[5 MONTH UPDATE] JOURNEY TO STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS
I can’t believe it has already been 5 months on my quest to starting an online business. I guess looking back I have achieved a lot of progress but not at the rate that I would have liked. From being a very lost soul 5 months ago, I now have a clear direction of where I want to take my online Business, ‘Move Your Life Abroad’ and the brand image that I want to create.
The last month has been testing at times and there have been high’s and low’s, but all in all I think it has been one of my most productive months thus far. My website is finally gaining some traction and should be ready to launch in the coming months. The main thing that I have been struggling with though is whether I should be launching my blog and website before I finish creating the membership course, or whether I should focus all my attention on finishing the course so that I can begin marketing it straight away and start creating revenue earlier on.
1. New Schedule
Creating a new schedule for working on my website has been the biggest help this month because it has meant that I’ve been able to sit down and work. The new schedule consists of working on my website from 11am – 2pm, Monday to Friday, with no excuses (except if I have my internship). Although this is only 3 hours of work per day, 5 times per week, it has been amazing for my productivity and peace of mind.
One of the hardest things about working from home has been getting motivated to do the work. By having this schedule in place, and by making it mandatory that I turn up each day, I can treat it more like a job, which I need to do in order to create some momentum in my working habits. It has been extremely helpful and encouraging that my brother (who is also my flatmate), has been doing the same thing, so we have been able to keep each other motivated.
I hope to be able to increase this work time to 4 hours per day within the next month or 2. The only problem I’m having at the moment is being productive during the 3 hours and not getting distracted. I find that if I have a specific task that I want to achieve within the 3 hours, that I work extremely fast and productively.
2. Membership Pages
During the first week after starting this new work schedule I was able to complete all images and pages for my membership site, which feels great. The site looks amazing and all that needs to be done now is add the relevant video lessons (which I need to create). Creating these lessons and tutorials is going to take a bit of time but I am looking forward to knuckling down and creating them over the next couple of months. I am just waiting for my new computer (which I should be getting in the next 2 weeks) before I start creating the lessons.
You may have noticed that after 5 months I have finally added a logo to this website lewiblake.com. It literally only took me 5 minutes to make using logomakr and canva. These websites really are great free tools that I recommend everyone starting out uses. I also redesigned the logo for ‘Move Your Life Abroad’ because I wasn’t happy with the old one.
The new logo looks like this:
(The reason for the blank space on the right of the logo is to create more space next to the navigation menu. It’s the same colour as the background so can’t be seen in the header.)
4. Home Page
I have been spending quite a while designing the Home Page of ‘Move Your Life Abroad’ and I finally think that it looks alright. I have been spending so much time on this one single page that it makes me wonder whether it has been worth it because it could still look 1000 times better. I came to the realisation yesterday that I just need to create all of the pages for the website and launch the blog so I can start creating free content and start building some authority around my brand.
1. Computer Died
The must frustrating thing this month has been the death of my laptop. As I stated last month my laptop was already quite slow and lacked a lot of fundamental capabilities that I need to have in a computer to build my business, however it was still very useful and quicker than the desktop computer that I’m using now.
Unfortunately one faithful morning when I really didn’t want to get up and start working on my website, I brought a nice, hot coffee to my desk, but before the first drop of of freshly brewed coffee was able to hit my mouth,, the coffee mug slipped out of my hand and all over my laptop, frying both the internal circuit board of the laptop and my lap. I sat there for a few moments covered in hot coffee to soak in what had just happened, while my pants coincidentally soaked in the hot coffee.
Since I needed to get a new computer to start creating the tutorials for my membership site, perhaps this was a blessing because it meant that I could no longer justify using my old laptop. I shall be getting my new laptop next week.
Unfortunately, not having a laptop has meant that I haven’t been able to go in on Wednesdays to my internship. This has been a little demoralising because, as you may know by now, going to my internship is one of my favourite days of the week. Hopefully I will be able to return next week if I have my new laptop!
1. I Can Work
It has only taken me 5 months to show myself that I am able to work from home. This is a huge relief and has lifted a massive weight off my shoulders. No longer do I have to say that I am going to spend my whole weekends working on my website because I hadn’t made any progress throughout the week. I am finally able to enjoy myself and enjoy the free time that I have knowing that I am sticking to my schedule everyday.
I’ve been spending a substantial amount of time researching and looking through the travel websites that I enjoy reading lately, trying to find the aspects that are most appealing, and incorporating them into my own website. What I’ve come to realise is that all of the travel websites and blogs that I read and enjoy are personal websites. It has definitely made me think that ‘Move Your Life Abroad’ needs to be my personal brand that people can relate to. The blog posts need to be about my life overseas and the things that I’m doing and learning, so that others can learn from my experiences.
3. Get It Done
I have really been struggling with time management lately. I have been spending too long on simple tasks that should only take an hour or so and spending a week or two on them. I know how important it is to have a well designed website with quality content, but it is perhaps more important to launch the site and get it out there to the world, and improve on it once it’s launched. It is never going to be perfect, and I have to keep reminding myself that. One of the biggest regrets that business owners have when starting out is wishing they had launched their business sooner.
The one main focus I have for the coming month is to be more productive with the time that I have to work on ‘Move Your Life Abroad.’ I need to have a specific outline of what I hope to achieve on a given day, and do it. Lately, I have been starting my sessions with no clue of what I want to achieve, and therefore nothing worth while is achieved and 3 hours have just been wasted.
It is all about ‘mini-steps’ as my brother would say. The first step was to get into the routine of showing up and working 3 hours per day on the website. The next step is to be productive in that time. At the end of each session, I plan on writing down what I hope to achieve the following day, so that when it comes time to start working, I know exactly what to do and I don’t waste any time. In terms of lewiblake.com, I haven’t really been spending any time on here except to write these monthly updates. I believe it is good to reflect each month on what I’ve achieved and what I hope to achieve the following month. I really enjoy reflecting on the progress that I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned and think that it’s going to be a good record to have in the future looking back on all of the progress (or lack thereof) that I have made month to month.
That’s all for now.
Thanks for reading, see you next month!