TOOLS I TRUST
you gotta earn this!

If you walked up to me on the street and asked me what the best burger joint in town was, I wouldn’t point you down the road to a random place I had never tried. I would go out of my way to explain my favorite place in mouth watering detail.

I recommend affiliates to you in the same way. It’s not about creating revenue for myself (which it does) but it allows me to share the fantastic companies out there that I have had personal experience with, and trust to send your business to.

If I haven’t used them myself, or had great interactions with their core business team, then I don’t feel comfortable recommending them to you.

I trust you to run a great business for your clients, you trust me to bring you great content and resources, and I trust these companies to help you in your journey.

Lightning Base Logo

The #1 most important thing for me with a web host is customer service, and the second is raw speed! I know some of you might have guessed that it was price or features. The simple fact is that if your website is slow, people will leave, and if your sight is down, people will never see it.

It’s important to trust your WordPress site with a host that does does nothing but WordPress.
They know how to optimize for it, and they know how to solve issues with it.

99 Designs

From my first attempt at online business back in 2008, 99 Designs was there to help me take an idea to a great logo. I wish the business itself had been as successful as the logo, but we all start somewhere.

Now, I will say that your logo shouldn’t be your first focus. There are far more important things to building a great business. When the time does come, however, I couldn’t recommend any other company over 99 Designs. You get a ton of designers bidding for your project by submitting concepts. The designer you pick will go through revisions with you until its perfect. All at a great price!

teamwork

Never before have I come across a company and a piece of software quite like Teamwork. These folks in Ireland are creating a truly amazing project management and help desk platform. I have had colleagues rave about this software and how the simplicity and feature rich mix was done so perfectly.

Theres no bloat in this software, but its not overly simple either. It does exactly what a project management software needs to do, and nothing more.

My wife has been using Acuity for years now to book clients for her relationship coaching. I have had the pleasure of being the one to set up Acuity for her and integrate it into her site. It was such a pleasureful experience to see that every customization I wanted, was already built in.

The best part is Acuity’s sense of humor. You will find it all over the software itself, and if you ever have to email into support, you will likely be greeted with cat memes and smile-worthy jokes.

ActiveCampaign

It took me 6 months to choose the right email marketing software, and in the end ActiveCampaign won my heart. They are one of the rare cases where the dinosaur in the industry is constantly reinventing itself and keeping up to date with the competition.

If you want a simple and intuitive way to send email marketing to your customers (which you should be doing if you’ve been listening to me very long) then ActiveCampaign should be your first choice. With a visual editor and simple logic, you will be able to automate a lot of your email communication with clients.

Do you own a software company that is hitting the bullseye and can give true benefit to my audience?
BOOKS THAT
CHANGED ME

I don’t read.

We’ll I don’t read much – and I would never proclaim myself as a “reader”. So when I do read a book, it’s got to be something that will give me a ton of value and useful knowledge. I’m not a fiction guy, so everything I’m going to recommend below has true tactics on either making you a better person/entrepreneur/manager or giving you the tools and insight to make your small business the shining light in your clients eyes.

So far I have been a failure at following the fantastic concepts in this book.

Why would I recommend a book that I am failing at following? Because this book takes me way out of my comfort zone, and I respect that. Sure it may be a great read to pick up a book, agree to everything in it, set it down and feel satisfied. The most important books you read, however, are the ones that leave you uneasy. The ones that keep a little fire lit in the back of your mind. The ones that drive you to change.

Every morning I try to allot my time properly. To get my exercise and do my journaling. Sometimes its easy, sometimes its really hard. But the desire to dedicate myself to it is what this book has truly given me.

Will it fly isn’t just a fantastic book for building an online business, but gives great practical exercises for building any kind of business. Steps like validating your business idea, organizing your marketing strategies, and reaching out to a network of partners to gain insight are just a few of the things that helped me build this business from the ground.

If you are ready for an onslaught of awesomeness then this book is so so so for you! Gary Vee is a character unlike any other in entrepreneurship right now. He is loud, he is to the point, and he reveals some uncomfortable things about yourself. It’s this kind of raw dose of reality that makes his advise so valuable. I wouldn’t hesitate to give this book out as a gift to my friends who are starting their own business.

This one is a bit personal for me. Back in 2011 I hit my all time heaviest weight at 244 lbs. Having grown up a chubby kid, this was the inevitable path for me, right? It was until I was scared straight by having my heart race out of control at age 27 climbing 1 flight of stairs. Now having lost 60 lbs Gary Taubes changed my entire outlook on nutrition and healthy eating.

While I have a lot of fun on this site blurring the lines between my “junkie” obsession with software and the delicious food references, this book made a life change in me, and that change gave me the energy to do everything else in life that has lead to my happiness and success.