When I was younger, I had a fear that none of the kids would show up to my birthday party. There was no particular reason to be worried, it was just something that I thought about.

You might be wondering what that fear has to do with this blog post?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you to fill our an anonymous 14-question mostly multiple choice survey. My initial thought was … what happens if I throw this party and no one shows?

So the email went out on Tuesday, February 5th, and I waited with bated breath to find out if there would be a no-show to my party.

Fortunately, my fears were unfounded, and the survey responses started to come in. I initially thought that I would be really pleased if I received at least 30 surveys. To my surprise, I’m now at over 100 responses and hopefully still counting. I average an approximate 22% open rate on my emails, and this gets sent to almost 7,000 people, so anything over 100 is decent.

For those who haven’t taken the survey yet, you can do so here. I pay particular attention to the comments, so if you can, please do leave one as well.

I also promised that I would share the results with you, and they’re not overly surprising, with the exception of a couple of questions. At the end of this post I’m also looking to gauge whether there’s interest in doing an Ask Jeff webinar and/or an in-person meet-up in Toronto. I provide more details at the end of this post.

THE SURVEY:

Question 1: How do you feel about the frequency of posts on The Kickass Entrepreneur (TKE)?

About 82% of respondents felt the frequency of the posts were fine, 16% wanted more, and 2% wanted fewer.

Regarding the frequency of posts, when I first started TKE, I posted twice a week. I did two posts a week until October, by which time I felt that it became too difficult to maintain the consistency of fresh content and enthusiasm with the pace of two posts a week.

I dropped it down to one a week, and that seems to fit my schedule better. I think I’ll stay at one a week for the foreseeable future, although with my upcoming trip to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Japan (I leave in one week), it might prove difficult to maintain that consistency.  

Question 2: Are the blog posts on TKE too long, too short, or just right?

Approximately 75% of readers felt the posts were just right, 15% thought they were too long, and 10% thought they were too short.

Regarding the length of posts, I’ve heard a couple of times that people thought the post length was too long, so I was surprised that 75% of readers are content with my 1,000 to 1,200-word blog posts.

Question 3: What is your biggest challenge facing you and your business today?

With this question, I received a mix of answers, but that’s no surprise considering there were 7 choices. A quarter of readers chose the answer, “I would like to understand how to build wealth,” followed by 15% who would like to read more about how to better manage people and 15% who want to understand how to increase revenues. What this answer tells me is that the mix of topics I’m currently covering is more or less consistent with what my readers want me to cover, so once again, I’m going to continue with the range of subjects as I have been doing, with an emphasis on building wealth, managing people, and increasing revenues.

I’m going to skip the 4th question for now and address that one at the end of this post.

Question 5: Do you currently own a business?

Almost 40% of TKE readers own and operate a business full-time, and another 20% operate a business part-time. One-third of the readers don’t currently operate a business but intend to or want to open a business shortly.

Question 6: Do you own any investment real estate?

A full 85% don’t, and 15% do own investment real estate. I spend a fair amount of time writing about investment real estate, the mechanics of how to create wealth using real estate, and it’s at the core of my asset allocation strategy of dividing your assets into thirds, so I suspect that a majority of the 85% of those that don’t own investment real estate would like to at some point, but I’ll leave my speculation for next year’s survey.

Question 7: How old are you?

I must admit, this question surprised me somewhat. I had always thought, based on the nature of the emails I receive, that most of my readers were younger, in the 18 to 24 age range.

Question 8: Are you male or female?

This answer surprised me the most: 90% of the respondents are male! I’m not sure what to make of this, and why my blog seems to be attracting a mostly male audience. Either that or most CEOs and wannabe CEOs are male.

I am currently on the board and chair of programming of a not-for-profit organization called Peerscale. Peerscale is a technology CEO-based organization, based in Toronto, that I have been a part of for over five years. Peerscale’s membership is also predominately men, and there are local and national initiatives to get more woman into tech-based entrepreneurship.

I had assumed, maybe naively, that there would have been a larger cohort of women running nontech-based businesses, but maybe that’s not the case. It’s worth investigating further, which I intend to do, as I find this number quite disheartening. I will write a follow-up blog post on that in the next couple of months, and I am also going to do some Facebook ad targeting to attract a larger contingent of women to my blog.

Question 9: What is your estimated net worth?

No surprise here … 48% of readers have a net worth of under $250,000, 23% have a net worth of $250K to $500K, and 23% have a net worth of over $1 million. A few readers have a net worth over $10 million.

Question 10: What country do you live in?

There are way too many countries to list, but no surprise, most (60%) of TKE readers are Canadian and American, but there are readers from all over the world, including Germany, Angola, Botswana, Fiji, Kenya, the UK, Zambia, India, Australia, and so on. Really a mix from all over the world with the remaining 40%. That’s kind of neat. Maybe one day I will do a meetup somewhere in Africa, which is on my near-term bucket list of places I would like to travel to.

Question 11, 12, and 14: Did you read my book, how do you prefer to learn, and are you interested in the blog posts where I discuss my personal finances and semi-retirement?

Thank you to the 40% who have read my book. Another 31% started but didn’t finish, and the remaining 29% said no. For those who haven’t, it’s available for FREE here.  Almost 50% of the readers prefer to learn by reading, and almost 90% of the readers want me to continue with the blog posts about personal finances and semi-retirement.

The long-form answers: Here’s where I received the most value as people provided feedback and context around what they would like to learn and hear more about. I received dozens of awesome ideas for blog posts. Many of the comments, although worded differently, of course, centered around some common themes which I’ve summarized below:

–        Lack of knowledge around access to capital and financing (number one concern)

–        Fear of quitting a day job to start a business and quite a few startup questions around where and how to begin

–        How to compete against lower-priced competitors, and/or how to compete in general against better equipped and financed competitors

–        Marketing—lots of concerns here from branding to KPIs, pay-per-click, and social media

–        Profitability, or lack thereof, and how to improve it

–        Managing (how to) and growing a sales team, a team in general, and how to recruit top talent

Interestingly, over 90% of TKE readers want me to continue discussing my personal finances, wealth creation, and semi-retirement, but there were very few questions related to asset allocation and/or semi-retirement. There’s a Wayne Gretzky expression that comes to mind. He said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where the puck has been.”

I got four questions and comments that deserve special attention:

The first one if for this very insightful question, which has got me thinking: “Should I just give up and work for somebody? When do you know that you are not cut out to be an entrepreneur?” That’s a tricky question that I can’t wait to tackle.

And this comment, which made me smile, so thank you: “No specific question… but keep up the excellent work on your blog! Your insights are refreshing, timely, interesting. It’s your version of Jim Trevling’s book “Decisions“. :)”

This one: “What would it take for you to get personally involved in the promotion and growth of someone else’s business?” To the reader that wrote this question or anyone else out there that wants to connect, please email me at jeff at jeffwiener.com

And this one: “Do you intend to organize a public lecture one time where you can associate with your fans or readers and address certain unanswered questions?”

Based on the level of interest, I would be willing to host an open-forum question and answer webinar, and I would also like to know who might be interested in attending an in-person meetup in Toronto, perhaps this spring. If either one is something you might be interested in, please click this link and answer the few questions. I’ll let you know what happens.

This was a long blog post, so thanks for reading TKE and for being a loyal follower. I am truly humbled by the comments and feedback.

Before you go, I thought you might be interested in this blog post:  Profit Isn’t a Disease. It’s the By-Product of a Well-Run Company. If You’re Not Yet Profitable, Fix It or Get a Job.

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