I realize that coming from me what I am about to say will sound like heresy. After all, for 15 years I’ve built my reputation on being all about working at what you “love.” Turning your “interests” into income. Finding your “calling.” Profiting from your “passion.”
But what if you just want (or really, really need) to make money NOW?
…Or what if you’re actively building your dream business but the money just isn’t coming in fast enough?
…Or what if THE most important thing right now is to get the heck out of a toxic work environment?
….Or what if you are desperate to find a way to spend more time with your kids before they’re old enough to start changing <ul>your</ul> diapers?
Well, then you have a decision to make don’t you?
You can wait until… divine inspiration hits you over the head …or your current passion-driven enterprise generates the money you need to quit your job …or you win the lottery …or you suddenly get a huge inheritance.
OR you can find the business equivalent of what Barbara Sher calls the “good enough job.”
In other words, loving what you do is but one path to self-employment and/or money.
The Good Enough Business
After I quit my corporate I still had bills to pay like everyone else. So I spent many years working for my former employer as a freelance workshop leader while building Changing Course on the side.
Did I love traveling around the country standing on my feet all day delivering time management workshops to corporate audiences, a good portion of whom were what we refer to in the training business as seminar “hostages?” Nope.
I kept this “good enough income stream” because I needed to a) pay my mortgage and b) fund my business. I could have gotten a job-job. But then I would have been really miserable.
Instead I opted to do something that was not my first love so I could realize two out of three of my goals: 1) Working for myself and 2) working from home. Sacrificing my third goal, which was of course to working at something I love, was a temporarily strategy. It was what allowed me to build Changing Course — which I *do* love — and ultimately do that full time.
As much as I am in the profiting from your passion business, I realize there are either situations or in some cases, personality types for whom “loving” your work is secondary. People for whom making a lot of money or working from home trumps passion.
And that’s okay.
The message that not everything you do to earn money has to be your first love is especially important for women for whom the passion part tends to overshadow the financial part. There are men who fit this category too. But generally speaking men’s self-esteem is more driven by how much they earn.
Which is why you’ll find lot more men opening Subway franchises or diving into internet businesses that are purely about making money. For them the passion IS making money. The business is a means to an end. With the end being the ability to control one’s time and life… in other words, to be your own boss.
Gelato Shop Owner
A few days ago ABC News did a story about career changers from around the world traipsing to Italy to learn how to start a gelato business. There were a number of Americans in the group including a 74 year old, which was pretty cool (pun intended). (You can watch the video here http://tinyurl.com/2flyyyj).
Business is booming for Gelato University Carpigiani in Bologna which offers both on-site and online courses on how to make the Italian ice cream gelato. The equipment alone costs $70,000 which makes me think that for some, owning a gelato shop is not as much a labor of love but a way to money providing a product that their future customers love.
That’s not to say that making ice cream can’t be fun. And it’s definitely more romantic than making Big Macs. But in reality it’s probably not substantially more fun than making submarine sandwiches or burgers. And like any restaurant or food vending business it comes with its share of challenges.
While women especially are sitting around trying to come up with the perfect passion-driven product, there are plenty of guys (and I do mean guys) who are making a killing selling other people’s products via sites like Clickbank.com.
It’s called affiliate marketing. Basically it means you promote someone else’s product. When someone buys, you earn an affiliate commission. I earn about between $20,000-$30,000 a year as an affiliate.
This is peanuts to those who are known as “super affiliates.” Basically they spend their days at their computer earning thousands of dollars a day driving traffic via affiliate links. Personally I would be bored out of my mind.
Another difference is I carefully vet all of my affiliates and in most cases know the person behind the product personally. Super affiliates are interested in selling which ever product earns the biggest commissions.
But I don’t want to be a passion snob. Even though its not my “thing” I know there are plenty of people who based on the earnings potential alone would be all over this.
Will you make wads of money? I have no idea. I have no personal experience as a super affiliate so all I can do is tell you what I’ve seen other people do — including two 30-something guys who are in the Maverick Business Adventures group with me who are now in the millionaire club as well.
Another is a young Indian-American named Anik Singal who I met maybe six years ago when I was speaking at an American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI) copywriting bootcamp in Del Ray Beach, Florida. At the time Anik was still in college majoring in engineering. Being an engineer was what Anik’s immigrant dad wanted him to be. But Anik wanted to become a successful entrepreneur. Happily Anik won.
I’m not sure if Anik ever did try his hand at freelance copywriting. I do know he used what he learned about persuasive writing to successfully sell an eBook he created to teach other students ace exams with minimal effort. (Like they say, “teach what you know!”)
With that success Anik moved into learning about and then teaching about affiliate marketing. Soon he was the undisputed king of affiliate marketing training. At one point his company was training internal affiliate managers for major corporations.
Anik wrote me last week to say that he and his business partner Saj (who I do not know) are selling some kind of system for making money via Clickbank. Like I said, this is not my thing, so I have not tried it and as such can’t vouch for it. What I can vouch for Anik and the fact that he is a very well-known and respected person in the internet marketing world.
If you can get past this not being your passion, it may be something you — or perhaps someone else in your family considers. For example, I can totally see my two nephews doing it.
The thing is Anik and Saj are only offering their Clickbank affiliate marketing program today and tomorrow (July 5-6). I just sent the link to my nephew. If you are curious, you can check it out at https://changingcourse.com/2020/recommends/cbwformula
And speaking of the American Writers and Artists Institute…
Last week I invited AWAI Executive Director and long-time friend Katie Yeakle to host a teleseminar to talk about the field of copywriting. Joining us on the call was college administrator turned freelance copywriter Mindy Tyson McHorse from New Mexico.
If you were on the call, you learned among other things that copywriters are the people who write the direct mail letters you receive in your home mail box, fundraising letters, web site copy selling a product or service or any kind of writing intended to persuade the reader to take action — buy, donate, subscribe, etc.
You also learned that anyone who can write a simple letter can learn the basic formula of copywriting. In my experience most copywriters make about $50,000-$60,000 a year. Some, who work hard at their craft, can get to the six figure mark. Mindy is in her second year and rapidly approaching these earnings.
I have personally used AWAI trained copywriters six or seven times and typically paying in the $2,000-$3,000 range for a sales page (a good example being www.changingcourse.com/makingdreamshappen.htm).
I never got around to asking Mindy if she “loved” writing marketing copy. It’s safe to assume that for more people this kind of work is first and foremost a “life style” business — AKA the good enough business. Meaning, the vast majority of people who do copywriting do not have a burning passion to write marketing copy. Rather they are drawn to the flexibility that freelance copywriting affords. Given that Mindy was a new mom when she started down this path I assume that was the main draw for her as well.
If you missed the call and want to listen in here is the link to the recording:
FYI after the call Katie threw in an additional bonus called Getting Your First Client (a $99 value). That offer ends this Wednesday, July 7th.
Finally, you may wonder if this is a “scam.” If you don’t feel confident in my opinion then it may help to know that a vice president of marketing for a respected company like Nightingale-Conant would not agree to a) hire AWAI graduates to write copy for them or b) to address their annual training event if it were a scam. I know because I was there and invited her to lunch later that day.
There are no guarantees that you or anyone else will make money at this or anything. Whether it’s copywriting or affiliate marketing or gelato making success all comes down to effort. What I can guarantee is that AWAI has been in business for 13 years and is in no way shape or form a “scam,” there really is a need for copywriters, and that once established you can make good money writing marketing copy.
Unlike gelato making, there is also a money back guarantee so there really is nothing to lose.
Bottom line: If your number one goal is to make money doing what you love — and nothing short of that will do — then stay the course. But if you are open to other ways of generating income that may not be your first love, but allows you to be your own boss, then the good enough business may be something to consider.