How I built a 6-figure lifestyle business in 1 year

5 min read

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In 2011, I was a corporate lawyer at a top-tier National firm. Although I was learning a ton and had worked damn hard to get there, something wasn’t sitting right.

I was unhappy. I was stressed. I was developing food allergies. I was moody. I would come into work some mornings and couldn't move my neck because it had seized up. I was constantly “on”, even while I was sleeping. I would dream about work or wake up in the middle of the night to check my phone for urgent emails.

My undeniable dissatisfaction forced me to figure out why I was feeling that way. After doing some digging and getting honest with myself, I realized my values weren't aligned with the path I had chose.

Although I highly respected the Partners at the firm, I realized that wasn't where I wanted to be in 10 years. I wanted to feel passionate about what I was doing and I didn't see that happening at the top of the ladder I was climbing.

It also wasn't aligned with my ideal lifestyle. I wanted to work from home in my lulus. I wanted the freedom to set my schedule. I wanted the ability to travel for months and work from my laptop.

So I quit. Got married and went backpacking through SE Asia and India with my husband for 6 months. Had my own little Eat, Pray, Love experience. Ate all the food, meditated at ashrams, went to a yoga festival, volunteered at orphanages and NGO’s, opened myself up to new experiences. Tried to get clear on what I wanted to do.

I came home and started a business that failed. I learned from it and got back up. I then started my current business, a legal recruitment company. I had no idea what I was doing when I started out, but I gave it my all and hustled my way to 6 figures in one year. Now I’m sitting here working from home in my lulus, my mental and physical health have never been better and even though I’m still working hard, it’s on my own terms.

Today I'm sharing 4 things that were key to my success in building a profitable lifestyle business.

1 . YOU BETTA (NET)WORK

Although you might be a solopreneur when you're starting out, you don’t have to do this alone. No matter what you’re doing, there are people that have been there before. Talk to those people. They’ll have golden nuggets to share with you that they learned from experience. You can read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, take all the courses, but having one-on-one conversations with people who have been there is invaluable.

Don't reinvent the wheel, but make sure you're taking advice from people that have actually built wheels before. In other words, don't take advice from just anyone. A lot of people will have an opinion about what you’re doing. Give the most weight to those that have actually walked the path and succeeded.

2. HUSTLE HARD

You can't rely on your website or social media to bring home the bacon. It’s on you to get out there and sell your products/services. The first business I started when I came home from backpacking failed because I had a “build it and they’ll come” mentality. I set up the website, grew a Facebook following and thought that would be enough. It wasn’t.

I learned, though, and when it came time to launch my recruitment services, I made cold calls, sent cold emails and made myself highly visible in the community. I asked people to meet with me for coffee and if they said no, I followed up until they said yes or told me to stop asking. I forced myself to get outside of my comfort zone. That, more than anything else, is what set up a firm foundation for the rest of my business to be built on.

3. GET GRITTY

Getting knocked down is a given. Your success depends on how many times you get back up.

In sales, you’ll get rejected. Learn how to brush it off and not take it personally (this took me some time).

Certain things aren’t going to work out. Most of the time, it’s because something better is on the way. Trust that and move on.

The path is not a perfectly linear line. It’s an up and down, curly whirly haywire type of thing. Learn how to ride it and do your best to have fun.

If you’re looking for a good read on grit, check out “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth. The secret to success isn’t talent. It’s hard work and focused persistence.

Will Smith captures this perfectly: “If we get on a treadmill together, there are two things: you’re getting off first or I’m gonna die. It’s really that simple”.

4. KNOW YOUR IDEAL CLIENT

Don't try to be everything to everyone. Many new business owners think they’re leaving money on the table by being too targeted. The problem is, if you try to speak to everyone, you’re speaking to no one.

Find your ideal client. Speak directly to their needs and pain points and get known as the "go-to" in your industry for that niche.

In legal recruitment, I focus on serving small to mid-sized firms with innovative business models. That doesn’t mean I don’t serve other clients that don’t fit the niche exactly, but I’m the go-to for my ideal client and they’re the die-hard, steady clients that I know will think of me first whenever they have a need.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to identify and connect with your ideal client, check out my previous post on this topic: Why your clients aren’t calling back.

Comment below if you’re thinking about starting a lifestyle business or already have. There’s so much value in sharing our experiences with one another. I would love to hear what has helped you in your journey to creating the life and business you’ve imagined.

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Thumbnail image credit: http://southernweddings.com/2014/10/17/southern-newlywed-home-amanda-tyler/