What does it take to succeed in online business? What would do the most to help your coaching, consulting or freelancing business thrive in troubled times? Is it some singular focus? Is there one single thing you can do to insure success?
I don’t think so.
You’re probably thinking, Wow, thanks for the optimism, Michael! Maybe I’ll go put on some black eyeliner and go write bad poetry full of obtuse personal symbolism nobody else would ever understand while I listen to Dashboard Confessional in the dark.
Hey, whatever bakes your brownies, man.
While I don’t believe there is any one thing, I do believe there are many things an online entrepreneur can do to succeed. So chill, and put the black eyeliner away. Unless of course you look awesome in it. Then you get down with your bad self.
So what’s the answer? You become a Renaissance Person 2.0: good at many things… or in this case, the right things.
Renaissance Person 2.0
Originally the term was renaissance man, but hey, this is the 21st century. There are several definitions of a renaissance man, but the one I like is this:
A man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences. A “universal man” or polymath.
Granted, that definition is specifically for the term renaissance man, so naturally it’s considered sexist by today’s standards. The term exists as such because of course we’re talking about people who lived during the Renaissance period, near the close of the Middle Ages. But the idea is even more applicable in today’s world, here at the beginning of the “future” (the 21st century was always the future of the past, if you know what I mean).
So I’m upgrading it to RP2: Renaissance Person 2.0.
The 7 RP2 Attributes
- Has an obsessively deep knowledge about her main field or whatever is “the thing” she does
- Has a marketing mindset and sees things through a marketing lens, understands marketing methods and their application
- Has a design mindset and understands the importance of design, is aware of color, typography, utility
- Has a networking mindset and understands that just as the “network is the computer” in technical terms, it’s also “the computer” in terms of personal business success
- Understands how value is created and sold in her chosen market
- Understands technology enough to create & maintain an online presence (front end, if you like)
- Understands how to use technology to run operations effectively (back end, if you will)
The RP2 Skillset
- Media production (video & audio, information product production)
- Internet fluency (browsers, search, a smattering of HTML, various web tools)
The RP2 Values
- Enlightened self-interest (“go-giving” or whatever you want to call it)
Business School Can Suck It
This isn’t the kind of stuff you’d learn in business school. Sure you need accounting and all that stuff, but that’s not what really makes the big difference, from what I can see. We’re in the middle of a Great Reset. New rules are being written. Renaissance People 2.0 are the heralds of the new business paradigm. They’re going to be successful earlier than anyone else as we continue through this economic reset.
Where’s the Instruction Manual? Five Steps to Being an RP2
There isn’t one, except perhaps what you’re reading right now. You’ve got the lists above.
- Find the points above that scare you the least .
- Google them and learn something.
- Put what you learn into action.
- Repeat (as you keep going, the stuff that was too scary before won’t seem so scary anymore).
- Remember that nobody does everything. Decide what you want to do yourself and what you want to outsource.
Get Your Inspiration Where You Can Find it
Great examples of RP2′s are all around us. Think of the most successful people in your field and they probably exhibit the RP2 attributes, skills, and values outlined above. My personal list has people on it like Tim Ferriss, Hugh McLeod, Jonathan Fields, Naomi Dunford and Elizabeth Potts Weinstein among others. Make your own list. Don’t imitate the people on your list: emulate them. Or as Picasso might put it: don’t copy, steal.
Everybody’s searching for the so-called “secrets” of success. We know there aren’t any, but we keep hoping there really are (that’s why they’re secrets, right?). If there is a secret, I think it’s in how you look at things. We live in a very different world now because we see things differently now than how our parents or grandparents did.
Having a conscious framework for how you see and understand the world can be useful because it gives us direction, gives us something to hang onto. Does the RP2 framework work for you? Does it speak to you? Does it jive with what you observe happening around you in the world?
Let me know what you think.
Image credit: Gurney5