World domination…7-figure income…50K raving followers
All of this can be yours if you follow (insert guru name here)’s easy formula!
When I first left my 20-year career to start a virtual business, I allocated 6 months of time and financial resources to handle the steep learning curve of technology and marketing. I thought that was plenty of time…
Facebook Business Page? Check
Email provider? Check
Think that’s all there is to it? Think again…
- What about landing pages and opt-ins?
- And webinars?
- And Google Analytics?
- And Facebook ads?
- And autoresponder sequences?
- And membership management?
- And course creation?
- And telesummits?
- And the list goes on…
It’s crazy-making, and little did I know (then) that the practical, tangible things aren’t the most important part anyway.
I’m very bright and I have a keen mind. I’m also highly intuitive. I write really well and I have the gift of gab. I love research, learning, solving puzzles, sorting out how pieces fit together. I’m very capable of figuring new things out.
Back in 1995, I didn’t want to leave my infant daughter to go back to my minimum-wage job as a bank teller so I bought a Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, taught myself how to do medical transcription, marketed myself to local physicians’ offices and got contracts to do their transcription – and that turned into a 20-year career.
When I made the decision to leave that career a few years ago and pursue a virtual business, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got this, this’ll be easy’ – and I did, at least as far as the research and learning and comprehension went – but that’s where it broke down because it’s not just about the knowledge and comprehension.
It’s about personal alignment and mindset and resilience. You have to be prepared to live in the role of entrepreneur – in whatever genuine form that takes for you – and that takes a whole different set of skills.
Especially if you have a healing message for the world.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
#1 – It’s crucial to get rid of your old programming before you begin
It’s going to trip you up, and it’s going to prevent you from succeeding…
that is, unless you master it and turn it into your powerhouse by getting crystal clear on where the trapdoors are so you can confidently recognize them and have the tools to disable them.
Perhaps someone once told you that you shouldn’t talk so much, or you shouldn’t be so emotional, or you’ll never make a living with your (insert creative endeavor here), or you’ll never amount to anything, or if you don’t go to college you can’t succeed, or you’re too irresponsible, and on and on.
Whatever you’ve been told by others – and through social and cultural inference – and via subliminal advertising messages, you’ve got stored deep in your psyche and when you begin to explore doing something new, something different, something outside the box, it rears its ugly head and reminds you of all the reasons why you can’t do it, why you won’t succeed, why you’re a fool for even trying.
And when that thing is a virtual business, with the steep learning curve and conflicting advice, along with the isolation and other challenges – and every guru on the block telling you that their method is the formula you need – getting clear on your truth is crucial.
#2 – You’ll encounter resistance and self-sabotage along the way
Just about the time you sort out all the confusion about the different technologies available, the various tactics and strategies and formulas being marketed, your own doubts and fears about your message and methods, and the time, energy and money investment to get things up and running, resistance will hit.
What if you actually succeed?
Oh shit! That’ll mean massive change…
and change is scary…
and it’s probably why you want to do this in the first place, to create change in your life…
but what if you actually do? Then what?
Change means learning a new paradigm, and doing things differently, and being out there and visible, and the whole world knowing you’re not perfect and you make mistakes, and maybe they laugh at you or think you’re a fraud…or worse, they don’t give a darn about what you have to say.
And self-sabotage shows up to slow you down so you don’t have to find out.
#3 – A commitment to excellent self-care is critical to your success
When you dream of leaving your brick and mortar world job for a virtual business you go into it imagining the freedom, the flexibility, the time you’ll have available when you’re not commuting and punching a time clock and stuck following someone else’s schedule and limited to 2 weeks’ vacation a year.
You dream of no longer being exhausted and having no time for yourself and not having to work overtime to get projects completed (then running around trying to take care of all of your personal responsibilities afterwards) – no more throwing yourself under the bus to get it all done.
When you start down the path of building a virtual business and you realize how much there is to do, you’ll decide that it’s okay to work overtime (and then some) at first; you figure once you’ve got everything going, you’ll be able to back off and have the lifestyle you’ve imagined.
But guess what?
If you sacrifice your own well-being in the beginning, you’ll set a pattern in place that’ll require you to keep doing it – and you’ll find yourself running just as ragged as you did in your 9-to-5 job.
You’ve got to set the stage from the very beginning to nourish yourself well or it’ll never happen unless you face plant somewhere along the line and decide to do it differently.
#4 – Doing it authentically is the right way to begin
In the virtual world everybody’s got a formula and they all will tell you that their formula is the way to go. It’s confusing, and discouraging…
and it’ll make you second guess yourself over and over if you let it.
It leads to Shiny Object Syndrome – every time you think you’ve got it figured out, the Next Big Thing will be all over the place on social media and you’ll feel compelled to jump on the bandwagon and incorporate it into your plan somehow.
And you’ll slow yourself down again…and you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to be exactly the person you came here to be and to reach the people you’re uniquely designed to attract – the ones who need your message, told in your voice, in the way you teach it.
It’s important to have a working knowledge of the available ways to get your message out into the virtual world – and the tools and technology available to help you do it – but the tactics and strategies and formulas and methods aren’t as important as who you are, what you have to say and how you say it.
That’s what your tribe is looking for…and they honestly don’t care which webinar platform you choose…they just need to hear your message.
#5 – Your own healing journey will accelerate exponentially
All of the things that brought you to the point of wanting to create a virtual business to share your message with the world will come back to the forefront.
As you begin to share your story, old wounds will surface, and things you thought you’d dealt with and put away long ago will come up again. You’ll see connections between things that you never saw before.
Each time you teach someone else – and hear their own stories and struggles – it’ll highlight the similarities in your own journey because, make no mistake, when you want to help others heal, the ones who are attracted to your teaching are the ones on the same healing path as you.
The teachers and the leaders are the ones who are a little way farther down the path, but the teaching and leading becomes the refining fire that burns away the final vestiges of your own pain and trauma…
and as you are willing to be real and raw and honest about your journey, whatever you still have to deal with in order to keep moving forward on your own path will emerge into the light, and as such, you’ll continue to heal and grow…
which will then enable you to continue as the teacher and the leader.
#6 – You have to be crystal clear on your why
When discouragement hits, when confusion rules, when self-doubt, resistance and self-sabotage show up you’ve got to have a singular focus to pull yourself up, dust yourself off and get going again.
And that singular focus is your why. Your why has to be stronger than your doubt and fear.
Why did you want to do this in the first place?
Your why is about the people you want to help – and how you want to help them – and it’s about what you want to bring to your own life by doing it (and perhaps to your loved ones lives, as well).
It’s your central message, the core of what you believe you are here to teach.
It’s the thing that is uniquely you – the thing that all of your experiences, talent, skills and nature combine to make you the perfect messenger for. The thing only you can say – in the way only you can say it.
It’s the thing that, if you could help just one person – and for free, at that – you’d be satisfied and grateful you had the opportunity to share it.
It’s the thing that sparks your enthusiasm and creativity every time you think about it.
#7 – You need to understand your money story and get past it
Perhaps you’ve been told ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ or you grew up hearing your parents argue about money or tell you ‘we can’t afford that’ when you asked to get something at the store or join an extracurricular activity.
Maybe you’ve had financial difficulties – even filed bankruptcy or had liens – or you have a ton of credit card debt and you don’t pay much more than the minimum balance every month.
Possibly you’ve been taught to believe that the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” while the middle class gets the shaft.
You’ve lived paycheck to paycheck a lot – and there’s usually more month than money – so you can’t count how many times you’ve said, “I’d love to but I don’t have the money.”
It could be that you – or your parents – had a lengthy divorce war over money and assets. Or you grew up with – or married – someone so frugal they make a penny squeak or have moths in their wallet.
Whatever your past experience with money, both as an adult and in childhood, if it’s negative in any way, it’ll hold you back from making your business lucrative…and so will believing you shouldn’t get paid for bringing your calling to the world.
#8 – Relationships are the most important thing to build first
There are as many formulas as there are business coaches, and there are tools and technology galore.
There are tactics and strategies and funnels and platforms and methods and sequences and an endless number of possibilities for doing virtual business.
And some of it is very cool, and a lot of it is helpful in streamlining your workday…
but if you’re not putting people first, just like in the brick and mortar world, then you’re not going to get anywhere.
In the Real World, good businesses have an emphasis on customer service, and they encourage team camaraderie, and management has an open-door policy, and good communication skills are valued.
It’s no different in the world of virtual business. Taking the time to connect with people – whether they’re your audience or your industry peers – is vitally important. And building those relationships comes in way ahead of deciding what tools to use or what strategies to employ.
Just as in the Real World, people want to be heard, and if you’re not putting most of your time and effort into hearing them, the technology you choose isn’t going to matter.
#9 – You need to believe in the value of your personal story
There are two ways to look at your personal story: the first way is that it is what empowers your message, the second way is that it’s what discredits you.
When you hit the resistance and self-sabotage phases of building a virtual business, you’ll want to believe the second way is correct – who am I to think I can do this? Look at the mistakes I’ve made!
And when working in your business accelerates your own healing journey, you’ll again want to believe the second way is correct – if I haven’t got it all together yet myself, who am I to teach someone else?
And when old programming flares up, you’ll still want to believe the second way is correct – *they* said it can’t be done.
Here’s the truth: your personal story is your credibility. If you’ve done the work to heal something in your own life – and have the motivation to help others heal in the same way – then the path of experience that brought you to that point, and the story you have to share about it, is the authenticity that credentials you to teach it.
It’s the honest sharing of your story that assures people you understand and that they’re not the only ones who are going through whatever it is they’re dealing with (who hasn’t thought they were alone – or even crazy – in dealing with their experiences?).
#10 – There’s an ebb and flow to creativity and you’ll have blocks
Sometimes you’ll run out of words and you’ll spend time staring at a blank screen and you’ll get stuck and you’ll feel like you’re trying to force something out of a dry well…
and sometimes you’ll just get sick of the whole damned thing.
And a little time will go by and you’ll suddenly get re-inspired and the floodgates will open and it’ll all come pouring out.
There are rhythms and cycles to creativity – larger seasonal cycles and smaller personal rhythms – and it’s inevitable that there’ll be periods of slow, or no, inspiration. It doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong track or that it’s time to quit.
It might mean you’ve been pushing too hard and need to give yourself a break, but usually it’s simply that it’s time to handle some mundane tasks – background things that don’t require a lot of creative output – and let it runs its course.
The cycles will be pretty predictable, and if you pay attention, you’ll know what they are, and that’ll eliminate the tendency to freak out when they happen.
Bonus Tip: It’s possible to launch a lucrative, sustainable virtual business…but you have to get out of your own way first
There’s a whole lot of advice available online about the best ways to launch and run a virtual business, and there are an uncountable number of tools and strategies, as well as people to teach them.
The “gurus” would have you believe that a multi-6 or even 7-figure business is as simple as following a certain formula – their formula – but it’s not as simple as that.
You can have the best method in the world, and if you get caught in old programming, in your money story, in resistance and self-sabotage, in throwing yourself under the bus, in trying to do it someone else’s way, or solely based on tactics and funnels and technology choices, you’re doomed to fail.
The health and success of your business starts with your personal wellness, and with having a strong and certain sense of who you’re meant to be in the world…
and with how you handle challenges, because it’s not all going to be unicorns and rainbows…
but it can be the most wonderful of adventures if you get out of your own way and let your unique purpose emerge and grow, and you’re willing to go against the tide and do it your own way.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Love & Blessings,
P.S. One of the ways I teach energy healing and manifesting skills is through my free Radiant Resilience Community – click below to join us and get The Secret to Emotional Resilience 4-part audio mini-course free