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(Photo taken in Lviv, Ukraine—July 2018.) Starting an online business was the best decision I ever made in my life. It’s resulted in a life of freedom I never thought I could have had before—and that wasn’t available to many generations before me.

My business was successful before this year, but took leaps and bounds in 2018 and heading into 2019. I can’t wait to see what happens in the New Year. With that being said, here’s a few things I learned about business in 2018, that you should definitely read, absorb, and put into practice if you’re planning on starting an online business.

Starting An Online Business: 19 Thoughts Going Into 2019

1. There’s a Billion Ways to Skin a Cat

As an entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter how you make the money. Just that you do.

Every market has a drastically different take needed to sell successfully.

Principles apply.

Tactics change.

2. Get Shit Down On Paper

Put things in writing because people will promise you the world and do nothing. This is especially true when you start going into the physical product business and leaving the digital world (where margins are literally 100%) behind. You’ll send people product and they’ll literally DO NOTHING and then ignore you. I never knew people could be like that. It’s horrifying.

Nothing legal, but a simple “You agree to do X in exchange for Y” is much more effective than something vague.

3. Daily Routine > All

Showing up for 30 minutes a day and making a habit of something will take you farther than everything else.

I wrote an email probably 99% of the days this year. Next year I’ll do that plus the podcast.

4. Youthful Health Ends

As I mentioned in another thread recently, my health spiraled downhill.

If you’re not physically healthy you won’t be as mentally sharp. This is basically nonexistent before 25. Then it comes for you.

Optimize and thrive.

5. Success Speaks

Some of my family told my folks they found my blog and disagreed with much of my work.

My parents handed them a bottle of Selo Oils and shrugged.

Mom told me they could care less what anyone thinks at this point and to keep it up.

Best text I got this year. Thanks Mom.

starting an online business

6. Haters Are Good + Bad

My girlfriend got doxed in the feminist hate mob in September.

That sucked. I kept her out of this part of my life for 2+ years. I failed.

I also made five figures of profit off of that hate mob in a span of a few weeks.

(And counting)

Shrug.

7. Opportunities Arise Randomly

If you’d told me at this time last year I’d own an olive oil company I would have laughed at you.

The opportunity just knocked

Also can’t thank Martin enough for letting me be a part of the Selo family.

Big things in ‘19 coming…

8. Good With Bad

This was my most successful year financially

I also fell apart physically (sports injuries, illness), was forced to move countries due to visas, and more I won’t discuss. Never saw my family after January.

Best year of biz came with hardest personal challenges.

9. Investing in Yourself Matters

I got better grades in college when I was footing the bill myself (aka the second half of my education).

If someone gifts me a book or course I often do nothing.

If I buy it?

I usually follow through…

Spend $$$ on yourself.

10. Master 1 Skill

You cannot learn everything at once. Skills built off of each other.

Learn and master 1 thing and then build off of it.

11. Your Circle Matters

Cliche but true.

You’re the average of the 5 closest to you. But as you get higher up the ladder of life more people are going to try to work their way in.

It’s up to you to screen very, very carefully.

12. Success Breeds Bombardment

Anyone over 5k followers gets this. Constant offers to work on something new.

Don’t chase the shiny object every time.

Half the people, if not more, reaching out to you are full of crap anyway.

13. Average Sheeple Are Consumed

By politics.

By social media.

By outrage.

Most people have nothing going for them. They need a struggle. So they make it by being offended. They get consumed.

Learn to control your emotions and you are automatically top 5% (or higher).

14. Be Inspired From Anywhere

Reading and digging into Soviet history and communism has taught me a lot about humans.

And has given me a lot of inspiration for writing and podcasts.

AND…

Made me appreciate where I came from more and more.

starting an online business

People seem to want a return to Communism, but living in Eastern Europe has taught me that it’s a terrible idea.

15. People Are Finding Corporations Evil

…just like government.

More and more people are beginning to buy EDUCATION from creators they like. (Courses)

Food from small BRANDS they trust.

Clothes from PEOPLE they see on IG.

etc.

Be personable.

16. Fundamentals

Yesterday I toured a candy factory in Ukraine.

Out of 20 children on the tour, 10 spent the entire time on their smartphones.

Technology will grow so quickly it will be impossible to keep up.

Master the fundamentals and you’ll always have money.

17. Home Base

Needed, as men.

Empires were not created by hopping on a boat and traveling somewhere new every month.

It takes time to be your best.

Find a place to call home and run the digital empire from it.

18. Black & White

There truly is NO formula for ANY business.

What works for one person might not for you.

All that matters is you try – fail – and try again.

Do it enough times and you’ll find success.

As always, keep causing Trouble.

19. One Last Genius Thought About Starting An Online Business

The best thing you can do?

Begin now, and work towards it every day.

Here’s to your health and success in 2019. Best of luck starting an online business in the New Year—leave a comment below if you have any questions about where to begin.

PS: If you liked this post, I’ve put together a quick start guide with how I’ve personally made most of my money with online business. Check it out here.

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