Phil, would you introduce yourself with few sentences?
Hi, I’m an English guy, an ex-teacher, who has ideas by the ton. I am an optimist and like to believe that most people are basically good.
What drives your creativity?
I believe we have duties to humanity regarding knowledge. We have to learn as much as we can handle and we have to pass that on before we die to as many people as possible. Each person has a unique body of knowledge built up from their unique set of life experiences. The human race benefits from that knowledge and advances, but you need to pass it on or the knowledge dies with you. What’s more, you have to pass it on to at least one person who will pass it on before they die, too.
The only way to increase the probability of your knowledge continuing forever is to pass it on to hundreds of thousands of people, so that a few of them will incorporate your knowledge into their own and pass it on to thousands of people in their turn.
Any of these projects related to your education or a hobby?
I was introduced to the concept of 5 Currencies by one of my contacts: The five are Time, Knowledge, Reputation, Contacts and Money. Time is the most important, but you can never store it. We each get another 24 hours of Time to use every day, but we have to convert it to Knowledge, Reputation, Contacts or Money. In a traditional job we sell our Time for Money, but entrepreneurs do things differently; they spend their Time acquiring Knowledge, building their Reputation and nurturing Contacts. Money just happens without going looking for it if you have used your Time wisely. I have a website TimeMoneyProblem.com where I explain this approach in more detail.
Your Top 3 tips for online success?
- Make contact with people; and I don’t mean Twitter, I mean emails, private messages and forums. People want to work with people they feel they know, so let them get to know you.
- Help other people – Make the Paying it Forward principle rule everything you do. Offer advice freely and help people whenever you can. Every time you do so you are helping your knowledge to live on after you; it also makes people happy and happy people are helpful people. It will come back to you when you need it.
- Employ people to help you to do the mundane tasks. Make sure you spend your 16 hours a day online is well- spent on making contacts and exercising your creative gifts rather than on social media and website maintenance.
Is the content king?
Yes but my king is different from yours. Content tailored to your audience is definitely king but I don’t think there is much point trying to outrank everyone on search engines. I produce top quality content and disseminate it as guest posts and interviews: My object is to spread my knowledge and the earning opportunities will follow.
I think more and more entrepreneurs are using business models that are not focused on reaching the top of the search engine results. It is the only way to build a stable business model, to find people who need your services and then to build relationships with them. My content is part of that relationship-building programme; that’s all.
Social media sites are fine for being social, but in terms of my business are a total waste of time. I do contribute to forums and Facebook groups but think that Twitter is a total washout because everyone there is talking, nobody ever listens.
SEO? People trying to game the search engines to get more traffic or more clicks on their crappy Adsense ads drive me nuts. They are the ones who are responsible for all the irrelevant search results that pop up; they are the ones who waste everyone’s time.
Do you think that today's entrepreneur or web professional need to be all-rounder?
To some extent, yes, it is important to know enough to understand what you need and to know when to employ a professional and to judge the quality of the work your employees do.
Every bootstrap entrepreneur starts off doing everything himself, but most soon realise that there are 48 hours of work to fit into an 8 hour day (16 hours for most of us). And as we learnt in school “48 into 8 won’t go”, so if all 48 hours’ work is essential you have to hire people to do it.
Without going to personal space, would you share something about your everyday work routine?
I like to set my alarm for 4am and start work by 4.30am. I am definitely a morning person and that is when I am at my most creative. I keep routine jobs for the afternoons and try not to work in the evenings after 7pm. I am in bed by 9pm most days.
Work-live balance? Many entrepreneurs experience difficulties, how about you?
My life IS my work. I enjoy thinking, writing and working so no, work-life balance is not an issue for me. When I need a break I just don’t work that day and dig the garden or go for a long walk.
Do you offer web related services? And how companies and individuals can get in touch with you?