I love the freedom of working for myself! Freedom has always been something that is SO important to me, and the notion of a 9-5 and having to ask permission to take a vacation – well, it never sat well with me! - Alison Andrews, SBI! member since 2009

A Solopreneur Earns Amazingly Good Money from Las Vegas… Without Gambling

Entrepreneur Spotlight: No, You Don’t Need a 9to5 Job To Live Happy and Earn Good Money (An SBI! Success Story)By Svetlana Rubejov, lasvegas-entertainment-guide.com

Tell us about your website, www.lasvegas-entertainment-guide.com? When and why did you start your site?

I started Las Vegas Entertainment Guide in May 2012. Before that I had another website, also with SBI, which was doing pretty well right until it was demolished by Penguin – the major Google algorithm change that destroyed many online businesses. When I started my Vegas website, I already had a taste of what it might be like to be an online entrepreneur, because my first website just started to bring in some money, when it was destroyed by Penguin. It took me about two weeks to come out of the shock, digest what happened, understand the mistakes I made that led to the loss of my first website. I had a choice – to start looking for a job, or to create a new website.

I decided to start with a clean slate and build a new, better website. It had to be a travel website, because travel and learning about new places is my passion. So two weeks after the Penguin shock I decided – it’s going to be Las Vegas – one of the most exciting cities in the world. I am grateful to my understanding husband, who believed in me and agreed to support me financially for another year, despite my first failure. I asked him to give me one year. We tightened our belts, and exactly one year later I started reaping the benefits of my hard work.

What do you enjoy most about being an online business owner?

Really the VERY best thing about being an online business owner for me is all the free time I can have with my kids when they come home from school. I take them to various sports and arts activities every day, and even tutor them in subjects they love and don’t get enough of at school. My weekends are devoted almost exclusively to my husband and kids, as my chores are done as soon as they come up, instead of spending weekends doing them.

I love the flexibility about the time I can devote to my website, and all the free time I can have whenever I want. I have always been open to spontaneously getting up and going somewhere – a new attraction, a movie, a cottage, another city. But now I don’t even have to think about it. I feel sorry for my friends who have to decide if they should stay home and catch up on the chores rather than go camping with their kids for 3 days.

I love to be a solopreneur. I hire freelancers to do some work, but I am in control of all the content and other aspects of my website. I love the interaction with the affiliate managers and Las Vegas business owners who want to be featured on my website. It’s so different from having a “boss” who tells you what to do, or even being a “boss” – it’s a partnership, beneficial to both sides.

I also enjoy my “commute” to work – it takes me about 30 seconds to travel from the kitchen with a new cup of coffee to my “office” that consists of a coffee table, a reclining loveseat and a Macbook.

I can also occasionally sneak a peak of a few episodes of “Friends” on my TV connected to Netflix, while working on mechanical tasks, such as cropping images, or copying text. Can you imagine an office where you can watch a sitcom while sitting in a loveseat and working? Well, that’s my office, and my efficiency is as high as it gets!

So far, what has been the biggest challenge for you?

Other than experiencing a major failure with my first website and having to start again, I really can’t think of very big challenges. It was difficult to build a new website at first. I was working 12-16 hours a day. It was like walking blindly through a dark tunnel,  knowing that there is a light at the end.  Now that I can bask in the light. All the small difficulties I had in the beginning of my journey seem unimportant. But I know that for my friends who were also building an SBI website the biggest challenge was to just keep walking, without seeing the light. Because the benefits don’t come right away, it can be hard to just keep working.

Why did you choose SBI! to build your website / online business?

I stumbled upon SBI while researching how to build a website for a translation agency I had just started. I didn’t want to go back to work after maternity leave, and since I was a freelance translator before, I thought a translation agency would be a great idea for a business. It just so happened that I read Tim Ferriss’s book “Four Hour Workweek” and at the same time read about SBI from Steve Pavlina’s blog – and I had an eye-opening experience.

Although I did have a few “jobs,” for the most part of my life I was a freelance translator and enjoyed the freedom it gave me. The idea that I could automate my income and make money when I sleep instead of when I work resonated strongly with me. This was the first time I heard about an online business. As I do not believe in “get rich quick” schemes, I was happy that SBI talked about the hard work and the time that goes into building an online business. They also made it clear that the benefits will come only later, and the amount of your success depends on you.

I had no idea about online businesses before that, and I decided to give it a try, since I wasn’t going back to work anyway. My translation agency was abandoned within a few months, and I concentrated fully on my first website.

While reading and watching the SBI Action Guide, I was completely convinced of my ability to build a profitable website.  Some so called SEO gurus taught how to promote a website fast by tricking search engines; but SBI offered exactly the opposite – how to give people exactly what they are looking for. Still, I fell victim to the SEO gurus with my first website, and suffered a Penguin blow. Which I am actually grateful for, because I learned a lot from my mistakes, and with my second website I followed the Action Guide with almost religious rigour.

With the rise of mobile traffic, what steps have you done to give your visitors the best experience on their smart phones and tablets?

With an online business, you have to always keep pace with the development of new technology and computers. If computers offer its users a better experience, so must a website. We’ve all seen simplistic websites, abandoned by their owners. They might have been the craze of the day some time in 1998 – but now they don’t look that good, and you wouldn’t want to hang out on them long, right? So in October 2014, I realized that my website does not look good anymore. I debated for some time the benefits of “mobile website” vs. “responsive design.”

While SBI BlockBuilder users could optimize their website for mobile visitors with a push of a button my Las Vegas website was built using an HTML template. So I decided to order a responsive template from the SiteSell Professionals. The new design was my brainchild, fulfilled and improved upon by a great SiteSell design coach. I am happy with it, maybe for another few years until technology prepares a new surprise.

But the best thing is that my website traffic almost doubled as soon as I moved most of my pages to the new responsive template, probably thanks to those mobile visitors I was missing on until then. Now about 40% of my visitors come from mobile phones, and my mobile sales are pretty close to that number!

Editor’s Note: Svetlana refers to SBI!’s drag-and-drop site builder BlockBuilder 2. Every SBI! site built with BlockBuilder 2 can be optimized for mobile devices with just a few clicks via an integrated module called Mobilize It!. SBIers who upload their own HTML, like Svetlana does, have the option to switch to a responsive template. If you don’t have the design skills to do that yourself, you can outsource the task to the SiteSell Professionals.

Has your life changed since you started your site? Can you describe these changes for us?

My life changed so much, and I changed a lot too. While Tim Ferriss’s book was a revelation for me that one doesn’t really need to have a “career” to enjoy life, SBI was the tool that helped me fulfill what that book promised. If I wanted to stop where I am now, I could actually work exactly 4 hours a week and maintain a comfortable income level and lifestyle. But as I am a workaholic, I don’t stop here.

I was born in the former USSR, and as a child I was brainwashed that one must have a good job from 9 to 5 and go up the career ladder in order to be happy, and it can’t be any other way. Now I think of life as an opportunity to create, develop new businesses and earn money – and to be able to enjoy life at the same time. And you don’t need to work hard, except in the very beginning. I am teaching my 9 year old kid what I learned from SBI – how one can build a good business and have a happy life by simply giving people what they want.

I have to say that my website is very profitable, and I am able to enjoy all the financial benefits that come with a good income. My family moved into a bigger house – big enough to have a few extra rooms where my mom now runs a home child care.

What one piece of advice would you give someone who is just getting started in the online business world?

Assuming that you already decided that you want to be an online entrepreneur, I can give you this simple advice. When you create a new page, imagine that you are the visitor who is looking for information online – and give them everything YOU would want to know about this subject.

When writing a page, do not leave any stones unturned and any potential questions unanswered – give people the information they want, and then some more. Then your website will be useful and will bring traffic and income.

Editor’s Note: Wow, what a story, Svetlana. Thanks for sharing your SBI! review with our readers. You are an inspiring role model for what you can achieve when you refuse to give up, despite major setbacks. And this doesn’t just apply to the financial rewards, but also to your growth as a person.

 

Are YOU ready to stop dreaming and start building your own success story? SBI! provides all the tools and guidance you need.

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Learn From More High-Traffic, Profitable Solopreneurs

  • Recent Success Stories With Takeaway Lessons. Read more recent inspiring stories from our blog. They deliver useful ideas and takeaway lessons from folks who’ve “done it and won it.” If they can do it, you can, too!
  • Multi-Year SBI! Reviews. We take a deep-dive into the long term, full business stories of several different types of solopreneur successes. They periodically update their progress so you can see how they and their businesses grow over a period of years. This gives you excellent insight into what solopreneurs can accomplish with real online businesses.
  • Hundreds of the “Top 0.5%.” Every one of these SBI! businesses (hundreds of them) rank in the top 1 million active websites (out of approximately 200 million!). That’s all the more impressive because 1) we are such a small community and 2) many Top 0.5% sites are mid-sized or large companies.

Solopreneurs fail at astronomical rates. SBI! makes you 100x more likely to succeed (that’s not a typo!). It will never be easy, but we do make it way more doable.

Scan the wide variety of solopreneurs who are winning in real niches. Use it to get a feeling for what SBIers do, as well as to generate ideas. What do you know? Turn it into a business.

Svetlana Rubejov
Svetlana Rubejov is a proud online business owner, and the author behind www.lasvegas-entertainment-guide.com. Born in the USSR, she lived in and traveled to many countries, while working as a translator and interpreter. Now she lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with her parents, husband and two sons. She has created her perfect life thanks to SBI. Her biggest problem right now is the difficulty to explain to new people she meets why she doesn't have a J.O.B.

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