LaDawn Townsend from the Bosses Group interviewed me about what it takes to become an entrepreneur in a freelancer situation. We also talk about how I scaled my business and stepped into the CEO position – and mindset!
My Journey as an Entrepreneur
When I was young, I wanted to be an artist and a teacher. I would create my mock storefronts and make my brother buy stuff, or I would sit him with all the stuffed animals and teach. I was a very creative kid but being an entrepreneur never struck me as something I wanted to do. I didn’t even have any examples of entrepreneurs in my household growing up.
At the age of 22, I graduated in 2010 in the middle of the last recession. I couldn’t find a job for six months; I was depressed and having panic attacks. The anxiety started kicking in – I was sick.
A friend saw that I was struggling, and he handed me a book called The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau. That book was the first introduction I ever had to the idea of becoming an entrepreneur and making your own money.
I started to wonder, ‘What can I do to make money with my own business?’ I started asking better questions and Googled how to make money writing because I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I wondered if I could do money writing? I spent days on job boards finding writing leads as I had no fucking idea what I was doing or how to find work writing.
I learned how to grow my own business on my own every step of the way. In my first month of owning my own business, I started a Grad Peace World blog with the thought being that I can make my blog into a portfolio.
While in my new writing venture, I found stats talking about Millennials not making enough money to live independently, and I thought to myself that I am not going to be a statistic. So I started a blog as a rebuttal portfolio.
My First Big Website Hit on My Blog
First, I focused on what fired me up, which guided me into who my circle and with whom I resonate. Being fresh out the gate, I wasn’t expecting my first media hit that crashed my website. I remember my website going down one day, and I was like, Oh, that’s strange. And I never thought about it again. I had a friend who specialized in Google analytics, and she said, “Amanda, do you see this spike on the graph here? You got a major hit on a major news site, and it brought a tremendous amount of traffic to your site that it went down!”
How I Learned the Foundational Skills of Business Entrepreneurship
Staying focused on certain types of activities, I kept things moving forward. At this point, I had two aha moments. Number one: I started noticing all my online friends quitting their jobs. I remember Michelle Schroeder Gardner back from Making Sense of Cents back when she made $6,000 on her income reports. I was like, Oh my God, if I could make $6,000 a month freelancing, that would be amazing.
What’s keeping me from making $6,000 a month freelancing? It’s my job.
Success as the Best Revenge
I think success is the best revenge. I was like, watch me quit this job in nine months, motherfucker, watch me! Tell me I can’t do something, then watch me as I do it! And I did. But most importantly, I noticed the changes online gave me the realization that this is where business was heading.
I hired my first business coach and quit my job six months later.
LaDawn and I met via a webinar through a women’s networking group that I was hosting. She says of the time we met, “What I want people to lean into and understand is sometimes people will come into your life for a reason, some for a season, some for a long time, but listen for an opportunity because they could say one thing that they say that could just rock your world.”
She recalls our first consultation together, “I did not understand that you could have intellectual property, package and sell to people. At that moment, I knew I was going to switch my business, and things were going to change because I was doing it all wrong. I thought you had to have the brick and mortar to have a business.”
How to Ramp Up Your Business When You Plateau
I did have an income plateau for two years as I was capping out at $3000 a month. It was a mindset thing that kept me from breaking through, as my belief was that making money is hard. My belief was showing up in my life as an underearner. I still wasn’t understanding the concept of wealth consciousness.
My First Business Coach
My first business coach, Gabby, I paid $200 a month, which at the time was a big deal, and back then, $200 a month was terrifying! My coach worked out of her apartment, and I saw her helping people, and I’m like, whatever the fuck she’s doing, I need to learn how to do that.