Those words describe exactly how I feel when I see the number above.
Never in why wildest dreams did I ever think I could build multiple businesses that would allow me to generate that much money in a single month.
Heck, when I graduated college, I’m not sure if I ever truly believed I could make that in a year.
A few things you have to realize is that my path as a child didn’t exactly prepare me for success. Both my parents struggled with debt and filed bankruptcy not once, but twice. Further, neither of them were experienced with investing or business and they never once encouraged me to be an entrepreneur.
Some other factors not exactly on my side include:
- I dropped out of college my first semester in (all because of a $75 parking ticket), and it took me 4 years just to get my associate’s degree.
- I, too, struggled with debt and I graduated college with over $20,000 of student loan and credit card debt.
- During my first year as a financial advisor, I made a whopping $24,000 BEFORE TAXES including one month where my paycheck was a measly $800, even after I worked 70 hours.
So yeah…I wasn’t set up for success by any means. But I didn’t get successful by accident, either. There has definitely been a lot of hard work involved, and possibly some luck.
Still, I contribute all of my successes to two amazing things in my life:
- God has had my back for a very long time.
- I’m not the smartest man in the world, but I hustle the hardest. That’s it.
God + Strategic Hustle = Whole Lot of Awesome
You’re probably wondering why I’m taking the time to write this post. The reason I’m sharing is to offer some insight into what goes underneath the hood of my businesses.
My wife and I used to share monthly income reports for our online businesses on our old blog Dollars and Roses. (You can see our last income report here). We had a blast encouraging aspiring bloggers to launch their own and find a way to monetize their passion. But as we kept up the blog and podcast, we started to lose our passion for online business – at least for teaching it.
That’s when we made the tough decision to pivot Dollars and Roses to Marriage More, which we are much more passionate about. With this new project, we focus on helping married couples build a stronger connection and make their marriage more.
Even though we shut D&R down, I’ve still had the itch to share what I’ve learned in online business and entrepreneurship. Mostly because I know if you’re reading this – yes YOU – then you can achieve some of the same success I’ve had.
Okay, so let’s break down my main sources of revenue.
For the purpose of simplicity, I’m going to break my business down into 5 different businesses:
- Alliance Wealth Management – my wealth management firm that I launched in 2011
- Good Financial Cents Blog – the site you’re currently reading which I launched in 2008 🙂
- Life Insurance – this is a combination of my other site LifeInsurancebyJeff.com (which launched in 2012) and leads generated from GFC
- The Online Advisor Growth Formula – this is a course I created to help financial advisors grow their businesses through strategic online marketing.
- Media/Brand Sponsorships – speaking and other brand sponsorship opportunities
Here’s a video where I go into greater detail about my multiple income sources:
June Revenue Report
Now that you understand my business, let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
Alliance Wealth Management
- Gross Revenue: $57,164.10
My financial planning practice has been my baby for over 5 years (I started my own firm in 2011 and have worked diligently with the public since 2002). It’s truly an honor to help people achieve their financial goals and make a very good living while doing it. Last year was a pivotal point in my business when I added Andrew Rogers, Director of Financial Planning, to the team.
I almost thought I could never find a “mini-me” that was just as motivated and passionate about financial planning as I am. Then I met Andrew. He’s been a huge reason for the growth of the firm, as he spends his time creating financial plans for clients, performing extensive portfolio x-rays, heading our retirement planning strategy sessions for new clients, and delivering webinar content to our clients and GFC readers. You name it, he’s done it.
Having an employee has been huge because it’s given me the space I needed to focus on bigger projects for the firm and my other businesses.
Good Financial Cents
- Gross Revenue – $48,697.38
- Affiliate Earnings – $39,888.47
- Ad Networks – $8,808.91
When I launched my blog in 2008, I never fathomed I could earn extra money from it. The phrase “making money online” wasn’t even in my vernacular. Fast forward to present day and my online business has made me over $1 million.
The crazier pill I’m still struggling to swallow is that my online businesses are reaching the point where they will generate me over $1 million in revenue in one year.
I know. It’s crazy. For realz….
It’s truly a reminder that anybody….yes, ANYBODY…can start an online business and make money if they have to grit to stick it through.
Why do I believe that?
Look at me!
I knew nothing about blogging when I started, and even to this day, I couldn’t code HTML if you paid me $5,000 an hour to do so.
I have always figured out what I could do and learned as much as I could while slowly outsourcing the rest. At this point, I can honestly say that strategy works.
- Gross Revenue – $18,321.53
- Insurance Commissions – $8,854.58
- Lead Sales: $9,500
One of the best terms I gained from the Strategic Coaching program is “strategic by-products.” Strategic by-products are unexpected surprises we encounter after exploring and implementing new ideas. After the blog launched, I encountered plenty of strategic by-products. One of them has been generating a significant amount of revenue from life insurance.
I’m a big believer in life insurance (especially term), and because of that belief, I have a $2.5 million dollar term policy on myself. So if I can help a family obtain an affordable life insurance policy, I’m all about it.
When I first started offering life insurance online through my other site, LifeInsuranceByJeff.com, I had an advisor handle all of the leads in-house. Unfortunately, he moved on to a new profession and I had trouble finding an agent that could handle the work load.
Once we reached that point, we made the decision to sell the leads (we’ve seen a pretty large uptick in leads from both my insurance site and on GFC) to an agent that can handle the work and that’s what you see reflected in the revenue above.
I think what excites me the most about my life insurance business is I consider this my “muse.” Tim Ferriss, the author of one of my favorite books, The 4 Hour Work Week, defines a muse as “a low-maintenance business that generates significant income“.
Well, this business is definitely a muse because I spend less than 4 hours a week managing it. I would be surprised if I even spend an hour working on it during an average week.
I just wish I could duplicate this success! =)
The Online Advisor Growth Formula
- Gross Revenue: $14,485.00
So, this is the fun one for me…
For over five years, I have dreamed of creating a course and selling it online.
The biggest problem was, I couldn’t fully commit to what the course was going to be. I’ve considered courses on building wealth, blogging, building a brand, financial freedom, and on and on and on….
I then saw how my buddy Grant Baldwin was doing with his speaking course and how my new buddy Brian Harris from Video Fruit is crushing it with online courses. After that I knew I needed to buckle down.
Big shout outs to Grant for giving me the nudge on what my course topic was going to be (more on that in a sec). I also want to thank John Corcoran (we’re in a mastermind group together) for helping me outline the course material and holding me accountable to finish it. And finally, thanks to Bryan Harris for creating this epic post on how to launch an online course that I bookmarked and read at least 37 times.
So how did I chose the course topic?
It all started by asking myself “what is the #1 question you get asked the most?” While tons of people want to “pick my brain” about investing, financial planning, blogging, and online business, there’s no question what I get asked the most and who asks it.
Most of the time, it is financial advisors who ask me how I’ve grown my online platform the way I have. I’ve talked to many advisors who have discovered my blog and contacted me saying “I want to be the next Jeff Rose”.
Seriously, people, I’m that cool! Haha…
In the past, financial advisors have paid me up to $500/hour to share how I’ve grown my blog to what it is today. That’s when I knew I had the potential of a course.
The first step was to see if I could build up any interest. With a small email list of advisors, I was able to pitch the concept of my course fairly easily. To get the ball rolling, I wrote up a good outline of what the course would cover and offered them complete access to the course at a discounted price if they were interested.
The catch was, the course wasn’t even created yet.
So I was basically asking advisors to pay $500 for a concept. Because really, this was nothing more than an idea and experience I had in my head of creating a blog that generates 30-40 new leads every day with over 400,000 new visitors to my site every month.
Would they bite? The only way I could find out was to ask.
Well, I asked this group of 180ish advisors if they were interested and I had 28 advisors buy.
I was blown away.
This, my friends, is commonly referred to as “proof of concept.” Before I invested tons of time and resources into creating this course, I was able to have my customers prepay. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
From there, it took me over 4 months to create the course using an amazing platform called Teachable.
Once the course was complete it was time to market it to advisors with the increased price of $2,500.
Looking back, I have to laugh at some of the concerns I had before my course went live. Here are a few thoughts that crossed my mind:
- “Who are you to offer a course on online marketing?”
- “Do you really think people are going to pay you for this course?”
- “If nobody buys, you’re going to look stupid.”
Even after 28 advisors paid and the concept was proved, those same doubts crept in when I launched the completed course:
- “Sure….they paid $500 for the course, but they’ll never pay $2,500!”
- “There are so many other courses on online marketing, why would they buy yours?”
- “You’re going to be seen as another spammy online marketer selling some bogus get rich quick scheme.”
These kind of doubts can be toxic. I’m thankful to have a good group of friends and mentors that gave me the encouragement to push through.
Since I launched the course officially in April, I’ve added 21 new advisors. Between those sales and the pre-sales, I’ve produced over $66,000 of revenue. This screenshot is from last month’s sales.
Now that those doubts are totally squashed, we have some big plans on launching the course on an even grander scale. I can’t wait to see how it does!
Media Brand Sponsorships
- Gross Revenue: $12,500
This is another fun one as for me. These type of opportunities don’t come around too often, but when they do, it’s a lot of fun.
This year I’ve been able to partner with two big brands and get paid more than I ever have (part of that payment is reflected above).
While I can’t disclose the brands here due to my contracts, I can say I’m excited to work with both.
One project involves a ton of video and I can’t wait to share it with the GFC community when it’s live.
Last year I had the opportunity to work with John Hancock when they released their partnership with Vitality on a revolutionary new life insurance product.
I also got a chance to meet the actor Chris O’Donnell as well, which was totally cool.
The cool thing about all of these opportunities is they all found me because of my online presence. Whether it was my blog or Youtube channel. It’s just a reminder that if you work hard and put yourself out there, good things can find you.
7 Key Insights For a Six-Figure Month
It’s been a long time coming for having a such a successful month. Here are 7 key insights I attribute to having a record month.
1. 10x Mindset
Strategic Coach first introduced this concept to me. The basic premise is looking at your current business structure and asking yourself what it would take to multiply it by 10.
What that doesn’t mean, however, is you also work 10 times as much.
This exercise was powerful for two reasons:
- It allowed myself to dream about the possibilities of actually growing my business 10x which was a huge mindset shift for me.
- It allowed me to brainstorm on what would have to change for me to grow my business 10x. What tasks am I doing now that I can improve upon? What key additions to my team would I need to grow accordingly? This part of the exercise was a lot of fun for me.
2. Building the Right Team
I already mentioned how integral it was adding Andrew to AWM. In addition to him, I have a killer Director of Client Relations as well. Together, we’re able to offer rock star service to our clients as well as grow the business.
With the blog, I finally had to recognize that I was holding myself back from the true revenue potential my site possessed.
Through a mutual connection, I met Jason Patterson who runs the SEO agency Growth 360. Jason loved my site and my message, but he was floored when I told him my site was only making around $16k per month (this was back in late 2014).
He felt with the authority of my site and the traffic I had, I should be earning way more than that.
I couldn’t argue with him.
The truth was, while I was making very good money on the site, I didn’t have a passion for figuring ways to optimize my revenue potential.
So in January 2015, I brought Jason and his team on to improve the SEO of my site and also identify strategic revenue opportunities.
Here’s a look at the traffic growth to my blog: