Starting a business is a very exciting thing. Especially in the beginning. I have had a small one person business for a while now – 3 years ‘doing it actively’ and 3 years ‘half-heartedly. And there was a long pause. Simply because it did not bring me what I hoped.
I have restarted the activity again in 2018 with a different approach, product and platform. It is definitely more rewarding and more exciting than my previous attempt. One thing did not change though.
It is a one person business. That means that I have to do everything by myself – which is o.k. but sometime I do feel that I operate on an lonely island. In that sense, I pleased to have a full-time job where I meet new people every day.
My family is extremely understanding and supportive. They do listen to me when I go on about this product and that product, this trend and that one. However, they do have their own work life and I do not want to burden them too much. So I discuss only most burning issues with them. So yes, getting into a one person business means that most of the time, you will work by yourself. You will have to figure out most of things by yourself. And you will have to make important decisions by yourself because you are the only one who knows your business inside out.
P.S. Just to make it clear, most of the time I don’t mind that there is no one else in my ‘company’, but there are moments when I would not mind a chat with a friendly colleague.
Niche is a big word in the digital world. I do hear it more often: “What is your niche? You do have to have a niche!” It begins to give me bit of an anxiety simply because I don’t have one. Trust me, I am looking for one 🙂 I have listen to countless self-help gurus and entrepreneurs. And to be honest, I have been confused.
One camp seems to say – choose a niche that is trending, people are interested in and do not write about something just because you love it or because it happens to be your hobby. The opposite camp says – find something that you are interested in, hobby is o.k., you have to have a passion to last in this race… These are very conflicting ideas and it does not help me much. So I went back to basics and thought to myself – it is me who is going to spend the time on this, I should have some interest and passion for the topic.
I do not want to do something just because it is trending or many people are searching for it. As I have a full-time job, I do not want another one that I do only for the bucks. Also, I do like going to website of people who have been doing something for years and with a great expertise. They often have an ability to dive deep and go into a great detail. They often share their successes and fails and that makes it even more appealing and credible.
So here is my checklist as always that might help you to make the right decision.
What do I want from my blog/why I am doing it
Do I have the interest and passion in the topic/niche
Am I thinking short-term or long-term
How deep I want to go
Trending niche or evergreen – which one is more me?
Just a side note:
What is my niche at the moment? Good question. As I wrote in my profile – I am looking forward to an early retirement 🙂 At the same time I do not want live a passionless life. I would say my niche is still unrefined and very broad. I writing about my trials and successes as a little person – ordinary person. Trying to build something outside my full-time job. Using internet and what it offers to do that. Mainly selling on platforms – big and small while developing a blog. I think it is a path many people take these days and I interested in it – freeing yourself from 9-5, gaining more autonomy, not necessarily working less but working with passion even when Mondays come 🙂
Sometimes I have just too many ideas and sometimes I have none. What helps me in both cases is a thinking page. I ask myself questions and write down ideas as they come. After that I try to streamline the flood of ideas into something more targeted and something that makes more sense. I am not afraid to cross things out or change them completely. This is something I was taught by one of my old mentors. He always said that that I need to cross thing outs to come out with the best ideas.
Once the rough draft is ready I bounce it off someone I trust. If things look good – I will start researching and going deeper. By then I know I am serious about it and committed. The last step is to get the details right. This looks like a lengthy process but it is worth it. I used to jump into things straight away without thinking and it cost me lots of time and energy. Of course it is not fool proof but it does make me more effective and brings better results.
Yes, and here is a list for those who hate reading paragraphs 🙂
create rough draft that includes all ideas
streamline the draft so it has only one key idea
cross out things that are not relevant to your idea
It has been more and more obvious to me that I will not keep up with my journaling. My main reason if being honest is that I can’t be bothered after just finishing my day time job. Lifting a pen is like a lifting a weight on most of my work days. It would be lovely to log in all my feelings, dreams and plans while finding an interesting quote or affirmation that would complement it. But that is just not going to happen.
However, I do like to have some sort of memories. So what I have been doing recently is rather lazy but at the moment it is working for me – a visual diary. Simple colourful notes mixed with photos that reflect my mood. For me this is effortless and created within minutes. Yes, you may call it a mood board. I do not present that I have invented a wheel 🙂 However, I am a very visually focused person with a visual memory so this style is perfect for me. I know it will not satisfy everyone but hey, it is better then nothing 🙂
and it may help you as well. These are only small things but they do make a difference when I work at home.
switching off all noise
communicating in a clear and friendly manner that I will not be available from…to…
holding my centre with a help of my visual board right on my desk
using my favourite scent in the room
keeping a bit a nature right beside or close to me (my three-legged cat and self-planted lemon tree)
If you have time and want to read about each point more you can below:
I used to run news channel in the background but it was very distracting a and took me away from my work. Usually not very positive space. Now I watch news only at a certain time of a day and for a limited time. Similarly with my phone. I used to check every notification no matter how unimportant and that was hugely distracting. Now I keep my phone in a corridor and not on my desk, the sound and notifications are off until late afternoon. I like to work with a soothing background music or when I do not have to be too creative with an interesting YouTube video/podcast.
I noticed that it is better to tell people (including family members) that I am in my working mode and I will not be available. Usually I give them also an idea about the time period. This helps to avoid lots of misunderstandings. I always choose a friendly manner over anything else and usually the response is very good.
I like to keep a very detailed and focused board rather than a generic one with a general quote. The more focused the faster brings me back to the space I want to be.
I love natural scents and scents that I associate with pleasant moments.
Nature is so essential to staying positive for me. I simply love it. Herbs, wildflower, grasses, trees, you name it. And of course – pets. They are absolutely awesome and I don’t really need to write about their positive effect here…
Have a lovely day dear friends and remember – keep it positive 🙂
Last year was a struggle. I tried really hard to get out there and make some success. It did not happen…yet. Yes, I am not giving up but boy, it is not easy. This post is more for people who are thinking about “an attractive product” that would sell like a hot cake. Well if you have those skills, this one is for you.
What I miss the most is a just platform or an opportunity where I can showcase my products for a reasonable fee and I get actually discovered. Although many big platforms ‘offer’ that, the practice is different. It is very hard to get discovered without paying for ads or just through Social Media.
Social media were useful years ago, now they have become paid platforms as well and you have to ‘pay to play’. Of course there are those who go viral or get lucky but what percentage is that? No, I am not envious. Good for them. All I am saying that there is a serious need for better and more just platforms. If you are able to help or provide this then you will not have a problem to find clients.
And of course here is my list of my top struggles:
ranking on the platform/ visibility, choosing niche, product, keywords
trying to please the algorithm all the time
being shown to only a small fraction of my subscribers by the algorithm
not knowing whom to trust in terms of courses, e-books and gurus (there are just too many of them)
having limited exposure because of the way how the platform works and is set up
I hope that my next year’s list will be different 🙂 As I said, I am not giving up, yet….
Something I have been doing recently and helped me a lot – journaling. I know it is not a new concept at all. I do my personal journaling here and there and find it very helpful. But this time I though why not do that also for my tiny business. The reason is simple – I just don’t remember every little thing. For example I make a tweak to the product but I forget about it. Then when looking at my analytics, I am wrecking my brain what have I done well that the product suddenly sells…
I have avoided looking at my social media analytics for ages. There are different reasons for that. Let’s say, I just looked at the curves and watched if they go up or down. Very amateurish, I know. For what I was doing – it was enough. At least so I thought.
When I started pinning on Pinterest, I was getting overwhelmed – by the sheer numbers, scheduling etc. I just did not remember what works and the analytics did not help me in this. Hence comes the journaling bit. After years of writing on Post notes and loosing them in a process, I started a simple journal with the following:
No, I will not be complaining. But I do need to say that it was not what I expected. I was hoping to really shoot up this year. Well, it did not happen. Now, when I look back, I am thinking about the positives. With regards to my products, I did see that the idea works. Or rather, yes, the product sells.
However, I made lot less than expected. That is going to be the next step. I will try to find out how to scale it up. So I still feel that I did not get very far, yet.
Here is my list to rethink my strategy:
what worked and why
what did not work and why
how to scale up successful items
find better platforms
find products with better return on investment
learn new skills that will help me to achieve the above
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know by now that I love making lists. Yes, I like to be super organised.
But there is also another reason for this. I am constantly late! I have trouble to keep up with the deadlines, tasks and chores! And I have trouble with ticking off all my points on the agenda. So I have decided to take a closer look at the reasons behind it. And surprise surprise, I did come with a brand new list of my reasons.
Please don’t laugh! Actually, I am laughing at myself here but I must say that my list was rather revealing. And here it is.
I make my to do lists too long
I am a perfectionist
I think I have to control everything
I don’t really want to do the things, on the list
I am not honest with myself
I don’t believe I can do it
I don’t believe I can complete it
I am trying to multitask too often
I get distracted by little things
If I don’t do many things at once I feel lazy and unproductive
So, have there been any similar reasons behind your procrastination? Do let me know. And in the meantime, take care dear friends 🙂
because the more you write the better you will get in it. Simple as that. Words will flow effortlessly and you will find that you can express yourself more easily. Fist of all, write for yourself. Put your ideas down no matter how trivial they may seem. It will help you to understand your thinking process. When you put something on the paper, it becomes more real. You are closer to realising that idea. It is the first step to something bigger.
Don’t get discouraged. When growing up we were told many things about how to write or what to write about. But the truth is – there is no right or wrong way. Just keep on writing while developing your style. And if you ask me:”Why should I bother? Why should I write?” I will simply say:”And why not?”