I have never been the entrepreneurial type. But after losing my job as a sound engineer in 2009, I had to get creative to make ends meet.
Thirteen years later, at the age of 39, I’ve built two online businesses, giving me a total of one $160,000 a month in passive income. I also recently published a book, “This is how you get paid for what you know.”
The first company I started was The recording revolution, a music and education blog that sells courses in music production. The other one, which I started in 2018, teaches people how to monetize their passions, just like I did. It is the most lucrative business, thanks online course and coaching program sales, as well as affiliate commissions.
About 2,800 people use my products and my goal is to help more entrepreneurs grow their online businesses while working fewer hours.
My top priorities are spending time with family and being able to give back, so I have arranged my work and personal life to focus on these key values.
This is what my typical day looks like:
I usually wake up at 5 in the morning – before the kids – because I always want an hour to myself. I start with coffee and my Bible.
After some reading, prayer and journaling, I make breakfast with my wife and wake the children. We spend 20 to 30 minutes eating together in the kitchen before I drop them off at school at 7.30
Then I go back to my home office, or do a quick workout session if I’m in the mood.
On Mondays I plan and create YouTube videos and podcast episodes. Potential clients usually find me through this free online content. If they like it, they can sign up for my newsletter and get emails about free resources and premium online courses.
I earn quite a bit of passive income from these courses. I designed my business system to automatically send emails, so the bulk of my work is just maintaining a constant flow of new, free content.
Recording videos and podcasts takes about two hours. I also have someone who edits and uploads the content. My remaining hour on Mondays is dedicated to answering emails or giving advice to members of my Six-Figure Coaching Community.
On Wednesdays, I spend time on community interaction and then host a 90-minute live call with my advanced business coaching students.
Once a month I film an exclusive workout for members of my paid community, which adds about two extra hours of work a month to my schedule.
I’ve never been a fan of the hustle culture; I don’t think it’s healthy or wise. If you can find a way to build systems into your business so that it mostly runs on its own, you don’t have to waste time on constant maintenance.
After all, what’s the point of “being your own boss” if you’re working all the time?
People often ask me what I do with all the extra time in my week, and my answer isn’t the most exciting. I run errands, go to the gym, go to the car wash, have coffee or lunch with a friend, or dive into a good book. Right now I’m reading”To live fearlessly” by Jamie Winship.
But most importantly, I spend time with my family. Fridays are considered “date day” with my wife. We work out, go out to lunch, catch up on life, talk about the kids and meet with our marriage counselor.
Lately we’ve been focusing on how to communicate better when we disagree. No marriage is perfect and the work I have put into our relationship has made me a better husband and father.
My wife and I never compromise on picking up the children from school together. We want to be home when they are. Our other non-negotiable is family dinner. We sit down to a technology-free dinner every night. Most evenings my wife cooks and I do the dishes. But we also eat out a few times a week.
We love going for walks, swimming in the pool, watching movies or playing Nintendo Switch with the kids. By spending time together, we hope to teach them important life skills like sharing feelings and being kind to each other. I also want them to feel like valuable, included members of the family.
We are also big on travel – both locally in Florida and around the world. A few summers ago we spent a month in the South of France. And just this spring we stayed in Puerto Rico for three weeks. Having the time and flexibility to make these kinds of memories together is priceless.
We go to church every Sunday and often do volunteer work with local organizations that help the non-resident population in our town.
My philosophy is that I earn this money so that I can give most of my profits away to charities and my local church, groups that do a lot of good in the world.
Right now my wife and I donate 30% of our income, but we hope to eventually give away 50%.
Graham Cochrane is founder of The Recording Revolution, author of “This is how you get paid for what you know″ and is a business coach for over 2,800 clients worldwide. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
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