January 21, 2019 / 6 Comments
I’ve worked for myself my entire life. This does not mean that I’ve always done the same thing for a living. Mostly, I’ve managed to support myself with words: speaking them, writing them, translating them … I’ve also dabbled in the fitness world as a trainer. I was an amateur dancer for the longest time. I also love to sketch and design jewelry and a bunch of other stuff.
For the most part, I’m pretty good at reining in my enthusiasm when I see I could be headed towards spreading myself too thin. So I stick to the big stuff… the pillars of my creativity. And the rest, I do for fun if and when I can. It’s the only way to keep myself sane, while I make a living and grow as a person, a creative and a micro-entrepreneur.
What I have noticed is that this willingness to grow and evolve is what helps me keep on keeping on and continue to make an income doing what I love. Especially nowadays, when digital trends come and go so fast they give you whiplash, it’s important to stay abreast of changes and go with the flow. If I didn’t do this, I’d have bitten the dust long ago.
I won’t detail my entire life progression, which would be interesting, but long. For practical purposes, I will only focus on the past 5 years, which, when speaking of the Internet, is quite a long time. In early 2014 I launched the website www.vivafifty.com, not knowing whether it would take a while for it to generate income or not. I didn’t have to wait much for it to be profitable (it was a matter of months), but I also worked my fanny off building it fast.
Had I stuck to the same way of doing things from the beginning until now, I may be out of business, instead of having my best year as far as income goes, in 2018. Speaking strictly of social media, I relied more on Facebook and Twitter in 2014. Over time I realized I needed to revamp my Instagram presence and eventually bit the bullet and got on YouTube as well. I never thought I’d pour any effort on Pinterest and Tailwind, but I did! I simply stayed open to the trends and adjusted my sails.
However, even changing strategies is not enough to keep a creative person who wants to do meaningful work fully engaged. I’ve noticed that approximately every two years, I build something new on the foundation of what I established before. So, two and some years ago, I redid this website and turned it from a static page to a more dynamic blog. I haven’t been able to keep up with it as much as I’d like, since shortly after that I wrote and published a book for HarperCollins, which took up much of my time and efforts.
Now, five years after I launched VivaFifty.com, I graduated as a certified yoga instructor at 55, and am now furthering my studies to complete my 500-hour training. So, what does yoga have to do with my digital business and writing? A lot. I’ve always been into fitness and dancing and seeking answers to my creative and existential angst. I started yoga at 12, with a book my father gave me. Although I was a runner and dancer most of my life, I came back to yoga and meditation now and then, including during my second pregnancy.
A hip injury sustained at 48 during a half-marathon had me hanging my running shoes. A serendipitous week-long retreat almost four years ago, had me doing yoga at dawn every day. For the record, I’m not a morning person. That was the beginning of the end of my hip pain, and the start of my yoga-every-day existence. It helped me so much through parenting struggles, health scares, deaths and loss, that I wanted to delve deeper.
I posted photos of my journey online and several women let me know they’d signed up to yoga teacher training as a result of seeing me enjoy yoga so much. Finally I decided if I was inspiring others to deepen their practice, why not deepen mine, so I could continue sharing what brings me and so many others joy?
And so, as I embarked on my yoga teacher training in September of 2018, I created a new IG handle, The Flawed Yogini, which is relatively new and still lacks direction. But I’ve learned that I do better when I start things before I’m ready. The readiness comes with practice. Now that I’m about to start the next leg of my yoga teacher training, I’m starting to have a vision of what is possible with this new skill.
And I’m excited all over again. While my business Viva Fifty Media is doing well, I believe this is exactly when I’m meant to grow and evolve. Because if one waits until burnout or a complete change in the market sets in to make such moves, it may just be a tad late. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in store, but I know it’s what is meant to happen. This is the stuff dreams are made of.
So, if your life or your business is exactly as it was a few years ago and you’re feeling stagnant or like it could be better, it most likely can! Now ask yourself what you need to do to change it! It’s simple, it’s not easy but it’s possible! Let yourself grow.