Top 10 Tips to Start an Online Business from Zero!
How do we make a beginning and continue running a self-sustaining online business starting with no money? In 2011 I started my business from nothing and am lucky to still be here after making so many mistakes that I nearly went bankrupt. It's not easy and yet I hope I can help you have a chance today to do a better job starting your business than I did. I first did this presentation live on Facebook and Youtube August 10, 2016. What is amazing is how powerful these same tips still are today nearly a year later. Would you continue reading this post or watch the Youtube video below?
Thank you very much to @aarellanes for converting the transcription of the YouTube video from GoTranscript into this motivational post for Steemit, which is much faster to read than the video and has all of the highlights in screenshots!
Let's get into the 10 tips right now that I hope will be most helpful and effective for you.
Ask and answer, what would you do for free? Because your online business is likely to be not only for free, you're likely to have to pay to do whatever it is you think you want to do to start off with. The first two years of my business, I essentially paid to work.
If you just want money, it's easier to just go to work and make money. If you find that the answer to, what it is you would do for free, or what you would do if you already had enough money, you often then can see a business that you would genuinely enjoy doing. If you really have fun doing your business, then you don't have to just strictly hope that it will make money.
The key part is to zoom in on your end goal that you can have today. Let's look how this plays out. You're hoping that if you start a business that you can make a bunch of money, so that when you have a bunch of money, you can hire a bunch of people to work for you. This can make you feel really good about yourself, have them totally run the business.
Then you could essentially just retire, and not do anything all day, which might include sitting around and playing Xbox all day. If that's your end goal, then why not just play Xbox today? Why not cut through using the business as a means to an end. Cut through that end goal. For me, the end goal was to be in a place where I could feel safe, secure, and peaceful, and that's something I can have today without building my business up or anything.
I had someone say on Facebook, “they don't have time to learn about this”.
Well, I respect that. You're welcome to go anywhere else you want. For me, this is one of the most helpful things I've ever learned about in my life, because it’s given me freedom today to not have to go to a job anymore. That is why I'm presenting it to you.
What problems have you solved that you can help with? I've solved a problem for me of “how I cannot have to go in and work for someone else anymore.” I’m now in a home office working on my own terms, my own hours. I have complete flexibility, absolutely awesome! That's why I'm here helping you with it. That's what I do. Great businesses start with simple solutions. You can look at the companies you buy from to see this today. My business revolves around providing the solutions to the problems I've already went through and solved.
These 10 tips are solutions to problems I've solved. If you look at companies like Google, what do they do? They provide a solution. You have a problem; you go to go Google to find it! When you want to get on Facebook, when you first signed up, I signed up to try and find a girl that I used to know before. Facebook solved the problem. It made it really easy to do. All I had to do was type her name in, there she is.
YouTube, you have a problem; you go look it up on YouTube. Great companies and businesses are based on solving problems. If you can see the problems you've solved, you also see the assets you already have to start a business. I've solved the problem of how do I escape the 9:00 to 5:00 life, how do I stop having to work for someone else, and how do I start turning my time to money. I've solved that. I'm hoping I can help you with that here!
Discover your limits and accept them. Now, this sounds counter-intuitive. The trick is that I've discovered my limits today and I realize that I can only do so much in one day. I can only do so much with my business. I realize that I will always have ways I can trade my time for money, but my time and energy are the absolutely most limited.
My time and energy easily get wasted doing things where I just trade my time for money, where I'm not focused specifically on helping people. If you think that starting a business will help you completely escape your limitations, you might be able to avoid that delusion by hearing from my experience. The better my business has done, my limitations have simply changed. They haven't left, so I have more money to work with than when I started my business. I also have a lot more request for things I should do.
In other words, there's much less freedom today in what I should do, because you've already told me what you wanted me to do. If I don't do that, then well, I'm disappointing you. The idea is my time and energy is just as limited now, if not more limited than they were when I started my business. Starting a business, it might change your limitations. I don't have to go to a job anymore.
That's a different type of freedom, and yet, I've got an office right in my house now. I can't ever get away from work anymore. Work stalks me. I've escaped one limitation and I've gained another in its place.
Figure out who might be willing to help you with your business. This is absolutely crucial, because when you've just discovered your limitations in the previous steps, you've seen I have limited time and energy. The answer to that is figure out who else might be willing to help you with your business.
I have limited time and energy. Well, when I started looking around for help with my business, my friends on Xbox were there to help me start my business. I sent out a message on Facebook to all my friends on Xbox, and I said, "Hey, I'd like to start my business. What do you think?" They were really enthusiastic. One friend in particular, Joseph, he said, "Yes. I'll definitely start your business." He could see the great potential in starting a business online.
Joseph has helped me from the very beginning, all the way through everything, and now, Joseph is making his own business online. To me, it's about whom I can help and be useful for today. My friends on Xbox have been the greatest resource I've had for building my business. There's no way I'd be here with you today if it weren't for my friends on Xbox. The question is, who else might help you with your business. If no one is willing to help you, it might not be a good time to start a business.
Learn how to make videos on YouTube and Facebook. Here I am right here, I'm on YouTube and Facebook live right now. It's taken me almost five years, and it's taken Facebook and YouTube a while to advance things too. You know you can see the power of YouTube and Facebook. You know it first-hand. Therefore, if you can learn how to make videos on YouTube and Facebook, you can experience the same powers. You can have the chance to get your passion to help other people out there with your experience.
This works, because there's a huge demand for videos with low supply. I'm not here with you, because I'm great or there's something amazing I have to share that no one else knows. I'm here because the competition is lower this way. I've got a bunch of books. I have 10 books on Amazon and I’ve barely got to $100 in sales on those. The same number of video courses online made about a hundred thousand in sales. The idea is to put your time and energy where demand is high and supply is low.
Anyone can sit there and write a blog post. It's even pretty easy to put a book out today. The competition is way higher for things that are written, so that's why I go straight to video. If you are looking what's the next big thing? The next big thing, you're always looking and waiting for whatever is going to come out, video on Facebook and YouTube is the big thing that's here today. You can literally start today.
You might have already made some videos before that are exactly on the right track. Even if you just put a video on your profile out to your friends. You made a couple my first video on YouTube was how to say the F-word different ways. My friends thought it was funny. I made several more videos like that that my friends thought were funny. And then I slowly evolved into making things that were more helpful. You might have even got started with this already.
Half way through!
Find a mentor that has what you want! This has worked for me really good in areas of my life where I've struggled. I've struggled a lot with being sober. In other words, living a life that was fun and worth living, that I didn't need to add something like alcohol or other addictive behaviors to fully enjoy my life.
What it took for me was finding someone who had 20, 30 years sober, who enjoyed their life, who lived how I wanted to live and then studying them, talking to them every day. “What are you doing to stay sober? What do you do when this happens? What do you do when that happens?” Find a mentor that has what you want. The cool thing is the mentor then you get what the mentor has for better or worse.
It helps to have many mentors for having online business. If you find a mentor the mentor can help you avoid mistakes and see progress. The two of those are crucial, because most of the time I've been focused to just avoid mistakes in my life. The other thing a mentor helps you to do is look and see when you've done something right. If you're like me, whenever you do something right, you just briefly celebrate and forget about it or you may just take it for granted like, “Well, of course, I did that right. Don't you know dude? Do you know who i am? Of course, I did that right.”
For me, a mentor has helped me look at my behavior and say, “Jerry, you moved to a new place. You just downsized your house and you're doing a really good job. Don't you see how those are some of the hardest things in life when you just breezed through them like it wasn't a big deal. That's progress. Remember, Jerry, when you couldn't hardly get a bill in the mail or have an Internet service not work very well without raging and going off like a lunatic.”
When I see the progress I've made, then I tend to repeat it. Lots of times I'll just do things better and not even realize I did them better, and go back to doing them worse. The cool thing is you might already have the mentor you need in your life today. The mentor you need might be one of your friends or family members already and you just might not have thought to ask them to be your mentor.
The mentor might be someone you're following online already, whether it's me if you want to work online or stream games, or it might be someone else you're already following online. It's not easy always to get the mentorship relationship started. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of failures like dating to get it successful. I hope these principles apply for almost any business you want to have online. Vishal says, “What about for Udemy?” I think these would work well for Udemy too.
Find one person you trust 100% to provide feedback. For starting your own business online from zero, this is absolutely essential. If you're like me, the truth is most of your ideas are stupid. Most of your ideas aren't good. Here's a good example. Google originally was called Backrub. The idea being you rub my back with a link to your website, I'll rub your back with a link on my website.
Can you picture going to backrub.com to do your searches for everything? Can you picture backrub.com being one of the top companies in the world? No. It was a stupid name that then they changed it to something better. Most ideas, especially in business and online business, are terrible. Here's one I had. I signed up for Google AdSense and Joseph helped with this. We went to put search engine, custom search engine bars.
We went to library computers and went in and edited the browser, switched the browser from google.com to whatever my custom URL was, google.com something so that when people searched in the library search bars they would then clicked on ads, I'd get a little payment out of it. That worked really well until we realized that as soon as the computer was logged off, it was wiped. That means every time the computer was logged off, it started with a fresh install.
In other words, all that work to put all the damn browser links in there and switch it all up completely wasted, except if people would not log off. Most of the ideas of I've had are bad. I have many people now and I trust people to share all of my ideas with and especially someone I trust to tell me when an idea is stupid or bad. I had an idea a couple days ago that I should sue the website I used to work on and I should sue them because they just changed their terms and conditions.
They must be feeling vulnerable. They really screwed me over. I had an idea I should sue them. I talked to my wife about it. She's an attorney. She said, “All the legal stuff aside.” She said, “They're a big company. They're not likely to settle with you. Anyway, you likely would have to actually go through the lawsuit, which could then take years even if you won, and you'd probably have to pay a lot of attorney’s fees.”
She said, “That doesn't matter. The main thing is that's not -- that doesn't match with what you're doing. That's not who you are. That's not what your teaching is going and filing a lawsuit. That's not you.” I trust my wife absolutely. I share all my ideas with my wife and with my friend Joseph. They shoot down 90% of my ideas. They take out a lot of those stupid ideas that I could waste a lot of time and money on.
This helps for anything in life even not having a business. Have someone that you share all your stupid ideas with and then they'll tell you -- Other people will tell you when you actually have an idea that's really good.
What I said in number four, I wanted to translate into number three directly, because these two go right together. It’s, “Do everything in public without secrets.”
Yes, it's ugly sometimes. Yes, I mentioned the stupid ideas I have right out there in public. If I'm not willing to share these things, then having secrets tends to be toxic and it tends to encourage separation and splitting. When you're all split up and separated, nothing tends to work very well, in my experience. In other words, you share what you're doing with friends and family. I consider you in with friends and family. I share what I'm doing with you and that way I eliminate doing things that you would not share.
The idea is to eliminate doing things that I’m not willing to share, because they're a waste of time. If I’m not willing to do something out in public, then I probably shouldn't be doing it to start with. I've learned that the hard way a whole lot of times. Anything I have to do in private by myself, alone and not tell anyone out tends to make me feel bad. When I feel bad, that poisons everything else I'm doing.
I have people who come to me and ask, “Jerry, I'm trying to do my business online but I don't want to share it with my friends and family. I want to keep it separate." For me, I often kept parts of my business separate before. For example, I sold Facebook likes, fake Facebook likes, so I didn't publish that. I didn't share that with my friends and family. I ended up stopping doing that, because what people didn't like getting a bunch of fake bought accounts to like their Facebook page that I bought for $5 and then charged them a hundred for.
I've learned most of these things by doing it the wrong way and even my problems previously with teaching online, those were things that I did without most people knowing about them. They cause problems over time. I now have everything set up. I share. I keep what I do out there in the open, because that discourages me from doing things I shouldn't do to start with. Now, does that mean everyone loves everything I do? No. It means, though, I feel good about what I'm doing. It means I'm okay with what I'm doing and that has a fantastic effect on the rest of my business.
Learn exactly what basic task you love doing. This is a really challenging one, because most of us are so programmed to use things as a means to an end that there's little awareness for what it is we honestly enjoy doing. For me, I'm lucky, after three years of doing a bunch of things online, I realized what I really enjoyed doing was teaching, that I love teaching! Then from there, I was able to set a simple goal to do a little bit of that every day. Do a little bit of teaching every single day.
My goal I set was two videos a day and uploads my courses online. The big thing is when you discover what activity you like doing. Anyone can understand it. What do you like to do? I like to teach. Anyone can understand that. For you it might be, “I like to write. I like to play video games. I like to go surfing. Play on the beach.” Whatever it is. If you can find that core thing you really like to do. And it might not even be play on the beach, it might be play. I might like sports.
If you can find that core thing you really love doing, just to do it. Not as a means to an end. For example, I don't teach to a means to an end. I don't teach with the intention that you'll buy my courses and that my teaching now is only worth it if you go through and spend money on my website, and then hire me to coach you, and then just give me a bunch of money just because you love me. If that were the principle and the reason behind all this, you would feel that certain needy element, that I need something out of you.
And you can tell here I don't need anything out of you. I'm grateful for you to be here, and yet, I'm doing this just because I enjoy it. It can take a lot of time to isolate that activity. If you're like me, you're so used to just doing things as a means to an end, you may not even know what it is you really like to do without any conditions on it. I'm lucky I discovered it was teaching for me. I have a friend, he loves to test things out and present them.
He’s just discovering that's what he likes to do. He likes to, essentially, learn and teach together also. I'm grateful for the chance to do what I love here with you today.
Have you been waiting for this? Probably not based on the data. That's fine. If you have been waiting for it, here it is. Focus 100% on giving others the most you can.
Now, you might think, "Well, of course. I'm giving a hundred percent, the most I can." What's the opposite of this? Avoid focusing on how you will get something out of it. Most of the time, I find I'm either focusing on the giving or I'm focusing on what I will get out of it. Rarely am I truly doing both. Here's the difference. What I'm doing is focusing here on what I can give you. What can I share with you that will just set that spark off that's already in you? What can I give you that you will say, "Yes, okay, I can do this"?
Whether it's with your business or your girlfriend, or whatever it is. What I'm hoping to do is share that with you, however it comes across in the actual words. I'm hoping to give you that feeling or help you see the feeling you already have of inspiration, of excitement about life and its potential today. That's what I'm hoping to give. If I put this in other terms, I could put this say, "Okay, so my point in doing this, all right, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to give them this video.
You're going to either watch this video or read this post and then what they're going to do, they're going to go to my website. They're going to sign up on my e-mail list. They're going to buy some courses. They're going to go subscribe to my YouTube channel. Then they're going to hire me for consulting." You can see the more I focus on that, the less I have time and energy to focus on actually giving you something that's useful.
When I consistently receive calls from people just like you, asking, "Okay, Jerry, I'm starting my business online" or "I've thought about it", the focus often they want me to help them with is how will they make money doing their business online. And while it is important to have an idea of how you might make money, here's what I've learned. The best rewards are often hard to plan for.
I'm grateful I have a call with someone at Google who may potentially want me to go make some videos for the AdWords channel. That, to me, if you're an online marketer, is a holy grail of spots you could get to be representing the official Google brand. How cool is that? My friend Joseph already talked with her and now she's talking with me. The idea is I never could have planned that out starting my business.
Especially in the middle of all the struggling and failure to succeed at the plans I set, often the very best things are not things I've planned for. For example, I never planned -- Well, never. When I started my business, I couldn't imagine turning it into teaching on Udemy. For the first three years of my business, I had all these other plans. When Udemy came along, I didn't imagine that I'd be able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on Udemy and make a whole bunch of courses. I didn't plan for that; it just was thrown right in front of me.
A lot of the best opportunities I've seen happen to others, just things that are dropped right in their lap. They didn't go hustle for it. They didn't go lie, cheat and steal for it. They just got it dropped right in their lap. Now, yes, I met my wife after dating online for eight years. I certainly worked at that. The thing is, though, I didn't know which girl I went out with that would be my wife. I didn't know until I actually met her that it was a great opportunity. All I saw before that was a lot of failure and frustration.
The idea is, in starting your business, if you focus on doing the best for other people, which, for dating, I had no focus on what the girl was going to get out of it. For my business, when I started, I didn't care what anyone else was going to get. It's about how much I'm going to make. When you focus relentlessly on giving what you can to be helpful for others and you avoid spending time focusing on how much money you're going to make, how much prestige or fame you're going to get, you'll often get rewards greater than you could have ever imagined.
Daily happiness, peace, satisfaction, joy. All the things money can't buy. You'll get that and you may get a new car, you may get a new house. You may get a whole lot of other rewards, which then you won't feel even define the reason for your business. I'm grateful for the time you spent here with me today watching these top 10 tips. I appreciate your opinion on it because that helps educate me as to what else I should do. Please leave feedback even if your opinion's are negative.
I value your feedback on it, whether it's good or bad, or neutral, or whatever. I try and make new videos every single day because I practice these steps I just shared with you. I practice these things in my business. I do what I love. I focus completely on what you need. It seems that you need new videos every day. That's what you want, that's what I keep doing!
Thank you very much for reading this post and I hope you have a great day today! If you found this post helpful, would you please upvote it because that will help me continue running my business online here with you today?