Alright guys, today I have another amaaaazing Inspire Interview for you today with another freelance writer and coach, but no matter how many writers I interview there’s always something new to be learned. Lise Cartwright had a lot to say about her business and journey as an entrepreneur and it’s well worth the read! I hope you enjoy what she had to say as much as I did!
What is it you do?
I’m a full time author, freelance writer and coach. I run two blogs, www.hustleandgroove.com and www.authorbasics.com and you can find my books here: http://www.amazon.com/Lise-Cartwright/e/B00NAIEW9O/
What inspired you to start your own blog/business?
In January of 2011, I remember coming into work after the Christmas/New Year break, I’d had two weeks off. It was a Monday and I had an extreme case of Mondayitis!
I remember sitting down at my desk and thinking, “What am I doing with my life? What’s the point?”
I know, pretty deep for a Monday morning, but I’d woken up feeling pretty yucky and I couldn’t explain why. Most people that know me know that I’m an optimistic, outgoing, happy person, so it’s pretty rare for me to feel this way.
So when I do, I sit up and take notice.
It was at this point that I decided that the job I’d been in for the past 2.5 years just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. But, I had no idea what I wanted to do instead. I did know that I didn’t want to find a new job, only to be faced with the same feelings in another few years time. I’d been through this cycle a couple of times to recognise that getting a new job just wasn’t the right option for me.
For the next few months, I spent a lot of time researching ideas, looking for opportunities, trying to figure out what my next step was.
I knew that I needed to make some money in a side hustle before I could quit my job, because I didn’t have the luxury of a lot of savings behind me, so whatever I was going to do, needed to not take up a ton of time.
I’m not sure how I came across Location Rebel, but I know it was from some email newsletter I’d signed up for. I discovered Location Rebel in July 2011 and deliberated whether it was the right option for me.
I clicked “buy now” in early August following an enlightening conversation with my boss, that went something along these lines:
Me: “Denise, I’d like to chat with you about career progression. I’ve been with XYZ now for nearly 3 years, and I’d like to look at progressing further. I’m good at what I do, but it’s no longer challenging to me.”
Denise: “Lise, why would you want to change your job? You’re great at what you do, and you make my life easier. The next step for you would be to step into my shoes, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”
Me: “So you’re telling me that there are no further options for me?”
Denise: “Only if you want to move into another department, and let’s face it, our department is the best!”
After that conversation went down, I got home from work and bought my first ever online purchase – Location Rebel. It was for $450 USD, which is a lot in Australian dollars. I was scared but excited.
Location Rebel is a course that provides you with access to multiple business blueprints that provide you with the skills to start a freelancing business in a specific area, such as freelancing writing, SEO consultant, copywriter, affiliate marketing, product creation etc.
For the next few months, I consumed as much information as possible and decided to start my freelance writing side hustle.
I landed my first gig on oDesk (now Upwork) within 30 days of starting Location Rebel and was rapt at how everything just seemed to slide into place.
I started my blog about 8 months after joining Location Rebel because I needed a place to connect with potential clients and I also wanted to share my own experiences in starting a side hustle.
I was able to quit my full time job in June 2012, all thanks to Location Rebel and learning the ropes as a freelance writer.
Phew, that was a long answer, but hey, I’m a writer, it’s what we do 😉
Best piece of advice you were ever given?
“Done is better than perfect”. As a writer, or entrepreneur, we can get caught up in trying to make everything perfect before we launch a product, hit publish on a blog post or start a podcast.
Nothing is ever perfect and rather than wait for it to be so, I focus on getting something done to 90-95% and then refine it over time. This has worked especially well when it comes to writing a publishing my books, because in the beginning, I was so focused on getting it perfect, that I ended up in this loop of getting ready to publish, only to pull back to edit the book because I’d noticed a single mistake or something I wanted to change.
By freeing myself from needing everything to be perfect, it allows me to ship everything with it almost perfect, secure in the knowledge that I can refine it as and when I need to.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your blog/business?
For me, it was a time factor and also being scared that what I was doing was good enough.
I was working a full time job when I started freelance writing and had to really focus on time management and systems to ensure that I didn’t forget client deadlines nor miss my day job deadlines.
There were a couple of times where I failed miserably at doing that, but I learned quickly and adjusted my processes.
I had plenty of self doubt too, and to combat that, I plugged into the Location Rebel community and my mastermind group. By having that support system, I knew that I would be able to continue doing what I was doing.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned so far?
That for me, I still need to have a routine in place to be successful.
One of the driving reasons behind wanting to start my own business was so that I could have my time back to myself. I thought I’d be sleeping in till 10 am, swanning around doing lunches and shopping all the time, but the reality was, if I wanted to be successful in my business, I still needed some dedicated work hours and a routine to stick to.
Without that in place, I become demotivated and tend to flounder, because I lack focus and I’m not sure what I should be doing.
With a routine, I still have control over my time and can still pick and choose what I do, but I have dedicated work hours and time off, so that I know that I can achieve what I want to achieve based on those systems.
What has been your biggest success so far?
Writing and self publishing 20 books within 12 months. I started out as a freelance writer, working with clients and then transitioned into being a full time author in July 2014.
Writing is my passion, but now I get to do it for myself and make money from it, rather than having to do it for clients.
And your biggest failure?
Early on in my freelancing career, I made the mistake of not doing my due diligence on a client on oDesk… it resulted in me losing over $900 because the client wasn’t payment verified… what that meant was that there was no way for oDesk to take payment from the client, and as I’d taken on a fixed price contract rather than an hourly, oDesk’s payment protection policy didn’t cover me.
It was devastating and nearly stopped me from continuing as a freelancer. But I learned that lesson the hard way and never made that mistake again.
What does an average day look like for you?
It depends on the day, but let’s look at a Monday, because those were always my worst days in my day job, now they’re my fav behind Friday’s:
5:30am – 6:00am
Rise and shine! My alarm goes off, although I’m generally awake before it goes off. For the next 30 minutes, I’ll grab myself a coffee, open my Self Journal and outline my plan for the day, include my goals, targets and what I’m grateful for.
6:00am – 7:00am
I briefly check emails, jump on social media and respond to comments. I’ll have my breakfast in this hour as well.
7:00am – 8:00am
Get coffee for my hubby (who is not an early riser!) and begin the first task of the day, which is to outline and write blog posts for both blogs, Hustle & Groove and Author Basics.
8:00am – 9:30am
Exercise time! I’ll head outside and take my one of my HIIT workouts from my book, No Gym Needed. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk or run as well, depending on how I’m feeling. Once I’m done, I’ll head back and hit the shower.
9:30am – 11:30am
Continue with my main task of the day, blog posts! This includes outlining, writing and creating graphics for them.
11:30am – 12:30pm
12:30pm – 2:30pm
More blog post writing!
Afternoon off. My hubby and I like to catch a movie on a Monday afternoon. We have a cinema that is in our complex, so we don’t have to drive anywhere. We just catch the lift downstairs and walk 200 metres to the cinema.
After we get back from the cinema, we just chill, eat dinner together, watch Netflix and chill.
Before heading to bed, I’ll review my day in my Self Journal and write down my wins for the day, what lessons I learned and what I’m grateful for.
I’ll also check Todoist on my iPhone to see what tasks I’ve got coming up tomorrow.
What do you hope to accomplish with your blog/business in the next year?
We are planning to fall pregnant in next 12 months, so I’m working on getting my business to be as passive as possible, so that when I do have a little one, I’m not having to write blog posts, manage book launches etc, etc!
Can you give 3 pieces of advice to anyone considering starting a similar business?
#1: Listen to your own advice. That advice that you’re dishing out to others, you should listen to it too!
#2: Just start. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect or right, because that will never happen. Start, adjust as you need and keep moving forward.
#3: If it’s not fun, what’s the point? If you find your side hustle starts to become as stressful as your day job, then you need to take a step back and figure out why. Maybe you could outsource some stuff or maybe, it’s just not the right fit for you. If that’s the case, then get out. There is nothing more draining than running a business you’re not enjoying and there’s no shame in throwing in the towel on something that’s not working and starting something else instead.
And finally, where can we find you online?
You can find me in all the usual places:
If you have an inspiring story you would like to share feel free to send me an email here!
Lets be friends on: BLOGLOVIN / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / PINTEREST