Before I introduce our final six-figure soloist, I'd like to invite you to a free web event to help you learn more about taking your business to six figure profits. Join me and my peers at the International Association of Solopreneurs for a FREE FREEDOM Conference. Learn what true Freedom really is--business ownership. Learn what pitfalls to avoid and how to get profits soaring! And yes, you heard me right – this virtual conference is FREE!
And now, wrapping up our 'How to Make Six Figures' series with our final 6-figure soloist. Please know that these six weeks have featured only a handful of the responses I received when I set out to find the common links amongst the amazing men and women who single-handedly grew their businesses to six-figure profits, meaningful ventures and were willing to share the how and why of it all. I'd like to thank everyone who contacted me. Your stories were all wonderful, making my job all the more difficult!
Make sure to stay tuned for next week's post where we'll sum up our list of common links and see how we all measure up! Now I'd like to introduce you to our final 6-figure soloist.
International speaker, standup comedian and Professional Certified Coach David Wood is the author of Get Paid for Who You Are™ and a coauthor of the bestselling book Guerilla Marketing on the Front Lines. His tried and true methods for freeing oneself from the shackles of the timecard have been the inspiration for many people to gain a lifestyle of freedom and contribution. You can learn more at www.GetPaidForWhoYouAre.com.
Q. David, when you started your company did you have a plan in place, or did you just 'wing it?'
A. Initially I was pretty much winging it. I printed a business card and started handing them out put up a website. It was much later while journaling that I created the master plan for the online business.
Q. Looking back, what would you say are the two important personal qualities or characteristics that are most responsible for your success?
A. 1) I'm willing to try things – unusual things, small things, big things. I try 100 things that don't work, and then there's one that takes off.
2) I'm willing to be uncomfortable. Whether it's going on radio or speaking on a stage or sharing something raw and vulnerable about my life with 100,000 subscribers – I push that edge of my comfort zone.
Q. What mentoring or coaching experiences have you benefitted from?
A. I hired one of the top coaches in Australia – Christine McDougall, past Vice President of the International Coaching Federation, and then Marcia Reynolds, Past President of the International Coach Federation. Both coaches helped me with my vision and motivated me to keep stepping forward through uncertainty.
Q. David, what was the key motivating factor in your drive and determination to become your own boss?
A. When I left Towers Perrin, a top management consulting company, my boss said, 'I hope in 10 years we'll be ready for someone like you.' I was a wave-maker and tired of needing 10 people to approve any new idea I had. I wanted to implement my ideas NOW, and to have time freedom (to work when I like), and location freedom (to work from home or Hawaii.)
Q. Was funding ever an issue for you? If so, how did you solve the problem?
A. Initially I had about $30,000 in savings so I knew I had 6-12 months before I ran into trouble. I earned a little money with my first business, which was as a professional entertainer singing in Australian pubs, and then more money on the side as a consulting actuary (my former profession) at an hourly rate.
Q. What was your most challenging moment to date and how did you overcome it?
A. Stepping out on stage in front of 1200 people was one of the scariest. But higher on the list was going on national television in Australia on Hey Hey It's Saturday (our equivalent of The Gong Show) and singing in a kilt. I was absolutely terrified and literally thought I might pee my pants. I overcame it by putting one foot in front of the other – ‘feel the fear and do it anyway'. It always works.
Q. What is the greatest reward in running your own business?
A. When I want a week or a month off, I can take it. Also I get to create websites, ebooks, CDs, DVDs and teleclasses as quickly as I like. I can impact lives. I had a thought this morning about financial worry and how it impacts all of us, so I posted on Facebook: 'Would you attend a free teleclass on financial worry and how to improve your finances?' If the response is good I can have 50-300 people on a teleclass next week and begin impacting lives that quickly. I might even make some sales at the end of it.
Q. Do you have a 'top strategy' for success that you'd like to share?
A. Nothing mind-blowing, but rather simple: Have a simple plan for what you're going to accomplish, and each day spend the first two hours of your day doing the most important thing on your list.
Q. David, entrepreneurs are idea machines, and that's great. But sometimes too many good ideas can clutter the picture and stop progress. How did you harness your best ideas and bring them to fruition?
A. Ha – I have a million ideas, and many are incomplete. I pick my favorite ones – the ones that will have the most impact on people's lives or the most revenue potential, or both – and focus on those. The others I write down on another piece of paper and save them – knowing I can come to them when the time is right. So prioritize, and just keep going down the list.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our solopreneurs?
A. It's a challenging and rewarding life. The most important thing is a simple plan. I put everything I know about setting up an online business into five simple steps – and published them in Get Paid For Who You Are. I'm happy to give readers a free copy of the book at www.getpaidforwhoyouare.com.
In Summary: Wow, David's book for free! I'm on my way...
These 'common links' are really adding up! Our final 6-figure soloist is most certainly a creative, flexible, out of the box thinker. David serves an important value of helping others through his work and he certainly values his freedom. Our soloists have all seemed pretty flexible in terms of their willingness to change the plan as circumstances change and David is no exception. Once again, a self funded startup whose creator is not risk adverse. David acts quickly and efficiently on his ideas and has a great system in place for 'testing' them and determining whether they get shelved or acted upon. He seems systematic, yet doesn't allow systems to stifle his creativity. One of the things that struck me most was the speed and efficiency in which David brings his wonderful ideas to fruition – or not. David is also very willing to push the limits of his 'comfort zone' and do it with a wonderful sense of humor in place. Personally, I think this is such an important quality; taking one's self too seriously can really get in the way!