If your goal is to earn a stable full-time income from your own online business within 12 months, then now is the time to take things seriously.
What you start building today, will bear fruit next year, probably LATE next year at best.
I’m being brutally honest here — there are no ‘quick’ businesses. It will take time and repeat action to create the kind of revenue that can change your life.
I know this for a fact as every business I have ever started took years to turn into a stable income stream.
- At 19 I started a card game e-commerce online store. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I could say my business delivered dependable income month after month.
- I started an essay editing business when I was 21. It wasn’t until I was 23 that it started bringing in a full-time income — and only just barely!
- At 25 I started this blog, a year later I’d made a few thousand dollars. When I was 27 I finally released my own product and that year I made $100,000 for the first time – a full three years after registering the entrepreneurs-journey.com domain name.
- Right now I’m involved in another new startup, our first dollar is projected to come in March 2018, and we started back in July 2017.
Of course, there are the rare startups that enjoy hockey stick growth curves and one year later are acquired, but these are the ‘one-in-a-million‘ stories – like winning the lottery. If you go in expecting that outcome you’re going to be disappointed.
You could accuse me of being slow looking over that list. I’ll be the first to tell you I was terribly slow during my first five years as an entrepreneur because I refused to get any help (I built all the websites myself, which I would never do today). However, even if I started every business above again knowing what I know now, I’d need at least a year to create consistent income. Anything of real value takes time to grow.
Accepting that building a business is a marathon and not a sprint is an experience all new entrepreneurs go through. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some success along the way.
The trick is to niche-down on what you call a success (celebrate the baby steps), so you can keep yourself motivated each day, while you work towards the bigger long-term goals.
Let me share some examples with you…
New Success Stories
Here on EJ you can click through to view the Success Stories page, where you will find a long list of ‘graduates’ from my coaching programs.
These are the BIG success stories, the people who went on to make a full-time income from their own Laptop Lifestyle business. Some even make millions a year today.
I love to showcase these people as examples of what is possible, but I also realize they are years ahead of where you are probably right now.
What’s important during the initial startup phase, is celebrating the small steps.
This is why, inside the Laptop Lifestyle Academy, we have a very special forum. It’s called, strangely enough, the Success Stories forum, but in this case, it features members reporting back ANY success, no matter how big or small.
The idea is to cheer yourself on at the same time as you publicly motivate other members.
What I especially love about this forum is I see all my newest members make real progress. It’s the people who post in this forum who will one day be featured on the BIG success stories page here on EJ, after their business becomes a full-time income or more success.
(We have a new case study success story interview coming from the current LLA group very soon — I am very proud because she just had her first $100,000 year!)
Example Small Successes
To give you an idea of what kind of successes are celebrated inside the Laptop Lifestyle Academy, I want to share a few with you.
These are all very new. Most of these people joined the LLA within the last 12 months. I speak to some of them each month on our group coaching webinars, so I get a real feel for how they progress.
I’ve left out last names and pictures to protect the privacy of our members. Inside the LLA everyone is pretty open, so when you join us you should be able to quickly spot these people — they are very active in the Forums.
My First Big $$ Month
WELL…. I am beyond amazed and so deeply thankful to be able to say this. My month of September has been absolutely incredible in terms of providing Consultations, and I literally have had a $10,000+ month.
Yes, yes.., you saw that right. Over $10,000 in one month.
I am shocked. Completely shocked. O.o
And so incredibly grateful to @Yaro, Blog Mastermind, LLA, and all of you who have been my support through some very dark days. Special kudo’s to @Jeff , @Brigid, @Lindsay , and @Amanda Wolf Thank you so very much for being there for me.
Hi you all. I just wanted to share my joy with the group….I made a sale today of my coaching program’s home study: Amplify with PR Home Study Version.
After teaching the program twice now as a group coaching program, I now have all my videos and training manual, etc. in a membership site. I was hoping I’d be able to make some downsells of the home study program to those who couldn’t afford the coaching program. This was my first.
In fact, it came to me through a partnership that I struck (before I really understood that partnerships was a way to sell products like this. I was just doing what made “common sense” to me.) I did a 10 minute “exclusive” training for an organization’s President’s Club. It was a small group of only about 10-12 on the call but I made 2 sales from it now—one was a $197 ebook/kit. And then today’s sale was $637.50 (after the 25% discount I offered to the President’s Club members).
Yay!!! (I’ve been feeling a little discouraged so this was a huge boost.) I hope it will give everyone else encouragement too. Keep pressing on!
First payment from Services Arbitrage business
I wanted to share my success with the group about my first completed services arbitrage project and the process I went through to earn my first check.
I started a web development company, and at first I had no idea how I was going to make it work. Previously I had a little bit of web experience as I used to run an online golf news network, but for the most part I had no idea how to code, or do anything technical.
After going through @Yaro Services Arbitrage business course, I remember him saying that an easy way to get your first client is find ‘low hanging fruit’. One day I was on Facebook, and I came across my friend’s status saying that he was looking for a web developer.
At this point, I was still trying to narrow down which service I wanted to test, so I just thought just do it and see what happens. You need to test something, so why not try web development. I wrote on his wall asking him what he was looking for, and the next day he sent me a private message giving me all of the details. I told him I would get back to him in a day or two once I figure out a price.
As I gathered all of the details about the new website, I approached another friend of mine who was a web developer. I sent him all of the details and a link to the website that needed the makeover, and asked him to give me a price on how much it would cost to develop using a WordPress theme. He got back to me as said he could do it for 500.00 all in. Once I received that number, I played around with some margin percentages and ended up charging 130 percent which ended up being $1200 dollars total, which based on some research I thought was reasonable. I sent that number back to my friend who was looking for the web development, and he pretty much much said “when can we start”?
As the project evolved, I was pretty much the guy in the middle relaying information and ideas between the two parties. At the end of the day, my client was super stoked about his new website that he ended up referring me to another company who are interested in my services, and they contacted me the other day. After going through this whole process, I understand how easy this can be to automate, and make a great business out of it. Also, the customer service aspect was a huge thing, and after it was all said and done, my client said that the whole process I took him through was seamless and painless.
I’m going to stick to the web development as the margins are good, and there are a lot of old out of dated websites. My focus, is going to be on small businesses that are looking to update their existing sites, with a high level of communication and customer service.
I want to say thank you to everyone who gave me feedback and pointed my in the right direction in the community. Thank you all so much for the support.
Publicity AND I get paid for it!
Thought I’d pop in and tell you the latest good news. I pitched a color-in-weaving article to the editor of Handwoven – the biggest weaving magazine in the U.S. – on Friday. I also sent her a link to my Warp & Weave website, said I thought it might be a good resource on color, and would she be interested in letting her readers know about it?
Monday morning I got an email back – she wants the article!! Not only that, she wants me to write the “End Notes” column for the same issue of the magazine, giving some tips about color and then pitching my website to her readers. I’m getting paid for both articles.
So not only do I get to pitch my website to all the readers of the biggest weaving magazine in the U.S., but I get PAID to do it! Very happy about that!
4 ebook sales from new funnel
Here are the noteworthy figures:
1. About a month of action through my funnel. Most of it in the last 2 weeks.
2. About 80 people through it who saw the sales page and offer
3. 4 sales for $340. Three in the last 2 weeks.
My First “Sponsored Content” – A New Source of Revenue
I wanted to share my first official revenue from Laptop Lifestyle Learnings / Blog Mastermind. I have created a new product called “sponsored content” where I take business ideas that real estate asset managers in Brazil want to market to global investors (mostly Canada and US based). Actually, I needed cash and created a product based on seeing a need in the marketplace. I only saw this due to spending so much time in the Academy and Blog Mastermind.
These sponsored newsletters are writing about complex topics mostly focused on detailed aspects of Emerging Market real estate. This newsletter and a follow-up document will bring in approximately US$4000.00 in three stages. I was paid $1,333 for writing (before I even wrote the document), $1,333 to start the process on the follow-up document (a white paper on the subject), and $1,333 after completion of the third document. The customer is interested based on the technical aspects of the writing and the distribution to top tier investors.
Sold my newest product
This is a very tiny win, but a win just the same. I just made my first sale of a quilt pattern I created as part of the 3-month blogging accountability campaign I did with @Kenn and @Brian.
This is significant because I’m shifting my pattern design focus from Waldorf dolls to quilts. The market for quilt patterns is huge, but also hugely crowded, so getting just a toe in the door of that marketplace feels big to me.
I published my first book!
Thought I would log in here to share my excitement with the community over getting my first book published!
This book was a passion project, and one that I wanted to finish regardless of whether anyone reads it. (Topic area is Christian history, specifically the Pyongyang Revival – a compilation of firsthand accounts plus lessons that I think are still applicable today). Now I’m hoping to use what I’ve learned about publishing to potentially write another book in a more lucrative niche.
Yeah, my first fully automated email campaign worked!!!
I was wondering who to share this news with – and each time I came up with someone I thought … they don’t get how great this is.
So … decided I needed to share it here – where we all gets the importance of a win.
When I’ve done launches before I usually have a Facebook group as part of the process.
The work I put into monitoring comments, giving feedback and encouraging involvement is huge.
Sometimes it returns a big payday – at others a smaller one, occasionally zilcho.
This time, after an online session with @Yaro in one of the webinars – I took a bigger step towards automation and scaling by developing a ‘real’ email series.
Since selling online I’ve always used the free course concept as my lead magnet, so this time I opened up the first 2 weeks of my bigger program (Modern Psychology Coaching program) as the free offer.
Instead of running a Facebook page alongside it – which is great if there’s massive engagement, an echo-chamber if there’s not – I tried the drip method.
It took a little bit of scheduling and aligning emails with the drip, but got there in the end.
It’s the longest email sequence I’ve ever written – 20 emails in total – the length of each email is between 500 and 1,000 words – so not short.
Wasn’t really sure how that would go, but the engagement has been great.
59.3% average open and a 19% click through rate.
I trialed this with only 24 people just to see if it would work.
Had 3 opt-outs, 1 saying it’s not her time … just yet, and with the deadline being tomorrow – the first sale came in today from the sequence.
I was worried that it wasn’t going to work as the deadline was coming close.
Couldn’t work out why the engagement was high but purchases weren’t happening.
Anyway as it stands it’s a 4% conversion – which is what I used to average with the hours and hours of Facebook engagement I used to do previously.
Next step … scaling this with Facebook ads, and getting a proper blogging sequence going – rather than the haphazard approach I have been taking to date.
PS Earlier this year I tried email sequences with a ‘trip wire’ offer early on ($27) and the results of open and click rates were similar with a 5% conversion, so doing this with the higher priced product (priced between $1800 and $5k depending on level purchased) is great.
Whew … relief. 🙂 Thanks for this space to share. So great to have a win from automation. This means a lot to me.
Newbie win – made over $100 in sales of productivity guide
Just wanted to share a small win. I’ve created this guide originally as a pillar article how-to after being inspired listening to blog profits blueprint.
It’s been 4 months, but it finally broke $100 in sales. It’s made 3 $27 sales in the last 2 months, so that’s encouraging to see.
I don’t have a nurture/PLF drip sequence nor a post purchase drip sequence, so that will be my next step. However, I do have an article and a landing page if you are interested in seeing what I’ve done to ‘sell’ this.
I just hope that this will keep you going even though things don’t look too encouraging (esp. if you’re just starting out with info products). Look at this as more of an experiment to see what’s going right rather than trying just to make money.
I Want To See Your Success Next — Join Us
I’d love to see you working along with these amazing online entrepreneurs, sharing your successes, both big and small.
Plus don’t forget, the LLA is not just about our amazing community —
- You can speak to me directly for coaching throughout the entire year during our live coaching webinars (we have one coming up next week)
- You can also use the Slack Chat to communicate with me and the other active members 24/7, and take it with you on your mobile
- There’s instant access to 30+ short training programs and tutorials from me, including my latest courses – Services Arbitrage and Emails Revealed
- Plus hot seats, all the forums and so much more!
Make the smart choice to take your online business seriously today. Get educated, get support, get coaching, and get accountable — all inside the Laptop Lifestyle Academy.
I’ll see you there!
P.S. I am teaching my brand new short course, Emails Revealed, only to current LLA members.
This course shows you how to set up automatic email campaigns to sell your products and services, including a behind-the-scenes look at all the emails I use that deliver $20,000+ a month in sales.
Join the LLA today, zip through my new course, and join me for the next live coaching webinar, where you can get personal coaching.