Joanna Vaiou is a self made Search Engine Optimization Solopreneur from Greece. She always had a dream that she would be free to work remotely and experience financial independence so she could also see the world through traveling. Her interests spread between personal development, entrepreneurship, leadership, motivation, psychology, mental health, location independent work lifestyle and more. She has been featured in Digital Journal, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, Blogging Cage and other media outlets. When she is not working on her own and her clients’ SEO projects, she writes for other blogs about her life’s experiences and lessons. She is keen to discover courageous leadership and radical success stories of other entrepreneurs. She started a leadership column on her business blog and shares other people’s stories and expert tips, with the rest of the world. She loves to inspire and be inspired by others. She sees every day as an opportunity to become better and to become happier. She believes that people have tremendous power inside to create their own happiness and become a resource for others. Having a loving and caring relationship with each one’s self is essential for any type of success in any area of life.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
My organization is a remote SEO Project management business that I run from home and from any other place where there is a decent internet connection. The idea came from a realization I had 11 years ago that I was unhappy and unsatisfied with my life. As such, I decided to improve my life in all aspects by investing in: a) learning SEO and b) personal development courses and online trainings. Four years later I managed to start my own remote SEO client business.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day includes waking up at around 10 am with no stress. I have a bath and I start working at my home office or I go to a work-friendly cafe to work from and spend there 6-8 hours while enjoying coffee, lunch, dinner and sometimes drinks too. In order to be productive, I need to feel in peace. Inner and outer peace. This means that I want to work in an environment that I choose every time according to my mood that allows me to be productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In order to bring ideas to life, I do one simple thing. I take imperfect action. I detach from the end result or any fear of failure. I test and I try until I have satisfying feedback or enough data in my hands so I can make informed decisions about how I will continue.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend I find exciting these days is that today’s online business world requires us to be extroverts to reach the next level of success. This fact alone is challenging as many of us (myself and my clients included) are not used to do self-promotion or feel comfortable to go on video and speak to the world about who we are, what we do, how we do it, what our values are and what inspires us. This is especially evident in my industry (Search Engine Optimization) where there is a new goal of marketing aiming to build an individual’s or a company’s “EAT” score in Google. “EAT” is one of the relatively recent Google ranking factors where Google calculates the “Expertise”, “Authority” and “Trustworthiness” of an individual (or a business entity) to rank them on their top organic search results. I find this exciting as it challenges me to improve myself, my public speaking skills and generally elevate myself more.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
What makes me more productive is traveling solo. As a location independent solopreneur, every now and then I solo travel to other countries for a few weeks which inspires me a lot as I love to challenge myself outside my comfort zone. This happens to me as I love traveling and traveling is one of the main reasons why I wanted to work remotely with my own business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To my much younger self, I would give the advice to raise the expectation from myself and at the same time eliminate the expectations of other people when it comes to creating positive change in my life. I would kindly ask me to take full responsibility for my life, to stop feeling entitled and leave behind the victim mentality. I would ask me to love me more and I would ensure me that everything I am looking for in the outside world, is already inside me. I’d ask me to discover how powerful I am and stop expecting external validation to feel worthy.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I see life literally as a “400 trillion to one chance to be born as a human being” miracle. It is not uncommon that people I meet during my solo travels tell me that they have never met anyone else with my energy. Most people are just ok with their lives or unhappy. It is really rare to meet people living their life to their fullest potential and actually being excited to live in this era of digital world and opportunities.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur, I never stop improving myself in my soft and hard skills. I recommend to al, entrepreneurs to always challenge themselves to take the next step, the next risk that will take them to the next level of their perceived success. There is always room for improvement in all areas of life and we should always remember to put some quality time aside and treat ourselves nicely like we are the most important people in our life. We are!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
As a Search Engine Optimization Specialist, I mainly provide full project management services. Sometimes I very selectively do private in-house SEO seminars (on demand) or give speeches about SEO and this has helped me grow my business as it is more personal than sharing information from my social media networks.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started working remotely 8 years ago with my first business partner, we simultaneously toured around the US so there was a lot of enthusiasm and emotions as well, besides my actual work responsibilities. I realized that in a few months our results were not as satisfying as I expected them to be so we had to part ways. I consider this a lesson that I learned from my inexperience back then to the remote work lifestyle. It is not a piece of cake and it is not for everyone. This lesson taught me to be more disciplined in my work and responsibilities. Today, I only travel when I know that I can handle all the extra “difficulties” and emotions that traveling brings in a successful way. For example, when I start a new collaboration I don’t travel. I want my full attention to the new project to set up the project right from the start.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A new business idea that I am applying in my organization is a new blog column where I feature radical success stories and leadership insights of a few selected entrepreneurs. This helps me elevate my brand in other spheres of influence that are not related directly to my actual business (SEO). The truth is that we are all multifaceted beings with many interests. So I have decided to include my other passions in my business blog online like personal development, leadership, success stories, women entrepreneurship, digital nomadism and more. By doing this, the world sees the whole me with all that I am interested in as an individual. I personally couldn’t have it any other way as I take my business very seriously and personally.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I spent $100 for a full day of spa treatments one Sunday during travel of mine in Estonia that lasted 18 days. I totally recommend taking the time off for self-care and self-appreciation.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Agency Analytics “All in one SEO Reporting” software which allows me to semi-automate my monthly SEO client reporting and saves me a great deal of time as it integrates with all other services that we use to track metrics and performance results.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend “School for Gods” by Elio D’Anna as my favorite. Elio writes “Bet on yourself and life will bet on you.” Recently I interviewed Elio D’Anna on my blog and traveled to London. Elio has offices in London for his “European School of Economics” university and as such, we also met in person and had a short video interview with him about the mindset of change. I asked him why it is so challenging for most people to experience positive change in their lives when so many people say they want it. The reason I recommend Elio’s book is because I applied his strategies and it worked for me. The same way it can also work for other people who work on their mindset and are disciplined enough to do what is needed.
What is your favorite quote?
“The only existing disease is … unconsciousness! Forgetting why you are here and stopping looking within yourself to observe … to become conscious. Do not forget the efforts you made and remember your mission and purpose in life, discover who you really are and reveal your dream.” ~ Elio D’Anna
- Become self-aware. Get to know yourself first.
- Love and accept yourself.
- Find something to love, become great at it and go full-time.
- Always improve your soft and hard skills in what you choose to do.
- Bet on yourself and life will bet on you.