On-line businesses that I admire and want to emulate in some way. 


The blog challenge has entered its second act and this is where the proverbial rubber hits the road. Envisioning idyllic scenarios has always been easy for me as I’m sure they’re easy to imagine for most people. A perfect day might be a slight challenge for some but people will eventually come up up with some combination of “I’d do something I liked, in a place that I liked, with people that I liked”...

Today’s challenge is, for want of another term, challenging!

“Whose online business do you admire most and why?” -The Suitcase Entrepreneur - Blog Challenge Day 9

Again, this is a challenge in part because of what my mind is adding to it. As I am someone who wants to have an on-line business, choosing one that I admire feels like I’m choosing the kind of business I’d like to have.

The real challenge for me, but also the opportunity, is that no one is doing quite what I’d like to do. This is exciting as I have the chance to break new ground but I will freely admit, figuring out how to turn Life Athletics into a business has felt like my weakest area and this has limited its growth. 

I’m able to see what I’d like the site to look like fully formed, but even then I’m not exactly sure I  know where the money would come from, and so I certainly haven’t known how where it’d be found prior to that point. 

Fully formed, Life Athletics would provide multiple training options from multiple sources for the main areas of life. You’d be able to choose from a virtual menu of advice givers and tailor a daily, weekly and monthly routine that targeted every aspect of yourself that you wanted to develop, picking and choosing elements from different sources, in a way that suited your tastes and your needs. 

A subscription would make sense but I do not believe that it’s the best way to go. I think that giving away massive value is important on-line and since my main goal is to be a part of the transformation of as many lives as possible, I don’t want to turn Life Athletics into something that only the select few willing to pay up front can use. 

I’ve been hesitant however because I believe that anything that I offer for free has to stay free and so I feel like I have to be careful not to offer anything that I might want to offer as a premium subscription later. 

In this respect, Crossfit.com is a model for what I’d like to do. They give away a workout every day, along with some basic instructions articles and videos. Anyone could go onto that site and start crossfitting.  The do have the Crossfit journal though for people who wish to go a little deeper into their study of that discipline.

This is what I want for Life Athletics. For anyone to be able to come onto the site and have, at least, all of the basics that they would require to start training themselves in every area of their lives. After that, if people wanted more, offering a subscription element would be appropriate. 

As there would have to be a large number of collaborators in order to make this project really work, a subscription from the start would also be tricky in terms of who to pay and to what level. 

Affiliate marketing is an angle that has been suggested and I think might be a good option. Promoting products and services that Life Athletics users would be interested in, is in integrity with what I’d like to do. 

Extended out, I have envisioned a number of extensions to Life Athletics, including a clothing line, and fitness resorts. Lulu Lemon would be a model I’d want to follow for the clothing and Ninja Camp Bali is awesome and very similar to my vision for the resorts. I’m keeping these things on the periphery for now as the main site is my main focus first. 

Other sites I admire... There are blogs I like but as far as on-line businesses... my brain just keeps jumping to how there are elements of what I want to do in existence but nothing fully formed. I like them but I want to change them to fit a more holistic approach. 

Bodybuilding.com has the ability for people to post workouts that can be used by anyone in the community. Dailymile.com has the ability to track your progress and train in an online social environment. I even see elements of what I want to do in Songza, and Grooveshark... Services in which playlists can be chosen and plugged into your profile, customizing an experience through something that someone else put together for you. 

How to go from where I am currently to the place where I have the online business I’ve envisioned? 

As far as I can see, I have to take it in stages. First, I can start testing the program by contacting those who train people in various areas of life and having them start to build programs to fit Life Athletics. Then I can start having the new site designed and built. This still doesn’t answer the question of how to turn Life Athletics into a business.  An online business needs people to thrive and I have the feeling that “if I build it, they will come”.  The online community of Life Athletes that I believe will flock to the site will make many things in the business realm possible. If they don’t come, the point is moot as all of the money generating gimmicks in the world won’t make a difference. 

Online businesses that I admire are those that give away so much value that a feeling of excitement and reciprocity are generated in their users.  I have paid for a crossfit journal subscription for years and bought the books of Tim Ferris and Natalie Sisson (The suitcase Entrepreneur) among others, because they have provided me with value before ever asking for a cent. Giving them money for their work was a pleasure and and I’ve done it while happily promoting their sites for free. 

In the end, what I admire in any business is when the focus is on delivering quality and massive value along with an enjoyable experience... and the bottom line comes next.