Starting an Online Business

Friday night, after a dinner at the famous Four Seasons restaurant in New York City, I had a conversation with a nice young man named Connor.

He’s 19 years old, in his second year of college, and the son of an Atlas 400 member. His mother asked me to explain what I did for a living, and so I launched into the story I’ve told a thousand times.

But I realized it’s worth telling again. If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s how I started my online business…

I started slow. Really slow. Much slower than you might even feel you’re starting.

But I went a couple of years of ‘running my online business’ before I made a sale…mostly because I had NO idea what I was doing.

Fortunately for you today, there are dozens of great online business teachers to speed your success.

But IF you are starting slow, like I did, realize that was ONLY by taking action and actually getting started that I have been able to achieve what the success I have today.

It all started one day in started one day in 1998 when I first stumbled across a fitness information website in the McMaster University Health Sciences Library. After getting sucked into the site for almost two hours, I simply thought to myself, “Hey, I could do this too. I can build an online business.”

I wasted no time in taking action, writing my first article and email newsletter the next day.


…For years business was slow. Frankly, because I had no idea what I was doing, I’m not sure you could even call it struggling. But I knew that I was passionate about creating content and helping others.

My original goal was to grow my newsletter list, and that’s what I did for the first two years.

I wasn’t even smart enough to sell anything until 2001.

But along the way I practiced two key principles recently shared with me by one of my mentors, Bill Bonner.

The first principle he calls, “Accelerated Failure”. This is where you make mistakes and you learn from them to move your business ahead. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

That leads to the second principle, “Incremental Improvement”.

his is where we use what we’ve learned from our accelerated failure to do things better in the future. Some of my biggest mistakes have led to my biggest breakthroughs.

With the knowledge you gain from them, you are able to achieve the best things in your life.

Everything you do should get better each time you practice it. Each day you should improve on the last.

There will, of course, be slip-ups and bad days, but incremental improvement is more importantly a mindset.

Always look to do better, but realize that without the lows in life, the highs would never really seem that high.

Just remember that the mistakes of your past are not who you are now. No matter what you’ve done in your life you have a second chance that starts today.

It is your time to choose who you will be and who you will become, for the rest of your life. You are certainly not too old to add value to the world, to give, create or inspire. If you need to, let the past go and start fresh, right here, right now.

Let’s go. Let it go.

Time to stop struggling.

And listen, if you want to know what I would do if I were you and starting from scratch today, just read Part 1 of my plan in this month’s Financial Independence Monthly.

If you’re not a member yet, you can join on your own terms here

You WILL succeed,

Craig Ballantyne

Expect more of yourself. You have been given great talents, good energy, and plenty of opportunity. You cannot fail. You only get results. And the results will show you whether to move ahead or try something else.

Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.