It’s not that my job was particularly soul-crushing (and it was nothing the movie Office Space). It was actually pretty great. My hours were flexible, the office was trendy, and there were always snacks and coffee. By most people’s standards, it was a perfect job…but that just made it worse. Every morning I was getting up early, dragging myself out of the apartment, to an office to help someone else make money.
I was trading my valuable time to these guys in exchange for just a small fraction of the money I was making them.
No matter how hard I tried to put that thought out of my head, it just kept coming back. And each time it was stronger.
I didn’t want to be chained to a day job for the rest of my life. That was fine for my parents and for my brothers, but it wasn’t how I wanted to live my life.
I was hungry for a change so I resolved to start my own business and in early 2015, I finally took the plunge…
First, it was freelance writing…which failed.
Then it was an article writing company…which failed.
Then I tried to write and pitch music for TV commercials…which failed.
Then I thought I might try drop shipping…which failed.
Then I attempted to build a micro niche website…which failed.
By mid-2015, I was at my wit’s end. I remember getting up early one morning to try to work on whatever business idea I had at the time, and having a breakdown.
I was a mess.
Luckily my roommate was still asleep, and I’m a quiet crier.
That’s when I almost gave up. Every idea I’d had for a business, had gone bust. I didn’t have any skills that people would pay me top dollar for outside of a day job.
Over the next few days I spiraled and I was ready to give up try to make the day job life work for me.
Then I had a thought…
“Instead of trying to start a business with the skills I have, I can just learn to do something that DOES pay well…”
It might sound like a pretty obvious realization, but at the time it felt like I was seeing things in color for the first time.
I finally had a way forward, and though it would be a journey, I could see a path to the financial freedom and success that I’d wanted so badly for so long.
Fast forward to one year later, I was free from my day job, and running my own profitable SEO agency.
An agency that generates (and continues to generate) THOUSANDS of dollars every month while allowing me the freedom to schedule my life however I like.
I fell victim to TWO HUGE ROADBLOCKS along the way the almost took me down (again).
Changes are if you’re on this journey, you will run into them as well.
Two Roadblocks Standing In The Way Of Starting (Or Growing) Your SEO Business…And How To Overcome Them
Roadblock #1: “I don’t have any profitable skills or good ideas for a business…”
I wracked my brains for months trying to wring a good business idea out of it. I assumed that if you didn’t learn a skill college or in a job, that you couldn’t very well learn it, and get good enough at it to charge people for it.
Have you ever sat there in a Facebook group reading success stories from people who already know a profitable skill and thinking to yourself that you wish you knew what they knew.
It sucks right?
Well, I thought like that for YEARS. It’s really easy to feel bitter and jealous of other people’s success, especially if you think that your skills are worthless.
Here’s something you need to understand: you’re not limited to what you know already to start a business. Those profitable skills that people are using to generate income for themselves, you can learn them…and they’re not even that hard.
That’s what I realized when I decided to learn SEO. I saw SEO consultants making $100k PER MONTH and it made me super jealous.
But everyone always told me I was good at writing, so I tried over and over again to make a writing business work, but I couldn’t
That’s when I committed to learning a new skill, a skill that was in demand, and that paid me at least $1,000 per month per client. That’s how I decided I was going to learn SEO.
Turns out SEO isn’t actually all that complicated to learn. Heck, you don’t even need to be very good with technology to rank websites. And you know what? It’s really fun.
I never would have learned that had I not decided I was going to expand my skill set and learn something that I KNEW would get me paid.
But the battle isn’t over. Once you realize that you can learn a new, profitable skill, sure that knowledge is powerful and valuable, but you’ll inevitably stumble on the next hurdle – which is something that even experienced SEO’s fall prey to…
Roadblock #2: “I’ll figure it out as I go along…”
Did you play sports, or participate in any clubs in high school or college?
Most of us did something extra-curricular because we enjoyed it.
Remember feeling of suiting up on game day, or performing in concert, or showcasing your work for others to see?
Finally being able to do something that, weeks or months before seemed impossible, is literally one of the best feelings you can ever have.
But the truth is, if you’ve ever built something from the ground up — especially a skill — you know that in order to see results, you have to go through a process that incrementally increases your proficiency until you get the result you’re looking for.
It’s NEVER as simple as “just doing it.”
It DOESN’T get easier. In fact, you could be doing it all wrong for years, costing yourself time, money, and energy.
Think about it like…
The New York City subway system has over 400 stops.
If you’re brand new in town and needed to get to Times Square, how would you do it?
Sure, you could “just do it” but to get it right on the first try, you’ll have to be awfully lucky.
But with a map, everything changes. You’re able to see the station stops clearly, and know what it’s going to take to get you to your final destination.
The fact is that you CAN’T magically know how to get from point A to point B in a city you’ve never been to. You need a map to guide you, or else you risk getting horribly lost.
So why do people try to launch their SEO businesses without any roadmap in place to make sure they’re moving in the right direction.
I think they’re forgetting one CRUCIAL element: Building a business is a SKILL.
You have to become SKILLED at identifying your profitable ideas, testing them, finding clients, and negotiating with them.
You have to become SKILLED at dealing with objections and using psychology to make clients choose you instead of other, cheaper alternatives.
You have to become SKILLED at creating scalable systems that allow you to get paid what you deserve for your work — and move your rates up with confidence.
Only a SYSTEM can help you build a skill.
Having a system was a “light dawn on marble head” moment for me. It forced me to take a good, hard look at what I was doing, and it forced me to take the time to develop a system for improving my SEO abilities and my client-getting abilities until I was making the money I wanted.
Now, this system is so powerful that right now I can essentially scale it up or down depending on how much money I want to make.
Just shy of three months of transactions from my payment processor, that’s almost $24k worth of business. That’s triple what I would have made at my day job in that same time period. BUT it was only possible once I’d learned how to build a SCALABLE SYSTEM for generating an income with SEO
But 99 percent of people who try to start an SEO business, don’t have any system in place to help them build their business, or make any money.
They try a bunch of things to get clients and rank their websites.
Some stuff works, but more of it doesn’t. They don’t know how to get someone to pony up for their ranking services over another SEO agency.
“Oh well, that’s just how it goes sometimes…”
They have no system in place to predictably generate leads and sign new clients to grow their income. So, naturally, they feel lucky just to find someone who wants to hire them.
“Better not charge too much…I don’t want them to get mad at me in case I fail…”
Even though they KNOW they’re worth more.
Even though they can’t afford to live the life they want by charging such low rates.
Yet in the back of their heads…they know there are other SEO’s out there absolutely CRUSHING IT.
These pros have businesses knocking down their doors to pay them 10x what most everyone is charging.
“What the f**k?! How the hell does he charge $8k a month for SEO, and I have to fight tooth and nail to get a $500 invoice paid?”
What are they doing wrong? Are they bad people? Are they unskilled?
No. They simply don’t have a SYSTEM in place.
They don’t have the SEO Yeah Bootcamp.