Alright, garage is set up, lights are built, and I’ve done a bit of research on video editors. It looks like the big-name ones cause a racket with the built-in music and sound effects (licensing racket), so I think I’ll use effects I can purchase an unlimited license for a one-time cost. Some of these other ones can only be used and sold for as long as I’m paying for the video editing program, so if I were to switch to another program, I’d have to pull down my content and stop selling videos that use the sound effects. I need a theme song for intro/outro and I’m not playing their idiot licensing games…

I also bought the domain and started building my site, continued market research, and did some work on the templates I’ll use to be sure I’m covering all the needed info on my courses.

One SUPER FUN thing I did was visit San Antonio for a weekend. I walked from my hotel at the Riverwalk up to the Botanical Garden, about five miles on the route I took. The river was absolutely gorgeous in the morning, the plants along it were fantastic, and the gardens were amazing. Yep, this is what I do on vacation, y’all. #supernerd 

Anyway, I got a ton of photos for the business, including a lot that exhibit how our “house plants” would grow in the wild. They’re totally insane and fabulous.

All of that progress aside, here’s the first hiccup: we’ve gotten wind that the job my sweetie was offered last year is finally in the works. It’s an incredible opportunity, and as soon as he told me about the offer last September I said he had to take it. I’d heard the excitement in his voice when he learned about the work and just knew

Small detail: it’s also out in DC.


So! It looks like we’ll be getting him out of his house and putting the majority of his stuff in storage pretty soon. He and his kiddo will be staying with my son and I when he comes back (every 2-4 weeks for a long weekend). We won’t start the moving process until we have solid word that he’s on his way out, but apparently now it’s coming.

Cue the crazy!

The Plan

How does a small business coach build a business? 

With white boards on her bedroom wall, of course!

First I had to erase all of my nerding – I have Dr. Rhonda Patrick to thank for the fact that I even have ⅔ of a sheet of melamine screwed on my wall. She’s a biochemist with a podcast that covers a ton of longevity and gut health related info. 100% recommend! Found My Fitness on any podcast player. She’s amazing! I also need to take notes and do extra research because I’m not a biochemist in the slightest. I am, however, good with a drill. Insta-whiteboard. Bam.


Okay, next: LOTS of brainstorming! This covered all the bases:

What is this business?

Oh Happy Plants combines massive knowledge of house plant care with a systematic approach based on a solid knowledge of human behavioral change to create easy ways to have gorgeous plants.

What elements will business consist of?

  • Video tutorials – both ‘Spotlight’ courses on individual plants and ‘Plant Care Basics’ courses to cover terminology and human behavioral change (sold through Podia? via my website)
  • Free material (available both on my site and YouTube)
  • Membership site w/additional perks (closed Facebook group?)
  • House plant consultation (available via membership)
  • Home consultation to choose the right plants for your home (via FaceTime)
  • Eventually, products and partnerships

How will I market?

  • Free material – videos – that offer a small bite of each ‘Spotlight’ course 
  • Email newsletter – keep it simple! – a tip a week, plus a teaser about new Spotlight course 1-2x/mo. Aim for 3 pieces of value per sell.
  • Instagram and Pinterest mainly, also Facebook and Twitter (use Smarter Queue for scheduling)
  • Partnering with other plant businesses
  • Extreme kindness and generosity as a marketing tool and because that’s just how we do things

What do I need (items/skills)?

  • Video studio (backdrops, lights, remotes for cameras, and to figure out the camera situation)
  • Video editing skills (research programs for ease of use/simplicity and quality of end product)
  • Plants! This one is easy
  • People to give extra plants to when I’m done with them – also easy!
  • Website
  • Solid+specific written voice and company ‘vibe’
  • Social media profiles
  • Podia and Smarter Queue
  • Templates for all recurring tasks (spotlight courses, etc)

Alright! Now that I had a pile of lists (on all sorts of things – my notebook, sure, but also random scraps of paper, in Google Keep, on napkins…), I cleaned off my white board and set to work. 

Now, a side note: know thyself. There’s a lot to learn here – and I’m the type of person who will keep learning things because I’m scared of action. Whether I’m intimidated by the project or scared of rejection or failure, I can get bogged down in knowledge. To try to get ahead of myself, I color-coded all of my actions, making sure there was a good balance between learning and creation. 

First step? During my day job I’ll be listening to anything Amy Porterfield has on videos and Instagram curation, and on weekends I’ll be cleaning out my garage. I’ll also order all the lighting and look into cameras. I already have a few Nikkor lenses, so I’ll likely get a Nikon dSLR body and use my iPhone for a second angle.

As a side note: Setting up a small video studio is quite an expense on the front end of a brand new business. I’m doing this because my coaching business is profitable, and I’m also working a day job. I fully expect my clients to keep expenses down as much as possible, and if I didn’t have the money for lighting I would work it out with a combination of lamps from thrift stores, cardboard for directing light, tin foil for reflection, and duct tape (because: duct tape). So I’ll say it once: You don’t need fancy equipment to get going. You don’t get to have that excuse.

Another note: I run my coaching business under an umbrella LLC that will cover all of the consulting I do. When you file for a business license, look to the future and adjust – this will save time and money.

There’s Money in the Banana Stand

Well, in this case: There’s money in house plants.

Like, literally. Last week I thoroughly decided to start this business (and in the original Latin, de caedere means “to cut off” – so to decide means you are removing all other options).

Immediately after deciding, I started finding money in plants. 


Yeah. Literally. I’m pulling a dead leaf off an aglaonema and find a couple dimes in the pot.

Next day, I’m fussing with a dracaena and find a quarter and a nickel. Two days later, a dollar bill in a fiddle-leaf fig.

This kept happening.

No joke. In five years I’ve found garbage in plants, and the occasional binky or bouncy ball, but NEVER money. Ever.

Oh hey, Universe. I see what you’re doing there…

More to come 🙂

The Idea

One day in mid-February, one of my favorite orchids bloomed. But when I say bloomed, I mean BLOOMED – the little cutie got 13 buds on it!

Here’s the kicker: I’d spent maybe 5 minutes caring for it in the entire previous year.

I look at that, and I see massive beauty. I also see massive value. What if I could teach people how simple plant care is? What if I could pass on everything I’ve learned from my work with plants in super-easy-to-implement videos?

You know how I’ve spent 5 years working with house plants? 5 years x 52 weeks x 40 hours/week = 10,400 hours. Over ten thousand hours of experience, on top of my previous experience with plants (I used to own a one-woman landscape construction company and have  had my own house plants since age 12). 

They say ten thousand hours makes you an expert, so here we go!

I decided I’d start a small business creating video tutorials and supporting material to teach house plant care. I already know how to market and build the supporting structures of the business from my coaching experience, so this is a perfect way to tie everything together.

Now, to be all-in I had to sit on the idea for a few weeks and let it germinate. I mentioned before that I’m an entrepreneur. I’m pretty sure Merriam-Webster defines it as “A person who has eighty ideas a day and wants to pursue all of them.” So I know it’s a good idea to let an idea convince me of its worth before pursuing it.

It convinced me. Why? Because people walk up to me ALL THE TIME at work to ask me questions about plant care, and I’ve gotten really good at diagnosing issues, giving them simple tricks, etc. The ‘need’ has been trying to get my attention for years, and it’s there!

The first step is a proper market research phase. I determined my target market: 30-something professional women who live in cities: appreciation of goofiness, love of plants, income bracket that allows for the purchase of information products, limited free time (read: needs easy to use information delivered quickly). 

Next, I spoke with a few people in my target market. This was exceptionally easy for me – they came up to me while I was playing with plants in their offices and asked me questions about the plants they have at home. The first woman I spoke with was also a former YouTuber, and when I mentioned the idea she loved it (and also gave me some tips about making videos!).

Idea confirmed: Needed and marketable. Name of business? Naturally: Oh Happy Plants, because my namesake is fantastically ridiculous.

It’s off to the races!

The Pain Point (or, How a Broken Ass Gets You Off Your Ass)

Okay. What really prompted this?


I fractured my sacrum in late January. Yep, I broke my ass. Wee patch of black ice in an otherwise-dry parking lot. In the dark. Luckily, no one was around to watch as I massively biffed it. Unluckily, no one was around to help me up. There I was alone on the pavement, on my back, in the dark, floundering like an overturned turtle in a ball pit. Zero percent graceful. I could barely move, let alone stand – but thanks to social anxiety and a healthy fear of being run over, I got to my feet and struggled over to my van to call in the injury because I was at work. The nurse on the other end said it was probably a bruise, and that not moving will cause it to seize up, so continuing to work is probably ideal. Regular icing and painkillers, see a doc if it’s unbearable, etc.

I don’t know that she realized that my pain tolerance is, well, quite reasonable. Maybe unreasonable. They ask you about your pain at the doctor’s office on a 0-10 scale, 10 being “the most pain you can imagine,” and I rate my pain realistically, mentioning that I’m imagining a 10 to be complete evisceration or some similar horrible situation. 

I say that to let you know what a 6 feels like. Yes, I could move. Barely. Holding my breath. But, due to the nature of my job, I kept working. Y’see, I work with live plants. You’ve seen plants in lobbies and offices that look WAY too perfect to be real, right? That’s us – we’re the little elves behind those plants. 

In other words, my job dies if I don’t do it.

Therein lies the issue. It also takes a very specific type of person to do this job, so we’ve had staffing issues for as long as I’ve been with the company (5 years). Want to take your paid vacation? Okay, but you’ll need to work 55 hours the week before and the week after so you don’t murder anything, because it’s likely that no one else is available to work for you.

I’ve kept this job because I love working alone, but mostly because I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts about 30 hours/week (at 2x, because I’m crazy like that). This job is what has allowed me to gain the knowledge to become an effective business coach. So, up until now, it’s been thoroughly worth it. I consider myself exceptionally lucky to be in a position that pays me to learn all day. There comes a time when a person has to make next steps, though, and right now is that time.

So! How did I get through? I decided I would focus on complimenting people to improve the chemical cocktail in my brain. Paying someone a compliment will release dopamine, so at least I would have that thrown in to numb some of the intense pain I was feeling.

My favorite one that day, and one that I’d still remember months later, was the woman in the elevator. We’re in a hospital and she gets in with her walker, dressed to the NINES: stovepipe-leg jeans with a crease down each leg, red shirt, jean jacket that fit perfectly, gold bangles, gold necklace, gold rings and earrings, and BRIGHT red lipstick. Intensely casual-chic. 

I compliment her outfit and she absolutely beams and says “Not bad for 94, right?” This one interaction got me through the day. I can only hope to kick so much ass when I’m pushing a hundred 🙂

I also decided it was time for a new approach, so I started thinking…



To introduce myself: I’m Veronica. I’m probably just like you, or similar. Solo mom with a full time job and a small business coaching side hustle. Massive enjoy-er of life. Dating an incredible guy (who shall be called Mr. Turbo) who has his own munchkin, a year apart from mine (7&8). Gardener. Painter. Procrastinator. Fully human (read: fully imperfect). And striving, every day.

Recently I’ve been realizing that building the coaching business to the point I can transition to it full time would require me to give up more sleep than I’m willing to lose, so I need to create a way to bring in passive income. The thing that lights me up about coaching is working directly with people in small groups or one-on-one, so building courses to mass-market isn’t the path I want to take – at least not right now. 

Also, I’m one of those ‘multipassionate’ nutcases who has about eighty things that I could imagine myself doing for the rest of my life. All at once. ALL OF THEM. And somehow I like to convince myself that I can.

Welcome to the entrepreneurial soul, friends. If you’re anything like me, you feel pulled in multiple directions all the time and either just drop projects without completing them or run in every direction at once. Hey, sometimes you’re even successful! But it takes some serious dedication to get yourself to focus on one or just a few things to reach that success. That’s my problem, too.

The following is going to be a documentation of my foibles, complete fuck-ups, doubt, resignation, fear, procrastination, guilt, shame, ice cream binges, and avoidance. It will also be a chronicle of success.  Yes, ALL OF THOSE THINGS are necessary to success. And I’m going to show you how.

This, friends, is how a small business coach builds a business.



Side note: I haven’t figured out how to get to the text editor of my main blog posts page, so they all appear in most-recent-first order. I can figure out the shortcode to get them in ascending order but I don’t know where to put it!

Help! 😀

(If you want it in chronological order, read it bottom to top. Sorry!)


For no-nonsense small business coaching and tools, check out

Professional Catalyst

For houseplant care and nonsense, check out the in-progress

Oh Happy Plants!