You probably hear a lot of talk about 6-figure businesses. If your Facebook feed is like mine, it’s easy to believe that money grows on trees…
I’m here to say that it’s not like that, but also that if you’re thinking it’s all a con, that isn’t the truth either. It is possible, of course, it’s just mostly not as easy as some people want to make you believe. It might not even be the goal you want to aim for. The truth is that starting a business (any business) is rarely easy.
The businesses that do succeed, (many are failing) are usually built on lots of planning, hard work, and a huge dose of resilience – I’m a testament to that. My success didn’t happen overnight and it definitely wasn’t easy.
Here I’m sharing my story with you, how I grew my business to 6-figures and what it actually means.
I hope you’ll learn something from it and get inspired to grow your business – no matter to what figure!
Turnover vs. Profit
Firstly, while my business is making 6-figures a year now, I’m not. This might come as a shock, but when people talk about six-figure businesses it’s important to work out what they really mean.
Are we looking at a turnover figure or a profit figure?
Turnover is the amount that your business makes in total before you take off any of your costs.
Profit, on the other hand, is what you get to take home after you’ve deducted all your expenses, which in my case was a little bit less than 6-figures last year and of course I still have to pay taxes on that as well.
So when someone shares that they had a 6-figure launch, and you don’t know what their expenses are, what does it even mean? Maybe they spent 20k on contractors and 30k on ads and only took 50k home, which of course is an amazing feat by itself, but it’s not 6-figures.
Most people are drawn in by this kind of marketing, and I get that because I use it myself too. Like the title of this post is written to make you curious and draw you in…
Sometimes it feels like we’re living in a new gold rush era. Myths of ‘get rich quick’ business ideas spread and people dream of achieving instant wealth. That fabled passive income that earns you money even while you sleep.
One of my personal problems with this type of marketing is that the focus is completely wrong, for me anyway.
Secret #1 Have A Vision For Your Life & Business
My first secret (if you want to call it that) on my road to 6-figures is to have a clear vision for your life and business. You want to work towards something bigger and you want to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
I’m not in business to become a millionaire. I started my business because I wanted to be able to work for myself, from anywhere, and I wanted to create something that would help other yoga teachers, and that I’d love to run. Many of the people I speak to who run or dream of running their own businesses have similar motivations – they simply want to use their passions, talents, and experience to build something for themselves. They want to earn a living working on their terms and achieve a sustainable and rewarding lifestyle.
Do I want to be financially successful? Of course. Is my primary motivation to make a fast buck? No. I believe that having these superior goals, like being my own boss and being location independent for me, is the foundation for running a sustainable business, that lights you up even when times are tough.
Secret #2 It’ll Take You A Lot Longer Than You Thought
I started my business in 2016, which was when I started creating my first online course. Back then I was living in Bali for half the year and and then heading back to Germany for the Summer, and freelancing in advertising to earn money. This is how I supported myself, and because I earned great money as a freelancer, I wasn’t in a hurry to replace my income with my business right away – I knew I had time to let it grow organically.
While this was maybe less stressful, I think it also hindered my growth. For example, after I launched my first online course, instead of focusing on selling it and getting better at that, I went back to freelance work, working full-time in an advertising agency. I did that for a few years, switching between working on my business and freelancing, and while it meant I was never in a tight money situation, it also meant that I didn’t grow my business as fast as I would have liked because I was putting the brakes on it every few months.
I know that’s what it’s like for a lot of people – a lot of my students have a family or another job, and they only have a few hours per week to actually work on their business or their online course. It’s never easy, but you’ll get there, it will just take you a little bit longer, which is absolutely OK!
Secret #3 Create Offers That Your Audience Want To Buy
I’m a big believer in the Law of Attraction and of the universe guiding us, but I believe you also have to put in the work, like create offers for people to buy. Like the guy who prayed to god every single day “please, please, let me win the lottery” until God replies “buy a damn ticket”. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, and you can’t earn money if you don’t have anything to sell.
I was hooked on online courses and I knew I wanted to make that the foundation of my business. I love learning from online courses myself, I love the scalability and the freedom that the business model provides.
Selling coaching packages could be a great option for you and also mean you earn 6-figures a lot faster than I did. The only 1-on-1 service I’m offering right now is website design, and with this, I take on very few clients and I only do it because I really enjoy it. Truthfully, I should probably stop doing web design because each project takes up a lot of my time, time which I should be focusing on selling and being the CEO of my company. This means growing my team, working on my visibility, and my long-term strategy.
Secret #4 – Simplify Everything In Your Business
The people around me who had the biggest successes actually all focused on one offer – selling just one thing makes your life so much easier. Did that mean they all started that way? Of course not. Most tried out different things before they found their one thing, or they pivoted into a new direction after a while because they changed, their business changed, their audience asked for new things, etc.
Today I’m really strategic about what I offer. I have one main program, Blissful Biz Academy, where I teach you how to build your audience and create and launch an online course. I also offer Blissful Websites, where I teach you how to DIY your website, and I just created a new course, Blissful Brand Blueprint, where I teach how to build your brand – this is more of a starter course. This is everything I’m offering for now and I’m considering simplifying this even further in the future.
If you’re wondering what other courses I had in the past and decided to close down, here’s a quick insight:
- Yogis Go Digital – my first online course
- Build Your Tribe – my second online course about social media
- Blissful Biz Hive – a membership program with new training every month, I closed this last year
- Social Media 101 – another social media course that was based on trainings I already had created for Blissful Biz Hive
That’s three courses and a membership that I’m not selling anymore. It’s an insane amount of content that I’ve created in the last years and this is definitely NOT what I recommend you do. It’s totally insane what I did and it meant I spent my time working on creating content instead of working on selling my content, improving my launches and collaborating, and increasing my visibility. Let’s not even mention taking a vacation! However, I don’t regret it, as all of those experiences brought me to where I am today.
To simplify also means to free up time – not only to work on other things in your business but also to have a life. On my road to 6-figures, I didn’t take a lot of time off – even when I was in Bali, I was in front of my computer most of the day. I’m a hard worker, but I don’t want to kill myself for success anymore. The truth is I don’t care about 6-figures or 7-figures – I care about making enough money to pay my rent, be able to travel and work on my own terms. I also want to make sure I’m making enough to save for retirement or if I get sick.
When I focus on these goals, my business is ‘in flow.’ When I was living in Bali my monthly expenses were lower. Then I came back to Germany and got an apartment again to stay close to my mum, (who unfortunately is sick) and my income increased because I needed it to. This is what I mean ‘with flow.’
Do I sometimes wish that I would earn more already? Sure! Do I get a tinge of jealously when I read about someone else’s 6-figure launch? Of course – I’m only human. I also sometimes wonder whether I maybe play it small and keep myself from earning more. I’m working on my money mindset, but the truth is, I’m happy with my life and where I am right now.
I recently read something a super successful entrepreneur shared, that she gets up every day at 4:30am to start working. She’s earning 7 figures but all I could think was, I don’t want to share with her. The pandemic is putting a damper on things of course, but in a few months I’m getting a campervan, and then my little puppy Luna and I will explore Europe and I’ll be working on the road, and I can’t wait for that. This for me is freedom, and this is why I created my business, not to earn 6 or 7 figures.
If you want to have a business making $100k a year, that’s great, but I want you to be clear on WHY you want it and not be manipulated or persuaded into thinking that should be your goal. If you want to make a million bucks, I’ll cheer you on, but what I really want is for all of us to stop buying into the hype cycle that’s designed to brainwash us into thinking we’re not making it unless we’re hitting that goal of earning 6-figures or more. It’s not as important as living your life to the fullest and finding joy in what you do.