A couple of weeks ago we told everyone that we were starting a new project that was intended on being our last. Since then we have gone through quite a few ideas and have drawn out many plans.
Although our natural optimism is flying just as high as usual, the extra pressure of intending this project to be the last has actually turned out to be a bad thing.
We realised that the blasé way in which we usually work suits us the best and helps us to fail fast without hesitation. If something is not quite working, we happily let it die while we go off to do other projects. Failure has become a common step in the process as opposed to a barrier we try to avoid.
Knowing that we really want this project to succeed slowed down the process quite a bit and started us to consider taking less risks.
It wasn’t long until we realised that this is the reason most fail. We pulled back, threw them ideas into the nearest bin and started rethinking everything.
We Asked Ourselves The Important Questions
Of course, with any ‘lifestyle’ or ‘bootstrap’ business there is the careful balance of asking what WE want out of it and also how others are going to benefit from it. Too far either way and we’ve failed before we have even built anything.
What Do We Want?
- To genuinely be able to help people.
- To not be reliant on client work.
- To not be pushing sales at anybody.
- To be able to use our expertise.
- To be able to write at our normal level of ‘informal’.
- Ideally, to attract and help people exactly like us.
What Skills Do We Have to Be Able to Use?
- We are highly skilled at WordPress and theme structures.
- Affiliate marketing (how we earn our biggest income at the moment).
- Any type of design including websites, book covers, logos.
- We have a knack for being able to start passive businesses which continue to pay monthly.
- We have new business ideas flowing out of us hourly (not always a good thing).
- Web optimisation (ultra fast page loading etc, Dave has been obsessed with this for months).
- Kindle eBooks (we have four niche ebooks, which pay us enough to live off).
- WordPress and web development tutorials.
- Minimalist living (not quite sure if this is a skill, but it’s something we do really well and others seem to struggle at).
- Time management (we automate everything that we can, allowing us free time for creative thought and having fun).
- We have a group of digital nomad friends who have very different skills to us, such as social network marketing, freelance copywriting, landing page optimisation, online business coaching and probably more which we have forgot to add to the mix.
If we can avoid starting completely from scratch this would be a good idea. We have three online communities that we feel apart of and in which we know our faces are known to a few.
There is the digital nomad crowd, thanks to this blog and you fine people. There is also the Genesis community, which is based around optimised web-design and helping struggling designers. Lastly, there is the minimalist groups which we have just started to show our faces in and are making a few friends.
All three communities are filled with cool people who we can really relate to, but who have a different set of interests and who are most likely living very different lives.
We have learned over the last two years that what is considered the safe option isn’t usually the safe option. It is easy to think that with the skill sets available the safest bet would be go down the route of selling our services such as web design, perhaps as part of a package.
The problem is, then we just have a web design business. We would be in direct competition with other web design businesses and would need to spend a lot of time or money to continuously get new clients. We would no doubt earn money, but it feels unsustainable in the long term and therefore cannot be the backbone of the project. It also leaves two of our original ‘wants’ unticked..
- To not be dependent on client work.
- To attract people like us.
People like us wouldn’t hire a web designer. We would always follow tutorials and do it ourselves with the intention of building our skill sets for the future.
If we are trying to market to people who are nothing like us, we have no chance. We are completely in the dark about what is important to them and what they would want from us.
We can always fall back on selling services anyway. We often get opportunities come through NomadSpirit and it will most likely continue happening with the new site as time goes on.
People Like Us
We have decided this is the most important part. If we can create something that we can find exciting or insanely useful ourselves, then attracting the ideal people will be a lot easier.
People like us hang out in the same Google circles as us. They read the same blogs, visit the same places and are inspired by the same things. They put freedom as the highest of their priorities and as a result live quite unconventional lives.
They consider themselves easily self-motivated, would never buy into anything self-helpy and very rarely will start anything at the beginner level. They like to learn by following instructions and enjoy getting better as opposed to being spoon fed a solution that is too specific to increase their overall understanding.
After asking the right questions we have realised who we want to be involved with, we know exactly what these people want and how they like to be given information.
Due to the large topic, we are splitting this post into numerous sections and will be publishing every few days from now on. In the next post we will talk about how we are tackling the problem of making sure our new project is unique and will be sharing the final business idea, which we have already started to build.