What could I have done to be even more successful than I am today? I just thought about that for a brief moment and decided to make a post out of it.
Not that I haven't enjoyed the bumpy road of detours and failure, but I could have made faster progress if I'd had the chance to give a younger myself some advice.
Let me share some of the most vital timeless advice I would give to myself when I first started my business 5 years ago.
1. Create value to receive value
Give before receiving. Even though it might sound like a cliche, there's a real point there.
A product that gives value, will make people feel satisfied. Satisfied customers means free marketing, word of mouth, good reviews, returning customers and more.
If you create something useless, and just trying to manipulate and trick people, time will always work against you.
2. Plant seeds and think bigger
Plant new seeds every day. It can be sending a message to a stranger. It can be investing in that domain name that might be useful for you in the future.
Seeds I planted 5 years ago, are just now starting to generate revenue.
Actually, I planted a lot of seeds, but I wish I would have dreamt bigger and had the guts to begin building the foundation of really huge projects. Dream big. Even if the competition is sick.
It's okay to not have a full mental plan of how you're going to reach your goals. For every step you make, you'll get more clarity on how to get there.
3. Find the right people earlier
Rich people don’t work, they solve problems and supervise other people.
There comes a time for every business man to realize that you simply cannot do everything on your own. The sooner you realize it, the better.
There are so many different areas of running a business and creating a product. In my business, some of these things are coding, graphics, finances, marketing, writing and more. I realized I can't master all of these skills myself, and why even try when there are people out there that are so much better than me in different areas.
I need people who can help me build my dreams, and I always reward people who take great responsibility for their work.
4. Realize productivity makes a difference
Obvious, right? But how much of our day do we really do something productive?
It’s easy to think the best way is to focus on everything at once, but in reality, focusing on something is more efficient, at least for me. Either get in the habit of doing stuff right away when they land on your desk, or use a good todo-list and follow it strictly. Take a look at Asana.com.
Use your time for something that actually matters. Spending your days having a wild debate with SEO-gurus on Twitter about how big of a role links will play in search engine optimization year 2027 is not very relevant to your success.
There's so much stuff to write about productivity, but the main point is just to be aware of where the time goes.
I try to to scratch my head every now and again, and ask: is what I'm currently doing, bringing me closer to my dreams and goals?
5. Not too few or too many egg baskets – income sources
We all know putting all the eggs in the same basket is a bit risky. All the great business leaders have told us that. But I would like to add that you shouldn't spread the eggs out in too many baskets either.
There was a time I had several hundreds of websites up and running. They were all scheduled to get new content, functionality, and some marketing love, on a monthly basis. Even though you reduce the risk of anything dramatic happening to your income over night, it's still not worth it.
Focus on 2-5 projects that you really believe in, work hard on them, and given time you'll see that they will create much more value than those hundreds put together.
6. Don’t let your money collect dust, make the money work for you
The biggest investment, have also been my biggest success. Now of course that’s not always the case, but it’s no secret that investing money might be a healthy thing to do.
You can make your money work for you, by exchanging the money for items that are increasing in value over time. Or invest in people, that works on increasing the value of your projects and products.
7. Focus on your qualities and do more of the fun stuff
Do what you love, and results will speak for themselves. How come? Passion boosts your creativity and productivity.
In the startup, there’s no way around doing some of the most boring stuff, unless you have capital to allow you to hire people right away. But sooner or later it's gonna be time to move on. Let other people do what they are good at. Don't do stuff that kills your productivity. Going back to finding the right people.
Ask yourself, are you focusing on things that takes your energy away, or things that gives you energy?
8. Failure is merely an illusion
Fear of failure will hold many people back from doing anything. Not letting doubt and fear stop you, is the only way to expand. More challenges, more expansion. Therefore, failure actually serves as a growth boost on our journey.
Planning, preparing, having meetings, drinking coffees and eating cookies might sometimes be needed and might take you a step forward in certain points in life. But actually doing something? Worth more than gold.
You can see failure as the end of the world, but that mindset won’t take you very far. Not fearing, but embracing failure will really help you to open more doors. And failing actually bring you closer to your goals, because now you know way that doesn’t work.
9. Ideas into action
Over the years as an entrepreneur, hundreds of ideas have circulated my mind. Most of us have lots of ideas. But the brutal truth is, they are worth nothing without execution. Thinking about ideas is great, obesessing over them, is not. If you have an idea, try it out, see where it leads you. Good shit can happen.
Hope these 9 tips helped you! Feel free to share your thoughts below.