Black and white photo of Macy's Christmas display window taken by Joana MirandaEarlier this week, I wrapped up work on Week 12 of the Empire Building Kit.  This year-long program is designed to help you create a lifestyle business in one year by doing one thing each day.  The tasks are delivered through daily emails to my inbox.  Often these emails include video interviews with inspiring and successful small biz owners, links to websites of small biz owners who are “doing it right,” wisdom from the Empire Building Kit’s author Chris Guillebeau (a very successful small biz owner himself) and introductions to really intelligent and inspiring people who can help you get over all kinds of hurdles from motivation to organization, and social networking know-how to website design.

Because doing quarterly reviews are an important part of growing and sustaining a business (and my work with the Empire Building Kit pretty much coincided with the start of my doing my jewelry and design business full-time), this seems like a great time to sum up the successes I’ve had with both the program and with my business.  Since starting the program I have…

  • Earned over $400 in affiliate sales from being an affiliate  for Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Guides
  • Been designated a Silver Circle Finalist in the 2010 5th annual Business Development Grant Competition sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc.
  • Paid for the cost of a one-year email marketing membership with Aweber through sales of my jewelry
  • Seen an increase in sales via new customers
  • Grown my subscriber database to the Joana Miranda Studio newsletter through my website

Given those successes, you might wonder…

Are you running out to buy a new car?


(In fact, I’m soon going to be either selling, or perhaps donating my car to charity since we’re downsizing big time in our move to NY.)

Did you quit your “day job?”

Not Exactly.

In preparation for trying to build my dream, I’ve spent the past year saving every penny I can.  (And, I’m very grateful to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for granting me a year’s leave so that I can try to make a life with my husband in NY.)

Are you living the life of leisure now that you don’t have a boss?


I’ve never worked so hard in my life.  I work 7 days a week for often 12-14 hours a day.

Do you still love what you’re trying to do?



Leave a Reply