Hi, my name is Vera Kuhr and I am the founder of this blog, EntrepreneursUnstuck.com.
Blogging is easy, successful blogging is not. Like many others, I took the roundabout way to success. Read on, if you want to see how I finally started to really make money from blogging.
It all began with this:
“Life’s no picnic.”
That was pretty much the starting point mood I was into when reaching out for big changes in my life.
All my working life I had spent working as a marketing manager in diverse industries. I collected great experiences and achievements, but in the end it was all about dealing hours for money.
Then came the break. I lost my job, for the first time in my life. It was a well paid job, but in a very fierce environment. I haven’t been happy in that position, but never really found the guts to quit the job. So destiny did it for me. I was shocked and had no clue it actually was the best thing ever happened in my life.
First, I thought I’ll just move on taking the next position in a suiting company. But then my thinking got deeper: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life working yourself off by explaining business people that successful marketing needs way more than simply listing dry facts and features?
The more I thought, the more reasonable a BIG change for my future working life became. I realized I had always been working on a borderline burn out level. And the managements above me always judged long hours in the office even more important than the good results I delivered.
I was sick of the limited courage of my bosses to launch campaigns of epic nature. And I was so annoyed by all the competitive, spiteful tussle within teams, taking so much energy and focus away from achieving good results.
Phew! I had no clue what I wanted to do in the future, but one thing was crystal clear to me: I never ever wanted to go back into that kind of career!
Desires, which I forgot over many years of running the rat race, aroused forcefully. Just making good money and taking the next designated career step? No, now I wanted more than that!
I desired a really fulfilling job with far less working hours and far more quality time for family and friends. A job with great potential to leverage my income. No more 9-5+ obligations but working whenever and from wherever I want.
Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that my new desired job profile was most likely non existent. Who would employ me with these high-toned preconditions?
No realistic job profile for my desires?
Self-employment also didn’t seem to match with my desired parameters. Those people I knew running their own business were working very long hours, with all the pressure of responsibilities and heavy overhead costs to bear. Definitely not what I was aiming for.
I felt at a loss. Was my thinking leading to something realistic or was I just building castles in Spain?
I kept on digging for opportunities, which – what a surprise – lead me to the mega “make money online” niche. Truth be told, it was not really a nice first impression. I quickly felt over-exposed to shiny, hot-aired offers.
But among all these hyped offers of even more hyped people, there seemed to be some sort of online business model worth looking at: This model was mainly about promoting own or other peoples products online.
Lots of benefits were attached to this kind of online business: You can run it solely (no staff needed) with very lean processes, low costs and a great potential to scale. A business you can drive from anywhere you want (only internet access required), with no specific business hours to meet. And the best part: You can build it on your individual strengths and passions.
Of course, I was very tempted by this model. But I was concerned about all the hype and needed to find out if there was enough valuable substance behind it. I knew already that online business was a scam mined field, and I didn’t want my future business to be built on (explosive) sand.
Where was the legitimate role model I could follow?
Detours of an online novice…
Some research later I signed up for my first paid training program to learn how to promote other peoples products online (affiliate marketing). It seemed to be a legit program and I hoped to find the ultimate formula to master this new business.
To make a long story short: I surely learned a lot about mechanisms and methods behind affiliate marketing. But the program turned out to be focused on promoting low quality products, mainly to your family and friends. No way I would have done this!
My next attempt was about creating own digital products. I found a program that claimed to teach you how to create and promote your own, high quality digital products. Well, “high quality” was defined other than I expected. In essence, it was taking existing poor quality digital products (coming from PLR sources), putting a new name on it to promote it as a unique offer on my behalf. A very quick and easy way to destroy my reputation… No, thanks!
I always kept myself from making empty promises in my offline marketing career and I didn’t want to change that for my online endeavors.
I was frustrated, something definitely went wrong with my online business expedition. Was it really that difficult to find the right people to learn from? I didn’t want to spend even more time and money on resources not delivering what I needed to get rolling.
But, just when I was close to “done with online business” before it even had started, I finally popped into a training platform that provided exactly the skills and the value oriented approach to business I was searching for.
Great mentors found – success is sure to follow… sure?
What a relief, I finally found the right place to learn the business from scratch! There, I really was blessed with all a novice could dream of: Profound and very newbie-friendly step-by-step training, great tools and an awesome, very supportive community.
I totally immersed into the wealth of this training hub. All the learning and exploring was pillared by great motivation and excitement.
All in all, I really had a great couple of month with only one little tiny thing missing: Success.
Okay, there were great accomplishments like building a website, creating content, learning about serving my audience, learning about the search engines, learning about affiliate marketing, etc.
But after several months of building my foundation (blog), the first sale or commission was still not within sight (not to mention making a decent income from blogging some day).
The more time passed without any income results, the more my motivation and confidence got mixed up with growing doubts. What if I backed the wrong horse again? What if the business model they taught was other than expected doomed to fail? What if it’s nothing more but lottery to really make money from blogging? What if I had wasted all my work and time for NOTHING?
And while these insecure feelings captured me, I noticed that lots of fellow newbies had abandoned their blogs. No more content creation or other activities to find.
In panic, and more intensive than ever before, I searched for proof that my declared sacred cow – building authority blogs – really is a money making business. To my relief, I found reliable proof – there really were people making money, big money from blogging. But these people were not really representing the majority of bloggers. In fact, they were a very tiny, elite group:
Evidentially, 95% of all people, who try to make a living (or more) from blogging, fail.
Only 5% of all bloggers succeed?
Off you go, Vera! Time to surrender. I didn’t want to fight this devastating ratio in vain.
But on the other hand: I already had invested so much time, work and energy in making this blogging thing work. Maybe there still was a chance to join the happy 5%. Maybe there was just a tiny hack I hadn’t found yet.
What if the training I found great just didn’t teach me right? Well, there were several people with very successful blogs who referred their success to exactly this training. But the percentage of these very successful fellow members was again not more than 5%…
What on earth was the cause for this 95 to 5 ratio that seemed to dominate the whole online industry? Why do thousands of people fail, even if they participate in excellent training programs?
How come joining the 95% failing bloggers?
Slowly but steadily I sensed that my failure was not caused by a lack of good resources to learn from.
All the way through my state of unsuccessfulness I searched for the external reasons for my failure, while in reality the reasons were of internal cause:
It was not the wrong training or bad circumstances to come to nothing.
It was me and the way I handled (or didn’t handle) the skills and steps needed to master blogging:
Information overload and overwhelm had weakened my focused execution of tasks. Distractions were permanently triggering me. Procrastination took away lots of momentum in my work. The obsession to search for even more and better sources of knowledge permanently interrupted my work. Taking actions only within my comfort zone heavily limited my scope. Fear of failure hindered me to take risks and boost my progress. Impatience permanently dampened my mood. The flow of persistently working on a result driven schedule simply didn’t want to start and remain.
I finally realized that consuming lots of knowledge only leads to tangible success through applying that knowledge. And I had to confess that the outcome of my actions always depends on what kind of thoughts and emotions lead to and accompany those actions.
To set up a successful blogging business, you need to follow through the entire process of building it. A poor mindset and the lack of execution, though, lead to not finishing this process.
So off I went to find and unlock these finisher genes!
Unstucked by: talking turkey with me
My unflattering but very revealing new self knowledge helped me to find tangible reasons for my failure to work on.
I started to systematically put my routines of thinking, feeling and doing on the test. What of it was destructive or constructive? What lead to passive or active behavior? What was “whitewashed” working, what was result driven working?
Hallelujah… I detected lots of harmful habits that needed to be changed!
Unfortunately, habits don’t change just because you want them to. Lots of them behave like automated programs you don’t even realize taking place…
So I needed to become an expert in self-observation. I well and truly ambushed my bad habits over and over again. That enabled me to install an alert system telling me “Stop”, each time a (automated) no-way-habit was about to take action – to do it differently.
The process of steady reflection was very demanding but so very fruitful: Finally, I was able to see through my mindsets game. What a victory! And the more I practiced my new habits, the more second nature they became.
Doing business with my new me
The external outcome of this internal shape up was tremendous: I marched through my training again, highly focused and concentrated. More and more, my actions turned into effective accomplishments. It was like I had finally switched on my “execute mode”.
The affiliate website I had stopped working on came back to live with steady growth. And it didn’t take me long to see first results in revenue. I will never forget my first commission. I received it for a $1,000 product.
But the true scale of being my new me reaches far beyond: Today, I live the (working) lifestyle I had desired for so long. I am working on topics I am really passionate about. I enjoy the environment of value minded people and create contents I can proudly stand for. I am my own boss without all the duties and hassle a typical self-employment brings along.
My new mind settings and habits enabled me to largely increase the effectiveness of my actions. Work-life balance is not a myth for me anymore. I love my “work” so much I could do it all day and night. But today, I know how valuable limiting your working hours is – not only for all the quality time to spend with family and friends. But for increasing your performance with every brief respite you come back from.
Being able to march through and finish my goals is truly a lifting thing. What really makes me (and my business) fly, though, is the fulfillment of really helping people.
I never thought it means so much to me, but contributing real value to peoples lives is by far the strongest driving force behind my blogging actions today. I always wondered why people make such a great play of “helping”. Today I know better!
Speaking of help
Did you already come to terms with the fact that 95% of people trying to make it in blogging fail?
To be honest, it took me quite a long time to deal with this devastating figure.
But what surprised me even more is the fact that the number one reason why these 95% of people fail is – their mindset.
The majority of soon-NOT-to-be bloggers fail for the same reasons I did!
If I knew this earlier, I probably wouldn’t have felt so alone. All the struggles I had, are not exclusionary exotic. Instead, they are pretty much the stereotype problems shared by most blogging failers!
I was lucky to overcome this failure. I have found the key to reset my mindset and set it up new, perfectly suited for a bloggers life challenges.
Knowing that the majority of bloggers are in need for this key to their mindset, has changed my direction of helping people online completely:
Of course, I am still passionate about niches of my early blogging days. But today, all my activities are streamlined towards one thing: Helping bloggers to succeed.
I never expected my life turning this way, but today, helping bloggers with their mindset issues is the greatest thing I could ever imagine doing.
It’s not only that I discovered a new passion. It’s like all the experiences and learning curves I gained, make sense, beyond my own success.
I know how many people struggle online and finally give up. Many of them at a stage where success is just about to come. I know there are many pitfalls on the way to success. But it’s no rocket science. You don’t need to be extraordinary smart or talented to join the successful 5%. You just need to know which of your activities (and inactivities) need to be improved or changed.
In the next episode of this series we are going to look at all the courses we take to learn the business and why only the fewest manage to achieve the promised results of these courses. Are most bloggers not smart enough or are all the training programs filled with empty promises?
Really looking forward to going into that with you next!
To your very success,