I’m Chandi and I sell luxury yarn to knitting and crochet enthusiasts around the world.
So why am I writing a post on how to start and operate a successful business in the coming year?
1. I believe it’s incredibly empowering for women (and fellas too!) to have a sense of freedom and control over their finances. When you own your own business, the sky is the limit. All you have to do is figure out how to become more efficient or hire out various tasks and you can take your small enterprise into grander and grander heights.
2. It’s possible. Regardless of what anybody tells you or how many well-meaning, cautious family members poo poo on your dreams… it is POSSIBLE and very very DOABLE to start and operate a successful business online doing something you LOVE. Period. There are SOOO many options available and the world is only becoming more and more connected online. Ignore the poo pooers.
3. Life is about growth, experience and joy. And boy howdy, does business give you all of these things… you’ll be asked to learn and expand and stretchhhhh and become a bigger, better, happier person. You’ll learn to give and assist and lead and inspire like you’ve never done before.
4. Why not? Why NOT this year? The year is going to pass anyway. And will you have at least TRIED to start a business and make your dreams come true? Or will you sink back into what’s comfortable and easy and safe?
It’s up to you!
And why should you listen to me? Well, you don’t have to. After all, you don’t know me or know if you can even trust a word I say.
So don’t. But try the things below if you like and see if they work for you. If not, forget them and find what does work!
I’ve been running online businesses since I was still in college (over 10 years ago) and have created 2 different successful businesses in different industries and made in the 7 figures. It’s doable.
Don’t let that discourage you either. If you’re like me and you compare yourself to others constantly and let others’ successes sometimes discourage instead of uplift you… don’t. We’re all on different paths and it’s so futile to compare. There’s always going to be somebody smarter, richer, prettier, blah blah blah. Who cares? You’re YOU and you’re perfectly YOU. Take inspiration from others but always be YOU. And remember we all have failures and ugly sides and bad days.
So here you go. Here are my 7 secrets to creating, operating and growing a successful (profitable and enjoyable) business online. If I were dying and had to share my top 7 business tips with my kids (if I had any), this is what I would say:
7. There is no secret.
What? Isn’t this a post about 7 secrets and you tell me there’s no secret? There’s no secret.
It seems when people want to start making money online, they feel there is this elusive “secret” others know about that they don’t know.
It’s the same type of mentality that always looks for the magic diet pill that will shed those 50 excess pounds without dieting or exercise! The type of person who wants to get rich quick. The gal who thinks that Prince Charming is coming soon to sweep her off her feet and support her so she can just sit home and eat bons bons and dress pretty all day. The guy who expects a random stranger to walk up to his door one day and spill the beans on the secret to success.
Ya. There is no secret “magic” formula and no “one certain thing” you need to know that only the elusive rich people have access to and you’re deliberately being kept in the dark by the powers that be.
Pooey. There’ll always be things you don’t know. That’s true for us all! But if you’re looking for that “secret” solution that you can apply today and start making $1 million tomorrow… it’s just not there. (And hey, I even really really REALLY want to believe in magic!)
The only “secret” is to get started and adjust as you go along.
This leads me to the next point.
6. There are many different paths and options and you have to find what works best for YOU, your family, your personality, your schedule, etc. I’ve sold both digital and physical products and enjoy them both!
Just a few of the MANY, MANY options:
-Sell physical items you personally ship. Via eBay, etsy, your own site, etc.
-Sell physical items that others ship out for you (drop-shipped items, fulfillment houses, etc)
-Sell digital items that customers can instantly download. Ebooks, ecourses, webinars, music, videos and more.
-Sell your services – try Elance! You can hire yourself out for virtually anything that can be done online. Endless options there. Or become a health coach, life coach, business coach, other type of personal coach.
-Have a blog and make money with google ads or ads from other people
-Have an affiliate site – what does this mean? If someone clicks through your link and orders from the company you’re promoting, you get a percentage. Many people earn their livings just doing this! Try Share-a-Sale, LinkShare, Commission Junction, etc…
And lots of other options.
5. You can figure it out.
Grab a piece of paper and write out all of the excuses you have in your mind. Brain vomit them all onto the page.
Examples that I hear a lot:
“I’m scared to start a business because my friends and family might laugh at me if I fail.”
“I’m afraid to blog because strangers might say mean things and hurt my feelings.”
“What is someone doesn’t like my product?”
“I don’t have a clue how to run or start a business.”
“It’s just all so OVERWHELMING and uncomfortable.”
“I’m too shy.”
“I hate marketing and pushing myself or my offerings onto other people.”
“I don’t know all the technical website stuff.”
“I don’t have the time.”
BLAH BLAH BLAH.
It goes on and on.
Here’s the truth. You WILL probably get some nasty comments. I get them ALL the time! I pour my heart and soul into what I do and there are still those snide, snotty people who get off trying to knock me down. Whatever. Ain’t gonna happen!
Use it for fuel to do even better and grow as a person. Pray for them and turn that hate into love. Alchemy, my friend! Respond with kindness and let them GO…
Anything technical can be figured out. GOOGLE IT! Seriously. GOOGLE IT.
Too shy? I’m super introverted. I feel that small talk is the devil. I don’t like putting myself out there. But when it’s online, it’s doable. You grow. You learn. And it’s much easier than face to face!
Nobody knows how to start or run a business at first. You figure it out as you go.
You don’t have to “push” your products onto people. If you’re offering what they already want, they come to you and love hearing about your updates!
We all have the same amount of “time.” And we all make time for what’s important.
You can DO this.
4. Set your goals, know they are DONE and then just proceed to steadily work toward them.
First, decide you want to start a business, and let nothing stand in your way. It’s that feeling of knowing that it’s already done and yet feeling the excitement that you’re working toward it. Dichotomous, for sure, but that’s the place you want to find emotionally.
Then, follow my little trick. This is AMAZING for getting your mind right and amazing for actually starting to see REAL money rolling in, keeping your mind on the BIG picture and avoiding disappointment when the inevitable road bumps will come along throughout the day.
1. Whatever you’re selling, decide you’re going to move heaven and earth to sell just one unit. Figure out FOR SURE in your mind what you’d do if the world were going to END if you didn’t achieve this goal. If everyone you loved would be destroyed if you didn’t sell this one item, don’t you think you could figure out how to sell it? Of course. Beg, borrow or whatevs. But you’d figure it out.
2. If you can sell 1, can’t you sell 2 by repeating whatever you did in step #1?
3. If you can sell 2, couldn’t you learn some new things, become a bit more efficient, repeat what you’ve done to sell 2 and sell 10? Of course. Really sit with each step here and let it sink in until you believe it. Come up with actual examples if that helps you.
4. By the same logic, if you can sell 10, couldn’t you manage to sell 100? 1000? 10,000? 100,000? 1,000,000?
Of course. It’s POSSIBLE. Never, never stop believing and knowing.
So. Point is… get clear on your goals (I like to do this each month) and know where you’re headed. Know it’s possible. And done. And proceed to do everything you can to make it happen, while allowing all those little coincidental things to occur to reveal the path.
3. LEARN as much as you can about business and specifically marketing as you can. Read every book you can get your hands on. Watch every YouTube video. Talk to every business owner you know… the information is all out there. The internet is like a vibrant, flowering, growing garden of juicy information fruits, waiting to be picked, eaten and utilized. And more info keeps showing up! It’s really all out there. Find courses! Never stop learning. INVEST in yourself. You’re worth it, ya know.
2. Haven’t a clue what to actually DO? Find people you admire and take inspiration from them. NEVER copy. That’s the worst. But if you’re unsure what kind of business to start, begin looking around at the people you admire and see what they do. Perhaps you love a motivational speaker who also writes books? Go check them out! Stalk their site a bit and really see what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
Love a certain product? Maybe a pottery seller on etsy? Go see what they do!
And know that the time will come when you have to actually start something and DO something to see if you like it and how it’s going to go. You know, you can always STOP and start another business. It’s not set in stone for life.
Which leads me to my final and most important tip:
1. TAKE ACTION NOW. Holy cow. Let me be honest here. I can’t tell you how many people THINK about starting a business. They mull it over. Month after month. Year after year. THINK about… think about… think about it… start to turn blue from thinking about it. GREAT!! It’s wonderful to think about it and to carefully consider your options. But thinking doesn’t do squat. You gotta get up and DO. Nothing happens until something happens.
Got an idea? You’ll never know if it’s going to work until you try it. Scared? Then try a test. Do it on a small scale.
But DO something. It’s so obvious, but seriously. So important. Take action and lots of it.
Tony Robbins says: “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” Hallelujah.
In sum, if you want it, GO AFTER IT and let NOTHING STAND IN YOUR WAY. You are worthy of every good thing you desire and you CAN have it… step by step… day after day… never giving in.
I’ll leave you with this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, which is one of my faves of all time:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
And remember, to stay up to date with all my happenings, just sign up for my email newsletter and I’ll keep you in the know.
Yours in Cultivating Dreams…