Entrepreneurs: No One Will Give You Permission, so Stop Waiting for It

“When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.”– Geoffrey F. Abert

No one will give you permission to create wealth as an entrepreneur, so stop waiting for it. No one will give you permission to combine and attract new resources in a way that will allow you to live completely free and autonomously.

You are not alone in seeking this, but you are the only one stopping yourself.

As a sovereign human being, you are entitled to have freedom and so is everyone else in this world. Even if you live in a developing country or are starting with little resources, the Internet leveled the playing field.   We live in an abundant world where having more does not mean others get less; there is more than enough for all.

Thinking you’re undeserving and needing permission has subconsciously caused you to reject or sabotage opportunities that have been handed to you because you thought they seemed too easy, or you skeptically thought they were too good to be true. Stop thinking you’re not good enough. Stop thinking you don’t know enough. By being a good receiver, opening your eyes, and giving extreme gratitude for everything that supports your growth, you’ll find The Universe lopping you layups [opportunities ripe for the picking] all the time.

The more means and resources you have, the more you can give and the more you can make incredible changes for your  family, employees, community, cause/non-profit/church,  society,  and yourself. Before giving this gift generously to others, you have to achieve it for yourself. For some of those you will affect, your monetary offering will be your gift, for others it will be your time, and for others it will be your story.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese proverb

Wealth historically comes from creating extreme value for lots and lots of people. Period. Yes, if you want to be a mismatcher or find exceptions, you’ll find them, but haven’t you already been doing that? How has that worked out so far for you?

You may have your wealth engine/entrepreneurial muse already built.  Did  you stop putting  fuel in because you thought you didn’t have permission to stand out and create value?

There are people that might encourage you when you explain your dream or vision for your entrepreneurial venture, but if you’re looking for their approval –  just like you did for other major decisions in your life –  stop.

Be ready and be OK with not receiving approval or ongoing encouragement. When you share your ideas and dreams, often others’ values are called into question, and some may tell you all the ways your idea won’t work. By presenting your ideas to them you’re making him or her evaluate their own level of courage. Some people aren’t ready for that sort of self-reflection.

Who should you seek approval from for manifesting your freedom through creating wealth as an entrepreneur?

  • Not your mother, she wants you to be safe, secure, and happy. An entrepreneur’s life is risky with extremes such as extreme joy, extreme giving, and extremely hard work (for a time).  You won’t be “comfortable” (which can be a trap in life) for a long time.
  • Not your father, he doesn’t want you to move back in the house  if you “fail” [There is no such thing as failure, only feedback]. Secondly, he never was able to make his entrepreneurial wealth dream happen, so it must not be possible.
  • Not your boss, you’re high leverage to him/her. You get billed out at $300 an hour, while you make $40 an hour. He/she doesn’t want you to quit. It would make his life harder to find someone to replace you because you’re amazing.
  • Not your sibling, he/she’s “not interested in money” and thinks you’re “selfish” for wanting to make a lot. He/she’s skeptical and sees most wealthy people as unethical, sellouts, or dull and dumb.
  • Not your coworkers, misery loves company. Crabs pull other crabs back in the bucket.
  • Not your spouse, you already have an awesome, high-paying, prestigious job, he/she doesn’t know why you won’t just stay there and move up the ladder. He/she doesn’t want to have to explain to the friends (the Jones) what you do.
  • Not your grandmother, she doesn’t know why you don’t want to work for 30 years with the same company and retire with a gold watch like grandpa did before he died five years into retirement.
  • Not your friends, they think you’re weird for not wanting to “go with the flow” and crazy for wanting to quit your job “in this economy.” Why can’t you just relax.
  • Not other successful employees, they don’t think like successful entrepreneurs and will view your ideas and execution plans through a different lens.
  • Not the President, global lower and middle-class mediocrity and conforming to what the controlled media says makes you easier to manage and tax.
  • Not God, although there are plenty of sacred religious texts encouraging wealth and good stewardship, God’s not going to blatantly send an angel in a dream that says to you point blank, “Go forth my son/daughter and make bank, you have my permission.” -The Man Upstairs

Remember I said seek approval not approve of and send resources once you are making waves and creating value.  Mark my word, this will happen once you are  giving yourself permission. I say giving instead of given because it is an active process.

Do find self-made entrepreneurs to have as mentors who have been successful in a similar area.  Don’t seek their permission, only their encouragement once you’re doing things to make your dream a reality.

The greatness of it all is that you don’t need the permission or approval of the people I mentioned above. In fact, you may make some of these people uncomfortable and face opposition and negativity. That’s OK. Expect it and accept it. Keep your day job, but start your “side hustle,” until you reach freedom (enough passive and/or active income to live on). Once you’re free, then you can create some real wealth, and achieve what you’re supposed achieve with your God-given talents and reclaimed freedom.

Once you’ve made it and you’re helping all of these people and others with: jobs, inspiration, mentorship, personal development, business skills and spiritual thought processes that make them more money, manifest more love, ignite more confidence, and bring them more fulfillment, they will be glad you did what you did, they just don’t know it yet.

Neil Lemons is an entrepreneur, arts and entertainment magazine publisher, mentor, consultant, and motivator. Follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, and join his circle on .

A Quick Note of Gratitude from Your 30 Year-old Son

This is an email I wrote to my parents. To be successful in life, I recommend expressing gratitude on a regular basis to family, friends, significant others,  co-workers, teachers,  mentors, and the Universe.


Date: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 1:55 PM
Subject: A Quick Note of Gratitude from Your 30 Year-old Son

Hey Mom and Dad,

I was just reading the book Master Your Money by Ron Blue,
a book Dad gave to me, and I found a note that was being
used as a bookmark probably 15 years old. It was in Mom’s
handwriting and it had listed “Aaron’s car $x,xxx” and “Neil’s
car $x,xxx.” It also had some CC balances. This morning, I
felt overwhelmed with gratitude that you raised my siblings
and I with love and support as we were growing up and
continue to now.

I talk a lot about marketing, success, my theories, business
stuff, and my future goals. You guys probably get tired of it,
and it probably seems like the only stuff I think about. It’s not.

Being 30 and in a different place than you guys and my siblings
were and are in life at this point as far as their own families go,
I feel like this subject is one of those things I feel most comfortable
in relating since you may not be able to relate to my current life.

(Mom, I know we tend to have more to talk about, and you seem
happier, when I have a current girlfriend.)

I wanted to let you know despite all the business stuff, without a
doubt, I value relationships and family above all. Also, I wanted to let you
know I am a very happy, well-adjusted, and balanced person.

I have so much to be grateful for with my family, friends, and my
freedom. I’m wealthy in this regard.

My finances are a work-in-progress and a lifelong work. We don’t
always have our families for all of our lives, so I wanted to express my
gratitude to you TODAY.

I read a lot of bios of business people and rock stars. Guns N’ Roses
are coming to town and I looked up the lead singer’s bio on Wikipedia. I
read how sad Axl Rose’s upbringing was with abandonment and abuse,
and again felt gratitude that I had such an incredible childhood with
great parents and a brother and sister.

Although, I’m always pushing in my life for growth, new experiences,
doing and considering doing unconventional things like: couchsurfing, world
travel, living by choice as an unattached bachelor, hypnotherapy school,
studying spirituality, psychology, the occult, and the Illuminati, despite
all this stuff that may seem foreign and weird to you, you have raised
a well-adjusted, happy, sane, somewhat-normal person, that’s doing
great in life.

My actions and words may also seem like unrest to you, but I assure you
I’m fine. At the end of the day, I’m a truth and experience seeker. Having a
wife and family will not change that, and it’s not for lack of that that I am how
I am currently in my life. My gift to my children someday
and the world at large will be my story and what I can
teach them, so I plan on making it a good one and having a lot to teach.

One thing I’ve learned about my personality type (like I didn’t already know)
from standardized psychological tests is, I have a verbally quiet, yet
adventuresome-in-action spirit. I seek thrills and spontaneity and my ultimate core value is: freedom/independence. Followed by these.

Freedom – Able to move about without bounds or restraints, liberty.
Truth – A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.
Kindness – Friendly, caring, liking.
Knowledge – Subject matter expert, education via experience or study.
Growth – Investing in lifelong learning, personal development, self-education.

I still have a child-like thought process that I can do anything and be anyone
I want. I am a dreamer (thanks Dad).

I’m extremely fortunate in many ways with all that has come my way with what
others have given. One thing I’ve realized is, some of the most successful people are
good not only as givers, but good receivers. That’s something which good, and even
Christian, people overlook and it can hurt them spiritually.

You have to accept and feel worthy of what others do for you, otherwise you
rob them of the feeling they get from giving and the energy force they are passing
along. Acceptance, even of substantial gifts, without guilt or feelings of obligation,
is fine as long as there is gratitude (override the unfounded feelings of guilt, obligation,
and the Law of Reciprocity).

As long as you’re always giving value to the world and aren’t worried about
getting back, you shouldn’t feel guilty when it comes back (it’s a Law of the Universe).

I’m fortunate to have the abilities you have passed on to me such as: being hospitable,
friendly, a connector, and having a strong character.

I know we fancy ourselves a creative family, but Mom your analytical genes have
helped me with logic and the business side of my life. I do more number crunching than
I ever thought I would do in my career, and I’ve learned to embrace it, because it stands
to represent something I’ve done that others value…results. Dad, your warmth and sincerity
in your writing style, which may have passed through genes and rearing (Nature & Nurture),
has been of huge help in my professional and personal life.

I always say in interviews, that I have both analytical and creative sides (which is
perfect for what I do), since my Father was a photographer and Mother did the books
(accounting) for him (among other things such as sales). My strongest suit in life is writing
with a purpose: teaching, motivating, and being persuasive in print and in person (sales).
Being good at all of these take both sides of the brain, analytical and creative.

Thank you for being there. I love you.

Neil Lemons

==== END of Email=====

How Expert Sourcing Makes Your Content More Sharable

Have you ever heard the buzzword “crowdsourcing?” It’s popular among bloggers and business start-ups that create tech products or content for mass consumption. Even Microsoft uses this method. Basically, they put out a beta version of whatever product they have created and then use the minds and input of 1000s of software engineers who volunteer to improve the product. Some may call this “the wisdom of crowds,” which is also the title of a book by James Surowiecki.

Developers and users of software may use the term “open source” for software that is free and is continually being improved by 1000s of volunteers, aka the “community.”

For every major piece of software or framework that has had a huge impact in the last 20 years (Windows, Adobe Photoshop, easy FTP programs, blogs, website builders) there is usually a premier open source alternative to the most popular paid one. The most popular content management (CMS) systems or website builders are open source, or free to those who know how to use them: WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

The opposite would be having to pay a website company monthly for access to a custom CMS or proprietary system to manage content and create pages. For the slightly less technical, he/she may just generalize this to thinking they are just paying hosting fees.

How to Use Expert Sourcing to Blast off Your Blogging Efforts

How does this relate to improving your content? Content is currency on the web, which takes time, energy, and thought to create. You may have heard the more common term “user generated content.” Major social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter have this as their business model.

Only their framework would exist if users were not constantly adding content, and there would not be much value. The value AND the growth come from users propagating and interacting, by, you guessed it, creating content.

I remember hearing a joke a few years ago that went like the definition of a social networking website business is, “We create all the content, they keep all the money.”

I’m not a big fan of being considered someone else’s user generated content. Similar to I don’t like how a specialized expert or subject matter expert in business is called a “resource.”

I’ve coined a term in blogging and content creation which I hope will take hold. I feel is much more respectable for achieving the same results and more accurate. I call it Expert Sourcing.

In my method, EVERYONE benefits in a win-win for all parties: the blog owner, the contributor, and the audience. By targeting key people who have their own agenda or want to build credibility in their respective field and need exposure, writing quality content may be a small price to pay.

Five Types of Expert Sourcing that Make Your Content More Sharable

1. Email Interview with Experts
2. One Question, Multiple Experts’ Opinions
3. Collaborative Guest Posts
4. Article Augmented with Two or Three Quotes from Different Experts
5. A pure guest post

Why do these make your blog post more sharable? It’s simple. Value. There’s value in an expert’s opinion, there is a multiplier effect in having several expert opinions in the same article. This makes the article’s value greater than the sum of its parts. The higher value, the more likely it will be shared.

Case Study: Expert Sourcing for Blog Content Using Collaborative Guest Posts

Some of you may know, I am the Co-founder of a hyper-local digital magazine called ILiveInDallas.com, or ILIVE as I will refer to it for this example. Three months ago, I had the idea of creating a collaborative article. For every collaboration (or confabulation : ), there needs to be a story leading to why something was done.

Having a “reason why” is one of Robert Cialdini’s’s minor weapon of influence hypothesized and thoroughly tested in his book Influence:The Psychology of Persuasion.  Here was my story, which subsequently opened the article.

“It started with an email and a mission. After hearing the news that one local Dallas magazine had proclaimed that Bolsa was the “Best Restaurant in Dallas in 2009,” I had to do an investigative search of my own. When I realized Dallas has nearly 7,000+ restaurants I’d have to try, I thought a faster and possibly more accurate alternative to make my 2011 “have to try” list would be to ask five local Dallas foodies for their five best restaurants in Dallas. None of these foodies saw each others’ list before this article was collaborated and one restaurant made two of the foodie lists.

The article then proceeded to have five sub-articles written by the foodies. Key points:

    Each foodie had a blog, or a reason to want to participate.
    It was a fun, subjective, topic in which there could be several valid opinions.
    There was a team attitude about the whole thing, which made the participants feel like he/she was contributing to a bigger idea (and they were).

The organizer of the post takes on the burden of adding images, consistent formatting, and making sure all elements are in place (bios, author photos, links).

Side Benefits For Expert Sourced Articles for the Blog Owner

– Contributors or interviewees will promote the article to their own network outside of yours.
– You’re more likely to be asked to guest post, or to be interviewed by doing so first resulting in links and better SEO for your website.
– Constantly creating content is tough, you get to take a break for a day.

The first benefit mentioned above was one huge key to the success of the article. This article resulted in a the highest two day traffic rush from social media ever experienced on the site:

The Results

– 2500 visitors in 48 hours
– Over 340 Facebook Shares
– Over 100 Retweets on Twitter
-40 backlinks in two weeks

The article continues to bring traffic from keyword referrals/people finding it on search engines for Dallas restaurant-related terms. That’s the power of Expert Sourcing.

This post is a part of a series called Better Business Blogging & Audience Building Secrets you can get free by subscribing here. You’ll receive exclusive email & member’s only content on the latest audience building techniques. You’ll also receive updates on the state of search, social media, and Internet Marketing for more customers.  Neil Lemons is a Dallas Internet Marketing Consultant who has been blogging and creating  SEO content strategies for businesses since 2006.

How to Hypnotically Harness Your Blog for Better Search & Social Results

Before you sell your expertise, recommendations, and time, you have to sell someone on consuming your media. It’s like dating before you ask someone to be in a committed relationship or for their hand in marriage. You wouldn’t ask on the first date would you? Your media could include blog RSS feed subscriptions through email or a reader, tweets on twitter, status updates on Facebook, or an email newsletter. The more touch points the better. This all starts with having compelling content. Social Media is merely the delivery method for content you’re already creating: blog posts, PDF whitepapers, videos. You should never practice social media marketing in a vacuum without inviting your audience commit to the next step: consuming your content on your website. This is a seduction process that takes time. Since blogging is one of the most foundational and fundamental activities for attracting business, I thought I’d start with some basic reminders.

    1. Spend More Time Crafting the Headline than the Content
    This is an old advertising rule reiterating headlines are crucial in capturing the reader and keep him/her reading. You have to capture the readers attention first. No matter how cliché they seem, lists work. All magazines from Time to Wired to Fast Company use top 10, even top 100, lists as featured articles to attract readers passing newsstands and online. List blog posts use two irresistible psychological triggers based on classic persuasion principles: specificity and authority. Here are ten more psychological triggers you should use in headlines borrowed from direct marketing industry masterminds: social proof, curiosity, halo effect, stories, a reason why, contrast, commitment & consistency, damaging admission, scarcity, and reciprocation. These headline writing tactics, based on rarely-changing persuasion principles and can have a hypnotic effect on your reader. Having an angle or slant commenting on recent national or industry news or “How To” articles also do very well, and play into the same principles. There are several other variables you should consider when writing your post headlines including alteration, flow, and SEO. You should just start with a brain dump and hone from there. What to avoid: Cutesy, self-indulgent, vague, or pun-laden headlines.
    2. Captivate Your Audience with a Compelling or Slightly Confusing Image
    A curious image at the beginning of every blog post can increase the likelihood someone will read it in the first place as well as the likelihood he/she will read the post in its entirety. Readers will read the whole post just to see why the particular image was chosen, like an Easter egg hunt. Picking a slightly odd or weird image, not just a reflection the title, causes a little more brain stimulation. By relating the photo to something in the middle of the post, it triggers a rewarding, “I’m smart” feeling in the reader when he/she finds the connection. It’s like when the name of a song or movie is mentioned in the middle, the viewer/listener goes “ah, hah!” Use Flickr.com and perform an advanced keyword search in the “creative commons” section for royalty-free images. If you use Google Images, at least give a photographer credit. Use at least one compelling image every time you write a blog post. What to avoid: Blasé corporate clip art, stock images, not crediting the photographer.
    3. Cite Internal Links Often
    Link to the homepage or interior pages once or twice in every post, and two to three to other authoritative sources. A good rule of thumb is one link per 100 words. When mentioning an article from the New York Times, use a linkback to the article. When quoting that article use the blockquote function on the backend of WordPress. Speaking of citation, you should always cite credible/authoritative sources, when making a blanket statement or using statistics. It not only helps persuade, there is a secondary halo effect, pairing you with the authority of your source. When mentioning a topic you’ve covered before, link to that post using juicy keyword-rich anchor text (the words that link). Once you’re written a dozen or so posts, add “Related Posts” at the end of every post to get three deep links to older posts. If you use WordPress use this plugin to make it easier: SEO SmartLinks
    What to avoid: Using non-descriptive anchor text such as “click here” when linking internal pages.
    4. Use Your Blog for Original Thought Leadership
    A blog is not the forum for selling or overt personal promotion. In order to build an audience, articles need to be engaging and offer extreme resource and citable (linkable) value to the reader. It should be something which has universal value to your specific audience in which he/she could not help but pass on to others on their networks. Only after the blog has a following should you make a soft sell. The purpose of a blog is not to sell but to be considered a thought leader and expert by displaying expertise in the field. Any press releases should be placed on “company news” section on your website. What to avoid: Posting company news, product specials & press releases. “Me too” articles. Rehashing news already covered by A-List industry blogs everyone has already read, rants or negative thoughts.
    5. Attract Links & Build Community
    Creating articles which get shared and passed along to others using social media goes along with this goal. In this day of attention economics, one has to earn comments on his/her blog . This is done by leaving meaty comments on others’ blogs without personal promotion. These articles link back to your posts in an unobtrusive way and you get on other blog owners’ radar. He/she may link to you or quote you from time to time. Find other relevant bloggers in the same industry and network online by leaving comments.What to avoid: Thinking of other blogs in your industry as competitors to be avoided.
    6. Write Evergreen Info Until You Have an Audience
    Evergreen topics are information users are searching for every day, all the time instead of time sensitive announcements. Create authoritative posts between 1000 – 4000 words answering and teaching in a verbose way detailing what’s important to your audience, step-by-step. Break up the copy with sub-heads which reflect a well-worded headline. Only after you have built up a loyal audience should you start posting commentary or your opinion on the latest piece of industry news. What to avoid: Doing a half-a** job, and being lazy. You’re not going to win if you don’t have the most authoritative article for a given topic.
    7. Research Topics Using a Keyword Research Tool Every Time you Write
    Blog about what’s in demand and shoot for a five to seven word long phrase for ranking every time you post. Make that phrase your headline with one or two buffer words before or after. What to avoid: Guessing based on what you think people are searching without doing the research & targeting phrases which are too competitive.

For half a decade, Neil Lemons has worked behind-the-scenes to help create exposure, traffic, leads, and sales through major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing using . Lemons has also been involved in Social Media sites since 2001, networking, promoting and building community on : Facebook, Livejournal, MySpace, Friendster, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and others. Calling upon his diverse background in copywriting, advertising, marketing, and sales, learning traditional SEO and SEM tactics implementing online marketing strategies since 2005.

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