I believe that the quickest and best way to learn is to pick the brains of people who have succeeded in that kind of enterprise. And since I always wanted to become a location-independent entrepreneur, I’m always searching for people who succeeded in being one, who can teach me how to do it and do it well.
So when Natalie Sisson (whom I have been following for quite some time) announced that she and Natalie Macneil will be offering an online business course which will include coaching and a community of women entrepreneurs, I immediately signed up to become one of Women Entrepreneur’s Mastermind charter members.
I came into WE Mastermind with the intention of growing my nascent copy writing business – a side gig that I put up with the goal that once it can bring steady revenue, I will quit my job and fulfill my dream of traveling around the world.
Well, that was my express intention, my “press release” so to speak.
Working On my “Secret” Dream
Until now, I’m hesitant to say this in public because of fear of being ridiculed as delusional. But here it goes: all I really want in my life is to take my travel blog to the next level by transforming it into a multimedia network catering to solo female travelers. I want to produce videos, e-guides and podcasts that will inspire women to craft their own journeys.
It was a wild and almost impossible dream as I wasn’t a popular blogger. How can I even think of building a media business when I have no RSS subscribers, no mailing list and a pathetic 1,000 page views a month. And here I am, dreaming that I’ll be the next Oprah. Yeah, right.
But then, while I’m quite pragmatic with the way I lead my life and chart my journalism career, I sometimes give in to my “dreamy” side. I do know how to take some risks.
So, at the risk of being called delusional, I announced my “secret dream” in the We Mastermind forum. As it turned out, my fears were nothing more than, well, delusions. The two Natalies and the We Mastermind community were very supportive of my dream from day one.
It was encouraging. Still, I had some insecurities (am I really a good writer? Can I make it outside “traditional” media?) so I took things one (baby) step at a time.
I spent two months of going through modules, chatting in the forum, listening to recorded coaching coals and even e-mailing my mentors. After consuming and iterating all the lessons, I took the plunge and launched my first free e-guide for solo female travelers last November 2011.
Results (and lessons) from a book launch
That launch changed my life. I realized that it’s possible for my dream to come true. That yes, I can become a mediapreneur.
I will veer away from my innate woo-wooness and present to you some figures that I think will be of interest to you as an existing or aspiring entrepreneur:
- It took me about two months to write and edit the e-book. I hired a designer and a virtual assistant to help me with designing and marketing. I can only do these tasks during weekends, so I can say that I have to spend about 16 days for production.
- On the day that I launched my book, I asked my VA to send a private message to each of my 500 plus Facebook friends to announce that I have a free guide and you might want to sign up to my list to get it.
- I also announced the launch on Twitter – where I have about 300 followers. I requested We Mastermind members to help me spread the word.
- I sent e-mails to 300 plus friends/colleagues/ex-schoolmates announcing my launch. I gave them a copy of the e-book.
- Shortly after I launched the e-book, I got about 100 sign ups. My monthly page views rose to 3,000.
In the greater scheme of things, my figures are small. I’m no overnight success. But these numbers are enough to encourage me that people are willing to partake of what I want to offer in this world.
More than that, I was heartened by the warm response that I got from women (and even men) who read my guide. They praised my writing and thanked me for publishing something that will help them take that first step towards traveling on their own.
The guide also opened up a new opportunities for me. I was recently featured in a travel magazine. I also signed up a contract with an indie publisher to write and co-launch my first paid e-guide for travelers ( I don’t want to go into details, as it’s a secret for now :).
But more importantly, thanks to the support from the WE Mastermind community, I got the confidence to go for it, to follow my dream.
Apart from writing another e-book, I’m also working on redesigning my site to elevate it from just another travel blog into a multimedia site with videos, slide shows and podcasts.
I wish I can end this post by saying that I quit my job and made the proverbial leap of faith. But that’s not to be for now. I’m still a happily employed journalist. I’d rather work on my media venture on the side, without being pressured to get any job just to pay the bills.
I really don’t care. I have built a successful journalism career by working harder and making both small and big sacrifices. And I’m willing to do more to make my dream come true.
About the author: Prime Sarmiento is an award winning journalist, solo female traveler and budding mediapreneur. She is the author of an inspiring e-guide for solo female travelers which you can download for free at The Gypsygals.