Travel is one of the best things for clearing your mind and really being able to concentrate on what makes your heart sing. By default, in doing so can also upset the current apple cart, specifically if you realise that what you’re doing is not cutting it, i.e. it’s time for a change.
Over the 2015-15 break, I was most fortunate enough to spend time in Antarctica. Talk about getting away from it all! But as a business owner, I also appreciate how tricky it is to be able to arrange time away like this, amongst other things.
Whilst I didn’t have such a business-change epiphany this time around, I have in the past so I fully appreciate how hard it is to then return to bring the change to fruition, and how big a deal it may end up being…
As a business owner, changing can be tricky though, especially if you have others reliant on you, whether they be suppliers, customers or staff. That said, it can be done, yes really. I’ve done it, I’ve helped others do it and you can too.
Granted, it will take some time and effort to execute but getting out is doable if you are prepared to do what it takes. This means thinking and possibly acting differently than you have previously. For some, this can be confronting, but if the need to succeed is stronger than the need to maintain the status quo, then the outcome can prove most desirable.
You’re not going to know if you don’t at least explore options.
And that’s where I come in…
Talk to me about what you have, what you want to do/have instead and I allow me to help you realise your new dream! You’re invited to email me to book a date/time for a chat email@example.com
Seth Godin (acclaimed author and teacher) says to start your first business this way:
- Begin with the smallest possible project in which someone will pay you money to solve a problem they know they have.
- Charge less than it’s worth and more than it costs you.
The beauty about doing so with an Online Business is that not only is it simple to do; it can be done far more cheaply than to go a more traditional route.
Don’t worry so much about the ‘online’ part. It is only a tool, a mechanism to reach people who need to know about you’re your business is doing. Instead, figure out how to create value. The online part will take care of itself.
Don’t quit your day job (whatever that means to you) or use all your savings. Start evenings and weekends. If you don’t want to have to start from scratch, buy a small online business to practice on. The best way to move from Learner to Practitioner is to DO stuff. Figure it out with small failures.
Doing so also helps you build a public reputation (which can remain online only). Build a good one, and be sure that you deserve it, and that it will hold up to scrutiny.
Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it’s yours.
Connect the disconnected.
Make money offline. If you can figure out how to create value face to face, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to do the same digitally. The web isn’t magic, it’s merely efficient.
Become the best in the world at something that people value. Easier said than done, worth more than you might think.
Hang out with people who aren’t looking for shortcuts. Learn from them. Find and pay for advice that has not only credentials but also a robust track record.
Fail. Fail often and fail cheaply. This is the very best gift the web has given to people who want to bootstrap their way into a new business.
Make money in the small and then relentlessly scale.
Don’t chase yesterday’s online fad.
Think big, act with intention and don’t get bogged down in personalities. If it’s not on your agenda, why are you wasting time on it?
Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in a team (especially if offshore), to find underused resources and to spot patterns.
This is not a zero sum game. The more you add to your community, the bigger your piece gets.
Here’s a novel first seven steps to get you going:
- Pick your Topic
Create a strategic map of all that is going on within that topic and start checking for gaps and patterns
Concentrating on both the industry players and their likely customers, create a list of keywords that is used to find them and are relevant to your topic
Using these keywords, start searching and note what you find. Again what are the questions being asked that does not appear to have answers?
- Top 50 pages
Record what the top 50 pages are that come up for the questions. Explore them for the answers being sought. What’s missing?
- Extract contact details
Feed into your database/spreadsheet
- Create an “offer”, with the view to discussing what’s missing with the top 50, highlighting how you are the one to assist in plugging this gap (and to project manager it for payment)
- Rinse and repeat
Following steps like these will enable you to potentially play in a space you may be more familiar in i.e. the more traditional business, and together, craft and execute an online business model that you has you part of the action.
And it certainly opens the door to a useful conversation about whether your personal goal is useful, your strategy is appropriate and your tactic is coherent and likely to cause the change sought.
In your offer, address:
What’s it for?
When it works, will we be able to tell?
What’s it supposed to do?
Who is it for?
What specific group is this designed to resonate with?
What does this remind you of?
Who has tried this before?
Is it as well done?
What’s the call to action?
Is there a moment when you are clearly asking people to do something?
Show this to ten strangers. Don’t say anything. What do they ask you?
Now, ask them what the material is asking them to do.
What is the urgency?
Your job is not to answer every question; your job is not to close the sale. The purpose of this work is to amplify interest, generate interaction and spread your idea to the people who need to hear it, at the same time that you build trust.
You will rarely achieve this with one fell swoop, so be prepared to drip your way through countless swoops until you’ve earned the privilege of engaging with the audience you seek and them seeing the value in what you’re proposing.
As simple as Seth’s advice is, it is also extremely powerful. Follow it, together with the steps outlined and you will be well on your way.
To talk to me about this and any other business question you have on your mind, please contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.