5 Mistakes I Made While Growing My Company to 6 Figures as a Digital Nomad | Guest Post by Khalid Farhan
Nobody wants to hear about mistakes, however, entrepreneurs love talking about ‘em. Why?
Entrepreneurs know how valuable the learning of a mistake can be.
I run a small SEO company in Ireland that does $25,000/month constantly and we have clients from all over the world.
Now, I am no Jeff Bezos, however, I have made plenty of solid mistakes in my entrepreneurial career. Some of those were very costly. Let’s talk about 5 of the biggest mistakes I made and what I think about those now.
The Value of a Personal Brand
When I initially decided to become a digital nomad, my plan was to setup a company, hire a bunch of people to run it and keep traveling.
I very quickly realized that the model didn’t work for me. There were two obstacles. I enjoyed my work too much and I was not a good manager.
So in 2 years, I moved from that domain and started to integrate everything in my main Khalid Farhan domain I can’t tell you how many clients I received in the last 1 year only because I decided to blog
under my own name and show my face and own brand everywhere.
Where this is not the regular norm, I strongly recommend everyone who’s interested in a service-based business to use his personal branding for his benefit. It works.
Losing Focus Constantly
Many will agree with me on this. When you start your career and get a little traction, it is very easy to spread yourself too thin with opportunities. There’s shiny object syndrome everywhere. In my case, it was even more difficult because my shiny objects were actually
I will give you an example.
An average SEO client will bring me $500-$1000/month where a small keyword research project on Upwork or via my personal website will bring in $49-$99 at max. It is comparatively easier to get a keyword research gig and If I try hard, I can probably make a
good living offering that service alone.
However, that would be spreading myself too thin. Even though I will make money with a smaller one-time service, my focus should be getting recurring clients that stay.
I didn’t realize this in my first 2-3 years and I 100% regret that.
Trying to do Everything Myself
When you like what you do, you end up in a situation where you prefer doing everything on your own.
Where the quality might be better if you do things on your own, it is not the best way to spend your valuable hours on business.
Do you know why big CEOs and entrepreneurs use private jet? A flight from North America to the Middle East on a private jet saves you approx. 3 hours on a private jet which is valuable.
Time is money.
Even though nobody will be able to create those YouTube Thumbnails, FB posts & even monthly invoices with as much care as you would do, it is not the best utilization of your time.
I am still making this mistake.
Even though I know I should spend my time on more important things, I end up spending a whole day replying to emails & creating LinkedIn posts.
My recommendation would be assigning a monetary value to your work hour (say $200/hour). From now on, every time you spend time on something that is not worth $200/hour, you can outsource it for less than $200/hour.
That’s the math.
Increasing Your Profit While The Revenue Grows
There’s no harm in increasing your profit while the revenue of the business grows, however, you should always spend a healthy percent of your revenue back to the business.
I admit, I didn’t do this till 2017.
Doesn’t matter if my business made $5000 or $500,000 in a month, I spent the usual $1800 on services & salary.
That was wrong.
As your business grows, so should your budget for different vehicles of your company. In our case, we started spending money on getting a nicer looking customer dashboard for our clients, offering them 24/7 panels to track rankings, creating custom small SaaS tools for our
clients and more.
From 2018, we decided that a big chunk of our revenue should go back to the business even though the business seems to run fine without it.
This will escalate development, client satisfaction which will hopefully, future proof my journey.
The Mentality of ‘Getting Out’ and Retire
This has been the biggest of all my mistakes. If you asked me 5 years ago about my future plans, I would say that my plan is to make as much money as possible in the next 5 years and then retire.
This was bad.
I kept thinking about how to sell my business, how big the exit will be and I never invested in growing my business after a point.
I was going to sell it anyway, why spend time and money in growth, right?
This was shortsightedness which hampered our growth, as you can imagine. If you build a business to sell, you wouldn’t care for it as much as you would do for something that you build to last for life.
At least that’s what was the case with me.
Once I moved to my name domain, I knew that I wasn’t going to sell it and retire. This is my lifetime plan.
That made me think about everything from a completely new angle.
I now have better relations with my clients, my employees & I am more confident in what I am doing than I was ever before.
I am Khalid from KhalidFarhan.com, we are a SEO & Website portfolio agency with clients from all over the world.
I am originally from Bangladesh, now living as a Digital Nomad with a base in Dublin, Ireland.