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I will show you everything but my password! This site is dedicated to providing you USEFUL posts on how to build profitable authority sites. I share the systems I have setup to produce great content and properly use expired domains and private blog networks to rank quality sites.

Are PBNs Safe and Do They Work in 2020

In this post, I am going try to answer the question of are PBNs safe and do they still work? 

There is no black and white answer but by trying to look at this from a few different angles and my years of history building and buying and selling websites I hope to be able to provide a deeper understanding for you to make your own informed decision. 

The decision ultimately around the risk vs reward will be unique to your situation.

Are PBNs Safe?

There is no form of rank manipulation that is risk-free, even supposed white hat strategies of outreach / guest posting comes with risk. The short answer is PBNs are still effective and being used by many. However, once site builders are established and have very long term time horizons and sites of significant size many move away from using PBNs. 

This post is going to cover…

  • What is a PBN?
  • How do we define risk?
  • Examples of when people use or don’t use PBNs
  • Look at the data on who uses PBNs
  • History of Google updates that impacted PBNs  

What is a PBN or Private Blog Network?

A PBN is an SEO tactic where you purchase a group of domains, typically recently expired domains with quality backlinks to them, and then build a relevant site linking back to your money site. This shows Google that high authority sites in your niche backlink to your site and backlinks are still the #1 ranking factor in Google or another search engine. 

How do we define Risk? 

Risk is the probability of a negative event occurring and the consequence of that event. So in the context of are PBNs risky the question becomes…

  • Probability – What is the probability that the use of PBNs will cause a penalty?
  • Consequence – What is the consequence of that penalty?  

When to Use and Not Use a Private Blog Network Examples

Let’s go through a few examples first before we dig into the data. 

Example 1 – Purchased Large Clean Site

Imagine if you just purchased a large website that has never done any link building (white hat or otherwise) and you now need to decide should you build a PBN or buy PBN links or do nothing?

In this case and using the formula above your current probability of getting penalized by Google for the use of PBN backlinks is near zero and the consequence is very high. 

Therefore, it would not make sense to increase the probability of a penalty by building PBN links.

Example 2 – Purchased Medium-Sized Site Already Using PBNs 

In the case where the site already has PBN links. You are currently living with the potential of a penalty and therefore building additional PBN links (if they are built properly) does not increase the probability/risk in a significant way.  

Therefore, adding additional PBN links to your site would not significantly change your risk while helping you rank. 

Example 3 – Starting a New Site

This becomes a very personal decision for you based on your timeline, aggressiveness and overall appetite for risk. As shown below when we look at do PBNs work it is clear PBN links are still effective in 2020, however, are you wanting to optimize for short term success or long term success. 

Therefore, it depends on your personal risk profile. 

What Has Changed With PBN Building

I first started using PBNs in 2013/2014 and created some ultimate guides which have been used over the years and stayed remarkably relevant. 

However a few critical things are different then they used to be…

  1. Speed of Building an Expired Domain – I don’t have all the data yet but it is clear the speed with which a relevant site is back up on a dropped domain matters in the eyes of Google returning its pre-dropped love to the site. 
  2. Real & Relevant Is Important – It has gotten more important to find relevant domains to build your PBN site on. Having old restaurant domains link to your camping gear website is no longer as effective at passing link juice. 
  3. Organic Traffic > Link Metrics – We are wanting to get domains that pass Google love to your website, the best measure of Google love is if Google is sending traffic to the domain. Buying for metrics only DA/PA/TF/CF/DR/UR have long passed. 
  4. Anchor Text Obsession – The risk of SEO’s over-gaming the anchor text has increased and now Google does a better job of understanding the relevance of the page you are receiving a link from. So it is now smarter to obsess less about the anchor text and more about the relevance of the site you are getting a backlink from. 

Are PBNs Safe and Effective in 2020

Now to try and answer this question I am going to look at a few sources of data. 

First, looking at the histo

PBN Usage in Content Sites for Sale: 

EmpireFlippers provides some great data by publicly identifying the content sites on their marketplace that use a PBN. I have done this analysis other years and therefore can compare is the rate of use of PBNs in content sites increasing or decreasing. 

Looking at the number of content sites 

Questions to Be Answered:

  1. What % of people building and selling profitable websites at EmpireFlippers use PBNs to rank their sites?
  2. Has the % of people using PBNs changed over the last 5 years?
  3. Are PBN’s used only on small sites?
  4. How much does the use of a PBN drop the value of a site by?

Big Pile of Data to Answer These Questions…

  • 100 Most Recent Amazon Affiliate monetization method money sites listed on EmpireFlippers 
  • $227,461 worth of monthly net earnings
  • $7,428,843 worth of sites included in the data

Method:

  • Collect all the data filtering Amazon Associate, most recently listed/sold, 
  • Remove websites that don’t use organic traffic at all (some ecommerce, most FBA etc)
  • Compare to previous results and answer questions

Results:

  • Question 1 – What % of people building and selling profitable amazon affiliates websites at EmpireFlippers use PBNs to rank their sites now?
  • Answer 1 – 32% of Amazon Affiliates websites for sale use a PBN to help drive organic traffic to their website.
  • Question 2 – Has the % of people using PBNs changed from 2015 to 2020?
  • Answer 2 – People using PBNs to help their Amazon Affiliate websites rank has decreased from 42% in 2015 to 32% in 2020. 
  • Question 3 – Are PBN’s used only on small sites?
  • Answer 3 – It turns out sites that were using PBNs earned an average of $600/month more than those that weren’t. Over a $20k increase in value for the average site.
  • Question 4 – How much does the use of a PBN change the value of the site for sale?
  • Answer 4 – No Change – This was interesting there was almost no difference in how a site with a PBN vs without a PBN was valued. 32x for sites without a PBN and 31x for sites with a PBN. 

Summary

A smaller % of people are now using PBNs to rank their Amazon Affiliate websites. Those that do use PBNs make 31% more per month than those that don’t and the valuation multiple is unchanged between the two groups.

Google has made it more and more difficult to build a network of sites to help another website rank effectively driving up the cost to build a quality network of sites. 

As a result, what we have seen over the last 5 years is fewer people making the decision to invest in building a PBN to support their site but the answer to the question of do they still work is clear. 

PBNs are still effective in 2020 however they are not without risk. 

Additional Resources:

Should You Get an SBA Loan to Buy Your First Online Business?

Should you get an SBA loan or any other form of debt to buy your first online business? The math and potential is undeniably attractive! But at what risk?

My strong and unpopular opinion…

I strongly believe buying most online businesses (especially your first) with personally guaranteed debt (SBA or other) you can’t afford to pay back without the business is a VERY BAD idea!  

Despite my strong bias, I will try and present both sides of the borrow, or not question. 

The SBA Loan Dream Being Sold…

In one purchase you can transform $100k of your money (or even an equity partners money) combined with a loan (SBA or other financing) for 90% of the purchase price and have a Million Dollar online business with ~$300k+ in discretionary earnings. 

Incredible right? 

You want out of the 9-5, be your own boss, have financial freedom and be location independent? Great… just one business purchase away… right?

Hack the startup process and live the successful entrepreneur lifestyle immediately all while running a fully remote business. 

Sounds pretty great… in fact, it is a great way to live… as I write this I am at my Cottage during the workweek loving my new 2 days entrepreneurs schedule

No path in life provides a greater ability to engineer your own lifestyle then as an entrepreneur, so I definitely get the desire!

But what are the risks and is it worth it? 

This post will look at the risk vs reward of purchasing an online business (especially your first) with an SBA Loan or any other form of debt.

The Benefit of Buying with Debt

As mentioned above if you can successfully pull it off the results are incredible. Shortcut YEARS of hard work and buy your way with leverage to the entrepreneur lifestyle. 

A fantastic book that looks at buying businesses and then building them is Walker Diebels book Buy then Build. In this book, Walker makes some great arguments in his book for the use of debt. I just finished it and its great… I agree with much of what he says and specifically the application of the margin of safety when using debt to buy a business.

Compared to traditional financial investment alternatives with bonds at incredibly low returns and the stock market typically returning 4%-8% the ability to get 100%+ ROI using debt is attractive. 

So if it works out and the business even stays flat you can achieve full financial freedom at a cost of under $100k! Very incredible. 

Before I dig deeper into the downside there is one scenario when I think adding debt into the equation of an online business acquisition makes sense. If you have…

  • successfully run online businesses before
  • adding in debt to “juice” the returns
  • not risking more than you would be capable of paying back if the business went to zero

Under that very restrictive model I believe it is not fiscally irresponsible to borrow. 

However, I would ask someone in that situation if the juiced returns impact the quality of your life or would needing to pay off the debt impact the quality of your life. If borrowing risks your chosen lifestyle then you are trading financial security for (I hate the word but…) greed? I am not anti-greed and there is nothing wrong with a person that makes that decision as long as they are aware of it. 

So why do I think if the debt you are taking out would risk your family’s financial security it is a terrible idea?

Downside – Margin of Safety when there is a Single Point of Failure

In value investing a popular term is margin of safety. 

The margin of safety is when the market value is significantly below the intrinsic value of a company. 

So what is intrinsic value? In financial analysis this term is used in conjunction with the work of identifying, as nearly as possible, the underlying value of a company and its cash flow per Investopedia

For a high margin low overhead online business with no assets beyond the domain name and some content (ie affiliate site) the intrinsic value includes no “real” assets and only the present value of future earnings (ie the value is set at some multiple on the websites income 3x annual income as an example). 

Many online businesses have a single point of failure that can send the business to ZERO. Some of the common single points of failure for online businesses include…

  • Google – Any business dependent on Google Traffic is one update/penalty away from going to zero
  • Dropshipping – Paid Traffic Channels can turn unprofitable turning the business negative
  • Amazon FBA – Suspension or Amazon mistakes can send the business to zero (at least temporarily)
  • Any business with 1 primary monetization source – Amazon Affiliate as an example
  • SAAS Business – If tied to a marketplace they don’t have control over (Shopify app etc)

So if the amount of money being borrowed is more than is capable of being repaid then if the business fails you are taking a SIGNIFICANT risk with your family’s financial future for years(decades) to come. 

Thought Experiment on Volatility

Not all online businesses have a single point of failure, but many/most do. 

Let’s estimate the stability of an online business based on both SBA loan defaults and the volatility of online businesses.

  • The failure rate for SBA Loans = 17.4% went into default 1/6 out of all SBA loans (NerdWallet)
  • The failure rate for online business = Hard to estimate but look at the history of Google Updates at SearchEngineJournal.

I would argue that the volatility of online business is higher than the typical SBA eligible business, but even if not many people are going in with a 20%+ chance at a negative life-changing financial consequence. Granted a <80% at a positive outcome.

Lets use a couple gambling analogys…

  1. What would the payout and odds need to be for you to play 1 round of Russian roulette? For many, an SBA loan is significant enough it is financial Russian roulette with decades-long potential consequences if you default.
  2. Most SBA loans come with a business that becomes your single means for achieving your financial goals. This lack of diversification coupled with a 20% failure rate is a problem. If you walked into a casino and there was a coinflip game you knew had an 80% chance of heads and 20% chance of tails the optimal strategy would not be to bet 100% every time on heads. Within a handful of bets, you would likely be at zero.

If it is so risky then why is most of the content discussing SBA loans being used to buy online businesses positive?

There is a Strong Bias in the Ecosystem

The majority of the information out there that is pushing the mandate of borrow money and buy an online business is coming from the ecosystem that benefits from the liquidity being injected into it.

I am not immune, I contemplated not posting my strong views as less liquidity could drive down multiples, the value of my businesses and the number of deals done at MotionInvest.com would be negatively impacted. 

For anyone that is selling you the dream make sure to separate out their bias… SBA lender, business broker, accountant, lawyer, seller or investor not on the hook for the personal guarantee all benefit when a deal gets done. If your source of information is someone who benefits from the transaction then do your own research (DYOR always a good principle with money to be able to avoid the worst scams like IncomeStore).

What is the Alternative

Don’t you hate people who point out a problem without a solution, I will try not to be a debby downer.

It sounds like I am saying I am not a believer in this asset class of online businesses if I don’t think they are credit worthy. That is definitely not the case, they provide an unparalleled opportunity for income scale while operating them efficiently fully remote. As an example of what is possible one of my former employees has scaled his commerce business to half a million dollars in monthly sales with reasonable net margins within ~1 year! 

What I am a believer of is finding exposure to this type of business that is a fit for your unique situation. Everyone coming to this asset class has some combination of…

  1. Capital
  2. Time & Skillset 

Based on where you sit between those 2 factors should dictate where you are prepared to start. If you have limited time and loads of money with the ability to get a manager than looking at larger deals may be the right decision. If you have <$100k but want out of your day job…make a multi-year plan and start off with what you can afford. 

Invest the money you can afford to lose (this might mean starting from zero), grow the crap out of the business then scale up to bigger sites! 

I tried to layout the landscape of the online business buying world on a graph with capital on one axis and time/skills on the other to paint a picture of where people can start their online business search. 

MotionInvest Buying Guide…

https://www.motioninvest.com/buying-websites-for-sale/

Summary & TLDR…

  • The dream of buying an online business and immediately achieving the desirable online entrepreneur lifestyle is appealing
  • Many online businesses have a single point of failure
  • The risk of an online business going to zero is NOT insignificant and CAN happen
  • ~20% of SBA loans go into default
  • There is bias in the system with most people you interacting with benefiting from a transaction occurring and not being exposed to the risk 
  • So what to do? Start with the optimal combination of the resources you have…
    • Capital 
    • Time and Skillset 

I hope this article has been helpful in presenting a different view point than the common view being shared online currently. 

2 Day Workweek – Entrepreneurs Weekly Schedule (Summer 2020)

Summer (especially in Canada) is short! So how do I optimize my schedule to maximize summer family fun while pushing the business forward? 

For entrepreneurs who have the ability to modify their schedule how do you optimize summer while still pushing the business forward?

Assuming my kids will be less interested in hanging out with me by the time they are ~15 (optimistic) given my low level of coolness I am 50% done the summers I get with my oldest. 

Maximizing summer family fun is definitely a priority. 

This post looks at some past attempts and the structure I have for this unique COVID-19 summer. 

However, despite me wanting to maximize summer I also want to make sure the businesses get pushed forward!

Past Summer Schedule:

4 Day Work Week + 2 Weeks Off

This has been my attempt in the past couple of summers to maximize family time while still making sure everything needed gets done for the business. 

The Good:

  • Predictable schedule – Allowed for a weekend quality outing planned for each nice day. With me getting home at 3:30sh we were able to go do a hike, paddle, beach afternoon etc. 
  • Lots of Flexibility for My Activities (biking) – The dedicated Friday allowed me to go for a big bike ride and each day I could squeeze in a ride if I wanted.  

The Bad:

  • Didn’t Push Things Forward – Because of the shorter days and short weeks I never felt like I was on top of things and able to make a meaningful push on any project. It was a lost couple months of me advancing anything just treading water. 
  • Didn’t Build Grit – Generally, it was a very soft schedule that never really built entrepreneurship grit

This Summers Schedule:

This summer I am trying a more extreme schedule to try and deal with the major downsides of the last schedule specifically no growth time to push a new project forward and no grit building. While increasing the amount of time we can spend at the cottage.

2 Work all Day Days, 5 Stay on Top of Email Days

Now my schedule has 2 days where I work from 8am to 11pm at the office and then the other 5 days I work 1-2hrs just staying on top of email. 

Total hours is still near full time at 40hrs/wk but highly concentrated making every weekend a VERY LONG 5 day weekend.

The Good:

  • Builds grit… 2 hard days where I set big goals for what needs to get accomplished and limited ability to recover if I have a down day pushes me to be productive. This should have me coming out of the summer more ready to tackle the biggest growth time for my businesses (fall). 
  • Big Family Time… 5 day weekends provide the ability for lots of extended cottage time and canoe trips etc. 
  • Growth Work, not Just Maintenance – From a work perspective, I can get a LOT of growth work done since it doesn’t take me long to catch up, and then I have a lot of hours for new work in those 2 days. 

The Bad – Not sure yet but could be…

  • No recovery days – if I have an unproductive day 50% of my week would be shot. 
  • Slow Cycle Time – If an opportunity comes up that I need to push along it may sit for too long, the cycle time on my communication or pushing of a project might be too slow. 
  • Frequency of Adventures – I could miss a fun adventure… today the kids and my wife are body surfing a section of a river around here, last summer I would have gone with them, this year I am doing one of my work all day days so nothing but work for me.
  • Fitness – Each day I had a window of time for me to get out and go for a bike ride or go to the gym. Now my work all day days are dedicated to work and the 5 days  

Visually what does this look like…

I am interested in hearing other peoples schedules… what do you do?

Income Report Roundup – May 2020

Many of these entrepreneurs continue to work at the strategies that they adapted during these turbulent months. Although many of them found different methods to succeed, it definitely helped that they were in the world of online commerce and content. They have taken advantage of a time where many people were on their computers, and have found a way to shift their offerings to cater to people’s specific wants. 

#1 Takeaway – Stay the Course – In the past few months, we focused on how these online entrepreneurs shifted to the changes in the world economy. Now, they are sticking to these strategies and seeing their efforts pay off. Sometimes, success is all in the follow through. Keep doing what’s working, and you’ll see it pay off. 

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Stay Put – Sometimes, there is the constant need to always adapt. Always try that new thing, or move in a new direction. But if something is working, why change it? Often, your best bet is to continue doing what made you successful. This is not to say that you can’t continue to innovate, but sometimes the best innovation is to recognize what’s working and keep doing it. 
  • Constant Evaluation – Of course, this strategy comes with a requirement. You need to be able to recognize the reason for your success. You should be constantly evaluating your own strategies, so that you can recognize what’s working and what isn’t. This is a major reason that these entrepreneurs write these income reports in the first place. Not only does it hold them accountable, but it forces them to dig deep into their business practices each month to see what’s working and what isn’t. 

Quick May Update on my End:

  • Posts at AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com
  • Lots of family bike rides and first swims in the bay, although much turmoil in the world it is great to get out and enjoy the outdoors 
  • MotionInvest – We worked on the plan to launch the Marketplace which has us selling sites for people that meet our high standards but we don’t buy ourselves. This combined with our Dutch Auction approach to site valuation has resulted in a record number of listings available for sale at MotionInvest!
  • ContentRefined – Maddie is off on Mat Leave (congrats) and the new team has done an amazing job transitioning into her role. Narcis in particular has taken on some additional responsibility and is performing extremely well. 
  • LightningRank – We have soft launched to a small group an ecommerce focused network of real sites (traffic, earnings etc) that are available for relevant links. Response has been great and 
  • BrandBuilders.io – A big giveaway is being planned that is going to be exciting. Brady has done a great job increasing the rate of marketing content creation with a growing YouTube channel. 
  • Super Secret Software Project – It is coming soon 🙂
  • AdBankRelay.digital was launched off the back of the adbank tech to help work from home companies continue to communicate the important but never urgent messaging around company culture and values. 

My Reason for This Round Up:

When I started my online entrepreneurship journey I took a lot of inspiration from others that were sharing everything they did online. Seeing that people like me were making REAL money and that the opportunity to replace my day job was possible. 

It has been 3.5 years since I left my day job – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/quit-my-job/

The more transparent the report the more I appreciated and was motivated by it. 

Over the years I have tried to be as transparent as possible sharing along the way my goals, business successes/failures and the ultimate results(profits). 

After years of sharing monthly income posts I decided that it made sense to stop these… a decision I actually regret as I wish I had found a way to keep sharing some of what I was doing. 

My reason for stopping was my online world and “real” worlds became more connected and it was becoming very odd to share these numbers.  

Looking at many of the people that originally had an income round up posts they have also stopped. Namely the most famous in the space Pat Flynn no longer does income round ups. 

In this post I will cover…

  1. List of inspiring income report posts and how they earned their profits
  2. Recognize motivating people showing not just telling people the results they are achieving
  3. Learn from others – What the key learning is from the people

Last Month Profit – $13,246.20

Name – Ron Stefanski

Website – onehourprofessor.com

Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site      

Income Report – https://www.onehourprofessor.com/may-2020-monthly-income-report/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Ron had a bounce back month, and he expects the growth trend to continue in June. 
  • Most of his websites bounced back, but two primary Amazon affiliates continue to suffer due to low affiliate commissions. He also struggled with the new Google algorithm. 
  • Ron continues to focus on his YouTube channel, and it continues to grow. He now has a positive ROI. 

Checkout the video I did with Ron and be sure to read his gripping story here!

Last Month Profit – $8,738.29

Name – Johnny FD

Website – johnnyfd.com

Business Model – Mixed – Dropshipping & Investing

Income Report – https://www.johnnyfd.com/2020/05/income-and-expenses-during-lockdown.html

Key Lesson(s):

  • Johnny continues to live in Sri Lanka. 
  • Johnny had a great month and actually made the most money he has in a while. 
  • Johnny has seen his dropshipping stores make great sales this month. He still attributes his success to Anton’s Method of Dropshipping, even seven years later. 
  • Johnny was doing so well this month, and living the easy life on the beach, that he decided to create a 100% free dropshipping course just to give back. 

Ryan Robinson

Last Month Profit – $28,152.62

Name – Ryan Robinson

Website – ryrob.com

Business Model – Authority Website (affiliate earnings)

Income Report – https://www.ryrob.com/blog-income-report-april-2020/

Key Lesson(s):

  • Blog income rose a good deal for Ryan in May, primarily due to increased affiliate commissions. 
  • Ryan gave his writers as much work as they wanted to take on, which is keeping him stocked on content for months. 
  • Ryan expects traffic on his blogs to keep increasing into June, which should see even more increased profits. 
  • Ryan invests in long-form, in-depth content, which is what he attributes to why it is so actionable. 

Yeys

Last Month Profit – $5407

Name – Anne

Website – www.yeys.com

Business Model – Web Publishing Blog

Income Report – https://yeys.com/may-2020-traffic-revenue-report/

Key Lesson(s): 

  • Anne finally made a profit in May, after months of hard work on her project. 
  • She saw traffic go up 52%, and revenue go up 54%. 
  • Three of her blogs make up the majority of her growth, and continued to grow into May. 
  • She makes money with these blogs primarily from display ads and Amazon affiliate links. 
  • This month, she experimented with a/b testing on call to action links. She enjoyed this strategy for gaging the success of her links. 

Honourable Mentions:

Although they don’t do exactly income reports, there are a few reports that are worth mentioning and when they publish new reports I will be sure to include.

Am I missing any I should include? Please drop a message in the comment section below with anyone I should include next month!

Several this month didn’t publish so I wasn’t able to include but will again when they publish. 

4 Year Quit Anniversary and 4 Lessons Learned

It was 4 years ago today as I write this that I didn’t go to work at my at my “9-5” day job for the first time. 

Every year I like to reflect on the decision to make the jump and any learnings. 

Before leaving I had worked for 8years at Imperial Oil in a variety of jobs and although I for the most part enjoyed my job and appreciated the skills I was developing leaving has been incredible for both myself and more importantly my family. 

Here are the new learnings from this year…

4 New Learnings this Year

Illusion of Job Security 

When I left the day job I felt like I was increasing my family’s financial risk level significantly. Despite having planned it out with runway I and many others thought that my decision to leave was increasing my family’s financial risk. 

However, given the current economic outlook and specifically the outlook for the Oil and Gas industry I am certain my family’s financial security is far greater than if I had stayed at my day job. Layoffs are likely and job prospects within the industry are weak.  

Talking with many of my old co-workers the outlook is not great. Although many of my businesses have done well over the last 4 years others have not but on balance it has been a good 4 years financially. However, even if it was not the options and skills I have developed I believe will make me more employable/able to generate income then if I had continued on the career trajectory I was on. 

Many large employers are great at creating the illusions of job security but once you get outside of their intentionally created bubble the realization is that it was just an illusions and the perceived security is not as solid as you think

Kids Grow Up FAST! 

It is such a cliche to say they grow up fast but so often it is true. 

This Image was a large part of the reason why I wanted to pursue online entrepreneurship.

Having the ability to get to spend time with both my family and some of the active activities I like (skiing & mountain biking) is something that simply would not have been possible

At the time of me leaving my day Job this was the timeline to retirement vs my age and my oldest Childs age. 

Basically by the time I was 65 my oldest child would be 36 (my age) and the number of hours I would have spent with them would have been minimal. 

Being able to work around the weather and get to go on an adventure (mountain bike ride, hike or trip to the cottage) during the summer is something I am extremely grateful for. 

Embrace New Opportunities and Optionality 

One “tip” or “suggestion” suggested to me multiple times is to focus on a single business. Although I believe this is likely good advice most of the time. 

This year has been another reminder that launching new projects can increase my capabilities, allow me to tap new markets/diversify and learn new things. 

Launching MotionInvest has been both fun and gone very well.

My thinking over the last year has evolved to have me focus not on reducing the number of new projects but focus on making sure any new project is tested as efficiently as possible. Testing new projects is great if it can be done efficiently and that is the new focus. Quick inexpensive tests of business opportunities with an unfair advantage to its first customers and ideally have some overlapping benefit to existing projects is the focus.

Focusing on a single project is likely good advice but I have both had fun and some success working to launch other projects since leaving. 

My learning this year is to not fight this but work on getting better at building organizational capacity to launch these tests.

Invest in Compounding Improvements

Another evolution of my thought over the last year is to try and really focus my personal time on compounding improvements. 

As the window of time since leaving my day job grows my timeline really stretches out.

If my focus can be on any of these improvements that have a compounding benefit over time I know I am adding value…

  1. Improved systems (like morning meetings, Trello kaizen board as a to-do list, OkR goal tracking all integrated into the Traction system etc.
  2. Auditing systems to make sure they are working as intended and improving the SOPs are things that all have a long term payoff.
  3. Most importantly investing in getting the best people on the team possible whether formally employed or strategic partnerships

Hustling for the next deal was something I had done for years and still do but making sure I am more focused on implementing improvements that will pay back over years and years as I extend out my time horizon is key.

Summary

Tracking my monthly income numbers was something that gave me a lot of focus while I was working to leave my day job.

Reflecting now on why I started down this journey is a very rewarding experience while also helping to shape some of my new learnings.

My hope with this post and serious is it provides a framework for others looking to make the job for them to know it is possible and ideally shortcut the long process I took.

Other Posts in this Series:

I Quit My Day Job – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/quit-my-job/

1 Year – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/1-year-quit-anniversary-what-has-changed/

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