How I turned my dream business into a nightmare and then rescued it.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Many content creators fail because they are too selfish. They prioritize their interests, prioritize profit, and rarely prioritize problem-solving. This is why everyone warns beginner creators to follow an audience-first approach: selfishness is the norm.

I am the opposite. For a while it was an advantage. But I brought it to the extreme. I focused so much on my audience that I forgot about my needs. I suffered and in the long term the business suffered, too.

As always, reality is complex. Rigid axioms aren’t enough to guide thoughtful decisions. We need nuance.

So, here’s how I learned to go beyond the “audience-first approach” to improve my business and my life.

My first online business was a success from the beginning. I launched a photography blog in Italian, which soon grew to 300,000 pages per month, exclusively through SEO.

For a while, I thought I found the way. I prioritized my audience because I targeted the most searched keywords. But I was also talking about something I liked, and I was fulfilling my calling for teaching. The best of two worlds.

Over time, my passion for photography waned, while another passion started replacing it. I spent hours studying about self-improvement and business and putting the lessons learned into practice. I was a solopreneur before the term was coined. For me, it was the fastest vehicle on the path to self fulfillment (it still is).

I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I felt the urge to show people what was possible. So, I joined another guy launching a podcast that interviewed Italian digital entrepreneurs. Listeners were inspired by the stories. They dreamed about controlling their own lives by building a location-independent business.

Unfortunately, they just dreamed, they didn’t take action. We didn’t want to sell just dreams. But the action takers were a tiny minority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *