How well do you know yourself? Have you considered doing a SWOT analysis on yourself?
A few months back, I found myself hitting rock bottom. It has only been 6 months since I got back from long-term traveling and I wanted so bad to travel again but I was completely broke. So there I was, laying on the couch 25 hours a day, perfectly clueless as to what I should do with my life. The only thing I know is I don’t want to go back to the corporate world.
But sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. So, I attempted to apply to a lot of job openings, jobs that were very much suitable given my qualifications, because I badly needed the money. Fortunately, Universe is always conspiring and I never got hired to any of those jobs that I applied for.
Yes, I am thankful I didn’t get hired because if I did, I know that I will only be miserable.
What I got on the other hand is an online job, one that allows me to work from home and provides a stable monthly income. And it’s because of this kind of job that I am able to continue running my online business, Humanitee, and relaunch this blog.
7 months ago, I didn’t have anything except for the online business but sales dropped big time, and admittedly, I lost the motivation to run it. For 3 months, I was lost and jaded. I was spending so much time on the couch and wasting time watching TV. Nothing can seem to motivate me to start a project, or at least do something worthwhile with my time.
Thankfully, this phase didn’t last long. I had to force myself to snap out of it because I already know that nothing or no one can help me but myself.
So when I finally decided to pull my shit together, I took a blank piece of paper and decided to do a SWOT analysis on myself. Why? Because by doing so, I was able to come up with possible opportunities that I can explore to turn my life around and create the life that I want. It was the first step that helped me realize what I want to do my life. Finally.
Note: the decision to continue my online business and relaunch this blog was based on the SWOT Analysis that I did on myself.
Here’s my ANALYSIS:
- I love to write and I know I’m good at it
- I have more than a decade of experience in Merchandising and Marketing
- I have a post-graduate business degree
- Experiences I gained from long-term traveling gave me worldly views
- I am a social media specialist and my web design skills have improved immensely
- Graphic design skill is something I lack. I have basic knowledge but it’s not enough.
- A major procrastinator
- My net worth is negative and my monthly income goes directly to all my financial obligations
- Hence, I don’t have money to start a new project or business idea
- Custom shirt business is continuously growing
- There are countless of ways to make money online
- There are also a few alternatives in starting online businesses with minimal costs
- Now that we are living in a digital age, Social Media Marketing is the best [and proven] way to market your business and your brand
- Tough competition because of the big players in the t-shirt printing industry, making it hard to acquire clients
- When starting an online business, getting your name out there is tough because of too much information available online
Based on this SWOT Analysis, here are the strategies I came up with:
1) Relaunch this blog
I started blogging in 2014 and at that time, it served only as an online journal that I use to write everything that comes to mind. I didn’t even share it with anyone until I left for South America in 2015 when I decided to become a travel blogger. I saw this blog as a means to sustain my travels, however, blogging whilst traveling was harder than I thought.
In short, I failed at becoming a travel blogger and completely neglected this blog. To sustain my travels, I focused on doing online jobs and volunteering. When I stopped blogging, I have already written 100 articles. Such a waste.
Related post: 5 Things [New] Bloggers Should Avoid Doing
So why did I decide to relaunch this blog? Because of 3 things:
- I still love to write and I believe I have a story to tell, we all do! Through this blog, I want inspire people to create the life that they want and make them believe that dreams do come true but only if you are willing to do the work.
- I was inspired by a handful of bloggers who were able to earn a full-time income from their blogs, which also allow them to work anywhere in the world. A location-independent work is something I truly aim for. Also, by reading about the success stories of bloggers out there, I learned the do’s and don’t’s of starting a successful blog and adapted how they do things. The way I started this blog now is so much different than how I started 3 years ago. Back then, I didn’t know what I was doing and my writing style needed so much improvement.
- My knowledge on social media marketing and web design allowed me to start this blog at minimal cost. I didn’t have to hire a web developer to create this website and crafting a marketing plan is easy. The cost I spent on this blog was just under $100, mainly for web hosting, which is already good for 3 years! And my monthly recurring costs are just around $10-15, which are used for Facebook ads and Boardbooster.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to start from scratch. With the blog posts that I’ve written in the past, I have more than enough that allowed me to relaunch this blog in no time. All I needed to do was edit and improve those posts.
The only challenge for me when it comes to blogging is CONSISTENCY. I am a major procrastinator so writing quality content consistently posed a challenge. So what I did to resolve this was set weekly and monthly goals and gave myself self-imposed deadlines. I also utilized Trello for all my to-do lists. All these worked like a charm!
Since I relaunched this blog 2 months ago, I have been consistent in writing quality content, marketing and networking to other bloggers. It ain’t easy considering I still have my online job and my online business to run but I am able to manage everything. I just have to hustle hard every single damn day.
2) Re-brand my online business and start my own clothing and lifestyle brand
When I launched Humanitee, the business model was similar to Printful and Teespring. It was intended to be a platform for artists — allowing them to sell their own t-shirt designs at no financial investment on their part. All they needed to do was submit their designs, sell through our website, and use social media for marketing. Order handling, printing and shipping will be handled by us.
No doubt, it was a really good business model until I realized my own limitations:
- Printing methods I offer are limited. If I want to compete with other t-shirt printing companies, I need to invest on equipment that would allow me to offer more printing methods.
- Investing on equipment requires big capital, and not to mention, I have to have the skills to be able to run a printing service smoothly. Apparently, expansion is out of the equation because of my financial situation.
- Investing on equipment also means having manpower. Unfortunately, managing people is something I want to avoid because I know how much pain in the ass it can be.
- Inviting artists to sign up and sell their designs was challenging. And worse, even if I have artists signed up, my revenue is still dependent on how active they are in selling and marketing their designs.
- My online business needs more focus and a more targeted niche
- Even if I continue to offer made-to-order / personalized shirts, it might take awhile before I can acquire regular customers. And since there are so many t-shirt printing services already available, it all boils down to price war.
With these, I have decided to take another route — launch my own clothing and lifestyle brand.
Why? Because the pros far outweigh the cons, and the risks are minimal as compared to running a t-shirt printing business. And finally, I will be able to put my merchandising background into good use.
- Minimal investment – initial inventory and artworks created by freelance designers. I need to hire graphic designers to do my shirt designs. I can visualize what I want for my brand and these designers can easily translate it into a shirt design.
- Printing will be outsourced so no need to manage people. And the printing quality is automatically better because it will be done by the those who have been in the business way longer than I am.
- Revenue is dependent on ME alone. Sales will depend on how effective my marketing campaign will be.
- The printing method I chose for my brand require a minimum order quantity, so that means investment on inventory.
- Designs I choose may not SELL and I may end up having aging inventory.
How I plan to do the relaunch is something I have to keep to myself at the meantime, because you know what they say — your next move is something you should keep to yourself.
If you go back to my SWOT analysis, you will see how I capitalized on my strengths and worked around my weaknesses. I did my research and looked for pockets of growth in the industry that I want to tap, allowing me to create opportunities where I can utilize my strengths. And also, knowing the threats in the industry allowed me to dive in with calculated risks.
Everytime I feel lost or confused, I go back to this SWOT analysis and re-assess my capabilities. As we all know, change is constant and because I am passionate about continuous learning, my skill set is also continuously improving.
Doing a SWOT analysis on yourself is important because you may not always know what you want to do with your life but if you know yourself well, both your strengths and weaknesses, then that’s already a step forward.
Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses helps you make sound decisions. It helps you maximize your full potential and allows you to take advantage of every situation you find yourself in.
It is true when they say that your only limit is yourself, but if you know yourself well enough, the possibilities could be limitless.
So let me ask again, “how well do you know yourself?”. Do a SWOT analysis and you might be surprised.