Have you ever been overwhelmed with building a lifestyle business?
Who am I kidding?
We all have at one point or another.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a budding coach, or if you already have clients, building your online business can seem like a gigantic mountain to conquer.
It can bring up excuses, fears and overwhelm that stop the best of us.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Overwhelm can be minimized by breaking things down into tiny steps.
You can build a thriving lifestyle business even if you have a full-time job.
The key is to focus on the right tasks. On the cornerstones, if you will.
1. Finding the Intersection
The first step is to discover what you want to do.
But this is not just about you.
You also have to find what people are willing to pay for. You have to find the intersection between what you want to do, what you’re good at, and what people want.
If you’re already an established change-maker (coach, teacher, healer, trainer, etc), you still have to stand out from the crowd.
When I started Wake Up Cloud, I started off vague. I couldn’t narrow it down. But I knew I had to take action, so I started anyway.
And by doing that, I discovered that perfection is not a requirement. When you take action, you learn, even if things aren’t perfect.
Some people will know their niche right away. Most won’t. It doesn’t matter in which group you are as long as you move forward.
2. Setting Up Your Home Base
The next step is to set-up your home base.
This is where your tribe will gather. This is where people will come to consume your content.
They’ll get so much for free that they’ll become curious.
Curious about what your newsletter holds.
Curious about how good your products are if your free stuff is this good (a customer actually told me this once after buying all of my products).
Curious enough to sign-up for coaching or consulting.
This blog is my home base. I regularly receive emails from new readers who thank me for content I’ve put out years ago.
It never ceases to amaze me.
I could be sleeping and helping someone at the same time. And you can do this, too. It’s all about setting up your home base properly.
3. Article Writing
The next cornerstone is article writing, or content creation.
Written content is still the bread and butter of the internet. I know video is supposed to be the next big wave.
Maybe it is, but people still enjoy reading. And they always will.
It’s easy to take in. It’s fast. And it just works.
And that means you have to get good at writing articles. But not just any kind of articles.
You have to get good at showcasing your competence. You have to master content marketing so you attract clients and customers to you, without resorting to hard-selling.
You do this by teaching and inspiring your prospects. Tell people about what you do and the problems you solve while adding value.
However, content creation is nothing with our next step, which is list building.
4. List Building
You have to build an email list.
You absolutely have to get people on your newsletter.
Your home base should be set-up to get people interested in your email newsletter, because that is where you can truly make a difference in people’s lives.
Email is a much more intimate way of communicating. It’s also easier for you to tell your tribe about your products and services.
I love my subscribers. I like the fact that they can hit reply and it’ll end up in my email inbox.
Building an email list is crucial for any online business. I so often see people try to skimp on getting a quality email service provider, and it ends up biting them in the ass.
5. Product Creation
Last, but not least, if you want a lifestyle business, you need products.
You could focus all your time on 1-on-1 work, which is fine. But products are not only good for bringing in “passive” revenue.
They build authority. And they help you go deeper with your 1-on-1 clients.
Products are a great way for your audience to sample what you do, and then take it deeper via individual work.
The downside is that it takes time to create products and ecourses that sell.
You can’t just release your first product and expect money to roll in. You have to build an audience. You have to get people on your email list.
And you have to have a home-base that pulls new people in.
And you have to find the intersection for your business, so you stand out from the crowd.
Now, all of this seems overwhelming, doesn’t it?
That’s okay, because you don’t have to think about everything all at once.
The only thing you have to think about is your next step.
If you’re just starting out, your next step is to find the intersection between what you want to do and what people want.
If you already have a website, are you building a list? Are you writing content that attracts the people you want to serve?
Focus on your next step.
And keep it simple.
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I love what you are doing and I’ve found your articles and free e-book so useful. I’m struggling to narrow down as I’m a Child Coach. So I coach the kids but it’s the parents who are paying. So I’m tailoring my messages to the parents. The problem is not with the parents though, it’s with the kids? Self confidence – can you help?
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it, Lisa.
Could you send me an email with a bit more detail? It’s hard to do much via the comment section.
ok will do – thank you!
Neal Martin says
Another excellent article Henri. At present, I have the first four cornerstones you mentioned in place. I’m working on building an audience. Next step is to create some products, which seems the hardest part to me, in terms of time and creative energy but this is why I started in the first place, to release my own stuff. I’m enjoying the process so far and everything feels right at this time. I hope to have my first product out by the start of next year. Thanks for the inspiration as always Henri.
Good work on taking action!
What I do to make product creation easier is that I get curious about my readers, customers and clients.
I’m curious all the time, but you can learn a lot by getting on the phone with them, asking questions on your newsletter, or just putting a survey out there.
Keep rocking, Neal!
Jeffrey Pears says
Thank you for helping me stay focused, take one step at a time, and take action no matter what. You are an inspiration! Thanks for keeping it real!
Thank you, Jeffrey!
Lori Stalter says
Great to-do list! I so relate to feeling vague at first, but you’re absolutely right. Clarity comes as you take action and do, do, do. I made another huge breakthrough this past weekend while reworking my website. I feel ready to amp up my work on step four while I continue to work on step 3. Thanks for letting me know I’m on the right track!
Your website looks great. Good work on the reworking.
Keep on going!
Lori Stalter says
Thanks for taking a look. Your opinion means a lot to me.
Awesome post as usual buddy. Agree entirely. The building of an email list is something I need to do.
Ill take this advice on board.
Get on it, sir. Right away 😉
The part on you being vague at first and then being focused resonated with me. I feel my blog is pretty vague too, but I’m starting to get more focused as my list has grown to nearly 3,000.
I’m curious though, how do you exactly focus in a lifestyle business? What if it’s like general personal development?
You can focus in many ways.
If the topic is general, you can put in your own perspective and spin on things.
You could dive deeper into the topic. For example, what one thing is it about personal development that you’re most interested in? Focus on that and become known for that.
Hmm interesting. What if it’s “Believing in yourself”? Isn’t that still considered general?
It could be.
But you could go deeper into believing in yourself with questions like:
– How specifically believing in yourself?
– Why is that important?
– What does it look like to believe in yourself?
– What problem does it solve? (this is an important one)
Ahh okay interesting!
Am in the midst of creating my first product. I surveyed my list and from what it looks like, the product will cover a few areas in personal development.
That being said, I wonder if it’s too general that people wouldn’t want to buy it at all.
When it comes to sales, isn’t it important to be extremely focused? To solve mainly one problem right?
It’s important, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deal breaker.
My advice: put the product out there and see what happens. You’ll learn a lot.
Thanks for the all quick replies Henri!
Brendan Baker says
Awesome post and great timing for me!
Thanks for sharing… will be back to read more :D!
Stuart Young says
Hi Henri, nice blog! We’re on the same page although you’re a couple of 3 years ahead of me. I just launched my book ‘How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time’ and have created a 90 Day Home study program to go with it but need a steer on how to generate quality traffic that doesn’t cost more than I get for the books. Any advice for a newbie? Stu 🙂
Yes. Guest blogging.