6 Truths of Online Business That Helped a Contrarian Build a Million Dollar Company

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

How thinking like a contrarian can help you build a successful business, and how I have used this mindset to create an Inc. 500 company.

I’m one of those guys that has been looking at things differently my whole life.

I’m always looking for secrets, growth hacks, and ways to accelerate business growth in non traditional ways.

I have tested just about every credible advertising platform under the sun, used just about every growth hack in existence, and have worked alongside some incredible minds and wildly successful companies.

What I have learned has helped me reach the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, and I want to share some of my non-traditional wisdom with you.

1. Contrarians Rule the Roost

Firstly, I think that being a contrarian has dramatically improved my success. I don’t go with the pack. The idea of doing that and following everyone else just doesn’t work for me. This mindset and the techniques I’m going to show you below, allow me to take a piece of just about any market that I want, while doing it my own way.

Related Article: Facts and Figures: Key Factors that Determine Startup Success

2. Diversification Is Dead

I see people spreading themselves way too thin. They set up 10 businesses or 15 different marketing strategies before one is even successful, and then they all fail. They are firing blind, spread way too thin and the chances of success become minimal at best.

You have probably heard this phrase, which is perhaps one of the most cliche business strategy phrases of all time; “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

As a contrarian, I believe that there’s nothing wrong with putting all your eggs in one basket, as long as you follow the other points of this post, and as long as you are doing what you are doing because there is great thought and strategy behind it.

Of course, a few aces up your sleeve wouldn't hurt either.

The other great part of being a contrarian is that it allows me to break my own rules. And I do break my own rules quite often because I made the rules. I hope you are starting to see the theme here.

3. Mindset Matters Most

I do believe that success is inevitable, no matter what success means to you. If you don’t believe in yourself, why bother? Who’s going to believe in you if you don’t even believe in you?

I remove words such as “try” and “if”. I don’t try to build business, I just do it, knowing that I’m going to succeed. Instead of saying “If this works”, I say “when this works.”

I will admit that not everything I have done has worked out how I originally planned, but I have a pretty good batting average thanks to this mindset of success. And sometimes it’s all a matter of how you look at it.

One persons failure could be someone else’s success. I have had success come to me in ways that I never originally intended, that were 100 times better than I could have ever imagined since I wasn’t narrow minded in how I defined success.

Related Article: Successful Business Leaders Tell All: Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2016

4. Multi-Variable Testing to Perfection

There is a systematic approach to making just about any online marketing campaign work, eventually. Often times it requires shifting marketing angles, pivoting business plans and adapting to market needs, but how do you know what to change if you aren’t testing multiple variables at once?

Just about every campaign that I setup, I am constantly testing many different variables. I’ll use split testing tools to test different headlines, ad copy, images, calls-to-action, landing pages and other elements. This is commonly referred to as multi-variate testing and there are a number of tools that will help you do this on your site or landing pages (Visual Website Optimizer, Optimizely, etc.)

This systematic approach of testing multiple variables at once always me to piece together what works and what doesn’t. I let the market tells me what works. Instead of the other way around.

5. Using the Secret Words Technique

Before you start the multi-variate testing mentioned above, you have to have some sort of base. But how do you figure out where to start?

The ideal place to start is by using a technique I developed called the Secret Words. The secret words are actually phrases that I look for in regards to an existing product or service on the market. I’m essentially looking for complaints about a product or service, that I want to compete with.

For example, if I was building a social media posting tool like Hootsuite, I might l search on the help forum of Hootsuite to find people that “hate” a certain feature of Hootsuite, and “wish” it was done differently.

If I find enough people that “hate” a certain feature, and Hootsuite isn’t doing it for whatever reason, I may have just found myself a perfect marketing and product angle to go head on with Hootsuite.

There are other ways to use the secret words as well. You can also look for words such as “love”. If you find that people “love” a certain feature but can’t afford it, then again you may have found a way to go head on with a competitor.

Related Article: 10 Principles of Success: Quotes to Inspire from Jim Rohn

6. Relentless Pursuit of Plan

Relentless pursuit of your plan is the final step. You have to be willing to hustle, you have to be willing to outwork and outsmart.

I think that “hustling" is one of the most commonly misunderstood terms in entrepreneurship. A lot of people seem to think that hustling means working themselves to death, doing dodgy things, and sacrificing health and sleep at the cost of business.

To me, it means something completely different. It means finding ways to make the success that I believe is already inevitable, a reality. This is again all a matter of mindset. It’s a matter of smarts. It’s finding ways to live a better, more fulfilled life. But not at the cost of my health, sleep or morals.

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