The Making of Madame Deals
The saying which rings true in my mind and heart is "without failure there isn't success and without hard work there isn't change." Imagine working all your life and then you become pregnant and everything changes. The career I had didn't make sense. I was a teacher and teaching other people's children and placing mine in childcare didn't make emotional or financial sense. I was left with a world which I didn't understand, a world with a new baby and a husband who was working to provide all our financial support. I am the type of person who has always paid my own way and worked tirelessly to accomplish my goals. It was a paradigm shift for me to be dependent on someone else and have someone who was fully dependent on me.
I was accustomed to buying what I wanted with my income and now I was left without an income. I had to figure out a way to financial freedom without leaving the house. First things first. I took a hard look at our bills and our income. I figured out twenty-five percent of our operating expenses were spent on food. I made a deal with my husband that if I could spend less on our food, then the money I saved would be mine. He agreed. I now had some spending cash and a "job". I was going to coupon shop.
Madame Deals was conceived in a coffee shop because I recognize the importance of a support system. At first it was just a bunch of ladies that met and talked about coupons. The only coupon I had ever used prior to these meetings was a "spend $40 and get $10 off." I also used to think when something was half off that was a great reason to buy two whether you needed it or not. I was going broke saving money. I figured I could learn how to coupon. I can tell you the retail price of almost any item with a discount faster than most people can add. We decided to put together a Yahoo email group and soon that email group grew into a blog. Madame Deals operated as a hobby or online journal for roughly a year and a half. It was a Mecca for fun and inspiration. The potential for economic success wasn't being realized.
In December of 2010, I learned humility meets success. The partner who was instrumental in starting Madame Deals decided to go her own way. It was difficult to see her go but sometimes having a business plan and objectives doesn't always create harmony among people. I am a business woman and I understand that without a plan and objectives your business will not grow. I had to see large gains in Madame Deals in order to quit a high paying, work out of my house part-time job. We understand you have children and are a flexible dream job. I gave myself one year to Make Dollars Out of Change. I sat down and objectively looked at the website. I put away my owner side and starting looking at the site with my consumer side. I scrubbed the design, changed the tag line, and started adding content which I felt people were looking forward to reading every day. I found writers who spoke to my audience because they spoke to me as a mom, person, consumer, and woman.
I then put my goals on paper each week. I worked towards a single goal until it was accomplished. I always picked something which was measurable and contributed to my overall goal to create a business out of a dream. I determined a business approach which was very simple, "figure out a way to have the sidebars pay for your site." That is right. I do not have to sell one item to my fans to keep my site staffed and my hosting paid for. I did it this way so I could enjoy my family and so I could pick and choose what we promote. This no pressure approach allows me the flexibility I need to make sound business decisions based on facts not on poverty.
I spent the next eleven months reinvesting into my site. I put fifty percent of my net profits back into my business. I knew the key to my success was writing good content, finding deals my readers were looking for, and gaining traffic through sharing my revenue through contests. I spent a great deal of time evaluating my readers and asking for their opinions. I try my best to get to know them and show them who I am. I want to be the person they turn to for help, advice, and for the products and services they need and want.
The proof that my 15 hour work days paid off was when I was able to quit my job a month earlier than planned. I believe we all define success differently. I define my success with each laugh I get to enjoy, each school play I can attend, each person who emails to thank me for making a difference, and each day I wake up wanting to do what I do. The pinnacle of my success is my belief in my abilities. I do not let others bring me down or change my opinions. When people say you can't do that, I say "watch me."
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