Are you feeling overworked and struggling to pay yourself as a business owner? Well, I’m about to let you on the 3 things that helped triple my income last year and show you how it happened!
The season of summer barbecues is upon us and as we start to head into the second half of the year, many people start to lose sight of the goals they established in January. If you’re a small business owner like me, this time of year means juggling all the things and just trying to keep the ship afloat and do the laundry sometimes! But I want you to do something with me…are you ready? Slow down, reevaluate, and set priorities.
These three things are my new mid-year routine that last year allowed me to triple my income. Had I not done this, and kept my nose in the books, carrying on with my busy schedule, I would’ve missed out on some key opportunities for growing my business and allowing more freedom in my life!
Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, let’s dig in a little deeper…
…What would you do if you had an extra 15 minutes every day? All it takes is setting an earlier alarm and starting the day ahead!
…If those 15 minutes compounded, how much more could you check off of your to-do list?
…Are you saying yes to certain clients or jobs just because? Or does it add value to your life and business?
…What could you cut out in order to focus on something that could reeeeally make you money?
These were all small steps that I took last year, that ended up leading me to more freedom and completely transforming my business. Here’s how:
- Around this time last year, I started waking up a little earlier to stretch my body and calm my mind. All it took was 15 minutes, and that shift from rushing out the door to get to the office and tackle the to-do list, to taking time to care for my body and mind, helped me set up my intentions for the day. I was able to think about what I wanted to accomplish each day, vs. the burden of just crossing as much off the list as possible.
- I started saying “NO” more. No comes with a lot of baggage, doesn’t it? It’s seen as negative, and it can be sooo scary to turn down work, trust me. But this little word allowed for me to free up more of my time to take on some big projects that ended up tripling my income…so, that’s a huge YES! Before I move on, let me clarify: THIS WAS SCARY. I didn’t have all of this money coming in that allowed me to start saying no more. This was a big risk, but it ended up paying off. More on that in a bit…
- Because I had more time (ahem, thank you “no’s”), I had given myself the gift of mental clarity. I now had the ability, because I had more time, to think about the future of my business…where I wanted to go, how I wanted to get there, etc. and BOOM! IDEAS! They didn’t all come at once and not all of my ideas led to growth and boosting my income, but here’s what did happen:
1. Book Income
With more time on my hands, I was able to devote a couple of hours a week towards talking about and promoting my first book “Everyday Watercolor”. Prior to this, I’d just post about it when I thought of it. The thing is though, sooo many people miss out on seeing your posts these days (hey there, algorithm)! Because of this, I made it a priority to talk about this accomplishment more, and inform people about my book! Therefore, I saw an increase in my royalty checks that I receive each quarter!
Around this time last year is when I started working in licensing. I wasn’t looking for this work but had I kept taking on wedding clients, I wouldn’t have had the bandwidth to start working on these types of projects nor the time to figure out how to get it all started. Since last year I’ve hired a licensing agent and have only worked on a couple of projects, but this income, like my book income, is mostly passive. I’m able to work with brands that can choose from my library of work, or if I do come up with something new for a job, so far it’s been things I’m excited to paint. I’m approaching each job with new energy, therefore more efficient when I get to work!
Pssst…I write a whole lot more about licensing in this post if you’re curious about what it is and how it works!
3. Online Classes
I’ve taught online classes for years. I have a couple of classes through Brit+Co., Watercolor Summit and more, but one thing I kept noticing last year was this desire from my audience to learn more. Because I was shifting away from client work, I had the time to recognize the repetitive questions I was receiving. This turned into research on my end and led to me releasing my first online class through my own website: Pen to Press. No outside host, just me! Developing and launching a course is no joke at all and this one was no exception. It’s PACKED.
Had I been still saying yes to wedding jobs, I wouldn’t have been able to put it out there…it’s a product I’m really proud of and something that’s been impacting so many people’s lives since I launched it in January. This course has helped me become a better listener to myself and to my community. This has allowed me to influence my audience on a deeper level all while making more money.
Are you noticing the shift? Want to know the one common thread between these 3 things?: Passive money.
You know, 15 minutes a day and saying “no” more doesn’t really sound like doing all that much, but trust me. Because I took the time to think about where my business was going, I kept coming back to this: I can’t continue to work 60+ hours a week and stay healthy AND grow my business. It’s a lot. If you serve clients, you know that scaling your business can be a challenge. You can’t add more hours to the day, can you? So for me, I knew I had to change something and my mindset was where it all started. Once I gave myself the time to actually start shifting priorities, my business showed signs of growth. It took a lot of guts and was definitely risky, but So worth it!
What are some ways YOU could start saying “no” more? Could you wake up 15 minutes earlier every day? What would you do for those 15 minutes?
Could you upload some artwork to Creative Market and start creating some passive income? Could you start putting a plan into action on that idea you had? Tell me what would YOU do with that extra time?