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[Video] Flip It! How Do You Build a Business Around Multiple Passions?

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Build a Business Around Multiple Passions?

Before I dive into walking you though how to build a business around multiple passions, I thought I’d back up a step and talk about whether or not this is even a good idea.

Conventional wisdom says no. Never build a business around multiple passions.

And for years, I, too, would also advise entrepreneurs not to do it, because it’s a lot of work.

You see, while in some cases, it’s possible to build multiple passions under one business roof, in most cases, you’re building separate businesses.

And, if you’re building separate businesses, there’s just no getting around it.

It’s a lot of work.

It may not be twice the work, but it’s probably pretty close.

However, I’ve had a change of heart around whether it’s a good idea or not. Yes, it’s still a lot of work. (And, as someone who is actively building two different and distinct brands, I can tell you for a fact this is true.)

BUT, if this is calling you, if this is your path, then you absolutely need to walk down it.

Work or no work.

You see, for years I didn’t believe I was a multi-passionate entrepreneur.

Sure, I always knew I wanted to write fiction books. And, I was also over here on this side building a copywriting and marketing company. I also had nonfiction book ideas bubbling up.

But, for some reason, I never really saw that as having multiple business passions.

Instead, I saw them as separate. Fiction was over here, copywriting was over there, nonfiction books were in their own place, sort of close to the copywriting but kind of separate too.

And, because I saw them as separate, I also thought I could cut them off. I could simply not write fiction or nonfiction and it didn’t matter because these were all separate parts of me.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how unhealthy that was and how I was causing myself a lot of mental and emotional stress doing that.

I’m going to be sharing this journey to wholeness on my fiction blog, which is at MicheleParizaWacek.com if you want to read it from the creative side. But, what I want to do in this post is talk about HOW to build a business as a multi-passionate entrepreneur.

So, the first thing you need to do is accept there is quite a bit of work involved. That’s just the way it is. You’re going to have to commit to building two (or more) different businesses.

With that in mind, I want you to take a good, hard look at yourself and ask yourself this:

What do YOU need to do differently in order to have the energy, bandwidth, time and space to build multiple businesses?

Do you need to create systems?

Do you need to hire more team to support you?

Do you need to get ruthless around protecting your boundaries and your time?

Do you need to change your daily habits?

I also want you to take a good hard look at your current identity.

You see, I didn’t see myself as both a fiction author and an entrepreneur. Remember, I kept everything separate. So, I found it extremely exhausting bouncing between those two identities.

What I had to do is clear out the emotions and triggers so I could hold space for both identities AND they could both exist inside me without fighting with each other.

That meant giving myself space to feel all the emotions that came up for me. That also meant learning how to surrender and allow things to unfold in their own time rather than trying to push and force. Things are unfolding the way they are for a reason, and you have to trust the process and trust you’ll be taken care of throughout the process.

If you can do that, you’ll get to the place where you not only can hold both identities but where you’ll find it a joy to switch between them. And, yes, you’ll have more work on your plate, but you’re also getting a lot more done. (As a side note, in some ways, I’m putting in less hours working than I did as a freelance copywriter. I’m getting more done during work time, so I’m able to take focused time off as well).

If this is your path, it’s totally possible to do it. I’m not going to say it’s easy, but I will say it’s totally worth it.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Goals” book and my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

The Secret to Building a Business That Can Weather Any Storm … No Matter How Scary

The Secret to Building a Business That Can Weather Any Storm … No Matter How Scary

I was recently cleaning out some old papers I happened to find at the bottom of my desk, when I came across some teachings from Dan Kennedy.

If you haven’t heard of Dan Kennedy, he’s this old, grizzled marketing and copy guru and author of the No BS series of books. In the beginning of my career, I learned a lot about how to write traditional copy from him. (He was also the “Kennedy” in the Glazer-Kennedy Marketing company.)

I glanced through the papers and this Dan Kennedy quote caught my eye:

“If you’re still in the same business you were in 3-5 years ago, you have no business.”

I then looked at the date of the training and saw it was from 2012.

This really hit me, because, you see, my first thought when I read that quote was “how timely.” When really, Dan Kennedy wrote it six years ago.

For many entrepreneurs in the online information product industry (which includes the transformation industry), 2017 was a really rough year. That was the year we started to see how many of the business “truths” we thought were infallible were, in fact, very fallible.

And, for some entrepreneurs who had built businesses on those “infallible” truths, even big, multi-million-dollar businesses, were seeing massive cracks and their businesses crumble on what they thought was a pretty solid structure.

So, let’s start by acknowledging the truth: Yes, it can be scary. Very scary. If you’re worried or scared about the future of your business and you’re uncertain about what to do or which direction to go, you’re absolutely not alone. I  encourage you to feel whatever it is that wants to come up—just don’t let it stop you from taking action.

And let’s acknowledge another truth: It sucks.

Look, as humans, we are biologically wired to not like change. It’s in our DNA. Change can be dangerous to our very existence. So, as much as possible, our brains try to minimize change in order to keep us safe.

Which is why this idea of constantly looking at our businesses and seeing what we need to do differently is exhausting and overwhelming.

After all, don’t we want to just “set it and forget it”?

Wouldn’t it be nice to discover the “secret of success” and then finally stop looking?

Alas, if only it were that simple.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, I think first of all, acknowledge that it is both scary and daunting, AND decide to take action regardless.

Second, pay attention to your industry. Go to events, talk to friends and colleagues, follow people who follow trends and write about them (this blog can be a good place to start).

Third, know this:

Maybe it means that you tweak an existing product or service to better meet demand.

Maybe you change how you market.

Maybe you add a new product line or retire an old product line.

To be honest, you might even welcome some of changes.

Because, along with the landscape changing, you yourself are changing, and your business (which while not “alive” in the traditional sense, is still a living entity) are also changing.

Listen to what wants to emerge. Be open to what wants to change. (It’s easier to surrender to what wants to happen than it is to fight it.)

Lastly, know some things really DON’T ever change.

For instance, a business is really about finding and connecting with your ideal clients. It’s about building relationships. It’s about giving value. It’s about making offers your ideal clients want to buy. Those things don’t change.

And if you keep those business truths in mind (not to mention actually building your business on those truths and not the slippery, cracked “truths” of whatever is hot in the moment), you’ll be able to weather any storm …

No matter how scary it might initially look.

If you’d like to dig more deeply into building your business on a solid foundation, my Love-Based Business books can help, specifically my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

[Real World Analysis] How a Business with 12 Million Followers Went Bankrupt

Before I get to the story about the business with 12 Million followers, I want to start by discussing a Facebook ad about the “truth around building an audience” that drives me bonkers every time I see it, so I decided to share my analysis around why I think it’s extremely misleading (and could even be dangerous to your financial and business health).

In a nutshell, the ad makes the claim that if you have a business, building an audience is a waste of time. You should immediately stop all of that blogging and podcasting and shooting videos nonsense, and instead, just follow this particular guru’s simple formula to immediately fill your business with high-paying clients. No audience required.

Simple as that. No mess, no fuss.

Now, a few disclaimers before I get into my analysis. First off, while yes, I’ve obviously read the ad, I have not actually watched this person’s webinar, so I don’t know what his simple formula actually is. If I were to guess, I would assume he teaches how to use some form of paid ads (most likely Facebook ads) to attract prospects into a funnel that ends in a sales call.

If that’s what he’s teaching, it’s perfectly legitimate, and I’m sure it does work.

I’m also a big believer that businesses should be profitable and make money for their owner. If his system works as advertised, the fact that he’s selling it isn’t the problem.

It drives me bonkers because it’s incomplete. And because the claim the ad makes is incomplete, it has the potential to hurt entrepreneurs.

Here’s the truth:

In order to have a successful, profitable business, you need both long-term and short-term marketing strategies.

Long-term marketing strategies are for audience and platform building. That includes those pesky tactics such as blogging and list building.

Short-term strategies are to generate cash now. So, any type of sale emails or, in the case of this Facebook ad, a paid advertising strategy designed to generate prospects so you can close them on a sales call.

Focusing mostly on long-term strategies (especially before you’ve built up a big platform) could lead to big time cash flow challenges.

Focusing on short-term strategies could lead to a massive feast/famine financial cycle. Plus, if your short-term marketing strategy stops working for some reason, you could lose your entire business.

The Internet is littered with stories about entrepreneurs who built their platform around (or had most of their income coming from) one source, and when that source dried up, their business tanked—sometimes as fast as overnight.

This is especially true if your short-term marketing strategy is linked to something you don’t control. For instance, let’s look at this strategy of using Facebook ads to close high-ticket clients.

* What if Facebook suddenly jacks up the rate of those ads overnight. How will you then get a high enough return on your investment, to make this particular strategy worth it? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if Facebook bans you from advertising? (Yes, I’ve seen this happen.)

* What if something happens to Facebook? (As I write this, Mark Zuckenburg is testifying in front of Congress about Facebook’s privacy policy. What if Congress decides to regulate? What if Facebook becomes less popular?)

Now, maybe none of these “what ifs” actually happen, but the point here is that you don’t know.

Things change at lightning speed in the age of the Internet, which means if you aren’t spending time building your presence on a platform you control (such as a blog or website) in addition to building your audience and growing your subscriber list, the more vulnerable you are.

It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers on your Facebook page or YouTube channel. You have no way of contacting them if Facebook or YouTube changes the rules.

Which means, if the rules DO get changed, you’ve just lost your audience.

For example, there was once a little publishing company that built up a Facebook following of 12 MILLION followers. They posted daily videos that were liked and shared and followed.

Then one day, Facebook changed their algorithms to show more posts from personal contacts than businesses, and they lost over 75% of their organic traffic.

Just. Like. That.

That little publishing company didn’t recover. It went out of business.

The worst part of this story is it didn’t have to happen. This company had a ton of content. Why wasn’t it posted on YouTube? (At least then there would have been a second platform to turn to.) Why wasn’t it posted on a company blog?

In this case, the work was already done. It wouldn’t have taken much effort at all to put a little love into building up a couple of other platforms. It wouldn’t have taken much to invite their Facebook fans to opt in to an email list.

But, it wasn’t a priority for them to build a platform outside of Facebook. Likely, the owners never even considered that Facebook would change the rules overnight. Maybe they even thought it was a waste of time and energy to do anything else, when they were getting so much traction and momentum from Facebook.

Anyway, let’s get back to you.

As a busy entrepreneur (who maybe doesn’t even like marketing all that much), you may be reading this right now while experiencing sinking feeling in your stomach.

Where will you find the time and energy to create both long-term AND short-term marketing strategies?

Well, here’s my answer—you get help.

I’m a big believer in focusing your time, energy, and love on what you most enjoy. Find the marketing tactic you love and do that. (My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes a “Love Your Marketing Assessment” that can help.)

You also may need to put some time into the cash flow part of your business as well, to make sure it’s running smoothly.

Then, hire a team member (or members) to help with the long-term marketing strategies.

You don’t have to do it fast, or dedicate a lot of time to it. If all you can handle right now is a weekly article, then do a weekly article (or a weekly podcast or video).

Commit to what you can. And budget what you can to get help.

And, take a deep breath. You’re in this for the long haul, right? So, know the long-term marketing strategy may take a little longer to see results, but at the end of the day, you WILL have a stronger, more stable and more profitable business because of it.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Trading Your Success For Safety?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Trading Your Success For Safety?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay safe. The problem comes in when wanting to stay safe starts to interfere with your dreams.

I started this conversation on this episode of Flip It! called “A Simple Marketing Exercise That Could Transform Your Business.” There, I talk about committing to consistently taking action on one marketing tactic for a year and see what demons and triggers come up for you.

Chances are, your head will be full of excuses about why you can’t possibly do that, plus your fear-based emotions will likely raise their ugly heads so you’ll feel like absolute crap.

And, if that wasn’t enough, you may find other things happening to sabotage you, such as family dramas suddenly increasing or maybe you end up sick or so overwhelmed and stressed you’re not able to get much done.

The reason why all of that happens is because your brain, both your ego and your subconscious, are trying to keep you safe.

Not happy. Safe.

You see, if you are taking frequent and consistent marketing action, I don’t care what marketing action that is, but if that’s what you’re doing, something will change.

It could be a huge change. Or it could be something smaller.

But, your business and life WILL shift.

And, change can mean danger.

Right now, you’re safe. Relatively speaking. Clearly, something could happen that’s out of the blue and completely unexpected, but barring that, you’re safe.

And, if you stay in your comfort zone, you will likely stay relatively safe.

Your ego and subconscious have done their job.

But, just because you’re safe, doesn’t mean you’re happy. It also doesn’t mean you’re successful.

So, if you want to become more successful than you are right now, you have to get outside your comfort zone. You have to do things differently.

You have to take risks.

And, you’re likely going to feel awful while it’s happening. Your inner critic is going to criticize you and all sorts of uncomfortable emotions such as fear, anger, resentment, guilt, shame and even grief, will be triggered.

Your job is to both feel your emotions and not listen to your inner critic.

And, keep moving forward.

Because, if you stop, you’re choosing safety. That’s what your ego and your subconscious want. They want you to stop so you stay safe.

They’re not trying to make you feel bad because they’re being mean or they’re evil or something. They’re doing it because they have your best interests in mind. They want you to be safe! What more could you possibly want?

But, if you push through, that’s the place where all your dreams live.

The best part? Your subconscious and your ego WILL adjust and eventually even success will become your new comfort level.

Until you’re ready to move to the next level of success, that is.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book and my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

3 Crucial Steps to Take BEFORE Creating a Content Marketing Plan

3 Crucial Steps to Take BEFORE Creating a Content Marketing Plan

When creating a content marketing plan, a lot of entrepreneurs I know do it backwards.

They sit down and start brainstorming a bunch of topics. Which can work. But, it can also be a big time waster (especially if the entrepreneurs get stuck and have no idea what they want to create). There’s also a high likelihood they don’t end up creating content their ideal client wants to consume. (Which is the whole point of putting a content marketing plan together in the first place.)

Or, in some cases, they skip the plan altogether and simply jump in and create whatever tickles their fancy that day.

Again, this can sometimes be successful strategy. (It wasn’t for me.) But, I think in most cases what you typically end up is a content marketing plan that’s hit or miss. (Truthfully, more miss than hit.)

So, is there a better way to create a content marketing plan? Why yes! And, where it starts is by making sure you have a solid foundation in place.

Not only are you more likely to create a successful blog or podcast or video channel or whatever you’re creating because you’ve focused on building a solid foundation, but it’s also going to be soooo much easier for you to create content on a regular and consistent basis (which really is the key to creating momentum and results around your marketing).

Plus, just sitting down and creating a content marketing plan for a year (or even for the next quarter) can feel overwhelming. That’s why I think taking a few steps back and getting your foundation in place BEFORE you create a content marketing plan is so essential.

And, the best part? Having this foundation in place will help focus ALL of your marketing efforts, not just creating a content marketing plan.

Without further ado, let’s dive into these three crucial steps.

1. Be clear on precisely what your expertise is (and isn’t).

If you’re a new entrepreneur or new to whatever it is you’re doing, this can feel daunting. It can also feel daunting if you are like me and have a bad case of “fraud” syndrome, or “I have to read one more book or get one more certification before I’m an expert” syndrome.

I’m not going to give you the same advice you may have heard from other gurus, which is if you know 80% more than your ideal client, you’re an expert.

While technically that may be true, in practice that’s a horrid platform to build your content marketing plan on.

Your ideal prospects are NOT (let me repeat NOT) looking for the same, watered- down content everyone else and their brother who are also “80% experts” are putting out. They are NOT looking for content that is basically regurgitated from a book or a program.

They are looking for solid, high-quality content that either educates them or entertains them, or both.

So, what DO you do then, if you’re new to your business and you don’t have the level of expertise as other experts who have been out there for a decade or more?

First off, there’s no law that says your content marketing plan can only include content YOU create. What about using other people’s expertise? You could start a podcast and interview other experts. You could write blog posts that quote posts and books from other experts (giving full credit of course).

Over time, as you grow your business, you’ll start to find your voice and your style of teaching., and as you do, you can start creating content from your voice.

And, quite honestly, THAT’S what your ideal prospects are looking for. They’re looking for you because they want to hear how YOU perceive the content and YOUR angles and how you interpret it from YOUR unique life experiences and stories.

There are very few things that are “brand new” right now. But, what IS new is your unique spin on similar ideas. Right now, you may not be feeling brave enough or comfortable enough to truly step into your unique voice. That’s okay. While you’re developing that, see what you can do to leverage other people’s expertise.

2. Be clear on precisely who you’re serving.

Your ideal client is going to influence how you present your content.

For instance, let’s say you’re a money expert. You’re going to present content around money very differently depending on whether you’d rather work with entrepreneurs or employees.

What if you’re a relationship expert? You’re going to see things through completely different angles depending on whether you’re working with men or women, and whether your ideal clients are 20-year-old women or 50-year-old divorcees.

That’s why getting clear on who your ideal clients are and what is keeping them up at night—and making sure the content you’re creating is relevant to them (not to mention something they want to consume)—is super important.

3. Be clear on precisely what you offer them that no one else is, and why they should come to you.

Again, if you’re new, you may find this one a little scary.

But, here’s the thing: If you can’t communicate what makes you unique, you WILL struggle in your business.

Your ideal clients are going to want to know why they should plunk down their hard-earned money to work with you versus someone else. And, if you can’t tell them, they may wonder if they can get what you offer cheaper somewhere else.

Because, you see, if you aren’t able to explain to them your value, they’re going to make their buying decision based on whether or not they feel like they can afford what you’re charging.

If you make it clear what your value is and how what you do is different from everyone else, then price becomes less of an issue. You can’t be price-shopped, because no one else offers the same value you are providing.

If you struggle with this, this article walks you through my formula on how to craft your message so it resonates with your ideal client.

Once you know this, you’ll have a much better idea of the sort of content that will resonate most with your ideal client. (This doesn’t mean you won’t want to do some testing on the best content for your ideal clients, but you’ll definitely have a solid place to start with your content marketing plan.)

So, you may have noticed that all three of these steps have one thing in common, which is … (drum roll)

Clarity!

To me, clarity is one of those things that just doesn’t sound all that sexy, but yet, the more clear your are, the easier everything is.

I know for myself I prefer the “just jump in and figure it out later” approach. However, I’ve definitely had mixed results with that. Some things have worked out great and others … not so much.

While I think you can also go the other way and spend TOO much time in research and preparation and “getting ready to get ready,” I also think there’s a happy medium between getting clear and just getting started.

If you want to see my specific strategy on how I got clear before creating my second blog, I walk you through it here.

And, if you’d like to dig more deeply into online marketing, including putting together an online marketing plan, my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book may be perfect for you.

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

For a good chunk of my life, I struggled with goal setting.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I was taught that hard work was not only valued, but the key to success. So, when I started my business as an adult, I WANTED to be so busy I was working nights and weekends.

After all, if I was working long hours, that meant that I was “successful.” Right?

(It took years and multiple burnouts to finally force me to shift that thinking.)

But sacrificing my mental and physical health was just the tip of the damage that mindset caused me. My workaholic tendency combined with my “Type A” personality also kept me constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing “enough,” no matter how many goals I checked off my list.

And, of course in the meantime, I did have big dreams and goals I wasn’t making any progress toward at all (specifically, my fiction writing goals), so I also believed I clearly had a problem with goal setting. (Actually, my secret shame was my belief that what was really hindering me was procrastination and lack of focus.)

So, I did what any workaholic, Type A personality would do when feeling stuck:

I became obsessed with goal setting.

I researched and tried many goal setting and time management systems. Nothing really worked.

I also tried relying on sheer willpower—pushing myself to get more done (which was also not successful).

So what was it that finally shifted goal setting for me?

Digging more deeply into my love-based philosophy, and realizing my goal setting was built on a foundation of fear.

What does that mean, exactly? And if your goal setting method is also built on a foundation of fear, how can you switch it to a foundation of love, instead?

That’s exactly what I’m going to walk you through in this Goal Setting Checklist.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Goal Setting Step 1: Get Clear. What Are Love-Based Goals Anyway?

To me, love-based goals are whispers from your soul.

Your soul wants you to step into the highest version of yourself. But, your soul also know that’s not easy. It requires you to face your demons and love your shadows.

So, as you do that work, your soul whispers your love-based goals to you. And as you become that highest version of yourself, your “reward” is that those goals can finally come true.

In other words, your love-based goals can only come true if you start to shift into the highest, best version of yourself.

Your soul wants to keep you on track toward achieving your love-based goals, so you can live your best, happiest life.

Now, on the flip side, in many cases, one of the main reasons why your love-based goals haven’t come true is because they don’t match your current identity. For instance, let’s say you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but the years have gone by and you’ve never even written a paragraph. Why is that? Because your current identity sees yourself as a wanna-be author, NOT an actual author.

That’s why taking the time to change your identity so it matches your love-based goals is key to having your love-based goals come true.

So, how do you change your identity? Keep reading — the next 3 goal setting steps are a good place to start.

Goal Setting Step 2: Identify Your Love-Based Goals

How do you know if you have love-based goals, or “regular” goals?

One big indication of a love-based goal is if you have a big dream you’ve been talking about your entire life, yet somehow, you’ve never gotten any traction toward realizing it.

Now, it’s possible that big dream is not a love-based goal, but what I call a “should” goal. A “should” goal is a goal you feel like you “should” be working on, but it doesn’t actually reflect your deepest desires.

How can you tell the difference? I recommend doing some journaling around your perfect day. (No, I’m not talking about a vacation day here, but a perfect work day.) What are you actually DOING during your perfect work day? How is your day structured? Where are you living? Who is around you?

While you’re doing this exercise, take note of how you’re feeling. Are you getting excited? Are you tapping into your passion? Or does it feel like you’re still doing something you “have to,” or maybe even dread?

This exercise is a great way to differentiate between love-based and “should” goals.

Goal Setting Step 3: Be Prepared for What Can Stop You.

If you’ve designed your life around “should” goals, it’s probably not difficult to understand why you haven’t gotten any traction on them. But, what about your love-based goals? Why haven’t they come true?

Typically, there’s something going on either internally or externally.

If it’s an external problem, it’s usually around not having found the right goal setting system for you.

In my “Love-Based Goals” book, I dig into a variety of goal-setting methods, to give you options so you can find one that feels right for you. It’s also pretty easy to do your own research, with a little help from your favorite search engine.

If it’s an internal problem (which I suspect is the real culprit, more often than not), well, that’s a little trickier.

Generally speaking, if something is going on internally, it’s directly related to blocks in your mindset or subconscious. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating every time you sit down to work on your goals. Or maybe you lack focus. Or maybe you can never find the time.

Or maybe you find yourself constantly feeling worry or resentment or anger or sadness or jealously or guilt every time you sit down to work on your goals.

And, because you feel so crappy, it can’t possibly be a good goal, right? It must be a sign you shouldn’t be working toward that dream.

Alas, our fear-based emotions stop us more often than not. We feel crappy, which not only makes it difficult to do the work, but since we want to stop feeling that way, we’re compelled to take actions that help us numb or stuff down our uncomfortable feelings. (For instance, maybe we want to take a drink or make poor eating choices or numb out on television or start a fight—these are all actions we take to distract ourselves from feeling our fear-based emotions.)

If you relate, my recommendation is that the next time you’re working on your big dream and you find yourself feeling bad, let yourself feel the emotion AND don’t let it stop you from continuing to take action. (I talk about how I did this myself when I had my big 2017 marketing success story here.)

Goal Setting Step 4: Set Yourself up for Success.

While feeling your fear-based emotions and still taking action is never going to be easy, there are things you can do to increase your odds of being successful.

• Start and maintain a morning practice (so rather than check email, start your day with self-care practices such as meditation or journaling).

• Use rituals, such as a New Year’s Day ritual to help you create a supportive container around making your goals come true.

• Create new, empowering habits that support your love-based goals and the person you’re becoming. (And, on the flip side, let go of old, toxic habits that are keeping you trapped in the “old” you.)

• Give yourself a break! None of this is easy. Give yourself the time and space you need to let your emotions move through you. Drink plenty of water, exercise, rest. And, above all, don’t beat yourself up if it’s not happening “fast enough.” Chances are, it’s happening plenty fast enough and surrounding to the process and allowing it to unfold the way it wants to is the best gift you can give yourself.

If you’d like to dig more into making your love-based goals come true, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Goals” book. Grab your copy here.

 

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

After all the mistakes I made with my first blog (aka my “starter” blog), I decided I needed a better plan for how to start a blog successfully.

In fact, I would say knowing how to start a blog on the right foot is crucial. Even when you do everything correctly, it can still take months to start seeing results.

And, if you don’t start out right, it will take even longer.

(Of course, the flip side is once you start seeing results, you’ll continue to, even if you aren’t always on top of posting.)

Even knowing it will take time to see results, it cam still be difficult to keep moving forward when you have little to nothing to show for it (trust me, I know, I just went through it). It’s even worse when you’re also listening to a nagging little voice in the back of your head questioning whether you’re doing it right.

Because, hands down, worst of all, is finding out months down the road (after expending all that wasted time and creative energy) that you did, indeed, do things wrong and that’s the reason why you’re not seeing results.

That’s why I’m going to walk you through my precise strategy on how to start a blog today—so you can duplicate it and experience the same type of success I am with my new blog, LoveBasedBiz.com. I started this blog in December 2016, and it took about a year to start seeing results. But now, I’m finally getting the traction and momentum I was looking for.

That said, I think I could have seen results months sooner if I hadn’t gone through a “crisis of faith” about six months in. I started doubting myself and was seriously considering throwing in the towel.

I didn’t let myself stop, but I did cut back on how much I was posting each week.

Looking back, I see that was a mistake—one I don’t want you to make.

Here’s the thing: it’s still totally possible to grow a blog from scratch. It’s also totally possible to still use SEO (search engine optimization) and attract organic visitors to your blog.

AND if you set your blog up right, it’s also possible to make money from it. (In my case, I’m selling books and products with my blog.)

All you need is the right strategy.

(Now, that said, I do want to add that you can always find someone who isn’t following one or all of these steps, and is still rocking it with his/her blog. Unicorns exist. However, I do believe the vast majority of folks who decide to disregard what I say below are likely going to be frustrated with their blogging efforts.)

How to Start a Blog Step 1: Get clear on your message.

Gone are the days when you could create a business around rehashing what other experts and gurus teach, or even worse, relying on “new” to cut through the marketing clutter and give you momentum.

Now, you really need to get clear on your unique voice and message to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Yes, you have one (trust me). If you’re feeling called to change the world with your unique gift (even if you’re not entirely sure what that gift is), you have something to share.

You just have to find it.

Chances are it’s some sort of combination of what you find super easy to do and your personal story and life experiences (including your core wounds and/or your shadows). It’s definitely worth the time and energy to dig in and get clear on what you’re meant to bring forward into the world.

For myself, I knew I needed to get the love-based message out in a big way.

How to Start a Blog Step 2: Get clear on what your blog is about.

Yes, yes, I’m also disappointed that people aren’t rushing to my blog to read my personal musings on whatever pops into my head, no matter if it’s related to my overall brand and message or not.

But, unless you’re super famous and/or have a big following, that’s life.

Your visitors are coming to you because they expect a certain experience on your blog. Maybe it’s content. Maybe it’s entertainment. Maybe it’s both.

If you don’t provide that experience consistently, they’ll likely stop coming.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. It also doesn’t mean your blog can’t evolve over time. What it DOES mean is that getting clear on what your blog is about, and then aligning your content with it is the key to success.

For myself, this was easy. I knew I was being called to get the love-based message out into the world in a bigger way, so that’s what my blog needed to be about.

How to Start a Blog Step 3: Choose a blog template that’s both mobile friendly and looks up to date. (And, get comfortable with the idea you’re probably going to have to update it in a few years.)

With more and more people accessing the web using phones and tablets, if you don’t have a mobile-responsive blog, you’re just asking to be ignored by a lot of potential visitors.

How to Start a Blog Step 4: Write posts around popular keywords.

If you want to build up your organic traffic (“organic traffic” refers to the posts that will show up organically when your ideal clients are searching the web using those keywords), this is non-negotiable. (I’ll dig into this strategy in more detail in a future post, but in short, find popular keywords that don’t have a lot of competition, and write your posts around them.)

How to Start a Blog Step 5: Write high-quality, longer posts.

I can’t stress this enough. Just throwing up a fast, poorly-written, poorly-thought-out article is NOT going to help you over the long haul. Take time to create solid content, even if it means you can’t post as often as you like.

Also, I suggest writing at least one long post a week (and by long, I mean between 1,000 and 2,000 words). Studies show that longer posts get shared more on social media, and get more SEO love.

How to Start a Blog Step 6: Use graphics and pictures.

I haven’t done a lot with infographics (yet) but Michelle Schaefer, one of the blogging mentors I’ve followed, swears by them. For myself, I’ve definitely found that having unique pictures (I take a lot of my own pictures) encourages people to click and read.

How to Start a Blog Step 7: Consider integrating podcasts and/or videos.

Not all of your ideal prospects like to read. Not all want to listen to podcasts or watch videos.

That’s why offering multiple modalities for consuming your content can make your blog more accessible and desirable to a bigger audience.

In addition, you’ll also open up more platforms to advertise your blog on. If you have a podcast, you can then advertise your blog on all the different podcast platforms. If you have videos, you can build your YouTube channel and presence.

Which leads me to the next step …

How to Start a Blog Step 8: Have a social media strategy in place.

Alas, blogs don’t promote themselves (at least not anymore). Along with setting aside time to write your blog (or have it written for you), you’re also going to have to set aside time to promote your blog (or have a marketing assistant promote it for you).

Luckily, promoting your blog is an excellent way to also promote your business—especially if it’s set up correctly so it reflects your brand and message. When people visit your blog to read your juicy content, they also get a taste of what it would be like to work with you on a deeper level. Hands down, this is one of the best ways to market your products, programs, and services.

People don’t want to be hit over the head (especially on social media) with your sales messages. But providing a link to a meaty blog article or podcast or video is something they may even end up thanking you for.

So, what’s the best way to promote your blog? Social media of course. Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter can all be easily incorporated into your marketing strategy. In addition, you may want to take a serious look at Pinterest. I’ve been playing around with it more, and a lot of my research points to Pinterest as being one of the best platforms to promote your blog.

How to Start a Blog Step 9: Be clear on the action you want your visitors to take, and then make sure you ASK them to take that action.

Building your email subscriber list should always be one of your biggest calls to action on your blog. But, I also think you should consider soft selling your products, programs, and services. Now, that doesn’t mean you should expect someone to read a blog post and buy a year-long, high-end coaching program. But, you can certainly seed the results of that coaching program on your blog, which can get your ideal prospects to start to consider working with you.

If you’re an author, blogs are an excellent way to sell books (both fiction and nonfiction), so definitely incorporate them.

So, there you have it—how you can set up your blog for more success. And, if you’d like to dig into even more Internet Marketing (including setting up your online marketing plan), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

I get it. I, too, have dreamed about becoming an overnight success. Still do, in fact.

But, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to believe that NOT becoming an overnight success may be the best thing to happen to you.

To illustrate, let me start with a story.

Over twenty years ago, a freelance writer wrote a book called Simple Abundance. This book ended up catching fire. Oprah had the author on her show a few times, the book was on the New York Times bestselling list for over two years, and by the time all was said and done, the author ended up selling over 7 million copies (5 million in the US and 2 million oversees).

Fast forward to today. While you might have heard of the book Simple Abundance, you likely haven’t heard of any of the author’s other titles. You might not know that she ended up losing all the money she made from Simple Abundance, and even declared bankruptcy.

She’s far from the only one. How many singers in the 80s had a massive hit, only to sink into oblivion? It was so common we even had a name for it: One-hit wonders.

How about people who win the lottery only to lose everything they won (and more) a few years later?

What do all of these stories have in common?

In my opinion? Success happened too fast for them.

Too fast? How can that be?

You see, every time you reach a big milestone, maybe it’s breaking the 6-figure mark or quitting your job to start your business or finally publishing your book, something shifts inside you.

The bigger the milestone, the bigger the shift.

And, if we’re not emotionally ready to accept the shift, we’ll unconsciously sabotage ourselves. Hence all the one-hit wonders.

Gay Hendricks has a name for it in his book, The Big Leap. He calls it an “upper limit problem.” We all have unconscious limits to how much success or happiness or money or joy we can accept. When we get more than what we can tolerate, we do things to bring ourselves down. That’s why after a particularly close moment with our spouse, we may start a fight or after we experience a big windfall of money, an equally big expense rolls in.

It takes both time and work to raise our upper limits and expand our capacity to receive. Which is why the journey to success is just as important as the success itself. What we end up learning on that journey is what helps us mentally and emotionally accept our success when good fortune does decide to smile down on us.

Look, I get how difficult and discouraging and frustrating the process can be. Waking up every morning and taking action even when you’re not seeing results yet, and worse, not having ANY idea when or IF you’ll see results is tough.

But, here’s the thing. The discipline and perseverance you develop during that process will serve you well when success finally does comes knocking on your door.

(And yes, it WILL come — maybe not how you thought it would arrive or when, but it will come.)

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

If you’ve ever dabbled into Law of Attraction principles or other spiritual practices designed to help you grow your business and manifest your dreams, you’ve likely been encouraged to have a gratitude practice.

And, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, including myself. you may find yourself rolling your eyes at this advice.

It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Just come up with a list of things you’re grateful and that somehow is going to help you manifest your desires.

Really?

Precisely how is THAT going to make you more successful? Especially if you’re struggling right now and the last thing you feel is grateful.

So, I get it. I was skeptical too.

Then, I read a study in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

A group of participants were asked to hold a beacon with DNA strands in it while focusing on unwinding the strands. If they just used their thoughts to unwind them (like what we all learned in the movie “The Secret”, which was anything you thought about, you attracted into your life) nothing happened.

BUT, the group of participants who felt grateful as they thought about unwinding the strands, they were actually able to unwind them by 25%.

The key is to combine the emotions of gratitude with the power of your thoughts. If you can do this, and do this consistently (like every day) you’ll manifest what you desire.

Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations there is. That means the longer you’re able to stay in gratitude, the longer your energy is operating at that higher level, and as like attracts like, that high vibrational energy is attracting your desires to you.

Now, I’m grossly simplifying Dr. Dispenza’s work here, but if you want a couple of pointers to get started, take a few minutes to watch below:

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! Successful People Are Just Lucky

[Video] Flip It! Successful People Are Just Lucky

My grandfather was a very successful man.

He started a very successful business that flourished during WWII. When other people were cutting back, he was making money. He invested at the stock market at the right time and made a killing.

Heck, he used to go to Vegas and win at Keno. Keno has some of the worst odds. But, Grandpa would win. $1500 a pop.

Yes, Grandpa was lucky. And he knew it.

So, how did it happen? Was he born under the lucky tree?

Here’s what I think — I think he was lucky because he believed he was lucky.

It was a self fulfilling prophecy.

The more he believed, the luckier he became.

Now, I know some of you are saying “Michele, it can’t be that easy. And besides, I’m not lucky, so this wouldn’t work for me anyway.”

But, what if it COULD be that easy? Us humans like to overcomplicate things–maybe it really IS as simple as it sounds?

Still not convinced? Let me share a story. I decided to test this theory on myself.

For years I never won at raffles. Never won. I used to say things, “Oh I never win at raffles.”

So, I thought, what if I changed that? What if I started to say I always win at raffles?

Next time I was at a raffle, I decided to believe I was going to win.

And you know what happened? I won!

So, I used that evidence at the next raffle to believe I would win. And it happened again. Pretty soon I was always winning at raffles. It was getting a little embarrassing actually.

Now, I realize if you have all this evidence that you aren’t lucky and you never win at raffles, it may be tough to convince yourself otherwise. So, I would suggest starting small, even if it has nothing to do with money. Do you have parking lot karma? Every time you pull into a parking lot, a spot opens up? Start there.

Or maybe there’s something else you’re always lucky at you can focus on. Like maybe you have the best assistant in the world or you have a knack for publishing Facebook posts that get a lot of comments and likes. Or maybe you have a popular podcast. Focus on that. And, every time something happens in your business that’s successful and lucky, add it to your evidence that you ARE successful and lucky.

It likely isn’t going to change overnight. But, it CAN change, if you’re committed to flipping your perspective.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book — you can check it out here.