In 2008, I had a pretty good idea that my day job wasn’t going to be a long term solution for me. However, it wouldn’t be for another 18 months that I’d actually leave my job.
During most of those 18 months I stayed stagnant, and made no progress to the goals I’d really set for myself – namely traveling the world, and building a business.
It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but it was mostly because I didn’t know where to start.
In 2009 things started coming together a little bit more, but it really only took about 5 months from the time that I started actually taking action to the time I parted ways from my job.
I’ve found though, that once you start moving, it’s a hard train to get off.
Your Excuses are Legit
All the time I hear from people who want to start building a business for themselves but simply don’t know where to start.
And you know what? I get it!
It can be daunting, especially if you’ve spent the last decade or two sitting in a cubicle building things for other people.
Then you factor in family responsibilities and keeping some semblance social life, and the thought of actually doing more work in your spare time seems so ridiculous you don’t do anything about it.
The good news is, it doesn’t take as much drastic action as you think it does to start building a lifestyle business.
In fact, many of the most beneficial steps to building a business are probably things you either are doing, or have been considering doing anyway.
The goal of today’s post is to give you 10 extremely actionable tasks that you can start doing today that will begin pushing you towards a business of your own and the lifestyle you’ve been wanting for years.
So, ready to stop making excuses? Ready to take a little action towards a better life? Sweet, let’s do this.
#1: Get a Domain, Hosting, and Install WordPress
This is hands down the easiest, most tangible thing you can possibly do today to get closer to a business of your own.
Every single thing I do online (social media being the exception) has been built on WordPress – my entire business revolves around it. I don’t care what you start building. It could be a blog, business website or even a fanpage for your favorite Spice Girl. Doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you get hosting (which will allow you to build unlimited websites), and install WordPress on your new domain. Play, break, experience.
Once you feel comfortable with that, all of the other steps become much more attainable, because you’re removing one of the biggest technical barriers out there.
If you want a little more hand holding through the process, check out “How to Build Your First Online Asset in 48 Hours.”
#2: Send emails to 20 people who are living the life you want
Who better to build a relationship with than the people who have already successfully done what you’re striving towards?
I sent an email to Chris Guillebeau 4 years ago that completely changed my life. We met for coffee, formed a relationship, and he became an essential part of my transformation from employee to entrepreneur.
That being said, there’s a right an a wrong way to approach influencers. Don’t give them a 10 paragraph essay of your problems and life story. They are busy, respect their time. Simply send them a quick note introducing yourself, and give a specific example of how something they’ve done or written has influenced you.
This opens up the door for further communication down the road.
Often your natural inclination is going to be to tell them as much info as possible, and then offer them everything under the sun in terms of help. Don’t go there. Slowly build the relationship as an equal, and if there’s an opportunity to meet them in person, go for it.
Do this for 20 people, and there’s a very good chance at least a few will develop into personal relationships that will be really valuable as you move forward.
#3: Find someone in the same place as you
Just as important (if not more so), is finding someone who is going through the exact same thing you are.
For me, it was my best friend Ryan. He’d quit his job and moved to Hawaii, and as I watched him begin to live out his dreams, I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the one who got left behind.
Having someone for accountability and support is so so important – especially early on. There will be times where you struggle, don’t feel like you’re making as much progress as you should be, and where you just want to give up on it all and watch more Family Guy.
You need someone who’s going to keep you moving forward.
#4: Do the Brainstorm Exercise
One of the most common excuses I hear, is “I want to do something, but I don’t have any ideas.”
I promise that you have way more ideas than you think.
I believe that you can start a website that will make you at least $500/month around literally any topic.
So, what’s the brainstorm exercise?
Make list of every product, hobby, niche, and interest you have think you might be able to build a site around. Seriously, spend 20 minutes on this. You should have at least 50 items.
Then begin narrowing down which ones make the most sense.
For more help with this check out “How to Build a Niche Site that Brings in At Least $500 a Month.”
For most people it’s not a lack of ideas, it’s a lack of making a decision. Just pick something. When you’re first starting out, there is no wrong decision. Just going through the process will put you miles ahead of where you would have been otherwise.
#5: Start SEO Writing
If you’ve been a reader here for awhile, you know that I’m a firm advocate of a three step process for building a lifestyle business:
- Build Skills – If you don’t know what you’re doing, you won’t be successful. Take the time to educate yourself.
- Freelance – Pick one of the primary skills in the post above and build a freelance business around it. This will give you some income and the confidence to know you can make this work.
- Take those Skills and Build Your Own Projects – Once you have the basics you can do whatever you want. Membership sites, e-commerce, info products, affiliate sites – the list goes on.
Dozens of people have leveraged SEO writing inside Location Rebel to successfully transition into their own businesses online. It’s the easiest way to start making money this week.
It’s not sexy, but it’s a fantastic way to make the transition from employee to employer.
For more information on how to get started check out: The Easiest Lifestyle Business to Start Right This Second
#6: Register for eLance
Keeping with the same theme of finding ways to make money right now, register for eLance. This is a site where people post all types of freelance work from copywriting to web development and much more.
There are a lot of things you may not be qualified for, but probably more than a few that you would be perfectly capable of completing. Sign up and peruse through a few of the ads – if one catches your eye, bid on it.
Again, this isn’t a be all end all solution. You won’t make as much on elance as you might through other sites – but that’s not the goal at this point. The goal is to help you build the confidence necessary to be successful with your own business over the long term.
#7: Set attainable goals with how to actions
“Be making $1k/month by September” is not a good goal. Why not? Because you have no direct control over it – not only that, the time frame is way too far out. Something like this can be a good thing to shoot for long term, but you need much smaller more attainable milestones throughout the process.
As I mentioned, you’ll have ups and downs, but if you’re continually reaching your goals, you’ll have much more confidence to stick with it.
Here are a few examples to get you going:
- Buy a domain
- Write my first blog post
- Comment on 25 other blogs
- Get your first comment on your own blog (you don’t have control of this, but it’s attainable enough that I think it’s worth adding).
- Write your first piece of sales copy
- Bid on a job on eLance.
#8: Build a habit
In my newsletter last week I mentioned I just finished the book The Power of Habit. When you’re working for yourself, building good habits are more important than ever.
Start with one. That one will make it much easier to form another, and another…
For me personally, I rarely eat breakfast. So I decided to start making breakfast every morning. It’s amazing how that one commitment has led to greater productivity, and doing things like going to the gym every day.
You can use a tool like Ask Me Every to help you stay accountable for this one keystone habit.
#9: Improve your copywriting skills
Life is all about selling. Whether you’re convincing someone to go to coffee with you, buy your product, or simply side with you on which bar is best for drinks on a Friday night.
If you can sell and persuade, your life is going to be much easier.
It’s important to note that I don’t mean you should be deceitful or scammy in your persuasion. You should simply recognize it’s a part of life and do everything you can to put yourself in a good position to succeed.
If you’re going to do anything online, copywriting (persuading through written words) is especially important. Luckily there are some resources out there that will get you moving in the right direction really quickly. These are the resources that have helped me improve the most:
- Influence by Robert Cialdini – Cialdini looks at all of the different methods of persuasion and gives great examples of how they have worked on him in his own life.
- Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz – Recommended to me by multiple marketers, it can be tough to find a high quality copy, but is worth the effort.
- Cashvertising – I think about the “Life Force 8″ just about anytime I’m writing sales copy.
- Copyhour – Arguably the most effective out of all of them is Derek’s method of handwriting sales pages.
#10: Create something
Anytime I’m feeling unproductive, I look at my desktop where I have a note that says “Are You Consuming or Creating?”
Regardless of what you do in your lifestyle business, you’re going to be creating something. So you might as well start now.
Write a blog post, edit a photo, start a website – create something. If you get in the habit to creating as much as you consume, you’ll be amazed at how quickly things can progress.
BONUS: Join Location Rebel
You don’t need to spend any money or join any course to have a successful online lifestyle business. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying – you can find all the information you need, out there for free.
That being said, there are tools and resources that make the path much easier – and Location Rebel is one of those resources.
It has detailed blueprints to help you with all ten of the previous steps in this post. It has a community of hundreds of people who were exactly where you are right now – and have built successful businesses on their own.
Having that support system coupled with an exact roadmap for what you need to do is everything I wish I had when I was getting started.
Jason made $4,000 on his own within 30 days of joining. Carlo joined in December and just booked a one way ticket to Thailand. Tristan joined in January of last year and 9 months later had his first 5 figure month and 2 employees. The stories like this go on and on.
You don’t need this program, but I’d love to see you inside if you’re ready to make a commitment to building a life where the only boss is yourself.
What actions would you recommend people take right now in order to gain traction with their dream lifestyle?