How This 26-Year-Old Writer Generates $1.94 Million Per Year..Guest Article by Dave Schools

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon Univ., Nat Eliason takes a marketing job at a list-topping remote tech company, Zapier.

He’s employed there for a few short months before he gets hired away by Noah Kagan to work at his marketing SaaS powerhouse company, AppSumo, in Austin, Texas.

Eliason soon realizes he doesn’t need to work at a company to be successful. He bets he could do better on his own. After ten months, he quits his job.

He raises $125,000 to start a company called Tailored Fit, a machine-learning apparel shopping website, and burns through it all because “we had no idea what we were doing.”

In pinnacle digital nomad form, Eliason travels the world writing in-depth articles on his personal blog,, on topics like travel, marketing, philosophy, technology, books, business, and psychology. Soon, his blog traffic grows to over 300,000 visitors a month.

The traction to his personal website soon becomes a launching pad for various entrepreneurial ventures.

  • He creates a male kegel sex app called Stamena, which brings in $4,000-$7,000 in a strong month and $1,000-$3,000 in a weak month. “Revenue fluctuates month to month based on how highly the [SEO] articles are ranking,” he says.

Together, these initiatives bring in roughly $12,000 per month, he tells me.

In September 2017, he moves to New York City and hits a rough patch. Stamena sales drop. “I just doubled my cost of living and halved my income. It wasn’t sustainable.”

This difficulty incepts Growth Machine, his SEO content marketing agency. For a while, several clients had been asking for his services, but he isn’t interested in, as Naval Ravikant puts it, renting out his time (a.k.a. freelancing). However, due to the revenue crunch, he agrees to work with a handful of clients.

The years he had spent writing on his personal website suddenly pays off. His opening price for each client is $6,000 per month.

That number rises steadily.

Today, Growth Machine is doing $150,000 in monthly revenue. Eliason’s role scales into being more of a CEO; he focuses on business development and hiring employees. He’s writing less.

Altogether, Nat Eliason’s projects and businesses generate $1.94 million in total annual revenue.

Nat says he takes home about $16,000 a month personally.

He turns 26 in March 2019.

In April 2019, his blog passes 690,000 visitors, according to the web traffic tool SimilarWeb.

Eliason’s latest venture is a brick-and-mortar tea cafe in Austin called Cup & Leaf. It’s scheduled to open its doors in mid to late 2019.

10 Life and Business Lessons From Nat Eliason

  • Don’t pursue freedom. All the usual goals and pleasures millennials strive for don’t seem to matter. He’s plumbed the achievement gamut — freedom, travel, intelligence, followers, money, sex — and yet has found them all to be …empty. “It was immediately a wake-up call,” he writes after one year of digital nomadism. “My efforts up to that point had been focused on achieving freedom and pursuing novelty, but now that I had maximized them, I wasn’t any happier. Arguably I was less happy since I’d ditched plenty of amazing things (relationships, communities, cities) out of a sense that they limited my freedom.”
  • The question “Where do you see yourself in 5–10 years?” is silly. “I have no idea,” he says. “I can’t accurately predict that far ahead.” Instead, he works with a timeline of 3–6 months to make plans and tries to maintain reasonable expectations as he works on them.

A final thought

Neil Gaiman, in his Keynote Address to the University of the Arts in 2012 entitled “Make Good Art” said a statement that embodies Nat Eliason:

“The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.”

Original millionaires are made not by copying the path of another person or by following a formula, but by unifying your unique assets (skills, passion, and hard work) with the right path (opportunities and projects and people) — it’s very difficult to figure out—but if you can maximize it, you’ll create a significant amount of value that only you can create.

CISO Certifications That Can Boost Your Career

As the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to rise, the need for skilled security professionals and talented Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) becomes more clear. Today, 60.8% of enterprises have a CISO, and this role has become so strategic to organizational success that the CISO reports directly to the CEO at 32% of companies. Becoming a CISO is complicated, and often unpredictable. There is no single recipe.

However, there are some common paths people take to this position. CISOs possess a different mentality towards security than most practitioners. They not only protect corporate data, but they also manage individuals and develop comprehensive and holistic risk management and security policies and controls that meet business goals. Today’s CISO spends as much time in executive meetings discussing sales, finance, and operations as they do in their corporate security operations center.

CISOs understand how to convey executive-level security information to the organization while also delivering a combination of technical knowledge and leadership competency. They possess superior business intelligence and technical brilliance. CISOs understand how to convey executive-level security information to the organization while also delivering a combination of technical knowledge and leadership competency. They possess superior business intelligence and technical brilliance.

Education, certifications, and experience

Becoming a CISO is a marathon. It usually starts with an undergraduate degree that focuses in the field of computer science or information technology. Armed with a bachelor’s degree, there are couple options to consider: 1) get a job as a general IT specialist and gain experience or 2) start by getting an IT security certification. Most aspiring CISOs augment their certifications with a Masters in Business Administration degree down the road. As one of the most sought after degrees, an MBA further validates one’s executive capabilities. Regardless of which path is taken, security certifications are almost always a must.

There are several certifications that one can get on the path to becoming a CISO, such as CISA certification and understanding IT audit, CFE fraud examination, and OCSP offensive security. Below are two of the most important certifications available.

These two certifications are the most recognized worldwide. The exams for them are fairly difficult, requiring a breadth of knowledge gained from years of cybersecurity experience.

Why Certify? According to a recent Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) survey report, the biggest barrier to effectively detecting and stopping data loss in the cloud is a lack of skilled security professionals to maximize full value of new technologies. The cybersecurity job market has never looked hotter, and certified security professionals also earn more than their non-certified counterparts.

Benefits of CISSP:

  • Validates the security aptitude grown from a combination of experience and scholastic
  • Proves in depth expertise in building a security stack that meets global standards
  • Provides a separation from other security professionals seeking competing job openings
  • Confirms the obligation to continually self-educate and maintain up-to-date knowledge of latest trends
    and best practices

CISPP certified professionals can:

  •  Provide continuous protection against cyberattacks
  •  Offer up-to-date expertise on known and emerging risks, technologies, standards and best practices
  • Build a common language around cybersecurity, avoiding uncertainty around accepted terms and practices
  • Legitimize organization’s cybersecurity capabilities in the eyes of clients and partners

Benefits of CISM:

  • Confirms that the certified professional understands how and where information security meets broader
    business goals
  •  Proves that the professional possesses both the managerial skills needed to build security programs and
    technical expertise required to execute them
  • Opens up networking opportunities among skilled security professionals
  •  Ensures steady personal growth and career advancement expected at large enterprises

CISM certified professionals can:

  •  Address security issues by designing and manage programs at a conceptual level
  • Convey trustworthiness to the company of employment
  • Maintain a big picture view by evaluating, crafting and overseeing the company’s IT security
  • Align the company’s business goals with security practices


  • In many ways, CISM certification can be considered a natural progression after one’s been CISSP certified. You’re not required to get them both, but they complement each other, and can accelerate the path towards becoming a CISO.
  • CISSP is for the tactical practitioners of cybersecurity. It tests in-depth technical knowledge of day-to-day security tasks including security and risk management, security engineering, network security, identity and access security, and application development security among other things.
  • CISM is a certification that puts greater weight on creating and managing security programs. CISM-certified professionals tend to maintain a high-level view of IT security, and work towards aligning the company’s business goals with the security systems needed to support those goals. CISM certification focuses on risk management, and is meant for management-level professionals who want to continue their managerial career development in the field of cybersecurity.
  • Regardless of which certifications are acquired, a CISO’s most important qualifier is usually the experience they bring to the organization. CISOs are required to be forward looking, make forecasts, develop teams, acquire budget and stay within that budget. These skills are usually built over time. As they develop their security skills, they must also improve their communication, organization, and leadership skills.
  • Most aspiring CISOs augment their certifications with a Masters in Business Administration degree. As one of the most sought after degree, an MBA is a versatile degree that further validates one’s executive capabilities.

What Separates Elite Achievers From Average Performers?..Guest Article by Amir Afianian

In the 1990s, a trio of psychologists from the Universität der Künst in Berlin embarked on a quest to answer the question: What separates elite achievers from average performers? Their resulting research became the basis of the so-called “10,000 hour rule,” popularized by psychology writer Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers — the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve true mastery of a skill. (Gladwell has pushed back on the interpretation over the years, but the popular conception of the rule has taken on a life of its own.)
For their study, the researchers gathered a set of star violin players, ones who professors believed would become world-class performers. Let’s call this group the stars. They also put together another group: students who were serious about the violin, but as their professors noted, not in the same league as the stars. We’ll call this group the mediocres.
All of the students were asked to log, in detail, how they spent their time each day. Through the diaries, the researchers observed that the stars put in an average of about 50 hours of practice per week. In today’s world, where we valorize nonstop hustle, a number this high makes sense: To get better at anything, we believe, we simply need to put in more time.
But what may come as a surprise is that the mediocres also put in 50 hours of practice per week. Yes, the group of average performers spent around the same amount of time as the elite players working on their scales, fine-tuning their tempo, and doing whatever else is necessary to improve their violin performance.
So what separated the two groups, if not hours devoted to their art? There were two big differences.
First is that the stars spent almost three times more time on deliberate practice than the average group. Deliberate practice is the uncomfortable, purposeful type of practice where you stretch your abilities. You’re not just running through what you already know; you’re challenging yourself to expand what you can do.
Second is when the two groups did their practicing. The mediocres scattered practices throughout the day, while the stars consolidated their practicing hours into two specific periods. As shown in the graph below, there are two prominent peaks: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The proportion of time spent practicing as a function of time of day for the mediocres (left) and the stars (right). Credit: “The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance,” Psychological Review.
From this chart, we can see that the best of the best tended to stick pretty strictly to two sessions a day, a schedule that sounds more stressful than it is: when the researchers asked the players to estimate how much time they dedicated each week to leisure activities — an important indicator of feeling of relaxation — the stars were significantly more relaxed than their less exceptional peers.
That’s a point worth saying again: The students who practiced harder — who committed themselves to a rigid plan of several energy-draining hours each day — were less stressed overall. They put in the hard, uncomfortable work, and then they left it behind.
When you’re trying to improve in something, whether you’re a student trying to cultivate your mind or a worker striving to take your career to the next level, then busyness and exhaustion should be your enemies. If you’re constantly stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong. You’ve become a victim of the delusion that productivity necessarily equals value.
To join the stars, do less. But do the work with absolute, intense, and hard focus. And when you’re done, be done, and go enjoy the rest of the day.

Elizabeth Warren Is Now Resorted To Personal Attacks In Her War On The Alternative Investments Industry

To quote, Joseph Welch during the McCarthy hearings in 1954 “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?” I would echo those same words today and direct them to a U.S. Senator who also happens to be a candidate for President. That Senator is Elizabeth Warren and the lad, in this case, is Lee Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors and one of the pioneers in the alternative investments industry.

She recently tweeted to Cooperman “Leon, you were able to succeed because of the opportunities this country gave you. Now, why don’t you pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream, too?”

Someone needs to point out to Ms. Warren, that Cooperman, who is a billionaire would rank among the most generous people in the alternative investments industry. In fact, he would rank as on of the most generous billionaires on the planet.

We have been following Warren’s dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric about the alts business, in fact about all of Wall St. since she hit the campaign trail. Until now her attacks have been the normal de riguer criticism pols have been directing against those of us who make money in the money business. We are greedy and we don’t pay enough in taxes. Now she has taken it upon herself to personally attacking a really good and generous man because he dared to criticize her economic plan and her overall view of capitalism.

This all began when Cooperman criticized Warren’s proposed tax policies during an interview, with Warren responding on twitter that he should be pitching in more, giving more back to others. Cooperman, who is not on twitter responded with a well thought out letter outlining the faults in Warren’s economic plan and her reckless attacks against capitalism. A an example, Cooperman wrote in one part of his letter to Warren ““For you to suggest that capitalism is a dirty word and that these people, as a group, are ingrates who didn’t earn their riches through strenuous effort and (in many cases) paradigm-shifting insights, and now don’t pull their weight societally indicates that you either are grossly uninformed or are knowingly warping the facts for narrow political gain.” Further Cooperman writes: “As a result of my good fortune, I have been able to donate in philanthropy many times more than I have spent on myself over a lifetime, and I am not finished; I have subscribed to the Buffett/Gates Giving Pledge to ensure that my money, properly stewarded, continues to do some good after I’m gone.”

Let’s set aside the rhetoric for a moment and examine Mr. Cooperman’s philanthropic record. He is a signatory of The Giving Pledge, with him and his wife joining the cause in 2010. He joins the likes of Gates, Buffet, and others as part of this effort. Further, Cooperman and his family committed $5 million in 2010 as a permanent fund intended to anchor activities supporting Jewish identity and continuity among young adults. The Cooperman Family Fund for a Jewish Future endowment of Birthright Israel was the first endowment of this kind in the country. Cooperman donated $25 million to his alma mater, Columbia Business School, in 2011. The donation was given to support the construction of new facilities in New York’s Manhattanville neighborhood, including a new facility for Columbia’s Graduate School of Business. In April 2014, the Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation pledged $25 million to the Saint Barnabas Medical Center for the construction of a new 200,000 square-foot Cooperman Family Pavilion.

Cooperman launched a scholarship funding program in 2015. The Cooperman College Scholars Fund assists high-achieving high school students. At launch, the Cooperman College Scholars Fund partnered with four colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: The College of New Jersey, Rutgers, Rowan University, and Franklin & Marshall College. He is also a founding Master Player of the Portfolios with Purpose virtual stock trading contest. He serves as a board member for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Cooperman is also a charitable member of the Songs of Love Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that records personalized music for those facing chronic illness. On June 7, 2017, Cooperman presented a One Million Dollar Four-Year Challenge Grant from The Leon and Toby Cooperman Family Foundation. And there is more…..lots more, but I think you see the point. Mr. Cooperman is not Scrooge by any stretch, despite how Warren tries to paint him.

So to Senator Warren, we would ask she dismount from her high horse and do her homework before criticizing an individual as generous as Leon Cooperman. Otherwise, it makes it look like the high horse she is trying to ride into the oval office is actually not a real horse at all, but one absconded from the carousel on Coney Island.