[This is part of the Side Business Series: From Extra Income to Full-Time Business]
I would love to sit down and write a post about how I have been a natural born entrepreneur all of my life, but I can’t. That is not my story. My journey to entrepreneurship begins with playing World of Warcraft, not with being a business child prodigy. But, I want to share my side business story to hopefully inspire other non-traditional entrepreneurs to start your their business.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
Becoming an entrepreneur is not always a proactive decision. Despite being an attorney for over eleven years, I never wanted to hang a shingle and own my own law firm. Instead, after law school, I went to work at a large law firm. I was fortunate early in my career to be given a leadership position in running the firm; I was appointed to the hiring committee and ran the firm’s summer associate program. Despite these management positions, I still considered myself an employee, not an employer.
As a corporate finance and technology attorney I helped business owners grow their businesses. I learned a ton about how to start a business, how to raise money, and how to run a business. I worked with all kinds of businesses from huge Fortune 100 public companies to mid-sized private corporations to small family-owned shops to solopreneurs.
But, despite over eleven years of legal and business experience, I never ran my own business.
That changed four years ago. And, boy am I glad it did.
Over the last four years, I have experienced one of the most wonderful journeys of my life — starting my own business.
The Accidental Business Owner
My journey began by simply starting a blog about massively multi-player online role playing games like World of Warcraft. I started reading video game blogs and decided that I should start a blog. From the day I first started that blog, I fell in love with blogging.
To this day, I am fascinated by blogs.
Shortly after starting my blog, I discovered Ed Dale’s Thirty Day Challenge (which by the way the 2011 event is running right now). The Thirty Day Challenge is a 30 day tutorial for how to get started in Internet marketing. Again,
I would love to tell you that I crushed the challenge, but again I can’t. I failed. After the challenge, I failed to earn even $1 that month from the work I did as part of the Challenge. I almost gave up with Internet marketing, but four months later I happened to check my Clickbank account and discovered that I made four sales from my Challenge work and had earned $80.
I was hooked.
It is funny how $80 meant so much to me compared to the money I make at my full-time job, but it did.
I quickly became obsessed with learning everything I could about Internet marketing. I learned everything I could about,
- affiliate marketing
- search engine optimization
- email marketing
- website creation
- social media
Most importantly, I learned how to run a business. Sure my eleven years of business law experience helped me tremendously, but no experience compared to starting my own business.
Growing My Business
For three years, I learned everything I could about running a business. But, my true growth happened when I started outsourcing. Prior to outsourcing, I was creating niche and authority websites at night in my free time. These websites were profitable, but I could not create enough content to grow the business to over $1500 a month. Then, I discovered outsourcing.
Through outsourcing I could hire writers to produce more content and then hire SEO professionals to build links for my sites. Quickly I was able to build over 100 websites that eventually earned me over $6,000 a month. In fact, one month I earned over $9,000.
Despite this financial success, I eventually discovered that my original side business was not going to allow me to achieve my life plans. That’s when I decided that business coaching was the business to fulfill me. Business coaching allows me to leverage my business law background with my online business background. And, this led me to start SoloBizCoach.com.
I still run my niche and authority websites, and the extra income is awesome. But, my full-time energy goes to SoloBizCoach.com. My writers and SEO team keeps my other sites humming while I focus on building my coaching practice.
Entrepreneurship is a Journey
I hope that my story inspires you to start your own business. If your journey is anything like mine, starting your own business will add so much passion to your life.
Another thing I hope you take from my story is that the business you start today does not have to be the business you end up with. I went from lawyer to blogger to problogger to Internet marketer to outsourcer to business coach. And, I bet that my journey will have many more twists and turns before it’s all said and done.
Every step of the journey helped lead me to my next step. You just have to get started.
Take your best idea today, and get started. This idea will likely lead you to better business ideas down the road. But, you won’t discover those business ideas unless you get started.
I hope you enjoyed my story of starting my own business. I would be happy to answer any of your questions about my journey in the comments below.