It’s crazy looking back to 2016 when we first downsized our house. I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I had a vision for what I wanted my life to be. One of the main reasons for our downsize was because I felt like I was being called to do more with my life. As if I had been holding back from my potential or whatever. I desperately wanted to create the time, space, and financial flexibility to be able to pursue the bigger calling on my heart (even though I wasn’t sure what that was yet). I started with a blog and a prayer. Lots and lots of prayers. Now it’s 2023 and I have graced the pages of a magazine, been featured in major publications like Newsweek and the New York Post and am kicking off a speaking career. Pinch me, how did I get here?! Well, I’ll tell ya.
Starting The Fun Sized Life
I originally started my blog as a way to attempt to make money while homeschooling my kids. The original focus was holistic health since I had recently gotten a certification in holistic wellness. My friends and family were loving my blog, and the recipes, unfortunately, the rest of the internet wasn’t feelin’ it. On top of that my own health was fading, even though I was still trying to peddle the “expert” health advice I had learned from my trainings.
I was feeling inauthentic and exhausted, so I gave up and decided to write about what I wanted to write about.
Here’s what I wrote:
- How We Paid Off $6,000 of Debt in 6 Months
- 87 Extreme Cheapskate Hacks
- The Minimalist Diet – This one is different from the original, as I second guessed myself and re-wrote it (insert face palm).
I kid you not when I say as soon as I wrote these few posts and others that were aligned with what I was doing the blog’s monthly income went from $0 in income to $1,2000 basically overnight. They aren’t kidding when they tell you to write what you know. Join my training on How to Turn Your Story Into a Digital Product.
Trusting the process not the payments
Having the blog go viral as soon as I stopped trying to force work ethic and started creating based on my own inspiration, the money started rolling in. This was my first sign that all the success gurus I had been listening to were wrong. It wasn’t about knowing my market, SEO, or staying consistent…it was about leading from the heart.
For the next 5 or so years I continued to yoyo between listening to experts and my own heart. Why don’t we just naturally know how to trust our own intuition? Life would be so much easier if we did.
Despite many, many setbacks, I continued to trudge on. I learned how to better listen to my own inner guide with each new step I took. I’m also a big believer in not chasing money or a paycheck. Instead find work that feels aligned with how you truly want to live.
Writing content that I felt would improve the lives of others, or give some sort of encouragement, I was able to continue to write and see success over and over again.
Owning my message
As humans we tend to do this thing where we think who we are and what we’ve done is never good enough. I know I thought this.
Our family had downsized by 2,000 square feet and paid off debt through side hustling. Still, all I could do was compare myself to the minimalists who were living out of backpacks and owned tiny homes. When compared to these minimalists, I believed I didn’t have a story to tell. Slowly but surely, I took to Instagram and began sharing our authentic story. In doing so, I began connecting with thousands of people who related to what we were going through.
More and more I started owning my message and not shying away from it. It can be scary re-telling the same story over and over again. My fear was that it would keep me boxed into one category my entire life. I had the belief that if I continued to talk minimalism, I would be expected to be a certain type of minimalist. You know those peaceful, perfectly organized women with an all neutral home aesthetic. The truth is, I’m loud, awkward, and own less stuff because I hate organizing. I viewed those women as better than myself and believed I could never compare.
The idea of being stuck in a minimalist niche where I didn’t quite belong scared me. Nevertheless, I kept going, and continued telling my story in a way that felt authentic to me. Learn how to tell your story and get paid for it!
Leveraging social media
My Instagram social media presence slowly grew, especially in the debt-free community. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or where I was taking any of it, but I just kept going. In 2020, when Covid lockdowns hit, I downloaded TikTok. As a naturally social person, I liked the feeling of connecting “face to face” with people.
The blogs income started dropping (like everything else), and I felt that urge to just give up again. This time I knew not to be afraid of “giving up”. Instead of focusing solely on minimalism, I shared my life story, who I am and the things I’ve overcome. Within just a few months I had grown to over 100,000 TikTok followers, and then proceeded to have a nervous breakdown. Knowing that 100,000 eyes are on you is pretty scary.
Three years later I have nearly half a million TikTok followers, over 3 million blog visitors and close to 500,000 podcast downloads on my 20 month old podcast.
Because I learned to tell my message on social media, namely TikTok, I was able to capture the attention of news outlets around the world.
Creating products to help others
Let me tell you, finding a way to make an income or build a business online when you’re telling people not to buy stuff can be a really tough spot to be in. More than anything I wanted to stay authentic to myself and my message, although I did get side tracked a few times.
There are so many ways to make an income online, especially on social media, and I decided I wanted to do it in a way that helped other people improve their quality of living. That’s why I started making digital products.
I have created eBooks, courses, and hosted digital trainings aligned with the message I have been wanting to share, and none of it would be possible if I hadn’t taken the step to start the blog back in 2017. These products have been an amazing additional income alongside the blog and still allow me the type of job freedom I craved 7 years ago. Join my Masterclass on How to Turn Your Story Into a Digital Product That Sells.
I tell you all of this not to toot my own horn, but to give you the go ahead to go after whatever it is that you want. Believe me, I know chasing a dream can be absolutely terrifying, because there is a very real chance that dream won’t come true. However, I can promise you that if you continue taking aligned steps in the right direction, you will find yourself in a place that just may be better than what you originally imagined.