I’m back with Growthfunda Growth Stories Series (GGSS)- it’s an interview series of individuals who have grown from 0 to hero by building a business and done something apart from the day job to live FREEDOM lifestyle.
This time I got a chance to interview Liz Huber: high-performance, mindset, productivity coach, entrepreneur and founder of Refinedlife.io
As a high-performance coach, Liz helps individuals to achieve their goals with clarity, confidence, focus and helps to overcome a lack of focus, fear, and self-doubt. As a result, her clients are able to confidently achieve their goals by prioritizing what is truly important and streamlining everything else. She works with startup founders, entrepreneurs, individuals from all over the world and offers 1-on-1 coaching, online training programs, and live workshops. Liz regularly contributing awesome articles on a big platform like Medium.com, Quora.com and on her own blog RefinedLife.io.
I got to know about Liz via Medium.com.During one coaching call with her, She helped me to get clarity on my goals, and help me to reduce the lots of clutter from To-Do.
If you are a very busy entrepreneur, blogger, marketer, student, etc or normal guys who are struggling with lots of To-Do, lack of focus, fear, self-doubt, confidence and unclear goals then this Growth Story of Liz Huber is the best solution for your problems.
In this Growth Story, Liza reveals how she started side business based on passion while working into a full-time job, the challenges she faced, the productivity hacks and many more things.
Let’s start this interview and read more about Liz growth story.
Interview With Liz Huber: Founder of RefinedLife.io
1. Can you please introduce yourself to Growthfunda readers?
Hi, I am Liz Huber, High-Performance & Productivity Coach, and the Founder of Refined Life.
What I do is very simple: I help entrepreneurs and their teams achieve their top goals.
For example, I help them get clear on the key objectives and focus for the company and themselves and work with them to develop a high-impact strategy to achieve these goals.
After gaining clarity about what is really important, I help them stay focused and consistent in their efforts by creating the necessary accountability and help them to manage their time, energy and focus effectively.
Sometimes that involves streamlining other areas of their life and business first to carve out time for what really matters, as well as instilling the necessary self-belief and confidence to make it happen.
My mission is to help entrepreneurs achieve more with less stress by working smarter instead of harder, increase their income and impact by getting the right things done and have more time for what really matters in their life.
2. Can you share the story behind Refinedlife.io? How did it all start? What exactly Refinedlife.io?
Refined Life is a coaching and education company that offers 1-on-1 coaching for entrepreneurs, ebooks, online courses and workshops for companies and individuals.
On top, we offer a blog and a free weekly newsletter to help entrepreneurs around the world achieve their goals, upgrade their mindset and get the right things done.
Refined Life came to life after I had worked for 6+ years in various startups all over the world (Vienna, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur) and my desire to start something on my own had grown to the point that I just couldn’t continue working for someone else.
I needed to do my own thing! But I didn’t want to start a classic startup where I would need a team and lots of funding from external investors – instead, I wanted to build a business that fit the lifestyle that I desired: working from wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted and on whatever I wanted.
I started Refined Life as a side business based on my passion: self-improvement, and particularly productivity. And after about a year, I took the leap and quit my job to pursue my dream full-time! And I never looked back 🙂
3. Why did you choose to blog on Productivity as a niche?
Because it has always been my natural passion and strength. As an Austrian, I have a very “German” mindset which gives me the advantage of having a very analytical, structured and clear way of thinking. Over the years, I have perfected my own productivity system and became the productivity & planning go-to person for friends, family, and colleagues.
When I started my blog, I knew it would be so much easier to write about something I already knew and was good at – so I chose productivity.
4. What motivated you to start Refinedlife.io & being a solo founder, how do you keep yourself motivated?
I actually love working by myself and don’t necessarily need a team to keep myself motivated on a daily basis. I thrive when it is just me and my laptop and lots of undisturbed working time with great music.
Also, when you do what you love, you naturally feel pumped to work on your business every minute of every day – it becomes more of a passion rather than work. Thus, on a daily basis, the most important things I do to keep myself motivated are very basic: sleep enough (for me that’s 8 hrs), eat well (regular, fresh and healthy meals with lots of lean protein and greens), take enough breaks and work out. If my body is at it’s best, I can go 100%. If I am tired and over-worked, my motivation naturally drops.
But of course, the first few years of starting a business are very hard due to the constant ups and downs, financial worries and constantly wondering “will this ever work out?!” – that’s where a lot of demotivation and sometimes even hopelessness comes from.
What helps with this is having a great support network (my partner is an entrepreneur himself so he constantly encourages me + I work with a coach myself) and sticking to a regular routine. Even if I feel demotivated and like my business is not going anywhere, I still stick to my weekly targets like publishing a blog post a week, posting on social media, etc.
Moreover, I do a lot of mindset work: I use journaling as a powerful tool to uncover my subconscious thoughts and find out what is really going on so I can change it. I do daily visualization of my dreams and goals to connect with my vision and the feeling it brings me. And I make sure that the input I consume (podcasts, TV, books, etc.) is uplifting and inspiring!
5. How are you running your blog as a business? Any process?
For me, my blog is more a marketing tool than a business in itself. I use my blog articles to consistently provide value to my audience and showcase my expertise in the areas I am coaching my clients on. This allows me to build trust with my audience and become their go-to person for all things productivity – which means they are more likely to buy from me when I offer ebooks, courses, and coaching.
However, I also earn some money by posting my articles on Medium.com. They have a partner program where you can earn money based on the engagement and popularity of your blog articles.
6. As an online business how much is your approximate traffic, revenue & sources of monetization?
I don’t have a lot of traffic to my website (around 500 people per month), but this actually does not matter as much for the revenue in my business since I don’t monetize my blog directly with ads or anything.
I have built a very profitable coaching practice with a relatively small email list (around 1K subscribers) because it matters more to me to get quality people to read my articles and sign-up to my email list. Anything I sell either comes from my email list or through “offline” channels like referrals and networking.
My biggest traffic and the sign-up driver has been Medium. Right now I have around 3K followers (again, not a crazy number) but it is the right people that read my stuff.
7. What does your average day look like? Can you share a few productivity hacks for our readers?
During the week I get up very consistently at 7:00 am. I have tried to get up earlier but it just doesn’t work for me because I really need a full 8 hrs of sleep to be my best. If I get less sleep, I am so much more unproductive. So I gave up on the idea of becoming a 5:00 am person 😉
I start my day with a morning routine that lasts about 1 hour: first, I read for about 30 min – usually a book about mindset or business. Right now I am reading “The Big Leap” which is about removing the mental blocks that keep us from achieving extraordinary success.
After reading, I connect with my goals and vision for my life by visualizing my dreams come true. I then think of 3 things I am grateful for and say my affirmations before getting to my laptop to plan my day and reply to emails. I have set a clear time limit to reply to emails and messages (usually 30 min) so it doesn’t take up my entire day and I can focus on the most important projects for the day.
I work mostly from home which I have found to work best for me in keeping my focus on what is really important – traveling too much during the day or being surrounded by a lot of people tends to make me less focused.
After emails, I usually have a protein-rich breakfast like an omelet with some greens. I try to avoid refined carbs and sugar in the morning as it makes me very tired and unfocused at work.
I then focus the next 3 – 4 hrs (until lunch) on my most important task for the day.
On Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays this means coaching my clients and the rest of the week, I focus on writing content for my blog and social media or work on strategic projects as a new product or marketing strategy. After a balanced lunch meal (complex carbs, greens, and protein to avoid energy crashes in the afternoon), I usually spend the afternoon on less intense work like meetings, connecting with my audience on social media.
On my coaching days, I work out in the morning so I can focus on my clients for the rest of the day – but on the other days, I like to work out in the afternoon because it is a great way to take a break when my brain is exhausted anyway.
I like my workouts uncomplicated and effective which is why I love working out at home with online classes from Blogilates and Alomoves so I don’t waste time going to the gym and back. When I do cardio, I love combining my workout with learning something new – so I listen to podcasts or audio books (I have a Scribd membership).
Being a productivity geek, I have a clear system for how I spend my evenings: Mondays and Wednesdays I work late to coach my clients, Tuesdays I usually read about productivity and do research for a new blog post and Thursdays and Fridays I usually go to a networking event or meet people. But whatever I do, I sleep by 11:00 pm the latest after practicing gratitude and doing a visualization again.
Even though the great thing about being an entrepreneur is having so much freedom in how you are spending your time, I have found it works best for me to operate in a more traditional rhythm: I focus on work Monday to Friday so I can take things slow on the weekend. Usually, I do end up working on Saturdays – but in a more relaxed manner (in a coffee shop!) and on projects I really love (I try to keep weekends free from “I have to do this!”).
I also spend about an hour to plan the upcoming week by setting clear goals, time-blocking deep work sessions, and planning events and meet-ups. And finally, Sundays are for lovers! I love to not plan anything on Sundays so I can spend it with my partner and take the day as it comes – we love to have breakfast in bed, go to the cinema during the day, do bike rides in the city and go for Sunday Roast and a walk in the park when we are in London.
8. What challenges\roadblock you’ve faced initially during your blogging\online business journey?
Soo many! But mostly:
- Lack of Focus: not focusing on one project at a time and trying to do everything at once which led to not getting ANYWHERE! So what I learned is this: Success happens sequentially, not simultaneously. And even though you need to experiment a lot as an entrepreneur to find out what works, you need to do it ONE thing at a time. Reading “The ONE Thing” has helped a lot with this!
- Self-Doubt: constantly feeling I am not good enough and that this will never work out. Feeling like an impostor the entire time. I am still not over this, but doing a lot of mindset work and working through my own self-limiting beliefs has helped a lot.
- Lack of patience: Not focusing on the journey and wanting everything to work out really fast. And thus, always feeling I am not doing enough and I am “behind”. But I realized: building a business just takes time. There is no fast track to success, you gotta enjoy the journey.
9. You have been writing so much across different platforms like Medium, Quora so what is your content creation process and how do you manage it?
I have created a Master MindMap of my entire content as the basis for planning my content across platforms.
This MindMap is like an overview of everything I could write about regarding my niche. From there, I usually plan my blog article for 12 weeks – I am writing 1 article per week on a topic from my MindMap. Every week, before I sit down to write, I spend about 2 hours to research the topic deeply by reading books, other articles and gathering ideas. I also design the article structure and brainstorm different headlines.
On the day I write the article, I just sit down to write because everything is already in my head. When I am done, I edit my article with Grammarly and publish it on Medium, LinkedIn and my own blog.
Once a week, I repurpose the content of my article to create Quora posts, my weekly newsletter, and social media posts for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The article is the core piece of content and from there, I can re-use the content in multiple formats depending on the channel.
10. What are your goals for the future, and how do you plan to accomplish them?
For 2019, I plan on expanding my passive income streams further by creating more e-books and online courses. This will be a challenge for me because right now my week is fully booked up with coaching clients and creating content.
Smart time management will thus be essential for me. Also, I will need to say “no” to some clients to not over-book myself during the week. I will also need to do working sessions on Saturdays to make enough progress on my passive income products. Time management, self-discipline, strong habits, and crystal clear focus will be essential in achieving my goals.
11. What’s your advice for Growthfunda readers who are just starting out?
Start your business on the side while you still work in your job. This will make it easier for you to actually get started because it is not as scary as quitting your job to become an entrepreneur. Also, it will test you in your entrepreneurial abilities and you will find out whether you really want it. I wrote more about it here.
Also: focus, focus, focus! Do ONE thing at a time. Just ONE niche.
If you are trying to catch two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Read “The One Thing”.
12. What are the top 5 software tools that you can’t live without?
- Amazing Marvin Complete productivity tool which includes to-do list, daily schedule and lots of other great productivity features.
- Streaks for tracking habits.
- Toggl for tracking and analyzing how I spend my working time.
- Franz for integrating all communication tools into one.
- Evernote for everything.
13. How can we get in touch with you?
I’d love to hear from Growthfunda readers! Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also keep in touch with me on Instagram @refinedliz and sign-up to my email list to get the free weekly digest of my best content.