“Zero to Launch lets you take things you’re knowledgeable and passionate about and turn them into a profitable business.” — Caitlin Skidmore
Turning an online diary into an online business
Caitlin worked at a nonprofit helping families get out of poverty. Every day she heard stories of parents who didn’t have enough money to feed their kids. This made her rethink her priorities and the times when she would say, “I have nothing to wear.”
“Here I was feeling like that, but I had a closet full of clothes. I wanted to be a better steward of what I had.”
She decided to challenge herself and not buy clothes, shoes, or accessories for a full year. And she started a blog to share her experience.
This experiment showed her that she could create 365+ different outfits with the clothes she already had in her wardrobe. Soon, women from all over began asking how they could do the same thing. And Caitlin started to think she could turn this blog into a business.
“My blog started as a diary about my year without shopping. I wanted to turn it into a business, but had no idea how to go about doing that.”
“I never saw myself as an entrepreneurial person”
After two years of blogging, Caitlin had a handful of regular readers. But her deep psychological barriers held her back from turning her blog into something bigger.
For one, she was a perfectionist. She was worried she’d spend too much time “in her head,” getting lost in the details of building a business, and never make any real progress.
On top of that, the thought of having to sell something made her cringe.
“I felt guilty about selling to people because I didn’t want to come across as that weird salesy girl. I was afraid they’d think I didn’t have their best interest in mind.”
“Zero to Launch gave me the roadmap to lay the foundation”
After stumbling across the I Will Teach blog, Caitlin joined the mailing list. At first, she didn’t pay attention to the emails. But once she started opening them, she couldn’t get enough.
“I had Ramit’s emails coming into my inbox for 6 months before I started digging in. And once I did, I couldn’t stop. It was almost like I was addicted. I was waiting for more emails because the results I was getting from the free stuff was great.”
When Zero to Launch opened, she saw her chance to finally learn how to start an online business.
“When I heard about Zero to Launch, I thought, ‘I really need this.’”
Right away, the course made her confident she was on the right track. And the action steps after each module kept her from getting bogged down in her perfectionism.
“It put my mind at ease. I didn’t have to worry about what to do — it guided me through all that. I was focusing on getting things done, and that was huge for me.”
Following the course, Caitlin grew her email list from 0 to 1,400 within 9 months. As this was happening, she went to work creating her first online product.
“I felt awesome”
She was shocked at how simple the process was.
“I felt awesome — amazing — creating my first product. I found myself thinking, ‘Oh, that wasn’t that hard, now what else can I tackle?’”
But launching her first course was just the beginning. Now that she understood the process, she could do it again and again to create more streams of income.
“Creating my first product was invaluable because now I know how to do that. And I’ve created a second product and am in the process of creating a third and maybe a fourth this year.”
“The value in Zero to Launch goes on and on and on”
After starting her business on the side, Caitlin earned an extra $5,000 the first year, $10,000 the second year, and then $30,000 the third year.
She’s booked a dozen speaking engagements while simultaneously raising her rates 1,000% per appearance. She’s also written fashion columns for magazines, and even offers personal coaching and house parties.
“My business allows me to have a presence and expert status that opens the door to speaking engagements and one-on-ones I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
But more important to Caitlin is the impact she’s made.
“What this business is really about for me is serving and loving women well. I’m so blessed to be able to do this.”
After building her first business, she enjoyed the process so much she’s doing it all over again.
“I have a side project that I may turn into another business. So I’m going to go back through Zero to Launch using that idea, and it has the potential to be even bigger than my current business.”
Hear Caitlin’s full story — in her own words
In March 2016, we invited Caitlin into our studio to share her full story. Check out the video below to learn:
- Why the set-your-own-pace style of Zero to Launch helped her stay productive and on track to create top-shelf material (2:43)
- Exactly what she did to find out what course her audience was desperate for her to create (all it took was one automated email) (5:25)