Tomorrow marks ONE YEAR since I started my email community, Self-Made Society (February 10, 2014.)
This week, I wanted to share with you the evolution of my weekly newsletters in the hopes that it illustrates to you the ONE THING that I know could move the needle for your business or side hustle.
So why did I decide to start a weekly newsletter anyway?
Back when I was starting Made Vibrant, I stumbled across a guy named Nathan Barry online. He talked a lot about the importance of having an email list if you ever wanted to make money with your business. Why? Because it’s a list of people who are willing to raise their hands and say they’re interested in what you have to offer.
That made a lot of sense to me, sure, but back then I was only interested in finding freelance design clients.
How is this going to help me get new clients and projects? I thought.
I couldn’t see a direct benefit, but something in me still really wanted to create a community.
I wanted to gather people together that were united in their creativity, their curiosity, and their desire to go out into the world and make stuff happen. I wanted to start something that felt bigger than myself.
That’s when the name Self-Made Society came to me.
I loved that it felt like a secret underground meeting of people who wanted to revolt against anyone that had ever told them they couldn’t be something because they weren’t “classically trained.”
I got super excited, signed up for a free Mailchimp account, sent out a few tweets about an upcoming Monday email, and quickly figured out how to code an email capture into my site.
By the time Monday morning rolled around, I sat down to write whatever came to me. I re-discovered how much I love to write. The words just flowed.
When I was done, I filled out my little email template in Mailchimp, hit the big ol’ SEND button, and just as I was about to pat myself on the back, Mailchimp congratulated me for sending out my email TO A WHOPPING TWO PEOPLE.
My community that I was so excited to grow was TWO PEOPLE! Well, technically it was four, but two of those people were Jason and myself from testing the email capture on my website.
But I didn’t let that stop me. I was so focused on the vision of what it could be that the next Monday, I sat down and got ready to hit send again.
That following Monday, on February 17th, 52 people got my email. WHOA, I thought. How cool is this? A few people responded and said they appreciated my words. It lit me up to know that my thoughts were helping people.
So the next Monday, I did it again. And then again.
These Monday emails are my constant. Each week they challenge me to reflect on my journey as an entrepreneur. They make me feel helpful. They allow me to connect with you guys.
And when I get responses from you all – even when I can’t reply back right away – it lights up my whole world. It encourages me to keep going.
In total, as of this Monday, I have sent 52 Monday newsletter emails. This community has grown from two people to 2,063 people in one year. And I’m really proud of that.
So listen, there are a TON of ways to grow a business, I know that. But if there is one single thing that I know will move the needle for you, no matter what your business is or what your goals are, it is this:
Do SOMETHING consistently.
It might not be an email newsletter because maybe writing isn’t your thing. But commit to doing one thing on a regular basis, and keep doing it even when it gets hard. Nothing great was ever built overnight. It takes time to build a community. Time and commitment.
This week, your challenge is to think of ONE thing that you can do consistently.
Here are the small caveats to that commitment, though:
1. Make sure whatever you do is high-quality. (The quality of the email I sent to two people is the exact same as the one I sent to 2,000.)
2. Make sure it’s something you enjoy. (If you don’t like writing, don’t force yourself to do a newsletter because it’ll feel like pulling teeth!)
3. Make sure you give yourself a minimum period of commitment. (I promised myself I’d give it six months when I started this newsletter, and I never looked back!)