When I started the Microblogger podcast, I knew that I was going to be able to talk to some successful entrepreneurs. I also knew that they would impart some incredible bits of wisdom any business owner could use.
What I didn’t expect was how common some of the themes were. I didn’t expect how many of them learned the same exact lessons, each on their own and independently, and how those lessons applied to almost any entrepreneurial venture.
Today, I hope to share just four of them with you.
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You may not know it but many of the success stories you see today were not rookie ventures. Many found success on their second, third, and fourth business attempts at a business. They took the experiences from their first attempt to inform how they approached their sophomore business.
- JD Roth started a blog about comic books before Get Rich Slowly.
- Lisa and Jason Leake created 100 Days of Real Food as a way to promote their first site.
- Matt Jabs’ DIY Natural started as 9 off-topic posts on Debt Free Adventure, his first blog.
- Chris Guthrie started a dozen sites before hitting the jackpot with Netbook Reviews.
The key lesson is to start something now. You will learn so much from that effort that if you do have to shut it down, it won’t even feel like a failure. It’ll feel like a prototype.
There are many paths to success.
Just as success can come in many forms, the path to success can look very different.
- Jason Glaspey paid for traffic to Paleo Plan through advertisements on Google and Facebook.
- JD Roth leveraged his friendships with people with huge internet followings, such as Metafilter.
- John Corcoran developed a strategic networking plan and executed it to perfection.
- Joshua Dorkin created a community that was the antithesis of the existing real estate investment world and it acted as a magnet for the types of investors he was looking for.
The variety is itself very telling. There are a million ways to build a successful business online and if one strategy doesn’t work, it’s important to try something else. If trying to get organic search traffic is too hard, consider advertising. If advertising is too expensive, consider partnerships.
Never stop trying new things.
Hire someone to help you take care of the mundane. When you get help on day to day activities, it frees you up to think strategically.
- Jason Glaspey’s first hire was a nutritionist who understood paleo and could craft balanced meal plans.
- Toni Anderson of The Happy Housewife has it so that she could go away for months and her site will still operate (instead of going on vacation, she consults and co-funs a conference!).
Network, network, network.
Networking and meeting other entrepreneurs is crucial. Whether it’s meeting bloggers in your niche or small business owners doing something completely different, you can always learn something from their experiences.
In ideal situations, you may even partner on a venture or a small marketing push. Something as simple as swapping quality guest posts can be mutually beneficial. If you partner with someone else on a venture, you can each take advantage of your unique strengths to grow the business even more.
- Jason Leake told me that one of the most rewarding steps Lisa took as attending a food blogging conference and meeting other bloggers face to face. J. Money, despite being anonymous, raved about FinCon and how valuable the networking was.
- Greg Go of Wise Bread credits much of their success to the three co-founders and how each has a concentration that fits their strengths.
Even the Microblogger podcast itself is a testament to this. With the exception of one or two guests, I knew everyone before we started recording. Many I’ve met in person at conferences, such as FinCon, and others I’ve talked to on the phone before by way of an introduction. Very few were strangers before we hit record.
These are just some of the lessons I’ve learned in talking to all of these successful entrepreneurs and we’ve barely touched the surface!
If you’ve enjoyed a quick peek into the lessons I’ve learned from talking to these entrepreneurs, I invite you to join me every week on the Microblogger podcast. The podcast features one guest each episode and we explore their business to find the strategies and tactics they used to make it a success. I hope you’ll join us!