For those of you who have been following along on my journey, you know that I’ve become burnt out from academia. Currently, on summer break, I’ve been doing some deep work on what I need and want for my life and career. I have lost faith in the academy and want to build something more for myself and others.
I’ve got a few side hustles going on (The Professor Is Out, The Leveraged PhD, Speaking, Consulting) and just recently refined my consulting into Ecopreneur.Coach. In order to be more accountable and (hopefully) show that it can be done, I am putting my journey out into the world. After quitting my tenure track position I have secured a 1-year visiting position. My goal is to build my business so that at the end of this contract I can choose to stay or leave academia.
I was going to wait until the 1st of July so that I had a nice clean deadline to hit however I believe the best goals aren’t made as new years resolutions and just like the 1st of January there is no magic in the 1st of July. I started this 12-month countdown on the 19th of June 2019. I have until 19th June 2020 to be a full-time entrepreneur.
What I did this month :
- Deep work on what I want my life to look like 1 year, 2 years and 5 years from now.
- Brainstormed business ideas
- Narrowed my business idea
- Offered free services to a friend to test my concept
- Narrowed my business idea some more
- Researched and purchased my domain name
- Set up the basics on my website
- Wrote my first blog post
- Joined Facebook groups related to my new venture
- Set up social media accounts for my new venture
- Wrote and scheduled 3 blog posts
Total costs June: $121
- Domain: $60
- Theme: $61
Total income June: $0
I had a lot going on this month (packing, social events, and some much-needed downtime/family time) so time spent on this side hustle was minimal. I did make some great headway and pitched to my first two clients. Here is a list of everything I did this month:
- Wrote and scheduled 4 blog posts
- Participated in discussions in Facebook groups (which is where one of my potential clients came from – she reached out to me after I commented on some else’s question)
- Scheduled content for Instagram
- Meet with a potential client over dinner
- Put together a customized package for said client
- Meet with a potential client via video call
- Put together a customized package for the second potential client
- Deep work on what my business will look like – still working on this one!
It is looking like one client will hire me. Stay tuned!
Total costs July: $0
Total costs YTD: $121
Total income June: $0
Total income TYD: $0
With a move and a new job to settle into side-hustling time was again limited this month. I did sign my first client! If you remember, I pitched to two clients at the end of last month, one said no but the other signed on for three months. You’ll see income coming in over the next 3 months. Obviously totally stocked to be seeing that money coming in. Just today I got a lead on another client who is a referral so I will be chasing up with them early next month. I’m also contemplating a name change for my business now that I have drilled down and had time to develop my vision and business direction.
Total costs August: $0
Total costs YTD: $121
Total income August: $1200
Total income TYD: $1200
I settled into my new academic position this month. With full-time work, my client, and The Leveraged PhD September social media challenge I found myself overwhelmed this month and not spending as much time on my side gig. I was getting frustrated that I didn’t have the time to work on my business and grow it. My husband reminded me of my initial goals and encouraged me to take a step back. My goal was to breakeven in my business this year not to make money. My plan is to build a solid base for my business so that I can take it full time if I desire mid next year. Once I was reminded of this, I relaxed a little and started being more strategic about my time and tasks. I gave myself the grace to be a beginner and learn and build without the pressure to be successful today.
The biggest change this month was that mindset change which resulted in me looking into outsourcing some of my tasks. The idea is to spend some of my revenue on outsourcing so that I can free up my time and reduce my stress. I’ve been chatting with a copywriter who will write some blog posts for me and I’ve been contemplating outsourcing social media too but I haven’t looked into that yet as I am still not sure if I want to do that.
The other major action for my business is that I have bartered my services for branding design. So while I technically have another client they aren’t paying me in money. She is doing a full branding package for me (that includes mood board, logo, sub logo, guidelines, colours, fonts, icons). She will also be designing my business cards, some social media templates and website design. I am so excited about this as my imagery has been very disjointed until now. Having this solid brand base will allow me to build my brand quicker and with more impact.
I also invested in Acuity a scheduling software that allows my clients to book in their appointments based on my availability. No more backwards and forwards trying to find a time. I was on the trial and my clients (and I) loved the easy of it. There is a free various however the paid version includes timezone conversion (important to me as I’ve been pitching clients all around the world), calendar syncing, and online meeting software syncing). I subscribed for a year to get a discount.
Total costs September: $243.97
- Xero (Accounting software): $25.83
- Acuity (Scheduling software) $218.14
Total costs YTD: $364.97
Total income September: $1200
Total income TYD: $2400
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