How to Catch Attention and Build Your Tribe

How to Catch Attention and Build Your Tribe (Part 1)

The Secret it Takes Years of Online Content Marketing To Learn

Every online marketer goes through the same woes as they try to catch attention from the growing internet population, ‘With so much content on the web, how do I build a tribe for myself?’

The vast majority of them go through a similar process; they learn about the power of online marketing- the ad revenue, lead generation, and tribe building potential- and they start looking into how to capitalize on it.

Before search engines really became sophisticated through Google’s algorithm updates, there were a hundred easy answers to this question which later turned out to be horrible ideas.

Let me skim over a few of the bad techniques used to catch attention before:

  • Keyword Stuffing: Filling a page or article so full of search term goodness that it was barely readable, and useless to anyone who found it.
  • Backlink Scamming: Creating fake websites to send links to content, buying backlinks from bigger websites, or doing any number of dirty deeds to get links to your content that were irrelevant, unqualified, and not useful to readers.
  • Duplicating Content: Using the same botched content on a wide variety of very similar pages to rank for different search terms.

What made these techniques so horrible? For starters, they did nothing to build your tribe for anything worthwhile. People would stumble onto your page, hopefully click an ad to make you a few cents, and ultimately sprint away hoping to never return to the dark alley that you had made of your website.

But most importantly, catching attention is about more than a quick glance. You might be seen in a crowd if you have a six foot neon blue mohawk, but once people see you, do they want to talk to you, get to know you, and find out what else you have to offer?

Content marketing, or tribe building for that matter, is all about what you do with traffic after you’ve caught their attention. But the secret lies in a complicated point; if your goal is to treat every bit of traffic you get like a friend, you’ll see more traffic overall.

That, right there, was the entire point behind all of Google’s algorithm updates. Their stricter standards helped them identify the best, most trusted content on the internet. That content both helped its creators catch attention, but also respected that audience once it had shown up. Google treated their tribe well by offering them the best resources, and because of that, they built a tribe that kept coming back search after search.

Most novice copywriters have stumbled upon before; a brilliant resource to learn how to craft great headlines, create compelling copy, and manage a full content marketing system. But what do they define as content marketing?

Content Marketing Means...

That great secret I alluded to? Create great content. No tricks, no scams. Create great content, and create that content constantly. You’ll catch all the attention you could ever want, and see a tribe build up around you that is eager to see what you’ll do next, to buy your next product, or to help support your next steps.


What is Creating Great Content All About?

I don’t bring up Copyblogger lightly. That quote above is from one of their most popular articles of all time, and it represents their entire mission in helping people create great content. They average several million hits a month on their site and much of their content has been shared and rehashed across the web to teach thousands of burgeoning content marketers how to do their jobs properly.

The people they train are the people setting the standards of what a website needs to look like to be successful and valuable. They raised the bar for catching your audience’s attention, and it’s no wonder. Look at the values and goals they ascribe to content marketing.

  • Create and share valuable content
  • Attract and convert prospective customers
  • Turn customers into repeat buyers
  • Educate leads and customers on your product or project
  • Build an identity with that audience
  • Build trust and affinity with that audience

Its likely that all six of those points are goals of yours. Who doesn’t want an educated, loyal audience that will buy time and time again?

But if those are their goals, how does content marketing achieve those goals?

The perfect article will excel in three main categories, and with one piece of content you can actually hit all of those goals.


Clear and Authoritative Content Builds a Trusting, Educated Tribe

Great content provides a strong value for your reader, and there’s no better way to provide value than by teaching your audience something useful in the best method available. Be honest with your audience about what you know, and provide useful resources to help them learn more.

Sometimes this will mean quoting research data from scientific studies, field reports, or surveys. Sometimes that means referring to another expert who can back up what you say with supporting evidence, experience, or arguments.

I’m going to be entirely honest right now; the best thing you can do for me, and I also believe for yourself, would be to enroll in Superhero Academy. Why, then, did I talk so appreciatively and fondly about Copyblogger, instead of demanding you watch one of our courses?

Part of being authoritative is knowing that you are not the only expert. Copyblogger is one of the best resources on the internet for learning copywriting and content marketing. We at Superhero Academy teach a great many skills which they don’t like getting your life together or getting support for a project.

We want to support our tribe as best we can- and that means making sure that they get the best educational material, no matter its source.

That benefits our ultimate goal, too! If you become a copywriting master, start up a business crafting content marketing strategies for other people, and end up making decent money at it, what’s the likelihood that someday you’ll want to learn better project management, team building, or even how to run a successful podcast?

We teach those skills in our academy, and by providing great resources, you’ll have a better education to back up those skills with. You have a better chance of being successful, which makes you a better student for us to work with, and increases the likelihood we get to enjoy your success.

It’s the same reason we won’t lie to you or teach you scam-artist skills that will make you a quick buck and then ultimately backfire. Our greatest asset is a well built tribe that trusts us and students that are educated enough to succeed.


Shareable and Enjoyable Content Will Catch Attention Beyond Your Reach

Think about the last time you saw an article on Facebook; what elements caught your eye?

You probably stopped scrolling because of a great headline or an interesting picture.

Now think about how you normally interact with articles. Do you often click on a good headline just because it made you laugh? Did you ‘like’ the article to show that it caught your attention? Did you share it because you wanted others to see it?

A content marketer has to work backward from the answers to these questions. They need to understand why people engage with content the way they do in order to create content that people really want- it goes back to the whole idea of creating ‘valuable’ content.

A website named Triple SEO cited a lengthy research study conducted by the New York Times on why people share content online, to identify some fascinating, but altogether unsurprising statistics:

Why Do People Share Content?

The importance of understanding these ideas can’t be oversold.

Imagine you are trying to get ten thousand signatures on a petition. Sure, you can strap that petition to a clipboard and go ask people one by one to sign, but how much easier would your life be if you could get one hundred people to go out and ask people to sign for you?

That’s the value of making valuable, shareable content. Suddenly, everyone who engages with that piece you wrote becomes a marketer on your side.

You might not have the means to get your petition in front of someone on the other side of the world by going there yourself, but you can get that message to piggyback on someone who is already heading that way.

Your job is to create great content that catches attention and serves your tribe. It’s the content’s job to get where it needs to go… for now. We’ll go into more detail about creating content for a specific demographic and giving it the first push to virality in part two of this article.


Timeless Content Works While You Sleep

Though simpler than the previous two points, the idea of making your content timeless is no less essential.

The problem with spreading a petition is that people will only keep sharing it around as long as it is relevant. If your petition is to make April 1st “Wisdom Day” instead of “April Fools” day, people may share it as early as a few weeks before, and a few days after, but not much further.

But if you want to someday focus on other aspects of your business besides creating an endless onslaught of content and lobbing it at your audience, you need to create content that matters everyday and is repeatedly useful.

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, Copyblogger does an excellent job of this. On the page I referenced earlier, they have links to a whopping one hundred different articles. Each of those articles is almost definitely useful to a piece of their audience at all times.

Sometimes that relevance will vary, and over the years some of those links will have to be replaced with fresh content, but for the most part, each of those articles have the potential to catch attention, build their tribe, generate trust, and maybe even make a sale.

If they wanted, they could probably make a lot of money just by relying on Google search traffic, Facebook ads, a really good e-mail autoresponder, and some excellent landing pages. We call that passive income, but you’ll hear more about why passive income does and doesn’t work in the Academy.

Can You Really Run a Business off Content Alone?

Short answer: Kind of.

Content marketing is incredibly valuable- in fact, to be competitive nowadays, it’s almost essential, especially if you want a marketing strategy that can mostly run itself someday.

“Build it and they will come” may be a great phrase, but popular wisdom often lacks common sense.

When you begin building out your content strategy, keep in mind that it is the lengthy, high-quality process which can work as a foundational platform for your future products, services, memberships, or movement.

Shareable and enjoyable articles will catch the attention of potential new prospects for you and allow you to reach places you never could manually.

Clear and authoritative content will help you build your tribe with educated, trusting fans eager for your future sales pitches.

And timeless content will allow the process to stand the test of time so you don’t have to constantly be working on the basics over and over again.

But a great tribe needs personal attention; you have to regularly assess their needs, changes in the market or the culture, address critical issues in a timely manner. The easiest way to do this is by documenting what you’re working on, and letting your audience tell you what they love or hate.

Plenty of money has been made off effective content marketing strategies, but if you’re looking to make a genuine change in the world, start a movement, or become the everyday hero you know you can be, always be wary of relying on a process that removes the personal element out of your work.

If what you’re doing is truly your passion, use these strategies to get you started, but keep learning how you can really serve both your project and your tribe.


Don’t miss out on the second part of this article!

We’ll show you the strategies to creating content out of your daily work, delivering the content your specific audience is craving, and setting expectations that you can regularly exceed!


Learning How to Document Could Have Salvaged 4 Years of My Work

As much as I want to say otherwise, the four years of work that was put into my masterpiece were almost entirely wasted because I had no idea how to document my efforts.

I had been working away towards a book that would be a systematized collection of my most fantastic insights. Over the four years of almost continuous work, I filled volumes with my increasingly impressive “ah ha’s.” These were insights into the nature of mind and consciousness, the philosophy of dharma, purpose, and everything inbetween had been systematically laid out in massive tombes (I have a thing for mysterious looking 400 page journals).

Almost four years to the day I realized that I had missed out on a terrible amount of opportunity while working silently on my project. I had the quality and quantity of insights, but nonetheless I missed all the opportunity that I deserved by not documenting and sharing them with the people who needed or wanted them most. I had wasted four years.

Your Real Work Begins Today

One day, long after starting my project, I watched a module of Superhero Academy that taught me everything I wish I had known from the start. Watching the presentation brought forth an incredible mix of emotion. If I had that info before I had ever started my work, I would easily have a massively profitable business today, and a brand worth mentioning everywhere I went.

After listening to Marc Angelo’s insights on documentation, I was left with an open jaw. The short version is this; the best way to build an eager following, and therefore a social movement, or business, is to document your progress.

I know this may seem confusing, after all, I had made copious amounts of notes on my thoughts. But the real key is sharing your documentation.

Take Valhalla for example, If they had not documented their progress the moment they bought the land for their sustainable community project, they would not have the following they have today. That following is what enabled them to go so far as to even create their own building designs with sustainable architects, and launch projects as groundbreaking as WISDOM homes.

If they had waited until they had the “perfect” logo, or until they completed their first earthship, they could have pushed their potential reach back years, and lost the ability to pursue these amazing projects when their time came.

Their early start on documenting got them in front of their ideal audience before they needed an audience. As a result, their achievements are not only known to far more people, but that audience is motivated to help them achieve more than was previously possible.  

Every Minute Documenting is a New Opportunity

I see it like this, The longer you consistently share your documentation, the more opportunities are available to you.

The longer people see your content, the more invested they become in your brand, your story. And the more interested they become in joining your movement. It is a constant principle of brand awareness.

Let’s say that two people have an idea for a business or social movement.

Person A decides to post a video or blog about his idea on his facebook page, for all his friends to see. He knows how to document his process and by the strength of his following is certain that there is interest in his product before it launches.

Person B decides that he is only going to reveal his idea when it is sufficiently ready and he can call himself an “expert” on the topic. Nobody knows what his product will look like, and he has no idea whether people actually want what he’s making at all.

It takes time to feel ready to act like an expert in your own mind anyways, so you might as well get started by positioning yourself in front of an audience and experimenting as you go. Each failure, and each success, will ultimately have something to teach you about what your best public face should look like.

If you wait to become personally credible before you feel like you deserve a powerful following, you have merely postponed your success and pushed your experiments out into the future.

How to Document Without it Consuming Your Life

The funny thing about proper documentation is that it can be done every day. Every time you work on your project, every time you flip your hour glass for your power hour, you have something to document.

A lot of people think that documentation is only beneficial if A) they think they’re ready and B) they have something they think is worth documenting. This way of thinking will not help you build your brand and create a world class social movement or business.  

Remember, it is not about getting the perfect content out there it is about getting in the eyes of your audience and staying there long enough to become a credible expert in their eyes.

But what is a quick and easy way to document? Here is a list of ideas:

  1. Post a quote you came up with on facebook
  2. Post a meme featuring that quote
  3. Share a related post to your project on social media
  4. Post progress reports
  5. Thank your audience and show gratitude either through words or gifts
  6. Post a picture of where you work
  7. Tease your audience with mystery
  8. Post photos of events you go to
  9. Post photos of books or programs that you are learning from
  10. Make a constant video blog or written blog
  11. Podcasts and interviews
  12. Answer questions from your audience and reply to comments (very important)

Building habits around knowing how to document is the best and easiest way to build your brand. I mean, think about it- all you have to do is snap a screenshot of your new domain name, or take a selfie at that conference you went to or post a stand alone quote on Facebook. Find a channel you like, and start sharing your documentation with your audience.

You can start today, and with that choice comes the beginning of getting your brand known to your ideal audience. With regular, documented updates your audience becomes an integral part in designing your product. Incorporating customer feedback into your product leads to something that people actually want, rather than a shot in the dark.

Superhero Academy thrives because it has each of the students opportunities to give regular constructive feedback. The final products always incorporate helpful feedback, with palpable improvement for students like you, and an end-product that suits what the students need or want most.

The Right Way To Get Started Documenting

When it comes to building your brand for a social movement or business, there is no activity that will add more value than documenting your ongoing progress.

While I have spent the last four years hiding my progress from the world and waiting for the perfect moment to shine, I have missed so much opportunity to grow. In the coming weeks I will be setting up my channels for documenting and start getting my progress out there.

It doesn’t matter that my work may never been published- if I had shared what I was working on and built an audience as I went, at some point I could have released a minimum viable product that could have really benefited the right people, allowed my fans to give me feedback, and also let them show me what they really wanted.

If there is one thing I learned from this blunder, it is that there will never be a perfect moment to share my progress, I will never be ready. It is all about taking the plunge and sharing consistent, steady documentation.


Starting a Project You’re Passionate About

Starting A Project You’re Passionate About

Pick a Dream and Run

Before you get a project off the ground, it’s absolutely critical to have a project first. But where do you find the inspiration to start a project that you can actually follow through with?

When I first started working with Superhero Academy, I was inspired from a dozen fronts at once- I had just taken some of the biggest risks of my life, and was met by some of the most outstanding opportunities. Clearly, they paid off, because here I am a year later, thrilled to be writing this very article.

But while I was finding my focus, I had plenty of people in my life that had no idea what to do next. So I created The Slacker’s Guide to Getting Your S&*t Together

Really, it’s ten simple steps to figuring out your passion and getting on the path to pursuing that successfully.

But for now why don’t we keep it simple- two easy rules to help you pick your first project.

Rule Number One: Start a Project You’re Passionate About

Maybe you already know what you’re passionate about. One student in the Academy, Jason England, is dedicated to soil free, low-water consumption agriculture which he calls The Drought Gardener system, because he wants to turn the tides on the issues caused by the massive droughts in the west. Another student, Michael Richardson, is passionate about jumping out of airplanes and conquering his fears.  

Anyone can make money. It’s easy enough to monetize a junk content website through Google Adsense, or resell batches of bulk printed t-shirts with quotes you stole from memes. But to create a project worthy of an everyday superhero, one that you can really dedicate your time to and feel proud of its impact on the world, well…

Those projects thrive because of the passion behind them. Nobody wakes up saying, “I just don’t want to do this anymore,” and, in fact, they wake up everyday going, “How can I do this better?”

This dedicated vitality not only makes follow-through easy, but keeps you innovating, stepping up to challenges, and constantly trying to learn and improve your own skills in order to be worthy of the project you’ve embarked on.

Rule Number Two: Commit for Six Months

Some people just know what they want to do- but not everyone is like that. For some of us, we have a thousand hobbies and passions. We’re prone to even job hop a little, getting extremely excited about something one day, but switching to a new idea less than a week later.

The problem with this is two-fold; first off, you never really get anything done at all. But secondly, and often worse, you end up so scared of choosing the wrong project, that you end up choosing none at all.

The solution to this is simpler than you might think; pick one single project and draft out everything it would take to get to the minimum viable product– the smallest finished product that you can monetize or sell. Then, work on that project relentlessly for six months. If you get a new idea, jot it down in a notepad, and then return to work.

(Okay, so you might want to cheat and commit to three months if you can get something substantial done in that time. Create your own rules, but stick to them!)

After six months, you should have something to show for your efforts, and then you get to ask yourself the golden question, “Is this what I want to be doing?”

The reason this strategy works is because you never over-commit; starting a million projects never threatens to consume your life, and it never excludes your other passions. In six months, you get to see what you’re really capable of with a single idea, what it can earn you, and whether you love it or not. Even better, if you’ve documented the process properly, then by the time you’ve hit this point, you’ll already have an audience that can tell you if you’re on the right track or not.

You always have something to show for your labor, and you’re never wasting time with indecision.

Simple, right?


Starting Somewhere- Let’s Get Some General Skills

If you read through the first section and still feel stumped, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you need to sit around and worry yourself to death about what project you should start.

Honestly, you might even start helping someone else with their project before you work on your own. That’s what I did, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Can I be happy working for someone else when I claim to be an entrepreneur? Though the textbook definition disagrees with me, I don’t see any contradiction with starting by working on somebody else’s project and being an entrepreneur.

The point in creating your own path is having the ability to choose your own opportunities. Foe example, educating and inspiring people to become their best self fits my passion; I wrote the Slacker’s Guide before I knew what Superhero Academy even was, after all.

But most importantly, it has given me the chance to practice first-hand the skills that I need to start my own project down the line. Plus, while I’m focusing on honing my best skills, I don’t need to be distracted by all of the various elements of founding a company or starting a project; team-building, product pitches, marketing, etc.

I just have to learn to be great at what I want to do.

So if you’re stuck between passions, or you don’t know what you’re passionate about at all, ask yourself that question; what skills do I need most to help me start my project?

You can never go wrong with basic entrepreneurial skills, and you’re already in the right place for that. In the next few articles we’ll cover how to build an audience, how to get funding, how to sell a product, and even how to automate your business so you can scale it up.

But what about studying skills more specific to your craft?

The trick is to find a professional to work with or learn from, or to find somewhere to practice.

For example, if you want to educate, practice answering questions on a platform like,, or study answers from people who make their living doing what you want to teach. Or, if you want to build or design houses, go work with a construction agency or study with some architects.

And did I mention Superhero Academy boasts a 52 class course on everything you need to know about starting a project, creating value, and making money?

Someday, your dream project might fall into your lap- you should be doing everything you can to be the person ready to handle it when it does.


A Jack of All Trades is a Master of None

I don’t want to give the impression that all you should be focusing on is picking up any and all skills that come your way. Not that those extra skills will hurt or won’t come in handy, but your focus, once again, should be on pursuing your passion with vigorous dedication.

Remember that when you really get started on your project, you’ll have a team of specialists to support you in your endeavors.

Then ask yourself- ‘What will I be the specialist in?’

And while you’re thinking about that, ask yourself this as well: ‘If someone were to hire me for this position right now, would I be qualified ?’

Think of this as the other side of the general skills discussion. You want to be ready to do as much for your company’s needs as possible, but you also want to make sure that you’re an expert in what you’re bringing into the world.

Think about any Superhero that you loved growing up (or still love)! Spiderman is known for slinging webs, The Flash is known for being the fastest in the world, Sentry is known for his strength of 10,000 burning suns…

The point is, they specialize. Each hero had something iconic about him. Not only does specialization help with branding, but it also helps you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are.

And if you know your strengths, you know exactly what features of your project you should be responsible for starting and running in order to guarantee they’ll be successful.

And if you know your weaknesses, you know exactly which team members are most important to recruit to help ensure that those don’t become your achilles heel.


Trust Your Team

As you start your project, nothing is more crucial than forming a team you can trust without question. You now know what you want to do, and what you’re able to do on your own, but if your team can’t cover your weaknesses, how will it ever get off the ground?

It’s not uncommon for skilled people to back down from starting their dream project because they don’t think they have all the skills to make it work on their own.

Maybe you are an excellent salesman- you could get a grandma to buy a racecar and thank you for it later- but you have no skill at marketing.

Well, you can’t very well sell a product if you have nobody to sell it to.

The first step to building a team is creating an honest analysis of your personal skills, your project’s needs, and any skills you already have covered by existing partners.

What obstacles are the most intimidating between you and your minimum viable product? If, like we mentioned before, you are great at sales but horrible at marketing, then you know you need to hire or recruit a specialist.

If you know that your audience is online, but you don’t know how to make a website, then start looking for a web designer.

Interview each potential team member, make sure that they understand your vision, what their responsibilities are, and have the skills to accomplish those. From there on out, it’s all project management, which we cover in-depth in the Academy’s class by the same name, and will touch on briefly in a future article.

You’ll know you have your basics covered when you wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you have to do, and you don’t waste all of your time worrying about everything else that needs to get done.

A team that’s as passionate about your vision as you are will carry you through the hard times. They’ll even get you over the six month hump when you’re wondering whether you should back out.

There’s no glory in being a solopreneur. Share your success, and your team will be there to share theirs right back.


Time and Scope are Your Biggest Enemies

A word of advice for starting your forthcoming project; there are enemies lurking in the shadows before you even have the first concept written down.

Every project requires a certain amount of time and effort to accomplish. That’s the whole reason we start with a minimum viable product, after all.

You might be really passionate about architecture, so you might dream of the greatest building in the world. It’ll have everything! Three hundred stories tall, with slides between floors and swimming pools on every fifth and… Well, you get the picture.

Remember that honest assessment of our skills we talked about earlier? Think about how much work you actually get done in a week. More importantly: How much work your team can get done in a week.

Then look into your savings and think about how long you can afford to pay yourself, or your team, without seeing any revenue coming into your project.

If you don’t set a project scope that’s clear enough and reasonable enough to turn a profit by that deadline, you risk having to abandon the project altogether, or watching your trusted partners run off to greener pastures.

This doesn’t mean don’t dream big- it means that you need to figure out how to turn your big dream into smaller pieces. Perhaps you don’t start with the skyscraper- but every time you hit your six month goal, you scale your company up, you move your ambitions to your team’s new limits, and you get a little bit closer.

And don’t worry- you’re not alone. Every step you take, Superhero Academy will be here to help you get ready for the next one.

What if you really need to get some more eyes on your project now that you’re getting it started? How could you possibly build up an audience to spread your ideas, buy your products, or fund your work?


Click here to find out 😉

How the Minimum Viable Product Will Save Your Project From Your Creative ADD

The Need to Create

We all have a deep desire within us to create, but now, unlike any time before, we have access to myriad ways to freely express our creativity. As technology improves, we are seeing how simple it is to get our ideas and projects in front of the eyes of thousands very quickly. This is not only beneficial to entrepreneurs – we see artists, writers, and other change makers taking advantage of these resources everyday.

At the same time, so many possibilities has a tendency to paralyze people- how do they choose from so many options, and be certain they’re picking the right one?

How do you decide when what you’ve created is truly ready, either? Should you perfect every detail, or launch it as soon as possible?

The minimum viable product is the solution to each of these questions- a strategy for optimizing your early labors to not only create the best initial offering, but also require the least capital and time investments before seeing returns.


Simplifying Your Perfect Creation

The idea of the Minimum Viable Product has been adopted by business minds around the world, and has taken a particularly strong hold in Silicon Valley.

The idea spread rapidly with the release of The Lean Startup by Eric Ries in 2008 where he describes the minimum viable product as a…

“version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

In essence, the minimum viable product is the skeleton and core offering of your product. When you start a project you’re tasked with finding a problem to solve, or value you can create for a specific audience. Too often, when brainstorming for your project, that initial solution gets overblown- think of Tesla’s turbo boost feature in their new vehicle.

Tesla’s ultimate aim with their vehicles is to create high-performance electric vehicles, and the turbo boost is no doubt a tremendous mark of success. But they were able to shoot for the stars because of massive early investment and the luxury of being able to pay employees for years even without a single sale.

Most small businesses don’t have those luxuries, and thus to prove themselves as contenders in their market, and continue paying their hard working employees, partners, and investors, they must create a simpler solution, the MVP.

So assess your project- which of the features you’ve envisioned are essential to the project, to solving that initial problem or creating that key value? Those are what must be in your first release for it to be viable.

And when you look at your features and identify the excessive ‘turbo buttons’, remember that you aren’t forbidden from rolling those out- but by focusing on those too soon or too aggressively, you might never hit that first point where you can begin to actually make some money back from your investments by releasing your minimum viable product.


Your Perfect Product Will Prevent You From Ever Having a Product At All

It can be incredibly intimidating to start turning your vision into a tangible product or service. Once we start thinking five years in the future about the perfect product, the public shares and global reach, we lose sight of where to start here and now.

This farsighted thinking tends to lead to incredible projects that never get started. To achieve our dreams we must set smaller and shorter goals as a way to benchmark our progress and reward ourselves on the path to a successful business.

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you‘ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIN founder

Nothing truly groundbreaking was ever perfect in its first draft, and the most successful, thriving organizations today are based around iterated technology.

Look at the first computer, the ENIAC which filled a room the size of several large apartments and the first internet, Arpanet, which was exclusively for government use, and only really accessible by universities for the first several years of its existence.

Industry hasn’t deviated from this idea either. Apple released a new series of Ipods every year only until the Iphone had earned that spot of honor- and not only have do they consistently earn more revenue than many countries GDP, but they’re synonymous with innovative and high-quality production, even though they outshine their earlier products constantly.

Innovation is excellent- but pointless if you are so determined for perfection that you can never produce anything at all.  


Don’t Guess What Your Customer Wants- Ask Them

Your minimum viable product may not be a masterpiece, but if you’ve really solved a problem, or really created a value, the people who need it most will jump on the opportunity to work with it anyways.

You can see this most clearly with software and video game development in the form of beta-tests. Once developers feel like their product is functional- it can be played from start to finish, or provides a reasonable understanding of the ultimate final experience- they release it to their most interested supporters to try it out.

This is not only a great way to give something back to the early adopters of your MVP. By releasing an early product to a smaller group composed of your most interested audience, you can get incredibly insightful feedback on what they actually want in a finished product.

Suddenly your customers can tell you:

  • What works
  • What doesn’t work
  • What they would pay more to see in a future version
  • What other uses they’ve found for your product
  • What problems they still have after using your product

These insights are critical to creating a second iteration that will appeal strongly to a larger and potentially global audience. You can guess all day what people want, but only they can tell you for sure.


The KISS Principle

Whether you’re offering a service or a product, the sooner you can get it in the hands of an interested audience, the sooner you can begin to celebrate your success or adjust to your failures.

This doesn’t mean you have to have something to sell tomorrow. It just means you have to figure out the shortest path to getting something worth selling, and putting it out there for the world to respond to.

If you still find yourself struggling with this concept, it might be time for you to take a look at the process of documenting your progress and your ideas. This is a shortcut not just to building an audience, but being able to ask them directly what they are hoping for from your minimum viable product.

But let me do my best to cut to the quick of the issue- and remind you of something you may have been taught in school, but might have forgotten in your professional life.

Keep It Simple, Stupid. The KISS principle. Simple can often be synonymous with focused, direct, and elegant.

You don’t change the world with a Turbo Button- you change it with a quality product that solves a serious need.

The Slacker’s Guide to Get Your Shit Together

I should be upfront; I’m of the belief that nobody on this Earth is actually lazy, most people just have trouble getting their shit together. I don’t actually believe anyone is happier doing nothing rather than something. I think laziness is what happens when the tasks we’re told we have to do hold no value for us.

Why, the burgeoning young artist asks, am I being forced to memorize the dates that a bunch of old documents were signed into law? Why, the twenty-something year old data entry specialist asks, am I sitting here doing what a computer should be able to do instantaneously?

But how do you go about getting your shit together? How do you figure out what you’re meant to do, or what’s important to you, or what people will even pay you for?

1) Figure Out What You’d Do If You Already Had a Billion Dollars

Go make a list of all the things that you really like to do. Write down a list of every skill you have, every hobby you enjoy, every subject that interests you. Figure out what you’d do for a living if you already had a billion dollars.

If you need some ideas, go try something new. You wouldn’t be the first person to find their purpose in life by jumping out of a plane. Getting your shit together isn’t supposed to be rigorous and challenging- it should be the most fun you ever have.

2) Determine the Value You Can Bring Into the World

Go make a second list- brainstorm ways you could get people to pay you to do what you want to do. Blogging, speaking, selling, grants, commissions, teaching, starting businesses, getting ad revenue, whatever. Scrap ideas and find new ones. Shuffle them around. Get feedback. Ask other people who’ve gotten their shit together how the hell they did it.

You don’t always need to be selling a product or offering some essential service- anytime you create value for someone else, you have something they might be willing to compensate you for. Figure out ways to provide value to the people around you, and watch as they scramble to make sure your needs are met.

3) Burn the System Down and Build Your Own

Write down everything you’re already doing. If you’re in school, is that helping you accomplish anything off the first two lists? Why the hell not? If you’re close to the fancy piece of paper they call a degree, tough it out and get it, but remember, C’s earn degrees. Getting your shit together isn’t about mastering somebody else’s system- it’s about taking charge of what fires you up.

If you’re working an awful job, are they paying you what you’re worth? Try demanding a raise. If they fire you, you can always get another job that won’t pay you what you’re worth

4) Get Obsessed With What You Love

Start adjusting your life’s habits until they are in line with your goals. Go read some books. Go subscribe to our podcast. If you have a social media addiction, unfollow all the cat meme pages you follow and go like or follow a bunch of pages that post exclusively inspiring messages or content related to your passion. Fill your life with the thing or things you’re crazy about.

5) Get Loud About What You’re Doing

Talk about it. Drive your friends nuts. Embarrass your family. Make people unfriend you on Facebook. Make a generic-sounding page on Facebook and starting reposting all your research. Make a blog on Medium and write out all your thoughts. This is the art of documentation, and it is the number one way to build a presence, a tribe, or an audience.

Make sure everyone knows what you’re crazy about, because otherwise how are they going to help you get your shit together, and why are they going to think you’re worth helping if you aren’t helping yourself?

6) Become the Expert

By now, without even realizing it, you’ve become an expert in your passion- we might even say you’re getting your shit together, slightly. You should know more than anybody else who isn’t an expert in it, which means it’s time to start collecting other experts. Shoot unsolicited messages to pros in similar or the same field as what you want to be in. Reach Out. Start joining meet-up groups, online communities, or whatever else works for it. Or start your own.

Again, talk about it. Make people know you’re passionate, make them know you’re an expert, make them know you know what you’re talking about.
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7) Join the Experts

Now you’ve got a network, you’ve got knowledge, you’ve got ideas, and you’ve got a name. It’s time to get up and do something. If you still don’t know what that something is, that’s fine. Keep working on the first six steps. Go travel. Go learn something unrelated. Go move somewhere with more people who are crazy about the same thing you are.

If you do know what that thing is, then why are you looking to me? This is your life, get it together! You know what to do, so do it.

8) Hustle, Hustle, Hustle

This is the point for self-reflection; What do you need that you don’t have to move forward? How can you get it? If you need money, go get a job as close to your field as you can. Ask those experts and pros and friends from earlier what they recommend. Work with them, get experience, and build up skills. You’re stalling, sure, but that’s no reason to waste the time.

9) Put It All Into Action

Create value for other people through your passion and succeed. That’s all there is to it.

If you follow the first seven steps, work tirelessly, invent new ideas, and try different techniques eventually you’re going to have your life together. Notice I didn’t say you needed to get a college degree and work twelve internships while doing intramural sports and community service so that you could build a resume.

Nobody is paying you to have fancy pieces of paper. People are paying you for the value you’re generating, and you’re working for the value you get from the work, not the money anyways.

10) Do It Again, and Again…

Repeat Step One. Don’t quit just because you’ve succeeded and feel like your shit is together. Outsource the parts of the work in Step Nine that you don’t like to employees. Do only the parts that you’re the absolute best at.

Find a new passion, and work your ass off at that too. Never stagnate, never retire. If you always put something you value in front of you, you’ll never want to retire anyways. A lot of people want to escape because they think that’s how the game is played- they didn’t like the life they built. Stop playing the game, start winning your life.

If all of that was hard to follow, let me break it down for you. Find something you love, and let it consume you. Become an expert. Become friends with experts. Use your impressive knowledge and skills and network to create value for other people, and they’ll pay you whatever you ask. You’ll never go hungry, you’ll never be bored, and you’ll never be lazy or unsatisfied. It takes a hundred times more energy to work on something you don’t care about than to work on something you love.

So stop being a slacker, go do what you love, and get your shit together.


Can You Become an Everyday Superhero?

There’s almost nobody who isn’t asking themselves the same question nowadays- ‘What am I going to do with my life?’

And with such poor opportunities- careers with inflexible hours, unclimbable ladders, and wages that barely cover the rising costs of living- it’s not surprising that so many people are considering trying to become their own hero by becoming an entrepreneur.

And you’re probably wondering to yourself- ‘Am I ready to make my own path?’ or, ‘Should I just keep doing what everyone else thinks I should do, even though it isn’t my passion?’

There’s a lot of argument about what makes an entrepreneur, what bragging rights it entails, and who really should even pursue that most difficult and rewarding life.

Part of the reason for this heated discussion is, of course, that the common definition of an entrepreneur is fairly useless. Highlighting only two traits- that one start a business and take on personal financial risk- it says nothing of the culture, mindset, or characteristics that drive someone to take on risk for a cause.

This definition, simple as it is, doesn’t do much to identify the greatest candidates for entrepreneurship; those desperate to make something of themselves, or those passionate enough for change to take matters into their own hands- in short, everyday superheroes.

Instead, the definition puts the attention simply on those with business history and disposable income- people who are highly capable of success, to be sure, but not necessarily the people most likely to make the most amazing or necessary changes to society or life as we know it.

Not those primed to become the everyday superheroes that the world needs.

This means that angel investors, educators, and mentors often miss the mark when trying to figure out where best to dedicate the resources at their disposal.

You might not be a millennial yourself, but if you are asking yourself those questions above, you’re an honorary part of a generation faced with massive opportunity, and equally massive obstacles to meet.

Millennial Potential


Millennials have the opportunity to either fall as the lost generation, or rise as Everyday Superheroes.

There’s a lot of reason to believe that we are about to witness the rise of the greatest entrepreneurial generation ever seen.

There are more, and higher-level, degrees being awarded than ever before, and entrepreneurship education has finally extended beyond the niche into an entirely mainstream subject. And the education is not meaningless either- more self-employed individuals are launching their businesses directly after finishing their education than ever before.

But while the desire and knowledge to make a difference are thriving, the flawed definition of entrepreneurship and an outdated mindset of what it takes to be successful in the corporate world is limiting the perception of the revolution that’s underway, leaving many completely unaware of that they are capable of becoming their own everyday superheroes.

The millennial generation has all the tools and fire to become the greatest entrepreneurs, but the obstacles in their way are equally great. The infographic to the side by the Kauffman Foundation will help us get a quick idea of what those are.

Though it addresses the strengths of the current educational climate, it draws some harsh criticisms to the financial situation that those same highly-educated individuals are finding themselves in.

Far too many of these students are crippled with debt, have less experience in the workforce, or have found themselves underemployed in careers that do not suit their experience, skill level, or the costs of their livelihoods.

These issues are what cause many to fear that millennials will turn out to be not the greatest, but the lost entrepreneurial generation. The numbers don’t make that a difficult fear to realize- you need simply look at the 12% drop in young entrepreneurs in the last two decades.

But those frightening numbers do not have to be a sign of doom, but rather a call of urgency to the need for the rise of everyday superheroes.

When it was easy to work for the current most wealthy corporation and make an honest living, it’s no wonder so many people became complacent with that situation. But all that did was centralize corporate power and ultimately led to the sharp decline in business competition, workplace wages, and the shrinkage of the middle class.

We started to edit the rulebook to their terms for a fairly understandable reason- if we believe the only way to succeed is to thrive in their environment, then of course we’ll do whatever they ask. If they demand college degrees in our applications, we’ll get those degrees. If they demand we work longer hours- well that’s the cost of doing business. We lost our desire to become everyday superheroes, and embraced a complacency to getting by.

This seemed a mostly innocent transition at first; do what the boss says, and maybe one day we’ll get to be the boss. But as everyone since the ancient Egyptians will tell you- there’s only so much room at the top of the pyramid. Eventually, we helped them shape rules which shrunk that top further and further, and playing their game became a no win situation.

The solution to these growing problems is easier than many think. We do not need to rely on government intervention or taxation to take back upward mobility and jobs we can be proud of, we simply need to begin creating the jobs we wished we had and taking the right risks instead of the ones forced upon us.

The Elephant in the Chat Room

The new generation has grown up so closely with the lightning speed rate of the internet, they often overlook the significance and novelty of it altogether. The ability to learn a six-figure skill while wearing your pajamas in bed is completely new, and the fact that you can utilize that skill without ever taking off those pajamas is opening doors nobody would have dreamt of knocking on in the early 80s.

Take a look at how much money is spent on the internet in ten seconds in the infographic below.


400 thousand dollars every ten seconds is no paltry sum- and though the internet may not be a truly level playing field, it is exceptionally more approachable than the old boy’s club of business that has run the free market for most of capitalist history. Everyone who became a hero identified an opportunity and took it- and this is the biggest and most accessible opportunity that has ever presented itself to everyday people.

And not all of the new money is moving through e-commerce. The internet has opened doors for people to make money off taking selfies on Instagram or creating their own videos or games and uploading them to websites like Youtube or Newgrounds.

Superhero Academy itself thrives because of the opportunity afforded by the internet. Whereas a traditional four year business degree would typically cost 40 to 120 thousand dollars, we are able to offer a full year’s classes, networking opportunities, and so much more for less than what many people pay for a single semester.

When you live in an age where your value can be built off the amount of people who follow you rather than the amount of time you spend building an empire, your limitations become less of a box and more of an actual universe, full of possibilities for even teenagers to become millionaires from their dining room table.

This is what it means to be an everyday superhero: deciding that the passionate drive to excel within you is worth giving it’s best opportunity. Or realizing that the ideal world you believe in can be created if you take charge and build a tribe around tangible, sustainable efforts aimed in the right direction.

If you’re reading this article right now, I can guarantee you have every tool you need to reach an audience, build a network, and launch a business of your own. Part of having this power of unlimited information and networks means recognizing we have another option waiting for us, in fact one that doesn’t ever sleep.

Our biggest limitation is our willingness to take on the challenge.

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Cultivating a Take-Charge Attitude

There’s definitely hope, and that can be found less in the raw data of what young people are doing with their lives, and more in studying their attitudes.

“Millennials are realizing that starting a company, even if it crashes and burns, teaches them more in two years than sitting in a cubicle for 20 years,” Tuffile says. “While they know their chances of creating another Facebook are low, they do think it’s fairly easy to create a cool startup.”

millennials_at_work8Millennials will tell you themselves that they’re compelled by several key desires: the need for flexible work hours, the distaste for climbing an old corporate ladder, and an increasing desire to work remotely. These traits, though they could appear to signify a culture that’s lazy and irreverent, work excellently with the ‘always-on’ mentality of an over-connected culture. They will not happily give you eight hours in an office, but will instead give you regular work spread across the entirety of their waking hours. Even 37% report that they will always check a work e-mail, no matter the time.

At the end of 2014, a third of the workforce was made up of millennials- which means this new attitude is nothing to be trifled with. While college degrees are becoming more standard, and college debts are rising astronomically, the system is slowly being subverted by a cultural mindset which ignores the old rules almost entirely.

Do you hear the siren call of this new mindset? Does the idea of taking charge of your life, your career, and your impact on the world send your heart racing? You’re not alone- and it’s important to realize one more thing; There’s more opportunity at your fingertips right now than you could even imagine. You CAN become an everyday superhero.

Are You Ready To Make Something of the New World?

We started with the question of whether you were cut out for blazing your own path, and the goal of every fact above was to accomplish one simple feat:

We at Superhero Academy want to convince you that you are capable of becoming an everyday superhero.

The opportunity for you to thrive is sitting right in front of you, but that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing once you realize what you’re capable of.

Many people come up with what they believe are great ideas and never make a dime. Everyday Superheroes that never see their potential fulfilled don’t know…

  • How to create an idea that provides real value to a population
  • How to build an audience around a valuable idea
  • How to rally a team capable of bringing an idea to life
  • How to craft a pitch that will turn an audience into customers
  • How to monetize creative content

We’re here to help. You can read on to discover how to Start a Project if you want to get a better idea of what you might want to accomplish.

But if you’ve read all of this, and somewhere in the back of your mind you already know what dreams you want to see lived out, maybe it’s time to step up to the plate.

Start by filling out your Impossible List and we’ll get you started on the right path.