Kellly McCausey: Smart Solopreneur
Even when she didn't know I was lurking on the forum soaking up her smarts, I was learning from her. Then I grew up a little and decided to take things more seriously and hired Kelly as my business coach.
Not only is Kelly one uber-smart cookie – she's darned good at pulling stuff out of you that you didn't even know you had hidden there. Her no-nonsense style is perfectly paired with her encouraging demeanor. She says what she means and she means what she says. I am absolutely blessed to have found her so early on and 6 years later she's still a major influence in my life and business.
Thrilled that she shared her answers with transparency, I know that you'll learn from the words of this Smart Solopreneur!
1. If you could get into a time machine and give some advice to your newbie-self what would you say?
Be braver Kelly! I held back on opportunities that I should have went for with gusto. I don't know what I was afraid of – maybe looking like I was getting too big for my britches? Worrying about what other people think is a waste of mental and emotional energy. Nobody is ever going to congratulate you on holding back and playing it safe.l
2. What was the driving force in helping you choose to create an online business vs getting a traditional JOB?
I had a good job with flexible hours and health benefits but terrible pay. I was driven to start an online business on the side just to make ends meet. You know, I didn't have any intention of turning my online venture into a full time thing in the beginning but it opened up new choices for me. Today I can't imagine going back to a J O B 🙂
3. How did you choose your business model/niche?
I want to claim a master strategy but the truth is I fell into my business model which is the ‘content provider/coach/information marketer‘ model. I created products people asked for and started coaching when asked. What really shaped my business though are the projects that didn't work out, the work I didn't enjoy doing. So I was pushed in some directions, pushed back in a few and ended up where I am.
Today I'm much more purposeful of course. When I rebranded myself last year I had to rebuild my product offerings and get my name out in new circles. I get to do basically what I did by accident before – without the time wasters and mistakes.
4. What one free tool can you not live without?
I'd have a hard time boiling it down to just one. Facebook is free. Google Analytics is free. Gmail is free. I use and depend on these every day. Then there's Feedburner, Evernote, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Apps… I'd be freaked out if I lost access to any of those things.
5. What tool would you invest in no matter the cost?
Hosting is the basic web utility none of us can do without and the tool some insist on bargain shopping for. I gladly pay a premium price for web hosting that I can depend on. You can save a few bucks a month by going for the lowest price, but when crap hits the fan and you need someone with a brain helping you sort thing out, you'll be sorry.
6. Would you please share one thing you wish you regret not doing sooner?
Affiliate Marketing. I blew it off as being for people ‘with big lists' and didn't even try. Delaying was so dumb! When I did finally take it seriously the money from affiliate commissions came in slowly but surely – eventually making up 25-30% of my annual income.
7. What are the 3 must read business books you'd recommend?
Crush It! fires you up and makes your realize you have to get your message out there.
The Barefoot Executive inspires you with real examples.
The Power of Full Engagement teaches you a lot about working when you can product the best results – and walking away from it when you can't. (It gave me permission to embrace a siesta lifestyle.)
8. Would you mind sharing a bit about Plan Your Offer Funnel Workshop and how it might help a new online business owner create a plan to move forward?
The Workshop is a three session virtual event that I hold once a quarter. I present an overview of the Offer Funnel, teach the group how to use a special WordPress Plugin created for brainstorming and then help live participants work through their plan from creating free content to attracting people into your list and eventually to spend money with you.
The important skill I seek to teach is identifying real felt needs that your target has right now and turn that knowledge into offers they'll want to act on. This will ultimately lead to better decisions about creating content and products.
9. Any last words of wisdom?
As a soloprenuer, which most work at home moms are, you have the freedom to create a business that fits you like a glove. Take your time and move towards what gives you the great satisfaction and flexibility.