If you are here for the very first time, “Hi, I’m glad you stopped by”, if this is not your first visit, then you probably know that I have recently started taking part in something called the Quick Start Challenge.
If you have no idea what I’m referring to, you can read about it here FAST FORWARD TO 2018 AND MY EXCITING NEW CHALLENGE, but please don’t do that now, I have something I really want to share with you. You can read my other post later, you don’t need to have seen it to understand what I have to share here.
This week ‘my QSC mission’ is to spend some time designing my dream lifestyle, thinking about what I want out of my business and then costing it out so that I know what my monthly income goal needs to be to achieve it. Finishing off by writing a blog post about it. That’s my ‘Quick Start Challenge Week 2 Task’.
Right off the bat, when I first heard this it didn’t sit well with me, it didn’t feel right somehow. I couldn’t say why at first and so I set some time aside and I thought about why I had the reaction I did.
First of all let me explain my initial reaction/thoughts:-
Why would anyone care what my dream lifestyle is? We’re not related, we’ve never met, we’ve never so much as shook hands, hell you don’t even know what I look like face to face! Why would my dream lifestyle be of any interest to you?
If I am going to ask you to place your trust in me, like me even, then you should want to know if our beliefs and values are the same or similar. Do you need to know if I want a jet-ski, nah not so much!
I thought a lot about what I see when I visit other websites, where people are displaying their expensive cars, their big houses with pools, all the photos of them in front of landmark places as they travel the world and what my gut reaction to it is. It tends to be, ‘yeah and if I follow you and buy from you I am paying for you to fund that lifestyle’. Of course on some level I understand AND accept this, but do I need it shoved down my throat? Actually, no thank you I don’t. Does it incentivize me to follow you, no not really.
And before you say it, no that’s not envy talking, I want to be clear on that. I don’t begrudge anyone having their dream lifestyle. In fact I positively encourage it. You can learn why on my About page. I just have no desire to publicize mine all over the internet. You may want to and that’s great, for YOU.
Having said that I don’t want you to believe that I don’t advocate planning, it is imperative. Or that you don’t need to have a clear idea of your destination. You absolutely do. If you don’t have that, how will you ever arrive at it.
Then… I had a kerching moment! I realised that I had been looking at this all wrong, through the eyes of others. I was bristling at the thought I was going to have to post about material things and the income I needed to achieve to get them!
BUT hang on, WHY?
Nobody said that I had to post about those things…
Sure they were used in the example, but that was just an example, right. That example does not have to define me.
WHAM! It hit me, I realised in that moment that I had been subconsciously conditioned to believe that ‘the dream lifestyle and success’ had to be defined by those things. For me and many others I imagine, they do not.
So I looked at the instruction again, to make sure I had fully understood what was required of me and this time, the first sentence just leapt off the page at me, it was:-
“write a blog post detailing why you have started building an online business”
This sentence resonated with me more than anything else. So in this post I am going to try to share my WHY with you.
So why have I started this blog? A simple enough question. Not, I have discovered an easy one to answer. Not if you really dig deep and think about it and not just trot out some anecdotal one liners about world peace and saving the Whales. That’s not to say I don’t care about those things…
For those of you who are of a certain age, do you remember the Miss World contests, where the contestants were asked to share a little about themselves? Almost all of them without exception ended with “and I want World peace”. It became a ‘stereotype’.
I do not want to be a stereotype and more importantly I don’t want you to become a stereotype.
Stereotype – “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”
I have come to realise that by choosing to write this blog, I have by default become a leader. By that I am not giving myself some kind of fancy title, or position, it is in fact a responsibility. I can however only be a leader if I have followers. That is people who actually want to follow along with me, who voluntarily put their hand up and choose to come along in the direction that I’m heading.
The next logical question is ‘why should you choose to follow me’?
I have been in the online space fully for about 3 years now and I can count on one hand the online marketers who I still know, like and trust out of the many hundreds I have come across. Without exception these people have retained my loyalty over the years because they provided me with a safe place when I was vulnerable and needed it and they gave me value first without any expectation of reward from me. Have we since exchanged value over the years? Yes, many times, because I trust their judgement and opinion.
Here’s an example. I recently decided to buy a new computer. I do a lot of video work and therefore know that I need a high-end spec like a gaming computer. I did some research of my own, but I also reached out to a couple of video marketers who I know, for their advice. When I go and buy my computer, despite doing my own research it will be their recommendation I follow. Why? Because I trust their judgement and advice over my own in their realm of expertise.
I want this blog to be somewhere you have a sense of belonging, safety and protection. So that as you work on your business and go on your own particular journey, you have a safe place you can come to for help, somewhere with a sense of community and with values the same as your values, where you will find other like-minded people and together you will support each other and be stronger.
To give you an example of what I mean here, let’s say you travel abroad on holiday and you live in London, England. Once you are there, from a crowd, you suddenly hear another English voice. Chances are you will gravitate toward that person and will most likely say hi and strike up a conversation with them saying you are also from England. Why? They are just as much a stranger to you as any other person around you.
Why? Because we feel safe with others who are like us, who possibly share our values and beliefs. That is what this blog space can give to you.
I have come across too many online marketers who see their subscribers, their ‘list’ only as an ATM. They want cash, so they send out an email promoting the latest shiny object and wait for their PayPal account to fill up. If that is ALL you are about, you are going to be out of business pretty quick.
My vision, is to help people (you) to achieve a sustainable online passive income. To help you clarify your why, define your vision and provide you with value in the form of words, deeds and actions, so that you have something tangible you can implement to help you reach your goals on the road to your vision. And I will be doing that with no real expectation of anything in return. Except perhaps your loyalty.
If you follow me here, there is not going to be a magic push button solution to achieving your goals overnight. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far and be around for a long time, you’re in the right place – we go together. Together we are stronger.
I will help you find your strengths, give you encouragement, push you and support you and if necessary even chastise you. If you choose to follow me, you will become a member of my online family and will benefit from the safety of that family until you are ready to go out on your own. You can come back whenever you want, there will always be room for you. (I will not however be doing your laundry lol).
Ok so if you are still here reading, I’m pretty much guessing you are thinking, ok she is saying all this about the WHY but really what’s in it for her?
Have you ever heard of WIIFM? What’s in it for me.
The best way I can describe WIIFM is to say that I am being simultaneously selfless and selfish.
In helping you, without any real expectation of something in return, I am being selfless. Why am I doing that, because that is what gives me a deep feeling of fulfilment and joy, the feeling of adding value to your lives is what gives my life purpose; is what makes me tick and what makes we want to keep doing it every day, every week, month and year. That is me being selfish.
Doing this means I am doing what I love and loving what I do. This is what makes we wake up every day inspired to do the work and feel fulfilled at the end of every day. That is WIIFM.
Am I a philanthropist? No!
Have I found a way of living without money? No!
Do I hope that by helping and encouraging you and steering you toward your vision, and supporting you when you need it most, you will grow to know like and trust me. Yes.
Do I hope that by providing you with an environment where you feel safe and it’s ok to be vulnerable, that you will at some point exchange value with me? Yes, that would be very rewarding for me.
My main focus is not on numbers, it is on people. The real living breathing human beings who are out there looking at the computer screen who I have a responsibility to.
Are numbers important in your business? Yes of course. You have to look at them to see if you are incrementally moving forward toward your goals and ultimately your vision. They are how you measure your progress, but that’s all they are.
If you are struggling, numbers will not come and help you, people will.
People are ultimately who we are accountable to, not numbers, not statistics, not metrics. People.
My point is that making money should be the result of the exchanging of value, of providing support, knowledge, guidance and safety. It should not be the why, in my humble opinion.
So if you share these same values and beliefs, if any of what I’ve said resonates with you, then come and join the community and together we will grow toward your why and your vision.
That my friends is my why.
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