12 Cheap Ways to Find Great Investment Ideas

The First Step To Making Money in The Market

There are roughly 19,000 publicly traded companies in the United States of America.  With that many companies how is your average investor supposed to find great investment ideas?

In 2014, there were more families that owned cats than stocks. With so many potential companies to invest in, it’s no wonder people are reluctant to start investing in the stock market.

Graduation is Over, Now What?

Timeless Wisdom From an Old Man

graduation
This is a post I wrote several years ago as advice to my cousin who was graduating high school. Today, I’ll be attending my brother Rees’s graduation from the University of North Texas. As college graduates across the country walk across the stage today, this is the wisdom I would shared with myself this same day eight years ago.

It’s graduation season and boy is it in full swing. Colleges around the country are celebrating their most honored tradition. The football field is green as can be. The smell of freshly cut grass fills the air.  The old decorations that make their appearance only once a year are coming out for one more group of new graduates.

The hard work has paid off for these kids, it’s a time of joy and a time of fear as they open a new chapter after graduation and venture out into the world. Everyone is wondering who is going to give the next Steve Jobs worthy commencement speech? Families are gathering and wishing the young graduates well and much success. There’s cake and ice cream, presents, and great food.  It’s a magical time for all.

The Survey Results Are In

Last Monday I put out a survey to my readers asking them one question.  Would you prefer learning how to invest, grow a business, or both.

The results are in and the insight is interesting to say the least.  There was one thing I learned from the survey that I didn’t expect at all.

Please Take This One Question Survey

I’m passionate about investing and business.  Specifically, I love investing in businesses.  My career has been spent starting and growing small businesses.  My past time has been investing in equities of larger businesses.

In an effort to best serve my readers, I’d like to know what interests you most.  I’ve created content for investing in the stock market, start-ups, and your own family office.  I’ve also created content about starting a business, leading a team, and maximizing profits.

Moments of Monumental Change

Ten years ago today I was loading a BBQ pit into the bed of a guy’s truck.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a cute girl walking out of the grocery store.  I dropped the pit and told the guy I had to “see about a girl.”  He said “Good luck” as I sprinted across the parking lot.

I narrowly missed being hit by a few cars and a shopping basket.  I finally reached her as she was cranking the engine on her bright red Mustang.  I like to think it was my good looks, but she says she only rolled down the window because she thought there must have been an emergency.  The truth is, there was. 

How Viral Movement Can Change The World

While the headlines are often dominated by shootings, riots, war, and other despicable acts, one headline has swept the country that is generous and heartwarming.  The Ice Bucket Challenge.

The fact that people have gotten behind such a movement isn’t surprising.  Nor is the fact that more than $50 Million will be raised for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) research.

How Often Should You Blog

In 2011, I launched this blog with this post.  One month later I followed it up with this post.  I was still wondering how often should you blog if you want to grow a platform.

How Often Should You Blog

Recently, I released my findings of a study my team and I conducted on the top 30 blogs in the world.  Among the data we were looking for was the answer to the all important question to new bloggers, “How often should you blog?”  This post will answer this question.

There are two camps in the blogging world.  One camp is made up of 20 of the top 30 bloggers.  These bloggers prefer short and frequent posting.  The other camp is made up of the other 10 bloggers.  This camp prefers long, infrequent posting.

So which group is right?

How often should you blog, is only answered by your style of blogging.  While 8000 word blog posts can help you grow your blog, evidence shows that shorter, 450 word blog posts tend to work better.

For the sake of all bloggers, both long and short, we’ll address blogging frequency for each style.

Short Posts – 450 words average:  If you choose to write blog posts that are 450 words on average, as I recommend you do, you should then blog no fewer than three times per week.

What if you don’t have time to blog that often?  Don’t worry, we found two blogs that post short blog posts one time a week and still managed to break into the top 30 in the world.

Should you blog as often as you want?  Absolutely!  Of the 20 bloggers who preferred short, frequent blog posting, 13 blogged daily.  This doesn’t mean however that you have to post an article you wrote every day.  Many bloggers, such as Michael Hyatt, post 3 times per week but also post quotes, announcements, and other shorter items on “off days.”  There is no minimum to how often should you blog

Long Posts – Between 1200 and 8000 words: If you choose to write long blog posts, how often should you blog will differ greatly with your less wordy brethren.  Of the 10 top bloggers who wrote long posts, most averaged only 1 post per week.  Some of the longer, 5000 words or more, bloggers released a blog post only once per month.

Should you blog more often?  If you can, feel free to do so, but it doesn’t seem to help much.  We found only 1 blogger who posted more than 2000 words on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, this blogger ranked 29th out of 30.

If you’ve wondered how often you should blog, you’ve probably asked yourself the wrong question.  Our research shows that there is more at play than how many words each post should have and how often should you blog.

Post 1,500 words per week.  This, is the top commonality between all of the top 30 blogs.  Some choose to write three 500 word posts while others may opt for one 1,500 word post.  Even more surprising, some choose to wrote 6000 to 8000 words posts and only release them monthly!

Average 1,500 words per week.  It matters less how often you blog.  This appears to be the secret formula for the world’s top 30 bloggers.

How often do you prefer to blog?

5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Blogger

When I decided to become a blogger, it was purely out of the interest to become a better writer.  I had enjoyed writing in my youth.  As an adult, I found myself writing only emails, technical documents, and notes.  I wanted to really write again.  So I decided to become a blogger.

become a blogger

A blog gives you the chance to write for the world, not just yourself.  But I quickly found that it gives you much more than that.  There are intangible values that come with blogging that I never intended to be part of the process.

When people ask me why I blog (because I make much more money leading an energy company) I tell them that they should become a blogger.  I promise that they’ll find the value I find, only when they begin writing.

Since establishing a blog can take a while, I’ll give you my top 5 reasons why I think it is a good idea for you to become a blogger.

1. You have something to share. I have often thought that everyone has done the things I’m doing and I offer nothing new.  That’s simply not the case.  Some of the things I thought everyone was already doing are the things people comment on and shared the most.  Like how I remember names or my 5k playlist, for example.

2. Open a dialogue to expose yourself.  Just as a plant cannot survive when it has not sun light,  you too will not grow when you are not exposed to the light.  Becoming a blogger opens you up to a community of sharing.

3. People are actively looking for what you know. Like millions of others, I find myself online every day looking for what I don’t know.  I’ve learned how to use a schedule to protect margin in my life from Michael Hyatt. I’ve also learned how to make the perfect cup of coffee from Tim Ferriss.  Without their willingness to share, I would not know these wonderful things.

4. You are an expert. The way Tim Ferriss makes a cup of coffee may not be the best way.  While I think he is exceptionally bright, it doesn’t make him the world’s authority on coffee.  It also doesn’t mean that his cup is better than your cup.  What you do well has its own value that can directly benefit others.

5. Writing is a filter for ideas. I’ve heard others say it and I completely agree, I don’t truly know something until I’ve blogged about it.  Writing forces you to get your thoughts clear and accurate.  It forces you to filter your ideas into a concise thought.  You become smarter and more knowledgeable about a subject when you write about it.

When I decided to become a blogger I had no idea what I was getting into.  It is a drive, a passion, an enlightenment.  It is a community, a sense of sharing, and an expression of self.  To truly understand this, you too should become a blogger.

Are you ready to become a blogger?

11 Ways To Enjoy Social Media – And Find a Great Bar

Does anyone really enjoy social media?  There are a hundred different networks, a million different formats, and all the interaction is the same stale self promotion.  Unless you know how to really exploit the benefits.

enjoy social media

There are so many options out there to enjoy social media on a multitude of platforms how do you know which ones to join and invest your time in?

I had the same problem when I was 12.  We had a few parks within bicycle distance.  I never knew which park the action was going to be at.

Lucky for me, I could ride from park to park looking for the best pickup football game.

Have you ever found yourself on social media looking for a pickup game?  First, you check the Twitter jungle gym, nothing but self promotion “click on my link” stuff.  Then you ride over to Facebook park, everyone is just showing off their newest and greatest thing.  You try the Google+ skatepark but it’s empty.

Trying to enjoy social media can be a down right pain, unless you’re smart about who and what you interact with.

1. Consolidate your feeds.  I use HootSuite to consolidate all my feeds into one.  This way I’m not going from park to park.  Instead, I scan all my feeds at once, looking for anything clickable.

2. Use more lists.  Enjoy social media in categories.  Check out family members, then friends.  Some time all I want to do is check out what Michael Hyatt, Skip Prichard, or Fred Wilson are saying.  So I have a list for them.

3. Narrow the conversation.  This goes back to using lists.  Organize the people you follow by what they offer.  Then you can pick and choose what types of topics in that feed.  My family shares pictures, my favorite influencers share ideas, and my friends share their horrible golf shots – check out mine!

4. Be polite. The one sure fire way to get yourself unfollowed, is to tweet a novel, one tweet at a time.  These kinds of things make it impossible for others to enjoy social media. If you tweet more than 4 times in a row, you’re gone.

5. Choose your friends wisely.  You may not enjoy social media because your “friends” are not interested.  Lose the dead weight and find some more interesting people.

6. Share more. You always get what your give.  You’ll enjoy social media more if you’re involved in the conversation.  Share your pictures, ideas, opinions, and insights.

7. Ask and receive.  One time I mentioned that I was going to NYC.  My friend Skip Prichard suggested a bunch of awesome places to go.  I’d have never known about these places had I not asked and had I not been following such cool people.

8. Buffer your posts.  It is too hard to be on social media all day, and impossible to share enough if you’re not.  For this, God made Buffer, or at least the guys behind Buffer.  Fill your buffer with posts, then let them trickle out during the day.

9. Follow the trends.  Look at what’s hot, what’s not, hashtags, and trends.  This is how I found a cool irish pub, that served McSorley’s which led me to the original 1854 pub in Manhattan and its iconic chandelier paying tribute to the fallen.

10. Share more than you ask.  Michael Hyatt suggests shooting for a 20 to 1 ratio.  Share 20 great ideas for every 1 favor you ask.  This will help you gain interaction with your followers.

11. Be prompt with your reply.  Set up alerts and engage in the conversation.  Answer questions, reply to comments, share other people’s idea, most importantly, engage with your tribe.

The world of social media can be overwhelming.  Using these 11 tips and tricks can help you to enjoy social media and maybe even find a great bar in lower NYC.

What’s your favorite thing about social media?

Fall Asleep Quickly Without The Use Of Drugs

As a busy person, I take my sleep seriously.  Unfortunately, I don’t always get enough.  More often than not, the reason for lack of sleep is the inability to fall asleep quickly.

fall asleep quickly

Without enough sleep, my energy levels are low and I tend to take a negative outlook on my day.  My inability to fall asleep quickly impacts my entire day’s productivity.  Without enough sleep, you’re not the best version or you.