A lot of young parents are looking for a flexible work schedule so they can spend more time with their kids. Creating a business that provides your family with a good income and the flexibility to work where and when you want starts to become an ideal situation.
Now, this isn't an overnight thing. You have to work hard, you have to hone your craft and dedicate years to grow it, but over time the hard work can pay off big.
Our guest today, Monica Louie, found out a way to create a business from home that allows her to spend more time with her two young children, husband and still make a multi-six-figure income.
Her story of family and entrepreneurial success has been featured on the Smart Passive Income podcast, Thrive Global and Forbes.
The interview below has been edited for easier reading.
Andy Hill: What were you doing for a living before you started your online business?
Monica Louie: I went to college, got my degree and thought I would do that for about 40 years until I retired. As I got into my corporate career, I realized that that wasn't necessarily the path that I thought for myself long term.
My goal initially was to climb the corporate ladder and I looked at the schedules of my boss, her manager, the Vice Presidents and all of those people. I knew that they were at the office early and staying late.
Then when my husband and I got married and we started planning our family and when I was pregnant with my son, that's when things started to change. I realized that there were successful people out in the world who were doing things on their own schedule, on their own terms, had more control over their schedule.
I started liking the idea of becoming my own boss one day.
So then as I was pregnant with my son, and I saw that my friends had started to have their kids and leave their jobs to stay home with their kids for the first time in my life, that sounded like an appealing path for me.
I never really envisioned that I wanted to be a stay at home Mom, just because I grew up with a single Mom who was just always working. I just kind of envisioned that I'd be a working Mom and didn't really see another alternative.
We did decide that if I was going to leave my job that I would find some way to bring money in to help my family financially. So we ended up making that transition.
I was working in retirement plan administration. I started off as an analyst behind the scenes working on 401k plans and all the requirements there. Then I got into a client-facing role where at one point I had over a hundred different clients and was working with the employers, the plan sponsors and the administration.
It was a great job, I loved it. But it was very overwhelming.
There was always more work than could be done, and as I started having my son, that's when my priorities started to shift. I wanted to have more freedom over my schedule, especially to spend more time with them. So that's what really kind of opened my eyes to becoming my own boss and figuring out what that might look like.
We wanted to make sure that we were putting ourselves in a good financial position in order to do that, so we started to focus on it. When my son was little, I did go back to work full time, and so we started saving what we could. And then I ended up going part-time at my job.
I ended up doing that for a year, and then after that year I was pregnant with my daughter and my husband had gotten a promotion. We had money, so we looked at the numbers and we saw that my husband could cover our living expenses. We knew we would need to be careful and mindful.
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What were those financial conversations like between you and your husband?
I knew budgeting needed to be part of the equation, so I started reading books. I started learning about people who are doing it. And that really inspired us.
There was one story of a family who had young kids living on a single income and they had paid off all of their debt, including their mortgage in 10 years. That was so inspiring to me.
I shared that story with my husband and we just started talking about what life without debt would be like. We could do so much more with that money if we got rid of the debt. We might as well be working toward this goal that we know can bring, you know, much more freedom and security to our family.
So we decided at that point we were 32-years-old and we were going to pay off all of our debt, including our mortgage by the time we turned 40.
I just knew if other people had done it, other people had pushed through, brought in extra income, got creative, then we could do it. So long story short, by August of 2015, we paid off $120,000 of debt all on a single middle-class income.
What business did you create to help people at that time?
I started with financial coaching and in 18 months I helped my husband's co-worker pay off $56,000 of debt. That was really huge because that gave them more freedom in their careers.
I kind of took my client experience from before and brought that into working with people. In January 2015, I started my blog just sharing our story and sharing my tips.
How did you pivot from blogging to the Facebook ads business that you have now?
I wanted to do it the right way.
From Amy Porterfield, I learned about how webinars were a great way to teach your audience, and teach more people online in a virtual capacity. She also said that Facebook ads are a great way to get people on your webinars that you could reach millions of people on Facebook who can sign up for your webinars.
I learned how to do that with Facebook ads through Amy's advice. And I had really great success. So at the end of 2015, I did my first webinar.
I didn't have a big Facebook page or a big email list. I'd had just a few hundred people at that point. I knew I had an important message to share and I knew there were people out there who needed to hear this. I used Facebook ads to reach more people and I ended up having really great results with my Facebook ads and getting people to sign up for my webinar.
Then a couple of months later I ended up taking what I learned from the first campaign and improving my costs, dropping those even lower to $1.01 per signup. My second campaign was in January of 2016 and then at that time I had started to meet people in the personal finance world online.
Then people started to tag me as somebody who could help answer questions about Facebook ads. At first, I was very resistant. I was like, “Whoa, Whoa, what's going on here?” Because I just know what works for me.
Then eventually word started to spread that I was somebody who could help with Facebook ads. I started working with one person and his team on a Facebook ad campaign and we got really good results and then somebody else reached out and they wanted somebody to teach them how to do Facebook ads.
I started working with them and we got amazing results growing their email list and then somebody else reached out. He and I started working together on a different strategy and started getting phenomenal results.
As 2016 progressed, I noticed there was a pattern here and we're getting great results. I'm having a lot of fun doing this and I really loved what I was learning about marketing and building an online business.
I also loved that position of helping others grow their message or grow their business and spread their message out into the world. I really liked that, so I ended up at the end of 2016 selling my blog and diving into Facebook ads, coaching full time.
Then through 2017, demand continued to grow for my coaching services. I ended up creating my course (Flourish with Facebook Ads) to help more people at a lower price point. Then from there, people started reaching out and wanting me to manage their ads for them.
So that's where I started to grow my team and develop our processes for how we could do that in a really great authentic way. It's been a rollercoaster, but it's been a lot of fun and we've had a lot of great successes. I'm really proud of what my team and I have built.
How did you scale your business to multi-six-figures in revenue?
Scaling has really been as a result of growing my team. At first, demand was increasing for my time in coaching and that's when I created the course because then I was able to put the steps that I go through with my clients in one place.
That helped me help a whole lot more people go through the process and follow my system for creating campaigns that convert on a grander scale. It's a lower price point for them, so more people are able to take advantage of it.
That was the first way that I started to grow in scale. With my VIP program, I do group coaching calls where we dive into people's campaigns. Sometimes, I'll give them targeting advice. I'll brainstorm other audiences that they could test that could help lower their costs. Many times we go through what their ad structure looks like, and then we tweak, tailor and rewrite some of their ad copies.
I just knew with everything that I had going on, I needed help. One of my coaching clients was a coaching client a few months before she ended up joining my team and helping me. She caught on quickly when I was coaching her one-on-one and then she caught on quickly and helped me to develop our processes. Then in early 2018, we decided to expand our ads team even more and bring on more people.
What advice would you give people who are interested in starting their own online business?
I was working in a corporate career and I didn't necessarily want to create my own business doing pension administration. Back then, there was no way that I could have made the leap to Facebook ads. I didn't really even know that that was a thing at that point.
What I did do though that helped me get going down that path is I got started. I had started to learn about blogging and that that was a good way to build an audience, to help people to start to build a business and a platform for business.
That's where I got interested. Then I had to figure out what I was going to blog about. Then as people started asking how we were getting out of debt so quickly, that's when I realized that's something that I'm really passionate about, that I can help people with right now.
If you have no idea what to do, think about what you're already good at that maybe comes naturally to you. It's just common sense. If there's something like that, that means that you really have a knack for it, you have natural skill. Of course, if you enjoy it, that is always a plus.
If you're looking to just build a business, get started doing something. Even if you're not sure if you're really gonna like it, you don't have to be married to it for the long term, you can definitely pivot.
Many of the successful business owners that I know started doing one thing, learned a skill and then pivoted. If you just get started, that'll put you on that path where then you can develop what you like to do: how you'd like to spend your time, what you want your day to look like, if you'd like to interact with people.
You'll learn all of those things about you. Just get started.
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“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”Ralph Waldo Emerson