This is an interview with Lidiya K. from Let’s Reach Success
Lidiya is a freelance writer turned full-time blogger. Her dream has always been to move to the Netherlands and live a location independent lifestyle. Lidiya never saw herself as someone who worked a 9-5 day job, she wanted to work whenever from wherever. Her goal became to achieve financial freedom doing what she loved and live in her dream destination. So she started a self-help blog, worked hard at it and hoped for the best.
Today, she inspires goal setters and bloggers all over the world using her platform “Let’s reach Success”. Her blog helps people discover financial freedom and become location independent, as she has done for herself. Lidiya is a dreamer, a doer, and an inspiration for those who aspire to live the work-from-anywhere, lifestyle.
Hi Lidiya, Thank you so much for joining me let’s jump right into how you started your blog and got to where you are today….
Q. What motivated you to start a blog about reaching financial freedom and blogging as a form of income, as opposed to something else?
Hello Carly and thanks for having me. Actually, Let’s Reach Success began as a personal blog sharing my thoughts on anything related to personal development, spirituality, good habits and productivity.
These were the things I wanted to improve in my life back when I started the blog and so I just needed to write it all out. Writing is what I love doing. And when combined with topics I’m passionate about, it turns into a form of therapy and a joyful activity.
Over the years, the blog started gaining some traffic and attention. I didn’t expect that as I didn’t know anything about blogging in the beginning and just wanted to see what happens. I then started reading about other bloggers doing the same, learned the ins and outs of WordPress and publishing content online, and decided to take my blog seriously.
Thanks to all this, it made sense to begin writing about blogging too. Once I was making my first money freelancing and then blogging, after which I turned that into a real online business, I wanted to share the steps I took related to this too.
Over time and with the many great guest posts I’ve published on Let’s Reach Success, topics like Online Business, Financial Independence and Blogging became more popular than Personal Development.
The funny thing is that they are also more profitable so that helped me increase my income, after which I was earning enough to relocate and move to my favorite country.
Q. Did you leave the corporate world to start blogging?
I was never really part of the corporate world, but I knew pretty well I didn’t wanna end up in it either. During my university years, I learned more about blogging although it had nothing to do with the things I was studying, or the people I was surrounded by, or even the language in my country. I was writing evergreen content and my audience and freelance clients were in the US.
When I made my first few hundred dollars every month, this was enough for me to live off the money I made online. I lived with my parents and my home country – Bulgaria – allows for a cheap lifestyle.
That’s when I began thinking about scaling and making a real income online. I kept hustling with freelancing but also began making money from sponsored posts on my blog (you can learn more about it here). Once I got to over $1000 in income month after month, I started dreaming bigger.
I’ve been reading about all those bloggers who started from nothing and now earn 6 figures and live the ideal life as well as lifestyle designers who could travel anywhere with their laptop or just live in a different country every few months.
That helped me envision what I wanted exactly – to move to the Netherlands (my ideal destination) and grow my business to the point where I no longer have to write for clients but only for my own projects.
I took the leap by buying a one-way ticket to Amsterdam and have been living there ever since. It was indeed the right place for me.
I doubled my income over the next 2 years and now earn from ad revenue and sponsorships as well as try to grow my income from affiliate marketing and selling online courses.
Q. What goals did you set for yourself when trying to become location independent and did you give yourself a time frame?
I think my mindset played the biggest role in this. At every next stage, I believed I could ask for more and so I did, after which I got there. Following other bloggers’ journeys helped me tremendously as they showed me it’s all possible.
While I’m still not earning as much as them and not growing in ways I want to, it’s a slow process to get to every next level and discipline is a key part of it.
What helped me stay motivated a few years ago was the desire to leave my home country and start over. It wasn’t the right environment for me and I wanted to live independently. As I worked so hard to be able to have the lifestyle I now have in Amsterdam, I enjoy every second of it and it feels so right to be here.
Q. In the “about” section on your blog, you talk about the phases that you went through to start your own business. In Phase 2, you mention that what helped you reach success was that, “I took my work seriously and developed discipline.” How did you hold yourself accountable and develop discipline?
I stopped relying on any outer factors and took full responsibility for the things that happened and didn’t happen to me. Then, I stopped sharing my goals with others and focused on taking a few small actions daily in the right direction.
The next steps would get clearer every time I took action, so that kept me on track.
I also eliminated many distractions and made certain sacrifices all in the name of relocating successfully and growing that small online business.
Taking my work seriously is part of the mindset I was talking about earlier. No one else can take this seriously but you. Once you do, it becomes your priority. That means no matter what else happens around you, you’ll stay focused on the goal.
Q. How long did you think it would take you to make money online and what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned regarding that process?
In the beginning, I had no idea I could even make money. Then, earning my first $100 freelancing gave me hope and I replicated the process. I outlined it all in my free course How to Make Your First Money Online Freelancing.
That’s easy, though, compared to making money blogging. And that’s why there are so many tutorials and courses on the topic. Because it’s what everyone wants to do – it’s mostly passive income and something you earn from your own platform. Nothing compares to that freedom. Not to mention you can scale to 5- or 6 figures in a year or a few.
But it was impossible for me to say how long it would take.
I learned that if you’re an amateur long enough, people actually start seeing you as sort of an expert.
That’s what happened with my freelance clients and then with other bloggers or people contacting me about something related to my blog.
So whoever you are, regardless of where you come from, what your background is or whether or not English is your first language, start doing something online and know that it can become a real business one day.
Q. Did you have any mentors to help guide you? If so, who and how did they make an impact on your business/life?
My supporter in real life is my mother. She also made money online for the past few years through Ecommerce on Etsy.com. She started from nothing and made an income others only dream of, without even knowing English or being tech-savvy.
While that industry is completely different from mine, it’s the proof I had in front of my eyes that I too want to (and could) be my own boss (my mom has been self-employed for as long as I can remember thanks to her own ideas and hustle).
Other than that, I call the people I followed online my mentors. First, it was these 5 guys who helped me change my way of thinking.
Now, however, it’s mostly bloggers and online entrepreneurs who not only built a successful business, but also provide value and know how to enjoy the freedom they earned.
On this page, I’ve listed all the books, podcasts and people (as well as tools) that have helped me along the way.
What are the best and worst parts of being location Independent/ being your own boss?
The best parts are the freedom, independence, the chance to work on exactly what I want, to live in any country I want to, to be able to work from home and set my own working hours.
The challenges include insecurity, lack of certain benefits as opposed to a regular job, the lack of understanding from those around you, not fitting into the average lifestyle picture, having to be in front of the laptop and motivated to work on new things even when you don’t feel like, and the social isolation.
These are not the case for everyone, but they are also the reason why such a lifestyle is not a good fit for most people. If they can’t handle the more challenging aspects, then all the freedom in the world won’t be enough to make them happy and give them peace of mind.
What does success look like for you?
That’s a good question because success means a completely different thing for everyone. Defining it is key to actually achieving that vision.
For me, that’s the chance to be exactly where I want to be and do the things I want to do. So, it’s the freedom of choice, the ability to do so many things but also having the desire to actually do my work and live simply.
All this will one day allow me to use my blogging income to provide for my future family and watch my kids grow while working from home.
Also, knowing I can create valuable products (like my online courses) that will help people build an online business and use that income to create their ideal lifestyle gives my days more meaning. Not to mention that to what extent my income grows depends solely on me, my focus and dedication.
Q. Tell me about some of the amazing things you’ve been able to do because you are location independent. Where have you traveled? What have you been able to do that if you had a 9-5 job you wouldn’t have been able to do?
The greatest things about this aren’t the big journeys or once in a lifetime experiences, but the things happening in daily life.
Thanks to being location independent and self-employed, I get to wake up whenever I feel like and spend the day in any way I like. I can use my most productive time for work but any other time of the time can be spent doing new things.
Any day can be weekend and any week can be a week off.
The things I’ve been able to do thanks to this which I’m truly grateful for include moving to the Netherlands, visiting my family back home often, traveling to Asia and staying there for a few weeks, and being able to go on spontaneous trips and adventures.
Q. If someone wanted to become location independent, where would they start? What’s the first step?
I think too many people read other lifestyle designers’ stories and want to be where they are. But it all begins by defining what you aren’t happy with in your present. Once that’s clear, you’ll also realize what you want to change.
From then on, you can start making a plan, outlining your vision, seeing what it will take, giving it a time frame, etc.
How you’re going to make money online isn’t even the main question. You first need to work on your mindset, look around, and see why you aren’t satisfied with this lifestyle and why it’s worth changing it.
If you’d like to learn more about Lidya, you can find her on her blog Let’s Reach Success.