Exactly nine years ago I acted on my decision to never work for anyone again. I started Brand5 out of the dining room in my apartment with exactly zero clients and a very small bank account balance.
Nine years later I’m proud to say that Brand5 is still very much alive (and thriving). The company’s success has afforded me the opportunity to take some additional entrepreneurial leaps. I’ve been fortunate enough to start and sell two other companies in addition to Brand5 – Beelya and FileLater – and I’m working on my next one already. As a result, I’ve become passionate about starting, and helping other people start, their own online technology companies (my term for websites). For me, nothing is better than taking something from the back of a napkin or a white board, turning it into something real, getting customers, generating revenue, and wrestling with all of the things that can happen trying to make it grow into a real product or service.
Along the way I’ve learned a crazy amount of lessons. I do my best to take those lessons with me when I work with clients or on my own ventures. Here are nine (9 years, 9 lessons get it?) that I hope will help others out there trying to find their way building their own online business. As always, forgive the plethora of sports analogies. I’m a big fan of business and sports and the two often get mixed together.