Category Archives: Level Up

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Make Your Money Work For You — From Home

Here’s a great guest post written for my by Julia over at Outspiration. Check the bottom for her bio.

Make Your Money Work For You — From Home

There are millions of home-based businesses across all industries in the United States. From the freelancer looking to supplement her family’s income to the CEO of an online company, homegrown success can be found in all 50 states. If you are looking to carve out your own piece of the American pie, launching your own enterprise from your home office is a great first step. Here are a few quick pointers on how to grab the business world by the horns and carve out your own path to success.

Know your resources.

When it comes time to start your own business, it’s easy to feel as though you have to do it alone. You don’t! There are plenty of resources, from Square and Fiverr (as recommended by Dr. David Powers) to your local Chamber of Commerce. You can also look online for resources from the SBA to your particular industry’s trade groups. Something else to take advantage of is e-learning. Taking classes, courses, or certifications online can help you learn valuable business skills that you may not realize you need, such as customer service, accounting, or inventory management.

Evaluate yourself.

Business owners are rarely exactly alike, but most possess a few common traits. These include the ability to fail and learn from the experience and to see opportunities where others see obstacles. Evaluate your personal traits, which includes acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. You can take an online personality test to identify everything from your temperament to entrepreneurial type. While quizzes aren’t always 100% accurate, they can serve as a starting point as you begin to recognize what you are and aren’t on track to accomplish on your own.

Establish a business structure.

Skipping ahead, you know your resources and you’re ready to get going. Ostensibly, you know what you want to do — you already have experience doing it. It’s time to establish your business structure. For most small business owners, forming an LLC is a smart move. An LLC will help to protect your home and other valuable personal assets in case of an unfortunate legal issue with your business down the road. You don’t have to hire an attorney for the process, but you do need to do your research. Each state has different regulations, so practice due diligence before you file.

Find your customers.

For many, branching out into the world of marketing is a daunting task — it’s not always comfortable to talk about yourself in a sales pitch. But as American Express points out, there are many ways to acquire new customers that don’t require you sounding like a walking infomercial. First, decide who you want to sell to and where they are likely to hear your message. You also want to make sure that you are an absolute expert in your field. You can use social media, networking, and even direct response marketing — the last of which includes things like referral programs and mail.

Grow sustainably.

Once you start to gain momentum, don’t let yourself get too far ahead of the game. Sustainable growth is crucial through all stages of a business’s development. By increasing your customer base slowly and steadily, you’ll enjoy higher customer retention, better engagement with your community, and be able to quickly recognize and rectify mishaps or missteps in your operation.

There are many other steps on the path toward starting your own business. Those mentioned above are just the ones that are most often overlooked. From evaluating yourself to forming a business structure to maintaining sustainable growth, everything you do now matters. Don’t be afraid to start your own business, even if your office is a back bedroom. You never know — you may be the next home-based business success story.

Julia Mitchell, Career & Finance Writer at OUTSPIRATION. Live it. Love it. Let it Out. See what we’re all about at outspiration.net. Contact our writers at writer@outspiration.net.

Dr. David Powers is a skilled inspirational speaker, adventurer, author, and master of his own world. See how you can work with Dr. Dave to enrich your life and business.

Image via Pexels


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2020 was my most profitable year ever, but I don’t ever want to repeat it

Category : Level Up

The year best signified by an image of a dumpster fire also happened to be my best financial year ever.

It was the year of the pivot for me, and that’s the lesson I want you to walk away with. You have to learn to pivot and be adaptable. It’s always been true, but the pandemic really brought it to light.

The businesses and individuals that came through 2020 relatively unscathed were the ones that made the potential for change a part of everything they did.

*from the book Devolution by Max Brooks

It didn’t matter if it was sickness, riots, government shakedowns, or anything else, the ones that refused to change did not make it.

Here’s the short version of what I did to pivot. If you’d like more detail, just ask.

As soon as the lockdowns started in other places, I started my pivot. I was better prepared a few weeks later when all my speaking engagements were cancelled, and I could no longer travel to my other clients.

I was consulting for a small remodeling company near where I live. I kept serving my other clients by distance, but I poured myself into this local company. They were considered Essential and kept working through everything, so I was able to stick with them.

I helped them pivot, put safety protocols in place, and increase sales. As other similar companies fell apart, they were growing.

Instead of laying off workers, they hired two new ones. They had their best year since 2008 when the recession almost killed them. As 2020 wrapped up, they were scheduled almost four months out.

All because they embraced flexibility and change.

So…what can you do right now to make every facet of your life more adaptable?

Now that I’ve ruined your day talking about 2020, click here for something to make you smile

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A Gift from the Memologist

The meme game is strong with Dr. Redbeard.
Feel to steal and share. Just right-click and save image or you can find it on Instagram and snag it.

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How to Launch your Digital Course (or Product or Membership)

This might be the most valuable free training opportunity you’ve ever seen…

But first a warning… there’s a great big catch. It’s something you have to watch out for.

So it’s a live “Launch Masterclass” with 10+ hours of training – for free.

It’s all about launching your course or product or service (or even your full business if you’re just getting started), and it’s by Jeff Walker (the guy who invented online product launches). It’s the course I use for all my launches and those I do for my clients.

There are three different sessions, each building on the prior lesson. 

The three sessions (or lessons) will make up a complete course (that’s why it’s a masterclass). There’s going to be a bunch of other cool content available too.

And it’s all completely free.

You can get registered for the masterclass at this link:

Product Launch Formula Masterclass

Here’s the catch: the entire training is going to be delivered LIVE… so this is a time limited offer. There will be recordings available, but only for a limited time. So you need to go sign up and get registered now:

Product Launch Formula Masterclass

Dr. Redbeard

P.S. The “Launch Masterclass” is only going to be available for a few days. Get it here:

Product Launch Formula Masterclass

**The links above are affiliate links. It means if you click on them and buy, I make a few pennies off each sale without you spending more. It’s a neat way I help supplement my income and help out people I know with their launches.


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Are you an author or always wanted to write a book?

Just about everyone I know wants to be an author and write a book? But the vast majority of them never get that book out of them.

Like the old OWH quote…

Most people have an idea, and even make notes, but it never turns into an actual thing to hold in your hand or pull up on a device. But, wow, the joy when a new author holds their book in their hands for the first time!

I’ve been publishing my own books, books by family, and books by clients for years. I was blessed to be able to publish my mom’s books. She did all the writing and everything, but needed help on the publishing side of things. Now ten years later, she has a series of redneck fairy tale series, a horror novel, and a grief counseling book on the market.

But here’s the thing about books. They won’t make you rich. They make some people rich, but those folks are outliers or already have a huge following, and a book just makes them more rich.

Let me tell you about my book numbers, as I just did the analytics for this month. After I tell you the numbers, I’ll give you a few reasons why you should still write your book and get it out there.

  • Books sold overall: 14,115
  • My biggest seller: An Informal and Unofficial Preppers Guide to James Wesley, Rawles’ Patriots at just over 3,000 copies. It’s a resource guide about another book, meaning I didn’t even come up with the original creation it’s based on. But I’m an expert in that field. Keep this in mind for you too. What fields are you an expert in?
  • Total books in my publishing catalog: 105
  • Books I wrote: 33
  • Books by others: 72
  • Foreign sales are about a tenth of the US sales overall, although some individual books sell way better in the foreign markets.
  • Digital sales are at least quadruple the print sales.
  • The books I write for income sell way better than the books I WANT to write.

Don’t let those numbers make you sad. There’s some even better reasons why you should still write your book.

  1. You won’t be happy until you do.
  2. There’s a story inside that needs telling.
  3. It will serve as a business card for you.
  4. It will establish you as an expert in your field.
  5. There is a slim chance it might make you rich, become a movie, and you’ll be famous.
  6. It’s for historical purposes, to preserve a story for family, a museum, or others.
  7. You need a resource for your main occupation, like a workbook or something.

There are other reasons, but those are some of the best I encounter.

So…quit reading right now! Open up a document, organize your notes, and start writing. Let me know how you do. If you write something because I encouraged you, and get way more famous than me, I’ll still count that as a win.

Dr. Redbeard, just a guy who absolutely loves writing and reading books

P.S. Mike- I’m thinking about you as I write this post!


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Will hearing about you make me bored and sleepy?

Do people fall asleep or drift away to other places when you start talking about yourself or your business?

The way you do your marketing is important, and it doesn’t matter if the thing your selling is your business or just you as a cool person to hang around with.

Here’s an example from a company called Cairn. They sell a monthly subscription box full of hiking and outdoor goodies. Some of my most used pieces of outdoor gear came from them as complete surprises.

Not only do I look forward to their boxes each month, but I love their e-mails. Here’s one I just received recently-

When your Cairn Collection shipped this month, Cairn Crew Dog, Tubs, wagged his tail so hard out of excitement that he managed to knock over a life-sized cardboard cutout of our Co-CEO, Rob, which knocked over a shelf full of Cairn Collections, which set off a chain reaction of things falling over throughout Cairn HQ, including a giant bin of trail snacks that Tubs gobbled up in seconds. Now, you might think that Tubs purposely knocked over the cardboard cutout of Rob with the intention of getting those trail snacks but, I’ll be honest…he’s a lover, not a thinker. 

Go back to the drawing board and see if you can make your marketing something that people look forward to receiving like these e-mails.

Dr. Dave, just a guy who’d rather be on a trail than in the office

P.S. We shoot cool videos each month when we unbox our Cairn. HERE is one of my favorites. I wish my wee girl was still this small.

P.S.S. If you do happen to subscribe to Cairn, use my referral code. I get massive brownie points from them when I send in new customers. It’s 48dzg4.


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What books are you reading?

Someone told me the other day that most folks don’t read a single book after high school.

That’s sad.

I know you guys are way smarter than ‘most people’, so I was curious what kind of stuff you’re into.

I know my friend Ryan at Burn the Tavern Down is probably reading 3-4 sc-fi tomes at once. Allen is probably reading some geopolitical non-fiction.

Me, I’m re-reading Built to Sell by John Warrilow again.

I’ve read it twice already. It’s a fable, a fiction book that teaches non-fiction material. I love books like that. Aside from Built to Sell, The Goal and One Minute Millionaire are my favorites.

This one tells the story of a small business owner who wants to sell his business. It goes through the process of mentor helping him transform his unsellable biz into one that’s worth something.

I have an old client who asked me to help them gear up their business to sell it, so I’m going through all my notes and highlighted passages to refresh my memory on everything.

I want to know what you’re reading. I read about 100 books a year, and the majority of them are recommendations from trusted friends.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Redbeard


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Did You Know You Can make Money from Empty Printer Ink Cartridges?

You can. It’s not a lot of money though.

You shouldn’t even be saving those cartridges for the money. Do it for the planet.

Those of you that know me know that I’m no tree-hugging hippie. I’m not like AOC who wants to ban cows for their methane-producing burps. However, I think it’s just plain stupid to throw things away just because it’s easy.

I’m big on recycling and reusing things.

Like empty printer ink cartridges.

Here’s a plan for you to help with this that’s a no-brainer.

1 Find a way to recycle them.

Office Depot’s reward program gives you a dollar’s worth of rewards for each one you turn in. That’s how I do it, because I like going in, shopping (I have a thing for office supplies), and seeing the usual crew there. There’s other places online that will send you free postage paid bags to mail them back in.

2 Don’t throw them away.

It really is that simple.

Now go feel good about doing something good.

*COVID-19 UPDATE- Office Depot has currently frozen the program until this mess is over. I say again, don’t throw them away. Just keep them somewhere in the car or house until you can go back again.


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100% Success Rate with SBA Disaster Loans for My Clients

I realize as you read this that it’s too late to get any of the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan money before it runs out.

Because it already has.

At least in the first round of funding.

But I want you to be more prepared to go for the loan in any subsequent funding cycles.

100% of my clients who went for the money got it last week, and I’ve been working overtime helping them figure out how best to use it. Because of the financial margin this money allows, none of my clients have had to layoff or furlough any workers.

Here’s how we did it, so you can hopefully get in next time:

  1. We had everything ready before the loans opened up. I force all my clients to be meticulous in their paperwork and records. This way, anytime an opportunity (like this) or a negative event (like an audit) opens up, they’re fully loaded and ready to fire away. Get your mess in order right now before the next funding opens up!
  2. We jumped on everything immediately. Every time a new SBA application came online, we filled it out and sent it in. Then, when the bank sent us a modified SBA app, we had it sent back within 30 minutes.
  3. There was a preexisting relationship with a local bank. I hate big banks, and I only use them when they have a financial product my local bank doesn’t carry. I encourage all my clients to do as much banking as possible with a local bank. If you don’t have one, go open up an account right now at a local bank. Not a local branch of a big bank, but a LOCAL bank.
  4. Plan ahead for how you’ll use the money before you get it. Questions like this came up with bankers during the process. It seemed like they only wanted to help applicants who knew what they were getting into and understood what the money was for.
  5. Pray before, during the process, and after.

Here’s some other things I had to do in the past week for my clients once they got the money that it would be wise to work on beforehand:

  • Set up systems to record the loan usage in their bookkeeping software.
  • Build a meticulous process to keep track of all paperwork, texts, papers, and any single thing related to the loan. The only way this loan will be ‘forgivable’ is if it’s used in the right way. You can guarantee that your usage of the loan will have to be proven.
  • Craft amazing thank you notes and social media posts thanking their banks for their help.
  • Sending out public relations articles to their mailing lists and on social media letting their customers know the good news.
  • Pitching articles to local and regional media about their success in getting the SBA money.

That’s really it. It may not sound like much just reading it, but this is actually the compilation of years of work with some of my clients. Believe me, if you’re a small business owner, I know what most of your record-keeping looks like.

All of this is simple, though time sucking, work that you can do yourself. If you need help from me, give me a call. Now that the first round of funding is over and most of my clients are getting used to the crisis and the quarantine, I’m freeing up some time.

Until you call, I’m headed out to the back porch where my kids have a fire pit and some marshmallows ready.

Dr. Dave


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Look Ahead! A Stress Reduction Hack for Quarantine Time

Many of my readers may not know, but even though most of my professional life was spent in prehospital emergency medicine, my doctoral degree is actually in counseling. That’s one of the reasons I’m able to help my coaching clients so much by utilizing the skills I’ve learned from counseling.

Since the isolation and quarantines began in force, much of my work with clients has been focused on finding the right balance between…

  • Working from home
  • Trying to stay sane and healthy
  • Kids doing school at home
  • Out of work or on furlough
  • Trying to create something new
  • Finding toilet paper and hand sanitizer

Here’s a little secret that I’m telling everyone.

Keep a Post-Coronavirus File!

Here’s what that looks like.

  1. Keep a file, box, or envelope of things you want to do or need to do once this is over.
  2. Place physical items in your container. Digital is great, but I’ve found that things you can hold onto make a big difference.
  3. Add to it whenever needed.
  4. Pull it out and look at it once a week. Handle the items and notes in there.
  5. Once this crap is over, make plans for completing each one.

Here’s a look inside my file:

  • A note to visit the Tervis store. I returned some damaged Tervis cups, and the new ones were delivered back to the store just before everything shut down. Our family loves Tervis dishes, and they have an amazing warranty policy.
  • Two DVDs from the library. When my library closed, they said to keep any books for now so they didn’t end up in a return bin just sitting there. No late fees of course. I use my library a lot, and I can’t wait to get back to grab some movies and the new Jack Reacher audio to listen to in my car.
  • A drawing of my next tattoo. I’ll show you this one once it’s done. Don’t want to spoil the surprise.
  • Plans I’d made for celebrating my wife’s birthday in late April, which is all post-poned for now.

So tell me, what’s going in your Post-Coronavirus To Do File?

Dr. Dave


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Access to a Nationwide Network of Cowork Offices for $20/Month

I’m not trying to sell you anything here. Just passing along an idea.

How many of you go to Planet Fitness? It’s one of the top and most prolific fitness gyms in the US. I go several times a week with my dad to hit the weights, and I don’t even have a membership.

Now, how many of you have thought about using Planet Fitness for your work office?

I don’t want to bore you with a long essay for this idea, so I’ll give you all the skinny in a few bullet points…

  • Cheap membership compared to ‘real’ Cowork spaces
  • Free Wifi
  • Access to snacks
  • Locker rooms and showers
  • Massage chairs after a hectic few hours on the laptop
  • Free food on special nights
  • A gazillion locations all over the country
  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Often near other high traffic areas where your clients might already be
  • Get a guest in on your pass, i.e. a client for a meeting

That’s just a quick brainstorm of perks. If you think of more, send them in. Send me pics of you working (not working out) in a Planet Fitness location, and I’ll enter you in a drawing for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Here’s the disclaimer-

  • I don’t work for them, and I’m not making any money off this idea.
  • Not all of them are the same, so not all of them will treat you the same if you’re there all day.
  • Be smart about how you do the office thing. Spreading all your stuff out and getting in the way is a bad idea.
  • Buy a drink or snack at least once every 4 hours. It’s just good etiquette.

This is me in a regular hotel gym while traveling. See how mad I am. No people to talk to and no room for me to work.

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