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Diary of a digital entrepreneur

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Nicoknowsbest

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2014
457
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474
Austria
The last 3 years of my entrepreneurial journey were quite a rollercoaster.

I learned a ton of lessons that I'll share in this thread.

Hopefully some of you will benefit from this.

--

Lesson #1
Nobody has the f*cking answer.

It took me almost 3 years to realize this. Back when I started out, I read a gazillion threads on furms, had endless sessions of watching YouTube videos, took countless courses, etc. - you name it. When I didn't consume the content of others, I listened to people around me.

What I basically told myself subconsciously was: "Dude, you are too dumb. Go find somebody smart to follow and listen to him."

Yeah, that's a great message to be telling yourself, right? I was always looking for answers. I was chasing the next big secret. And always thought it was just around the corner. It's just one more video away. One more article. One more post. One more course.

I have spent literally hundreds if not thousands of hours consuming content of all sorts. I have spent tens of thousands of €€€ on buying content of all sorts. I consumed it all, put a few things into practice, but never moved the needle.

I took it so far that I thought I simply couldn't do it.

Until I realised, that I am approaching it the wrong way. Nobody can tell me what to do, because nobody is in my head. Nobody is in the exact same situation like me. Nobody has exactly the same skill set and experiences. Nobody has the answer.

Except YOU!

There is a great book on this - LOL - I know, another book. If it's the last one you read, you won't be disappointed. I somehow stumbled upon Dan Norris new book "This Is The Answer". It hit me like a brick in the face. He basically talks about exactly that - that nobody can really advise you, because of the reasons mentioned above.

A section I especially liked talks about how entrepreneurship is a position of leadership per se. Dan says to stop being a student of entrepreneurship, and finally blast your own path. It hasn't been done before, otherwise it wouldn't be entrepreneurship, right?

The bottom line is: stop studying and start doing.

Here are a few lines to compliment this lesson:
(Thanks to @Andy Black - please chime in on the sources of these lines, because I don't remember them)
  • You can't invoice for input.
  • You are enough.
  • You already know enough.
  • Say "no" more often.
  • The market doesn't pay for activity.

Trust yourself guys, you can do it!
 

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Santi Merino

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 22, 2018
109
126
136
Spain
Good post man, I see myself reflected on your words.

Plus I'd add that the best way of learning is doing, and as MJ says in the books, stop learning for the sake of learning and start doing, and then learn about the specific problem you have in front of you, instead of thinking all you may have to know during your journey and never starting out.
 

mauamolat

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 3, 2020
32
20
43
Philippines
The last 3 years of my entrepreneurial journey were quite a rollercoaster.

I learned a ton of lessons that I'll share in this thread.

Hopefully some of you will benefit from this.

--

Lesson #1
Nobody has the f*cking answer.

It took me almost 3 years to realize this. Back when I started out, I read a gazillion threads on furms, had endless sessions of watching YouTube videos, took countless courses, etc. - you name it. When I didn't consume the content of others, I listened to people around me.

What I basically told myself subconsciously was: "Dude, you are too dumb. Go find somebody smart to follow and listen to him."

Yeah, that's a great message to be telling yourself, right? I was always looking for answers. I was chasing the next big secret. And always thought it was just around the corner. It's just one more video away. One more article. One more post. One more course.

I have spent literally hundreds if not thousands of hours consuming content of all sorts. I have spent tens of thousands of €€€ on buying content of all sorts. I consumed it all, put a few things into practice, but never moved the needle.

I took it so far that I thought I simply couldn't do it.

Until I realised, that I am approaching it the wrong way. Nobody can tell me what to do, because nobody is in my head. Nobody is in the exact same situation like me. Nobody has exactly the same skill set and experiences. Nobody has the answer.

Except YOU!

There is a great book on this - LOL - I know, another book. If it's the last one you read, you won't be disappointed. I somehow stumbled upon Dan Norris new book "This Is The Answer". It hit me like a brick in the face. He basically talks about exactly that - that nobody can really advise you, because of the reasons mentioned above.

A section I especially liked talks about how entrepreneurship is a position of leadership per se. Dan says to stop being a student of entrepreneurship, and finally blast your own path. It hasn't been done before, otherwise it wouldn't be entrepreneurship, right?

The bottom line is: stop studying and start doing.

Here are a few lines to compliment this lesson:
(Thanks to @Andy Black - please chime in on the sources of these lines, because I don't remember them)
  • You can't invoice for input.
  • You are enough.
  • You already know enough.
  • Say "no" more often.
  • The market doesn't pay for activity.

Trust yourself guys, you can do it!
Thanks for sharing, Man. I'll try to write more later to this post. I just need to finish a website project in a few. I'm just reading for insights while on break. :)
 
OP
OP
Nicoknowsbest

Nicoknowsbest

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2014
457
1,711
474
Austria
Lesson #2
Find your zone of magic.

There's a lot of talk about your dreams being outside your comfort zone, that you have to overcome yourself, push, grind, sweat and bleed.

My personal experience is somewhat different though. I worked with a "business coach" for nearly 2 years. Within these two years, he made me do nearly everything uncomfortable in business you can imagine. Semi-public speaking, hosting workshops, cold-calling, selling things I knew I couldn't deliver only to be pressured to find a way, etc. - you name it.

Whenever he felt I was back in my comfort-zone, he pushed me out of it, calling me early in the morning, making me do weird things in order to avoid falling back into my comfort zone.

After these 2 years I realised that I had lost myself.

Whenever he didn't watch, I noticed that I stopped doing certain things he wanted me to do. It's not connected to will power though. Will power is not an issue. I am referring to natural tendencies. And there's a difference. I am not talking about a natural tendency of sleeping until 11 am and watching Netflix all day. That is NOT a natural tendency.

A natural tendency might be to go networking instead of cold-calling, because you like the personal interaction.

In my experience, working outside your comfort zone every day is extremely tiring and might burn you out at one point. It did to me. And the most important thing is that I didn't perform at my peak, because my mind was distracted by figuring out ways of coping with these new things all the time.

In my experience, I can deliver my best work when "in the zone". Let's call it the zone of magic. I'm sure many of you know it. Work doesn't feel like work. There's no time, no effort, no breaks needed. Everything is running smoothly.

From what I can tell you, getting into the zone can only happen, when certain outside variables work for you. This is different from person to person. It might be that you need a sunny climate. Or a loving family to come home to. Or working from a laptop in a coffeeshop without a charger in your bag, so you have to make it work until your battery is empty.

It doesn't matter what it is. It only matters that you find it.

You have to find your zone of magic. Whatever it is, find it and stick with it. And f*ck being outside your comfort zone. It ruins your flow.

The bottom line is: forget being outside your comfort zone, find your zone of magic instead.
 

Santi Merino

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 22, 2018
109
126
136
Spain
Work doesn't feel like work. There's no time, no effort, no breaks needed. Everything is running smoothly.
Some people call that "Flow", there's a good book about that: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Very interesting, thanks!
 
OP
OP
Nicoknowsbest

Nicoknowsbest

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 31, 2014
457
1,711
474
Austria
Lesson #3
Don't spend money that's not in your account yet.

This was a tough one to learn. When starting out my business journey, I cut all my costs and saved where I could. I imagined the day I could finally buy stuff without looking at the price tag. I am not talking about Ferraris or Yachts here, but about a new computer, a new pair of shoes, a new shirt, etc.

Slowly, I increased my revenues along the way until I hit the first big threshold we all strive for when we start out. In January 2019, I billed my first €10.000 month. I was ecstatic. I worked around 70-80 hours a week at that time, but I didn't care - you gotta grind, right? (That's the topic for another post though).

I thought that this was my break through and I just need to push further. At that time, I have been working with a freelancer on an hourly basis already for around a month or two. We started things slowly at first, but now I had loads of work and needed more help.

So I ramped up her hours, bought her access to the co-working space I was at at that time and filled her schedule. Meanwhile, I bought all sorts of tools to help work faster and better - think Adobe and stuff - and started looking for a bigger office. The days of the co-working space were over, or so I thought, and I was bringing on people so I needed space.

I found an office, rented it, had to pay a decent sum to the owners to help maintain the building, had a kitchen installed, bought office furniture, etc.

Meanwhile, my freelancer and me we worked on the projects and hit it hard.

I was spending money I calculated with, but didn't have in my account yet.

At that time, I didn't ask for down payments or upfront payments, only for a signed contract note. I felt secure with that, because it worked in the past. In this period though, I had a few clients bail on me - they took the work, didn't pay and were never to be seen again. I thought that having a signed contract note was enough to sue them. Technically it is, but to deal with lawyers and debt collectors costs money too. So I never pursued that route.

Simultaneously, all the clients that ordered something "urgent" in January and were billed, suddenly needed days and weeks to get back to me with feedback. Some of these projects stretched out until June, believe it or not.

The bottom line was: I spent money based on what I billed and projected, not on what I had in my account. And this nearly brought me to fall at that time.

A signed contract can be worth nothing - the only thing that counts is cold hard cash in your account. So don't spend it, if you don't have it. And even if you have it, make sure you can actually spend it.

Sounds simple, it's not as easy though.

Lesson learned the hard way.
 

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