I’m writing this post on the 1st of January 2017, day 1 of a brand new year.
I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting over 2016 & I realised it was a year that taught me a LOT.
So with that being said I figured I’d put a post together sharing an insight into some of the things I did in 2016, as well as outlining some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned.
Hopefully this way you’ll be able to dodge the mistakes yourself before you end up learning the hard way like I did on quite a few occasions.
Some of the lessons I learned are internet marketing related, some are business related & some are just generally life related. They are definitely lessons that everybody will inevitably need to learn, so be sure to take note as you read them & don’t brush them off (like I had done before).
We can’t go back & make a brand new start, but we can start today & make a brand new ending.
Don’t get me wrong 2016 was awesome, but I feel like it could have been an awful lot better. Nevertheless I’m grateful for how it went and I’m glad that I’ve taken a lot away from it because hopefully now it’ll mean I can make my 2017 even better based on what I’ve brought forward.
One amazing thing I did do in 2016 was travel solo – it’s something I’d never ever done before and it was something I was kind of nervous about, but I did it, conquered it & absolutely loved it.
I mean sure I’ve traveled around England before & stayed away on my own – but a foreign country, never in my life. In October of 2016 I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas to attend an internet marketing event and it was totally sensational, plus I met some awesome people too.
If you’ve never traveled alone then I highly recommend you just bite the bullet and do it – even if you’re totally scared. I want to do even more solo traveling and it’s something I’m heavily looking into.
I’m just trying to find the best way to go about it (which I’m finding to be a bit of a struggle) & then hopefully I’ll be off again on an even longer & more varied adventure. Some spots on my to-do list are Devils Pool in Zambia & Pedra Do Telegrafo in Brazil, as well as a week long trek through the Grand Canyon.
It’s hard to describe the experience of traveling alone until you actually do it… But put it this way I’ve lived with myself for 24 years & didn’t realise who I actually was until I traveled alone.
You install a new level confidence and you learn a new set of social skills. Never in my life would I dream of dressing up and walking into a bar on my own & introducing myself to people I’d never met – but when I was away alone I did it, because you quickly realise life’s too short, and frankly, who cares?
So yeah, I went to Vegas on my own in October, but I also went for my birthday in August too & had quite a luxurious trip away. Take a look at the video below for a taste of what went down:
If you’d like to read more about the internet marketing event I attended in Vegas then you can do that here, and I also did a write up of 24th birthday in Vegas here.
2016 was also the year I ended up treating myself to a new car, despite telling myself I was absolutely not going to spend money on a car again.
I do kinda regret it because I really do feel like money is wasted on cars, but at the same time it’s certainly a fun car to drive…. and boy it’s quick!
Here’s a pic:
And probably the biggest thing that happened in 2016 was that I actually focused on my internet business again.
You might have noticed, or you might not… but from late 2015 to mid 2016 I became pretty lazy with my internet business, and that’s pretty much just down to life getting in the way.
Stuff happens, things change, but hey I’m back & I’m going to do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In fact after the lessons I learned in 2016 I’m aiming for the opposite, I want to turbo-charge my internet business & take it to whole new levels throughout 2017.
What I learned in 2016…
Time for a run down of the main lessons 2016 taught me.
Never stop learning.
In 2016 I’d already had a few successes under my belt, and I kinda got to the stage where I felt I knew everything. I mean, when it come to internet marketing I knew there was bit and bobs I still didn’t know but I kinda felt like I didn’t really need to spend much time learning anymore.
But oh boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. You’ve always got to keep educating yourself, because believe me – you never know everything. Only I found out too late, and imagine knowing after doing something that if you’d have implemented 1 small change that you’d have made 10x more?
Yep, it’s a bummer – but it’s a hard lesson and it’s safe to say that because of that it’s a lesson learned.
So now I keep on top of constantly educating myself. Each day I will look to learn something new and implement it into my business, I call it the EIR Cycle – Educate, Implement, Repeat.
Plus I got into reading books too, which brings onto the next lesson…
Mindset – reading is everything
For years I’ve brushed mindset training off as “BS”. I figured it was something people just pitched you so that you’d get all hyped up and buy whatever it was they were selling, but oh I was wrong.
After attending the internet marketing event in Vegas and meeting with some of the worlds top entrepreneurs I learned that mindset is everything, and that including educational reading somewhere into your daily schedule is an absolute must.
I will go as far as to say that your success is solely dependent upon your mindset.
A great book to kick start your mindset into gear is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I’ve just finished reading it and it’s a truly great book.
As I began reading it I didn’t really think it was going anywhere, but then a few pages in it began giving me a whole load of “aha” moments and after finishing the book it’s totally flipped my way of thinking on it’s head. My next one lined up is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Success requires hard work
One of the biggest benefits of building an online business is the fact that it can provide you with a passive income, which is basically an income that will keep coming in regardless of whether or not you keep working.
However, that causes one of the biggest problems too – which is complacency.
See when you first start an online business you’ll find that you have your nose on the grindstone & put in all the hours. However, once that passive income starts coming in it’s so easy to begin slacking off & becoming complacent.
It becomes easier to get out of bed a little later, and not spend as long on the computer…
But this is what separates those who are simply “getting by” from those who are truly successful, and I’ve been a victim of complacency too.
In fact I feel that fighting complacency has actually been one of my biggest battles throughout 2016, but I aim to approach everything with a whole knew attitude in 2017 & get that nose back on the grindstone where it belongs to take things to a whole new level.
Don’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle
Whilst it’s ultimately rewarding, the process of building your own business can feel very frustrating at times.
Even more so when you put in a whole load of work then compare it to your competitors business & see that they’re still doing better than you.
It can make you feel like giving up, and it can make you feel like you’re doing all this work for nothing…
But you simply have to picture it as a journey, and realise that you are most likely comparing the beginning of your journey to the middle of theirs.
The key to becoming successful is to simply focus on yourself, and focus on making you and your business better today than you and your business were yesterday.
Money should be a side effect
If you launch a business purely with the intention of making money, then it is surely destined to fail.
Yes we live in a world where we all need to make money to get by, but the primary focus of your business should be on providing value to your customers.
If you can provide value to your customers & solve your problems, then money will come as a side effect.
So forget about the money, give your customers what they want and the money will find it’s way to you.
Money isn’t everything
Whilst on the topic of money, it’s also worth pointing out that money isn’t everything.
The whole reason I started an online business was so that I could get the time freedom to do the things I want in life, whenever I want to do them.
However when the money starts coming in it’s easier to begin putting more time into your business & before you know it you’ve got no time left.
It’s no good having a load of money without any time to spend it, and similar it’s no good having a load of time if you’ve got no money to do anything.
It’s all about finding that balance between the two.
Build a strong relationship with your subscribers
If you have a business online then no doubt you’ll have subscribers in one format or another, whether they’re subscribed to you via an email list or some sort of social media channel.
If you want to take things to the next level then it’s absolutely vital that you put effort into building a strong relationship with these subscribers, because if you do that they will stick with you and listen to exactly what you have to say.
Once I learned on giving value to my subscribers as opposed to pitching to them things completely changed for me. I actually had people coming to me asking what I recommend, and what they could buy from me… It’s crazy how things work, but as they say you’ve got to give to get.
You need a team
This is a biggy, and it’s something I overlooked for years. To become truly successful you need to have a team.
Becoming successful on your own is certainly possible, but it’s an awful lot harder than if you were to leverage the power of a team.
This is something I learned from attending the internet marketing event in Las Vegas.
Find people in your niche, network with them & discover a way to work together.
Whether your sharing knowledge, workload or whatever – you’ll get a lot more done as a group than you will on your own.
Write things down
I turned 24 in 2016 and I don’t know whether it’s because of my old age or what but the amount of amazing ideas I lost due to forgetfulness is insane.
Each time I had an idea I would go to write it down then think to myself “no need, I’ll remember that” – only to fail to remember it every single time.
Bottom line here is just write it down.
Plus it’s proven that if you write down the things you need to do you’ll be more likely to completely them, since writing them down makes them become real. An idea in your head is just an idea, but on a piece of paper it’s an action you need to complete.
So writing not only helps you overcome forgetfulness, but it increases productivity too.
Clean your email lists super regularly
Email marketing has been one of my biggest frustrations throughout 2016, and that’s mainly because I’ve been struggling to keep my spam complaint rates down, despite never sending any spam.
I just couldn’t figure it out, no matter how “unspammy” an email I’d send, it was getting marked spam by at least one person nearly every single time.
Then I later discovered it’s because I’ve been rubbish at cleaning out my email list.
Since then I’ve been actively removing subscribers who haven’t opened my emails in a while & my spam complaint rate has got way better.
It hadn’t been a case of me sending spam, it was simply a case of people forgetting who I was & then marking my email as spam because they didn’t recognise me anymore.
So don’t be afraid to delete subscribers if it’s looking like they’re not really engaging in your emails. Whilst nobody likes to see their email list get smaller this is something that will be hugely beneficial to you in the long run.
I’d rather have a list of 200 super-engaged subscribers than a list of 10,000 not-interested subscribers any day of the week.
Create a lead magnet
No doubt nearly everybody will know what a lead magnet is, they’ve been around for a years. If you don’t it’s basically something that you give away free in return for an email address, such as an e-book or discount code etc…
I’ve never bothered with a lead magnet – again, been ruddy lazy throughout 2016 it seems. LOL.
But after finally putting a lead magnet together (a little e-book), my subscriber rate has increased and it makes my blog just look that bit more professional, as well as making me seem like a generous guy. 🙂
So if you haven’t already put a lead magnet together yourself, I’d recommend you give it a try. My ebook took me around half a day to put together, it’s nothing extreme but it provides people with the information that they’re looking for.
The biggest lesson I learned in 2016…
My biggest takeaway from 2016 was the fact that I learned that becoming successful is actually very simple – you’ve just got to be willing to put in the work.
For years I’d been searching for “secrets” as to how all of these big guys were doing it, but after actually meeting with them in person I soon realised that there was no secret after all & that their success is simply a result of their hard work.
After learning that I sat back and questioned what I was doing in my own business, and I admitted to myself that I could be doing way more.
So for me, 2016 has been a pretty lazy year – and that’s what I’ve picked up as one of my lessons.
If I want to improve my results, I’ve got to improve my game.
Which is definitely what I’m aiming to do in 2017.
So here’s to an awesome 2017!
Whilst I aim to make 2017 a great year for myself, I hope that you make it a great year for yourself too.
As the saying goes…
Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.
And with that, if you’re interested in looking into starting your own online business then you might be interested in checking out my Ultimate Guide To Making Money Online which I’ve recently started putting together.
Whether you want to make a little bit extra each month just to bump up your current income or you want to take things to the next level & go full-time online then that guide should help you out. Be sure to take a look.
And have a great 2017!