8 Required Ingredients To Growing A Successful Business

One of my readers, jpsetlak, sent me this question. My reply grew into this post.

If you could go back in time ……. to when you FIRST started to work in the Adwords/ppc field……….
what advice would you give yourself from where you stand now? What resources would you recommend getting? What books or materials would you advise yourself to obtain? What financial dos and don’ts would you teach yourself?
What else would you tell the younger Brent?

1. This one sounds so cliche, but it is so true. It is really good advice that doesn't get fully explained. That is do something you love! The reason is simple. If you love doing it, you'd be doing it if you were making money or not. I started selling things out of my house, because I enjoyed what I was doing. I liked meeting all types of people over the internet, learning HTML, marketing, and the ins and outs of e-commerce. The idea of people sending me money from all over the world was just icing on the cake.

The enjoyment I got from selling items over the internet provided the motivation to keep doing it even when I wasn't making any money. It made me push to improve my business infrastructure, because I loved learning the nuts and bolts of everything. When I finally started making money, I reinvested it in something I loved doing. That just happened to be my business.

2. Don't hire things out at first. There isn't much about my business that I don't know inside and out. I forced myself to learn about marketing, HTML, web design, server configuration, accounting, and so much more. If you hire all these things out, you aren't going to know anymore than the average Joe on the street. You'll also spend a lot of cash to get started.

Start with what you know and what you can do. Learn as much as you can. Grow your business as your skill set grows.

3. Learn as much as you can from others. Try to find someone you can trust that has already been there. It's hard to separate the fact from the fiction. Every corner has another snake oil salesman. It's your job to find a mentor that you can trust.

But remember, mentors aren't always free and shouldn't be. I've paid thousands of dollars to people I trusted to consult with me on different aspects of my business. I even offered a very well known SEO guy that I trusted $1,000 a hour for a phone consultation with a minimum payment of $4,000. I'd of gladly paid it except the guy turned me down due to a lack of time.

4. One of the books I read that benefited my business the most was Perry Marshalls Definitive Guide To Google Adwords. It was much more than an Adwords book. It contained a lot of helpful information that I used to grow my business from a few hundred grand in revenue to over 1 million dollars in revenue per year. I can't think of a single source of information that has helped me anymore than this book.

5. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. I talk to some people who want to know and plan everything and wind up never doing anything. Knowledge, learning, and planning are important ingredients when it comes to growing your business, but don't be paralyzed by them. You don't have to know every single thing before you start. I've learned more from correcting the mistakes I've made than by sitting around planning and researching on how to avoid them.

Most successful people aren't sitting on top of a mountain of successes. They are sitting on top of a mountain of failures.

6. Avoid debt in your personal life and your business life. I hear some business experts that would have you financing everything and building your business using OPM. (Other People's Money) I hear others that take the total opposite approach and teach that all debt is bad. I disagree with both positions.

My rule of thumb is to only finance assets that appreciate in value. Every car, boat, meal, clothing, and vacation I buy is paid for from cash. IMHO, if you are financing these things, you're never going to get ahead.

I have used financing for my personal residence and a warehouse / office building where my business is located. I don't worry about how I'm going to pay either one of them when the bill is due each month. I've been able to save enough money I could pay either one of them off in full if I had to. My ability to do this has to do with the fact that I don't have car payments, credit card payments, and other installment loans for items that depreciate in value.

7. Save as much as you can. When I first got married, I started saving $50 a month. Don't laugh! I was 19 years old making $7.50 an hour, $50 a month was all I could afford.

Every year, I saved more per month than I did the previous year. Today, I save approximately 20% of everything I make before taxes. Starting a business is a lot less stressful and risky when you have cash in the bank.

8. It's always a good idea to share your success with others. One of my goals is to give more away to the organizations I believe in than I did the previous year. The numbers are personal, but I've been very happy with what I've been able to accomplish in this area.

You can also give back in more ways than just writing a check. This blog is one of the ways I give back. I try to help every single person that writes me an email. If you are stuck and have a problem to solve, if I can be of help, I will.

What are your key ingredients that have helped grow your business?


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