What are the keys to a sustainable business?
An engaged community? Sure.
Incoming revenue? Absolutely.
But for Courtney Carver, it’s more than just about making money.
For my business to be sustainable, I have to feel good about who I work with, what I sell, and what I create.
When Courtney started her blog, bemorewithless.com, back in 2010, she was still working a day job and building her blog on the side.
There are so many resources out there to demonstrate how to [build a blog]. I just had to figure out a way to do it that really resonated with my heart.
When I first started the blog I was working full time, so work for the blog happened in between meetings, evenings, weekends, and anytime I could dedicate to it. Doing that helped me enjoy my day job more than usual because I knew I was doing something that would eventually help me leave it.
Even though I wasn’t earning money right away, I considered it a business from day one. I wanted to be very clear to myself that even though this was something I was crazy about doing, it was work.
Because making money wasn’t the initial focus since she had an alternate form of incoming revenue, Courtney was able to follow what resonated in her heart and build a blog from her passion.
My blog, bemorewithless.com, helps people find their way back to love through simplicity.
It’s different for everyone, but for most, by simplifying they get to discover what matters most to them. I write and speak about the power of getting clear on what matters by getting rid of everything that doesn’t. I also created minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 and for many people that is their first step into simplicity.
But following your passion and sharing what you love doesn’t mean it’s all lattes and Netflix. Courtney’s days of entrepreneurship might not look that unfamiliar to the schedule of 2010 employed Courtney.
While my schedule is really flexible, I love experimenting with structure. A very structured day which happens probably 3 days a week look like this:
5:30 – 8:30 morning routine: journaling, meditating, working out, reading, breakfast, shower and get ready for the day. (I may sneak an Instagram shot in here. It’s currently my favorite social platform.)
8:30 – 1:00 email triage: I make sure nothing needs immediate attention and usually it doesn’t. Creative work – writing for the blog or other projects, photography, creating graphics.
1:00 – 2:30 Lunch and a walk or reading. Sometimes I only take an hour break, and occasionally I have to force myself to take a big mid-day break because I’m enjoying my work. I have to remind myself that the break makes the work better.
2:30 – 5:30 Less creative and more admin related work. I also schedule calls and meetings for the afternoon, although I typically limit those to 2 days a week.
That said, some days I meet with friends to work and brainstorm at a local coffee shop, or don’t schedule anything at all. There are a handful of time during the year when I have extra work and use nights and weekends to help, but typically not.
Passion, it turns out, can actually lead to profit when you’re doing the work to pull it all into a business. Over the years, Courtney has developed 6 different revenue streams for her thriving business.
My revenue is divided between passive income (self study courses, ebooks, affiliate sales) and work like live courses, speaking, and coaching. Speaking hasn’t been a big part of my revenue but I hope to change that this year. A rough estimate looks like:
Microcourses – self study courses 50%
Live courses – 30%
Ebooks via Amazon 10%
Affiliate Sales 3%
And just as a dancer taking classes in a variety of styles might decide to hang up their tap shoes for a life-long career in ballet when the opportunity presents itself, Courtney is tapping into that same desire to go deeper into those specialties she’s already experienced.
After all, she has to practice what she preaches at Be More With Less.
My plan is to grow deeper vs. wider. I’m less interested in big numbers and more curious about what will happen as I develop a deeper level of engagement with both my work and community.
I love that my business supports a healthy, happy lifestyle for my community and for myself. My business doesn’t take over my life, it fuels it.
And since 6 years is an Internet Eternity, Courtney has really seen the ups and downs of it all. With a focus on what really matters, consistency, and a big dose of personal passion, Courtney knows that being in the business of blogging can truly be sustainable. It all comes down to you.
Create a blog you enjoy visiting. If you don’t like being there, no one else will either. Give it time. Solve problems. Have fun. Keep going.
Courtney Carver founded Be More With Less so she could share her story on discovering the joy in less. Through decluttering, and focusing on the best things instead of all the things, you can create a life with more savings and
less no debt, more health and less stress, more space and less stuff, and more joy with less obligation. You can join Project 333 and get more info about simplifying your wardrobe (and life) right here.