If you’re an entrepreneur building an online health or fitness business, what will it actually take to succeed?
In this post I am going to outline 10 traits that most successful people in this industry seem to share – the result of observations made from my front-row seat watching numerous entrepreneurs build their online businesses.
Let’s jump right in…
Now, as you might know, I’ve spent the last 11 years building my own multiple seven-figure online business and I’ve been lucky enough to be associated with the most successful people in the industry. Throughout this whole process, I’ve not only cultivated these traits myself, but I’ve watched others do the same thing,
You’ve Either Got it…Or You Don’t
But first, I do think that some people are born entrepreneurs. It’s not something you can teach – you either have it or you don’t.
You might not agree with this idea, but if I think back to when I was a kid, I was very stubborn and wanted to do my own thing. I had a very tough time working for, or taking orders from, other people.
Those are all signs of entrepreneurship.
If you share those characteristics with me, consider that a good sign. Even if you’re not a full-blown entrepreneur right now, I’m pretty sure you know whether you’re happy to work for other people, or if you need to run your own show.
Traits of Successful Online Entrepreneurs
So with that being said, let’s get into the traits shared by successful online entrepreneurs.
1. They Are Relentless Testers
I’m very grateful to have friends who are multiple seven-, eight-, and nine-figure business owners in the health and wellness space.
Not that monetary success is the be-all and end-all indicator of success, but when you look at the financial side of things it’s a pretty good sign that they are doing something right. There’s a reason they’ve created that revenue.
Here’s the truth: there are very few overnight successes. Most people who are doing well now have been at it for at least 5 to 10 years.
How do you take an offer – like an ebook or a digital course and turn it into a multiple seven- or eight-figure business? How do you take supplements or some other physical product and make it a massive success?
First, you create an offer and see what happens. But what if it doesn’t sell the way you had hoped? Do you give up or do you keep moving on?
A lot of people who do well online are willing to look at what didn’t work, or what can be done to make it better.
Which leads them to the second step: they test and tweak their products and their offers, until they finally get a winner.
And then they continue the process, and come up with something new to test against this winning variation, to create an even bigger win.
What they do is relentlessly test.
If you’re not somebody who’s going to be granular and nitty-gritty like that, find somebody on your team who will do it for you.
You can hit singles all day long if you want, but all you need to live the life of your dreams – to set you up literally for the rest of your life – is one home run. One home run.
I know people who are making eight figures from one ebook. That’s right: one ebook.
Not that you have to do that, but never underestimate the power of continual testing.
2. They Try New Approaches
The second trait of successful online entrepreneurs is that they are willing to try new approaches.
If something doesn’t work at first, again, they don’t give up. They try something else.
I happen to be a private pilot who loves flying, so I’m going to use that as an example to illustrate what I’m talking about when it comes to new approaches.
If you’re landing a plane and there’s wind shear, it can throw the plane onto the runway. As you can imagine, it’s a dangerous situation.
What do you do if that happens? You do an overshoot – you don’t land the plane. You’re basically going to take off out of mid-air, if you will, and come back around. You take another approach.
And that’s what you want to do in business, with your offers. If something doesn’t work, guess what? Go back to the drawing board. Try a new approach.
3. They Invest in Themselves
This trait will help you advance your business to the next level.
If you’re a trainer and you’ve had people come to you for a free consult and they didn’t want to hire you for training afterwards, why was that? It’s because they weren’t willing to invest in themselves. Right?
You know how frustrating that can be. When I began my career as a trainer I was working 16 hours a day doing all sorts of things to get clients – offering consults, free workouts, and more.
And a lot of people didn’t see the value in having me train them. Now, maybe I wasn’t a very good salesperson at the time, but the reality is this: if you’re not willing to invest in yourself, you’re not going to get the results that you want.
When I started my online business in 2006 I decided I was going to do things all by myself. For three years I struggled. At the end of the third year I made a decision that I was going to hire a coach.
So I hired a coach, joined a mastermind, and I attended more live business events. All of those things required an investment – I purchased tickets. I paid for enrollments, and I paid for coaching.
Guess what? My business took off after I made the decision to invest in myself.
Over the past couple years I’ve invested more than $350,000 to fund my own coaching, the masterminds I belong to, and the events I attend.
If you don’t see the value in self development and making an investment in yourself and your business, you will struggle.
It’s ironic, because in this field we coach other people but we often don’t pursue coaching for ourselves. This is crucial in attracting clients. You have to invest in yourself to get the coaching and help you need. We all do.
4. They Believe in Themselves
Successful online entrepreneurs believe they have a value to offer – that what they’re doing is going to make a difference.
If you don’t have that belief, then it’s going to be very easy to give up when crap hits the fan. But if you know that what you’re doing has a bigger purpose, it will fuel you through those tough times.
The truth is that business is not all peaches and roses. There are going to be ups and downs throughout the entire journey. That’s why it’s amazing to be an entrepreneur.
Those highs and lows are simply part of the process, and wouldn’t you prefer that to working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a secure job?
5. They Put the Customer First
Successful entrepreneurs are always thinking about their customers as human beings, not numbers in their system. That’s important because not only is it ethically a good way to approach life, but when you put your customers first, you give them products or information that they would value.
In other words, don’t create products or offers that you think are going to be awesome – ask your audience what they want. Figure out what their pain points are and help them solve them.
6. They Take Calculated Risks
Successful entrepreneurs are willing to take risks to advance their businesses.
Let me give you an example. A couple years ago when my first published book came out, The All Day Energy Diet, I decided I was going to invest $300,000 to make the book a massive success.
We eventually hit number two on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists. It was awesome.
Now, that was a calculated risk and a very, very uncomfortable one, at that.
But it all comes back to belief and that all-important testing I mentioned above.
I created a sales funnel and book launch strategy that I knew was going to work – and then we made it work.
Now, I’m not saying you have to do that, but there are different levels of risk with strategies you take.
Because if you’re not willing to bet on yourself, or bet on the people you believe in who are around you, you’re going to stay in the minor leagues.
Being able to take calculated risks is part of being successful. Look at people like Elon Musk and Richard Branson. Even when they faced great adversity, they knew what they were doing would make a massive difference in the world, and they were able to take risks to advance their businesses.
7. They Create Their Own Products
There are a lot of people making money through affiliate marketing, which is basically when you promote other people’s products.
But if you’re here to create a legacy business, to impact people’s lives, you need to have your own product.
That’s because you have a message – a unique method, a gift, a system, or a way of helping people. And you should package all of that into a product to help the most people possible.
Because if you don’t have your own products, then you’re always reliant on finding other people.
Another issue with only doing affiliate marketing is that it dilutes your brand.
Unless, of course, your brand is being the person who says, “Listen, come to me and I’m going to refer you to all these cool resources.”
And that’s fine, but if you want people to see you as the trusted expert, you should create your own in-house products.
When you start promoting all over the place it confuses your customers, it dilutes your brand, and quite frankly it pisses off a lot of people on your email list.
These products could be as simple as creating workouts, digital ebooks, and online courses. You don’t have to create and sell supplements if you don’t want to.
And when you’re creating your own products, focus on making that product 10 times better than what’s already on the market. Raise the bar. Make yours better.
8. They Serve a Targeted Market
Successful entrepreneurs – not only online, but in general – focus on serving a narrow market niche.
You’ve heard the saying, “The riches are in the niches,” right?
One of the mistakes I made with my online health business is that I didn’t niche. I just said, “I’m going to be the guy who’s going to help people have more energy, lose weight, improve their health.” That’s a very broad market, and puts me in competition with people like Dr. Oz. That’s a pretty tough sell.
We’ve made it work, but it’s been an uphill battle, when compared to having a smaller niche like being a Hashimoto’s expert, adrenal expert, or CrossFit-for-women expert.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
When you understand a very small segment of the population, and you know them intimately in terms of their values, their pains, their desires and you can speak to that specifically, that’s powerful.
Plus, your prospects and customers are always putting you in a specific category in their mental archives.
When they think about you, what archive are they putting you in? Is it, “This is the person I go to for delicious gluten-free recipes,” or, “You should check out this person because they are the expert for women who are doing CrossFit.”
Who do you want to be? What’s the category you want to occupy in your audience’s mind?
9. They Are Persistent
Successful online entrepreneurs don’t give up. They have a relentless persistence, just like a dog on a bone.
This obviously goes back to a bunch of the traits I’ve already mentioned, as it’s very easy to just give up when the going gets tough.
Frankly, the business failure rate of small business is 95 percent after three years. That’s right, only 5 percent of small businesses make it beyond three years.
That’s just because it’s tough and most people don’t know what they’re doing. As a result, they’re trying to reinvent the wheel or stubbornly do their own thing.
They’re not investing in themselves or their business to get the coaching and strategies they need to succeed and as a result they struggle. Eventually they get to a point where they’re like, “I don’t know if this is worth it.”
Never give up. You have a gift and message that people need. They need to have it. Right?
There’s only one you. You have to share your gift in any way, shape or form with the people who are most receptive to it.
10. They Live the Golden Rule
The final trait of successful online entrepreneurs is that they’re good humans. Need I say more?
Don’t be a douche. Be a good human. Do unto others as you would want done to yourself – that’s just a great way to live, right?
And it’s a great way to approach business.
Never forget this:
It’s not about how much money you make. It’s not about whether your car matches your shoes or your belt matches your home, and all of that bling-bling nonsense. Your reputation matters.
When people are talking about you to their friends or they’re leaving comments about you online, what are they saying?
Are they trash talking you? You’re always going to have haters, don’t get me wrong. But for the most part, what’s the reputation? What’s the legacy that you are building, or the legacy that you’re leaving behind you?
Never forget that, okay? Yes, at the end of the day, money’s awesome, the lifestyle’s awesome, but it’s the impact you’re making on the world is what matters.
Develop Your Traits for Success
Most of these traits are habits that you can work to develop, and you’ll find that as you deepen into them, your business will grow.
Remember: it’s a journey, and the investment you make in it will only make the process richer.