business storytelling

Three Unexpected Lessons from My Online Business

unexpected lessons about  online business Since I started this blog three months ago, every single post has literally flown out of my fingers. Not a moment of hesitation as I shared my ideas, tips and PR secrets. Until now. Complete idea paralysis.

I was supposed to write about bios today, but I wasn’t feeling it. Then I decided I’d write about media pages and then Google Authorship. And finally, I decided to do about a million other things instead of writing this post. Folding the laundry was starting to look good. Not a good sign.

Like many of you I’m a master procrastinator when I feel resistance. And for some reason, I realized I was not going to write about bios this week, or anything specifically about PR.

After a day of decisions and planning, I decided I’d rather write this post about my business.

I’m eight years into my journey as an entrepreneur as a PR strategist and freelance writer. But when it comes to the online world, I’m a fresh new baby still figuring this thing out, so I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned so far. Consider it my 90-day recap.

1. Transparency is Where it is At
Up until now, transparency has meant being straightforward with my clients and that’s about it. Because, let’s face it, PR is about telling a story and more often than not you are going to stretch that story to the most believable claim. That’s PR speak for finding a story and being creative, but staying within the lines of what’s true.

Online entrepreneurship is like the wild west in so many ways. So many claims and sales pitches, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s spin. It’s noisy and it’s tiring at times.

That’s where transparency comes in. I find that I personally respect those entrepreneurs with authentic transparency. That is, they are honest and share, but not to the point of ridiculousness or so much so that it just doesn’t feel real. Sharing insights and inspiration (and not the humble brag about the time you made 7-figures) is what resonates with me.

Click to Tweet – Why I don’t want to hear your humble brag and other lessons about online business from @magspatterson

So, in the true spirit of business transparency, yesterday I decided to kill my Claim Your Fame workshop. It wasn’t the right time and I’m more than okay with that. Sometimes you need to cut your losses and I’m surprisingly good with it. (Insert cartwheel here if I could actually still do one.)

My mission is to focus on my one on one offerings and writing services through 2014 and see where this adventure takes me. And so far, so good. I love being able to get down and dirty in someone’s business, digging out their stories, nailing their PR strategy writing their about page or ghost writing their killer content. The point is to do more of what you love, right?

2. I’m Beyond Grateful for My Clients, Corporate and Otherwise
Shifting from corporate, service-based consulting services to a fully online business is going to take a long time. Hello, elephant in the room.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ve realized that I’m deliriously happy that I can take my time and figure this out as I go, and not be worried about my bottom line.

For someone who’s a full speed ahead, let’s make this shit happen kind of girl, that’s a biggie. Major. Possibly earth shattering.

Doing things slowly isn’t really how I roll. Eight years ago I quit my job, without a client in sight, so I sort of had it in my head that I could pull that off again.

Three months in I realize that idea is going to be a recipe for disaster. Could I do it? Totally.

I know that I don’t really want to. Maybe my hustle is approaching middle age and I’m willing to try a different way. I want to have the cash to bootstrap this baby so I can grow it the way it was meant to be. I truly enjoy the work I do every day for my corporate clients and there’s no reason I can’t do that and work with entrepreneurs too.  I know, totally obvious, but I was in all or nothing mode.  Bad business decision adverted.

Good news for my corporate clients, you are safe for a good long time, I’m not going anywhere. Your guest posting programs, blog posts and whitepapers are still going to get all the TLC in the world from yours truly.

3. Crazy Good Relationships
As an adult, especially when you work from home, your opportunities to meet people, especially ones you have things in common with are limited. I have no coworkers to bond with and leaving my house requires putting on real pants. (Only partially joking.)

It’s not like I’m hurting for friends. I’ve got a circle of friends that truly get me like no other. They’ve seen the good, bad and seriously ugly cry. If I was going to give them a them a hashtag it would be #knowswherethebodiesareburied or #friendswhoholdbackyourhair.

To have the opportunity to meet even more smart, strong women that share my passion for the Internet, books and so many other things has been incredible. This has been probably the biggest surprise of all about doing business online, the crazy good relationships I’m forming with women that are beyond awesome. (I know that’s a lot of effusive language, but I promise you, it’s all true.)

Words truly escape me trying to sum this up. And that’s saying something. Because, I’ve got words, words and more words at all times.

There’s always someone willing to help, to answer a question or to pick you up. Amazing. And something I now realize that I’ve been sorely lacking in my business. I may be in business for myself, but I am definitely not alone. I’d list you all, but it’s a long list , so I’m sending a special shout out to the Fresh Crew, and Thrive Hive.

Tweet This – 3 Unexpected Lessons @magspatterson has learned from her online biz.

Got a lesson learned from your online business? Comment below.