A 39-year-old who makes $160,000/month in passive income shares his best advice

When starting a business, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to prioritize, and going it alone can be overwhelming. But there are strategies you can use to avoid common pitfalls.

My mission is to teach people how to make money from their passion. This is what I did: I went from living on food stamps to building two online businesses.

Today, I run a music blog, Recording Revolution, and an entrepreneurial coaching company. I only work five hours a week from my home office and make $160,000 a month in passive income.

Here’s what I’ve asked my 3,000 clients to think about in the first 30 days of starting a business:

1. Be clear about how you want to spend your time.

Most new business owners I meet know only one thing: how much money they want to make.

While that’s an excellent starting point, it’s imperfect. Your business should serve your life, not your surroundings. So make sure it is aligned with your hopes, dreams and goals.

To get clear about the type of business and lifestyle you want, ask three questions:

  1. What does a perfect day look like to you? Just think about your typical work day. Consider other life activities that you want to fit into your day, such as exercise or spending time with family.
  2. How many hours a week do you want to work? You don’t have to follow a standard 40-hour work week. Knowing how many hours you want to work will help you prioritize tasks better.
  3. How important is time? Some people don’t really care about taking time off as long as they love what they do. Others consider extended periods of time. In order to have money flowing in when you’re not working, you need to have some kind of passive income stream.
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2. Simplify your business model.

When I started my music education business, people told me I needed to test my sales pages, throw launch parties and pre-record a bunch of ads to grow.

Instead of stretching myself to do things that didn’t make sense to me, I kept it simple and focused on three things: creating weekly content for my blog and YouTube channel, growing my email list from that audience, and promoting paid products. Created in that list.

If you’re just starting out, develop content around your expertise to grow an audience. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can iterate as you go and design new products that your customers want more of.

3. Cut out unnecessary daily tasks.

Identify which daily activities will help you earn more. Don’t waste time or burn yourself out by focusing on unnecessary tasks.

It might feel good to get to inbox zero or change the color of the buttons on your website, especially in the early days where you want to feel like you’ve achieved a goal. But none of these things will make you money.

Before you start a new task, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is the expected result of doing this?
  2. Does it lead to more money?
  3. Can I point to a direct link between doing that and earning income?
  4. What is the cost of doing this instead of doing something else?

4. Prioritize having fun.

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