635. Jumping In

In terms of my Distant Mirrors project idea …

I would like to evolve my live-talk business, when I have enough time to invest, so it can replace more of my income from webdesign (and temp work). My dream is to have a YouTube channel or similar with thousands of subscribers who then fund me via donations and possibly a bit of merchandise sales.

I have, however, no clear offer for that channel which I feel confident enough about to start with. I was thinking about drawing and talking about what we can learn from historical persons, doing and recording live-talks, doing slide-shows as I do for my live-audiences or any combination thereof. But aside from the entertainment value and the pretty broad ‘let’s learn from Joan of Arc etc.’ I don’t feel I have a clear enough value proposition – yet. Part of the challenge is, of course, that if you are interested in history you might not be interested in the same part of history or the same persons that I am interested in.

My gut feel is that I should probably just go with broad entertainment value at first and do whatever the hell I like and “see who shows up” in the words of a marketing mentor I had a few years ago.

As much as I find it beneficial to implement ideas that are more concrete and use-oriented, in this case I have a feeling that it stifles me to make this project too much of a collection of problem-solving products, videos or otherwise – as I know most professional marketers in the online info-business like to recommend.

But there are huge YouTube channels out there on a wide scale of production values and with many followers and it certainly seems to me that their attraction, aside from the topic matter, is that “unique essence” and experience you mention as USP.

So … that’s likely where I will start, with whatever time I can scrape together to invest in it in the coming years and months.

I have the bitter experience that if I don’t start with something that gives me energy right away, then I usually stall. So I will just have to keep at it long enough to see if it can become a project that give other people energy as well.

I think so, but I don’t know. I have to jump into it to find out. Risk the investment.

Isn’t that what life is all about?

634. What Works

What has NOT worked for me with regard to making money:

– vague or abstract offers (e.g. “advance your online business in a heart-aligned direction – hire me to help!”)

– unfinished offers (e.g. those historical novels I tried to write and started blogging and marketing about but never finished)

– waiting to make perfect offers (e.g. thinking ‘I have to make this totally aligned with all my passions and my deepest purpose before I can proceed’)

What HAS worked for me:

– concrete, practically useful offers (e.g. – “let me do your webshop”)

– finished offers (e.g. my live-talks).

It may seem too trite to mention but I’m doing it because I got some of the satisfaction I thought I would get from writing a book by doing live-talks, and it took less time to produce them. And so I actually finished and was able to find an audience and earn money!

– the best, not the most perfect, offers (e.g. starting my web-business without knowing everything about WordPress – but knowing more than most of my customers)

I hope these lessons/experiences can be of benefit to you! I’d be happy to elaborate, if you want me to.

I am also sure they will be well worth remembering from time to time, when I feels stuck myself 🙂

628. Waiting for Fun?

I haven’t found a way to make money doing something I enjoy right away that did not involve some kind of job or selling my time, and I’ve tried various approaches to avoid having a job/selling time for about 10 years – on and off. But it is a pipe dream.

It’s like if the Brits said in 1939: “Is there any way to win this war next Monday – without going through all the trouble of building up an army to kick this Hitler dude to somewhere the sun doesn’t shine?”

In short: Any kind of asset/system building that will make you money ‘while you sleep’ takes time to build.

Period.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, to build that fun business – while you do other business to make a living.

608. Pick One

You believe your other ideas have merit and that they should sidetrack your ‘first’ big idea.

But if you are really working hard to realize one idea, you are also committed to it and putting energy into it, and if it has true merit, you will easily be able to keep the other ideas waiting.

It will feel good to know there is something afterwards – some more ideas to implement.

It will feel better and more attractive than any distraction.

566. Knowing Fire

I will go a long way to try to qualify my clients before I take them on, if I can get a better (and sometimes more stable) business relationship afterwards. It is worth it, more often than not, I feel.

I tend to think that WP consultants who have not seriously reflected on when and how to fire clients simply have not been burned yet by ‘bad clients’.

So maybe it is unavoidable to get fired or having to fire. But what is avoidable is certainly having to relive it over and over again.

543. Outer Space

Then autumn comes around and hopefully new customers and less manual work. Hopefully Char will have a steady job by then, and I can stay at home to work.

Then we just need to find some kind of chaos-control solution for said home, so I don’t have to spend an hour getting everything cleaned up before I can start working.

Or maybe I just have to spend that hour at another time, because the mess seems to be a permanent feature of 3 people (including one 1-year old) and too little space, relatively speaking. And too little time. And energy.

So I guess I can’t change ‘outer space’ all that much. But I have to keep trying. Chip away a little here and there of the obstacles.

There really is no other choice. As always.

524. Highest

These customers, for whom I have built websites, seem to be a good fit for a product – and then again …

One guy is the younger man who buys domain names, advertisement campaigns and new sites and plugins, and doesn’t use all of them by half. He might be a good fit for this product. At the very least he would buy it and shelf it like many of his other purchases … :-}

Another is the middle-aged female lifestyle blogger, who had a lot of trouble getting started on WordPress but who is determined to do everything herself (and has to, because of a small budget). That includes marketing and business in general. In fact, I think she might be a better fit, if we all agree that it is the highest goal for people to actually use this product after purchase.
I am tempted to say it is not the highest goal, because I sorely need money now. And I can’t take responsibility for people’s use and non-use of what I sell them.

OTOH again: If I am not aspiring to my highest goals on The Blog, then there is nowhere else to do it. 

I have to keep myself accountable here.

513. Fish

I blundered into reading about the new data regulation in Europe and wondering whether or not and how I could live up to it.

Or else be fined and face hell and high water, because, you know, I’m like such a Big Fish.

I think the big question for small fish like my webdesign company really is:

How much will it cost me to ‘make sure’ I absolutely do comply before the deadline of May 25

vs.

how big is the risk that my little fish will get caught and then killed by a huge fine, if I invest less and over a longer period of time to try to comply?

I think it is a question worth asking, when everybody else seems on the verge of panic over this.

507. Reconnecting

I have talked in general about entrepreneurship and my webdesign business. I have not really tried to connect in English with other WordPressers out there.

I’m not going to blog about all the technical stuff or guides or anything. And I’m not going to comment much about colleagues’ blogs about that.

But there are other colleagues/competitors who have great blogs of a more general nature about the business and about life and the business. 

I’m going to find them.

And connect with them, too.

Perhaps that is what I need to get more of this connection stuff going.