This Business Gives You A Lot Of Lifestyle Control
It's been a while since I posted here in WA. My life has been crazy in 2021. First off, we had a baby in January. During a pandemic. That was a crazy couple of months. Then just as the baby started to get a little older and able to do more stuff, we had a bad car accident and I broke my hand. I needed surgery, and it took about a month to really get good function back to my hand where I could actually sit down and work.
Now it's June 2021. It's been a full six months since I've really dedicated more than an hour per day to running my business.
The good news is that everything is still running fine. I designed my business to be this resiliant.
10 Years In The Making
I've worked very consistently for the past 10 years even though I didn't "have to". Once my websites were making money, I saw the potential for bigger goals to be achieved and then when I hit those goals, I made new ones and so on. Early on, I identified issues with my business, made changes, and worked towards making the most resiliant online business as possible.
One of the early mistakes I realized is that I was running too many websites and it was impossible to keep up the work load as a single writer. I did some outsourcing at that point, but not well, and was still in the mode of "I have to do it myself to get it done right". So I whittled down my site portfolio from 60 micro sites to just 3 bigger sites.
During that time period, my sites were hit with a Google algrithm update (I was buying links at that point, so I deserved the hit). Though my traffic dropped by more than 50%, my income remained flat.
At that point I realized the power of recurring commissions, so I decided to promote Wealthy Affiliate. There are many recurring commission affiliate programs out there, but obviously I was most familiar with the WA platform at that point so it was a good fit to promote.
After years of working that site, when it started really making some good money, I realized that you could make a full time income with a single site. I didn't need a "portfolio". So I sold the group of sites I previously built. Plus, with more years of experience under my belt, I felt like my old sites had some issues I didn't want to spend the time to fix. I wanted to build something new. I still saw the value in diversification of niche topics.
I then took the money I earned from selling my older sites started a new site around 2015. It took 3 years and an investment of about $60k in outsourcing to finally break even, but at the end of those 3 years I had two awesome results.
- A website earning more than $5k/month
- Tons of experience outsourcing content that actually gets results
Everything went pretty well for a few years, but I was still working a lot. When my wife got pregnant, I had a full 9 months to really prepare for anything that might happen, and that's what I did. I checked my work flows. I prepared assignments for writers that they could work on and be self-contained for a solid amount of time. I looked at what needed to be done immediately, then did it, and made sure everything else had a VA or writer assigned to the task.
What Happened To My Business In 2021
Our baby was born in January, and for about 2 months it was non-stop baby care as I'm sure many of you know. Then, just as things started to chill out a bit, we got into a car accident. The accident in April really knocked me out of work for a couple of months, and here we are.
I broke my right hand, and I found it pretty difficult to get work done, so I decided to just let things slide for a bit while I recovered. After 10 years of consistency, I deserved to take off 2 months to heal :)
The good news is that during this time period it was just business as usual in terms of website operation. Everyone had assignments to work on. My only real work was communicating with VAs if unique situations came up, and making sure everyone got paid on time.
Income is still coming in. Traffic is still growing. Plus, I still have tons of ideas on the back burner that I can work on now that I'm getting back into action.
It was an incredible feeling to know that my business is resiliant to unexpected changes in the world (pandemic), or family (baby), or health (accident). Even though my lifestyle has changed a lot over the past 2 years, I was able to tailor my business around my life, rather than the other way around.
Do You Have The Patience To See This Thing Through?
A business like this doesn't build itself, and it doesn't happen over night. If you gave me a crystal ball in 2010 and showed me all the work I'd have to do to build a business like this, I'm not sure I would have actually done it. It's been a lot of work over the past decade! Now that that particular phase of my business is done though, I'm incredibly grateful to my younger self for putting in the work.
One small technique I use to encourage myself to get work done now is to envision the result I want in the future. Where do I want to be in 10 years? How do I want my life to look like? What do I need to get done over that time period to end up at my goal?
This practice of envisioning what I want my life to look like in the future and working backwards from there has been really helpful to me and produced results I'm happy with.
You'll hear this over and over inside Wealthy Affiliate, but it takes hard work and dedication to make your website successful. Anyone can do it though. It's not rocket science. It just takes patience and dedication.
The Future Of My Affiliate Websites
In total, I've taken about six months off of "hard core" work on my business, and I feel ready for the next phase. I'm not quite sure what that will look like. My wife just went back to work, so we are dealing with a new schedule at home, and since I'm a stay at home dad now, I have to reevaluate what time I have to accomplish things in my business, and where I need to direct that energy.
It's not like in the past where I could just sit at the computer for 12 hours and smash through tons of work. I have to be smarter. I have to be more efficient. I have to be more willing to let some things go until tomorrow.
What I'm working with right now is waking up at 5AM, and getting work done from 5:30-8:30. Then daddy daycare until my wife gets off at 5. Then dinner. Then exercise. Then bed. That's a good 3 hours per day (plus more if I can find it) that I can dedicate to my business. I'll keep you guys updated on how that's going!