What I Learned from Starting Three New Ventures in 2016

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It’s the first week of January in 2016, one year ago. I’m at an interesting place in my life where I am starting three new ventures in the year of 2016. I have two ideas for new businesses that I’m interested in starting and I have the desire to bring my writing to the public for the first time through my own website. I’m not 100% what the outcome will be, but I’m confident in each venture and want to give it a shot. What better time than now? I’ve always been someone that follows my passions and doesn’t allow the mainstream thought of consciousness to impact what I do with my life.

All three of the ventures fit within a new model that I had created (read about The Four Pillars of Startup) from building my first business for evaluating if a business idea has the potential to become profitable and make a real impact. One of the core aspects of successfully starting a new business is working on a solution within your area of expertise. In my case, that domain was and continues to be eCommerce, online hiring, and content.

Venture #1: FreeeUp

The idea of FreeeUp, an online hiring platform for the eCommerce industry sprouted from multiple conversations with my business partners about the solution of hiring online not being fully optimized yet. With our first busines, we had hired over 100 remote workers ending up with over 35 on our team at the peak of the business. I say 100 because we had to go through so many to find the best. We spent countless hours posting jobs, interviewing, and trying to figure out the best equation to find the most reliable freelancers online because none of the hiring platforms were offering such a level of service to their customers.

With both online hiring and eCommerce expanding at rapid paces across the entire world, I saw a huge opportunity to make an impact in the long run. I couldn’t walk away from such an opportunity.

Venture #2: eCommetize

In yet another crossroads with the eCommerce industry, the idea of eCommetize was to help online influencers further monetize their viral digital communities through eCommerce. I stumbled upon the idea while networking at an event in Chicago with an individual named Steven Roddy. He is the owner of ThePageantPlanet.com, an online community of over 250,000 pageant enthusiasts where he offers coaching services. He had always been interested in having his own online store so I helped him get it off the ground. He was the company’s first client before we even started.

Affiliate marketing was the current solution to selling to your followers, but it wasn’t offering the best returns that could be out there. The more and more we talked to influencers, the more we heard that they weren’t happy with the affiliate margins and that they wanted more. I had heard about the growth of online influencer marketing agencies and saw another potential opportunity to capture.

Venture #3: ConnorGillivan.com

Finally, I had the desire to start publishing content to help other entrepreneurs and business owners as they worked to build their companies. Writing was always something that I had done privately and I had the confidence that if my writing was displayed to the public, it would start to make a positive impact on others.

This had been a venture that I have been thinking about for many years as I’ve fallen more and more in love with the passion of writing. I’ve always known that I would one day publish content for the public, write novels, and teach others from my experiences, but I never knew when the right time would be. With so many new things happening at the beginning of 2016, I decided to pour myself into my writing as well.

The opportunity? Embark upon a lifelong goal that I had to become a published and best selling writer reaching millions of people around the world with my content.

Making Time for Each Venture

Due to the unfortunate fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and the human mind requires between 6 and 8 hours per night in order to fully function the following day, I was limited to how much time I could spend on each venture.

With this in mind, I set out to organize my life into chunks of time each day striving to work between 10 and 12 hours per day with 1 weekend day as well. Certain time each day was set aside for each venture to chip away at milestones that I had created with my business partners.

Surprisingly, it worked out quite well for the majority of the year as the routine started to become ingrained into my everyday life. It also helped that I had started the year by reading a book about the most productive people in history and the habits that they had formed to allow for their unthinkable levels of productivity. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to be inspired to create new productive habits.

As any human would, there were days where I had to stray from the normal routine to provide sanity, but it was an amazing way to work on three new ventures without getting overwhelmed by everything that was on my plate. You can check out the routine that I was putting myself through on this column.

How It All Came Together

As most things do, it all came together at the end of the year. I had a tremendous amount to reflect upon and I took the time to honestly look at each venture and decide if I could move forward with all three or if I would have to make more time for only one, or maybe two.

Both FreeeUp and eCommetize were growing and making money on a regular basis. I had learned a tremendous amount about the online hiring and online influencer industries further adding to my expertise of the eCommerce industry. When it came down to how I decided to make my decision, I followed advice that I had recently received from an 8 week course that I was taking in the Orlando area.

The course focused on leading a grounded life and it taught you to identify the most important values to you in your life. The advice was to align your life with the most important values to you in order to place yourself in a position where you can achieve true happiness.

I trusted the advice based off of my core values and I found that the best decision was to move forward in 2017 focusing more of my time on two ventures instead of three, FreeeUp and ConnorGillivan.com.

If you take anything away from this column, see that placing yourself in numerous areas of potential opportunity will eventually put you in a place where you have 1 or 2 champions that you can really dedicate yourself to. When starting new businesses, it’s dangerous to just commit to one off the bat. What if I had only committed to one of those three ventures and it didn’t end up working out? I would be in a completely different situation. Think of that when you are looking for new opportunities and make sure that you have the time to really see what they can become.

How You Can Creatively Tackle New Ventures in Life

Anyone can take this approach to their own life, whether you are an entrepreneur or an individual working for another company. It’s all about the mindset that you possess and the steps that you take to move your life forward.

Here are a few pieces of advice that you can take to get started on your next venture in life.

1. Own your story…don’t let your story own you.

2. Put yourself in situations where you will thrive in the long run.

3. Challenge yourself to take on new adventures and keep the ones in your life that are most aligned with your core values.

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About Connor Gillivan

In the past 10 years, I’ve started 7 businesses & built two to $10M+ in annual revenue, teams of 30+ & an exit in 2019. Today, I run SEO & growth for my 4 B2B companies while teaching millions how to make SEO simple.

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