As far as I was concerned there were 3 main paths in life: work 9-5 in a job you hate, dropout and do nothing or go to college. No one told me there was a 4th path. No one told me that I could choose to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur: the word conjures up smart-suited, boyish men oozing charm and talking like car salesmen. I thought entrepreneurs were either old middle-aged men heading up multinational conglomerates or geeky silicon valley nerds popping out apps and software as fast as bunnies having babies.
No one told me that an entrepreneur could also be a solitary woman like me. Someone with a passion and expertise to share. Someone with a laptop and the grit to get sh*t done.
Not at school. Not at college. Not at careers advice. Not at university. Not at the job centre. Nowhere did I hear that I could turn my passions, skills and talents into money. That I could work for myself and be a successful online solopreneur.
Sure they mentioned ‘self-employment’ within the neatly boxed-in realm of plumbers or window cleaners or massage therapists. But entrepreneurship was AWOL.
I was 35 when I diagnosed myself as an entrepreneur. Better late than never.
Becoming an entrepreneur is life-changing. I’ve gone from being penniless and even homeless on occasion to building two thriving online businesses. I get to travel and even lived in Thailand for 3 months fulfilling my dream of escaping British winter for the tropics. I work the hours I want to work and I love my life now.
I’m not magic. This is totally possible for you too. You can bank your brilliance.
Be the visionary in your life
Before you can bank your brilliance, you’ve got to have a vision. I don’t mean a random angelic happening but a self-driven purpose. A winged beast isn’t going swoop down and pluck you out of a crappy life. it’s up to you to make it happen. Start with your vision! What do you really want to be when you grow up? What does your dream life look like to you – reach out and taste it.
What is your legacy?
Without a vision we drift through life barely noticing it’s passing in the routine of our groundhog days. Wake the eff up and smell the Chardonnay! This is YOUR life so stop selling it so cheaply.
You’re a brilliant human being.
You deserve to be paid for that brilliance.
The business world is awash with (mostly) men telling us to work 100 hours a week for the first 2 years to become a success. I call bullsh*t on this.
For a start, how the heck can a woman who had children ever do this?! It’s insulting to think that entrepreneurship is only open to a select few who have the time, energy or inclination to be compos mentis for that many hours a week.
Secondly, who the heck wants to? I’m not monetising my passions just so I can forget about having a life as well. They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
My businesses have done so well because I put my lifestyle first. In fact I am totally selfish and put my needs above everything.
- > How could I be an excellent business mentor if I was exhausted?
- > How could I create wonderful new programs for my students if I were hungry and hungover?
- > How could I wake up each day full of passion for my work if I was unhealthy and on the brink of a breakdown?
In order for me to be of epic service to the world I MUST put my needs first.
I build all of my businesses around my dream lifestyle; one that includes time each morning for healthy eating, time in the evening for dance classes or chilling out, time in the day for breaks and lunch with my man, weekends off to spend with friends or family, limited client hours in the day so I can serve each person at my highest best and plenty of downtime for mapping, visioning and planning my business.
My life and business are not separate entities, both work around each other beautifully. They serve me and you.
Monetise your passions
There’s a school of thought that says to look at what’s selling well out there and then create your own version. There’s a proven market for it so why not?
This is the empty way to do business. This is what leads to daft trends like fish spas that pop-up everywhere for 2-3 years only to disappear suddenly leaving a trail of debt-ridden entrepreneurs behind them.
(Beware; vaping shops will be the next victim, mark my words)
There’s only one way to be a solopreneur; turn your passion into profit.
Business is a tough gig and entrepreneurs need to reconcile that there’s a finish line that never gets crossed.
It’s much easier if you’re 100% passionate about what you do. Without passion you have only hard work and none of the pleasure – other than digits in your bank account.
Stop. Don’t bullshit me. You DO have a passion (probably more than one). It might have been smothered half to death but it’s little squeaky voice can still be heard if you stop and listen.
You have a brain full of knowledge and skill and information. It can be monetised.
One of the easiest ways to bank your brilliance is to teach it. Whatever you’re good at: gluten-free baking, hypnobirthing, Facebook ads, knitting, edible gardening, cocktail mixology, personality brand profiling (See Cat!) or dog training – you can package it and sell it.
We live in the information age. There are tools at your fingertips that make this possible and easy.
Whether you’re a guru of your field creating $2000 online schools or an elderly grandmother selling $5 knitting patterns – there’s never been a better time to bank your brilliance.
There are 100s of ways that you can bank your brilliance NOW.
Hot steamy dates with technology
Nothing makes me more twitchy than when I see talented, passionate, smart women refuse to bank their brilliance with the phrase “but I hate technology”.
First off all you’re lying. I see women say this all the time on Twitter, Facebook, via Email etc.
Ummmm. You’re using modern technology to tell me that you hate technology?
I bet you probably own a smart phone, possibly a laptop or at least an iPad. You’re reading this blog.
See what I mean.
I understand. It IS scary to do the thing you long to do. But it’s way less scary than staying the same – being stuck in a job you hate or penniless on government handouts. (I know because I’ve been there).
I used to say I was a technophobe too. I actually dropped out of modern society to live wild in nature. I had no electricity, gas, phone or plumbing for many years.
I was an EXTREME technophobe.
I also refused to learn to drive as I thought cars were evil.
(yes, I was that weird).
As I approached thirty I realised that this was just a big story I’d been feeding myself in order to not take a risk and do the stuff I loved. It was a safety net to keep me in my comfort zone. It was a thumb to suck on, a blanket to hide under, a prison to lock myself into.
If you think that technology is the ONE thing between you and your dream – why on earth are you letting it win?
What If I told you that the technology to build a thriving business is just as simple to use as Facebook or your email?
(because it pretty much is).
If the wild unwashed hippy can crack it, so can you.
I now live in a gorgeous 5-bedroom luxury home with no less than three spa-quality bathrooms – a far cry from my tipi in Spain or my leaky caravan in Cornwall.
Using mostly free tools and technology, I turned a measly £35 ($50) startup money into a successful, life-changing online business. It wasn’t all unicorn rainbow farts and glitter – there will always be tough times and hard work BUT when you bank your brilliance your entire life changes in ways you could never imagine.
I just wanted to help people make organic skincare to sell, I never knew my fledgling website would turn into the world’s biggest online organic skincare formulation academy.
I never knew that I’d sell that business, become a business mentor, meet my soulmate and live in Thailand for 3 months.
When you take that leap, that big scary risk…
You’re not on this green and blue rock by accident – you have a passion, a purpose and a mission.
Do you accept it?