I’m not sure if you know this. I have a Beta Member Site where I share the tid-bits and secrets of how I’ve run my business on a very, very lean budget. Let me share my philosophy with you?
Todays post goes into a bit of a rant. I hope you’ll forgive me in advance. This is something I’m quite passionate about.
If you can set aside $30/month, you can run your business.
I LOVED being a service based entrepreneur. So much so, that I’d wear myself out at least once every 2 years. Wear myself out to the point where I was no longer able to help the clients I loved to help. So I started looking for ways to leverage my time, provide service and still deeply care for myself.
Boy oh boy was that a journey I wasn’t expecting to take!
I thought it would be easy to set up a teleseminar series, keep sending out the newsletters I already loved to create, and maybe write an ebook. That was in 2007.
I signed up to work with coaches, downloaded ebooks, audio programs, and basically signed up to work with anyone and everyone who taught about the subject of creating info products. I was going to crack the code!
But do you know what happened instead? I just got lost in all of it. I spent way too much money, my core business was suffering and I still didn’t have a solid product, or program I could sell when a JV opportunity arrived in my inbox. In many ways I was worse off than before I started. Because now I knew it was possible, but I just couldn’t get it right. It was affecting my self esteem, and my pocket book.
So, before I went completely broke, I decided I would either have to give up my online business dreams, or put myself on a very, very strict budget. And for the next 3 years I found ways to run my business with the tools I already had at my disposal, and a budget of $30.
I still had my service based business, with the phone line, computer, printers and toys. But anything to do with my online business had to stay within that budget. I’m not suggesting you should stay within the same guidelines, it hasn’t been entirely easy. But I also love the challenge of it. I’m a bit of a geek that way I’m curious, and love the challenge of figuring out the answer. I guess that’s why I spent so much time with this project when I probably could have just as easily outsourced the whole thing to a VA (virtual assistant) or OBM (online business manager).
And because I love it so much (being a bit of a geek) I set up a website to share what I’ve learned, what works and what doesn’t. I share my opinion of where I believe it’s best to invest money. I ask you questions about where you’re headed, so that the right infrastructure is in place for your future, and the future of your business.
I really do want the best for you. I care!
Once you have a healthy profit margin, I’m going to encourage you to step up to the next level, with accountability partners and additional support. But to start with, I’ll show you exactly how you can run your online business, for $30/month (including this program)
You’ll need a bit of a strategic mind, the ability to focus on your project (I know some of you will be doing this after working in your consulting or service based business – and some after a full days work). I’m going to encourage you to focus on one project at a time, but I also know how very hard that can be. I’ll recommend videos, tutorials and books you can borrow from the library (audio books too) I’m passionate about seeing you succeed.
And my approach is somewhat frowned upon in the community, because it can sometimes appear “cheap”, and as though you are not taking your business seriously.
When in fact, I see the opposite as true.
Some business models warrant a very large investment outlay, but most of us are providing service, information (teaching models) or products that can be delivered easily online.
There should be very little capital outlay in your first year of business.
Your tax return should not say $250 in Revenue and $3600 in expenses the first year.
And for some of you, that’s exactly what has happened. Except for one thing. Some of you are choosing to not include those expenses on your tax return. Also a big mistake. Please check with your accountant, turn your business around this year, and include those carry forward losses.
You’ll need them to apply against the income you’re going to earn this year. Income you’re going to earn this year because you’re working with a very lean budget, low overhead expenses and smart tools.
(click on the terms above – it’s important you understand them. My written English is at an 8th grade level, including what you’re seeing above. I’m not asking you to speak accounting / business lingo, but without understanding it on a fundamental level you will continue to struggle in running a profitable business.)
And if you continue to choose “struggle” (and I do believe you have made a choice to struggle, or soar free), why not be honest with yourself and admit “this is a hobby!
Having a hobby/part time business is perfectly okay too.
Just please, please stop telling your friends and family (and yourself) it’s a business. Don’t put the demands on your family, your spouse, your children. You know what I’m talking about. The late nights, the stressed out conversations when you don’t have enough money to contribute to the family holiday. Not being able to fly to your Uncles funeral. If it’s just a hobby, say so. Find a great job (part time or full time) that satisfies your financial obligations, and continue working on this project, knowing it’s your passion – and hobby. The money you make from it will “feel” so much easier.
I really do care! And it breaks my heart when I see you spending thousands of dollars on products and programs you’re not ready for. Grow your business organically. Build on that growth & keep growing.
Thank you for that wisdom! I certainly can relate and wholeheartedly agree! Thanks for being bold enough to share.
Thanks Leslie! I haven’t written about this topic for a while now, and wonder if maybe it’s time to dust it off again? It’s something I’m still very passionate about.