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11 Insights I Wish I Knew To Make My One-Person Business A Success

When I first started on this business journey, it was out of curiosity.

I was observant.

I observed those I didn’t want to be like, and observed those I did.

The contrast between the two became very clear to me at a young age, around 15 years old at this time.

On one side of the coin, people were:

  • Unfit
  • Unhappy
  • Unwilling to change

A lifestyle chained to a weekly paycheck.

On the other side of the coin, people were:

  • Living their dream
  • Spreading a great message
  • Inspiring people to be better

Most of them were creators in the early days of social media.

Some people will give you the classic, “but they’re probably all unhappy deep down inside!”

*Instantly closes off any potential opportunity and goes back to their unhappy way of living*

You may be right, but if you know me, I like to question without bias (as much as my ego allows me).

Meaning, why couldn’t I be wealthy in all facets of life?

I would have to directly experience the flashy lifestyle and talk with those people to be able to judge it, no?

What if they were happy, just misunderstood by the masses?

And if they were unhappy, why didn’t they change it?

This led to me trying anything and everything they recommended.

I tried the gym and fell in love with it.

I tried new skills and fell in love with learning.

I failed a bunch and fell off the path, but eventually came to a point where my knowledge, skillset, and experience had compounded to the point of “success,” by my standards.

With a vision for my future small consistent actions, I’ve been able to build a one-person business that allows me to:

  • Research the things I love
  • Write about them in a creative way
  • Have full control over how much I work
  • Have full control over where I can live
  • Build products and services that would have helped me (so they can help you)

The only downside to this lifestyle is just that, you are in full control. If you don’t have the skills to navigate that freedom, your mind may not be able to handle the disorder.

In this letter, I want to give unique and actionable lessons to help you accomplish the same.

Anyone can do this, and someday I hope to see a wave of individuals that package up the value they have to offer as a human being and give their gift to the world. Conscious entrepreneurship.

Before we dive into the lessons, Digital Economics starts in 4 days. If you want to build a one-person business with the knowledge and skill you have, consider enrolling here.

1) It’s All Traffic & Offers

Business is a game of creating a great product or service and putting it in front the right people.

Yes, there are details in the marketing, promotion strategy, and other things… but people get too caught up in that. If you were to go to a busy bar on a Saturday night (traffic) and hit on as many people as you could (offer) you would probably get laid. Too many people strive for perfection from the start and become an involuntary (financial) celibate.

What many don’t understand is that it is just that, a game.

It’s not reserved for anyone.

You could affiliate for a product you’ve purchased before, write a Twitter thread promoting it, pay people to retweet it, and make a full-time income from that alone if you’re smart enough. Since the product is good, you should out-earn what you spend on paid promotions. That’s the whole point of ads. ROI.

That’s a beginner method, but helps you build an audience along the way. That way, when you’re experienced enough, you can do the same for your own product or service. But, with time, you won’t have to pay for the traffic, because you will have built it with great content.

Of course, you can hold off on monetizing your brand for a bit while you build, but most people only do that because they’re told to.

2) You Need 3 Levers

Once you build leverage (by pulling the right levers consistently) you gain a freedom that others can’t imagine.

Let’s act like you have something to sell. If you don’t, that should be on your mind 24/7. You must contemplate it on long walks, immerse yourself in what people like you are selling, and be ready to go all in on building when inspiration strikes.

A freelance, consulting, tutoring, or cohort service.

Or a course, physical tool, membership, paid newsletter, or affiliate offer like discussed above.

If you don’t know how, learn.

Now, you need to strike a balance of 3 things.

Growth, nurture, and monetization.

These are levers. Meaning that you need to learn, discover, and perform the actions that are fundamental to these areas. These are done almost on a daily basis and should be systemized once you find what works for your business.

Lever 1) Growth

If your following or brand isn’t growing on a consistent basis, there’s a problem. Fix it.

Most people don’t grow because they think they are above content styles that lead to growth.

Content, and getting traffic to that content, is how you grow.

90% of the market are beginners.

That means your content on top-of-funnel socials should mostly be basic advice relating to your chosen interests or expertise.

Your social media brand should be broad enough to attract these beginners, so you can nuture them toward the more advanced stuff.

Side note: you CAN go super niche on social media, I just don’t like doing that personally. You put yourself in a box, give yourself less room to pivot, and aren’t able to talk about a variety of interests that intersect (productivity, self-improvement, and business overlap incredibly well, as an example).

Lever 2) Nurture

If you are a value creator (instead of an entertainer, meme account, or commentary account) then your entire job is to educate your audience.

If your social media is attracting a wide net of people, you need to educate and nurture them to the point of purchasing a product of yours. This is how you change peoples lives, develop authority, and show that you are more than just looks.

A newsletter, lead magnet, or other long form content is necessary for value creators. This is where you flex what you know and teach about your interests (related to what you are selling).

Brands that skip this education step will always have a difficult time monetizing their audience.

Lever 3) Monetization

Don’t lie to yourself, you’re here to make money. If you’re just starting, that’s the entire reason you are thinking about doing this. The more honest you are with yourself about this, the more authentic you can be when selling. There’s nothing wrong with this, you need money. Don’t let people make you feel bad about wanting to get the thing that controls your life under your own control.

Eventually, you will find deeper meaning and purpose in your work, but either way, you have to sustain that.

You need to test different promotions, angles, and how you promote.

Are you going to promote once a week with a Twitter thread? Are you only going to promote in your newsletter? Are you going to promote once a day under a relevant post?

Once you know what brings in sales, you can start to systemize it and make it a part of your routine, that way the income becomes more sustainable.

In Digital Economics, we help you systemize your brand, content, and product to follow these 3 pillars of social leverage. This is what most one-person businesses miss, and they become a commodity because of it.

3) Question Everything

It’s unfortunate that “question everything” has become so mainstream that it has lost it’s impact as advice.

Questioning is the driver of my success in business.

“You have to niche down!”

Who said?

“You can’t sell until you hit 10,000 followers!”

Who said?

“You can’t work 2 hours a day and make $1M a year!”

I haven’t accomplished this yet, but WHO SAID?!

Fuck your limiting beliefs right off and prove them wrong (for the benefit of yourself and your followers).

This is where the fun comes into play. The game proposes a challenge that will kick you into the flow state.

Be stubborn.

When people say you can’t do something you want to do, be the first to find the way.

That’s how you gain the knowledge that will build your fame and fortune.

4) Deconstruct Everything

Consciousness and creativity are the drivers of success in the age of information. They are how you think, live, and impact on a deeper level.

On the flip side of the coin, unconsciousness and closed-mindedness are a guaranteed path to mediocrity.

Creativity is connecting the dots of consciousness.

You experience something by becoming directly conscious of that moment in life.

You become more conscious by not closing your mind off to any given tip of the iceberg you see.

Every-thing is the tip of the iceberg.

Every-thing is a whole that is composed of parts.

Everything is a thing. A unit of thought. A figment of consciousness. A part and a whole.

Those parts also compose other wholes, meaning they connect.

That’s all life is. The cosmos is a whole that has divided itself into infinite parts. Each of those parts are wholes in themselves. Humans are wholes. They are probes of self-discovery. As we discover ourselves, the cosmos discovers itself. There is nothing to do, but everything to do. Have fun with it.

You dive into the iceberg through questioning.

Whole: a book on productivity

Parts: principles of productivity, tactics for being more productive, stories and anecdotes that hold your attention and help you understand what you are learning.

By noting these down, can you use one of those interesting stories or anecdotes to make another point?

In Digital Economics, I talk about how Electronic Dance Music is like being a creator.

Every EDM producer has their own unique sound, they blend together different sounds, and walk people through a series of highs and lows.

A creator has their own unique tone, they blend together ideas, and walk people through the highs and lows of their life.

I could also use EDM live sets to illustrate the highs and lows of life. If the DJ only plays hard music without a break, it is boring. If your life is all high, and no low, it gets boring.

Practice deconstructing the next thing (literally anything) you see. Ask questions.

5) Don’t Quit, Pivot

Everyone is worried about shiny object syndrome.

What you need to understand is that you are allowed to “start over” from a position of compounded knowledge.

You’re allowed to start over from a better position, with transferrable skills, and the new skills that sparked you to “start over.”

If you learn web design and see an opportunity to use that skill and go all in on copywriting, why would you not?

That’s not shiny object syndrome, that’s skill stacking. It will make you more money in the long run.

If you are still working toward the same big and broad goal, like financial freedom, you are required to pivot along the way.

If you give up on that big goal, you are giving up on your future. Not good.

Sure, quit a certain skill because you saw an opportunity. Your initial skill isn’t going to go away, especially if you will still use it in your next venture.

Knowledge compounds, skills compound, good habits in general compound.

This is why I am a fan of a personal brand and one-person business. Your interests change. Your skills, knowledge, experience, awareness, and network compounds. You are a human. Humans evolve. Your business evolves with you if you follow this path. In fact, it is the vessel for accelerated evolution.

Don’t quit, pivot.

6) Copy Your Way To Success

Success is a game of intelligent imitation.

Don’t act like you haven’t copied everything around you since you were born, just to think you are “original,” clever, or witty.

You very well may be, but the self can only exist in relation to other. Who you think you are is just a mental construction from the environments, stimuli, and conditioning you’ve been exposed to over your life.

Imitation is the greatest skill any beginner can follow, like you’re a blank-slate child that just got birthed into the life of business.

  • Practice writing in your favorite author’s voice
  • Use the topic your favorite account posted as inspiration
  • Swipe the problems that your competitor targets in their landing page
  • Deconstruct why certain posts go viral and whether or not it brought in money
  • Look at what everyone is selling (meaning it sells) and think about how you can create your own with your unique experience
  • Read about an idea that excites you, don’t highlight, and write it without looking at the text. Make it your own by recalling what you learned from memory

Before I go on more of a philosophical rant, let’s get back to business.

7) The Most Profitable Niche Is You

Traditional branding, marketing, and sales advice are coming to an end. We’ve explored that crevice of reality and made distinctions between the good and bad.

Pushy sales funnels and robotic writing work, but they work less than they used to.

If you want to get ahead of the curve, productize yourself.

Understand yourself through self-reflection and the Myers Briggs personality test.

Then, treat YOU as your customer avatar.

Pursue your goals, study your interests, and write to your past, present, and future self online.

Nobody can replicate authenticity.

There is only one you, if you aren’t a slave to the external. You are what you say you are, not what other people say you are.

8) Self-Awareness Is Key

Self-awareness (or self-consciousness, in the positive sense) will help you learn most skills faster than anyone else.

If you’re a creator, personal brand, or other form of solopreneur, you understand the necessity of consistent high-quality content.

That means you have to master human behavior and psychology.

In this case, you are your best teacher.

Why did that thread capture my attention?

Why did I like and retweet it?

Think about it, you want people to do those same things to you.

So rather than scrolling past as we mindlessly do…

Stop, pause, and reverse engineer

Same with making money.

9) Start, Then Learn

Information is abundant.

The massive mistake that people make in the age of information is letting knowledge outpace execution.

Yes, you can learn anything, but are you learning anything?

The best way to go about this is by outlining a project.

  • Outline a newsletter
  • Outline a product
  • Outline a service
  • Outline your life

Then, start.

Your mind will be primed for pattern recognition. Your quality of life will shoot through the roof because you have a project to apply what you learn, experience, and consume as you go about your days.

Create a project, then seek the specific knowledge necessary to actualize that project. Don’t get trapped in tutorial hell.

10) Create Your Own Career

60% of new jobs haven’t been created yet.

Meaning, we have no idea what they are going to be.

What we do know is that they are on the internet.

Value creators are creating new jobs left and right.

The internet allows people to pursue new goals, meaning there are new paths to take in life, meaning there are more problems to solve.

The education industry can’t keep up, so value creators pave the way and distill their learnings in the form of content, courses, and other forms of educational media.

I’ve seen music production teachers, therapeutic herb specialists, confidence coaches, and even biohacking coaches (for performance-enhancing dr*gs of the mind, body, and spirit… like psychedelics).

How do you create your own career?

By pursuing your own broad interests, turning them into their own category, and solving problems with them.

If you are interested in mindset, productivity, and business… that can all fall under the “niche” of lifestyle design, personal sovereignty, or something else. Then, you create the meaning, theory, and philosophy behind that new category.

Mine is one-person businesses. I tie in spirituality with you being a divine “creator” and form my own way of viewing this through my personal experience.

11) Lack Of Experience Isn’t An Excuse

It’s incredible what kind of mental gymnastics the ego will go through to convince you what you can’t do.

If I tell you to start writing online and the 20+ life and business benefits that come from it, how does your mind object?

“I’m not good at writing.”

“Only influencers can grow an audience.”

“I’m just freelancing before I build an audience.”

While all of these are dumb and more false than true, the last one is a little too silly.

You’re telling me you don’t want to give out free information (because you are inexperienced), but you are going to do free or paid work for someone’s business where there is revenue on the line? How do you justify that to yourself?

Writing is how you clarify your thoughts. Writing is how you clarify what you know. Writing is how you open up the potential to come up with a real (not copied) solution that you can sell for more money.

Learn the skill, use the skill (on yourself, because a personal brand requires every skill that a business would need), teach what you learn, then sell it.

Do the opposite of everyone else.

Everyone is just leaving out the pieces of the full picture that would lead them to action.

Don’t let fear rule you and keep you the same.

– Dan Koe

P.S. Digital Economics starts in 4 days.

If you want a complete Notion dashboard for starting, growing, and scaling your one-person business, consider enrolling.

We will work together to create a unique brand, authentic voice, untapped niche, and product or service that actually sells (from the start of your journey).

Who Is Dan Koe?

I am a writer & brand advisor for 7-8 figure creators, influencers, and social media brands. I am obsessed with dissecting human potential, lifestyle design, and one-person businesses.

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