**Bonus** My Five Top Lessons Learned From My First Online Business

I'm changing things up this week, and talking about my top 5 lessons I've learned in my first online business.  We will go back to regularly scheduled podcasting next week!

Some of things I talk about are:

1. Why trusting your instincts is crucial to business success.

2. Why planning and preparing is everything.

3. The biggest mistake I made when in regards to content and products.

4. The top thing I suggest you start learning to do.

5. The one thing you absolutely must do RIGHT now in order to be successful!

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41 - Tip Tuesday - How To Create a Launch Strategy That Sells with Farideh Ceaser

Farideh Ceaser is a musician and a launch strategist.  Farideh was a musician for 15 years, and she had a successful career.  She lived in a remote part of Canada, and had to do everything herself, like finding the money for her tours, promoting it, and working to find fans.  There ended up being things that really became way too physically demanding for her, and she had to take a look at her lifestyle.  She got engaged and the thought of having kids while touring, just didn’t seem appealing. 

She loved writing the marketing plans so much, that she ended up really teaching other entrepreneurs to launch their products successfully.  She loves finding ways to help people think outside of the box when it comes to a launch strategy.

What is a launch?  Launching is releasing a product, and you’re launching it into the world, and you’re essentially creating buzz around it.  It’s not available all the time, or there is...

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37 - Tip Tuesday - Secrets Behind a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

Have you ever wanted to start a project within your business, but you didn't have the funds to get it going?  Well, a campaign on Kickstarter might be something you may want to try.  Colleen Darby did just that, and she was kind enough to share her tips and secrets to getting double her initial ask!

Colleen was turning 50 and really wanted to take a new approach to her life, and take on a dream she had always had of being a full time artist.  She decided to take 30 days off from her day job, and work towards this dream.  She was working as an artist in residence in an oncology floor, when she realized no matter how beautiful the day was outside, that the patients really only had a view of the same white walls.  That's when her idea of A Room With A View came to be.  She wanted to paint landscape views for the patients.

She did start planning her launch in March and didn't launch the Kickstarter Campaign until August.  

What were the first steps in...

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28 - Lisa Jones Tells Us How They Have Made Luxury Dog Hotels a Booming Business

Lisa was lucky enough to become employee #1 for a doggy day care facility in Atlanta, GA, back in 1999.  She made sure that outside of just working there, that she took it upon herself to really learn the business.   She met her now husband, and after the business exploded, they were offered an opportunity to move to Austin.  After they built that facility to a point of turning away business, they helped build a second facility in Dallas.

They were then given the opportunity to buy the two facilities, they worked so hard to build.  After securing a loan, they proudly became business owners.

What was the one thing that was a big switch for them going from just managing to actually owning?  The financial mindset definitely changes when you go from just managing to owning, and understanding now everything really does fall on your shoulders. 

How do they make the employee relationship work?  Lisa has had her managers for her facilities stay 11...

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20 - Tip Tuesday - LinkedIn Profiles 101 with Karen Yankovich

Loved, loved, loved, the info in this Tip Tuesday, as Karen Yankovich, of Karen Yankovich.com stopped by to break down why you HAVE to be on LinkedIn if you own a business.  Lots of great information and tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and get the most out of this amazing social media medium.

Why should be a business owner be on LinkedIn?  Google’s algorithims rate LinkedIn very high.  Basically if anyone is ever going to do business with you, they’re going to want to know a little more about you.  You can either give them what you want them to know about you (and professionalize your profile) so they don’t have to keep on searching, or make them search more to find you (and have no idea the information they're going to find).  People are going to do their homework on you, and LinkedIn is going to come up when they do that homework.

Make them feel warm and comfortable when they go to look on doing business with you.

LinkedIn...

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17 - Mike Ahnemann - How He Took His Love of Mountain Biking and Made A Living From It

Mike Ahnemann’s story is near and dear to my heart.  It was a year ago, when he went from being my boss in the corporate world to telling us he was going to follow a dream.  Now, one year later, all he does is mountain bike all day for his company MTBProject.com.  Totally kidding, but he is living the ultimate dream by taking a passion and making a living out of it. 

I held off on this interview, waiting until I finally let my corporate job go, and was so excited to catch up with Mike on the anniversary of the day he left the Corporate America world, for a dream of bigger and better things.

Mike had a very niche skill set in the corporate world and ended up at a start-up company, where he lead a team for five years.  It was when Mike and a friend, who had success in a previous venture, saw a big need in the mountain biking community, that he saw a huge opportunity to do break out to do his own thing. Things fell into place when they landed a big...

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If You Build It, Will They Come? Five Steps To Keep Up Your Entrepreneur Momentum

You have this amazing business idea, and you know that you're the absolute best person for this 'job'.  You are beyond the moon excited and everything seems to be falling into place, letting you know that you're on the exact path you need to be on.  But when you put it out the world, no one is really jumping....

I think this is probably one of the hardest things for me, as an entrepreneur, that I've had to overcome.  Every time I move forward with a business idea, I get really excited, start pushing forward, and then become frustrated when not everyone is jumping on my bandwagon right away.  I always forget that people have to learn to trust you, learn that you're legit, and that businesses don't just explode over night.  However, no matter how many times I've learned this lesson, it's still hard to accept and take-in.  

I think the best analogy for entrepreneurship is a giant hill.  A really big giant hill.  There are days that you can push...

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09 - Tip Tuesday with Andrea Travillian - Five Financial Steps To Take To Get Ready for Self Employment

Nothing is scarier than saying good-bye to that steady paycheck and going out 100% on your own.  Andrea Travillian of Take A Smart Step is giving us five steps that we can make to get ourselves more prepared to make that plunge.

1. Learn To Live on Much Less Than You Make.  There are no general guidelines, but it’s really about understanding your goals, and the dollar amount it’s going to take to get to those goals.  Then it’s just about filling in that gap.

Instead of trying to set specific rules, it’s best just to try to work backwards into your numbers.  Find the gap between what you’re currently bringing in from your business to where you need to be to match your current income.  Set six months of that gap aside, and then the longer you can get that gap to work for you, the better.

2. Have An Emergency Fund.  Have one for your personal fund, and also have one for your business.   Six months is the minimum you...

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What Dating Taught Me About Business

I'm just going to put it out there:  In my 20's I was a pretty hot mess.

I can't say I had a whole lot of confidence, although I made sure to look like it appeared as the opposite. I drank way too much, and I really didn't know who I was at all.   Which led to every time I met someone, I wanted nothing more for them to like me, regardless of who they were.

Granted, I guess that really wasn't a bad attribute to have. However, it's not that great when you're not being yourself in order to get that person to like you.  One great example was this Greek god who was just amazing in the looks department.  You really couldn't understand half of what he ever had to say, but that was okay because just hearing him talk in his accent was totally worth it.   I was head over heels for this guy, and wanted to badly to be called Mrs. GG one day.  As perfect as he was, he was extremely old-fashioned in his thinking.  His idea of a wife was the old school...

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If Your Business Model is Based on Discounts, You're Wasting Your Time

Alright, I'll take that back, you're not wasting your time if your last name is Walton.

Anyone else, you need to listen.  Please, please, and another side of please, don't get into the world of discounts.  It's a vicious, vicious cycle, and I would hate to see you not be able to get out of it.

When I started my first company, I made this mistake.  It was the very first person who asked me if they could step outside of my standard pricing for something special just for them.   I was so eager to get business, that I didn't think twice, and I did it.  What ended up happening that I had a hard time raising the price.  Then, when I hired employees to take care of this client, it actually ended up costing me money.  So either I had to do it myself or lose money.  That's just not a scalable business.

So let me just break down the different thought process on this type of client.

So here was my mindset:  I'm going to do this at a discount...

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