Blogging Podcast

002 What is your Purpose for starting an online business?

By Leslie Samuel

Today's episode is another one that I consider to be fundamental. It asks a very important question – What is your purpose for starting an online business?

Listen to This Episode

In this episode, I talk about:

  • What I believe your main purpose should be.
  • The experiences that caused me to question my purpose
  • How defining my purpose helped me come to some interesting conclusions
  • Why it's necessary (in my opinion) to forget about money in your business
  • HOW YOU CAN WIN $50. Yep, $50 in Cash 🙂

I'd love to hear your feedback on today's episode. Go ahead and leave a comment below, or call the hotline at (888) 835 – 2414 and leave me a voice message.

Take care!

– Leslie, The Freebie Guy


Hey! This is Leslie, TheFreebieGuy from Welcome to Episode 2 of the podcast without a name! Yes, you heard it correct. I still don’t have a name for this podcast, but I’m excited, and one of the reasons I’m excited is because I’ve been getting some great suggestions. People are leaving comments on the blog, people are calling the hotline and giving suggestions and ideas for the name of this podcast. I want it to be short and sweet, and I’m still open to some more suggestions. I want to hear what you think.

You know what? I’m going to make it even more interesting. This is what I’m going to do. If I select your title, I am going to pay you $50. Yes, I know it’s not a ton of money, but it’s something, and I’m just excited about this and I want to share that enthusiasm with you guys. So, if you have a great idea for the name of this podcast, leave a comment on the blog, call the hotline. If you forgot the number, the number is (888) 835-2414. Yes, that’s the number. My beautiful wife singing that number for you. I hope you like it. I love it, it’s just fun. I’m really enjoying this stuff here. Anyhow, so leave a comment, call the hotline, and give me your suggestions. If I choose your suggestion- $50, I’ll send that to you via PayPal or whatever way you need me to send it to you, and we’ll make that happen.

Today, what I’m going to be talking about is a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’ve been talking a lot about it with my wife and with some of my friends, and it’s something that I really believe can make a difference in what you’re doing in terms of trying to grow an online business, in terms on trying to succeed online. The main question that I’m going to be asking you today, and the question that I’ve been asking myself is this: “What is the purpose behind what you are doing online? What is the purpose behind what you are trying to achieve, what you are trying to accomplish?”

And this is a question that I’ve been asking myself recently a lot over the last few weeks, or maybe a month or two. I’ve been asking myself that question because I truly believe that defining that purpose is an essential step in the decision-making processes that you’re going to be going through, in terms of the things that you’re going to be doing in your business, in terms of how successful it’s going to be, and I really believe it’s something that you need to narrow down on.

Now, there are a number of different purposes or a number of different reasons people might have for trying to grow an online business. The first reason that comes to mind is they want to make money, and that’s a logical reason. You’re building a business because you are trying to make money, whether it is to supplement your income or whether it is to have an income when you don’t have one and you’re trying to do something to make some money online. If I want to be perfectly honest, that is part of my reason for trying to start an online business and for the things that I’m doing online.

However, I strongly believe that if that is your only reason, your main reason, your sole purpose, you’re going to be missing out on a lot when it comes to growing a business, and one that’s really going to have an impact and one that can really help you to do exactly what you’re trying to do, which is make money online. Now, let me give you a little bit of a background in terms of why I’ve been thinking about this so much.

Many of you know that I have my blog here at, but I also have my biology website at I’ve turned my focus a lot more on the Interactive Biology website, because when I think about it, I asked myself “What am I passionate about?” and that’s a question that I believe everyone should ask themselves, because if you’re going to have an online business, I believe, it might as well be about something that you’re passionate about, something that you enjoy so that it’s not like a typical 9-5 where you’re dreading getting up and going to work and all that stuff. I mean, if you’re going to not like what you’re doing online, you might as well not do it.

So, I’ve been asking myself “What am I passionate about?” and when I ask myself that question, the answers that came to mind were: biology, people, teaching, entrepreneurship. Those are the things that I’m really passionate about, and if I were starting over and I’m looking at what I want to get into, those are the things that would come to mind.

So, when I went on Christmas break, I’ve been working on my biology site for a while, and what I decided to do was develop a series of PowerPoints that teachers can use in their biology classes. The great idea behind it was that I was going to develop the PowerPoints, they were going to be awesome, and then I was going to sell them from the website. My idea was I was going to sell them for $97, I was going to list them at $97, and then in the beginning, I would discount them to $67 or maybe even $47. My website has a decent amount of traffic, it’s been growing steadily, and I thought this would be a good way of monetizing the website.

So over Christmas break, I spent a lot of time. I mean, anytime I wasn’t out, I was at home, well, I was on vacation in Florida, so I was at my aunt’s house and I was working on the PowerPoints, trying to make them as good as possible. Now, that being said, what came out of it was a really good-quality product. I’ve been giving away 2 PowerPoints on my website for free, and now, it would be the perfect funnel. I’ll give those away for free, and then do the upsell: “Want to get access to all my PowerPoints? You can pay $67 for a limited time and get access to them.”

But then I started thinking. I went back to the question, “What is the purpose behind my website?” And the things that came to mind were things like providing resources for teachers and for students that are struggling in biology, and making it accessible for anyone that really needs it. Then I started thinking about some of the e-mails that I got from all over the world, thanking me so much for the things that I’m providing on my website, and thanking me for the PowerPoints and telling me how they’ve helped their classes and I started thinking about the teacher that’s in a remote place that does not have the ability to purchase the PowerPoints. I picture them coming to my website and seeing the PowerPoints and thinking, “Wow, that is so amazing and this is something that can really enhance the learning of my students”, but not being able to do it because they couldn’t afford the $47 or even the $27 or $7, whatever it is, they couldn’t afford it.

And when I thought about that, I started thinking, “Man, do I really want to make it so that this person cannot have access to something that can potentially make the difference between the success and the failure of their students?” And I know I’m exaggerating a little bit, but the more I thought about it, I started thinking, “You know what? If my main purpose is to help people, then I need to do whatever I can do to make it accessible to as many people as possible.”

Now, I’m not telling you what the typical internet marketer would tell you, because the typical internet marketer, I don’t want to put everybody into a category, but many internet marketers out there, their purpose is to get you to buy something from them. Now, I don’t have anything to sell you, so I’m just going to tell you like it is and I’m telling you what I’m going through, and you can take what I’m saying, you can apply it to what you’re doing, or not apply it to what you’re doing. This is totally unscripted, I don’t really have a plan of what I’m going to say, but I hope it’s valuable to you, and you could let me know, give me some feedback if I’m going on too much or if I’m just rambling. Let me know in the comments or call me on the hotline, and I won’t have my wife sing the number right now, but I’ll save that again for later.

Anyhow, I came to a very drastic decision, and I’m still not 100%, I haven’t fully processed all of the aspects of this, but the decision that I made is that at least for now, I need to make my resources, my PowerPoints, my videos, my notes, and everything that I’m putting together, I need to make them accessible to anyone free of charge. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, that is a dumb decision. And you know what? Maybe in a few years I might look back and say, “You know what? I should have done something different”, but this is a learning experience for me, and I’m sharing with you as I learn.

So that’s my decision right now, and when I made that decision, there was a peace that came over me. I felt as if that was the decision that I needed to make, and then I started thinking about everything else I’m doing online, and the ideas that I have for products that I want to develop and sell in the internet marketing niche, and with biology and with all that I’m doing, and then I asked myself this question. The question was: “Do I really need the money? How much of the money do I really need? If I don’t make a lot of money online, am I going to be okay?”

My answer to that question is yes. I’m going to be fine. I have a job, and it’s a stable job, it’s a teaching job. I get paid every month, my bills are being paid, so I’m fine. And since that’s the case, I can give more of myself to help others. I can help people with their biology struggles, I can help people that are trying to make money online. I’m putting together this podcast and I’m going to be grappling some tough topics in terms of how do you get traffic and how do you build your website the right way and how do you monetize your website. So I’m going to be talking about some tough topics, but I’m going to be just providing this information for free.

Why would I do such a thing when I’m trying to build an online business? Well, the reason for that is simple. I believe that if you give value up front, you’re going to receive value in return. There are a lot of people that try to make money online, and what they try to do is sell, sell, sell. Now, it makes sense, if you’re going to make money online, you have to sell. And, of course, I’m going to have to sell at some point. But for now, all I want to do is put that good value out there. I want to make it accessible to anyone that wants to learn biology, anyone that wants to learn about internet marketing because I believe it could change our lives, and if it could change our lives, let me just put it out there and see what happens. Let me see what feedback I get. I don’t want to be one of those marketers that just sell you this and sell you that, so I just want to put the value out there.

Now, how will I make money from this? And that’s a very question. If you’re thinking about going down the same lines of providing a lot of value up front for free, that’s a question that you’re going to have to ask. There are a number of ways that you can make money and I don’t really have all the answers, but some of the things that you can do, if you’re talking about a product, and that product is of value to the people that you’re talking to, it’s not a product that you can give them because you don’t even own it. You can promote it as an affiliate.

So if I’m teaching you to build a website, for example, and I’m not building the website for you, but you’re going to need hosting, I can promote that hosting as an affiliate. I hope that makes sense. It’s something you need, it’s something that’s going to help you in your journey, and when I recommend it, I believe that it’s something that will genuinely help you. Since there’s no pressure on my end in terms of “Oh, I need to make money”, and I know what my purpose is. Since my purpose is to help, I can provide you with resources for free, and where applicable, promote an affiliate product. So that’s definitely one way.

Another way you can go about it is by getting sponsors or advertisers. If you can build a website that is so good and so useful to so many people that you generate a significant following and you get a lot of traffic, advertisers are willing to pay for advertising space where people are going to be. If people are going to be at your website, advertisers are going to be willing to pay that. There are some other things that you can do, but these, in my opinion, are a good way to start.

But my recommendation is this: If you’re going to be building a website and you’re just starting, don’t let your main focus be “How can I make money?” The main thing you want to ask yourself is “How can I provide value to the person that’s going to be visiting my website? What are they looking for? What do they need and how can I meet their needs?” If you can find a need, and you can meet a need, then you can be successful online. That’s really what it all boils down to. So, I don’t know how you’re going to take this information and how you’re going to apply it, but my recommendation is don’t focus on trying to make money for the first few months.

I know that sounds strange for someone that’s trying to make money online, but don’t let that be a primary focus. When you start thinking about the number, sometimes you get really distracted from actually delivering good value and putting all of your energy into your content. Put your energy into your content, for now. Try to get your site to where it’s ranking well in the search engines. Try to get your site to where people want to come back to your site on a regular basis. Once you see that they want to come to your site, you can find out what they want and what they need, and you can conduct surveys and ask them.

Once you know what they need, you can do it for them. You need to build up a trusting environment on your website, so that when someone comes there and they start to follow your content, they feel or they know that if you recommend something, it’s going to be something that’s of value to them because you’re not just trying to make money off of them, you are trying to genuinely help them accomplish their goals.

That’s really the content for today. The message for today is: give value, provide value, don’t let it be all about money. You know what you’re passionate about. Find out how to help the people that are passionate about the same thing that you’re passionate about. Don’t worry too much about the money right now. The money will come.

So that’s it for this video. I’d love to hear what you think about this. I know I’ve been rambling, but I hope you got something from this. Go ahead and leave me a comment, or call the hotline at (888) 835-2414 and let me know what you think. Once again, just so that number sticks in your head, the number is (888) 835-2414. I’ll be happy to get to your comment. If you have a question, leave it there, and I will be happy to try to answer the question as soon as I can, maybe even make a full episode to deal with your specific question. That’s it for this episode, and I’ll see you in the next one.

  • I was thinking “Learning with Leslie”, but that may not be catchy enough. Can you tell me if you’re going to focus on Biology or Internet Business? That will help with the title.

    What about BioBlogger Bytes? Or is that bogus?

  • I was thinking “Learning with Leslie”, but that may not be catchy enough. Can you tell me if you’re going to focus on Biology or Internet Business? That will help with the title.

    What about BioBlogger Bytes? Or is that bogus?

  • Hi Leslie, another great job. I love the podcasts because they are so convenient. I can download them and listen to them on my ipod while running around town or I can just listen to them from the computer while working around the house. 🙂 I would name your Podcasts
    “The Road to Success” Kathy

    • Thanks for your suggestion Kathy. Glad you are enjoying the podcast. That’s the same thing I do. I listen to podcasts while I’m working on stuff. Between that and audiobooks, I keep myself relatively busy, lol 🙂

  • Podcasts with Leslie
    Success with Leslie
    IM Success with Leslie
    Grow with Leslie
    Leslie’s Sound Bytes
    Success Bytes with Leslie

    • Actually AJ, if you look beneath the post, it shows the transcripts of each podcast. You just have to click on show. That works just as well for SEO, and it makes it available for whoever wants it. Hope that helps.

      In terms of Elegant Themes, you are right, they do have higher conversions, and I’d make more money with it. I do promote Elegant Themes, but I think that Woothemes definitely provide better quality, not saying that Elegant Themes is bad. I promote products based on what I find to be the most useful.

      That being said, Woothemes is significantly more expensive, and can be a limiting factor for more people and promoting Elegant Themes might be more beneficial for more people. I’m actually in the process of analyzing that more to see which has the greater overall benefit for my subscribers.

      Thanks for your input.

    • Oh dang, I didn’t see the little show+ link. That’s cool though, because it makes room for people to comment without having to scroll down all the way. Thanks for pointing it out.

      Hum…The WooThemes are probably higher quality themes, but I am not a huge fan of their support. At the same time I think the fact that people will get 50+ themes from Elegant Themes is a huge plus, because a lot of bloggers (at least the serious ones, that are actually making money) tend to run multiple blogs.and having all those theme options is a plus.

      Thanks again for pointing out the show button (the audio is nice, but I’d rather read)! See you around,

    • Don’t want to get too much into themes on this post since it’s not the topic, but I’ll tell you what – I’ll try to do a post on that topic sometime in the near future where we can discuss it. I’ll say this – I’ve had great experiences with their support and do have access to all of their themes. It costs, but they’re good. We’ll talk more on this in the future 🙂

    • Don’t want to get too much into themes on this post since it’s not the topic, but I’ll tell you what – I’ll try to do a post on that topic sometime in the near future where we can discuss it. I’ll say this – I’ve had great experiences with their support and do have access to all of their themes. It costs, but they’re good. We’ll talk more on this in the future 🙂

    • Not quite daily, lol. That would be an insane amount of work on my end. Actually, I’m trying every Tuesday and Thursday to see how that works. It’s either going to be that or weekly. Playing it by ear for right now.

  • Really enjoy your laid back and honest style in your audio’s.
    Podcast names:
    Insider Secrets With Leslie.
    Easier Internet Methods
    Club Leslie
    The Leslie Method
    Internet Success: The Leslie Way

  • Good point and going against the grain from what other internet marketers say I like that. As for the name how about “IM Leslie” could mean Internet Marketing Leslie or I AM Leslie (this is me).

  • Good point and going against the grain from what other internet marketers say I like that. Now for a name how about IM Leslie could mean Internet Marketing Leslie or I AM Leslie (this is me).

    • Yeah Ryan, I think people are getting tired of the typical “internet marketing hype”. So I’m trying to do it the best way I know how – by providing value. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Thanks for the sweet post. You saved me a lot of trouble and I just want to thank you for helping me remember why I’m wanting an online business in the first place.

  • We can do our best by showering mother with presents that would make her realize how deeply we think of them and want to thank them for being an idol in our life. Send Flowers to India and show your intense love.

  • Hi Leslie,
    I came across your website a couple of weeks ago while reading the WP Curve blog, loved the post you did for them by the way, was pretty funny. I am going to start listening to your Podcast as I want to do something similar and teach people about WordPress and how they can build an online business with the platform.

    I really like what you said about giving value upfront and taking the gifts and talents we have been given and sharing them with others to change their lives for a better as you said. Looking forward to listening to more of you and would love to have you on a guest on my blog in the near future.

    • Hi Mike, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the video. I had fun putting that one together. Thanks also for listening in on the podcast. Hope you get value from it.

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