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Jill Stanton from Screw the Nine to Five on everything from her business journey to her top mindset tips for those starting out... to what's driven her business success.

 

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Jill Stanton is the co-founder with her husband of Screw the Nine to Five, a movement they started to help people quit their jobs. They have a long history of entrepreneurship and their journey is an interesting one to follow for any budding online entrepreneur.
 
 

THE JOURNEY OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS

Both Jill and Josh had their own successful online businesses before they decided to join forces. Jill was running a social media business which she loved to death, but found that she worked long hours in. Josh had a software company which brought in a lot of money, with little work required.

In late 2011 both were feeling a little disenchanted with their own businesses for a variety of reasons, so when Josh suggested to Jill that they should start their own affiliate marketing website, she was all for it. Josh brought his SEO knowledge to the table and Jill’s social media background meant she “saw what worked and kept doing more of it, cut what didn't, and we just rinsed and repeated our process until we had over 30 different affiliate sites.”

Fast forward to Costa Rica to the week of their wedding and the seeds of Screw the Nine to Five were sown. They’re about to move to Thailand after that because there was a big digital nomad scene there. And, as they started talking about that, more people in their lives were like, how are you doing that? What are you? Drug dealers? Like how do you make money? So, the idea of sharing their story and their success began to gather steam.

Thanks to the Costa Rica rum Jill came up with the name Screw the Nine to Five and when the name was available as a domain, they registered it straight away. Whilst they had zero experience with personal branding (as their 30+ affiliate sites never used their names), they used their online knowledge to create content, guest post and build an audience.

But it wasn’t all a bed of roses. They learnt a huge lesson when they launched their first program and didn’t sell a single spot. Jill says “that was like the most pivotal moment in our journey because it really taught us a strong lesson. Start teaching what you know. And, so we did a sharp left turn and we started teaching affiliate marketing."

Since then Jill has seen a full circle with their business, refocusing on affiliate marketing as their main source of income. “I don't want to teach all the things and so I love connecting our audience to the experts who teach specific things like courses or membership sites or webinars or whatever it is. So, I just get to show up and serve and then I connect our audience with the people, products, programs, and services we use, like, and believe in.”

 

 Jill-Stanton-Screw-The-Nine-to-Five

 

MINDSET IS EVERYTHING

Starting a successful online business can be scary, especially with the prospect of inconsistent income. This means that you need to have a strong mindset from the outset to be able to ride the waves. Jill believes 100% that successful entrepreneurs need to work on their beliefs, and in particular their beliefs around money.

“You need to upgrade how you feel and think about money and then truly commit to this path.” Jill highlights that there are 3 levels of desire everyone experiences around money. Identifying which category you fall into and then working on getting to the third stage of commitment is the key to running a successful online business.

        1. Wanting: this is where someone says 'I want to be rich' or 'I want to have a business' or 'I want to be a successful entrepreneur' but they never take the action to make it happen. This leaves them in a perpetual state of wanting, which is the same as not having.
        2. Choosing: this is the next stage. It's when someone wants, then takes a few steps towards having, but when it gets too hard, they're straight out. They can't handle the emotions in dealing with the uncertainty.
        3. Commitment: This is where the successful entrepreneur lives. They will die trying. They are undying on their purpose and will not return to a day job under any circumstances. 

From her experience Jill has seen that successful entrepreneurs have a high level of emotional fitness. They are audacious, risk takers, dream chasers and are all in on everything.

 

TIPS ON STARTING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS

So, knowing all of this about entrepreneurship, the question is whether you should start a business as a side hustle whilst still working a nine to five job, or throw it in and be 100% committed to your new venture.

Whilst Jill believes that the third stage of commitment is an important factor is determining your online success, there is still a human element to the decision as to whether it’s the right time to start a business. It’s a matter of circumstances. “No matter what, you have to have a conversation with the people who are directly affected by this decision of yours and make a judgment call that feels best to you. And, if that looks like you’re side hustling, then that's what you do for a bit.”

Likewise, if you’re thinking of starting an online business, don’t worry about what it looks like right now. Because chances are, in 1, 2 or 5 years’ time, it’s going to look quite different. Successful online entrepreneurs are adaptable, flexible and passionate.

And if you don’t know where to start with an idea, Jill suggests starting with a passion. She says to “start with what really lights you up and if you don't know that yet, start with what you know really well or what you're really good at.”

 

ALIGNMENT AND WHY IT MATTERS

Other than mindset, Jill attributes alignment to the success of their online businesses. Whilst alignment has evolved over time, when what you’re doing no longer feels right, it’s time to switch things up. At the beginning of 2018 Screw the Nine to Five was at the height of its success and yet something didn’t feel quite right for Jill and Josh.

Their thoughts and beliefs stemmed around it being hard work, never enough money, money is hard work, success only comes from hard work. Not healthy beliefs for online entrepreneurs at all!

And then they became parents. As with most people, this was a turning point for Jill. They now had a tiny human to care for, priorities shifted, and time was a scarce commodity. This made them question their long-time successful membership program. They questioned their commitment and future vision for their new life with their son and came to a decision point with their business.

Jill notes that it’s scary once you start questioning what you really want. Ultimately, you’re faced with two choices. One, stay where you are or two, commit to a new version of the life you want to create. This is when they moved back into affiliate marketing as their main source of online business income.

 

PERMISSION

Jill believes that real success happens when you give “yourself the permission to go to bat for the life you want and not being afraid of what people will say or the judgment or the uncertainty or the criticism that might come off the back of that.” That’s where the gold lies.

Life shifts. Your energy shifts. You need to periodically examine where you’re investing in the different parts of your life in order to live the life of your dreams.

Jill’s parting wisdom is not to beat yourself up about these shifts that happen in your life. She used to fret about how she used to be able to handle situations differently and work hard all the time. But that’s not who she wants to be anymore. And that’s ok. Give yourself the grace to lean into what feels right, and your business success will naturally follow.

 

Where has your business journey taken you? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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