How I Ended Up Doing The Online Business Thing

I have a confession to make. Today we are getting very real. It’s funny because even when I decided to talk about this, I thought maybe I should wait until the end of the year because any post where someone talks about lessons learned and battles fought it does have a very end of the year or end of an era feel to it. I don’t know if it’s the end of an era, but it is something I need to get off my chest about my journey into online business.

First I’ve been running this site for almost three years now, and you still may or may not know much about me. So I wanted to take some time to do a real introduction and not any of the fluff, “5 random facts about me” type posts that are fun but ultimately slightly shallow in details. As I connect with more people and work with more people, I realize that there is a lot out there and we all have our own story that sets us apart. But don’t you worry, I’ll be sure to add some value that hopefully can help make your story a happier one.

How It Started

It was 3:14 am on a warm July morning. It was the 80s and everything was about to change…  I’m kidding. I’m not going that far back. When I got my degree in Communication-Public Relations back in 2012, I have to tell you; I had no idea it would lead me where it did. Back then in my ideal world, I would be Samantha from Sex in the City. I mean the publicist part. I just wanted to be the genius mind spinning news stories and scandal in the background.

My last year of college I had started working at an insurance agency and continued after graduation. I worked in insurance for just under two years, and I have to tell you it was not for me. I hated selling insurance, and the topic didn’t excite me. I know what you’re thinking, who gets excited talking about insurance? People who are successful in it, that’s who. I would see the passion my boss and others had for the industry and not understand it. It wasn’t there for me. I haven’t gone longer than a month without a job since I was 15 years old and let me tell you I knew how to spot what I didn’t want.

I had hoped that a role at a successful insurance company might evolve into some marketing or human resources job. Marketing because there is a huge overlap in the marketing and communication curriculum at most universities. Human resources because order and organization have always been soothing and fun for me.

After having my fill of the insurance industry, I managed to land a real-life marketing job at a commercial real estate company. What kind of marketing do you do at a real estate agency? Truth, I would say a more appropriate title would have been executive assistant, site manager, event coordinator, marketer, glorified receptionist and overall superhuman (sometimes printer repair person).

For the most part, I enjoyed the things I learned at the real estate agency. I got to plan and coordinate huge events; I learned how WordPress works, attended some fun events and was writing for the first time in years.

The last item on that list was both a blessing and a curse. While I was creating copy on a regular basis, it was as the company’s ghostwriter. Yes 20 something liberal me was writing in the voice of a 60 something super conservative man.  I felt so conflicted because while the topics I wrote about weren’t political or controversial I wasn’t writing in my true voice.

That’s how All The Things I Do started almost three years ago.

I eventually left the real estate company when I realized that I had hit my ceiling there as Marketing Director. The only way to “move up” was to “move over” and become a real estate agent. I took a job at a small agency, and it was a world wind.

I was working with multiple companies, doing Google Adwords, social media management and even participating in events and news coverage. Because we all know it’s bad etiquette to trash talk, I’ll just say, the environment wasn’t for me and within two months of starting I was ready to go.

Now don’t think I’m some sort of job hopper before this, I had pretty much stayed in all my jobs at least a year but normally closer to 3. After lots of job applications and three interviews and two job offers later, I left the agency after five months for a new role as an SEO Specialist.

What is an SEO specialist? Well basically, I write a lot of website copy, find and write the content for guest post opportunities, some social media management, local citations (making sure all your listings are correct on sites like Yelp and Google), maintaining good SEO on your website (making sure keywords are on point, and you are checking off all of the things needed. Learn more about that here: SEO Checklist).

Okay, that’s all about my career working for others so far but how did I turn my blog into a business. Well, it happened kind of organically.

Finding My Own

I started my blog as a place to write about the things I cared about and as a relatable space for women like me. Over time my content evolved more from antidotes to how to’s. Next thing I knew people were asking to pick my brain.

I played with the idea of writing a book (which I do still plan to do eventually) and doing courses. Then I noticed a real need in an area I’m passionate about, order and organization. I’m not talking about coming over to your house and organizing your closet; I’m talking about getting your blog and business on track with productivity coaching, workflows, systems and organization.

All the facebook groups I’m in as an online biz boss, I see the usual tech questions and social media/email list inquiries but I saw a common theme in all the groups and even courses I was in. People might have a clear roadmap of what they needed to do to achieve goals, but the missing link wasn’t know how it was time. They can’t find time with their kids, day job, lack of motivation or whatever the block was.

So I started wondering how I could help and that was how my services began to form.

Why I’m Doing It

If you’ve been online for a week you probably already know that a lot of time and energy goes into it, even if you’re not trying to turn it into a business.

So you know that without the right reasons it can get old fast.

I spend hours each day building my website, answering questions, recording podcasts and more for three reasons. Okay, more than three but I’ll share three of the big reasons.

  • Because as Marie Forleo always says, the world needs my special gift that only I have and I want to help people.
  • I deserve a happy life, and this stuff makes me happy.
  • Because I want more. More freedom, more connection, more income (I’m not going to lie), more knowledge, more of a positive mark in the world.

I don’t think I’m God’s gift to anyone, but I know that everyone I help just a little bit, then I’m doing good work.

3 Things We Deal With & Why They Don’t Matter

Comparison

Earlier this year I wrote an article for a magazine about comparison for The Letter l I don’t know if you’re busy into astrology but I’m a cancer and have always been a sensitive person (classic Cancer trait, if you follow that sort of thing). So it’s easy for me to see certain things online and get served with a big ole fat helping of imposter syndrome.

Even knowing the experience I’ve to build the past decade in different jobs, as a blogger and even in life experience and trusting my abilities I still find myself dealing with those issues from time to time. I have to remind myself two things constantly.

  1. At the end of the day, you are the only you out there, no one else can do what you can the way you do.
  2. The people your work is meant for will love it, and if they don’t then it’s not for them, and that’s okay.

Expert Status

I sometimes worry that people may not feel like I’m an expert because they can’t see everything on the backend. But as so many of my mentors have constantly pointed out… You don’t have to know everything; you just have to know more about the thing you’re teaching to the person you’re teaching it to. We are all at different stages, and all need varying levels of help. Find your level, rock it, then advance.

You don’t have to know everything. Click To Tweet

All The Advice  

The best thing I’ve done for myself in 2017 has been becoming more self-aware. More self-aware about what I want and what I don’t want. More conscious of what I need inside and out.  It seems simple, and it’s easy to think, “Well, I’m me. I know what I want.” But the truth is we are all so constantly bombarded with outside voices from our family, friends, partner, online, in the media, etc. if can be easy for your voice to get lost in your head. 

Don’t feel the need to take everyone's advice. Click To Tweet

Don’t feel the need to take everyone’s advice. Heck, don’t even feel the need to take mine if it doesn’t resonate with you. Find the people you trust and relate to but remember to listen to yourself. I see so many people online get overwhelmed trying to learn and implement everything they never actually get anywhere. They are like a hamster wearing themselves out but just running in place. Do you!

Tell me:

  • How did you end up online?
  • What is your big why?
  • What is one mistake you’ve made that held you back but you are working on now?
  • Do you ever deal with imposter syndrome?
  • Do you feel the online world ignores your real world experience?

 

  • T-Nicole Johnson

    I ended up online in 2011 after I completed grad school. I start off with my blog and later that year created a nonprofit working with youth.

  • Wow, your story is awesome! I wanted to just write about what I am passionate about and over the years it has changed loads but I finally think I have found my niche!

  • Venus Fitness And Lifestyle

    I am currently till working on finding my own. As a personal trainer I am trying to transition into the online coaching business will still being true to my principles.

  • Lexi Mary

    Your story is so inspiring I have also a friend who is now working online for 10 years and he has now a better life compare before. All we need is just that one push and we can go further and further to reach our dreams. thank you for this wonderful post you got.

  • Kristal Xavier

    I Love reading blog and watching videos. And I thought I can do it and I started.

  • Akshay Malhotra

    I can so much relate myself with your situation. Started off my own, made lot of mistakes while building the website, learnt new things every time I make blunder and I totally agree with you that you do not need everyone’s advice because many people will actually discourage you in the beginning cause somethings didn’t work for them so you are kind of on your own. It’s good to be actually 🙂 Overall your journey is inspiring, loved the whole article. Glad I came across this post.

  • Shannon Paige

    love reading people’s stories about how they ended up where they are and why they started blogging and all of that! I like my job right now but there is not enough for me to do (I know sounds weird right- case management is very “touch and go”- if your clients don’t need anything, you have nothing to do. lol) Plus I need more creativity in my job- which is why I started my blog and now it has become so much more to me! Hoping to build it and grow it a lot. Thanks for your inspirational story! *thegoodthingscomin.wordpress.com

  • The greatest quote I ever read to help me with feeling overwhelmed about all the blogs and content already out there… It’s all been done before, but not by you!