Shane Melaugh is fantastic! He runs a company called Thrive Themes, which sells a suite of tools to build out WordPress sites. They’re the best in the business. He’s a fantastic marketer, business owner, and teacher.
More importantly for Amy, she stumbled upon Shane’s free webinar, How to Become an Implementation Machine.
What an inspiring 90 minutes!
After listening to Shane’s presentation, Amy committed to launching a 30-day challenge, which forced her to build and ship something every day.
She could see how diving into such a challenge would build her creative muscles, and improve her focus and ability to execute.
Procrastination scurried away afraid.
Despair skulked back into the depths.
Taking massive action felt better than hand wringing about maybe doing something, but putting it off for fear of terrible output.
Shane’s first personal challenge was building one video a day for 30 days.
His first videos sucked … bad. Who cares? Nobody watched them anyway. He didn’t have an audience.
But, he did post them, because the work has to be done in a real environment (for public consumption). It has to “ship.”
Otherwise, you can cheat or half step it without worrying about anybody seeing it.
With no skin in the game, you don’t develop a skill for producing high quality content that people want to consume.
Or if you do, it takes much, much longer.
With only two hours a day to work with Amy modified her challenge:
10 posts in 30 days.
Two days to research and write a rough draft. One day to polish and post.
Amy completed her modified challenge, and then some. She uploaded 12 posts to her fledgling Medium site.
She ditched WordPress and chose Medium after learning that it was a great place to start. It saves you time and heartache and the hassle of learning how to create a blog from scratch.
Plus, if your stuff is good there’s a built in audience (60 million monthly readers as of February 2017) on the platform that will find it. Check out these tips from content marketing wizard, Larry Kim, for improving the chances of your posts being seen.
Seven of her first posts explored personal finance topics. Ironic considering the state of her bank account.
Amy decided to learn about the topic to help her family. Then share what she learned with the world. Armed with the concept of “three books makes you an expert,” she thought it made sense on multiple levels.
Now she was “niched.” She could honestly say her specialty was personal finance.
She aced her 30-day challenge. This gave her confidence. She had a portfolio and was eager to “get in the game.”
And start getting paid.
She was officially 10 weeks into this odyssey, and, for the first time, felt like she had momentum.
Now, how to lock in that $1,000/month?
Amy started getting personal finance writing gigs from job boards. Her personal branding, “professional writer specializing in personal finance,” was gaining traction.
She started making money. Not a lot. Gigs on job boards don’t pay that well.
Amy was catching the eye of people from better companies, who are drawn to writers that specialize.
Amy discovered these higher class gigs were way more organized.
Most of her early gigs were chaotic.
No idea what they wanted. They would know when they saw it.
After a few bad experiences Amy was getting better at recognizing low value gigs that more than likely would end up in heartache, unhappy customers, bad ratings, and low pay.
Amy matched the professionalism of the better gigs with her new found writing confidence and a burgeoning knowledge of personal finance.
Her work was appreciated and well compensated. This writing thing was getting good.
Then, it got better …
The Director of Digital Marketing for a blog/magazine site, who’s audience was Stay At Home Moms, was looking for a series of posts on personal finance for SAHMs.
She found Amy’s work on Medium and knew she was perfect.
Tables turned, the director pitched Amy on the opportunity. HUGE!
Three posts a month for three months. $500 a post. Each month paid in advance.
Amy received that first Paypal payment, $1,500, four months after writing down her specific targets for side income.
Happiness! Joy! Relief!
Goal met! She blew past her $1,000/month target.
Amy and Paul had a proper celebration dinner at their favorite sushi place. They hadn’t been since Kaitlyn was born.
What a feeling!
After her next payment arrived for her second month of work, Amy delivered a check to her Mom to cover the debt. Mom looked it over, then looked Amy over and shrugged.
Amy interpreted it as approval.
And the following month, Paul took his Hyundai in and learned he needed a new camshaft. $900. He paid it. Right there. That ominous knock under the hood was gone. His drive to work was worry free (except for texting commuters).
They made a list of house repairs and started knocking them off one by one.
For the first time since having Kaitlyn, Amy bought nice Christmas presents for her mom, sister, and nephew.
She swears her cortisol levels dropped.
She sleeps better.
She also knows that when Kaitlyn starts kindergarten, she can put more time into her new writing career. Make more money. And boost emergency and retirement funds to adequate levels.
Looking back, Amy was sort of surprised she pulled it off. It took big time faith to commit to her goal without a road map.
Normally, any sort of roadblock would have knocked Amy off course. Discomfort and fear crushing progress.
Not this time. She pushed through it.
Amy’s freelance gig with the SAHM site wasn’t going to last forever, so she kept building her skills and looking for opportunities.
She stumbled upon the work of a man who's amazing story inspired her. He taught her a strategy for boosting her writing brand in ways she never thought possible.
Knowing this secret starting out, she would have reached her goal in half the time.
Click the button below and enter your email address to learn more about this strategy.
April "rooting for you" Swanson