How Guiding Principles Make or Break Your Online Business [Podcast]

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What’s the end goal of your blogging efforts? What is it you ultimately want to accomplish with your online business? When I ask this question in coaching sessions, I often get silence on the other end.

Most bloggers want to respond with making a lot of money or quitting their day job to work at home. As I hope you will see that is very short-sighted. Until you get clear on the WHY and the WHAT you just might be building something you really don’t want.

Let me try to give you an example. Let’s say you have experience as an Executive Assistant. You enjoy the details, the routine tasks, and the idea of supporting someone. However, you do not enjoy the daily commute, non-flexible schedule, fixed income, and limited vacation days.

Your big idea then is to work for yourself, set your own hours, and do Virtual Assistant work for many individuals instead of just one. Things begin to take off. You are beginning to sign up several clients. It quickly becomes both a blessing and a curse.

Fast forward a year. You are burned out. You know you are not giving your best work because there are too many last-minute demands from clients. In some ways, you feel like you traded one boss in exchange for 20. You are working way more hours than you did at your Executive Assistant job. You’re wondering where things went wrong.

The Importance of Establishing Guiding Principles

Before I offer the solution, please do not miss the point. I am not saying a Virtual Assistant career is bad. In fact, it is more in demand and easier to build than ever before. If you have an interest in building a VA business from home the right way, I strongly recommend you read Lisa Morosky’s The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More!

Lisa would be the first to tell you from her own experience that establishing some guiding principles in your online business is key. You can use them as a decision filter that can help you know whether to say yes or no to an opportunity.

A Brand New 4-Part Podcast Series

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Today we start a new 4-part podcast series entitled 21+ Ways to Earn Income Blogging. In this first episode, both Bob and I share our personal guiding principles when it comes to growing our online business.

Your guiding principles can help you choose which income streams to pursue. As you will hear in this podcast, Bob decided early on he was not going to become a slave to his business. He was going to intentionally pursue income options that provide freedom and flexibility.

My Personal Guiding Principles for Online Business

In order to help you think through your own personal guiding principles, let me share with you 3 of my own. I use these 3 principles to direct me so that I build a business I want.

1. Passion – Whatever I choose to do in my business I want it to be something I am excited about. I intentionally choose not to pursue something just because it has the potential to make a lot of money. It has to also be a topic or subject I am excited about. I want to spend my time on things that align with my passions.

2. Fulfillment – I also want to spend my time on things that matter. One of the main areas of fulfillment for me is seeing growth in others as a result of something I shared. Seeing others overcome obstacles and reach new heights is incredibly rewarding for me. I want to spend time doing things that make a difference.

3. Freedom – I intentionally work on building a “portable business.” One of the main reasons I started blogging in the first place was the leverage-ability I saw in it. Money for me doesn’t buy things. Money for me buys time. Time is much more important to me. Time to spend with friends and family. Time to pursue my other passions. Time to pursue whatever God wants me to do without any constraints.

I’d encourage you to listen to this first podcast and begin to establish what those guiding principles are going to be in your business.

Question: What are a few of your guiding principles as you build your blog or online business?

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.