In light of my upcoming 40th birthday, I want
to share 12 valuable mini-lessons that I’ve
learned so far as an entrepreneur…
These range from mistakes to avoid, to
making strategic decisions, of how to get
cash flow to come in the fastest, etc.
They are in no particular order…
1. ALWAYS DO MORE THAN IS EXPECTED OF YOU
I learned this at an early age from my Dad.
He had a very successful career as a business
executive and engineer, and this the core
principle that created his success.
You can apply this to your business in many
ways… over-delivering to your customers,
giving unexpected bonuses to your employees
or outsourced workers, and more.
Most people do just the bare minimum. Do
more than is expected of you and it will do
amazing things for your business.
2. STOP DREAMING AND START DOING
Too many entrepreneurs get caught up in the
big dreams of how they will one day be rich
and how their life will be amazing…
…but they never end up doing anything.
They buy courses, read all they can, jot
down little notes and ideas in a notebook,
but nothing ever actually gets created.
A web site doesn’t get made. Advertising
isn’t run. Markets aren’t tested. Nothing.
If you want to make a lot of money the only
way that happens is getting stuff done. Period.
3. DON’T LET LEARNING DELAY ACTIVITY
Most people that have studied Internet Marketing
much already have the basic skills that are
needed to build a million-dollar business.
That’s worth REPEATING…
Most people that have studied IM much ALREADY
HAVE the basic skills that are needed to build
a million-dollar business.
You can get stuck learning new stuff FOREVER.
There will always be new methods and techniques
that get discovered. The Internet changes on
a DAILY BASIS. This is a given.
Don’t get caught in the trap of “I’m going to start
building my business right after I go through this
You can start building your business TODAY while
you are studying and learning new things that you
can easily apply TOMORROW.
Things will NEVER perfectly align for you and
your business. There’s no such thing. So don’t
wait. Get started NOW and take action. Get some
stuff going and go from there.
4. MULTIPLE IDEAS CAN BE THE KISS OF DEATH
It’s okay to work on multiple projects and ideas.
It’s almost impossible to stop entrepreneurs
from having tons of new ideas at the same time.
No new money comes in the door until you get
ONE project launched and making money.
Something has to be launched FIRST.
5. MAKE JUST ONE DOLLAR FIRST
No one has ever made a million dollars in sales
without generating $1 first.
ALL successful businesses start with that first
sale and then grow from there.
It doesn’t matter what your income goals are.
The faster you make your first dollar, the faster
you will reach your goals. PERIOD.
6. DO THE IMMEDIATE CASH PROJECT FIRST
What should you work on next? Whatever will
bring in cash the fastest for your business — and
of course, I mean that in a moral/legal/ethical way.
If you analyze all the great ideas you are probably
sitting on, I bet you can realistically prioritize them
in the order of which ones would actually make
money come in the fastest (if it succeeds.)
THAT is the project you need to focus on.
Cash is the lifeblood of your business (and your life.)
Save some of those “big” ideas for the future. Focus
on the ones that stand the best chance of getting
new money to come in right away. Once you have
some stable ongoing cash flow in your business, then
you can take a chance on that project that may take
longer to pay off.
7. EMAIL MARKETING KICKS THE CRAP OUT OF
When it comes to growing a business online, nothing
generates long-term cash flow like an email list of
engaged subscribers & customers.
Email marketing is the best way to generate traffic.
It’s the best way to ‘recycle’ the same visitors again
and again to any of your projects. It’s also the best
way to convert prospects into buyers.
RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, BLAH BLAH BLAH
Yes, those methods can generate leads. Yes, those
methods can generate some sales. But time and time
again little old email marketing kicks their butts — by
a long shot.
So make building a list, and a solid relationship with
it, a top priority in your business.
8. RUN A LEAN OVERHEAD MACHINE
I can’t stress this one enough.
When you start growing a successful business
it’s really easy for your overhead to get out of hand.
It’s easy to start hiring a bunch of people and
committing to a bunch of expenses.
Take it from me, when you have months where
your fixed expenses (doesn’t include advertising, etc.)
are well over $100,000/MONTH (and growing) it can put
you in a tough position to make healthy profits.
I used to have fixed overhead that high but never again.
I realized there were smarter ways to do things.
What you need to realize is that REVENUE doesn’t
mean jack squat. It’s your profit (income) that
So while running a $10,000,000/year business (sales)
is impressive, I know people running a $1,000,000/year
business that nets MORE than the person that owns
the $10MM/year business.
It all comes down to your expenses.
Sometimes it certainly DOES take heavy expenses
in order to make a lot of money. But that’s not my point…
My point is, your overhead can really get away
from you. If your sales experience some dips,
and it’s almost guaranteed they will at some point,
then you can LOSE YOUR BUTT very quickly.
So add to your overhead as a last resort.
9. MAKE ACCOUNTING A PRIORITY
This is a big mistake that most entrepreneurs
make — and I’ve been guilty of it as well.
Keeping the books and doing accounting work
is the LAST thing that most entrepreneurs want
to mess with. We have more fun by coming up
with new ideas and trying to make them grow —
not spending hours of our time inputting receipts
and figures into QuickBooks.
If you don’t like accounting, immediately pay
someone a few bucks to handle it for you. Just
make sure your accounting is always up to date.
It’s very important.
As an extension of this, make paying your taxes
a priority — even if you pay them in advance.
I have paid a small fortune in tax penalties because
of being lazy and filing late. And it’s too easy to
let one delay turn into another and for the problem
to get worse. So make it a priority.
Don’t “rob Peter to pay Paul.” This is a trap
most entrepreneurs fall into — again,
I’ve been guilty of it in the past myself.
It’s easy to start making a bunch of money
and think “I’ll just use this money to make
more money instead of paying my taxes
on it now and I’ll just pay the taxes later
after I’ve made even more money.”
Or the same thinking is applied towards
delaying payments to a vendor, or some other
expense that needs to get paid.
This is probably the #1 mistake entrepreneurs
make that can create problems and a lot of
wasted money in paying penalties and interest.
So make sure your accounting is taken care
of and your taxes get paid on-time for you.
10. DON’T LEASE OFFICE SPACE
As tempting as this might become if your
business starts to grow, avoid it at all costs.
If you’re like me, what will happen is that you
will eventually stop going to the office and just
work from home where you always were
more comfortable anyway. And/or you will
end up realizing you really didn’t need it.
Having an “office” is not required to have
a successful business. We live in a
Digital World now and it’s just not important
Even if your business grows and you need
employees, you still don’t necessarily need
an office. There are people out there running
$20MM+/year businesses with no office; the
employees all just work virtually. This is
becoming more and more common.
* There certainly are exceptions to this. My
team in the Philippines works out of an office
I leased. But they are collaborating on software
projects and NEED to work in the same location.
And, of course, it’s also very inexpensive.
Most office leases are thousands of dollars
per month and usually don’t turn out to be
a good use of cash.
11. ALMOST EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER
When creating new projects, or having some software
made for you, or having an ebook ghostwritten, or
anything else, know that things almost always
take more time than originally expected.
This is the #1 reason why you need to act TODAY
to start putting things in motion to grow your
business. The longer you wait, the more into
the future you push your potential of getting
money to come in the door.
12. THE MONEY IS IN THE MARKETING
Don’t get caught up in trying to make Web pages and learn
master Linux so you can administer your own server, or
how to use Photoshop to create little logos, etc.
You can certainly do that stuff if you want, but know that
it will most likely just be a HOBBY.
It’s no surprise that some of the most successful entrepreneurs
I know are also some of the LEAST TECHNICAL people I know.
The main thing they do right is to simply pay others to do all
the “nuts & bolts” stuff that makes online business work.
It allows them to spend all their time on the marketing — which
is where the money comes from.
*** BONUS LESSON ***
* See how I’m over-delivering as mentioned in the first lesson?
SPENDING TIME ONLINE ISN’T NECESSARILY WORKING
ON YOUR BUSINESS
Just because you spend hours a day online doesn’t mean
you’re working on your business.
You can do ‘research’ forever and never make a cent.
You need to be spending most of your time on:
— Generating Traffic
— Communicating With Your Customers (i.e. blog, list, etc.)
— Creating Content
Don’t fall into the trap of reading blogs & forums, chatting
on Facebook or Twitter, checking stats, reading news,
etc. for hours upon hours.
Just know that almost all of that stuff (with rare exception)
is LOSING YOU MONEY more than making you money.
I hope you enjoyed these mini-lessons. Hopefully, you
can apply them to your business and be a lot more
Yours For Online Profits,