched my book, From Amateur to Professional at a 90% discount.


This was less of a money-making venture than it was a marketing tool. I sold well over 100 copies of the book in 24 hours with a list of 500 people. That’s a 20% conversion rate (most conversion rates are less than 1%)!


Another great example of this is Black Friday in the U.S. or Boxing Day in Canada.


I don’t even like shopping, but I needed snow boots and you better bet that I made the treck to the store to buy them at 40% off on Boxing Day!


Here are my awesomesauce snow boots (which are totally necessary here in Montreal!!!):



How to use this to your advantage:

  • Tell your prospects why they need to purchase now instead of later.
  • Will there be a price increase? 
  • Is there a limited availability? (Only use this if it’s true. Don’t be a sleaze bag!)






Everyone wants to be cool. And lighten up. And be happy.


Before the movie Anchorman 2 came out, Dodge had the genius idea of having “Ron Burgundy” appear in their commercials.


Can you think of a more hilarious, light, happy character who makes you forget about the seriousness of life and have some friggin FUN?!


Guess what? Sales for Dodge increased by 59%!


(Data is according to Chrysler Group Data).


People think Ron Burgundy is cool (because he totally is). They want to be more like Ron Burgundy. Ron Burgundy is in a Dodge commercial. Hence, they get a Dodge.


The lesson here? LIGHTEN UP.


People’s brains tend to skip over information that looks familiar. It’s a way of being more efficient.




How to use this to your advantage:


  • Be more like Ron Burgundy. Don’t be afraid of cracking a joke or doing things differently than your competitors. (Tweet that!
  • You don’t have to write stuffy sales copy or create an About Page just like everyone else's.
  • In fact, do whatever you can to NOT be like everyone else.
  • When you stand out, you eliminate the competition. You become the Ron Burgundy of your industry. You win.



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