Funny how time flies, huh? So much has changed globally this last year, it feels like we`ve all aged at least ten years. About a year ago I posted about my first year in business which feels like forever ago now. My second year in business was equally about expanding and about getting real with my values and there is a whole bunch of stuff that happened in my private life too (though business/private life aren`t as separate anymore, thanks to instagram). I bought my dream land in Portugal, donated eggs for the second time, travelled a fair bit in Europe, got really deeply into herbalism and made some new friends (yes, that is a life event for introverts). Read on for the business highlights, new ideas and changes of direction.
I am feeling into letting go of Facebook ads
I have spent significant cash building my newsletter list through Facebook ads which got people to sign up for all kinds of free stuff I`ve offered. More annoyingly I also wasted a ton of money on “boosts” to make sure that the people who like my Facebook pages see my new blog posts and I feel pretty over that now. In the beginning, you know when we still liked about 20 pages each, you could rely on people seeing, liking and sharing your content, but the price for “exposure” has increased very significantly and I am highly doubting its still worth it. Plus, my feed is overcrowded with ads telling me that I can sign up for a free guide on how to make six figures a month in my business from entrepreneurs who have only ever built this one business… which is basically just selling schemes that rely on fake scarcity and questionable “authority” status.
To stand out in that kind of environment I´d have to, at least to some extend, buy into the bigger is better at any cost chorus and I honestly think we all have more important stuff to think about right now. Kelly Diels` critical writing on the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand gave me a lot to think about.
I want to build real relationships instead of getting people to sign up for free shit they will never use. I want to make and offer things of real value and really get to know people through podcasts, guest posts and actual conversations. Yes, I want to grow my audience, but not at any cost. Most of all I want the freedom to be my imperfect self and to not edit my political opinions for fear of loosing clients.
My courses got bigger and better
I really care about DIY media and I started creating courses because I wanted everyone to be able to make a website for their art, project or small business. The first version of my courses was…uhm…a bit flawed in places. But it was a great learning experience and I am glad I never gave up. I am now with Teachable (which I wrote about here) and I have significantly added to my courses while also reworking existing material. Last spring I booked a nice hotel room, got proper lighting and gave the whole thing a nice facelift, so yay!
I am also planning additional courses, some of which will be free, so stay tuned for that. Currently I am offering a free intro to WordPress and design with Canva which was really popular – lots of new, happy faces without the need to spend on Facebook ads.
I shrunk my overhead
Some investments I made in my first year, such as for my macbook and my camera, were really cool and much needed. But along the way I also got a bit too excited about fancy software and I actually ended up “downgrading” from Ontraport to ConvertKit, which is much cheaper. Now that I paid off my bigger purchases keeping my overhead low actually feels really great – it means that I can more time off, I feel lighter and I know that a less busy months wont kill me. Yes, a proper set up is really important and can save you lots of time, but I would advice against going overboard. The *feeling* of knowing I am keeping things slim enables me to be much more creative and relaxed.
I started my podcast
As I said making real connections has become a huge priority for me and I love, love love listening to podcasts myself. When I started The Daydreaming Wolves podcast I clumsily started talking to myself by myself, uploaded new episodes every now and then and got a weird intro from Fiverr. Well… we learn! I now recorded my own intro, committed to podcasting regularly and have amazing interview partners signed up. The feedback has been really touching and I think this medium is such a beautiful way for us to get to know each other. It is also way more independent – I get to share my content without having to pay a middleman or platform and I can say whatever I want without being censored.
My goals changed, I work less and I am having way more fun
Running my own business and leaving employment was huge for me and since I didn`t really have many role models in my life, learning from other more experienced entrepreneurs online was super important for me. I invested a lot in courses and training and in my first year simply could not afford to turn any project that came my way down. In some ways I bought into the idea that growth is a primary goal and the process of untangling myself from a lot of oppressive capitalist ideas around this is still very much ongoing. I know that having the space, energy and time to rethink my goals is a luxury and a privilege in itself. I really want to grow my business into a longterm sustainable creative adventure without relying on fear based marketing or fake scarcity.
I realised that what I really want is to be comfortable, healthy, loving and joyful. I want to have fun doing my work, create something that feels meaningful and make time for non-commercial projects. I don`t actually want to make tons of money, I just want to have enough to support myself and those I love. I´d like to renovate my tiny house in Portugal and spend more time just playing with my dog. I would love to support causes I believe in and be able to afford buying all I need from small businesses that are run as ethically as possible with respect for all humans, animals and the Earth. I want time to learn more so that my websites get better and better, read good books and question things.