It took three people to teach me to drive. Three brave people. It was 1971 and I’d turned 16 that summer. I was so ready to trade in my blue Schwinn Stingray for something more befitting a mature, sophisticated young lady I could talk of nothing else. Little did I know that humble beginnings lead to success.
My mom didn’t drive, but my uncle offered to teach me in his ’67 Ford Fairlane 500GT. Do you remember that model? Saturday finally arrived and Uncle Tony gave me my first driving lesson around the neighborhood. I was very excited to have him explain some things to me before pulling over to the curb, shutting off the engine. Then, he handed over the keys and we changed places so he could teach me while I was behind the wheel.
I froze for a minute. Then I started the engine and the most horrible sound screeched throughout the neighborhood. It went downhill from there and we agreed to try again in a few days. Poor Uncle Tony gave up on me two weeks later, but let us keep the car in our driveway. Sometimes I’d sit in the driver’s seat for an hour before turning the key. Then I’d go back inside the house and try to forget the experience.
It would be the third person, a man who lived across the street and had given me my first job at Uncle John’s Pancake House down the road who finally taught me to drive well enough for me to take the test and get my license. I thought the days of taking forever to master what I had thought was a simple skill were behind me…
There were other things that took me forever to learn as well throughout the years, but the one that would prove most infuriating was when I tried to learn how to start earning money on the internet in 2006.
That’s right, my first months online took me back to my 16-year-old self, insecure with no confidence in myself. But there was no Uncle Tony or a kindly neighbor to help me learn. I was determined to have some success, so I committed to spending about six hours each day in front of my computer and vowed to not give up. Ever.
Sixteen years have now passed and when I’m able to achieve my goals in record time and earn almost twenty times as much as I did as a classroom teacher and in real estate, I never forget what it took for me to get to where I am today. Why? Because remembering the struggle helps me to help new online entrepreneurs who have similar goals to mine.
My advice… never give up and spend time every single day getting better at the four things required… writing, creating, marketing, and mentoring/teaching others. That’s the secret to great success and I’m here to help you in any way I possibly can.
What I loved the Least… Until Years Later
I began my first year as a classroom teacher in the late summer of 1986. It was a 5th/6th split, which meant that I would have 31 5th graders and six 6th graders. I loved my new job and my class and arrives early each morning and remained in the classroom until they rang the final bell at 5pm before locking the campus down for the evening. But there was one part of this new life I did not love…
Schools run on very tight schedules. The bell schedule is complex and your ears get tuned in to short rings, long rings, and the less frequent short-long-short-long. We were were on lockdown, as was common in my area of Los Angeles, the bell rang for 30 seconds, paused for another 30, then resumed ringing until every single person at school could be accounted for. But that wasn’t the part I didn’t love the most…
I did NOT love the idea of having to move from one subject to another subject to recess to yet another subject to lunch to – I think you get the picture.
Just when I was teaching an important part of the lesson or a student was finally “getting it” the clock told me it was time to move on. Then something interesting happened…
I got into the habit and the rhythm of working on one thing for about 30 minutes and then moving on to an entirely different subject… and so did my students!
Almost sixteen years have now passed since I was last working in the classroom, but not a day goes by where I am not grateful for that experience. It wasn’t multi-tasking, mind you; it was the exact opposite and made me super productive!
Why? Because as an entrepreneur I wear different hats throughout the day, and I don’t even have to think about it. I might be writing a chapter for my new book in the morning, mentoring a student midday, and then writing a message to you in the late afternoon. This is a habit you definitely want to master.
Before I came online, I missed almost every social event and gathering…
Following Your Instincts
We all have instincts about what’s right for us. I observed this firsthand during my years as a classroom teacher, where parents knew exactly what was happening when their children were sick or unhappy. I made a study of instinctual behavior, and soon I also knew when something was a little off with one of my students, or even myself.
What if we allowed ourselves to tap into the instincts we have for our businesses? Would it make a difference? In a word, Yes! I came online so I could work from home, make my own hours, and have unlimited potential with my income. When I began marketing for local businesses, they began to offer me a job with their companies. But my instincts said “No!” and I’m so glad I listened. I hope you’re doing the same.
Setting Life and Business Goals
What goals have you set for yourself in regards to income and personal growth for this year? What’s your plan for how you will achieve these financial goals? This is a journey, but you must have destinations in mind along the way.
In the spring of 2005 I attended a live conference in Los Angeles, hosted by someone who would become my first mentor. He had us write down our goals in the areas of health, wealth, relationships, and a few more. Then we stood up and shared one or two of them with the group.
This was extremely meaningful to me and an experience I will never forget. Within a few weeks I was putting together a plan that would take me away from my teaching job and real estate business and into the world of online marketing. Time flew by and 14 months later my life looked very different. I was even living in a new city and had joined the Rotary Club!
What I’m saying here is that a goal without a plan has little value. And your plan must be specific, while also remaining fluid enough to allow for creativity and course corrections along the way.
Productivity in Action!
Over the past 16 years I’ve worked with many people who are/were brand new to online entrepreneurship. We were all new once, and my goal has been to remember what that was like in order to better help others get started.
The most productive action you can take is to write and publish a blog post on your topic. Choose something you know and care about, related to your niche. Write at least 500 words; add an image from one of the royalty free sites; hit publish!
These blog posts will serve as sales agents for you for years to come. You’ll be found online with your name and keywords and you’ll be able to recommend affiliate products until you create your own products, courses, and services. I didn’t create my first product until I’d been online for a year, yet I was able to get to six figures soon after.
The best news ever, whether you’re new or seasoned, is that you do not need to write all of your own posts. Instead, use content from a trusted source that creates PLR (private label rights) content that is high-quality and based on researched keywords.
Take a look at my most recent Productivity Challenge and make a difference in every moment of your life.
You May Have Whatever You Want in Life
It took me until age 50 to understand and believe that I could have anything I wanted as a part of my life experience. I’d previously believed that life was a struggle, with sometimes insurmountable challenges and hardships. Then I left the work force and became an online entrepreneur and the world opened up to me. If you don’t read any further than this today, please know that you may have anything you desire. The sticking point: you have to DECIDE and TAKE ACTION for your life to change!
Ask for What You Want!
A most interesting thing happened today. I mentor a man who is an actor, voice-over artist, playwright, and more – a true creative. He called while I was walking down the beach so it gave us uninterrupted time to talk. Even though he’s in a current film and had two guest spots on NCIS several months ago, the phone has stopped ringing.
I shared that I needed to have some papers notarized for some real estate transactions I’m finalizing next week and it turns out his wife is a Notary and is happy to do this for me tomorrow. Then we were both silent for a moment and he waited for me to speak again.
Then I shared that I wanted him to do what I had just done… to share exactly what he wants and needs with everyone he comes in contact with instead of only with me. My advice is the same for you… Ask for what you want and wait to be amazed at who and how and what occurs next. How may I serve you this weekend? Please ask!
Change Your Paradigm
A paradigm is a standard, perspective, or set of ideas. A paradigm is a way of looking at something. … When you change paradigms, you’re changing how you think about something. Please allow this concept to stay with you today.
“To ignore the power of paradigms to influence your judgement is to put yourself at significant risk when exploring the future. To be able to shape your future you have to be ready and able to change your paradigm.” ~ Joel Baker
I’m Connie Ragen Green, sharing my humble beginnings, thoughts and experiences to help you move forward as an author, entrepreneur, and thought leader. My podcast is Praestabilis: Excellence in Marketing. Take some notes while you listen! My books are available in print or digital format. And please be my guest for my complimentary Action Habits Challenge.