Going Pro – 2011 Melbourne Conference

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...

"Going Pro"

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...

Next, See: A Conversation with Super Marketer Lynn Terry

Best,

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:

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Lynn, How very cool to take the "flip" side of all the training and stand it on its ear - as you were on the other side of the world. Sounds like the trip to "down under" was great inspiration to thinking outside the box. Congrats on living life the way you desire. WooHoo for you!
    Martha

    • Lee Fecteau says:

      Lynn, I second Martha's kudos. Thank you for all you do to help others attain the life style you have. Passive income is definitely the way to go, especially during this era of layoffs and cutbacks in traditional jobs.

    • Thank you Martha and Lee :) I often wonder where I would be now if I had not gone through such difficult circumstances all those years ago. All I ever knew about business and being an entrepreneur was that it was meant to be hard work. I had no idea there even was a flip side, other options, until I was forced into it.

      We are fortunate to live in such a time with so many opportunities for this style of business. Taking care of my son when he needed me most, as well as my Grandmother in her last two years, are things I'll always be grateful for...

  2. Corinne says:

    I'm so glad you had such a great time in Australia - but then I sort of knew you would :-) It seems that there has been a steady move away from an emphasis on niche affiliate marketing by Ed and company over the past couple of years. While I still learn a lot from his conferences and meet amazing people, my heart has always been (and I think will always be) in affiliate marketing. Last year Bob and I were able to down size the amount of time we spend on our 'regular' jobs and are continuing on that road this year. At the beginning of this year, I clarified my goal to become one of the 20% of all affiliate marketers that make 80% of all the income. (Thank you Rosalind for that quote!)It may take us a little longer because although we do tend to work 7 days a week, we also take time to keep balance in our lives. So much of this we owe to your inspiration, training and guidance ~ thank you my friend!

  3. Wow! - How inspiring you are Lynn. I absolutely LOVE the way you have created a Lifestyle, and you make it clear it is hard work and takes time, dedication and effort, but it is possible, and you are a wonderful role model for a beautiful lifestyle!
    Diana

  4. Gord Young says:

    "Pet a chicken?" I'm not familiar with that business term.
    Is that some sort of affiliate marketing term?

    • LOL no - as Jen (aka @ppcmom) explains below, it was one of her chickens. I had a fabulous time hanging out with her on her back deck after the conference and before my flight home. ;)

  5. Dan Reinhold says:

    And did you bring back a pet chicken for Slim?? :)

    Dan

  6. Haha! "pet a chicken". :) The chicken Lynn refers to is Doris, and she lives with her 5 sisters in my backyard coop here in Melbourne. I laughed out loud when I read that!

    Lynn, as always, you help us see the practical, real side of a situation. You bring balance to the conversation, and i appreciate that. You're right, the focus was on "bigger, better, larger" and creating a big biz. Thanks for reminding me of the many passive income opportunities available to us.

    You're an inspiring leader, and I'm so glad we've met. Thank you! - Jen

    • Your chicks are adorable :D I had such a great time, and am really glad we met as well. Hanging out with you was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

      I *loved* your presentation on Facebook Advertising, as well as the training on Google Adwords by @thegoogleguy - those were my two favorite topics at the conference. Good stuff!

      If I want to send someone to you to learn more about Facebook Advertising, do you have a specific link or a report I can point them to?

  7. Thanks for the inpsiration once again, Lynn. Creating the lifestyle I want is really what it's all about!

    :) Peggy
    P.S. Great job for coming up with a good speech topic on the fly like that.

  8. Caroline says:

    Lynn - I really enjoy your posts as you do give great value. I think to have a female perspective in this arena is important. Why? Because I think we are able to better clarify WHY we are doing this. Like you, I have no interest in have big teams, people to manage, customer service etc, because it is about have the time to do the things you want to do as well as the money to do it.
    Going to Melbourne for the weekend is JUST the sort of thing I can relate to. Such fun!

  9. Robert Somerville says:

    Really enjoyed your presentation at the Melbourne Challenge conference.

    You were the only speaker that spoke about building a business around creating and enjoying a lifestyle. I suspect eventually everyone will come to that position at some point.

    Thanks for coming to the conference, hope you enjoyed your stay in Melbourne :)

    GuruBob

    • I really did enjoy my stay. Melbourne is one of my favorite destinations - beautiful!! It was great to see you again :) And I agree. People do tend to come back around to that concept, but usually only after getting in too deep. Happened to me as well. The E-Myth Revisited is a great book for ANY entrepreneur to read... wish I had read it sooner myself! lol

  10. It was great seeing you again Lynn. I also got a lot out of your presentation because you were right on the money about passive income and lifestyle. Securing that passive base is crucial for me and everything else falls in line after that.
    I hope you enjoyed your trip and don't forget that Australia always has the door open.

  11. Hi Lynn

    It was really lovely to meet you and hear your talk, it really inspired me and it was really what I needed to hear, because I have been looking at several different online business models and Affiliate Marketing really appealed to me - I want to be able to spend time with my family and friends, the people I love, and not have to be constantly worrying about where money is coming from or what my staff and clients are up to!

    Thanks for sharing your journey, I look forward to meeting with you again, and hopefully it will be in my beautiful country, New Zealand!

    Take care
    Lise

    • I really enjoyed meeting you as well, and look forward to staying in touch. I owe you an email still so keep an eye out for that. ;) I am looking forward to my first real visit to New Zealand, hopefully before the year is out. I'll be sure to let you know when I get the trip details together!

      • Hi Lynn
        I am in Christchurch, New Zealand, and we've just had a massive 6.3 earthquake which has killed 166 people. At the moment my life has become consumed with just getting my life sorted, helping others as much as I can, and keeping my business running, so that I can help others send gifts of encouragement, love and sympathy. It has made me realise that life is very precious and should be lived in a loving way, doing what you enjoy. I look forward to working more with your great ideas. I really want to have a passive income so that I can become more productive and are able to do more to help others. Thanks for your great view of balance.

  12. Greg Woodley says:

    Hi Lynn,
    was great to hear (ans see) you again at the conference.
    Loved your approach.
    I am, like you, more interested in lifestyle than in absolute dollars.
    It was refreshing to hear you speak of it and inspiring to realise you are doing it.
    I have never considered affiliate sales though, been trying to sell my own products.
    Your comments about simplicity of no product creation / support makes a lot of sense.
    Any advice or direction you could give me about starting up with affilate selling ?
    As Nez mentioned you are always welcome here is Oz.
    Thanks Again, Greg
    PS Next time you fly down here let me know. I have a cabin near the water where kangaroos come up to the back door, it may be an Australian experience for you. Just need to make sure the cabin is not being used.

    • Oh wow Greg, what an incredible offer! I would love to take you up on that. :D

      On getting started with affiliate marketing, I suggest you start right where you are. You mentioned selling your own products - I assume info products? Or if physical products, then you have a customer list you stay in touch with, correct?

      Affiliate Marketing can easily be integrated into either model, and is the best way to go versus starting up something completely separate. Consider ways you can add in recommendations - into your products, sites, or follow-up email communications.

      Would love to brainstorm this with you further. Feel free to post on the forum if you want to hash out details: http://www.clicknewz.com/members/

  13. It seems to me that what you did was remind people of WHY we want to earn money. It is usually because we want to live a certain lifestyle - whether that is by having more money of whether it is the freedom of working your own hours from home. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways of achieving that lifestyle because it eventually becomes passive income.

    Sometimes people become so fixed on the business that they forget why they started it - to achieve the lifestyle.

    And Corinne - loved your statement about "become one of the 20% of all affiliate marketers that make 80% of all the income."

    Now that's a goal I could aspire to!

  14. Allen Walker says:

    Welcome back, Lynn. And agree with you. Affiliate marketing rocks! :)

  15. Thank you for yet another great post and for the "extra"(the interview).
    It is incredible how much myself and others get out of your posts.
    Thanks

    • Glad you enjoyed the interview, Jim. Rae is a long-time friend and someone who inspired me to really take affiliate marketing to the next level. We got to reconnect in person recently over breakfast at Affiliate Summit, and had this very lifestyle conversation. She's a real gem ;)

  16. Hi Lynn - glad you had a great time in Melbourne. Try and make Sydney next time !

    • It's definitely on my list to visit! I have a growing number of friends in Sydney too, which makes it even more appealing. Expect me there sometime in the next 18 months. :)

  17. Lynn: Great to see you again! Feel free to drop by Australia anytime. ;-)

  18. Lynn you have a way saying all the things I'm feeling. Now that my youngest is 18 I have more choices than I have ever had. I absolutely love the work/business part of my life but I want/need security AND choices. I'm putting things in place now to support a more flexible life - one that allows me to travel, be with friends and family and do the work I love...all on my own schedule.

    Wonder where I got that idea from... :)

    • :D

      My son is 19 now, and left home just a few months ago to pursue his own career. My daughter is still home of course (14yo) but like you many new options are opening up now that the children are older. This is such a fun and exciting time in life!

      You're smart to actively work on putting those things in place. I'm making some cool changes on my end as well and loving every minute of it. Wishing you all the best!

  19. Lynn,
    You are my rock star and an inspiration to me. Who would not love a lifestyle like yours? I hope not to be too far behind - but I know it takes plenty of work. Thanks for being so generous to share you life and experiences with us....Mary

    • You are well on your way, and already inspire so many others ;) You've done a fabulous job with your business, and were smart to choose something you enjoy so much!

      I look forward to catching up at our next lunch :)

  20. Sounds like it was a great talk that you gave. With such a short time there I guess you didn't have time to stop over in New Zealand. Maybe next time.

  21. Welcome Back Lynn. I stopped taking on new off line clients since I started selling Mobile SMS Text Marketing and recruiting people to sell on my sales team. Everyone on my team gets monthly commissions on all the people they sign up and the ones I sign up too. We all get monthly recurring commissions for each client we sell the service to. I love the one sale, with monthly recurring income. Mobile is so hot that I get calls every week from people wanting to sell it. My work is setting up the membership site for my sales team (recruits) to get access to tools and other stuff I know to help their success and a membership site for the retailers my team signs up that provides retailers all the cool stuff I learned for my off line consulting business. This is so fun. Being an Elite member continues to be a asset for me since we all help each other.

  22. John Charles Steinmuller says:

    Thanks Lynn for your inside look of your business... you are one of the few I read whenever an email comes in. I appreciate your straight talk as always...John

  23. Bill Thomson says:

    Glad you enjoyed Melbourne Lynn because I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughts on lifestyle choices - your ideas on first securing a passive income base made irrefutable sense!

    You are certainly inspiring me to have a solid rethink about where I want to be heading inside the next few years & I plan to keep on listening to your clear brand of sheer common sense :)

    Looking forward to seeing you in Oz again sometime soon.

  24. Hi Lynn - hope you make it over to the UK to give a presentation soon!

    A question for you on passive income & niche affiliate sites.
    There seems to be a lot of movement recently to market leadership and strong customer engagement. This works well in areas that you are passionate about, where it is a joy to interact and build relationships.

    In traditional niche markets this isn't always the case (the passion) and with multiple niches isn't always possible. And it doesn't seem to fit too well with the passive idea either (though I understand you still get passive income from niches you work hard, from work you've done previously).

    So the question: With all the changes to Google & facebook recently and the direction things seem to be going, is there still opportunity in creating new niche affiliate sites that don't require a passionate engagement with visitors?

    Thanks, Andrew

  25. I love it when you say "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." Very inspiring..

  26. Hi Lynn,
    Long time, I have not been here. Yes I want to be able to travel and see the world as I work. My children are young and I got a lot on my hands but the allure to have money is so strong the only problem is that I get into so many other things that are not my passion. I am not giving up, I will have this dream and make sure it comes to pass.
    Thanks for the encouragement that it is possible.
    Grace

  27. Did I read you right when you said you don't have a team??
    I loved the image of you pettig some chicken. Some of them can be quite beautiful with exotic colors. I never knew until recently how beatiful aq bird they are.
    I'm working on the dream.
    Thanks for all your help and guidance. Greatly appreciated.

  28. Update: I'm giving a FREE live presentation on this topic - "Creating Your Passive Base Income"- this week on Wednesday at 8pm Eastern. Click Here to Register and join us live! ;)

    I'm going to talk lifestyle design via online business, passive income sources, strategies that work, simple things you can implement into your current business model for long-term returns, etc.

    Hope to see you there!

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