He now lives life by his own terms and since adopting his new mind set, has…
- Quit looking for a new job and created his own business
- Made music an integral part of his life again
- Made a list of challenging goals
- Traveled Europe with a small backpack
- and of course, started Advanced Riskology
1. How does it feel to finally launch your site?
It’s amazing. I definitely went over my time budget designing it, so getting it up and out to the world has been a really rewarding experience. And it’s taken off a lot faster than I expected it to. There are sure to be some difficult times in the future as it continues to grow, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
2. What made you decide to turn to the internet for creating a business?
Well, I don’t know that I’d call the internet the “final frontier” but it’s certainly the current one and will be for quite some time to come. For the type of business that I wanted to run – writing and publishing – the internet and, specifically, a blog, just made sense. I’m trying to get the word out about Advanced Riskology locally here in Portland, but I don’t really have any interest in running a business tied to a specific location since my plans for the 1% Club will eventually require me to do quite a bit of traveling.
My girlfriend runs a cupcake shop that is completely tied to our city, and that makes sense for her and that type of business, but for what I want to do, I didn’t see a reason to go the “traditional business” route. Publishing myself on the internet eliminates a lot of traditional business gatekeepers.
3. Did you have any mentors or role models along the way?
Absolutely. I really got into blogs about 2 years ago when I started reading Get Rich Slowly, so JD Roth has certainly been a role model for me as well as Chris Guillebeau who does amazing work at The Art of Non-conformity. Chris and JD have actually become more of mentors to me than just role models, which is weird to say because there was never any sort of discussion about it – the relationships just kind of materialized over time.
Maybe a better way to describe it would be “friends that happen to know a lot more about the business than I do.”
Beyond that, I’m constantly inspired by people like Everett Bogue at Far Beyond the Stars, Jonathan Mead at Illuminated Mind, Baker at Man vs. Debt, and Ashley Ambirge at The Middle Finger Project. There are plenty of others that blow me away every single day with their thoughtful work. I’m really grateful to be surrounded by all these people.
4. What are some of your plans for Advanced Riskology? Any plans for monetization that you can share?
Oh, I have a few big things in mind for the site, but they’re all very conceptual at the moment – a forum for readers to hang out at and discuss all of their own risky plans and adventures or expeditions where readers with similar interests and goals team up to conquer a big challenge together. I also want to write a book to spread the word about the benefits of risk taking beyond the internet. That’s all “birds eye view stuff.” They’re guiding ideas, but right now I’m still very much down in the trenches growing the site and really getting to know my readers.
As for monetization, there are all kinds of ways I can make money – ads, affiliate sales, product reviews, so on and so forth – but I’m holding off on all that right now because I want to be very careful about how I introduce that aspect to the site. I have no interest in making money from something that doesn’t give my readers and customers a ton of value, so I’m waiting until I know them really well before I start “selling” anything.
I’m working on a free guide right now to help people build up a “quit your job” fund that I’m actually going to pay people to read. More details on that in the coming weeks.
5. What types of things have you done to market yourself? I recently read an interview you did with MSN. That’s amazing! How did you hook that up?
Yes, the infamous MSN interview. Everyone wants to know how I did that! I got that interview by responding to a query from Help A Reporter Out. It’s a great service for anyone with a story to get some publicity, but you have to use it just right, otherwise it’s a complete waste of time.
I spend probably 15 minutes a day responding to reporters looking for interview subjects for stories they’re writing. Reporters get hundreds of responses so you have to fit what they’re looking for perfectly and have an interesting angle. Also, you should only mention your business if it fits the context of the story. If you use it just to get your name out, you’ll annoy people and be blacklisted. So that’s the secret – HARO. I have to give a hat tip to Chris Guillebeau for turning me on it.
Truth be told, I don’t do much marketing beyond that. I just try to promote other peoples’ great work as much as possible. It works great for Everett Bogue and I find it a lot more fun than trying to bombard people with my own stuff. My marketing strategy is “to be as useful as possible” to everyone I meet. It seems to be working so far.
6. Any advice to the inspiring online entrepreneur?
Give first and give often. Be as useful as possible to the people you intend to help. Entrepreneurship is a tool to give you a lifestyle that you want, but only as a reward for being really helpful to people. If you can find a way to be incredibly useful and helpful, you can find a way to make plenty of money doing it.
7. How do you keep up with the business/blog when on the road?
I’m not actually on the road much at the time, so it hasn’t really been an issue yet. I have a completely mobile set-up though, so once I start traveling to take on some more of my 1% Club challenges, I should be pretty well equipped. Though, I don’t know how to get internet coverage on top of a mountain yet, so I’m going to have to figure that one out sooner or later.
8. Favorite inspiring quote or a story you could share with us?
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” That’s a quote from Kierkegaard, and I believe it in my soul and in my bones. The best of life is experienced at the edges of it. You can get through life without ever sticking your neck out, but I can’t stand the thought of someday lying on my deathbed wishing instead of remembering.