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Should I Start A Business: The Completely Backwards Strategy that I Used to Grow by Over 200%

  • Nick ThackerNick Thacker

I’m about to share something top secret with you.

Not “top secret” because it’s classified, dangerous, or even mysterious.

This strategy is “top secret” because it isn’t something most business owners think about. Given a certain amount of time with their business, watching it grow and shrink, succeed and fail in small ways, almost every long-term business owner actually does engage this strategy.

Sometimes it’s too late though…

But not for you.

I’ll go ahead and let you know what this strategy is – the same strategy I used to grow a blog (my business) into the profitable-yet-fledgling website that it is today. It also helped me laser-focus my blog by figuring out my USP.

I still have a ways to go – I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but you can see from these examples that I’m definitely on track:

My subscriber growth

Now, if you know anything about me you’ll know that I’m not the kind of person who usually shares data like this (I’m not about the numbers, I’m about the connections and engagement).

But I wanted to use these examples from the standpoint of a “if I can do it, so can you”-type lesson. Seriously – I run a website that focuses on helping writers and creators achieve their dreams, and it’s certainly not as populated a niche as one like marketing or blogging.

So really – I believe that any blogger or business owner out there can truly benefit from this strategy. At the very least, it will absolutely help you find your ONE Person. Before we jump into it, though, here’s a quick rundown of what it’s not:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Guest-Posting
  • Advertising
  • Joint Ventures
  • Affiliate Marketing

Nope, it’s none of these tactics (although they are all great for certain aspects of your niche marketing strategy).

The “Secret” Strategy

Instead, this secret strategy is something that’s so fundamental – so basic – you’ll probably be upset with me for saying it out loud:

The secret to massive growth for your business or blog is: Asking the Right Questions.

That’s right – the real secrets to success online or offline lie in about asking the right questions.

Questions like “how can I make the most money from this product launch” or “what advertising platforms will position us best?” are the wrong questions (at least, until you’ve asked the right questions).

So, you ask, what are the right questions?

The Right Questions are the questions that you inherently know the answers to.

You’ve been online long enough to know what a legitimate offer looks like, and what’s a scam.

You’ve been around the block a few (dozen) times, so you understand the business you’re in better than most people.

You know the strategies, tactics, and “best practices” of your business and niche, and everything you read online either reinforces them or simply presents these facts in a new light.

Basically, you already know the right answers. It’s now time to ask the right questions.

The right questions aren’t easy to answer – even though you already know the answers.

If you’re launching a blog, you don’t just need to know about AdSense, Flickr, WordPress, and the usual tools and features available to you. You need to understand why you’re launching a blog in the first place.

These are questions that only you can answer. Questions that tug at your heart, your mind, and your soul, and keep you up at night.

They’re questions that resonate so deeply inside of you that you wonder if you’re asking questions or being cross-examined by a therapist.

They’re questions like:

  • Why are you blogging (or running a business)?
  • What makes you the right person for this job?
  • What kind of commitment can you make?

Right-I know you’ve answered these questions before; maybe to a skeptical in-law or parent – but when was the last time you sat down and really asked yourself these questions?

When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart with yourself, and came clean with the underlying reasons you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing?

Asking the right questions leads to unbelievably raw answers.

You’ll know you’re asking the right questions when Google searches and reading blog posts stop providing answers. The Right Questions are those big, lofty, ridiculous questions that make us want to curl up in the corner and forget about the monster task of building a business.

But here’s the deal:

If you actually take the time to write out answers to these “right questions,” you’ll be amazed at the clarity and depth of understanding you have for your business – and yourself.

And when you’re finished asking these questions, you can easily turn the written answers into a full-fledged business plan.

The “Right Questions” can launch your business into stardom

Most business school-graduate entrepreneurs are trained into writing business plans and answering questions like these, but most of us aren’t graduates of programs like this.

Instead, we’re told to “follow our hearts,” and “pursue our passions” – both endearing and wonderful prescriptions – but when it comes down to brass tacks, we run out of core, fundamental answers to questions that we need to grow our business.

As an antidote to this common malady, and as a strategy that is guaranteed to grow your business, try asking the Right Questions.

I’ve outlined 101 “Right Questions” that can help business owners launch their business or blog, with the help of prolific bloggers and business owners such as your very own Mirasee founder Danny Iny, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, James Chartrand of Men With Pens, and others – and I want you to have it.

The questions are ordered in a way that force you to think about your business like you’ve never thought of it before – a part of your life.

It’s a sound plan for launching any business or blog, and it’s a great starting point for new entrepreneurs or seasoned veterans alike.

I’ve used the Right Questions approach to get to the bottom of why I want to blog as a business model, and how I’ll grow it along the way. I didn’t need to read more and more information about growth strategy, finding traffic sources, or advanced blogging techniques, either – on the contrary, I used the Right Questions approach to ask the fundamental questions that started me on this journey in the first place.

Writing the answers, I was overwhelmed by the clarity and specificity of the answers – answers I knew, not ones I found in other books or online – and I used these answers to get my business back on track.

This method works

It’s not a scam, because the answers you provide are yours – not mine, not Danny’s, not anyone else’s. There are no shortcuts to the method, either, meaning you won’t be able to find the “Right Answers” anywhere online.

In fact, the “Cheat Sheet” I created for you is not really a cheat sheet – it’s just the questions alone, without the additional commentary we’ve provided in the full book.

If you want to check it out, it’s available for FREE download on my site – and the book is available through Amazon (see my byline). I recommend at least checking out the cheat sheet and working through the questions. At the very least, you should be able to realize some important truths about why it is you’re doing whatever is you’re doing – and how to improve it.

While it’s written from the standpoint of bloggers, you can certainly glean insight from it as a business owner – whether or not you have a blog. The core marketing concepts we used in the creation of both the book and the cheat sheet are based on actual questions taught to business students and entrepreneurs before they “jump in” head first.

Your turn..

Check it out, and let me know what you think! I’m more than happy to answer any questions (no pun intended) about the book or cheat sheet, and I’m hoping you’ll get some great use out of them!

As well, leave a comment and let me know what you think of all of this – have you asked yourself the Right Questions before, or written them down? What were your answers?

27 thoughts on Should I Start A Business: The Completely Backwards Strategy that I Used to Grow by Over 200%

Ryan Hanley


Guest Posting all over the Internet helps too I’m sure!

I’ve seen your name all over the place which is great all the article have been very well done just like this one.

When you ask questions that drive engagement your readers start to feel like they are part of the experience… Like their comment is important to the success of the blog.

Excellent stuff!

Ryan H.

Nick Thacker

Hey Ryan!

It DEFINITELY helps! Thanks for noticing–I’ve been at it for what seems like forever!

I’ve always believed that driving engagement is key to any successful business strategy. And I like the idea of replying to every comment, as I feel it destroys the false barrier between “poster” and “commenter”–we’re all on the same side!

Thanks for commenting!

Jason Bates

Nick, Danny… I love this post.
Only this morning I was looking at a quote from Scott Ginsberg (The nametag guy),
He describes writing as “Sitting down, slicing open a vein and bleeding your truth all over the page.”

It’s easy to fill a page with the ‘X ways to be super successful’.. but to bleed your truth takes something more. You need to know why, you need to know what, and you have to make the commitment if you’re going to get the razor blade out… (did the comment suddenly got very dark ;o)

The thing is… you can tell the people who are doing this, and the people who are going through the motions.


Nick Thacker

Hey Jason–great comments and insights–thanks for reading!

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca

Nick, I agree with Ryan, great stuff, and I’m psyched to see you here at Danny’s 🙂

You’ve touched on something I write about often – the roots, the seed, the core of something is incredibly important. It’s the foundation, and for some reason very few people spend very little focus on the foundation before they dive into all the bells and whistles of their project.

Fortunately, it’s okay to build castles in the sky, that’s where they’re supposed to be, it just becomes more important to build those foundations under them 😀

Nick Thacker

Hi Jason;

Very true–the foundations are fundamental, but they’re pointless if there’s no “dream” meant to stand on top of them!

Thanks for the comment!

Philos Mudis

Will download it, read it and share my thoughts.

I do agree with you that asking the right questions can really help people grow their blogs. It is sort of knowing where you go better before you actually embark on the journey.

Nick Thacker

Awesome, Philos!

Thanks for the comment!

Tania Dakka

Awesome, Nick! The right questions plagues me so often and I can’t wait to check out the download! Thanks so much for an awesome post!

Nick Thacker

Hi Tania! Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you like the book!

Beatrix Willius

Sigh… The advice on this post is about as good as “do guest posts” or “be remarkable”. And I hate having to tweet to get some content. Which didn’t work, by the way.

Nick Thacker

Hi Beatrix;

Sorry you didn’t like it–both Danny’s and my blog have some other awesome content; you could check that out and see if it’s better 😉


Discover Auctions

Hi Nick – nice to meet you. I received the download immediately after tweeting, it works. After reading through the questions on the download, my favorite is “Overnight Success” #75 by JoAnna Penn. It is really not a question, it is an eye opener for the beginner blogger. If anyone believes internet marketing and blogging is an overnight success, they possibly should re-think that opinion. It is work, just like any other job, and one has to take the responsibility of doing the task.
These are all great questions to ask oneself even if you are not a beginner. It makes you reflect back on what you have been doing and how you could possibly make it better. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

Nick Thacker

Hi there! Thanks for grabbing the download–glad you liked it.

I love the idea that Chris Guillebeau puts forth in his tome, 379 Days to Overnight Success–it’s a great reminder that the “stars” we see usually worked their butts off for a decade before they were stars!


Thank you Nick for an excellent post. I am already signed up to your newsletter and I enjoy it when it comes by. I like the idea of the FireStarter program. I am not sure I am the target market for it, I already have some things in place, but I like the idea of building a platform.

The questions cheat sheet; some are intriguing, some not so much, but they are great for having a place to begin. Thank you for putting them together. The sending a tweet thing I don’t particularly, but I didn’t like it when Mark Joyner started doing that kind of thing 20 – ish years ago. I don’t like recommending something I don’t know anything about. I have no issue telling people I did something that I really liked. But obviously not annoying enough to keep me from tweeting about it.

No worries, have a great day, your post here is excellent. 🙂

Nick Thacker

Hi Michael;

Good point–it’s something I’m testing and experimenting with. There’s no better way to find out if something’s worthwhile than to just test it and see!

The Firestarter package is actually geared specifically for authors, but the worksheets and content within are definitely useful for anyone interested in building a platform online–hope you’ll check it out!

Thanks for reading, and for the comment!


No problem , Nick. It ‘s always good to experiment with ideas and see where they lead, I think that is a cool thing to do. I hope it works out really well for you.


Tom Treanor


Great post and that’s a great way to look at refining your business to suit your goals, capabilities and audience. Thanks for sharing your secret!

Nick Thacker

Thanks, Tom–my pleasure!

Sheyi |

Nick, maybe if you try to answer or attend to comments here, it will increase the popularity of this blog post. You’ve done well here and I commend that.


Nick Thacker

Hi Sheyi!

Sorry–I was away this weekend, and thought I’d have Internet. Oh well.

Thanks for commenting, and for the kind words!


hey Nick…I did the tweet thing…but no download…really would like to the the list of 100
Thanks Ronnyg

Nick Thacker

Hi Ronny!

Sorry you’re having trouble… send me an email and I’ll be glad to shoot it over to you. That goes for anyone having trouble with it as well!



Hey Nick,

Really enjoyed your post. Asking yourself the right questions is spot on. I did exactly that some time back before starting my new blog. What really upsets me is the dreadful way people treat one another these days. It’s almost as though life itself has become dispensable. Anyway I just wanted to say great stuff for bringing attention to the very root of things.

Nick Thacker

Definitely true, Glynne. I think we should focus on building relationships first, then look at how to make profits and build businesses. There’s no point to me in building a business that just takes advantage of people.

Great point, and thanks for the commenting!


I must admit I agree. Just those two questions (“why are you blogging”, “what makes you qualified”) challenged me for months AFTER I had already started my blog. It caused me to look at myself, who I am, and what I offer. Once that was clear it shifted my whole business model, approach, and confidence level. It all started with the right questions.

Great post!

Nick Thacker

Thanks, Chris!

There’s something to be said about “figuring it out the hard way”–usually those of us who do it that way end up being better off for it. That said, there’s nothing like going about “it” the right way the second, third, and fourth times!


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