One thing we know after 10 years of running a success business is that time flies. Also, running a business is tough! And, running a business is incredibly rewarding.
In addition to these truths, we’ve taken a step back to reflect on the 10 things we know after 10 years of experiences, failures, successes, some low times, and some really high times.
Because we love opening up the curtain and showing you behind the scenes of our business — so you can learn from our biggest mistakes and our biggest wins — we’re very excited to be sharing this list with you!
We also want to thank YOU, Fire Nation, for your support over the years. Without you, Entrepreneurs On Fire wouldn’t be where it is today.
Alright, here it goes!
10 Things We Know After 10 Years
1. Know Your Niche
Or as John likes to say, “niche your flippin’ face off!”
Let’s be honest: we got pretty lucky with our timing when John decided to launch Entrepreneurs On Fire back in 2012. Just for fun, here’s an image of our website from those first few months… Our branding has come a long way!
Back to our lucky timing…
There weren’t many interview-based podcasts sharing the inspiring stories of successful entrepreneurs. And the ones that did exist weren’t publishing more than a couple times a month.
That was the niche John uncovered: no one else was producing daily content, which gave John an opportunity to bring something to the market that was unique — that no one else was doing.
Was the idea for the podcast overall niche?
No — interviewing entrepreneurs and sharing their journey is not a niche. However, interviewing entrepreneurs and sharing their journey 7 days a week was niche at the time.
Whether you niche within your topic or category (instead of interviewing entrepreneurs and sharing their journey, try interviewing entrepreneurs who run service-based businesses and are generating over 1 million), or you niche by offering something that doesn’t exist yet (do a daily podcast when there are no other daily podcasts around), NICHE.
Knowing your niche will help you gain powerful traction and help you speak directly to a specific segment of people, which in turn will give you momentum towards building your audience.
2. Know That Consistency Is Key
People like consistency.
Consistency equals predictability.
Consistency also helps people create routines and habits.
Our consistency started out — and continues to be — daily.
But consistency doesn’t have to be daily for you.
For you, consistency might be weekly. It might be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Whatever consistency you choose, communicate it to your audience, and stick with it.
If you can make your podcast, your products, your services, and/or your content consistent, then your audience can make you a part of their routine.
Had Entrepreneurs On Fire published one episode per week for the first month, then published a couple of episodes the second month, and then 17 episodes the third month, Entrepreneurs On Fire would have failed.
Knowing that consistency is key is what has made our podcast a part of our listeners’ routines, without which we wouldn’t have grown the podcast into the successful business it is today.
3. Know How to Set and Accomplish Your Biggest Goals
Setting and accomplishing goals isn’t easy, but generally speaking, it is simple.
Thing is, people tend to overcomplicate things, especially when it comes to goal-setting.
Set a goal, make it SMART, FOCUS, and accomplish your goal.
Again, simple but not easy.
That’s why John created and launched The Freedom Journal back in 2015: to help you accomplish your goal in 100 days.
Every day the journal prompts you. You state your goal, you think of one thing you’re grateful for, you answer a series of questions, you take action, and then you reflect back on what’s working and what’s not working for you.
But everyday life tends to get in the way.
Distractions pull us off course way more than we even recognize.
What seemed like a completely attainable goal might be set on the back burner for just one day, but then that one day turns into five, or 10, or 20 days…
Before you know it, your goal is all but lost, and you still find yourself in the same spot you were months ago.
Knowing how to set and accomplish your biggest goals is a practice, and if you can make that practice a daily habit, then you will be well on your way to accomplishing every goal you set.
4. Know This: You Are The Average of The 5 People You Spend The Most Time With
Jim Rohn said it a long time ago, and it still rings true today.
We underestimate how big of an impact and influence those we surround ourselves with have on us. Mostly because we don’t take a step back to realize it.
But once you know this to be true, you have a huge opportunity.
And no, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch your childhood friends and never talk to the grouchy grocery clerk again…
It just means you should be aware of the time you’re spending with those who aren’t on the same path as you, who don’t provide you any support, and who would rather be playing at a low level than at a high level.
Here’s a group of driven, motivated, action-takers who signed up for one of our in-person masterminds in Puerto Rico — they chose to surround themselves with the right people.
I’m sure you can think of people in your life who aren’t playing at a high level, who might not have a great influence on you, and who aren’t there to support you towards reaching your goals.
So how can you start surrounding yourself with people who DO have a positive influence on you, and who DO support you?
Knowing that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with means you have the power to change your circle, and creating your own mastermind, or joining an existing mastermind, is a great place to start.
5. Know Your Avatar
Your avatar is your ONE perfect listener, customer, or consumer of your content, and they have a powerful role on your journey.
You will encounter a fork in the road hundreds of times on your journey, and the best person to help guide you on which direction you should take is your avatar.
If you know who your avatar is, what their preferences are, what they fear most, what they struggle with, and what their biggest dreams are, then you can approach forks in the road with confidence — knowing your avatar will help guide you every step of the way.
Knowing your avatar is one of the biggest foundational pieces most entrepreneurs either skip or get wrong, and not being able to pivot or quickly correct course will continue to hold you back from reaching your biggest goals.
6. Know What is ‘Enough’
It’s easy to get caught up in the game of adding more.
We’re sort of conditioned to believe that more is better, but that’s not always true. And it’s certainly not always true in business.
Sometimes it’s not a good decision to add more to your plate.
Sometimes more work, more products, more launches, more employees… isn’t always better.
Everyone’s ‘enough’ is different, and it’s critical that you know yours.
We spent a year or so in limbo in our business without even realizing it. It was around 2017 / 2018, and we were launching more, hiring more, … more, more, more.
We had momentum, and it seemed like the right thing to do to continue growing our business.
What we realized?…
We were building a business we didn’t want to run.
Some business owners thrive on continuing to build their team, launching more products, expanding their services — but it’s important to understand that not every business owner wants this.
What freedom and fulfillment means for you is going to be different than what freedom and fulfillment means for someone else.
Knowing what is ‘enough’ is the difference between experiencing freedom and fulfillment, and constantly struggling — wondering why you haven’t experienced it yet.
7. Know Your Numbers
It’s shocking how many business owners don’t know their numbers.
If you’re running a business and don’t know your numbers, then this is your wakeup call.
Knowing your numbers helps you:
- Double down on what’s working
- Stop assigning resources to things that aren’t working
- Leverage your greatest assets
- Start creating wealth
- Reinvest in your business
- And so much more.
It’s a huge reason why we’ve continued to create and publish our monthly income reports for 108 months in a row now.
We love doing it to share a transparent look behind the scenes with you — so you can see how we’re spending our money, how we’re making our money, and what all is involved in running our business.
But to be honest, we also do it for selfish reasons: it helps us keep our finger on the pulse.
I’m not saying you should start publishing monthly income reports, but you should be doing some type of reporting internally every single month in order to keep your finger on the pulse of your business.
Knowing your numbers will help you identify what’s working, what’s not working, and how to leverage your cashflow to help grow your business.
8. Know How To FOCUS
FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success.
We’ve already stated it, but it seems like a truth that can’t be stated enough: there are distractions everywhere. New services, new platforms, new social media channels, new strategies to grow your audience, new monetization platforms, new events, new partnership opportunities…
I could go on, but you get the point.
Until you’re able to FOCUS, you’re being pulled in way too many different directions, and trying to work on 3, 4, 5 goals at once as opposed to focusing on ONE BIG GOAL is preventing you from achieving the success you desire.
So instead of dividing your focus across 5 projects, what if you set aside a time block every single day from 8am — 10am (or enter your availability here) to FOCUS on your BIG goal?
Knowing how to FOCUS is what will help you achieve your biggest goals.
9. Know That You Have The #1 Solution To a Real Problem
It’s how you win in business: you offer the #1 solution to a real problem.
If you’re not the #1 solution to a real problem, why would anyone care?
Like you, your audience is searching for solutions. They have a pain point, and they want to know how to fix it.
So just like you go looking for solutions to your problems, they do, too.
If you can provide the #1 solution to a real problem, then you’ve accomplished something that a vast majority of businesses haven’t — and never will.
We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants, so to take inspiration from those who have come before you — from those who have found success — is great.
But don’t settle for being a pale, weak imitation of something that already exists.
Be the BEST.
Knowing that you have the #1 solution to a real problem means you’re winning. So based on your niche, and knowing your avatar, how can you create the #1 solution?
10. Know That Creating Systems is The Fastest Way to Scale
Creating systems isn’t most entrepreneurs strong suit.
Entrepreneurs are generally great at visioning, seeing the big picture, and thinking BIG.
Systems require attention to detail, time, patience, and a lot of testing and tweaking.
So it’s really no big surprise that many entrepreneurs — especially if you’re a team of one — don’t have systems in place.
But here’s the thing: systems are the fastest way to scale.
If you’re currently generating revenue in your business; or seeing a positive ROI on ads; or you have tasks you do on a day-to-day basis that help you grow your reach, audience, number of qualified leads, etc, then you need systems.
If you don’t want to be the one to create systems for your business, then hire someone who can.
Knowing that creating systems is the fastest way to scale your business is a game-changer to getting where you want to be.
Running a Business
Ten years is a long time to run a business, and we’ve learned A LOT of lessons over that period of time!
We hope that by sharing what we know, you can learn from our biggest mistakes and our biggest wins. Running a business is tough, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Thank you again, Fire Nation, for helping us make it to where we are today!
We salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side! :)