- Inspiring Startups
Interview with Rob Cubbon - Create an online business to get the freedom you want
Rob Cubbon is an Amazon bestselling author, online teacher, graphic designer, entrepreneur, and ex-slacker who wants freedom for you and success for your business.
Tell us a bit about you and your journey to becoming an online entrepreneur
I was born in the UK in 1968. After school and university, I did various jobs that included picture research for newspaper and magazines, graphic design and artworking for various marketing and advertising agencies. I wasn’t particularly happy doing this. I wanted to travel and I even taught English for a while in Portugal, Brazil and England.
However around 2003-4, I got a grip on myself, started meditating, and stopped smoking.
I started my business in 2005-6, initially to provide graphic design, web design and marketing services, but later I started selling e-books and video courses on the subjects of small business, online promotion, web design and passive income.
In 2014 (at the age of 45, after a failed marriage, and after 8 years of running an online business in London) I started travelling. Since then I’ve mostly been based in Thailand but I’ve travelled and attended conferences in Vietnam, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Germany, London and the Philippines.
Tell us about your business and what's special about it?
My business has changed – or should I say, pivoted – many times. Ten years ago the business provided graphic design services for clients. Now I predominantly sell books and online courses but I’m always on the look out for other streams of income and business interests.
I want to help and inspire people to build sustainable online businesses, earn passive income, gain financial independence, and experience greater freedom, health and happiness in their lives.
What was your main motivation to start a business?
I was never happy working for other people. But I did accept it because I thought it was inevitable. No one in my immediate family or social circle was entrepreneurial.
How did you start it? Did you have any previous experience as an entrepreneur?
I started blogging and I got enquiries from the website, this was back in 2006 and Google traffic was easier to get in those days. I had no previous experience as an entrepreneur.
How did you validate your idea?
How did you finance your project?
I didn’t need any money. Just domain name registration and hosting.
How did you market and promote your business when you were launching?
Just organic Google traffic and later traffic from YouTube and various other platforms.
How long did it take you to start getting the first results and see you could create a viable business ?
A few months.
What are the main ways in which you are able to monetize your activities ?
Firstly through working for clients and then through selling digital products such as courses and e-books and later through physical products.
How long did it take before you could make a living out of your online business? What has been your revenue progression?
It took a couple of years before I was able to stop working for other people.
How do you organize yourself and keep productive, particularly when you're traveling more often to beautiful exotic destinations?
I don’t. That’s why I’ve used Chiang Mai as my base for the last three or four years.
What do you like most being an entrepreneur?
What has been your biggest challenge/failure as an entrepreneur?
There have been so many. I’ve lost money on a couple of ventures. I’ve given people bad advice on one occasion. And maintaining motivation is always hard as much as I love what I do. The challenges and failures never stop and I wouldn’t like to say which is the biggest!
What are your business goals for this coming year?
I’m focussed more on the non-profit space this year.
How can an aspiring entrepreneur start building an online business now? What would be a good business type to start as a beginner?
One of the main consistencies with the way people start out who eventually succeed or succeed quickly is that they start off doing something that is close to what they know the most about.
The first step for me was earning enough money from clients doing web and graphic. After that it was creating valuable free content on my site and building an email list.
You could start blogging and vlogging and write about what you do. Explain how and why you do what you do. People see that you know what you're doing and hire you! Also, on your own site you can collect email addresses which is really important later on.
But no one can tell you what to do. At the end of the day you have to take action. Because if you take action and try to do some business online, that's the way you'll learn real lessons.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
10-30 minutes meditation every morning.
Any good book to recommend to an aspiring entrepreneur?
4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle
Learn more about Rob Cubbon at www.robcubbon.com
And check out the resources he offers to help you start and succeed in your online business.
Learn more about Rob Cubbon's success story :
Blog post by Rob - From Desperation to "Living The Dream"
Side Hustle Nation podcast episode - The path to $5k a month passive income sharing what you already know
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