Welcome to my About Sarah McLeod page…
When I started writing this blog it was about my online business journey. As I wrote I had a chance to reflect on the person I was, the business woman, the community worker and mother. A life time of experience. Yet after all those decades of hard work and dedication I am starting over. Why? I had a large family, friends and total respect in the work I was doing both with the orchard and community. Years of first-aid with St John Ambulance. A Team Leader for Road Accident Rescue and a dedicated SES worker. My work at the Schools over the years was well appreciated. I worked on the props for the local Theater Group and my sign writing skills came in handy over the winter months when the orchards were quiet. I was well known and respected in my Community.
The biggest memory of my early life were the words “Your just a girl“. My Dad seen women as people who stayed at home raising children and managing the household. Men dominated because they worked to bring in the money. It still puts shivers through my body as to how much control he had over us. I felt that I had to prove myself and my sisters felt the same way. Always I put my heart and sole into everything just to prove I was not “just” a girl. I was smart and just as capable as any fella. Eventually I would say “it was not my fault my Dad got it wrong”. Don’t get me wrong I loved my Dad and Mum.
Married Life had its moments.
I was married for twenty years. It wasn’t a marriage of love rather I seen it as away to get away from my Dad’s total control. I had known Wayne since kindergarten and I admired the man and he was smitten with me. Our marriage was about trust and respect. We had six children together and worked together building a business and community projects. In all that I was not allowed to be better than him. When we first got married we had an arrangement that I would never tolerate him hitting me, not like Dad had done. But he still had to dominate and over the years I found I could not do anything without his approval. It was stifling.
Then when I got that phone call from his girlfriend I was stunned. “You have to leave Wayne” she said. I trusted the man with my life and at that moment everything in my world came crashing down. Twenty years of devotion and I started to realize what had caused the previous four months of change in him. Yes I am feeling that crashing feeling in my sole even now. I felt like a fool because a lot of my friends including my doctor had subtle tried to tell me about what was going on yet till that moment I had no idea.
I could have forgiven him but at that time even my children needed to get out of that environment. My kids could see what their farther was doing to me. My heart was torn between what was best for my children and everything I had built up. Even though I had put everything into building the house and orchard, a house does not mean it is a home. I was about to leave and taking the kids. We packed what we needed and left. It was the hardest loneliest times of my life. But we huddled together and made it work.
Building a New Life for my Family
My youngest son decided to stay with his Dad, while my eldest son was working on the Main Land in Australia with his Grandfather. The four girls and I settled in at school. Yes I was about to go to College at forty years of age along side my daughter. Over the five years we all attended Hobart College. Even with dyslexia I topped my grades. We were happy. There was the beach near by and that first night we were running and dancing through the water in the Moonlight like little children. The air was warm and it felt so good to be free.
There were a few ups and downs over that time and many moves as you do with rental properties. Everyone was busy with schooling and my elder two girls had their baby sons. Added to that my eldest son’s girlfriend had joined our group with their baby son. In all that I had something missing in my life. I was not sure what it was and Wayne was edging for us to return to Huonville. So I found a large house on the main road and we moved back to the Huon.
Why did I return to the Huon
My younger son joined us in the big house. He had a rough time living with his Dad. The youngest grandson and his mother had a separate section of the house while my younger children and I had the other end. It was a long trip up to College every day and only one bus. Eventually both the older girls and their babies joined us. It was hectic at times. The best part was having the three grandsons.
I would watch the boys so the girls could go out and enjoy them selves as teenagers should on weekends. In the morning we would sit up and have breakfast together and let the girls sleep in and recover from their night out. The lease was ending and things never worked out with their Dad we all were deciding our next move. My youngest daughter had gone up to her Dad’s but my Son was not going back. The older girls were going their own way.
It was time to Move on…
My youngest son and I found a unit right on Kingston beach it was perfect for the two of us. We could go bike riding or fishing off the rocks. It was the best time. Every second Friday night there was music at the Bar on the corner and I finally had some time to enjoy myself. There were a great group of people there. Mick over the back fence had regular BBQ’s and I was a big part of that community.
I could have my shed and create woodwork projects for the grandchildren for Christmas just as I had for my children over the years. The neighbors in the units would check in to see what I was doing. All in all it was a real change in lifestyle.
One neighbor in particular caught my eye. We lived opposite each other, normally a quiet man but we built up a deep friendship. The next thing you know Geoff and I were about to get a house. The beach can get mighty cold during winter and we found this huge house.
My life with Geoff…
The huge house had a unit downstairs for Geoff’s daughter and plenty room for my son plus another daughter had returned from the mainland due to have a baby. This house had a huge long balcony with fantastic views and a huge empty block of land. It was so peaceful. The perfect location until we got the power bill.
Over the eight years Geoff and I were together we moved a number of times, children came and went. Eventually it was just my son and us. There were times even my son spent time with the other kids. We loved to go fishing and would walk down to Snug from our last house and go fishing off the rocks. I thought I had everything a person could ever want. A great companion, I was driving school buses by then and occasionally we would go down to the local for a meal and a game or two of eightball.
Then one afternoon Geoff came home early. He was not well. I had a school bus run to get ready for but when I came back into the room Geoff had collapsed on the couch. The bus arrived and I sang out for help. By then I am doing CPR while Brett rang the Ambulance. It was the hardest thing I had to do, even with my years of first aid training. I had managed to keep him alive on a third of a heart as it turned out. But what I did not know was he was already brain dead and three days later he was gone.
How was I to cope without Geoff, I was devastated…
My sister arrived just before Geoff passed. I walked back into that room only seconds after he died and it felt angelic. A feeling like all the heavenly bodies had come to collect Geoff. I stayed with him for a while until that energy lifted then walked out to my waiting sister.
I was numb, shaking. It was a long way to drive all the way home but I only went a short distance from the Hospital and pulled up. I got out of the car. I was completely lost. My sister pulled up behind me and suggested we go to our brothers place near by so I followed her there. The three of us sat until about 2 am that night and the following morning my sister and I went back to the house.
Kate looked after me for ten days before she had to go home. We kept busy so I had no time to dwell on things but it was hard when she left.
I could not stay in that house. I moved back to Kingston with my son as it was where I felt safe and among friends. It was the most emotional year I had to face. Eventually I had to seek help to get through it all. A lot of changes took place since then but most of it was a blur.
I loved Driving Buses…
I kept driving school buses to keep my sanity until the company sold out to the big Metro bus company. All the drivers were offered a job with Metro and I chose to take the full time job driving with them. I loved driving, the people and the drivers. The challenge of learning every run.
I had special events like the Casino to Mt. Wellington fun run and a convoy of buses would drop the runners off at the Casino and then we all drove to the top of the mountain. We would wait until the last runner made it to the top and then convoy back down again.
It was a great job until an incident that caused me to loose the sight in one eye.Read more on that here. I went from driving any type of bus including the big articulated buses to needing a vision cane and a free vision pass for the buses.
As you can read in other posts my life changed. these last few years have been about dealing with a number of health issues including Cancer and sight loss. It all takes it’s toll on an aging body. While the worst is over I have come to accept my situation…
So why is a 60 year old Gran-Ma
from south Tasmania in Australia
about to start an Online Business Now?
Tasmania is not the average place to start a new venture like an online business. People here see life as a physical thing…
I needed to find a way to make money that would not involve using my worn out body. I legally would not be accepted in the work place due to OH&S reasons, yet I still was expected to look for work. By working at home I solved this issue. I can work my own hours and have facilities available at a given moment to cover the IBS. Computers using the big screen work well with my eyes. It makes sense to take advantage of my skills and put them to work for myself.
Years of planning and study had gone into this Project. It makes me feel alive to finally be about to putting the websites into action. You can read more on my Goals here. Basically I have a plan to build a series of stores brought together under one brand and then produce a series of information products for those stores.
I know all the Basic Steps…
I would need to market each of those sites and build Social networks to get people to my sites. But not like other websites. My sites are all linked in some way, making it easy for people to find what they want. The products are promoted through the affiliate platforms as individual products and they are sold from my site under one brand.
Support acts for all products and websites with fact sheets for all sites. Again people are made aware of the other items I sell. My blog that you are reading now is here to tell the story of my online journey. There will be a progress report so my subscribers are the first to know when something new is open. Finally all my items are promoted on Sarah McLeod Online which is a link I have added to the top menu.
I have mentors to help me through the process of making this plan happen. After all I am one person and even though I have learnt a lot. I do not know everything… yet. Just writing alone takes a fair amount of time. So I am plainly aware that to achieve my plan is going to take time. There are a few skills I will have to improve with experience.
Master Affiliate Marketing…
Affiliate Marketing is simply about promoting Someone else’s product for a percentage of the sale. What better way to learn the mechanics of marketing while I develop my own ideas. The same marketing techniques apply to Affiliate products as they would my own. At the same time I can build my marketing lists and tracking data for future projects.
Build My Online Stores
While it is good to build stores promoting other peoples products. It is more profitable to build automated stores using my own products. Whether using drop-shipping methods or producing digital products to sell. This venture takes some time to build and put into action. The final complete project is about getting a fair return on my investment. It will be a huge asset that can be sold in the future.
Create My Own Products
Product creation is an essential skill to learn. Especially as I need to build an online presence. Products range from reports you use to build mailing lists to full on training programs. Digital info products consist of books, videos, graphics, software or apps and they each take a while to master along with the sales pages and affiliate teams. It is the most important part of making a solid income online and the reason I have a one-on-one mentor.
The Big Question now is… Can I make this Plan happen…
I committed to the project by gaining Government backing here in Tasmania. I invested in computers and programs to get me started. The rest comes down to time and determination and I have plenty of both. I have my Business Plan complete. Now all I have to do is get the whole project done. In the same way I made the orchard work all those years ago.
If anyone knows me they know when I set my mind to do something I get it done. This Project has taken a bit to get off the ground. Loosing all my work when the server went down during the American elections took a lot of wind out of my sales. All my websites are backed up and secure this time and ready for content. That is what I am about to do as my next step.
To show my commitment I brought New Computers…
My poor little laptop which I have to connect to a big screen to see is getting to the end of its life and so slow. I will possibly keep it for monitoring mail and training purposes. Having a big screen makes it much easier to read. You may have noticed I use “Tohoma 14pt” to write my blogs. That is simply so I can read the text and it looks good on a Mobile Phone.
I have a dedicated Asus 27″ Windows computer for writing content for the blogs. The 4K screen is fine for clarity with just a little more adjusting for brightness. The huge article library on this machine will help with content ideas.
The big iMac computer is my product creation computer. It has been setup for graphics video and audio editing with a massive 8 TB hard drive added and the whole Adobe package included. I have video graphics and audio editing software as part of the deal.
To kick start the Business I brought Product Rights…
There is a massive Product collection with PLR rights to download and work on to kick start the Product creation stage. Editing these programs and marketing them will give me the experience to create my own material later. I have a number of quality PLR rights products to utilize. These make great starter items to test update and create new products from the experience gained.
This is besides the Programs I have full rights to sell as my own. I have a couple big packages of complete Product Funnels to promote. a Website package to sell and use myself. A number of Membership programs and a couple smaller sites with Agency rights. All great investments.
Now there are no excuses not to make my online business work. I just have to put all the pieces together.
That is my challenge to Build My Online Business. It is the one thing I wanted to achieve before I die. Make enough to reinvest in building a community where I could retire in comfort and watch the sun rise over the water. Yes I am a bit of a romantic. So my efforts here determine whether it will be a tent city or a community of condos. I know which I would rather have.
So the big question is… Can I do this? I certainly plan on giving my online business my top commitment. Writing this Blog is like the first hurdle in a long process and I am about to give it my full attention. You can follow my Journey here.