C.R.E.A.M Get The Money

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While documenting this journey of following my purpose, one of the biggest pieces that obviously can’t be ignored is how in the world do I plan to make money? So let’s talk business models.

A business model is ultimately a company’s plan for how it will bring in revenue.

Before I dig into talking about my plans for monetizing Living Over Existing and my writing, I want to mention that I do not believe that everyone’s purpose should be monetized. I talk a lot about how I feel called to use my purpose through the lense of entrepreneurship but I am well aware that this is not the case for everyone. Your purpose may lead you to being a missionary in another country or even starting a non-profit for underprivileged children. We’re in a weird space right now where people seem to put down 9-5’s but please don’t feed into the pressure of becoming an entrepreneur if it isn’t for you. Keep your job and fully pursue what God is calling you to do.

Let’s move on.

As I mentioned in my last update, I have decided to surrender and fully pour myself into writing (books specifically) and into growing my company, Living Over Existing. I have prayed and also thought long and hard about how I could strategically replace the income I make through coaching with the money I make from writing and LOE. So here’s the breakdown.

LIVING OVER EXISTING

It’s no secret that I want LOE to be the go-to resource and community for women entrepreneurs. To achieve this goal, so far this year I have moved our online community from Facebook to Mighty Networks which is a more robust platform designed for building communities. Since then we’ve implemented monthly themes around entrepreneurship, Office Hours with professional women and more coming soon. So I’ve decided that the main revenue source for LOE will be launching our official membership community this fall where members will pay a monthly fee to gain access to the community, accountability, a resource library and more.

Not only will this help to continue to reach my goal of building the strongest community for women entrepreneurs, but it will also help to bring in recurring revenue which is a) predictable and b) will allow me to focus more on writing without worrying about constant launches or where money is coming from.

And then there are what I’ve been calling “mini revenue streams” which are other ways to bring in income to the brand but that are not the main business model. The LOE Shop is where we sell different LOE merch like journals, t-shirts and planners. The second mini revenue stream would be podcast sponsorships. I’ve had the honor of having a couple of pretty major sponsors like Gumroad and Talkspace but what I’ve learned from pitching to and working with brands is that:

  1. The LOE Podcast is still considered a small show compared to others and many companies are aware of that which means a lot of them are not willing to pay a lot for ad placement.

  2. Pitching brands is also a full-time job and can be a slow process. The goal here is to pick a day each week to solely focus on pitching and to also pitch longer term deals instead of a couple of shows at a time.

All of this sounds good on paper (or computer) but there is also a bit of a learning curve here. I have never launched a membership community so I have been asking the women who are currently in the community for feedback, digging into the Membership Guys podcast and reading “The Membership Economy” by Robbie Kellman Baxter. I’ve also been tweaking my pitch deck for LOE as well as pitch emails.

Another mini-revenue stream that I’ve been seriously considering is hosting events for LOE. I would LOVE to get out and travel and meet our community in person but I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with all the things. My goal is to get the other revenue streams in place and get a good idea of what works before adding anything else on.

WRITING

My affirmation for the past year has been “I am a best selling author.” But the thing with writing books is that again, it’s a process. While I’m sure I could knock out a book within a month, I don’t want to rush the process especially if my goal is to be published. The biggest lesson I learned from writing the Living Over Existing book is that you have to find different ways to keep the momentum going after the initial book launch. Whether that be through constant promotion, book tours or using that book to get speaking opportunities. So as of right now when it comes to writing I am playing the long game. Doing the work now knowing that the payoff and new opportunities will come later.

So what am I doing in the meantime until this all unfolds?

The one thing I do not want to do is go at this out of desperation. Meaning launching and pulling things together super fast because I need the money. But I also can’t ignore the fact that I still have a household to contribute to. So in the meantime I have launched a new mentorship program called “Brand With Purpose.” It’s a 10-week program where I guide entrepreneurs through growing their brand and defining or refining their signature product. I have felt that coaching wasn’t apart of this new season that i am in for a long time, but I was able to mold this program into something that I feel better fits where I am in life, my purpose and not what is expected of me. (Enrollment closes at the end of the month by the way if you’re interested.)

If I had to leave you with one piece of wisdom it would be to not get too caught up in the planning phase. All of this is so new to me and entirely out of my comfort zone so resisting the urge to have it all figured out has been difficult. But I’m learning to put ALL of my trust and faith into God (and not just the parts that feel good) and take action regardless of knowing if I’m doing the right thing or not. Keep your eyes on your own paper, block out the noise around you as much as possible and ask for clarity while taking one step after the other.

Alisha Byrd