S2 EP7: From Music Teacher to Making $30,000 per Month Online with Gillian Perkins
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Today’s guest is Gillian Perkins from GillianPerkins.com. Gillian is a best-selling author, founder of the Startup Society, and host of the Earn More, Work Less podcast. Her mission is to teach regular people how to build online businesses that make passive income and provide them flexibility, fulfillment, and success on their own terms.
In this episode, Gillian shares:
- Her entrepreneurial journey going from music teacher to multiple six-figure online business owner
- The epiphany she had about why her business wasn’t making more money
- How she gets a ton of visibility and lead for her business for free
- The mindset shift around hiring that allowed her to scale her business
- The biggest myth around having an online business that she wants to clear up once and for all
- Free Download: The 8 Ways to Make Money Online Explained
- Gillian’s YouTube Channel
- Work Less, Earn More Podcast
- Gillian’s Website
Note: This transcript was automatically generated and may include typos.
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Dollar Sprout Podcast, where it’s all about building a business that offers consistent income and flexibility so you can live life on your terms. And now your host, Megan Robinson.
[00:00:18] Megan: Welcome back to the Dollar Sprout podcast. Today we have with us a very special guest, Gillian Perkins. Gillian is a digital marketing expert, a best selling author, and the founder of Gillian perkins.com, where she teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to improve their online presence and grow their business.
[00:00:41] Some of her programs include the Startup Society, which is a membership community that offers action plans to help grow your business. Live coaching and accountability in the community and validate is another one of her programs. I really love the idea of this. One. Validate is an eight week acceler.
[00:01:00] That’s designed to help you test drive your business idea to see if it has legs before you launch into something full force. Um, I don’t think that there are a whole lot of things out there, at least not that I’ve seen that are like validate. So I think that’s a really cool program. So if you’ve been thinking about starting a business, but you aren’t sure if it’s the right idea, definitely check that one out.
[00:01:24] Gillian has helped thousands of people achieve their business goals through her podcast, her paid programs, and her YouTube channel. And today she’s going to share her knowledge and experience with us. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn from one of the best in the business. Please welcome Gillian Perkin.
[00:01:44] Megan: Hi Gillian. Thanks so much for being on the Dollar Sprout podcast today.
[00:01:48] Gillian: For sure. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
[00:01:50] Megan: Would you mind to share with our audience kind of what your business looks like at a high level with some numbers today, um, starting with maybe what exactly it is that you sell and what is your business profitability look like
[00:02:07] Gillian: from that?
[00:02:08] So the main products that we sell are a couple different higher end business training programs that guide people to, we have two specific programs. One is called Validate, and we teach people how to test out their business idea and figure out like, is this a valid business idea? Is there really demand for this?
[00:02:27] Will it, does it have the potential of being a successful business? And so that’s an eight week accelerator program. And then we have our kind of next step program that is called hundred K Mastermind, and it guides people to take that proven business idea that they’ve gotten a validation for and turn it into a $10,000 or more per month revenue stream for their business.
[00:02:50] So how do they automate that? How do they build a sales funnel that consistently sell? Um, so those are two main higher level programs. But then something that’s always been really, um, just important to me is providing affordable business education for people who are just starting out. Because when you’re first starting out, a lot of the time you don’t even know exactly what business you wanna start.
[00:03:11] Um, maybe you have no idea if it really is going to be successful. Maybe you don’t even have enough confidence to jump into like an eight week accelerator and go all in with a business idea, even for a short period of time. Um, because I remember being at that place myself, where I was just had so many uncertainties and there were so many unknowns, and I just, I needed to learn things.
[00:03:30] I, I really didn’t know what I didn’t know. So I needed the training, I needed the education, but I wasn’t ready to go all in with a business idea or invest very much into a business. So the other main program that we sell is called Startup Society, and it’s a really affordable monthly membership program that’s kind of just a comprehensive business education.
[00:03:51] It’s kind of business 1 0 1 for all the different aspects of business just to get people started and help people to get that education that they need to learn how to develop their business. So those are the main programs that we offer and, um, those are our mainstreams of revenue. We also generate revenue from, um, YouTube ads because we have pretty big audience on YouTube around, um, around 600,000 subscribers.
[00:04:18] So that generates, uh, about $10,000 a month in revenue. And then we also do some affiliate marketing as well. However, we’re pretty selective with that. We just work with a few different companies and we’ll do promotions with them. Um, the programs that I mentioned, uh, startup Society is a membership program, and so we typically average around 300 members in it, and it brings and around 10 to $20,000 per month.
[00:04:46] And then we have these two group programs that we run Validate a hundred K Mastermind, and those we launch periodically throughout the year because we run those programs live because we like to work directly with the students, even though they’re group programs. We get really personal with the students and we are walking through the program with them.
[00:05:06] It’s not at all like a self-paced DIY course type of product. And so we launch them live and then we run them live. And so the revenue from those, it varies from year to year, depending on how many times we launch them and how, um, aggressively we market them when we do launch them. Very cool. Yeah,
[00:05:27] Megan: I, um, I, there is so much like business knowledge and there are so many business courses and stuff out there.
[00:05:35] Um, but I think that, like you mentioned earlier, there’s not a whole lot of like really
[00:05:41] Gillian: affordable
[00:05:43] Megan: specific trainings for like new business owners. And I personally haven’t seen a whole lot out there about what you were talking about with, um, how to validate your idea because I had so many ideas when I first like, wanted to start my business.
[00:05:59] I feel like I had a ton of ideas about the kind of business I wanted and the things that I wanted to sell, but. I didn’t, I didn’t know how to validate them. And that resulted in so many, like, so many months really of lost time, just like trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. So, um, I love that you have a whole program just about that, because I think that’s a key piece that a lot of people miss when they’re first starting a business.
[00:06:26] Gillian: For sure. Yeah, let’s talk about that for just a moment. There are two reasons that I created that program. One was basically the thing you’re talking about that a lot of the time is an obstacle that people face where they want to start a business, but they’re uncertain about whether or not their business will be successful.
[00:06:40] So either they spend a lot of time on, uh, idea that isn’t gonna be successful or just stops them, right? And they’re like, oh, I don’t know. And they waffle between different ideas because they don’t have any sort of proof that it will be successful. So they don’t really wanna invest their time and, and money and effort into it.
[00:06:54] So that was one reason I had felt that pain. I had tried so many business ideas, but not really like given them mm, I don’t know the, the test drive that I needed to. So instead I was just like, why isn’t this business working out? You know? Um, but it really held me back. The other reason was because we were running our program called startup.
[00:07:13] We had all these members in there who were trying to grow their business and they would be asking us, you know, why isn’t my business growing? And they would tell us about their business. And sometimes we’d be like, oh, you just need to do this thing. You know that that’ll solve all your problems, you know, or that’s your next step.
[00:07:27] But other times they would tell us about their business and we were like, um, actually, and. Our reaction, our opinion, and it was just our opinion was that their business didn’t really seem like a good idea , but who are we to tell them that? You know, maybe there were people out there who wanted what they had to sell.
[00:07:44] And even though I know a lot about business and have started quite a few different businesses over the last 10 or 20 years, I still do not feel that I am the the person who should tell someone whether or not their business is a good idea or not. There are all sorts of businesses out there that have been successful that I never would’ve guessed would’ve been successful and vice versa, I might think something sounds like a great idea just cuz I wanna, but maybe no one else wants it.
[00:08:07] Right? So I don’t really feel that I or anyone on my team or any business coach should be telling someone whether or not their business idea will be successful or. So I was like, how can we help people figure this out for themselves? Because I don’t want to give them advice about how to grow their business when I don’t even think their business is a good idea.
[00:08:25] Right. I think that they should test it out and they should figure out whether people want this. And so we developed the validation, a process to guide them in a really structured and really comprehensive way to like thoroughly vet their idea so that they could have the confidence to go all in with their business and they could just, yeah, they could be all in, give it what it would take to turn it into a success because they had the confidence that it was a valid business idea that there was demand, that it could be successful.
[00:08:55] Yeah, absolutely. Um, I’m would love to hear
[00:08:59] Megan: more about. I know you have such a long, vast entrepreneurial journey, um, and you know, I think you were one of those people who was a born entrepreneur, you know, like lemonade stand kind of story that you hear. Um,
[00:09:15] Gillian: but I’m curious, like where did your
[00:09:17] Megan: entrepreneurial journey begin and how, cuz obviously you didn’t start out just creating courses and programs teaching people how to start a business or validate a business idea that wasn’t your first business.
[00:09:30] Um, so where, where did your entrepreneurial journey begin and how did you get all of the knowledge and experience
[00:09:37] Gillian: that you have today? Yeah, well it was kind of a, a lemonade stand sort of story in that as a kid I started various different little businesses and ventures where I either got my friends to buy into different ideas or I walked door to door and, you know, sold things, um, to my neighbors and different sorts of things like that.
[00:09:58] Um, and then when I. Was a teenager around, I think 14 years old. I wasn’t even trying to start a business. I, I did want a job. I wanted to make some money, but I didn’t have any business idea really. Um, and I had a friend who asked me if I would teach her how to play the flute because I played the flute and the piano.
[00:10:20] And, um, I wasn’t, uh, an exceptional musician in myself. I’m just intermediate. But, um, she wanted to learn how to play the flute, and she was like, you know how to play the flute, so teach me. And she was very pushy, but actually, and I, I said no at first a couple times, but she was like, I need someone to teach me.
[00:10:36] You can teach me. So I’m glad that she did push because, um, turned out to be something that I enjoyed doing and I was like, Hmm, actually I’m, teaching is a natural gift of mine. It’s something that comes very easily to me. I, how to explain things to people is pretty just straightforward in my mind. Um, and so she felt like I.
[00:10:55] Did a good job of teaching her and very, uh, thank, I’m thankful to her that she then told other people, yes, Gillian teaches flute. Yes, Gillian teaches piano. And I was like, I don’t know about this. And so I immediately got a few referrals from her and I told those people, like, I don’t really know about this.
[00:11:13] I’ve never done it before, but they were interested in hiring me too. So, um, I quickly got a few different music students and pretty quickly got confident with that because I saw that it was something that came pretty naturally and easily to me. Um, and so kind of fast forward a few years, I, my student base had grown to my complete capacity, which for a, a one-on-one music teacher, it’s about like 40 to 50 students a week.
[00:11:39] Um, and so all my time was filled with that. And, um, I was going to have my first baby, we’d gotten married. Pregnant with First Baby, and I was like, Hmm, I need some help here. And so I decided to hire someone to work for me to teach my music students. And so I hired that first person. It was a terrible experience.
[00:12:03] She quit on me two weeks after I had the baby . There was a, a myriad of reasons, but basically she basically she lived too far away and she thought she’d be fine with the drive and it turned out she wasn’t. So, um, that was, I got burned that first time and tried to hire someone because then I felt like I had to rush back to work because I’d promised, you know, these people, I honestly, they would’ve been fine, but I was worried that they might go find a different music teacher and I was insecure about it.
[00:12:30] HUD back to work. But despite that bad first experience, I was, uh, interested Now in the idea of hiring people, delegating, I was like, I was basically trying to figure out how I could scale my business so that it wasn’t dependent on me to just be like trading my hours for dollars sort of thing. But instead I wanted to manage a business.
[00:12:49] Um, Because along the way, um, even though I’d been running that business that whole time, so basically for the last, like six years, um, I had also been, started several other businesses in this time. Um, I had started a hair salon, um, that I had been, it was a mobile hair salon, so I hired stylists and they would do like events and weddings and that sort of, Um, we’d started a small investment company where we were, um, financing manufactured homes, um, and flipping manufactured homes, um, and a few other businesses along the way.
[00:13:25] Kind of every like year or two, I would start a new business and sometimes I would really build it out and maybe we would hire someone, maybe we would make a significant amount of money. Um, and then other times it’s just like trying to start a business and, you know, just like writing a business plan. Um, so variety of experiences.
[00:13:43] It was a lot of fun. But the reason I was doing this was because I was trying to figure out like, what do I wanna be when I grew up, um, I had read through those lists of college majors that were my options so many times, and none of them really appealed to me. Any of those topics of study sounded relatively interesting to me, but the job that they would lead to was not a job that I felt like I wanted to have long-term.
[00:14:06] They all sounded like they would occupy all my time, not really be the thing I was most interested in, and not pay as well as I wanted them to. Uh, and then the few exceptions that did pay better, you know, being like a doctor or a lawyer, those took even more time. And being, uh, I didn’t see a profession as being like my life goal.
[00:14:27] It wasn’t my life goal to just be a doctor or be a lawyer or something like that. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to enjoy my life. I wanted to travel. I had these other things that I found my identity and a lot more than a job. Um, and so I was, I wanted to work though. I enjoy working. I enjoy being productive.
[00:14:48] I wanted to make. Um, but yeah, I just didn’t wanna do something that was gonna take 40, 50, 60, 80 hours of my time every week. I wanted to do something that would be like maybe in the 20 to 40 hour a week range, but earn a good hourly rate. Um, so I had looked through those lists of college majors. None of them seemed like the right fit.
[00:15:08] So I was starting these different businesses to kind of try to test out different careers basically. Um, and it didn’t really occur to me that maybe what I actually wanted to do was run a business. What I, when I was like really honest with myself, what I would say is I wanna figure out how to get paid to think like I wanna, I don’t know what that would look like, but I enjoy like figuring things out and studying things.
[00:15:30] And I would, and I saw my dad. My dad’s an entrepreneur too. He runs a landscape architecture business and has my entire. Um, and he loves what he does. He loves landscape architecture, he loves plants. He loves being outside. He loves the whole thing. He loves design more than anything. Like he’s an artist.
[00:15:47] He loves design work. Um, and so I didn’t really, I don’t have that same passion for those things that my dad does, so that didn’t probably seem like the best fit. But then the other people who I was around who were like working professionals were the guys who worked for my dad. Um, and those were the guys who went out there and they dug holes in the mud to plant the plants on the job sites.
[00:16:06] And that sounded really hard, . And of course, like no one expected me to go be like a landscape laborer. But in my mind, like these were pretty much the options that I saw represented. Um, I saw my mom who didn’t work, and then I saw my dad who did this job that wasn’t really, you know, my cup of tea. And then I saw that these guys who were doing this work, they just sounded so hard.
[00:16:25] I was definitely kind of a lazy kid, so I really didn’t feel like doing that work. Um, so I was like, I don’t wanna do something where I have to like go and like use my body and like do something hard. I wanted to just like, what can I do that I can like, help people by thinking anyway? So, um, and so like that could look like a lot of different things and I realized that now, like you mentioned business management for example, like that’s a way that you can help people by thinking there’s lots and lots of different careers that are like this, but I wasn’t really familiar with them.
[00:16:55] And honestly, when you look at those lists of college majors, most of them aren’t really that sort of thing. Some of them are, but a lot of them require, um, a lot of productive work, like even like landscape architecture, which I do think kind of fits into this category, but you are like producing designs and selling them to customers, for example.
[00:17:12] So it’s a little bit different than like getting paid to just figure things out. Um, and that’s what I love doing. Started all these different businesses. Meanwhile was running the music company because it paid the bills. Um, so that was basically my day job. Even though I was working for myself, I was also working for 50 families who were paying me to teach their kids.
[00:17:31] So I kind of had 50 bosses and I definitely did not feel like I could take time off or like, I had very much flexibility. Um, it was definitely not a remote job. For example, I had to be in my same town every week going to those people’s houses. Um, and later I had a music studio where I had all the teachers working for me, but I had to show up.
[00:17:49] Um, and it was very like, schedule based, you know, everyone’s lessons were at different times, so I felt very tied down in terms of both time and location. And so that led me to realize another thing that I wanted. Not only did I want to get paid to think, I also wanted location and schedule. I depend.
[00:18:04] Which led me to the world of online business. You can make money online. How, you know, I’ve read the four hour work week and in it, you know, Tim Ferris paints this very ilic, um, I idea or image of someone who is like on the beach in Mexico and they’ve got this business where they sell, I think it was like audio files or something.
[00:18:26] Uh, and they only work like four hours a week and they make like a million dollars or something like that. And I was like, that sounds pretty good. Yeah, sign me up right now, . Um, so I started kind of chasing that idea, like, how do I get this? Is this real? Um, and so that led me to read a lot more books on that topic.
[00:18:44] Um, go to some different like conferences and conventions and buy some online courses, of course, to try to figure out how do you do this thing? Um, and I would say that most of the information that I consumed was overly specific. Or overly general. So it’s either like about a very specific thing that wasn’t really what I needed.
[00:19:08] I remember one of the first courses, maybe the very first course I bought, was a $2,000 course on webinars, how to successfully sell with webinars. And of course like this was presented as the the magic bullet of like, if you can just sell on webinars, then you can make, you know, a million dollars, right?
[00:19:27] Uh, you can sell anything. And I was like, okay, you know, sounds like what I need. Um, or it was too general where it was just like fluffy, big picture, vague, vague advice, you know, about like success mindset or that sort of thing. And I was like, I need like practical, tactical, like tell me what to do. Um, so I really felt like there was a hole in the market where no one would just tell me like, how do you actually start an online business?
[00:19:51] Like, I don’t think this is rocket science guys. Just like, tell me what do I need to do to start an online business? How do you actually make money online? Like, what would you sell? How do you get people to buy it? Except I wasn’t even there. I didn’t even realize like I needed to sell something and get someone to buy it.
[00:20:06] I did not know how this whole thing worked. So after a lot of trial and error, um, at first of all a lot of like wandering around trying to find the right information, I finally kind of settled on like maybe online courses. I think people are making money with online courses, so I try to making a course.
[00:20:23] Um, well before that, um, I started writing about things I was learning. Then I, um, Let’s see. I wrote and self-published a book, and that was one of my first semi successful ventures. Um, I had started also on my website where I was writing. I had started offering some services because that was a pretty obvious way to potentially make money.
[00:20:47] Um, because I had figured out how to design my website because I, I felt like I needed a website, you know, for an online business. I figured that out. So then I thought, okay, I, I enjoyed that process. Those, those design genes do run in my blood, right? I don’t, I don’t think anyway, um, for my dad. And so I enjoyed that process and, um, so I thought maybe I can do this for other people.
[00:21:08] So I put that service up on my website and then I was like, oh, and I could do this other thing and I could do this other thing. So I ended up just kind of being like, miscellaneous Lance. Um, and so I started making a little bit of money that way, but it was very inconsistent. Normally very small amounts.
[00:21:23] I was definitely, um, competing on price where I was just trying to like be the cheapest person so that they would hire me, that sort of thing. Um, so then I wrote and published a book on an unrelated topic. I just had something I wanted to write about. Um, and, but doing that immediately grew a small email list for me.
[00:21:42] Cause I put a free offer in the book. I was like, go to my website, sign up to get some more free stuff. Very unstrategic about it, but it worked really well. Um, and I got a few hundred people on my email list pretty quickly. And so then I thought, oh, I can make a little course about, you know, the strategy that I use to get some people on my email list.
[00:22:00] So I made this little course and nobody. Of course, right. I didn’t know how to get people to buy it. I had no idea how or why. And it was around the time that I went to a business conference of sorts. It was kind of a small business conference, um, that was being run by someone who hosted a Facebook group that I was in.
[00:22:23] Um, and this was, um, how long ago was this? About like six or seven years ago now. And at that time, Facebook groups had become such this like wonderful community really, of entrepreneurs. There were all these nice Facebook groups of people who were online entrepreneurs or aspiring online entrepreneurs.
[00:22:41] And some of them were really small, like 30 people. And then there are others that were like a few hundred people and a few that were a few thousand. But um, especially these smaller ones, the people like really got to know each other in them really. Um, and the people who were leading them, some of them were doing a really good job of actually providing training to the people in the Facebook groups.
[00:23:00] Um, and at this point, I don’t feel like this mostly exists anymore because there ended up just being so many of these Facebook groups and they got so big, um, and Facebook changed how like posts are shown and stuff like that. And so, um, it’s hard to connect with people in the Facebook groups as well as we used to be able to.
[00:23:16] So it doesn’t seem to exist really in the same way that it did. But at the time, this was a place where I just remember going, finding this Facebook group, these couple Facebook groups, and getting in them, and suddenly it was like, Um, just like I had the key to unlock my problems in that before, whenever I ran into like, wait, how do I do this?
[00:23:38] Or How does this work? I would start Googling and Google is amazing, but it’s also kind of this black hole where you kind of go down this rabbit trail and maybe you find the answer, maybe you don’t, but it probably takes you hours and you have to try a bunch of like, solutions that don’t work first. And so every time I had some little problem with my website or I couldn’t figure some business strategy thing out, um, it was just like hours and hours of my time lost.
[00:24:01] And so that was like what I was spending the majority of my time every week working on my business on was just like googling things and trying to, trying to learn. And of course I got, I learned a lot, but I also wasted a massive amount, amount of time. So once I finally found these spacesuit groups, it was like, wow, you know, suddenly I’ve got this golden key.
[00:24:18] Whenever I have a question I can just ask in the group and somebody knows the answer they could tell me, you know? And so that was a game changer. Um, Because now I had like a mentor basically. So I ended up going to this conference, and when I was had this conference, I had this epiphany and this epiphany now sounds like, well, duh.
[00:24:37] But at the MO at the time, it was my missing puzzle piece. And the missing puzzle piece was that I needed visibility, that that was the thing that I was missing in my business. It wasn’t that nobody wanted my products. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. I didn’t know. It wasn’t that my products were bad.
[00:24:52] Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t. I didn’t know. But the real problem, the thing that was preventing me from even figuring those things out was not my pricing. It was not my products. It was not anything about that. It was simply people didn’t even know that my products were there. Nobody had ever heard of me, nobody had heard of my business.
[00:25:10] Nobody was considering buying my product and then deciding not. . And like I said, now this sounds like well done. Of course people have to, you know, first hear about your products, you else, they can’t buy them. But at the time I was so focused on like, I want to make money. So I was so focused on trying to sell a thing that I didn’t even, yeah, I just missed that somehow.
[00:25:31] So I came back from that conference and I was like, I need to figure out how to get visibility for my business. And there’s actually a moment there, like maybe a week or so where I didn’t even feel like working on my business in a nice way. I was just like, I have the answer now. I don’t even need to like, uh, work it out in real life.
[00:25:50] I like this problem that I’ve been wondering about for years. Like, why am I not making money online? I have solved the problem. I know what I was doing wrong. But then after about a week I was like, okay, let’s, let’s try this. How can I get some visibility? So, um, what I did was I thought about what I had done in the past that had worked to get visibility because I’d started all these different businesses and every single time I’d had to get customers somehow.
[00:26:14] And so I’d tried a lot of different forums of advertising at that point. I had put ads in the newspaper, I’d put ads on Craigslist, I’d put ads on the radio. Um, I’d put billboards around town. I had stuck up signs all around my time. Like I had tried a bunch of different things. Um, and a lot of it had been expensive and had not gotten me results.
[00:26:33] And then there’d been a few things that had worked. Um, and then there’d been one thing that. I wasn’t even trying to advertise with anything, and it worked really well. And that was YouTube. A few years prior, I had started a YouTube channel, um, and it was just, it was purely like personal, you know, for pleasure, not for business.
[00:26:52] I was hoping maybe I could make some money from it, but honestly I just like, liked watching YouTubers and I was like, this seems cool and maybe I could make some money, so I’ll try it. Um, and so I’d posted videos off and on for about two years. And my videos honestly were horrible, like horrible quality.
[00:27:10] Like the video quality itself, I was awkward on camera. They were just terrible videos. Um, and most of them did not get very many views at all. In fact, like lots of them got like five views. . And at the time I wondered like, why aren’t people watching my videos? Because I was like, way too close. So I couldn’t tell that my videos were bad, you know what I mean?
[00:27:30] Because I’d never made videos before, so I didn’t know like what a good video looked like. Um, so I was just like, why aren’t people watching my videos? Why isn’t my channel growing? And then finally, uh, toward the end of those two years, I, um, I started getting some views. I specifically had one video kind of go viral and for my like tiny channel that had practically no subscribers, um, it got this video, got half a million views and I was like, whoa, that’s crazy.
[00:27:55] And what happened? Um, and around the same time, like probably because that one video took off, it was about how to braid your hair behind your. Do you have the skill, how to braid your hair behind your head? not an impressive video, but I was like, anyone, I have this like belief that anyone can learn to do anything if they are taught how to do it.
[00:28:17] You know what I mean? Like a way that makes sense to them. And as I mentioned before, I teaching is something that comes relatively naturally to me. I homeschool my kids. I love teaching my kids math because I’m like, math makes sense. Math is logical. If I just explain it to them clearly, then they will understand it.
[00:28:32] Um, and so all my kids believe math is easy because I told them math is easy, . And I told, and I just like told them how it works. And so I felt the same way about like braiding your hair. I had had a bunch of friends mention to me that they couldn’t braid their hair. And I was like, you can totally braid your hair if I just show you how.
[00:28:47] So I made this video, how to braid your hair behind your head. It got half a million views and that kind of pulled my channel up a little bit, like made my videos get a little bit more visible. So more of them started getting views. Still not large amounts of views, but you know, maybe a couple hundred or a thousand views.
[00:29:02] And suddenly my eyes were opened and I went from asking, why aren’t people watching my videos? To asking why are people watching my videos? These videos are terrible. Like, because now I was seeing them through other people’s eyes and I was embarrassed about them cuz they were bad quality. Um, so pretty quickly there, I shut that channel down.
[00:29:19] Um, and privated all those videos, . Um, so then fast forward to what is now like five years ago, uh, maybe six years ago when I’m have realized I need to get visibility for my business. And I remember YouTube was actually a pretty easy way to get visibility. Like, yes, I put a fair amount of time into it because I did it for two years, but I was hardly trying.
[00:29:42] My videos were bad quality and yet still, somehow I got thousands and thousands of eyeballs on this thing that I. I wonder if that would work for my business. So I started doing some research and I spent, um, about a year, really about nine months, let’s say nine months researching YouTube. I wanted to figure out what was the difference between channels that were successful and channels that weren’t.
[00:30:03] Because we all know there are people on YouTube who post videos, lots of videos, and their channels never grow. So I was like, is this going to create a predictable result? Like is there something I can do that will, like guarantee my success on YouTube, or is this just like a gamble? Um, so I spent about nine months researching these different channels and I pretty quickly noticed some patterns with certain topics.
[00:30:28] They would always be successful, like any channel. I found that video on that video had done well. I was like, oh, so topics matter and if you choose the right topic, then you can get views. Um, and I also noticed that quality really mattered. I was hard pressed to find a channel that was actually producing good quality videos consistently, and their channel was not either already large or growing quickly.
[00:30:51] Like I couldn’t find any channels that were like stock and stagnant and small that had really good quality videos. And so I felt pretty confident that if I just made good quality videos regularly and chose my topics well, that I would probably be successful. So I. I think something that a lot of people struggle with and definitely I struggled with was sticking with something like, it’s easy to say, I’m gonna journal every day.
[00:31:16] It’s really hard to follow through on that, right? It’s easy to say, I’m gonna go to the gym every day. Hard to follow through on that, at least for a long time. You know, you might do it for a couple weeks and then something interrupts your schedule and then you’re off the wagon. And I definitely knew this was something I struggled with.
[00:31:32] So I was like, I think in order, and I’d also seen it with the first YouTube channel I started where I wanted to post more videos, but it was hard to like get around to it or find the time. So I never posted as frequently as I wanted to. Um, so I came up with a plan, and my plan was, I’m going to be like all in, like completely focused on this for three months and then I can reevaluate.
[00:31:54] But I’m just gonna like, decide right now to commit for three months. And also, at least for these three months, it’s gonna be my first priority. So what that means is every Monday, first thing when I start working, the first thing I’m gonna work on is I’m gonna film a YouTube video, whether I feel like it or not, whether I’m sick or not, like I’m just gonna suck it up and do it whether I feel like it or not.
[00:32:15] Um, so three months later, I had a thousand subscribers on this new channel, and that was more subscribers than I’d ever gotten with the first channel. and it was growing really quickly and I could see that. Um, when was this? Um, this was around
[00:32:38] you asked hard questions. , I’d say this was 2017, I think is my best guess. It was right about five years ago. Um, and yeah, I think it was 2017. I remember I started in like May of that year. And so by basically the end of the summer I had a thousand subscribers. And then about a month later I got my first paycheck and it was for $113.
[00:33:02] YouTube pays you when, first you have to like meet the monetization requirements of 1000 subscribers and 4,000 hours watched. And so then you can start earning and then as soon as your channel earns its first a hundred dollars, then they send you your first check. Um, so about a month after I met the requirements, I’d earned my first a hundred to $13 and I got that first check and it really snowballed from there, both the subscribers and the um, the money.
[00:33:27] So the subscribers, once I got up to a thousand the next month, so month four, I got up to 2000 and it basically doubled for a few months. So then the next month I was at 4,000. Month after that I was at 8,000. Um, and around the time I got to 8,000 is when it leveled out a bit, and I started getting about eight to 10,000 new subscribers every month.
[00:33:50] And from that time it has grown so steadily, eight to 10,000 new subscribers every month, ever since. Um, so it’s been very predictable, really. Um, and then also the revenue from it. I got that $113 check and it followed a similar pattern where it doubled for a few months. Within just a few months, probably like the fourth month I got paid, I got a $2,000 check, um, and then continued to grow.
[00:34:16] And it grew up to the point of the five to $15,000 range. And YouTube is very like, cyclical. And when I say it’s steady, I don’t mean like every month exactly the same results, but over the course of a year, very similar results ever since then where YouTube has paid me, I would say, um, $75,000, a hundred thousand dollars per.
[00:34:40] Um, and this, I love, I love this because I don’t tell YouTube, but I would make YouTube videos for free. YouTube does not need to pay me. I would 100% do for free because I was doing it to advertise my business. I was doing it to get visibility. I was doing it to attract leads and attract customers. Um, and YouTube is such an incredible engine for doing that because they have spent millions of their dollars building this machine, this algorithm that is designed to match viewers with videos they want to watch.
[00:35:09] And so what that means is if you simply make videos that somebody wants to watch, YouTube will do the work for you of going out and finding that person and advertising your video to them, right? Suggesting it to them. So it cuts out a huge problem that entrepreneurs have faced for centuries and centuries.
[00:35:25] Uh, I mean, millennia, really, of like, how do I find customers? Right? Well, you, YouTube will do it for you. All you have to do is make an ad. So, um, I would happily do it for free, but I get this bonus like $75,000, um, which yeah, it’s just kind of the deal for YouTube. I’ll take it. I’m a big proponent. Yeah, I, I know, right?
[00:35:45] No big deal. I’ll take it. Buy a few extra pairs of shoes or something. Right? . So, um, anyway, so I’m a big proponent of YouTube. It’s been a huge, um, asset to my business. So where do we go from here? So that was the thing that enabled me to finally start growing my email list. And that did not equal instant business success by any means, right?
[00:36:10] Um, even if you have visibility, you still have to sell things that those people want. Um, meaning like something that they think they want, um, something that they are satisfied with when they get it at a price point that sounds good to them. Like I’m simplifying this a lot, obviously, but, um, you have to have business strategy aside from just visibility.
[00:36:31] Um, so once I had people’s eyes and specifically I had them on my email list, I could start trying to advertise things to them. And that enabled me to crash and burn to the ground many times, trying to sell different courses and stuff, um, and finally figure out some different things that worked. Um, along the way I realized that not everyone wants to be on YouTube and YouTube’s not gonna work for everyone.
[00:36:56] So how can people test drive their business idea when they don’t have an audience? And so I thought back to some things that I had done when I was first trying to test drive some courses, um, and what had worked there. And the long story short of this is like creating a beta product. So you haven’t invested too much time into the product itself.
[00:37:17] we need something that we can test quickly, right? So that we aren’t wasting time on the ideas that don’t work out because probably you’re going to have some ideas that don’t work out. And then also we need to figure out how we can present it to people, cuz people do have to see it or else they won’t buy it.
[00:37:33] Um, so my team and I, because at this point I had a team, once my email list really started growing and I finally started selling products, I quickly realized, I’ll talk more about this in a few minutes, I think, but um, I quickly realized I needed some help. So I hired some people, so they started helping me test out different ways of test driving products.
[00:37:52] And once we had a formula that worked, that was when we, well, that was not when we launched Validate, that was when a startup society really started taking off. We started teaching the Startup Society members those things. And then we realized this would do really well in a container that is like a dedicated, fast focused type of container.
[00:38:12] So that’s why we run Validate as an eight week accelerator. I don’t want this to be a process where you’re trying to test drive a business for like a year or two. Um, if it’s open-ended, if it’s self-paced, then people get caught up in the hard parts and they get sidelined, they get distracted, and a lot of the time they never get around to even completing that validation process and definitely not turning it into a real business.
[00:38:38] So I’m like, I people are gonna do the best if we really push them to just hurry up and get this done. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but we need to get it done. Um, it’s one of those things where you don’t get any result unless you finish it. , kind of like when you create a course, you’re never gonna make any money with it unless you finish the course, right.
[00:38:57] So yeah, there are lots of things in life like that. So that’s kind of brings us to where we are now. Um, I’ll just touch on the, the hiring the people. Um, I had of, I told the story of when I tried to hire that first person with the music studio and that did not work out. Um, and I continued to have kind of a unsuccessful relationship with hiring people, especially as I got started in my online business.
[00:39:22] Thank you again. Four hour work week and a bunch of related books that told me that the answer was to hire like a $4 virtual assistant from the Philippines. Um, and that, that would solve all my problems. definitely doesn’t, um, if those people even exist. Um, I think they kinda do, but uh, they don’t speak English very well and that makes it hard to get anything done and causes a lot of wasted time.
[00:39:45] So. Um, yeah, I, I tried that, that didn’t work. Wasted some money, wasted a lot of time. Um, then eventually when my YouTube channel really started growing, so not after very long, really like started the YouTube channel. Probably six months later I was like, okay, this is really working. I need to kind of go back to the drawing board with my business and figure out what I can sell that will actually serve these people and they’ll want.
[00:40:12] Um, but the YouTube channel thing is working and it’s working really well. So I think if I could get some more help with this, I would both have more time, cuz video editing is very time consuming. Um, and it could be even more successful because there are people who could edit videos better than I could, right.
[00:40:28] Cuz I’m just, you know, self-taught. So I hired a video editor and that was a first very successful hire that saved me time. And made me money, right? Because I was now, I had those probably like 10 plus hours of editing work off my plate every week time I could now spend on the business. And now I could spend that time creating and selling products.
[00:40:56] So now I was making a lot more money, um, far more than the video editor was costing me. And that helped me to have this epiphany that I had felt like I needed to do everything myself, because I was like, on this bootstrap mindset where like shoestring budget type thing needed to save all the money, didn’t want, like, wanted to keep all the money for myself because I felt like it was scarce.
[00:41:18] And then once I saw that working, I was like, who else could I hire? Who would make me money? And I, so I switched from the mindset of like trying to hire the cheapest person to now trying to hire the person that would make me the most money. And so that led me to my next successful hire, which was hiring an online business manager.
[00:41:35] Now, I’m sure if I had asked round most people, probably everyone would’ve told me that I was doing this too early, that my business wasn’t making enough money yet, and that, you know, that I was just like, I don’t know, jumping ahead too fast, getting in over my head like, you don’t need that yet. But I realized that I did because I saw that my biggest weakness was that I am not good at management type tasks.
[00:42:03] I hate keeping records. I hate homework. And so there was this whole side of my business that was really suffering and getting really messy because I like, I like organizing things, but I don’t have the, the diligence when it comes to that type of work to maintain systems that I create. And so I realized that if I had someone who was managing that side of things for me, that it would enable.
[00:42:30] Me to run a much tighter ship, um, and my business to function much more functionally, to be more effective, more efficient. Um, and so I hired an online business manager, fantastic hire. Um, helped so much. Uh, I was just hoping she would come in and maybe like help me organize things and then maintain those systems.
[00:42:50] She came in and like took charge of whole, the whole management, half of my business and organized things I didn’t even ask her to organize. And my business manager, her name is Courtney Loveridge, and she’s just incredible. So she taught me a and she also like caused me to rise to her standard of like, she had the standard of like, we are going to keep good records, we are going to keep things organized.
[00:43:12] And I was like, okay, I guess we are.
[00:43:14] Megan: Yeah. Oh, I appreciate all that you just shared. Gillian, I like, I don’t know if you saw me over here, but I was like furiously typing notes at points cuz you just have like so much wisdom through your entire business journey. And also there were so many things that you said that I wrote down just cause I related to them so much
[00:43:33] Gillian: for one,
[00:43:33] Megan: the four hour work week that was also like my first venture into the whole online business world.
[00:43:40] Gillian: it, I feel like it. . In a
[00:43:43] Megan: way it did inspire me cuz I didn’t know that that world existed. But in a way it also did me a disservice cuz I was like, this is gonna be cake. You know, like whatever, start an online business, create a course. Yeah. Whatever. And I’m just gonna be a millionaire this time next year.
[00:43:58] No big deal.
[00:43:59] Gillian: Um, yeah. But I would highly recommend the book, if anyone hasn’t read the book, if anyone is like a little bit interested but skeptical, read the book, it’ll inspire you, it’ll get you to start like searching, it’ll get you curious. Um, and then you’ll learn a lot. Yeah, right. . Yeah.
[00:44:18] Megan: That was the biggest thing for me.
[00:44:20] Yeah, absolutely. It inspired me and it also like showed me a world that I didn’t even know was possible. Yeah. So, but it is funny. There are things that I look back on it and I’m like, Tim, I thought this was gonna be so much easier. Um, but . But, uh, and then you also yeah. Mentioned like getting paid to think super relate to that.
[00:44:42] Something I’ve thought about a lot where I’m just like, I just wanna sit and Right. And like, make courses and organize and put curriculum and things together and, yeah. Anyway. So, um, I am curious, if you don’t mind if we like, hop back a second. You mentioned, um, that there were like jobs that you looked at on maj, like list of college ma, college majors that you knew you didn’t wanna do.
[00:45:08] I’m curious like if there’s anything you knew you liked teaching, but was there anything like starting out that you were immediately like, no, I do not wanna do this. in your business or from those like
[00:45:22] Gillian: job majors lists? . Oh, in my business, I mean, looking at the list of jobs, it was like, there was aspects of a lot of them that I thought would be interesting, but honestly I felt like they all would end up being boring.
[00:45:37] Um, because they all seemed like they’d be very, I think the main thing was repetitive. So like, I like math for example, but accounting sounded like it would be very boring doing math for other people. . So math I don’t really care about and not like interesting algebra or trigonometry problems or anything like that, but just like the same, like adding and subtracting and dividing over and over and over again.
[00:46:00] Right. That sounded boring. Um, I don’t know, just pretty much everything that I considered, it didn’t sound like it’d be fulfilling. It sounded like it’d be very repetitive. Um, and also like just doing it for someone else, I didn’t really realize at the time that that’s what was the turnoff for me. Because I wasn’t really considering working for myself.
[00:46:21] I thought I wanted a job. Um, but it made the work a lot more meaningless to just be working for someone else and just giving them all my time. So I wasn’t really like building something for myself. Yeah. And you
[00:46:33] Megan: also mentioned earlier that like you didn’t really identify with the, um, like just being career driven and wanting to be in one specific career, which I also feel like I can relate to.
[00:46:46] Like my identity is like definitely another
[00:46:48] Gillian: things. . Yeah. And I think a lot of people might be surprised if they heard me say that because I am a fairly ambitious person and I’m interested in business. And so you might think, oh, if she’s career driven or she’s focused on her career, but even though I find business and marketing fascinating and I love spending my time on it, um, and I love learning about it and I also am ambitious and love building my business and hitting my goals and things like that, I just don’t see my identity as a career, like even now.
[00:47:21] Um, I identify with the career, if you will, of being an entrepreneur far more than I would’ve with any other career. But I think I just see myself. And I think, like, I think everyone should see themselves this way as a multifaceted person who, you know, I am a mom and I am an entrepreneur and I am, you know, all these different things.
[00:47:43] Um, and they’re all different components of my personality and who I am. And so to sign up for a job that was going to occupy such a large part of my time didn’t really fit within that perspective of myself. And you also mentioned, so
[00:47:58] Megan: you talked about YouTube and it being such a great lead gen tool, um, that you do YouTube videos for free.
[00:48:07] Um, I know you started, well you talked about, you know, when you first got your. First thousand followers, I think you said in 2017. Is YouTube still, like if somebody were just starting their business today, do you think that’s still a really good lead gen channel? Or should somebody today focus on like TikTok or other social media?
[00:48:30] Gillian: do you think about that? I definitely think that YouTube is still a great opportunity. It’s a very, it’s an opportunity that doesn’t exist with most of the newer things that have come up. Like you mentioned TikTok. Yes, there could be more like easy opportunity when something is new, like maybe not with TikTok now, there’s so many people on TikTok, right?
[00:48:53] But whenever there’s a new platform for a little bit, there’s an, a greater, like an easier opportunity. But YouTube is different than pretty much any other platform that exists. Um, it’s much more similar to podcasts or blog posts because it’s long form content. And so this gives you an opportunity to develop a much deeper relationship with your viewers, um, or with your followers.
[00:49:18] And it also means that your followers are people who want that long form content. So they are much more dedicated, even aside from their relationship with you. Like for example, with me and my channel, I talk about business, business strategy, marketing, those sorts of things. And I don’t have followers who just like wanna give 15 seconds of their time to that.
[00:49:42] you know, like a TikTok follower might. I have people who wanna sit at down and watch 15 minute videos on a regular basis about those topics. Those are the people who are much more likely to buy products relating to those topics, right? Because they are more interested in investing in those topics. Um, so, and there’s a lot more reasons too, but you know, starting with those two things, like you can develop a deeper relationship so people are more likely to buy from you.
[00:50:09] The people who you attract on YouTube are going to be much more likely to buy. And then also, as I mentioned, like YouTube has this incredible machine of an algorithm that matches videos with viewers who want to watch them. So those things haven’t changed. YouTube is still the same in those regards. And YouTube, while it’s been around for quite a while, and at this point I would say that this is just an asset in YouTube’s book.
[00:50:35] Um, just a positive attribute. YouTube has proven itself cuz YouTube has now been around for about 15 years and it is, it hasn’t declined. It has continued to grow. Okay. So that gives us a lot of proof that YouTube is gonna continue to stick around. Um, especially because there isn’t something that is competing with YouTube really.
[00:50:56] Uh, the people who like watching YouTube, like myself, TikTok isn’t taking any of my YouTube time. I’m still watching just as much YouTube as I ever did because I like YouTube and I like that format out of content. Um, and then also, Uh, YouTube has continued to grow in terms of like people who are watching the videos.
[00:51:11] But you know, what has changed? The creators, the creators continue to change. People do not like creating videos forever. That is the truth of it. Someday I will stop creating videos. I enjoy creating videos, but someday I’ll be like, I’ve had enough of this. I’ve made enough money. I, I don’t know. I wanna do something else, right?
[00:51:29] I don’t need to do this anymore. Um, and so because of that, and a, a lot of people last a lot less time than I do. A lot of people, um, they get discouraged as soon as their numbers aren’t climbing as quickly as they were, or they don’t start out with the right strategy so their channel doesn’t grow very quickly.
[00:51:46] There are lots of reasons why people would get discouraged and they give up, and a lot of times people aren’t doing. As their business. And so they do it for a while, but it’s just a hobby. And then, you know, they get another hobby, right? So there are lots of reasons why people quit making YouTube videos.
[00:52:01] And what that means is that there is always room for new creators. Um, and also because people, new people are always watching YouTube videos. There’s room for new creators. And also people’s interests change. So even if right now all the people who wanna watch videos about gardening have channels that they watch, well, first of all, are they really gonna say no to another channel on gardening if it has better videos?
[00:52:23] Um, or different content? No, people are always looking for more content. And then also, um, there will be people who right now are watching videos about, I don’t know, uh, baking. And then they get interested in gardening. So then they go out and they’re looking for gardening channels. And if yours is the latest, greatest gardening channel, they are gonna become your subscriber and you’ll be their favorite gardening channel.
[00:52:42] So there’s just always opportunity, just like in the world. It’d be like saying like, do you think so many people have started businesses at this point? That. The opportunity is over. No, because people still wanna buy stuff. Right. And because there are always businesses that are closing, so there’s always opportunity for new businesses and YouTube is an ecosystem, just like the world is for business.
[00:53:04] Yeah. And you mentioned, yeah,
[00:53:06] Megan: that your YouTube channel continues to grow like eight to $10,000 a month pretty consistently, or I’m sorry, eight to 10,000 subscribers a month. Pretty consistently. Um, and I think you said about 10,005 to 15,000 a month, which is pretty passive. It seems like, you know, with YouTube revenue and course sales, like a lot of the revenue in your business is pretty passive.
[00:53:29] So I’m curious at this point in your business, how much time do you put into it? How much time do you end up working per week? What is a
[00:53:38] Gillian: typical workday like for you? . Yeah, currently I’m working 10 hours a week. I’m currently working two five hour days. This is not quite the norm. The norm is 20 hours a week for me.
[00:53:49] Um, but I had a baby a couple months ago, so I’m on kind of like a partial maternity leave right now. Um, and I was thinking about this just earlier today about whether or not I need to work and the conclusion I came to was pretty quickly was I don’t need to work to pay for our current living expenses at all.
[00:54:11] Like, I can stop working. I could take three months off. I could take a year off right now, and our income would not dip much at all. But the reason that I want to and feel like I need to, to some extent continue to work, whether it’s 10 hours a week or 20 hours a week, is because I need to work to continue to grow my business and to keep my business healthy so that.
[00:54:35] Next year I continue to make money. Right? And the year after that, YouTube is very passive. Um, on the one hand, making videos takes time and effort, right? So that’s not passive. But once you make the video, it stays on YouTube and it is evergreen and people continue to watch it typically for years afterwards.
[00:54:54] So you continue to earn ad revenue from it. Um, and then also the other reason I consider the income to be passive is because, like I said, I would make the videos even if I wasn’t getting paid. So it’s not really the reason that I’m getting paid. So it’s kind of like this passive profit that I get as a bonus.
[00:55:09] Um, so obviously making YouTube videos, it’s an active marketing strategy, right? Um, but it creates some passive income. And you
[00:55:18] Megan: said, I think 10,000, five to 10, excuse me, five to 15 a month in, um, YouTube, pretty passive revenue. Um, what does that look like, I guess, for your business overall? Do you mind to share like.
[00:55:35] your profitability of your business. How much of it, excuse me, how much of it is profit and like how much do you reinvest back into your business every month to continue to grow?
[00:55:46] Gillian: Yeah, so I typically am operating at around 50% profit margin. It fluctuates between around 40 to 60, I would say. Um, my base, like overhead type expenses, it’s technically not overhead.
[00:56:02] My consistent like necessary type expenses, um, those expenses are, I would say around 30% of our revenue. Um, and so I could take home as much as 70, but then I choose to reinvest back into the business to grow the business further. And so then that gets me up to that like roughly 50% expense rate. So very
[00:56:23] Megan: healthy.
[00:56:24] I think the , yeah, the wisdom there is create passive revenue sources, people ,
[00:56:31] Gillian: passive and scalable. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. . Um, well, I
[00:56:35] Megan: know we are coming up on time, but I do have a few rapid fire questions that I would love to ask you before I let you go today.
[00:56:42] Gillian: Are you up for that? Yeah, absolutely. Okay.
Rapid Fire Questions
[00:56:46] Megan: So first question I have is, what is one of the best or most worthwhile investments that you’ve ever made in your business?
[00:56:55] And it could be an investment of money or time or energy
[00:56:58] Gillian: or anything. I would definitely say hiring my business manager. It was one of the biggest, probably the bus biggest expense that I had ever made at that time. Um, but I made it because I saw a weakness in myself and I knew I needed to compensate for that.
[00:57:15] And I knew that I could go way further if I got help in that area where I was weak.
[00:57:19] Megan: And I don’t know if you mentioned earlier, but what were some of the like specific tasks or things that you were doing that the. That your O B M, your business manager took over when, when you first brought them on?
[00:57:32] Gillian: When I first hired her, I wasn’t really hiring her four specific tasks.
[00:57:38] I thought there’s two main things I wanted her to help, well, kind of three. One was that literally just like the files, the digital files of my business we’re very messy, and I felt like that needed to be organized and stream. Um, and I just felt overwhelmed by it. Um, another thing was I felt like the customer journey slash the product suite that I was selling was all over the place.
[00:58:04] Like I was selling too many products that didn’t quite relate to each other in the right way, and I wanted someone to help me organize that and, um, kind of cut down the number of products that I was selling, but maybe make different products, like I wasn’t really sure, but I needed someone to like work with me on that.
[00:58:20] And then the third thing was I thought, you know, I always have these great ideas. Like I always have these, these plans or these projects that I wanna work on that seem like they could be really successful, but a lot of the time, I get sidelined, I get distracted, I lose motivation and I don’t see them through.
[00:58:37] And maybe some of them wouldn’t be as successful as they think they would be, but I’m pretty sure I would be more successful if I saw more of these projects through to completion. And so I wanted someone to hold me accountable, um, and to be kind of be like the overseer of my business so that I could focus on the project without having to worry, like if something else was breaking.
[00:58:56] I wanted someone to have eyes on everything so that I knew everything was being taken care of and also hold me accountable.
[00:59:02] Megan: Yeah, it’s easy to have a ton of ideas and as a business owner you have a million other things to do, so it’s difficult to like be accountable to following through on those ideas.
[00:59:14] Um, so that’s awesome, .
[00:59:16] Gillian: Um, second question that I
[00:59:18] Megan: have for you is, what is a common myth or misconception about running an online business that you want to clear up once and
[00:59:26] Gillian: for all? Hmm. There’s so many , I think, uh, two that I’ll mentioned. One is the thing we were talking about, about the four hour work week.
[00:59:35] A lot of people just go into it thinking that it’s gonna be so easy or that they’re going to set everything up and then it will be perfect and it’ll run on its own. Um, yes, there is such a thing as passive income, um, but when you’re running a business, like running a business is always going to require some effort, sometimes some management, right?
[00:59:56] Um, there, like some of the most passive investments might be like if you just bought stocks or gold and then just let it sit for 50 years and then you cashed out, right? But that’s not going to be as profitable. You’re not gonna get as high a rate of return on that investment as an actively managed investment like a business.
[01:00:13] And so it is always going to require. Um, however, what’s cool about the passive income is that you are able to scale your time. So instead of just like getting paid for every hour you work, right? You’re like, I am only working 10 hours a week, but I’m earning, like if we are to, uh, calculate an hourly rate on that, like I’m earning thousands and thousands of dollars per hour, right?
[01:00:37] That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t largely passive. The other thing is it gives you so much flexibility. Like I said, I could take time off right now, I could just stop working and I would continue to get paid. Now if I kept doing that, I wouldn’t keep making money indefinitely. I probably would make, keep making some money indefinitely, but my income would significantly drop off, you know?
[01:00:57] Um, but I can take a day off, I can take a week off, I can take a month off whenever I want to with really no downside. And so I’m. I’m just saying people have kinda the wrong expectation of like, finally when I do all this work, I will arrive and then I will not have to work anymore. I’ll just retire eventually, you know, you’ll put enough money in the bank that you can just retire, or you’ll have enough in those investments that are paying you that 10% rate to return that you can just live off of that.
[01:01:27] But as long as until you get to that point, you’re gonna continue to work. So choose something that you’re going to enjoy. Awesome.
[01:01:34] Megan: Okay, so last rapid fire question I have for you is when you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or you’ve lost your focus temporarily, what do you do to help get yourself back on track?
[01:01:46] Gillian: I love to switch things up, so that sometimes looks like changing my environment. So I’ll go and work in, like, in a coffee shop instead of in my office or work in bed instead of in my office, but just like change of environment. Um, or I’ll change up my working routine. So like instead of, normally I sit down and I’ll like start my toggle timer, which is like, um, keeping track of my hours, um, just to, yeah, just to keep track of my hours.
[01:02:11] But sometimes it’s like, well, maybe I should use like Pomodoro technique or maybe I should just do like one task and then, um, like, I don’t know, do some jumping jacks and then do another task and then do some jumping jacks or something ridiculous like that. But just like, how can I break this up into different chunks because that stimulates your mind and it makes the work feel fresh.
[01:02:30] Um, and that enables you to stay a lot more focused, uh, because you no longer are getting distracted because you are bored or overwhelmed. It also can really help if you’re overwhelmed, to break things up in different ways. Like I was just saying, so one task that’s not overwhelming, so think like what’s the next thing I need to do for this?
[01:02:49] Or I’ll just work on this for 15 minutes. Love that technique. A lot of the time something will seem overwhelming, not necessarily because of how long it’s going to take, but just like I’m not quite sure how to do it. So it seems overwhelming, but if I just say, I’ll just work on this for 15 minutes, or I’ll just work on this for 30 minutes, that suddenly makes it very doable and a lot of the time I’ve finished the entire task in those 15 or 30 minutes.
[01:03:12] Yeah, it’s funny, I
[01:03:14] Megan: do the same thing, but like I just have to change it up. I don’t think I found one thing, like one method of working. Works for me all the time, but it does help me to always change things up. Like, you know, I’ll calendar block and I’ll, um, batch tasks and other days I’m like, I really have to switch and do different things all day, or I’m just gonna drive, I’m gonna go insane.
[01:03:37] Um, so that’s funny that, you know, you kind of have a similar experience of like, trying out different things and just figuring out what you need on that day, um, and breaking, figuring out how to break up work in different ways. Yeah,
[01:03:51] Gillian: yeah. And of course, like you’re going to find things that work well for you and you’re, and once you find something that works well for you, you should keep doing that most of the time.
[01:04:00] But then sometimes it won’t work, and so don’t be afraid to switch it up. Um, I know sometimes like I start working on something, you know, a lot of the times it’s like writing something and I’ll get in that flow mode and I’ll just keep writing and writing for hours. Fantastic. Okay. But when that stops working, well now what are we gonna do right now?
[01:04:17] Let’s do some 15 minute blocks or something like that. Well, thank you so
[01:04:21] Megan: much for being here today, Gillian. I’ve just loved hearing about your business story, um, and you’ve had so many great tidbits that you know, I’m definitely gonna call out in our show notes, um, so that people don’t miss them. Before we get outta here, where can people find you and connect with you?
[01:04:38] Gillian: Well, uh, if you just Google Gillian Perkins, you’ll find me, um, or you can look it up on YouTube. Um, just search for Gillian Perkins. My website is gillian perkins.com.
[01:04:48] Megan: Thanks so much for being here and for listening to the Dollar Spa podcast today. Be sure to check out the show notes for any links and resources that were mentioned in today’s conversation.
[01:04:58] And if you enjoyed this episode, then don’t forget to like, subscribe, and leave us a review wherever you’re listening to this podcast. Thanks again for being here and for being part of the Dollar Spout community, and I will see you in the next episode.