10 years ago today I decided to start a blog. It was a different time then. Blogs weren’t quite the rage they are now. Many of those earlier bloggers were keeping a diary online more or less. It wasn’t until I came across a blog by a guy named Steve Pavlina that I saw it was possible to actually blog about things that could potentially turn into money. Not that I started my blog with that intention. Back then, I think I just had a lot of thoughts and ideas in my head and I wanted to be heard.
I was 24 years old and was just finding myself. I owned a cell phone store that sold Metro PCS phones. I felt accomplished to expand into owning a second cell phone store that carried T-Mobile and Sprint. It was a fun time. I was really focusing on listening to personal development tapes and CD’s (tapes – yes I’m old). I logged a lot of my discoveries and adventures. As a matter of fact, if memory serves me correctly, the first tagline for this site was “An Adventure In Personal Development.”
My early readers were including my best friend Ryan (his blog coming soon!) and a friend I met through him named Melissa. Sadly, Melissa passed away a few years ago. I dedicate this post to her as she was truly an example of someone who always pursued her dreams no matter how hard life got. Melissa – I have a feeling you’re reading this post so I want to say, thank you for being such a support and encouragement to me in those early days. This one’s for you!
Here’s the Top 10 Things I Learned In 10 Years Of Blogging & Being An Online Entrepreneur
I have learned a lot in the 10 years since I started blogging and working as an online entrepreneur. I’ll quickly run through them now with brief descriptions. I will try to draw a lesson out of each of them for you so you can have some real takeaways from this post.
1. Just keep going like the Energizer Bunny – If you were to scroll back through my blog, you’ll see there’s a lot of gaps. A lot of time spent where I wasn’t blogging. This is because I was busy doing things like growing multiple 7-figure direct sales companies and losing weight on a reality show. But, you will see one trend. I kept making an update every 4th of July. This is because it’s my favorite day of the year (as I’ve said many times) and I also wanted to make sure to keep people updated on my progress even though I wasn’t regularly blogging.
I just kept going. I wasn’t in a season where blogging made sense for me and guess what – that’s ok. You don’t have to get everything right all the time. Maybe you have something you’ve been putting off, or something you quit doing… or something you KNOW you should be doing again. Just do it. (Sorry, Nike, please don’t sue). The reality is that you are only one decision away from achieving success.
2. Opportunity comes to those who work for it – This one has been beaten to death by every personal development person ever, but I had to include it because it’s just so darn true. When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I owned a cell phone store, was trying to lose weight, and decided to go back to college. I didn’t even know there was so much opportunity that stood in front of me. That’s the real secret. There’s so much potential in each of us, so much potential in you – but many times we give up before we have our breakthrough. Don’t let that be you. Decide today that you will keep fighting, keep working, keep putting in the time it takes to make success yours.
3. Be open to pivot if you must – I’ll keep this one short. Don’t be afraid to pivot to other strategies or even products if what you’re doing isn’t working. Early on, I’ll fail at something and assume that it didn’t work. The reality is that the way I did it didn’t work. There are many aspects that go into launching a product or starting a company. There’s who you’re selling to, what you’re selling, how you’re selling it, timing, market, and on and on. The real secret is finding where the problem lies. It’s not that “it” didn’t work. It’s that something you did didn’t work. Find it. Fix It. Profit.
4. There’s always something more to write about – Even to this day, I deal with the fear of running out of things to talk about. This is partly because I deal with a mild version of Impostor Syndrome, which basically means that I don’t think I know as much as I do. You sort of have to get to a point in life where you say, hey, maybe I am an expert. But that’s a topic for another post. For now, suffice it to say when I write one blog post I almost think of three new posts to talk about. There really is so much to say and I’m always learning new things too. So, if you’re ever afraid of running out of topics, don’t be. Worst case you can always ask your readers for ideas.
5. It’s easier to get traffic to your site today than ever before – When I started 10 years ago, getting traffic wasn’t quite as easy. I used these things called “Blog Carnivals” which were basically super early versions of content curation. You would submit your blog post to them and they would read them and pick like the best 10 on a certain topic. Then they would post it to their blog and their followers would read all the posts. Other ways to get traffic were to email your friends and tell people. I even had an OnlyOneMike.com sticker added to the back of my car. I’d never do that now. These days, traffic is truly just seconds away. You have social media like Facebook, Twitter, and more to get visitors coming to your site right away. SEO is harder now than back then, for sure. But there are more people online today too, so it might all balance out. Point is, now is a great time to start blogging because your audience is here and they’re hungry for good content.
6. Personal development is still my number one focus in business – I’ve sort of come back to where I started. Personal development has always been a passion of mine. I listened to my first set of motivational tapes from Tom Hopkins when I was a young teenager. I even played it for all my friends in the car and they thought I was soooooo cool. Ok, no, they yelled at me and told me to turn it off. But, that’s what led me down the path I am currently on. I’ve now started coaching others and helping them develop their companies and themselves into who they want to be. I love it and love where I’m at in life right now.
7. Seek out a mentor – it’s the only for sure way to learn – You must have a mentor. My first business mentor was a great lady named Lisa Diane. She taught me so much about personal development, marketing, sales, copywriting, and about being a business owner and entrepreneur. I am forever indebted to her for taking me under her wing and giving me my big break. You need to constantly be on the lookout for those who are doing or have done what you are looking to do. Experience is the best teacher – but it doesn’t always have to be your personal experience! Let a mentor guide you. People who achieve great things tend to love to help others and give back. That’s why they got successful in the first place. It’s through serving others that we find our greatest success.
8. Some problems don’t just go away (aka my weight) – Another lesson I’ve learned is that life isn’t always easy. There are many problems I thought I got rid of a long time ago. If you read through my previous posts you’ll see me talking about how I found the answer to this problem or that problem. Or how I had finally conquered my weight battle once and for all. I can sum up my new view of life like this: Success is never certain and failure isn’t final. Nor is success final. It’s always a never-ending push and at any given time any of us are one bad decision from backsliding to our “old ways”. I am moving away from platitudes and adopting a much more “one day at a time” attitude.
9. Never be afraid to fail – I don’t think I’ve changed very much on this one. Failing has never been a big deal to me. At least not in this culture. I failed at so many things when I was younger it was almost comical. Real estate investing, network marketing, and even a dairy goat farm (another post for another day). It was through those experiences though that I learned where I fell short. In real estate investing I learned that I gave up too easy. Once it got hard and a “guaranteed” deal fell through, I quit. In network marketing, I learned it doesn’t really work to recruit friends and family. Instead, create systems that attract the right people – people who actually want to buy what you’re selling. In the goat farm, I learned you should never send a city boy to a farm lol.
10. Set bigger goals and you’ll achieve more than you think – This is another one I am continually working on. Set BIG goals. STRETCH GOALS. Goals that make you question your sanity. Setting nice, achievable goals will get you a nice life, for sure. But if you want to do more, be more, and achieve more than the ordinary person, you’ve got to set extraordinary goals. Don’t be afraid to fail, but rather, be afraid of setting small goals. Like the old saying goals, if you aim for the moon and miss, you’ll still be among the stars. It really is true. You can accomplish way more than you think you can. Don’t let where you are at now affect where you think you can end up. I had no way of knowing I’d be where I’m at today when I started this site 10 years ago.
Dream. Dream Big. Believe. Believe in yourself. Don’t accept no for an answer. If something doesn’t work out, try again. There’s a million ways to make money in this world, choose one that you love and pursue it with wild abandon. If you don’t love what you’re doing, find out why. Dig deep. This is your life and you are in control of how you spend it.
I’ll end this by giving a huge shout out to everyone who reads my posts and the many who have read them for years. Each of you mean so much to me. I wish I could meet you all and shake your hand and hear your story. Maybe someday it will happen.
I look forward to bringing more fresh content and ideas to this blog in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
Here’s to at least 10 more years of Only One Mike!