On September 29th, it will be one-year since the first post was published on this blog, Testing the Muse. Starting this blog was a big milestone for me, but of course many moving parts were put in place well before hitting the “publish” button for the first time in 2014.
As much as I want to celebrate this one year anniversary, it’s more fitting that I honor the person who helped give this blog life – Scott Dinsmore, founder of Live Your Legend.
Scott passed away on Saturday, September 12, 2015, while nearing the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. A tragic, truly freak accident, which left his family and followers – myself included – in shock.
My sincerest condolences to his wife Chelsea, his parents, and all other close family and friends of Scott.
First I want to celebrate what Scott Dinsmore has built over the years, and as a cathartic tribute, it’s important that I reflect on how he has inspired – and will continue to inspire – me and my work.
Live Your Legend by Following Your Passion
Change the world by doing work you love.
This isn’t just the tagline from of Scott’s blog, Live your Legend – he literally practiced what he preached.
Here’s a person who was living his dream, fostering a healthy online (and offline) community, and engaging in real world adventures that most place on bucket lists, reserved only for day-dreams and “someday”.
If there is any silver lining to be gleaned from such tragedy – in an extremely bizarre way, his untimely death while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is almost poetic, dare I say, legendary.
[Please understand, this view is personal – expressed with the intent to honor, not sensationalize or desensitize from the very real loss of precious life.]
If you had not previously come across Scott’s work at Live Your Legend, here’s a brief introduction – in his own words:
Scott Dinsmore is a writer, TEDx Speaker and founder of Live Your Legend, a global community and business dedicated to helping people find and do work they love and surround themselves with the people who make it possible.
His TEDx talk on How to Find & Do Work You Love has been viewed over 2.5 million times, and more than 100,000 people from every country in the world use his career and connection tools on a monthly basis.
He’s also the author of various courses including Live Off Your Passion & Make Your First $1,000 from Your Passions & Talents, that have helped thousands of students.
Scott also created Live Your Legend LOCAL, a network of local non-commercial in-person communities that meet each month in 200+ cities in over 60 countries (from Kuwait to Kenya and Tasmania to San Francisco) to help each other do work that matters. All meetups are totally free to the public.
He and his wife Chelsea were spending all of 2015 traveling the world to host LYL Local events and visit, grow and create as many local communities as possible. They were somewhere around day #240 of this “world tour” in Tanzania. His wife, Chelsea, was uninjured and returned safely to the United States.
Scott Dinsmore’s Impactful Life
Clearly from his bio, Scott has touched many people.
I first stumbled upon Scott’s earlier blog “Reading for your Success” (the precursor to Live your Legend) in November 2010.
From that point on, I witnessed his growth as a blogger in real-time, seeing him go from approximately 300 subscribers, with less than 200 daily unique visitors, to over 4,000 subscribers from 2010 to 2011.
More recently his community includes over 100,000 members across the globe, receiving over 5,000 daily unique visitors to his Live Your Legend blog.
This guy was the real-deal, and I followed his progress week-in and week-out.
There was something about his writing – informal style yet informative content; down-to-earth personality yet sky’s-the-limit optimism. It made for easy reading, complete with inspirational support, but always with actionable tidbits to keep moving you forward towards your personal goals. In short, it was quality content, and it was sincere.
In 2012, upon ordering his early flagship course, Live Off Your Passion, I wrote an email directly to Scott to express excitement – excerpts as follows:
Looking forward to receiving it!
While I’m already writing to you, it’s a good opportunity for me to Thank-You for your work at LYL. I’ve been following your blog for a couple years now…
…as your posts kept coming, I started to find myself really enjoying the content and you really began to set yourself apart…
So with that being said, you’ve certainly influenced me & I thank you for that.
Scott promptly responded with:
Awesome email to get Jonah and congrats on the family and all that you have in the works!
I’m excited to see your progress!
Your copy of LOYP is coming shortly.
To big things! Scott
I was already a supporter, but personal touches always help seal the deal.
There are very few blogs and podcasts that I subscribe to, and even fewer that I follow religiously (3 people to be exact) – Scott Dinsmore was one of them. His was one of three email subscriptions I would open and consume, without fail.
As a testament to his writing and content, I recommended Scott’s blog and/or specific posts a dozen times over the years to family and friends, depending on their areas of interest. These posts ranged from:
- Creative writing – 2 Steps to Becoming a Writer, Transforming Your Career & Building Something that Matters – sent to cousin (1/17/14);
- Decision making – Fearful Focus: How & When to Kill Your 2nd Most Amazing Idea – sent to three friends (4/25/13);
- Blogging – The Passion Trap: Why Your Hobby Will Likely Never Make a Dime (& the simple solution) – sent to a friend (3/7/13);
- Inspiration – The 14 Most Powerful TED Talks for Disruptive Career Change & Making a Difference – sent to Dad (5/2/13); and
- Goal setting – Make 2013 Matter: The New Goal Setting and Action Workbook Is Live! (Download A Free Copy) – sent to sister (1/4/13).
In addition to the posts above, here’s a brief collection of his articles that I’ve marked with a ‘star’ in my inbox as being some of the most influential reads – bookmarked as resources that I often revisit:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Doing Work that Makes You Happy
- The Experimenter’s Dilemma & The Most Powerful (& misused) Online Tool for Developing & Monetizing A Passion
- Behind the Curtain: The 3-Step System to Becoming a Highly-Paid Expert
- Entrepreneurship Is A Compulsion, Not A Choice (is this you?)
- 10 Proven Actions You Can Take Today to Start Making Money from Your Passion Tomorrow (seriously, tomorrow)
Although the community created through Live Your Legend will live on, I’m unsure of the future of the blog – but I hope these posts will remain accessible and that we can read and re-read these posts long into the future.
How Live your Legend helped kick-start Testing the Muse
Dinsmore continually stated that he believed a blog is hands-down the most powerful passion-discovery and career-transition tool on the planet.
To help others discover this tool, Scott re-launched his popular Start-A-Blog Challenge on September 23, 2014.
The goal of the Challenge was to encourage his readers to finally start writing and publishing their ideas. To help people get started, he created a free 7-day email course on building a blog and developing a writing habit in 10-20 minutes per day.
This wasn’t the first time he hosted this Start-A-Blog Challenge, so it wasn’t the first time I’ve read about the benefits of having a blog, sharing your ideas, opening yourself to opportunities, and the potential to grow and scale your writing into a certifiable business. I had been reading, studying and even amassing a war chest of material on how to start and grow a blog for years.
With barriers removed and excuses stripped away, it was time to commit to taking action. Scott’s Challenge was my tipping point.
Excitedly I wrote Scott an email to, once again, thank him. Although there was no exchange of messages this time, the nature of the conversation carried over to one of his group pages on Facebook, Live Your Legend Creators Guild – excerpt as follows:
Hey! New to this group, but not to LYL – I’ve been around since it was still Reading for Your Success! Huge transformations Scott Dinsmore – for your career & many others’ along the way. Congrats to all action takers!
I started www.TestingtheMuse.com as part of this year’s Start-a-Blog Challenge.
TTM is helping the “ideas person” move from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur.
It’s been writing itself (through action & in my head) for the past +6 years, so it’s great to finally have something tangible. Scott’s Challenge struck at the right moment.
In addition to supportive comments from members of the community, Scott added:
Love this topic! And so fun you’ve been around for so long. Glad you’re here Jonah!
I realize this post is sharing a lot, and venerating a man I’ve never even met in-person. But that’s the kind of impact someone can have online these days. Based on the size and passion of the LYL Local Community – it would appear that I’m not alone, and that his legacy will live on.
In no way can I begin to understand how or why fate has intervened in this man’s young life, but I remain humbled by what can’t be explained and appreciative of Scott’s life’s work while on this earth. Thank you.