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10 Lessons Learned from Entrepreneurs with Ben Welch of Ditching 9 to 5

Our good friends and fellow entrepreneurs, Ben Welch and Dan Mackin, run an inspiring podcast "Ditching 9 to 5" where they chat with and interview like-minded people who have ditched to corporate world to turn their life passions into full time jobs. They're guest blogging for us today to share with you important lessons learned from their journey interviewing the go-getters and doers of today's society. We've known both Ben and Dan for years and years and are so excited to watch them grow in their businesses. We had the opportunity to design a few logos for Dan's real estate business as well as the Ditching 9 to 5 podcast and had the pleasure of being interviewed by this duo ourselves - we love these guys and are sure you will too!

Have you ever stopped to think about exactly how you would want your days to look if you could do anything you wanted? With a little deliberate planning and a lot of action you might not be as far away from that lifestyle as you think.

Every week I have the privilege of interviewing people who are doing just that. They run businesses, they create things, they impact people and above all, they are doing it because it’s exactly what they want to do. I am one of the Ditching 9 to 5 podcast hosts where we help inspire entrepreneurs with ideas and real stories from people like you.

We are constantly inspired by the people we interview so here are 10 of the themes from our interviews:

1. Just Take Action – even if the path is not clear, start moving and learn as you go

This does not mean “do not plan”. However it does mean that sometimes the best way to learn is to start trying. Our guests have all learned and adapted so that they could build companies that will last.

2. Failure is Education (Not a final destination)

Almost every entrepreneur we have talked to have had at least one major failure. The reality is that most people’s fear of failure is what is keeping them from building the life that they want. If we can accept (and even celebrate) lessons learned from failure, our guests prove that so much more is possible. The trick is figuring out how to fail faster.

3. Fear will always be present in a new venture

We have asked several of the entrepreneurs on our show whether they still have fear when launching a new product or business and how they overcome that. Overwhelmingly, the answer is that there will always be some amount of fear when putting yourself in the vulnerable position of putting your idea in front of the world. One of the ways to combat that fear so that you can move forward is to understand your outcomes. Most of the fears we have tend to never turn out as bad as we think.

4. A strong personal finance foundation creates a runway for your success

My favorite way to think about this is to think about building yourself a runway. While it is not impossible to take off on a short runway, it greatly improves your margin of error if you have runway left over when your wheels leave the ground. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my ventures so far have been full of mistakes and I would rather have some margin of error. In personal finance terms, that means get debt paid down, save money and reduce expenses.

5. In many cases, success just takes an idea and a ton of hustle

Everybody has great ideas. The difference between the ideas that make it and the ones that don’t most times is the amount of effort put into making that idea a reality. The word hustle is thrown around a lot today, but based on what we’ve learned from our guests, we define it as being willing to put in the effort, get creative about how to break through the noise and knowing where to work in your business.

6. Do market research for your product or service

An idea is only great in business if people want to pay for it. For example, if you are starting a yoga clothing line, rent a booth at a local yoga convention and see if your clothing sells. If you don’t sell any product, you know you need to go back and change something. This is a great way to test your business idea without risking a large amount of money.

7. Use your strengths

Everybody has something they are good at. A lot of new entrepreneurs, myself included, get carried away with trying to improve our weaknesses or follow a path that looks like a good opportunity but we know that’s not where our skills are. Start following what you are good at and getting really good.

8. Never stop building your network

Throughout all our shows, our guests have told stories about how somebody else along the way had an impact on the success of their business. This could have been a mention from a top influencer or networking your way into a new industry that could change the course of your business.

9. Utilize free exposure as much as you can

How do you build a brand without spending money on advertising? The answer is creativity with getting your name out in front of your target market. This might mean getting a major influencer to mention your business or it might mean delivering really valuable free content to a lot of people. There are a million ways to get your name out in front of your target market if you are willing to try different approaches and get creative.

10. Sometimes you need to explore before building your business

Okay I don’t know if this is actually required, but it has sure come up with many of our guests. Throughout several of our shows guests have shared how they took time to explore and travel in between leaving their day job and starting their business. There is just something about marking your departure from the mundane by going on one epic adventure.

Whether you are already running a business or you are thinking about starting one, I truly hope that you find something in our show that inspires you to reach further. We strive to bring on guests who are ordinary people who have chosen to design the lives they want so that we can show you that you can too.

If you want more info on our show, you can find us over at

Ben Welch

Thanks so much for joining us today, Ben!!

Here are a few of our favorite episodes we wanted to share with you guys:

Happy listening!

Becca + Jenna


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