Howdy! Jen here…
You might be wondering: “What the hell am I signing up to?”
That’s a great question! And a fair one.
I wanted to make my intentions crystal clear right up front about the idea of “newsletters” (joining someone’s email list).
I am not someone who will ‘ask’ (read: convince, coerce, bribe) you to be on my email list.
There is little value in that approach.
For you AND for me.
I’m not interested in having a huge email list like most gurus in the online business space preach.
I’m interested in attracting a small (tiny) group of ‘the right people’ who is interested in what I have to share with them…
A group of people I consider: kindred spirits
Who care about the things I care deeply about.
I like small audiences.
Never been a fan of huge crowds.
So, think: “Boutique” (that’s my style).
I am fully aware what I’m doing is counterintuitive to most “marketing advice” out there.
But if you know me at all…
You’ll see that I do the opposite of what the masses preach and do — most of the time on purpose.
Hence the “introverted rebel” title I’ve happily given myself.
Maybe you’ve already felt different going through my website.
No pesky banners, no flashy graphics, no annoying bright colours that “tries way too hard” to catch your attention.
Yeah, I find that bloody annoying too.
So I designed a different experience.
On purpose. (of course)
Because I care about your experience on my website.
When you step into my ‘online home’…
I want you to feel welcome, feel at home, and feel connected.
I want this to be a place where you can relax, get a cuppa, put your feet up, and read something interesting that will further inspire you to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
Without constantly worrying about being sold to, getting pitched on shit you don’t want, having advertising banners or email subscription boxes popping in your face all day long.
The ‘interesting things’ I plan to write about are based on this concept I recently learned in an online course called:
“12 Favourite Problems”
From Nobel-prize winning Physicist — Richard Feynman.
He keeps a dozen of his favourite problems constantly present in his mind that serve as ‘open-ended guides’ for his own learning and research.
My Favourite Problems in the last 5 years have been:
- How do I break free from my fear of writing?
- How can I find my voice, speak up and be heard?
- How can I discover who I really am?
- How do I love myself?
- How do I be more compassionate?
- How do I quieten the negative and judgemental voice in my head?
- What is my purpose in life? What am I here to do?
- What should I be doing to be the happiest I can be?
- What makes me truly happy?
- What does it look like when I stop caring what others think?
- How can I be more patient, understanding, and mindful?
- How can I be present in each moment?
- How can I earn a living doing something I love?
- How do I trust myself more?
- How do I change my relationship with money?
- How do I change my relationship with my family?
- How can I find my personal strengths and double down on my strengths to win in life?
- How can I sustain my energy when working and prevent myself from getting mentally exhausted?
- How can I improve my relationship with food, eat healthier food as a lifestyle, and make it enjoyable and sustainable?
- How can I make cooking a source of inspiration instead of a chore?
- How can I resolve my stomach, fatigue, dizziness and sleep issues?
- How can I lose unwanted fat, and continue to be in the best shape of my life?
- How can I build new, deep friendships?
- What attributes do I care most about in a partner?
- What habits and disciplines should be foundational to my life and how do I stay on track?
- How can I use a digital brain to improve my thinking, reduce stress and improve my creative output?
- How do I establish efficient and flexible digital organisation systems to improve my workflow?
I ask WHY things are the way they are, what their roles are and how they’re connected, because I’m captivated by the mysteries of human nature and the universe.
Ever since I kept my favourite problems present in my mind in the last 5 years…
I’ve been able to outgrow all of them, except the last 2 which I’m currently working on.
All the answers I found allowed me to become the person I am today.
Which means I’m happily moving onto the next phase of my life — doing the work I love and am good at, building my bootstrapped True North Business from scratch and designing my dream life.
Here’s the good news for you…
Because I went through so much blood, sweat and tears figuring out all the big life questions on my own…
I feel compelled to share my answers with you.
Because I want you to have something I wish I had but never had…
A guide — to steer me in the right direction.
As you know… those questions are not easy to answer.
Not by a long shot.
Not something you can easily find in a Google search.
Most content that show up in Google lack depth, nuance and real insight…
Because even though there’s plenty of content out there on the internet, a good percentage of them are created by marketers who want to game the search engines.
They write for the bots to rank on the 1st page of the search results.
Is that the type of content you really want to read?!
In my experience, most of the content I find on Google are not great at answering big life questions.
I don’t know how many times I’ve typed into Google… desperate to find some answers, open up the first 5 links, then close them all again feeling disappointed and annoyed.
If you’re on the search for answers to these big questions in life…
Wouldn’t you rather hear from someone who has crossed the dark swamp of despair multiple times, came out triumphant in their pursuit of a fulfilled life…
Then willingly came back to the tribe to tell war stories about all the dragons they faced while showing you the numerous battle scars they now live with, and tell you about the types of dragons they had to battle with?
Wouldn’t you rather learn in advance the possible challenges you could face as you walk down a similar path by yourself and start on your own journey…
So you can be better prepared and know what to do when you face those dragons yourself?
That’s the type of content you can expect from me on my blog and in my newsletter.
I have just laid out one part of my content plan around personal growth that’s gonna keep me busy for the next 2 to 3 years.
They are big topics to tackle — and I love a challenge!
You probably already know I’m all about evolving myself as a person, and taking on a content writing challenge like this is one way to grow myself.
My plan is to teach everything I know.
Told you I’m ambitious.
The only things is… it will take time to ‘unpack’ everything I’ve learned and experienced to give you my perspective thoughtfully and thoroughly.
That’s what creating meaningful work is all about.
It’s always a labour of love.
The other part of my content plan is business focused.
I’ve decided to show my ‘behind the scenes’ on how I’m building my True North Business from scratch.
I’m doing this cus I’ve been frustrated by the fact that I’ve never been able to find a “business guru” who was willing to share their behind-the-scenes with me unless I had $25k to invest in a “high level mastermind” group.
Now that I’ve finally figured out what my True North Business is, I wanted to document this new journey for myself, and share what I’m doing for someone like me who…
- is introverted, driven and ambitious
- need details, structure and plans to take action
- want to build and operate a “CALM business” they’re proud of, without anxiety, stress and overwhelm
Today, I possess 10 years of business and marketing knowledge that came from 3 things:
- My ongoing investment in myself (books, programs, coaches, mentors)
- My observations of how the digital economy and the online business landscape has changed and is continually changing
- My personal experience of building the WRONG businesses for myself for 9 painful years through my own trial and error
For years, I tried hard to find a vision and model that feels right to me. And I’m glad to say “I finally found it”.
Everything has finally “clicked” and lined up for me in March 2020. I am now in full alignment with what I’m wanting to create in the world.
This is why I want to share it with “my people” (kindred spirits).
So what is a True North Business?
It’s… the business you’re MEANT to build.
It’s not just “anything that makes money” that you can build. I’m sure we’ve all fallen into this trap when we first stepped online and started learning ‘online marketing’.
We live in a world where everybody is telling you why “their program is the best” or “how their secret formula will make you money in your sleep” or “get rich using their XYZ hack”.
Do you actually enjoy experiencing the Marketing Mindfuck of the 21st Century (shiny objects, distractions, the lure of the ‘easy button’) getting pulled in all different directions, causing you anxiety, stress, overwhelm, and leaving you with analysis paralysis?
I certainly don’t.
But I’ve been there in that hole (for way too long) until I came to my senses and learned to climb out on my own.
While I’ve got your attention… let me put this one to bed for you:
There are no secrets to ‘success’.
‘Success’ is hard work + willingness to try different things + keep getting back up every time you fall + doing more of what works for you (know yourself).
While I felt completely frustrated with the online business industry, I also understood the value of continuous education on the subjects of business and marketing in order to keep deepening my own understanding.
So I kept trying, pivoting and learning.
I tried my hardest to duck-tape bits and pieces from different things I learned together, while at the same time desperately searched for my own vision of my True North Business.
My entrepreneurial journey has been a stress-fest… I got very close to quitting a few times.
And even quitting out of life all together.
But deep down, I knew “finding what you’re meant to do in life” was worth figuring out. It was worth fighting for.
I just kept fighting until I eventually found what I was looking for.
So, what does it mean to figure out your True North Business?
It means you’re building a business that allows you to:
- Do what the world needs (purpose)
- Do what you can be paid for (profit)
- Do what you’re good at (passion)
- Do what you love (play)
It’s a business that allows you to have everything you want.
Sounds pretty amazing right?!
Imagine waking up every day feeling excited about what you want to create…
You LOVE doing the work even if it’s hard and challenging.
You’re doing work that you’re a badass at, and it brings you joy even if you still haven’t made a dime from it yet because you know there are people in the world who values your work and will happily pay for it because it makes their lives better.
That’s how I feel about my new True North Business.
It’s a completely different energy to the last 9 years, where I stayed in a rut of mainly self-inflicted pain from chasing opportunities that seemed like good ideas, but a bad fit for me personally.
All because I didn’t know and understand myself.
So I’ve wasted a lot of time, effort, emotions and money on the wrong things!
I learned that following other people’s methods, pace, and style doesn’t work for me.
Most online business training programs have holes. More often than not, I’d get stuck when I go through them because I’d discover things that don’t make sense for me.
So I end up trying to fill the gaps myself, and trying really hard to understand WHY holes exist.
After 9 years… I came to one simple conclusion:
I am nothing like them — By “them” I mean entrepreneurs that teach and create training programs.
I don’t think like them, I don’t see business the same way they do, I also don’t approach and solve problems like they do.
In fact, I am the complete opposite of a typical “serial entrepreneur”.
I don’t have 20 projects, or 3 different businesses on the go all at the same time. That to me is just insanely stressful and overwhelming.
I prefer to focus on one thing at a time before I move on.
I don’t enjoy the chaos and mess created by throwing things on the wall in feverish haste and seeing what sticks. Those people are the “Quick Start” types on the Kolbe test.
I prefer to be strategic, think through problems, design my solutions and plan things out before executing.
I’m an “entrepreneurial turtle”. Lol
I don’t care if I take twice as long to get a result, because I know once I map things out, the “quality of my solution” is 10X more elegant.
I have no desire to grow my business “fast”, or “growth hack my way to success”.
In fact, I think this “growth hacking”, “hustle” mentality is a disease that has permeated throughout the industry amongst entrepreneurs, because it is mostly ego or status driven.
I am not in business to “impress my peers” or “claim awards”. I am in business to serve my people.
I prefer to be calm and consistent everyday, grow my business slowly and steadily over a long, long time.
I am not super innovative and I don’t follow trends.
I stick with tried and true business principles and focus on things that don’t change.
I have no desire to be in the spotlight, and I don’t have the need to shine on stage, because that’s not where I shine.
I shine behind-the-scenes.
If you’ve been nodding along to every word I just said about my business philosophies and how I actually operate behind-the-scenes…
Then you’re going to LOVE all the juicy details I share in my weekly newsletter called “Behind The Brand”.
I don’t hold back. I’m all about “real talk”.
I share my challenges, my struggles and also my wins.
It’s mostly not pretty.
I fall on my face a lot, but I also know how to get back up quickly. I’ve had 9 years of practice.
There is nothing glamorous about building a business. It’s real, hard work.
So my newsletter is for people who is willing to embrace hard work, so they can live a life of meaning and fulfilment.
I’m creating what I would’ve given my left arm to have when I started out in business 10 years ago… just to be able to be a fly on the wall behind-the-scenes to see how an online business is built from scratch by someone who is just like me.
If you sign up to my “Behind The Brand” newsletter, you’ll get to see how I bring my True North Business to life in real time with weekly updates at the end of the week.
I’m here for the long haul. That’s how I roll.
I started my “stroll” into the personal brand business in 2020.
I’m not even doing a “marathon” anymore because I’ve learned to stop running all together.
Walking calmly towards the long journey ahead of me is more appealing, peaceful and enjoyable.
You’re witnessing the very beginning of my life’s work.
Which is why I needed to create an online home where all my work can live and breathe.
It will be all that’s left of me when I’m long gone. So I’m making it count!
This website is a 5-month old baby.
Birthday: 6 April 2020 (when I first installed WordPress).
I’ll be nurturing and growing it, so I can look back on it someday and be a proud mama.
If any of this resonates with you and you want to get juicy behind-the-scenes insights that I only share with my people, then sign up to “Behind The Brand” newsletter below.
Behind The Brand Newsletter
Get exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ weekly emails where I share juicy details of how I’m building my new business from scratch. You’ll also get notified of new articles I publish.
These are all previous editions of “Behind The Brand” newsletter so you know what you’re in for.
I started my newsletter on 19th May 2020.
19th May: Emotional journey of a creator + a great song — This first newsletter was kinda messy. I shared why I get hit by emotional tsunamis.
27th May: Free SEO training and 5 other things — I shared the business development work I started doing as part of a 12-month Mentorship program I rejoined this year in May.
2nd June: The power of detachment — I shared why I learned to detach myself from my family, in order to live the life I want to live. Lessons from Buddhism. (ugly formatting)
9th June: Discipline, Habits, Consistency… and a Favour — I explained what alignment feels like and how it came about. I shared my mission behind my True North Business, how I decided on my niche to start the business and the problems I want to solve. (ugly formatting)
20th June: A little reframe… — Insight into how I reframed failure. (ugly formatting)
4th July: Yay~ It’s finally here! 🙂 — I shared how I came up with “Behind The Brand” in this issue. I fixed my email template, so my emails look nice now. Whoop!
13 July: [BTB] Feedback or Criticism? — I share my challenge of receiving feedback in order to improve.
21 July: [BTB] Biz Dev and Superpowers — Insight into business development work I do and why I enjoy it so much.
2nd Aug: [BTB] Are you a ‘light switch’ like me? — The dangers of operating with an “all or nothing” mentality.
13th Aug: [BTB] The Why, the What, and the How of business — I breakdown the 3 major components of what you need to think about when starting a business.
28th Aug: [BTB] Launch Craziness Happening! — Exciting times as I finally started promoting my first offer to launch my new business!
6 Sep: [BTB] First launch experience… Epic fail? — Did I actually start a business? Read to find out! 😉