Monetizing a blog and building a business can be both exciting and frustrating. There is great anticipation, excitement, and joy as the website comes together, as statistics show signs of an engaged audience, as you hand out your first couple of business cards, and get your first feature. At some point, there is a sense of overwhelm. You wonder how to keep making progress. You wonder how to balance the tasks of employee and boss. If you’re currently struggling in the monetization of a blog or building your business, read on to discover the number one investment you can make in your business to breathe a little easier.
Our discovery of the secret to success in business online
If you spend any time researching online business success on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you’ll find yourself reading rags to riches or corporate work to self-employed stories. You’ll find the grand tales of biz owners crushing their six-figure and beyond goals.
These entrepreneurs are present everywhere and will readily convince you that their online course, ebook, workshop, etc. holds the key to your own million dollar sales journey (if anything, I want this to encourage you that there are too many people making a significant full-time income online for you to think that your dreams are impossible).
Kleneice and I have been avid critical thinkers since we were little girls (obsessed with puzzles, books with a challenging vocabulary, mind traps, etc). Anyways, we are firm believers that there is much to learn simply by observation. Also, when you are on a tight budget and can’t afford every online course or info product that catches your eye, you can learn a lot by just paying attention to what other people are doing.
So what did we learn?
Most of the top bloggers and biz owners invested in strategy, mentoring, or coaching to get to the level of success they have today.
How did we come to this conclusion? Although very few devote blog posts and social media content to this truth, some biz owners revealed through income reports, their “about” pages, and podcast interviews that their investment in a strategist, coach, or mentor paid off remarkably well.
Why knowledge alone isn’t the answer
A rookie mistake is to get overwhelmed by all the knowledge out there in blog posts, forums, FB groups, online courses, etc. When I was introduced to blogging, I found myself knee-deep in a rabbit hole on Pinterest pinning everything I could find about blogging, making money, web design, you name it. I thought that knowledge was the key to success. I equated the lack of results to a lack of knowledge, but that was only partly true.
Results in blogging and business are tied to strategy.
Think of strategy as the foundation you need to achieve your goals. Strategy encompasses the who, what, when, where, how, and why. I like to think of strategies as the “formulas” needed to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
We get bombarded with strategies from blog posts, emails, and courses on our hunt for more and more knowledge. As a result, it isn’t always clear, especially to someone new to blogging or online business if a certain strategy will work well with their brand, audience, product, etc. On the other hand, sometimes we’re just so deeply rooted in our roles as employees in our business that it’s hard to take a step back and see what’s working, what isn’t, and how to make real progress as the boss.
The key investment for your business is strategy
I’m a firm believer that the number one investment you can make in business is to work with a strategist, business coach, or mentor. By investing in a strategist or coach, you gain access to a customized approach specifically for you, your brand identity, and your goals and plans.
The reason that a lot of bloggers and aspiring business owners give up is because they never received the individualized strategies that they needed to succeed. Instead of working with a strategist or coach, people try to rely on knowledge alone and piece together the roadmap to their goals.
A strategist’s objective view can give you the push you need to make better decisions. A strategist or coach is literally invested in your success. Their job is to help your business succeed.
I believe the greatest way this happens is through accountability. As Peter Voogd mentions in his book, 6 Months to 6 Figures, "A mentor will give you a plan and continuously raise your standards. A mentor will not let you get complacent."
He also states, "When most people set goals, they fail to identify who can help them with those goals. Identifying who can help you achieve those goals is the key to attaining them."
Strategists and coaches serve the important role of holding you accountable so that you actually reach your goals. Looking back at our blogging journey, I wish Kleneice and I had done just a few things differently. When we began to invest in our business, we picked a handful of courses and workshops over time.
Even so, to this day, some courses remain incomplete and some unopened. Instead of convincing ourselves that we could figure out everything by working through courses at our own pace, I wish we would have skipped the courses and invested in a strategist or coach.
Honestly, we didn’t realize how valuable a 1:1 relationship could be until we noticed we weren’t growing at the rate we wanted and felt overwhelmed and overloaded with info products. However, it was too late for us at this point to invest in a 1:1 relationship with a strategist because our budget for education was exhausted from info products.
You may be telling yourself the same thing. You may be convinced that you cannot afford coaching or a strategist. Think of the other investments you are willing to make instead. If you’re considering multiple online courses and workshops, there’s your budget for a strategist.
When we were introduced to blogging we were more comfortable investing in info products because of that lack of accountability and the ability to work at our own pace. After experiencing the harm of too many info products that left us to our own devices, strategy and mentoring are top priorities for Humble & Whole in 2017. Now that we understand the significance of having a mentor in reaching our goals, we want other aspiring business owners to understand this as well before they are drowning in info products and wondering why knowledge isn’t enough to reach their goals.
Deciding to invest in a strategist or coach to move your business forward is a big decision, but one that is well worth the price. The best thing that you can do is be honest with yourself. Take a step back from your role as the employee in your business and take a day to think things through as the boss. Are you on track to meet your goals? Are you struggling every day to get things done? Do you know what actions you should be taking daily or weekly to move forward? Are you making the progress that you want? Let us know in the comments below your experience working with a strategist or if you plan to invest in strategy in 2017! We’d love to hear from you.
P.S. If you're serious about investing in strategy/coaching to further your blog or small business, we would love to work with you!