Last week (or in 2017 depending on when you read this) I left my little ones and flew with my husband over to LA for a week. As a mum of two, in hindsight I can’t believe I did it!
So, why did I go?
The main reason was because I was booked in to see Oprah at her Super Soul Sessions live recording in LA and I knew in my heart I needed to disrupt my pattern.
Quieten all the chatter.
Reconnect with myself.
Do something out of the box.
It all sounds a little woo woo, right?
Well, that’s because it is.
What I know for sure is that in order to set yourself up for a successful business and life, you need to always be learning and growing your mindset.
Otherwise, things like fear will win and hold us back.
Because of my mindset, my life has been extraordinary over the last 18 months. When I was fired from my full time job six years ago, I never realised that life was going to get so amazing!
From that day of stepping into my power and deciding to see being fired as a blessing which was simply aligning me in the direction I had asked to go in, I have designed my life exactly how I want to be living it.
Yes, I was shit scared of screwing the 9-5 and not having the security of a weekly income. I was shit scared of lots of things. Like whether I was going to be good enough, whether I could make it work, whether I could really earn a decent income and whether I would make lots of mistakes.
But, when I got really still, I knew I was more scared of never living the life I truly wanted to live.
When Tony Robbins asked us to write down what our extraordinary life looked like at Super Soul last week I realised I was already living my extraordinary life. I really had nothing new to add except the desire to magnify and refine what I have already achieved and show other Mums, just like me, how to do the same.
I am living in my dream home that I went to sleep dreaming of each night for 10 years. I have freedom in my days to do whatever I want and in fact, I haven’t had to do anything I haven’t wanted to do in a long time. Most of all I have immense fulfilment in showing other mums how to achieve that too via using an online business as their vehicle.
I don’t say that to be an arsehat and show off.
It is said to hopefully inspire you to do something out-of-the-box.
To do something a little brave. Hell, even, a little crazy.
To let go of fear and take that small step of action that can change the trajectory of your life, so you can have all the things you dream of too.
So, thanks to my Amex frequent flyer points and the freedom my business affords me, I booked our flights and went on a journey to become a better version of myself and to learn from the best, Oprah and Tony Robbins.
Even though I missed my children so much my heart hurt, I realised a few days into this trip that it was going to be life changing.
First, we drove from LA to San Francisco and the time away from the ‘real world’ simply listening to music and looking out the the window as we drove past the world was so healing.
My pattern had been disrupted. All the chatter stopped. I reconnected.
Leading up to the trip, I had been feeling a bit flat, still happy enough but a tad uninspired and unmotivated.
I didn’t love that feeling.
And, the thing is, most people continue within that feeling because they are too scared to take action and step out of it into the unknown.
They continue going to a job they hate, they continue living an unfilled life, they continue to work more thinking that it is the only way. They lack faith.
But for the brave who are willing to take a risk and disrupt their pattern, all the amazing things life has to offer are just around the corner.
If you are feeling called to take that leap of faith and start designing the life you want to live, I am going to give you a shortcut.
Here is a simple breakdown on how to get started and find the perfect business idea, with the perfect income stream so you can start designing your best life too.
STEP #1 – Let’s Talk About Income Streams
I am going to start us off with something I feel is going to be widely controversial.
But hang with me…
First up, I want to talk about how your business is going to make money, and not what you are passionate about.
This is because, it is a business not a passion project.
We start businesses to make money.
Sure, choosing a business idea that aligns with our heart and soul is super important, but first, let’s talk about the money.
Take it from someone who spent four years growing a business only to realise the profit I was set to earn was not going to get me past the low-income bracket because the business model required so much time and funds injected into it which, as a busy mum, I just didn’t have.
I want you to benefit from my mistakes, because the thing I realised is, we can skew an idea we are passionate about around any type of income stream, but we can’t skew an income stream around any type of idea we are passionate about.
It is so common for people to dive into a business before really, truly assessing the time, money and effort they will require to grow and scale their business, and this is why I would say most businesses fail and exactly why I created the Business Jump Starter e-Course.
Having created, grown and sold a few very successful businesses, I can compare different income modules and to be honest, I can’t believe I waited two years to make a (small) profit thinking it was the norm in my old business.
With my old business module, it is typical to lose money in the first year, sometimes even in the second year as well, experts say you should break even by the third year and profit in the fourth year.
Who wants to lose money?
Trust me, it is not fun having to fork out thousands of dollars just to get new products into your store, which may not even sell, or you may need to discount in order to sell.
Or only making $5 profit per product sold when your time factor going into the product averages around 30 – 60 minutes.
Or having to pay business expenses out of your personal account because you have no cash in the business account.
Instead of rushing in and setting up an online store that sells physical products we want to look at all options and particularly products and services that have a low cost and time investment and a high-profit margin.
So, let’s look at the different types of ways your business can create an income.
Physical products (the old way)
Such as: apparel, accessories, footwear, electronics, home furnishings, office supplies, appliances and tools, toys, jewelry, books, baby products, cosmetics and fragrances.
I need to put a disclaimer on this and say selling products can be a great option, and if that is what you really want to do, then go for it.
But, in my opinion it is the most time-consuming option for the least amount of profit and if you are after more time with your kids it is not your best bet.
Consider the steps required:
- Research products and find suppliers to buy from
- Pay upfront for your products
- Get them sent to your house
- Complete inventory for products
- Pack and store products
- Promote and sell products
- Pick and pack orders
- Send out products on courier
- Replenish stock and repeat.
And, between each point is sandwiched a million other little details.
The standard markup on your products will be around 100%.
So if your end price is $10 you want to be selling it for $20. Once sold, you take $10 to reinvest into a replacement product and you are left with $10.
Less funds that are needed for promoting/advertising and running the business, so it is likely you’ll be left with around $5 you can pocket, and then pay tax on.
Digital downloadable products (the new way)
Such as: patterns, templates, party invitations, wedding invitations, printable wall art, photos, ebooks.
The beauty of digital downloadable products is you buy them once and sell multiple times over. The whole sequence can be highly automated which subtracts the amount of labour you need to put into each sale.
Here are the steps:
- Find suppliers to buy from or create yourself
- Pay upfront for your products
- Add them to your website
- Promote and sell products
No reordering of the same product needed, no time required to pick and pack, no booking couriers.
This time can be reinvested into growing your audience and promotions instead.
Content and/or Information (the new way)
Such as: memberships, e-courses, subscription based websites, online directories, marketplaces
In my Business Jump Starter e-course, I go into detail about all of these options and the best of the bunch is finding an income stream that allows you to create recurring income.
Recurring income means that the same client/customer/vendor pays you every month, instead of just a once off sale.
Sounds awesome doesn’t? That’s because it is.
If you have a skill or a service you provide to people whether it be a coach, photographer, plumber or anything where you work 1:1 and swap time for money, consider how your earning potential can become maxed out. There are only so many clients you can fit into in a day.
Sure you can hire employees, but I want to introduce you to an easier option.
For example, I am a web designer by trade but working 1:1 with clients meant I couldn’t scale my business to the heights I wanted to take it. My income was capped at how many clients I could work on in a day/week/month.
So, I wrapped up all of my industry experience and turned it into an e-course that helps Mums start their own online business.
Now, I can literally help 100’s if not 1000’s of Mums create a website like a professional for a fraction of the price. What is even better is now I have created all the content and automated all my systems so all I need to do is focus on selling the product and of course, providing support to the members.
Feel like you don’t have anything to offer?
Steps to take:
- Research your content idea
- Create your content
- Implement to your website
- Promote and sell
- Provide support and updates
- Set up an automation system to allow sales to come in while you are not working
Let’s be clear though, I am not saying the latter two options aren’t hard work. It is all hard work.
But as busy Mums our time is limited so we want to be using it wisely and getting maximum results.
The key difference between the old and new ways of generating an income stream is the new way affords our time to be reinvested back into working ‘on’ the business, not being stuck working ‘in’ the business.
When choosing your business model, to ensure it is successful, you must have a concept that allows you to be growing and scaling the business far more than the amount of time it requires you to do the day-day running of the business.
STEP #2 – Now, Let’s Nail That Perfect Business Idea
Ok, so now you have some perspective of income streams we can now look at ways to align your preferred income stream with a business idea that powers your motivation and determination.
I go into more detail in my e-course about a formula that we like to use to ensure you pick something that gives you the best chance of success, so for now I will start with just 5 important questions for you to consider.
Be mindful that lots of people get stuck at this stage and never progress because they just can’t find that idea, that is why I created a Facebook group exclusively for my Mastermind and e-course members, so I can coach them through their ideas and help them take action.
So, here we go:
#1 What are you currently doing in your everyday life that you love or what expertise do you already have that you can create a business from?
Write a list of things in your life that you enjoy doing.
Besides the obvious reason for doing something you love, it will also make it easier to create content and social media posts when you, yourself are invested on a daily level in what you are selling.
Are you a busy mum that loves making healthy food and have a knack for them being super quick and easy to make?
You could create a business around sharing your recipes, tips and tricks via your blog and social media channels.
#2 Ask no less than 5 people what they think you are good at. These people can be friends, family or the random mum at the park. Now don’t worry if your chosen person isn’t a business whiz.
To be honest, it might even be better if they’re not.
The point is, they will have an outside perspective and see traits and qualities that you may not. Yes, even the random mum at the park may have seen something about you that no one else has yet.
Add their suggestions to your list.
#3 What problems are you seeing consistently?
I’m guessing that you are a part of a few Facebook groups and online forums. Here’s a great reason to spend more time in them!
Scour the comments and posts for problems that people are identifying and that you are seeing in a repeat fashion.
Are they getting any solutions?
Can you provide a solution? Can a business be made out of it?
#4 What’s in demand on Social Media?
Sites like Pinterest and Instagram can be a great resource for gathering product and niche ideas. The images on these sites contains products and hashtags that are trending and with the built-in social signals you can get an immediate sense of a product or service’s popularity.
#5 Get ahead of the game
Noticed a product or service that every man and his dog are jumping on at the moment? Instead of jumping in with the pack, take it to the next level and think about what they need to sell to their customers and supply it to them instead.
#6 Validate there is a market for your idea
There are many tools you can use to conduct your keyword research, paid and free, however, one of the most popular tools for conducting keyword research is Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.
The Google Keyword Planner Tool allows you to search for keywords to determine how many searches per month are being made for that term, how much competition there is for it, and the related search terms.
The related search terms are important because they are going to give you an idea of how popular your concept may be and, most importantly, whether there is a demand for it.
To use the Google Keyword Planner Tool you’ll need a Google AdWords account which is free and only takes a few minutes to set up.
Once you have a Google AdWords account you’ll need to log into your account and select Tools from the menu at the top, and then select Keyword Planner.
Navigate your way into it and have a play around with the different options; after a few times you’ll be a pro.
STEP #3 – How To Find a Business Name
By now you should have a good idea about what type of business you are going to be setting up.
If you are stuck, consider joining our Mastermind so I can help you through the process to find that perfect idea.
But if you are all good, next, we are going to look at how to name it.
Action: Use the following tools to identify some business name options:
Does it sound good?
Say it to yourself and then say it to someone else. Does it sit right with you? Do you feel excited and proud? Will it translate to people saying it on the radio, TV, YouTube, and in conversation?
Side step initials.
Ok so, IBM and 3M have gotten away with initials, but do they inspire you? Also, if you use initials in your domain name you will miss out on the benefits of getting ranked in the search engine results for related keywords.
Are there any existing Trademarks on it?
Some of us have plans for world domination and others, not so much. Look into the future to your end goal and, depending on how big you plan to grow your business, this is a vital step.
What is even more important is checking there are no existing trademarks on the name you want to use.
Hop over to the IP Australia database to check and ensure you won’t be picking a name that’s already trademarked.
You want your name and domain name to have at least one of your major keywords in it which is already attracting searches in the search engines.
Use Google Adwords to search and identify keywords you can add in to your domain and/or business name.
Don’t forget to do a standard Google search as well and see what comes up.
Tip: Once you’ve locked in your business name – register the domain name straight away so no one nicks it before you get a chance. Register the com and secure hosting as well so you can setup your emails. Pop over to this link as the domain name is free.
STEP #4 – Let’s Decide On Your Message
Now you have a business idea and income stream it’s time to drill down your brand message and who you will serve.
Defining your brand down to just a sentence (or two) will help you keep your message consistent and clear, not to mention make it a whole lot easier for people to know what you are about and how you can help them.
#1 Have a think about who your ideal customer or client is. Before they start searching for your product or service what do you think they are thinking, feeling and hoping to find?
For example, my ideal customer is a mum who is ready to start her own business and wants to be coached and guided on the best way to do it so she doesn’t waste time and money, or maybe she is just too busy and wants it all done for her. This mum may be working the 9-5 and dreaming of a life where she can work when and how she wants. Or, she might be a stay at home mum, needing to create additional income for her family, or maybe she just needs her own project she can work on as she goes.
#2 Research your competitors. How can you improve or offer something different from what they are doing?
Using my example again, my business is skewed to helping mums jump into a business that is geared to create more time and freedom. To do this, I educate about alternative income streams besides selling physical products because from my experience, selling physical products has the highest time, money and labour factors with the least rewards. I show my customers the blueprint I have used to create a five figure per month business and work less, not more.
#3 What is your customer’s problem? What’s the big trigger that has spurred them into action and caused them to look for solutions to their problems?
My example: My customers are usually busy mums trying to find their way after having a baby. They’ve realised that the 9-5 is so much harder to maintain than before they had children, or maybe they are on maternity leave and dreading leaving their little ones to go back to work. Having a baby that changes their wants and desires is usually the trigger for my customers.
#4 What is holding your ideal customer or client back from taking the action they need to take to get the results they desire the most?
My example: Hands down it is fear. Fear of failing, fear of wasting money and time, feeling overwhelmed. Exactly how I felt when I made the jump.
#5 What would happen if your ideal customer or client doesn’t manage to overcome their problem?
My example: They would always be wondering, what if? They’d be driving to work every day, stuck in traffic, earning the same wage and nothing would have changed, because they didn’t take action and they let the fear win, but if only they could see what I see. That the opportunity to run a rewarding and successful business is so close, they just have to find the key to unlock the door.
Chances are you won’t necessarily be showing this document to anyone else, but it’s a great resource for you—it ensures you get familiar with who you are serving so you can consistently streamline your communications to your audience. Use it when communicating messages on your Facebook page, when you are sending out emails and for any type of promo or advertising to ensure you are connecting with your audience in a deep and meaningful way.
STEP #5 – The One Way You’ll Fail
It is one thing to have the idea sorted, but now is the time to put what we have accomplished into action.
Here is a make or break situation.
Some people will get to this point and then go and make a coffee, tend the to kiddies and forget about the groundbreaking progress they made not realising how close they came to creating a wildly successful online business that afforded them an uncapped salary on the freedom to live the life they want.
So, are you going to be that person?
Or are you going to be the person that overcomes your fear and takes it to the next level?
Let’s face some common objections we commonly ask ourselves and that can hinder us moving forward:
“Why would anyone pay me? I’m no expert.”
Make yourself the expert. Don’t wait. Read, educate, learn as you go. You don’t need anyone’s permission to charge for the service or product you are providing, and if you must – I give you permission.
Go out and become a badass business owner.
You just have to know more than the people you’re helping. If you can help them get results, they’ll happily pay you — and even recommend you to their friends.
“But I don’t have time.”
If you work full-time, have kids, or simply are ‘busy’ it might seem impossible that you could ever have time to start an online business. You’re over-extended as it is!
But just take one step at a time. You don’t need to see the destination, just the foot you are placing in front of the other.
Don’t think, ‘OMG I have to create a whole online business, there is so much to do!!!’
Instead, change your mindset. Make a list of all the things you need to do and commit to completing one task a week, or whatever you think you can achieve.
And, ask yourself, “Where do I want to be this time next year? And, if I don’t do anything am I going to be happy with myself?”
“But what if I try and fail?”
What is the worst that can happen if you fail?
Wouldn’t it be worse if you ended up 10 years down the track totally regretting not giving it ago?
Successful people fail all the time.
I have failed at loads of stuff.
I have had no one reply to my Facebook posts, no one buy stuff from me, no one reply to my emails.
The list goes on.
Did all that stuff suck? Sure, a little…
But more importantly, I worked out what didn’t work. Reshuffled things and tried again.
Until I found that magic key to open the door and now things are awesome. Ok, not every day but I have created a five figure a month business and work when I want.
If you do fail, don’t look at it as failing, look at it as one step closer to opening that door of success.
Tony Robbins says 85% of success comes down to mindset, and only 15% is actual strategy. That means master your mindset and you are on the home run.
So, here is an important question.
Where do you want to be this time next year? Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and really absorb yourself in visualising what that looks like?
Now, ask yourself what small steps of action do you need to take in order to get there? You don’t need to have the whole thing planned out, just work out your next step from here.
Finally, how will you feel if this time next year rolls around and you haven’t taken any of those steps?
An online business is a vehicle to achieving ALL-THE-THINGS you just dreamed of achieving and whether you’ve thought of a business idea during this challenge or still are feeling stuck, make sure you download my list of tools and resources to help you start and grow your business.