You dream of a successful business—whether that means chasing your kids on the playground all day while a team runs operations for you or working 24/7 doing something you absolutely adore.

But how do you get there?

How do you go from the place where you have no idea where to start, to a thriving, successful dream biz with clients lining up for months to come? 

When I started the products + consulting side of my business, I used to think there was some secret I was missing out on. In reality, everyone else just had the benefit of hindsight. Last week, I talked about my journey from baby business to booming download shop, and I want to share a few more "secrets" I've learned with you today. 

Secret #1: Start a Newsletter

Start a newsletter, start a newsletter, start a newsletter. Your instagram fans are there and gone so fast. Your page views cannot be captured. But your newsletter list? You can go back to them over and over again for bigger and better asks. And asks? Asks = dollars. Start a newsletter. It's arguably the one thing I did right since the beginning. 

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Secret #2: Leverage Vertical, Not Horizontal, Collaborations.

Everyone tells you to collaborate, but there are two very different kinds of collaboration. Too often we go for the low-hanging fruit. The horizontal collaboration is our typical styled shoot, our guest post on a friend’s blog, or something that generally feels safe, but we *hope* with all our might, that it may turn into something if only the right bride/client/person saw it at just the right time.

Horizontal collaborations have a place, but usually they're a better fit for strengthening existing relationships and not as helpful for growing your business.

What you need to invest in are vertical collaborations. Horizontal collabs are like whittling some sticks together to try to start a fire. You might get a spark here and there, and one in a million will start a fire. Vertical collaborations are like pouring lighter fluid all over the fire pit and throwing in a match—short-lived but explosive and just the thing you need to start the fire to keep it going.

And if you’re going to have a collaboration worth a hoot, you need to make sure you know what it entails! It’s not a faux-paux to have an agreement in place, particularly where there’s money or resources being spent to build the product of the collaboration, or that will result as a product of the collaboration.

For example, if you’re a photographer, you want everyone to know and agree that they’re not going to share your photos without credit (or else .... <this is what the agreement will specify).

If you’re a doing a webinar, you want to make sure that everyone involved knows you still own the content and graphics in the presentation, and that the profits from any sales pitches at the end are clearly laid out ahead of time. Click here to get a painless and ready-to-go agreement for collaborations, available instantly.

Secret #3: You only have to do one thing a day.

If all you have time, mental space or energy for is one thing that builds your business every day, then DO ONE THING. One thing could be as simple as watching a webinar and soaking up the information, or something as big as setting up your LLC. That’s it. Just one. Not two, not three. One.

Secret #4: Exercise.

Huh? I truly believe it’s impossible to live a balanced life in each day. There are always seasons of busy and seasons of slow. But there don’t have to be seasons of exercise.

Exercise has been proven to increase creative thoughts and stimulate our blood flow for better and faster thoughts. Exercise is also not just a bunch of jumping jacks or joining a class worthy of instructing American Ninja Warrior moves. Exercise is something as simple as stretching in the mornings, going for a midday walk or even gardening.

Do one thing every day that builds your business. And then go for a walk.

What piece of advice would you give someone who's starting out? Share in the comments!

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Statistics show that 97% of you will do absolutely NOTHING after you read this article. Will you be in the #ThreePercentClub? 

 Successful businesses do these 4 things. #creative #entrepreneur