This month marks my 2 year anniversary on MDW and 5 years of online entrepreneurship. This is definitely something to celebrate because I started with nothing.
I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t even have a plan!
I made a lot of mistakes, some were really stupid and some were unavoidable. But I only say some are stupid now because I know a lot more than I did 5 years ago. In reality, no mistake is stupid.
So, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to get started if starting a business you can run from anywhere is your dream too.
I started my business because of my Bipolar Type 2 condition. The thought of climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t something I hated, it just felt unrealistic to me in the long run.
I needed something that would allow me to control my time. Let me work when I could and let me attend to other things when I really needed to.
I needed a way to make money consistently without letting my mental health get in the way.
So I started an online Etsy business selling digital prints. The money was passive and I could work as much or as little as I want.
I then ventured into Kindle publishing and this completely changed my life for good. The money was passive but ALSO consistent. I genuinely had full control over my time, my life.
I spent 4 months off work helping my sister and her new born baby, 1 month off work to travel New York City, another 1 month in Sydney and so many more days off when I really needed to do some self-care or take my parents to the doctors or something.
Before I realised it, I was a location independent entrepreneur. And life was great. I was living life according to my values and not by the bills I have to pay.
I didn’t start my business thinking I’ll be financially free after 3 years, I didn’t even think it was possible.
It hasn’t been easy, in fact, it’s been the most challenging years of my life thus far. Yes, I travel wherever, whenever. Yes, I get to spend more time with family and friends, and yes I have the luxury to take care of myself.
But make no mistake, starting a business is challenging and it takes conviction to make it successful.
So, if you want start a business, be location independent so you can travel or take back control of your life, then here are a few steps you can use:
Step 1 – Have a Why
Having a reason you need to start your business will help you overcome challenges and the tough times.
My reason was because I really didn’t want to be another sad Bipolar disorder statistic of unemployment, underemployment or never having financial success in life.
And starting a passive income business was a way to guarantee that would never happen to me, so I gave it my all. I treated it like it was my only option.
You need to know why you’re starting your business.
What’s the deeper reason for all of this?
Because without a deeper reason, you will struggle to justify the effort needed to get through the bad times. (and there are plenty of bad times…)
You can find your why by first envisioning everything you want in your ideal life.
It’s an effective exercise to help people discover their values to better motivate themselves.
What you do is imagine with as much detail as you can, the perfect life you want. Do this a few times and you’ll soon realise a pattern will emerge.
That pattern, the theme of your wants, is your WHY.
So, start visualizing your life the way you’d really like it.
What does your day look like? Your week? Your house? Do want to find a great job, or are you keen on starting a business? Where do you work?
How far away are you from what you want? What’s a simple thing you could do today to get a little closer to your dream?
Do it or schedule it.
Step 2 – Task Goals and Action
Task goals are small actionable tasks you can do on a daily or regular basis. These tasks actively help you achieve your bigger goal. In this case, start a business you can run anywhere.
Figure out what you can do regularly that will help you achieve your goal. And then do it.
It really is as simple as that.
You’ve been dreaming about starting a business so you can travel or have more time?
Great! A lot of people do.
But are you ready to take action?
Are you willing to work everyday to turn your dream into a goal?
Are you prepared to say no to anything that is going to take your attention and energy away from that goal?
If you said yes to all the above then half the battle has already been won, because like most things in life, it’s all in your head.
This seems stupid simple, but it’s actually the hardest step that most people never take.
Which is why so many people are living live by default – working their 9-to-5 til they are too old and frail to enjoy their retirement.
Step 3 – Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate
Once you’ve figured out what you wanted, made your decision and committed to making it happen – it’s time to audit your progress.
You NEED to track your progress to know if you’re going in the right direction, towards your goals.
Sometimes you will feel like you’re really busy, but if you take a step back, you will realise you were focusing on all the wrong things.
Ever felt swamped with work, but in reality you checked your emails 5 times, spent an hour or more on your Google analytics and maybe another hour reading some SEO articles because the two hours on Google analytics made you want to learn about SEO!
And then before you know it, its been almost a day. Yeah…been there, done that and definitely learnt my lesson.
Being busy doesn’t mean being productive.
Tracking your progress is essential to reaching your goals, but I didn’t name this step – progress tracking for a reason.
You want to know where you’re going and if you’re on the right path, but you don’t want to get stuck in checking where you are, that you never do anything else.
Its a common problem a lot of small business owners have. They figured out how to track their progress and then spend way too much time tracking themselves or on tasks that distract them from the main goal.
Schedule weekly or monthly evaluations. This way, it ensures you’re on track and not too distracted that you slow down your progress.
Step 4 – Stay Open
This is a big lesson I learnt over the years. To stay open to life’s possibilities.
I had no plans to start a blog, create videos courses, or teach other people to do what I do 5 years ago.
But here I am – doing all of that and a lot more.
And that’s because I stayed open to new possibilities. I didn’t say no to everything that wasn’t what I had already planned for.
As long as an opportunity showed itself, and it would help me reach my goal, I was open to try.
And that’s the secret to success most of the times. You can’t truly imagine what success will look like before you reach it. Or how you will achieve success before you start.
So stay open to what life throws at you, and you’ll be more likely to achieve what life’s version of success for you is.
Start making your dream a reality by taking these steps!