John Paul Dejoria, an American billionaire businessman and philanthropist best known as a co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patron Spirits Company, said in a recent Inc. interview: “If you just let things happen, the universe works.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement and wanted to share my personal “just let things happen” experience; if nothing else – maybe this article will be an inspiration to you and you’ll also discover opportunities to let the universe work for you.
Back in 2008, I was determined to start a sightseeing tour business based out of Boulder, Colorado. As far as I could tell – there was no or very little competition in the area. Having moved here from Switzerland in 1997 and having travelled the world quite extensively before settling in Colorado, I thought that getting into the sightseeing tour business would be a great fit for me. After all, I created a very solid marketing and business plan, did a ton of research, crunched the numbers and for sure thought that nothing could hold me back from starting this business.
….And here’s the twist.
I was ready to ditch my marketing executive job and dive into self employment. A very important part of getting the business off the ground was to apply with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a license to operate a sightseeing tour operation out of Boulder. Piece of cake; right? Once I applied for the license, all of the sudden several other operators that supposedly were serving the Boulder market started to intervene and I ended up in court with some of them. I was able to settle with one of them but could simply not get past two of them. I was demoralized and if you have ever tried to start a business but you couldn’t get the required piece of paper to get started, then you know how I felt back then. I put a lot of effort into this venture, I paid a lot of money to a lawyer to help me get the license, and I spent endless hours trying to make this business work. I was floored.
One of my last straws of hope was the yearly Boulder Chamber of Commerce get-together for local tourism attractions. I signed up and attended the meeting. The meeting was great and I met a ton of like minded people. In telling them about my struggles, I got some much needed moral support… and then, I made the connection that turned everything around. During a coffee break while networking with other attendees, I started to talk with the owner of a local entertainment attraction. She asked me if I knew about anyone who could help them redo their website. Since website development was part of my current job, I told her that I’d be able to help her with that, gave her a quote on the spot and we were in business.
I had just landed my first client. In that moment, I realized that maybe I should focus my energy on something that I’m already really good at and just let the universe decide where this will take me. I did some thinking that night and made a commitment to myself that sometimes you just need to go with the flow and that starting an online marketing and SEO consulting business may be the right thing for me to do.
…..Fast forward to today.
Word spread and I started to get busier and busier helping local businesses with website development, search engine optimization, social media and content marketing. Doing all of this work on the side for about two years, I was getting tired of working a full-time job and spending most nights working on my side-business. One morning, I read in my horoscope that I had to make a major change to my life that day or I’d regret it for years to come. I got out of bed, took a shower, and then wrote my letter of resignation.
No doubt, I was a bit scared when I handed in my resignation to my boss that morning. Having just bought a house and being a part-time single dad, I not only had a big mortgage but I was also financially liable for two amazing kids. Looking back, it was the best decision I did in a very long time. Knowing that failure was not an option this time around, I put my everything into starting this business and the outcome was even better than what I was hoping for. Soon, I had too many clients to manage myself so I had to add staff and scale up. Every month, the business grew about 20-30% and it was amazing to see the results that we were able to achieve for our clients. Regardless, I have to admit that failure is not fun, but sometimes necessary to succeed at what you’re really supposed to do.
Knowledge is Power
Helping our clients with all of their search engine optimization, social media and content marketing is a blast and keeps me busy these days. Whenever I have a chance, I now try to educate people and businesses about digital marketing because it’s one of the most affordable and effective marketing tools. so if you’re up for it, I invite you to learn more about our upcoming SEO training and online marketing workshops and webinars.
Maybe one of these sessions will inspire you to find your true calling;) After all, you never know where life will lead you when you’re open to it.
About the Author
Chris Raulf is an international SEO training expert and founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, a boutique online marketing agency located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Chris and his team assist companies around the globe with all of their search engine optimization, social media and content marketing needs. Chris is a frequent presenter at conferences and he also enjoys sharing his passion for digital marketing in online events and on his blog. The Online Marketing Institute recently added him to its “Top 40+ Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014” list. Find and connect with Chris on LinkedIn.