16 – Strengthening my business foundations

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After my very productive last episode, I’ve spent a few weeks polishing what I started – getting into a podcast production and publishing routine by batching episodes, and adding evergreen emails.

Plus my Business Idea Reviews are ticking along nicely – yay for getting paid!

I also did some promo, by being a guest on another podcast, I published another new post, and I added an email signature.

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Resources mentioned

I mention the following resources in this episode.

Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a commission if you purchase via that link (thanks!) – see my disclosure here.

Business Idea Blitz – my free course that helps you nail your online business idea. Essential if you’re starting out online, or you’re feeling a bit vague or generic.

Business Idea Review – kick-start your business! I check out your idea, help you refine it, and give you lots of tips and other ideas on how to best monetise it with digital products. Embedded in the Business Idea Blitz.

Quickest way to start an online business – because most people get it the complete wrong way around, and take far longer to earn than they need to. Check out the guide and examples here to see how you can start earning in months, not years.

Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership – full of brilliant email templates and ideas – perfect for writing evergreen sequences. And any time you want to avoid Blank Page Syndrome.

Our Offbeat Life podcast – still waiting for this one to be published, I’ll link when it’s done.

My email signature – just the basics! I want people to visit my site, or follow my podcast, so those are the only options available.


Hello, I’m Kelly Kotanidis, and welcome to Online Business from Scratch, where I’m taking you behind the scenes as I build my new online business from scratch to a full-time income, ensuring it’s a great fit for my traveling homeschooling life. I’ll be walking you through everything I do and why, so you can follow along and build your own flexible online business quickly and efficiently.

Now, this is the update for day 113 of my new online business, 14 days on from my last update.

First, I want to have a bit of a brag because, as the saying goes, “how do you know if someone has run a marathon? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.” So yes, I ran a marathon yesterday—the Alexander the Great Marathon in Thessaloniki, Greece—with my husband and my 15-year-old son. 42.2 km is a really, really long way, hey! It was easily the best-organized race we’ve done. They even had regular portaloos, which any runner will tell you are really essential but often overlooked. There were drummers, good food, lots of aid stations, and even though I was slower than I planned due to overtraining and too many races, overall, as we travel around Europe, it was a really good day. Even if I am paying for it now, at least I can sit and write this. Our apartment is only on the first floor, so there aren’t too many stairs to get up.

But that’s just one of my big things for the past two weeks. I also did some big business things, and it definitely feels like it’s getting real now because I have actual regular paying customers, which is awesome. So, I’ve done two business idea reviews in the last couple of weeks. I mentioned having the idea for the Idea Review in Episode 11 and talked about implementing it in Episode 13.

As a quick recap, I have the free Business Idea Blitz course. When I set it up, I offered a paid idea review within it. People can send me their idea, and I go over it, giving feedback asynchronously via Telegram. It’s actually a lot of fun. It’s really interesting to see people’s ideas, dig into areas I might not know a lot about, and brainstorm for them. I just really like doing it overall. Right now, it’s not very profitable. I’ve spent at least two or three hours on each one, so the hourly rate is pretty woeful. But like I said, it’s fun, I’ll get faster at them, and it’s a great way to start making money while also getting better at what I do. I think even if you plan on only doing online courses or similar in the future, one-to-one work is a really good way to start. It’s invaluable learning for creating your more hands-off projects and the quickest way to make money from the start.

Speaking of the quickest way to make money, I published a post called “The Quickest Way to Start an Online Business” with four fictional but totally realistic examples of how people with different topics and ideas could create four different businesses very quickly. Please check that out if you haven’t read it yet, the link will be in the show notes.

It’s really all about cutting the fluff that most people get stuck on—you know, like websites. You don’t actually need a website from day one, you can build quite a lot of a business before you even start thinking about a website and colors and all that kind of stuff. So please go and check that guide out if all the steps you think you need to do are overwhelming you and stopping you from even starting. You will get some great ideas on how to get started much more quickly.

So, in the last episode, I talked about launching the podcast and starting evergreen emails. I have regular weekly tasks now, which is a little bit scary. I have published two more podcast episodes and have another ready to release next week. I’m batching three at a time at the moment, so that means I draft three, then I record three, then I edit three, and then I tend to make the blog post, etc., one by one each week. I need to start doing the next three this week to try to stay ahead with a weekly schedule. I haven’t committed publicly to that weekly schedule because I know my brain and the way I operate. As soon as I say, “Okay, everyone, new podcast dropping every Monday morning,” I would want to break that schedule. It’s a sometimes frustrating part of my rather neuro-spicy brain, but I can work around it. I would like to get one up per week until I work my way through my huge progress doc and catch up to where I actually am with my business.

I also wrote two more evergreen emails for my new sequence. I’m using Liz Wilcox’s email marketing membership templates to spark ideas, and that really helps a lot with the whole blank page paralysis thing. She provides a new template each week and has a massive back library. Each template has a video walkthrough and a finished example, so mine usually don’t end up looking much like hers. I’ve never been one for just taking a template, whacking my details in, and sending it on, but it’s a great start for me, and I highly recommend it if you would like to start your own Evergreen email sequence. The link to that will also be in the show notes.

I also did a podcast interview for our Offbeat Life about family travel and working on the road, and that was pretty fun. I’ll link that in the show notes too. I had the typical travel issue in that I set up the bedroom of our apartment in Larissa in Greece, and it was all perfect—my lighting and my sound were great, everything was wonderful, and I’m looking at it thinking, “Yeah, you know, I’m on top of this stuff. I’m like a pro now.” Then, when the afternoon and my appointment time rolled around, the internet speed dropped so much that I couldn’t do it in there. So, I had to pick up everything while David waited patiently, run it out to the dining room, set it up there really quickly, shoo the family into the bedroom, and go from there. I had crappy lighting and a bland background, and I was all flustered, but I didn’t— and I think I did okay. Probably not my absolute best, but okay. Hey, I’m my own worst critic, so I’m sure no one else will even notice the stuff that I pick on. Except actually for when we went off script and I said, “Yes, people need to do two things,” and I detailed the first thing, then I completely forgot what the second one was when I got to it. But hey, it happens. We can all relate, right? We’re not trying to be perfect robots who always get everything right. We are just people doing our best, and I find that so much more relatable in other people. So hopefully, it’s the same for me too.

As one small extra, I also made myself an email signature for Gmail with a photo, name, website, podcast links, all that stuff. So, I received an email with a nice signature from another blogger and thought, “Oh, I need one of those too.” I hadn’t done that yet, so I found a template, whacked my details in, and put it on. That’s just another small set-and-forget way of telling people what I do, keeping my site and podcast front and center in their mind, and removing the need for them to Google it if I email them and they want to have a look. Even though it’s small, continuing to layer on all these small methods really does add up over time.

As I mentioned near the start, after I humblebragged about running a marathon, of course, I have been doing more business idea reviews since I originally wrote this, and I still really enjoy them. So, if you are feeling unsure of your own business idea or if you’ve started something and it’s feeling a bit generic, please go and check out the Business Idea Review. It will be linked in the show notes. I do ask that people do the Business Idea Blitz first because otherwise, you’ll just be paying me to go through the steps with you when you can easily do those first steps yourself. Then, we can talk about your idea and come up with something that you absolutely love, that will be really effective, and stand out. It is really ridiculously cheap right now while I’m working on the best ways to do all of this, so you’ll be getting a huge amount of value for your small cost. But I will be increasing the price soon because, as I mentioned, this was my “try it out, see if I like it” price. But to make it sustainable for me, it has to go up. So please, please go and check that out. The link is in the show notes to the Business Idea Blitz, and I would love to apply my brain to your business idea and help you come up with some unique and memorable approaches that are fun and interesting for you to do as well.

Thank you so much for listening, and I will be back next week—well, hopefully next week if I stick to the weekly schedule—with the latest update. So, I’ll see you then.

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Got any questions? Feel free to to drop them in the comments below.

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More good stuff…

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So how do I deal with progress that’s not as fast as I’d like? After listening to this, you won’t feel alone, AND you’ll have strategies to deal with your inevitable business stress. Because we all get a little irrational sometimes, right?!


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