Today I’m going to talk about something a little different! Every once in a while I get emails asking me how I started my websites and coaching practise, and if it’s really possible to make a full-time living online.
Can You Make A Living Online? YES!
When I was putting together the new 7 Day Juice Fasting Program, I realized that it’s been a good 6 years now that I’ve had an online business. Amazing how time flies by and I feel so much appreciation to be doing what I love, and all the friendships and connections I have made with you and the subscribers of Radiance Central and Raw Radiant Health over the years. I feel like we all have been growing together, and I am a proud witness of so many lives, so many breakthroughs and transformations.
I wasn’t aways a health coach, I made a massive career change in my early 30s
If you didn’t know this already, I wasn’t always a health coach. Back in my twenties I worked as a fine artist making sculpture for a living for about a decade. I was one of the rare few to make a career out of making art at such a young age, but after a decade of working in the fine arts I yearned for something else. I found my career to be quite isolating, making me too self-involved, and the financial instability was wearing away at me.
I wanted a change, and as much as I had a passion for the arts, I was also very passionate about nutrition and natural health. All those years I worked as an artist I was also being mentored by a Chinese Doctor and studying nutrition on the side.
When I knew I needed to make a career change, my mentor the Chinese Doctor told me to put a website together and share my knowledge, passion and insight about natural health and diet. She gave me a week to put a website together. It was the push I needed. You know when deep down inside you’ve always wanted to do something but you’re just waiting for something or someone to tell you can? I don’t know if it was validation or approval, or just having someone believe in me, but as soon my mentor told me to make the website, I went straight home and did it, I put it together in one night! I didn’t care how bad it looked, I was just so excited to be doing it. The following day I went out and bought a video camera because intuitively I knew I wanted to make videos for the website. I didn’t have much money to start out with, but I knew this was one investment I needed to make.
That very same week I put the website up, I also started making videos for my first YouTube Channel Raw Radiant Health. I was full on into the raw food diet at the time, and that’s what I wanted to teach people about. I was mentored for so many years, there was so much I wanted to share!
The only way of knowing, is trying!
At first I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I was too shy to tell my family and friends that I had made a website and was making videos at home about health and diet. I was kind of embarrassed to tell anyone that I was spending my days at home talking to a video camera! It actually took a month or so before I told anyone. I remember how worried my parents were because they knew I was transitioning out of my career as an artist, but they didn’t know what I would do in place of it, and all I would tell them was “I’m working on something.”
The first person I did tell was my brother, and it wasn’t on purpose! He had just shown up at my apartment, saw the tripod and video camera and asked what I was doing. The crazy thing that happened while I was explaining to him what I was doing (and him laughing at me), was I made my first sale! It wasn’t something I sold directly (I wasn’t selling anything when I first started out), but I had interviewed someone on my blog and I ended up making a commission from something they sold. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and let’s just say one moment my brother was laughing at me and making fun of me, and the next moment he was in shock and awe that I was actually making money!
I’m not sure if it was my brother who ran to my parents to tell them what I was doing, or if I told them, but eventually everyone knew what I was doing, and because my brother witnessed that one sale, suddenly what I was doing wasn’t so crazy after all, and perhaps I was onto something…
As much as I was passionate about diet, nutrition and natural health, I had to be practical as well.
As I mentioned earlier, I worked as an artist for a decade struggling the entire time to pay the rent and make ends meet. I was doing what I loved, but the financial stress nearly destroyed me. I didn’t want to go through that again. As fulfilling as it would be to have a career helping people and teaching about natural health, if it couldn’t pay the rent and bills, I didn’t want to do it. My view was if I couldn’t take care of myself, how would I be able I help others?
So I had to be practical, and what I started doing was looking for as much information as I could find about building a profitable business online. I came across Frederic Patenaude’s course How To Succeed With Your Alternative Health Business, and after subscribing to his newsletter, I knew I needed to take his course.
It had already been a few months that I was building a following on YouTube and my website, I was consistently making videos everyday, five days a week, and I loved it! This was something I could foresee myself doing for a long time, and building upon, but I also needed a strategy to somehow make money to live on, so I could continue.
The course Frederic Patenaude was offering was $1000, and it promised to teach me everything I needed to make a living working online. $1000 is a lot of money, but if it would be the key to making a career out of what I was doing, then in my eyes that money would be an investment, money well spent. I had already gone to university in the USA and spent a crazy amount of money on my undergraduate degree, spending $1000 was nothing compared to that.
My generous father ended up lending me the money for the course, and I threw myself into it. I followed all Frederic’s instructions and did my homework, and sure enough within a few months I was making a full time living off of my website (it was that quick!). To this day, my father still talks about how he lent me that money, and how that money was the best investment he ever made! I don’t think he’ll ever forget that, especially when you compare it to university tuitions these days, and what that one small course did for me all these years.
By the end of my first year of having an online business, I had saved enough money to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and get certified as a Holistic Health Counsellor. To some this might seem a little backwards – I built a website, took a business course, and then went back to school to get certification as a Health Coach.
As I mentioned earlier, I was mentored by a Chinese Doctor for years before I even started the website, and after. There’s nothing that compares to the education and experience I acquired from learning from my mentor one-on-one. That was a unique and invaluable experience that no school or certification could ever offer.
I built the website and took Frederic Patenaude’s course first because I wanted to make sure that having an online business, writing ebooks and informations products, was really for me. The last thing I wanted to do was invest a crazy amount of money on tuitions and certifications only to realize it wasn’t what I wanted to do, or that it was too hard to make a living from.
After a year of having an online business I saved enough money to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and soon after I even moved abroad to Bali, Indonesia, where I’ve been living for the past 5 years. Before I started the online business, I always loved to travel and I knew that eventually I wanted to live in Southeast Asia, in a tropical environment. That too was a big reason why I was so keen to start an online business, so I could have the freedom to move around, work while I travelled, and still do what I loved.
Its now been 6 years that I’ve been making a living online, and yes, I’m living proof that it is possible! And in fact, it’s not terribly hard either. But you need to do the work! I have to say that from the very beginning I knew that if I wanted a full time career out of this, I had to treat it like one. The more you put in, the faster it will yield results.
A few last words for those starting out
If you are thinking of starting a business online, or you want to write an ebook, work as a coach, or start a side business to create a second source of income, the best advice I can give is “do it!” You have absolutely nothing to lose, only to gain!
I can also say the single most important thing is to do what is true to you. Be authentic, be honest, be transparent. Never compare yourself to anyone. Having an online presence isn’t a popularity contest; it’s about sharing the things you love and making connections with others that share the same interests. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you, so get started now!
UPDATE & EXCITING NEWS: Frederic Patenaude’s course, How To Succeed With Your Alternative Health Business will be starting February 8, 2016, and he’s generously offered subscribers to Radiance Central a $100 discount on the course using the discount code: NATASHA (coupon code expires January 31, 2016, so use it before then).
Last year Frederic teamed up with Kevin Gianni from Renegade Health and they built a brand new course, which I took as well! (Frederic’s courses are that good that I didn’t hesitate for a moment to sign-up a second time!). I was really excited to see what him and Kevin Gianni would put together, especially because I took his first course, and I’ve been following the two of them and their respective businesses for years. They are both extremely knowedgable, approachable, practical, and insightful, and even though I gained so much from his first course, I learned even more the second time round. In any type of business there is always room for improvement. If you are thinking about starting an online business, or already have one, I strongly recommend their course.
If you have any questions about starting an online business, or even have questions about the course, submit them below or email me directly and I’ll put another article/blog post together answering them.
For more on my story of how I built a successful online business, watch today’s video below!