Evaluation and Reflection is a Must
As you may be able to tell from my columns, reflection and active evaluation is a key ingredient to building myself as an entrepreneur. I’m a strong believer that you must fully understand yourself in order to make a true impact on others.
In the spirit of active evaluation, I’m providing you with a three part series that focuses on evaluating the progress of my three new ventures in the first quarter of 2016. I’ll answer eight key questions with honesty giving you a deeper look into my entrepreneurial psyche. Today, I start with ConnorGillivan.com.
1. What is ConnorGillivan.com?
ConnorGillivan.com is a personal website where I share my insights as a serial entrepreneur. The content is focused on helping other entrepreneurs navigate their way through the first years of starting a business. I’m in the process of building three, unique businesses and I provide takeaways from the many ups and downs of running a startup.
2. How did you found ConnorGillivan.com?
In August of 2015, my business partners and I made the decision to significantly scale down our first eCommerce venture. We had built the company into a $7 million business employing over 70 people, but we were running into roadblocks that caused us to seek other opportunities.
Around that time, I was re-evaluating my life’s goals. Making a positive impact on others through my writing has always been on the list. With my newly found free time, I committed a full month to writing and studying the art of blogging.
At the end of the month, I had a clear strategy of how to build the content-centric business, over 20 columns ready to publish, and a way to start chasing one of my life dreams. The venture launched in October and has been on a positive trajectory of growth since.
3. How does ConnorGillivan.com solve a problem?
ConnorGillivan.com provides a strategic road map to entrepreneurs to start a new business in its first year. There are millions of people that start their own business every year and never make it past the 1 year mark. Becoming involved in the ConnorGillivan.com community and receiving mentorship from me can make it so that their venture thrives in the first year.
4. What were your goals for the site in January 2016?
As you’ll see, only a select few of my goals came to fruition in the first quarter. I had less time that I had expected for building the site as I decided to focus more attention on the upstart and growth of eCommetize and FreeeUp. It’s good to fall short of your goals from time to time because it teaches you how to better be realistic. When you understand your time commitment, you can create realistic goals that will stretch you to your potential.
5. What was most difficult?
Time. With starting two other businesses that require all of my attention between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm, writing for ConnorGillivan.com is reserved for late evenings, early mornings, and weekends.
I do my best to stay ahead of schedule with content, but it’s not always possible. If only there were more hours in the day…
6. What was most rewarding?
Readership. As a result of my continued writing and my decision to hire an assistant to handle my social media management, I saw engagement and readership increase by almost double what it had started at in the beginning of January. While it’s nothing to brag about yet, I am happy to see positive growth.
Organic results. Through learning and implementing SEO tactics, I’ve started to see more people landing on the site through organic search results.
7. What is the outlook for Q2?
Content and relationships. I’ll continue to put out 1-3 new columns per week focused on the first year of starting a business. I’ll also be creating a greater focus on developing relationships with other entrepreneurs, professors, and similar publications.
My hope is to create meaningful and long lasting relationships with other individuals passionate about entrepreneurship, education, and personal growth. Through these relationships, we will have the opportunity to make positive impacts on each other through shared promotions of each other’s content.
A new website. I’ll be redesigning the site in the second quarter to create a more enjoyable user experience. I’ve built 4 websites in the past 6 months and have a much better understanding of how to appeal to readers now. I’m looking forward to a design overhaul while still keeping the minimalist design aspects of the current site.
8. What is the vision for the year?
The vision of 2016 is to create the foundation for a personal brand where I am able to make a positive impact on others through my writing. I will be working towards a minimum of 3,000 hits per month by engaging with niche communities and continuing to put out great content.
I envision having enough content to put out my first book in the first quarter of 2017 focused on how to build a business in its first year. At the end of the day, ConnorGillivan.com is a venture for giving back to the entrepreneurial community and chasing my passion for writing.