I recall reading about Ashley Qualls a few years back. I remember being overcome with inspiration and admiration for her ability to recognize a need and do something about it.

Girl Power – WhateverLife.com – No rich relatives? No professional mentors? No problem. Ashley Qualls, 17, has built a million-dollar web site. She’s LOL all the way to the bank. ;-)

"At 17 going on 37 (at least), Ashley is very much an Internet professional. In the less than two years since Whateverlife took off, she has dropped out of high school, bought a house, helped launch artists such as Lily Allen, and rejected offers to buy her young company. Although Ashley was flattered to be offered $1.5 million and a car of her choice–as long as the price tag wasn’t more than $100,000–she responded, in effect, Whatever.

Ashley is evidence of the meritocracy on the Internet that allows even companies run by neophyte entrepreneurs to compete, regardless of funding, location, size, or experience–and she’s a reminder that ingenuity is ageless. She has taken in more than $1 million, thanks to a now-familiar Web-friendly business model. Her MySpace page layouts are available for the bargain price of…nothing. They’re free for the taking. Her only significant source of revenue so far is advertising."

Of all the inspirational stories of finding success in the world of online business, Ashley’s story is one of the few that resonated with me.

So what exactly are her keys to success?

While I do recommend you read the article entirely, the take-away items I found are:

 

MICRO-NICHE – Ashley didn’t just offer Myspace layouts, she offered them to teenage girls.

KNOWLEDGE – Ashley found a subject matter she knew a lot about. Everything she offered was targeting girls just like her and her friends. It was easy to figure out what was hot and what was not.

PASSION – As you read the entire article you will see just how her life and her passion for layouts merge.

DETERMINATION – Nothing gets in her way!

DEDICATION – Even at 17, Ashley was committed to working hard. Of course hard work comes easy when it’s something you’re passionate about.

As my eyes popped open at 2:30 this morning, they unleashed the gears of my imagination. My thoughts raced around my time working online and from home. I’ve thought about the levels of success I’ve experienced and the pitfalls I’ve endured. The one single element that separated the two was PASSION!

When I was at the height of my success and raking in as much as $8,000 a month, I was doing so with such ease.

It certainly wasn’t backed with an abundance of technical web knowledge – in fact, my first website looked like a cut-n-paste project thrown together by a blindfolded kindergarten class.

No, my success was built on passion. A passion to help people. A passion to make a difference in the world.

In those days I spent so little time focusing on making my website look good and more time on providing valuable information, providing support and developing valuable relationships.

The last few years I’ve fallen under the spell that has left me focusing more on the making money aspect and it’s all but proven to me that is not the best course of action. My desire to write has been crippled and it’s almost as if I’ve become some sort of internet introvert by not interacting and socializing more in the subjects I am most passionate about. And by passion, I don’t necessarily mean I’m an expert – one subject matter I actually knew very little about but was eager to learn. As I was learning, I was sharing my lessons – I thought if I was interested in learning and having so much difficulty finding the ‘real’ and ‘valuable’ information – others were likely having the same difficulties – so I shared honest and educational information.

So where exactly does this leave me? Well, it leaves me thinking I’m NEED to get back to what I love. This ‘work at home’ blog has always been a ‘service’ I provide in hopes of preventing people from making the mistake of investing in a scam and helping others uncover their own passion. Believe me, making money websites is NOT where the money is at! At least not for me.

I will continue to provide information as it comes available and when I feel it is of value to you – however, the days of me stressing over posting or not posting everyday or multiple times per week are over.

If you have something of value you’d like to add to this site, I’d love to offer up the space to do just that. I’m not worried about page rank. I’ve never really written for Google before, always for my readers. SO my dears, if you have an existing post on your site and you’d like to guest post it here – you are very welcome. Just make sure you include an author bio at the end of your post. If this is something you’d be interested in doing once a week or more, let me know – I’m happy to provide you your own user account.

And for what it’s worth – duplicate content is NOT an issue when a link to the original post is provided. I’ve done a great deal of research on syndication lately and will be providing details very soon on my findings and just how you can use syndication without stressing over a Google slap. Just trust me for now – it’s okay to share posts on different sites. Really!

In fact here’s a snip of what Google has to say:

 

Syndicate carefully: If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.

Before I go, I encourage you to look deep inside and ask yourself what are you passionate about? What do you love to talk about? What is it that makes your face light up and your eyes sparkle? Think about it! Blog about it and there my friend YOU will find your pot of gold.

xoxox

Gayla

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