Just Start!

I’m flying at about 30,000 feet as I write this post. I’m reminded again and again that you have to start somewhere. You cannot get to be a top blogger, podcaster, video blogger, without starting.

Just start!

Since I’ve started enjoying writing now more than ever before I will begin this process of sharing online in a blog format. I hope that anyone who takes the time to read my post is pleasantly surprised by what they find here – Grammar and mistakes aside. 

I’m not Seth Godin, or Glenn Beck, or even Jared Easley for that matter. I’m Randy Wilburn and I’m glad to make your acquaintance if even over this post. Maybe you are a friend or we’ve met in person, or you are my Mom…Hi, Mom! I’ve been off and on, starting and stopping, writing in my blog and now I’ve realized that I have to make a routine out of this exercise or it will never happen.

Many of my favorite bloggers say “Just Ship It!” We’ll that’s what I’m going to do on a regular basis.

I’m not sure of the overriding theme of this blog. It certainly won’t be just about me but it will have my flavor all over it. I love entrepreneurship, marketing, ideation, encouragement, and speaking just to name a few things. I have a goal to ultimately write a book and I’m hoping that this regular mental exercise of sharing with you and anyone else who will read these posts will get me over the hurdle of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. The writing muscle must be exercised on a regular basis or it will never get stronger.

For me it’s now or never. If I don’t start I will never Finish!

What muscle are you trying to exercise?!?

TRWS – Make the Dash Count – EP9


In this episode of the Randy Wilburn Show I talk about the life and times of my Grandfather, St. Paul Epps. I was impacted by the life he led and the people he touched in 98 years. The dash in our life matters the most after our Birth and before our death. Just being born is an accomplishment in itself but what you do while you are here on Earth can affect generations to come. Live life to the fullest!

Change is Good!


I realize… today, more than any other time before, that it really is important to be able to deal with change and deal with it in a positive way. Too often as leaders, we get stuck in a rut where we think we can never change or where we think change is actually bad but the reality is that change is certainly good.

Recently I was confronted with a situation personally that has required me to do some serious soul searching. It’s been quite gut-wrenching at times yet still in some strange way it’s almost cathartic that I’m being forced to make some changes that honestly I don’t really want to do. In life sometimes you have to make changes. Because of what I’m currently faced with I’m learning how to deal with these things and more importantly how to deal with change.

Change is definitely good. You know, a lot of times we have hindsight and perspective when it comes to looking at change and later on we can always say, “Yeah, you know what, I’m glad I went through that. I’m the better for it.” No one going through a change ever says that. It’s always after the fact. I am excited about what is to come because I know that even right now, in some of the challenges that I’m facing from a leadership perspective I’m overcoming some shortcomings, even in my area of leadership and my ability to lead, I’m finding that I’m actually refining myself in the process.

So I just wanted to encourage anyone that is going through hard times or going through a very challenging situation from a leadership perspective where their ability to lead is being called into question, that you too can endure and overcome this situation.

Here are a couple of Leadership tips that I think might help you to navigate the maze of change that you will experience in a crisis.

* Be willing to hear all sides of an issue. It’s one thing to just take criticism and not digest it but it’s another thing to take an issue and listen to all the perspectives on that argument. And I’ve had to listen to several different critiques from a variety of people about some of the shortcomings in my area of leadership within an organization that I’m involved with and I’ve had to confront them head on and acknowledge that they were absolutely right and that just because I know how to do certain things really well doesn’t necessarily mean that everything I do is excellent. Certainly, I’m learning how to improve and how to be better in so many different ways and it just takes time to work on these things. I just want to encourage you to really look at the big picture when it comes to a challenge you are facing.

* It’s okay to make a mistake as long as you’re willing to acknowledge it and ask for help with regard to correcting the situation. Too often as leaders, we think that we can fix everything even our own situations. The reality is that we do need other people’s help to overcome some of the challenges that we face. And I’d be the first to admit that I really need help and I’m really excited about the simple fact that there are so many people willing to help me even during a time when I feel like I have failed them as a leader. If you experience this I think it speaks volumes to the people that you surround yourself with. Having good people around you will always make you a better leader.

* You can’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself. This is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible because it certainly reminds me that too often, we worry about what the future will hold or what the future will bring given the current situation that we find ourselves in. At the end of the day, you really can’t worry about that. All you can worry about is where you are right now. Focus on the present. Don’t worry about the future when it comes to trying to correct things. Correct what you can in the here and now and don’t worry about what will happen down the road because God has a way of working those things out. I recognize that this last tip may not be for everyone. The bottom line is that Faith is essential in being a great Leader.

I certainly want to encourage you on this issue of change If this blog post in any way is a help to you, please let me know by just sharing from the comment section and giving us some feedback with regard to your thoughts about leadership, and specifically about failure in leadership because it does happen more often than not.

Too often, we sweep things under the rug and act as if we’re perfect and that we can never fail. But the reality is that we all fail from time to time. I think the mark of a great leader is how they deal with failure and how they deal with people throughout that failure.

So I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to get some feedback with regard to this issue. Is there something that you’re trying to overcome from a leadership perspective? Have you had a major meltdown or a major failure that has called into question your ability to do things the right way? Please leave a comment in the section below or share with your friends.

Make it a Great Day!

Mom & Pop Multinationals


Improved software and services allow the smallest businesses to outsource work around the globe

From the outside, the gray Victorian with the stained-glass windows on a gentrified block in Dorchester, Mass., is a typical middle-class dream house. But it also is the headquarters of what you might call a micro-multinational. Randy and Nicola Wilburn run real estate, consulting, design, and baby food companies out of their home. They do it by taking outsourcing to the extreme.

Professionals from around the globe are at their service. For $300, an Indian artist designed the cute logo of an infant peering over the words “Baby Fresh Organic Baby Foods” and Nicola’s letterhead. A London freelancer wrote promotional materials. Randy has hired “virtual assistants” in Jerusalem to transcribe voice mail, update his Web site, and design PowerPoint graphics. Retired brokers in Virginia and Michigan handle real estate paperwork.

Global outsourcing is no longer just for big corporations. Increasingly, Main Street businesses from car dealers to advertising agencies are finding it easier to farm out software development, accounting, support services, and design work to distant lands. Elance, the Mountain View (Calif.) online-services marketplace that is the Wilburns’ main connection to the cyber-workforce, boasts 48,500 small businesses as clients—up 70% in the past year—posting 18,000 new projects a month. Sites such as Guru.com, Brickwork India, DoMyStuff.com, and RentACoder also report fast growth.

Forecasts that the Web would revolutionize work by creating a vast global market for professionals have been around since the early ’90s. Venture capital legend John Doerr thought so much of the idea in ’99 that his firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, bet nearly as much on Elance as it did on Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN). Kleiner managing partner Raymond J. Lane is chairman.

But while other forms of e-commerce caught fire quickly, Web sites for freelancers have only recently begun to generate much momentum. Market researcher Evalueserve estimates that revenues for online service marketplaces will grow 20% in 2008, to $190 million, far from the initial hype.

Why has it taken buyers and sellers of services longer to get comfortable trading online than companies dealing in physical goods? An eBay (EBAY) for services, says Elance CEO Fabio Rosati, “was a brilliant idea that started too soon.” But improved software, search engines, and new features are boosting the industry. Several sites now allow buyers to view detailed work samples and customer ratings for thousands of service vendors. Guru launched a payment system to mediate disputes and lets buyers put funds in escrow until work is received. Elance developed software to track work in progress and handle billing, pay, and tax records.


Those upgrades are starting to make a difference. Elance, which makes money by charging subscription fees and a 4% to 6% cut of each project, expects total billings to rise 50%, to $60 million, this year. Guru predicts similar growth, to $26 million.

Small entrepreneurs are the biggest source of growth. Queens (N.Y.) Lincoln Mercury dealer Ariel Tehrani hired Brazilians to develop a multimedia Web site to sell cars online. San Francisco real estate agent Jonathan Fleming uses graphic designers in Portugal, database managers in India, and writers in Hungary for his blog.

The Wilburns began buying graphic designs through Elance in 2000. They say they shifted to radical outsourcing after reading the 2007 Timothy Ferriss best-seller, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich, which extols the merits of freeing up time by hiring cheap offshore “virtual assistants” to handle scheduling and other routine tasks.

Remote help has allowed 38-year-old Randy Wilburn to shift gears with the economy. His real estate business has slowed, so he spends more time advising nonprofits across the U.S. on how to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Virtual assistants have handled routine correspondence and put together business materials while he’s on the road, all for less than $10,000 a year. He figures a full-time secretary would run $45,000. Nicola, a 35-year-old designer, decided to work from home after she had their second child. Nicola now farms out design work to freelancers and is starting to sell organic baby food she cooks herself. She is setting up a Web site for that business and offered $500 for the design work. Of the 20 bidders who responded via Elance, 18 are from outside the U.S.

The couple uses two main offshore vendors. One is GlobeTask, a Jerusalem outsourcing firm that employs dozens of graphic artists, Web designers, writers, and virtual assistants in Israel, India, and the U.S. It generally charges $8 an hour. The other is Kolkata’s Webgrity, which has a staff of 45 and charges $1 to $1.20 an hour. Five years ago, says founder Amit Keshan, 32, his company designed Web sites for Indian clients. Now he does all his business through Elance, handling up to 300 jobs each month for U.S., British, and Australian clients. For $125, Webgrity designed a logo for Wilburn’s real estate business that Wilburn says would have cost as much as $1,000 in the U.S.

A worldwide market where even mom-and-pop businesses outsource could still be years from attaining wide appeal. But micro-multinational entrepreneurs like the Wilburns may not be rarities for much longer. “People will do it the old way until it becomes a no-brainer to do it the new way,” predicts Elance’s Rosati.


Mobile Manifesto

Many small outsourcers say they were inspired by the 2007 book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Described as a “manifesto for the mobile lifestyle,” it includes a chapter on how to find offshore “virtual assistants” to handle everything from daily office tasks to writing business plans. One tip: Don’t hire based solely on the lowest hourly rate—focus on the total cost of the job.

Business Exchange related topics:


Global Outsourcing

Small Business Operations



Business Week

Four Hour Work Week

TRWS Episode 6 – Jared Easley the Natural Connector

Jared Easley

Randy Wilburn from The Randy Wilburn Show interviews Jared Easley, the man behind the well-acclaimed Starve the Doubts podcast.  He is the author of the book series Podcasting Good to Great, with the first part of the series entitled, How to Grow Your Audience Through Collaboration.

Two years ago, he was working in a corporate gig and was awarded the Top Biller in the organization with a decent bonus.  The following week, it started all over again and he decided getting into podcast and started listening to Dave Ramsey and Pat Flynn.  Those podcasts started to transform his life.  He realized he wanted to start his own podcast and connect with people.  And so he did.

Jared has definitely honed his craft as a podcaster having grown from good to great, building relationships and tremendously growing his network in the last couple of years.  His passion for podcasting is truly undeniable.  This year, Jared is teaming up with fellow collaborators in launching Podcast Movement, a huge conference in August in Dallas, Texas that is attended by hundreds of podcasters across the country.

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • Why Jared is a “connector”
  • What to do when you don’t quite know what to do
  • How to figure out your strengths
  • How the Podcast Movement came about and what to expect from it
  • Jared’s struggles in podcasting
  • How to grow your audience
  • How to get noticed

Items Mentioned:

Jared has always wanted to connect and get to know different people even when he was young.

Whatever skill it is that the listener is wanting to develop, he believes that is very possible.

He learned how to play the guitar with God’s grace, determination and foolishness.

His encouragement to listeners:

  • Develop a skill or desire in your heart.
  • If that’s there for a reason, you need to explore that.

Know your strengths then focus on those.

  • Ask your friends, family or people surrounding you who are going to be honest and who really want to see you succeed.
  • Analyze if it’s consistent with what you think are your strengths.
  • Determine your strengths based on consistent responses from people.
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 book
  • purposematch.com:  Fill up your profile and it matches you with different career opportunities that fall in line with your strengths and passions.


Once you know what your strengths are, that’s when you can start to have fun.  In the case of business, do that in a way that’s profitable.

  • Ask for advice.
  • Get good advice from people who are doing something that you admire and respect, that falls in line with your strengths.
  • Order books in Amazon focusing on that topic or niche.
  • Who’s commenting or reviewing that book? Those are people you can try reaching out to.
  • Facebook groups
  • Conferences and events


Find and identify a mentor. Find a Mastermind that you can be a part of.


Jared didn’t have tremendous experience/background in events.

  • The event is now expecting 600 people on its first year.
  • A vendor supported their event and wrote them a check for $2500.
  • People kept asking why there isn’t a podcast conference.
  • He connected with Gary Leland who also has a podcast online magazine, Podertainment and had experience with smaller regional events.
  • He also connected with Dan Franks and Mitch Todd.
  • Together, they talked to Philip Taylor, founder of FinCon and asked for advice.
  • They tried Kickstarter to validate their idea to do the event or not.
  • They went live with their crowdfunded campaign and raised over $11,000.
  • At the end of 30 days, they had over $30,000.


Jared inspired Randy to start his own podcast and after listening to his shows, Randy realized He liked doing interview shows more than monologues.

Podcasting is one of the easiest mediums to share what’s in your heart.


Jared contemplated on stopping his podcast.

  • He’s had that desert season where he didn’t feel like there was any progress and reasonable growth.  But he felt led to continue and he’s glad he did.
  • That struggle, allowed him to depend on God and generously connect with as many people as he could and now he’s getting results from those decisions.


The Podcast Movement and his new book are coming out on the same day.

  • Ellory Wells inspired him to write a book based on his presentation a few months back.
  • The book shares tips specifically to podcasters in whatever they’re trying to do, how to raise their business or grow their network, or build an audience.

If you want to get noticed, you have to first notice other people.  Be the noticer.

Find people that you want to speak to if you have a podcast.

Make a list of 5 people and each week find one little thing that you can do to notice these people.

  • Do that on a consistent basis.
  • Rapport will be created.
  • Trust is built.


When you’re by yourself, nobody will notice you.

  • Build an army.  Start with a handful of people and notice them.
  • Constantly be generous in your act of doing that.
  • Rapport is created and it has a way of generating reciprocity.


Takeaways for listeners:

  • Always be generous.  Encourage people, share their content, shine the spotlight on someone else.  That type of mentality seems to work well for  people who are building their networks and having success.
  • “The diligent prosper.”  Stick with something that you feel led to do.  You will eventually outlast the lucky or you will outwork the lazy.  That is a form of success.