100 Online Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Development Blog Posts Later…

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100 Online Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Development Blog Posts Later… post image

Today I was talking to an entrepreneur who said to me:

“I used to be HUGE in to blogging and twitter and all that after I read the 4HWW… then one day, I dropped it all 100% and started cold calling entrepreneurs and small business owners…

…the ones who didn’t yell and bitch at me listened to my idea… it wasn’t great and nobody was going for it…

...then one day a prospect turned me on to a similar service but it was way better… I basically took the best parts of their service and found a way to adapt their model to my geographical area…”

What came next was pitch-perfect entrepreneurship. Mr. Entrepreneur took the competitor’s successful model, made a few innovative twists, and applied it to a new market.

Moves like that don’t come from spitballing on the sidelines.

Guess who quit their job 12 months later?

* * *

His decision to quit blogging got me thinking. A few days ago I was looking through my Google Docs and found 100+ drafts of personal development / entrepreneur-ish articles. Most of them in various states of completion. Many weren’t more than 4 sentences.

When I quit my job and started traveling I was overwhelmed with inspiration to improve my life and share it with others.

The first 6 months after I moved to Vietnam, I would write 1000 words every day before I checked my email.

I even wrote a blog post called “5 Reasons You Should Write 1000 Words Before You Check Your Email.”

Good times.

* * *

I wrote stuff with titles like “Get REAL With Your Finances…” and then went on to talk about how my cash based budget was huge for me.

And it was.

I’m glad I wrote that stuff.

I’m also glad I didn’t publish it. Publishing isn’t always as harmless as people think.

“I’ll just put it out there….. bounce it off some others… share my thoughts….”

Publishing can make you a blogger.

That’s one more thing to put energy in to that isn’t being an entrepreneur.

* * *

If you are becoming a blogger, but would prefer to be an entrepreneur, consider replacing your next post with a link to:

StevePavlina.com or PhilosophersNotes.com or even SebastianMarshall.com.

Or consider competing with StevePavlina.com.

I mean it.

If you don’t want to compete with Steve, consider getting those thoughts out on paper as quick as possible (say, before you check your email), and then putting them on the shelf.

Then, pick up the phone.

Cheers,
Dan

Published on 08.03.11
  • http://twitter.com/Deccaden Deano

    5 Reasons You Should Write 1000 Words Before You Check Your Email.
    So true, I’m in productive mode at the moment, don’t even allow myself to go on the internet until I have done my first two hours work.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Nice! Yeah that’s huge. Right now I couldn’t be failing worse. This morning I checked my email IN BED before I got a shower. 

    Hahaha thats the kind of crap that can get you straight kicked out of personal dev communities! :D

  • http://twitter.com/alexwmurphy Alex Murphy

    There are many paths to entrepreneurship.  One of them is blogging.  Even if it doesn’t involve taking huge financial risks I’d still consider it a form of entrepreneurship.  There are some serious benefits to blogging:  A community of readers you can bounce idea’s off of, potential mentorship opportunities, and the possibility to monetize your audience.  All we have to do is take a look at Pat Flynn to see some of the benefits blogging may bring.

    Blogging, as I said, is only one path to entrepreneurship.  I myself have laser focus and prefer to focus on other entrepreneurial projects.  That aside I really like what you’ve said about energy and blogging.  It’s the reason for my laser focus.  There’s no reason that one can’t be an entrepreneur in another sense and also build a blog.  Cheers brother.

  • http://www.streamhead.com Peter Backx

    Amen to that. From June 2008 to January 2011, I religiously blogged twice a week. It took me 1 to 2 hours a day and it got me less than $5/month in Adsense and a bunch of angry comments because people didn’t agree with me. I wanted to turn a hobby into a business, but it was driving me nowhere very fast.
    Now, I’m gradually building a service-based business that has the potential to sustain my current lifestyle on the time I used to spend blogging. By my most pessimistic estimates, I’ll reach that goal Q2 2012. It boggles the mind to think about the opportunities I missed during those 2 and a half years or how much farther I could have been.
    Lesson learned :)

  • http://www.lifedojo.com Lee Knowlton

    Very interesting Dan. I really enjoyed this post. It helped me to readjust my perspective. I have to do what’s really important and not what I’m persuading myself is important.

  • http://twitter.com/kkinnison Kendra Kinnison

    I’ve had this debate raging in my subconscious for a while now, and I’d have to say that “do” is winning the battle over “write” (or “publish”). I do enjoy writing, but I think it’s more to clarify my own thoughts and processes. I finally sucked up the courage to start direct marketing (email and calls) and picked up two clients last week – which is more than blogging ever produced.

    For some reason, I’m still on the fence and haven’t quite resolved this internal debate completely. Reading your post confirmed that it is a realistic question to ask myself, instead of just assuming that blogging is fundamental to building online/virtual businesses.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  • http://twitter.com/whatifyoudo Lesley Elizabeth

    I am a brand new blogger who wants to be an entrepreneur. The way I see it is similar to Kendra’s comment. It’s a way for me to get my thoughts and processes together. Essentially, I’m hoping that once I am an entrepreneur, I can blog much less.

    But your post raises an interesting idea – actively seek out clients and let the best talk about personal development. Oddly enough, I agree and have thought that while writing each of my posts. 

    Guess it’s time for me to hone my focus. Thanks for the post.

  • http://twitter.com/mylifestylemax Stacey Herbert

    Ha ha ha, when I got to the end of this post, I shook my head and laughed. You nailed it to the wall with this one..then p*ssed all over it!   Bravo.. Brian and Steve are two entrepreneurs that no what time it is..no messing around. They have the sort of laser sharp precision that makes you a “sharp shooter with a fat ass bank account”. Love that!   I have a lot to learn from both of them and from you. Thanks for a great and inspiring post here : )

  • http://joelrunyon.com/two3 Joel Runyon | [BIT]

    What about when your blog is the kick in the butt/reminder you need to keep yourself hustling?

  • http://ryangoesabroad.com Ryan

    This is something I am actually implementing now. Business first, blogging second… Not that I blog all that often, but I think blogging is a good side hobby to learn about WordPress, building a brand, learning about social media, connecting with others who are doing similar things, leveraging online assets, etc.

    But it often is one terrible ass business plan.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Yeah… agreed there…. one thing I cringe a bit about is when people talk about ‘building a brand.’ I always think of Dan Kennedy’s take on small businesses thinking that “brand” is important because they see Coke and Nike with all their ‘image’ stuff… 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    I like the idea of accountability blogs. Like “watch me acquire two more clients in 30 days….”

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    YO thanks :D I really like Brian’s stuff, I’m really happy you took the time to put that on my plate. Cheers. 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thank you for reading Lesley ! 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    That’s what its about! Direct marketing is how small businesses are built. Congrats on that…

    Only one of the people in my mastermind group has a blog, and that’s his business. The rest of them are busy with their businesses (all of which are online….)

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks Lee :D

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Haha… I’m hearing this story a lot often. I’ve seen so many people invest so much in an ‘online presence’ and it’s a shame to see that it didn’t help them get anywhere… i’d like to see some of those posts that pissed people off though! 

    congrats on the businesses Peter…. 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    First off– Pat didn’t become successful from blogging in the sense we are talking about here.

    He published cutting edge, timely test prep material in a highly monied niche. 

    Now if you come to me after you pulled something like that off, and said “what should my next move be” I’d say “start a blog to help others pull a stunt off like that!!!”

    In that sense, SPI was a smart business move… if Pat would have started SPI without having made a few big wins first (also he was writing content and developing iPhone apps), the chances that SPI would be a success are low.

    That said– there is no question starting a blog can be an entrepreneurial move. I’m actually selling one of my blogs right now. More on that soon!

  • http://twitter.com/alexwmurphy Alex Murphy

    Yea brother.  I understand your points.  And in general I agree that if your looking to start a business don’t try to build a business with a blog.  That’s not to say don’t blog just keep it as a side project.  Cheers!

  • http://blog.michaelmichelini.com Michael Michelini

    hey Dan,

    I know you guys keep dogging blogging…..I guess I think back to Einstein or some other famous scientists…..they had journals back then…

    I started a paper journal back in 1997 when I was still in high school, got to 3 of  them before my girlfriend read them when I was at work in 2003 and crushed me for a while….

    got back at it in 2007 except online and when I quit my day job…..

    It helped inspire me.  I did have google adsense for a few months, but deleted it cuz it was silly….

    I still dont blog to make money…I blog to motivate myself, and motivate other around me….

    Now my blog is in English and Chinese, and I have Chinese youth emailing me in broken english praising me for my words and inspiration to live the life they dream of….

    and on the english side, i have my friends and family kept up to date on my business and my life….without having to repeat myself hundreds of times on the phone to my mom, dad, sister, customer, supplier about my business and my travels, they know because they check my blog.

    Anyway, i think it takes years of blogging for it to truly be realized, and like a business, most people give up way to early…

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Michael… telling you not to blog is like telling a gazelle not to run :) I actually had a blog type site way back in 2000… and wrote for all my school newspapers… I see a lot of people who confuse starting a blog with having an online business, and they especially confuse the positive feedback they are making with the blogs and ‘personal brands’ as enterpreneurial progress… which basically is harmful IF their primary goal is to build a profitable internet business. 

    All that said– I LOVE blogging, bloggers, and all that jazz. I especially enjoy your blog and follow it by RSS.

    For others reading the blog check out Mike’s super breezy style at: 

    http://blog.michaelmichelini.com/

  • http://ryangoesabroad.com Ryan

    True. Not that I am Señor Biz-Savvy, but my working idea of branding right now centers around simple recognizability, e.g. I have been recognized because my avatar and blog name are easy to recall. But then again no one is buying anything from the blog (yet).

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    My take: too small a value to spend so many resources developing. By the way, just had an awesome 2 hour talk about travel related content/blogging biz models yesterday.. tons of opportunity, as long as bloggers approach this stuff with a business mindset.

  • http://stankavich.com Mike Stankavich

    Dan, couldn’t agree more.  I’m building my business first, then blogging later.  If I have time.  As long as I’m fully booked and the business is growing, I’m happy.

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  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Balla Mike I’m really looking forward to tracking with your business in the next few months. 

  • http://blog.michaelmichelini.com Michael Michelini

    Gotcha on that point…..I guess i can’t fathom someone thinking that blogging is their primary business…..I think its a sidekick and complimentary to a primary business and source of income.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    I think so many people in the online biz op space use ‘blog their way to entrepreneurism’ type approach… its not effective, in my opinion. It can work, but it’s not a good strategy. 

  • http://www.yourpassions.net/ Croft Castrell

    Well that could very well be a kick in the head… if of course I had a much weaker constitution. The truth is that blogging is a great brand builder for the blogger. Competition is irrelevant. If we followed this advice we would all be stuck in dead end jobs with no hope in sight. 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    True enough. If you want to build a blogging brand, you better blog. 

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  • http://letsreachsuccess.com/ Lidiya K

    But after coming up with all these articles and podcasts, I guess you found the balance. It’s just not your main goal.

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