Photo of Purple Flower, taken by Joana Miranda

On May 19th, 2010, I began a year-long journey with the Empire Building Kit.  This program, authored by Chris Guillebeau, promises to help you build a sustainable life-style business doing what you love in 1 year.  Daily inspiration, information and suggested courses of action for growing your business is delivered to your email inbox for 365 consecutive days.

Shortly after I started work in the course, I realized that it might be interesting to chart my weekly progress for others who might be curious, but not yet ready to take the plunge themselves.  The added bonus for writing weekly Empire Building Kit review posts on my blog, was that I had an extra incentive for keeping current with the daily EBK emails and not giving up if the going got tough.

Now, coming full circle in my journey with this project, I have a much better understanding of what I got from it.  Those highlights include:

  • Having the courage to quit my full-time job in one of the worst economies
  • Realizing that I had resources for income in the sale of my old possessions and equipment
  • Overcoming the “salesman” stigma and actually enjoying the process of asking for and making sales
  • Seeing an increase in my blog readership, due, no doubt, in part to Chris profiling me and my business in one of his EBK daily posts
  • Enjoying the benefits of being one of Chris’ affiliates and earning just under $1000 in affiliate sales
  • Charting my weekly and monthly planned tasks – and success with completing these – using the free Freelance Planners put out by Charlie Gilkey (one of Chris’ affiliates and profiled “Emperors”)
  • Facing my fear of not being good at something and taking the risk to ask for advice and help
  • Proving to myself that happiness doesn’t come from a job title, income level or possessions
  • Reinforcement that the world is populated by mainly good people trying to do good things
  • Aligning myself with the people (both online and off) who inspire and help me to be a better person
  • Learning about and practicing the art of successful negotiation
  • Believing in the power of dreams and being provided with ample proof of “Emperor-in-training” success stories to back up those dreams
  • Realization that the pursuit of a lifestyle business has helped me shift my entire focus and has left me feeling happier and more fulfilled than I can remember ever being

Along the way, I not only moved (from Wisconsin to New York City), but switched the focus of my business from hand-fabricated jewelry to designs and illustration.  (And while sales of my remaining in-stock jewelry have reduced my inventory to only 6 pieces, these are still available at a 30% discount here.  Enter the word celebration upon checkout to receive the discount.)

Switching business focus has put me, in a sense, back at Day 1 of the Empire Building Kit.  However, I am now armed with not only 365 days of great business building information that I can revisit, but I feel like I have a team of trusted mentors to continue to guide and inspire me!

For those of you who have followed my Empire Building Kit review posts, I thank you for keeping me company on the journey and wish you all success as you move forward on your own journeys to a fulfilling lifestyle business!


  1. I can’t believe 365 days have gone by! Thanks for the great wrap-up – you’re doing great and I’m honored to be a small part of things here.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for visiting and for all of the inspiration! I look forward to keeping up with your AONC posts and seeing where your journeys take you.

      All best wishes,

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