I started this blog in January of 2006. For years it was building in traffic and revenue at a nice steady pace, but in 2009 when I got separated from my husband, things took a turn for the worse. Here is how I slipped down the mountain and climbed back up to the top just 2 years later.
Before 2009 I was blogging and doing intuitive readings and earning a six-figure income every year. My husband, Steve, sent me a ton of traffic through his highly popular website, www.StevePavlina.com. I wanted for nothing. Free traffic, no marketing, a service-based business where I was earning a lot of money. I was doing what I loved, helping people, and being very successful at running an online business.
In October 2009, Steve and I separated. At the time Steve was earning twice as much money as I was and we were living in a 6-bedroom, 4300 square foot home. We also owned a smaller home 6 miles away that was 4-bedrooms and 2000 square feet. Logically it seemed likely Steve would take the smaller home and I’d stay with the kids in the bigger one. But the mortgage on the bigger home was 6 times what it was on the smaller home. Based on what I was earning and the anticipated amount of child support I would probably get, I decided to move into the smaller home so I could sleep easy at night knowing I was fully covered financially.
So the kids and I moved to the smaller home and I began to rebuild my life emotionally after separating from the man I thought would be my companion for life. We didn’t separate for lack of love, it was lack of compatibility. We were both happier with each other after we separated.
So I kept going the way I had been going, doing readings and blogging, but we started to see my income take a dip. Hmm, what’s going on? Steve still had me linked on his site, and would still promote me sometimes, but not as often. I started to realize I was relying on his site to send me traffic and that it was a dangerous reliance. I knew, because we had discussed it, that eventually Steve would need to take my links off his site, and I’d need to sink or swim without him. Honestly, I was nervous about what would happen. I’d never bothered to market myself. Did I have a viable business on its own merits?
As an experiment, while we were still tied together financially, we took all my links off his site and waited three months to see what would happen. We knew this would give us a preview of what would happen when we were no longer attached on a business level.
The results of our experiment were notable and devastating. I lost 80% of my incoming traffic and 50% of my income. Ouch! Steve offered to put the links back up, but I told him not to. I knew I was going to need to figure this out eventually, and decided now was a good time.
This is where I learned the biggest lesson I’ve learned in a long time. You don’t know what you’re made of until someone removes your life jacket and you’re forced to swim or drown.
It’s fair to say I became a workaholic. I had to. I had to rebuild my income and my traffic. I wanted to be able to provide for myself and my children without Steve’s help. I didn’t want to rely on anyone, I wanted to be independent for the first time in my life. I wanted to provide my own security.
This is when my creativity started to really blossom. Up until this point all I was doing was blogging and doing readings. Now that wasn’t enough. I knew I had to step it up and start thinking of other ways to generate income using my talents, skills, abilities, and the loyal traffic I had left.
My first solution was to create a product. I spent just two weeks working on this non-stop and my first product was done. An audio program called Raising Your Vibration. I put that out for sale and it sold very well. Awesome. But still not quite back to the level I was at before the separation.
What else could I do? How about a workshop? I don’t really love public speaking but decided to partner up with the ladies in my mastermind group and we did a one-day intuition workshop. That brought in some money, but it was just a one-time thing. I needed something that would increase my income on a monthly basis.
That’s when the Professional Intuitive Training Program came into being. My first two students asked me to teach them how to do what I was doing. I knew I could teach it so I brought them out for a week and trained them both. It went amazingly well. A whole new stream of income was born. I started offering the Professional Intuitive Training to more students and discovered I love teaching! Before long, my income was back to the exact same level it was at when I separated.
I started doing more marketing by writing articles for other publications, doing interviews with other bloggers, and hooking up with The Daily Brainstorm who publishes all my blog articles to their hundreds of thousands of readers.
I hooked up with an amazing coach, Rich Litvin, and we started offering one day super intensive sessions to one person at a time who wanted to make an amazing transformation in their lives.
And now I’m hosting my first ever 2-day workshop, the Intuition Development Workshop.
I look back over the last two years and completely changed my business model. Whereas before 100% of my income came from readings, today the distribution is much different.
In 2010 my income by percentages looked like this:
Product Sales: 10%
Workshops and Trainings: 12%
In 2011 the percentages were:
Product Sales: 5%
Workshops, Coaching and Trainings: 27%
This is going the direction I want it to go. I’d like to get to a point where readings are not my bread and butter. I’d rather be working with large groups of people at the same time, or continue training people to become professional intuitives. It’s a more effective use of my time and energy.
So now it’s 2012. My traffic is at 70% of what it was when I was attached to Steve, but my income is back to the exact same level it was during the years I was with him. So that means I’m utilizing my traffic more effectively than I was before, and my readers are very loyal and interested in what I sell.
I worked really hard. I took no vacations. My kids saw less of me than they did when I was married. But that’s what it took to get me back to where I am now. My next goal is to find a way to increase my income while decreasing the amount of time I work so that I can take a vacation (a real one), spend more time with my kids, start a new relationship, and get to the gym regularly.
What I learned in these last two years was that I was more capable than I ever thought I was. I learned to think outside the box. I tried so many more things than I’d been doing those first three years. I marketed myself much better than I ever had. Basically, I learned to swim while I was starting to drown. And I discovered I’m a strong swimmer.
It hasn’t been easy. I’ve made a ton of sacrifices to get back on top of the mountain. But it showed me who I am, and what I had deep inside of me. Plus now I’m serving more people in a better way than I ever had before.
If you’re going through anything similar, where your business is plummeting or slipping, I urge you to reach down into the deepest parts of yourself and ask yourself these questions:
- What else can I offer my current customers?
- How else could I train so that I’m better at what I do?
- How can I reach more people and introduce them to my product or service?
- Could I partner with someone and get better results?
- Could I adjust my pricing to make more money?
- Could I bundle what I do into a product that earns me passive income?
- Could I decrease my expenses to keep more profit?
- Could I work smarter to get more out of my time?
- Could I outsource things that cost me too much time and earn me little money?
Think outside your box. Be creative. Be resourceful. Don’t give up. Adjust your course. Try new methods. Learn, study, grow. Persist. You can do it!