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23 Golden Rules for Online Entrepreneurs

– Posted in: Entrepreneurship, Internet Marketing Training, Leadership, Personal Development, Personal Efffectiveness

As I prepare for the Escape The Matrix radio show, I have thought a lot about the basics. What makes mine, and other successful online businesses work? Why is it that so many people fail? In an attempt to help people be more successful, I have spent a lot of time thinking about those rules and ideas that have helped me.

I hope they help you achieve your goals!

1. Dream and visualize the lifestyle you want to create. Dream boards work. If you have a spouse create one together. Cut out pictures of everything important that you want to achieve in your life, paste them on a poster or foam board, and put it up where you will see it every day.

2. Create a vision statement. It should be present tense, it should inspire you, and it should require you to stretch. Keep it short and to the point.

“I am so happy earning, investing, and spending $30,000 a month.” worked really well for me. Start your day, every day, by writing out your vision statement. When you write it out, you are engaging more of the senses. You see it with your eyes, you feel it as you write, and spend a minute or two looking at your dream board an feel how great it will be when you achieve your goals!

3. Develop the habit of personal development. Read life improving books every day, and listen to self improvement audios while you drive for at least 20 minutes per day.

4. Work on your online marketing skills every day, before you go to work. In the end, it’s your skill set that will get you what you want. Following Guru’s gets you started, but becoming a guru makes you rich.

5. Your marketing concept should be a long term idea that will make you money forever. It’s just as hard to build a short term website as a long term one, so don’t waste your time.

6. Develop a daily, weekly, and monthly MO, with your most important activities at the top. Print out each one, and put them up where you will see them. Each day, print your daily MO, and start at the top and work your way down the list. Only the most important items are at the top, so if you don’t complete the whole list, the most important items are done. Review your weekly MO weekly, and monthly one monthly.

7. Develop the skill of outsourcing. The minutiae of an online business can kill your success. You can get tons of tasks done very inexpensively online, so become a power user of outsourcing services, and work towards a 2 hour work day.

8. Strive to create 3 times the value of the price you are charging. Your rewards are always proportionate to the value you provide.

9. Set up your business so you are paid in advance for what you do.

10. Develop a recurring billing model if possible.

11. Create your business in a way that supports the lifestyle you want, don’t let your business dictate your lifestyle.

12. Never fall in love with a product or idea. Some of the best ideas fail, while seemingly weak or silly ideas often work (would you mind owning Twitter?) Let the market decide if your idea is good, if not, move on quickly to a winning product or service.

13. Be strictly honest always. Your reputation is all you’ll have left in the end, never tarnish it.

14. Become a master of metrics. Keep track of visitors, website behaviors, conversion rates, average sales amounts, and constantly improve them all.

15. Study and apply the concept of minimalist living. A little money goes a long way online, but if you blow all your profits your business is dead. The difference between what you earn and what you spend is where your success lies. Master this when your business is small, or you will waste money when it’s big.

16. A website is never finished. Launch anyway. Perfectionitis doesn’t serve you.

17. Learn what your greatness is, and work on that. Outsource the rest.
18. The money is in the list. Treat your prospects and customers as lifetime buyers. Promise and deliver over the top service. A happy customer is way easier to sell to than a new prospect.

19. Make sure your business has a personality. Copying others in your niche isn’t a business model. Become better than your top 5 competitors combined.

20. Find people more successful than you and take them to lunch regularly. Learn from them, and find a way to give them value.

21. Minimize time spent with negative and unsuccessful people.

22. NEVER put your family or personal life on hold until you “make it.” It will take time, and children grow too quickly. Spend quality personal and family time every week, without fail. You can be happy when you are broke, and happy when you’re rich, and the second one is better. But while you build your financial dream, don’t neglect your family or personal life.

23. Pay 10% or more of every penny you make to a good cause. Somehow, some way, it will always come back to help you. And even if it doesn’t, it’s the right thing to do.

I am sure there are many other “rules” we could add to the list, and I would love to hear yours! Please leave in comments below.

Wishing you success! Dave Sherwin.


Comments on this entry are closed.

Lance March 13, 2013, 12:49 pm

Wow! Thanks for this very helpful tips.

Stan March 13, 2013, 1:12 pm

Excellent post Dave. I have given this very topic a lot of thought and I think you hit everything and a few more than I have thought of. But, one thing I would add is to give thanks for what we have. Sometimes we look to much at our goal and think of what we don’t have yet and we lose site of what we already have. I feel in order to achieve my goals I have to appreciate what I have already been given. Thanks!

Dave Sherwin March 13, 2013, 8:01 pm

I like that! I should add it. I agree 100%, gratitude for what we have is foundational to attracting more good things into our life.

Dianne L March 13, 2013, 2:44 pm


these are very helpful. while my ideas are all piled up in my mind, i cant wait to organize them and follow these tips

Lauriann Wakefield March 13, 2013, 3:16 pm

This is a great list.

I would add, you always have to keep evolving, looking ahead to a new idea. What I sold three years ago, isn’t selling at all now. The market got flooded. I’ve had to adjust and change, and I know that will always be a part of my business.

Dave Sherwin March 13, 2013, 8:03 pm

That’s true! Stuff I sold 3 years ago isn’t selling anymore either. That’s why picking something that has potential to last long term is critical. My friend has a golf accessory website- golf has been around for 400 years and will be around a long time… that’s the idea.

Cheryl Valelo March 14, 2013, 9:40 am

Very well said! Great points! I agree in everything that you pointed out. But most of all, I love the thought of balancing family and business. Who says that none can be successful in their career/business and family at the same time? Our family should be our inspiration, and vice versa. I also like what you said about sharing the blessings. As the saying goes, “give and it’ll come back to you,” because we’ll definitely reap what we sow. You also pointed out that we need to have integrity and give importance to people and be trustworthy, and this is essential in doing business because no matter how excellent our marketing strategies are, it’ll be futile w/o the help of the people we do our business with like our staff and customers. What else can I add? You said it all! Thanks Dave!

Stacey March 26, 2013, 6:30 pm

I’m glad I stumbled upon this post. I have so many ideas in my head but I have to put those ideas into action. Or at least one at a time. Some noob like myself need tips like these without having to pay for someone who will say the same things written in here. In my niche, I see a lot of people posting and updating their site/blog everyday and the quality of their posts, specially the images are those that you know were given a professional touch. Well thought of and indeed a quality posts, not just for the purpose of being seen regularly out there. Yeah, quality posts and images are really important. If I place myself as a potential buyer/customer, I would go for quality and a real bang for my buck. Thanks a lot for this post and some good points mentioned by your other readers as well.

Dave Sherwin May 21, 2013, 2:44 pm

Agreed! It’s all about quality now, spammy posts and content doesn’t do anything for anybody.