I WASTED 2,5 YEARS
Learn From My Mistakes - SAY YES! and Become a Success!
A SLIGHTLY SAD STORY WITH A VERY HAPPY END
Are you an entrepreneur who is ready to give up? Do you think it will never happen for you or you think it's too hard?
READ MY STORY
It's time to tell you about the many - many - mistakes I made.
Why? Because it's important that you know that this whole "Get Rich in 2 Weeks - While doing 4 hours naps in your hammock" story is bullshit. Entrepreneurship is something you learn by failing like crazy and by more . . . but I will share that later with you.
I made a crucial mistake. And I'm begging you to NOT make this mistake!
For 2,5 year I didn't ask for help. I struggled, had very little money, high levels of fear and stress. I almost crumbled under the heaviness of having a dream without being able to realize it!
* February 2014 I decide to break with my old business partners and loose all my money, clients and office space. I had been a freelance consultant since 2002 and have to start completely afresh!
MISTAKE 1 CREATING 'STUFF' WITHOUT FULLY UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF MY SOUL CLIENTS.
* March 2014 I spent my last money on an Online Business Program and realize working online is amazing. After taking off in the wrong direction (at least 9 times) I decide on creativity and business.
I read EVERY book on creativity and take EVERY course on the subject. I combine everything with my own background in marketing, branding, art and design and start creating.
* Summer 2014 After years of non-creative years I create, and create and create. And I love every moment of it.
MISTAKE 2 WORKING WITHOUT GOAL OR A CLEAR PLAN *YOU CANNOT REACH YOUR DESTINATION WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU'RE HEADING.
* December 2014. I am very happy with my decision to change everything, but money is really tight, I completely lack support and have no strategy.
* January 2015. I feel lost, I have some awesome clients - who soon have huge success - and work as a brand consultant, but I don't know how to be an online entrepreneur! I create program after program. Without a clue how to fit it into a bigger structure.
MISTAKE 3 THINKING THAT ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS SOMETHING I CAN ESCAPE *WE ARE NOT BORN AS ENTREPRENEURS IT'S A SKILL YOU NEED TO LEARN LIKE DRIVING A CAR.*
MISTAKE 4 95% FOCUS ON CREATING AND 5% ON BUSINESS AND STRATEGY WON'T WORK. AT ALL!
* March - May 2015, I create The Creative Journey. It's a labour of love. Everything is hand made. Years of research are in this program. It takes me 3 Months to create it. I spent $ 465 buying the wrong online programs. 1 amazing person buys the program for $440.
I give it to 5 people - 4 never even thank me for it.
* August 2015, I create a free Creative Challenge, it takes me 5 weeks - I even make videos in Berlin for it - 78 women join. They love it. I get raving reviews. "You completely changed my creative possibilities" someone writes. After it's finished I invite them to work with me. Nobody reacts.
MISTAKE 5 ORGANIZING A CHALLENGE (OR ANY OTHER EVENT) WITHOUT HAVING TO SELL SOMETHING AT THE END AND GIVING EVERYTHING AWAY!
* September - November 2015, The busyness remains. I create more programs than humanly possible. But because I don't know how to be an entrepreneur it's like I'm working only for me all the time! I see entrepreneurs - who started at the same time as me spending their holidays at Bali. I know I'm not supposed to be jealous . . .
MISTAKE 6 NOT STAYING IN MY LANE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE SOMETHING GROW BECAUSE OF MONEY FEARS AND ZERO PATIENCE!
* December 2015 - March 2016 I organize the Gloriously Imperfect Art Days in a beautiful barn in the Netherlands. Without any paid advertisement. Every day is fully booked. Because I don't know how to upsell (I actually forget to invite them to work with me!) the women leave at the end the afternoon and I never see them again.
MISTAKE 7 ORGANIZING FUN EVENTS WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT A NEXT OFFER FOR THE PARTICIPANTS
* January 2016, my email list doesn't grow! There are 311 people on my list, I write beautiful emails and create freebie after freebie, but I never get any reaction. When someone asks me how my business is going I just smile and nod as enthusiastically as I can. I feel ashamed about my own inadequacy to be a success.
MISTAKE 8 SPENDING DAYS ON CREATING FREEBIES WITHOUT HAVING A CLUE HOW TO GROW MY LIST WITH IT.
* March 2016, I work for 3 Months - day and night - to create The School of Art & Life for HSP Women- I get emails from known experts like Dr. Ted Zeff and Dr Elaine N Aron who tell they adore my program and see the huge relevance. I have NO idea how to sell it. I must have created at least 6 sales pages!
* April 2016 By sheer miracle 2 wonderful women buy my program for 19 dollar per month. The result of 672 hours of love, creativity, hard work, 27 years of expertise is 38 dollar.
MISTAKE 9 SPENDING MONEY AND TIME ON A MEMBERSHIP *OR ANYTHING NEW* WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING HOW COMPLICATED A MEMBERSHIP IS.
* May - June 2016 I FEEL HORRIBLE AND CRUSHED. I WANT TO GIVE UP.
The only thing that keeps me financially stable are my branding and marketing clients. But it's a constant struggle. When I visit my 'Welcome-to-the-Fifties-Accountant' he sighs and says: 'How can someone with that little income have so many papers and so many bills'.
I'm shocked, ashamed and have NO idea what to do. I work and work and work and I can't make it as an online entrepreneur.
Why does nobody buy my programs? Why am I invisible to the people I KNOW I can help and support? What's wrong with me? Am I that horrible a person?
MISTAKE 10 WORKING IN SOLITUDE WITHOUT SUPPORT AND BUSINESS FRIENDS IS THE BIGGEST BUSINESS MISTAKE I HAVE EVER MADE!
Summer 2016, my friend Anneke asks: "Do you have any support? Who is your coach?"
I'm dumbfounded. Because somehow I thought I had to figure it out myself. I completely focus on my tiny bubble. I've become a horrible freebie hunter, gathering virtual dust like crazy, because I'm afraid to invest. Because I'm afraid I'm lost anyway.
But an important seedling has been planted! I start looking for someone who can help me!
I find Sigrun. She's European, very structured and matter of fact. She has clients from all over the world and really understands entrepreneurship. I see that she has the organisation and confidence that I lack. I know there are many super known coaches out there. But I want to work with someone who's within reach and not some far away star I can never talk to in person.
* August 2016, I start working with Sigrun and join her Mastermind and than this happens ->
* September 2016 I start the Flow Mastermind and 9 women Sign up! 9!!! Simply because I invite them.
* November 2016, I finally stop 'shooting from the hip' and consistently apply the business strategy that I learn, my list grows from 311 to 2.100 subscribers (and I get lovely responses)
I also decide on my hook! Instead of trying to sell Everything! All my focus is on authentic branding (even though I also know everything there is to know about accountability, coaching, art, creativity, communication and what have you.)
* March 2017, Sigrun launches SOMBA and opens the doors to a wealth of knowledge and strategy. In the Mastermind we say: "I wish this SOMBA thing had been there years ago! I finally understand online entrepreneurship!' (Everything you NEED to know about Somba)
* May 2017 I create Authentically You - my free branding challenge - 450 wonderfully weird women sign up.
* June 2017, 42 amazing wonderfully weird entrepreneurs sign up for The paid Personal Branding program The Real You. Having that many of my Soul Clients in the group is amazing!
* July 2017, 16 wonderful wonderfully weird entrepreneurs sign up for The Mastermind. 4 women have been working with me for a long time! The best compliment I could get!
* August 2017, 900 (holy cow 900 !) wonderfully weird women sign up for Authentically You.
August 2017, I treat my family to a lovely luxurious trip to Paris. After the many years of financial struggle it's pure bliss to properly wine and dine my loved ones.
* September 2017, 51 amazing wonderfully weird entrepreneurs sign up for The Paid Program Real You!
* September 2017, I travel to Zurich to meet with Sigrun, my Mastermind and the most amazing group of SOMBA - Sigrun's Online MBA - members. I return home feeling nourished and truly empowered. I'm ready to change the world.
* October 2017, there are 3.863 wonderfully weird entrepreneurs on my email list and I receive numerous wonderful emails from readers.
* November 2017, 1.698 (!) wonderfully weird entrepreneurs from 52 countries sign up for Authentically You.
* January 2018 I run 2 Masterminds with my Soul Clients, my entire year is planned and I feel in control of my business (seriously, I get goosebumbs writing this, I feel like the CEO of my own business before, it's absolutely awesome)
I find out that I made more money in the last Months of 2017 than in all the years since 2014!
I have changed my accountant. The new accountant loves what I do and gives it her all to bring flow into my international stream of income. I'm taking myself and my business serious!
January - July 2018 I'm a member of the The VIP Mastermind and travel between Amsterdam, Zurich and Geneva and decide that I'm ready to grow my Wonderfully Weird Queendom even further. Because I've got the right support to make things happen!
August 2017, I've got an amazing team of three (including my own husband!). 2018 and 2019 are all planned. It's lovely to feel in control and at the same time have the freedom to change whatever I want to change.
AND NOW . . . WHY IS UNDERSTANDING MY MISTAKES IMPORTANT AND WHAT HAS IT TO DO WITH YOU?
1. Success never comes overnight. It takes time to build a business
2. When you really want to become a success it's the right support and the people who lift you up that will be the difference between you giving up and you really flying!
Whatever you do, do NOT give up. Find the support that you need and make your dream come true!
Be well and share your uniqueness with the world!
Esther de Charon de Saint Germain
Wonderfully Weird Branding Queen
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