I am so excited to take a deep-dive with you into how I made multiple 6-figures with my business on autopilot. I have the ability to step away from my business (in some form or fashion) and still make good money – and you can, too!
How I Made Multiple 6-Figures with my Business on Autopilot
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
It hasn’t always been that I could make 6-figures when I stepped away from my business. But even making $1,000 or $5,000 a month without needing to give my business my full attention was life-changing. I want you to read this with an open mind about how this can work for you and your business, and with the mindset that this CAN work for you. I have not always been able to make 6-figures when I step away from my business, but in time, it was possible for me. Don’t let the title be intimidating because you can absolutely get here.
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Let’s get into the backstory here.
If you’re on my email list, you probably know that when we started building the house that we currently live in, I put my business on autopilot. And I am JUST now taking it off. That feels weird to say, because we have been in this house for 21 months.
It won’t necessarily seem like I have had my business on autopilot to you. I’ve still recorded podcast episodes and launched a new podcast during that time (woohoo, Passive Income Playbook), I’ve still been putting out videos, building my email list and selling things. But actually… I wasn’t. All of those things were really on massive autopilot.
To be fair, I can only autopilot the podcast and my YouTube channel so much because I have to be the one creating content for it. The process was really on autopilot.
Let me back up a little. The reason I put my business on autopilot when we started building this house was because I didn’t have room for a lot of extra in my life at that moment. We really had a God moment – divine intervention happened that led us to buying the land we have now and building this house. Because it was that way, it happened really quickly.
We had been financially and logistically prepping to buy land and build a home for four years. At that time, though, we still didn't have the money or some logistics worked out.
Then, all of these things happened that led us to this land. My husband happened to be driving down a dead-end road for his job. We don’t normally commute in that area, and he saw a for sale sign in the weeds on a piece of property that looked fairly large. We were looking for 30 acres, and when he called the realtor, he found out it was 29.97 acres. I’m not joking, y’all.
The whole time we had been looking, we said we wanted to find 30 acres in a specific area that was a pretty small radius. We wanted useable land (which, in the mountains, can be challenging to find sometimes). Not to mention this land ended up being way cheaper than we thought it was going to be.
The second thing that led us here is… I woke up literally in the middle of the night one night and had figured out how to structure things financially so we could get it done. If you’re self-employed and you’re the one making more money, it’s hard to get a bank to work with you until you’ve had two solid years of good income. At that time, we were working with okay income from 2016 and really good income from 2017. And, to buy 30 acres, we had to put half of it down – which we did not have saved up at that point.
Me waking up in the middle of the night with this idea was completely divine intervention. This happened within a few days of my husband finding this land. I called the bank and went to talk with them, and they agreed it would work! (Keep in mind a few months ago, they told us we just couldn’t swing it right now.)
When this ball started rolling, I legitimately did not have the time to focus on my business. I had maybe 10 hours per week to focus on business tasks, so I had to figure out what was most important and put other things on autopilot.
My business was an autopilot for the entirety of 2019. I was still making podcast episodes and videos, but everything else was working on its own. I made more money in 2019 than I have ever made in my whole life. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could work when I wanted to, put my business on autopilot and still make good money.
For almost two years, my business has been on autopilot. Before that, I was constantly developing and launching new things to make money. When we started building this house, I knew I needed my business to be more self-sufficient. My business need to work for me when I wasn’t working.
I put a lot of things in place and created this evergreen business model that I have now. My business has always been set up in an evergreen way, but not to this scale and not with the same intentionality.
I am currently taking my business off of autopilot and I’m excited about that. On autopilot, I’ve been making $X per month (if you want to see some of that, I have income reports available on YouTube). My business didn’t exponentially grow at that time. So when I say I’m taking my business off of autopilot, I am still retaining that money. But I am also doing things to grow it!
How I set up the systems to help me make multiple 6-figures with my business on autopilot!
More than anything, you should know that if you want a business model like this, you need to start setting that up now. It could be that it takes you a few years or a few months to get it rolling. It’s not something you can build overnight. It is SUCH a misconception that passive income is an overnight success because that is not true.
Think of this like investing in real estate in your 20s and 30s. You buy a place, rent it out, and break even now, so that later in life you can reap retirement benefits from renting out those places. You’re setting up your business this way now so that, in a year or two, you have this nest egg that allows you to make changes in your business or take time off without hurting financially.
Step 1: Find a Product or Course that Sells Well
This doesn’t have to be just one thing – it could be a suite of courses or a membership or something else. It just has to sell well! You’re going to have to spend time figuring out what this thing is and developing it.
You also have to spend time working on the selling method. How does this thing you made sell well, and how can you keep selling it over and over again?
Step 2: Create an Evergreen Way to Sell it and then duplicate that process!
My courses are what I sell this way. I had (and still have) YouTube Rockstars, which is a massive course that teaches you anything and everything you want to know about YouTube. I also have Create, Convert, Grow, which teaches you how to create content that converts to sales and helps you grow. In addition to that, I had my digital planners that sell SO well on their own, and some other mini-courses.
Essentially, I sold and re-sold and re-sold those courses to figure out which way they sold best. I can sell the crap out of YouTube Rockstars using a free webinar. That is my best way to sell that course. My ClickUp Course (which is new) sells really well with just ads running straight to it. My digital planners sell best from my YouTube videos.
Remember, I spent years figuring this out. I don’t want you to think that this was an immediate thing. I took the time developing products, courses, etc., and setting up the sales system that would drive sales to them.
It took a lot of iterations to figure out how YouTube Rockstars sells best and which offer with my digital planners actually caused people to purchase.
To really create passive income, you have to find something that sells one to many.
You might be a business coach, teacher, or something else that requires that one on one interaction to make money. And now that I’ve developed these things and spent time figuring out how each of my products sell best, I can put them all on autopilot easily.
Step 4: Create content that constantly drives to affiliates, ads, or your courses
Consistently creating content that drives people where you want them to go to buy your thing is KEY. I’ve been creating consistent podcast and YouTube content since 2014 – five to six years. I didn’t put this on autopilot until 2018, just two years to go.
Here’s what this looked like for me in our real-world scenario. When I was on cruise control in my business, my YouTube channel was making me about $1,500 per month. That’s a stream of income that grew while my business was on autopilot because of the nature of YouTube. In 2020, two years later, I am consistently making over $3,000 per month from YouTube.
My podcast, was making $0 per month. If you’re new here, I co-hosted a podcast with my friend Jaclyn Mellone called All Up in Your Lady Business. We co-hosted it for three years and had a decent payout every month from ConvertKit affiliate commissions. (We still make money from that and we canceled that podcast two years ago.)
When I transitioned to putting my business on autopilot, my focus was making sure my courses and products were selling. At the beginning of 2020, I created a funnel called the Digital Planning Starter Pack. I had seen such crazy success without advertising my digital planners at all that I figured I would try advertising them and see what happens.
So, I created this funnel that sold really well. In September, we obviously saw a dip in those sales because it was a 2020 planner. Pinterest ads were a HUGE driver of sales for the starter pack. I was spending about $1,000 per month on ads and making $4,000-$5,000 per month selling them. When the created the 2021 pack, I went to change the creative and somehow broke the Pinterest ads. I’ve been fighting with them for two weeks, and it’s cut off a whole arm of my business until it’s fixed.
The same thing goes with my YouTube Rockstars course. I set up an evergreen webinar funnel to sell that. I run ads to a webinar that sells YouTube Rockstars. It’s simple, easy, and it works.
I got to the point where I was ready to put my foot back on the gas – but I didn’t know where the heck I was going. So, my business stayed on autopilot awhile. Now, I’m ready to take it off autopilot and launch some more super cool things. But I’m also so thankful for 2014 and the years after where I did the things to set up my business so it could be put on autopilot.
Passive income isn't forever foolproof, but it lasts for awhile. Right now, I will make $20,000-$30,000 per month if everything in my business works like it's supposed to and I don't touch anything. That's insane. This is going to take time – but you can absolutely do it!