I Am A Servant: "One That Serves Others"

This ideal, theory, way of life is a thought process that needs to be beat into any beginning entrepreneur or aspiring blogger looking to make an income online. I am a servant to my readers. I provide a service that they need in order to make their online experience better and more fruitful. I am not here to inflate my ego…I am not here to have you tell me how great I am…I am here to help you achieve your goals and fill your needs. I am a servant and while servants can lead by example…they are still at the mercy of the people and they need to deliver what the people want.

Typical Life Cycle of the Failing Entrepreneur or Blogger

What I am about to share with you is the typical life cycle of the failing entrepreneur or blogger. I have seen this happen in everything from a blog that has 500 subscribers to multi-million dollar companies that went from rapid success to an even quicker failure. As a blogger…you are not immune…you are actually more prone to an even more rapid life cycle. The following scenario applies to all types of business and is easily seen in blogging due to the nature of the business. Hopefully…by pointing this out…I can help you guys avoid the pitfalls that success can bring to a blogger and aspiring entrepreneur.

Stage 1 – I’ll Give You Whatever You Want!

The first stage in any beginning entrepreneur or blogger’s life start with an idea and a willingness to give their small customer base (readers for the blogger) whatever they want to get the business rolling. This is a new and exciting time for the entrepreneur as they start to get their first sales and see the beginnings of a profitable business. A lot of passion and drive brings this stage to the next step with very little payback as things are just starting to build. Most of the time, this stage is filled with a lot of work that helps others but does not bring back a lot of return. The new business owner uses that willingness to do what others won’t to build up his business to get a strong, loyal customer base. All of the focus is on the customer as the business continues to grow and prosper.

Stage 2 – Unique Ideas Breed More Success

In stage 2 of the process, the company continues to grow and unique ideas that solve the problems of the customers start to appear. These solutions were not requested…but presented. Most of the time, it is an inventive way to increase productivity on both ends of the relationship that was not thought of before. By listening to the needs of the readers, customers, the people that bring you income, the owner was able to solve their problems in a unique way through a new product or service. This uniqueness spreads and brings the success that entrepreneur was after from the beginning. This is another exciting time for the entrepreneur as customers are now looking up to you for answers to their problems instead of providing the direct ideas. You are providing a unique solution based of your originality.

Stage 3 – The Beginning of the Breakdown

During this stage in the process, you start to see a breakdown. The entrepreneur lets his unique ideas go to his head and now…he starts to believe that his unique ideas are going to apply to everyone. He starts to stop listening to his customers needs and wants and starts to tell them what they need. What results is a series of products and services that are overly complicated that do not fit the needs of his clients. Instead of listening to this feedback, the business owner just pushes harder because his customers do not realize how bad they really need that product. The praise, news stories and being mentioned throughout his industry has built up an ego in the mind of the business owner (blogger). They are now bigger than their audience/customer base.

Stage 4 – Failure and Final Breakdown

Due to a series of unsuccessful products and ventures, the company is now losing money. The growth he saw at the beginning of the process grew the company and the overhead, so when customers started leaving to other companies that were willing to listen…revenue went down and fixed costs stayed the same. The once eager entrepreneur is now blindsided by failure due to the growth of his ego. During the last stage in this process, he forgot the key to success…listening to the needs and wants of the customers. The business is now sold off after several drastic attempts at income that all fail due to lack of planning because of urgency.

What Can You Learn As A Blogger With This Process?

You are servant to your readers. As long as you are delivering what your readers want on a consistent basis…you will continue to see success and growth. Unique ideas that solve your readers problems in a new and more efficient way will bring faster success, but you need to make sure that the increased attention does not bread a top-blogger ego. We see it all the time…a little success and a couple of thank you emails from readers…and all of the sudden the blogger thinks they are king of the world! If you live and breath the philosphy that you are a servant to your readers and they are actually above you…you will do well overall in business and in blogging because you will continue to deliver what your readers want…and not what you are telling them they need.

You are…and never will be…bigger than a single reader of your blog. They are what bring you success in the long run. Remember that…

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Darni December 16, 2009 - 8:37 am
The "Helping customer achieving their goals" mindset is critical to the companies,whether online or offline,big or small.However,there are only a small percentage of people implement this mindset.This is way so many people fail to build up their business.
Shirley December 16, 2009 - 10:37 am
I agree 100% with you on all that you have said, Robb, especially about you the blogger not being bigger than any single reader of your blog. An example of what you talked about today in general life is when people become big in position and they see themselves as being different and extraordinary from other people and thus become arrogant and this surely brings about their downfall.
Brandon @ WeBlogBetter.com December 16, 2009 - 11:54 am
Rob, this resonates well with me - I think servanthood is the secret to great leadership. We have to stoop to be worthy of the trust our readers place in us.
Mike Crimmins December 16, 2009 - 9:24 pm
Well, I am the king of the world but that's besides the point. I totally agree with what you're saying, I would just add one point: you have to be blogging for yourself or you won't get past the first month.
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