Unconventional Methods For Effective Self Management And Conscious Creativity


What’s it take to build a tiny 4 person upstart and grow it to a community of 8 interconnected businesses with 600+ employees doing over $45 million?

Perhaps some business savvy, quality execution and marketing skills…but the real ‘secret’ is something else altogether…

According to Ari Weinzweig, CEO and co-founding partner of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, the biggest breakthroughs on his journey started when he focused internally on managing himself better and consciously tapping his inner compass.

As a leader, your actions and behaviors radiate out and determine the culture of your organization.

In this exclusive interview, Ari will share some of his personal “unconventional secrets” to self management, self-awareness and creativity that’s taken him over 30 years to develop:

You’ll discover:

  • 12 unconventional techniques to managing yourself with greater effectiveness.
  • A real roadmap to “personal visioning” (understanding this skill takes what’s in your head and make it a vivid picture for everyone else to make ‘real’).
  • One simple thing that has exponentially catapulted Ari’s personal growth in the recent years (even after 30 years of personal development work).
  • A proven way to put an end to perpetual worrying and rumination.
  • Ari’s mentals tricks for getting past “limiting beliefs and “blocking thoughts”.
  • Why developing creativity actually goes in complete REVERSE to how you normally learn new skills. (And what you can do to increase your creativity levels immediately after the call.)
  • How to bring out the maximum creativity of all your employees and talent to naturally flourish.
  • How Ari prevents “burnout” and the ‘always on’ syndrome even while running 8 separate businesses & more…

Don’t worry — there’s nothing to buy though I absolutely recommend Ari’s new book “A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach To Managing Ourselves”. I think you’re silly if you don’t add this to your library before or after the call! (Personally, Ari’s first book in his 3-part series of ‘Lapsed Anarchist’s guides’ is one of my absolute favorite books all of time.You can pick up copies at Zingtrain.com)

66 Must-read books for Impactful Entrepreneurs

The other day, Maverick1000 members were asking about book recommendations on our private forum. I typically read 1-2 books per week (minimum) so this forced me to sort out some top recommendations by category.

I’ve always believed your life is changed by the books you read, experiences you create and the people you meet.

Think of this as the start of your Maverick MBA with 6 of the most important categories for evolved enterprises and impactful entrepreneurs in the 21st century.

1) Success Thinking/Foundation

2) Marketing & Sales

3) Strategic Thinking & Innovation

4) Operations/Systems

5) 21st Century Orgs & Modern Entrepreneurship

6) Action & Productivity

* * *

My team ended up posting this list twice on 2 different blogs so to keep everything in one and  get the full list head over here to my personal blog…(plus there are a few more posts you might find intriguing)


11 Exponential Trends For The 21st Century

Think about how you can apply these in YOUR business.

I’m betting you could implement some of these right away to dramatically increase your business.

…Especially if you think about creating experiences with your sites, products and services.

In fact, you’d probably have people begging you to hold live events just to get more of that experience.

Speaking of live events, I’ve just released the videos from Underground® Online Seminar 8. It featured over 23 hours of business building information from in the trenches real world business owners: CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS

Integrating a Compelling Mission to Create an Inevitable Success

As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to transform the world. Individually we drive growth, value-creation and innovation. And collectively one Maverick community of 21st century entrepreneurs can change the way business is played and the rules we use to measure success.

The guiding North Star for our group of Maverick companies is “To Change the Way Business is Played”.

That means changing the “rules” of the game and even how we keep score. And we use ‘play’ very deliberately to incorporate more fun and joy into business as well. That intersection of play and work is getting more and more blurred all the time. And then when you throw in your own core values added to your business you create an integrated whole.

And each one definitely impacts the others…

I’ve always said the more impact you create – the more profits you’ll generate. Or the more joy and happiness created, the more profits you’ll have. These are totally interconnected. You don’t have to hold on to the standard excuse of, “Oh, once we have more profits then we’ll make a bigger impact or create more fun.”

A Potentially Radical Idea…

I have something interesting for you. What if you can focus your team and customers on a compelling and engaging mission that would automatically create a byproduct of more meaning, greater happiness and even a stronger bottom line?

Sounds good, right?

I think you can, and it’s something we are working on with the introduction of our updated 2015 Maverick Mission.

From the top down, each of the mission points hits a piece of what the key aspects of each of the companies is all about – from adventures to greater impact to empowering and transforming entrepreneurs, but it’s not at the expense of profit.

My friend and Maverick1000 member, Robert Hirsch, really helped me think through this process and how each piece supports everything else. For instance, take a look at the first mission point about re-inspiring 1,000,000 entrepreneurs.

This ties directly into our just released 3% Forward movement – with the goal of 1,000,000 entrepreneurs taking the pledge of providing 3% forward to causes or ways that can have a multiplier effect of good.

Then the next one is to Impart 100,000 scholarships. (Part of the way is over-delivering on internally being in alignment with the 3% forward pledge.)

I made a public vow at last year’s Underground® 8 event that we are going to step up and provide 3 scholarships for every educational course/training we sell. This was inspired by the TOMS shoes motto “buy one – give one” but with an even bigger impact. Here’s how it works:

Entrepreneurs or business owners who buy the training programs automatically sponsor 3 educational scholarships, at no extra charge, provided to:

  1. Young entrepreneurs (ages 13-23)
  2. People with disabilities
  3. Returning military veterans

The scholarships will be provided in partnership with highly regarded non-profit partners like NFTE, Dreams for Kids and Wounded Warriors. Aside from just giving away education, we want to make it a bigger benefit by having these scholarship recipients optionally become “virtual interns” to apply what they’ve learned back to their “patron” business. Truly a win-win-win because these scholarship winners will gain in-demand, 21st century skills and real-world experience applying them. Even better, in the long-run this will create a skilled talent pool of providers other entrepreneurs can work with to help them with their businesses too.

[Update: Our first course from Maverick CORE with the 3-for-1 scholarship will be coming out next week! And there are quite a few other surprises and new enhancements like combining on-demand learning with a light-weight project management interface to make it completely action oriented content. No longer will information simply sit gathering dust on a shelf.]

Did you notice something here?

Our team’s focus is on the 100,000 scholarships but as a direct by-product we need to sell 33,333 courses. Those 33,333 courses are where the profits come in on the Maverick MBA educational component of our business units. But the “scorecard” is the 100,000 scholarships. Cool, right?

And this continues down the line. i.e Ignite 1,000 game-changing entrepreneurs – that correlates to our Maverick1000 global network.

Let me give you two more quick examples – both from Maverick1000 members. The first is from Tim Schmidt, founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

A Mission Worth Fighting For…
And now for something REALLY exciting.

We’re on a mission, and I need YOUR help to make it happen. My mission is to:

Teach One Million People.
Equip 250,000 Members.
Stop 5,000 Crimes.
and Save 250 Lives.

To reach this goal, I need your help. All I ask that you do is personally recommend the USCCA to your friends, family and relatives. You don’t have to ask them to send us any money or join our association.

If you believe in what we’re doing, I simply ask that you spread the word.

As you can see this directly impacts his business but also creates a significant impact in the world. Tim also received help from our mutual friend, Robert Hirsch, creating this mission.

And I want to show you one more mission – taken from Craig Ballantyne’s personal rules: http://www.earlytorise.com/12-rules/

Rule #9: I will not stop until I have helped 1 Million men and women transformed their lives – physically, financially, or emotionally.

So Why Do This?

There are so many reasons. If your mission is authentic you’ll automatically create more engagement with your team, partners and vendors. Many people mistakenly believe that simply paying employees more equals a greater commitment. That’s wrong. Go read Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” or watch the TED talk because his research shows there are 3 main things that lead to people being intrinsically motivated – Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

Once employees have a base level of money or salary for their needs – they are motivated by those 3 areas and “purpose” is served by your bigger mission.

How about customers?

Oh most definitely! You’ll also build stronger ties with your customers and get them recruited to work together with you on these big goals. Plus, it’s been proven that consumers actually have a preference for doing business with companies with strong values and integrated values.

If you haven’t read it, please pick up Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal or watch her TED talk. It might change the way you think about a few things. One of the big elements of gaming is “keeping score”. So why not create a scorecard that inevitably leads to your success?

Another key insight from the world of gaming is everyone wants to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. We’re all wired that way. One of the big takeaways is how much gamers will collaborate together to reach an epic, larger than life goal.

Personally, having a big mission interwoven with your successful financial goals also gives you a bigger reason “why” for what you’re doing in business. And if you want to see why the why is so important, check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk.

So think about your business…is there a big enough and exciting enough mission to attract the right people to you? What’s your why and how does that translate to what you’re sharing with your team and customers or clients?

Let me know what you think.

Why I’ve Stopped “Giving Back”

Ok I admit I was wrong…

I used to say “Give Back” was one of the key concepts of the Maverick Entrepreneurs philosophy. (Hell, it says so right here on the cover of my best-selling 34 Rules for Maverick Entrepreneurs book. “Make More Money, Have More Fun and Give More Back”).

I’ve now realized this isn’t quite right.

With my background as a copywriter, I’m pretty careful about most of the words I choose. It’s your words (and even your internal dialogue) that have a tremendous impact on how you think, feel and behalf. By saying the words ‘giving back’ this implies entrepreneurs, like us, have taken something.

Let’s think about that for a second…

I assert that entrepreneurs and businesses can only succeed by providing and delivering value. Period. End of story. It’s simply a universal law. In fact, one of my core values in my very first journal said, “I get rich by enriching others 10x – 100x what they pay me in return.” There’s no other way that it could possibly occur because, in the long run, the marketplace is always self-correcting.

The notion of ‘giving back’ seems to echo an undeserving indebtedness or even guilt for success. Should you begrudge entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Bill Gates for their wealth?

Absolutely not.

Each one of them created immense value exponentially in proportion to what they’ve received. (And that’s not counting the thousands of jobs, additional utility, new startups piggybacking on their success, etc.)

My friend and mega mansion builder/real estate artist/philanthropist, Frank McKinney, sums it up with a saying he told our Maverick1000 group in Haiti, “We have to be careful not to weaken the strong in order to strengthen the weak.”

At our core, entrepreneurs are simply growth-oriented innovators and value creators. They almost can’t help themselves. Take Bill Gates for instance. Aside from his impact on micro-computing, his greatest contribution going forward will be around the Gates Foundation eradicating disease and driving new educational initiatives.

And he’s not alone. Other billionaires are not content to just “give back”. They’re giving forward by applying entrepreneurial talent, energy and capital to solve some of the biggest issues facing the globe.

But you don’t have to be at the level of a Gates or Branson to make a difference. Today, a group of 21st century maverick entrepreneurs are leading the way to change the way business is played and even the rules by which we keep score.

Who says it’s only about one measurement on your P&L?

Business can become one of the biggest levers for good – while actually being good for business

Look at TOMS shoes. Yes, they’ve been the poster child for creative impact with their “Buy One, Give One” initiatives but it’s for good reason. They’ve created a powerful (and profitable) business model tied directly into doing something that will have a significant impact. And the best part is their customers, retail partners and vendors want to help spread that story driving increased sales.

I love looking at businesses that are doing something that matters tied in with the causes they support in a real, genuine and authentic way. In many cases, you can create a way to automatically give and support causes important to you – creating a win/win/win for everybody. (Spoiler alert: we have a very big announcement coming up with the first ever “3-for-1 Scholarships”.)

Your business can actually flourish because incoming research is proving customers are favorably disposed to doing business with you if there’s an added bonus of philanthropy “baked” in. In fact, I’ve directly seen results of split tests with one of our Maverick1000 members showing a 10% increase in sales because $50 from every sale went to a charity featured. Not only do they sell more products but the cause involved get additional support and exposure.

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of growth, adding value and solving many of the problems we’re encountering on a local or global level.

I believe it’s time for a growing group of committed leaders to come together and create a compound effect for positive change from little, maybe even tiny investments. That’s the idea for a new movement we’ve co-founded with an initial group of highly regarded entrepreneurs and thought leaders called “3% Forward”.

The big idea is to designate 3% of your annual sales as your “giving forward” pledge goal. Your 3% can be provided in any combination of money, talent and/or product or service for a cause that matters most to you. It might be a innovative non-profit in education, healthcare, the environment or even investing in new start-ups or micro-entrepreneurship…whatever is most important to you and whatever you think can have a multiplier impact for good would count.

We don’t keep any of these donations and you choose who/how/where and when to directly donate.

If 3% sounds like a lot – remember it doesn’t need to be in a cash donation. You can do it through any combination that adds up to 3% or more – i.e. 2% talent and 1% cash, 2% of product/service and 1% talent, etc.

The 3% Forward Movement Doesn’t Take…

It Expands

The 3%’er community will introduce you to new ideas, inspiration, best practices and innovative business models for how you can create a bigger impact that also positively buoys your bottom line. (It’s our sneaky plan to make your 3% pledge for each year grow even greater.)

Or if you’re already donating 3% or more – that’s great! We want you to get credit for the good you’re doing by standing with other entrepreneurs proudly bearing the 3% Forward Pledge seal.

I’ve always believed one entrepreneur can change the world…now let’s see what happens when we stand together to create a transformative catalyst for what matters most. And July 3, 2012 marks the start of this “revolution” and it continues every 3rd of the month.

Join us?

How to ‘Rent’ Out Your Simple Ideas and Create a Licensing Goldmine… While Letting Others Do 95% of the Hard Work

 Special interview with licensing experts Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss…

“…He’s the Yoda of ‘renting’ ideas for serious passive income” -Tim Ferriss, 4-Hour Workweek

I think just about everyone has a ‘million dollar idea’ bouncing around in their head. And if you listen to the replay below, you’ll find out how to take one simple idea and turn into an ongoing revenue stream by ‘renting’ it out to others.

The formal name for that process is licensing.


Listen to the interview


And there’s almost nobody else around who can show the ‘little-guy’ exactly how to take that brainstorm and sell it off to companies eager and excited to license that idea from you (all while they pay you a nice royalty while they do the lion’s share of the work).

Stephen knows this better than just about anyone as he’s been living this dream for 30 years. He’s the inventor of such lucrative products such as Michael Jordan’s WallBall®, the Spinofrmaiton® rotating label, and HotPick® guitar picks among other winners.

Fact is licensing is a $500 billion industry and businesses need ‘idea people’ and creative freelancers like you to provide new and exciting marketable ideas for products for them. The way Stephen will explain on this call you don’t need a patent, no prototype and no risk to get this going.

Listen to this FREE Tele-Class and Discover:

In this class, Stephen will teach his proven principles from his bestselling new book, One Simple Idea, that will let you in on part of his 10-part process:

  • Master “open innovation”
  • How to decide if you have a ‘licensable’ product or not.
  • The simple (and proven) way to truly protect your idea.
  • Get Fortune 500 companies onboard and working for you (your cost: less than $500!)
  • Discover your most important sales tool (Hint: It’s not you).
  • How to strike a licensing agreement by avoid the mistakes most people make and much more.

Make sure you listen to find out how to build a passive income generator… all without quitting your day job, filing a patent or even building a prototype.

Listen to the interview


Note: Following this call we’ve had people asking us how this applies to content and licensing information. I’ve been doing it for several years now and if you want to know this weird (but extremely lucrative) little ‘sliver’ of the information marketing world — please contact our office about the Licensing Program we have that’s not currently for sale.

Let me know what you think…

“Conscious Capitalism” with Kiva.org’s co-founder, Jessica Jackley

Kiva.org is the world’s first peer-to-peer online micro-lending website. Kiva.org allows individuals to lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs in the developing world, providing affordable capital to start or expand a small business. In just a little more than 4 years Kiva has helped loan out over $100M and connected thousands of people across 120+ countries.

Jessica brings a fresh perspective on “Conscious capitalism” and how you can apply it to your own personal life and business. Quite frankly, I really see a shift in the way business is done and it’s more than just one focus on the bottom line. That’s why I was so excited for the timing of her presentation at the Underground back in 2010. (Note: If you are not signed up for Underground 8 – don’t miss the early-bird deadline). What do you think of her ideas and presentation – drop a comment below.

Watch the Keynote Right Here: