Chris Guillebeau http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11538/all en-US Build Your Own Small Business Empire in One Year: Empire Building Kit http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-small-business-empire-in-one-year-empire-building-kit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/build-your-own-small-business-empire-in-one-year-empire-building-kit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_1081_1.JPG" alt="small empire" title="small empire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a small business you want to take to the next level? Or are you full of business ideas but lack the knowledge or motivation to execute them? Either way, if you&rsquo;re ready to create your own small business empire, then the <a href="http://www.unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?Clk=3723266">Empire Building Kit</a> may be the tool to help you do it &mdash; and all in a year or less.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve long been a fan of Chris Guillebeau, whose <a href="http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/">blog</a> motivates thousands of people to take their lives into their own hands, and whose mission to visit every country in the world before turning 35 is of special interest to me.</p> <p>He&rsquo;s also written a number of useful e-books, including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life">The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Frequent Flyer Master</a>, which I&rsquo;ve reviewed here on Wise Bread.</p> <p>Now, he&rsquo;s taken his empire-building business tactics to a new level with the <a href="http://www.unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?Clk=3723266">Empire Building Kit</a>. It is a one-year program designed to give you a boost to turn your business idea into a highly profitable machine that allows you to live the life you want, doing something you love to do.</p> <h2>Who Should Apply</h2> <p><strong>You don&rsquo;t need any specific skills or expertise</strong>, but you must be motivated to make a positive change in your life and business. I think the purchase price alone will weed out the serious from the not-so-serious, if you ask me.</p> <p>In Chris&rsquo;s words, you <strong>&ldquo;must be prepared to work hard, make wise decisions, and make today slightly better than yesterday&rdquo;</strong>. To that end, the Empire Building Kit is built on the idea that you can&rsquo;t build an empire overnight, which is why it is a one-year program. Doing a little bit every day is an incredibly successful way of getting to where you need to go, especially if your goal initially seems overwhelming (and starting a business that makes six figures from scratch is nothing if not overwhelming).</p> <p>Chris wants customers who are &ldquo;ready to build a <em>sustainable</em> lifestyle business doing what they love &mdash; for customers who love them right back&rdquo;.</p> <h2>What&rsquo;s Included</h2> <p>(As you&rsquo;ll see below there are three levels of membership; your membership choice dictates how much of the information below you have access to).</p> <p><strong>One Year of Daily Emails with Tangible Steps to Take</strong> &mdash; Your daily dose of empire-wisdom will arrive in your inbox, with a small but tangible step to get your empire under way. I&rsquo;ve been receiving the daily emails for a short time now, and find that some days are simply food for thought (albeit pretty serious goal-setting food, mind you), and other days direct you to certain case studies or videos (see below). Each day has a bite-sized action you can take to build your empire &mdash; one step at a time.</p> <p><strong>Case Studies</strong> &mdash; Available to you in PDF, audio, video, or transcript formats. These case studies are of people who have their own sustainable lifestyle businesses, earning $50,000 to $150,000 in net annual income (net!) with no more than three employees. They include dog walkers, murder mystery party hosts, fitness trainers, artists, and freelancers. They bare all, including information on their marketing, operations, and finances, and include actionable advice for how you can emulate their tactics.</p> <p><strong>The Unconventional Guides Journey</strong> &mdash; Chris also shares his own unconventional journey, including all the sales figures and stats for his business, mistakes made along the way, and techniques he used to boost business by 25%.&nbsp;I found some of these videos particularly interesting, including his description of what tools he uses and how.</p> <p><strong>Recording of a Webinar</strong> &mdash; During the pre-launch of the Empire Building Kit, Chris conducted a live webinar with the attendees, in which he answered any and all questions. This is available for new &ldquo;Emperors&rdquo; to view.</p> <p><strong>43-Step Product Launch Checklist</strong> &mdash; This 4 page PDF document is a step-by-step checklist of what to do to make a product launch successful with minimal hiccups.</p> <h2>My Take</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve been receiving the daily emails for a while, and some are more useful than others. I appreciate the progression that the emails guide you through, and although you can view/read any component when you wish, the course material is chronologically laid out and makes the most sense if reviewed in order. I really like how the course is designed to take one year to go through; and I can already see that if you actually do your &ldquo;homework&rdquo;, you can go places.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of the highlights that I&rsquo;ve enjoyed learning so far include the following:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Learning some of Chris&rsquo;s tactics to <strong>reduce refund requests</strong>.</li> <li>An illustration of cross-selling in a way that doesn&rsquo;t seem underhanded.</li> <li>Tips for service providers to <strong>increase sales</strong>.</li> <li>Watching the video interviews with other successful business people; some have taken fairly unconventional ideas and made them work. Watching them talk informally also helps me to realize they&rsquo;re just &ldquo;normal people&rdquo;, which makes doing what they do seem all the more achievable.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although you don&rsquo;t need to have a business in place already, it helps to have direction or at least some ideas before getting the course. <strong>I think this course can best help somebody develop their idea into a business and/or increase profitability of an existing business.</strong> If all you have is a vague notion of wanting to be in business for yourself, you may not get as much from the course. (Then again, if what you lack in ideas or structure you make up for in motivation, then you can be an exception to this rule).</p> <p>Knowing Chris and the admirable empire he&rsquo;s built for himself, I believe that he can help other people do the same thing by sharing everything he knows (and he&rsquo;s very transparent and honest about his business), as well as the success stories (and learning experiences) of 15 other successful businesses.</p> <h2>Cost</h2> <p>Like I said, I think the hefty price will weed out the business-building-window-shoppers from those truly serious about building on their business ideas. It&rsquo;s easy to buy an inexpensive e-book and not really take its contents seriously; reading it quickly and not truly applying the advice therein. But if you pay a larger sum of money, you&rsquo;ll be more dedicated to getting value from it. I&rsquo;m not saying this to justify a higher price than is reasonable; rather I think there&rsquo;s value here, but it&rsquo;s up to you to decide if you&rsquo;re ready to make that leap. There must be a commitment to taking your business (or business idea) to the next level if you&rsquo;re going to see its worth.</p> <p>There are three levels of participation in the <a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?Clk=3723266"><strong>Empire Building Kit</strong></a><strong>:</strong></p> <p><strong>Emperor-in-Training: $149 </strong>(includes 10 PDF case studies, 5 video interviews, and daily emails for 1 year)</p> <p><strong>Hail Caesar: $249 </strong>(includes 12 PDF case studies, 7 video interviews, daily emails, and 43-step Product Launch checklist)</p> <p><strong>Alexander the Great: $449 </strong>(this is the whole enchilada, including 15 case studies, 7 video interviews, daily emails, 43step Product Launch checklist, Behind-the-Scenes at Unconventional Guides module, and bonus videos)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hopefully we&rsquo;ll see a whole new breed of small business &ldquo;Emperors&rdquo; in a year&rsquo;s time!</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review package of the Empire Building Kit, and there are affiliate links in this post.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-small-business-empire-in-one-year-empire-building-kit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fundamentals-of-naming-a-small-business">10 Fundamentals of Naming a Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-lessons-i-ve-learned-from-self-employment">8 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Self-Employment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make">6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-build-business-credit-when-youre-self-employed">5 Ways to Build Business Credit When You&#039;re Self-Employed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Chris Guillebeau Tue, 18 May 2010 12:00:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 84565 at http://www.wisebread.com Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_3528_1_1.jpg" alt="plane prop" title="plane prop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="192" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ssshh: don&rsquo;t bother me. I&rsquo;m busy doing my Christmas shopping and accumulating enough frequent flyer miles to pay for two overseas flights &mdash; in business class.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve just finished reading Chris Guillebeau&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?Clk=3597208">Frequent Flyer Master</a>. This e-book professes to give you the tools to attain free travel anywhere, and features a &ldquo;one free plane ticket&rdquo; guarantee: with a small investment of your time practicing some of the tips in this e-book, you can earn enough frequent flyer miles to take at least one free trip a year.</p> <h2>Background</h2> <p>Just in case you don&rsquo;t know who <a href="http://chrisguillebeau.com/">Chris Guillebeau</a> is, one of his claims to fame is that he is on a mission to visit every country in the world by April 2013. He visits approximately 25 countries per year, and as at the writing of this post is at 122 of 192 countries.</p> <p>Because he isn&rsquo;t independently wealthy, he affords this habit by virtue of hacking frequent flyer mile programs. He finds the loopholes and dives through them in a successful quest for hundreds of thousands of miles and elite status each year. He walks the talk.</p> <h2>Premise</h2> <p>Frequent Flyer Master emphasizes that much of the frequent flyer mileage industry is based on lack of information. Most people have no idea of the how their miles can best provide for their travel needs and goals, and they end up unwittingly overspending. Airlines benefit from the thousands of people who have a few hundred or thousand frequent flyer miles stashed away with no real intention of using (or even understanding) them.</p> <p>If you buy this e-book it is assumed that you are taking the accumulation of frequent flyer miles somewhat seriously, and are looking for viable strategies to do so. To that end, Guillebeau suggests you <strong>set some specific travel goals</strong>. Frequent flyer miles are some of the most underutilized benefits out there; if you take the time and effort to accumulate them, make sure you have a plan to redeem them too.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be as ambitious as Guillebeau and see every country; even the goal of a free flight to Hawaii can get you started (that&rsquo;s how I started collecting, passively, many years ago. Who knew my reward ticket to <a href="http://theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/04/goodbye-hawaii/">Hawaii</a> would end up being one-way).</p> <h2>Structure</h2> <ul> <li><strong>Introduction</strong></li> <li><strong>Strategy</strong> <em>(which includes a history of the industry, basics of frequent flyer miles today, and general strategies)</em></li> <li><strong>Tactics: Earning Miles</strong> <em>(including both passive and active strategies, ongoing promotions, and special deals)</em></li> <li><strong>Tactics: Redeeming Miles</strong> <em>(with hints and troubleshooting tips)</em></li> <li><strong>Miscellaneous Notes and Tips</strong></li> <li><strong>Questions &amp; Answers</strong></li> <li><strong>Reader Stories</strong></li> </ul> <p>This e-book (like many) also includes a few extras (reports, interviews, audio/videos, etc) that are just as weighty as the book in terms of material and value. But hands down <strong>the highest value perk to owning this e-book is the ongoing updates from Guillebeau identifying new frequent flyer promotions and how to hack your way into hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of miles</strong>. (I&rsquo;m not kidding about the opening paragraph: I&rsquo;m in the throes of earning a cool 250,000 miles just by doing some strategic Christmas Shopping, as a result of his latest update).</p> <h2>Limitations</h2> <p>If you aren&rsquo;t a U.S. Citizen (or resident), many of the deals and offers won&rsquo;t apply to you. As Guillebeau says, many of the best airline reward programs belong to U.S. airlines, which are among the worst for service. (He advocates maximizing your miles by using them to fly with the world alliance airlines to which the U.S. airlines belong).</p> <p>Canadians will have a moderately better time than others, since some of the U.S. airlines have Canadian branches that are in competition with Air Canada.</p> <p>Guillebeau attempts to combat this limitation by providing regular updates to his Frequent Flyer Master subscribers with opportunities that can be enjoyed by anyone from anywhere.</p> <h2>Highlights</h2> <p>Without giving away the meat of this e-book, here are some random frequent flyer mile hints and strategies that I found added value:</p> <ul> <li>Guillebeau gives a helpful rule for determining the <strong>per-mile value of your frequent flyer miles</strong>, so you can evaluate various offers for their value. Not all frequent flyer mile offers are created equal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use Those Miles! You may be hoarding miles in an effort to either save for a big travel goal, or simply a rainy day. Unfortunately it might <strong>leave you in the lurch if the airline adjusts the value of their miles</strong> (and in so doing, de-values the miles), and your hard work at accumulation is somewhat negated.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Trading in your frequent flyer miles for <strong>long haul business and first class travel usually represents the best deal for your miles</strong>, by far. And when on a long haul trip, flying in something other than economy can make all the difference to how you feel when you disembark.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Other tickets worth booking with frequent flyer miles include <strong>cross-country flights and trips to more obscure places</strong>, not serviced by discount airlines.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>There is a discussion about buying and selling your miles, with evaluative criteria for each.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The three main tactics for earning miles include flying, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">credit card spending</a>, and non-travel activity (like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">shopping</a>).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Accumulation is only half the battle. Redeeming your miles is another exercise in knowing what you can get, where you can get it, and how to get the best value.</li> </ul> <p>As a passive frequent flyer junkie (who uses little more than a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">credit card rewards program</a> to accumulate miles), this e-book has inspired me. With a little bit of effort, I can earn a huge number of miles, and (hopefully) I won&rsquo;t have to worry about paying for another long-haul flight again. Oh yeah &mdash; and I&rsquo;m flying <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-in-style-for-free">first class</a> all the way, baby.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?Clk=3597208"><strong>Frequent Flyer Master</strong></a>, by Chris Guillebeau</p> <p><strong>Pages:</strong> 40</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $49 <em>($79 when combined with </em><a href="https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=204092&amp;c=ib&amp;aff=21326&amp;cl=30134"><em>Travel Ninja</em></a><em> - about travel hacking strategies)</em></p> <p><strong>Includes:</strong> A 20 minute audio download, a 4-part report on using Priceline, and free updates with valuable travel hacking opportunities</p> <p><em>If you want to know more about Chris Guillebeau&rsquo;s books, I reviewed another one of his (called </em><a target="_blank" href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?Clk=3597206"><em>The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself </em></a><em>) in another Wise Bread article about </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life"><em>making money, traveling, and changing your life</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>&hellip;And just in case you thought that this is a new phenomenon, or that Guillebeau takes his frequent flyer miles way too seriously, check out this brilliant 20 minute documentary called <a href="http://www.vimeo.com/7167640">Frequent Flyer</a>. It portraits the frequent flyer mile industry, its people, and the world of airplanes and airports that make it all happen.</p> <object width="400" height="225"> <param value="true" name="allowfullscreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /> <param value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7167640&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" name="movie" /><embed width="400" height="225" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7167640&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/7167640">Frequent Flyer</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user2487465">Gabriel Leigh</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p><em>Author&rsquo;s Note: I received a free copy of Frequent Flyer Master for review, and there are affiliate links in this post.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Update (April, 2010): I indeed received 145,000 frequent flier miles as a function of this frequent flyer deal, and I have booked one return long-haul airfare ticket in business class, as well as a domestic flight. For the $1,200 I spent, I received almost $9,000 in flights. </strong></em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbecome-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBecome%20a%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Master%20and%20Earn%20a%20Free%20Flight%20Every%20Year.jpg&amp;description=Become%20a%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Master%20and%20Earn%20a%20Free%20Flight%20Every%20Year" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Become%20a%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Master%20and%20Earn%20a%20Free%20Flight%20Every%20Year.jpg" alt="Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel">The 7 Rules of Budget Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-around-the-guidebook-techniques-for-researching-your-trip-without-spending-a-fortune">Getting Around the Guidebook: Techniques for Researching your Trip Without Spending a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free">If It’s Not Sunny In Philadelphia, It’s Free!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Cars and Transportation Travel air miles Art and Leisure Chris Guillebeau frequent flyer master frequent flyer miles Fri, 04 Dec 2009 21:43:41 +0000 Nora Dunn 3924 at http://www.wisebread.com