Back in April of this year, I discovered an ebook on Amazon called Start a Freedom Business. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this book, but I’m so glad I did. The 99 cent I spent on this ebook has led me toward the path of entrepreneurship.
Before reading this book, I never gave too much thought about becoming an entrepreneur. Why? Because it seemed so far out of my reach. I didn’t study business in college, I didn’t have a lot of money, and I didn’t know many entrepreneurs.
How could I create a startup? How could I open my own business? How could I purchase a franchise? Entrepreneurship just didn’t seem possible for me…
But this book helped me realize becoming an entrepreneur is more feasible than I originally thought. I’ll explain more about that later, but first, let me explain what convinced me to go down the path of entrepreneurship.
In this book, the author starts off by arguing time is more valuable than money.
“Time is (as far as we know) absolutely finite, and once you’ve used up your allotment, you can’t get any more. All the money in the world isn’t value to a dead person. It’s with that in mind that I nominate ‘time’ as the most valuable thing a human can possess. Yet, if you look around, most people trade their time for money; something that is still valuable, but less so.” – Collin Wright, Start a Freedom Business
This simple concept has led me to ask myself:
“Why should I aspire to trade all my time for money, when money is less valuable than time?”
As the author explains in the ebook, a freedom business is essentially a business that will make you money while freeing up your time. The goal of starting a freedom business isn’t to expend all your time to generate as much money as possible, but to generate enough money to free up your time.
After reading this book, I was convinced becoming an entrepreneur was the key to living the life I wanted. I knew that to live the travel lifestyle I dreamed of, I needed both money and time. Sure, working a corporate job would give me money, but it wouldn’t give me time. I didn’t want to work my bum off all year and have only a 2-week vacation to travel. I wanted traveling to be a part of my life. Being an entrepreneur would allow me to make money while affording me the freedom to travel.
Now that I was convinced, the next step was figuring out exactly how to start a business with the limited funds I had.
The author details in the book various freedom business models such as publishing, providing a service, creating & selling a product, becoming an affiliate marketer, getting into advertising, or starting an e-commerce store. Unlike creating a startup, opening a restaurant, or purchasing a franchise, you don’t need to have a lot of money to start one of these freedom businesses.
Since reading this book, I’ve experimented with FIVE of these business models.
The most obvious place for me to start was publishing, or more specifically, blogging. I didn’t just recently start blogging, though. I started blogging 9 years ago. However, my previous blogs didn’t contain much valuable content for readers. They were more for documenting my life events.
This blog is different than the other ones I’ve had. My main goal for this blog is to provide both valuable and interesting content for readers so that I can build an audience.
Why do I care so much about building an audience? Because every reader is a potential customer, client, or cheerleader. I know if I provide great value for my readers, I could possibly get some value back in return.
2. Providing a service:
Deciding what services to provide is the hardest part of starting a freelance business. After a lot of thought, I’ve finally settled on offering copywriting, proofreading, and web design. Because I studied strategic communications/public relations in college, I’m already skilled at copywriting and proofreading. Web design, on the other hand, was something I’ve just recently taught myself.
I’ve created this website for my freelance business. It’s still quite empty at the moment, though. I’m currently trying to secure some freelance work so that I can add to my portfolio.
So far, I’ve gotten one potential web design client through Instagram. He contacted me after reading my “Jasmine’s Guide To Starting A Blog” article, which I linked on my IG profile. (*An example of getting value in return for providing value.)
3. Creating & Selling a product:
For this business model, I decided on creating & selling planner stickers. You’re probably wondering “why planner stickers?”
Well, I’m crazy about planning. I love planners, and I love writing out my whole life in them. As someone who is always juggling a million things at once, I don’t know how I would survive without one.
I decided to create planner stickers because the sticker business is booming. Just look on Etsy if you don’t believe me. People are making $$$ selling stickers for planners.
Planning is pretty “trendy” nowadays. People don’t just write things down in planners anymore, they literally pimp out their planners with stickers, washi tape, and any other cute stationary item you can think of.
So that’s how I decided to sell planner stickers. I currently only have one set of stickers for sale in my Etsy store.
4. Becoming an affiliate marketer:
This business model goes hand-in-hand with publishing. I’ve signed up for a few affiliate programs. If you’ve read my guide on starting a blog, then you would have seen the affiliate links I’ve included in there. I only sign up for affiliate programs with companies I use and recommend.
5. Starting an e-commerce store:
I wish I did more research before diving head-first into this business model. After brainstorming all the things I could sell, I decided on costume jewelry.
Costume jewelry is cheap to buy and easy to store. It requires less investment than selling clothing, shoes, or electronics.
With that in mind, I hopped on Aliexpress to find jewelry wholesalers. I ended up ordering more than $200 worth of jewelry. It took around 4-6 weeks for my orders to arrive.
Once my orders arrived, I went through the tedious process of taking pictures of every necklace. After that was done, I created an e-commerce store.
My first attempt at creating an e-commerce store was through the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. In order to do this, I had to buy a new theme that was compatible with WooCommerce. In a few hours, I was able to set up an e-commerce site on this blog. However, as you may have noticed, the shop is no longer on my website. That’s because I wanted to separate my e-commerce store from my blog. Since this is a travel & health lifestyle blog, I realized it was a bit weird to have a jewelry e-commerce store attached to it.
I then decided to move my e-commerce store to Shopify so that I could sell through this Facebook page. This is where my e-commerce store is currently at. So far, I’ve recuperated 1/3 of my startup costs. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to advertise my jewelry.
The reason why I wish I’d done more research before starting an e-commerce store is because I’ve discovered selling merchandise is quite hard to do without a decent advertising budget.
So that about sums it up!
Now, I know the question you’re dying to ask is:
“Have you made any profit?”
The answer is …not yet. I’ve started all these side businesses less than 2 months ago. I predict it’ll take me some time to actually recuperate my costs and make a profit.
Although I haven’t made a profit yet, I’ve learned a lot over these past few weeks. I’m confident that if I continue learning and dedicating my time to improving my various side businesses, money will come. But if it doesn’t, then I’ll have to figure out why things aren’t working out so that I can change what I do. I’ve discovered that being an entrepreneur requires constantly learning and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
Just a reminder, this blog isn’t about my journey as an already successful entrepreneur. This blog is about my journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. I want to take readers on my journey, so they can see what works for me and what doesn’t.
That’s all for now. If you have any questions or comments, drop them below. 🙂
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