Starting a Business by Accident: Tips for Success from an Expert

In this episode of the Happiness of Pursuit Podcast, Doug Foley interviews the Coolest Guy in SEO, Kris Reid, to discuss how he started his business, Ardor SEO, which is one of the most successful search engine optimisation (SEO) companies that operate online today.

Throughout the discussion, they covered some good practices in getting a business off the ground, like taking action, pursuing your passion despite the criticisms, and addressing problems effectively.  

About the Host

Doug Foley of Happiness of Pursuit

Doug Foley is a content marketer, problem solver, and a writer whose work is mostly about motivation, entrepreneurship, and personal development. To pursue his passion for helping people find their dream jobs or build successful businesses, he created the Happiness of Pursuit Podcast.  

In essence, his website was created to let other people share their stories of how they followed their passion to achieve successful lives. Through podcasts, listeners obtain valuable lessons from discussions with a wide variety of guests, including self-made athletes and billionaire entrepreneurs, and get inspired to build a fruitful life of their own.

How Kris Started Ardor SEO

Kris Reid of Ardor SEO

Before he started his own business, Kris was a software engineer who hailed from Brisbane, Queensland. When the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis hit, he lost his job. That was when he decided to create an online game, called Mob Warrior.

As the game was nearly complete, Kris wondered how he could get people into its website, register, and play it. That was when he started learning about online marketing.

He studied how Google works and eventually learned about SEO. He discovered the importance of backlinks and then set out to provide such links to other websites. Thus, Ardor SEO was born!

Today, his business is one of the most trusted SEO companies, providing excellent online search marketing solutions for a wide variety of clients around the world.

Importance of Taking Action

According to Kris, his journey to learning SEO was all an accident, but he was able to master what he learned and then monetise it by selling his skills to others. And, he managed to do all of this pretty quickly!

He learned how to do backlinking properly, built authority for his game’s website, created the right software to automate and manage it, and, in no time, discovered that it worked very well. Seeing a lucrative market for backlinking, he decided to build such links for SEO companies.

However, Kris admits that all of this would have not been possible if he decided not to build the game. He said, “That’s certainly the catalyst that started it all. If I didn’t build the game, then I would have not been looking to all of those.”

He also shares his dad’s opinion about taking action, stating “If you’re building energy, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. Something will pop out.

“I didn’t mean to go to SEO. I was just building a game and running some new technologies. But because I was building all this energy and work, something popped out in the other end.”

Based on what Kris explained, taking action is very important in moving towards success, whether you are aware of your goals or not.

Pursuing Your Passion Despite the Criticism

To become successful in business, Kris states that you have to do something that you are good at.

“If you’re a baker and if you want to bake bread, and that’s what you want to focus on, then great. If you are really passionate about bread, love writing about bread, and making videos about bread, then cool you can do that.”

According to Kris, you really have to find what you’re good at and determine how much resources you are going to need to turn it into a profitable venture. For example, if you need to hire staff and can afford it, then there would be no reason not to do that. And if you think you cannot do all of it in-house, then you can choose to outsource.

Sharing his experience of running his company, he says that there is a lot of challenges that come with the business. However, if you love what you are doing, focus on what you are good at, and pursue your passion, everything will pay off.     

Solving a Problem: The Way to Start a Business

See a problem? Solve it and start your own business.

As the old adage says, “Success always starts with failure.” Of course, you will not experience failure when you do not try to solve a problem.

In Kris’ case, it all started when he was trying to find a way to bring his game to the market, get people to find it online and register on its website, and then play it. It was that time when he found a great business opportunity. He took it and did not stop there.

Applying Stoicism in Business

Wrapping up the interview, Doug asks Kris about what people should do to find happiness in their pursuits.

Answering the question, Kris cites his interest in stoicism—a philosophy that focuses on “not” disrupting your tranquillity while doing something that you are good at.

According to Kris, for one to be successful in his pursuits, he should follow such philosophy. He states:

“It’s about not being selfish in building your community and providing what you’re good at to service the world, and make it a better place.”

“Don’t let external forces interfere with you.”

“Don’t let them upset you. Just stay focused and relaxed.”

To gather more detailed information from this discussion, listen to the entire podcast at