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What I Learned After Year 1 As An Entrepreneur



Making a living as an entrepreneur is not easy.

Despite working more than double the hours of a 9 to 5, I have no guaranteed income. I decide where I spend my limited time and face the consequences of what I neglect every day. And I’m always trying to balance my investment in the short-term and long-term.

Because too much energy into the short-term and I have no long-term online business. But too much attention on the long-term and I can’t provide for myself in the short-term. Tricky, right?

What I just listed describes the situations of entrepreneurs all across the country.

Though the last year on my own has been tough, and before you tell me to stop complaining, take this in: My first year as an entrepreneur has been the happiest time of my life!

It’s even better than I dreamed.

In business, you’re never “done” and it’s always been a do-or-die environment. These high-stakes are what I live for and bring out the best in me.

After year 1, I’m falling head over heels in love with the process. My business—giving value and motivating my community—has all of my attention. And I’m going to do whatever it takes to succeed in this entrepreneurial world.

There’s always something new to learn, limiting belief to overcome, and mountain to climb. So I’m forced to hustle and compete—aka my happy place.

With that said, I want to share some of the wealth I’ve learned in Year 1 with you.

For the entrepreneur reading this and the person who considers quitting their job (like this article suggests) and starting their own business, this is an open door into my past year and the top 5 most valuable lessons I’ve learned.

I hope you gain some insight from my thoughts.

5 Lessons After Year 1 Of Running My Business

1. Set the bar high.

There’s no point in setting an average or low bar. The world has enough average in it. And mediocre goals don’t inspire you or me to do our best effort.

So I had to set the bar high in every project I took on, because then it will have my full attention and I’ll give everything I got to reach it. That’s the magic in setting a big goal.

For my blog, I want to reach millions of people with the message that nothing is stopping you from being as successful as you want. Use smart strategy and work your butt off, and you’ll achieve.

For my books, I didn’t just want to become an author. I set the bar high to be an Amazon bestselling author so my message would reach more people.

For my course, I didn’t create a course to help 10 people get a great job. My desire is to help hundreds, and even thousands, find satisfaction in their career.

2. Break down your endgame into specific steps.

From the beginning, I wanted my voice and Take Your Success to serve millions of people on their individual journey to success. That’s my endgame—to make a difference.

But that’s impossibly vague to tackle head on because it’s the mission statement, not how to get there.

So I learned that every mission needs individual objectives. And the way I’m going to motivate and teach millions to take their success had to be broken down into specific steps.

By now, you’ve seen some of my objectives: create a successful blog, grow an email list, become a social media influencer, write quality books, start a YouTube channel, get promoted on other websites, and create an online course.

And I have other ideas and projects in the works to reach my ultimate goal of inspiring millions to do more, be more, and live better—including you.

3. Invest in your business.

While I still am smart with where I spend my money, I’m no longer scared to invest in my business.

For example, I just switched my email marketing company from a free one with limited capability to one with a monthly fee that gives me the upgraded features I need.  

About every month I’m paying freelancers to do design work because I see the value in hiring an expert who can do a better and quicker job than me fumbling around on Photoshop.

And I invested thousands of dollars into building my course Master The Resume. Which is nuts because I bet I would have been a nervous wreck throwing that much money into my course a year or two ago, or I wouldn’t have had the guts to invest at all.

4. Money follows attention.

Subconsciously I feel like I already knew this business truth. Though this year I truly understood the fundamentals of this concept and have organized my business to go after attention.

My main motivation to create my YouTube channel was to better connect with you (so you can see my face and hear my voice). But I also recognized that videos will bring more attention to my personal brand.

And going on live TV last month gave me some local Cincinnati attention, which proofed this money follows attention concept right. Because what do you know? The sales of How To College soared for a few days after that appearance.

It’s the same reason why Instagram and YouTube influencers can get $50,000 for a sponsored post or video. To drive the point home, this is exactly how the Kardashians built a billion dollar brand: They get more attention than just about everybody.

So this year I learned money follows attention, and I’ll never forget this concept.

5. Work harder than you think you can.

Back in college, I used to think I worked hard—which I did compared to the average student. But I work 100% harder now.

There are many nights where I’m exhausted at midnight, sometimes even at 10 PM, and I don’t think I have anything left in the tank. But I keep pushing two to three hours more because I know that’s what’s required to make significant progress. Most nights I get more done than I thought I could.

Going to be satisfied that I put in a solid day of work is such a great feeling. And my hard work the day before pays off the next morning when I’m just a little bit closer to my long-term goals.

Most recently, building my first online course is the hardest thing I’ve done. And I faced many setbacks along the way.

For example, I spent an entire day recording audio for the course and sent it to my audio guy. The next morning, I woke up to an email saying we can’t use anything I recorded yesterday because the audio is too loud. That pissed me off!

But I shook it off, and recorded again like nothing bad happened at all. That took hard mental work to let go of my mistake and focus on the task at hand. This is just one of the fires I put out during the course creation.

Overall, this past year has taught me that hard work is the bare minimum. I need to go above that if I want to reach my endgame.

Want To Start An Online Business?

It’s unbelievable to think that all of my past, present, and future entrepreneurial work—my blogs, three books, online course, social media advertising for clients, paid sponsorships, speaking, freelance work, and more—stemmed from starting this blog and getting my name out to the world.

That goes to show what a small seed can grow to when you plant it, give it sunlight, and water it.

It also highlights the power of the Internet and having your own website.

So are you interested in starting your own business?

I’d tell everyone who is that the first step is to get your own website. It’s a super low-risk move that can produce huge rewards.

Even if you don’t blog and just use your website as a landing page to pick up potential clients or customers information, you still need to have an online presence and central hub to direct traffic.

The website and hosting provider I recommend to get your website set up is Bluehost.

Click here to sign up for Bluehost for only $3.95 a month.

(Note: I am a Bluehost affiliate, meaning I receive commission when you sign up through my link. All hosting services have similar programs. I personally choose Bluehost because they offer a high-quality service and excellent customer support, which I believe in. If you use my link, thank you!)

Even though it’s not difficult, I created a video for you to ensure you get your website set up: How To Set Up A Blog.

And thanks for joining me this past year! I appreciate every ounce of support, whether you’re my best customer or never buy a single thing from me your entire life. I’m here to provide you value.



How Rob Hanes Created A Million-Views-Per-Year Esports Website



Logo of The Game Haus.

Rob Hanes is all in on sports, specifically esports.

He’s the founder of—a website that covers the biggest news in esports and sports, and they’re quite good at what they do because their new on the block website brings in millions of views per year.

Fortunately, last week Rob and I talked and I got him to do an interview for you guys (I’m always trying to look out for my readers). There’s a bunch of quality content in here if you’re thinking about creating a website or entrepreneurial project, finding your passion, or working with a group of friends. And if esports is your thing, Rob has opinionated takes on the present and future of this rapidly growing industry.

How did you get started with this?

I started almost on accident. My friend and I had wanted to keep talking sports as we had done on our Miami radio show. We then decided we wanted to keep writing. A couple of people we worked with at The Miami Student decided they wanted to join us and then it kind of just kept going from there.

Knowing The Game Haus is only a few years old, how does it feel to be bringing in millions of page views a year?

I remember when getting a 100 views was amazing. I would sit and have Google Analytics on one screen while working on other things for hours. Now we are depressed when we get a few thousand in a day. It is that hunger that keeps us from being complacent. To answer your question more directly, it is an amazing feeling but, after a few minutes of enjoying it we push forward thinking of new ways to continue growing.

For our readers who are unaware, what is esports by definition?

Esports are electronic sports. Essentially professional competition in high skill video games. This means you must have incredible skills through reactions, practice time, and a deep understanding of the game to be successful. Unlike most video games these ones have a higher skill cap in order to be amazing at them.

In your eyes, what’s the potential of esports going forward? Could it ever rival the popularity of sports like the NFL or NBA?

I believe esports have the potential to rival smaller traditional sports very quickly and some may have already passed viewership numbers for a few of them. For the giants like NFL, MLB, NFL, NHL, and EPL it is going to take a long time to get near those numbers. Those sports have hundreds of years of success and fanbases behind them.

Esports will get there if they can make it through the first five years of franchising. Their fans will grow with more and more children playing video games. Also esports are tapping into that market of people who never liked or played traditional sports which is way bigger than people may know.

Why do you think sports behemoths like ESPN and ABC have been slower to cover esports?

I think they are bringing a wait and see approach. Longevity has always been the biggest issue in competitive video games. Most games (competitively) only last a couple of years because they get outdated or just boring. With games like League of Legends, Overwatch, and CS:GO things are constantly being updated and changing.

With new franchising in League and Overwatch I believe that more people are realizing their ability to adapt and change to solve the longevity issue. These same people are now investing huge amounts of money because they believe in it. This makes me believe that ESPN will start investing more time and effort into esports very soon.

What do you make of NBA teams hopping on board the esports train?

Right now it seems as though the NBA is all-in on esports. The last two years are evident of that. Multiple teams have bought into or own esports organizations. There are also a number of NBA players, managers, coaches, and owners who are involved in the NBA still or were involved that have invested into esports (ie. Rick Fox who owns and started Echo Fox).

Hell they have even started the NBA 2K League which I expect to be a big success with direct partnership with Adam Silver, the NBA, and the 17 NBA teams that are in its first season.

If everything goes right going forward, what are your ambitions for The Game Haus?

I expect us to be in the conversation for being a top sports and esports combo site in the next few years. We want to show that are one stop shop for information and opinions on both. With our viewerbase and fanbase growing we hope to challenge the top companies and continue to push our way into this conversation as we get more funding.

Where’s the best place TYS readers can go to learn more about your esports and sports content?

You can go to our website, check us out on Twitter @TGHSports and @TGHEsports, or on Facebook.

Thanks Rob, go kill it this year!

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Prediction: These Will Be The 5 Biggest Winners Of 2018



A new year means a new group of people are going to capitalize in 2018 by taking their life to a whole different level of success and happiness

Do you know who is going to come out on top in this new year? If you did, it’d be smart to join these groups so you can also have an amazing year.

Here’s where it pays off to read this blog: I’m going to tell you who is going to win before it ever happens. Then it’s up to you to join these groups so you can win big in 2018.

I’m not calling it a guarantee but I’m very confident in each one of these picks. Let’s start with number 1.

The 5 Biggest Winners Of 2018

1. Business owners and entrepreneurs

Honestly, I think business owners are always going to be a big winner of just about every year given all the benefits of running your own operation.

We get to build a business, make progress, challenge ourselves, compete in the toughest arena of global business, take off whenever we want, travel if we desire, receive tax advantages, etc. Read this if you want to learn more specific reasons to become an entrepreneur.

There’s just so much good when you own your own business, and all the bad doesn’t stack up.

Call me biased for this one making the list, but I wasn’t a business owner before and still felt this way so I became one.

What’s stopping you from owning your own thing, even if it’s smaller and you’re a solopreneur or freelancer? That still carries many of the same benefits so go do it already if you want to crush it this year.

2. Video creators

Blogs and podcasts are cool in all, but the vlog is where it’s at!

As I’ve said countless times, the best way to get to know someone is through seeing them, hearing their voice, and listening to what they say, aka what video does.

Other mediums like voice, images, or text just can’t deliver what video can for content creators and their audiences.

Not to mention all the statistics are lining up pretty for video creators. Take a look at these stats from this blog post on  

  • About 92 percent of mobile video watchers will go on to share videos with other people
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
  • 95% of a message is retained when watched  compared to 10% when read
  • People spend 88% more time on a website with video according to Mist Media
  • Video traffic will account for 80% of all Internet traffic in 2019

It’s safe to say that video is the way of the present and the future. Those that keep publishing it are going to dominate in the attention department, and when you win on attention you win on sales and making money.

3. People who go live on social media’s like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram

Video is one thing, but it’s a bonus to go live as you’ll get pushed higher in news feeds like Facebook and Instagram.

When you go live, your followers and friends will get notifications and it’s a nice way to break into new audiences who otherwise wouldn’t have watched your videos.

Here I am saying it’s going to be big but I haven’t done it yet. I plan to do this in 2018 and it’ll be a mistake if I don’t! This also means it will be a mistake for your brand if you don’t.

P.S. The way to win with the ever-changing social platforms is to do what they want to promote the most—live video is up there, if not their number one favorite type of content.

4. Cryptocurrency and stock market investors

Cryptocurrencies had a hell of a year last year as some, like Bitcoin, gained over 1,000% percent from the start to the end of 2017. It looks like they’re not done yet.

A managing director of a cryptocurrency trading firm—Octagon Strategy—Dave Chapman estimates that Bitcoin will go beyond $100,000 before 2018 ends. I also made the same prediction in this video.

Also, many analysts think cryptocurrencies are just in the 1st inning out of 9, so that’s a lot of game to be played and profits to be made if things continue to go up.

I’ll include the stock market in this because the stock market has reached all time highs and look promising in the future.

In the long haul, I believe investors are always going to win given the historical returns of major cryptocurrency coins and the stock market.

5. People who believe in themselves

You absolutely need to have faith in yourself that you can accomplish your new year’s resolutions if you’re actually going to get it done.

With no confidence, you’ll fail first and never have the courage to get back up and try again.

For a winning example, look at Kevin Hart. One of the world’s highest-paid comedians has a huge portrait on a wall in his house. His reasoning is that he needs to be his biggest fan because if he’s not then who else will be?

That’s the motto you need to have to go out there and do big things. It all starts with positive self-talk that you’re the man or woman, you’re enough, and you can get it done.

Positive thinkers will work harder and create more positive outcomes for themselves. Believe that!

2018’s Biggest Winners Wrap Up

If I had to bet, then I’m going with entrepreneurs, video creators, going live on social media, cryptocurrency investors, and people who believe in themselves will make the most out of 2018 and take the cake.

And if you’re not currently in any of those groups, there’s no better time to get started than today.

At the very least, you need to work on believing in yourself because like I said how can you accomplish a single new year’s resolution without that?

Go dominate 2018 will ya!?

Want to follow my entrepreneurial journey? Like my Facebook page and you’ll never miss a thing.

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I Launched A New Website!



You guys have been with me from the beginning so I had to make a post sharing the big news with you first. I’m excited to announce the launch of!

This new site is going to be for my personal brand and the content will strictly focus on entrepreneurship and business.

That means the hot topics will be marketing, sales, social media, technology, investing, and then the classic traits of winning in business like being bold, working hard, and patiently playing for the long game.

Creating this new site was a no-brainer because I honestly have a blast sharing my unique business perspective, motivating other entrepreneurs, and documenting myself.

You’re also going to find more personal content revolving around the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial journey. Also, I see myself adding content that dives into the specifics of Illumen Media and how we’re trying to grow our company into a giant.

There’s definitely going to be crossover content between Take Your Success and my new website, except Take Your Success is less Brian-focused and its mission is 100% to provide personal development tips and motivation for you.

And just like TYS, will publish video and written blog post content.

Simply put, if you’re looking for specific news on me and to follow my journey then head over to

If you love the content on Take Your Success then keep coming back because by no means am I going to stop publishing content here. This site will forever be my first-born entrepreneurial baby.

Or you can be a champ by checking out the new content on both websites every week so you won’t miss a thing.

Don’t forget to click around the new site at!


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