I started my personal Make More Money Challenge in January 2014 as an attempt to even out our cash flow a bit and pay down debt. My goal was to make $500-1000 a month in extra money in whatever way I reasonably could.
I have succeeded far beyond what I thought I would for keeping this as a part time business while still working full time.
This past week I passed an amazing milestone of cumulative income since January 2014 with my side business of...
drum roll please...
Here are the parameters I set for myself when I started.
- My efforts needed to be restricted to early morning, evenings and weekends (though I have tried to keep my weekends free as much as possible).
- Do as much as possible from home, rather than going out and getting a second job.
- Do things as cheap as possible to get started.
- Not a huge investment of money/equipment up front.
- I wanted to be able to eat dinner with my husband as often as possible.
- I was going to document my efforts - tracking what I tried and how much money it made (which I did for strategic reasons and for taxes - yup, this side business of mine is totally legit)
The first year, my income was wildly inconsistent, as I basically ended up taking off the summer. After that, I started taking methodical steps in building up my business to try to even out cash flow. Those steps have been paying off. My second year income almost tripled my first year income. This year's income increased another 50% over last year's income.
In 2015, my lowest monthly income was $568 (highest income was $6200; average $3300).
In 2016, my lowest monthly income was $1685 (highest income was $10,284.14; average $4500)
I am making this money in several different ways: teaching webinars, study groups, local live classes, and more.
I am able to come home from work, eat dinner with my husband (quick meal or crockpot), and then go upstairs to my home office and start my webinars, which generally run about 2 hours, a few nights a week (2-4, depending on month). I keep Friday nights and weekends open as much as I can, restricting work activities to working on my laptop on the couch next to hubby as we watch tv (except for teaching on an occasional Saturday morning).
Over time, I have been willing to invest some of my profits back into the business, such as when I started getting so many students in my study group I had to upgrade my plan. That was a no brainer, as adding 8 more students to a study group would pay for one year of the upgraded plan. I ended up adding 45 students more in just that one study group. I also paid someone on fiverr to do my website when it became out of date. I used a free email marketing list software until my subscribers grew too large for the free plan and I had to start paying. I generally started out free just to get started, built up some business and used some of my money raised to elevate my business to the next level. Even now, I actually have very little in the way of actual expenses compared to my revenue. My expenses currently are: a website domain and hosting, webinar hosting, email list hosting. I haven't yet started doing paid marketing, which I anticipate doing in the future, and which I expect to increase my income again with essentially the same number of hours spent on the work.
I have not anywhere near maxed out the potential income I could be making with my side business. I have lots of ideas for things I could do to bring in more income without a huge increase in hours worked (though some will be required). In fact, I am strategically planning for eventually transitioning away from my full time job with early retirement and into this side business as a full time business in another few years. I may not decide to do this, but I want to be prepared for that as a realistic possibility so I have the choice. I feel so much more relaxed about the possibility of losing my full time job because I know I have this to fall back on.
I have done a ton of research and found literally 100s of ways I could earn money online.
You might not duplicate my success in exactly the same way that I did, since you have different circumstances, skills, experience and interests.
But if you put approach making money strategically and with determination, I believe every single person who wants it could accomplish what I have accomplished, by building on their own skills and strengths and doing research and most of all TAKING ACTION!!! So often people are paralyzed with fear and convince themselves that they can't do anything about their financial situation because their circumstances are SO unique that it's impossible, but I promise you, there are many different ways of earning money. You CAN do something to bring in more money as well. especially if you are willing to stop looking for excuses/objections and start looking for ways you CAN make it happen!
My motto is and always will be: Live your life and make your decisions from a place of knowledge, not a place of fear.
This extra money has allowed me to pay down $40K in debt over the last two years (next year will finish it off!), take an Alaskan cruise, install a new furnace and air conditioner, and buy a new dining/lounge set/firepit for our patio. (Plus pay a whole bunch of taxes).
Think about how different your life could be if you were bringing in an extra $1000 (or more) a month...
In the meantime, celebrate passing this historic milestone with me!!!