I’ve been doing quite a few interviews over the past couple of weeks.
First of all, I LOVE it! Someone tell me why I haven’t been doing this my entire online marketing career, will you? Seriously the interviews were like me chatting with friends and there’s nothing more enjoyable than a good chat with a friend.
Here are some of the people who’ve interviewed me recently:
In almost every interview I’ve gotten some form of the question: “So how did you get started?”
It really got me thinking back to my early days in business.
This year marks ten years since I quit my job to work full-time from home as my sole source of income. At the time that I quit I was a single mom, living in my parent’s basement apartment, working an afternoon shift at a factory.
I didn’t know a lot about business. I had a terrible track record with jumping around trying to figure things out and not really getting ANY traction (unless you count building debt… I was getting good at that.. eeks).
One thing I knew was that I was beyond DETERMINED to have true freedom for my life.
I had decided when my son was four months old, in 2002, that I wanted to start my own business so that I could be home with my son instead of having to go back to work after a year and leave him for about 10 hours a day, every day, Monday to Friday. That just did not work for me! I was dreading it, even though I had about eight months left on Canadian maternity leave.
So I started my first business when my son was just four months old. I partnered with my dad and we started a business we called Rainkissed. We made handmade soaps, bath balms, lip balms and other bath and body products.
This is the business where I learned my first stages of e-commerce, shopping carts, list building and so many other marketing methods I STILL use today. It was where I learned how to build a website that makes sales (and it was so THRILLING when sales started coming in from all around Canada and the United States!).
I had actually learned to build my first website in HTML back in 1999, for fun! A college friend passed me this sheet of HTML code and told me to go to Yahoo Geocities, get a free account and pop that code in. Voila! I had a very, very basic website that I then learned how to code, one little bit at a time, into a pretty cool website. I had a hobby site for the beaded jewelry creations I used to make at the time and I’ll never forget throwing a bunch of beads on a scanner bed and making the first website background image I ever used and coded all by myself.
Yes… I have a long history of being on the internet! I have ALWAYS been fascinated by the internet and the ability to connect with people anywhere in the world. It drives my business still to this day and serves me very well because I always remember my customers are people, not statistics.
So, back to how I got from there to here:
After starting the soapmaking business I kept at that for a few years. I struggled to get it into any kind of profitable situation with that business and eventually started trying new things. Then, I decided I couldn’t live with the lack of income my businesses were bringing in, my parents also had many “sit-downs” to tell me the same (and the debt I’d rung up was not going away) so I decided to go get a job.
By this time my son was around 3 years old.
I ended up at an automotive factory for an afternoon shift job even though I had a degree in Chemical Engineering Technology – Environmental. I took the job because it was close to home and at least cut off the daily three-hour commute to jobs in my field.
In 2006 I started a Virtual Assistant business. It was the FIRST business I had started where I saw an immediate profit. I was so thrilled to quit nine months later and walk off that factory lot for good.
That wasn’t it, though. I walked away from one thing I hated, right into a bit of a nightmare I’d created for myself.
Instead of one boss, I now had about 15!
I had NO business boundaries as I was just so excited to have a business.
I had not worked in any kind of lifestyle freedom and was working my butt off, day and night.
I had created a situation that was completely OPPOSITE to what I had wanted.
I had achieved my big dream: quitting my job to work from home BUT I didn’t know that wasn’t the whole thing until I was neck deep in it.
So I had to make changes. I had to work at creating the true lifestyle business freedom I wanted.
And I did!
Over the years I got smarter with taking on the right clients. I filtered and qualified until I worked with people I completely loved.
Over the years I raised my rates so I was earning more and more and getting leverage.
Over the years I started creating products so I could create more leverage by not always working dollars for hours.
And all that progress, all that working towards goals I didn’t even know I had at first, got me here.
To the point where I have complete and total lifestyle freedom.
I work when, where and how I want.
I work on only projects of my choosing.
I take time off whenever I want it.
I spend my time on things that bring me JOY and serve my people.
It’s the true Laptop Lifestyle and I don’t just do this to “get rich quick”…. hahahahaha! Did you just read my story? Right? Would it even be WORTH all that for a few quick bucks? I think if money was my only motivator I would have given up long, long, long ago!
My passion runs deep.
My need to help rings true.
My story is my mission.
I got to where I am because I went through what I did.
I run my own membership group because I want to provide the same support that got me through all those times where I had no fricking clue what I was doing! But also through the times when I DID know what I was doing and just needed to tweak things to make them better. I’m here to help those who are getting started and who are on their way, and just really know they deserve that complete freedom that you can totally have with this kind of business!
THAT is my passion. It’s my mission. It’s my goal every time I do an interview, write an email or create a piece of content.
The members of the Laptop Lifestyle Business Club have my biggest support and encouragement to do this thing! It’s not always pretty, it’s not always easy and it’s not always fun, even… but as a community, we do this together. I hope you’ll join us and create your total freedom like I did. We’re here when you’re ready