Written by: Gemma Went
I’m now in my eighth year of this business.
I realised early on that living month-to-month on the feast and famine ferris wheel was not going to work for me.
I suffer with anxiety. I crave security and safety. I needed another way of doing business that would suit me. A way that would secure the revenue I needed, the salary I needed, create the life I wanted, and create the freedom I wanted.
When I started my business it was a forced hand. After losing my job at seven months pregnant I wasn’t exactly employable, so starting this business was my only choice.
I remember sitting on the bed as a single mum, laptop on my lap, baby in my arms thinking, ‘How the hell am I going to make this work?’
So I did what came naturally to me. I fell into the mentality of working hard, of pushing, of panicking, of hustling, and pretty soon I saw that I was living month-to-month, living those feast and famine moments, and close to burnout.
I realised that what I’d done was created another 9-5 job for myself, within my own business. I was working for my business, not the other way around.
That's not why I got into this, and as a business owner yourself, I know that's not why you got into it either.
I knew I needed my business to work for me instead.
I knew that for my own wellbeing and to build a business that would support me and my family, I needed to get out of this cycle of feast and famine, the up and down cyclical nature of the ferris wheel, and create a way to have recurring revenue.
Having the security of knowing how much was coming in every month for a fixed amount of time would release the worry, leaving me to focus on things I love doing in my business, the things that bring me joy.
So I set about creating a business model with recurring revenue at its core.
It worked. Within months I had over a year's recurring revenue locked in that covered operating expenses, salary, and tax.
The relief and space that was created was phenomenal. I felt like a totally different person, detached from those negative stories that were whirling around my head, telling me I wasn’t good enough to do this, and attached to a deep belief that I could make this work.
I stopped feeling like a slave to the business and more the one calling the shots.
This led me to make recurring revenue not only the core of my business model, but also the core of what I teach my clients.
We ALL need that level of security, of knowing how much money is coming in, of knowing how much freedom we have. As I tested different business models, different revenue streams, all based on recurring revenue, I shared this knowledge with my clients and watched their businesses grow, alongside their self belief.
The recurring revenue streams I used to create a multi-six figure business at this point were:
6 to 12 month-long masterminds (paid monthly)
1:1 Mentoring (paid monthly)
Passive products (sold as part of funnels)
Affiliate Revenue (I focus on being an affiliate for subscriptions or memberships)
All was great. Until...
Fast forward to 2019, and something felt misaligned.
The business was going great, I had grown year on year, profit levels were healthy, everything looked good on the outside.
But inside I was getting a nagging feeling that things weren’t right.
I loved what I did. I loved my clients. But the way I was working was out of alignment with my soul. The problem: I had no idea what was out of alignment and why.
As we headed into 2020, I started to strip things back in my business, giving me the space to ‘be.’ I needed to sink into this space, reconnect with my soul, and truly listen.
Of course I had no idea that the pandemic was about to hit. Thankfully - again - that recurring revenue model saw me through as I dealt with both the pandemic and stepping back to do some much needed inner work.
You see, although I had created a business that gave me freedom, I didn’t take that freedom.
Instead, I was stuck in hustle, driven by an inner child who desperately wanted to feel good enough. So she kept pushing, for the next big thing, the next achievement. Never actually stopping to enjoy any of it.
It hit me like a train as I realised I’d been programmed to do this for years. Through school, university, careers, my two businesses.
And my body had suffered through it all.
As I navigated adrenal fatigue and burnout, the recurring revenue safety net saw me through, allowing me to slow down, while still creating the revenue we needed.
Now, in 2021, I have the answers I need about my health and the programming that was driving me. I got the support I needed from a therapist, healers, and a nutritional therapist. Test after test showed me what I’d done to my body while stuck on full throttle all those years. I’m on a long healing journey to undue what was done and heal what’s wrong.
As I’ve learnt these lessons, I’ve realised what creating a soul led business actually means. It’s not about the next big milestone, the next big win. It’s about creating a business that takes care of you. That allows you the space to enjoy life.
When it’s led by ego, your body is collateral damage.
When you tune into soul and spirit, there are riches beyond belief. Riches that go beyond money. This is where I operate from now.
But sadly many in our online world are riding the online ego train, too scared to jump off because what it might say about them and their version of ‘I’m not good enough.’ I see it all the time now. Where I was blinded to it before - because I was there myself - it is plainly obvious to me now. And it breaks my heart.
As I shifted my own business to align with my soul, I’ve deepened my offers to help other women who suffer with the same. My mission has been to help women get off that ego train and create a soul led business that supports them, their dreams, their family, their life. Judged by soul, not by some misguided set of goals that will break them.
But, one thing will always remain at the core of what I teach, and that is recurring revenue.
You see, even though I was forced to step back, to streamline, and work less, my revenue has increased this year. There have been no big exhausting launches. No push or hustle. Just me, working in my zone, finding the joy in what I do.
All of that is possible, once again, by having a recurring revenue model in my business. Honestly, if there is one thing I recommend to anyone running a business it’s to get this locked in first, because this creates the space you need to do the other stuff.
The recurring revenue streams I use now in my business are:
- Online Business Accelerator (running on a membership model with evergreen enrolment)
- Online Business Consultant Certification (6 month payment plan, 2 launches a year with pre-launch payment plan offers over a longer period)
- Passive products (sold as part of funnels)
- Affiliate Revenue (I still focus on being an affiliate for subscriptions or memberships)
If you don’t yet have recurring revenue in your business, here are 6 handy tips to help pretty much any business:
Obsess about understanding what your ideal paying client needs from you now to help solve a big problem or deliver a desire. We focus on the ideal ‘paying’ client as we want to prioritise those who are ready to invest (it’s so much easier when you don’t have to convince them).
Think about the transformation you want to create for them and create a container that does this over a period of time. Ideally 6 or 12 months, whether you work 1:1 or in a group format. This could be a program, membership, or retainer.
Create pricing aligned with the value and transformation you give, and make this a pay-monthly offer over the period of the container.
Understand your minimum monthly revenue target by adding your operating expenses, salary, taxes, and profit (if you’re operating profit first). This gives you the minimum target you need the offer to create for you.
Focus on filling that offer, ideally with an evergreen enrollment so you can always be adding new revenue.
If you can, create two levels of offers. One at a lower level that solves a specific problem over 1-2 months that then feeds into your longer 6-12 month offer with evergreen enrolment. This helps those who don’t know you well yet and gives them the opportunity to test your methods before they dive into a higher investment. This is a great way to continually bring new clients into the higher ticket offer.