If the Wright Brothers had waited to build an Airbus, we’d still be walking around flapping our arms…

 

How long have you spent trying to get your online business idea perfect?

A tweak here, a tweak there, I’ll just watch another video on this or that before I launch…

Sound familiar?

I get it, because I’ve been there!

Days run into weeks, into months, into years, and still you’re no further forward because ‘it’s just not quite right yet’…

My first business was launched through necessity. I’d just told my boss to shove the sun where it don’t shine, so I needed an income.

I didn’t have the luxury of getting things ‘right’ - I had to start my business in order to survive.

And you know what? It wasn’t perfect, but it got off the ground.

I tweaked it as I went and made it better along the way . . . and it has served me a 6-figure salary year after year.

Once I learned that perfectionism kills progress, there was no stopping me.

I launched businesses in the UK, Australia, the US and now in Spain.

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The Power of the Pomodoro

Tomatoes; as I type this whilst sitting in the car, Jules is in Lidl shopping for tomatoes…

Yup, we’re living the dream as entrepreneurs!

The thing with that is, life goes on. 

Unless you’re a gazzillionaire and have people to do your shopping and general lifey things, then stuff has to get done.

My challenge used to be how to fill those small gaps in your day when in-between bigger tasks.

Don’t get me wrong, I often help with the shopping (no, really, I do…), but again when you work in a partnership you have to know how to best make use of your time and play to your strengths.

So Jules and I agree that if we go to the shops together, I’ll work in the car whilst she gets some trolley action in.

And to make my time effective, I use the Pomodoro technique…

This is where you set yourself 25 minutes to get some deep work done. 

All distractions turned off; phones, radio, alerts, and then seriously get your teeth into one task. A bit...

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3 Things Not to Do When Starting an Online Business…

Think about this; in order for someone to learn from you (and more importantly, pay you for it), sometimes all you need is experience…

The only formal qualifications I have are as a pilot, but I don’t teach people to fly.

What I do have is over 20 years of hard earned, in the trenches business experience, and that’s what people pay me for.

I help them create a transformation in their life without them having put in all those years that I did.

So, I help fast-track people who want to startup an online business. And yet I don’t have a PhD or MBA.

Don’t get me wrong, qualifications are great but they’re nothing without experience.

If you are one step ahead of the person who wants to learn from you, then you have a viable product.

As long as you can deliver your subject in a clear fashion from which they can take action and get results, you have a viable product.

Now, here are those 3 things not to do when starting an online business:

1. Do NOT...

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What if it goes right?

“You’ll amount to nothing my boy…”
 
The parting shot from my teacher as I walked out the school doors for the final time at 15.
 
I’d heard it before, he wasn’t the only one to tell me I was a waste of space.
 
The thing is that when you’re older you can often shrug those comments off.
 
But when you’re around 14 or 15 years old, your wiring is still coming together in the old gray matter and that stuff tends to stick.
 
It did with me…
 
I took these thoughts through to the first time I ever pitched for a freelance design and print job.
 
I was in full time employment but an opportunity came my way to do something for myself.
 
And to put it bluntly, I was bricking it.
 
Because people like me didn’t do things like this…
 
“There’s no way they’ll want to deal with someone like me” - the echos of teachers past rang out. “What if I do...
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Walk Your Own Path

Ain’t social media grand!
 
All those gurus and celebrities showing us how amazing and successful they are. Wow!
 
I’m not a millionaire, but I am a success.
 
Wait, how does that work? You’re supposed to have gazillions of dollars to be successful, right?
 
My ‘mother-in-law’ often asks me; “Andy, when are you going to make your first million?’ - truth be known, I’ve made more than a million pounds in my life. The fact that my bank balance isn’t larger than 7-figures right now doesn’t mean a thing.
 
Really?
 
Well I have an amazing life…
 
I have a partner who loves me and I her. I love what I work on every day. I now wake up in a country where I’ve wanted to live for as long as I can remember, and I get to go out on my paddle board when I’m not working on what I love doing.
 
Jules and I get to hop in our ‘Disco’ and travel to new places, eat the...
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You Can't Steer a Parked Car

 

“At least nobody got hurt…”

My thoughts as I drove over, instead of around the roundabout…

Granted the flowers weren’t looking too healthy now, but I’d survived the excursion.

Sometimes what seems like the smallest thing to one person is a huge mission to someone else.

That was me last week when I went ‘solo’ for the first time driving on Spanish roads.

I’d been putting it off for weeks, making up all the lame excuses to not get behind the wheel; It’s a new car. I’ve never driven a Land Rover, nor have I tackled an automatic.

And . . . the steering wheel is on the wrong side! There’s no possible way I can drive this down here.

But in the back of my mind I knew I had to tackle the beast…

I was losing my independence and also relying on Andy to drive us everywhere we needed to go. His enthusiasm for Lidl and Mercadona was starting to wane.

When people are procrastinating, Andy has a...

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The Day I Won the Lottery

I won the lottery.

No really, I did…

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the EuroMillions or anything like that, but it was a good chunk of change.

When something like that happens, the first thing you think is; can this be real? Can I actually be that lucky?

Well I certainly was that day, and it felt amazing!

Sorry to tell you that we didn’t go out and buy a Lamborghini and a yacht.

Granted there were a few pairs of new shoes in the mix and the odd bottle of expensive champagne, but the rest went to paying off our mortgage.

Sound boring?

Maybe, but on reflection, now that I’m building my own business, what I’ve realised is it’s all about playing the long game.

And now that we’re living in Spain, ‘long game’ has a WHOLE new meaning!

Sure I could have gone and blown the lot on the day I cashed in the ticket, but what I did then is now affording me what I do now.

Starting your own business is not a quick fix. It takes time,...

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No pressure, no diamonds

I’m in trouble with the boss again.

Last week I got shiny object syndrome and went off chasing ‘a great idea’ down the internet rabbit hole.

I’ll be honest, their marketing was pretty slick and the promises were great, but I really should know better.

It happens though when things get tough, we’re often distracted by those bright and shiny things over there that seem a bit easier than what we’re toiling on over here.

As I’m still very much finding my feet as a self-employed lady, I’m discovering that setting up a business has it’s challenges…

To begin with the money doesn’t come in every week like it did back in the j.o.b. - because this is a long game.  And that brings its own pressures…

So maybe I need to cut myself a bit of slack for glancing at the road sign that says ‘Shortcut’.

One of Andy’s coaching sessions in The Disruptors Club is F.O.C.U.S. - which stands for Follow One...

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Nothing Grows in the Comfort Zone

Andy reckons I had Stockholm syndrome, that thing when hostages bond with their captors. He said my captor was my comfort zone.

He might just be right…

Because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to leave my ‘zone’, that place I’d been for well over 13 years.

The thing this, I can still remember those hideous Monday mornings…

6am, the alarm clock screeching like nails down a blackboard.

It needn’t have bothered, I’d been awake since 3 anyway listening to the rain hammer off our bedroom window.

It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s wet and I want to be somewhere warm and sunny. I’m not talking about retirement, just somewhere that was a bit more palatable during the long winter months.

Hey ho, like a robot, I hit the ‘off’ button and run into the shower.

It’s still dark outside when I start the car and turn the heated seat to ‘tropical’ - the windscreen wipers having the...

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The Fears are Paper Tigers

I’ve been scared for 10 years…

Truth be known, it’s probably longer.

As my job slowly took its toll on my physical and mental health, I was in fear of the future.

What could I do? Where could I go? How could I get out of this space that I really didn’t want to be in?

And then Andy said one of the most powerful things someone had ever spoken to me; “It’s taken all of my life to find you, but if you go on like this I’m going to lose you”

Wake up call. But I was still scared.

At my age I couldn’t see me getting another job, so the only option was to start my own business, and that was a terrifying prospect.

What could I do? What if it all went wrong? How would we survive?

Our dream had always been to build up the businesses, move to Spain and live a mobile lifestyle.

But with Covid, Brexit and my job about to kill me, that project suddenly became very real when we decided to up sticks and make the move before the end of the year.

...

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