How Did A Prior School Teacher, School Counselor And University Administrator And Professor End Up Writing A Blog To Teach Others How To Blog?

Hi, I’m Tawna, the face and writer behind ‘it started with a blog.’

Baby Decker

The Best Little Buddy Ever!

I am a mom to two grown boys, a grammy to the best little buddy ever, and a happy wife of 29 years.

I can honestly tell you that I never would have guessed starting a blog would have been in my future, although I have been called a ‘free spirit’ many times by my family and friends!

Over the years I have been a teacher (elementary, middle school and high school), school counselor, college and career consultant, university administrator and instructor, realtor, real estate appraiser, and commercial insurance representative (all before I started a blog.)

Oh, and I was also a top Senior Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics, earning my first car in 8 months (the red Pontiac Grand Am at that time), and the prestigious, well-known pink Cadillac as a “Super Achiever Director’ in 18 months.

I am sharing my journey with you because I want you to know it is possible for YOU to take control of your future!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated, and even thought about giving up starting your business at times? If so, I understand! I felt that way numerous times with each business I started (even though I wish none of us ever felt that way.)

The hardest part of starting a business (and your blog) is actually getting started. The next hardest part is knowing what to do after you make the commitment to start.

Starting happens before motivation! Don't wait for motivation or you will may never start your blog aka business! Click To Tweet

Let’s make a deal! You take control of the first part, and I have your back on the second part! 🙂

Tawna at Mary Kay Seminar, Dallas, TX

My first Mary Kay Seminar in Dallas, TX where I set my goal to drive a pink Cadillac.

Tawna standing by Mary Kay Cosmetics pink Cadillac

Earning the prestigious pink Cadillac felt like nothing I had ever achieved on a professional level.

Tawna and Dave picking up Mary Kay Cosmetics red Grand Am

Picking up my first car with Mary Kay Cosmetics only 8 months after starting the business made me a believer in self-employment.

I HAVE LAUNCHED FOUR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES FROM THE GROUND UP

Each was in a completely different niche and with a completely different client base.

However, they all had one thing in common.

They were  strategically chosen so I could tailor the job around the lifestyle I desired at that time in my life, aka – my family.

That is what led me to being a school teacher when I started college. I knew someday I would have a family and being on the same schedule as them was a top priority.

Some of the businesses were built on the side while I was working full-time in the school system, some were during time I took off from my educator’s jobs to create full flexibility in my schedule.

This did not mean I worked less hours.

Tawna's real estate appraiser business card

I started my real estate appraiser business knowing not one thing about real estate. But I knew I was a good student and I was willing to learn. I grew it to a nationwide business and for the first 3 years it doubled in size each year. I have always liked to keep things simple, so this was my actual business card in black in white.

BUILDING A BUSINESS FROM THE GROUND UP IS ANYTHING BUT EASY

It meant I worked a non-traditional schedule and I slept a lot less since I was with my family during their waking hours, and I worked late nights, early mornings, and sometimes in-between.

Tawna with Brett and Brandon during their growing up years

Tawna with the boys during the days of being a real estate appraiser. The youngest one loved to go to my appointments and hold the tape measure while I measured the exterior of the home!

While each of these businesses were in different markets, they all had something in common. They started with a blog, aka – they each had a website so people could find me online.

While I had an online presence with my Mary Kay Cosmetics business, appraisal business, and real estate business, I did minimal to create my business website for each.

Mary Kay offered an option for all consultants to have a ‘company’ website. It was a simple template that populated all my business information after I filled in a form with the information I wanted to show on my website.

The blog posts on my website were populated for me as well, offering general information on makeup application, new products, etc.

I had a similar setup for my appraisal business, using the template offered by my appraisal software company that I purchased to complete the actual appraisal document.

And for my real estate business, the same. My brokering company offered a ‘personal’ company website that featured my picture, name and contact information at the top of the website, with all the area houses for sale, general real estate articles (aka – blog posts), etc. on the web pages. Each realtor in the company had the same website with the exception of who was featured as ‘the’ realtor to contact.

It was so simple!

Fill in the blanks on the template and an ‘instant’ website was created for me! I didn’t even have to maintain it, as the companies included that as part of the package. Once again, they added industry news articles that doubled as blog posts, and it looked like I had written them!

Reality hit when I decided to start a business with no company template, no fill in the blanks and no pre-written blog articles.

I remember thinking, “Do I really have to write my own blog posts?”

The first was a college and career consulting business that I started in 2013. I did not know one thing about building a website, marketing, or connecting with like-minded people via the internet even though I had an online presence in three prior businesses for years.

Writing was not a challenge for me and I had years of information and experience to share, and I knew how to get updated research to share. What I didn’t know was how to put all this into an article format and make it appear all neat and perfectly laid out on my website! Oh wait – I remembered that I didn’t even have a website because I wasn’t sure how to create one so I had a place to put my blog posts!

My prior businesses had been face-to-face when I built my clientele. I ‘beat the path’ as they say, building my businesses through intense work and getting in front of people.

I knew how to work hard, how to follow a plan, and how to set personal and business goals.

What I didn’t know was how to turn this knowledge and experience into building a business online.

So I set out on my journey to figure out how to create ‘passive’ income where I could make money without trading ‘time for dollars’ on an hour-by-hour basis.

Above Excellence logo
college and career matters logo
Dr. Tawna Schmidt logo
Life In My RV Logo

Some of my logos from online businesses. My first logo was an ‘A’ for Above Excellence Educational Consulting and the ‘path’ to symbolize high school students taking the path from high school to college, trade school, etc. Then I transitioned to College and Career Matters, and eventually an online business consulting business and working on the road.

IT WAS A STEEP LEARNING CURVE WHEN I STARTED AN ONLINE BUSINESS

In 2013 there were far less resources available for an online business than there are today. Social media didn’t even know Snapchat, and Instagram and Pinterest were  barely a few months old.

I have seen Blab come and go (and even held some of my own Blab sessions when it seemed a promising way to connect with others), as well as the rise and excitement for the currently struggling Periscope.

My first blog shared college planning strategies, such as how to get more scholarship money, and it doubled with a local consulting business to help parents and students plan for life after high school.

I had to hire the website to be built after trying to build it myself for 3 months (literally). I recall feeling super frustrated waiting on it to be done, and getting the finished product back and wanting to tweak something, but I couldn’t because I had no idea how.

I recall one of the first questions to my web designer was, “Can you explain the difference between a post and a page?” After the conversation, I still didn’t fully get it!

I eventually turned that blog and business into a college and career planning business, minus the face-to-face consulting. I took it online with consulting nationwide via video training, webinars, and skype meetings.

By the time I made this transition, I was able to build my own website, create my own marketing plan, utilize social media, and perform all the other tasks to run a successful blog and business online.

It has been an exciting journey that I like to share because it fuels my passion to help other people create a life where their priorities are truly lived, not just spoken.

I can see now, in looking back, my experiences were simply meant to be able to use my teaching background to help others achieve job independence.

Life is so much more than sitting behind a desk listening to office politics and living each day for the weekend or next vacation. Click To Tweet

It is absolutely possible to create or replace your current income with a blog, affording you the opportunity to work from anywhere.

If that is from the comfort of your home snuggled deep into your favorite chair, great.

Do you want to travel and experience the wonders of the amazing world? No problem.

You love your special corner in your local coffee shop, smelling the fresh brew waft pass you as you work? That is fine too!

I have spent my professional life helping others as an educator. It is where I am most comfortable and experience the greatest reward – helping others succeed.

My ‘story’ in an infographic several years after I started my first blog. This graphic was on my website About Me page.

business timeline infographic
Help a million, make a million. Click To Tweet

This experience, coupled with my years of blogging, plays a vital role in itstartedwithablog.com

I provide you with a direct path to fast-track your blog by cutting out the challenges and frustrations I experienced.

I leave out the fluff and shoot straight.

I give you the processes and procedures to take baby steps or strides. It is up to you how fast you start earning an income from your blog.

I make it possible for you to bypass the frustration I felt that I was not utilizing my time efficiently. I had to spend so much time learning the technical side of the blog that I felt I was not giving enough to the writing, marketing and connecting side.

ALREADY STARTED YOUR BLOG? HOP ON BOARD TO FAST-TRACK IT FORWARD

I wish the resources available in 2013 were the same as they are today. However, if that were the case my trial and error technique of learning and teaching myself how to start a blog and move a business online (no templates included) would not be available to benefit you.

Millions of people around the globe are not only making a solid income from their blog, millions of others are searching online for answers. They get the answers from a blog. This could be YOUR blog!

What is your expertise so you can help them?

The internet has changed the world, and I am here to help you take full advantage of the opportunity it offers.

Enough about me. From here forward it is all about you.

Are you ready to dive deep?

Let’s do it!

You got this!

Please Share With A Friend!

THANK YOU!! 😉

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