How to take charge of your unruly business idea.

Meet Heather Claus, @365daysofstyle. She is the mastermind of the 365 days of everything brand. She’s been preparing the launches of 21 different websites that cover a wide range of topics from starting businesses to growing things. Each website has encouraged the growth of little communities and offers very valuable resources to each. She is a fellow Third Triber and has taken time out of her busy schedule to write a series of four posts that will talk about her journey of having an idea to building a full blown conglomerate. Thank you Heather for writing these articles freeing up some time while I get ready to release my first product that will also help in growing a community.

Ever had in idea?

That’s a gimme. Sure you have.

Ever had an idea that you ignored?

Ever had an idea that you ignored for 6 years come back and hit you over the head with a frying pan?

I have.

And my idea’s persistence has paid off. I’m ten months into development, and having the time of my life getting broke, LOL!

Going back to the beginning

6 years ago, I had an idea on a lazy Saturday (I don’t have many of those), an idea of a series of daily tips about style. I jotted down a few thoughts in a notebook, and five hours later, I had the basic outline for a series of niche sites focusing on daily information, resources, and more.

Writing it all down felt good, but I didn’t have time to pursue it. I was busy. So I put the notebook away.

Fast-forward to December 28, 2009

I’ve recently been laid off from a corporate job, working freelance, and wanting to make 2010 a year of building something meaningful.

This is when my idea snuck up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.

It was a simple thought, “Oh, I’ll get back to that. One site – daily stuff.”

Oh, it knew it had me. Just that one little thought, and the claws were sunk deep. It was a whirlwind romance.

By March, I had a new partner, ready for a second site on another topic. By June ten more, and now – 20 sites are in the works – all focusing on different niche topics with amazing and creative people dedicated to taking their passion and learning to make a daily profit.

Yeah, I got jitters. I still do. Everyday. Hourly. Heck, I’ve learned to embrace my insanity and ride this as far as it’ll go.

So, when Tommy asked for guest posts, I did what I often do, I jumped right in. And when he said:

Something I’d be interested in hearing from you would be what it’s like to run such a crazy big brand, and what it takes to keep the brand’s image congruent across multiple sites.

I’ll admit I felt a bit of panic.

Thing is, I’m not sure what I’m doing

But hey, this is Tommy, he’s done me a few solids, and one thing I’ve learned over my years is that I learn a lot from teaching and telling, so here goes.

This is the beginning of my story. This is where I am.

  • 21 Partner Sites – in various stages of development
  • 3 Live Sites – 365daysofstyle, 365daysofgrowingthings, and 365daysofstartups
  • 3 Home Team Partners – legal, social media, and financials/details
  • 1 Me – the geek web developer, idea lady, big picture, janitor and general slave to my vision

Over the next three posts, I’ll discuss:

What I’m doing that’s working, and what I’m learning.
What I’m working on/testing now.
What I have planned long-term.

And I’ll share it with you. I hope to make it interesting. I hope that Some of you are wrestling with some ideas of your own that won’t let go, and will at least take some solace from the fact that you are not alone in your insanity.

So, here’s to part one of four! If you’re reading this, and you have something that you’re working on, I’d love to hear about it. In fact, I adore comments, so introduce yourself, and let’s get a conversation going as we move through this.

Maybe we can learn something from each other.

Heather Claus is a rebel and a capitalist who’s been in business for herself since 1995, started the first online sewing classes in 1997, and is now working on a new Web site community connecting niche interests (and partnerships) with each other via memberships, mentoring and technical resources.