I spend a significant portion of my time soul searching and thinking a little bit too much any one thing in particular. Recently, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about the path I’m taking with a lot of my own professional goals and really trying to force myself to look at the longer term picture rather than making the “quick buck”.

I got into development and SEO because I have high aspirations of becoming a very successful startup entrepreneur. I like to come up with things, to create and innovate. The 9-5 grind is very hard for me to come to terms with conceptually.

When looking at the general state of SEO and what is truly happening when you’re manipulating the SERPs, you quickly reach a moral crossroads where you wonder how far you should push things in order to promote your site as high as it can go to get that traffic. Considering the rules are set by Google, who also determines who your competitors are in the SERPs, it’s easy to get carried away and lose site of what you’re actually doing and who you’re actually affecting.

The high road is of course to build only quality sites and write quality content and let “nature” take its course. Obviously, on-site factors should be manipulated as heavily as possible, as that is something reasonably within your control and can have a lasting, long term effect on where your traffic comes from. But when it comes to link building and off page factors, how far should we really be pushing things?

I’m drawn to SEO because of the technical implications of it. You’re up against the largest and most technically innovative ranking algorithm in the world, and you use automation to combat it and beat your competitors. Sounds like the plot of a futuristic digital war movie.

But part of the process really grinds me down and I wonder how much I truly believe in what I’m doing as we opposed to going with the flow. Manipulative content generation, aggressive link spamming on sites that people actually work on, and deceptive cloaking techniques, coupled with shady offers and links that make us money but could potentially hurt consumers all go against what I personally believe in in terms of what we as professionals should be investing our time in.

So…What Now?

I’ve taken a step back from my projects and sites for a bit and started reevaluating where I really want to be putting my efforts and passion into. It’s made me realize that any effort put into anything that will not become a long term, valuable money making asset is short sided and not worth your time.

Business success is all about assets. Whether that means running a successful web startup (where the actual app and paying user base is the asset) or owning property or anything in between, assets are what separate an hourly wage worker and a tycoon.

If you aren’t trying to get to the point of being an asset holder, you will be forever shackled.

So I’ve made it a goal of mine to switch back into my passion of building out web applications. I have had a few ideas shelved that I really want to build and have wanted to for years that I hope could be useful and become an asset for myself and whoever works on it with me. From a technical level, I’m light years ahead of where I was when I originally crafted these ideas, so the only thing really stopping me from building them and them succeeding is hard work and focus. And that is what I shall do.

As far as the rest of my life, I have been reading a ton of productivity and business and management books lately and am planning on writing reviews of each as I get through them here. Additionally, I have been noting my own ideas and thoughts about business philosophy and where your efforts should be, and I want to share those as well. Plus, I have some really opinionated and somewhat unorthodox views about some aspects of business that I REALLY want to start publishing because I feel passionately about them and want to see what kinds of discussion they can spark.

You’re a Quitter!

Does this mean the end of SEO for me? Absolutely not. The knowledge I have of SEO runs very deep, and the professional relationships I have formed with other SEO experts has paid off 100 fold. I am just switching gears from chasing the dollar to building an empire. I will apply my skills and knowledge every step of the way, because SEO is as important as ever, but I will not let it dictate my approach to projects anymore. It’s all about building assets for me now. And the way I will build assets is through technical innovation and development.

I do have plans for a few learning courses as well, including one specifically about link building of all things. I enjoy writing and would love to have a learning course and forum as an asset, and I have a great domain and set of topics for it, it’s just a matter of grinding out the content. Once done, I will absolutely promote it here for everyone to see and join if they’re interested.

Game time.