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The Shrink for Entrepreneurs one year on – What I learned and what comes next

The Shrink for Entrepreneurs one year on – What I learned and what comes next

Hi Readers!

Long time no see – I’m just returning from a blogging hiatus and I have some news to share. There’s been a lot happening.

Also, this week (Wednesday, specifically) is the anniversary of my site launch – though I’ve had a website for sometime, I wasn’t really online until July 27th 2010. It’s been one hell of a year and I’ve got some war stories (aka entrepreneurial learnings) to share.

Since no post on this site would be complete without psychology/business tips, I thought I’d kick off this update with a breakdown of the game-changing things I’ve learned in the last twelve months. Here goes…  

Learning 1: Writing is way easier (and harder) than you think 

When I launched the site, I was terrified of the idea of publishing my writing. I was petrified that I would somehow jam up and be unable to post, or run out of ideas to write about. Turns out none of that was really a problem. Writing is actually pretty easy, once you get in the habit of it. Ideas? I have a running list of blog titles (post unwritten) of about 150.

The hard part is creating that habit of sitting down and writing. What’s harder? Recreating that habit after you let it slide.

Case-in-point, in the last three weeks I haven’t updated the site with any new material. Sudden and dramatic events in my life led me to use up my valuable willpower elsewhere and the writing habit was broken. Today I recreate it, with much internalized kicking and screaming.

Before I started this blog, I read and ignored Chris Guillebeau’s advice of committing to a set-in-stone publishing schedule. I wish I hadn’t.

Learning 2: Email is amazing for coaching and therapy

I’ve talked about this before but I really can’t stress it enough. The discovery of email as a therapy format has changed my life – it’s also rocked the world of all the clients who’ve used it in the last year. Some folks are downright addicted!

‘nuff said. Email rocks.

Learning 3: The internet is great, but the real magic still happens offline

The coolest thing this blog has done for me doesn’t involve computers. Blogging has opened up a network of terrifically interesting, game-changing folks dotted around the world that I previously never would have had access to. However, it’s been connecting offline that’s really solidified these relationships.

One year in and I’ll tip my hat to the value my blog has added, in terms of sparking off new relationships… but I’ll also acknowledge that the old school rules of offline networking are just as (if not more) applicable than ever before.

Until we get immersive, 3D smell-o-vision internet there just isn’t any substitute for meeting, charming and connecting with fascinating folks in the flesh. What’s changed (massively) is my ability to stay in touch with them.

Learning 4: Most of viral success appears to be guesswork 

I’ve enjoyed a modestly viral effect of link sharing via twitter and other social media platforms, for a few of my articles that have somehow captured the attention of the community at large.

Why People Won’t Pay Your Rates is easily my most popular post of all time. What’s weird is that I wrote this post (confession time!) at 2:45am, in about twenty five minutes. Meanwhile, other posts like “All your customers are crazy” I poured my heart and soul into only to receive a fairly underwhelming response.

Turns out I don’t really know what people want to read and talk about. Maybe by this time next year I will – in the meantime, if you have any clues, please email and fill me in!

So here’s the news… 

I’ve moved to New York City! This is a big one for me and it’s happened rather suddenly. The way my business runs now gives me the freedom to live absolutely anywhere in the world. Typically, when this happens to internet entrepreneurs they move to some tropical beach somewhere.

I started out living right by a tropical beach (Sydney does beaches well) so I decided to do the opposite and head to the hustle and bustle of New York City. Folks who’ve been following on twitter will know that I arrived a few days ago and have finally gotten on top of my jet lag.

I’m here to work on a couple of very exciting projects, one of which is in the social entrepreneurial space.  You’ll be hearing more about it very soon, but for it’s all top secret.

Other important news is that my client roster is utterly jam packed – I’m sold out like crazy.

This has prompted me, one year on, to bump up my rates for the very first time since launching the email consulting service a year ago. I don’t actually publish my rates publicly, but there’s an easy way to find out what they are if you’re interested in working together. Some client attrition is normal (and healthy!) so I expect spots in the roster to open up periodically.

I’ve also made the decision (after a couple of secret experiments) to officially offer phone consultation as an alternative to email. Even after I’ve ranted about the awesome advantages of email as a therapy format!

Why? Because I’ve learnt that the format doesn’t agree with everyone. However, it’s mainly because I miss it! Plans are even underway to offer face to face consulting in NYC, in the near future. As of now though, phone consults are available (if/when a spot on the roster becomes available) for those who don’t dig the email vibe.

So holy wow, what a year. My life has radically changed since July 2010. I’ve created a six figure location independent income doing work that I love, connected with some of the world’s coolest entrepreneurs and moved halfway around the planet.

I’ve published ebooks and dozens of blog posts. I’ve provide psychological insight into the performance of a small handful of incredible entrepreneurs and their businesses, then watched as things have taken off for them.

Believe it or not, I’m only just getting started. What’s coming up in the next twelve months is going to rock your world.

Thanks for being here where it all began.


+ Add Comment
  1. Happy anniversary *grin*

    It’s been my pleasure to have been there from day 1 (and possibly day minus 25 when I was still convincing you this would rock), and I look forward to many more exciting days watching you take over the world.

      1. I could PRETEND like I wrote “movie” instead of “move” by accident, but yeah, let’s go with that. He’s actually a movie star. Although, he, like many thespians, uses a stage name. He’s credited as “Peter North.”

  2. That’s awesome. Happy anniversary and congrats on the amazing move. I’m only uh…22hrs? drive from NYC so we could meet for morning coffee easily. 😉

    Keep it up and good on ya.

  3. Peter: Congrats! Very inspiring.

    Re: the “underwhelming response” – I’ve been there, but I’ve also learned that “underwhelming” or “zero response” doesn’t mean people aren’t reading or enjoying — they’re just not feeding-back. (I did read the post to which you referred.)
    Yes, we want feedback, we all want to know someone is listening, but sometimes we don’t get it. I was shocked, 9 months after killing my blog & podcast to have multiple people approach me at a conference and say, “I really miss your podcast [or blog].”

    I look forward to staying in your virtual loop + hearing all about your new endeavors! Cheers.

    1. Hey Mare,

      Thanks for this comment – you raise a really important point that I need to remember. Often measuring the effectiveness of posts simply by the number of comments isn’t smart/valid. Good to remember that 🙂

  4. Wowzers! Happy Anniversary, ginormous move, new projects, getting paid more, and world domination!

    It’s nice to know your powers are on the right continent now 🙂

  5. Nice work fella, and what a place to move to 🙂

    I’ll have to pick your brains on Visa stuff (I really wanna live in NY or SF for a time), or do you “down-unders” like the Irish and get a free pass?!

    Now you’re a little closer to the UK, lemme know if you’re passing through and I’ll buy you a beer.

    1. Hey Steve, I’ll be in London in october if you wanna chat about immigration over beers. So long as you don’t make me drink that filthy dark stuff that tastes like marmite!

      1. You don’t have to drink the Guinness – we’ll do you a nice warm pint of Fosters instead.

        PS: Go to Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village (no, that’s not a euphemism) for the best lobster roll.

  6. I LOVE NEW YORK! It is by far the most thrilling trip i have made. I arrived at night, got straight on the subway and then walked half way across Brooklyn Bridge before turning back and looking at Manhattan lit up before me for the first time. Its all so familiar to us but I had to pinch myself to believe that I was really there. So, that’s my top tip for first time visitors. Make the BB your first look.
    Peter i really related to the “kicking and screaming” inside as you sat down to write.That’s where i am at just know. I know that getting articles out there is the way forward. I have no shortage of things i want to say, but bringing myself to saying out there, that’s another story.
    Any tips, articles or referrals on that topic from you or all you others who are over the starting line on that one would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Happy anniversary, Peter. Fantastic post, great advice for a gonna-be, and congratulations on the move to New York, still getting used to you being on my time table!

  8. Hey Peter, Happy Anniversary mate.

    Although a little sad we losing you to the yanks, I am even more proud of your progress!Even in the short time I have known you.

    Your future’s a big one Peter. No Doubt!!

    Your Fellow Kiwi-Jace

  9. Hey Peter … congrats on 12 months of awesomeness … or at least *this* version of awesomeness.

    I agree with all lessons … and YES – ‘real’ connection still rules and NO amount of names in followers and random 140-character posts will EVER replace rapport, relationships and the ability to internally ask the question ‘do you get me, do I get you?’

    As for lesson 4 … yes, you’re right, ‘online’ and ‘social media’ success is still largely guesswork … and I’m reminded of the notion of ‘audible minority vs silent majority’. A friend, who runs an online multi-media coaching site, was recently struggling with whether she was getting anywhere … with little ‘visible’ difference in engagement online. Then she (we) heard a story via another friend – a woman had confided to her that she watches an online episode every night … and uses that as her personal, self-directed ‘coaching’ program. Silently.



  10. What an interesting coincidence. Possibilities ezine was born on July 27th, too. Except in 1999, instead of 2010. Tomorrow is its 12th anniversary.

    It’s birth has a giggle in it.

    That very first issue was about spam-proofing a web site.

    In those long-ago days, people often published their email addresses on their web pages. Some were getting wise and used feedback forms, instead. The most popular feedback form software at the time required the site owner to specify their email address in a hidden field (where they would receive an email with the form contents). It provided a false sense of security because spam bots could read those email addresses just as easily as the ones printed on a web page.

    It was clunky back then.

    I created software that eliminated the email address in a hidden field. That first Possibilities issue talked about it.

    And here’s the giggle part.

    I created my own mailing software, of course, being a programmer. The ezine’s purpose was (and still is) to show my programming skills to site owners.

    Well, that first issue went out. And it went out again. And again. And again. The software was in an infinite loop, sending multiple copies of that first issue to each subscriber. An issue about spam proofing web sites, supposed to show off my programming skills. Ironic, and some good laughs afterward.

    I do better software testing nowadays 🙂

    One issue per week, 52 issues per year, 12 years. Never a missed issue. A day or two late once in a while, but never missed.

    To comment on something in the blog post:

    Committing to a publishing schedule and maintaining it has nice benefits.

    People get to know you. Or at least feel they do. Consistency. Predictability. Professionalism. One who can deliver. It builds trust. (Which must never be broken, as it would feel like betrayal or perhaps something akin to deep buyer’s remorse.)

    When the ezine articles are published on a web site, it means consistent updating with original content. The site is always fresh. Nice search engine fodder. Which brings in people who can use the information. Who tell their friends. Who have a look for themselves.

    After a while, publishing on a schedule became a stable habit. The habit of writing at least one article a week helps me maintain my business focus.

    I like getting feedback because they often provide article ideas. I like it so much I put anonymous feedback boxes at the bottom of every article. My idea was that people might be more forthcoming whey they are invited to remain anonymous. That technique along provides ideas and sometimes material for perhaps a fifth of the articles I write for Possibilities. And for blog posts, as well.

    OK, I’m rambling. This comment is already article length.

    I get that way sometimes, immediately after a Possibilities issue is sent out. The first person to get an email from me, or the first blog comment as in this case, gets a real rambler.

    Happy Anniversary, Peter Shallard.

    Will Bontrager

  11. I spent 7 years selling private jets. I can guarantee that there is no sale that is so little to do with price and so much to do with “feeling”. I have learnt more about selling in these 7 years selling “dreams” than in all the years I spent selling commodities, consulting or anything else. I developed a process for our sales of jets – and we refuse to show a number for at least 4 meetings. If someone wants a number before we have clearly established context, they will not buy. We have to say “I don’t believe you are ready for this decision” a couple of times… this tests true commitment… and I guarantee that it is so much more pleasure working and serving a truly committed client. When we turned around sales and created special events and then said “we don’t believe you are ready to be a client, you will need to help me see that you are ready”… then we started a new, deeply fulfilling relationship with our clients.

    1. Hey Conor, this is so so important. Thanks for sharing just a glimpse of your wealth of experience here.

      Did you ever find that the hard-hitting no BS type of customer would respond negatively to you flirting about revealing price? … My view is that “with rapport, anything is possible” but my experience of the jet-buying demographic is that many of them just want to “get down to business”.


  12. Hey, Peter, I hope you love New York. I grew up in the Village and I always have a great time when I visit. Love the art galleries and museums, and just walking around Manhattan.

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