By Kate Toholka
The bloggers dream is to make a living from their blog, right? After almost three years of hard slogging, I’m finally at that place of personal and financial freedom. And what a joy it is. Along the way, I’ve realised that I have a wealth of lessons to share with others who aspire to go down a similar, online path. Here are 20 of these lessons for your entertainment:
1. You need to be clear on why you’re doing it in the first place. I’m willing to bet that it’s more than just making money. Be crystal clear on this and have this written somewhere visible – it makes it easier on those days you’d rather curl up in bed.
2. Know who you’re talking to. Wondering why no one is reading your blog or buying from you? The issue stems from not being clear on exactly who you are serving. Every time someone lands on your website, they are thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ They will click away if you cannot articulately demonstrate that you can serve them.
3. Start with the end in mind. What are your long term goals? Where do you want to be in one year’s time? Start there then work your way backwards. It makes it easier to focus, be more efficient with your time and ensure your goals are being met.
4. Honour your time. Time is the greatest currency, health is the greatest wealth. There’s more to life than being an online business woman. Go on, spend some time living too.
5. Honour everyone’s time. Especially when it comes to emails, newsletters and asking to meet over a cuppa.
6. Learn to say no. Know your work and life boundaries and make a commitment to stick to these. It’s ok to say no when it doesn’t feel right.
7. Have the courage to say yes. It’s also ok to say yes sometimes, even when you don’t know what the next step would be. If an opportunity is too good to pass up, say yes and figure it out later.
8. Dress up. It’s easy to don the trackies because you’re safe in your home but try this: dress up in clothes that make you feel like a million dollars. And watch the ripple effect work its magic…
9. Practice makes progress. Not perfect, but progress. I follow the ‘fail fast’ motto – every time I try something new, regardless of how terrifying it can be at times, I know that I will gain a lesson despite the outcome. Let me put my grandma hat on and remind you that you never know if you don’t try, hey?
10. Take ‘implementation’ breaks. I see many, many bloggers spend lots of time in ‘learning’ phase. They join all the e-courses, ask all the questions, engage in all the Facebook groups, but then don’t actually implement anything they have learnt. Learning is important, but using it is what makes it valuable.
11. Strategy matters. Don’t release an ebook for the sake of releasing an ebook. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on an e-course when you haven’t even filled your coaching programs yet. Get your head around sales funnels and build one behind the scenes first.
12. Focus. Focus. Focus.
13. Chase the money. Seriously, you want to do this full time right? Then it has to support your bank account too. There’s an art in chasing the money and sitting true to your authentic Why. Learn to master this dance.
14. Share the real you. Don’t hide behind a persona. Be unapologetically you and share that with the world. Business is the art of serving people and we are trailblazers of the real, authentic online movement. Lead the way and lace everything you do online with elements of you.
15. You are not your business. Yes, your business needs to be a reflection of who you are as a person (branding wise) but it isn’t a mirror-reflection of your entire being. You are a complex person with a beautiful unique history. You have many skills, only of which some you may use in your business. Even fewer that you would use in your marketing. Which brings me to the next point…
16. Niching is important. Too many times have I seen women held up by the notion of ‘but I’m so much more than that!’ Yes you are, but your business will not thrive if you try to be everything to everyone. Go with your key strength and start there. You can always branch out later down the track.
17. Mentors are vital. I can’t possibly fathom how I am here today, earning more than I was at my old job and happier than I have ever been, without the help of my business coach. Probably looking for a part time job and drowning my sorrows in wine I’d imagine.
18. Sometimes, you have to do things you don’t like. I get it, it doesn’t ‘feel’ right. Hate to break it to you but there are some very important, albeit ‘masculine’, things we need to do when we run a business. Hot tip: if you have to do it, make the process fun. I hate accounting and anything to do with numbers so I spoil myself rotten with delicious raw treats and pumping music to make the experience more enjoyable.
19. Growth hurts. I’ve come to embrace any resistance. It means I am expanding and growing. It’s temporary pain that I now welcome because I know that when I get through it, I’ll be better than I was before.
20. Breakdowns are really breakthroughs. Much like growing pains, but intensified to unbearable levels. The result? Bearable, quantum shifts that will below your mind.
Kate Toholka is a success coach for online entrepreneurs, #1 amazon bestselling author and creator of the happiness hub. After becoming disillusioned working in the mental health industry, Kate sought to use her unbridled passions for holistic living and psychology to empower women into their dream business and lives. She is known for her raw honesty and ability to help women to tap into their unlimited potential. Kate believes in the power of community, self-love, inspired action, the natural order and your phenomenal worth. Connect with Kate on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.