I always knew I was created for more than the cubicle life.
I remember hopelessly peeling myself out of bed in the morning because I knew I had less than an hour before I would have to clock into a job I hated.
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I couldn’t even enjoy my Sundays off because the looming thought I had to return to work soon would haunt me throughout the day. Crazy right?!
I longed for the days (and also wondered if) I could earn an income doing what I actually enjoyed. So I decided I would try my hardest to find a way to leave my corporate job.
My “I quit my job” story.
First, I tried being a makeup artist and doing makeup gigs on the weekends. I even launched a cosmetics line on the side.
While both earned me okay money, I found myself always exhausted, and I knew deep down this was not the kind of job I wanted.
I didn’t enjoy having to show up just to make money or lugging around 30 lbs of makeup. I also didn’t like all of the time it required (marketing, consultations, makeup trials, contracts, follow-ups) just to earn a few hundred bucks as a makeup artist.
Additionally, my cosmetics line was taking more of my time than I realized, and I was barely making a profit!
I was storing all of my inventory for my makeup line at my house, which meant I was having to pack and ship everything myself! I was also handling customer inquiries, managing inventory, marketing products, and working with my supplier. I couldn’t even hire a distribution center to ship out my products because the overhead cost was so much.
I was working practically 16 hours a day just between my corporate job, makeup artistry, and my cosmetics line, and I knew I couldn’t continue hustling like this, so in 2018, I decided to close down my cosmetics line and makeup artistry for good.
Around this time, I had a booming YouTube channel that was earning me around $1000/month, and I started to get a lot of requests from friends, peers, and others on the internet asking how I did it.
How did I start my Youtube channel? How was I earning money? How was I growing my audience?
I figured I could share what I had learned along the way as a YouTuber with others. So that’s what I did.
I was still creating my beauty and lifestyle content, as well as sharing tips on HOW I was doing it with my audience.
Fast forward to 2020, and I was finally earning money… a good amount of money! I had my first $20K month, followed by $10K+ cash months.
Seriously, I couldn’t believe it. I remember staring at my business account and seeing five figures in my account AFTER bills were paid, and the kicker? I was actually LOVING what I was doing.
I didn’t feel exhausted, empty, or void. I was actually earning money doing what I enjoyed, as well as helping people!
I knew then that I was finally making the kind of money to confidently quit my job.
So in 2021, I decided to take that leap. I quit my full-time job and left corporate after 10+ years!
My family and friends thought I was crazy, but I knew in my heart I was called to do more. I was called to do more than sit in a cubicle day in and day out doing work that I didn’t enjoy.
I remember the last day at my job and walking out feeling both a sense of excitement and a sense of nervousness.
What if I fail?
What if I have to go back to work?
But a thought immediately followed afterward: oh baby, but what if you succeed?!
And that thought alone allowed me to push through all the negativity and imposter syndrome that happens when you take the path less followed (and trust me, leaving a comfy salaried corporate job to be a content creator is def the unconventional path!).
In 2022, I took most of the year off and traveled practically every month.
I was able to do things like ride horses through the Costa Rica rainforest, take my mom on an all-expenses-paid vacation to St Maarten, ride ATVs in Mexico, travel for a week to Panama with my husband, and even spend a week helping my friend with her newborn baby!
These are all things I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to do working my old corporate job.
It felt surreal to be able to travel while earning money. It felt crazy to no longer have to ask for permission to take time off.
It felt refreshing to wake up and actually enjoy the work I do.
So how exactly did I do it? How was I able to replace my corporate income as a content creator?
Let me share with you the ways I earn income, which allowed me to leave my corporate job!
How I was able to replace my corporate income as a content creator
I don’t earn money one way. I believe in diversifying your income, especially as a content creator.
I learned a long time ago you want to keep your income as consistent as possible each month.
There’s nothing more stressful than high and super-low-income months (this is what caused me to stay in corporate so long!).
1. Ad revenue
One of the biggest ways I earn an income is with ad revenue. I earn this from my blogs as well as my YouTube channel.
What I love about ad revenue is that it’s passive and requires no additional work from my end.
People watch my videos and read my blog posts days, months, and weeks later… while I’m sleeping, on vacation, and out to dinner.
In late 2021, I decided to get more serious with my blogs, which have allowed me to increase my income while working less. I’m now bringing in four figures from ad revenue alone from my blogs now!
Ad revenue is a nice chunk of my income now. However, it takes time to build and is not something you want to rely solely on for income if you don’t have a large audience or are relatively new to the content creation world.
2. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is another prominent way I earn income, especially as a lifestyle content creator.
Again, affiliate marketing can be a great source of passive income if you have traffic already coming in, and as a blogger and YouTuber, it is such as a great way to supplement your income.
One of the biggest ways I earn income from affiliate marketing is just sharing things I love and recommend, including my makeup and outfits!
I love affiliate income. However, just like ad revenue, it can take some time to build up! I didn’t start off earning thousands of dollars in affiliate income.
It took a really clear strategy and patience. Still, I’m happy to see my affiliate income growing month after month now, especially as I continue to create content (the more blog posts & videos I create = the more I can increase my affiliate income!)
3. Online courses (aka digital products)
This is how I am able to hit $10K+ months, and that’s by selling digital products, specifically my courses!
My first few digital products were books about Makeup, and while I did earn a little money from them, it just wasn’t enough to truly put a dent in my income and allow me to quit my job.
However, I absolutely loved having books, and it’s still of my favorite accomplishments because it was always a goal of mine to be an author!
It wasn’t until I started offering my online courses that I saw a true increase in my income!
What I love about online courses is that I only have to create the course once, and then it can sell again and again.
Courses can be a source of passive income, and as you can tell, I really like passive income sources, lol!
My first course was a YouTube course that no one purchased! I remember putting my all into it, and I was so heartbroken when I didn’t get a single sale.
I wondered how everyone else was making money from their course, and I couldn’t even get one sale! I felt like I’d never be able to leave my corporate job.
But I didn’t give up! I went back to the drawing board and changed my marketing strategy. The following year I relaunched my course and generated over $14,000 in course sales in 3 weeks.
I knew then that courses could catapult my income. So much so I even created a course on how to create your own course that sells (so you don’t make the same mistakes I made and launch your first course and get no sales!).
So many content creators and influencers earn a huge chunk of their income from sponsorships.
And while sponsorships are amazing, I find it’s not a reliable source of income because you can’t control when brands want to work with you.
You can land four amazing sponsorships one month and the next month zero. It can be very up and down if you’re not strategic!
For example, during the pandemic, I had a lot of sponsorships lined up, but the majority of them withdrew their contracts during the lockdown, which sucked and made me realize I needed to supplement my income outside of just brand partnerships.
However, I still love sponsorships, and when it’s UP, it’s UP (like Cardi B said!).
Sponsorships can be lucrative, and they’re so much fun, especially because I only work with brands I enjoy and love!
I’ve worked with some big-name brands and had a blast!
So I do also earn a percentage of my income from sponsorships, and I definitely think sponsorships are a great way to earn supplemental income as a content creator. I love the months I can add in sponsorship because it really does boost my income!
5. Speaking engagements
I didn’t start landing paid speaking engagements until 2020, and while it’s a small source of income for me, I find that speaking engagements actually increase my income from other sources!
For example, I speak at an event, and I’m paid for it. If the people in the audience like me, they will usually watch my youtube videos & read my blog (meaning an increase in ad revenue!), they’ll purchase my courses (meaning an increase in digital product sales!), and they’ll buy the things I recommend (so boom! more affiliate income sales).
If you enjoy speaking on stage (something I really love to do!), don’t sleep on speaking engagements! It’s a way I earn income while also increasing my visibility.
So providing services is another way I earn income, specifically video my coaching program and YouTube services. While it’s not passive income, it’s another great source of income, and my leads come through my online content (which I also earn money from!)
Another reason why I like services is they can be high-ticket and reoccurring based on your pricing setup. However, as I said, services are not passive income since providing a service requires me to show up to get paid (like when I was a makeup artist or working in corporate), and at this point in my life, I desire time freedom, so I’ve minimized the number of services I offer and the time I dedicate to them.
How am I able to do all of these things?!
So I just named a bunch of ways I earn income, and perhaps you’re wondering how the heck I am able to do all of these things and still have time in the day?
Let me say that I work less than 25 hours a week.
Seriously, writing this is shocking, but it’s the truth. I don’t work a full 40 hours, and I’m still able to pay all of my bills and take vacations!
The first thing I want to mention is that 3 of my revenue streams are PASSIVE, meaning it doesn’t require me actively showing up to get paid!
I can create one blog post that will earn me ad revenue from views, affiliate income from clicks, and a course purchase! I’ve designed my business to where I can make money in different ways doing the same thing!
As I said before, doing one speaking event a month can also increase my affiliate income, ad revenue, course sales, and services because people in the audience may want to learn from me in more ways beyond the speaking engagement I did.
Another thing I love about having all of these different sources of income is that my income is pretty steady. For example, if I have a low ad revenue month, I know I can work a little harder to sell more of my courses or land a coaching client.
If I land a big sponsorship, I may focus on that for a week and not worry about creating any new blog posts because my income will level out from the sponsorship.
So while all of these income streams may sound difficult or taxing, it’s actually intentional and allows me to work less!
Being able to quit my corporate job was not all rainbows and butterflies, but I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I love being able to decide how I want to spend my day. I love being to do what I enjoy for a living. I love being able to serve and help people using my God-given gifts. I love it, and I truly believe it’s a luxury everyone deserves… if they desire it and ready to put forth the work.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, and I never want to push that or icky hustle culture. However, I do believe everyone should be able to wake up in the morning and serve the world in a way that aligns with their gifts, and they’re happy to do!
If creating content, sharing your passions with the world, and helping people along the way is something you know you’re called to do (whether that’s full-time or just a way to supplement your income!), I have a ton of resources to get you started as well as my courses for an in-depth, step-by-step process and resources to actually earning income!
If is my hope that my story can inspire you to go after the things you desire because I truly believe you are worthy and deserving of your desires. Your desires are absolutely possible for you.