Secrets to Starting or Maintaining an Online Business

Have you ever wanted to start an online business or do you have one now that’s not effectively working?

If you answered yes to one or both of the questions, then you are in the right place at the right time. You know they say in business, timing and opportunity is everything. Well, lo and behold, the time and opportunity is now!

Being an entrepreneur and a previous beauty salon owner, I understand how important it is to recognize your gifts and what it takes to be self-employed. It starts with the mindset. As a successful entrepreneur, there can never be a time when you think and act like an employee because you are the boss, and situations will always require you to boss up. As a matter of fact, being a business owner requires you to be a thinker and a doer, to make decisions, and to create something out of nothing. In addition, you have to be willing to carry the weight on all levels of running a business, and then own the mistakes of your decisions. Being a leader means being ready, willing, and able to use your strengths to help you grow, and realizing there may be times you have to ask for help. Yes, there are times in your business journey when you may have to designate others you can trust to help you, if you really want true success. And that’s okay because it is a part of having a growth mindset. In fact, the truth is you don’t know everything.

None of us were created to be a know-all and be-all kind of person. It’s a part of our human experience that we learn the art of nurturing, growing, and connecting with others in all areas of our lives. In that way, when we create businesses, we can become better engagers with others. As we engage, we learn to be more understanding of others, which creates a better experience for and from the employees, if you have any. The same thing holds true as it relates to customers or clients. For that matter, it is imperative when you don’t know the answers—you ask. It’s also important to understand being in business will demand your whole heart, mind, and body if you want to be successful. That’s why whenever possible, you should learn and understand what it takes to start and run a online business from someone who has been successful at it.

For that reason I have invited Dr. Tracy Timberlake, a 7-figure self-made business woman who has been a successful online business owner and coach for a number of years. She teaches other business owners, want-to-be business owners, influencers, leaders, and entrepreneurs how to develop the proper mindset for business growth. She also gives them a concrete roadmap to follow that can lead to success. Tracy is a master at her craft and is willing to share with you ways you can successfully start and maintain an online business.

Dr. Tracy Timberlake is a multi-award winning business coach and million-dollar course creator who has 117.000 followers on Instagram and over 28,000 followers on YouTube. She helps entrepreneurs, leaders, and influencers show up as POWERHOUSES in the online space. Tracy has coached and taught all over the world and has been blessed with the opportunity to build a digital brand that has served millions of people in over 100 countries.

Whether it’s free content distributed through her award-winning YouTube channel, her social media accounts, her blog, or through her paid coaching programs, Tracy helps coaches, leaders, entrepreneurs, and influencers understand how to leverage the digital landscape to share their message, express their gifts, and make money while doing it. She empowers them to take control of their lives by taking control of their dreams.

1) Tell us a little about yourself and how you got to where you are today.

Well, that’s a loaded question. Hahah. I feel like everything got me to where I am today. You know, when I graduated college I really thought I would be working in some corner office downtown somewhere – as the VP of a marketing department or something similar. But, I realized quickly that corporate was not for me. So, I went into ministry/non-profit work, and then higher education. All of which was still not my jam.

I started my YouTube channel many many many moons ago, before anyone was making money and before the word “influencer” was even a thing. But as my channel grew and the online influencer world grew, and as I started to make money by just being myself—I thought, wow! This is awesome! This is exactly what I want to do with my life. Do the things I love AND make a career out of it.

In 2016, I transitioned a bit so I could start helping other aspiring entrepreneurs understand the same systems and processes I used to become a personal brand. And I have been doing that ever since.

2) How were you able to create a 6-figure business?  

Well I created a 6-figure business in my first 8 months of business. And in the first 3 years, I grew it to 7-figures. Its actually not hard when you have a system and support. Consistency is key. Showing up everyday for myself, my business, and my clients is what mattered most.

3) What are some secrets to starting and maintaining an online business? What types of businesses do you think are good to start during the coronavirus times we are in? 

In the beginning of Covid, everyone was on this “pivot” ideal. My philosophy was if you had to pivot during Covid, its because what you were doing wasn’t good in the first place… lol. For the last 5 years, I have been screaming from the high heavens that going online and focusing on digital leadership was the way to go. I said this on every stage. My Ted Talk was about it, and I talked about it on my social and in my videos. So, when Covid hit, I got 3 very specific phone calls: the president of the chamber of commerce, the editor of a local paper, and one from the Greater Miami Convention and Tourism Board asking for help for the local small businesses who needed to transition, aka pivot.   

I am thankful that I am able to help in that way. So one of the secrets is absolutely being ONLINE. I think any type of e-commerce service based business that can be delivered digitally, e-products, and of course, COURSE CREATION are the best to start online right now. They require little capital and are a low barrier to entry.

4)  If someone is struggling financially with their business, what suggestions can you give to possibly help turn things around?  

I think getting a small business loan and taking advantage of what the feds and states are doing to help small businesses is a good idea. The interest rates are almost zero and there is a lot of access to loan forgiveness. It takes money to make money, as the saying goes. Having the peace of mind of capital can give you the mental space to get creative on how to grow and scale your business during a pandemic.

There are also lots of FREE resources, coaches like myself do FREE masterclass and YouTube videos all the time to help. So, I suggest looking into those to give you a boost of motivation, inspiration, and even strategies.

Lastly, I would say, your job as a CEO is to bring revenue into your business. So, be open to new opportunities and  different revenue streams you may have not have thought of before. If you’ve always focused on in person events and speaking, maybe re-position and start making videos. If you have always done one-on-one type things, try creating a course. I have FREE resources that can help.

5) What are some lessons you’ve learned about having a business and being on social media, as it relates to connecting with customers and engaging with followers?

I think it’s the way of the world now more than ever. Having a strong digital footprint legitimizes a business. It is a new way of doing business, and its not difficult to make the change. Having conversations online with my followers is one of my favorite things to do. Being present on social media and launching yourself in that way will give you the biggest stage you will ever have. The ones who take advantage of it and leverage it to grow their business and their brand will be the ones who benefit from what it has to offer, so start now. 🙂

6) In your business, how do you help people become the best version of themselves?

Great question. I have been doing personal development work for over 15 years. And there is no greater personal development tool than starting a business… LOL. Every limiting belief, every fear, ever mental roadblock you have ever had will come up in the process. In my business, I am a very high-touch coach. Meaning, when I am working directly with someone one-on-one, I make myself available to them unlimitedly because you need that level of support when growing a 6-7 figure business. Your mindset is the most important part. The strategy is easy and doing things is easy. Becoming and being is the hard part. If you have never made a million dollars before, there is a reason. My job is to help you discover what that reason is, and then fix it, so that it never becomes a problem ever again.

7) What are some mistakes you see people make when they are starting or running a business?

Overthinking it. People spend too much time in their heads about ideas and not enough time testing out the theories. If you learn to go from idea to execution as fast as possible, you start to build evidence and learn to trust yourself more. Self-trust, intuition, and instinct are often the most important parts of being a successful CEO.

If you can’t trust yourself to make CEO decisions…who else is there?

The reason for this is because most people enter into entrepreneurship with an employee mindset. And you simply can’t do that and expect CEO results.   

The second biggest mistake I see is not focusing on presenting the best version of the business and the brand in the online space. We live in 2020, image—unfortunately is everything. So make sure your digital collateral is on point. Pictures should be Hi-def. Videos should be HD as well. Graphics need to look professional. Websites are your digital home—how do you want it presented? It’s the little details like that, which separate how people will perceive you.

Lastly, get help. There are so many people who are standing at attention ready to help you. Whether its with graphic design, website design, Facebook ads, mindset, strategy, etc…

Your job is to be the best you can be in YOUR INDUSTRY. Its not to be all things in your business. While I am a fan of starting lean—and not overspending in your business when you don’t need to, I am not a fan of DIYing everything to be mediocre. So, find the things you need the most help with and get help.

8) How do you teach people how to live at the frequency of their answered prayer?

This is another mindset trick I’ve learned from my own personal development work and coaches along the way. The reason why we want things is because we think they will make us happy when we get them. But what if you could be happy right now? What if you could tap into that same emotion? That’s what it means.

So, I teach my clients how to be certain of the outcome and celebrate now. Create the frequency you wish to feel in the present moment and then the thing you want comes naturally. It is the very nature of what is called “the law of attraction.”

9) Why is it important for a person to monetize their life vs. their social media? 

Social media is fun. There are plenty of people who know how to build a following. Very few know how to actually monetize it. We are moving into a time and space where people no longer want to spend 40 years doing something they hate. If you could live your life and sustain yourself doing what you love, why wouldn’t you do that?

You have a unique set of skills that people need. Your work is to learn how to monetize that. I have a 30 day challenge that helps people do this right away.

10) What do you mean by a person’s genius being marketable? What are signs that theirs is marketable? 

I think the easiest way to see if its marketable is to take to Google. Can you find someone else who is monetizing that genius. Has anyone taught a course on this? Has anyone written a book on this? Are there YouTube channels dedicated to this content? If so, then you know it is 100% monetizable. Your work is to figure out the right avenue for you.

11) How can a person sell themselves as the brand?

Finding that area of special genius that you can build your brand around is step one. Once you find that, and strategize how to market it and what your paths to profit will be around the brand, you are well on your way.

12) What is it like living a life, doing what you want… when you want to?

The best! Sometimes, I forget what it was ever like to NOT live like this… lol.

It is really empowering to know that I get to control my time, my work, how much money I make. No one dictates that for me. And that is a beautiful thing, which is why I am so passionate about helping others experience it too.

Life opens up in a completely new way when you live on your own terms. I want every man, woman, and child to have this as an option if they want it.

I know not everyone is meant for an entrepreneurial lifestyle, but if you want it, I would love to show you how.

13) Can you share some last words of advice or empowerment for women?

Yes! You are responsible for your own dreams. No one else will do it for you.  If you are willing to dedicate yourself to realizing those dreams, you will live a life better than you can ever imagine. Trust what God has given you, steward it well, show up everyday—and watch what happens!

14) Where can people find and reach out to you? 

You can find me everywhere!

CONTACT:  Dr. Tracy Timberlake

Instagram: @tracytimberlake




 Article Written & Interview by: Debbie Stokes (Writer, Editor & Publisher)


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2 thoughts on “Secrets to Starting or Maintaining an Online Business”

    1. Hi,

      Yes, starting a business does take courage. It also takes vision, creativity, having the right mindset, and doing what’s necessary to make it happen. And certainly, running one does take patience and grit, along with stamina, endurance, staying relevant, and having belief in what you’re doing and your reason for doing it. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate you!


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