I didn’t imagine this 5 years ago. To be fair, I don’t think anyone imagined themselves in the midst of what 2020 has become!
What I mean is, I didn’t imagine myself living in Scotland. With a husband and a little boy. But mostly I didn’t imagine running my own online business!
Living somewhere other than New Zealand I probably could have guessed at. Having a family I probably would have hoped for. Blogging as a job? Yeah… Nah. Me, a businesswoman …what?
My life five years ago was completely different from what it is now. I was living in Australia working a desk job, just like I had done part-time since I was 15 and full-time since I was 22.
Those various occupations were interesting in their own way but none were particularly thrilling. The people were always the best part.
So how did I end up here?
Every time I moved I had to start a new job, and inevitably had to start at the bottom in some administrative role. I was sick of moving and having to find work and never growing my income above entry-level.
I could have chosen to use one of the two degrees I had also slaved over a desk to get and start actually building a career, but my heart was calling for bigger adventures and I didn’t want to be tied down.
Ultimately, by 2015 I’d had enough of desks. I decided it was time to take this whole job situation into my own hands and find a way to transcend international borders to find work.
And what does that? The internet.
I’ve spoken before about how a chance conversation with a friend on a day trip to York introduced me to the idea of “digital nomads” and their ability to make an income online. Something just clicked and that one conversation sparked the desire to find a way to work from wherever I could in the world that I just couldn’t let go of.
You can read more about my journey to this website beginning here, but in short, I was able to develop it as I travelled and taught English abroad, and, by the time I really needed it to, it was generating an income.
In seeking to do something a little different and be governed by myself rather than at the mercy of others for employment, I accidentally made myself into a self-employed businesswoman.
It’s now been 5 years since I made this website live, and 3 years since I (once-again) sort of fell into full-time blogging.
So… HAPPY 5 YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY to me, and to all of you who have supported me along the way!
Five years after starting a website in the hope that it would help me to develop skills to be able to work online for other people, I’ve managed to do the following for myself instead:
- Had over 2 million people view this website
- Been “paid” to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world
- Made amazing blog friends – both online and in-person at events – some of whom I now talk to every day
- Indulged my appetite for always learning something new and finding out so much more about digital marketing, writing, website development, and photography
- Funded my maternity leave
- Enabled my husband to quit his social media marketing job and work on our online business(es) together
- Started a brand new website and brand in the middle of a pandemic that’s already earning money
- Helped other people live out their own travel and living abroad dreams – one of the main things I set out to do right at the beginning
Five years on, without even really meaning to at the start, I’ve managed to find that elusive thing where I actually love what I do AND get paid to do it.
Some of it has been luck. But a lot of it has been hard work and a steep learning curve.
I was so scared to start and I put it off because I didn’t think that it would be possible for me to actually earn an income online from wherever I wanted to be. But I wish I could have told myself…
If you don’t do it, it’ll never happen. But what if you do it, and it does?
It’s with that knowledge that in early 2020 Phil quit his job and graduated from Instagram husband to full-time business partner!
It was a purposeful decision to expand our business, and after much discussion, we thought we had covered all the eventualities and possible things that could go wrong, and given ourselves a buffer.
But what about 2020?
Obviously, 2020 had other ideas.
But you know what? We took what the year had to throw at us and work on a new strategy.
We still started a new part of our business in April 2020. And I’m proud to say it’s thriving and more successful so far than we could have ever hoped for.
The only way I can stay motivated as 2020 still affects the travel industry is to see it as a huge learning curve, possibly the most valuable in the five years I’ve been running my own business.
After one year of blogging, I thought I’d learnt some things, and again after two, but do you know what I’ve learned this year? No matter how prepared you think you are you just never know what will happen. A risk will always be a risk.
But you know what else? It’s still worth it. No matter how it all turns out in the end, taking this chance at freedom and life on our own terms is invaluable.
The most important thing is just to start and see where the path takes you, at least once you’re on it you’ve begun your journey.
Maybe the first idea won’t work out, maybe not even the second. Maybe you’ll have pivoted your business idea 5 times in 6 months. But you’re still doing it. WE’RE still doing it.
While the semi-collapse of the travel industry has had an effect on us, I know we’re going to come out of it stronger. We have big dreams and more importantly, big plans.
We’ve already started to put them into place with our new website Scottish Scran. It’s so exciting to see a whole new site emerging and doing so well. It just shows how far we’ve come and what we’ve learnt along the way!
So I’m celebrating five years of blogging with the knowledge that we never know what’s around the corner, but we can control what we’re doing now.
And what we’re doing now could become more than we ever dreamed of in the future.
If you’ve ever had a thought about starting your own side hustle, or whole business, or whatever. Then it’s never too late. Just start. Take a chance. Don’t worry about what anyone else says and how unattainable it might sound. Start taking the steps.
Don’t let 2020 and all it has to throw at you end your dream before it’s started. I may not have started out with a business mindset. But now I’m more determined than ever to make it work going forward.
Because life’s way too short and too uncertain to not go for it.
So, what’s next for Migrating Miss?
We’re going to carry on living the dream we had for the last few years, running our own business together. There’s still so much we want to do and even if it doesn’t look exactly how we thought it might, it’s still amazing.
2020 was always going to be hard work for us, as we worked to expand beyond Migrating Miss. But it’s been as rewarding as it has been tough, and the strength of our new site shows it.
I have five years in the blogging industry behind me, and Phil has years of working in social media and digital marketing for brands, and we want to combine that knowledge to help others make their dreams happen too.
As well as being a passion and an exciting new project, Scottish Scran has given us a chance to put all our knowledge into use and show what we can do.
Whether it’s starting a website and your own brand or blogging and social media tips for businesses, we have SO much to share and will finally be adding more to the blogging section of the site.
Here’s to the last 5 years, and many more ahead!
Here’s to you, and your awesome support.
And if you’re reading this and thinking about doing something different, about starting your own business or side hustle, here’s to that too.
We’re determined for 2021 to be our best year yet, maybe not what we planned but definitely where we want to be.