This post is written by Ryan Biddulph, a Contributor for ONTREPRENR
I’ve been online for almost a decade.
From being a dyed in the wool, newbie, lost, confused blogger to becoming an Amazon best-selling, island hopping, professional blogger, I have a wide range of experiences to share with you.
If you are yearning to feel the excitement, joy, passion and freeing nature of building an entrepreneurial venture I want to share 4 lessons with you today.
Before we dive into the 4 nuggets though, I want you to understand 1 thing: anybody and I do mean any *body* can build a thriving business. I didn’t know SEO from a CEO 10 years ago. I only knew how to check espn.com and my email before I started blogging.
Oh yeah; I had no clue what a “blog” even was back then.
Yet I have spoken at NYU about blogging and have been featured on world-renowned websites as a digital nomad and blogging authority.
I followed my fun and also dove into my fears regularly.
This journey is fascinating, freeing, fun and terrifying sometimes. The entrepreneurs who rock it out simply enjoy the ride more than most and dive into their deepest fears slowly, calmly, methodically and persistently.
I have written and self-published 126 eBooks, I have created 4 online courses and have also built a consulting business when even 3 years ago I was absolutely terrified to even think about doing any one of those things.
Let’s dive into the 4 lessons I learned as an entrepreneur, knowing that following your fun and moving out of your comfort zone are 2 keys to succeeding with your entrepreneurial venture.
1: Do It For Fun
My biggest blogging breakthrough: deciding to build a business mainly for fun.
Early entrepreneur me built a business predominantly to make profits. I struggled like Hades to earn money because fear dominated my mind in those days. I focused mainly on getting. Not giving.
When I chose to face, embrace, feel and release some of my deepest fears, my desperation and struggles dissolved into clarity, fun, love, passion, and success.
I became an energetic dynamo, obsessed with giving. I practiced my skills. I honed my craft. Most of all, I built my blog and business from a space of fun and love, versus from a place of tension and fear.
I filmed dynamic videos. I wrote colorful blog posts. I injected my funny, colorful and sometimes death-defying travel stories into my blog.
I saw profits, traffic, social shares and comments as being like bonuses, or extras, or icing on the cake.
My blog and business growth accelerated like Usain Bolt after 35 Red Bulls. Everything took off because I built my business mainly for fun, from a place of love, allowing me to focus heavily on the giving aspect of blogging. My free, semi-detached giving allowed me to do plenty of getting too.
2: Follow Established Mentors
My smartest entrepreneurial move – beyond following my fun – was picking a few skilled, established blogging mentors. Guys like Zac Johnson and Darren Rowse taught me to stick to the blogging fundamentals, cutting my learning curve by eons.
Pros know. Pros lead you in the proper direction. Seasoned, veteran entrepreneurs in your niche can point out your damaging mistakes and also stress what you’re doing properly.
I recall meeting Zac Johnson in person a few years back in our home state of New Jersey after I had returned from Thailand. As we ate and chatted, he noted writing 14 guest posts weekly to build friendships and links for blogging.org. Even though he snatched a coveted domain name, Zac’s commitment to guest posting played a huge role in his site usually being #1 on Google for a hyper competitive “blogging” search.
Phew! I felt good. Even though I’d had success, seeing his guest posting strategy reap such sugary, sappy sweet benefits verified that I was on the right path too, writing 2 or more guest posts daily.
Don’t waste your time building your business on a wing and a prayer. Follow the top pros in your entrepreneurial niche. These folks will lead you down the straight and narrow.
3: Hone Your Craft Daily
Growing a business requires you to learn, to study and to put your knowledge into action by developing certain skills.
My 2 fave skills? Writing and networking.
I wrote 500 to 20,000 words daily for many years. Writing regularly gave me confidence and clarity as a blogger. That confidence and clarity inspired my readers at Blogging From Paradise and also helped me land features on Richard Branson’s Virgin blog, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fox News.
Developing my networking skills helped me build a large, loyal friend network. My friends helped grow my business exponentially. More on this in lesson #4.
Hone your skills. Practice 1 to 2 core business-building skills daily. Money, success, traffic, and prospering partnerships respond well to the skilled, diligent entrepreneur who practices their craft daily.
4: Build Your Friend Network
My blogging business expanded the split second I chose to *not* do it on my own. I had a stubborn streak to that point. I wanted to go lone wolf. I wanted to build my blog and business solo.
The stubborn streak became a struggling streak. I had a tough time growing my venture.
I eventually figured it’d be easier to generously promote successful bloggers, to comment on their blogs and to befriend them. So I did all three things. Said three things inspired my blogging buddies to promote me, to endorse me, to drive traffic to my site, to hire me and to buy my stuff.
The easiest way to grow your entrepreneurial venture is to help other business owners grow their ventures. Because it sure became easier to drive blogging traffic and profits when 100 or more of my blogging buddies promoted me, versus me just trying to go solo
What lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?