If you’re looking for second career inspiration because you’re ready to switch tracks, and make your mark in a whole new way…
Then you’ll love finding out how one woman turned a pause in her career caused by sickness, into the start of a second career and her own training business.
This is for you if you:
- Have years of experience in a previous industry or marketplace
- Know you’ve got a lot more career runway ahead of you to make the impact you want to make
- Want to share your wisdom, and help others succeed
- Are curious about creating a training business or offering online courses
Let’s take a look at this case study, and get some second career inspiration – shall we?
Use What You’ve Got To Reinvent Your Career
When embarking on a second (or third!) career it can be tempting to throw out all of your past experience to start fresh.
However, it’s much easier to use your past career as a jumping off point. See how a very successful woman did it, and you can too.
Meet Sigrun Gudjonsdottir, an ambitious woman who hails from Iceland and lives part of the year in Switzerland.
Sigrun’s career aspirations first appeared when she was 10 years old, and she worked for her parents’ family business… learning each aspect of the work over the next few years, until she was able to run the company when they went away on vacation.
Sigrun pursued her love of business and computers, and garnered four Masters’ degrees in architecture, computer aided architectural design, computer science and business.
She then rose to the ranks of CEO at a software company, and became the #4 female CEO in Iceland.
In her first career she was a CEO for 10 years, where she worked on turnarounds, mergers, and fast growth small businesses – helping boost employee satisfaction thanks to her love of personal development.
But at this point, Sigrun got sick and she couldn’t work for 7 months. That was a turning point in her career, and she realized that she couldn’t return to work… instead she wanted to start her own business.
At first she didn’t know what her “big business idea” would be, so she started off her second career as a consultant.
After finding out more about the online business space, she decided to embark on sharing her MBA and real-world business knowledge to the online industry.
Today Sigrun has designed a digital training business that helps her prioritize her health and family. Keep reading to find out how she did it!
The Benefits of Starting an Expertise Training Business
Starting any business can feel like a daunting experience, but going with an expertise training business that offers online courses can cut through the uncertainty.
Here are just a few reasons to consider starting a digital training business:
- Start up costs are low, when compared to brick and mortar businesses
- Selling online courses is a great business model for introverts who enjoy working from home
- Plenty of people have already tested what it takes to sell online training, and there are plenty of resources to help you get started
- Once you've created your online courses, you can sell training to companies (and leverage existing connections)
If you want to see more examples of people using online learning to build businesses, check out these membership based case studies for more inspiration.
Building a Second Career Business Around Your Lifestyle Goals By Offering Online Courses
One thing that stands out about Sigrun’s business is her focus on having a location independent career, so she can split her time between her two home countries.
This type of lifestyle business design is something she achieved by leveraging selling digital products and online courses.
Here’s how Sigrun explains it:
“My goal was always to have a scalable business and online courses enable business owners like myself to scale their business and impact more people at the same time.
In the first three years of my business I offered only smaller online courses and a membership site, and then I created a 12-month online program called SOMBA, Sigrun’s Online MBA.
With the creation of SOMBA I now have a signature course that enables me to help thousands of women (and men) create their lifestyle businesses.
After an initial 12-month period SOMBA becomes a monthly membership site.
I still offer smaller online courses so potential SOMBA clients can get to know the framework of the 7 Stages of a Profitable Online Business and can find their true passion and the right business idea.
Ultimately all roads lead to SOMBA and after they’ve finished the SOMBA curriculum they can join one of my Mastermind Programs or my Mastermind Retreat Iceland.”
Making Your Second Career Marketable
One thing that Sigrun did when launching her second career business is to listen to her potential clients and test the market with smaller courses.
She didn’t set out to create her big signature program SOMBA until she had some success under her belt.
Even though she knew she wanted to create a scalable business, she also knew that doing one on one consulting first would help her identify gaps in the marketplace and where she could bring her unique gifts.
That’s the kind of thing you’ll want to do as you explore your second career inspiration, too.
This type of “minimum viable product” testing helps you earn some money along the way, so you can also re-invest into your business foundation, marketing, and tech systems.
That’s exactly what Sigrun did, when she was ready to invest in setting up her online course platform.
Choosing The Right Software To Run Your Online Courses and Training Business
Whether you’re a technical person starting a second career or not, you’ll need to consider which tech stack you’ll use to run your online course business.
I asked Sigrun what made her choose AccessAlly as her Learning Management System (LMS), and here’s what she said:
“My team and I looked at a number of different platforms that would work with our existing systems.
For us flexibility is key and most online teaching platforms do not have the flexibility that a multi-million dollar online business needs.
We chose AccessAlly because of Nathalie’s excellent reputation but also the fact that the system is the most flexible one we found on the market.
After watching Nathalie since the day I started my business I knew she understands what online business courses and memberships need and AccessAlly includes all the functionality we were looking for.
My team also knew from our experience with PopupAlly Pro that the tutorials and customer service were excellent.
I am happy to share that we made the right choice!
My favorite thing about AccessAlly is that it’s easy to use.
The AccessAlly shortcodes are great for customizing the experience for customers.
The tutorials and knowledge base are also very helpful when adding customization or new features within the site. Also knowing that we now have the right system that can grow with us is comforting.”
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing your online course systems.
Another important thing is the final “look and feel” and customer experience that you're trying to achieve.
If you want more inspiration for how to design your membership and course website, you'll find more examples right below.
Taking The Challenges Head On
As any business starts to scale and grow, there are going to be bumps and challenges. After launching an online course, you've got a number of different things to consider.
One thing Sigrun was aware of thanks to her previous corporate experience, was the focus on customer service.
In her words:
“More customers means we need more administration and support.
Customer service in particular is something we want to ensure scales with the membership site.
Even when the platform works well, with more people using the membership site, there will be questions and there is potential for more issues.
My team and I planned for this with a dedicated community manager, help desk service and weekly updates over email and inside the community.”
When you're just getting started, you'll be the one handling each client's questions… So having a good understanding of what your clients need and how you can help them is key.
Over time, as you grow your training business, you'll be able to hire freelancers to help you build your membership site, handle questions, and so much more.
Getting The Support You Need to Start Your Own Training Business
One thing is for sure: Sigrun didn't build a successful 7 figure business on her own.
In fact, her top recommendation is to “work with a trusted partner to set up a new site and pay attention to what AccessAlly and others are doing in their membership sites to guide you in planning or improving your own.”
If you'd like to start your second career and embark on the business building journey, Sigrun might be able to help.
Her mission is to achieve gender equality through female entrepreneurship.
Now that's a mission we can get behind here at AccessAlly, too!
If you want to see how AccessAlly works and whether it will help you in designing and creating your own online courses, go ahead and book a free no-obligation demo now.
I hope these inspiring career change stories help you on your journey!
If you’re looking for the perfect business for introverts… you know that as an introvert, you have certain advantages and disadvantages.
- The ability to focus and get stuff done on your own
- A rich inner world full of creative ideas
- Empathy in spades.
But what you might not know is how to turn these gifts into a viable business model that makes the most of your strengths.
That’s exactly what we’ll be talking about today, and we’re going to look at how one mega-successful female entrepreneur and acclaimed introvert has made millions of dollars with this revenue model.
Today, we're so excited to share the recent conversation we had with AccessAlly® Certified Partner Nathalie Doremieux. It's all about how she's built a successful business through a career in technology.
Her background? A technology maven, Nathalie first built a successful career in Silicon Valley. But she decided to leave this job to pursue the dream of building her own business… and for the freedom to spend more time to spend with her family.
Now Nathalie runs her own business, New Software Marketing, with her husband and business partner, Olivier. Here they help entrepreneurs build websites, membership sites as true learning platforms, and launch their online programs.
Read more about how Nathalie got started in tech.
Have you ever looked through the portfolio of one of your idols and experienced a combination of awe… and imposter syndrome?
If you’re freelancing, looking for a job, or just trying to build up your expertise in an industry, putting a great portfolio on the Internet is key. Word of mouth is a great tool for getting your name out there, but a building a freelance portfolio website will make you stand out in a potential client or employer’s mind.
But if you’re new to your field and it feels like it will take years to build up a collection of work you’re proud of, then one of those beautiful portfolios might seem way out of reach.
So what can you do if you’re caught in a catch-22 where you can’t get more clients without a portfolio to share, and you can’t stock your portfolio without more clients??
Well, you can take a deep breath for starters. Even if you only have a few projects under your belt, YOU can create one of those envy-inducing, client-bating portfolios.
Here are a few strategies for building a freelance portfolio you’re proud to show off:
A couple of weeks ago we were all up in your browser talking about the best tools and resources for freelancers to run their business.
Time tracking & invoicing & productivity… oh my!
But to run a successful business you need more than just the right tools.
To stay on your game as a freelancer and business owner, you need to constantly be learning. Whether it's new tech skills, new software, new business know-how, or changes to online marketing, you have got to be on top of it.
And just as important as what you know, is who you know! I'm not talking about having a connection to the editor of Huffington Post to publish all of your articles (though that would be nice!). I'm talking about the community of other freelancers and entrepreneurs that you surround yourself with.
Being a one-woman-show can get pretty lonely sometimes, which is why we all need a group of like-minded business owners to bounce ideas off of, get feedback from, and sometimes just rant to! It can be incredibly helpful for your business – and your sanity – to know a few people who have ‘been there'.
Luckily, there are plenty of spots around the web where you can find the resources and communities you need to learn new skills, get business support, and make new connections all to help skyrocket your freelancing career!
Here are 10 of our favorite resources for freelancers to learn and collaborate.
When you're a freelancer, managing client expectations isn't always easy.
Often, they have one idea of how the end result is supposed to look, while you have a completely different one.
Somewhere in the middle, you and your client will probably be able to meet and compromise on the end result; but in the meantime, you need to know how to manage client expectations efficiently and effectively to get the end result that you both want.
Here are 6 points on how to manage client expectations as a freelancer:
The freelance landscape is growing at a rapid rate lately, with over 53 million Americans now identifying as freelancers. That's one-third of the American workforce!
With so many people choosing to live the freelance life – whether as full-time self-employed entrepreneurs, contract workers, or side-hustlers – the are big changes happening in the way we work.
Luckily, with a growing number of people making the leap to the freelance life there comes a growing number of tools and tech resources for freelancers available.
Software companies and startups are answering the call to help make running a freelance business easier than ever before. From tracking your time, to automating your marketing, to streamlining your contracts, there are tools out there to save freelancers loads of time on managing the day-to-day.