I have been working on this acquiring an internet business for about six months. There is one thing I can tell you for sure. It is a lonely business, not too many people understand small business on the internet, and there aren’t too many people doing it professionally. Sure there are a lot of people who blog as a side gig, have a small e-commerce business, or a small content business but how many do you know that do it full time? Not sure about you but I know zero and I live in San Francisco. Oh sure, I know a lot of people in tech but I have yet to meet someone who runs a tech business and says that if it hits 10 million in revenue, I am happy.
Who the heck are the owners of all these businesses? To the Internet I go!
In the process of doing due diligence, a conference was recommended to me that is for small business entrepreneurs. The conference is Rhodium Weekend. It’s a small conference of 75 or so entrepreneurs who are all in the internet business. These aren’t people creating the next big thing but entrepreneurs who have businesses generated tens of thousand to millions of dollars each year. I checked out the presenters and everyone seemed pretty legit. So, I applied to attend.
Applied? Who the hell has to apply to a conference that costs $1k to attend?
It’s pretty smart when you think about it. By ensuring that everyone can contribute in a meaningful way, it creates an environment which is much more conducive to impactful connections and conversations. I don’t know about you but most conferences I have gone to are huge, you really don’t learn much, and they are more trade shows than anything else. This sounded different.
A few days later I had my call with Chris Yates, the guy who runs it. We talked about what I was up to, how I thought I could add to the conversation and I learned about who he was. All in all, it seemed like a good fit. What really excited my was the fact that Chris and his business partner David were not professional conference people but seasoned internet entrepreneurs. This means that at a minimum, I could meet a couple of people who were successful in this business.
I paid my fee and a few weeks later, I went to Vegas to attend the conference.
What did I find? For starters, half of the people I had been communicating with over the previous months were there. These were the high quality brokers, internet marketers, and people who lent money to online businesses. I also met people in all stages of the game. Those who are in the site search all the way to people who have a $10M/ year business on Amazon. This is exactly what I was looking for; a community of people who are dedicated to doing this for a living.
Over the next few days, I heard from experts in different disciplines, motivational speakers, and even heard from entrepreneurs who did deals with each other. The content was great, the speakers dynamic, and I learned a ton. This was exactly what I was looking for.
Additionally, one of my main goals in going was to begin to develop relationships with people who I could learn from and share with. That goal and more was accomplished. In any business it is impossible to know everything so it is important to build a team around you who can support you where you are weak (visa versa). I truthfully don’t think I could do any better than having members of this group in my corner. There are a few people I am already talking with to provide SEO services, content services, and tech services for my new business.
All in all, it was a great weekend and I will go back again next year.
Even if it doesn’t really sync up with the topic, I want to end this post with the words from the immortal Bo Schembechler, the former football coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines. THE TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM. GO BLUE!