When we left off, I was telling you about the birth of Kicktastic and how I think everyone should be able to afford solid business and marketing advice and have access to unique business ideas. You also need some skin in the game.
Of course, you don't have to venture far on the Internet to find all sorts of training programs and courses and bootcamps and deep-cavity body searches for everything from SEO to personal finance.
So where does Kicktastic fit in?
I'll tell you in a moment, but hang with me for a second as we go on a brief but relevant tangent.
You've probably heard the parable of the blind men and the elephant. It originated in India, and though the number of blind men changes from one version to another, the gist is the same: each man touchs a different part of the elephant—the proboscis, a tusk, a leg, the tuft on the tail. When asked to describe an elephant, each man gives a very different answer: An elephant is like a hairy vine. Or a thick, smooth bone. Or the trunk of a tree.
Yes, I am going somewhere with this.
What does making more money have to do with elephants?
After reading and reviewing Chris Guillebeau's latest book, The $100 Startup, I decided to start teaching people about business. This resolution was rather peculiar because I never wanted to be a businessman in the first place.
After getting laid off from a marketing firm in April 2009, I started Bright Newt, and for the past three years, I've been on an enlightening journey of self-employment, helping my clients with brand consulting, marketing strategy, and copywriting business. In 2009 I was able to earn 24% more than if I had kept my salary. In 2010, I made 33% more than in 2009, and in 2011, 47% more than 2010.
I was happy to be making more money, but I didn't understood the significance of these numbers.The few friends who knew about this growth told me that this was abnormal, especially for a guy who has never taken a single business class and who at the time would always reach for The Chronicles of Narnia before Good to Great.
One friend went so far to say that I was "really gifted" at business. Me? Good one!
I stopped laughing when I realized he was serious.
After a good friend lost his house to foreclosure, I started pondering the question in earnest. Why had my income had grown by leaps and bounds? My friend was a gifted designer with a box full of awards. Why had his business struggled?
Business is not a meritocracy, and just being better at what you do isn't enough to pay your bills and create your desired lifestyle. My friend "Bob" never made the transition from artist to businessman. He made eye-catching logos but had trouble saying no to pushy clients. He did the work, but he didn't build the business.