Black Swan Entrepreneurship

Black Swan

What is a Black Swan?

A black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.

The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain:

  1. The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology
  2. The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities)
  3. The psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs


 Black Swan In Practice

I was up late one night and I wrote a blog post about one of my online businesses where my wife and I partner with experts around the world to create and sell online gardening courses.

I was writing because I love writing and to simply connect two of my websites (Badgett Web Design & Organic Life Guru) together for minor SEO purposes.

I also do a little affiliate marketing for passive income so the article had a few affiliate links to my favorite WordPress LMS theme that I personally use and love called Academy.

What happened next was completely unexpected. I started getting almost daily inquiries about WordPress Learning Management Systems from around the world. Now I love WordPress and have built my primary income around building and maintaining websites for clients, so I’m always happy to answer quick questions about WordPress LMS and point people in the right direction.

You see I get a lot of random questions and that’s OK, and I’m happy to help. But I’m also taking on a lot of new clients from these inquiries to help them build out online education focused websites and grow real profitable online businesses around various topics.

If you’re into online business you probably get what I’m saying when it feels like WordPress Learning Management Systems are like more evolved forms of what’s known as a “membership site” or “information product.” I’m happy to now be riding the wave in front of this trend as an entrepreneur over at Organic Life Guru and as a freelance website builder at Badgett Web Design.

This frenetic demand for my services when it comes to WordPress LMS business design, development, and consulting was totally random and unpredictable. I couldn’t be happier though because I love helping people build websites that exist not only as online brochures, but also as the impact and income generating business itself.

Because I have my own WordPress LMS website, it made it easy for me to understand and relate to my LMS clients’ perspectives in ways that other web shops may not.

You see for me, randomly posting blog posts across my websites about whatever I’m excited about is what I call black swan hunting. I’m open to what opportunities may arise as the potential reach of my voice across the internet is unpredictable.

Are You Black Swan Hunting?

What could you start doing on a regular basis that has low risk or opportunity cost and could unexpectedly lead to a large upside?

photo by: LisaW123

Saving Water Isn’t Just About Taking Shorter Showers …

Toby Hemenway Permaculture Design Course cover image about water conservationWe just published a new video course with Toby Hemenway called Permaculture Design for Conserving Water.

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011, was named by the Washington Post as one of the ten best gardening books of 2010, and for the last eight years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world.

This course introduces the ecological design approach known as permaculture and shows how it can be used to create water-wise landscapes in dry climates.

Designing with water and dirt is something kids (and adults) can really get into which makes for great potential experiential education material and a whole lot of fun.

Permaculture combines concepts and principles derived from nature with research from ecology and sustainability fields to help design healthy landscapes, homes, and communities that reduce resource use, are low-maintenance, and are self-renewing. In this course You will learn about specific techniques that work in a dry climate, and gain a general understanding of permaculture design and application.

Toby Hemenway is well-known for his skill at taking technical, scientific information and making it readily available to everyone, regardless of science background.  In this course, Toby offers 8, very clear strategies for achieving a water-wise garden.  He covers a variety of techniques to help you carry-out each strategy.  In addition, he introduces the many benefits, besides water conservation, that come with implementing each water-wise strategy.

Contouring the Soil to Hold Water

This is a sample video lesson from the course from Lesson 7:

Permaculture Water Design

By the end of the Permaculture Design for Conserving Water course, you will have the knowledge necessary to begin implementing water conservation techniques in your garden.  Water is a precious resource.  Toby gives you no excuse not to embrace water-wise gardening.  What a fun concept to explore with the whole family … So dig in and enjoy the journey with Toby Hemenway!

The Story Behind Accidental Discoveries

Ric Kaner set out to find a new way to make graphene, the thinnest and strongest material on earth. What he found was a new way to power the world.

The practice of tinkering is sometimes a lost art for many as there is so much media constantly vying for our attention. Carving out time to tinker can be challenging, but I would argue necessary. Potential for unplanned positive surprises come from from this kind of open-minded tinkering.

Tinkering is a big part of success when it comes to how a child learns and growing a business.

What will you tinker with today?

How to Cure Anxiety with Play

Rope swing

Almost every entrepreneurial parent working hard to build a business to support their needs, dreams, and lifestyle goals at times dances very close on the edge of the dark side of high intensity creative risky work.

Building a business is usually not easy nor quick.

It is possible to face anxiety levels beyond the norm in this arena.

One of my stress reducers is my lifelong learning habit. I love learning new things, getting insights on how to grow my web design business and publishing business, and often I’m exercising while listening to a podcast or online interview. Mixergy is one of my favorite podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Today I listened to a helpful Mixergy show about building successful online courses and dealing with anxiety/burnout. The show was:

He did $2.6M in sales, so why was he so anxious? – with Charlie Hoehn

Charlie just released a book called Play it Away that I believe could help a lot of stressed out entrepreneurial parents deal with being over leveraged with play. Another hidden benefit of the lessons in the book is how when a parent uses play to de-stress, they are modeling a very important healthy habit for their kids to develop.

Charlie Hoehn is an author, marketing strategist, speaker, and play enthusiast. After graduating from Colorado State University in 2008, he studied under and worked with a number of bestselling authors, such as Ramit Sethi, Seth Godin, and Tucker Max. He worked alongside Tim Ferriss during the production and launch of The 4-Hour Body, which hit #1 on The New York Times bestseller list and sold over a million copies.

Charlie’s free videos on how to deal with anxiety

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

If you’re interested in diving deeper on Charlie’s work here, head on over to the Play it Away book’s website: to get a couple of free sample chapters or buy the book.

photo by: La.Catholique

Permaculture Principles for Better Living

The Roots of Permaculture Parenting

Permaculture PrinciplesWe wrote about permaculture parenting before here. Over at our publishing business Organic Life Guru, we just released a new course on Permaculture Principles with Michael Pilarski. Understanding these principles helps clarify what is possible with permaculture and how to best opperate as you explore how you design your life and the world around you.

Permaculture Principles with Michael Pilarski

The Permaculture Principles provide a set of universally applicable guidelines that can be used in designing sustainable systems.

These principles are inherent in any permaculture design, in any climate, and at any scale. They have been derived from the thoughtful observation of nature, and from earlier work by ecologists, landscape designers and environmental science.

In this course, permaculture expert Michael Pilarski, explores the 12 Permaculture Principles as originally developed by Bill Mollison. After sharing a little history on how the Permaculture Principles came to be and how they continue to evolve today, Michael thoughtfully explains each principle. He uses drawn diagrams and numerous examples to help explain each principle. Michael is able to draw connections beyond the natural world and show how these principles can be applied to other sectors including social and finance sectors.

Let Michael Pilarski clear up the mystery of Permaculture Principles and learn how to apply sustainable design to all aspects of your life

An Example Lesson: Permaculture Zones Sector’s and Elevational Planting

In this lesson, Michael Pilkarski explains principle 11: Zones, Sectors, and Elevational Planning.  Michael diagrams how you might lay out your homestead with zones in mind.  He explains how the principle of zones can by applied to your yard, your house, or even an entire city.  Michael explains the principle of sectors in terms of what energies are coming into your system from the outside and what influence they might have on your system.  For example, water, wind, wildlife, sun, smells, sounds, safety, fire, and views.  Michael describes the principle of elevational planning as how we take advantage of slope in the system and gravity so that “the fruit rolls into the house”.  He talks about it in terms of water, temperature, and micro-climates.

The Permaculture Principles Video Course

You can find out more about this course here: