At Online Business Lift-Off, we’re passionate about supporting those who can’t work traditional “9 to 5” jobs. Our Online Business Lift-Off program teaches you how to find and validate a business idea and build this out into your very own business. We’re here to guide you through the process of building your website, setting up all the tech necessary, and of course, getting customers coming to you. People taking this course are able to work to their own schedules, be their ‘own boss’, and gain financial independence.
We recently caught up with Zoe, one of the participants from our recent program, to see what her journey has been like through the OBL program and to discuss her business, https://www.surpluseffect.com.
So Zoe, tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
Where do I start! I’m Zoe, and my background is in finance. I started in finance consulting and then worked across advisory and finance brokerage roles. I actually established Aspect Finance Services a long time ago but have also been employed elsewhere, so I’ve taken many breaks from focusing on my own business over the years. As my personal circumstances changed, and time became an issue, I realised I shouldn’t waste my experience and knowledge but instead put them into my own business.
Having worked as part of many projects related to investment and banking over the years, I became more and more determined to develop my own business and not go back and work for someone else. I decided to provide financial coaching services, moving away from the strict licensing requirements of advisory and brokerage work as you have to renew multiple licenses to practice each year and it can be very expensive.
I started thinking I needed to somehow change my business and build a better presence online but I’m not a very technical person, so I needed help in this department. I spent time with freelancers and learnt things through YouTube here and there, but it wasn’t enough, so I was really happy when I found the OBL program online and passed the eligibility criteria! Getting a business online is hard, and it was good to be able to achieve this for myself, but it was also good to do this with a group like the OBL team guiding me through the process.
At Aspect Finance Services, I offer financial coaching services to women who find themselves in transitional phases, mostly those from 35-65 years old who are going through changing circumstances. I find it really important to show people, especially women who have not had financial independence or control of their money before, that it can be done and that they will be okay!
That’s great Zoe! Tell us a bit more about what you were looking for when you found the OBL program?
Firstly, I knew I wanted to pursue my own business instead of working for someone else and I needed some guidance on how to do this. I think that hearing stories over the years of women who have let partners lead the finances, or who feel they’re not as educated as they should be, made me take that next step and go out on my own. I really wanted to help them understand that they are capable, and they should be involved in their finances even if they were in a relationship.
With this idea of who I wanted to serve, I began to understand the bigger picture. I started producing articles and blogs to cater to my prospective customers, and the OBL course helped me build out my website and bring this all together. I’ve also recently finished an e-book too!
I don’t have enough words to describe how much I appreciate being part of the group as I really struggled making the decision on ‘how to get started’. Once I found the OBL course and team, it was like being guided through the ‘big picture’ that was made of smaller puzzles. I could work on each puzzle slowly and gradually, and in the end, I built something fantastic that I’m proud of! Doing things on your own can be daunting and paying someone else can be expensive. However, with OBL, I found the whole team was available any time I needed – Zay, Peter, Ee Zen – and they were always happy to help!
So, for those who don’t know, tell us a bit about the experience during the OBL program.
I was so happy once I passed the eligibility criteria for enrolment. Previously, I’ve found that working online can be lonely, at least when you travel to an office you have people around you, so the way the OBL team runs the program is great. Their concept is amazing. You start in face-to-face workshops and get to know everyone, but once things move online you still have those small group sessions to interact in, which helps the learning process. The confidence I built through the program was nothing like I’d ever experienced before!
Every time I had a dilemma, the team were ready to help and responded straight away. You can tell they really believe in what they do; you feel it in the face-to-face workshops and the feeling continues online too.
Do you have a favourite topic or take away from the course? What did you most enjoy?
I consider myself quite knowledgeable about marketing and finance but talking to other professionals that OBL brought in for classes brought a new world of ideas – new inputs, technical advice, strategies and details. I was very impressed. Traditional marketing is evolving, everyone’s now looking for new opportunities in this changing world so it was great that this was included. I like learning new things and updating my knowledge, so I guess these people naturally made me think in new ways too!
I also enjoyed the feeling of easily reaching out and being able to get support. The whole OBL team has this willingness to help, which really helps you push yourself to get things done. I applied just before the new year and I started on the 16th of January. I’ve finished the training now, but we still have small group sessions open for help as we continue along our journeys. In July, we can decide whether we continue on our journey through membership – I will go this way as I love the support system where I can ‘ask anything’.
If you could share the experience with someone else, what would you say?
I would persuade them to take the course if they were eligible. I think if I saw someone in my shoes, I would definitely recommend taking the OBL course. Procrastination is scary, time can go out the window quicker than you think, and it gets harder and harder to take the next step. Head to a support group like OBL, who have a process in place and can help you create something for yourself.
I’m happy and appreciative of all the team members, and I just want to say thank you again to the whole OBL team!
Thanks for the kind words, Zoe!
The Online Business Lift-Off Program is a great introduction to running a business. We help you build out your idea if you don’t yet have a complete one and take you through all the tools necessary to get your business up and running.
If you’re interested in our program, pop over to our home page and add your name to the list. We'll let you know when we're starting our next program.
Online Business Liftoff
Are you ready to start your own online business?
One last thing before you go...
Like all blog writers, we need readers.
So if you're not on the email list, sign up for our regular notes straight to your Inbox.
Seriously… that's all we want.