Start With the End in Mind

Imagine it’s one year to the day from now and you have achieved everything you wanted to this coming year…

Where are you?
What are you doing?
What does your life look like?
What does your business look like?
Who are you working with?
What’s a working day in the life of you?

Allow your mind to completely wonder and dream as if nothing had gotten in your way over the year.

You’d obliterated all fear, taken massive action, the stars had aligned and everything you wanted in your business had happened as planned.

When I did this exercise I knew that by this time next year I wanted to have written a couple of books and helped as many people as possible build their own lifestyle businesses through my content, books & free videos.

But I also imagined that by this time next year our new ecommerce brand was up and running.

That I had spent time ‘playing’ with drop shipping & print on demand to see which products were most popular before I began finding ways to perhaps get products manufactured fair trade in developing countries with the help of NGO’s and potentially people Kiva.org were supporting.

When I realized the direction I wanted to go in, it wasn’t hard for me to know where to start.

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Back in 2010, I knew that my ultimate goal was to help people build businesses online.

But back then I didn’t have the experience or the know how, so I honed in on one thing and focused on facebook fan pages.

I immersed myself in Facebook and taught people how to grow their brand and email lists using facebook landing pages.

By the time I launched the Social Networking Academy some 8 months or so later, I had 18,000 people on my email list and generated $117k in the launch week alone.

This is the power of niching down. You can always expand later.

As someone who’s very passionate about walking the walk, it makes sense for me to focus on ecommerce moving forward.

This is a fabulously scaleable business model for a lifestyle entrepreneur and as I want to grow our new ecommerce brand I can teach what I’m doing at the same time.

So although I’m sure to cover associated topics such as, social media marketing, email list building, content marketing etc, because its all part and parcel of the same thing, for the next year or so I will lean heavily towards ecommerce and physical products.

Therefore the answer to Q1 – What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?

For me over the next year or so it will be teaching people how to build ecommerce based lifestyle businesses they can run from anywhere in the world.

What is it for you?

Remember this doesn’t have to be lifetime. Just think about what you need to do now to achieve your goals this time next year.

Don’t worry that you might alienate certain groups of people by becoming specific about what you’re doing.

I guarantee you, that I will attract information marketers along with ecommerce businesses because so much of what I teach applies to both models.

But the beauty of niching down is that it allows you to become super clear about your subject matter, your content creation and your message.

The clearer you are, the more action you will take and the more people you will attract.

Tomorrow I’m going to walk you through how that works when selecting your target market also.

But believe me, the more focused and niched you can get, the more of the right people you will attract even if they’re not quite what you expected.

So, please take the time to go through this exercise. Really allow yourself to think big & visualize in great detail.

If you’re not a visual person, make some practical lists of where you’d ideally like to be a year from now if everything went as planned.

Then looking at the direction you want to go in, get super clear about where you want to start and don’t be afraid.

You are not missing out on anything by focusing in. The opportunities around us are going nowhere and you will speed up your progress by starting small and growing rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Obliterate Your Fears

OMG I can’t believe I’ve met you!‘ She exclaimed excitedly…

Stu, Stu’, she shouted over to her husband who incidentally I’d already met the day before by the sunset pool.

You will not believe that this woman runs an ecommerce business and teaches people how to build their own businesses!’ She cried.

I looked down at my feet in the pool. ‘Well I did teach’ I said. ’Not so much these days’.

I felt my usual cloak of self doubt sweep over me, but the bubbly young welsh woman I had just met didn’t hear me.

Too excited was she that she had possibly met someone who could help her with her new ecommerce business – Totally Lashed Up! (Great name).

It wasn’t long before my self doubt was replaced by her own and I found myself talking to her as if I was recording a Make It Happen Monday episode;

‘Don’t worry about what others think’
‘Just do it, what’s the worst that can happen?’
‘You’re totally good enough and have as much chance as anyone out there’
‘You’ll never know if you don’t try’

Now that’s the Jo I know and love! :)

To cut a long story short, she was desperate to make a video while in the fabulous Maldives setting but hadn’t got around to it.

We instantly got to work and within a couple of hours she had made the demo video she wanted to make while there. Totally Lashed Up Video & Story

I had instantly connected, resonated and encouraged her to take massive action which she did.

Coincidently, just 2 weeks prior I had had a similar conversation with a lady in Jaipur India, who wanted to take her husbands cooking business online so they could work from anywhere, do some traveling, visit their kids at university etc. Jaipur Cooking Classes Story

We took instant action, put together a short video and talked so much my brain, tummy & thoughts were on fire! And not from the curry.

Both ladies were keen to learn more, know more. Where could they sign up? Could I give them homework? Did I have videos etc?

Two women from distant lands wanting what I could offer, but due to my current state of indecision, right now, did not have to hand in any structured and meaningful way.

Of course I recommended any resources I could think of, but it became blatantly clear I needed to have a word with myself.

So I did what any self respecting, action taking 46 year old woman on a paradise island would do and relaxed with a few cold ones in the pool! 😂🍺

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So it may surprise you to know, that all of us suffer with all sorts of insecurities & fears at various points in our lives, even those of us who come across as super confident.

One of my fears was that by taking the break I did, I had now missed the boat in the digital space.

The market had become far more saturated than it was when I started in 2010, and by boys & girls far younger & sexier than I!

How was I going to compete, with what was I going to compete and did I really have the energy??

Meeting Geetika & Jess reminded me just how many people there are in this world and how much of any market is still untapped.

As of writing over 43% of the entire population are still not even online.

The opportunities are abound and without sounding twee we are honestly only limited by our own belief systems.

Geetika & Jess wanted my help. They didn’t care how old I was or whether I looked good in a bikini.

Could I help them build their businesses and live the kind of life I was living?

‘Live the kind of life I’m living’. I’m a walking, talking, breathing advert for my own brand.

I am – ‘Your Lifestyle Business’

You can’t get much more unique than that!

In tomorrows post I’ll discuss why it’s important to start with the end in mind in order to get super clear about where you are now and succinctly answer the question – ‘What’s your unique angle’, but in the meantime a great exercise is to take a deep breath and write down all the things you’re afraid of with your business.

Everything you can think of, write down just for you, you can throw it away afterwards.

Write, read and own your fears, and then work to obliterate them.

Is what you’re telling yourself really true or just a story you’re making up in your head?

Feel free to share any fears if you need help destroying them for good.

Start With Why

In my last post I posed 4 questions both to myself and to you as a lifestyle business owner.

1. What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?
2. Who are you serving? Who do you want to serve?
3. Why are you creating and publishing content? What’s your reason for doing so?
4. How are you ensuring you’re adding the most value and meeting the specific needs of your target audience?

I asked these questions because since restarting my brand back at the beginning of 2019, I haven’t really had a clearly defined plan or direction and as a result have been unhappy with my own efforts to create content that truly resonates and adds massive value to my target market.

I also gave some great examples of brands and influencers who very specifically through the content they publish answer each and every question without ambiguity.

I Screwed Up – Part 2

But I missed a question.

Probably the most important question we should be asking ourselves above all questions.

Why?

Why are we doing what we’re doing? Why do we want to do it? What’s the driving force behind the goals we have? Behind the business we’re trying to build? Behind the content we’re trying to produce?

When I relaunched my brand as ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ earlier this year having taken a couple of years out of the digital marketing space, Rhett (my other half) asked me why I wanted to start this particular side of the business again.

We have a successful Amazon business right now and I’m in the enviable position of not having to work if I don’t want to, and we also have plans to launch and build a completely new ecommerce brand in 2020 more in line with who we are and what we love to do as a long term 10 – 20 year plan.

So in all honesty I could just sit back, wait until we start our new ecommerce business next year and focus solely on that.

But I know (and he knows) that that alone is not going to fulfill my particular needs.

I have a greater purpose.

And it took me rewatching this Simon Sinek video to really clarify my purpose.

In the video he’s basically saying – ‘You will attract people who believe what you believe, what you do proves what you believe, so what do you believe?’.

All of a sudden I went back to the examples of the brands and influencers I talked about in my last post.

Why did I resonate with those guys, did I believe what they believed?

You bet your bottom dollar I did.

Looking beyond the podcasts, the courses, the videos, the books, I realised what really resonated with me was that I believed what they believed.

Look at the people or brands you use or follow. Do you know what they believe? Do you believe the same?

It’s quite eye opening.

So bear with me here as I explain my beliefs about the world, because it is these deep inner workings of my complicated overthinking mind that form the purpose for doing what it is I want to do and I hope will help you to do the same;

I believe that capitalism which inherently is a good thing and can raise entire countries out of poverty has exploded in the last few years into greed and the only way to regain some equilibrium is for more people to become masters of their own destiny and achieve financial independence & freedom for themselves, their families and ideally their communities.

I believe that more people need to travel and experience the world beyond their back garden in order to open their minds, increase their understanding of cultural, religious and economic differences and thereby increase tolerance around the world.

I believe that organizations such as Kiva.org are giving women in developing countries opportunities they may not otherwise have to grow their own small businesses, transforming their lives, their villages and allowing them to send their children to school, which creates a huge positive ripple moving forward.

I believe that more people should be building businesses from their passions and interests, focused less on the bottom line and more on spending their days doing something they love, while funding a good lifestyle, while adding value to their marketplace.

So therefore in a nutshell, I believe that the more people who can build a ‘lifestyle business’, ie a small business which gives you enough to fund your lifestyle, become financially independent, travel the world and be able to give back even in a small way to those less fortunate will lead to a better world.

I also believe that because of my experience, our future goals (mine & Rhett) and our current lifestyle I am perfectly placed to help as many people as possible achieve this goal.

So there you have my why for doing what it is I want to do and to be honest, once I’d sat down and really explored my reasons for doing what I wanted do, the other 4 questions at the top of this post became pretty easy to answer.

In my next post, I’ll tell you how two chance encounters led to me realising that I was already on the right path with ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ but for now, go and watch the Simon Sinek video.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s your driving force?

What do you believe?

🙂

I screwed up – Part 2

So yesterday I told you how I hadn’t kept up with my daily blogs for the last week during my Ride 4 Kids experience.

I also did not send out a Make It Happen Monday episode on Monday!

Shock, horror, the world just stopped spinning for a second….

For the same reason I didn’t keep up with my posts, I hadn’t prepared an episode and I was just too tired and too distracted to make it happen (ironic much).

There was another reason though for the lack of Make It Happen Monday.

I’m not too proud to admit that I don’t feel I’m resonating or connecting with my audience at the moment with my content.

I did record some episodes while in India and the Maldives, but when I watched them back I was less than inspired and if I can’t inspire myself I certainly cannot inspire those I wish to help!

So actually after Ride 4 Kids had ended it was time for a big think and some home truths.

These are the questions I asked myself. I hope this proves helpful to you if you’re currently contemplating the future of your business;

1. What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?
2. Who are you serving? Who do you want to serve?
3. Why are you creating and publishing content? What’s your reason for doing so?
4. How are you ensuring you’re adding the most value and meeting the specific needs of your target audience?

For example;

If you watch a David Goggins video you know he’s all about strengthening your mind and not allowing yourself to get away with weak minded excuses. He’s primarily aiming his content at men who want to get super fit. His content leads you to his book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ which is an awesome read by the way. He makes very short videos once a week showing him working out with a very specific mind strength message.

If you watch a Sunny Lenarduzzi video you know she’s going to be giving you tips and tricks primarily on YouTube & video marketing and more recently on Instagram marketing. She’s aiming her content and businesses and brands who want to master video. Her content leads you to her YouTube courses. She publishes videos once or twice a week with very specific ‘How To’ tips.

If you consume Amy Porterfield content, she’s going to teach you how to create and sell online courses. She’s aiming her content at educators & small business owners who want to sell digital courses online. Her content leads to her online courses. She hosts a popular podcast and webinars focusing on list building and digital courses.

Gary Vee, all about the hustle and not being blinded by the sexiness of entrepreneurship – primarily aimed at young men. His exposure leads brands to his Vayner Media brand, plus his new small business brand, his trainers, wine, investments, connections etc. A very clever model. He can go off the beaten track a bit more but primarily focuses his messages around hustle & grind.

Marie Forleo, female empowerment, creating a purpose driven business and creating a business & life you love all leading to her annual B-School. She attracts primarily women wanting to have an impact in the world. Her weekly Marie TV Q & A Tuesday answers specific questions from her audience and she’s also branched out into interviews, if you notice primarily with purpose driven business owners.

When I started my online adventure back in 2010, I taught online entrepreneurs how to use Facebook fan pages to grow their audience and business online. My content was aimed at those who wanted to build a business online and it led to initially my free fan page templates and later my Social Networking Academy. I regularly published specific facebook ‘How To’ videos. I built a successful six figure business from this specificity.

Read all of those again.

Every single one has a specific angle, a specific audience they want to reach, specific messages and a specific reason for creating the content they do. Therefore all of their content adds value and serves the audience they want to reach.

Can you answer those questions with such specific answers?

Can you describe your business, your market, your content strategy and your reason why with such clarity?

I realized I couldn’t and that my friend leads to creating content for contents sake, which will get you nowhere fast.

So let’s start answering those questions and really getting clear on what we’re trying to achieve with our businesses.

In the next few posts I will take you through the process I went through to answer the questions, engage you in going through your own process if you need to and ending with such clarity you’ll be on fire! 🔥

I Screwed Up!

Well, I screwed up! 😟

I promised myself this year I would write a daily blog and I kept it going through my trip to the UK, through my trip to France, through my training days, through Borneo, Nepal, India, the Maldives and then in the last week with Ride 4 Kids, I was unprepared and exhausted!

I hadn’t written posts in advance as I had on my travels and through the week was just too tired and too distracted to even think about it.

Bad form.

So what can we learn from this?

1. If you’re going to set audacious goals, then you better have some systems & processes in place to make them happen.
2. If you screw up, don’t throw your tools down in shame just pick up where you left off and carry on!

I could have cheated and written & back dated some posts, but what’s the point in that? The only person I’m cheating would be myself, so best to simply accept I am only human after all and move on.

This may seem unimportant and really not a big deal at all. I mean who really cares if I miss a few blog posts that frankly not many people are reading at the moment anyway?!

Well, it’s part of a larger story.

Unfortunately not keeping up with my blog posts wasn’t the only thing I screwed up on this last week. 😟

‘I screwed up’ No 2 to follow tomorrow….

P.S. The good news is this has what I hope is a happy and helpful ending! 😁