Recently, I purchased an inexpensive online business-related e-book by Niamh (pronounced “Neev” – it’s Irish) Arthur. As I result, I ended up on her e-mailing list. Consequently, I’ve watched a few of her videos. One series is about how to align your online business with who you are at your core.
As you can tell from what I preach on this blog, I am all about people finding “true” success; that is, success based on their individual bent and desires, rather than the mainstream culture’s definition of success. But over the past few years – I’ll blame it on the stress of making a major lifestyle change and then having to adjust to it (not to mention going through one of the biggest tests to a marriage there is, having a new house built) – I’ve let my own business get a bit out of alignment.
Thanks to the wisdom Niamh shares, I’ve done some radical thinking about the direction I want my business – and various facets of it – to go.
I’ve realized that if I am going to have the success that I want (I’m only experiencing a trickle of it right now), I must be true to myself in my business.
My deepest passions, my innate talents
I have two main passions. One is to help other people experience ongoing fulfillment in their lives by being true to themselves, and finding the freedom they need to live that life of what Niamh calls “alignment” (I like that word, so I’m going to use it).
The other passion is optimizing health via diet and nutrition.
By the time I was in third grade, I knew I was a good writer. And I loved to write stories. When I was in late high school and college, I recognized that while other students slaved and sweated over a ten-page term paper, I would “accidentally” write twenty pages and get it done a week before the deadline.
By the time I was eleven or twelve, I was seeing stars in my eyes – Hollywood or Broadway stars, because I had an affinity for acting. I joined the speech team in eighth grade and continued on with it through my senior year, and in the ninth grade began acting in plays, first as part of the 4-H group my sisters and I belonged to, and second as part of the drama team in high school. As shy as I was, I aced public speaking assignments from the seventh grade all the way through my freshman year of college (the only year I was required to take a speech course).
In my mid- to late-twenties, I became part of a short-lived drama team that performed Biblical stories at the church fellowship I attended at the time.
- Helping people find success.
- Helping people experience vibrant health.
- With which talents? Writing and acting.
Every facet of my business needs to line up with my two passions and my two greatest talents.
Business facet #1: My blogs
I am shutting down two other blogs you probably didn’t even know about because, while I have a passing interest in their topics, they don’t line up with my two passions.
As hard as I’ve tried to write about “everything” pertaining to life freedom on this blog, it wants to focus on success, and financial and work freedom – with a whole lot of me thrown in to pepper it up. 😉 I will still write about health once in a while, but I’ve decided to let the blog be what it wants to be, and talk a lot more about success principles and finding freedom in the area of finance and work.
But of course I cannot deny that part of me that must talk about healthy eating and nutrition. So (with my husband rolling his eyes) I’ve started a new blog that will revolve solely around the topics of healthy eating, weight loss, and nutrition – including healthy supplements. Click here if you want to check it out (at the beginning of March, you won’t find much, but I plan to fill it out pretty quickly).
Business facet #2: Self-publishing
Now that I’ve finally figured out how to make sales of my novels (write a series and offer the first book for free), I am excited about writing fiction again.
This is about being true to myself, right? When I was teaching school, I took three or four personality tests (besides the Myers-Briggs). At least two of them (including the Myers-Briggs) indicated that I am the type of person that, when she sees a task before her, wants it done yesterday. While I am a visionary, I don’t tolerate well mundane tasks that never end (thus my loathing for housecleaning), nor do I enjoy long-term projects.
Such as, well, let me see…novels?
Confession time: writing novels make me crabby. I am so anxious to get a novel off my to-do list that I push myself to write as many pages a day as I can. And because I am pressuring myself, I get irritable and impatient with the people around me.
That ain’t right.
I also struggle with plot lines that go beyond 100 pages. In fact, with every single novel I have ever written I have lost complete interest in it by the time I was halfway through.
Does that sound like I find novel-writing fulfilling?
Back when we were finishing out our house, I wrote a post telling you that I’d discovered the joy of writing short stories.
I recently rediscovered that joy. I can finish a short-short story in two or three days. I can finish a 50-page short story in a about a week and a half (we’re talking writing five pages a day). They are short-term projects that do not require me to warp my brain trying to figure out plot twists and turns that will not provoke reviewers to call my story “unbelievable.”
Perhaps most importantly, I can write a short story and remain in a good mood with Jerry and Benjamin.
So for the foreseeable future, I am going to stick with short stories. I will sell individual stories for ninety-nine cents and create $2.99 anthologies. Will they sell as well as romance novels?
That can’t matter anymore. I have to be true to myself, and myself does not like fleshing out long stories. At least, not at this point in my life. Who knows – I may end up making more money as a short story writer because I am doing what I truly love!
What about non-fiction? I’m mostly done with that. I’ve just completed a book about how to write an excellent e-book, and that will be it for now.
Business facet #3: YouTube
I began my YouTube channel as a marketing strategy. Then I became a YT partner and began seeing it as an income stream.
Here’s what I’ve found: YouTube provides me with an outlet for the actress and public speaker within me. It is okay for marketing, but not nearly as good as I was told it would be several years ago. It is okay for an income stream, but you have to find the exact right niche – usually some kind of entertainment or popular subculture – for your channel to really take off and make money.
I am going to continue to make and upload videos to YouTube, maybe even start creating a video for every blog post I publish. But right now it feels better when I consider video creation as a hobby, and a way to cover my basic business expenses.
If you are considering starting any kind of online business, I urge you – if you haven’t already done so – to download Take Back Your Life! (at the top of the page) and go through the steps of determining your purpose. Then make sure that whatever you plan to do lines up with who you really are, your true self.