3 Ways to Replace Your Income
A lot of questions and feedback I get from people is the question around creating sustainable income within their business. This is a common fear and concern for most when they want to launch their own business and leave their 9-5.
In today’s blog post, I want to offer up 3 ways to replace your income.
Making The Leap is personal and varies from one person to the next. Everyone has different thresholds, different risk tolerance, different circumstances.
Some of you may be comfortable with leaping on only 3 months worth of expenses while others may need a year’s worth. Some of you have financial support outside of yourself whether the may be living with your parents, your spouse’s income or something else.
Based on my experience working with women who have launched their business and left their 9-5 usually, have a combination of savings and product validation. Meaning, they’ve proved that customers will purchase and pay them for their services versus those who make a blind leap and have not validated their product or created some kind of recurring revenue through retainer services.
Having product validation provides confidence in knowing that there is a need for what you offer.
Those who blindly or who find themselves saying “I’ll figure it out when I quit my job" make the leap only with savings and no product validation often struggle a bit more because when they leap, they often have so much free time on their hands and energy tends to become split between “What do I want to do?” with “I need to make sure I make money so I don’t deplete my savings” Maybe not these exact words but something closely related to this.
My recommendation is to challenge yourself to eliminate the non-essentials in your schedule, get extremely disciplined with your time and validate your business before you leap.
Okay, let’s dive into 3 ways to replace your income:
The first thing you’ll want to do is the current assessment of where you are to fully understand what you’re striving for:
To do this you’ll want to take inventory of your circumstances; are you married or single, meaning the decision to leave your job…does it impacts others around you and if so, what does that conversation look like? If not, then you know that you’re the sole decision-maker.
Assuming that your spouse is on board for you to start your own business then whether you are married/together/single, you’ll then want to spend time evaluating what feels good and what makes sense to uncover your strategy in terms of knowing your financial goal and threshold.
There are two ways you can go about understanding how much revenue you need to bring in based on risk tolerance and personal desires. For some people, determining how much you need to bring in by assessing your current situation is comfortable enough to make The Leap. While others, want to ensure that they fully replace their salary. Neither way is wrong, everyone is different, circumstances are different. When you go through this process you begin to see what you’re willing to omit from your lifestyle to achieve the freedom you desire. It doesn’t always mean that you stop buying or spending with money, it could quite possibly be that you stop spending your time doing non-essential things and reinvest it into your business that produces revenue.
You must identify a number as your goal because from there you can work backward.
This is what you need in terms of revenue to feel comfortable to make The Leap, to leave your 9-5. Don’t worry if you don’t know WHAT you want to do or are unsure as to how you’ll make it happen. You first need to know what that number is. If your goal is to fully replace your corporate income, let that be your number. If that seems like too far of a stretch for you and your brain can’t comprehend it, start smaller. What would it look like and feel if you were able to generate 50% of your salary through your business?
Let’s say your corporate salary is 80K and based on your circumstances you realize that to survive you need to at least bring in 40K to live off of or you and your spouse agreed that 40K is your bare min.
Now that you know what number you’re after, regardless of what it is that you decide to do, you know what the goal is and you’ll make other decisions based off of that number. For example, setting prices, understanding how many clients you may need to reach your goal and others.
If you were to take 40K divided by 12 (or if you’re listening to this later in the year, divide it by how many ever months are left in the year), it would come to $3,333 per month. Now at first, you might be thinking “HOW IN THE WORLD DO I ACHIEVE THIS NUMBER?” And that is okay, what you want to keep reminding yourself is that this is a goal. It is a north star. It is going to challenge you in many different ways. The important thing to remember is that money and business revenue is just math. Resist the urge to become emotional about this number and freak out. Setting revenue goals is just a math equation. If you know that you need to make $3,300 for you to leave your corporate job, then the question is “How am I going to to do that?” and coming from an energetic place of curiosity, and confidence. Not “OH MY GAWD, how will I ever make this amount?” Your brain will search for answers and find the path of least resistance. So make sure to ask questions that you want answers to. Let’s go back through to $3,300 per month. That is roughly $825/week, $165/day (assuming 5 days). Then based on how many hours you have available in your calendar let’s say 4 hours a day in addition to a full-time job. Remember circumstances are different for everyone. 4 hours a day may seem achievable for some and not for others. You can also assume that maybe you’ll need to work on weekends for the time being. But if you take the $165/4, it is $41 per hour. The purpose of this exercise if for you to get as clear as possible on the numbers but also on expectations of what it will be required of you to do to leave your job. Your hourly rate may not start at $41 an hour, it may be lower but now you know what you’re working towards. This exercise takes a little elbow grease, patience and time to work the numbers.
Regardless of the number you pick, you just need to like your reason for picking that number. While picking the number you may feel slight resistance. Earning money as an entrepreneur, a contractor, the freelancer you name it, is different than getting a W-2. A lot more money blocks may come up, your brain may freak out, don’t worry it is trying to protect you. It doesn’t mean stop doing what you’re doing. Keep pushing yourself to stay committed to that number.
The most common way I’ve seen women replace their income and start their business is in 3 ways:
Become a VA
Start an online business
Leverage your skills to become a contractor
Become a VA:
This is a great option if you’re not exactly sure what it is that you want to do. There is a low barrier to entry. Most VA’s start out by picking up small gigs and helping business owners on a plethora of tasks. Overtime as a VA you can begin to increase your value and skillset to your clients thus being able to raise your prices. So while you may not start at the $41/hour, you may also exceed that over time because of what you can deliver.
If you’re looking to earn quick money to help jumpstart your VA business, here are 5 things you can do immediately:
1. Identify 2-4 services you enjoy doing. This could be:
Social media, email management, podcast production, proofreading, copywriting, you name it. If you’re stuck on ideas, check out Fiverr and Upwork to help you brainstorm ideas.
2. Once you’ve narrowed down your services, craft an email that you can send to your network. Keep it short, simple and to the point. You’ll send this email to people in your network who already know you. This will help you gain exposure. Also, join Facebook groups or networks that are focused on VA’s to find opportunities. The Virtual Savvy is a great resource. The founder Abbey Ashley has been a guest and she will also be speaking at this year’s She Did It Her Way Summit.
3. Know your hourly rate. Although most of the time business owners have a set rate that they’re willing to pay for a specific service. It will be up to you whether or not you chose to move forward based on the price.
4. Set up a payment gateway Via venmo, PayPal, stripe
5. Deliver outstanding work for your clients to grow your referrals.
Start an Online Business:
This can be in the form of digital products, online courses, and coaching. Or it can be something like an online store; Julie Ciardi was a previous guest on the show, EP 268. Julie was a director at a well-known company and while she was working there she started her side-hustle, Haven Boutique which was a brick and mortar store that had an online comment. Within 4 months of opening, she made six figures in revenue and left her corporate job. Linda Solley Hurd, epos 301, went from freelancing to owning a multi-million dollar online store, Adeline clothing. Both Linda and Julie use Shopify in their business.
Going down this route takes a little bit more time and pre-work to get going compared to starting a VA Business. But not more time in the sense that it should deter your decision from pursuing these options if you wish to do so. The important thing here is to find someone that is already modeling what type of business/service you want to offer, and replicate the process. A proven process leads to predictable results. Once you identify the process all you need to do is plug yourself into it.
Leverage Your Current Skills as Contractor :
This one is similar to being a VA but slightly different. Here you may already know what skill you want to offer, you may potentially have people who are willing to compensate you for your services once you go out on your own. This might look like for you clearly understanding what service you want to offer, who your target market is, who your potential client looks like, their pain points, building a website and converting your first client immediately.
Example (give my facilitator vs VA)
Similar to the VA business, you’ll want to send emails to your network or people who may be interested in your services to help drum up business to help you generate revenue.
The first thing you’re going to do is identify your number. Figure out your threshold based on your circumstances, break it down into monthly, weekly and daily goals to get a better idea of exactly how much you need to bring in and a starting line for setting your prices.
Then decide how you are going to start generating income; whether it be through a VA service, online business or leverage your existing skills.
Start today, start now.