​How To Make Your First $1,000 From Your Dream Work


Hey guys! Today I want to help with something I see people struggling with all the time. People who have an idea of what their dream work is, but they don’t really know how to get started. Is this you?

Let’s talk about the very beginning of your dream business. Here’s a point I want you to remember: That very first dollar you earn is going to be the hardest dollar you’ll ever earn in your business. Now that sounds really negative at first, but it is actually a great thing!

When your first dollar is the hardest, that means that every dollar thereafter will be much, much easier to earn. So when you’re working super hard and putting in all this time and energy and you still haven’t made any money with your dream work yet, don’t worry. It won’t always be this hard. You just need to get that first buck.

The first dollar you earn from your dream business is super exciting. It is the product of all of the backend work you have done so far to set up your business. As we all know, getting your business up and running is one of the  most time and energy intensive aspects of the job.

Once it is running, you’ll have a lot more time to spend making adjustments and keeping it going. Just like inertia, what is in motion stays in motion and similarly your business will cruise along with your continued input after the hectic start up phase is over.

​How To Make Your First $1,000 In An Online Or Offline Business

​So you’ve got an idea, maybe you’ve started working on your business or maybe you haven’t yet, and you’re ready to earn your first $1,000. Once you do that, anything is possible.

Because I value evidence over theory, I’m going to show you how I personally would go about this by giving you examples of two businesses that a person might start. Of course, these are just examples and you’ll need to transfer the information across to your particular business as well.

Example A will be someone who loves Pilates and wants to start teaching on their own, making good money, outside of a crummy gym. Example B will be for someone who would like to be a life coach and coach others online, but isn’t sure how to make any money working online.

One example is more of an in-person, offline business, and the other relies heavily on the Internet to succeed. Whether your business is online or off, you should be able to extract some advice from these scenarios for your own use.

​A Note About Leverage

​Before we dive into those two examples, I’d like to talk about leverage. When I started my first business at the ripe old age of 23, I had heard of leverage but didn’t realize how important of a concept it is. Leverage is the ability to provide your service to 10x to 100x  more people in a given time than you can individually.

For example, you might be able to provide music lessons to one person at a time if you are teaching them in person. Or you could give lessons to 100 people at a time if you created an online training series.


​Why You Should Build Leverage Into Your Career Plan

​Leverage is a big deal when it comes to preserving your time and maximizing your income. When I started my pet sitting business, I didn’t realize how much down the road I would regret not taking leverage into account.

At the time, I just wanted to find customers and enjoy my work. And I did! It was a great feeling. I was self employed, I no longer needed to work a job I didn’t like, and I got to spend tons of time outdoors with fun pups who were always happy to see me. But as time went on and I gained more customers, I became more and more tired.

I was strapped for time, working 7 days per week, 12 hour days and often overnights as well. Holidays with family were essentially non existent for me, since my customers frequently went out of town as well and needed me to watch their pets.

Suddenly I realized that my business wasn’t truly cut out to leverage. I could hire employees to help leverage, which I did, but given my state’s laws on independent contractors versus employees, the cost to hire and employ ended up being too much to use employees to leverage myself.

And so I had hit a wall. I couldn’t take time off or reduce my hours without taking a pay cut, and I couldn’t earn more money without working even harder.

This is the big reason why I strongly recommend that you keep leverage in mind when starting your business. It’s perfectly fine to start out doing all the work yourself, but allow a part of your plan to be a way for you business to either be partially outsourced, or to run on autopilot in the future.

How to Make Your First $1,000 From Your Dream Work

How To Make $1,000 Teaching Pilates

​Here’s the scenario: Emily is 25 years old, fresh out of college, and loves Pilates. She would like to teach classes and be self employed, but she doesn’t know where to start. Here is how I would approach the situation.

First, I would tell Emily to decide how her business will be different. She doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel here, she just needs to differentiate herself from the majority of other Pilates instructors in her area. One great way to do this is to ask yourself what your “industry problem” is. What is the big issue in your proposed line of work that no one has seemed to solve yet?

After thinking hard, Emily thinks that other girls who love Pilates would love it even more if it had a fun, Zumba-like vibe to it. So she decides her unique twist will be 80s dance Pilates, complete with retro music and workout gear.

The next thing Emily needs to do is figure out who her customer is. This is an important step. For example, if her customers are typically college age females, Emily can probably charge $10-$15 per class and go with her 80s dance party twist.

If the customers she’d like to serve are middle aged women, she can easily charge $20 per class, but may want to revisit her theme unless she knows that her clients would love it.

Once Emily has figured out who her customers are, it is time for her to get the word out. Let’s say she has decided to offer Pilates aimed primarily at other college students. She will want to start finding customers where they are already hanging out.

First, she should put up fliers on the dorm room bulletins. Next, she should set up a vendor tent when the campus brings in vendors during the gap week, and again in the spring.

If she knows that there is a certain cafe, athletic store, or lunch spot that other college students frequent, delivering a box of baked goods to the management of each of those stores with a kind note and some business cards would go a long way.  

Now Emily has searched out and advertised in places where her client base is often found. Her last step in earning her first $1,000 is to decide where she will hold her classes.

Weather permitting, she could hold them in a local park or on the campus green ways. If Emily can get 15 girls to sign up per class, at a drop in rate of $15 per person, she will make $225 per class and will only need to offer five classes to break her $1,000 goal. That’s pretty good!

​How To Make $1,000 With Online Life Coaching

​For our next example, we’ll use Lauren, an early thirties lover of self improvement and life hacking. Lauren would like to offer life coaching both locally and online to jump start her business and earn her first $1,000. She doesn’t know anything about making money online, but she is willing to put in the time and work.

Note that Lauren’s business will likely take much more time and upfront effort than Emily’s business for her to earn that first dollar. However, her business is also much more easily leveraged and in the long run, may provide a much greater income as she expands.

Again, we will start with Lauren identifying who her target audience is. One option might be to start coaching adult teens and early twenty somethings who are just jumping into the world and need career and life tips.

Another option might be to market to women in their thirties who likely have already married and maybe have had children, and who need some help redirecting certain aspects of their lives that are different than they’d hoped.

Let’s say that Lauren goes with the thirty somethings. She is in their age range so she knows their struggles, and she also knows that their disposable income is much higher than that of a nineteen year old.

The next step for Lauren is to set up a simple website for people to book her coaching packages. This doesn’t need to be flashy or complicated. She can buy a domain name which will likely be her first and last name followed by .com or .net.

I would also recommend using WordPress Pro to set up her website. The templates are professional and easy to use, and she won’t waste valuable time trying to set the site up.

Once Lauren has a clean, basic website, she needs to find clients. Of course, setting up a website is NOT enough. In the online world, if you build it they won’t come. YOU have to go and search out your target clients.

Since Lauren plans to offer her life coaching services through video, she smartly decides that video would be a great way to find some people who need her help. Lauren begins uploading  3-5 minute videos with great life tips to Youtube each day of the week. At the end of each video, Lauren directs viewers to her website to learn more about how they can work with her.

This method serves two purposes. First, Lauren’s potential customers get to know her in a stress free way (watching her free videos), where they can easily decide that they’d like to work with her. Secondly, uploading these free videos creates an evergreen way of advertising for free, and is exceptionally effective given that her clients are looking to receive coaching through a video format (ie. Skype).

Lauren makes sure to keyword her videos well, keep them short and to the point, and make them professional. After just a few months of uploading 5 videos per week, Lauren begins to see a small but steady stream of clients interested in working with her. Early on, Lauren only charges $50 per session until she can get some reviews and testimonials to put on her site.

At this rate, she only needs to book 20 sessions to have made her first $1,000. As she gains experience, Lauren will be able to raise her prices quickly to match the going rate in her industry. And further on down the road, there will be plenty of opportunities to expand her business well beyond her first $1,000.

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​Last Thoughts 

Making your first few bucks in a new business is a ton of hard work. While you just read about Lauren and Emily’s experiences here, what you didn’t see first hand is all of the hard work and late nights that they would have put in to get to where they were going.

Thankfully, starting up is something you only have to do once, so don’t give up! Especially in online businesses, most people give up by 3 months in, and the vast majority by 6 months. Don’t let that be you.

Okay guys, I’m so glad you made it to the end! I know this post was a long one. Here’s my question for you today:

What is the one challenge that is keeping you from making your first dollar in your dream business?  Let me know in the comments!