Lesson 7 had a lot of reading. I’ve read more in the past few weeks than I have in the past six months! I finished the book Mastery, by George Leonard.  Leonard teaches “The Five Master Keys”

  1. Instruction (Arrange for first-rate instruction.)
  2. Practice (The path upon which you travel. Masters of anything are masters of practice.)
  3. Surrender (Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition. Surrender pride and become a learner.)
  4. Intentionality (Be a master of vision. Visualize your ideas and transform them into actuality.)
  5. The Edge (Push yourself to the limit. Walk the line between goalless practice and alluring goals found on the path.)

Leonard also points out the importance of health in being a master of anything. Similarly, in Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he points out the importance of physical exercise. He recommends 30 minutes of physical exercise every day as part of Habit 7, Sharpen the Saw. This is part of spending 1 hour each day to keep yourself from using a blunt saw. The other 30 minutes should be spent on spiritual, mental, and social / emotional sharpening. For myself, spiritual sharpening includes prayer and scripture study. Mental sharpening includes taking BYU-I classes and IT technical training. Social / emotional sharpening includes thoughtful focus on my interactions with others.

In the summary of the book, it states:

“A Daily Private Victory, in which you spend one hour a day in the renewal of the physical, spiritual and mental dimensions, is the key to the development of the 7 Habits. It is also the foundation for the Daily Public Victory.”

I believe focusing on Habit 7 will be the most meaningful and valuable habit for me to work on.

Here are links to the readings and videos for this week:

Mastery chapters 10-14

Stand True and Faithful – Hinckley

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Passion vs Money – Guy Kawasaki

7 Habits – ll



This lesson was shorter than usual. More reading than usual, but not as many other activities. The reading was very useful though. I read five chapters from the book Mastery. I’m looking forward to finishing the book and starting A Hero’s Journey. My wife and I have been brainstorming entrepreneurial ideas. She wants to start her own school. The focus would be learning through projects. Whole doing research online she found a school franchise she found very interesting. She agrees with the standards, philosophies, and methods. She said the name is Acton Academy and it is run by a husband and wife named the Sandefer’s! I told her about the Acton MBA school and that I was a little familiar with Jeff Sandefer. I plan on showing her the talk Jeff Sandefer gave at BYU regarding a Hero’s Journey.

This week I also formed my first LLC!

ZIP IT SERVICES, LLC was officially formed on 8/11/17.

I have my first client lined up and plan on signing a contract this coming week. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but it has always been “someday.” This class helped me to decide the best time is now! To not put off promptings and inspiration of the heart.

Here are links to this week’s readings and videos:

Mastery chapters 5-9

Succes is Gauged by Self-Mastery

So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur

How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work

The Entrepreneur and the Family

Three Lessons About What It Means To Be an Entrepreneur

Loyalty to God and Family


This lesson has been a little less stressful. That is in part due to having my first book report finished. I also started reading the book, Mastery, by George Leonard. It is a book I read part of many years ago and am very grateful to be reading it again. At the time, I first read it my younger brother had recently went through a dramatic transformation. He had lost a tremendous amount of weight, went from being agnostic to going to a Christian church, and had matured an incredible amount. I finally asked him what brought about his transformation and he recommended I read this book.

I read a short publication and watched a talk by Jeff Sandefer. Sandefer is the founder of the Acton MBA school. I learned valuable lessons on not only entrepreneurship, but how to “learn to live a life with meaning.” Living a purposeful life is something I have struggled with for years. I just seemed to be coasting through life. In Sandefer’s talk, he mentions the three things people over 60 ask themselves:

  1. Did I contribute to something meaningful?
  2. Was I a good person?
  3. Who did I love? Who loved me?

In Sandefer’s publication, Are Successful Entrepreneurs Born or Made?, he concludes, “Entrepreneurs become successful, one small investment at a time, in a never-ending process. Because entrepreneurial success isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. A journey taken one determined step at a time, in a way that builds lifelong treasures.” Being an entrepreneur isn’t about money, it’s about freedom to do what you want.

This lessons links:

Perseverance – James E. Faust

Are Successful Entrepreneurs Born or Made? – Jeff Sandefer

Most Entrepreneurs are Not Rock Stars – David Friedberg

How Do You Find Your Passion and How Do You Pursue It? – Randy Komisar

A Hero’s Journey – Jeff Sandefer


Even though I am only finishing the second week of class, I have already gone through four weeks of lessons, including finishing the book the ministry of business, and writing a book report on it. Lesson 4 included several very significant assignments to help me on my entrepreneurial adventure. In this lesson’s readings and videos I was taught about the 3 Principles of Success, including having a Personal Constitution, and how to deconstruct my fears.

The “3 Principles for Success” are:

  1. The Tri-Quation
  2. The Productivity Pyramid
  3. A Personal Constitution

In the Tri-Quation, the roles of productivity, self-esteem, and event control play equal parts that must be in balance. Think of a three-legged stool. If one of the legs are missing or too short, the stool cannot stand.


In the Productivity Pyramid, we determine our governing values that we want to live our life by. We then create long-term goals, short-term goals, and daily tasks to help us become the people we want to be.

Productivity Pyramid

The third principle of for success is the Personal Constitution. This is a guiding document where we take our governing values, write out what they mean to you, and then prioritize the values. For example, if you value integrity and financial independence you may want to have integrity above financial independence on your Personal Constitution. Otherwise, if you face a situation where if you lie about something you may get some financial gain you will put your integrity at risk.

Another important lesson was on deconstructing my fears. In a chart, I wrote down in column my fears, in the next column I wrote down a strategy to mitigate risk for that fear, and in a third column I wrote down how I would recover back to “Status Quo” if that fear came to pass. By going through this exercise, I could see that most of my fears were connecting to harming my family by endangering their financial well-being. Another fear was embarrassment in finding out I wasn’t good enough to be a successful entrepreneur and thus embarrassing my family and losing their respect. However, I know these fears are very unlikely to come to pass. I learned that there are very powerful things I can do to mitigate the actuality of them happening. I also discovered that if any of those fears do occur that it is not the end. By having open communication with Heavenly Father and with my wife my fears can be put at rest. Having love and trust in God’s plan for me will help me overcome any fear.

Here are the links to the readings and videos for this lesson:

How Will You Measure Your Life

Little Things Are Important – Liahona June 1988 – liahona

Do What You Love – Tom Kelley

Effective Choices, Not Longer Days – Jeff Hawkins

Action Hero Sharon Mays

Take Control of Your Life – Launching Leaders

Deconstructing Your Fear Experience ACCESSIBLE

Do What You Love circles


This blog post covers Lesson 3. In this lesson, I read chapters 4-6 of “the ministry of business.” These chapters cover “The Formula and Happiness,” “The Value of Strong Mentors,” and “Financial Fitness.” I also read talks by Shei Dew and Elder Lynn G. Robbins. In addition, I watched several video clips by Frank Levinson, Jan Newman, Ken Zolot, and Jim Ritchie.

The chapters of the book were especially powerful. Jim Ritchie shared the “Formula for Success.” It is a combination of formulas from J. Paul Getty and David B. Haight.

Paul Getty’s Success Formula

  1. Get up early.
  2. Work hard.
  3. Find oil.
    1. Every successful person has discovered their oil. A product, an idea, or a service that multiplies their talent or skillset in such a manner that it truly becomes their oil of success.


David B. Haight’s Success Formula

  1. Get your education.
    1. Get trained, get all the education you can get.
  2. Make your mark.
    1. Use your education and training to be good at something, maybe even great at something, maybe even the best at something. You need to outproduce your competition and be terrific at something.
  3. Prepare to serve / give back.


The Formula for Success

  1. Get up early.
  2. Work hard.
  3. Get your education.
  4. Find oil.
  5. Make your mark.
  6. Prepare to serve / give back.


I also found Sheri Dew’s devotional on integrity, “True Blue, Through and Through,” very powerful. It has caused me to do a lot of self-reflection. I need to take some time to journal these thoughts and feelings about myself.

In this lesson, I also created my first Personal Code of Conduct / Ethical Guardrails. They are currently:

“I will never” steal clients from a previous employer.

“I will never” sell a service I am not experienced with.

“I will never” cheat on my taxes.

“I will always” be faithful to my covenants.

“I will always” pray if I’m unsure about an ethical decision.

“I will always” tell the truth, even when it’s difficult.

-Psalms 15: 1-2


Here are the links to videos and readings for this lesson.

Frank Levinson – Why are Ethics Important?

Frank Levinson – Top 10 Must Have For a Start-up

Jan Newman – Risks in Business

Action Hero Ken Zolot

ll Jim Ritchie – The Formula and Happiness

Elder Lynn G. Robbins – Making a Living and a Life

Sheri Dew – True Blue, Through and Through





Although this is my second journal entry, I’m still in the first week of this class. In the second half of the week I had to read the first 3 chapters of the book, “The Ministry of Business.” I loved every paragraph I read.

The chapters cover “Divine Guidance of Business”, “The Power of Covenants”, and “Beware the Double Life.” James Ritchie spoke of the importance of not allowing others opinions drown out your own heart. He spoke of the importance of listening to the Spirit through the feelings of your heart. He said, “When we urgently and unhesitatingly act on the promptings of our hearts, we demonstrate our faith that what we’re doing is in line with God’s will for our lives. Our faithful and urgent action then allows God to have a greater hand in these actions.” He also spoke of the importance of timing our actions with God’s timetable for our lives.

One of my assignments this week was to study Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. I was asked to answer the following questions regarding it:

  • Why do you think Randy Pausch was able to achieve so many of his childhood dreams?
    • He decided to break down the brick walls that stood in his way. He could have simply said there’s a brick wall in the way so it’s not possible, but he pushed through them. He decided brick walls are there to keep out people that don’t want it badly enough. He was also surrounded by people that encouraged him to achieve his dreams. His parents, mentors, teachers, colleagues, and friends.
  • Do you feel that dreaming is important? Why or why not?
    • Dreaming is very important. It gives us vision for our lives and what we can become. It gives us direction and provides hope.
  • Discuss at least one of your childhood dreams. Explain why you believe you can or cannot achieve this dream.
    • I had a childhood dream to race motorcycles. I have owned motorcycles in the past and know I can achieve this dream by purchasing another one and taking track lessons. I hope to keep it a track motorcycle and not ride it on the streets.


Here are some of the awesome readings and videos of the week:

50 Things To Do Before I Die


Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams


What Is Your Calling in Life?


Stars and Steppingstones





B 183 Entrepreneurial Journal Entry 1

I was extremely nervous to start this course. I haven’t taken a Summer semester course before and was worried that I would be overwhelmed by the number of assignments due each week. This class also requires a bit of reading and condensing the reading and reports into 7 weeks from 14 weeks almost caused me to drop the course. However, after spending a few hours going over the first lessons readings and videos I became very excited for this class.


I am starting my own entrepreneurial journey at this time. I recently separated from an employer I spent 10 years with. I am an IT Systems and Network Administrator and enjoyed my work, but it had become stale and lost its once exciting flavor. I am now looking at starting my own business and am excited to learn the lessons and principles taught in this class.


My favorite part of Lesson 1 was reading the “Living Life as an Entrepreneurial Hero.” The document spoke with my heart. I am ready to the more difficult, but also more rewarding path. I no longer want to be the critic in the crowd, but the man in the arena who dares greatly. I want a more meaningful life. I want what I do to matter in 1,000 years. I want to begin living life as an entrepreneurial hero.



Here are links to the extremely valuable readings and videos for Lesson 1.



Your Whole Souls as an Offering Unto Him – Elder David A. Bednar


Living Life as an Entrepreneurial Hero


What is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship Course?


The Start-up of YOU


Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow


Gordon B Hinckley Building Dedication BYU Idaho Oct 2002


Introduction – Launching Leaders – Lesson 1


Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha: The Startup of You


Reid Hoffman on personal branding (8 of 10)


Reid Hoffman on career-building tools (9 of 10)

B250 – Week 13


Google It’s hard to believe there is only one week left in the class. It seemed to drag on and then all of a sudden it’s over. It’s exciting to reflect on all I’ve learned in this class.

This week I studied link building and Google Analytics. Link building is important since the more high quality links you have, the better search engines like your site. Links from trusted and popular websites back to your website will help give it credibility. Different ways to building incoming links:

  1. Spice up your links with some variety.
    1. If too many similar links exist, it can signal that those links were generated artificially and potentially result in penalties. Also consider which pages on your site inbound links point to. Your home page is probably going to get the most, but it’s natural to have links pointing to specific pages inside your web site, too. Cultivate links to your services, your blog, your news pages, your articles, etc., to help those pages get indexed and build their own PageRank.
  2. Not every link carries the same value.
    1. Links from popular, established web sites usually carry the greatest value. That’s because they have high PageRank from plenty of other people already linking to them. A link from, for example, will carry much more weight than a link from a free press release distribution site that few people know of. Likewise, a link from small business directory sbdpro.comwill offer greater impact than a link from a directory that uses no-follow tags.
  3. Build incoming links naturally.
    1. Directories
      1. Professional organizations, online communities and forums, business directories, etc. can all potentially provide good links to your site. There are several premium directories that are staples in an SEO firm’s link building toolkit, like Yahoo,, Best of the Web,, etc.
    2. Pres releases
      1. Writing and submitting press releases online can help you get your news in front of more people and build links to your site. (Be sure to use best practices for writing and evaluate carefully your outlets for good links).
    3. Blogs
      1. Link to relevant pages on your own site from your blog. Build relationships online with other bloggers, too, and they may want to link back to you! Active blogs with high visibility and large followings are going to be your best bet, but you can mix it up over time targeting lesser known bloggers, too. Keep in mind that as other sites grow in PageRank, the value passed to your site will also grow.
    4. Create some link bait
      1. Make sure your content is so fascinating or funny that people will want to tell others about it. This is the ultimate for building naturally growing incoming links, but of course hard to do.

A sample schedule could mean every month you list your site in two good directories, link to interior site pages from a couple relevant posts in your own blog, distribute one press release to news sites, and write one great article that other people may want to link to and then let them know about it.

Every month, make it a part of your link-building strategy to check for any new links and build relationships with more web properties. After all, a link is a compliment and a great way to network in addition to an important way to build value for your web site.

1.What is the purpose? Decide what your link building is for (choose one) –

    1. More traffic
    2. Better rankings
    3. Get a web page indexed
    4. Make you feel good
    5. Other?

2. Map out your strategy. (Part 1) Who and When?

    1. Who is going to do the work?
    2. When is the work going to start?
    3. Is the work ongoing? or
    4. Is there a date that the work should be finished?
    5. Who reports to whom? Is there a reporting process?

3. Map out your strategy. (Part 2) What and How?

    1. What web pages are the links directed to (in importance)?
    2. What keywords (anchor text) will be used in each webpage?
    3. What types of content/websites will be targeted to get links?
    4. How will the content/websites to get links be found?
    5. How to approach the content/websites to gather links?

4. Map out your strategy. (Part 3) Where will the links be gathered? (ideas)

    1. Your own sites
    2. Internal Link building strategies
    3. Friends
    4. Competing websites
    5. Forums
    6. Relevant blogs
    7. Related specialty sites
    8. How-to sites
    9. Social sites
    10. Social groups
    11. Social lists
    12. Social profiles
    13. Directories
    14. Guest posting
    15. Reviews


Google Analytics:

Business owners want to know:

  1. How do visitors find my website?
  2. Am I creating effective content?
  3. How does this impact my bottom line?


ABC cycle:

  1. Acquire visitor (Acquisition)
  2. Behavior of visitor (Behavior)
  3. Convert visitor (Conversion)



What do you do with all this info?

  • Find out which traffic sources are important to your businesses.
  • Learn which sites refer traffic. Possible partnerships?
  • Develop search engine optimization strategy.
  • Allocate advertising budgets.


  • Learn what visitors are interested in on your site.
  • Drill down into sections to see what visitors look at.
  • Learn where visitors enter and exit your site.

Conversion (The way we measure success.):

  • Decide what your goals are.
    • Destination: A specific location loads.
      • Visitor reached the “Thank you for signing up for our newsletter!” page.
    • Duration: Visits that last a specific amount of time or longer.
      • Visitor spent 10 minutes reading the volunteer application section.
    • Pages/Screens per visit: Visitors view a specific number of pages or screens.
      • Visitor viewed at least five pages on the site.
    • Event: An action defined as an Event is triggered.
      • Visitor watched a promotion video.


Here are the links I got this info from:

Intro to Link Building:

Advanced Link Building Strategy:

Link Building Strategy Checklist:

Google Webmaster Guidelines:

Beginners Guide to SEO:

11 Digital Marketing Crimes Against Humanity:

Getting Started with Google Analytics:


Google Conversion University:


B250 – Week 12


A very intense week! Studying Social Networking, Social Media SEO, and Project 4 was due.

I plan on focusing my Social Media efforts on Instagram. However, I do think it will be important to eventually have a presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. YouTube will be especially helpful since people like to watch how-to videos on calligraphy.

My plan is to make four Instagram posts per week. Each week I will update the link in my profile to go to the most recent blog post on my site. I will also have a meaningful conversation with at least one comment on each Instagram post. This will help foster relationships, build my brand, and strengthen my position of trust in the community.

A free sample search on, with hashtags related to calligraphy, I found that Instagram was the clear leader with Twitter in second, and Tumbler in third. I believe most of the Twitter posts are linking to original Instagram posts. One surprise was that the demographics was split 50.6% female and 49.4% male. I assumed the split would be much different with a much higher female demographic since most professional calligraphers are female. However, the male calligraphers I follow tend to have a higher number of followers on average. I need to research this to try to find out why.

I want to be a “User Resource.” In the end, I want to help others enjoy calligraphy. I can do this by creating original content and linking to/sharing links to other sites that will help others achieve their goal of learning and enjoying calligraphy.

Here are some great links for this week:

Create Social Media fans on Facebook and Twitter:

How Does Social Media Affect Search Marketing?

4 Steps to Social Media Success

16 Steps For Social Media Optimization

7 Steps For a Successful Social Media Strategy

6 Social Media Practices That Boost SEO

How to Measure Social Media Traffic with Google Analytics

What’s YOUR Social Media Strategy?



Week 11 – B250

This week I studied landing page optimization and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Questions to ask for Landing Page Optimization:

  • Is the page featuring what you promised in the ad?
  • Can people easily find what they are looking for on your site?
  • What do you want them to do on your site? (Call to action.) What is the goal of your website?

Five thoughts on SEO:

  • Words Matter – All words are searched on a website to help determine what the website is about.
  • Titles Matter – Page titles summarize a page like a book title.
  • Links Matter – Links are recommendations. The more websites that links to your website the better your reputation and the better it looks to Google. Links from trustworthy sites have a greater weight.
  • Words in Links – Words used in links give search engines the belief that the words used in the link are related to the site. For example, if your link has the words “fountain pen” in it then Google will come to the conclusion that the site being linked to is related to fountain pens which will help that site rank well for fountain pens.
  • Reputation – Sites with fresh and engaging content and increasing numbers of quality links will rise in search rankings.

I plan on spending my time updating meta data on existing pages, creating “fresh and engaging” content, and working on backlinks. I have some fantastic links this week to help:

“10 Smart Ways to Earn or Build Backlinks to Your Website”

Backlink Checker:

“A Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page SEO”

Google Analytics Experiments:

A/B Testing (Analytics Experiments) in Squarespace:

“Does Your Landing Page Seal the Deal?”