One of the first things I talk about when working with a start up client is the importance of working out what your WHY is!
What you should start thinking about is WHY you want to start an online business?
Originally mine was make money and be able to work from home, travel more and all the usual stuff. Then I started researching on how to figure out your WHY and quickly realised that your personal WHY cannot be to make money … that is a result of your WHY! What you actually need to recognise is your motivators, what your beliefs are and what will drive you and allow you to be happy on your journey.
Watch this amazing 2 minute video by Simon Sinek that explains discovering your Why.
Or the long version by Tony Robbins talks about “Why we do what we do”, well worth 22 minutes of your life!
I’m not saying you need to figure it out immediately, don’t dwell on this too much yet, just mull it over and it may come to you further along the journey. For now it is enough to have the question in the back of your mind so you will hopefully find the answer soon.
What My WHY Is ….
Originally I stumbled on my WHY, I moved to London in 2007 for my then partner, and to be able to live in London, I had to get a study visa! For the first year I studied International Business, but that bored me as I probably could have taught the class after being in the travel industry for 15 years already. So for the second year I studied Web & Graphic design …. Bingo the light went on and I found the thing that really interested me. Meanwhile my sister and I had been discussing going into business together for years but we never knew what? I wanted a business that would allow me to travel and be flexible with where I lived, so an Internet business seemed like the best solution as she was in Australia and I was in London at the time.
We ended up listing out what we loved to do in general and the idea for Foodie HQ was born, the first version of this site was created by me during my course and was built using Dreamweaver … I thought I was so clever … lol. The next version of the site was built on Thesis theme template and we got a guy to do a bit of customisation for us. All the time we thought a blog / directory site would make us money because people would pay us lots of cash to advertise on the site (oh how wrong we were). After moving home to Australia in 2009 my sister and I decided to redo the site and really make it work so we paid $2,500 to have it completely customised to our requirements (don’t ever do this). Again we thought we were so clever but still no money rolled in and eventually I had to get a job to pay the bills. I was lucky enough to get a job working in digital marketing and that is when my world changed incredibly and I learnt how to do this digital marketing thing the right way 🙂
My WHY and the reason I created one of my businesses, DM|HQ, was to have a business where I have the flexibility to work from home or anywhere I choose, but my new and more important WHY for Flux Digital was to share my knowledge and experience. I have been in the same start up situation that you are in now and I did it wrong the first time (and made several mistakes on my 2nd & 3rd attempts). I wasted time, effort and a lot of money and gained nothing for 3 years. Only after years of learning and working with experts in digital marketing have I finally figured out the easier way to start an online business (notice I said easier and not easy).
The catalyst came for me at the end of 2012 when I was made redundant from my Marketing Manager job, which totally floored me as I loved what I did. At that stage I was running one online business after hours and one was on a back burner because I didn’t have the time to dedicate to it, but I was by no means ready to start my own digital business full time. However, I knew that if I didn’t take the opportunity straight away and give it a go, then it could be years before the opportunity presented itself again, so I knew I had to take the leap of faith and start immediately. So DM|HQ was born and I have been working on it full time since.
Now I am working on Flux Digital, which is an even more exciting project that I am doing with a business partner, Krista. Where we get to share our digital marketing knowledge and help other businesses grow using online techniques, it takes our WHY to a whole new level. We want to make things simple for others and be a catalyst for change in the industry by making the education process and implementation of digital marketing processes simple for a small business.
So in short, I wish I had a ME when I first started and if I can ease the path and guide you on the journey then I will be a happy camper. And of course I aiming for more money, more freedom and to travel more …. but my WHY is that I don’t want start ups to have to go through what I did in order to be successful because I now know there is a better way!
I’d love to know your WHY?
Author: Paula Clarke