Ikigai: reason for being

This is the post excerpt.


Ikigai is the magic place defined by the intersection of four elements:

What you love

What you are good at

What the world needs

What you can be paid for

The discovery of your ikigai comes from a journey. It requires a long search within yourself that can brings to find your inner treasure, deep satisfaction and reason for being.

Things american men learned marrying Japanese wiwes

6 Surprising Things American Men Learned After Marrying their Japanese Wives

6 Surprising Things American Men Learned After Marrying their Japanese Wives

Just like you hear in hit songs, when the environment two people are raised in are different, their interests and values also tend to be different. Even couples born and raised in Japan notice a different in each other’s food preferences and way of life.

So you can imagine the differences and the questions that might arise to someone from overseas living in Japan who marries a native Japanese wife. Questions of culture and customs that are completely unique to Japan.

Today I spoke to three American men who married Japanese women, including Steve, an English teacher and active foreign TV talent. What things shocked you the most? (The following commentary is based on the personal opinions of the respondents.)

■She takes so many baths!

■She takes so many baths!

Japan is world-famous for its bath culture. This custom has a strong root in the lives of Japanese people, however for many newly-married Americans in Japan, it can come as a surprise just how different this part of their daily lives can be.

“We don’t usually take baths every day in America. I was surprised how often my wife would ask me “When are you going to take a bath?” after we got married. I thought, I don’t need to take a bath that often, and when I do, I’d like to go in on my own time. Also, it was surprising to learn that the area where you wash your body and the area you soak are divided in the bathroom. And in America, reusing the same bath water is unheard of!”

It is all too common within the Japanese family to see the mother scolding her child to “Go take a bath.” But it seems to be less common in the States.

■The desserts aren’t sweet!?

■The desserts aren’t sweet!?

“I remember one time we were invited to a party as a couple. The desserts they had were nowhere near a sweet as the ones in America. But when I asked some of the other Japanese people there, I was surprised that many of them said they also preferred sweet things. I thought that Japanese people just didn’t like sweet things, but it turns out that wasn’t the case either…”

Sweets such as giant ice-cream cones are often seen in the scenes of Hollywood movies. That gives the impression that adults and children alike indulge in sweetsand desserts on a near daily basis in America, which is probably what accounts for their uniquely American shock.

■You can buy dinner at the convenience store!?

■You can buy dinner at the convenience store!?

“Once when both my wife and I had a very busy day at work, she suggested picking up dinner at the convenience store. I was surprised that this was even an option. I’ve never bought dinner at a convenience store in America.”

In the US, while you can buy regular foods as well as household goods together at supermarkets, in the convenience stores you only find things like water and snacks. The Japanese habit of buying meal items such as rice balls, sandwiches, and bento boxes must have been surprising.

■Parents don’t take their children to school!?

■Parents don’t take their children to school!?

“I was amazed to see so many children walking and riding the train to school by themselves. In the United State parents usually drive their kids to school, then pick them up. Japan is a country that is safe enough to leave your unlocked bike outside a store, or leave your cellphone on a table, and it will always be there when you return. Japan is safe enough for children to walk to school by themselves. I was completely shocked in a good way at how honest Japanese people are!”

He was also surprised to learn about the school attendance system in which senior students look after younger students and accompany them to and from school. The sight of students meeting up and traveling to school together seems to be a new thing in the eyes of Americans who do not share this same culture.

■She really admires foreign cultures, but is it just because she thinks it’s “American?”

■She really admires foreign cultures, but is it just because she thinks it’s “American?”

“My wife loves the outdoors. She’s also not bothered by the bugs, and thinks it’s amazing to be in a place so far from other Japanese people. But from my perspective, as an American who is supposed to love camping yet is still not that great with places that lack toilets, I can’t believe she’s being completely honest. It’s actually not very American at all… it’s strange that it seems like she is trying to be more American than those around her.”

The idea of some Japanese people trying to be more American seems to cause some discomfort. Certainly one can look up to adventurous women who spend time outdoors for their cool, worldwide atmosphere. However, no matter which way you spin it, at their core they are still Japanese people. This is obvious just by their different ways of thinking.

“It was at our wedding celebration in Maui when I really came to know the difference in the Japanese way of thinking. Because there would be a total of 12 people coming from both America and Japan, I wanted to rent one big house to accommodate everyone. We would have our own private bedroom of course, but there would also be separate rooms for everyone else, as well as spaces where everyone could gather and chat. But my wife thought it would be better to rent two separate smaller houses, one for each family, worrying that the language barrier might be too huge and cause too much stress… As an American, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind diving right into something new. But my wife is one to always check for sharks first.”

■She won’t talk, even when we’re fighting!

■She won’t talk, even when we’re fighting!

Lastly, we talked about one of the most important issues in a marriage: couple’s quarrels.

“When we get angry, I think it’s important to talk about it until we can both come to an understanding. But when my wife is angry, she won’t tell me what’s bothering her, and will sometimes even outright refuse to talk. But if you can’t talk about why you’re upset, you can’t solve the problem, and the fight can drag on for way longer than necessary.”

Debate culture is definitely more prominent in America than in Japan. Japanese people tend to say things in a roundabout way than be too assertive. It is a notable difference between the languages and cultures that even what is spoken is not necessarily everything that should be said. This can create communication issues between couples, especially once they get married.

It is surprising how many things you don’t even realize until after getting married and living together, and even more so when both partners come from a different culture with a different language. This is why communication is universally important in any marriage, no matter the country or culture.

*This information is from the time of this article’s publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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10 Foods you need yomtry in Japan…

…that aren’t sushi

Expand your food knowledge – and palate

If your awareness of Japanese cuisine consists mainly of sushi and sake, a trip to Japan will show you that your dining options extend far beyond those items.

This island country with 47 prefectures has a culinary combination of Western influences and provincial specialties along with regional recipes encompassing ingredients extending to rice, vegetables, tofu, seafood and meats.

For starters, fugu – the poisonous pufferfish that has to be prepared properly by a trained chef – is tied to the city of Shimonoseki, while the prefecture of Hiroshima is known for its oysters. Meanwhile, snow crab is a winter delicacy caught in the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean.

Other dishes have gone beyond regional boundaries and have different variations. For example. udon noodles and soba noodles can be served either hot or cold, and where they differ is that udon is white, thick and made from wheat flour, while soba is comprised of buckwheat flour and is similar to spaghetti.

Start off your culinary adventure in Japan with these suggested Japanese dishes.


Ramen varies throughout Japan, but it's always a comforting dishRamen varies throughout Japan, but it’s always a comforting dish — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / FilippoBacci

This popular noodle soup dish is categorized by various ingredients and is associated with different regions. While there are over 10 varieties, there are four primary versions. Shoyu is a clear, brown broth with a soy sauce flavoring; Shio is also clear, but with salt; Miso gets its taste from miso paste; and Tonkotsu is a thicker version made from pork bones and originating on the island of Kyushu.

Noodles can be long and straight or thick and wavy, and toppings can extend to slices of pork, chopped green onion, bean sprouts, a boiled egg and seaweed.


Okonomiyaki is layered, rather than mixed, in HiroshimaOkonomiyaki is layered, rather than mixed, in Hiroshima — Photo courtesy of Michele Herrmann

This savory pancake is a staple in two places, but can be enjoyed throughout the country. In Hiroshima, this soul food came about after World War II, when a shortage of food forced citizens to use whatever ingredients were available to them. Cooked on a griddle and served with a dark sauce, this dish layers cabbage, bean sprouts, noodles, egg and pork.

Osaka has a version of okonomiyaki, too, but their style is sans noodles and can be prepared tableside in restaurants.


Shrimp and vegetables often comprise tempuraShrimp and vegetables often comprise tempura — Photo courtesy of Michele Herrmann

Tempura is a crispy medley of lightly battered and fried seafood and vegetables. The concept was brought over by the Portuguese, who arrived in Japan in 1543, and it evolved from a similar dish for fried green beans known as “peixinhos da horta.”

Eventually, during Japan’s Edo period, its popularity grew as it became less expensive to make. Everything from shrimp and onion to eggplant and mushrooms can be coated in batter and served with tentsuyu (a soy-based dipping sauce) or salt.


There are some places that allow the customers to make their own takoyaki, but we suggest leaving it up to the pros for your first timeThere are some places that allow the customers to make their own takoyaki, but we suggest leaving it up to the pros for your first time — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / PamelaJoeMcFarlane

Meaning grilled octopus, takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack made of bits of octopus, green onions and ginger with a flour base. It’s cooked on a special molded pan that gives them their easily recognized look and texture.

Originating in Osaka, this casual fast food is topped with a Japanese mayonnaise, takoyaki sauce (similar to Worcestershire sauce) and bonito flakes.

Kawara Soba

Kawara soba is cooked and served on a heated tileKawara soba is cooked and served on a heated tile — Photo courtesy of Michele Herrmann

Found within the city of Shimonoseki, kawara soba gets its name from the word “kawara,” which means roof tile. That’s because this dish is cooked and presented on top of a heated tile.

Kawara soba consists of green tea-infused buckwheat noddles, slices of seasoned beef and a shredded egg crepe garnish. The dish’s portions are dipped into a warm sauce before eating.


Shabu-shabu involves swirling sliced cuts of beef and vegetables in boiling waterShabu-shabu involves swirling sliced cuts of beef and vegetables in boiling water — Photo courtesy of Michele Herrmann

This DIY hot pot meal gets its fun name from the Japanese onomatopoeia for “swish, swish” as it’s prepared by swirling vegetables, tofu and thinly sliced cuts of beef into a nabe, a small pot holding boiling water or a broth called dashi. Other meat types and seafood can also be cooked.

Then, the ready-to-eat ingredients can be dipped into a citrusy sauce called ponzu or a sesame seed-based sauce.


Tonkatsu is a pork cutlet that is reminiscent of schnitzelTonkatsu is a pork cutlet that is reminiscent of schnitzel — Photo courtesy of Michele Herrmann

Similar to schnitzel, this deep-fried pork cutlet gets coated in panko flakes or breadcrumbs. It often comes with a serving of a mustard or Worcestershire-style sauce and is paired with shredded cabbage, rice, miso soup and pickles known as tsukemono.

It also can become the topping for a Japanese curry rice dish called katsu curry, the filling for a sandwich known as katsu sando and an inclusion in a rice bowl named katsudon.


Wagashi are often as adorable as they are deliciousWagashi are often as adorable as they are delicious — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / yumi

Wagashi are Japanese confections with various consistencies and tastes. Taiyaki is a crispy, fish-shaped snack made from batter and stuffed with a bean paste filling. It can also include more modern tastes like custard or chocolate.

Manju is a small bun treat filled with a a sweet bean paste. One type found on the island of Miyajima in Hiroshima is called momiji manju and it’s shaped like a maple leaf. Daifuku consists of a mochi (a soft rice cake) that gets an inner layer of bean paste and sometimes fruit such as strawberry. And dango is a set of small and sweet dumplings on a skewer.


Sheets of yuba have many culinary usesSheets of yuba have many culinary uses — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Images_By_Kenny

A vegan Buddhist delicacy in Nikko and Kyoto, yuba (which is also known as tofu skin) is a film that forms on the surface of boiling soy milk. This byproduct is then collected and dried into yellow sheets. Don’t let its description discourage you from trying it, though.

When used for a meal, the sheets are moistened to a silky and light texture. Yuba can be eaten by itself or paired with vegetables, included in a soup, or used as a sushi wrap. Its taste can be sweet or savory, depending upon its accompanying condiment.


Yakitori is often found in take-out shopsYakitori is often found in take-out shops — Photo courtesy of Getty Images / fannrei

With this inexpensive dish, bite-size pieces of grilled chicken get placed on skewers and cooked on a grill. Various versions of this dish encompass different parts of poultry, from thighs to livers to wings.

One style is called torikawa, which uses the fatty portion of a chicken and is cooked until it’s crispy. As a barbecued meat, yakitori usually gets a good coating of tare, a soy and rice wine sauce that gives it a nice flavor.

The Future Of Work Will Be Told in Pictures

I cannot predict the future, with one exception: the future is too complicated to imagine with words alone.

The older I get, and the more I learn, the greater my reliance on pictures to help my clients understand and act upon complex challenges.

An impossible visual challenge: explaining three complex abstract concepts

Nordstrom Innovation Lab

To illustrate this point, I found this image from a presentation developed by the Nordstrom Innovation Lab. It tackles what sounds like an impossible visual challenge: to explain three complex abstract concepts—Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile Execution—at once, and to show how they relate to each other.

You could try to do this in words, and if you are extremely intelligent you might come close, but I bet that at the very least you would have to sketch an image simply to wrap your own brain around how these concepts might fit together. (I literally would not know how to do this without doodling on a piece of paper or my iPad.)

As Debarati Mukherjee explained, one key purpose of this diagram is to challenge the idea that you should use design thinking or lean or agile, and instead, suggest you might use design thinking AND lean AND agile.

By the way, the color coding at the bottom of the diagram—orange, yellow and blue—show which portions of the diagram apply to which concepts. For example, “explore the problem with empathy towards the customer” is part of a design thinking process.

To draw a picture, you have to master what you are trying to say

Here’s the thing: when leaders use only words, it’s easy to use a lot of words to communicate almost nothing of value. In many cases, the longer a leader talks, the less likely anyone will know how to act upon his or her words. That’s because, with words alone, it is possible to ramble on and on.

But when you draw a picture, you have to first figure out what message(s) you are trying to share, otherwise, almost anyone can look at your picture and instantly realize it makes no sense.

But when a picture reflects careful thought and analysis, it enlightens and informs. It simplifies without making an explanation too simplistic.

The future is tremendously hard to grasp

The further out into the future you look, the greater the uncertainty. When you try to do this with a group of people, some literally complain that this effort is making their brains hurt. 

But a picture gives you a tool to chunk down a problem or predictive exercise. That’s one of the things I like about the example I shared with you above: it shows how in an effort to develop new solutions and offerings, a team must move back and forth between concrete directions and abstract concepts. The ability to do this, and to be facile with both, is absolutely essential when preparing your business to be competitive in the years ahead. 

Developing and/or using pictures like this is vitally important if you are going to bring your team back and forth between two such extremes. 

9 Ways to Attract Good Energy Today and Every Day

Good energy can boost our feelings of well-being, dissolve feelings of anxiety and improve communication.

9 Ways to Attract Good Energy Today and Every Day

Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneurcontributors are their own.

As we move through our day, we send energy into the world and we receive energy back. Our minds, bodies and spirits are composed of energy, which vibrates out and is felt by others. Those vibrations resonate within us and impact our own energy stores.

This is why we may feel warm, calm and cheerful in the presence of some people, but cold, anxious and blue around others. We carry that energy with us, and it impacts not only us but all the other people we come in contact with. Good energy can boost our feelings of well-being, dissolve feelings of anxiety and improve communication. Bad energy results in feelings of discord, conflict and resentment. Your goal should be to attract good energy and reject the bad.

You can do this by raising your energy level and aligning yourself with positive vibrations. It’s simpler than you may think. Start with these 9 daily keys to tune up your inner vibrations and start feeling positive energy flow your way.

1. Pay attention to the energy you’re emitting.

You can’t expect to attract good energy if you’re giving off loads of negative energy. Think about the kind of vibes others get when they spend time with you. Do you exude a sense of peace, calm and happiness? Or are you more gloom and doom?

Negative energy is bound to impact your relationships. It may be subtle, but the attitude you approach others with will generally be reflected back at you. What kind of impression do you make on people?

If you naturally seem to draw others in and people seek out your company, chances are you’re doing a good job of emitting positive energy. If people avoid you and sidestep your assistance, you’re stuck at a lower, negative, vibration. Focus your energy on the positive.

Related: Dealing With Feelings: How to Be an Emotionally-Aware Leader

2. Change the tone of your thoughts.

Negative thinking can be hard to stop. It’s easy to allow yourself to slip into pessimism or take on an air of indifference. But if you want to attract good things, you must let the positive guide you, not the negative. As the Dalai Lama says, “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” Actively work to change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive.

For instance, you can reframe the thought “I am having a hard time adjusting to this new situation” to “I know I will face challenges with this new situation, but I am capable of coming up with solutions to problems and I know I will adjust to these changes.” Don’t allow yourself to wallow in pessimistic ruminations. Stop looking for bad news or exaggerating the negative. Replace negative thoughts with positive but realistic statements that inspire you to take action.

Related: How to Know When Your Negative Thinking Is Hurting You

3. Cut off negative influences.

Negative vibes can disrupt your sense of well-being and drain you of happy feelings and contentedness. These negative influences can be people, places or things that have an unfavorable sway over your life. It may be that there are people in your life who are toxic to your overall happiness. Perhaps their constant criticisms bring you down, or you find yourself picking up their bad habits.

Cut off these negative influences and begin creating the life you want to live. Look for the negative influences in your life. You may be able to completely avoid or remove some of them, which is a surefire way of eliminating that influence. For those that are a permanent fixture, work to limit your exposure to them and mentally fortify yourself before you encounter them.

4. Expand your circle.

Just as you try to limit your negative influences, make sure you start spending time with positive ones. Surround yourself with positive, successful go-getters who are supportive and caring. Keep company with those who bring positive energy with them, and make sure you nurture and protect those relationships.

Bring your own good energy into your circle and help create a positive synergy that will permeate the group. Look for people who will tell you the truth, and will always be honest with you, but never out of spite or with a desire to bring you down.

Related: The 4 Types of People to Surround Yourself With for Success

5. Embrace compassion and kindness.

Small acts of kindness can have profound impacts on both the giver and the receiver. Research shows that people who are kind and compassionate to others are more satisfied with their lives, enjoy better physical and mental health, and have stronger relationships. Giving to others creates a positive feedback loop — the more you give, the more good feelings you receive in return.

The people who benefit from kindness and compassion are more likely to display these traits themselves. There are many easy ways of showing kindness, such as writing a positive message on a sticky note and leaving it for someone to find, buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line or simply taking a moment to smile as you pass strangers. All of this fuels happiness and sends heaps of positive energy your way.

6. Cultivate gratitude.

Find time each day to think about the things you’re grateful for. By finding small ways to practice gratitude, you’ll allow yourself to let go of toxic emotions and replace those with positive thoughts. You can practice gratitude each morning by thinking of 5 things you’re grateful for. Then think of at least one person you’re grateful to have in your life.

You can also try keeping a gratitude journal, where you can quickly jot down a list of little joys and things that give you a sense of happiness and contentment. Remind yourself of all the bad you have been through. When you see how far you’ve come and all of the difficult storms you have weathered, it will make you more appreciative of what you have in your life now.

Related: Use This Simple Daily Gratitude Habit to Be Grateful Every Day

7. Find your inner strength.

Insecurity, self-doubt and fear are good-energy killers. Those negative feelings rob you of confidence and undermine your ability to bounce back from adversity. But you have developed resilience by overcoming difficult situations — this is your inner strength.

Stop listening to your critical inner thoughts. These diminish your feelings of worth and hamper your potential. Work to empower yourself by channeling your inner superhero. Recognize that you are strong and capable, equipped to handle whatever is thrown your way.

8. Align your current self with your future self.

Things you spend time, energy and money on will impact you far beyond today. All of these choices will shape your future self. If you want to have positive energy flowing through you, you need to start making decisions that will steer you to become the kind of person you want to be, with the job and relationships you want to have. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you most desire in the world?
  • What goals and dreams are you working toward?

Now imagine what this life you want feels like. Who are you in this ideal future? What are you doing? Start to align your current self with the future self you want to become. As you start taking steps toward creating the reality you wish for, you’ll feel motivated to take control of more parts of your life. The more actions you take toward the positive, the more you create your own favorable reality.

9. Act in good faith.

In business, there is generally an assumption that parties are acting in good faith in their dealings. We all know that we should treat each other with fairness. Unfortunately, we don’t always follow through with these principles when we interact with each other on a personal or even professional level.

Make it your policy to treat everyone you meet with respect and civility. Be nice to people and they will be nice to you. But more than that, don’t retaliate or react harshly when someone does something wrong.

Maybe they’re having a bad day or they just reacted without thinking. Reinforcing the negative isn’t going to help. Act in good faith by treating everyone with compassion and graciousness, even if they aren’t doing the same. Your courteousness will come back to you in the form of good energy.

Original article https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/332544

8 Steps to Creating a Profitable Digital Course

One of the easiest ways to scale a business is to create passive income through an online course.

8 Steps to Creating a Profitable Digital Course

Image credit: Shutterstock

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneurcontributors are their own.

At the age of 19, I began my own business as a photographer, living in my grandmother’s guest bedroom with $0.81 to my name. A few short years later, I started solely shooting boudoir photography, and a year later I was making six figures — but for me that was only the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.  

One of the most difficult parts of entrepreneurship, particularly for solopreneurs, is determining how to scale a business to serve more people to attract and produce more clients, in turn generating additional profit. There are many ways to do this, and one of the easiest is to create passive incomethrough an online course.

Related: 3 Great Ways to Make Money on the Side

Just over half of entrepreneurs have a college degree, and even fewer have a background in education or course design, which can make it challenging to know where to start. For me, creating courses began with industry peers asking me how I built my boudoir photography business into a profitable endeavor. My first course generated $70,000 in seven days, igniting my passion for course creation.

By going through the process of trial and error and learning how to create a profitable digital course, I’ve learned there are basic steps to take to add this valuable resource to your business offerings.

Determine the course topic.

After deciding to create a digital course, the first item to determine is what part of your expertise will people be willing to pay you money to learn?

Tune into what your prospective and current clients are saying. What do people ask you for help with? What do you find yourself constantly giving advice on? What would you friends say you’re the “go-to” person for?

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Automating Your Cash Flow

Validate your idea.

Just because you’re an expert on antique guns doesn’t mean anyone will pay for access to your knowledge. Test the demand for your topic to ensure there’s a market. This can be done a number of ways, including putting the idea out to your email list and asking for feedback, polling your audience through social media or conducting surveys through a platform such as Google Surveys.  

Increase your following.

Before you start prepping for your course launch, one of the most important things you can do is build a following. Pick two to three social media channels where you know your ideal clients already spend time and focus on creating valuable content for those platforms.  

Another way is to create an opt-in, or a free gift. It’s best to “gate” this by requiring people to enter their email address to receive the content. This way you can nurture followers through a sales funnel. Once this collection is in place, begin designing the course itself while your number of followers grows.

Related: 11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep

Create the course outline.

Creating a course outline is as easy as making a bulleted list of each module or unit, what the student will learn in each module and what assets need to be created, such as videos, graphics or worksheets. From my experience, I recommend courses have no more than four modules/units.

Many business owners look at online courses created by their competition and think if they have more modules it will create more value and, in turn, more buyers. That’s not the approach that will get your students results in a timely manner — and it’s the results that will grow your course into a profitable stream.

Host a few webinars.

Webinars are key to good sales, and you should host two or three live webinars to market your course to potential customers. During the webinar, explain who you are, how you can help people solve their problem(s) and then present your online course as the solution. Be sure to include a clear call to action for participants, and offer a discount or bonus if they sign up for the online course before the webinar ends.

Related: How to Sell Your Online Course

Wake up your audience. 

One of the simplest ways to position yourself as an expert and grow your audience is with Facebook Live. Each of the five days leading up to the official launch, host a Facebook Live session that focuses on a topic that builds on the previous day’s focus. By the fifth day, participants should have learned something they can implement to get results. The sessions should be no longer than five minutes each, and don’t forget to promote your webinar.

To market Facebook Live, and your webinar, run Facebook Ads, include information in your email newsletter and post about it on your social media channels. All of these items should link to an opt-in page for the webinar where you can collect email addresses as people register.

Plan the course launch.

Plan for a seven-day launch of the online course that begins on a Tuesday and ends on a Tuesday, as studies have shown that is an impactful day for digital marketing. Eighty percent of my sales come from webinars, which allow me to not only pique interest in the course, but also collect participant emails to continue nurture leads.

Related: Online Courses May Not Be as Valuable as You Hope

After people view the webinar, set the outreach plan into motion. Reach out to your customer base via email once a day until the last two days of the launch. Those days, increase emails to two or three per day. The emails should link to the sales page of your web site, but don’t be concerned if you’ve never written a sales page. Focus on the course: what your students will get, what’s included in it and why you’re the best solution to their problem.

Ensure you don’t lose money.

There are two ways to launch a course: after the content has been created and the course is ready or before the course content is ready and letting people know the course will open the following week or in two weeks. If you’re new to creating online courses, try for option two. This gives you more leeway to prep and spend money creating a course that entices buyers based on the information you learned during the webinars, social media outreach, etc.

Gathering resources is one of the keys to starting a successful business. By making yourself and your knowledge available as a resource in an easy to access form such as an online course, helps position you as the go-to for entrepreneurs.

Original article https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297296

Yes you can

Expressions of courage

How would you feel at the sudden dawning that you were living close in the presence of a celebrated virtue, entirely blind to it when you did? What if the knowledge of that virtue being the guiding light for someone of indelible influence in your life — the knowing that it was a virtue at all — came to you when he is no longer accessible?

So today, as I sit down to pen this audacious prose, I am representing that moment of dawning, and accessing conscious streams of remembering, recounting and processing what it meant to be him — my Dad. 

Recalling the years

Without much ado, let me state that I resented my dad for a large part of my growing up years. Barring the softening in the last 15 years of his life managing a degenerative illness, he was a rough and tough guy! When I say tough, I am not being entirely supportive, in my memory of him. I remember the toughness of a hardened patriarch, steeped in the regulation of a missionary boarding school, living a stern, austere life; with a perpetually laden backpack of pathos, pain and thankfulness of the eight-year-old boy who fled his birth-home to save himself and rebuild a life in this country. To me, his toughness was ruthless, dogged, most often devoid of the indulgent ‘I wish’ or ‘I’d love to’ — perhaps because his one cardinal wish toescape, to flee the communal killings in Noakhali, was fulfilled miraculously, early on in life. Dad almost begrudged the romance of life — eating the same kind of food for every meal, never ever tempted by the mouth-watering Delhi street food, frugal in acquiring, owning or trying new things, spartan habits — no tea, no coffee, no tobacco, no downtime and often sombre; fathering by the should and must, living by denying himself simple comforts, toiling to save every penny to sustain his family of five. We heard his most generous allusions mostly in his thankfulness to the God he prayed to, for his (re-built) life, his stable government job and the roof above our head. 

So, today, as I listened to Maya Angelou ruminate on the abiding human virtue of courage — that without courage we cannot practise any other virtue consistently — it shot off telling connections to the man who I have come to understand better, over time. What follows is a short recollection of what I now understand as ingrained expressions of courage:

Dad was reclusive and secured in being so — this was his courage, to ignore the comfort of belonging.

Dad was brutally stern; often rude in his refusal to align with anything he didn’t believe in — this was his courage, to stand apart from popular opinion.

Dad was frugal, yet fearless, in lending substantial sums from his small salary to the most unfamiliar borrowers. This was courage to trust.

Dad was comfortable with being the aloof, distant, unyielding man down the lane. This is courage that cared little about what others thought of him. 

Dad was relentlessly repetitive — this was courage to follow the monotony of discipline.

Why? This is because courage gives us strength to stand apart. Courage is consistence and daily observance even when it gets tedious and dreary. Courage demands accountability. Courage negates hesitation. Courage cushions the anxiety to belong — to rise above pressures to locate in the centre of a polite society. Courage gives us the voice to speak the mind — however stark and raw the truth. Courage, above all, is deep faith in the self. Courage underpins consistency — to be kind, generous, steadfast, fearless, disciplined or honest.

And as for my Dad, it was perhaps in those perilous minutes confronting being hacked, submitting or dying, to finally escaping across the border — when overwhelming fear would have been trounced by this courage for life.

Nivedita is a life coach, blogger and writer who simplifies the patterns and archetypes she encounters at work and in life. nivedita@lifealigncoaching.com

The Most Important Thing Individuals Can Do About Climate Change, According To Ernest Moniz

From Chicago, I write about green technology, energy, environment.

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

After receiving an award for science policy Thursday from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz took a question from an audience member, who asked what an individual should do on a personal level, in day-to-day life, to address climate change.

Moniz paused, said “Well, it’s always adding up the activities of individuals,” and then focused on a singular response:

“It’s exactly what Greta in Sweden and the young people are saying: we’re fed up with inaction, and we need to hold people accountable for this, because the stakes are very very high.”

Moniz evoked an opinion piece he penned with former Secretary of State John Kerry that appeared April 22 in”one of the great academic journals of our time,” USA Today. It calls for coalition building of the sort that mobilized 20 million Americans around the first Earth Day in 1970, a movement that goaded politicians of both stripes to support such initiatives as the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There was political accountability,” Moniz said Thursday, “and if you go back to looking at what happened to individual politicians at that time and their success or lack of success in elections, there was political accountability. People were fed up, it was time to address these issues on health and everything else.”

He looked at the woman who had posed the question.

“My answer to you is, 49 or 50 years later, I believe the level of public concern, despite all these deniers and all of that stuff, the level of public concern recognizing that something has to be done is incommensurate with the level of political accountability. What we need to do is recreate that dynamic of 50 years ago.”

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist Moniz evoked in his response, has brought accountability to politicians in addresses to the UN, the European Union and the UK Parliament, but she urges many other individual actions as well to reduce carbon emissions, including avoiding meat and dairy and airline flights. These scientists have their top four individual actions. And there’s always these nine.

But Moniz focused on politics. Earlier in the evening, Moniz was introduced by Rush Holt, the chief executive of AAAS and the executive publisher of the Science family of journals. Holt mentioned that President Trump had taken the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. But when Moniz took the stage, he corrected him:

“We’re still in Paris. Technically we are not out until the day after the next presidential election,” Moniz said. “So we will see what happens there.”