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From Grief-Stricken to 7-Figure Blogger: The Story Behind the Business

Anita Dykstra

What do grief, entrepreneurship and travel blogging have in common?

If you said absolutely nothing you would be right but today's blog post contains all 3 key topics.

I’m going to be sharing the story behind my businesses and how I got to where I am today.

⚠️ Trigger warning: If you have experienced grief or are currently going through a difficult time, especially if you've recently lost someone, I will be discussing the topic of grief and losing loved ones. 

Grab a cup of coffee or your favourite tea and let's dive into the journey that led me from grief-stricken to a successful 7-figure blogger, turned marketing strategist who has taught over 2000 coaches, course creators and service providers how to scale their visibility leads and sales with ease.


🎧 More of an audio listener? Click below to listen to this related podcast episode!




Chapter 1: Where the Journey Begins

My #1 success tool in my pocket? The power of going all-in and making decisions swiftly.

But I didn't just pop out of my mother's womb this way.

I had to go through some shit to get here.

Before I even turned 30, I had experienced numerous family losses, including the devastating death of my mother when I was just 15 years old. 

This heartbreaking experience taught me the fragility of time and the unpredictability of life. 

She wasn’t sick, and no one was expecting it. 

I went through a period of deep grief and struggled with depression during my teenage years which led me to make some dark decisions. 

I was in a place where if I didn’t leave my current environment, I felt like I might not make it through. 

In an attempt to escape from my grief (spoiler alert: that doesn’t work!)I decided to book a one-way ticket to London from New Zealand at the age of 19. 

However, no matter how far I travelled, grief followed me like a shadow. 

But this realization inspired me to stop running away and start embracing life fully.

Instead, I worked to confront grief head-on, go through the motions and make the most of every moment.

Although obviously, travel did not wipe away my grief, at least I was sad in some beautiful locations.

As I travelled the world, I encountered digital nomads and business owners who seemed trapped within the confines of their work. 

They were in Greece, France, and Spain but chained to their laptop to meet their new deadline, goals or financial targets.

They could work from anywhere, but they found themselves stuck in hotel rooms and hostels, unable to fully experience the beautiful destinations they were in. 

But I wasn’t perfect either.

During my travels, I discovered the power of content creation and repurposing for my own travel blog that I was building up.

I spent hours, days, and years creating hundreds of pieces of content. Failing, succeeding, failing and succeeding. 

But this work enabled me to explore the world and eventually, I got to a place where my business ran on autopilot, generating passive income because of all the content I was creating for my blog.

Over several years I worked away at my travel blog, trying new strategies and becoming an expert in SEO.

I built a seven-figure traffic travel blog that seemed like a dream come true. 

I had the opportunity to travel to over 50 countries, experience diverse cultures, and get paid for it. 

Collaborating with renowned travel brands, appearing in newspapers, online publications, and TV shows.

My job was to LITERALLY travel and write about it. What a dream right?! 

Cool, I created this awesome business for myself, but I wanted more.

And one thing I had tried to do and massively failed at was teaching others how to create blog content that makes an impact - traffic, income, collaboration and visibility. 

This life-changing experience that I called a job, inspired me to teach other entrepreneurs about evergreen and sustainable lead generation through content.

Because I could see the power of evergreen blog marketing and automating that traffic (which then leads to conversions) and how it can enrich your life in SO many ways, I wanted to share that knowledge. 

When I delved deeper into teaching others the subjects of automated lead generation strategies, sustainable marketing, blogging, SEO, content repurposing, and Pinterest, a profound realization emerged. 

I started my coaching business in 2019 without much thought to the business mission or branding. I just knew in my heart I wanted to do this.

It actually wasn’t until 2023 that I realized WHY I was so passionate about teaching about these specific topics.

I came across a podcast episode from The Diary of a CEO that crystallised my approach to life and business. 

The guest emphasized that at your funeral, your work achievements and career success won't be the things that people remember most about you and talk about.

Instead, they will cherish the memories and experiences shared, the quality of life, and the impact you made.

That’s when I realized my true purpose and ensured my business aligned with the fulfilling lifestyle I desired. 

With that realization, I worked with my business coach to solidify my brand.

🔥 3 years later I felt like finally I understood my mission on WHY I have been creating my programs and teaching what I've been teaching about all these years.

I just naturally fell into this coaching business but little did I know that was my whole purpose all along.

Taking inspiration from the podcast I mentioned earlier (you know, the one where I had a profound realization), I want you to reflect on the purpose and ideal lifestyle your business is helping you create;


  • What are your motivations? 
  • Is your business moving you closer to the life you envision? 
  • WHY is the course, program or service you offer so important to you? What’s the underlying reason?


In this blog post, I've shared my personal journey from grief-stricken to a successful blogger and entrepreneur. 

Through my experiences, I've come to believe that life should always come first, and business should be a means to support your ideal lifestyle. 

And that’s exactly my mission in every single program and service I offer within my business. 

It all drives you to uncock flexibility in your business with my signature 4-part freedom framework.

By implementing this unique framework, you'll bring more dream leads, make more income with ease AND have more free time than you've had all year.

And what the framework you may be whispering to yourself. Here it is:

Create: Create core evergreen content such as podcast, blog or YouTube content that drives traffic years down the line without you having to show up. Blog Traffic Machine will help you create core evergreen blog content that makes more monthly recurring revenue for your coaching business.

Repurpose: Repurpose your core evergreen content into multiple formats so that it works harder for you without you doing more work. Offer coming soon 👀 

Amplify: Amplify that content to drive traffic and visibility to it 24/7 using one of the biggest search engines in the world - Pinterest. That’s exactly what my signature course Passive Profit with Pinterest will do.

Automate: Automate your leads and sales by implementing systems, workflows and funnels that allow you to work 50% less. Check out my shop for more ways to automate your business. 


I hope my story has resonated with you and inspired you to prioritize what truly matters.

If it did, come DM me on Instagram and let me know! I would love to hear from you.

Remember, even in the face of grief, you're not alone, and together we can overcome and create fulfilling lives 💛


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