Monetization, Video

What skills should I learn to grow my business?

Take a peek behind the scenes of successful online businesses

I invited 8 of my friends together for a special masterclass. They have businesses in fitness, marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. You’ve seen them featured in places like The New York Times, NBC News, Business Insider, Lifehacker, and more.

They each shared their best strategies and tactics they’ve used to reach millions of readers. Plus, they revealed the #1 thing they wish they knew when they were starting out.

I want to give it all to you to free. Just enter your name and email below.

Learn how successful online business owners reach millions of readers around the world.

Today’s question is from Ian. He asks:

“What are the three most important skills that have helped grow your business?”

Now, my answers to this might surprise you, because they aren’t technical skills. It’s not about how I learned SEO, PPC, or pivot tables (which I still don’t know how to do).

It’s about managing my own psychology as my company grew.

So let’s take it from the beginning.

Success skill #1: Have the mind of a child

The first important skill is to be playful.

What do I mean by this? When you see a kid playing at a park, they’re not sitting there looking at the slide, thinking, “I have a lot of internal fears about this slide. If I go down it, I’m going to look stupid and feel like an imposter.”

They’re not thinking about how much experience they have compared to a four-year-old.

They just think, “This is a slide. I’m going to go up and play on it.”

As we age, however, we tend to lose that sense of childlike curiosity.

I try to fight viciously to keep it. So when I see a company doing something that’s really weird, I don’t say, “That’s stupid.” I try to say, “Whoa, why are they doing that?”

I’ll give you a couple of examples.

When I walk through Times Square, I see billboards that companies spend over $50,000 a day to put up. I don’t think they’re stupid because they can’t track ROI on something like that. No way. These companies have been in business 75 years. What do they know that I don’t?

Another example is HBO. Why did they not allow people to buy individual episodes for so many years? Do they not get it? Or do they know something that I don’t?

And when I was writing about personal finance, a lot of other people talked about frugality. It wasn’t my thing, but I still tried to understand why they did that.

So approaching the world with childlike curiosity has been hugely helpful.

Success skill #2: Gather the best market research without doing any work

Another skill that’s been key to my success is something I do in my emails. If you read them, you’ve probably noticed that I often end them with, “Hey, just reply here. I read every response.”

Why do I do that? Why do I want to get flooded with thousands and thousands of emails?

First, I love reading what people have to say. It goes back to having childlike curiosity.

Also, people will tell you stuff in an email that they would never tell you out loud.

You’d be surprised at the number of people who tell me about their marital problems, finances, successes, and everything else in between. With something like talking about success, they can’t do that to others because it’ll come across as bragging.

These email responses are the world’s best market research.

I also like talking to people and hearing their stories. They give me ideas once in awhile.

For example, when I went on a book tour back in 2009, I asked people in every city, “What do you want me to write more about?”

Just about everyone said they want to learn how to make more money. That was how I got the idea for Earn 1K, which turned into a very successful product.

Success skill #3: Become a student again

I picked up this last skill after my business grew.

I started to go to these conferences where I was a speaker. I would walk in, get the speaker tag, and then go up in front of the audience. Afterward everyone lined up to say hello. It was flattering.

After this happened more and more, I started not going to these events anymore unless I was a speaker.

But that was an arrogant perspective to take. I soon realized that there were a lot of conferences that I just wanted to be an attendee at. I wanted to be a student again and put myself in the hands of a trusted teacher.

So I applied for this mentorship program from one of my mentors, Jay Abraham. After I got accepted, I ended up flying across the country from New York to L.A. once a month for 15 months just to get 30 to 45 minutes with Jay.

That’s a huge investment. But I wanted to put myself in the hands of somebody I trusted.

In my meetings with him, I tried to abandon all knowledge that I had about “this is how it’s supposed to work.” I just said, “Look, I’m a blank slate. I’m a student. I’ll do whatever you say.”

I see the same thing with my best GrowthLab students. They come in and say, “Okay, I’m nervous. I’m worried about imposter syndrome. But I trust that this has worked for others, so tell me what to do. I’m going to put myself into your hands.”

These are the people who go on to have very successful businesses.

Take a peek behind the scenes of successful online businesses

I want to introduce you to more successful business owners, so I invited 8 of my friends together for a special masterclass. They have businesses in fitness, marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. You’ve seen them featured in places like The New York Times, NBC News, Business Insider, Lifehacker, and more.

They each shared their best strategies and tactics they’ve used to reach millions of readers. Plus, they revealed the #1 thing they wish they knew when they were starting out.

I want to give it all to you to free. Just enter your name and email below.

Learn how successful online business owners reach millions of readers around the world.