Many people won’t start building a Lifestyle Business because they want to have everything in place before they begin. If you know exactly what needs to get done then great, but if you’re not getting started because you’re not entirely sure what you should be doing, I would suggest you stop trying to figure it all out in your head before making the first move. You’ll get to where you want to go a lot quicker if you just get started without knowing how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together because clarity doesn’t come from sitting still. As the late Gary Halbert would say: Movement is superior to meditation. If you’re not getting started because you want everything fully formed out the gate, know that it will take a lot of time, life and money before it looks the way you want it. The simple act of getting started will give you much needed feedback you can use to start a dialogue with your new tribe. How do you think I started this blog?
Before I tell you how to get started, let me just tell you why I use the term Lifestyle Business rather than just talking about business in general.
WHY a Lifestyle Business?
A Lifestyle Business is essentially the same as any other business and runs by the same principles. The only difference being when I talk about a lifestyle, I am talking about giving thought to your life first, giving thought to what you really want and how we want to spend our time, then build the ideal business around that.
So many wanna-be business owners start with the idea of making money on the Internet without thinking through what it is they are actually building. If you are not careful you could build some kind of Frankenstein that you’ll be chained to for the next five or ten years. That was the type of business I built for myself when I got started. I am not complaining, I made money, but was it really what I wanted to do with my life, not really. Make no mistake that there are many business owners out there that are tied to their businesses and can’t get out of it, its not like a day job where you can quit when you feel like it and go somewhere else. They have mouths to feed and others are depending on them to keep the business going, they are depending on you to get paid.
When I talk about a Lifestyle Business I am talking about doing something that matters to you that you have a passion for. If you can get up everyday and make money with something that brings you pleasure, especially if its something you would do without getting paid for, that can be the beginning of a good life. Creating a business because it makes you money is no guarantee of happiness. Believe me when I tell you there are many business owners out there that seemingly have everything they want but they’re not happy. You only have to look at the rich and famous celebrities; many outwardly wealthy happy people that live lives we think we want who committed suicide because they were depressed. So when I talk about Lifestyle Business, I am talking about making money like any other business, but how we will live, what we will do with that money is more important than just making money for its own sake.
That is a controversial statement to make considering the common wisdom around business is to make as much money as humanly possible for shareholders, to make as much profit as you can squeeze out of every customer, even if it contradicts the beliefs and values of the organization. If you’re a psychopathic marketer or business owner and making profits is at the top of your list of why you are in business, then this Lifestyle Business isn’t for you. It doesn’t mean you can’t make a lot of money with a lifestyle business, I simply mean money isn’t at the top of my list of what I find most valuable for a life worth living.
So how do we start a Lifestyle Business?
1/ Get a Website with Your Name On It
I could have called this first section something fancy like Build Your Personal Brand, which a lot of marketers would tell you. All a personal brand is – is YOU. If you start by putting up a website with your stuff, it will reflect who you are and what you stand for and what you are against, displaying your beliefs and values about the world.
Your brand is what we call in music, your image, it is the perception other people have about you. So just put up a webpage with your stuff on it so people can see you. Sound too basic to just put up a website? You’d be surprised the amount of people that want to do what I do and yet when I ask them to show me their website, they tell me they haven’t got one yet. With the age of the Internet we have the ability to send people to a place where they can be educated on the subjects they are interested on our website. The Internet is just a bunch of computers connected to each other via webpages; all you need to get started is to have a page or two of those of your own. Saying you don’t know how to put one up is not a good excuse anymore, there are so many ways and places to make that happen.
Apart from building your tribe, the most important asset you have is your name, so put up a website with your name if you can get it. If you have an idea or a name for a business you can use that, but just be aware that times change and as humans we change. You may set a business on the Internet today and lose your enthusiasm for it 2, 3 or 5 years down the road, meaning you may have to start again. If I had concentrated on a single website back in the day with all the time I’ve been on the net I would be in a completely different space now.
Don’t worry about the fact that you think you’re not good enough about some aspects of marketing, technology, branding, whatever, everything you’ll need to know will reveal itself over time, but only by getting started and actually doing the work will something happen. One step leads to the next.
So without a website no one will ever know who you are or what you are about unless you get your product or service out into the world. You can begin to let people know what you are about with a website.
2/ Put Content On The Website
On this website you’re going to put some of your best content. Don’t worry if you don’t know what your message or your mission is all about yet, the themes of your content will reveal what’s important over time. If you don’t know what to say on your website, know that you are already involved in the story of your life, you’re having life experiences everyday, talk or write about those. What is going on with your life today? Talk about you, your beliefs, what you value and how you feel. Let people see the unpolished everyday human side of you, that’s a person other people will identify with, not the bright and shiny, polished version most other marketers put out into the world.
There is only really three ways you can put content out on the Internet: writing, audio and video. Many people find it difficult to write articles, if you can write, write articles. If that is a problem for you, record audio of you speaking and turn that into a podcast or use video, switch on your camera and start talking. I decided to put content out in the form of videos a while back, took me ages to think of what to say, but I got over myself and just got started. What you’ll notice is that when you get started making videos you may surprise yourself with what you say or something unexpected may happen that is worth keeping.
As an example I spent weeks trying to think of something to say for my first video for Passion Is Not Enough; I didn’t know where to start or what to talk about. But one day I just decided I had to get over myself, set the intention that I was going to grab my camera and just walk to Battersea Park up the road in London and just see what comes out. So the day came, washed my hair, put on my nice blue shirt and jacket, grabbed the camera, went outside and had no idea what I was going to say. I found a nice spot by a little lake in the park, switched the camera on and just started talking.
About a minute into filming, a bird on the lake behind me started to squawk. I turned round while still shooting, turned back to the camera and carried on talking and incorporated that into the video. The whole thing adds a nice bit of character to the video. I could never have planned for that to happen, but it happened simply from just being out there and turning the camera on. So find the courage to start where you are with what you’ve got, your knowledge and experience is enough.
People buy people, the more they know you, the more they will like what you have and trust you. I know some people are private and I respect those values, but if you can get past yourself and put something out into the world, people can start to see you for who you really are. The darkest, most personal parts of your life, the trials you came up against are the one’s most will resonate with because the more personal you are, the more universal it becomes. There is power in the willingness to be vulnerable (not to be confused with being weak). If you are willing to share deeply personal issues, you will make deep connections with your audience, they would love to buy something from you that is why you must create offers.
3/ Make An Offer
It’s all well and good to want to share your knowledge and experience to help people but to make this work, to make this worthwhile for yourself you need to be compensated in some way. Trust me when I tell you there are people out there that want to know what you know and will pay good money to be trained by you. Many times it isn’t just about the knowledge, information or experience that you share. No one cares what you know until they know you care. People buy people. People will do business with you when they like you, when they get to know you and when they trust you. I’ve had business owners tell me they want to do business with me because they like the sound of my voice over the phone, they tell me I sounded like a good honest person. It was obvious I could do the job because I talked about what I did quite openly and freely. If you want to sell something, then understand people buy people, if you happen to be really good at your subject, some of them will want to hire YOU. Your job is to give your ideal client a way they can connect and work with you; you do that by making an offer.
An offer is simply a way for your ideal client to connect with you through a product or service. You can create what you want; eBooks, an Amazon Kindle book, a physical book, CD’s, DVD’s, online videos, coaching programs, whatever. The quickest way to get started making money through your website is to package your knowledge and experience into a coaching program and I’ll tell you a secret that will save you years of frustration trying to make money. Don’t sell your time by the hour. Put your knowledge and experience into a program that you deliver the end result, the outcome of what the client wants, which can be in the form of a monthly coaching program, a 90-Day Coaching Program, 6 or 12 month program. Do it this way and you can charge more; work with fewer clients and save yourself from burning out. Many coaches and consultants burn out because they busy finding clients and servicing clients by the hour, which is exhausting. Believe me, I know.
So lets recap:
- Put up a website like a WordPress blog to begin with.
- Put content on the website
- Make an offer.
It’s not difficult to do this stuff, the difficult part is to get comfortable with being uncertain about what your doing and how you are going to do it. Don’t wait because circumstances always change, we change, times change. Do it today or the opportunity will be gone tomorrow.
If you’re ready to create an authentic lifestyle business and get paid packaging your knowledge and experience into products and programs that matter, you might want to take a look at the Transition Coaching Program