In 2021, I accepted a job at Amazon as a resource manager for an annual salary of $124,000. I was 29, and it was the most money I’d ever been offered.
I also started two side hustles earlier that year to bring in extra money. My husband Jay and I had just bought our first home, and I was due to have our first child in September 2021.
The first side hustle was a YouTube channel where I shared money and career advice, and the other was a digital guide to help people boost their credit scores, based on my personal experience paying off debt.
Juggling those side hustles while working full-time and being a mom wasn’t easy, but it paid off: From December 2021 to April 2022, I made a total of $176,590 in sales.
That gave me the confidence to leave my Amazon job in May 2022 to work on my businesses. Jay later left his software engineering job to help me as well.
Today, almost all of our income is passive. We earn an average of $40,000 a month, and I only work just two hours a day.
Here’s what I’ve learned from the process so far:
1. Being open and honest creates new opportunities.
I believe the success of my videos comes from me being vulnerable with my audience. Credit issues and debt are so common, but are often taboo to talk about.
With my YouTube channel, I wanted to create a space where I could speak openly about how I struggled with — and then succeeded in — my finances and career.
In January 2021, I had paid off $110,000 of student loans and credit card debt with a combination of my salary, savings and stock dividends.
My first video was about how I dealt with debt collection agencies and boosted my credit score from 495 to 836. It got a lot of positive feedback and had 160,000 views within just four weeks. To date, that video alone has earned us $50,000 from YouTube ad revenue.
I later joined the YouTube Partner Program and earned ad revenue from Google. This also helped me rank higher in YouTube search, boost my subscriber count, and land major partnership deals.
2. Great product ideas come from listening to your audience.
Almost immediately after I posted my first video, viewers asked for more credit advice. This inspired my first digital product, a DIY Credit Boost Kit.
After getting questions about how I bought my first house, I launched a homebuyers kit in October. And when I noticed comments on career advice videos about how “stuck” viewers were with their resumes, I put out a digital resume kit.
For that kit, Jay worked on the graphic design using a combination …….