Hey hey! My name is Lynn Coffey and this is my personal story of how a website took me from section 8 (government assisted housing) to 6-figures.
I can’t believe I just typed that. I sound so douchey.
But it’s an important part of my story because I want you to know that I’ve been there and done that. So know my story is coming from a good heart and not an egocentric place, mmmkay?
My website changed my life.
If a website can do that for me, and if a website can grow my client’s businesses… then it can do the same for you.
Before we start there are 3 things I want you to know about me…
- I LOVE my clients and will do almost anything to help them succeed – even when it’s not website related.
- I’m weirdly passionate about websites being used the right way and can talk about that topic forever (my wife loves when I talk for hours about business and marketing and leads <– total sarcasm!)
- My clients see results.
Here’s How My Clients Describe Me…
(this was super fun to receive and my heart melted a little!)
A LITTLE ABOUT ME…
My beginnings are quite humble (and interesting). My family was solidly lower income. My grandmother literally grew up inside of a tent with her 11 siblings (it was a used army tent). She moved up in the world when she (and my grandfather) moved into a 1969 trailer – to which she lived in until she died in 2008. Here’s a current picture of their house.
The roof was literally falling in over her bed. You could see the old insulation literally coming through the roof – and it was filled with mold. To make matters worse, the floor under the bed was rotted out and the bed was starting to fall through.
No one in my family went to college, but they were solid workers. They believed in working hard to earn a decent living. Too bad they never really had enough money or freedom to really enjoy life. They were too busy working and just scraping by. My grandmother passed away having a list of regrets and “should have’s.”
My mom had me when she was just 16 years old. My dad was just 17. They were married 2 years later (photo on the right). They look so young and innocent!
A few years after their marriage they split up and ended up divorcing. It was definitely for the best.
My mom and I lived mostly in section 8 housing developments and trailer parks. Over my childhood years I saw a lot of wild and crazy things.
I’ve been shot at twice. I’ve seen people using drugs, over-dosing on drugs, and dealing drugs. I’ve also seen countless arrests being made for all sorts of things (robbery, domestic disputes, suicide-watch, molestation/rape…). I’ve even had to go into hiding with my family for a week to escape my mom’s lunatic ex-boyfriend.
And by the time I was 20, I had moved 26 times. That’s an average of moving more than once a year.
I have oh so many stories…
Despite all of this, I was a great student and excellent athlete (basketball was my thang!). I won “Student of the Month” awards, was a Student Council representative, volunteered with a local non-profit and much more.
Near the end of 10th grade I decided to pull myself out of public high school and start homeschooling myself. This allowed me to get a full-time job and help my family pay bills.
I decided not to go to college. I knew deep down I wanted to be my own boss and I was scared to death of going into college loan debt. For me at that time… I viewed any debt as a bad thing. And looking back, I had no one around to help me look into scholarships or grants.
I just felt in my gut that if I went to college I could kiss my dreams of running my own business good bye.
So I worked full-time from the age of 16 or 17 until I was 22. I was a barista, a house cleaner, a hotel maid, a waitress, and even a tye-dyer (yes, it’s a real thing!) at a tye-dye manufacturer. I worked as a gym manager, personal trainer, and yoga instructor. I know the in’s and out’s of running a fitness center as well as what it takes to run a group exercise class and keep personal training clients happy.
And I can assure you that almost every single day I dreamed about owning my own business – one that would allow me to be my own boss, set my own schedule, and earn a nice living. I wasn’t looking to make a billion dollars – or even a million. I just wanted to earn a nice living doing what I loved – helping people.
So at the Age of 22 I Took a Leap of Faith and Quit My Job.
You may be thinking, “Oh, how easy for a 22 year old to start her business! She had no kids, no mortgage, and no spouse!” but remember that I had bills, debt and I was a very large financial resource for my family.
And for me… I was leaving behind the world and advice that I was told my whole life: Get a job, keep the job and eventually you’ll work your way up and earn more money. It was very scary and very real for me.
I worked out of a spare bedroom in my mom’s double-wide trailer and “launched” my first business – a website about strength training for women.
Months and months passed by and I was regularly working 12 – 14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Literally. There is no exaggeration there.
I wasn’t seeing much result.
I had made some money, but not nearly enough. Suddenly my goal of working from home and setting my own schedule seemed like a distant dream that was fading more with each passing week.
I was working way more hours for far less money – this wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
My friends would ask me, “Oh, how’s your new business going?” and with half-hearted smile I would look at them and say “Yeah, it’s coming along.” The half-smile and vague answer didn’t fool anyone.
And so for about a year I had been talking about this start-up business but I didn’t know how to crack the code and actually succeed.
Over the years I spent $20,000+ on business courses and classes and I got some good stuff from it – I’m not gonna lie.
I met other business owners, I got a few good tips and tricks, I learned about different companies that could help me with payment processing and customer management.
When I was 22 I even started a mastermind for other women entrepreneurs (it ended up being a gab session with lots of desserts).
I Knew There Had to Be a Smarter Approach
I knew that if I didn’t change something soon I would continue down the rabbit hole of information overload. I had to stop researching. I had to stop reading all of the newsletters that were veiled attempts to pitch me on this product or that service.
What I really needed was a clear, focused and methodical system that I could actually apply to my business.
And So I Did Something Radical
I stopped listening to “marketing gurus”.
I just put myself in the position of my possible new client and tried to figure out what they needed and wanted.
Then I gave it to them.
- I didn’t use slick sales copy. I talked like a real human.
- I didn’t create professional quality videos. I used my webcam and did 1 take only.
- I didn’t drone on and on about my services. Instead I focused on being of service first.
This felt more natural and more “me”.
This Way of Business Worked
Once I learned this approach I quickly discovered that my passion for this type of website marketing was off the charts. Like I said at the start of this page… I’m a weirdo about this topic!
I LOVED talking about websites and how to use them to actually grow from point A to point B.
And I Had Some Real Tangible Results to Prove My Strategy Worked
The strength training site I started grew into a top 1% of all websites globally (according to Alexa.com – now owned by Amazon). Think about that… a top 1% of all websites in the world!
I Could Now:
- get traffic
- connect with possible new clients
- grow an email list
- make sales
I decided to pursue a second business. This one was building websites and doing SEO work for fitness business owners. I wanted to teach others what was now second nature to me: use a website to connect with possible clients in a real way and profit from it.
This Business Grew Quickly
I was invited to guest speak at business building conferences around the world. I was interviewed by the SBDC (Small Business Development Council) and asked to become a regular contributor to their newsletter. I became an instructor teaching others how to build their own businesses with an emphasis on utilizing the website to drive progress.
And most importantly I had a steady-stream of new clients coming in mostly from referrals. What a wonderful testament of my services and client support.
All of this success also had a dramatic impact on my personal life. I became debt-free. I bought my own house (mortgage free). I paid cash for my car (I’m not posh or fancy – it was just a Prius V).
I traveled for pleasure all the time. Italy, France, Ireland, Turkey, Jamaica, Honduras, Hawaii, Alaska, Belize… you name it… I’ve probably been there.
Today, I’m married and have 3 beautiful kids. I live in Ithaca, NY which is one of the Finger Lakes.
We have lots of trees, gorges, and organic stuff 🙂
I feel like the luckiest person alive.
I’m Asking You to Make a Decision Now…
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This isn’t your normal boring newsletter.
I share bite-sized lessons that you can actually use to grow your business in a natural way. I share tactics and strategies and even some fun personal stories that let you peek into my life and my journey in starting and growing my business.
You can easily unsubscribe at any time if you feel like you’re not getting real, usable, action-oriented tips that you can easily apply to your website and business.
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Looking forward to sharing all I can with you!