I just returned from Ed Dale's annual conference in Australia. It was a quick trip, but a really nice time. I got to catch up with my friends "down under", continue my search for the perfect coffee on that side, pet a chicken, and enjoy beautiful Melbourne sunrises for four straight mornings.
The theme for the event was Going Pro and it was all about setting your business up for success and taking it to the next level. I usually do Hot Seats and site reviews at Ed's events when I attend, but otherwise just hang out - and of course brainstorm after hours with all the cool people there. Ed draws an awesome crowd!
I discovered (after I arrived, no doubt) that I was on the schedule to give a talk on the 3rd day of the conference. Oops lol. That was my fault of course...
As I sat through the first two days of the conference, I was doing a little bit of listening and a lot of reflecting. Many of the people attending were starting their first business, and looking to take it all the way - bigger, more, cooler, better.
There was a lot of talk from various speakers about systems, processes, outsourcing, team management, exponential growth, etc, etc, etc. Basically, taking a "decent business" all the way to max profit potential.
My mind kept going back to when I got started myself, back in the 90's. I started out with a physical business - and it did well. But I was ambitious and didn't just quit at one business. By the end of the next year I'd started a second business and partnered in a third.
I had locations, employees, partners, vendors, customers. I was working every waking hour - and absolutely loving it of course!
The Other Side of Going Pro
And then... life happened. As it always does. I went through an unexpected divorce, became a single mom, then my oldest child got sick - yada yada yada. When it rains it pours as you know.
That's when everything fell apart. I fell apart, which is why it fell apart.
I never - ever - wanted to find myself in that situation again.
I looked at my original businesses and took note of what was good about them. It was the money earned that I didn't have to actively work for. That's when I turned to passive income sources, specifically via affiliate marketing. I was already doing it in my original businesses to some extent, so I decided to go with it 100%.
As I was listening to each speaker discuss various ways to "build an empire", and considering the various models they used and the work involved, I decided that's what I would talk about on Day 3: "the other side of going pro"...
Securing Passive Base Income
You absolutely need a passive base income. This is the minimum amount of money necessary to maintain your current lifestyle. Passive meaning that income will continue to come in each month, whether you actively work that month or not.
Last year I didn't actively work for more than 4 months... and my annual income increased by almost 50%. Ask yourself what would happen if you didn't work for more than a solid quarter. Ponder on that for a second. It's not a pretty vision.
No matter what your business model, affiliate marketing is the easiest way to secure your passive base income. You can do affiliate marketing as a stand-alone business of course - or you can work it into your current business model.
I'm not going to tell you it's super easy, like click button magic or something. It's business, and it takes a serious investment of your time and energy to set up this passive base income. But it's worth it.
Back when I was starting over I worked 14+ hours a day 7 days a week - whatever it took to get back on my feet, keep a roof over our head in the process, and set myself up for a better future. A better model. One that wouldn't crash and burn if I couldn't give it my full attention (again).
Now my life is amazing. By MY standards.
I'm actually living my life instead of being totally consumed by work. Which, at the young age of 37, is awesome... and of course I've been doing that for years now.
In my current business model there are no phone calls, no major customer support system, no clients, no huge team to manage, no walk-in customers, no meetings. None of that.
I travel with my children, have long lunches with friends, work from my back deck, curl up on the couch with my teen and watch Netflix marathons, hike the falls with my dog...
And even fly to Australia for the weekend just to hang out with my friends there. Which is exactly why I went. As I mentioned, I had no idea I was scheduled to talk until after I arrived. There were clues, sure - sales copy, emails, etc. LOL.
I missed them all! I was on a ski trip with the girls, curled up on the couch with Slim recovering from the flu, playing foster mom to another Dane for a bit - just "living my life" (not reading emails, obviously -oops!).
That's why I called it "the other side of Going Pro". It's not that I don't work and my whole life is just one big picnic. It's just that there's a whole lot more picnic than working. And I get to choose when to picnic and when to work. Nobody calls the shots but me.
And so, among all the speakers who taught systems and processes and million dollar ideas, I decided to talk about the other option: creating a lifestyle, and using passive income to support that lifestyle.
Affiliate Marketing is an ideal way to create passive income sources simply because it cuts out product creation, customer support, and so many other aspects of an online business that can keep you... well, busy.
As I mentioned earlier, Affiliate Marketing can be integrated into practically any business model, or used as a stand-alone online business model. Many of the attendees at the Challenge Conference had a service-based business, or planned to start one.
Since I started out online with a service-based business, I shared some of my tips for creating passive income sources in a service business. If you're interested in that topic yourself, see:
How to Create Passive Income Opportunities In A Service-Based Biz
(Without Pissing Off Your Clients)
To be a true Market Leader in a service based business you need to be the GO TO person for your market. That includes analyzing all of their needs, even those outside the scope of your business, and making sure they are taken care of - by you, and your all-inclusive list of resources & referrals.
Take a look at the link above, and consider ways you can implement those points (or something similar) into your own business. The goal is to create a Passive Base Income so that your business and lifestyle are easily maintained - even when you cannot actively work. Or simply don't want to.
I should mention, I don't do service at all anymore. I shut that business down years ago. Now I strictly do niche affiliate marketing online. And I focus on promoting physical products: real products for real people.
I had a great time in Melbourne.
It was fun to catch up and hang out with my friends there, and brainstorm after hours. I came home feeling seriously motivated and inspired!
The trip there and back was awesome too. I did a lot of reading and brainstorming on the flight. And of course caught beautiful sunsets and sunrises from the sky.
THIS is the life I want. Being able to fly to Australia for the weekend just for fun, just for a few days, just to take a break from my usual routine and hang out with cool folks - without even worrying over the cost OR the time away. It was a nice perk to be able to share the concept of that lifestyle with everyone there...
p.s. In my next post I'm going to discuss "doing things in logical order". You can subscribe below to make sure you get notification when the next post comes out: