SAY WHAT? EVERYONE SAYS TO STOP DOWNLOADING ALL THE FREE THINGS…
I know. I’m seeing this everywhere on Facebook and the other lands of Social right now. Stop getting all the free things and start focusing on YOUR thing.
I get it, it makes sense. Get one teacher and learn from them yadayada. But here’s the thing, ONE teacher can’t teach you “all the things” (we all have various strengths, zones of competence, excellence and genius) and having just ONE teacher means that you have a greater possibility of becoming a clone of their work and them (and even sounding like them), so it’s good to have a few teachers who are GENUIS in one area.
HERE’S MY EXPERIENCE
Depending on what level you are at in building your online business, depends on when / how much free stuff you should accumulate. When I first started online, which was pre-2009 BTW before I launched my business, I downloaded just about everything I could lay my hands on that was free. And back then, the information was sparse to say the least. I wanted to LEARN so I spent HOURS searching for things, most of what you can find for free now didn’t exist back then! At the time, I was working full-time and didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a business… so I started to collate a collection of things that I knew would help me.
For example, I followed an online marketer who had a course on how to build a WordPress blog. His business looked like a scam to me at first, but after a while of watching, reading and paying attention, I bought in. This was the first program I ever bought and I can tell you, the BEST investment I ever made. I learned quickly how to use the tools I needed to create my platform and from there, it was learning Social Media, from there, Marketing and so on. Back then, you needed a website to make the online world work for you (oh how things have changed).
EVERYTHING I did to build my business was done from learning from ALL of the things I had downloaded for free.
So, it meant I had a stable foundation and platform to work from, meanwhile I followed lots of online entrepreneurs (and have watched them fail, succeed, grow and turn their businesses into empires) and eventually, I invested again when I knew that I needed help to find my tribe, build my list, create a course and all the things. I invested in marketing training, sales training, personal branding (even though I am a Personal Brand “expert”)….
HERE’S THE THING THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT
If you are willing to spend money on a coach, mentor, teacher to get you to your next step FASTER then you need to know what’s going to work for you, WHO is going to be the best person to invest in and WHY. You cannot know this unless you’ve spent some time digging in the dirt of your own backyard, playing with the tools and tricks and figuring out what you love, hate and what you need help with.
IT’S SO EASY TO BE SWAYED WITH FOMO AND HOT MARKETING
Psychologically we are wired and conditioned to buy things. And we buy things because we feel like we need the next best thing, or that this or that is going to be useful in our business. But, what’s the point of buying something if you aren’t going to be able to implement it, or worse, buy a heap of programs and courses and never finish them so you don’t get an ROI?
If you’ve been “FOMO’d” into a freebie, challenge or course, make sure you do yourself a favour and pre-stalk the person and find out who they are, what they do, where they get results and if this “thing” is something that you actually want to do and implement right now. If not, don’t buy into it because if you don’t learn and implement, it’s not worth the time investment.
YOU’VE GOT TO KNOW YOURSELF AND WHERE YOU ARE AT
So, if you are at the beginning of this online biz shizzle mcfizzle, then there are some really basic steps that you can take to get super clear on what you want to do NOW (as your business will evolve) and also stay lean so you don’t have to spend a bajillion dollars on things you don’t need and also, learn with support and like-minded folks, so you get the help you need AND the people around you who are doing the same thing.
I started my biz on my own with NO support to start with and it was HARD. I didn’t realise how hard I’d made it for myself until I joined a program and had other replying / commenting on my blog and also cheering me on in a forum. (There were no Facebook groups back then).
You also have to know your strengths and what you are willing to do on your own. If you are technically challenged for example, you may want help with building your site (which you DON’T need to start with, the internet has evolved, there are Groups and Messenger for you to make connections) and your first website SHOULD NOT cost you any more than a few hundred dollars. #seriously
Fuck, I can build a better website than most developers in half the time for a quarter of the money (though, that’s my other biz over here at One96.co).
I BUILT MY BUSINESS ALMOST FOR FREE
For the first few years, no joke, with the exception of the WordPress course, paying for hosting and a domain name. And even though it took a lot longer (remember, I did have a full-time job to begin with), it was smarter because I learned everything I needed to learn and implemented along the way.
I don’t teach newbies anymore (1:1) on how to grow and build their businesses, but I do know someone who does. Her name is Tash Corbin and if you haven’t heard of her, she runs online programs to take you from the early stages of business all the way through… she has a course that is FREE right now to join, it’s called Lean Start Up School and I joined it to see what’s in there so I can have recommendations for new folks to the wild wild west of the internet.
The way Tash teaches is super easy to understand and implement, there’s a group on Facebook (you’ll find me in there too) where there’s support and lots of encouragement from others doing the course and this is one of the best FREE things you can do for yourself right now if you’re at the early stages. Click HERE to join.
If you use the things you get for free the smart way, e.g. actually learn from the person, see if their style suits you (if it doesn’t, unsubscribe and delete the thing you downloaded because you ain’t gonna use it anyway) and figure out how your style can be unique in the marketplace.
TIME VS INVESTMENT ARGUEMENT
You’ll hear that your time is precious and you can go the fast way by investing in one teacher. And you’ll not max out in overwhelm. Also true, but when you’re at the beginning, if you don’t know who or what your options are through consuming their content, how will you know if they are right for you or not?
OK, ONE LAST THING
When you start out in business you’ll have these grand ideas and a vision of what you want to achieve. I know I did too. However, your vision and business WILL change as you evolve and grow.
So, knowing lots about the who’s who on the interwebs, downloading their free stuff and actually reading / doing what they give you is a fabulous way to understand your Style and their Style and what fits / works for you in terms of languaging, work ethic, ideas and so on.
You can’t find that from ONE teacher.
When you are in a stage in your business when you can afford to buy more things with different people, make sure your foundations are set up (lean start up school) so that you can look at the priorities of what to do next and where you should invest.
Remember, even some of the most experienced of us (erm, me) still get value from FREE things. I got heaps of value from Tash’s program, but from a different perspective, I now know where to send the folks who aren’t ready for me yet (and I can tell a mile away, I won’t take on clients who don’t have the basics and foundations in place, or don’t have the means / clients to pay me, that’s just unethical and out of integrity) or who I know aren’t ready with their mindset to make their business work (that’s a whole other story for another day).
Anyhoo, I hope this helps. Don’t think it’s not OK to start your business on the lean / cheap and free-way, it may not always be the fastest route, but it sure is the long road but we’re in this for the long game anyway.
Love Susan x
P.S If you want to learn how to build a Personal Brand business and want the basics, I totally forgot I do have a program for that – it’s over there on the sidebar. $57 AUD with half an hour with me to run through what you need to set up BEFORE you start your branding process. It will save you $$$’s in the long run and it’s fun.