Building a school for digital entrepreneurs

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One of the things that are near and dear to me, is getting people to follow their entrepreneurial dreams and transform them into a real success, while at the same time having a great life – whatever that means to them.

This covers a wide range of people – from the grandmother wanting to make a part-time income of her beautiful handmade embroidery items – to the young and enthusiastic entrepreneur with hundreds of thousands of euros in profit the first year.

Sometimes people question me, saying they don’t have an “online business”. What I always say is this: You have a business – and you have to be online in today’s digitalised and global world!

If you don’t – your business will die in the long run. Even if you are just a small and tiny kiosk.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you must have a big fancy online shop with card payments – using all the complex digital mechanisms – but some sort of digital presence and branding is an absolute must.

The main reason why I created the non-profit charitable foundation was to offer educational activities to as many entrepreneurs as possible.

Especially for the ones that can and will – but don’t know how to achieve success (meaning making money and have the freedom that follows).

No one is good at everything

I am quite good at what I do – if I may say so. Particularly when it comes to the building blocks needed to create a successful business using digital marketing techniques, combining it with company formation and tax planning, and then perhaps most important – designing your entrepreneurial lifestyle.

These areas are my unique niche and I’m one of the very few in the world offering this combination.

With that said – there are for sure things that I’m not good at, and I never will be. I can really suck at some things!

In my younger days, I did for some reason believe that I had to be good at everything and do it all by myself.

I tried very hard so many times. Trust me on this one, no one is good at everything, so please stop doing so if you’re trying!

Be good at what you do best and do it with your best-born abilities. But what do you do if you don’t know what you are really good at?

Use your born abilities

Each one of us is born with different abilities – skills we can learn, but not all skills are a match with our born abilities. It can be like water and oil.

For example, I’m quite good at writing straight to the point texts and explaining things. But I suck at copywriting – that special technique you must use to get people to sign up or order! In plain English, writing sales texts.

So, what do I do? I get my copywriter to write the copywriting texts that he can produce effortlessly, quickly and with enthusiasm.

Just to be clear, my newsletters are not written by my copywriter – that’s my direct voice to you ;)

The same is the case for graphic design. Oh gosh, I’m really picky (annoying even) when it comes to style, design and looks. But I can’t even make a simple drawing on paper let alone on the computer.

When starting on a brand-new project – either one of my own or a client’s – it is often like a complete piece of blank paper. I simply get stuck when it comes to the visual. I have no idea where to start and I can waste so much time doing that.

What I do know, is how things should feel when I or a potential client experience the product or service.

I write to my great graphic designer, explain those exact feelings, the purpose, etc. – and perhaps I find something that I or the client like online for inspiration and send that along.

When you get that “I’m stuck” feeling, then you have to act on it instantly and decide if this task is actually something you should do or have someone else do it for you.

Of course, sometimes you just need a guiding hand and then you can get back on track. But if you can’t get it done with an “I love this” feeling, pass on the task.

What you need to be really good at is finding the right people for your team. They have to fit into how you work, not the other way around.

If you do so, you’ll succeed – spending less time, money and effort.

Once in awhile, I receive an email from an entrepreneur asking for the contact details for my outsourcing people.

I gladly pass them on. But I always mention that what is good for me is not necessarily good for them. It’s like shampoo!

This is one of the most important things any entrepreneur should learn: Knowing your born abilities and how to outsource business tasks – and also your personal ones. I call it outsourcing your life.

And no, it’s not just for the larger companies. This is especially important in small business.

One of the main reasons why most entrepreneurs fail

Every day, I see those “get rich” online programmes and sometimes even physical programmes.

I also see quite a few “How to become an expert on Facebook”, then another about email marketing, and on and on.

I’m not saying these programmes are no good. The problem with these programmes – in my honest opinion – is that they do not cover the full package you really need as an entrepreneur and business owner!

If you ever (really) want to succeed, you need to educate yourself in digital entrepreneurship – not just one or two elements taking just a few hours or days to complete.

Would you trust someone taking a three-week course in heart surgery? I would for sure think not.

A doctor has been educated to perform a wide variety of important scenarios that can happen during operation, as well as a tremendous amount of practice before mastering his work.

Perhaps an extreme example, but I think you get the point.

Another problem with these programmes is – all they want you to do is that one thing. If they sell you a search engine optimisation course, then that’s all they ever want to sell you.

Often, they don’t tell you the whole story. Then you have to purchase another top-up programme, then another, and so on.

But what if a paid Facebook online advertising campaign is the right choice for your product or service? Or as it often should be – a mix of various elements in your audience funnel (your customer’s journey from the first interaction to the final sale).

This is the case – whether you’re a business owner or if you manage a brand as an employee – small or large.

If you haven’t learned the overall helicopter perspectives – sorry to say so – the chance of failing is huge.

Sadly, I see these failures every single day – and I want this to change.

There’s a reason why I’m not a salesman. I’m a teacher, educator and mentor.

Building a school of digital entrepreneurship

I want the non-profit foundation to offer an education with the whole entrepreneurial package – with the best of the best industry expert teachers.

Something bigger and even better than me and my expert knowledge.

That is why the foundation is now establishing a school for entrepreneurs. Not just a smartass couple of days course.

This will be a real school with an entrepreneurial education publicly recognised by the state – where you will be able to pursue a master’s degree.

If you know the X-men movies – a bit like the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Charles is the headmaster – that will be me – and then the other great teachers will teach in their expert fields.

At the same time, I want to create a school where students can study at a real campus or online – from your computer at home or anywhere with an internet connection.

The school will offer straight to the point hands-on knowledge – that you can use immediately both as a business and personal level.

No academic theoretical bullshit. Unfortunately, that is the case for even the most prestigious schools and universities around the globe.

You will learn real things that can generate profit on the exact same day. You will receive constant aha-moments every day.

Learn from industry experts

I have hand-picked the best of the best industry experts I know, that will be flown in from around the World to campus.

Students will be learning from these expert teachers in the fields of business law, tax planning, human resources and management, building teams, personality tests, the art of text and copywriting, photography and graphic design, and video planning and production.

I will teach what I do best – in the fields of company formation, outsourcing, designing your entrepreneurial life, digital strategies, building websites, email marketing, search engine optimisation, social media, online advertising, usability plus conversion optimisation, and all the nerdy important stuff to make things work great all together.

I can tell you – this is the dream team of expert teachers when it comes to digital entrepreneurship. I don’t get excited that often. This excites me!

Finding the right location to establish a school

Since the new year, I have been spending most of my time researching how to make the school a reality and where that location should be in the World.

I wanted it to be somewhere warm and sunny, with a great climate. I hate the cold Scandinavian weather with its constant cloud cover, rain and no sun most of the year.

It really does influence my quality of life and mood, in a bad way. I’m one of those people who gets depressed during the winter. I’m into lots of sun, summer weather and blue skies.

I wanted the location to be secure – an inspirational place with cheap flight tickets and affordable but good student accommodations.

In addition, I wanted it to be within the European Union as it this makes things much easier for European students in relation to free movement, visa, mobile roaming, etc. – and for some students, their home state will pay the tuition fee.

Finally, it should be possible to establish the school and have the education curriculum approved by that state. I can tell you – this has been tremendously challenging with languages barriers, legal challenges, and so on.

Luckily I do not give up that easy, and my team and I are almost there. I look forward to revealing the location when everything is settled.

A little test for you

Until next time, try to make a list of the many tasks you do in your project or business. Perhaps also include your personal life, now that you are at it.

Point out the things you hate, never get done, are boring and so on. These are the ones you really shouldn’t do.

You are allowed to say no to those things that suck. When tasks suck, someone else would, in most cases, love doing that specific task for you.

Some love to cook, others hate it (that’s me). Some hate cleaning, others love it (that’s me).

Got the message?

Think about that every time you get that sucky feeling. Get someone to do those tasks for you.

You will be surprised how good that releasing feeling feels like. It’s quite addictive. You feel on top and you feel that you rock, doing your absolute best.

I often hear the excuse: I don’t have any money. Bad excuse – simply exchange favours instead!

Use your network. If you don’t have a network, build one. Join relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups and get started asking about exchanging favours.

It works and there are no excuses.

Someone out there in the world would love using your born abilities and skills – and you will be using theirs.

All the best,
Ricco