Building a Profitable Business Online ...

We Don’t Start Where We Want To Be. We Start Where We Are.

The successful people who tell us that we NEED to blog daily, email daily, create products, write calls to action and ask for the sale consistently didn’t start there, even though we forget that.

So how do we get to whereYou Are Here. It's Where You Start. they are now from where we are?

Because we all know, you can’t start where you want to be, you have to start where you are.

A great example and someone I’d like to emulate in many ways, is Tiffany Dow.

What It Looks Like In The Beginning of An Online Career

She started her online marketing career from where she was, experimenting, tweaking, changing and growing as she went, sometime kicking and screaming.

Today (it’s January 2013 as I write this) Tiffany posts multiple times to her blog, on an almost daily basis. She sends out an email daily as well, letting us know what she’s posted to her blog and anything else that is going on for her.

We see this and think we have to start there. Yes the bar is there. And maybe that is where we aspire to rise, but if we aren’t there yet, we can’t start there.

So let’s look at where she started and her growth into her current style of consistency, reach and profits.

The first blog post on is from October 13, 2006 and there were 4 that day.

This is IMPORTANT – in one of those first 4 posts, she told us she was writing for the newbie to internet marketing and to this day, she still writes for her audience.

She posted once per day for a few weeks, with a total of 14 blog posts for October 2006.

What can we learn from those posts?

“Always write to the audience you want to address.”

The remainder of 2006 she posted another 15 blog posts.

From Jan to Dec 2007 there were 30 blog posts. Yet she more than tripled her number of blog posts in 2008 – up to 98 blog posts.

There are 4 more years of blogging to look at but those two years and three months are enough to see the pattern and consistency that started forming.

Now to be fair, Tiffany worked as a ghostwriter and thus formed a habit of writing almost daily.

We’ll need to build this habit if we don’t already have it.

She likes to write and is good at it.

What do we like and what are we good at if it’s not writing?

Are we struggling with false beliefs about writing? Do we not like writing?

She works in bursts and likes to cover lots of different topics when she’s writing.

Do we even KNOW how we work and are we doing things the way other people do them as opposed to how we do them best?

She has six years of blogging practice behind her. Yes, that’s lots of practice now. But when she first started blogging, she didn’t have that practice. She didn’t even find her consistency for a while either.

How frequently are we practicing? How do we get six years of blogging practice behind us? (Sneaky rhetorical question.)

We come back to where we are now and we build our writing muscles, if we’re going to keep up with Tiffany.

She knew the consistency she wanted to achieve and worked ceaselessly until she developed the habits to achieve it.

What habits are we building? What habits do you have right now? Be honest because where ever you are IS where you’re starting from. What habits do you need to build to accomplish the online success you desire?

How To Build A Consistent Writing Habit

We’ll look at the writing habit since we’re using Tiff as an example.

Have you avoided writing since high school?

If you’ve avoided writing, how do you build your writing muscles quickly?

Honor your desire and find 20 minutes in your day to write, Every. Single. Day. Write something, anything – even if you don’t share it anywhere – at first.

When you can do that, start sharing what you’re writing on a forum, in someone else’s blog comments or on your own blog.

Once you’re sharing AND still writing Every. Single. Day, you’ll start finding what your consistency looks like and the market(s) people you want to serve will start revealing themselves to you.

Will your consistency look like Tiffanys’? It doesn’t have to, but since we’re using her as our example and litmus test, we can certainly build our business blogging, relationships, audience and sales the way she did.

We have the advantage of having her wisdom and archives.

If you’re feeling “bad” about not already being at the bar set by Tiffany or whomever it is you’re wanting to emulate, remember they took time AND you will take time to get there.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is the consistency or the income we seek.

Start and experiment right where you are. See what you’ve got going for you first – it’s a lot more than you think.

Then start to tweak, enhance, change and build better and more consistent habits on a strong foundation.

Those habits are what raise us above the bar, open us up to a larger audience, build stronger relationships and create greater profits and satisfaction in our business.

Are you willing to start right where you are, right now?

Share in the comments.

58 Responses to We Don’t Start Where We Want To Be. We Start Where We Are.

  1. Very well said, Minna. I miss hearing your wisdom and I am here to get my fill!

    Not sure if you knew it, but I am doing a Top 5 Weekly Roundup every week where I include the TOP 5 posts that I’ve read and learned from. This is such a post.

    Don’t be surprised if you see this article in my #2 edition. πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, what a great post and a great analysis of a blogger’s journey. Taking part in the 30 day vlogging challenge has made me write much more than I thought I would or could. I know that this level of output will not continue but it has been nice to see that when you put your mind to do something, you get it done.

    I will be tweaking my output as I go and I look forward to the day when I can confirm for myself, just what my monthly output will look like.

  3. Victoria, you will definitely find your just right level and who knows, what you think you know about your output may not be true at all.

  4. Oh goodness I had to go see what I did that first day! LOL

    How neat to have my journey analyzed – I’d never thought about it. I was in transition mode, still ghostwriting like a fulltime job, but trying to get away from it.

    Great lesson for everyone on giving yourself time and knowing it takes practice to build consistency.

  5. This is sooo easy to forget! I often have to push the reset button and take a look at what I have going on and start there. I seem to need a constant reminder too lol!

  6. That’s why it’s such a great example. You did have a full-time job basically, even if it was of your own making and you had to figure it out as you went. You tell us that all the time and it’s a good idea if people see it.

  7. Reminders aren’t they a lovely thing. πŸ™‚ How is Google Calendar working for you or is it too soon to tell?

  8. Oh, I am very much starting where I am! I don’t even have a website yet, but I have a vision of where I want to go. It will likely take me a while to get there as I have a limited amount of time to work on it. But I’m just going to keep pushing forward. I don’t like it that I have zero cash and only a little bit of time to spend on this adventure, but that’s not going to stop me from doing this.

  9. Eliza, welcome and yes! So glad to hear you say that and see you following through. Much success on this journey and time, well it’s going to pass anyway, may as well push toward where we want to go as it passes.

  10. Tiffany is my sister and I’ve been close to her from the beginning. It’s good to remember that if you’re at the beginning, you’re not going to instantly be able to do what she’s doing now. I’ve followed her into the business and I’m now on my own newbie journey. Consistency and practice are key. And so is the commitment not to give up!

  11. Jeni, Hi! Exactly, it took Tiff practice, finding her consistency and keeping her commitment. We’ll each have to do the same thing.

  12. Samantha, welcome. Yes I love seeing the behind the scenes from there to here too. It keeps me motivated.

  13. Great points, Minna! I think a lot of us forget it too and hold ourselves back because we aren’t where we “think” we should be. Another thing I struggle with is looking at ALL the steps ahead of me to get where I’m going instead of only looking at the 2 or 3 steps in front of me that I “should” be focused on.

    Thanks for sharing this great insight. This is my first time here and I commented. I didn’t lurk for five years. πŸ˜‰ Yay!

  14. Patti, oh shoulding on ourselves yuck. We always only have one next step. Glad you didn’t lurk. πŸ™‚

  15. I like your thoughts. I have been going in circles and decided the other day to order the things I do – to make sure I get things like a blog post accomplished each day to move forward.

  16. WhoooRahhhh! I don’t know why, but that’s what popped into my head when I was reading this.

    I’ve kind of been all over the place even though I decided a while back to narrow down to 3 main topics for my blog. I get sick, the my special needs kid has to be picked up from school… I get distracted.

    But, I decided (made the choice, not an excuse) to write when I’m in the mood as much as I can and schedule that out ahead of time. I’ve even written post ideas for each topic on each specific day of the week so that hopefully I can just fill in with current topics that fit when I’m in a pinch.

    I life Tiff’s style and I actually look for her posts daily, but I’m not sure I want to be that kind of rock star, you know?

    Love this post and the thought provoking content.

  17. Found my way here through Tiffany’s email… Great post and I completely agree. Blogging and writing takes practice to be consistent, and it’s not easy to achieve. I look forward to Tiffany’s posts and one day I’d like to be able to manage multiple post per day along with PLR, Squidoo, and other things. One step at a time.

  18. Kimberly Hi! Yes. Having decided that I was going to do 90 minutes everyday, well … 20 minutes is so much nicer to actually do and build a habit.

  19. That’s exactly it Crystal, one foot in front of the other. With the goals laid out, you’ll achieve that and more!

  20. Amanda, see I wouldn’t have believed that until I tried to do it A LOT and then that didn’t stick. Now it’s sticking and I find I do it more than 20 minutes but I know if I stop at 20, I’ve got something.

  21. Great post and very timely!! I’ve started blogging more consistently — not always hitting it every day but realized that I was trying to run before walking. It is like building up muscles.

    The good news is that my traffic is increasing. Sure it might seem laughable to get excited over 13 visitors yesterday but that is more than I had for all of November.

    Your wonderful post just soothed my worried soul today!


  22. This is a good reminder. I heard a quote a few months ago that’s stuck with me: It’s a process, not an event.

    It takes time to build any business. You’re not Seth Godin from the start. Seth Godin wasn’t Seth Godin from the start (well, he was, but you know what I mean).

    Thanks for illustrating this lesson so well!

  23. Most people lack patience, which finally is the most important ingredient of the ‘success’ recipe’. We want to have everything fast, but forgot that ‘easy come easy go’.
    To build something lasting we need let time do its work and meantime do our job at our best.
    Very insightful post, Minna, and many thanks to Tiff for sharing it!

  24. Oh Minna that is so well said! You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t know where your starting point is πŸ™‚ It applies to any goal! And for various reasons I cannot produce the content that Tiff does, yet ………. but I can build up to that over time – just like she did. And during that time I can hone my writing skills – something that hit me during the week, so it seems to be a week of planning how I’m going to get to where I want to go.

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  25. Hi Minna,

    This is a great read, thank you! Tiffany’s email directed me here. Please, let me throw my 0.02 in.


    You know … once upon a time … there was a large building in Anytown. That building was so big that if someone looked at couldn’t see its top.

    People who passed in front of that building saw that the door was open all the time. There were people who walked on before without interest.

    There were those who stopped and looked at the building from outside, then moved on. And happened that a curiosity awakened in several people, so they entered the door.

    They found themselves in a very large room packed with different people. The mass was so enormous and colorful, as it usually does in the carnival in Rio.

    However, the atmosphere wasn’t exactly the same. Some formed a chatting group and told a variety of stories to each other. Other people are thoughtfully counting their money dredged from their pockets.

    And there was another group stretched their neck curiously toward the stairs leading up.

    And, of course, there were around ten people who went up the stairs because a nice conversation was heard from the next level. The people down there looked after them with doubt filled curiosity.

    And the problems began at that time, evidently.

    Some forgot to look at his feet and stumbled down the stairs. There was a lady whose shoes’ fifteen-inch high heel stuck in a hole on the stairs.

    Another person wanted to get upstairs fast and slipped on a banana peel. Someone suddenly dizzy and fell down because they are not clinging.

    Then, there were a man spinning round and round as he lost the direction. Another one has a shooting pain in his back. Namely, he wanted to bring along a large bundle filled with twelve different things.

    Again, there was someone who was unable to proceed because of a missing front step. She held up the other people in their way upward and desperately phoned a friend for help.

    So it was that only one of the ten people came up to the next level.

    If you have looked at her, you hadn’t seen anything unusual. The reasons she has reached that level, she carried inside.

    Naturally, she has her own commitment and consciously prepared herself to climb the stairs.

    Of course, she had some problems meanwhile.

    In this case, she analyzed the situation and found what she had to fix.

    At other times, she faced a seemingly unsolvable problem, so she despaired.

    Then she remembered what his mentor had taught her earlier.

    And she relieved because she already knew the answer.

    And meanwhile, she unselfishly began to help others.

    People who wanted to reach the level she is nowadays, followed her.

    Nevertheless, she knew her technical weaknesses, so wasn’t stopped learning.

    Because she saw the stairs to the next level.

    And had a plan for how to reach that place.


    Bottom line?

    Everybody should start somewhere. But don’t leave home without preparation. And don’t think that one can reach there five minutes after the start – without work and inner drive.

    Have a nice day, πŸ™‚


  26. Hi Minna

    I’ve read a few of your post on Tiff’s blow and thought I’d say hi, great post and it’s so very true, you know we all want success so fast but we forget that there is a process we all most go through, and that’s the work it takes to get there.

    The people who we love to follow didn’t just wake up with the knowledge they have they to study and implement, test and retest until it started working.

    I’m fortunate to have found Tiff’s site and she has really opened my eyes to some different things and reading you guys and becoming apart of this community has really been a joy to experience.

    Have a great day ladies.


  27. Alexis – yes that’s exactly why it has to be restated over and over. I’m sick of sale letters that promise – no work, no knowledge, over night riches crap. This stuff does work, when you work it.

    Glad you found Tiff, she’s definitely one to open your eyes and hey don’t be stranger.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  28. Amazing post Minna – what a great lesson that seems so simple but we often forget. It’s a good one to remember, because not only does it help us remember we don’t have to be at that point right away, it also reminds us that it does take work and practice to reach that point. We all want it to happen instantly, but that’s not the way it works!

  29. Thanks for the inspirational post! It is especially helpful for someone like me, who has been trying the IM thing for a while, but not seeing a lot of success yet. I just need to accept where I am, keep plugging away writing everyday, and moving up – it’s the only way to go!

  30. Connie hi and welcome. Yes. I had to learn that lesson “keep plugging away … and moving up”. It really does take time no matter what. We can do this! πŸ™‚

  31. Minna thank you for this excellent post and the questions you posed. I think we all need a role model and a tangible goal of where we’re heading. For a lot of us, including me, it’s getting to the level that Tiff has reached. We’re lucky in that we can learn from others and apply that to our work. I learned from your post to ask questions about what we’ve read or understood.

  32. How cleaver of you to look back to gain perspective! Thanks for doing the research and sharing you findings with the rest of us Minna!

  33. Great post Minna! You may have a duplicate email from me but I wanted to thank you for this post.

    Because of your vlogging and some of the other great ladies and gents from Tiffany’s vlog challenge I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone. As a matter of fact, this weekend was the first weekend in a year that I’ve worked on my website. It’s not finished or has no postings but I decided to just put myself out there. I’m okay with starting where I’m at; the beginning! πŸ™‚

    Keep up the great work!

  34. Woot! and thank you Sydney. The beginning is the only place we can start. I’m excited for you and will be profiling the growth of Sydney West before too long. πŸ™‚ Do it up!

  35. Hi Minna,
    I read your comments all the time on Tiffany Dow’s blog, but today I came here from Jeni Starr’s. You have some serious inspiration here.

    I should have already told you how much I enjoy your comments on other blogs (we do tend to follow each other around, nothing wrong with that) but I’m lazy, or worried, or trying desperately to get to the next level and got a fifteen-inch shoe heel caught going up.

    It is all of you who are shoring me up until I can get to the next level. Thanks.

  36. Thanks Ruth. Great minds hang out in like places. Just keep at it, doing what you’re doing and you’ll be at your next level before you know it.