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He was a 52-year-old investment banker who visited Costa Rica for a few months about two years ago.
Given Horace and Santiago’s timing in the past 12 hours, I figured now was the right time to share this big news with you.
A little over five years ago, I started an investment business with Mike, one of my closest friends from high school and study abroad.
Then, on December 31st, 2013, after five years of blood, sweat, tears, excitement and fun (there were plenty of all), we closed the doors on Cumbre Capital Partners and returned all money to investors.
This also happens to be the first part of my annual planning process – Creating Insane Focus. I’ll share more of my process next week (including my biggest and most painful lessons from 2013).
As all of our investors now know, after much discussion between the two of us and our advisors, we decided that Q3 2013 would be the last quarter of operations for Cumbre Capital. While the decision to close the fund was a difficult one, we could not be more excited about things to come. We are returning capital because we have other opportunities that require and deserve more of our attention, and we feel that it is in the best interests of our investors and ourselves to focus on one opportunity at a time. This was not an easy decision, so today we would like to take a few minutes to further explain our decision, recap our experience, and fill you in on what’s ahead. In 2009, we started Cumbre with the vision of providing investors with access to the investment principles laid out by Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham in the 1950’s and 60’s.
We also felt strongly about structuring the partnership in a way that fully aligned our interests with the interests of our partners. For those interested, here is a PDF excerpt from the book Of Permanent Value – The Story of Warren Buffett by Andrew Kilpatrick. While the decision to close the fund was a difficult one, we are both eager to pursue emerging business opportunities that now warrant our full-time attention.
At the time we launched Cumbre, panic was widespread and business prices were comfortably below reasonable estimates of intrinsic value.
Scott is developing a web business, Live Your Legend, dedicated to helping people find and do work that they love by offering online and in-person courses and workshops.
Mike and a partner are building a billboard development and advertising company, Mesa Outdoor. When we began experimenting with these business ideas, we did not imagine the growth potential they now offer. While running Cumbre over the past five years has taught us a tremendous amount, possibly the biggest lesson has been that we are meant to be business operators rather than investment managers. As operators of these businesses, we are able to take a more active role and deterministically influence the future as we build our visions.
We fully believe in the Buffett-Graham value investing approach and will continue to think about the world and approach our investments from this perspective. To be clear, the decision to close Cumbre has nothing to do with our confidence in the Buffett-Graham long-term strategy.
The companies Cumbre has invested in are still good businesses with sound economics, useful products and loyal customers, and we plan to keep personal investments in some of them going forward. But you can be sure that while we won’t be running Cumbre in the years to come, we will be diligent value investors for the rest of our lives. It’s also important to mention that we feel that our respective new businesses are doing more good for society than what we could do in money management.
For us, the most important thing is to constantly be creating, building and moving forward so we can take an active approach to our careers and the world.
With that said, we wanted to share a quote with you that seems especially fitting in this time of transition and possibility.
And given that most of you are entrepreneurs, founders, managers, and operators, something tells us you might relate especially well to it.
It’s an excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Citizenship In A Republic” speech, delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. On June 12th, 2005, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc., gave a commencement speech to the graduating class at Stanford University. And as it turns out, we appear to have ended up exactly where it feels like we’re supposed to be.
If you would like help in deciding what to do with your funds after you receive them from Cumbre, we’d be happy to have those conversations on a person-by-person basis so we can hear your goals and perhaps point you toward other money managers we respect and plan to invest with ourselves. One of them is Farnam Street Investments, run by Jake Taylor and Lonnie Rush, who also founded the value investing course for UC Davis’ MBA program.
Just because our official Cumbre relationship has come to a close does not at all mean our friendships need to do the same. We’re excited for the new ideas and discussions to come. They’ve been our favorite memories of the past few years.
To keep it intimate, we only let in a small group of people and so far it has sold out every time.
Imagine you’re eight years old and your third grade teacher tells you, “You won’t amount to much in life. Maybe you have had someone in your life like that, who told you to dream smaller, who said you weren’t good enough, or perhaps that you simply would never be good at a particular thing: whether that was academia, sports, speaking, creativity, spelling, math, drama or any other skill. As little children we lack the self-awareness to separate ourselves from the stories we get told and we unknowingly accept them as truth. This week get ready to be fired up, pumped up and inspired beyond belief by Mike’s transformation and learn how he overcame this debilitating story of being labelled ‘below average’ to today believing he can take on any challenge thrown his way. His journey spans thirty years from having almost zero confidence in himself in his younger years, to today running his own wellness coaching business, hosting fit camps across the United States, and transitioning from office-based to location independent at his day job in sales – which brings him the kind of choice and freedom most dream about!
He’s also a runner, marathoner, ultra marathoner, men’s physique competitor, Fit Camp leader, Live Your Legend Local Host, Connect With Anyone Graduate, and easily one of the most inspired people we know! Everyone I knew was working a 9-5 job for corporate America and had no desire to explore doing work that they loved and mattered to them. Mike then started to realize he wanted to create an online community of his own, an online business, and something where he could help people feel and live their best regardless of where they lived. Mike decided to take his first LYL course, How to Connect with Anyone, and joined one of the mastermind groups where he got access to group coaching.
It was during this experience that Mike developed what he calls a ‘winning mindset’ and where he connected powerfully with people like Chris Brogan, Sean Ogle, Chris Guillebeau, John Lee Dumas, Keith Ferrazzi, and many others. Join us in this highly charged interview with Mike as we get very real about what it took for him to make his impact on the world and finally live his legend. He surrounded himself with like-minded and positive people who could help him along his journey and took lots of imperfect action to boost his confidence! Just like Alyssa, Matias, Ben and Ellen did. Walking through the doors and into his cubicle that felt cold, impersonal, and just not ‘him’. Having just moved to a new city he didn’t know anyone other than the people he worked with at his sales job.
Plus I never actually thought that I had what it took to create the business and life I wanted for myself. I had never stopped to take a look and seriously consider what I had done and was doing until that moment. I flashed back to countless other moments where I had achieved and just thought nothing of it. I’ve always felt, even to this day, that all the content and messages from LYL are written specifically for me. Because of this and because of the huge trust I developed in Scott and all the community did and stood for, I felt like I could trust the suggestions, recommendations, and advice on what to do and how to move forward to begin doing more of the work I loved and couldn’t not do. I believed its messages, the philosophies and ideas shared and because of this, I decided to make moves based on what I read and the suggestions that were made through all of the free tools and resources I received weekly from LYL. Where I was once afraid and hesitant to make a move, to take a step that would get me closer to my goals and dreams of what I knew I wanted for myself, the weekly encouragement, support and motivation I received from LYL changed it all for me. I knew I was a passionate and positive person who wanted to help and make a difference but it was frustrating to have this feeling of wanting to do something I was excited about and believe in but having no idea where and how to begin!
I had a few ideas for what I wanted to do but because I had no idea where to begin, I just decided to do nothing for a while.
My next biggest challenge was not having anyone I knew that was also looking to do what I wanted to do.
Trying to find the courage to reach out to others whose work I admired and respected, who I would love to connect with in any capacity and learn from, but thinking “Who am I to reach out to this person, what do I have to offer, and why would they even respond to me? Although I still have my 9-5 sales job, these days it’s by choice and I’ve been able to redefine my role and structure my position in a way where I am location independent; meaning, no more office to go into! I created The Wellness Bucket – A place where I can offer valuable and easy-to-understand health and exercise advice and information for people looking to improve their health and ultimately their lives.
I write regularly for my blog and I have created over 100 exercise and motivational videos. Because of LYL, I discovered other tools and resources as well as other people and communities doing what I wanted to do. There were many LYL articles and course materials in Connect With Anyone that also challenged me to put myself out there and connect with others that I might not otherwise have done or have had the courage to do if it were not for the encouragement and motivation I received from Scott and the rest of the LYL community. Another thing that it’s done for me (and I believe will forever pay dividends) is that it gave me confidence. Live Your Legend Local was another catalyst for me to begin to reach out and connect with people who also believed in what I believed, in finding and doing work that mattered, that excited me and inspired others. After attending a few LYLL meet-ups and realizing the impact such a group was having on me, I decided to step up and become a host myself. Because of LYL and the resources I received, I began to believe that I too had value and could help others including those whose work I admired and respected. The full transition to creating my wellness business while continuing to juggle a full-time job took 1-2 years.
Now I absolutely LOVE getting up in the morning and am constantly filled with excitement thinking about all that I want to do and create in the world.
The only problem I have now is I don’t want to go to bed at night because I am too excited with all I am doing and creating that I seriously don’t want to stop, not even to sleep! I get emails daily from people either asking me for advice or thanking me for my work and sharing vivid and detailed stories of how their lives have changed because of either something I created or the work they’ve done with me via wellness coaching.
I get to work from wherever I want and also get to spend lots more time with my girlfriend Kristen.
I also spend lots of time connecting with a few communities and mastermind groups that I either lead or am a part of. One of the coolest things to see is others also taking action, reaching out to me and asking for guidance and support the same way I did when I reached out to Scott. A huge thanks to Mike for sharing his story and we can’t wait to hear from more of you out there making your unique imprint on the world!
Connect with Mike and learn more here. You can also download Mike’s free 15 minute workout mentioned in the interview. And for the comments… Mike is happy to answer your questions, so please post some good ones below! We believe that the world would be an altogether different place if we all did work that actually mattered to us. We, this site, you – all of us are here to lead a revolution of people doing work they love. Don’t be mistaken, living your legend often takes massive effort to make the transition. You need a tight community of people who actually understand you – to inspire and support your big ideas.
What we’re doing here is not for everyone, but if this strikes a chord, then come join us and the hundreds of thousands of other readers already committed to doing all they can with this one very short life. In October of 2012, Scott Dinsmore, the founder of Live Your Legend, was asked to give a TEDx talk at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on How to Find & Do Work You Love.
It also covers our proprietary Passionate Work Framework, a surprisingly simple 3-step process that Scott learned from his 10+ years of interviewing and researching thousands of people doing work that mattered.
LEGEND: Something remarkable and noteworthy, however big or small, that somehow changes the world.
Over a decade of research led him to create a process for making discoveries about what lit him up and for finding and doing work he loved.
Unfortunately, he was in a tragic accident in September 2015 and I have since stepped in to carry on the message and mission of Live Your Legend. As I lost the love of my life at an all too early age, one of the only things that has given me comfort while dealing with this tragedy is knowing that Scott lived his life with purpose. So while I stood by Scott’s mission while he was on this planet, I have never believed more strongly in it than I do now. Given my experience, I definitely have a unique perspective on how important it is to spend your time in a way that matters, not only for yourself but for those you love. We can all do work we love, we just have to understand ourselves first – and create the proper surroundings. Over the years of building Live Your Legend, Scott put together and incredible team, who continue to help me with this mission today. Scott laid the foundation for Live Your Legend and many of the words and videos you see on this site come from him and his unbelievable passion for helping others.
It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we write to let you know that the incredible Scott Dinsmore has sadly passed away after being hit by falling rocks while nearing the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
As we all grapple with this devastating news and heartbreak, we can take some comfort in this amazing community Scott has created.
As you all know, Scott was out there living his dream and truly lived each day without regret. Together we can carry his spirit in our hearts and more than that, keep on taking massive action to live our own passions, to do work that matters, to live life to the fullest, to support each other in community, and to be that change he embodied.
Our primary concern right now is ensuring that Chelsea and the Dinsmore family have the privacy and space to grieve. Because if we could learn how to lead our own mini (or full-scale) revolutions, that’s when we begin to define what it means to live our legends. You see, for the last couple of years Jonathan has studied the world’s political revolutions (and revolutionaries). Gene is the world’s leading expert on non-violent resistance, and his books and tools have been behind almost every political revolution and regime change in the past three decades.
Because Jonathan knew that if we could harness these types of revolution dynamics, we could tap into some pretty unbelievable possibilities. And even more importantly, you get to empower mass numbers of people to create their own new realities.
And I’m going to tell you exactly how Live Your Legend has applied every step along the way. The 18-Step System: Tap Revolution Dynamics to Fuel Rapid Business Growth, Build an Army of Evangelists and Change the Damn World!
And how LYL applied each step to launch its own Revolution of over 50,000 Living Legends from every country in the world. To the point of a leader not having to be out on stage prancing around all the time, I have lead the majority of the LYL Revolution from my desk in my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. How LYL did it: This started with The 17 Habits of People Who Change the World, which I published a week after launching Live Your Legend. How LYL is doing it: Our big, crazy dream is that one day that tragic statistic will be flipped on its head. Instead of 80% of people hating their jobs, we want to see 80% or more loving the work they do! I only created it because thousands of you directly asked for it, and you told me specifically what you wanted it to include. This is where everything comes together: Away From + Unifying Beliefs + Toward + Resonant Story.
My TEDx has turned out to be the single most powerful thing I’ve done in the history of my career, and certainly this revolution.
We have a long step-by-step process of how people can engage and build commitment to the cause.
Continue to bring your community closer and closer together – online, and better yet, in the real world.
How LYL is doing it: After polling hundreds of our members, we named our movement here The Revolution and decided our members should be called Living Legends. How LYL is doing it: We provide all kinds of tools in our Passionate Work Toolkit and Live Event Field Kit to give our community all they need to be their own leader.
What kinds of people, money, roles, social capital, key influencers and co-ownership will help put your revolution on steroids? How LYL is doing it: Surroundings, environment and connection is at the core of everything we do. On January 7th, we’re hosting our first same-day global meetup, where living legends will host LYL meetups in their hometowns all over the world. And we’re giving these hosts every tool and ounce of support from the LYL HQ as possible. Reach a point were the growth of the revolution becomes self-fulfilling and auto-renewing – like rolling a snowball down a long hill with fresh snow. But be sure you set up systems so you can keep the momentum while also maintaining the brand, message and core idea and values.
Our world is starved for connection, for community and for a group of people who also believe that the world could be different.
If each of us doesn’t find a community that believes in the same change and possibility that we do, then that belief begins to die.

That makes it all but a given that you’ll find and do the work that makes you come alive. That you start using your life to do things that matter – not just to you but to everyone around you. All I care about is that you make the decision to get behind an idea you deeply believe in, and create some real change – both for you and those around you.
At the beginning of last year I had a goal of making $1,000 from Live Your Legend in one 30-day period by the end of 2011. Instead, by the end of 2011 this website had made enough money to support a pretty nice existence in San Francisco. But before I even knew who Corbett (or many of my other current online friends and mentors) were, I stumbled upon Jonathan Mead’s work at Illuminated Mind. He was one of the first guys I followed online and he soon became my biggest model – the guy I tried to learn everything from and model my business off his approach. While Corbett guided me to creating a successful blog, Jonathan helped me to build that blog into a business. If you notice, every one of the above comes back to doing things for others in one way or another.
If you can find a way to help someone with a specific problem (the more specific, the better), the more likely a reader is going to be willing to take the leap from consuming free content to using their credit card to take it a step further. Below are the key product offerings I’ve focused on for turning Living Your Legend into a full-blown business. For the most part coaching involves helping someone one-on-one (or in groups) with a specific topic related to your core message and way of helping others. They hire me to step them through the process of better understanding themselves and finding work they are genuinely passionate about. If you find the right match between what you know incredibly well (and likely take for granted) and a person who desperately wants to learn what you know, there is a meaningful exchange of value. And by far the best part about coaching is how incredibly rewarding it is to help someone make massive transformation in their life. Anytime you are trading an hour of your time for a fixed amount of income, you are going to face the very big problem of scarce resources. I only have so many hours in the day and coaching is not the only thing I want to focus on. Don’t underestimate how exhausting it can be to spend your life trading hours for dollars. The majority of my consulting this year has been for small businesses and solopreneurs who have wanted to learn how to build a successful blog and online presence and how to understand the role that new-age media and technology can play in their business. And much worse than that, is the fact that usually you are consulting on something that you happen to be good at and know really well, but not something that is your true passion. Simply put this is getting paid a commission for selling someone else’s product to your audience.
Since most online products are completely digital, the marginal cost to produce another unit is basically zero. If you follow the above three points and find a really solid fit for your audience, you can make some serious money doing this. Also, for every bit of energy you put into promoting someone else, it’s energy you could be putting into building your own product.
Bottom Line: Affiliates are a great way to start making money right from the get go and learn what customers want.
I was told this for years from guys like Jonathan Mead, Corbett Barr and Leo Babauta, yet it took me until three months ago to finally pull the trigger.
Live Off Your Passion dwarfed all my other income streams in a matter of days after the launch. When it comes to products, you can create just about anything from simple ebooks to full courses or memberships.
The best part about all this is that you can figure out exactly what people what you to create (and what they are willing to pay you for) before even day one of creating the product. With creating or publishing your own product also comes a new level of credibility and respect for your own brand. As with everything, it’s a function of how hard you work for it and how badly you want it.
But remember, all of the above is a complete waste of time if you aren’t passionately dedicated to helping people. There must be a million ways to make money online by now – or at least enough to have just about every option imaginable. As inspiring as each of the above and the countless other options may be, the only way to be sure you can experiment with them all, is to start with one and only one.
Now they all come together to make a business I never could have dreamed of until a couple years ago. In fact he’s developed a system for uncovering this for each of the people he works with. If you want to build your passion into an online offer the world actually needs (and wants), you need to know the steps required to make it reality. You absolutely must spend your time around people who know it can be done – who have actually done it.
Announcing LYL LOCAL Meetups: 142 Cities in 44 Countries all on Jan 7th – Sign Up Today! I see the core focus of Live Your Legend as being quite simple: Bring inspiring people together to help each other do work they love and change the world. If we can do this online and in the real world, we can start to create more change and possibility than any single activity.
And as a result we now have over 200 Hosts in 142 cities in 44 countries who will be hosting their own local meetups all over the world, on the same day, on January 7, 2014. On January 7th, we are hosting our first same-day global meetup, and it’s going to be an absolute party. What if there were a place where anyone could go to find passionate and inspiring people in their local community, anywhere in the world, who believed in the same values and possibilities, and could help each other succeed in doing work that matters – both to you and to the world? And imagine if that group met at least every month to discuss and build upon their big ideas.
The fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to hang around people already doing them.
Our goal is to help you find and do work that makes you come alive – by surrounding yourself with the people who make it possible. In a world of never-ending online “connections” and friend requests, true friends are becoming fewer and farther between. The Internet has allowed us to connect with amazing individuals from all over the world, but we sometimes forget or undervalue the power of sitting in the same room with a living, breathing person.
As we described in our recent conversations with you, we have already wired the Q3 2013 ending value of your investment to the account you specified. It made such an impression that we’ve tried to make all our career decisions with these words front of mind. Their approach is the most effective investment strategy that we can understand and the only one we’d be willing to stake our money and our reputation on. That’s why we refused to charge management fees, and instead opted to be paid only when we delivered exceptional performance.
We continue to feel that this pay-for-performance fee structure should be the rule, not the exception, in the money management industry, and we encourage you to seek out a similar structure when you place your funds with another manager.
The section is titled the “Young and The Brave”, which is a profile on the two of us and our plans to build Cumbre as we launched during the darkest time of our investing careers. While Cumbre has been far and away our core focus over the past five years, in the last few months, our other business development projects have grown to the point where we believe they deserve our full attention. He is focusing his work on helping young people identify their talents and passions and assisting them in creating or finding career paths to leverage these interests and strengths.
They are dedicated to helping small businesses get the visibility they need to grow and succeed by building billboards and offering advertising along the highways in northern and southern California. Recently, it’s become clear that our respective skills and strengths will be better applied to the world in building hands-on businesses, as opposed to making passive investments in publicly listed companies. In fact, these same principles apply to our current businesses – finding attractive risk reward opportunities to put capital to work. We still believe it to be the most productive and low-risk way to invest in the public stock market. But you have trusted us with your hard-earned savings, which we greatly respect, and that responsibility deserves our full-time attention, which we can no longer provide given our other ventures. Live Your Legend is inspiring people to spend their time doing work that excites them by making their unique impact in the world, and Mesa is helping small businesses drive the foot traffic they need to survive and provide goods and services for their local communities.
We wanted to build something that helped people in a meaningful way, allowed us to do exciting work, and made some type of bigger impact on the world.
We are proud of what we have all built together and the people we’ve been able to surround yourselves with – as well as the 48% net return we produced for our investors since our January 1, 2009 inception. While less than 1% of managers operate in the same investor-aligned structure as Cumbre, we are thankful to know a few of them closely. They manage investments with the same strategy and values as we did with Cumbre, and we have traded ideas and shared trips to Omaha with them for years. And as always, if there is any way we might be able to help, or if you would like to trade ideas on something, please do not hesitate to reach out. We look forward staying connected as we all continue to build out projects, trade ideas and support each other in the center of the arena. To kick off our new year of focus, on February 10th, we’ll be opening our private How to Connect With Anyone course and community to our next crop of students. He spent most of his time either fantasizing about all he wanted to do and create or reading about others who were already doing it and learning what they suggested to get started. But he had zero idea what that looked like, where to begin, who to ask for help, or if it was even possible!
But most of all, it was where he started to build back up his confidence that was so badly crushed during his important formative years as an eight year old boy.
Not only did I realize pretty fast that the job sucked the life out of me and that I wanted out, but it was made more challenging because I didn’t know anyone else who was looking to do and create what I was looking to do and create. I was afraid to make a move, afraid of doing the wrong thing, of failing, and of what others might think of me for even trying! I just thought I was average and no different than anyone else who wants these things and that’s as far as I was going to get. I realized I did have what it took to make a move, to move forward, to go for what I wanted, that I was good enough, smart enough and so much better than I ever gave myself credit for. It’s the same advice I was already offering my friends and family on a regularly basis, it’s just now I share my ideas, thoughts, and suggestions with the world.
I also offer health webinars, 30 day fitness challenges, weight loss workshops, Fitcamps (I hosted the first ever WDS Fitcamp for attendees and got over 100 registrations), and private wellness coaching.
Confidence to reach out to people, to introduce myself and offer suggestions and support on ways in which I may be able to help and serve them.
The monthly meet-ups provided me the opportunity to connect with others, people who up until this day I am still friends with, who I’ve collaborated with on different projects, and who I am currently in a mastermind group with. I began to believe that I could help make a difference in their lives by helping and supporting them with my strengths and talents. Plus the new and different ways I can help make a positive difference in the lives of others doing what I love, work that truly does matter to me. Either for my wellness coaching, podcast interviews, new opportunities or conversations to collaborate with others on different projects. Because of the actions I am taking, the work I am doing, work that I can’t not do, others are also taking action and beginning down that same path, either in search or doing work that matters to them because they see me doing it and they too want to do the same. We will be opening the doors to the How to Connect With Anyone course again in a few months! Because when we focus our time and talents on the work that means something to us, it starts to matter to those around us as well. You’re going to ask yourself some tough questions with even more challenging answers. We’re constantly learning, reading, traveling, exploring, connecting with others and testing everything under the sun, from rapid ultra-marathon preparation to side-hustle business prototypes and creating instant physical rapport. This is not a journey fit for the solo traveler. There are other people who see the world the same way.
After reading one of the passages, he looked out to the stream and, among some of the most vast wildernesses in the world, realized we are all here to live our own legend.
He truly lived more in his 33 years than most do in a lifetime, and there is some peace in that. The greatest gift he gave me was to live his life with intention – doing what he loved with those he loved each and every day. You’ll also be hearing from the trusted people behind Live Your Legend who are motivated and driven to keep the mission moving forward. We are only as strong as those that support us and we’ve got a wonderful team that is supported by an unbelievable community – you! To give us a better feel for how we can help you, be sure to download our free Passionate Work Toolkit and join our community. He was traveling with his wife, Chelsea, who is uninjured and has safely returned to the United States. It will take about 20 minutes to read, and is meant to provide a roadmap for making your own impact. More specifically, he’s deeply studied the work of Gene Sharp, the 85-year-old, three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author of a dozen books, including From Dictatorship to Democracy. His tools are so effective that if you get caught with his book in Burma, you go to jail for seven years.
And the cool thing was that since he’d taught so much of it to me as a friend and mentor over the past two years, Live Your Legend has followed almost every step of his framework almost to a T. I named them, described what they looked like, what they did for fun, what their main frustrations were and on and on. It’s a radical take, applying community, shared suffering and refreshed thinking to fitness.
I had an idea and belief, and I did everything I could to share it with the world and get those who cared about it on board. This could be naturally a occurring event such as new dieting research or a natural disaster. I worked like crazy to write on blogs and sites all over the web to help spread our message during launch.
I worked for a big corporation that was sucking the life out of me, doing monkey work and wasting my life away. What would the world look like if the great majority spent their time on work and projects that made them come alive? I create everything on this site to help take you from what is to what could be – to help you live your own legend. The goal is to disintegrate the Dictator, to remove oppression, and in its place, build the new reality. My goal in giving that talk was for it to be the most powerful manifesto and rallying cry for our revolution that I was capable of giving. And always give them a chance to allow others to join the revolution and start their own path towards leadership. Community and connection has been at the foundation since the very beginning – with blog comments, Facebook groups, private forums, our Connect with Anyone course and our local in-person meetups.
Start by reading our mountains of free content, then subscribing to email updates, joining one of our free private communities, purchasing a course and most recently becoming a Live Your Legend LOCAL Host & Ambassador in their hometown, making them as much the leader as me or anyone else. And much more importantly (especially for sustained revolution), leverage the power of small groups. I’ve even hired a developer to create a totally custom app so our whole community can find a meetup closest to them and provide a community (both online and in-person) for them to meet and connect with other passionate and inspiring people in their hometown. Use stories and social currency (people wanting to help others by introducing them to your tools).
And while this revolution is far from having reached its capacity, lately I’ve felt the tipping point getting closer and closer, especially as January 7th starts to approach. To not only show you what’s possible, but to provide the community and resources that make that possibility a near certainty. Yet he had also figured out a way to help others build their passion into an online business. Sure, you can write about world travel or knitting or doing work that matters until you’re blue in the face, but what about putting food on the table?
I’ve listed them in the order of which I began offering them and included the good, the bad and the % of my income for each. This is for the people who come to your site for its primary message but want some serious 1-on-1 guidance and more of a personal advocate to get results.
My rates have ranged from $120-$175 for an hour of coaching work (I got to this rate by seeing what other mentors were charging and then testing the waters a bit).
My belief is that just about anyone in the world, who’s been on earth for a couple decades, can find a way to charge for coaching services.
It’s also a perfect place to start because you will learn very specific problems your readers are having and as you work with them, you will develop solutions that will no doubt be able to help many more readers. This has always been a dream of mine and the things I’ve experienced with clients this year have been nothing short of amazing. When I first crunched the numbers on coaching I thought I could make a killing – all I had to do was add more clients.

Also, when income only comes in when you are on Skype or the phone, it makes it very difficult to make money while away from the office, traveling and playing. That exchange in value can be more than worth it for both sides if you give the absolute best of your services to them and they agree to pay a fair price to receive them. You partially avoid this by doing fixed fee projects, but still, you are only getting paid if you do the work. That’s huge because it allows the creators of these products to offer a commission anywhere from 30% to as high as 75% or more. Just recently I offered an affiliate product from a close friend who does amazing work, and it brought in nearly $4,000 for Live Your Legend in just four days. He reports his site’s income on a monthly basis and makes anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 or more per month with carefully selected affiliate products. That damages your brand and will create the exact reputation you don’t want over time.
Its scalability and income potential can be very attractive, but don’t sacrifice your reputation for a few extra bucks.
You created your site to help people with something you are uniquely good at and especially passionate about.
I didn’t launch it until mid November, 2011, and it still made up over 65% of my 2011 income. I took Jonathan’s advice, which I highly recommend, and decided to create something much bigger than an eBook and instead made a full self-study course complete with 200+ pages of content, 72 pages of workbook exercises, 14 Expert Video Interviews and all kinds of bonuses. Within weeks of launching Live Off Your Passion, I had no fewer than a dozen offers from others entrepreneurs for me to partner on things. Although the sooner you create it, the sooner your new and growing community of followers will have a chance to buy it.
I see this as the ultimate goal and the faster you can start doing this, the faster you have a significant and scalable online business. Those three areas are everything that have allowed Live Your Legend to put food on the table and even make some money while I’ve been out on the occasional beach (literally and figuratively). I picked four and thanks to the guidance of Jonathan and a few others, those four have made all the difference.
To ensure that you constantly spin your tires trying to monetize a passion yet never get off the ground? I stumbled up Jonathan Mead and his work at Illuminated Mind, and he was kind enough to not only lead by example but to coach and mentor me (mostly for free) on how to nail my unique online offering.
And something that’s terribly underserved in a world obsessed with online connection and social networks.
And there is no better way to genuinely and naturally connect with passionate, inspiring people than meeting them in the real world.
Those connections are essential, especially when you’re on the road less traveled – as all of us are! Recent growth in the Live Your Legend community now touches people in every country in the world. To date they have built and operated over a dozen signs, and they recently got approval for two more top-flight development projects that have dramatically changed their growth trajectory.
We’re simply not willing to compromise our values and reputations – and your capital – in order to keep multiple businesses going. Thanks to your support and our experience, our belief of what’s possible has been transformed. This is your permission to say no to one thing so you can say hell yes to what you know really matters. In addition to early priority access, you’ll get some fun free connection tools to go along with it.
He would work his full-time job all day, come home, read more, go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again the next day. He finally realized he did have what it took to make a move forward and go for what he wanted, that he was good enough, smart enough and so much better than he ever gave himself credit for!
It wasn’t until I took the Connect With Anyone course and had a coaching call with Leah that I had an ‘aha’ moment that changed my mindset and direction of my life ever since. I felt like Scott knew exactly what I was feeling and going through, like he understood me and just ‘got it’.
In fact, I’ve recently returned from Medellin, Colombia where I spent a month living there with my girlfriend and two of our close friends. Because of this increase in confidence, I now have friends I can call on for advice, encouragement, and support… none of that would have been possible without Connect With Anyone. I have since left Boston where I was a host but I still speak and communicate with the Boston group regularly who support, encourage and share my work every chance they get.
It’s this confidence (that LYL helped me create!) that has allowed me to connect with so many wonderful and successful entrepreneurs also doing what they love. Make sure you join our waitlist to be the first to find out when the doors officially open!
Every bit of it helps us better understand ourselves and how you can better push limits and put your dent in the world. The talk has now been viewed over 6,000,000 times and was recently listed as one of the Top 15 Ted Talks of 2015!
It’s something you never actually accomplish, but is more an inherent feeling of purpose you spend your life pursuing. And in that, he made a tremendous impact on the world and left an incredible legacy that lives on!
He never wanted the possibilities and community to be limited to him, and it is a testament to his heart, passion, and vision that his amazing legacy – this community – will indeed continue on. What could be possible if you had the support of thousands or even millions of people around the world all working toward the same cause? One was Cindy, a high school teacher in her 30’s who loves to teach but hates her job because the bureaucracy is killing her creativity and potential.
People want to exercise, but … the options are terrifying, boring, alienating, ineffective and inconvenient. In the world of business, it’s usually a paradigm, institution, competitor trait or even an actual competitor. But now we have well over 50,000 members of our revolution from every country in the world. Or it could be engineered by you, such as the launch of a new experience, solution, product, brand or even a documentary or online video.
I even brought in 57 Living Legends and world-changing entrepreneurs to be a part of the launch party.
And as of this weekend, it had been viewed over 1,000,000 times and ranks #15 of over 35,000 TEDx talks. Develop various levels of programming and engagement so they can take baby steps to greater and greater commitment to the cause. Bring them into the fold and empower them to lead with knowledge, support, tools and access. All of our paid team members have come from Living Legends reaching out, asking to help and doing such an amazing job that we decide to officially bring them on. Like Margaret Mead says, “Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world.
I have an excited feeling that LYL LOCAL is going to change things for all of us in a very big way. We’re constantly building LYL into a team dynamic so people want to continue to support and build upon it.
For me, this involves anyone wanting to work directly with me to solve their core problem of hating their work.
You can share these in free blog posts or in other products or coaching packages as mentioned below. Until I realized I could not physically handle any more and still be happy and relatively stress free.
Coaching is helping people with your core value proposition – the way you set out to help them. Having a fixed fee usually allows you to charge more and it doesn’t train you to trade hours for money. Coaching on the other hand is much more mentally and emotionally exhausting (which is why I’ve loved it so much) because every person and every life situation is different. Still not a scalable solution and won’t allow you the full-blown freedom that most people are looking for. For me that was helping them do work you all love (which coaching was perfect for), not showing people the strategies to grow a website, etc. I’d recommend having an affiliate product offer on your site from the moment the site is live. They are getting their product in front of customers they would have never had access to, so it’s worth it for them. And I have buddies with similar audience sizes who have done up to $8-10k in a week with the right offer.
The potential is huge, especially since this is now a scalable business model (unlike coaching or consulting). The extra bump in short term income is absolutely not worth it to me (and I hope it’s not for you either). There are ways to build great business around affiliate offers but only explore them if they’re in the best interest of your readers.
I’ve seen people go years without ever building a product of their own because promoting affiliates is much easier and requires less time and work in the short term. And be sure you don’t get seduced by affiliates to the point where it keeps you from building your own products. The absolute best and most focused (and usually most lucrative way to do this) is to build your own products. So far Live Off Your Passion has sold over 400 copies since I launched it a little over two months ago.
First off, if you’ve created a super loyal following and are helping people in big ways through your articles and other free work, people are going to want to buy something from you.
That not only takes a ton of the risk out of it, but it also gives you huge confidence to build something epic for your audience.
Even the thought of creating one can turn into such a mental monster that you never cross the finish line. In fact most of them are on a list somewhere, waiting to be explored when the time is right. From there I started to test out affiliate offers and then I took all of what I learned and built it into a flagship product. While Corbett is my blog building expert, Jonathan has made a science out of helping people define their online version of their passion and build it into a web-based business. The book inspired the creation of Live Your Legend a few years ago while on a fishing trip with my dad in Chile. We built Cumbre to offer that fairness, alignment and true partnership to families and business owners who held similar beliefs about long-term business ownership. And while we are not trying to make a market call, we believe there is more opportunity in developing businesses right now rather than buying publicly listed equities. And more importantly, it is making significant progress in helping its members find meaningful work and connect with others who inspire them. You have allowed us to go further than we could have imagined, and we are much better investors, entrepreneurs and citizens of the world as a result. And if you’re already a subscriber, just enter your email below to be taken straight to the download page.
Because while everyone was talking about their jobs, family, and what they did over the weekend, I was thinking about what and how I could create what I wanted – stuff that mattered to me and had nothing to do with my 9-5 job! I always thought they were a bit of a scam, didn’t provide any real value and were just a way to get my email address. We want to expose you to that new world – to that community that makes the impossible not only possible, but normal. It’s been surreal to see experience unfold, especially since this message embodies exactly what our Live Your Legend Revolution stands for.
The fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to hang around people already doing them.
And he didn’t just talk about living a life of passion and purpose, he was actually out there doing it. We have a lot of details to sort out about what the future of Live Your Legend will be, but just know that there is a future, and our why is already crystal clear. And is it a pain that they currently feel or is it a deep down and now numbed pain due to so many years of discomfort?
We are all the leaders now – especially with our global meetup happening on January 7th. That’s why we do Reader Spotlights every few months and why so many of you have started to host your own meetups and gatherings around the world. This could be through any media – print, digital, video, audio, a documentary (like Food Matters or Stop Kony), or an event like World Domination Summit. One guy on Facebook said he watched it at least 100 times, and three of those on the day he finally quit his soul-sucking job. Transactional means it will lead to a one-time action, such as sharing on social media or contributing to a campaign (Kickstarter is an amazing tool for the transactional revolution).
If you do this right, often your torchbearers will appear out of the woodwork, without you even having to seek them out. You can build a very healthy business off a base like that or even much fewer if you really nail your offering (we’ll talk more about that next week).
You can literally hang your shingle today and be able to start making money from it in 24 hours.
That is why for 2012 I’ve decided to close my one-on-one coaching to new clients (more on why I closed my coaching in a couple weeks). Consulting is helping people or companies with the tools and strategies you’ve learned along the way in building your business. Although in my case it turns out that those are very closely related – most passionate people want a web presence to further scale and leverage that passion. Since I started blogging I think I could count on two hands the number of products I’m willing to promote. This is pretty unreal considering normal referral fees for physical products or services are more like 5-15%.
There is no additional cost or effort for you if you sell one unit of someone else’s product or if you sell 10,000. Anytime you offer something that is not an ideal fit for your audience, they will notice (and so will you because you probably won’t sell any copies). But ultimately this is not what’s going to build the business and brand you want to have when you look back on things in 5,10, 20 or more years.
Some will want to buy just because they want a way to pay you back for all the free help you’ve given. And on top of that, last year the course won Best Personal Development Product of 2011 by one of the larger reader polls on the web. And you can always borrow someone else’s audience by bringing on the right affiliates.
He’s also a pretty good surfer (especially for having started less than two years ago). After reading just a few blog posts on LYL, I knew this was a special community that I had to be a part of. Maybe it’s solving world hunger or simply using your talent to teach algebra to the child down the street.
I remember Tim Ferriss saying he wrote The 4-Hour Workweek specifically for an investment banker friend of his who hated his job. Some people become so complacent that they don’t even realize how much their toxic job is destroying their lives. The leader also must embrace humility, vulnerability, feel your shared pain, be truthful and lead with a desire to serve.
Share this issue and you’ll find that universal pain and suffering has an amazing way of uniting. Everything we do positions against complacency and monotony and towards impact and doing work that matters. If you build a successful blog or web business (or any business for that matter), that means that you’ve learned an extremely valuable skill set. If you’re paid by the hour, your incentive is to take longer, whereas your client wants to get you to finish as fast as possible. This trains your readers right from the start that you are in this not only to help people, but also to make money while helping those people. And many others will want to buy because they want very specific help on a challenging situation related to your circle of passion and expertise.
Apple did this when they launched their white headphones in a world where every headphone was black.

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