Hey guys, welcome to Inspire Entrepreneur!
I’m Sven and this is a site I built to share my passion for online business with you. Through this passion I hope to inspire you during your journey through the online business world and ultimately help you create some remarkable online businesses. We are all here to discover ways we can design a life for ourselves that we don’t need to escape from.
Together we can learn the art of online business, act on what we have learnt and pass on the inspiration to other starting online entrepreneurs. Fuel the excitement of creating something for yourself, develop the drive and energy for building something more and inspire the entrepreneur within!
I am here, you are here, let’s do this!
A Story all too Familiar…
“To Live is the rarest thing in the World. Most people exist, that is all.”
Oscar Wilde – Novelist and Playwright
So my story might be similar to a lot of people’s who started out their working life in the “traditional” way. Graduate from school…graduate from college/university (if you chose this path)…and then get a job. I’ve been an engineer now for 7yrs, and while I have moved from company to company, the job has always been the typical 9-5 office commitment.
Starting as a design engineer and moving more towards project management in general (a typical pathway for engineers), I really did enjoy aspects of my job! I enjoyed working in projects and especially loved general business and process improvement. As I “settled” into working life, I reached the 4 yr mark and realized that, although I was extremely driven and passionate at work, there was something missing…
After some thinking and “soul-searching” (for lack of a better description) I realized what was wrong. I was only just existing…in the sense that I wasn’t really living my life, I was just running through the motions! Every day, I would wake up, go to work, then come home, eat, watch TV and sleep, like a drone on autopilot. It felt like I was only a shell of person I once was! I had lost my creativity, my fire, my passion…
Sure… I was improving things at work, I was part of change and making an impact with my colleagues, and department. But my suggestions and improvements were heavily restricted between the confines of company policy, group think, business direction and management opinions. My influence didn’t go much beyond the immediate department I dealt with, let alone the colleagues I worked with. And so my journey started…
I Had to Make a Change!
Something wasn’t working, something wasn’t right! I was lacking purpose and direction. So I asked myself what did I want to achieve in the next 3-5 years of my life. How could I better myself, and how could I lift myself from where I was, to where I wanted to be. My answer to this at the time was pretty boring in hindsight… I ultimately wanted to move my career towards management (i.e. become a manager). I had always enjoyed the challenges brought on by leading a team of people, and as well as that, it was one of two “typical” career paths for an engineer…(1) either become a specialist (like a subject matter expert) or…(2) become a generalist (a manager).
A short anecdote I came across while pondering these two pathways:
a specialist knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing, whereas a generalist know less and less about more and more until they know nothing about everything.
But I digress…
So I started looking into how I could educate myself and accelerate myself along this career path. I knew that I didn’t really want to spend $100,000 dollars on an MBA (Master of Business Administration), slogging through additional study and working at the same time to keep the income flowing. So I came across a book called The Personal MBA (by Josh Kaufman), which validated my thoughts on the silliness of paying for an MBA, where I could just as easily self-educate with the same drive and passion. After all, there are countless business resources out there.
After finishing The Personal MBA (a must read for entrepreneurs of all types by the way!), I was somehow still not satisfied. I decided to analyze the pathway other managers within my company at the time had taken to get to where they were, as well as their lives once they had reached this level. It revealed something shocking…these people that I had looked up to so much and had driven myself so hard in the pursuit of their level…they weren’t happy. Most were miserable middle-aged women and men, who worked 10 plus hours per day and either didn’t want to be at work or were at work because they didn’t want to be at home with their partner and screaming kids. This was depressing, yet strangely liberating. I was thankful! Thankful that I had realized this before I got stuck in the “rut” and before I had spent too much time in a fruitless chase.
And so My Search Continued…
I was now searching for something different…an alternative pathway from the traditional, something that would result in more happiness! Something that was different from the traditional job and career pathway…something that was worth the energy and commitment I was willing to put into it.
I continued my self-education journey by reading more books on business, not knowing quite where it would take me, until I came across something beyond the ordinary! There in the middle of my recommended reads section of my Audible App was The 4-Hour Work Week (by Tim Ferriss), a far cry from my current situation…at the time I was used to 40-hour work weeks!
And for the better! I had seen the light and realized that I could have my cake and eat it too (as Tim so elegantly described in the book). The book described actionable steps that I or anyone could take to separate their income from their time…this was the alternative pathway I was looking for! The book had opened a world of possibilities and I wanted to see how deep it goes!
I was Inspired, I had My Fire Back
I smashed through the book excited to learn more and more, and so my journey really began! After finishing the book I started work on my first muse, which was Tim’s way of metaphorically describing an online endeavor that, once setup and running, is aimed at maximizing income with minimal ongoing time effort, thus freeing you up for…living life.
It took me about 3-4 months working part-time (after work and on weekends) to set up my first muse. Once up and running, I only had to spend about 1-3hrs each week to manage the muse (tracking finances, responding to customer queries, customer profiling and traffic analytics), as well as an additional 4-6hrs once every month or two improving my website design, content and products pictures. A year later I had cleared just over a few thousand profit…not bad for a part-time gig and some extra cash in the pocket.
At this stage however, I felt my muse earnings were not sustainable enough to escape the office just yet. The product I had selected, although profitable, did not sell with very high margins or volume. Some important lessons I had learnt here about product and niche selection, which I have shared with you in the link through to a separate post.
Enter the World of Affiliate Marketing
Following my first muse endeavor, I was eager to learn more. After getting a good understanding of the costs involved with re-selling a product, import costs, advertising costs, storage and inventory costs, I wanted to move more towards information products, which take very little cost to produce and distribute other than the time and hustle to create it.
Delving deeper into the world of ways to make money online, I came across the concept of affiliate marketing. A business model which involves the use of writing content via a blog, which you aim to get ranked on the 1st page of Google searches for certain keywords. You then subsequently drive traffic through your helpful content, and visitors will click through to external websites via affiliate links in your post. If they go on to buy the products or services you recommend, at no extra cost to them might I add, you earn a small commission for your referral from the external company. Doesn’t cost you, doesn’t cost your visitor, win-win!
After some in depth research, I came across a large community of internet entrepreneurs, which offered training in not only affiliate marketing, but also online business in general. The site boasted plenty of helpful content and of course the support of a community 800,000 members. After joining as a free member and trialing their services I can now say I am the proud premium member of Wealthy Affiliate! In my opinion, their services are second to none, and training and community aside, their all-in-one website hosting platform is like nothing I have ever seen (check out my Wealthy Affiliate Review in a separate post).
E-Commerce, Affiliate Marketing…what next?
After joining the affiliate marketing world and starting up two affiliate websites, I wanted to start giving more back to the online entrepreneur’s world. I had put in the hard work to determine if the redirected pathway can work, I have researched, observed, and most importantly executed and seen that it is possible! It is possible for you too, there is a way to separate your income from your time, let me show you this world.
I have learnt a lot about getting started with online business, and would like to share this knowledge I have with you. Everything from how to build a website, to website hosting, the seemingly elusive concept of SEO (search engine optimization) and inspirational material that I have come across and helped me along the way. Inspiration is the key here! While progress is the most powerful motivator, everyone needs some inspiration to kick-start the fire. I want to help you build the fire and passion from within to achieve more in this world. Sharing your knowledge and building something that helps others is one way to achieve immortality through the legacy that you leave.
At the same, I would like to show you this alternative pathway and help you escape the 9-5 office…escape a future of ‘just existing’ similar to the one I foresaw by observing those 5, 10, 15+ years ahead of me! I want to help people build a source of income that is separate from their time, allowing them to pursue their dreams and passions. Together we can focus on designing a life we don’t need to escape from and a lifestyle worth living!
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost – American Poet. From the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’.
Together We Are Inspire Entrepreneur
My goal for Inspire Entrepreneur is for it to be a central location where you can get inspired, begin your search for information and where I can help start you in the right direction for progressing your first or subsequent online business. The internet is vast, the information is endless and the feeling is sometimes overwhelming. Let me cut through the clutter, show you the path, and inspire you along the way.
My posts are going to be informative, they are going to be fun and casual, but most of all I’m going to be honest. Honest in my reviews, genuine in my recommendations and straight-forward in what I believe will work for you. I aim to make the information I share with you clear and concise, and if you ever feel I am straying from this please let me know! Your feedback is the most valuable to me!
My digital door is always open, let me help you, let me guide you, just ask and join me on this journey. I have lots to learn, you have lots to learn, so let’s make it easier for ourselves by sharing our knowledge. I would like to share with you what inspires me, what excites the entrepreneur in me and hopefully you will find something that drives your energy and passion too.
Please leave a message below if you have a question, or even if you just want to give me a shout-out or a hello! You can also shoot me a private message on my Contact form.
Are you ready!? Yes! Then get pumped, get inspired and let’s create a remarkable business!
There is no Motivator better than Progress, and there is no progress without Action! – Tweet This
Let’s Do This!