Stevie Dillon

My Business Story Year By Year [Part 1/2]

August 8, 2023

Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane.

My business is now five.. coming on SIX.. years in, and it’s so easy to get caught up looking at someone a few steps ahead and wondering why you’re not THERE yet.

The intention of this podcast is to help you to remember to stop keeping score, tracking your time, and instead focusing on consistency and the long game.

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Year Zero — 2017

2017 was a watershed year for me. In the months prior, the seeds of my discontent were starting to be sewn. I was working in corporate, and I felt like I was meant for more. I’d take long 5am walks around the Brisbane river and listen to podcasts – Lewis Howes and Gary Vee stand out – and I started to realise that there might be something more to life, and the opportunity to BE MORE and HAVE MORE. I felt unaligned with my work, and would sit in the back garden of my tiny house meditating, mentally trying to prepare for a work day that I knew wouldn’t feel good.

The pain of staying put started to feel more and more uncomfortable, and I decided to do something about it. I started exercising more, running every day on the treadmill in my lunch break. I stopped drinking and going out with my friends. I started eating better. And all of that started to have a knock on effect on the rest of my life. It gave me a mental clarity that then ALLOWED me to start dreaming bigger.

I started a website on Squarespace and an Instagram account, and started publishing my weekly social media blogs. I shared them everywhere. Made a lead magnet. Started building email subscribers and followers. Documented my progress.

People slowly started paying attention, but not before many months of crickets. People started reaching out for social media help. I realised this “thing” could be an actual business.

I went to Europe, and on a roof top in Positano decided I would quit my job.

I came back, gave notice, and spent three months working out my notice.

I drove out of the carpark on the last day with a Gary Vee podcast playing, and felt sheer terror.

I was a business owner, and I had no idea what I was doing.

I made $6,000ish

Year One — 2018

My social media management era was short lived and full of learnings, mistakes and personal development.

I started by sending out two proposals to new clients – agents that I had previously worked with.

I had no idea what to price, so picked a price that seemed high and held my breath.

One ghosted. One said yes.

I picked up other work. Writing copy for an e-comm brand. A social media strategy for a dentist (I sent them a 140-page manuscript, and likely overwhelmed them to the MAX). One off sessions for a cosmetic agency. Mostly friends of friends, but a few people trickling through from my online publishing.

Meanwhile – I knew the impact podcasting was having on my life, and one day decided it might be a good idea to start my own. I googled, created some art on Canva, organised my first ever photo shoot, asked some new business friends if they were up for an interview, and with a VERY shaky voice.. somehow got started.

The podcast grew, quickly.

I published when I felt like it, and had no idea what I was doing.

Somehow, I started to toy with the idea of starting an online course. I had started listening to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast, and saw she was doing courses – I was in awe. It felt like the DREAM, and I started thinking about how I could maybe create something.

I went to Europe, and on a roof top in Positano decided I would quit my job.

I had no idea what I was doing. I bought a Cat Howell course on how to create a course, and started talking to my partner about going to Bali for a couple of months to work on it. We’d gone over on holiday for his birthday that March, and my friend Louise – a fellow online business owner – had offered us her house whilst she was away. I took it as a sign, and jumped.

With no savings, I took on DOUBLE my usual client load in the lead up, scaled it down and jumped on the plane.

I did module one of Cat’s course, felt completely overwhelmed and didn’t open it again.

I engaged a designer I had followed and looked up to for years to help me to create a proper website and a sales page for my yet to be created course. Her quote came in at $8,000 and I almost fell through the floor. I asked my mum, slept on it, and feeling SO sick – said yes.

I spent 7 weeks “working” in co-working spaces, writing my sales page and procrastinating on creating my course. I was scared. I had huge imposter syndrome. And I wondered what everything would think when it was a huge failure.

A week before coming up, I wrote a 50,000 page manuscript documenting EVERYTHING I knew about social media, and so I would at least be coming home with something.

For the next four months, I worked on turning it into a course.

Spring turned into summer, and I recorded the entire thing in 35 degree Queensland heat in my tiny non-airconditioned house.

I launched, and made $120,000.

I was shell-shocked.

Until December – I made $15,820

Total – I made $87,000.

Tune in next week to hear more about the last few years of business, they are juicy I promise you won’t be disappointed.

PS If you have ever gotten value from our podcast, I would be so grateful if you could take a moment to leave a quick rating and written review. It takes two minutes, and would make my day.

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