Hey there – I’m Heather, and I am a storyteller, writer, and podcaster, and mom who has been writing about history online since I built my first website on Colonial American history in 1998. But even more than that, I’m a creative entrepreneur.
What is a creative entrepreneur? It’s someone who has built a business on their passion, whether it’s gardening, sculpting, music, painting, or writing. It’s someone who pursues their passion not just as a hobby, but as if it’s the very oxygen that they need to breathe, and they’ve built their livelihood on that.
When I was a kid, I told my dad I wanted to be a writer. What you need to know about my dad is that he grew up having fled Leipzig, East Germany as a young child with his mother after World War II. He never knew his father, who disappeared after the war. The women of the family risked everything to get the children out of the country. Before he made it to America, he spent years in a refugee camp in West Germany. My dad never had security, and so he craved it as an adult, getting a “safe” job as a teacher, where he spent his entire working life at the same school, teaching the same classes.
So when I told my dad I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, he said, “Heather, everybody wants to be a writer. Do something safe. You don’t want the uncertainty of a creative life.”
I love my dad dearly, and I know he was just looking out for me, but that stayed with me for years. I did, in fact, get a “safe” job. It paid well, it had great benefits, and I had a lot of flexibility. It was everything my dad could have hoped for. I stayed for a decade, going through the ranks until I was the Assistant Director of my organization.
But it didn’t light me up. It didn’t make my soul dance.
What did? History. Music. Travel. Telling stories about those three. Starting projects, and businesses.
What can I say, I’m a born entrepreneur. You either are, or you aren’t. And when you are, you can’t “good job with great benefits” your way out of it. It’s just in you.
So at almost 40, instead of having a traditional midlife crisis and buying a convertible, I did something different. Having had a bad accident and some post-partum health issues, I decided to take a leap. My husband and I packed our 20 month old daughter up, rented out our house, and we moved to Spain with enough savings for about two years. We were off to start a life of creativity, and pursue our creative passions. Give our dreams a really good go, and see what we couldn’t make of them.
I’ve spent twenty years building websites, blogs, and writing online. And now, I’ve spent nearly three years working full time as an online entrepreneur. I’ve worked out formulas, done the online courses, done everything you should be doing. I concentrated on building a mailing list, I published books … everything the books and gurus say.
And I wasn’t making money. With savings dwindling, I had a Serious Sitdown with myself. Was I going to give up, go back home, and get a J-O-B? Or was I going to make something of this passion, really step out of my comfort zone, push through the blocks, and do it?
I had seen so many other people making it. I knew I was as smart as them. I knew I had the skill set. I knew I was a legitimate badass. It just took some creative thinking, and being open to new ideas, and new ways to make money. And being vulnerable in implementing those ways. Risking looking like a failure. Reaching out and talking to people that I normally wouldn’t talk to.
I sat down one morning, and spent two hours brainstorming all the various ways I could make money with my audience, and my passion. By the time I was done, I had nearly five hundred ideas, any of which could make me money.
So I got to work. I chose what I thought were the best, and I built on those ways. I stepped out, and made myself vulnerable. And I now have a business generating five-figure months regularly. Even better, I have experience, knowledge, and momentum that is pushing me through to the next level.
That momentum is what I call the Abundance Whoosh.
The Abundance Whoosh is what happens when you build and cultivate an audience in such a way that they are engaged, and excited to buy from you. Then, you introduce products that are created specifically for them. Not only do they buy, but the resulting excitement from your products creates even more listeners, readers, and more email subscribers who are brought into your universe and introduced to you. It becomes an upward spiral of excitement, selling products, bringing new people into your audience, serving them like crazy, following up with product sales. And on and on it goes.
I have been documenting the steps I took along the way to create my own Abundance Whoosh over the past year. These lessons are comprised in the Creating Your Abundance Whoosh online course that is in the beta phase now. In the meantime, you can sign up for the newsletter list to get my complete guide to creating your Abundance Whoosh for free.
For me, 2018 is going to be a year of sharing the knowledge I’ve learned over the past twenty years writing online, and the past three years of focusing full time on making money at it. In 2018 I want to work with at least 100 creative entrepreneurs, and help them make at least $5000 from their art. If you want in on that, send me an email now.
You can also learn more about the Renaissance English History Podcast, and see my Abundance Whoosh in Action at:
Some other random facts about me:
– My Happy Place is Target.
– I can’t get enough scented candles. At Christmas our house smells like a mix of evergreen tree, vanilla, cinnamon, spice, and cranberry. It’s a mix that four-year-old Hannah calls “cheesecake smell.”
– I read about 60 books a year. Most of that is non fiction history for the podcast. Much of it is chick lit. I try to read one classic each month. Rediscovering Dickens has been a great joy.
– I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, it’s The Mindy Project.
– Every year I list, “Give up Diet Coke” as a New Year’s resolution. I say that with a diet coke next to my laptop right now. Baby steps…
So what about you? What are you passionate about? What’s your story? Email me, and tell me where you want to make your mark this year.