Guest post from Kate Erickson at EOFire
Success looks different, sounds different, and feels different for everyone. But there’s one universal truth when it comes to success: it includes freedom.
Trouble is, finding your version of success can be tough.
Roadblocks, deadends, detours – these are all a part of the entrepreneurial journey.
But what if I told you that regardless of how many roadblocks, deadends, or detours you encounter on your journey, that there’s a proven roadmap – 17 steps to be exact – that will lead you to your version of success?
Your Version of Success
In 2012 – against the advice of several experts I looked up to in the online business world – I launched a daily podcast called Entrepreneurs On Fire. Since, I’ve spent thousands of hours having conversations with over 3,000 of today’s most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. As you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot from these conversations.
But what stands out the most is this: we all face doubts and fears on our entrepreneurial journeys, but there is a common path every entrepreneur I’ve spoken to has taken in order to create their own version of uncommon success.
Where does it start?
With building a strong foundation for your business.
A Strong Foundation
It’s easy to want to jump ahead. When you’re starting a business and looking to grow and to reach that next level of success, of course you want to just be there already!
But thinking there is a shortcut or a way to skip steps is a bad move.
It might feel like shortcuts or skipping steps is saving you time right now, but in the end, it will hold you back from creating the success we both know you deserve.
So here’s what a strong foundation is made of.
Identify Your Big Idea
Step one is identifying your big idea: the thing you’re going to go all in on.
An exercise I love to share to help in identifying your big idea is the Zone of Fire exercise.
Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.
On the left side write the words CURIOSITY / PASSION, and on the right side write the words SKILLS / EXPERTISE.
Set a timer for 5 minutes, and on the left side of your paper write out everything you’re curious and/or passionate about – things that you think about and care about, things that excite you, that make you smile, and that you enjoy doing.
Set another timer for 5 minutes and on the right side of your paper write out everything you have skills and/or expertise doing. This could be things you’ve learned at past jobs, what you studied in school, or the things that your friends and family come to you and ask for advice on.
Once you’ve completed both sides it’s time to identify the overlap. Where do your curiosity / passions and skills / expertise match up?
You might find overlap in multiple places. Write down business ideas that move you, and that you believe there is a true need for in the world.
Once you’ve identified the one that truly lights your life on fire, THAT is your Zone of Fire.
Discover Your Niche
Step two is discovering your niche: your specific expertise and differentiator that will immediately let your perfect audience member know that YOU as a unique individual – and what you have to offer – is for them.
When you try and talk to everyone, you end up talking to no one.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again: you want to go with a broad topic because you’re scared to focus on something specific out of fear that you won’t be able to reach enough people. That the more people you try to talk to, the better chance your business will be successful.
Thing is, when you niche down you make it even easier for MORE people to find you – and to know for sure that they are in the right place.
So instead of starting a business or brand around marketing, look at what Andrea has done: she niched down into Facebook marketing. And now you know exactly where you’re going to go when you need advice or help with Facebook!
Create Your Avatar
Step three is creating your avatar.
This is your one perfect customer who will help guide you every step of the way.
Whenever you’re at a fork in the road and don’t know whether to go right or left, your avatar will be there to help guide you.
Questions about whether to do a YouTube channel or a podcast; a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group; an in-person meetup or virtual group coaching?…
Ask yourself “What would my avatar want?”
When I was first starting out on my journey, in a lot of ways I was my avatar.
I knew there was a void when it came to daily, on-demand audio content that shared stories and conversations with successful entrepreneurs.
But I couldn’t just create it for myself; I had to confirm there was a true need in the marketplace.
So I created Jimmy.
Then, I created an animation of Jimmy.
You don’t have to go so far as create an animation of your avatar, but just so you have an example of how intimately I knew Jimmy – his likes and dislikes, his struggles, his biggest dreams and aspirations–check out his video here.
When you’re creating your avatar, consider the following:
- What is most important to them?
- What is their current biggest struggle?
- What is their personal life like?
- Do they work full-time, part-time, or not currently working at all?
- What are their demographics?
- What are their biggest dreams and aspirations?
- What do they do for fun on the weekends?
- What’s a massive challenge for them right now?
Actually write out a description of who your avatar is. Their name, the size of their family, their likes and dislikes, and so on.
Once you’ve created your avatar, it’s time to go out and find them and have real conversations with them. This will provide insights that will be priceless on your journey to growing your business.
The Path Ahead
While success looks, sounds, and feels different for everyone, there’s one universal truth when it comes to success: it includes freedom.
We’ve just reviewed the first 3 steps on your path to uncommon success, and if you’re ready to finally achieve financial, location, and lifestyle freedom, then The Common Path to Uncommon Success will guide you every step of the way.
The Common Path to Uncommon Success will:
- Reveal the critical steps successful entrepreneurs take to achieve uncommon success.
- Dispel the doubts and fear you’re currently facing while providing a clear path to financial freedom and fulfillment.
- Ensure you avoid the pitfalls that have tripped up countless entrepreneurs.
- Provide a “Well of Knowledge” section for you to tap into anytime you’re in need of inspiration or motivation!
The time to take control of your future is now. Visit UncommonSuccessBook.com to pre-order your own copy today and snag 5 incredible bonuses that won’t be around for long!
JOHN LEE DUMAS (JLD) is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire. Past guests include Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran, and Gary Vaynerchuk. With over 1 million monthly listens and over 100 million total listens of his 3000+ episodes, JLD is spreading entrepreneurial FIRE on a global scale.
Note from Andrea: I’ve known John Lee Dumas a LONG time – I remember meeting him at a conference about 9 years ago when he was just starting EOFire and I was amazed at his dedication to putting out amazing content and serving his audience. He is one of the nicest guys out there and goes above and beyond to help others. I had fun being on his podcast here: Andrea Vahl with John Lee Dumas on EOFire
Go get his book and learn from him!!