When I quit my lucrative but exhausting job as a full time OB/GYN, I wasn’t fully aware of the fact that I was about to become a somewhat reluctant entrepreneur. I didn’t have a business plan or even an idea of how my leap of faith would turn into revenue. I just knew I couldn’t do what I was doing one more day. The pain of staying put finally exceeded my fear of the unknown – so I jumped.
Because my hubby Matt is a stay-home Dad who works his ass off but doesn’t get paid, the responsibility for paying the rent falls to me, which was fine when I was making a six-figure income as a doctor, but left us hurting financially after I left my practice. For the first two years, I paid the bills between generating revenue as a professional artist and living off my retirement account (don’t try this at home!) Then I wrote a book that never sold, started a blog I didn’t try to monetize, opened – and then closed – an integrative medicine practice, and published two books that didn’t even come close to paying the bills.
Is Your Business Making Money?
In January 2011, I heard Marie Forleo say “If your business isn’t making money, it’s a hobby, not a business,” and I thought, “Oh shit. What am I doing?”
Lucky for me, this is when my friend Chris Guillebeau invited me to call him so we could strategize Lissa 2.0, which is what I spent the next month doing, with his guidance and the advice of a few other friends who lovingly but firmly kicked my ass (special thanks to Danielle LaPorte, Mama Gena, and Dana Theus).
In one year, I transformed my business from one that cost me $5,000/month to run but generated zero revenue, to a business that brought in more revenue in 2011 than my doctor job once did. Phew.
Don’t Do What I Did
Suffice it to say that the way I fumbled into the life of an entrepreneur who works from home (or Lake Tahoe or New York or pretty much anywhere with internet access) isn’t the best way to start a business. But what did I know? I was a doctor/ artist/ writer with no business experience. And although my hubby has an MBA from Dartmouth, he swears they teach you how to get a six-figure job in a soul-sucking consulting firm but never actually teach you to run a small business.
My business mistakes cost me a small fortune and all of my retirement account, but you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. You also don’t have to pay big bucks to hire some business consultant to strategize how to transform doing what you love into a business.
The $100 Startup
Instead, you can just buy Chris Guillebeau’s latest book, The $100 Startup, which maps out how you can discover where your passion converges with what others care about, work from anywhere, live a life of meaning and purpose, launch a business with little cash output, and make a killer living doing what you love. (Um…who doesn’t want that?)
Chris has a dream – to visit every country in the world by the time he turns 35. He’s now less than a year away from his April 7, 2013 birthday deadline, with only eight countries to go, so you can be sure he’ll succeed in realizing his dream. But Chris does more than travel. As you can follow on his wildly popular and fabulous blog and see demonstrated from his business of selling Unconventional Guides, books, and tickets to his sold-out World Domination Summit, Chris practices what he preaches.