The Real Cost Of Being An Entrepreneur

I started my first company 15 years ago. According to this fact, technically, I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last 15 years. But I think I always was an entrepreneur, I just didn’t know that. Anyway, for the last 15 years I’ve been living more or less off the grid, outside the limits of an … Read more The Real Cost Of Being An Entrepreneur

Being on Board at Launch48

The other day I was invited to an event called Launch48. It’s an online market event, aiming at pushing young entrepreneurs to launch a complete web application in 48 hours. I was invited to be part of the board. Little I knew about anything “launch48 related” until I made it there, I admit. Had no … Read more Being on Board at Launch48

The 7 Ages Of A Business

the 7ages online business

I had a business for 10 years. I started it from the scratch, financing it by using the 3 F’s (family, friends and fools) and managed it until I decided it’s time to sell, buying my own freedom. It was one of the most interesting periods in my life and one of the most fulfilling … Read more The 7 Ages Of A Business

Passion Is Power

What’s your real passion? What’s that thing that you could do all day long, without even thinking of being tired, with deep focus and endless joy? Finding your true passion is one of the most important breakthroughs you can hit in your life.

Choosing A Personal Path

It surely was quite a breakthrough in my life, that I know for sure. 10 years ago I started my own business, as an independent online publisher. Took me several years to understand that my real passion was only partially congruent with my business, and several other years to solve this situation.

I didn’t know from the beginning that I was on a slightly wrong path. Having an online business is a great play. And I mean it, it’s something that you should really play with. But it wasn’t my true passion. Being an online entrepreneur was connecting with my true passion on several points, but it wasn’t a perfect match. The rest was a really consuming activity. I was confused. Some things I had to do while having an online business were nourishing me, some things were draining me out. I just wasn’t complete.

Being an independent online publisher had a lot of nice things attached. I was my own boss (I still like this, by the way), I was playing on a revolutionary field, I was facing challenges all the time. I even learned programming and that was a thing that proved useful to me for years. But it wasn’t enough. Although I enjoyed my new status a lot, something was missing from the puzzle.

Most of the people I met during that time admired me. Some of them for the courage of being an entrepreneur, some of them for the quite visible success I had in my niche. But I never felt very comfortable in that position.

Passion Is Power

Most of the time you go for the things you admire. There’s an inner mimic approach in our human nature that makes for a constant, magnetic attraction towards the things or the persons we admire. We tend to be like them. We chose role models and spend our life trying to be like them. Most of the people are living by imitation.

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The Making Of An Online Business – Partnerships

This is the 5th article of the Making Of An Online Business series and it will deal with your partnerships. After talking about your projects, teams and money, it’s time do dig a little on your alliances, associations, or, in other words, partnerships.

If you came here directly I encourage you to read the rest of the articles in this series by clicking on the links below:

What’s A Partnership?

A partnership is at the organizational level what your team is at your human resources level. As the words imply, it is a resource, a complementary resource that will provide more value to your business.

Generally speaking, a partnership is an alliance in which each part is providing specific values to the other parts. It is based on trust, acceptance and common goals or resources. A partnership is a temporary association of two or more organizations in order to attain a specific goal faster or with fewer resources consumption.

Why Partnerships?

I will say this again, until it will be really clear: online is the most dynamic business context ever. Things are happening lightening fast. Like really lightening fast. Keeping the old individualistic approach of “I’m the best in my field” won’t work anymore. Because you can’t be the best in your field anymore. You can only offer a slightly more interesting perspective than your competition, and even that only for a limited time.

If you want to increase your market penetration, you have to let go a little on your ego and trust on partnerships. I’m not saying to rely exclusively on partnerships, but treat them at least as necessary tools for expansion.

The real trick here is to chose your partners extremely carefully. They must operate in the same business context as you, but they don’t have to make the same things as you. They will be, of course, your competition, in this case. I can’t believe how many people ignore this simple and apparently dumb rule when they are going out for partners. And they do that by either trying to partner with the competition (not a bad thing for a desperate business, by the way) either by going for partnerships way too far from their audience.

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The Making Of An Online Business – The Money

This is the 3rd article from The Making Of An Online Business series, and it will focus on the money part. If you’re looking for a way to monetize your project, I covered this topic in the second article of the series, about creating and maintaining online projects, which you can find on the link list below.

This post will deal with my way of interacting with money as an online entrepreneur. There are tons of other blogs or courses from where you can learn the basics of money management, so don’t expect to find that kind of information in this article. Instead, expect to find some fresh approach to money interaction as a whole, applied to an online business.

If you came here directly I encourage you to read the rest of the articles and the summary by following the links below:

Start Your Own Business
The Making Of An Online Business – The Series
The Making Of An Online Business – The Projects
The Making Of An Online Business – The Team

Money Is Hot

From the early beginning I will tell you that I always felt money is hot. Meaning I can’t really keep it in my hand. In fact, money was so hot for me than I rarely saw it in big piles. Every time I had a serious amount of money available I was reinvesting it like the next second. Please note the difference: spending versus reinvesting.

And it was a good decision. By reinvesting the money in my own business I accomplished at least 3 good things:

1.  I always had new projects coming

This is crucial in the online. As I wrote before, online has the highest availability degree you can imagine, higher than any other business field, but it has also the tiniest loyalty mark, so your audience can be stolen away almost instantly. You have to be able to offer new things, you have to innovate, to re-create stuff. And fueling your R & D department with generosity is the easiest way to keep you on top.

Don’t expect that any projects you launch to be a success. But do expect to learn from any of your projects, both successful or unsuccessful. Spending money on new projects is like paying for your own education.

2. I soon learned that money is a resource not a goal

Too often money is seen as a goal. Blame the modern society, consumerism, your mom and dad. You can’t deny that, everybody judge success by the amount of money you have in the bank. But if you have the courage to not pile money out of your business and reinvesting it back, treating it like a resource, you will grow your business. And in the end that’s the only thing that matters.

You can win a lot of money out of one project and then get scared not to loose it and stop reinvesting it in new projects. Big and dumb mistake. Money is not the stake, growth is the stake.

3. I always had to closely watch the money flow

Starting new projects constantly makes for a great financial discipline, because you really have to know all the time if you do have enough resources to keep you going. I learned to maintain a constant money discipline, and that thing is benefiting me now tremendously. I always know how much money I have, even if you wake me in the middle of the night.

Knowing how much money you have, how much money you can spend and how much money you will make out of something has nothing to do with scarcity. It’s a transparent mindset that keeps you connected. It’s like always knowing your resources and potential and avoid walking on thin ice.

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The Making Of An Online Business – The Projects

This is the second article in the series about managing an online business. It will focus on what you actually do in an online business, how can you measure it, the various stages of each project and how you can monetize your work. If you came here directly you can go back to the summary of the whole series or you can start with the first article which deals with starting your own business.

Please keep in mind that this post is rather long, more than 3000 words, so  make sure you are away from interruptions when start reading it. If you can’t read it now, you can bookmark it and come back later.

Online Processes

More than in any other business, in the online universe, a product (i.e. a website) is more like a process and not like an object.

If you are in the furniture business, you’re selling objects. A chair, a table, a couch. Every once in a while you change a little the design, but you are largely selling objects.

In the online field, you sell things which are continuously shaping. An online service is by definition dynamic. Your websites need continuous upgrade, otherwise they will fade as importance and eventually lose their audience.

The online has a high availability, which means your potential audience is huge. But the online has also a high volatility degree, which means that the potential huge audience is very easy to be moved toward your competitors.

Online Projects Metrics

You need a way to quantify the behavior of your websites in order to measure their success. Otherwise you’ll be lost in the jungle of millions of other websites, portals, forums, blogs or online shops. I worked with only three main online project metrics:

– traffic, the total number of users that accessed that website in a given time interval
– money, the total amount of money that website produced in a given time interval
– resource consumption, how many resources (people, money, assets) that website consumed in a given interval.

Although it seems pretty straightforward, the way in which those three metrics can combine is infinite. You can have projects with minimal traffic but with good money flow in. You can have websites with little or no money in, but with huge traffic (I guess the most famous example is YouTube in this area). Or you can have websites with zero resource consumption (auto-pilot websites) with no money in and just a decent traffic. but still consider them as successes. Each combination of those factors can play a role in the bigger picture and you must not overlook any possible outcome.

Now, let’s take each metric and see how you can interpret it.

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The Making Of An Online Business – The Series

For the last 10 years I was a self-sustained person, getting my income for my online business. Last year I made a successful exit from that and started a much more enjoyable activity as a personal development blogger, here at dragosroua.com. Not that having a blog as a main activity would be an easier venture, … Read more The Making Of An Online Business – The Series