28/11/2023

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Trudy Rankin – Smart Passive Income

Trudy Rankin – Smart Passive Income

Trudy Rankin

OnlineBusinessLiftoff.com

LinkedIn // YouTube

What was your dream career as a kid?

Becoming a medical doctor like my dad.

Describe the moment you decided to become an entrepreneur.

I’d wanted to start my own business from about the age of nine when I discovered the joys of making money by selling things. But I went down the corporate career path for many years working in project manager and then Chief Information Officer-type roles. It wasn’t until I came to a fork in the road with my career that things changed. Did I want to stay with my current organisation, which after a change in management had become quite toxic? Or did I want to look for a job elsewhere? That’s when I realised that this was an opportunity to finally do something I’d always secretly wanted to do … and if I didn’t do it now, I never would.

What drives the work that you do?

Two things. I love helping other people succeed and have more choices in their life. And I really value being able to make my own decisions about how I spend my time and what I work on.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on in your business right now?

Growing my new boutique agency where I offer fractional Chief Digital Officer services to businesses (typically expert-led solopreneur and micro-businesses) that have maxed out their ability to grow any further. Their time is limited and they physically cannot help more clients than they are already helping. So I partner with them to add a 1-to-many service model and help them build out the online side of their businesses. We use quizzes to make it all happen more quickly and if they have a team member who is interested, I’ll put them through my Quiz Creators Course, so they can continue to use surveys, quizzes, and decision trees to save time and help more people. Having an extra head for brainstorming and a pair of hands for getting things done is often exactly what busy entrepreneurs need to actually get going on projects they’ve wanted to do for a while, but just didn’t have the time. So a quick example of what I’m talking about is a collaboration I’m doing with Treasa Edmond, another SPI Pro member, where we planned and launched a “Mastering Your Content Strategy” 5-day bootcamp together. We weren’t expecting very many people to sign up but ended up with 35 participants, which was so exciting.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
That’s a wide question. Entrepreneurs who start up small businesses are the backbone of the economy, in pretty much any country you look. So entrepreneurship plays a very important part of everyone’s lives, even if they don’t know it. Entrepreneurship means looking at the world through slightly different lenses than people who are comfortable in a traditional 9-5 job. It means looking for opportunities to help and to solve problems in different ways. It means continually learning … from others, from mistakes, from failures. It means picking myself up and dusting myself off and being thankful every day that I have the freedom to set my own schedule and work agenda. I’m only beholden to myself and my clients, my students, and my community and not to some grumpy boss who doesn’t really know what they’re talking about …

… I realised that this was an opportunity to finally do something I’d always secretly wanted to do … and if I didn’t do it now, I never would.

What led you to SPI Pro?
I was looking for a community of people who had successfully set up their own business and were slightly further down the path growthwise than I was. I wanted to be part of a community that understands the pressures of starting and running your own business and I wanted to be able to help others who were a bit newer to the game than I was. SPI Pro definitely did and still does provide that and I’ve been a member of SPI Pro pretty much from its inception.

What’s the most powerful interaction or learning moment you’ve had in the community?

Communities are a way to help you stay sane when the going gets really tough. To give you some tough love and accountability when you need it the most.

What role has SPI Pro had in your business?

Being able to reach out and ask for help on a particular topic / subject / struggle and knowing that someone will respond … even if it’s just a “well, I can’t help, but here’s the name of someone who maybe can help”. For example, I was wrestling with setting up a Zap for a very complicated timesaving tool I was creating for a client and I just could not get it to work. I reached out for help and several SPI Pro members responded with thoughts and advice. One person even took the time to meet with me and show me what they had done with one of their complicated Zaps. It all helped and I was finally able to get my Zap working.

What do you love most about SPI Pro, and what sets SPI’s communities apart from other entrepreneurial communities?
I like the wide variety of businesses that SPI Pro members run and the depth of experience / breadth of knowledge they have on relevant topics. I am part of other communities, which I also love, but those communities tend to focus on building a particular skill set, whereas SPI Pro takes a more rounded approach to the world of starting and scaling a business.

What would you say to encourage entrepreneurs who aren’t involved in a community to join one?
Communities are a way to help you stay sane when the going gets really tough. To give you some tough love and accountability when you need it the most. To give you support and advice and guidance. And sometimes you can collaborate in ways that open up new, unexpected opportunities that you never dreamed were possible.

If you had to start a brand-new online business from scratch today, what would it be?
Good question. I’m torn between buying an existing content website and growing it by improving what’s there … or setting up a boutique agency that helps people scale the online side of their business more quickly (which is kind of what I’m doing now).

If you had to start your current business over again from scratch today, what one thing would you do differently?
Work harder on my copywriting and marketing skills and get someone else to design my website and landing pages for me instead of wasting hundreds of hours doing it badly. 🙂 And of course, this time round I’d be focusing on getting really good at writing ChatGPT prompts. That wasn’t available when I first started my business and I think it’s a game changer if used wisely.

If you were given $1 million dollars today, no strings attached, what would you do with it?

I’d use the Profit First method by Mike Michalowicz to allocate funds to (1) a scholarship fund I would set up that would let me grow my passion project of training and supporting carers/caregivers as they start an online business that fits their unique situation, (2) an R&D fund where I would experiment with different types of business models and share what I’ve learned on my Online Business Launchpad podcast and Online Business Liftoff website (OnlineBusinessLiftoff.com), (3) increase my learning and development fund so my team and I can attend more conferences, get more coaching and do relevant courses that might be beyond my current budget