In the last 12 months, I went from less than $15,000 to over $60,000 for my blog and online business. Here is 7 tips on how I did it.
This photo is my tax return for 16/17 financial year (July-June from non-Australians).
Previous financial year I made $14,447 and this last financial year $60,550. I only just got this report back from my accountant and even though I knew it was $60k (I do my own bookkeeping)…. To see it in black and white and printed with those sitting side-by-side.
It was like an out of body experience. I just got goose bumps from head to toe. Because I DID THAT. I created that. I worked REALLY hard for that.
When the reality of over 18 months ago – $14,447. And the attachment to the outcome and that I suck and I’m a failure and cringe-worthy number.
I have always had this deep-seated BELIEF that I knew I had something special inside of me. That I KNEW I could create something amazing. A profitable, successful business that is fun + easy + stress-free. Where I can create + sell daily. Where I could quit my day job and require my boyfriend. And my numbers didn’t stack up against what I KNEW and what I BELIEVED.
I wrote down bonus tips and honestly, I want to share with you now.
BONUS TIP #1
Starting. I would have never have gotten to $60k without starting obviously.
Thinking about it, dreaming about it, wishing about it, talking about it isn’t going to cut it.
BONUS TIP #2
Not giving up.
Damn, imagine if I had given up. Last year or the year before. I would have NEVER reached this and worse – I would have never known.
NUMBER 1.) SCHEDULE. ROUTINE.
July 2016: Over 12 months ago I was sitting in a soul-sucking, soul-destroying full time job. My side hustle/blog biz was making about $1k p/m (minus about $1k expenses). Sometimes it made a little more ($2k) and sometimes just a couple of hundred bucks.
My average day/week was a 5.20am alarm, getting up with my boyfriend and spending 20 minutes with him + giving him a kiss as he left for work at 5.45am. I had 2 hours to do computer work.
At 7.45am I would look at the clock, needing to leave at 8am and make the choice between – getting out of my pyjamas, doing my hair, makeup, or answering a couple more emails. Normally 2 out of those things got done before running out the door late (again) and get to work late (again).
Lunchtime I would either have a client call or do a video or journal. Trying to squeeze in a little bit more work.
I got home at 5.30am and spent that 2 hours with my man. I had tried working evenings, but my brain was fried. I’m not a night owl and I go to bed at a granny hour, by 9 pm. On the odd occasion, I would have a client call or webinar in the evenings.
Saturdays are my (computer) work-free days, which is when we go grocery shopping, clean house and have my man’s daughter. That is 100% a family day.
Sundays I usually worked about ½ a day. I tried no work Sundays and that ended in tears. I tried working all day Sundays and that ended in tears.
I had tried different schedule and this is what worked best for me. I was never an early morning person but found I was highly products and creative in that 2-hour block (I could get 1-3 blog posts done!) I would have never known without trying that schedule and that routine.
NUMBER 2.) MAKING MISTAKES. HAVING FAILURES. LEARNING FROM THEM.
Last (financial) year was not my first year in business.
There was no ‘overnight’ success story or even a 12-month story. This is a story of epic failures + making mistakes + picking myself back up, dusting myself off, having a great big ugly snotty cry + keep going!
And learning from my mistakes.
I think that is what most people don’t realise. They either give up (because that seems easier) or they continue driving around lost, without a map and not stopping and asking for directions. Instead, they stay lost.
Having failures + making mistakes is inevitable. LEARNING from them is the KEY.
I am constantly learning – aiming to improve and grow. Asking myself what can I gain from this (every) experience that I can have even 1% improvement next time?
Like an epic failed launch.
I stop and self-audit or do a review. Stopping and looking back at the direction I have come. What path I took.
Asking myself ‘’what has worked well for me recently?’’ and ‘’what hasn’t?’’
Resetting the goal (path, journey, direction) redraw the map. Refer to the map.
I think that is where people get lost. Not referring to the map or not having a map to start with!
NUMBER 3.) QUITTING DAY JOB.
What moved my biz significantly on the Richter scale was quitting my day job.
I was making around $2k p/m around September last year and my thought was ‘’if I can achieve that in working on Angel Foods in 10 hours p/w, imagine what I could achieve in 40 hours p/w!’’
The theory was sound.
In September I gave notice (at the magazine publishing house, where I was selling ad space for 1.5 years). And October 10 I was full-time in my biz.
Now, that ^^^ above is the highlight reel and it sounds good, doesn’t it?
It is the overview and what happened. But the REAL reason? And the TRUTH of why I quit my job? I was desperately unhappy, unhealthy and stressed. We had been (and still are) going through custody court situation from hell. The word STRESS does not adequately describe it. I got unhealthier and unhappier. And I wanted OFF the roller coaster.
It wasn’t as though I was in a position to quit – quite the opposite. With the legal fees, we had been virtually paying 2 mortgages. Life was shit and I wanted off the ‘Shit Train’.
There was no business indicator that now it had grown enough/earning enough to replace my income. There was NO evidence. NO indicator. I simply asked my boyfriend, to give me 6 weeks, to see what was possible. Otherwise, I would go get another job.
He had heard before, 1.5 years previously when I was between jobs and it didn’t work out then. There was NO indicator it would now. NO evidence.
This was not roses + glory + rainbows + sunshine + a sure thing.
It was a gamble. It was a risk. That I (we) were willing to take. For the sake of my health and happiness.
It paid off. This time. Within 6 weeks I went from $2k-ish months to $4k. Then $4500, then $5000. (I’m rounding up and down from memory.) It kept growing.
I had a sustainable, organic, growing business. I don’t think I would have found that out, without quitting my day job.
NUMBER 4.) HEALTHY + HAPPY
My health and happiness became my #1 priority.
Because if I don’t work (being I am broken physically, mentally) then nothing else works.
When quitting me decided my #1 priority was to be healthy and happy. I would do that by doing what I enjoy, what makes me happy, by walking and be eating yummy good food that I deserve and gives me energy.
I had put on a lot of weight (13kg) with office job + stress. I decided to start walking daily. I wrote it down as a goal + put into my calendar. I did not allow it to be a decision if I was walking or not (plus it was written in my calendar + I love ticking that stuff off!)
I journaled in the mornings, manifested + set goals and then went walking before I started the day’s work. All the above made me feel good. It was summer and it gets incredibly hot after 8am! After the walk I felt amazing! The brain felt happy + therefore I felt happy. I was highly producing and creative while working! Because I felt so good, I wanted to eat good food and that just fuelled my amazing days, even more! It had a knock-on effect.
It took me about 2 weeks to come out of my unhappiness fog.
It took about 2 months for daily walking to become routine/habit/unconscious.
HOW YOU FEEL DIRECTLY AFFECTS YOUR WORK
If you feel rubbish, you have a rubbish day.
I saw the connection.
I wanted to change it.
Because I know if I am healthy and happy I would have a healthy and happy relationship with my boyfriend…. And with his daughter …. And enjoy my work more + be more productive + create high quality content.
When I am healthy and happy I am absolutely the best version of myself + how I show up in the world.
NUMBER 5.) MY BIG WHY
Another reason form $15k-$60k growth – is how I’m connected to my BIG WHY.
Being – WHY do I do this? Why do I do anything? My big dream. My reason for BEING.
#1. I am healthy and happy.
#2. To retire my boyfriend so he can be healthy and happy.
#3. A business that fully supports me + my family + a mortgage with the freedom of not getting a job. To live a mostly self-sustained, self-sufficient and mostly tax free life.
THAT is my dream. THAT is my big WHY. THAT is what I was working towards. I never got lost on the path or track to lead me where I want to go.
I retired my boyfriend in April, 2017.
That ^^^^ again is the highlight reel. Again, it was not roses + lollipops. There was no big indicator that now is the time to ‘retire’ him. Sure, we discussed it and thought that $6k months was a sign and a measure of growth in my business. That was when my company has the potential and ability to support us both.
The reality – he had no work for winter (or very little work) as he cuts grass – and grass doesn’t really grow in winter. We did not want him to go back to a soul-destroying, back-breaking, life-sucking job he hated. He was not healthy and happy. We created the space + time for him to be healthy and happy.
And THAT is my big WHY.
And keeps me on my path.
P.S. And people ask me, how has it been since he has been retired? Being home all the time? Basically it is like fairy bread – the BEST thing EVER. I give it 200 out of 10. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea to be together 24/7, but it does suit us. We are like 2 peas in a pod and if we could live in each other’s back pocket, I think we would! (Again, it isn’t for everyone, but it is for us.)
NUMBER 6.) SLINGING AT A WALL
The making of money hasn’t been from me sitting here doing anything!
This business, this dream, this process – is basically me having ideas and slinging them at a wall and see if they stick! (Sell) and honestly, that is kind of the best bit.
I sell ideas.
And make money from those ideas.
Kind of awesome.
Here is some of my ideas:
- -Workshops – live webinar/video events, video training on a particular subject to achieve a result. Anywhere between $7-$47 price point. I decided to sell 8 x workshops, once per fortnight, over 2 months. Each workshop took about 4-8 hours of work on each and sold about $2000 worth.
- -Bundles – I then bundled together content and sold as ‘bundles’ or ‘kits’. The 8 workshops I bundled together for $58 price point and sold over $2k worth. (And then used that bundle as a bonus for a 1-year membership enrolment! Another $1500-ish in sales.)
- -Encore events – the most popular workshop topics (2 of ‘em), I ‘pull out’ and do a live encore event every 3 months.
- -$10 PDF – I made $2430 in sales on a $10 PDF product in 2 weeks. With ZERO launches, no prep, NO sales page (it isn’t on my website at all) and didn’t email it out, in the last 2 weeks! I posted the idea in my Facebook group, had hundreds of people put their hand up as interested and I spent the next 20 hours sending invoices.
- -Free courses – sound counter-productive, but I created free courses for when people bought something (whether signed up to my membership, for example, I signed up to ConvertKit through my affiliate link). Basically I was getting the SAME questions, repeatedly on these subjects, so I created the course to give away as a free bonus. I loved the process!
- -Monthly limited time deals – for the membership site. Every month I try something new, whether included in the $9 monthly price or for the 6-monthly or 12-monthly or 2-yearly or lifetime deal. It is interested to see/learn what is the most popular! (For example a free 1:1 with me isn’t a selling feature, but an app from iTunes that costs me $5.95USD is what they trip over themselves for!)
- -Co-creating course – I have teamed up with an A+ student and friend to jointly create and promote a cake business course. This has been rocking my socks off, because it feels like only a quarter of the work, but SO many benefits to the students and the experience.
- -Mastermind – co-creating a mastermind experience with community. Connection. Support. Guidance. Friends. People who get it. Feel less alone. For 12 amazing women have this BELIEF in themselves. A dream. But not sure of the details.
NUMBER 7.) SETTING GOALS
Honestly, I think I have saved the best for last.
How did I get from $15k to $60k?
Having a goal to achieve that!
I had the very clear intention. And I got pen + paper and WROTE it down.
If you are reading this, right now and am thinking ‘’I want some of that’’ and have never written it down – do you SEE the connection?
Think of that story of the person driving around lost. Never stopping to ask directions. Not referring to a map. He didn’t even bring a map!
YOUR GOALS ARE YOUR MAP.
I set goals that are connected to my big WHY.
I set goals to quit my job and retire my boyfriend.
I set goals for my health and happiness.
I set goals for my business.
I set goals for my income.
And when I set goals – I set SMART goals – Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely.
I earned $100k in 2017 (super stretch goal $150k)
I earned $120k, in 17/18 financial year (stretch $150k, super stretch $170k)
I earned $150k in 2018 (stretch $180k, super stretch $200k)
Today I earned $430 (stretch $590, super stretch $750)
This week I earned $3k (stretch $5k, super stretch $9k)
This month I earned $10,500 (stretch $13k, super stretch $14k)
I grow email subscribers from 15k to 25k by 31 December 2017.
I grow monthly page view to 200k by 31 December 2017.
I have 100 amazing people with cake businesses that I help go from $1k to $5k p/m in 2018, which sign up to Price. Market. Sell. By 4 October 2017.
I have 12 amazing women who join me + Claire Mentored Mastermind Group by 30 September 2017. These 12 amazing women who dream big, but not exactly sure of the details, have belief in themselves and their work, who want something different to the status quo and who know, if nothing changes then nothing changes.
And once I write these goals, what do I do with them?
REGULARLY REVIEW THEM.
Look back at the map and the direction you are heading. Is that still the direction you are wanting to take? If you have been wandering aimlessly – THIS is the reason.
Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take. The time will pass anyway.
I am creating a SPACE, a mastermind – a safe place, where you can truly show up as who you are and express yourself. To peel back the onion layers, judgement free, to find the true heart + core. Of YOU. The space to examine and look at all angles in its raw state.
Like fossicking for a precious gem. It is unpolished and bare. It is dirty + jagged + ugly. It takes digging and hard work to find it.
You want a support team, cheerleader or two, a water boy, shovel carriers, someone down in the trenches with you. To share the fails + snotty, dirty, ugly, tears.
To carry you on your shoulders in victory or in devastating blow of disappointment
To be there with you when you ‘strike’ gold and find your gem.
To help you polish + present to the world.
Your heart is full with pride. Because YOU did that.
And we are looking on, so proud. We witnessed that.
We witnessed YOU. Being YOU. Peeling back your onion layers, digging deep, being vulnerable, without judgment or fear, finding your gem and helping you share it with the world.
YES, I WANT IN!
If you’re a YES and know you want a spot on the mastermind, awesome! Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re not sure or have questions or want to chat, Claire and I are opening up our calendars for some 15-minute business brainstorm session. Get unstuck, create momentum and make money in your business. If you want to grab 1 of the 12 spots, you can book your chat here.
P.S. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take. The time will pass anyway. Might be time for change.
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