01 Feb 5 Things That Helped Me Grow My Online Business
I felt inspired to share some things that helped me grow my online business after a few recent conversations with friends who are starting businesses.
It isn’t typical business advice you’d regularly come across online. Typical is not my style 😉
But rather some unconventional lessons I wish I knew sooner.
In the spirit of caring less and doing what feels right, we are rolling with it.
So here we go… 5 things that helped me grow my online business.
Ps. When I started my business in 2016 I had no idea what I was doing. I was curious, I felt I had a deeper purpose here and I wanted to explore this.
I actually didn’t think it was possible for me to grow my online business. So I seeked help.
At the start, my logical mind thought I needed specific courses, marketing help, funnels, ads, sales scripts, logos.
Chasing most of that stuff led me down the wrong path.
Even if it had of worked for me, I would’ve hated running my business because I hated doing things that way.
I’ve grown my online business into something I LOVE because I have done things MY WAY.
My days are long and I “work” a lot but it mostly feels like play because I have grown it from my soul rather than from a perfect plan.
That’s what I wish I’d learnt sooner and ultimately is my biggest tip for you.
Now let’s go deeper into the other 5 things that helped me grow my online business.
5 Things That Helped Me Grow My Online Business
1. I Worked On Myself So I Could Show Up As Myself
It’s crazy how we tend to show up in a way we think other people want to see.
It’s even crazier than most of you don’t know who you are.
In order to discover that, you need to do the work to peel back the layers of conditioning that are hiding your true self.
I used to be so shy! I was so scared to talk to people in real life let alone take photos or videos and put them up on the internet.
Speaking my message terrified me- What if I’m wrong? What if I’m not good enough? What if people hate me?
I had story after story of how I was just a shy person and I didn’t fit in because people didn’t like me.
I had so many fears keeping me small.
Even when I did start showing up online, I was showing up small, scared, not confident in who I was or what I believed in.
The person I truly am was hiding under all these fears.
I had to learn to identify the stories and let them go in order for the real me to shine.
It’s a process I’m still working on, because there are many layers!
We all have them. But I have come so far in peeling them back and uncovering more of who I am. Then showing up as her.
The deeper I go, the more everything else grows (because I do).
I still remember the first time I went live on my Facebook.
It was part of a challenge in a course I was doing. I was so scared.
I went to the shopping centre, sat in the food court and told myself I couldn’t go home until I did it.
And so I went live.
It would’ve been much easier to do it alone at home rather than in a public space where people could see me talking to my phone. But I had to put that pressure on. I did it. The video wasn’t great. I wasn’t showing up with confidence or authority. It didn’t help me get clients or anything like that.
But it was step 1. It helped me start to get over my fears by facing them head on.
Looking back, that challenge changed my life in a way. It got me started and from there I kept pushing to show up more.
For ages I was still showing up as who I thought people wanted me to be.
The most valuable work I’ve done with coaches over the years has been working on my mindset so I could gain the awareness of who I am. And then the confidence to show up as her.
Not caring what people think of me has been one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.
People can sense authenticity and they value this.
Showing up as who you are is not easy but the deeper you go the better.
This means no more overthinking or questioning whether you’re enough, not caring about how you’ll be judged, not filtering what you say, not caring what you look like etc.
And it means dropping your ego too.
I know you may think you don’t have any fears, “I’m perfect and people love me”.
But if you’re not where you want to be it’s because you’ve got beliefs holding you back from being who you really are.
They are often subconscious so are not easy to identify unless you do the work to uncover them.
2. I Hired The “Right” Mentors, Not The Best Marketers
I roll my eyes when I hear typical business advice these days.
Back in the day, I hired a lot of these “typical coaches” to help me.
I’m not saying their approach doesn’t work for some people. But it never worked for me and it never felt good.
I’ve invested hundred’s of thousands of dollars in business coaches and mentors over the years, some of whom have been very helpful, others were expensive lessons.
At the start I mostly hired business coaches who I thought I needed because they were selling internet marketing and sales strategies. They sounded like they knew what they were talking about, and they were really good at sales.
They made me feel like I needed their magical strategy. So I got sold time after time.
None of them worked for me.
Their methods always felt out of alignment.
I believed there was a better way. A way that lights up your soul and feels almost effortless.
As opposed to a boring, “salesy”, copycat like way, that feels robotic and like hard work.
With trial and error, I found this way. And it’s what has worked best for me.
The mentors and coaches who did help me were the people I looked up to. They had what I wanted and lived the life I wanted to live.
Mostly, they had low followings on social media and were not the best marketers.
Selling me into their programs wasn’t on their agenda at all. Getting to know me was.
They didn’t even really say exactly what I would get out of their program.
I signed up to them because I liked what they spoke about and my intuition said yes.
I felt like I had to even though I didn’t really know why.
It wasn’t forced, it kinda just happened.
They appeared in my life at the right time I needed them.
I took an interest in them as people, I resonated with their message.
In most cases, I had already decided I’d be working with them whenever they released their next offer.
Most importantly, they all understand the energetics behind everything. I would never sign up with a coach again who doesn’t understand this because it makes a huge difference between good results and extraordinary results.
Everything is energy. Learn to work with it rather than against it and life becomes so much “easier”.
If you want to follow a laid out strategy that everyone else is using, that will limit you.
If you trust and do what you’re led to do from within, you’ll forever expand.
3. I Ignored The Rules
I got told numerous times I had to follow particular strategies in order to grow.
It usually included posting more progress photos (since my business is mostly fitness) and doing sales calls.
I never felt very comfortable sharing someone else’s progress to show off what I could do as a coach. I have done it, usually with a lot of context behind it because that feels more helpful to me. But I would prefer to share written testimonials which say a lot more than a photo in my opinion.
Talking on the phone is something I hate with a passion (even to family). Sales calls were my worst nightmare.
I didn’t want to do things that way and I refused to be one of those fitness coaches with a wall full of client progress pics on their instagram.
There had to be another way that felt right for me.
It was when I fully let go of the rules and feeling like I had to do certain things to succeed, the answers came to me.
I started doing things my way. And my business started to really grow.
There is a big difference between getting uncomfortable for growth, and doing things that feel uncomfortable because they are out of alignment.
You need to learn to feel this difference.
If something doesn’t feel good to you, then you don’t have to do it. If something feels hard or scary and different to what you normally do, but at the same time feels right, then that is the way for you.
Ignoring the rules was one of the most important things that helped me grow my online business.
It’s hard because you have to trust that it will work even if you do things differently. But it’s totally worth it for the ease it ends up creating.
4. I Focused On My Energy Rather Than The Numbers
Every typical business coach will tell you that you have to know your numbers.
My biggest periods of growth are when I am not focusing on my numbers.
Similar to focusing on the number on the scale when you want to lose weight, when you want to grow your business, focusing on the numbers will limit you…
Unless you know how to keep your mindset right despite what the numbers might be saying.
It’s very easy to look at your numbers, especially at the start and then get discouraged because they are not where you want them to be.
There’s benefit in doing this in terms of identifying triggers, then working through them. But otherwise you need to focus on your energy.
You will not grow if you are in an energy of lack or contraction.
You need to be in an energy of growth and expansion.
How do you get there? That’s easy. The hard part is staying there.
When you see the numbers not doing what you want them to do, it is so easy to get into lack energy.
What helps me to stay in an abundant state rather than lack and needy, is coming back to doing what I love.
I love helping people, creating and teaching.
When I get into flow doing all of these things, everything else takes care of itself. This includes my numbers.
I don’t need to focus on them for them to grow so why would I waste my energy doing that when half the time it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t give me validation or fulfilment either, even when they’re good.
What actually gives me those things is creating and helping. So that’s what I focus on mostly.
I do mindset work around money too, I have intentions around money and the clients I serve, but that’s different from focusing on the actual numbers (e.g. number of leads, number of sales conversations, conversion rates, social media engagement, number of views, number of clients etc).
5. I Made A Home On The Internet
It’s not about just showing up to sell or market yourself. It’s about showing up in your home and treating your audience like guests.
If a friend or family member comes over to your house, you’d normally offer them a drink or some food or a seat or something right.
It’s the same with your home on the internet.
First of all you need a home…
In order to grow my online business I found my home on the internet.
It’s my website. I know a lot of people will tell you that you don’t need a website, I think that is true.
But you do need a home on the internet if you want to grow online.
Using Instagram or Tik Tok or Facebook or Youtube is great for reaching people and showing them what you do.
If you choose one of those to be your home that’s fine too.
But when using other platforms as your home you have to follow the rules of that platform. If something happens to any of these, then you may no longer have a home.
My instagram got deactivated in 2020. It didn’t really bother me because it’s just a hotel I stay in, it’s not my home. If I had only had Instagram and nothing else, it would have been a very stressful experience.
So I like the fact I have a permanent home and not just a space I rent or stay in occasionally.
Then, you need to offer your guest something.
It sounds terrible but people don’t really care about YOU.
They care about what they can get from seeing you.
Maybe it’s inspiration, or knowledge or simply they feel good in your energy. But you need to offer something for them to want to stay.
Lastly, if you want to grow online, then you have to be online.
You need to show up as much as possible and put your face out there.
In a world where there are scammers and so much fake, it helps to validate who you are.
And people want to see people. They resonate with people. They don’t really care to just see your pretty logo. And they don’t resonate with your colour scheme.
Stop worrying about the shit that doesn’t matter and show up as yourself.
It’s actually easy, don’t make it hard.
The Point Being…
If you want to grow your online business, or create anything for that matter.
Get inspired, get information but then do things YOUR WAY!
Learn how to be you and do what truly lights you up.
That could be doing a bunch of sales calls, running ads or whatever else you want.
But do it because it feels right for your soul to be doing it.
Do it the way you feel led to, not because it’s what anyone has told you that you have to do.
There are principles and methods for achieving anything- whether that be changing your body, or you’re an aspect of your life.
Follow the principals but make the method your own.