My friends always joke that I did the ‘Eat Pray Love’ Approach to live the Laptop Lifestyle, which I would say is pretty spot on with how my whole entrepreneurial journey unfolded. You see, in Jan 2020 I found myself with a bright pink suitcase in hand, a broken heart, and a one-way ticket to Bali.
How did I get here, you ask?
Well, I had just ended a long-term relationship after finding out that the guy I had moved 3,000 miles + quit my corporate job for, had in fact been cheating on me… Yup, it was a lovely Christmas gift. So after being a complete zombie for days and balling my eyes out on my sisters bathroom floor, she finally said to me “ Shannon, why don’t you just book that dang flight to Bali”
You see, ever since my senior year of college when I had come across a FB ad of two women who were living the laptop lifestyle, traveling around Bali, & running their own online business – I had wanted to do the same.
So at that moment, I made the decision that I was going to FINALLY put my own dreams first and I booked a one-way ticket to Bali. I boarded the plane with bright pink puffy eyes, and a broken heart, & I blasted Lizzo the entire 22hr flight just to get me through it.
I had only planned to stay in Bali for about a month or two at most, figure out what kind of online business I wanted to launch, and experience the digital nomad lifestyle for a change…. BUT as you know a worldwide pandemic occurred.
Thousands of tourists started to flee the island and I was one of a handful of tourists that actually decided to stay. I made an emergency visa run at 1am and got back into the country right before Indonesia closed its borders. To this day, staying was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Now, to back up a bit, I had previously worked for an Instagram Marketing Company out of college. It was the job that made me realize just how powerful social media marketing could be for business owners when used strategically. I ended up giving hundreds of Instagram consultations per month to business owners from real estate agents, to coaches, to wedding photographers, swimwear brands, to everything in between.
And throughout the position, I quickly realized two things:
- Posting pretty pictures was not a “strategy”
- That most of these business owners were focusing their time + energy on building up their businesses that they completely neglected to build their brands. AKA the key reason why they were blending into the noise and not seeing results.
I started by giving away free Instagram consultations to small business owners (yes, FREE) to build up my social proof, collect testimonials, & gain the trust of my audience. From there, I pivoted my business a bunch of times but eventually niched down to help wedding creatives + other social media managers monetize their brands via Instagram.
2 years later I am still based in Bali, growing a business + podcast that I LOVE, working with clients whom I adore, & scootering through rice fields with a huge smile on my face. Let this be a reminder to you that you can turn an event that you think will absolutely crush you, into something that changes the trajectory of your life for the better. Because the truth is, that Christmas “gift” was truly the worst and best thing to ever happen to me. It was the kick in the butt that I needed to wholeheartedly pursue my own dreams, put myself first, & stop letting my own fear get in the way.
My hope for you is after reading my story, that it gives you the motivation to take the reins of your own life, to pursue your own dreams, & to take advantage of the doors social media marketing can open for you. Cause gosh, it has opened a ton of doors for me.