Episode 6 – The Story Of How I Started My Location Independent Business
We’ve had lots of content so far on Your Business, Your Rules. Content is incredibly helpful, especially if it helps you understand things in new ways and move forward which is what I am always striving for.
Story is also important though. Research has repeatedly shown that hearing a story activates more of the brain than just hearing facts.
And I really really want you to be either starting this journey or making this journey more you.
Even regardless of what the scientists say I find that if I can hear someone else’s ups and downs and hear the back story behind the quote unquote overnight success. It helps me see how I could do this.
Or how I could make changes. It gives me food for thought.
So today I’m sharing a bit more about how my business came into being.
Let’s be clear. Not to boast. There are certainly people out there who have achieved a lot more than me.
But to give you insight that you can turn into action for yourself. Hopefully you can see yourself in the journey
Honestly I’m not the kind of person who wants to constantly talk about themselves so this is a little uncomfortable for me. But important. Because I want to show it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s highs and lows. And after a while a pretty damn good place to be journeying in.
The Journey To Starting My Business
I started my first business in 2012. So if you are thinking because you’ve done nothing entrepreneurial until now, it’s not in your blood I would argue with that. You may just never have thought about it.
Instead of wanting to go into business until that point, which honestly I didn’t even know was a possibility, I went about trying to retire early / optimise my work life instead.
I always liked to travel and experience more of the world. So my first way of molding my work life to fit was to work abroad.
I sat down when I was about 16 and looked at the career book and took a skills/personality test and worked out what I can I do and manage to travel and the answer was…become a programmer.
At first I was seriously disappointed with what the book/test told me because I had imagined being a graphic designer. Now in the Internet age that would work but this was the 80s. Ha ha. My Dad was a programmer and it all looked like gobbldy gook to me plus those text “adventure” games that start with “You are in a room. There is a sword and a door” What do you want to do?” looked really boring to me.
Still it seemed to be a way to get what I wanted so fast forward to 2000 and
I managed to get myself a gig in Germany as a software engineer (after a gap year where I lived in Brazil for 6 months)I was imagining I’d stay in Germany for a while before moving to France. This didn’t happen. Germany was too good to me. I could go on weekends away. Work wasn’t stressful and life was good. But some part of me was unfulfilled.
I knew this wasn’t the work for me. I spent a long time wondering about this – 10 years actually. Because I liked my work.
But still something was nagging at me
I spent ages researching if I should just move to another country (I had already lived in 3 different cities in Germany) but that didn’t seem like it would necessarily be better.
I invested in property with the hope of retiring early.
I looked at new career paths – should I become a psychologist, interior designer, I can’t even remember what else. At least in Germany all of them meant going back to school for a minimum of 5 years. So it just didn’t seem feasible.
What I was trying to achieve was to experience more freedom in my day to day life. More specifically during the time I was at work.
By the time this was all coming to a head anyone I spoke to would tell me – you have a great life – friends, an amazing apartment, a relatively cruisey job. It won’t get any better than this. Just enjoy it.
Even my closest friends told me this.
I knew though I wasn’t meant to stay.
So I emigrated to Australia.
Partly because I was done with European winters, partly because I wanted to be in an English speaking environment again and partly because I knew if I wanted to change career it would be a lot easier.
Enter The World Of Business
Australia is a really positive and open environment towards business. In Germany having my own business had seemed completely foreign and I mean why would I do that? How would it even work?
In Australia I met people doing this already.
Very successful people.
And it got me thinking.
I also met my fiancé Ady who really wanted us to have a business.
Unfortunately my new IT job in Australia was a nightmare so I ended up quitting and we decided we would start a business.
We sat down and looked at our skills and I spent several months with my head in business books and researching on the Internet.
We started a business in the automotive industry. I did the IT stuff, Ady did the car stuff. It went okay. We made some money.
But I hated it. I hated it when the phone rang and somehow I knew this wasn’t it.
It was just the best thing we had thought of so far.
Then the World of Online Business
While all this was happening I was discovering the world of online business and coaching. I started to see that while the business I was in could make money it wasn’t the fit for me.
But what could I do as a coach or online business owner? I didn’t feel like I had many relevant skills. Outside of programming and IT world which I was trying to leave.
I did see one area though – business ideas and business models.
I had spent months researching and understanding how the mechanics of business work. I had some business experience.
I could see possibilities in the online Facebook groups I was in of how people could start their own business. It did seem like a long shot but I was determined, really determined to not have to get an IT job in Australia again.
Especially as we had moved to a beautiful place in the country and I could not face the 3 hour round trip into the city again.
So I decided to test it. I offered free sessions. At first it felt awkward, I wondered if I was helping, but people liked them and got a lot of out them so I put together my very first offer – The Idea Generator. And started.
Catleblanc.com was born
At first it was a little bumpy. A client here, more clients there, bit of a gap here. The good thing about it though was because my clients were deciding on their business ideas and niches the next step was how to start the business – so Business Startup Coaching was born.
Then I moved into group programs, then an ecourse and business has grown from there.
It hasn’t always been easy. In fact starting a business has challenged me more than emigrating, working in countries where I need to learn to speak the language, getting divorced and a whole bunch of other stuff that yeah, life just seems to throw at us.
It has been a journey getting here. And there are still days where the shit hits the fan and I have to work out how to solve it because the buck stops with me. The days of going to my manager are over.
But it’s so worth it. As I am recording this it’s a beautiful day outside. I am looking forward to checking what my clients are up to and I have two wonderful new people to speak to today who may become clients.
Life is good. My pre business life was good (with some bumpy times along the way) but now it’s better. I get to everything pretty much my way.
So what does this mean for you?
I think more than anything it means the past doesn’t dictate the future.
Just because you have been on a different path until now it doesn’t mean you can’t change direction.
Whether you’ve had entrepreneurial leanings before or not it doesn’t mean you can’t do something now. Maybe your life just didn’t lead you that way to start off with.
If you have an idea it’s worth testing it.
Your friends don’t always know what’s best for you and if you think there’s something better out there for you there probably is.
So that’s the story of how I started my business. I hope it helped you wherever you are in your own story right now.