📻 — Your First Online Business: Create, Launch, Sell, and Grow an Information Product — Part 4 of 4

This is your Community, Daily.

Reading Time: ~ 5 min.

Good morning yeniverse!

What a week! Per usual, a few good reads to share with your community and/or read yourself over a hot cup of coffee (or tea… if that’s your thing):

  1. Chinese tech. FB’s newsletter product?! Software opinions change.

  2. The best story you’ve read on Twitter this week. Maybe, this month.

  3. Top 100 most popular social platforms. Social media = bad mental health.

  4. Discord bans WallStreetBets. This seriously changes my perspective of this product and how they are treating “the little guys”. Pomp goes off.

  5. Launching is a process, not an event! Bootstrapped to $10k MRR.

  6. Guardian’s style guide. 100k+ icons. A bottle of wine lasts how long?

  7. Big dino! Shift toward remote is here and it’s not going anyway.

  8. Keith Gill — the man with no plan. Thoughts on a16z media.

To infinity & community,

— john

It’s been a pleasure to share a few of my thoughts over the last few days and I have loved answering follow-ups via email — keep them coming!

Over the last few days we’ve walked through the basics / fundamentals of building a simple online business, specifically highlighting the process of creating an info product and learning to appreciate the launch / selling process.

Today, we’re concluding the 4-part series with a small chat about taking all of this to the next level…

… if that’s what you really want. The choice is, of course, yours!

Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional.

John C. Maxwell — a famous pastor, public speaker, author, and motivational coach once said that it’s important to understand the difference between change and growth; namely, that the latter is something that you must intentionally choose to pursue, explore, and work at while the former just happens, regardless of whether you are intentional or not.

In other words, growth is “optional” because each of us must, at some point in a new project’s life, determine whether we want to take the momentum that we’ve built and continue to invest our time, money, and resources into it so that it can evolve to the “next level”; how one does this is by taking the data that we’ve gathered, collected, unpacked, and analyzed, and then intentionally deciding to grow it into a larger business.

Intentionality is the unlock. It’s what separates the night and weekend hobbyist from the serious business builder.

(One of the best ways to make this decision and determination is to talk it over with folks that you trust and respect; you know, a great community!)

Now, that’s not to say that the former — the casual hobbyist — is in any way, shape, or form bad; it’s just that a real business needs to be taken really seriously (duh!) and it’s important that we can ask ourselves these important questions and then answer them honestly.

To beat a very dead horse (again), hopefully you’ve got the right community and folks around you as you walk through the business-building process!

This, like most things in life, is a process! It is unlikely that you’ll be able to answer that question immediately or without wrestling with it for a bit. Like another pastor that spoke great wisdom into my life:

Pay attention to the tension.

Andy Stanley

If there’s a “tension” in your heart, mind, and soul about whether or not you should take your small (info) product to the next level then don’t ignore it and instead talk about it openly, honestly, and candidly. Get feedback on your own heart’s condition about these important topics.

You see, building a business is exciting and also a lot of responsibility; the timing might not be the best and that’s entirely okay. And, if we were to be even more honest with ourselves, it’s quite possible that you began the process without thinking much of the downstream possibilities! That’s how some of the best products and businesses get built, by the way: By accident!

It’s fun to know that many of the very famous and very popular and very successful products that we all use today essentially started out as “informational” products! And that’s our story here at YEN too.

Growth is something that you must decide not just one time but many timesover and over and over again — there’s no end to it! Or, at least until you decide to (intentionally) stop growing.

You see, without being intentional about growth, change is just simply that: Change. And that can leave us feeling disillusioned, unsettled, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled.

Being intentional with our time is how we maximize our lives and how I believe we are the most fulfilled and most happy.

So… Wait… Is That It?

Yes. And… no.

Once you’ve built your informational product and you’ve begun to build an audience and a growing community around it and you’ve test-driven different pricing models, variations, and platforms to sell it on…

… you’re going to have a much broader and more educated perspective on the world than when you started! It is quite possible (and typical) that folks who walk through this process and playbook end up having even more ideas than when they first started!

I bet that’s happened to you too. Now, your mind and spirit are even more woke to the possibility of what you can build, sell, and profit from using the same sequence of workflows, playbooks, and systems! There is truly no ceiling just as there is no spoon.

The question is not of how you might go about it as you’ve proven — especially to yourself! — that you can ship a virtual product online, connect with strangers on the internet, and convince them to give you money for something you’ve constructed! Way to go! Give yourself a pat on the back!

No; the question is whether you’ll build your next products and financial experiments in a way that aligns and/or converges around consistent themes or a (growing) brand or whether they’ll stay independent and isolated projects.

The former equals a growing business (empire) while the latter could eventually do that but will be more of a federated constellation of products that may or may not have interdependencies or shared resources.

But the choice is yours.

There’s really no right nor wrong way to build an online business; trust me, I’ve built a bunch of them and I’ve tried a ton of different models and methods, bootstrapped as well as venture-funded.

What I’ve discovered is this: They are only as satisfying and meaningful as you allow them to be. Sometimes (most times?) we don’t give ourselves permission to be as successful as we can be and that’s something that I think we should try to correct, right?

Let’s go! This is the year my friends!!

I understand that this may feel “insufficient” as a place to end in the 4-part series but you have to remember that the entire series is a looping cycle — a process — not a starting point with a discrete ending point!

You’ll continue to loop through the process of building, getting feedback from your community, refining you’re offering, and optimizing the price. You’ll accelerate your “rate of learning” if you spend more time with other folks who are doing the same things that you’re doing.

This is why I stress the importance of community before everything else. You can either do this alone or you can do it with others — that’s really the choice that you’re trying to fundamentally make:

And, at this point, you already know what the better option truly is.

And I’m here to help and so is our very cool (and growing!) YENIVERSE. In fact, we’re still looking for a few more folks to help us test-drive our new community-building platform.

You can learn more about what we’re looking for via this issue here.