The Shocking Truth About Online Business Advice

WTFAdmit it.

You love reading how to articles about growing your business.

You devour your favourite guru’s blog posts.

You sign up to mailing lists to get those “10 simple steps to success” free eBooks (maybe you even got ours).

You’ve bought more programmes about how to be successful online than you care to admit.

But something isn’t right.

You’re confused.

You’re overwhelmed.

You’re not sure who to listen to any more. And most of all you’re not getting the results you want.

I’m going to make it easy for you by showing you can ignore just about everything you read, so you can free up your time and take success into your own hands.

Ready OK, lets start with

Why You Should Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

My new favourite proverb: 

“For every proverb, there is an equal and opposite proverb.” 

What does that mean? Well, consider a few of these

All good things come to those who wait.

But then again:

Time and tide wait for no man.

Another Example:

The pen is mightier than the sword.

But on the other hand

Actions speak louder than words.

Or one of my favourites:

Too many cooks spoil the broth.


Many hands make light work.

Jars a little doesn’t it? Those proverbs fit in some situations. But they aren’t a universal truth.

So what about my eggs? One Basket or lots of them?

“The right answer In this case, depends on the margin of error and on the per-basket failure rate. It also greatly depends on the chance of correlated, uncorrelated, and anti-correlated basket failures. Sometimes the best way to get your eggs from point A to point B really is to put them all in one basket and take really good care of that basket.”

Thank you to Chris Dixon for the explanation, and for more opposite proverbs check out here.

Those might be silly examples. But hopefully your eyes are open now and you’re ready to question a few established truths.

Lets get a little closer to home shall we? Our modern proverb equivalent is a well crafted blog post, or a pithy tweet. They’re appealing, and seem to contain wisdom that will guide you to success. But are you sure they apply in your situation?

3 Counter Intuitive Strategies That Work For Launching Your Business.

Here’s where 3 popular bloggers show you how to do it differently – from each other.

Please don’t call me out for dissing your favourite blogger here – these guys are some of my personal heroes too. But stop for a minute and review the advice. Is it right for you?

1 – Content First or Audience First?

If you’re thinking of building a new blog, should you concentrate on great content, or getting subscribers to read it?

In his excellent 279 Days To Overnight Success, Chris Guillebeau lays out the content first approach in detail (hit page 17). It’s made him wildly successful.

But if you think that’s the only way, have a look at this post by Jon Morrow, and pay specific attention to lesson #9 :  ”In the Beginning, Creating Content for Your Own Blog Is Silly”

Two opposite approaches from two major success stories.

2 – Failure: Good Thing Or Bad Thing?

It’s becoming such an accepted truth that failure is a good thing. That you must fail first to succeed. There are many posts out there I could link to, but how about Marie Forleo for example.

Contrast that with Jason Fried, of Basecamp, one of the most successful bootstrapped companies you can find –Learning from failure is overrated

3 – Quit Your Job, Or Start A Side Hustle?

This is a biggie for THDC readers.

There’s a huge amount of advice about how to set up a business on the side. There are blogs dedicated just to that. Ramit Sethi has turned it into an art form.

But then look at all the rags to riches stories that start with the hero at rock bottom? How many times have you heard that success is due to focus, and the determination that comes from having no other options.

Check out Pat Flynn’s story of getting laid off and growing his Smart Passive Income empire from a zero base.

I could go on. There are divided opinions on absolutely everything. In fact, here’s my patented tool to make sure what you’re doing is always right:

How To Be Sure You’re Doing The Right Thing

  • Google that “thing”, whatever it is.
  • Find someone who recommends it and has written about it
  • Read that material. Absorb.
  • Feel happy
  • Do it

How To Convince Yourself You Don’t Have To Do Something

  • Google that “thing”, whatever it is.
  • Find someone who recommends not to do it.
  • Read that material. Absorb.
  • Feel happy
  • Don’t do it

Want to test this out?

Google “Fake it Till You Make it” The term for pretending you have the experience of doing something to get you the point where you actually have:


As I write, Both of these examples are from the first page:

The Pro Case

The against case:

You can get totally conflicting advice within 3 clicks!

Is it any wonder that you’re confused?

Here’s Permission To Ignore Everybody

The truth is, that there really isn’t once course of action that will definitely work for you. You must create your own method. You can borrow from all of the fantastic advice out there, but you must make it your own.

From running The Hundred Dollar Club for two years now, I can attest that there isn’t a success formula, and I’m never going to pretend there is.

I’ve seen a lot of people try to launch a business in that time. I’ve seen some successes and even more failures. I can say I’ve noticed a pattern when things go right for people:

The 3 Founding Principles Connecting 90% Of Business Success Stories

I say 90% – I’m not sure that’s fact – it might even be closer to 100% but these ring true for all of the successful people I’ve worked with:

1 – They Believed In What They Were Doing

Perhaps it’s  confidence, perhaps it’s arrogance, perhaps it’s a belief in a higher purpose.

Successful people believe they are doing something worthwhile.

They also believe they are good enough to do it and stand 100% behind their ability.

This doesn’t mean it comes naturally. Many suffer from crippling self doubt and a desire to hide in the corner. But they push on.

Their belief isn’t always founded in fact to start with. Some of the successes I’ve seen really couldn’t do it very well in the beginning. But they did it, and got better. And now they can.

2 – They Started

Obvious right? Not so.

So many people are caught up in the opposite of starting: Preparation and Procrastination.

Preparing to start instead of actually starting.

Whether you subscribe to the “Start before you’re ready” or “Get your ducks lined up” approach, you have to start at some point. The sooner that point occurs, the sooner real things start to happen.

3 – They Pushed Through Difficulty and Doubt

Call it bloody mindedness, call it not knowing something is impossible, call it grit.

Successful people see it through. They persevere in down times. They ride the roller coaster.

Things will not always go right. Sooner or later they will definitely go wrong.

The link between successful business people is how they handle disasters, not that they always avoid them.

It’s Time To Put Down The Manual And Create Your Own Path

You know what you need to know.

You’ve got most of the skills you need. Those you haven’t can be learned along the way.

Next time you feel like you need one more “magic strategy”, ask yourself:

Am I following the 3 founding principles?

Put those right first, and the rest will follow.

Believe. Act. Persist.


  • Linda Coussement

    That’s great advice Rob! I always tell my readers and clients (I work as a Business Improvement Coach) that methods only work when adapted to fit your exact situation. Same goes for this; I feel more comfortable having my products and content ready before sending out that big guest blog. i’m a big fan of Jon Morrow but diverting from his ‘emaillist before content’ strategy gives me simply more peace of mind :)

    • Rob Young

      Thanks Linda – Exactly. You need to figure out what works in your situation, and then DO IT! that’s the hard part…

  • Malaika Paul

    Right on!. My philosophy on doing business. Make Your Own Path. I posted on quote on FB from Joseph Campbell “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

    • Rob Young

      NIce Quote Malaika. Cutting a path is hard, but worth it, right?

  • Sophie Playle

    Good stuff!

    • Rob Young

      Thanks Sophie. Just seen I have all these notifications from Disqus and had missed them till now!

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