Luisa Zhou built a $100K+ coaching business within four months while working her full-time job, reaching $1 million-dollars seven months later. Here’s how she did it.
Luisa’s Side Hustle Story
At 25, Luisa was making a six-figure salary leading a corporate team. Despite her success, she felt conflicted, unchallenged and suppressed. “Not even just my creative side. It was my everything. Most of us have so many skills, but most jobs just require a certain subset of them. All my outlets, all my potential was not completely being used.”
Then, several family health emergencies happened in close succession and she didn’t have the vacation time to be with them. Realizing she couldn’t be there for the people she loved through illness and possibly loss clarified her desire for autonomy. “I decided I had to do this for my family. If I decide to ever have children in the future, I need to do this for them.”
Luisa attended a conference for online entrepreneurs. During a Q&A session, successful people on stage fielded questions from a long line of the aspiring. “The only difference between the people off stage and the people on stage was that the people on stage had taken action and moved forward despite their fears.” It inspired her to push past the plateau of trying and to do it herself.
Luisa started her online coaching business, LuisaZhou.com to teach women how to start or grow their own service- or education-based businesses. Utilizing her motivational savvy and business smarts, she was soon skyrocketing careers – including her own.
Within four months, one successful client after another led her to make her first $106K in her side hustle. She left her full-time job to focus on her business, and before closing out that first year, had made her first $1M.
Why and How She Fit Her Side Hustle In
Rather than throw herself into a state of fear and panic by quitting her job, she hedged her bets and used lunch breaks, nights and weekends as business-building time.
She says feeling like you have to be an organizational titan or keep a perfect schedule can discourage you. “I just basically fit it in whenever I could. It wasn’t like I was perfect about it. It did require some discipline, but it also wasn’t perfect.”
“Really it’s just a matter of priorities. Everyone can find time to go home and watch a few Netflix episodes. So, it’s about what you’re willing to give up in the short term to have what you want in the long term”
Luisa recommends others who are looking to start their own service-based business do these three things to get started:
Talk to people. “It’s just about asking, “Hey would something like this interest you?” Get clarity on what people would be willing to pay you for. That is huge. And when you speak to someone, it makes it more real.”
Provide value for free. “I started answering people’s questions. I didn’t know what I could sell. I didn’t have a package, I just started adding value.” She found people asking questions in marketing, advertising and entrepreneur Facebook groups (her areas of expertise) and answered them.
Make an offer. “A lot of people just kind of hope that your clients will come to you. I made this mistake too. I set up a website and thought, ‘People are just going to find me.’ No. You have to ask. Make a really simple offer, ‘Hey, if you want to work together more, if you want more results, I can help you with A, B and C. Let me know if you’d like to work together.’”
“You don’t need to be figuring out “What’s my perfect positioning or perfect website?” or “How am I gonna get my first 100 subscribers?” All that is necessary, but later. After you’ve moved from idea to reality with concrete actions.”
Life In The Entrepreneurial Lane
Luisa loves the flexibility of her schedule. For example, she fits workouts in the late morning, rather than wishing she could find time at her corporate job.
She blocks out her time – Tuesdays are for calls, Wednesdays are for creating content, etc. “So it’s very disciplined but also very freeing. And then of course, if I want to take a day off, travel more, work from wherever, I can.”
Her main goal is to continue creating the best education and coaching programs to help ambitious men and women build their businesses while working and transition from employee to entrepreneur.
Motivational words from Luisa:
“ Something strange happens when you decide to not let your fear be bigger than your dreams and just take action. Once you do it, it’s so much more freeing in that you know you can go out there and do it again.”