10 Quick Steps to Becoming a Virtual Entrepreneur!

by Chris C. Ducker · 90 comments

To become successful as a virtual entrepreneur takes more than just building a few niche sites and relying on Adsense (although we do enjoy it, don’t we VBL Niche Site Project peeps!?). I’ve taken a huge journey over the last couple of years, becoming more and more virtual as time has passed. And I’ve loved every minute of it.

So, today I thought it would be a good idea to create a small selection of tips and tactics for everyone to follow, if they are not ‘quite there’ in regards to ‘going virtual’. And even if you are already classing yourself as a virtual entrepreneur, I’m pretty sure that there are a gems below that you can still put into place.

Enjoy.

#1 – Quit Your Job!

If you’re working a regular job and you’re on this blog, the chances are that you hate what you’re doing! Stop doing that!!! In this day and age everyone has something to offer the world. Cash in on your passion and start changing the world! Obviously, moving on from ‘cubicle nation’ might be easier for some than others. However, if you find yourself counting the hours and minutes to 5pm each day, the chances are it’ll happen sooner or later. Do it now, stick it to the man, and start something awesome!

#2 – Remove Yourself from ‘Biz Operations’ as Much as Possible

This one is more for those of you who might be running a ‘brick n mortar’ business already. Last year I did everything I could to go as virtual as possible. I achieved it. And the icing on the cake came this year, when I hired a COO to come in and run the show for me on a day-to-day basis. He does a great job, we connect several times a week via phone and face-to-face once a week for a proper catch-up. Having other people looking over your company might seem a little daunting at first, but the bottom line is that if you want to ‘go virtual’, its the only way you’e truly going to achieve that freedom.

#3 – Purchase a Light-Weight, Portable Laptop

Being virtual means being mobile! I used to carry around a huge Acer laptop. I liked it as I wasn’t traveling that much and used it as a ‘main’ computer. But the weight and size of it made being mobile a massive chore. I upgraded to a MacBook Pro a couple of years ago and felt liberated. However, this year I craved for even more lightweight freedom and purchased the 11″ MacBook Air – enough said. Combine that with my iPad and I am about as virtual as I wanna be!

#4 – Purchase a ‘Skype-In’ Number

This thing literally changed my life, when it comes to communication. Getting your hands on a Skype-In online number basically means that anyone can call that number (pick one from a massive list of countries to best suit your needs) and it will ring on your Skype account no matter where you are in the world. If you’re not signed into Skype at the time the call comes through, it’ll just go to your voicemail. It’s been truly invaluable to my virtual-ness.

#5 – Get Smart With Your Phone

I recently read a report somewhere online that said only 35% of people that own smart phones (Blackberry, iPhone, etc.) actually use them to make phone calls. Mind-boggling, isn’t it! But, if you think about it a little more – not so much. I’ve had my iPhone4 for well over a year now, and I love it. Before that I was a Blackberry user for years and years. Being able to check email, etc., on the run is essential to doing business virtually. Not only that, but the App’s available nowadays make owning a smartphone as a business owner an absolute necessity! They make everything easier, lets face it! And, there are some cool games, too.

#6 – Get Going with Dropbox

This one little piece of software has revolutionized the way I share files and work with my various virtual assistants and even my team in my company facility. It’s quick, reliable, has lots of storage space available, and is a breeze to use. Not only that, but Dropbox is one of those cool software app’s that allows you to sync it across multiple devices. I have my account hooked up to my iPhone4, iPad, MacBook Air and my iMac at home. Wicked! Get Dropbox now, seriously!

#7 – Take Your Inbox & Calendar to the Cloud

Whether you use Google’s suit of app’s, such as Gmail and GCal, or Apple’s ‘MobileMe’, or a combo of the two, like I do – taking your email and calendar (along with your contacts should you so desire) is probably one of the biggest jumps to make in going virtual, but also one of the most important. Not having your email and calendar handcuffed to just one computer is paramount in turning yourself into an all-living, all-breathing virtual entrepreneur!

#8 – Start Creating Passive Income Streams

This is as important as anything else on this list… Working hard to create passive income streams NOW, will benefit you (if you’ve done it properly) over and over again, with very little involvement in the future. Everything from niche sites and eBook’s, to membership sites and coaching programs. Like I said, we’ve all got something to offer the world. Just be sure that you create your passive income products with long-term in mind and avoid looking for a quick buck. It just doesn’t work that way anymore!

#9 – Hire a Virtual Assistant

Okay, so I’m a little biased when it comes to this one – for obvious reasons! However, having someone else (or a team of someone else’s!) help you run, support and grow your business is also very essential to enabling you to spread your entrepreneurial wings. I’ve spoken to thousands of people about working with virtual staff throughout my career and I can honestly say that it makes a lot more sense than most believe so, to begin with. Give it a go, and let me know how it all works out for you. I’m pretty sure you won’t be proving me wrong anytime soon!

#10 – ……………………..?

This is where I’d like the already-virtual VBLer’s out there to butt-in, and share their own pearls of wisdom when it comes to business on the move, setting up virtually and building virtual businesses in general. It doesn’t matter if you just have a quick resource to share, or a full-blown virtual business strategy! Most important thing is the share, my friends.

No topic is off limits, and please do feel free to post links below, too – just as long as they are relevant. I look forward to reading all your ‘injections’ to finish up the post!

When you’re done, I’d be very happy if you’d SHARE this post, below!

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan August 2, 2011 at 18:57

Agreed here two of the 9 focus on team building. I think this is under focused on. Great entrepreneurs are surrounded by great teams.

#10 – IF you are gonna be virtual, I’d start seeking out the best places in the world to locate your business. Don’t squander your freedom of movement, take advantage of it by hiring and setting up relationships in the most advantageous places you can find for talent, lifestyle, incorporation, etc.

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:01

Hey Dan

Great, great point. Some places are better than others, and of course you have to find the balance between all those things you mention, in regards to relationships, lifestyle, legal issues, etc.

However, lets not forget to mention – a lot of lifestyle entrepreneurs are continuously on the move, too. This isn’t really for me, although I can see the attraction to a certain degree.

Thanks for dropping by, bud. You’re a REAL advocate for this stuff… :-)

C

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Dan August 3, 2011 at 22:30

Not for me either man! I’m not more focused on going places that where I feel I can do something substantial for my projects. Although, could get my arm twisted in to a Japan trip…. :D

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 18:32

They have the internet in Japan, right……?!

LOL

:-)

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Ben August 2, 2011 at 19:10

My step would be…..ruthlessly believe in yourself because sadly not many people will to start with.

I’m learning this the hard way with family and friends not believing in me but its cool cos I believe in me

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:11

Hey Ben

Nice to see you commenting… Its been a while. And I’m glad that you brought up the whole ‘believe’ concept in all this.

You are right, and I have also had a little resistance in the past from loved ones, too – but, they trusted me enough to move on it, and I proved ‘em all RIGHT!!! :-) Now they love having me around more, and the additional businesses (and $$$) that goes with it! :-)

I trust things will go well for you. Good luck!

C

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Steve August 2, 2011 at 19:12

Hi Chris

A thought full post or at least thought provoking.

Whilst I like your “do it now and stick it to the man” a planned approach to leaving the cubicle might be a tad wiser :-) I’d probably have lasted 2-3 days in most jobs taking that approach :-) Having said that the sentiment is sound. Why live a life of misery as so many do.

#2 is so true I ran a company as Operation Director and my phone never stopped ringing (even at 3am) so i simply turned it off at night so that the team had to make decision on their own. They coped extremely well.

Sadly I’m not virtual in the sense of location but I work completely on the Cloud. My main input is move all you data files email etc off your pc/mac into the cloud. If you really must, then at a minimum use drop box to backup you files up to the cloud. To be honest for me if there is no internet connection there’s very little i can achieve productively anyway.

As to passive income, sure this is the ideal model. Although to be honest other than MicroNiche sites I think all mine will require at least monthly input of new data or backlink etc. However as the business develops, I plan to use VA’s (of course acquired through your good self) to assist in the running of a Smart Income Army.
Regards

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:22

Hi Steve

Great to hear you’re fully in the cloud. That’s awesome, man. And does sincerely give you massive freedom on the way you do the work you do, thats for sure.

You’re right, mate – so many people *HATE* what they do for a living. They should move on. Plain and simple. Now, if working 9-5 is something you enjoy, thats all good. Stick with it. I’m just VERY sure of my audience here – they are either virtual entrepreneurs already – or, are simply GAGGING to ‘stick it to the man’ and start something themselves..!

Appreciate your comment, bud.

C

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Rasmus August 2, 2011 at 21:47

I also like to train people around me (personal and business) to use async contact methods.

Often people ask me if I have messenger (or Skype for chatting) and I say no. Often they want to call me and I don’t answer the phone. After a while they learn to just email me and only try my phone if it’s really…. really important.

I mean, the last two businesses I built here in Denmark didn’t even have a phonenumber. They could contact us (me) through a contact form, but I also write directly on the contact page that one of the consequences behind our low prices is the fact that you cannot call us (and we use outsourcing :)).

I strive to get everything in my email inbox. This way I can batch and do email stuff when I have time, not when other people think I should have time :)

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:24

Hi Rasmus

Great approach to doing business virtually, man. And I love the way you are so forthright with your wording on those websites. Tell it how it is, and people KNOW what to expect and what NOT to expect.

Some people would go crazy doing everything via email – but, thinking logically, if it is the ONLY way you communicate with your clients, then I can see how manageable it would be. Nice touch, buddy.

Appreciate the comment, cheers!

C

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Rasmus August 3, 2011 at 19:58

We spend some of the year in Thailand, so it’s really not that easy having a business that is tied to your phone. As long as you’re frank about it people generally accept it.

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Karl Walinskas August 2, 2011 at 22:16

Chris:
Great post. I know you’re a Google apps guy. I used Google voice as my office number and it rings me anywhere in the world. Not exactly sure what the difference is to the Skype number you mention.

Creating that passive income in a paragraph sells the idea. Putting that puppy into practice is daunting and there is a ton of work getting professional products to sell.

I’d love to hear if you have any future posts coming out on creating affiliate programs for your digital products AND any services (like Live2Sell for instance)

Karl

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:42

Hi Karl

Passive Income is certainly the holy grail online. A lot of people have the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality towards it, and the truth is that it requires a hell of a lot more work than most think. But, the good news is, like I said, if you do it PROPERLY from the out-set and with long-term in mind, once all that hard work has been completed, you should be able to roll with it for quite some time before having to revamp, rejig, etc.

As for affiliate stuff… I actually have a great interview coming up with a guy that is taking on e-Junkie! So stay tuned for that. The only affiliate program I currently have set-up is for the Virtual Staff Finder service, which you can sign-up for here if you (or anyone else!) are interested: http://www.virtualstafffinder.com/affiliate-program/

Thanks for the comment, bud.

C

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May August 2, 2011 at 22:26

Hi

Where did you find your COO? What qualifications and background did you need that person to have?

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Chris C. Ducker August 2, 2011 at 22:34

Hi May

He was US-based (now lives here in the Philippines, obviously!), and came highly recommended by two industry principles.

As for the in’s and out’s of his background and qualifications, I have to say I can’t comment on that, as its confidential.

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Tracy Baker August 2, 2011 at 23:46

Hi Chris!

Awesome post as always with all the key tools in there – personally I couldn’t operate without most of them but love Dropbox and G Mail for everyday tasks alongside a solid project management space, I use Active Collab.

As for hiring a VA, well I would say go for that one lol but in all seriousness once entrepreneurs have got over the initial fear of handing over tasks most would agree they wish they had done it a looong time ago!!

Thanks for sharing ;-)

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 01:01

Hi Tracy

I think I’ll have to do a bit of a round-up on project management options. I’ve had a few emails on that recently… Glad to see you using Active Collab. Good stuff. :-)

I agree, as you can see from my VA point in the post, in regards to people really needing to delegate and enjoy the option of working with a VA, for them to REALLY appreciate what it’ll mean to their business in the long run.

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Joshua Van Den Broek August 7, 2011 at 08:17

Hey Chris

Another great post! I think for those who are not aware of all the useful tools out there, this would be an eye opener for sure!

I currently use google calendar, Dropbox, Skype online number, and backpackit.com which seem to be working for me so far however I have heard good things about active collab. I would love to hear your thoughts on project management systems in a future post.

Ps if you know of anyone who does all these things in one package THAT would be a SUPER service to have!

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Chris C. Ducker August 8, 2011 at 15:24

Hi Joshua

Now, THAT right there is a GREAT business idea…!!! Nothing out there that I know of right now, I have to say……

Glad you enjoyed the post.

C

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Gerardo August 3, 2011 at 00:32

That is such a great list to ponder. My business started a few weeks ago and as much as I want to item# 1 I just can’t do it.
I need to bring food to the table and pay the bills.
In the mean time I am trying to grow my business on a part time basis. I just can’t wait to earn a steady income from my business bid hasta la vista to my current employment.

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 15:58

Hi Gerardo

Like I said, timing is a key attribute for everyone, and if the timing to ‘quit’ right now is not bang-on for you, then wait and work hard until it is.

That steady income WILL come, and totally CAN come – if you do things the right way.

Remember that, and all will work out, I’m sure!

Thanks for the comment, bud.

C

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Tim Webster September 5, 2011 at 02:38

Step #1 is a whopper – This is where I’m at right now.

My conflict: I feel like I can get my two businesses running SO much faster if I DIDN’T waste 9 hrs a day in the cube farm – BUT I’ve got to pay my bills (which, fortunately I’ve eliminated all debt so it’s just rent, food, and utilities)

Right now I’m trying to take those ‘big steps’ towards generating income but even the big ones (one company is launching its first product later this month) seem to be taking a long time. Of course.. 1 day in the cube-farm feels like a whole week spent on a beach.

Any thoughts on this, Chris?

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Chris C. Ducker September 5, 2011 at 13:10

I hear you loud and clear, Tim. Trust me.

Just stick with it. Once you launch that first product you’ll have an understanding of the size of your ‘real’ market (ie. the part of the market that will spend money with you!), and you’ll be able to gauge it all from there.

It’s tough sitting in that cube, I know. But it sounds as if you are making all the right moves to be able to leap out from it pretty bloody soon. So, like I said, stick with it, buddy.

Its great to see you commenting for the first time on the blog. Thanks for dropping by, and I look forward to getting to know you more here at VBL.

All the best!

C

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Grainne Foley August 3, 2011 at 01:31

Hi Chris,

Great post as always, you included some really great resources and tools for people looking to get into this virtual world. One of my goals for this year is to start working on some passive income ideas and putting them into action.

I, like you am a little biased when it comes to Virtual Assistants but they make such a difference in your business, I highly recommend finding your VA sooner rather than later for your business.

Grainne

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:00

Hi Grainne

Thanks for the motivational comment, and please keep us all up-to-date on your passive income work, too!

We love that stuff here at VBL. :-)

C

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Bojan August 3, 2011 at 01:37

#10 get some friends, networking is essential!

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:00

Bang-on!

Good point, buddy… Thanks for the addition to the list.

C

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Richard Scott August 3, 2011 at 01:52

One thing that I would highly recommend: Make sure you have a blog. :) I have blogs and static websites, and the websites I can only update from my home computer, because it has all my files and images on it. The blog is so much simpler to publish from anywhere.

Nice list. You have some great tips. Soon enough I’m gonna have to hire your team. :)

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:02

Hi Richard

Couldnt agree more. When I started VBL, honestly speaking, I did it just to chart my Virtual CEO course. But, it took a much bigger focus towards the end of last year as I saw plenty of new business doors opening, and I thoroughly enjoyed mixing it up biz wise, and meeting all the great people I have online.

Glad you enjoyed the post, bud – and the team is ready and waiting for you…!!! :-)

C

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Michelle Dale August 3, 2011 at 02:32

Great post Chris, and very timely, as I write this comment from Italy, I arrived here on Sunday, whipped out the Mac and away we go! For me number 10 would be to move to a very low cost living country once you quit your job to be able to ease the financial pressure while you get started, I know this is not everyones cup of tea, but it worked for me, and meant I could concentrate on getting the business up and running and operating, not only without the financial pressures of the western world, but also from a really lovely location – it made me realise I never wanted to go back to the 9-5 – ever…. very motivational.

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:03

Hi Michelle

Congrats on yet another move – God, I love the way that you are SO MOBILE. It’s awesome… Family in tow and everything..!!!

Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks so much for the cool comment, as always.

C

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Michelle Dale August 4, 2011 at 06:06

Thanks Chris! My 2 year old daughter has been making some complaints about the new ‘wet room’, and not having the Jacuzzi bath anymore we had in Spain, but what can I do… I have obtained a bath shaped bucket the Italians use for storing tomatoes and it seems she is adapting to using that… :D

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 18:35

Hahahaha…

Sometimes the most simple parenting solutions are the best!

There must be a book in you with all your family travels at some point in the future… Just be sure to get me a signed copy!

C

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Steve Wyman August 3, 2011 at 19:18

Hi Michelle

Rock solid point. for me thats going to come. Whilst its cheap to live in countries such as Thailand (or can be stay away from the booze) theres still a monthy overhead to cover. So I want to build up some capitial reserve and also get the income flow solid.

And I could not agree more about the 9-5 I did that (or was it 8am to 8pm!) for 20 years and then took a mini-retirment and heck the 9-5 lifestyle now scares the .. out of me no way am i going back and I owned and ran the company!

regards

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Michelle Dale August 4, 2011 at 06:12

Thanks Steve :) for sure there is always a monthly overhead, but the size of it can dramatically impact the amount you need to earn to stay afloat. It’s surprising how little you actually need to live on providing you don’t mind forfeiting the creature comforts. I think the 8-8 is becoming the new 9-5, shocking really when you think about it, glad to hear you are out of that, even if you did own and run the company ;)

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steve August 4, 2011 at 19:57

Hi
I do agree. Also I find it easier to work when away from the home base. Funny how i can live without TV for three months then return home and its on all evening!

The beach can be a draw but its managable :-)

regards

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 20:11

Managable… Hehehe. I like that!

I can honestly say I only watch maybe an hour of TV a day. Seriously. I’d rather watch a DVD with my youngest, read a book, or spend ‘quality’ (ahem…! clearing throat!) time with the wife!!! :-)

Either way, whatever works…… right, everyone!?!!

C

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Harold August 3, 2011 at 02:38

Hmm… That’s inspiring.

I would definitely add : #10 Start with Awesome !

There is enough average content or average services in the world for so many reasons… So you’d better start with Awesome in everything that you do ! That should include your products, customer services, design, networking, and so on. Start with awesome and be cool ! :p

(Not sure if I’m clear with this. Sorry, English is not my “mother tongue”.)

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:04

Hi Harold

All is as clear as a bell, my man!

Actually, its funny, as one of my company core values is ‘Bring Awesome to Everything!’. We even have it printed on t-shirts, etc. If you’d like to check it out you can visit http://www.live2sellfamily.com – that’s our company culture website.

Thanks for the great comment.

C

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Steve Wyman August 3, 2011 at 19:19

+1 and Like

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 18:36

Thanks, Steve!

C

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Harold August 3, 2011 at 19:46

Just checked your website ! Man, that’s a dedicated team you got there ! And this website is a leadership lesson in itself ! Nice work.

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 18:37

Thanks, Harold.

I appreciate that, buddy.

C

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Paul Denby August 3, 2011 at 06:21

Hi Chris,

Just got in feeling a bit ‘flat’. Good to read your post, filled my hope box up.

I’d love to move to a low cost living country. Easier said than done though.

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:07

Hi Paul

Hope Box… I like that! :-)

Keep your spirits high and your passion and energy levels higher, and all will eventually come your way, buddy.

Keep rockin’.

C

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Mike Stankavich August 3, 2011 at 09:24

Chris, your points are spot-on. I’ll just add look for opportunities to partner with others. There’s plenty of opportunity for everybody out there. Working with others will open new markets to you that will far outweigh anything that you give up in your own space.

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:08

Hey Mike

Great point. Thats one of the great things about blogging… You have the ability to network and find new JV Partners, etc.

I have a couple of JV Projects that I’m working on right now, and they would not have come to me without this blog. Love it…!!

Thanks for dropping by.

C

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george August 3, 2011 at 11:16

Chris: First, just wanted to say that I’ve been “lurking” on your site for awhile and felt it was time to finally thank you for writing inspiring content for brick & mortar owners like myself who want to go virtual.

Really liked the points you listed in this article:
#1 – Did that 7 years ago; one of the best decisions I made.
#2 – We need a COO badly; all this technology is nice, but a competent COO is a must to look after our stores. Working on it…
#3 – Went Air 11″ too and never going back. (fits in my Scottevest too; no more backpack or messenger case.)
#4 – Will use Skype more once #2 is done.
#5 – Went iphone4 too and never going back. And it syncs perfectly with my Mac over Mobileme too. No more sync weirdness that I had between my old Blackberry and Windows laptop.
#6 – Dropbox is great; use it to backup my Mac stuff and to distribute shared docs to staff at all stores. What Mobileme’s iDisk should have been.
#7 – Using GCal to schedule staff and work at all stores, but I prefer Mac’s Mail over Gmail. It’s synced to Mobileme and my iphone so I’m happy. (along with iCal, AddressBook, and other native Mac programs that also sync well.)
#8 – Need #2 and our stores will be as passive as you can get. Then maybe I’ll try some online passive work.
#9 – Once #2 is done, then maybe I’ll try a VA for some other office/admin work.

As for #10, I haven’t quite accomplished becoming a virtual small biz owner yet, but even if I did I’d say #10 would be to keep reading, learning, and interacting with others on what’s going on in your industry, and also in other areas that you’re interested in, because they could potentially help you further in your success both in business and in virtual working+living. For instance, the folks I follow on twitter is not just retail; it’s quite a mix. :-)

Again, thx and keep up the great posts,
- George (@retailnomad, http://www.retailnomad.com)

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 16:10

Hi George

Welcome, officially, to the VBL Blog!

I love the way you numbered your separate points in this comment – just shows the focus you possess. Awesome stuff.

And it seems you are VERY MUCH on your way to being very, very virtual, thats for sure.

Glad you’re done ‘lurking’ and you’re out of the shadows. I look forward to getting to know you more on the blog, and beyond!

All the best,

C

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steve August 4, 2011 at 20:23

Hi

Very cool. The best of luck with going virtual. very intresting points you make.

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Murray Lunn August 3, 2011 at 13:32

Hey Chris,

I love it! I wonder how many people will even get started with #1 hehe.

I just recently finished my July income report and was really surprised to see how well I was doing since leaving my job; I’ve finally got over the “hump” and started to pull in more than my previous job, yaaaay. However, I have so much more to go that it’s insane but I love the challenge.

If I were to add a #10, I would say “learn to let go”. Reason? People get so caught up in their projects and trying to get every little detail on point that they never take action. Action is always more important than perfection. Perfection is fine but it’s not achievable so go with what’s working and add to it over time. Learn when to stop learning and use your knowledge to build those digital assets that will let you be a virtual entrepreneur.

Other than that, spot on buddy. Now people just need to get going. I know I’ve got some things to work on so off I go!

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 22:33

Hey Murray!

That ‘hump’ is an important one, and kudos to you for doing so well, bud.

I recently read on Twitter “A half finished project is no project at all..!!!”. Very, very true. Love your take on this side of things, too.

Thanks for dropping by, my man.

C

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Dean Soto August 3, 2011 at 14:40

Love it! The only part that’s a tad unrealistic (or maybejust scary) is #1 without a good transition plan. If you have the funds to provide a good cushion then great – but there is a lot to learn with running your own business especially when it comes to sales and marketing (the heart of any business).

Other than that, I love everything about this post. It’s just from personal experience, had I quit when I wanted to quit I would have ate into my 401k and possibly lost a whole lot more. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for jumping ship and doing your own thing, but mitigating risks first. =)

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 22:31

Hi Dean

Just scary, bud. But, like I say – its easier said than done for some people! :-)

Life (and business) is full of risks. Take ‘em and you’ll do fine… Most of the time. IF you’re the right type of person for this kind of entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Bottom line is that you’ll regret the majority of the risks you DIDN’T take, more than the ones you did. Thats my philosophy, anyway.

Thanks for commenting, bud.

C

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Trevor Chapman August 4, 2011 at 21:59

“Its better to regret something you did rather than something you didn’t do”

I’m not sure who originally said this but i agree with the principle. (most of the time) :) I couldn’t just quit my job without an exit strategy or say enough cash in the bank to support myself for 4 months.

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Chris C. Ducker August 5, 2011 at 03:18

Absolutely, man.

I see you’re involved with the niche site project. Awesome stuff.

You never know, it might be the exit strategy, or at least the START of the exit strategy you need to be able to ‘exit’…….. I sincerely hope so, and thanks for the little write-up on the site, too. Much appreciated.

First monthly update coming next week…!!!

C

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Juha Liikala August 3, 2011 at 15:00

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the reminder about the Skype-In numbers! I was just this week thinking about getting another mobile number for business related calls only, but I believe Skype-In might actually suit the need even better. Do you still carry a another mobile phone with you (for business related stuff) or are you relying entirely on the Skype-In when you’re on the road?

Cheers!
- Juha

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 22:29

Hey Juha

I am on Skype all the time… I do have a cell, yes, an iPhone4, but when I am outside of the Philippines (where my number is registered), its switched off most of the time.

Glad I gave you a little jolt in the Skype-In direction!

Thanks for dropping by, bud.

C

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Timo Kiander August 3, 2011 at 15:18

Chris,

Out of these tips, I have perhaps tackled just one or two of them (7&8), so I have some work to do until I can say that I’m fully virtual.

Anyway, my journey is already started and I’m fully virtual at some point – just proceeding there step by step :)

Timo

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 22:27

Hi Timo

Thats what to do, bud. Take it one step at a time.

But, keep at it… You’re off to a good start!

C

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marilyn monteverde August 3, 2011 at 16:40

Chris, I really want to start with the business but I think I am not yet that ready. Need to learn more about it by constantly reading your blogs and articles. I am still employed but sooner or later I already want to quit. I am still confused on how to start.

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 17:13

Stick with it, Marilyn.

What type of job are you in now? Why do you hate it so much..? I’m curious.

Also – ask yourself what are you skill-sets? Passions?

C

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Niladri C August 3, 2011 at 22:48

Virtual work and the latest tech developments have indeed made it less important nowadays of where we are working.

More and more people are now adopting the virtual work-life.

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 18:38

Hi Nilardi

Indeed, we are – and I dont see it slowing done anytime soon… Which is why I am so proud of this blog, and the fantastic community we have here.

Thanks again, to EVERYONE, involved in this, and other discussions we have here. You all ROCK! :-)

C

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David August 4, 2011 at 01:10

Hey Chris!

Good list. IMHO, #1 is the most difficult one, even more if you’re one of those guys who has the desire to do it (e.g. create your own ’4 Hour Workweek’ like lifestyle) but don’t exactly “hate” your current job. Sometimes I am indeed kind of jealous of the ones who hate their job or who get fired…. How paradox is that?? :)

Regards from Greece,
David

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Chris C. Ducker August 4, 2011 at 18:40

Hi David

LOL. It’s a strange one, for sure. Like I said, some people will still love to ‘have a job’, but might have a little entrepreneurial blood in their viens.

With that in mind, an internet based business, that they can run virtually is the perfect answer.

Thanks for commenting on this one, bud.

C

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Paul August 4, 2011 at 07:59

Hi Chris

I was made redundant in April this year so the need to be ‘open, frank and honest about the lack of a life’ with my employer was not necessary. Even though I’d rehearsed it many times in my head!

So now I am at the embryonic stages of creating an internet marketing business but even at this stage I need to have websites quickly up and running, I need a forensic SEO ninja, more quality content… etc. I could do some or more of these tasks myself but it would take forever. Lack of cash-flow and time makes me lean towards your business model. My question is, at what point does one go virtual?

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Chris C. Ducker August 3, 2011 at 22:37

Hi Paul

Fantastic question.

And I’m afraid I dont have a definitive answer for you!

The fact is that ‘the time to go virtual’ is different for everyone. Having a lack of funds does stunt your situation a little right now, as you want to build things up SEO and Content wise, but dont have the cash to hire people to help you do it.

So.. FACT – you’ll have to do it yourself for a while. Like all of us have done in the past.

Focus on the main ‘prize’ so to speak, but get your hands dirty in the meantime. It wont hurt learning the ropes, thats for sure, and once the income has gone from a drizzle to a nice steady flow (doesnt need to be a waterfall, just a steady flow!), get going with your Content first. Build that up, and then open yourself up to the SEO side of things.

No point in bringing on board an SEO person with no content to market and promote. I discuss this exact same strategy today in a consultation call I did with a client.

Keep us all up to date, okay – and remember… Patience is also a wonderful gift.

Cheers,
C

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Benny August 5, 2011 at 05:19

A great list you put together! I’ve read great things about the macbook air. I tried it at the store and it’s fast!! I read a rumor online they are slimming down the MPB line next maybe before the end of this year. Might be time to upgrade then for me.

I wish I could help with #10 but hopefully in the future I will!

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Chris C. Ducker August 5, 2011 at 09:46

No.10 could always be “read the very best online resource for virtual wannabes on a regular basis…”!!! Just an idea…:-)

I also heard that Apple are putting the MBP on a diet, too. It is needed. It’s a tad heavy.

Thanks for the comment, bud.

C

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Brendan August 5, 2011 at 15:26

For me #10 would be learn to love numbers and know them inside out and back to front.

Cash & financials are the lifeblood of any business and you need to understand them. Understand the numbers and you’ll understand how to make a business work, whether it will work, how well its working right now and how to fix a business that isnt working

I’m amazed at how much there is in the lifestyle design space but nobody talks about numbers, financials, cashflow etc. So many entrepreneurs have no idea how to read a p&l, balance sheet or cashflow forecast and use these to improve a business…its akin to driving with your eyes closed!

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Chris C. Ducker August 5, 2011 at 16:58

Hi Brendan

Great insight. I have a saying that goes …

“The Numbers NEVER… Lie”.

And it’s true, they don’t.

Great comment, mate.

C

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Gen August 18, 2011 at 10:39

Hello,

Great post. I have been looking For a skilled , trustworthy COO to handle all my projects for years. Can you give me a clue how you found your COO? Thanks

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Chris C. Ducker August 18, 2011 at 14:43

Lots of searching, lots of interviewing, and traveling to the other side of the world to do final, face to face interviews.

Was a lot of hard work, but like most things in life, if you put the effort in, things usually work out well.

Good luck in your quest!

C

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Rell Gins August 20, 2011 at 01:52

I found your blog through Pat’s site, listened to the podcast you guys did on virtual assistants. I’ve been outsourcing projects for the last three years and I’m making the leap to full time VA this coming week. It’s funny because 3 years ago I could never imagine having enough full time work for myself much less someone else! Now, I’ve got multiple projects being started at once as well as others that need managing. If everything goes well with this VA, I’ve got plans laid out to hire another!

Number 10: Pick ONE thing and do it until it starts making money! It’s so easy to get caught up in trying a million different things to make money online. Everywhere you turn, there is somebody selling you on the easiest way to make money. The thing is, you can make money with 99% of the CRAP that’s out there if you STICK TO IT!!! It took me a long time and a lot of money to figure that one out!

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Chris C. Ducker August 20, 2011 at 02:19

Absolutely fantastic, Rell..!

Glad you made it over from Pat’s blog. We’ve done a few video posts together here… Just search for his name in the menu bar and you’ll find them!

Good job, well done and that’s the type of comment I LOVE seeing hear at the blog.

If you need help with that VA, let us know. :-)

C

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Rell Gins September 4, 2011 at 12:18

Ok Chris, I can admit when I’m wrong and well.. hiring a VA from 247VritualAssistants was just wrong. I spent a great deal of time explaining exactly what I needed in a nice and neat PDF document. It’s been almost two weeks and I still haven’t seen anything close to what I expected in my inbox. A task as simple as sending a daily list of contacted companies isn’t even being completed. Time to fire and rehire. I’m looking forward to trying out one of your services, I just haven’t figured out which one is right for me yet. Would you recommend asking for a refund for the hours that I’ve used or just for the unused hours?

Also, I’ve been hearing about the Phils quite a bit lately.. I’m already going to check out Bali on Dan’s (TropicalMBA) recommendation after my contract is up here in the middle east (I’m a defense contractor, for now anyways) and I was thinking about swinging through the Philippines as well. I’m in search of a place to baseline while getting my business up to full speed. Is there a specific spot that you would suggest?

I apologize for all the requests but you seem like the authority on this stuff!

Rell

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Dan September 4, 2011 at 12:54

Rell–depends on your taste, but if I had to go to the Philippines to baseline and work on an internet business that does not require hiring at some scale, I would chose Dumaguete, Boracay top two choices second tier spots would be Panglao, Davao. Check out this fun article by Dave Huss: http://phoenixabroad.com/become-brad-pitt-with-a-plane-ticket-to-davao/

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Rell Gins September 4, 2011 at 21:38

Thanks for the advice Dan! It’s amazing to see that there is an entire network of people that are doing the exact same things I’m doing.. it was feeling a little lonely being the “employee outcast” that spends all of his free time creating businesses online and planning extended stays in exotic locales while everyone else is playing Xbox.

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Dan September 4, 2011 at 21:41

haha… sounds like a high quality problem! :D

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Chris C. Ducker September 5, 2011 at 13:07

Hi Rell

First up – I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a ‘bad’ experience with your outsourcing thus far. It doesnt need to be that way… I suggest you ask for a refund on the time that they haven’t performed for you. Not much you can do on the time that they HAVE done for you – regardless of the output.

Yes, Dan is right – Dumaguete is solid right now. A massive pool of untapped talent, and would certainly be the place that I expand my business, if I wanted / needed to, any further (I currently have a 300-seat facility in Cebu). Manila will also give you great talent, but be ready to pay a premium for it, as well as higher living expenses, too.

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Rell September 16, 2011 at 00:32

Bam! Just pulled the trigger on the your Virtual Staff Finder service! Can’t wait to get started!

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Chris C. Ducker September 16, 2011 at 01:34

Awesome, Rell.

The team will be in touch, buddy!!!

C

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Ben August 27, 2011 at 10:37

Chris,

This is truly an amazing list, and I encourage everyone to really follow these tips. So far, I’ve nailed most of these, except for #9. I simply do not have the budget to hire virtual assistants, but as soon as I do, I fully intend to hire a team of virtual assistants.

Anyways, I thought I’d just add (since it’s my first time commenting here) that I found your blog from..I think it was Niche Pursuits (may be wrong though, I comment on too many blogs to remember). I’ll be back regularly though; you definitely seem to know your stuff!

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Chris C. Ducker August 27, 2011 at 11:59

Hi Ben

Thanks for the comment, and welcome to the VBL Tribe.

Yep – stick around, lots of great stuff coming up here… :-)

Again, welcome…

C

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Walter September 3, 2011 at 10:52

Your first step of quitting job is indeed difficult. I have started my online venture years ago and I’ve just used my spare time to care for it. Maybe when the right time comes, I will finally quit my job and focus more on what I can offer the world via my online endeavor. :-)

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Charles January 4, 2012 at 11:08

Looking at this list I’m happy that I’m already following a lot of the mentioned guidelines. :-) I’m not sure about “quitting your job” though as long as you don’t have a separate stream of income. I think you should only quit your main job if you have at least half of the revenue from your side projects.

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Chris C. Ducker January 4, 2012 at 17:59

Hi Charles

Yep – that’s the one that people have the ‘issue’ with. But, you’re right – don’t do anything too silly…!!!

Good luck with things and I look forward to getting to know you a little better this year, here at the blog.

C

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Francis November 7, 2013 at 20:55

Chris, this is a great list of ideas and tools for becoming a virtual entrepreneur. All the good stuff is there. It’s almost unfair :)

Of course, I agree with hiring virtual assistants. It’s like the quantum leap into multiplying yourself and increasing your productivity many times.

If I should add a tenth point to your list, it would be “Limit your information input”.

There’s literally tons of information about online entrepreneurship out there and most of it is also very good advice, but you can drown in all these information.

So before you get into information overload and think you have to always read the next E-book or get the next email course; my proposition would be to find one training material you like and that really resonates with you personally. It’s the same thing if we’re talking about training materials for your virtual assistants.

Choose one and stick with it. Don’t go into information overload.

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Chris C. Ducker November 7, 2013 at 21:07

Hi Francis

Great insights and feedback. Thanks.

I agree. Find ONE SOURCE that you really connect well with – and SHOWS you genuine results, and stick with it.

Stay tuned, buddy. I appreciate you.

C

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