Improving By Being a Beginner

While browsing through the bookstore I stumbled upon a section of books about online business, eCommerce and the like, and just for fun I decided to pickup this book called “Start an Online Business in 10 Days.”

With my smug attitude I was secretly thinking how I could (and have) put up fully functioning businesses within HOURS rather than days, and that I was “beyond” this book. However to humor myself I picked it up and thumbed through.

It had all the pretty basic information about what kind of software to use for an online store yadda yadda, but what caught my attention were all the details it had about a lot of small stuff I’ve never really paid much attention to. For example it had a section on how to format a professional looking email footer, and a section on what information should be on your contact page, and it gave examples of each used in other successful web businesses.

This got me thinking that I could use this beginner’s book as an outline to start improving upon my own online ventures. started from scratch from my high school days, and has slowly been pieced together since then. Never have I once taken the time to properly format all these small elements into a professional looking end product, and to this day I still think some of the order flow or HouseOfRave could use drastic minor but very effective changes.

So instead of making a giant to-do list of general improvements I can make, I can read this book front to back while implementing the suggestions as I read! This will take much longer than reading the book first then making a list of improvements, but this way I won’t be overwhelmed by a massive and vague to-do list.

So this begineers book went from me scoffing at it, to me paying $19.99 for it and using it to re-vamp my sites.

I remember reading a quote (probably from TheKirkReport where I steal all my good quotes from):

“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”
–Barbara Sher

P.S. Wow, I can make these posts so much faster when I don’t make accompanying pictures.

Blog posted on: September 25, 2007

16 comments on “Improving By Being a Beginner

  1. Anonymous

    Lets see…you pick up a “beginner’s book” on online businesses and realize that you, Joe Stud Online Businessman, haven’t even incorporated basic ideas and fundamental elements in your online business.

    Did you really go to college? Did they really give you a degree? Because the more you post, the more you look like a complete hack.

  2. RV

    @ 7:10 AM Anonymous:

    Is there something wrong if someone picks up a “beginner’s book” and want to improve his/her project(s)?

    Is it a mandatory thing to go to a college or have a degree to pick up a “beginner’s book”?

    Is it wrong to improve one’s business as time passes by with new ideas’s that one did not know about?

    I agree, You have valid points. One has to research as much as possible to start a business venture. One has to know the fundamentals and also the competition that exist and how to best overcome the competition and be successful at it.

    But that should not stop anyone from learning and incorporating new ideas into existing businesses.


  3. Anonymous

    uh oh, somebodys kissin nevs ass *cough*RV*cough*

    I believe what the other anon was getting at is that we have been pointing out how Nev obviously doesnt know anything about business, although he appears to think he’s a business genius.

    He then goes and buys a book that tells the most basic things about business and its all new to him. Ironic.

    He tells the story like he randomly stumbled onto this book, and looked at it for laughs, but I’m willing to bet he went out looking for a book on business because he obviously isn’t a super genius businessman

  4. RV

    @ 10:05AM Anonymous

    On what points that I wrote makes you to come to a conclusion that I am “kissin nevs ass” as you have described.

    OK, if Nev isn’t a super genius business man, is that something wrong?

    I would have written the same thing if “You” were in Nev’s Place. It is not called “kissin ass”, IMHO.

    How about pointing out what if Nev or anyone else for that matter is doing something wrong, and point him/her in the right direction? Am I wrong?

    How about NOT talk about peoples personalities and talk and discuss the issue(s)? Is it fair?

    Correct me if I am wrong?


  5. Anonymous

    pretty fucking great Nev, I like how you think. I am on my way to Barnes and Noble. Need to fing gold in the ‘Dummies’ books.

  6. Millionster

    Nev, I’m sorry to say you’re not a super genius businessman. But who gives a leopards ass!

    Make that money!

    So, curious — Do you have an actual job or are you just living on income from your various projects?

  7. Anonymous

    Some of you posters have obviously not been around for the duration.

    If you’ve been here long enough, and take the time to look at the “income” on the right side of Nev’s blog, you will see that he supports himself via a magical “income generating change jar.” I have repeatedly told Nev that he needs to bring this device to market, and not worry about designing t-shirts for body monkey.

    RV: Yes, there is something wrong when Nev picks up a beg. book and realizes that he has at least two “online businesses” but has failed to even incorporate basic, fundamental elements into their design. And one of those businesses is not new, but quite seasoned. And I am slamming Nev about the time he wasted at UT because he got a stupid degree and chose not to use his time wisely.

    Kristofer: I am going to ignore your comments on the basic principle that you look like a dweeb in your picture. In the future, I would suggest a picture of your back, with outstretched arms, overlooking a city skyline. I’m pretty sure that the pose I’ve recommended is quite unique!

  8. Anonymous

    Kristofer, since you are just a young’un at 20 (love to know how far you’ve gotten in this world in your 20 years), I can understand that you failed to comprehend sarcasm. Although the fact that you attempted to defend Nev by trying to explain how hard it is to comprehend the equation “1+1-2″ was quite humorous in itself.

    By the way, the “magical income generating change jar” is not humor, but a real device. Just look at Nev’s own postings to see where his income comes from.

  9. Anonymous


    Let me see. He is not saying he “forgot” any basic elements. Just that he found tips on improvement he had left out.

    Now, I am very experienced when it comes to website design and SEO, I STILL find the occasional blog post or article aimed at beginners that I find helpful, or that reminds me of something I forgot.

    Does this make me a dumb hack?
    I beg to differ.

    Sometimes you find nuggets of gold even in beginners books.

    If, and only IF you keep an open mind, that is.


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