Are you ready to return to Neverland?
Maybe Peter Pan wasn’t totally wrong for not wanting to grow up. We all have God-given dreams, deep inside, that were given to us as young children.
Sadly, over the years, someone told us that those dreams inside are never going to happen. But I say, never say never. Let’s go back to Neverland!
Today's post is a bit of a continuation from a previous Podcast episode I (Livy) did called, Why I Didn't Go to College. If you haven't listened to that yet, I'd highly encourage you to do so, that way you have a little bit more context of where I'm coming from, a bit of my back story, and why I'm SO passionate about encouraging young women to discover, embrace, and pursue their God-given dreams!
In that episode, I talked about why going to college isn't always vital for pursuing the things God has placed in your heart. (On the other hand, sometimes it absolutely is vital and needed! There's no way you're going to become a Vet or a Doctor without going to University!) I am in absolute support of pursuing higher education, but sometimes I think it's important to open our minds up to the possibility that there could potentially be more than one path to pursuing higher education and building a solid game plan for success.
In this particular episode, I talked about the strategic mindset of gaining human capital by growing in a highly marketable skill.
We discussed how celebrities and online influencers, well-paid individuals are able to take their marketable skill, and put themselves in front of audiences to start providing immense value to them, so that they can create a future for themselves where they can earn what they’re actually worth. If you missed the last episode, feel free to go back and listen, but if you're short on time and want to keep reading, just know that "human capital" is simply a term referring to our perceived value by others in a business or monetary sense. It’s one of the major hacks to help you get paid for doing what you love! And it is not at all connected to your value as a human!
In today's post, I'll be sharing EXACTLY what I did to build my online platform, create human capital, hone my marketable skills, and pursue my God-given dreams!
I'll be unloading the plan, step by step, so that you too can grow your human capital, (AKA that perceived value by those who need what you have to share), so that you can actually do what you want to do with your life! Ahh! How amazing would that be?!
Alright, we’re not going to waste any time, so grab a piece of paper and get ready as we talk about the 5 Step Plan to Neverland.
The reason I call it the "Plan to Neverland", is because so many of us abandon our childhood dreams and feel forced to “Grow up”, instead of taking the things we loved to do as children and ask God, “Hmm, how can I turn this into a business? How can I do what I love, what You’ve created me to do, to bless others, and keep that childlike joy in my life?”
One of my favorite quotes is “do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.
I absolutely LOVE that because I can honestly say that's how I feel about my life! I jump out of bed every morning and I LOVE what I get to do. And I want you to experience that same joy! I want to take you back to Neverland. The place the doubters said was impossible to travel to. Well, never say never, because if you’ve got faith, trust, and pixie dust, that’s where this train is headed!
You've probably heard me say this before, and I'm quite confident that you'll hear me say this a thousand more times! Believe it or not: There's something that you’re really good at (if not multiple somethings!), something that you absolutely love, and something this world absolutely needs.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can build a profitable online business from practically any hobby. We’re talking costume designing, birdhouse building, video game playing...if you love it, there is most likely someone else out there who loves it as well! And as long as there are others out there who will enjoy what you have to offer, you have a beautiful opportunity to create a business plan that can cater to just that!
But maybe, if you’re anything like me, you might have dozens of different things you enjoy doing! You may scratch your chin and ask yourself, "How will I ever choose what to pursue?" If that's the case, I would encourage you to make a list.
Write them all out, and slowly go through each idea and imagine yourself growing a business for each one. Take each topic and ask yourself, "Would I enjoy spending massive amounts of time on this, or is this more of a side hobby for me? Is there enough interest from others to sustain and turn this into a full-blown business?"
I have a lot of hobbies, but I don’t try to turn all of them into businesses. One of the ways we can decide what to pursue as a marketable skill, is to look at the market (AKA the people who you'd be serving), and to evaluate what this particular group of people are actually spending their money on.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “the riches are in the niches”?
It's a common phrase in internet marketing, meaning, there's a unique, narrow niche you want to tap into, but you also want your niche to still be broad enough that there are enough people to support it financially.
The niche that I chose with Crown of Beauty Magazine, was a very narrow, targeted demographic, Christian teen girls ages thirteen to twenty. I knew that my content wouldn't be for everyone, but that's okay! We're not called to serve the entire world, we only need to be faithful to the small corner of it that God entrusts us with!
Before launching Crown of Beauty, I learned as much as I could about my market before blindly diving in. I knew that young women in my target market didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on products or magazine subscriptions (most teens don't have jobs!), but their parents and grandparents did. I knew that parents and grandparents would invest in the teens if their lives, if they felt their girls were receiving immense value from the website.
This is why it’s important to ask yourself, “Are the people I’m marketing to have funds to spend on my products and services?”
For me personally, I wanted Crown of Beauty to be more ministry focused, so I wasn’t concerned about earning income. That meant I was okay with serving my market without getting paid right away. (Which is part of why I believe I was able to get paid later on! Once my readers trusted me and knew I truly loved them and wanted what was best for them, they were ready to spend money on books and physical magazine issues!)
So what about you? What is your marketable skill that you want to share or offer? Who is the unique people group or demographic you want to market to?
I would love to hear who it is that you’re trying to reach, and what your Neverland looks like. Are you a writer? Blogger? YouTuber? You have unique dreams and I would love to hear about them! Use the Contact Us section to share your story with me...I'd love to hear what you're pursuing in this season, what your dreams are, and if there's anyway I can help! :)
The dream that you're carrying in your heart is something the Lord has entrusted you with. He's given it to you, so that you can touch others!
I love the book of Esther and the example she gives us in her story. Esther had abundant favor on her life, but the amazing part is that the favor God had given her wasn't for her.
Esther didn’t walk around in her royal robes and a sparkly tiara so she could have an ego boost and social status increase. Her favor was given to her, by God, to lay down her life for the sake of her people in danger. When Haman’s attack against the Jews was revealed, Esther was willing to use her prominent position, risk everything she had, and echo the famous words, “If I perish, I perish.”
In the same way the Esther was called to be part of her people’s story for such a time as this, God has called us to touch a unique people group, in a unique way.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “find your tribe” and everyone has a slightly different interpretation of those words. But in relation to the 5 Step Plan to Neverland, finding your tribe means to find and connect with the people who you believe will benefit from your product, skill, services, etc. whatever it is that you’re offering.
I work with a lot of young bloggers and authors, and sometimes when I share this part of my story, people tend to want to skip over step 2. They're SO excited about building their website, launching their product, promoting their book, etc. that they forget one of the most vital parts of the plan: getting on Google and FINDING your people.
Because guess what?
You’re going to have to go find them. Throwing up a dot com or uploading a YouTube video doesn’t automatically bring these people magically to you. (I know, bummer, right?)
Ever heard the famous phrase, "If you build it, they will come"?
It sure sounds poetic and catchy, but sadly, that's just not the case with life online. If you desire to reach the world around you, you have to grab a pen and a paper, and start researching.
In Step 2, your goal is to find congregations, or online gatherings of people who love and follow someone similar to you. These congregations may be on Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or YouTube channels...but it takes a little bit of work to step out and find these people!
Before I officially launched Crown of Beauty seven years ago, I made it a priority to do my research.
I Googled: magazines for Christian girls.
Then I started clicking through and exploring, gathering up as much information as I could find. What kind of websites popped up? Were they active? Did they have social media accounts? Online forums? YouTube channels? Were they accessible and someone I could potentially partner with in the future?
I would HIGHLY encourage you to grab your notebook or even a Google spreadsheet and start tracking these things. I also googled Blogs for Christian girls. Did the same thing. I went through hundreds and hundreds of blogs sorting through them all, creatively dreaming up ways to connect with my primary audience.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but Market Research is absolutely worth the time investment! One of the amazing things that you'll quickly discover when diving in to explore your unique niche, is that there's no end when it comes to collaboration possibilities!
You want to connect with others who have a similar audience as the one you're desiring to build, and then reach out for possible collaborations!
You can do joint giveaways, interviews, or connect on Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads...send messages, host contests, offer advice on forums and write guest posts.
The first three months of my website being live, I made it a priority to do this every single day.
Finding and connecting with my Tribe was something I did consistently, and it served as such a solid foundation as to where I am today! So I would encourage you to set aside a block of time everyday, make it a goal, and do this faithfully!
I know sometimes this step can be discouraging, because when you send ten emails to admins of sites similar to yours...and don’t hear back from anyone, your heart can sink a little.
But I didn’t send ten emails. I sent hundreds of emails. And sure, of course there were times I didn’t hear back from people.
But then there were times that I did. And my traffic exploded! Strategic partnerships opened up new doors for readers to find and discover Crown of Beauty! With every little step, one after the next, momentum increased. Slowly, the Crown of Beauty Tribe started to assemble. And if you do this, your tribe will assemble too!
Woah. Okay, so this has been a lot of information to digest in a short time!
Before we move onto steps 3, 4, and 5, I think it might be wise to take a tiny breather and begin applying steps 1 and 2, before we get any further!
So here's your challenge, friend!
What is one action step that you can take TODAY to begin working on your 5 Step Plan to Neverland?
Do you know what your Marketable Skill is yet? Have you discovered what it is that God has created you to do? Do you have a fiery passion in your heart, something you've chosen to pursue? Or are you still scratching your head, feeling a little lost, asking, "What in the world should I be spending my time on? What am I here for? What is my unique purpose?"
Darling, if that's you, I've got an Action Step challenge for you today! Keep reading to find out what it is!
Now, for those of you who already know what it is you're called to pursue in this season of life and have a really clear vision of the people you long to serve and connect with, I have an Action Step challenge for you as well!
Attempting to answer that big, scary question, "What am I supposed to do with my life?" can be such a challenge.
I know it was for me! As a girl with multi-talents and multi-interests, I feel like it can be especially hard for personalities like that who don't have just "one thing" they want to do in life. Narrowing down and finding a specific "niche" can be tricky.
If that sounds like you, if you've been wishing and praying for someone to come alongside, take your hand, and assist you in creating and discovering a solid game plan for pursuing your God-given dreams, then I have some REALLY exciting news for you!
I've just launched a brand new e-course that's 100% devoted to unlocking your purpose and stepping into the fullness of everything God has for you!
I've created an exclusive, online, 5 week course, that's loaded with step-by-step instruction to help bring clarity and strategy to everything we've been talking about in this article! You can find all the details here!
I'm SO excited about finally being able to offer this course, as I've also included a ton of exciting bonuses, including 7 delightful Podcast episodes you won't be able to listen to anywhere but there! Oh? And did I mention that you'll also get 2 free e-books, just because I love you? Well, you will! :)
So anyway, I invite you to check it out, as enrolling in this simple, step-by-step 5 week course is a great way to get things rolling on Step 1!
If you're not ready to invest in yourself in that way yet, here's a FREE action step you can take.
Grab my free e-book, The Idea Revolution: 22 Ways to Make History!
If you're looking for a variety of ideas and options as to what you could be doing for your unique niche and how to build human capital, this is a great, free resource!
Action Step: Grab Your Free Digital Copy!
Are you ready to start connecting with your target audience?
A great way to begin is by networking with those who have similar audiences!
Do you desire to reach young women ages 13 to 30? If so, I'd invite you to come connect with a small, yet growing community of writers, bloggers, artists, and small business owners that have been networking this year via our super fun Zoom chats!
I know the idea of "Zooming with strangers" can sound a little out of their comfort zone to many, but sometimes getting out of our comfort zone is just what we need! If you're a passionate, Jesus-loving author, blogger, YouTuber, artist, or small business owner, we would love to connect with you (and connect you to those in our network! :))
If you'd like more info about these Zoom chats, please Contact Us!
If the Step 2 Action Step feels just a little too much a stretch for you, I'm going to challenge you to the next best thing...
Let's have a 1 on 1 chat, instead! As I mentioned before, I would LOVE to learn more about what you're doing, the people you desire to serve, what you have to offer, and how I can help you! We can even brainstorm about your market, how to go about doing some research, and reach even more people than you are right now! If you're looking to grow and connect with more people in the New Year, don't skip this step! I know it might be a little scary, but I promise I don't bite, and I would so love to connect with you. :)
Contact Us and let's set up a time to chat! <3
There you have it, friends! That wraps up today's post, make sure you're subscribed to our email updates (you can do so below!) to get notified when Part 2 of this post comes out!
Check out our Podcast:
Dream to Destiny!
Unlocking Your God-Given Dreams