This is a letter truly from the depths of my heart.
Well hello 2021, I find you interesting to me already and hello to you, the person who is reading this right now in this moment in time.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.
I’ve had an amazing career and have loved every minute of it. I’ve done so many things that would surprise people in very unique markets online. When I left my retail stores which I had for 14 years, I went all in inside my online business.
It’s funny I remember those days like it was yesterday.
I first made the decision to close and sell all 5 of my store locations. Why? Because it didn’t bring me any joy in fact it drained me. I was so exhausted.
I just had a conversation with my oldest daughter about it on Facebook here.
I was done.
After I made that decision I knew I had to go “all in” within my online business, not really knowing how things would turn out but it was one key decision I made in my life that I have always known was the best thing I could have done.
That was in 2004.
I won’t say it was easy, I remember taking the hot wheels off the last end cap in the last store I sold in May 2007. I actually sat there and had tears. Hot wheels were one of my favourite collectibles because of when my customers would come in the store light up over childhood memories playing with their Hot Wheels. My ultimate favourite was stamps and postcards. One day I’ll start my collections again. I have some other quirky collectibles that I love but I won’t bore you with that today lol.
But that wasn’t the reason I was crying on the floor picking off the Hot Wheel cars one by one.
I was in tears over the kids (mostly teenage boys) who I watched grow up in front of my eyes. I went to their graduations, got to know their parents and even the children that were abandoned all day by their parents in Whalley would come to our store. We always kept food behind the counter for the kids we knew needed food.
One of the first kids I got to know was Joey… hey Joeyyyyyyyyy!
He would stand outside my store just looking in. He would come by so often that we finally put tables and chairs in the store so he could sit and play his TCG card games. Many kids followed and before I knew it I was like a little mother duck with all these little babies around me every day.
All so special and all very unique.
I’m emotional writing this out because I think of them often and it’s so wonderful I’m still connected with some of them on Facebook and get to see them now as husbands and fathers.
It was the funny moments I remember too, the times they made me laugh and the nicknames I would give them all.
I miss them and in that moment on the floor I knew how much life was about to change for me.
The Digital World
In 2004 I started my first podcast in the scrapbooking market called, “Scrappers Talk Radio.” I then went on to develop several more websites in different markets and before I knew it my little online business overtook the sales of my least performing store.
The super cool part about that is because I was selling digital products and besides the time and resources I spent my ebooks, membership sites, podcasts, the profit was clearly much higher than selling physical products. So the money I made I kept more of than what I would in one of my stores.
Virtual real estate is pretty cool too. Domains will age like a fine wine.
I didn’t know that was all going to happen but there was an interesting moment how it happened.
Do you want to know how I built an online business that overtook the sales of one of my stores?
I treated it like a real business and hired a full time virtual assistant. Before I knew it I had several people working within my business doing various things from writing, editing and market research to keyword development and blog postings.
The Internet Marketing World
Back then we were called internet marketers, now I guess you could use the term professional blogger but internet marketers are still a very unique bunch. Back when I was “doing my thing” we didn’t have blogs and my family had zero idea how I was making money online although eBay stuff was easy to understand but digital products and affiliate marketing they didn’t get.
Internet marketers geek out on a lot of odd things like SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, market research, ad campaigns, landing pages, CTR (click through rates) which all leads to sales.
Somehow I got into the world of clients and teaching about online business but all I really want to do is actually do what I do.
I’m very passionate about seeing others step into a market and make a real change in this world so you can still sign up to my newsletter here to follow my journey, it’s just going to look a little different.
Once you sign up to my daily updates, you’ll have the opportunity to dig in a little deeper with me.
Other than that, I won’t be sharing my techniques here because I plan to immerse myself in new markets again. I know by doing this not only will I be happier in life but I know how excited I am as I type this to “geek out” again. As I work within my lane, I know that’s where I can affect more change in this world because simply I’ll make more money doing what I do rather than teaching what I do.
By letting go of what I’ve been doing the last 10 years, I’ll be stepping into the new in my life and I think I’m going to be much happier because of it all. I kinda miss staying quiet and people not really knowing what I do for a living. I just want to do my work and make the biggest impact on others that I can (more on that later).
I’m really not the first internet marketer to do this. I see many of us making big changes going into this new year. Two of my dear friends Alice Seba, Tracy Patton and Susanne Meyers are all focusing on their email newsletter and dropping social media platforms.
I won’t be dropping all of my social media but I will be sharing more personal updates there.
The work we do is truly unique and I love that.
This moment right here, it feels the same when I made the decision to close and sell off my 5 stores. This blog will still remain but it’s going to be very simplified as you can already tell.
I will continue to share products I’m using and absolutely love here and will focus on my email newsletter.
So What’s New
I’m not sure, I’m excited to start in a brand new market that I’ve never been in before, just like scrapbooking was and is still one of my fun passions in life, this new market(s) that I jump into will be super fun for me. It’s a huge passion of mine and I can’t wait to get started on my market and keyword research. Some of my current fun in life is working on taking care of my curly hair, painting, art, journaling, taking care of my health, green smoothies, my faith, worship music, singing and more. I could jump in and create something fun around any of those, who knows.
If you want to follow me, join my newsletter and you’ll also be given the opportunity to dig deeper with me on it. Truly, my focus is to make as much money as I can so I can give tons more away. I have calculated that when I make an offering to affiliate products, my writing is worth $250/hr.
One Social Media Platform
With all the choices for social media, the reality of what I do does not depend on social media at all. So I will be sticking to one platform in this new niche, can you guess what it is?
You Tube of course.
You Tube is a search engine so I will take my SEO skills not only to google but to You Tube as well. It’s going to be all about building my subscribers, connecting and building a business around the topic.
Something only people who are super close to me is that I’ve been taking an art class which I have enjoyed immensely. I’ve been enjoying drinking my green smoothies and stoked about my next Amazon order which will bring me beet root powder to add to my smoothies. I just want to live the healthiest life possible in EVERY area of my life. I want more comfy cozy nights, I want to read more, do art, live peacefully, focus on my faith, eat good food and just become all that I’m called to be in this life.
You may wonder how I plan to build traffic to my products/offerings if I’m not using social media… You Tube, old school email marketing, organic traffic methods and depending how it looks, some Google Adsense. I will keep my focus in those main spots. If you want to stay up to date on what I’m doing you can always check my Resources page, I will leave that in tact.
I’m also working with some new resources and up first will be my email strategy, my daily email will be getting a huge makeover because my inbox drives me nuts. I’ll be focusing mostly on You Tube and my email lists with lovely content creation.
Family Legacy and Friendships
This is my biggest why, my family and legacy. I want to take the focus off “Vera JM” so I can build legacy for my kids. I also want to spend more time with them all and less time on the computer. More time with my friends and future husband (I wonder who it will be? lol). But most of all more time with God, walking with him over these years have kept me focused even through the toughest of times.
Let’s Talk About You For A Moment
I think due to the year that we’ve had you are probably (most definitely) looking at life a little differently. Maybe you’re re-evaluating your business, friendships or even your marriage. All I’m here to say is, I feel what you’re going through. It’s been a tough year, so much loss. That’s why I’m so dedicated to personal growth and getting back to the basics.
I’m still here to help guide you but with a much more focused direction. Mostly because I want my business to be as “hands free” as possible as well.
So I’d like to challenge you, what have you been holding back from? For me it’s this way I’ve been doing things. This business, this blog that I have is drastically going to change. If you want to come along the journey you can see how easy and basic online business can be. I want to be part of your journey and see you flourish too.
I’m focusing less on myself now and more on you, my family and my friendships. I kind of feel like I’m retiring but the truth is I’m just getting started.
Thank you with so much LOVE in my heart,
I just want to say thank you all for your support and love over the years. This may feel like a drastic change but I’m just creating my online presence a little differently going into 2021 and beyond.
I’m leaving behind the old to walk into the new.
Do you want to join me?
Wishing you the best creative entrepreneurial ideas,
Vera JM Friesen – EST 1997