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How to Turn Simple Ideas Into Financial Freedom

Valerie Young

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 208 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact on your life. Two weeks ago I attended a workshop in Stamford, Connecticut that was taught by a team of phenomenally successful entrepreneurs from Adonis Ratio. Every one of them is easily earning seven figures a year and a few earn that much in a month.

Yes, I learned a ton about marketing a business online. In fact, of all the seminars I’ve attended on how to make money with an online business, this one offered the most concrete, practical ideas that even someone who is not particularly Internet or marketing savvy could take and run with.

This seminar, though, was especially inspiring because unlike seminars that typically focus on different strategies to “monetize” your idea – meaning to make money from it - this seminar was the first to specifically focus on how to “continuitize” your idea so that it continuously makes you money.

Some of the biggest take aways for me came in the form of very small simple ideas. It never ceases to amaze me how just one little shift in perspective can open up a world of possibility and can have huge financial implications for you and your current or future business. For example…

1) Match Your Approach to Your Personality

If you’re hung up because you can’t seem to come up with a product or service to create, this tip from the millionaire son of a former steelworker might be just what you need to get yourself unstuck.

Valerie Young and Matt Bacak

Matt Bacak

Mike Bacak shared three ways you can approach creating and selling information products. (Actually I think you could use these categories for other business idea as well.) You can either become the expert – or the guru if you prefer – you can become the reporter, or you can become the publisher.

As the expert you write your own stuff, make your own audios or videos, and so on. That’s what I do. But what if you don’t have your own stuff to write about or as importantly, you don’t want to be that out-front personality? What if you like gathering and synthesizing information from other people?

Then you become the reporter who interviews experts, or just regular people for that matter, and then “report” on what they have to say. You can record the interview and turn the interviews into CDs, or have them transcribed or both. Or you can turn it into some kind of book or course.

Being the publisher is the most “hands off” way to go. Here you’re basically partnering with people who are the real experts and who create the content. You sell it and you and the expert(s) share the revenue. You can also purchase pre-existing content, usually by buying a license to use someone else’s material. I get emails all the time from people looking to license my work so they don’t have to re-invent the wheel. 

Mike didn’t talk about this part, but it seems obvious to me that the direction you decide to go – expert, reporter, or publisher - has a lot to do with your personality and whether you already have an existing area of expertise or idea or would rather move faster by building off those of others.

Maybe you are uncomfortable being the expert because you’re an introvert. Or perhaps you are interested in aging or the environment or natural health but don’t want to take the time to become expert in it. Guess what – you have other options! And knowing there are other options besides being the “expert” can open up a whole new world of possibilities!

2) Understand the difference between a “project” and a "business”

One of the first speakers to take the stage was David Frey. David had lots of great information to share but one thing that really got my attention was something I’ve seen trip up a lot of new entrepreneurs. Namely, that there is a difference between creating a product and having a business – and a lot of people confuse the two.

Creating a product or service is a project. You might for example, create a tangible product like bird houses or organic dog treats. You could create an information product in the form of a CD, eBook, or online course. Or you might design some kind of service like coaching, consulting, or personal organizing.

Again, in all these cases the creation of the product or service is a project. People make the mistake of thinking that creating the “thing” is the business. It’s not. Selling the product to other people is a business.

The whole point of you starting a business is to get you out of job jail or make a difference in the world or allow you to do work you really love or all of the above – right? So now that you understand the distinction between a product and a business, you need to think about how to maximize your business so it will lead to financial freedom faster.

3) Figure out how to turn your product into a continuous flow of income

When you create a product – whether as the expert, reporter, or publisher – the next step is to sell it. Here again you have some choices.

Option 1: Create a product you can sell over and over again.

For example, say you have a talent for finding great bargains. You might write a buyer’s guide on where to find the best bargains on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. You make it an eBook and sell it for $29.

This is a great idea. The challenge is that one customer buys one guide which means you have to find lots of individual customers to buy lots of individual guides.

Option 2: Sell something once that generates income over and over.

Here you’re taking that same buyer’s guide and instead of selling the same product over and over to different people you “continuitize” it so you are generating income on a continuous or recurring basis.

You might take the same guide and chunk it down into smaller or differently configured pieces so the customer subscribes to a service where they automatically get a series of monthly guides on where to find bargains. It could be neighborhood-by-neighborhood (the Village, Spanish Harlem, Upper West Side) or category by-category (furniture, clothes, jewelry, etc.). Subscribers might also sign up to receive alerts about unadvertised sales.

Now that you have “continuitized” your guide you can sell it for, say, $19 a month with 6 installment all of which gets automatically billed to the subscriber’s credit card. Instead of earning $29 per customer you could earn $114. Got it?

Before I get into other examples, I want you to understand how powerful continuity income can be. Take a look at the numbers conference organizer (and Mr. Nice Guy himself), Ryan Lee put together as part of the seminar handouts...

Let’s say you bring in 3 new subscribers a day. There’s bound to be people who cancel after a month or so. So let’s assume that 10% of your subscribers cancel every month. Here’s what your numbers would look like at different price points as you increase the number of your subscribers:

Product price




Month 1




Month 2




Month 3




Month 12




That’s just with 3 customers a day. Look at what happens if you really ramp up your marketing efforts and bring in 6 new customers a day:

Product price




Month 1




Month 2




Month 3




Month 12




Do you see how powerful this is?

I know that it can be hard enough for some people to come up ways to turn your interests into income. It can be even harder for people who already have businesses to come up with ideas for continuity models. That’s why I arranged with Ryan to have some of people who’ve taken my Outside the Job Box Career Experts Course (OJBs) on hand at the seminar to do some on-site “idea jogging” with some of the 600-plus participants.

OJB Consultants Brainstorm with Continuity Summit Attendees

A couple of the OJB consultants* talked to a voiceover artist with a deep love for the Bible. Here are just a few of the many creative ideas they suggested for how he could turn his passion into a helpful service for others that would also generate continuity income for him:

  • Biblical reading of the week/month (sent either via e-mail as an MP3 or through the mail as a CD)

  • His personal interpretation/commentary on the reading

  • Interviews with other people and their interpretations, including spiritual leaders

  • Focusing on a "theme of the month" (e.g., faith, love, persistence) and using the readings to support those themes

  • A simple monthly assignment for the subscribers based on the readings and a forum for subscribers to write about their experiences doing the assignments

Some other Outside the Job Box Experts consulted with a fitness expert who also coaches insurance agents on how to increase sales and productivity. They suggested he add value to his services by offering a CD of the month to his agents and prospective clients. They even gave him a few suggested topics.

If you go online, you’ll find lots of examples of continuity programs based on on-going sales of physical products. There are dozens of sock of month clubs, wine of the month clubs, olive oil of the month clubs… Why make cookies and sell them once when you can sign up people to get cookies every month?

In all of these cases the customer signs up once and then agrees to have their credit card charged and a new product automatically sent to them every month.

The point is there are an unlimited number of ways that even a small one-person business like you can create passive income using the continuity business model and do it in a way that fits your passion, niche and lifestyle. In most cases, it’s even easier to create a continuity program than it is regular one-time product!

4) Learn from people who are doing it.

If you like the idea of continuous revenue then the simplest and most affordable way to get started is to study people who are already doing it successful. After all – why re-invent the wheel!

I study successful people all the time. But when I can I like to attend live events like Ryan’s Continuity Summit. There is nothing like being there in person to really absorb the material. Plus you get to chat with the presenters!

Mark Joyner and Valerie Young

Valerie Young with Mark Victor Hansen

Stephen Pierce and Valerie Young

Mark Joyner

Mark Victor Hansen

Stephen Pierce

I can genuinely say this was one of THE best Internet marketing training workshops I’ve ever attended. The speakers shared so many concrete techniques and strategies that I left with 15 pages of notes! And, I had the privilege of being invited by Ryan to join the stage for one of his Success Panel discussions.

Success Panel at Ryan Lee's Continuity Summit

Ryan, ever the teacher

The other reason this particular seminar was so good is because there were a lot of online business “newbies” in the room. Often this group gets lost in all the jargon. But Ryan (ever the school teacher!) did a great job of jumping in to translate web-speak into every day language that even non-techies could understand.

I know not everyone had the money or time or both to be able to travel to Connecticut to attend this event in person. The next best thing to being there is watch and learn from each and every speaker, at home and at your own pace. The good news for you is Ryan is making the entire event available on DVD.

It’s Never Too Late to Turn a Simple Idea into Financial Freedom

If you love the idea of a having a business that generates a steady stream of revenue each and every month, I urge you to invest in your education and get the DVDs.
Valerie Young offering a driving testimonial for Ryan Lee's Continuity SummitTo be honest, I rarely watch videos after I’ve attended a live event. There are at least five presentations on these DVDs that I definitely plan to go back and watch again. They are that good.

In fact, I was so pumped up after the seminar that I didn't even wait until I got home to create my own video testimonial for Ryan's event. Click the picture to the left to view my "driving" testimonial. (And yes, I was driving safely and no, both hands were never off the wheel.)

Or, just go to to see what I (and others) had to say about the seminar.

The DVDs and CDs aren’t even ready yet, and Ryan is getting bombarded with requests from people who heard about what they missed. So he is offering a Pre-Publication discount on orders he takes in now. You can reserve your copy at the discounted price at 

Speaker Chris Guerierro was right when he said there are three words that can kill a dream: Waiting for your perfect idea to come along, watching other people prosper, and wishing you could too. You can wait, watch, and wish all you want. But it is action is the only thing that will make your dream of financial security happen.

P.S. In addition to the Outside the Job Box Career Experts who joined me at the live workshop there were three or four Changing Course readers there as well. I didn’t get everyone’s photo but did get this great shot of budding entrepreneur Rhonda Chuyka from West Virginia!


A New Direction

I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...

Julia Raymond
Curvology Studio

Read More Testimonials »

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