Yes you read it right. My year of being a digital entrepreneur is over. I started with good intentions on making a living off the internet. And I did. I made money money on the internet. There was only one problem.
You see to be able to live off the internet you have to make more money online than you spend living. That’s were my problem lies. I was making less than my living standard was. Or was I living higher than I was earning? That’s very relative to many people what a “normal” living expense is but what I can tell you is that I was not living any glamouuos live this one year of full-time entrepreneurship. I could also probably bore you to death about how insanely expensive it is to live in Iceland ($2000 rent a month is considered average these days ) which was recently in the list of the top 5 most expensive places to live in the world. Don’t remember what source that was but they are probably right. It’s crazy. Specially in the city.
Even so it’s quite possible to make a more than enough earning online to have a decent life here and even maintain an “extravaganzan” lifestyle on this arctic island up in the cold north. I’m not making any excuses for myself. What I was doing online was not producing anywhere near the results I needed to sustain myself. The problem was that I was spending more than I was earning. I started doing Kindle publishing one year ago and it started off very promising but the income has decreased in the last 6 months. I have also been involved in more things which have not worked out. Well, kind of.
I had a savings account and I have been able to manage for a year with my Kindle income along with some other income streams. Those just haven’t been enough for me. Let me explain.
When I started I was overwhelmed with excitement. I had just quit my 9-5 job as I was determined to make a living online and was over-confident that it would work when I saw my Kindle business starting to make money. With my savings account as a backup I was expecting to grow it to enough income to pay rent and the bills. I was not going back to 9-5 ever again and from now on I would be my own master. Captain of my soul or what it’s called. Except things didn’t go as planned. You see I started with good intentions but somehow I was not having the success with my business as planned. Call it lack of funding, lack of following instructions or what – it just wasn’t enough. Sure I have made a decent amount online – just not enough.
That’s when I hit something what I want to call the “Contracting Tremble”. It’s the opposite of what an entrepreneur should be experiencing. It’s when we see our money slowly vanish month by month and the fear lurks up behind you that maybe this is not going to work. You become so stressed about this that it occupies most of your thoughts and interferes with your creativity, efficiency and productivity. You start to contract rather than expand. You start chasing shiny objects in desperation of making more money instead of focusing on what you should really be doing for the long-term good of your business. Something that takes time and dedication and can greatly be effected if you are stressed and worried all the time.
A few weeks ago I was at a point were this was not working anymore as my funds were seriously decreasing. I was getting quite anxious as a matter of fact and didn’t know what to do. Back in my mind I knew that when things really look dark – then solution is most often just around the corner. And it came in the form of a 9-5 job. Yes you heard me. I’m not an entrepreneur any more. Well not by the wide-spread definition at least. But in my mind I still am an entrepreneur. I’m not giving up.
I had applied for a design job (my old profession) and I had succeeded in outperforming the other applicants by using my video skills to make a very impressive application in the form of a YouTube video. The salary is actually fine but the problem is that now I’m not working on my dream anymore. Well not during daytime on weekdays anymore. So am I devastated?
A little disappointed but not broken.
You see entrepreneurs and people that have succeeded in life have almost all gone through setbacks more than once and a ton of high’s and low’s. The road is not straight all the time. Yes I have less time now for my online business but I can invest more in paid traffic as I have more money.
I started my online money making journey in the midst of 2014 and unlike 97% or something of people that try to make a dollar online – I did. And I have made a lot more since than so I know very well that it’s possible I just need to be able to scale it properly. You see when I started I was in the believe that you really needed to make digital product to make a lot of money online. I made money but not as much as I wanted. So I turned to affiliate marketing and made some money but not as much as I wanted. For two years I just didn’t get it. Why was this so hard for me. Why couldn’t I make passive life-changing income that would secure my future for ever?
I didn’t “get it” until just about 5 months ago. Finally after following many people online, investing in coaching, researching and having gone through product launches and many more thing – I finally saw that the only real thing having in your online business is having an audience. I didn’t have that.
Because I never had the guts to come forward and tell people who I was. I was too shy. I was scared of putting pictures of myself online, to tell people my story, my past, my thoughts and my goals. But I was finally exepting the fact that this was the only way to go if I truly wanted success and I had heard so many successful people say that it was absolutely necessary if you wanted to have any break-through.
I have always been a rather seclusive person and not much for the spotlight in my life so this made me think. I had two choices. I could continue to be in my comfort zone or I could get my ass up and start making personal blog posts, YouTube videos and more to share my story. People want to know who they are making business from. From who they are buying from. If they trust you then they are much more willing to buy a product from you than if you were a complete stranger. Business is about trust. This is something I have finally admitted to myself for the last months and I have started to implement a new strategy, a long-term strategy where I tell people who I am and were I’m going in order for them to trust me. And after 3 months of consistent action I can see changes to the better in my business.
The thing is I should have realized this a little earlier. I haven’t built up enough momentum for this to have immediate effect on my current situation so I’m forced to take a job to correct course – for the moment at least.
I’ve been doing things wrong I have to pick up the bill. For me this is a setback. Not a failure. Not permanent.
My iPro business is actually slowly growing and I’m seeing potential in speeding up the process by buying some more traffic now. I had another subscription yesterday that is going to make me another $500 a year. I am seeing growth in my email subscribers open rates by the day and visitors to my blog is also heading up in numbers. I’m actually feeling optimistic about things as I know that I will one day be a full-time entrepreneur again as I committed two years ago that I was going to an online success even though it would take the rest of my life. Yeah it could take some year but I will get there.
I have made more progress in the last 4 months than in my first two years online when it comes to insight and learning new things in the IM industry. For that I’m grateful because knowledge is power. I know what to do know. I didn’t 6 months ago. I just have to keep at. I have more ease of mind now as I’m not stressed about dwindling funds anymore. I’m more aware now where I need to put in work in matters of web traffic and maximizing my ROI in my business. I’m not running around anymore testing what works and what not. I know what I’m supposed to be doing and I’m doing just that. Mix that with consistency and I’m bound to reach my goal one day. When I do I will let you know.
Now me coming forward like this may results in some people not “liking” me anymore or loose trust. It may also result in new people following me. I don’t know. But I do believe in honesty and being ethical in my business. There are many success stories online and that’s great. You should leverage as much as you can and share you success. I also want to do that. But firstly I want to share my experience and my journey and hopefully inspire someone to do the same. It’s not always roses and red wines. It’s necessary to be able to take some hits once in a while and have setbacks. That’s just part of the journey. Yeah it’s not the greatest thing in the world to go back to 9-5 but it’s not the end of the world either. I will still be working on my business on evenings (like now) and on weekends. But I see no point in just putting out posts and stories about achievements and success all the time. Life is not always winning. We all loose sometimes but not all are willing to share their losses. I was having some doubts about if I was going to share this story with you. Yeah it’s probably not going to impress people but I wanted to come clean and be honest about everything. If I’m not doing good than I’m not going to say that everything is super.
Yeah I lost the battle but the war is certainly not over!
To your success,
Hafsteinn Thordarson / Next Step Freedom
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