[quote style=”boxed”]Well, the first way to effectively bring ideas to life is to limit them. If you’re like me, you probably have a million ideas. The first thing you need to do is resist the temptation to say yes to everything.[/quote]
Nick Unsworth is CEO of Life On Fire, a business coaching company that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders become the rock stars they are meant to be. Nick has been an entrepreneur for 11 years and was inspired to live his best life after watching those close to him struggle for money throughout his childhood. Nick has worked in several industries and bounced back from many setbacks, which inspired him to help other entrepreneurs make every day a journey worth living.
Where did the idea for Life On Fire come from?
My entire life, I had this dream of building and selling a business. At that point, I’d be able to be free and live this amazing lifestyle I’d dreamed about when I was kid.
Prior to starting my business, I had 11 business failures. Everything I touched went south. I ended up finding my rhythm with Facebook advertising and marketing, and my goal was to sell the business by age 30. Through persistence and passion, I did sell the business by then.
The wild thing was that once I did, it wasn’t what I expected. I sold the business and made a bunch of money, but I wasn’t happy. I’d wanted to sell the business so I could have this sweet life, but I actually sacrificed my 20s to get there. I was so dead set on making money and selling a business that it was like empty calories at the end of the day — I just wasn’t fulfilled by it.
At that moment, I decided I was going to make it my mission to love my work. Why not enjoy the journey instead of just waiting for the destination? That’s when Life On Fire was born. Life On Fire is about loving what you do every single day. When you have purpose in your business and you’re giving back to others, the money will follow. Everyone should pursue their dreams with as much passion and energy as possible.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
I wake up before my alarm clock goes off! I’m so excited about what I do for work that I literally can’t sleep. I lie in bed and say three things I’m grateful for in my head, then I say a prayer to get myself in the right mindset and read my goals and a letter I wrote to myself.
I call this process “goals on fire,” and it can radically change your life. When you set goals and you don’t have any follow-up, they’re often forgotten. When I set goals every month, I share them publicly on Facebook and with my business coach to hold myself accountable. But I also write out my goals and write myself a letter explaining what my life looks like after I’ve achieved them. This process is so incredibly important to actually bringing ideas to fruition!
After saying three things I’m grateful for, I spin a delicious protein shake with spinach and all kinds of good stuff. I head to the gym and start my day the right way at 9:00. This leads to being inspired and feeling good throughout the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Well, the first way to effectively bring ideas to life is to limit them. If you’re like me, you probably have a million ideas. The first thing you need to do is resist the temptation to say yes to everything.
Every time I come up with an idea, I first consider the outcome for the target market. Who am I serving, and how does it help them? This is key because that’s how you’re going to sell it. Once I know the outcome for the market I’ll serve with that product, I think of the outcome for me as an entrepreneur. If I’m going to take on this project, how am I going to benefit from it, and how is it going to bring me closer to my goal? You’ve got to be clear about where you want to go. If you’re flying by the seat of your pants and making decisions as you go, your business is going to be rocky.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Podcasting is, hands down, the trend in online marketing that I’m most excited about. A year ago, I knew what podcasts were, but I’d never actually listened to one. What’s cool about them is that they make it feel like I’m actually hanging out with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire or Michael O’Neal from The Solopreneur Hour. They can be so informative and helpful, depending on what goals you’re trying to pursue.
Podcasting has taken off like nothing else because when you start a podcast, iTunes literally puts you on its charts. You have the ability to get on the iTunes home page and get a free audience. Podcasting is also convenient. On the new iPhone, Apple has the podcast app natively installed. Cars are now being made with podcasting technology built right in. Anyone who has a voice in a movement should start a podcast and get his or her message out into the world.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I got really good at making faster decisions. If you want more time, the first thing you need to do is learn how to make faster decisions.
I also like batching. I own my calendar; my calendar does not own me. I’m very specific with my email. I have an away message that lets people know when I will respond. When I’m super busy, it’s incredibly valuable to batch my tasks together. Productivity is key, and a great process only adds to your efficiency.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?
Back in college, I worked for a large rental car company. It claimed to have one of the best management trainee internships, and it was one of the first — and only — corporate experiences I’d had.
It had me selling car insurance, but for most people, it didn’t make sense. Yet our performance and promotions were based on our car insurance sales. I stunk at it because I didn’t push car insurance on people if they didn’t truly need it.
I learned you can never sell something you don’t fully believe in because you’re going to suck at it. If you’re ever doing something with work or in business that you don’t believe in, it’s going to fail. You have to believe in your business to gain that success. Believe in yourself, and others will see that passion.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have hired a business coach when I was 20, not 30. Hiring a business coach was the best decision I’ve ever made. It radically changed how I look at business and helped me break through fears. It helped me start lifeonfire.com, and if I had done that when I was 20, I could have avoided so much pain. I did have mentors, and I read books. I was into personal development, but if I’d hired a business coach when I was 20, my journey to success would have been way, way faster.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend networking up. I call it “networking up” because when you’re building up your connections, you want to look up. You can build a genuine friendship with someone, and when you add value for them, the law of reciprocity says when they come back to you and say, “Thanks for the referral,” they’re going to want to do something nice for you. When you focus on putting yourself in the right environments and networking up, you surround yourself with high-caliber entrepreneurs who can change your mindset. How can you not succeed if you surround yourself with such great company?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
The strategy that has helped me grow my business the most is Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising allows a little entrepreneur like Nick Unsworth to hang with big companies and build a brand online. If you’ve got really good graphic design and advertise on Facebook, you can build an email list, build your brand, and build authority.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had was starting the NU Perks Card. Basically, I went into the local market and got about 45 businesses and restaurants to put discounts on my NU Perks Card. The concept was great, and everyone was excited.
I hired an advertising company. It threw my grassroots marketing plan in the garbage and told me I needed to do TV commercials. It didn’t make sense to me, but the company was adamant about it, and I trusted it. I ended up burning through more than $30,000 in cash and sold 14 cards — a grand total of $280, half of which went to charity. I accumulated $30,000 in debt and bet the ranch on the ads, which was not a smart decision. But I go big or go home, and on this one, I was going home.
What I learned from that experience is that if you’re an entrepreneur, you have to have the resilience of a warrior. I failed at selling cards, but those TV commercials drove nuperkscard.com up to the top page of Google search results, which inspired me to learn Internet marketing. My mission became to help businesses get clients with online marketing that works and create positive cash flow (rather than bleeding them dry).
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The idea is putting on what’s called a virtual summit. Whether you’re a new entrepreneur who has a relentless desire to be successful or a seasoned entrepreneur, you can reach out in your niche to other experts who have amazing brands and influence and put them on a virtual summit.
I call mine the Life On Fire Virtual Summit. I reached out and got what I call an anchor — someone who has name recognition. Once you get one person of influence, other people will want to be a part of it. I put together this Life On Fire virtual event featuring 25 of the world’s most amazing entrepreneurs. When someone opts in with an email addresses, he gains access to 25 live sessions. Those 25 live sessions happen over the course of about three months on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s an exciting process that bring value to so many people.
You’re positioning yourself alongside other entrepreneurs in your niche, and you can get the speakers to bundle their digital content and offer it to users at a reduced price, with the proceeds going to charity.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
When I was in high school, I had a burning desire to be successful in football. I had a lot of anger in my life, and I wanted to channel that energy into something. I’d never played football before. I was chubby and not athletic, but I made a decision as a freshman to play football.
To accomplish this, I was the first in the gym and the last to leave. People made fun of me, and no one thought I was ever going to play. By the time I was a senior, I started on both sides. I played offense. I played defense. I played center at 150 pounds soaking wet, and I was a middle linebacker.
I did so well that I got into my high school’s hall of fame. That was so inspirational for me that I tattooed my football number on my wrist, and I call it my moment on fire. Whenever you’re met with a tough decision, I encourage you to tap into a moment in your past when you did something amazing and felt completely empowered. Overcoming those challenges defines you as a person.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I love Post Planner for Facebook marketing because it allows you to curate content instead of create it constantly. It allows you to see what’s already going viral on Facebook in your niche and simply share that. It’s helping us build a community and add value for our tribe.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I read “The Secret” after one of my business failures, when I was trying to find the positives. My mother gave me this book and wrote in the cover that she believed in me. I read the book, and it completely changed how I think.
It’s an intro to mindset, personal development, and the law of attraction. If you’ve ever had negative thoughts, you need to read this book. Don’t watch the movie. You need to read this book because the thoughts you have in your head will manifest in your life. They manifest as disease. Worry manifests as stress. That manifests in your work. Once I became aware of that, I started to use it for good and started to think happy thoughts as often as I could.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Joe Polish, an entrepreneur who built an amazing business and went off to create Genius Network, a network of high-profile entrepreneurs who spend $25,000 to hang out with each other three times per year, has inspired me.
Another person who has influenced my thinking is one of my best friends, John Lee Dumas of enterpreneuronfire.com. John inspired me to start Life On Fire TV. He helped me get it to No. 1 on iTunes, and Life On Fire TV continues to be one of my greatest accomplishments.
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Nick Unsworth on Twitter: @nickunsworth