Small Business that Made the Biggest Impact

It’s National Small Business Week! To mark the occasion, I want to highlight a few other businesses who have played an invaluable role in helping me get my business off the ground – and who might help you too.

What is National Small Business Week?

It’s the massive Fortune 500 companies that get the lion’s share of media attention and most people’s pocket books, but small businesses account for 99.9% of American businesses and together make up almost half of the US economy.

Every year, the US Small Business Administration designates a week to celebrate the critical contributions of small businesses and entrepreneurs. They are hosting a virtual summit and other online and in-person events, there’s a Small Business Person of the Year Award, and some other stuff to help remind the general public that there’s more to life than Amazon and Apple.

I thought I would do my part to recognize the critical contributions several small businesses and individuals have made a critical contribution to my own personal and business growth – The Self-Employment Sidekick’s sidekicks if you will – without whom I would not be where I am today. has a metric ton of educational resources to help you level up your marketing skills. I’ve been providing digital marketing services for well over a decade – as part of my role at my old job and as a side hustle. So I already knew a lot about that space, but I also knew that everything in that space is constantly changing. When I struck out on my own, primarily as a digital marketing freelancer, I was more than a little scared that I would fall behind, or that I still didn’t know enough, or something would change and I wouldn’t know how to implement something for a client.

DigitalMarketer has courses, workshops, and playbooks on everything from search marketing, copywriting, email, e-commerce, video marketing, community management, social media, you name it. It’s been a very helpful resource, and I’ve actually trained with them to become a certified partner so I can lead others through their programs and frameworks.

If you aren’t a full time marketer, I’d still encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer. Their DigitalMarketer Lab membership is like Netflix for business growth content – it gives you access to all of their certifications and workshops. If you’re a solopreneur and you want a solid primer on say Google Ads or Analytics, you could sign up for a month and go through one of their courses (or two) at a steep discount. Here’s a link for a free trial.

The next Sidekick sidekick…

Platform Launchers

Platform Launchers is a membership community that’s all about helping people… well… launch a platform. It was started by a personal friend of mine, John Stange – which is why I joined in the first place. I just wanted to pop in and see what he was up to and learn how he was putting this part of his business together. But that was a few years ago. I’ve stuck around because it’s a genuinely great community. I’ve built lots of great connections with other members – some have made appearances right here on this channel. John has put together some great resources, he runs monthly challenges to help you to take action and build momentum, and the weekly calls mix in elements of a mastermind, a live workshop, and a networking event. They’re really fun.

A couple years ago, I was considering giving up on Self-Employment Sidekick, but the support I’ve received from John and the other members encouraged me to stay the course. So big thanks to everyone in the Platform Launchers community! If you’re interested in growing and monetizing a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel – definitely check it out. You can use this link for an extended free trial. And I would encourage you to get in sooner than later because I believe prices are increasing later this month. But if you sign up for free now, you’ll be locked in a the current rate if you decide to continue your membership. So hopefully I’ll see you on a call in the future.

Speaking of the power of community, shout out to Pat Flynn and the SPI All Access Pass crew.

Smart Passive Income

If you aren’t already listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast, stop reading and go subscribe to that podcast right now. When I was still just side-gigging, that podcast was a huge source of inspiration to keep growing my side business into my main business. Over the years, Pat and his team have launched different courses and workshops on growing an email list, how to start a podcast, affiliate marketing, and other aspects of digital entrepreneurship. But last year they pivoted to what I think is a brilliant model: Community-driven education.

I’ve purchased online courses in the past. Most of them – I never finished; not 100%. There’s probably one that I never even started. When you join All-Access Pass, you get access to all of their premium courses at a fraction of the cost of if you purchased them separately (which is pretty cool in it’s own right). And then they enhanced them with these “Accelerator” experiences, where you go through a course together with a cohort of other entrepreneurs. This gives you a schedule to keep, accountability, people to give you feedback on your action item, access to Office Hours calls with Pat and other experts where you can dig deeper and get answers to specific questions. And I can confirm, it helps you actually finish the course and put what you learn into action.

And similar to Platform Launchers, you get to be a part of a really encouraging, like-minded community of entrepreneurs.

I can’t stress how important it is to connect with other people – especially if you a solopreneur. Working solo from home, it can get lonely, and distracting, and discouraging. Sharing your small business journey with other people on a similar path makes it so much more enjoyable and much more successful – having access to people who can share new perspectives and expertise that you lack.


After you take advantage of these resources, and connect with all of these amazing people, and you grow and become wildly successful and start making a ton of money, you’ll need a good place to put all of your cash. Might I recommend you check out the sponsor of today’s article, Relay?

Relay is my favorite business banking platform. Part of my small business journey involved me jumping from one business bank to another trying to find that perfect blend of form, function, and free. And it needed to play nice with the Profit First accounting method. Now different businesses have different banking needs. Some came close, but Relay is the one that checked all of my boxes – with no minimum deposit, no minimum balance requirements, a very nice user interface that makes it easy to open an manage multiple accounts. And guess what, Relay is the official banking partner of Profit First, and they have an awesome auto-transfer rule feature that allows you automatically divvy up your income by percentage into different accounts for taxes, operating expenses, profit, and owners compensation. Or whatever else you’d like. You can play around with their different transfer features and create your own automated cash flow management system.

And I just want to say thank you to Relay for being one of the first sponsors of my channel. I did a deep dive review of their platform a couple years ago now – you can check that out here – and they reached out when they saw I was driving a bit of traffic in their direction. They asked if I wanted to partner as an affiliate and maybe do a few paid endorsements. Which I gladly agreed to (because I genuinely like this company), and their support has gone a long way in allowing me and encouraging me to keep creating more free content to help people like you grow their sidegig into their central gig.

If you open and fund a Relay account using my link, you’ll receive a nice little sign up bonus, and you will help be helping support the channel as well.

Honorable Mentions

I could spend a lot more time talking about all the different people who have helped me start and grow my business. Perhaps I will in another video, but for now I’ll wrap up with a few mentions who are particularly honorable:

Donald Miller (author of Building a Story Brand) and Mike Michalowicz (author of Profit First, among many other books)- these guys have both made business simple, approachable, and fun. I have benefited greatly from their content.

Jim Hart from Hawthorn Law – His YouTube videos are the one that camp up when I was looking for information on LLCs, he has some other great content on how to legally protect your online business with the proper documents and disclosures, and I’m currently working with him to finish up the process of officially trademarking my Self-Employment Sidekick brand. Truly a Sidekick sidekick.

And finally, big shout out to Vincent Pugliese, Amy Whipple, and Cliff Ravenscraft – three very different people, different perspectives, and different areas of expertise. I’ve received coaching from each of them and they’ve all been force multipliers in my life and business. They’ve helped me process, gain clarity, set more ambitious goals, and take action. I’ve had some very powerful, butt-kicking, motivating conversations, and you’ve probably saved my wife from losing her mind having to listen to me talk myself in circles every day.

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are some really great resources available. Be sure to check out some of the events SBA is hosting for Small Business Week, but the most powerful resource of all is community. Other people. Whether it’s SPI, Platform Launchers, a mastermind, a chamber of commerce – whatever – find someplace to be with other people who get you and who will encourage you to grow (and who you can serve and encourage as well). I hope this has served as an encouragement to you. And if there is anything more I can do to help you along your self-employment journey, please reach out at

Happy National Small Business Week!

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