Tabitha Philen is the founder of Inspired Bloggers Network and Inspired Bloggers University. She started blogging just to have a profitable career. She spent hours researching, trying to make money in blogging. Now, she shares free blogging resources with aspiring bloggers across the United States.
In this interview, Tabitha explains why having a frugal mindset doesn't always work in business. You got to invest in knowledge and learning or try to have a formal training to fast-track success. She also shares why she created Inspired Bloggers University and tells us how she balances her life, career and family.
Learn more from Tabitha's insights on how to make money blogging in the following paragraphs. Be sure to give her a shout out on Twitter!
How did you get started as an entrepreneur? When did you first get bit by the entrepreneurial bug?
Growing up in my home, being an “entrepreneur” was equal to “bum.” I would hear my father say, “Your cousin… he wants to be an entrepreneur. I guess he will be living with his parents forever.” So being an entrepreneur was not something I planned. My goal was to write.
When I began blogging and meeting other bloggers, I realized that this was an entrepreneur’s lifestyle. I could make money blogging and teach others to do the same. And… my father was doubtful.
“Come tell me when you make your first $1,000,” he said, and I did. “Well, come tell me when you can make $1,000 a month.” A month later, I called him with the news, “Dad, I didn’t make $1,000 this month. I made $4,000.” He was stumped, and I was certifiably a PROFITABLE entrepreneur.
What does Inspired Bloggers Network do that makes it better than the rest? In other words, what is your competitive advantage and how did you find it?
The Inspired Bloggers Network is a Facebook group with a strong sense of community because our focus is not self promotion but on encouragement and education. As the group has grown, hosting classes within the Facebook group became difficult. That is why I launched Inspired Bloggers University in April 2014.
Together, the community and the website work to provide bloggers with the information needed to grow a profitable blog. While many other communities offer a variety of entrepreneurial insights, our primary focus is blogging and the aspects thereof.
What does a typical day look like for you? Is there something you make a point to do each day?
I’m a mom to four kids, ages 12 and under, so each day starts with “Mommy, I need…” or “Mommy, I want…” Once I get the children fed and to school, I can start my business day. Having and sticking to office hours is essential for me to find the balance between being a wife, mom, and entrepreneur, but there is more to it than just having hours set aside for working.
To stay on track, I have to keep a detailed to-do list and schedule time within my office hours for accomplishing each task.
What is the biggest business mistake that taught you a powerful lesson? Would you mind sharing how it made you the person you are today?
My husband and I were six figures in debt and striving to change our finances by learning to live an extremely frugal lifestyle when I started my own business. This frugal mindset carried over to my business. I was afraid to spend any money and tried to learn everything on my own. I thought I was smart to use YouTube and Google to self-educate but I was actually stifling my success.
Now, I have the opportunity of sharing with others how frugal living almost killed my business and encourage them to make wise investments into their success. From this, I am fortunate to see the bloggers I mentor reach success much quicker than I did.
When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.
I have amazingly successful entrepreneurial friends who give wonderful advice. When I hit a slump, they motivate me to press forward. I make an effort to meet with some of these friends twice a month in a mastermind group and plan my traveling schedule to see others in real life at least once a year.
What trait would you consider made you the best person and professional you are today?
My husband says I have an intense personality. Despite having introverted tendencies, I am super driven, always focused moving forward.
What is the top success tip that you would give anyone starting a business in Alabama?
In any state, you want to be clear about laws and taxes. Trying to cut corners and avoid these mandatory issues will cause subconscious stress and could be problematic in the future.
Are you using any apps that help you stay on track from day-to day?
My favorite app right now is Trello. I have it synced with my gmail, Facebook group, Twitter, Pinterest and more so I can build a to-do list and accomplish tasks from almost anywhere on the internet.
My Chrome homepage is set to open my Trello to-do list so I can drag-and-drop my priorities and be reminded of pressing responsibilities. I also have daily reminders timed to send from Trello to my phone, keeping me on track throughout the day.
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
I could easily place a dollar sign on my goals but chasing money often leaves me frustrated. So, my goals are simple: I want to live a generous lifestyle, supporting my community (both online and offline), while investing more time in my family than I do in my business. To smile more. Laugh often. And treat others with grace.
What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in Alabama today? Where should they start?
Always start with researching your area. Never make assumptions about the zoning or laws. Also, create a complete definition of your ideal client. By understanding who your target is, where they are located, and what their problems are, you can anticipate their needs and create a product that provides a solution.