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Case Study: Online Business - Life Coaching & Digital Products

Free Spirit Unleashed Cherry Sewell

Interviewee Name: Cherry Sewell

Interviewee Business Name:Free Spirit Unleashed

Online or offline business: Online

Products and/or Services Offered: Coaching/Digital Products

Can you tell me about your background and where you come from? Did you/do you still have a regular job?

My working background is in corporate sales. 

I was born in the UK but grew up in Africa and then, after a short time in Europe/UK, emigrated to Australia just under 30 years ago.

I don't have a regular job any more.

What is the name of your business and can you describe what you do and who you do it for?

I have an online business

Initially coaching, but my long term plan is to have multiple layers of digital products available for sale on my site. 

I have just shifted my niche from helping women with financial issues from a practical, spiritual and mindset point of view, to a more free flowing niche catering for those people who are free spirits but have become stuck in a mundane life because of trying to "fit in" with the status quo. 

It’s based on my journey, where I actually felt ashamed of not having massive ambition and being more interested in new experiences and traveling, walking my dog and exploring how life works than I was in amassing wealth and having a "good" job.

I know how soul destroying it is when you try to fit yourself into a role that hides who you are and what you’re here to express

Why did you start your business?

I wanted to be independent, and I wanted to have a business I could run from anywhere.  I also had a burning desire to help other people see the lies they’ve been told about how they should live their lives. 

Having spent years in corporate myself, I saw how people sold out simply because of the fear they felt if they actually did what they wanted to do.

People were just surviving until their retirement age – some of these people were only in their early 40’s… or even their 30’s. 

Where did your idea come from?

From my own journey, from what I’ve learnt myself and what I’m still learning about being a free spirit in a world that wants to control us and have us all be the same.

Who or what inspired you?

To start this business I was inspired by various bloggers, starting off with a guy I work with now called Yaro Starak. 

He had what he calls the laptop lifestyle – and he helps others do the same… so the style of business came from that. 

What I stand for and what I help others with really came from my own experience and that of some kindred spirits I know. 

We broke free from the ‘norm’ and did our own thing. 

Then of course there are the guys who everyone knows – my biggest well-known hero being Richard Branson – I love that guy! 

But my biggest inspiration as far as living life to the full and not letting outward experiences determine your life was my father who always taught me – take a chance, win a prize…  he was a free spirit himself. 

It will all work out OK Cherry, you’ll see, he used to say to me 

What training or development did you undertake in order to start your business?

None.  I have done some coach training, but I have my own intuitive style that isn’t really taught in coach training courses. 

It’s hard to explain, but when I’m actually tuned into someone I get an amazing amount of information about what I should ask them, where I should guide them and what it is that they’re seeking, even if they don’t tell me.

How much money did you need to start off your business and where did it come from?

I started off with no money.  I had another business that supported me starting this one – but basically I started it on a shoestring! 

It’s meant that it’s taken longer, but it’s been an amazing journey so far. 

Entrepreneurship would have to be one of the best personal development experiences you can have!

How do you make money now with your business?

It’s still early days, so mostly coaching and I run a 4 week workshop (that I’m just updating right now) every couple of months or so. 

In the meantime I’m creating more digital products so I can leverage my time.

I love the personal interaction, but the reality is I don’t want to rely on trading time for money as I want to be able to travel and take time off regularly.

How did you actually start your business in 10 steps or less?

I learnt about this idea of making money from what you love or what you know.  

I did some research and found a system that takes care of all the technical stuff… so I could focus on the creative side (finding my niche and writing lots of content for a content rich website). 

I just kept adding things to that.

Such as an opt-in form on that site (when it had enough pages) and something to give away so I could build a list. 

Then I got into Social Media – I chose Facebook and Pinterest for now. 

Then I started running a free webinar and finally the workshop and coaching 

I just added new things all the time as I got more comfortable with the other things I had to do I could add new things I had to learn about.

It’s an ongoing journey – I’m constantly tweaking and shifting what I do and how I do it… I think it’s important to be fluid with it, if something you thought was brilliant a year ago starts to feel stale – change it!

What obstacles did you face when you started your business and how did you overcome them?

The time factor - I didn’t realise how long it would take me.

Money – I have had to do it on very little money. 

Really the only thing I have done to overcome any of these things is just put one foot in front of the other, not give up and look inside myself when things just didn’t feel right.  I believe in living in the flow – slowing down to speed up. 

So when I feel resistance I look inside and wait for an answer to the question – what is it I need to look at.  What am I resisting – should I change direction, or is there another way to shift this?  

I find that the answers for everything, including business, are always within.

Sometimes you have to wait for the answer though, so it’s just about going with the flow and waiting until you know what the next step is.

What are some of the things you found most useful in getting your business off the ground and why?

 Coaching.  I have found that having a coach is the best way forward. 

Seriously, every time I have made a quantum leap has been when  I’ve been working with a coach. 

Also being real with myself about what I want. 

Often we look at others and think we want what they have – but when we go after that we really aren’t inspired.  

To get a business off the ground you need to love what you do

You need to be inspired and if you’re not – then you’re doing the wrong thing, or you’re doing it the wrong way.

Looking inside for the answers and not comparing myself. 

Not always chasing the next shiny object… you need to find YOUR way and YOUR passion – and not pay attention to what everyone else is doing.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking for an idea to start a business. How would you suggest they go about it?

I would say a lot of what I’ve said above. 

The answers are inside you

Rather than rushing of and getting busy, instead get quiet and listen for guidance. 

Whatever you feel called to do, explore that, play with it, don’t make it so serious and give it plenty of time.

You may get a business going in 6 months and start earning money from it.  Or it may take 5 years.

That’s why you HAVE to love what you do, there has to be that feeling of, I would do this even if I didn’t make money from it.  Because otherwise it will just become another job.

It took me a few years to really hone my niche, to really tap into what it is I am here to share… but luckily I didn’t give up and now I’m so glad I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

 Is there anything else you would like to say that is not covered by the questions above?

Really just that life doesn’t have to be difficult

We make it that way, we get sucked into drama and we listen to all the horror stories.  Don’t do that.

The universe will always provide for you if you’re following your heart, even if you have no idea what you’re doing, just take the next step that you feel called to take, no matter how tiny and insignificant it may seem… and then take another one.

Give yourself plenty of time, and honour your own path… be true to who you really are.

Being authentic is the most attractive qualities you can have in business as far as I’m concerned.

How can people find out more about you?

I have my website called free spirit unleashed

You can also find me on Social Media  - Pinterest & Facebook