How to start your own online creative business & not go mad in the process.
After years of running a medical practice with my partner we threw caution to the wind and started all over again in what used to be our home country 30 years prior.
You can read more HERE, but basically, for me it meant that I had the freedom to find a new career. Having had our own business before, we have always been entrepreneurs but we did have to be somewhere at a given time to attend to our patients and we couldn´t leave until they were all seen to. Needless to say, holidays need to be booked far in advance and you can never be sick.
My new life was initially filled with finding my way around our new home town. Helping our children get settled in to school and organising their new sports & extra curricular activities. I also met a young Somali woman with her daughter who I helped settle in to Holland and speak the language. I felt at times we were sisters in arms trying to find our new identity. Although she clearly had the rougher deal.
For lack of a social life, Twitter was my best friend for those first months.
For lack of a social life, Twitter was my best friend for those first months. It was a great way to find inspiration for new initiatives, meet people working on interesting projects and contact businesses for possible job opportunities.
It soon became apparent that, in spite of being trilingual, a business owner, hard worker, life learner, leader, having had a university education, initiative, amazing social skills AND a sense of humour that my age seemed to work against me. Not that anybody ever told me that but I did have to draw that conclusion for lack of anything else that made sense.
In all honesty I should add that I only applied to jobs that I thought I could do without being suicidal within a week -which rules out supermarket cashier and bookkeeping- but I even responded to receptionist & bookstore sales positions. So no arrogance on my part.
After a couple of months of attempts and feeling more useless by the day (interesting how people that have no clue can have that effect on you) I decided it was time for a new route.
I have always been fascinated by people doing things differently and I made it my mission to find & meet people working on alternative projects. Varying from people starting their own social movement, organic farming, new education methods, yoga centers, online business models & happy ideas.
Speaking of which -business models that is- I had none and I had no idea where it was going but have learned to trust my intuition on times like these and besides, there wasn´t much of an alternative.
It is only fair to add that in the meantime we could afford to eat and have a roof over our head by partly living off our savings and because my partner´s profession is needed everywhere in the world. As a way to contribute my part of the deal in our family I made it my mission to challenge myself to finding a way to be the perfect (house)wife and mother and spread happiness in the process. I love making healthy meals and having a happy organized home so it is not much of a sacrifice on my part. You only need to get used to everybody getting used to it and finding it very normal :) My yoga practice helps to find daily gratitude even in silly things and a nice glass of wine now and then takes care of the rest.
My findings, meetings and insights turned into a personal blog. I approached newspapers, online opinion magazines and used social media to spread my message. I had no commercial intentions just an insatiable hunger for knowledge and understanding. I became guest blogger for various online blogs, ASN Bank as one of the better known ones in the Netherlands.
I guess I always figured that if you get it, that´s great and if you don´t that´s too bad.
When people asked me what I did I didn´t feel “blogging” really covered it but for lack of a better description usually left it at that. I have never been very good at making myself sound interesting. I guess I always figured that if you get it, that´s great and if you don´t, that´s too bad.
It will not come as a surprise to you that Chris Guillebeau´s “A brief guide to world domination - How to live a remarkable life in a conventional world" filled me with joy. My first feeling was: I am not alone in my unconventional strategies! immediately followed by: what is the next move?
I was right. My intuition led me to where I am now and it was for a reason that it took me three years to get here.
I am now not only ready to tackle what it takes to profile myself online but, more importantly, my incorporated yogic life will make sure I stick to my priorities.
Freedom in structure is vital but so it structure in freedom.
Being a solo online entrepreneur has so many advantages, of which freedom is the most important one to me. Freedom in form is vital but so is form in freedom.
Freedom without form brings chaos which is deadly for a creative flow and peace of mind. Without a creative flow or peace of mind you will start to feel desperate and non productive. Structure only works if it´s structural which means a part of your every day. Your morning routine, your working time, your family time, you need to have it all figured out.
It all comes down to healthy habits, commitment to enjoying the journey and hard work. Everyday. Go with the flow, do the work and follow the magic.
Are you also a creative solo entrepreneur and do you feel you have more to give?
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