The Path to Success
by Danny Iny
Editor's Note: Today's article comes from an email that all-around awesome cool dude, and one heck of a marketer, Danny Iny sent to his subscribers. In an online world that is full of fluff, Danny's advice cuts straight to the bone. Make sure to check out his awesome blog: www.firepolemarketing.com/
I'm going to let you in on a comforting little secret about entrepreneurial success, and the path that I took to get there.
Okay, now let's get back to my story, which I'm sharing in response to a question from Diane, who asked:
"Would you mind sharing with us what was the process that got you here? Did you envision where you wanted to be today or did it evolve as you journeyed?"
So here's the thing: there's this mythology and mystique that people believe, that successful entrepreneurs are people who can come up with a single brilliant idea, and then work really hard to make that idea come to life, exactly the way they planned it.
Except that in real life, things don't usually work out that way.
Often, ideas start off looking very vague, and develop slowly, gradually, and iteratively as the entrepreneur does stuff that helps them learn through trial and error.
That's how it goes for most entrepreneurs, and that's how it went for me, too.
So here's my story - my very own "path" to success:
As you may know, I quit school when I was 15 to start my first business. And I was 15, so I had no clue what I was doing!
I was involved in a bunch of start-ups and projects (none of which got very far). Fast-forwarding to 2007 or so, I started a business called MaestroReading, building software that teaches kids how to read. And we were doing well, for a while. But then came the big crash of 2008, and my business crashed right along with it.
Now, I'd had setbacks before, but this one was rough; I let go of all my employees, told my investors that their money was gone, and ended up with over $250,000 in personal debt.
And here's the thing: after a setback like that, you aren't necessarily ready to jump right back on the horse and take another big risk. It's a lot like the way you feel after a long, hard, messy break-up - you aren't ready to meet and commit to someone new yet!
So I took things a bit slowly, licked my wounds, and gave myself some time to regroup.
And eventually, I came around to the idea of starting something new - but it would have to be a lot simpler, a lot less risky, and a lot smaller in scale.
And that new project was Firepole Marketing; a blog and a training program that I started on the side.
I didn't envision the scale that it would grow to, or the focus that would emerge, or the role that it would take in our industry - all of that happened gradually.
So the answer to Diane's question is "no" - I definitely didn't envision where I would be today when I started out, but rather it evolved as I journeyed, and that evolution is still happening, every single day.
(Our Marketing Blueprints Club, for example, was an idea that came out of nowhere, and now we have hundreds of members!)
So yeah - by far the most important thing (much more so than clarity of vision!) is action, and iteration. The fact is that visions don't usually get clearer all by themselves, but rather as a result of the actions that you take, and the input that gives you.
So act, refine, see what works and what doesn't, and take as many steps forward as you can - even if those steps are small, and seem insignificant (trust me, they aren't!).
Vision gets clearer as you take action.
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