NBS

3 Ways To Fast Track Your Lifestyle Business (Before Quitting Your Job)

These are the Top 3 ways subject-matter experts can start leveraging their expertise and start making money FAST. And before quitting their job.

Mar 30, 2024

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    Today I am answering the single most common question I get when talking to experts about Lifestyle Businesses: “how can I start a lifestyle business if I can’t quit my job?”.

    Which makes sense as most of the subject-matter experts I talk to are either the sole provider or the one contributing the most to their family income.

    So in this edition I’m going to share with you the Top 3 Ways subject-matter experts can start leveraging their expertise and start making money fast. And all before quitting your job.

    The 3 ways are:

    1. Digital Products
    2. Ghostwriting
    3. Consulting

    Are these the only ways to build a lifestyle business?

    Heck no! A lifestyle business is bespoke. You get to choose what you do and how you do it based on the life you want it to afford you.

    However, these 3 are the most common ways for subject-matter experts like you to start making money on the side, before quitting your job, while you work towards building your lifestyle business.

    So if you’re ready to start making your lifestyle business a reality, keep reading.

    3 Ways To Fast Track Your Lifestyle Business (Before Quitting Your Job)
    It’s Not Brain Surgery #2

    Choose Your Own Adventure (Before Quitting Your Job!)

    Of the 3 methods we’re exploring today, I have a clear favorite.

    Why? Because it’s what allowed me to finally turn my business into what I now refer to as a Lifestyle Business. (BTW, it’s not the one you think… 😉 )

    But the goal of this piece is to help you choose the one that’s best for you in order to start making money right now.

    With that in mind, I’ve broken them down into pros, cons, income potential, who it’s best for, who it’s not ideal for, and a brief summary.

    Ready to get started?

    Method 1: Digital Products

    If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you knew this method would be on this list.

    I think digital products are a great way to build a lifestyle business as they can easily be distributed worldwide, are easy to scale, and don’t require you to provide any service live. In fact, chances are you’re on this list because you purchased one of my digital products. However, I don’t recommend this be your first step if you want to quickly generate some cashflow. (i.e. before quitting your job).

    I’ll explain why, but first let’s go into the breakdown:

    Pros

    • Easily scalable
    • Create once, sell several times
    • You’re in control of what you want to produce and how to put it out.

    Cons

    • Creating the product is the easy part. Making money from it requires sales and marketing efforts (way more than you’d expect).
    • Harder to launch without an audience of your own or the resources to acquire one.

    Examples

    • PDF
    • Courses
    • Workshops

    Income Potential

    • Very low at first –when you don’t yet have an audience.
    • But it can be your entire lifestyle business once you build (or acquire) an audience.

    Who is this method best for?

    • Experts who already have an audience of their own.
    • Experts who can dedicate 10+ hours per week marketing it.
    • Experts who want to go at their own pace and don’t mind putting in the work for several months –or years– before it’ll pay off.

    Who is this method not ideal for?

    • Experts looking to make a good income (5k+/month) in the next 30 days or so.
    • Experts who don’t like or want to market and promote their products consistently.

    TL;DR

    Digital products are the best lifestyle business for most people.

    But like most businesses, they require work, consistency, trial and error, money, and –frankly– a bit of luck before they’ll generate any worthwhile income. Especially if your goal is to make enough money on the side before quitting your job.

    One important caveat though: if you already have one (or several) digital products created, there’s nothing stopping you from promoting them.

    Method 2: Ghostwriting

    As a subject-matter expert you likely think it’s you who must be the one educating people.

    But as we discussed when talking about digital products, you first need an audience to sell your knowledge to. And if you’re anything like me, just thinking about becoming a “social media influencer” gives you hives.

    So how can you leverage your deep knowledge and expertise to educate people if you don’t have an audience? Ghostwriting.

    Let’s go into the details:

    Pros

    • You leverage your existing expertise
    • You don’t need an audience of your own
    • You only need 1-2 clients to make good money
    • If you’re reading this, you already have all you need to start

    Cons

    • It’s a skill you will likely have to learn
    • Not everyone who could be your client understands what a ghostwriter does / is

    Examples

    Educational assets – email courses, short ebooks, infographics.

    • Social content (posts, tweets, etc)
    • Emails
      • Sequences (one-off)
      • Newsletter (recurring)
    • Longer form
      • Articles (technical / thought leadership)
      • Books

    Income Potential

    It will vary depending on the deliverable(s) but:

    • $1k – $3k / month / client is not uncommon
    • Specific one-off assets can go from $3-10k

    Who is this method best for?

    • Experts who don’t mind allowing others to take credit for their words.
    • Experts with a solid understanding of their subject-matter who can communicate clearly in writing.
    • Experts who want to start generating $5k+ per month in the next 30 days, without having to do it full-time.

    Who is this method not ideal for?

    • Experts who are more interested in the recognition than in building a lifestyle business.
    • Experts who struggle communicating in simple terms.

    TL;DR

    Ghostwriting educational and thought-leadership assets has been the single best decision I’ve made in order to build my own lifestyle business.

    But while the benefits are many, it’s definitely not for everyone. You’ll need to be able to check your ego at the door which is hard for many experts to do.

    However, if this sounds like something you’d like to try out, I recommend getting some baseline understanding of how the ghostwriting business actually works.

    And for that, I can’t recommend this free resource enough: 5 Steps to Land Your First $5k Client (Even If You’ve Never Ghostwritten Anything Before)

    Method 3: Consulting

    Unlike ghostwriting, consulting is probably the most sought-after method of monetization for subject-matter experts.

    Before we dive in though, it’s important to differentiate Consulting from Coaching or Mentoring. Consulting is where you leverage your expertise to help people or businesses in fields different to yours. Coaching and mentoring is where you help people grow in their own field.

    For example, as a doctor I’ve consulted with biotech companies who wanted to understand how my peers and I were using their products. And I’ve also coached other doctors who want to improve their sales or marketing skills. See the difference?

    With that out of the way, let’s dive in:

    Pros

    • Don’t need any extra skills.
    • No deliverables to produce.

    Cons

    • Often reserved for the most experienced –and well connected– experts
    • Not as easy to find clients willing to pay high ticket for consulting
    • You need to pitch yourself more often than not
    • Can’t be done asynchronously
    • Travel is often required

    Examples

    • Consulting with companies who produce goods or services for you & your peers
    • Companies who want to reach the same clients you already have
    • Expert reviews

    Income Potential

    • Has the highest income elasticity in this list.
    • Not uncommon for deals to be in the 5-6 figure region.
    • Depends on connections and perceived level of expertise.

    Who is this method best for?

    • Experts who are already recognized in their respective field.
    • Experts with flexible schedules and availability to travel.

    Who is this not ideal for?

    • Experts concerned with potential conflicts of interest with their employers or clients.
    • Experts who don’t want to pitch themselves to potential clients.
    • Experts who have rigid schedules.

    TL;DR

    Consulting can be a standalone business easily.

    But here’s where the maxim “It’s not what you know but who you know” really comes into play. Which means, if you’re not well-recognized in your field, and/or you don’t have the right connections, it will take you a long time to start. So why is it on the list?

    Because with a little elbow grease and some outreach on LinkedIn or similar, it is possible for you to start landing some consulting gigs right away.

    That’s it!

    Now that you know, your job is to consider the pros, cons and everything else in order to choose one to start with.

    There is no wrong answer. It will all depend on your own circumstances and preferences but if I could go back to 2018 when I retired from clinical medicine, I’d start with ghostwriting instead of struggling to build a digital product and an agency. Then I’d use the cashflow from ghostwriting to do other things.

    But you do you, of course!


    As always, thanks for reading.

    Let me know what you found most helpful this week—I’d love to hear from you!

    See you next Saturday,

    Dr E 🤟🏻

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