A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

2009 Goals Update: The Halfway Mark!


20 ways to make money online fast.
2009 is over half gone already! Wow, time flies! I feel I have gotten into a pretty good groove, and I am definitely happy about how my goals are progressing.

On January 4, I published my goals for 2009. Now that we’re over halfway through 2009, let’s take a look at each of them and how I am doing:

1. 350 paying customers for Inspiring Innovators by the end of 2009.

In April, I mentioned I wanted to stop procrastinating and launch my new site, Inspiring Innovators. What is Inspiring Innovators? In a nutshell, I’m giving you access to some of the Internet’s top entrepreneurs, with audio interviews and how-to guides so you can start your business by replicating their businesses. There will be a huge demand for this from those of you who want to start an online business, but are looking for an idea or more guidance.

Internet entrepreneurs are hard to get in touch with! Since they can work from anywhere, many of them live in remote locations. They travel often and you aren’t likely to bump into them in traditional networking venues. You can go to Internet marketing conferences, but they’re usually speaking at those and are just swamped!

I decided to use my influence to ask them the same questions you would ask. How did they get started? Do they have any special skills that lend themselves well to making money online? Where did they find customers? I am picky about who I am interviewing, only picking entrepreneurs who started by working from home, bootstrapped their businesses, and are making a full-time income online.

I was surprised at how well the first interviews turned out! These successful people offer a wealth of information. Each case study is at least 30 minutes long and includes a transcript and a how-to guide so you can follow in their footsteps.

Inspiring Innovators will be a paid membership site; the price will be $27/month, with a discount to the first folks to sign up. Why paid and not free? I want to create a community of people who are serious about taking their Internet businesses to the next level. Also, I can do cool things, like hire people to write in-depth articles, bring in paid experts to help you, and do webinars myself and answer your business questions. I will be working tirelessly to ensure you get amazing value from your investment!

The site isn’t up yet, mainly because I am waiting on final approval for a merchant account so we can process payments, and because I’m tinkering with a few technical issues. However, the first interviews are there and ready to go. I will work hard to make my commitment of 350 paid members before the end of the year. Considering the value proposition, I don’t think it will be too hard to meet this goal. It entails some fun challenges, too, like attracting affiliates and learning Google Adwords. I look forward to this!

Every time I write about Inspiring Innovators, by the way, people worry that I will stop writing here, or that this blog will become a members-only paid site. That will not happen! erica.biz will always be free, and I will continue to write at least one high-quality blog post per week.

2. Grow erica.biz to 4000 subscribers.

As of today, I have 3,749 subscribers, which means I am most of the way there! I will hit this goal easily. So what’s next? I have a lot up my sleeve. πŸ™‚

I have been wanting to release an ebook for a while. Good news — I am close to being finished with my first one! The even better news is that it will be totally free; you won’t even have to sign up for my free business tips to read it.

The ebook is called Blog Success Manifesto. Its goal is to help you gain your next 1000 blog subscribers in record time. In it, I pour out a ton of secrets, including a recent easy tweak I made that doubled the number of new subscribers per day here on erica.biz.

This will be a great resource for those of you who are blogging now or who are interested in starting a blog. I’ve read a lot of information on setting up a blog, and honestly, I haven’t seen a free guide as comprehensive as the one I am about to release.

Expect it in August at the latest. (If you get my free business tips, I’ll notify you when I release it!)

My stretch goal for the end of the year is 10,000 subscribers, but really, I’ll be happy as long as I see continual growth. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint, and I know as long as I keep posting great content, things will continue to go well.

3. Complete our move to San Diego.

This one is DONE! We moved to Solana Beach, CA as of July 1. I really love it here. We live less than a mile from the ocean, and get a nice cool breeze throughout the house. (No A/C required!) Plus, there is plenty of great food (including Mexican food — my favorite!), interesting people to meet and hang out with, and lots of stuff to do.

San Diego is expensive compared to the rest of the U.S., but it is surprisingly cheaper than the Bay Area. It’s also more relaxed — I don’t see as many people slaving away late at night in offices, and I see a lot more people outside enjoying the great weather. Not long ago, I grabbed a burrito to go from a local taco stand and walked from the taco stand to the beach. I sat on a big rock on the beach and ate dinner while watching the surfers catch waves and folks walking, playing football, and enjoying the late afternoon sun. (You Bay Area folks have no idea what you’re missing! πŸ˜‰

One great thing about living here is I don’t feel the need to jet off to paradise very often. Why fly somewhere and pay for expensive hotels when I can walk to the ocean from my house?

When people ask me why I moved to San Diego, I usually reply, “I can work from anywhere, so why not live in paradise?” It’s totally worth starting an Internet business in order to be able to live where you really want!

An Update: Health Problems

About a month ago, I revealed some health problems that were causing me to become exhausted and sleep for some 12-15 hours a day. These problems were the primary reason I did not launch Inspiring Innovators as intended in April. Here’s what I found out:

My blood test revealed several issues. The chief issue was that I had an acute infection — which, based on the test, was mono! (No wonder I was sleeping so much.) Currently, the doctors are performing another test to see what else, if anything, is going on in my gut. These problems are very common, so if you’re feeling tired and you don’t know why, see a qualified health practitioner and get as many tests as you need to help track it down!

The test also revealed two nutrition-related problems: reactive hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. I now have several supplements that I take with each meal. Also, I recently switched to a low-carb diet. I have to watch my intake of things like bread, flour, and beans. Since meat wasn’t the issue, I stopped being pescetarian and started eating healthy lean meats — turkey and game meats. (I still don’t eat chicken, and I eat minimal red meat.) I’ve noticed that these meats no longer give me indigestion; a sign that something is going in the right direction. I still cannot eat many high-glycemic index fruits without feeling sick, so I eat vegetables instead.

I assembled a team of three natural health practitioners — a nutritionist, a chiropractor, and an acupuncturist. I found them based on opinions of other people I trust. I’ve stopped taking advice from the Internet; there are just too many opinions out there. Instead, I ask the three of them any health questions I have. Surprisingly (to me), they all tend to have similar answers. I’m now doing acupuncture every week (which I also highly recommend — no, it doesn’t hurt, and yes, it freaked me out at the beginning too!)

I am feeling much better and am amazed at the difference in my energy levels in just a couple of months. The lesson I learned from this ordeal was to find doctors I trust and work with them to help find the right cures for my body, instead of trying to self-diagnose online. I couldn’t have made a better choice.

Look for another goals update in October. Thank you for reading!

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I'm Erica Douglass.
After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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